Mind, Body, Spirit Connections

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quote of the Day~

“We’ve been opening ourselves to the grief, to the knowing of what’s taking place, the loss of species, the destruction of the natural world, the unimaginable levels of social injustice and economic injustice that deprive so many human beings of basic opportunities. And as we open to the pain of that, there’s a possibility of embracing that pain and that grief in a way that it becomes a strength, a power to respond. There is the possibility that the energy that has been bound in the repression of it can now flow through us and energize us, make us clearer, more alive, more passionate, committed, courageous, determined people.” ~ John Robbins

I appreciate the perspective that John Robbins is sharing with us. When we repress, or enter into myraid forms of denial, the pain does not diminish, but rather simmers within and depletes the spirit. The act of "repressing" requires energy. Surrendering into the pain and grief, allowing this energy to be expressed and transmute into a new sense of power and strength, is a healthy choice.

The act of repression binds us~

The act of surrendering into our feelings releases us. We become more compassionate and perhaps willing to reach out beyond ourselves and offer assistance to another. We are freed to take action, to make a difference, to immerse ourselves into a worthy cause, if we choose.

Are you ready to embrace your pain and grief?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Definition of the Day~

 ~ Electile Dysfunction ~ The inability to become aroused over any of the candidates for office in an election year.

Thank you Sam for the laugh!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Chapter in Jennifer's Life~

A question for us to ponder~

What if we have secret codes embedded in us that are activated by a person, event, date or place?

Let's think about this for a minute. If we review our lives, I bet we can tease out the significant people, events, and places that redirected the course of our life at that time. What if this was no accident, but some divine cosmic design that we participated in creating? And, at designated times in our life, a person, event, place or even date activates a code within us that accelerates our growth?

Does it sound too bizarre?

I can easily identify the people in my life that have impacted me significantly; the events and milestones and even a particular number that I have been seeing repeatedly since 1981 - 11:11 which became widely known and written about after the Harmonic Convergence in 1987.

I think it's important to ponder that which lies outside of our normal realm of linear thinking. It wasn't too long ago that this question took form within me as I was reflecting on my life, and what is happening globally and individually within each of us. Are we (collectively) somehow being triggered and activated with the approach of 2012?

Globally, the wars, terrorist attacks, spreading famine and the increasing catastrophic weather events that have been so devastating (Tsunami(s), earthquake in Haiti, Katrina, and Joplin tornado to name only a few) have also acted as a catalyst for us to come together. People from all walks of life left their families, homes, and jobs to assist those in need. It's as if each event has been a wake-up call -- WE ARE ALL ONE!

We are ending an era of duality and separateness (Piscean Age) and entering into the Aquarian Age; an age of unity and holism. Every where on the planet, the war between duality and unity is at play. In our relationships, in our communities; socially, economically, and politically. Do you feel something being activated in you? Do you feel a yearning, a desire to shift, to move through your life differently? Do you feel the pull to leave the 'old' paradigm and enter into an age of compassion, unity, purpose, and community?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Celebration

Today we celebrate the Remember Me Essenses video and the End of Summer Heavenly Sale.

"Remember Me Essences" reduced to $24.00 each or buy 4 and get the 5th free!!!.

Good through Labor Day

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

Becoming a pearl~

Andy and I just watched Fried Green Tomatoes; he for the twentieth time and me the second. What a great film with so many precious scenes. I am recalling Izzy's older brother Robert consoling Izzy with his tender accounting of how only a few special oysters can make a pearl. No coincidence, I received an email today from a friend who had attached a Hathor Planetary Message through Tom Kenyon that also referenced the oyster and pearl.

I share this message to shed light on how to maintain your balance and perspective during these chaotic times.

"The paradox and the difficulty is that you live in a dualistic universe, and virtually any action you take is met by a counter-force. This paradox and difficulty is like a metaphorical grain of sand in an oyster; it is irritating. But through the process of self-evolution, the irritation (i.e. duality) becomes a pearl, and paradoxically, something of value emerges from that which was problematic. But each Initiate must create this pearl of self-transformation for him or herself. No religion, no master, no teacher or guru can do it for you."

I like the metaphor as it speaks to how we can take the irritations, set-backs, and events that are beyond our control and, at the very least, view them from a new perspective. Let the 'grains of sand' irritate rather than fighting them, surrendering into the self-transformation that will occur if you are willing. Distilled to the most basic concept; we can choose fear (resistance) or love (the heart). We can operate from our ego, or we can listen to our deep heart. It's a choice. The answers are not going to come from 'out there' but from within. Only when we take the time to reflect in silence, to enter into a state of gratitude, will we begin to loosen and dissolve that which binds us.

Our freedom lies in the heart, in our capacity to emanate love and compassion, without judgement.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Health Tip - Get moving~

 Benefits of Walking~

Andy and I have renewed our commitment to walk! We are on day 8 of walking three and a half miles in the morning. We drag our moaning, groaning bodies out of bed at 6am, throw on some clothes half asleep, brush our teeth, and head out into the night. I love walking early when it is still dark. The moon is out and the very last of the stars are hanging on for dear life. About a mile into our walk, the sky beigns to change colors and we welcome the sun and blue sky.

I feel better too. Something about starting my day with fresh air, physical exercise, and the opportunity to engage with Andy -- planning our day, dissecting our bizarre dreams, or fantasizing about how we would spend and share the Power Ball winnings (smile).

If I haven't convinced you of the many benefits of walking, read on...

•It reduces your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke

•It lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes

•It lowers high blood pressure (hypertension)

•It protects against falling and bone fractures in older adults

•It may help protect against certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer

•It increases the number of calories your body uses, which helps to control your weight

•It helps control joint swelling and pain from arthritis.

•Helps keep your bones, muscles, and joints healthy

•Reduces anxiety and depression, boosting your mood

•Helps you handle stress

•Helps you feel more energetic

•Helps you sleep better

•Improves your self-esteem

•Gives you an opportunity to socialize actively with friends and family.

Dust off those walking shoes~

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quote of the Day~

No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

Alan Watts

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Chapter in Jennifer's Life~

Living with the bears~

Today the kids are at the Astor cottage on the St. John's river visiting with their father. I have written about our life on the river previously. And, while it was rustic, wild and inconvenient, I still think the children had an incredible experience and have learned and developed an appreciation of Nature.

One of the most unusual stories about our life on the river occurred the second Fall we were there. I came home one day to find three bears in our yard. One was a mama bear, and the other two were cubs. The next day we spotted what appeared to be an adolescent and papa bear. Five bears! Now, being Northerners, and basically ignorant of the Florida wilderness, we were at a loss. Our neighbor informed us that in 30 years of river life he had seen nothing like it. His guess was that they were after the abundant acorn supply that littered our yard. It never crossed our minds to call animal patrol. We just lived with those bears.

When I came home late in the afternoon, Mama bear would be eating in the yard and her cubs would be up in the tree playing. I would slowly get out of the car and say to her "Now, mama, my cubs are in the car and I know yours are up in the tree. Just let me get mine in the house."

And she would.

At night, we would read Max and Zoe Goodnight Moon, and then go to the windows and say goodnight to the bears.

They stayed almost a month happily eating all the acorns in sight. We never had any trouble, only laughs. One bear liked the kid's swing set. We have a great picture of him looking like he was trying to swing! We loved watching the cubs play, and the mother snooze by a tree.

Not too many families get to live with bears; especially harmoniously. I don't know why they chose us. But, I am thankful for the experience and it will be a great story for Max and Zoe to share with their kids.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Blog Share~

More on Divine Love~

What is love? Take a look at a rose. Is it possible for the rose to say, 'I shall offer my fragrance to good people and withhold it from bad people?' Or can you imagine a lamp that withholds its rays from a wicked person who seeks to walk in its light? It could only do that by ceasing to be a lamp. And observe how helplessly and indiscriminately a tree gives its shade to everyone, good and bad, young and old, high and low; to animals and humans and every living creature -- even the one who seeks to cut it down. So this is the first quality of love: its indiscriminate character. -- Anthony DeMello

Since antiquity, masters, poets, writers, songsmiths and just about every other human being on the planet has sought to fathom the eternal depths and the meaning of love -- from whence it comes, and why it seems that some people experience it more than others.

The ancient Greeks fully understood the complexities of this issue. They believed that one word could not adequately describe such a powerful and all encompassing energy so they divided love into four categories:

The first being eros, which is the base vibration of love found in romance or eroticism. The second description of love was referred to as storge, which is the vibration of familial love such as a parent feels for a child, or siblings for one another. The third description for love is phillia, which is the vibration known as brotherly love, such as what we feel for other human beings beyond our immediate family when there is a sense of connection.

The fourth and highest vibration of love is agape, which has been defined as the unconditional love of the divine, because it is always giving itself to its creation, moving through us (and all creation) as life itself and never asking anything in return. In other words, agape love is absolutely indiscriminate and unconditional. We do not have to do anything to earn it because the gift has already been given.

I have been pondering the question: If the source of this love is indiscriminate, holding back from none, why do we human beings, who are recipients of this love, discriminate and hold back our love from certain others? We hold back because we tend to identify with the egoic self, which is busy keeping score, trying to separate those who are unworthy of our love from those who are worthy -- almost as if there were only so much love to go around. If we are willing to investigate the anatomy of love and its source we'll discover otherwise.

In his book, "The Way To Love," Anthony DeMello summarizes God's indiscriminately giving nature in this manner: "Perhaps this is why we are encouraged to be like God, 'who makes his sun to shine on good and bad alike and makes his rain to fall on saints and sinners alike: So you must be all goodness as your heavenly father is all goodness.'"

I interpret this to mean: As we open to its presence, the goodness of agape love flows through us and finds its way into the world by means of us, becoming goodness in the form by means of which we express romantic, familial and brotherly love in our daily lives. Love begins as divine essence, trickles into the human condition, and we don't even have to ask for it; we need only be the open and willing vessel through which it flows.

As a mindfulness practice consider trying this process:

•As a way to make this awareness more palpable, consider taking some time today to spend outside.

•Stand in the sunlight and feel its penetrating presence and warmth sharing itself with you and all others, holding itself back from none.

•Then find a flower and observe it receiving warmth from the same source of light.

•Finally, find a weed and discover that it too is basking in the glory of the same light from which you and the flower benefit.

•Then, repeat the exercise and visualize the sunlight as infinite love offering itself to you unconditionally, no strings attached.

The question to ponder is: Can you receive that love as freely as you do the sunlight? Perhaps the real question is, can you extend that love to others as freely, with no strings attached? Take your cue from the sun. This would be a good day to enter into a more indiscriminate loving of all that is ... and perhaps the best place to begin is in the mirror with that beautiful being you see looking back at you.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday celebration~

Celebrating the presence of God~

The presence of God surrounds us and lives within us. 

So many of us are seeking -- love, solace, peace, and acceptance. Many are in a place where it is hard to feel the presence of God; to know that we are held and cradled. The path of self-realization is one of devotion, courage, faith and love. It is also a path where we must go within, be silent and listen. God will not be found outside of ourselves; s/he may be reflected in our loved one's eyes, or in the beauty of Nature, but the presence of God will be found and felt through your love and devotion. Love for God and the desire to serve are the qualities needed to experience Divine Love. Gurudeva once said to Daya Mata: "Be so drunk with the love of God night and day that you won't know anything but God; and give that love to all." 

And how do we become drunk with the love of God? How do we stay present, our hearts focused only on God, everyday? I imagine it will be different for each person. I start my day in prayer and gratitude. I try to spend time in meditation and reflection; asking for guidance and surrendering to the Divine Will. I realized today that I need to spend more time in meditation.

More than anything, I want to be in service; an instrument for divine love. I need to be more vigilent with my practice of Ahimsa.  "Non-violence through thought, word and deed."  Be impeccable with your word. It is so easy to lose balance, and prespective, when life becomes more chaotic.

I am celebrating this awareness today and my return to a more devoted practice. A return to balance admist the chaos of these times. I am celebrating being cradled in the arms of the Christ. To be alive, healthy and in service. I breathe in this awareness, with hands over my heart, and thank God for my life.

And with gratitude, I say "Thank you. Thank you. Yes. Yes."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

When Mercury is in retrograde...get out of town. Better yet, get off the planet. Don't use any mechanical devices and don't make any major decisions~

I am by no means an expert on astrology. But, I do know when Mercury is in retrograde and I know I don't like it one little bit!

Misinformation galore, chaos and mishaps are certain. Hold on for the long ride -- August 3rd-26th and lay low. This too shall pass.

Just in the past 2 weeks in my own immediate family the following has occurred:

~ My son's jaw came completely unhinged, requiring an emergency room visit, anesthesia, and a very forceful shove back into place

~ Yesterday he swam into a school of jelly fish and was stung from head to toe

~My sister collided heads with her horse, knocking her unconscious and requiring stitches (The horse knew she was going to be sold I think!)

~ Our van had a flat tire, and then a blowout where the tread hit the back of the car and smashed the rear light.

~ Zoe's car lost the power steering pump, the serpentine belt broke, and the air conditioning compressor quit. Try driving in that car when it's 95 degrees out!

~Today, we are all watching the market crash yet again.

This is Mercury in retrograde. Chaos reigns. And, if you are not rattled by any of this doomsday chatter by now (or smiling thinking, "Phew, I've been lucky"), unresolved issues from the past tend to push themselves forward.

The best we can do is be aware, try not to let the frustrations get the best of us, and nap more!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Health Tip - Creating a state-of-ease~

The Institute of HeartMath has been researching the heart-brain connection for over 18 years and has developed marvelous tools to help us understand the connection and learn to establish and maintain heart coherence. The heart is an electrical organ 40-60 times stronger than the brain and produces an electromagnetic field that radiates 360 degrees around the body to every cell in the body and beyond the skin like radio waves broadcasting into the biosphere.

When the heart feels distressed, or has a strong emotion, the brain immediately receives a signal and the production of stress hormones begins. The coronary arteries constrict and the heart generates an incoherent rhythm. When the heart feels positive emotions, like gratitude, the heart beats in a coherent rhythm and contributes to a greater sense of well-being.

Our emotions are powerful and impact our physical and emotional health. In the following link, the founder of HeartMath describes how to create a state-of-ease. I hope you find it beneficial.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Intention of the Day~

Allow for a gentle breeze of lightness to filter into my day~

Monday, August 15, 2011

Special Request of the Day~

Thank you Angela McKinney~

"Special request to all you kids returning to school in the next few weeks: If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/she doesn't have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most "in" clothes -PLEASE step up. Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone's life! PLEASE REPOST FOR OUR CHILDREN."

Angela's special request is so perfectly timed as Intent Heals plans on launching the "Give & Forgive" program in Volusia county targeting middle school children. The “Give & Forgive” program is an hour long experiential workshop designed to teach middle school children the harmful effects of bullying, and begin the healing process for both the bullies and the bullied. Students will learn new behavioral and relationship skills that will reduce the incidences of bullying. They will experience how intention, gratitude and forgiveness can create healing and how the act of forgiveness can release hurts.

At the end of the workshop, students will be asked to lend their “Heart” to someone they have hurt, or to someone they determine to be in need (may be family member or themselves).

Lending Heart Exercise

Students will be given a glass heart in an organza bag with a card in it. The student will be instructed to write the name of someone they have hurt with an intention for that person or an apology. They will give them their “heart”. The person receiving the heart will then pass it on to another person in need (or to someone they have hurt) when they have finished with the heart with the understanding that “all hearts are one.”

If you are interested in supporting the "Give & Forgive" program, please visit our website http://www.intentheals.com/Workshops_Newinitiatives.html to donate.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Chapter in Jennifer's Life~

In this moment~

Writing about oneself is an act of sheer vulnerability for some. It's difficult to reach in, find the perfect words, and nestle into a flow and rhythm that will convey exactly what we are feeling or experiencing. I know it is for me. Some days, the words just flow and other days, it is a more tedious process.

In this moment, I find myself conflicted internally and it is hard to express exactly what I am experiencing. I am acutely aware of the pain, chaos, confusion, anxiety, volatility, and sadness that surrounds me -- close to home and globally. In the past, I have been able to detach and with compassion hold space for others. In other words, I was not strongly impacted by other's emotions or the more global anxiety that feels so pervasive lately. And, perhaps, this is exactly what is happening -- I am past the tipping point and have lost my balance.

I am confused by the riots; starting in London and then transmuting (like the Hundredth Monkey principle) to Philadelphia and other US cities into "rob flashes". The uncertainty in the financial markets, coupled with the political games that seem more important than the welfare of our own people, weigh heavily as I wonder if we will ever remember what is truly important. And, closest to home -- friends and family who are sick, in pain, struggling, and confused.

During these times, I usually can create and hold sacred space for myself and others. But, when you add a dash of hormonal imbalance, all is lost. I do not like myself when I am irritable. It happens so rarely, but now it seems like every two weeks. God, help me. "Show compassion? Are you kidding me? After I rip your head off, I'll show some compassion."  It passes quickly, but the moment is excruciating. I'm declaring right now, before all, that I am not going to like this one little bit.

I can feel a new alter-ego emerging whom I will name...Godzilla.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday celebration~

Home and Connected~

It was strange not being able to connect to the internet or blog for the past four days. I found myself easily letting go once I realized the situation.


I found it refreshing not to be on the phone, computer, or TV. Four couples shared a lovely mountain home and enjoyed each other's company, and old fashion fun. Remember what that was? Drinking coffee for hours on the porch talking, eating (and eating), hiking in the woods, canoeing on the lake, playing golf, playing cards and....more eating.

While our instant access to everyone and everything is something we all celebrate and rely on, being dis-connected this past week gave me cause to celebrate. I celebrated new friendships, and the absence of anything that distracts from the intimacy of being in each other's company. A friend of mine sent a great U-Tube called "Web Site Story" -- take off on West Side Story. As I watched, I laughed at how this clever video perfectly mirrors 'what once was' and 'what is now'.

Web Site Story

Monday, August 8, 2011

Intention of the Day~

Do not freak out~

We are in Big Canoe, Georgia. In the mountains in a beautiful house that does not have internet connection. A huge storm blew in last night and took out any connectivity in the establishments off the mountain. Andy and I drove to town and here we sit at the Huddle House finally connecting!!!

These are the times when you just chuckle and let it go. I will not be blogging for the next four days. Out of courtesy for our host, driving down the mountain and into town every day would just be rude.

With apologies, I will be back blogging on Friday~

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Chapter in Jennifer's Life~

My Cross Country Trip~

The year was 1986. I was 25 years old, madly in love, and ready to leave Pennsylvania. I had been there since 1979; four years of college and three years working. I was feeling that itch to "go". I thought that this would be a good time to live my dream - a cross country trip hiking and camping in every National Park in the US.

I quit my job, sold everything I owned including my 650 Yamaha motorcycle, and found a home for my beloved Golden Retriever, Brandy. My boyfriend decided to join me at some point in this process much to my relief and delight. We headed out in mid-August in his Volkswagon Golf, packed to the gills with camping equipment, food, and books.

It was not too far into the trip -- the Badlands to be exact -- that something went horribly awry.

I wish I could give you details or even adequately explain what happened. But, I can't. I don't know what happened that night in the Badlands under a full moon. I only know that when we woke up the next morning, our relationship had changed significantly. He wouldn't touch me.

Did I say I was madly in love? Good. Then anyone reading this can imagine what it was like to be on the road for three months with someone who can not tell you why or what has just happened. My dream of a lifetime had become a nightmare. -- imagine camping in a teeny, tiny tent, driving in a little car, and hiking for hours and hours in some of the most majestic, beautiful parks in this county with someone who won't touch you, or talk about it.

The amazing part of this story is that we had an unbelievable time. Somehow, we were both able to come to a place of peace. I think the sense of awe, the stillness that pervades all your senses when you are hiking in Nature, and just 'being' in the moment somehow eased the pain. We witnessed so many incredible sights -- surprising a grizzly bear at Glacier Park, a mother moose and her two babies at the Grand Tetons, the singing of the elk, who later pissed on our tent while we were sleeping, (And, yes, that was perhaps the most terrifying event of the trip), 100,000 bats flying over our heads at Carlsbad Caverns, and the overwhelming silence and lushness of the Hoh rain forest.

It was an adventure. A chapter of my life I will never forget and one that I will relive vicariously through my sister who is about to make a similar trip. It will be the first time in her life that she will be alone -- time to explore both the outer beauty of this country, and her inner world as she traverses the secondary roads. I hope she finds the same sense of peace.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Blog Share~

The Forgiveness Project~

I am highly recommending readers to visit the ForgivenessProject.org. These are remarkable stories of forgiveness from people all over the world. The following is Geoff's story:

Geoff Thompson (England)June 10, 2011

"I came to realise that if someone abused me 20 years ago and I did not forgive them, they were still abusing me."

Geoff Thompson grew up in working class Coventry. At the age of twelve he was abused by an adult he trusted. The incident shattered his self-esteem and led to a decade of violence. He has since become a martial arts instructor, teacher and author of over 34 books. The short film Romans 12:20 tells Geoff’s story.

My lovely mum always said that I inherited her nerves. Certainly I was a sensitive kid, and felt the lash of depression from an early age. My first encounter with it was when I moved to senior school. The transition overwhelmed me and I felt threatened at every corner. In a bid to win some courage I started training in martial arts.

My martial arts instructor was a charismatic man who took me under his wing. I was in awe of him and after a short period of subtle and insidious grooming, he asked me and some of the other boys to stay over at the club to help fix the aikido mats. That night I awoke to the feeling of a hand on my bare leg. The level of the sexual abuse that followed was not extreme, I was not raped, but the level of betrayal proved to be catastrophic. Most of that night is lost to my memory but I remember waking up the next morning knowing my childhood had ended.

I have visited this place in my mind many times since but those hours still remain lost. All I remember was waking up the next day with the darkest depression squatting deep inside my breast. For a long time I didn’t tell anyone – especially not my mum. She had always warned us never to bring shame to her door, and I had made it my raison d’ĂȘtre never to cause her pain.

What this abuser taught me implicitly with his actions was that no one could be trusted, not even those who loved you. This, of course, had a detrimental effect on my malleable mind. An incident that puts you out by a small degree as a twelve-year-old, is enough to send you completely off the grid by the time you’re thirty. At 14, I was kissing a girl in the farmer’s field and her face contorted in to the face of a man. At 15 (and for many years after) I had uncontrollable and unwelcome fantasies about the abuse. This triggered a lot of guilt and shame in me. It was only many years later, after studying psychology, that I understood this was my mind’s way of trying to gain some sort of control over my angst by re-imagining the abuse as a pleasurable experience. As an adult I developed psychotic jealousy, imagining that every girl I dated was cheating on me.

At 28, I became a nightclub bouncer in a bid to mould myself a bit of spine. I was a man with a lot of underlying rage and I displaced my anger on anyone that stepped into my orbit. It took a decade of extreme violence before I realised that I was out of control. When I nearly killed a man in a car park match fight, I knew it was time to leave. I wrote a book about my exploits, left the doors and renounced violence.

During my violent days, I thought forgiveness was weak and meant letting people off. That changed when I started teaching forgiveness to my martial arts students. Certainly I understood forgiveness intellectually but I didn’t understand it in practice until, one day, I was sitting in a cafĂ© and saw my abuser sitting on the table opposite. For a split second I was twelve again, quivering with fear.

But then I walked over to him. I introduced myself and told him what he had done to me as a child and how it had affected me. He was a big man, and he tried to stand up and protest. I put my hand out and told him to sit down. He obeyed immediately. I told him that despite what he had done I was going to forgive him. I told him twice. He looked totally broken. It was as if my forgiveness shattered him. As I went to walk away, he put his hand out. I hesitated. I wanted to be free from this man’s memory and I knew that the only way to be free was to properly forgive him. So I shook his trembling hand. When I walked away from that cafe I felt the most powerful man in the world. I had taken all my power back from him.

Years later I heard that he’d committed suicide. His past caught up with him; the police were finally on his trail after thirty years. There was no celebration from me. I felt only sadness. There could be no justifying his heinous crimes but I had a lot of compassion for him. He was a man with potential, and he wasted his life.

Forgiveness is the only revenge. You can have your day in court, some people need that, but if you want total freedom, forgiveness is the only way.

I came to realise that if someone abused me twenty years ago and I did not forgive them, they were still abusing me now, today, in fact they were literally holding me in stasis. Forgiveness gives you power not only over the here-and-now and over the future, it also deems you impervious to your past. It literally allows you to dismantle historical trauma.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday celebration~

Keeping my perspective~

It's been a tough week and finding something to celebrate today (especially after the market drop yesterday) is a bit difficult. These are challenging times for so many and for so many reasons. The best thing I can do is keep it all in perspective.

I am healthy - thank you God.
My husband and our children are healthy - thank you God
We have a roof over our head - thank you God
We have food in our bellies - thank you God
I am blessed with wonderful friends - thank you God

I celebrate in this abundance as so many right now do not have their health, or a roof over their head, or food in their bellies.

I am grateful~

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Spiritual Guidance~

Greeting your anger~

Anger is such a taboo emotion in our society. Women especially grow up with the message that anger is not 'good' and you certainly do not show it -- how uncivil, ugly, and shameful. Remember the messages you received from your parents? Were there certain emotions you just did not exhibit (or certain punishment was to follow)? Being angry, mean, impolite, stubborn, and crying were not permitted. Being obedient, kind, and polite were rewarded with love and attention. If you grew up in a household where one or both parents were angry, then you learned quickly that anger led to pain and anger/pain led to abandonment.

We learned to shut down and suppress our anger as a way of protection, and learned "new" behaviors to ward off the conflict and expected pain of abandonment. The truth is anger is a healthy emotion like joy, happiness, and sorrow. I'm in the process of exploring the anger I know lies buried deep within my body and psyche. I am fully aware of my discomfort around conflict and anger. Hypervigilent, I've spent my life circumventing or preventing conflict before it even has a chance to surface.

I remember an incident years ago when I could not contain my anger. I stormed out of the house and into the car. As I was driving down the dirt road, screaming and swearing, I took my hand with palm extended and hit the windshield. The force of energy coming from my hand cracked the entire windshield. I couldn't believe how good it felt and how good I felt releasing that anger. I do not recommend this as an anger release method. The point is how good the release felt -- this was not just  the anger of the moment that had been triggered, but decades of supressed anger being released.

Our bodies store and carry our suppressed anger impacting us in a host of ways from headaches, to stomach issues, high blood pressure, insomina, depression, anxiety and a host of other physical and emotional maladays. The trick is learning how to feel our anger and release in safe, healthy ways so as not to hurt ourselves or others. For me, in this moment, I am aware that this is an area I want to explore and address more consciously.

So, with a bit of trepidation, I look forward to greeting my anger~ 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Health Tip ~ Benefits of Green and Black Tea

It's all about the flavonoids~

Drinking a cup or three of freshly brewed green or black tea may save your life. While tea drinking has been hailed for centuries, it's only been in recent years that the medicinal properties of tea have been understood.

Tea has a high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Flavonoids impede the oxidative damage to cells. Studies have found consuming green and black tea reduces the risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder. The antioxidants in green, black, and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function.

If you haven't put the tea kettle on yet, drinking green and black tea also helps you lose weight!

Aahh, now I hear those tea kettles whistling in the background....

Be sure to allow your freshly brewed tea to steep for three to five minutes for full benefit. Stay away from decaffeinated, instant, or bottled tea as they have less of the plant derived compounds and will not give you the same benefits.

Brewing a cup of green tea now~

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quote of the Day~

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” -~Sam Keen

I used to describe myself as a "mess in process". Later on down the road, I realized I was "perfectly imperfect". When I acknowledge this and say this outloud, a smile plays on my lips and in my heart. This is the smile of acceptance.

I can honestly share that it has taken me quite a long time to arrive at this place of acceptance -- this incredible place of being "perfectly imperfect". Twenty-five years in fact. And, when I did, love came spilling into my life.

Before, I 'lovingly' showered my expectations and limitations on my loved ones. Wasn't that sweet of me? How on earth are you going to love someone fully and completely if you've got a whole mess of expectations? You can't. It's just that simple. The revolution begins within. Only when we address our own "stuff" and move through the process of releasing, healing, accepting and loving what is, will we begin to dissolve all that separates us from others.

In a place of heart-centeredness and acceptance, love comes spilling in. My love was there all along, but I could not see what was right before my eyes. Andy patiently waited for me to wake up. No expectations on his part. He knew and he waited, knowing that perhaps I would not "see" him and we would remain best of friends.

The opening of the heart is a mysterious thing. We never know where we may be led, but I think the expansiveness of our heart is linked to freeing all that binds and keeps us closed. The inner revolution continues as I embrace my love for Andy, my kids, friends, and all who wander into my path.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Intention of the Day~

To remain in a place of trust in the face of uncertainty~

As many of us watch the debate on Capitol Hill unfold, perhaps scratching our heads and wondering what in God's name ever happened to the priorities in this Country, some of us may also be feeling a bit queasy. We are not living in times that instill a sense of calm or hope. On the contrary, the forecast of doom and gloom, coupled with the volatile market, creates uncertainty.

How do we stay in a place of trust?

Adding to the macro level of calamity, are the micro events that tend to push one even further down this path of uncertainty. Quite by accident, our van was filled with diesel fuel -- it takes unleaded, of course. Ironically, at the moment the van was breaking down, Andy was selling the Saab for a pittance to Car Max so that we did not have to purchase new tags and keep the car insured. So, in a matter of minutes, we went from 3 cars to 1 car with four drivers.

My mantra is to stay in a place of trust. We hear today whether or not the van can be salvaged. We will hopefully hear by tomorrow if the debt ceiling increase has passed.

So while I wait on both the outcomes of the macro and micro, I breathe deeply, exhale slowly, and try to stay in a place of trust~