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Posts Tagged ‘Consciousness’

Cannon Beach - October 2014

Cannon Beach – October 2014

 

It’s been a very long time since I posted here, after 8 years solid of blogging! And I didn’t even say goodbye or see you later! So here I am — and so happy I have something to share with you today.

Briefly, want to add where I’ve been — I went through a major transition last year. My differently-abled son moved on to adult supported living last spring. I became progressively more ill as the year went by. Thanks to my naturopath, I got back on the right course, and just in time for October of last year. This is when I went to a Dr. Joe Dispenza “Progressive Workshop”, and learned exactly how it is that I made my body sick.

After that workshop true life changes began to take shape. I’ve just attended his next level workshop, the “Advanced”, and this one went even deeper. His work continues to be life changing in ways I never even dreamed possible.

The challenge with blogging about his work though, is it’s not just an intellectual process of gathering information, it has to be felt and experienced. This is achieved through meditation. So it’s been difficult for me to write about his work in a meaningful way. Today I think I have something to share that will be impactful.

About meditation — frankly when I saw him the first time, I thought — love the man’s heart, love his work, but I don’t know about this daily, sitting for long periods, mediation crap. Yet a couple of weeks later, I would come to commit to two days a week of at least 45 minutes of sitting meditation. Within another couple of weeks, I was meditating daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Now, I can’t not do it!

I posted this on my Facebook timeline yesterday, and some people said they really needed to hear it. So I share this now with you all, with the desire that you too, will benefit from it.

Two quotes from the workshop:

“Is the omnipresent always present with you? Is it possible you are not present with it?” (This is the secret benefits of meditation!)

“Stop arguing for your heavy baggage.”

At one point, Dr. Fannin was on stage speaking. He’s a big brain scientist, likes to measure things (I don’t). But he said one thing that I loved:

“How many neurons over a lifetime *dedicated* to worry?” (or fear, or guilt, or limitation of any kind)

I sat up and took notice when he used the word “dedicate”. He did not say spent, because it’s not like you hand over your money and get nothing back. Oh no, this dedication is an *investment* in worry, it’s not useless or wasted energy at all! It’s being used thoroughly, but in all the wrong places.

With that in mind, if you are a stock investor would you invest in a crap stock that signals your body to downgrade itself? Because that’s exactly what happens when we think and blindly surrender to thoughts and feelings that kick out stress chemicals.

We do uniquely have free will, we have a choice about where we direct our attention and therefore energy. Meditation helps with this tremendously. Settling the nervous system back down, time and time again, so we can come to live life in a less reactive, more mindful manner. There’s more benefits to doing his particular brand of meditations, but for now this explanation will suffice.

Now … back to “how many neurons over a lifetime *dedicated* to worry?” So while Dr. Fannin is speaking, I’m writing a rampage of turn arounds, here’s a portion of it.

How about … how many neurons dedicated to …

learning something new?
doing the uncommon?
being surprised by life?
being curious?
feeling vital?
feeling fed by life?
being present?
feeling awed by life?
feeling inspired?
feeling passion?
having a sacred relationship with your God?
feeling in love with life?
being at ease?

Ok, your turn … so much more could be said and *lived* here! …

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11585056-abstract-illustration-of-a-glowing-flowerThis quote is from mindfulness teacher Jeff Foster. Below I will append the quote, and then add links where you can get additional quotes from him.

DO YOU EVER GET THE FEELING…?

Do you ever get the feeling 
that you live on the threshold 
of pure possibility? 
That you are life itself, 
and the power that creates galaxies
moves through you? 
And you are that power?
And every thought, every sensation,
every feeling, however intense,
however uncomfortable, however fragile,
is itself an expression of the same power?
That no thought nor sensation is against you?
That you are vast enough to hold it all?
That you are not a person becoming conscious,
nor a seeker seeking that which seekers seek,
but consciousness itself pretending to be 
a person becoming conscious,
seeking itself and delighting in the seeking?
That the wave cannot be divided from the ocean?
That you are the destination and the origin?
That love is closer than the next breath?
And infinite peace is your nature and birthright?

Do you ever get the feeling
that you live on the threshold
of pure possibility?
And all the wonders of the universe 
are already yours?

– Jeff Foster

Yum, isn’t that just so inspiring! You can find more on his Facebook page at Jeff Foster (www.lifewithoutacentre.com) or his main website: http://www.lifewithoutacentre.com.

He writes so many inspirational, heart opening pieces, that I would be spamming you daily if I reposted them, so I hope you get to read and select some of your own favorites.

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One of my favorite NLP techniques; this post gets lots of attention even three years later.  It is such a mind eye opener and it stops the stories that fuel our suffering “dead in their tracks”!  So powerful, it bears sharing again…

I attended an NLP/Hypnosis meetup this weekend and was introduced to this fabulous new tool that I’ve been dying to pass on to you all.  It’s called — just the facts.  First, bear with me, while I take us on a little side trip to illustrate the power of this process.  You’ve heard of the path of least resistance?  Well, strap yourselves in for a bumpy BUT short ride down the path of *most* resistance, Bethie-style.

I leave the meetup, get in the car and immediately call home, since the plan is to now go home, pick up my daughter and leave for a concert.  Back story is I don’t like to be late and I don’t like to be rushed.  So I’m checking in with my husband on the status of our daughter getting ready, since we have to leave in one hour. Not only does she have to get ready but she has work to be done before we leave.  My husband says that my daughter’s not up yet.  It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  I’m gobsmacked.   I’m telling my husband we’ll never make it on time.  Not only that, I’m saying she often does this, she’s rarely on time lately.  I explain how I’ve been struggling all week with getting her out the door on time for things.  And then I’m thinking, I just know she’ll do a half ass rush job at the work she has to do.  And who sleeps ’til 3pm?   Wait, there’s more … if we don’t get there early, parking will be hard to find, I’ll be stuck in concert traffic, yada, yada, yada.

I hang up the phone.  And then I just said STOP.  For crying out loud, just STOP.  I stop and take a deep breath and remember I just left a meetup.  What did I just learn in the meetup?  I will tell you what I just learned and how I used it.

What actually happened here?  Just the facts.  What are the facts and nothing but the facts, m’am?

FACT: I called home and was told that my daughter is not up yet.

That’s all that happened.  That’s the facts, period.

All that other stuff is just blah, blah, blah.  A story I made starring me and my unwitting daughter and the script went like this — well you heard it all already.  Did any of it serve me or her?  Are they giving out any awards for the one person who can get their panties in a wad quicker than anyone else?  And if they were, would I even want that award?  Well I might, for you know what and giggles, but no, I don’t really want to be the fastest panty wad twister on earth.

Here’s what I want.  Here’s what I always want and that is to feel good and happy and clear.  So I just learned a new tool to do just that.  And I like this even better than Byron Katie’s: is it true? because it just by passes all of that.  I’m still asking a story if it’s true in the BK model.  Why get vested in the story at all, why not separate it out altogether and get down to the bare minimum.  What are the facts?  The rest is all a choice I make to have it mean this or that.

Immediately I realized how this could help a friend who doesn’t really get along with her boss.  Every time she gets an email or a phone call from this boss requesting such and such, she goes right into the story of what that means. And it’s often a story that doesn’t serve her; it’s a story that leaves her feeling less than and wanting to change jobs. So what do you do in that case?  You take the facts only.  Boss calls.  Boss wants to review my document.  Boss has made these changes to my document.

What does it mean?  It means nothing and everything, depending on what you tell yourself about it.  Strip it all down to its bare minimum, just the facts.  Before you, me, we get caught up in the whirlwind of what it all means, just stop, take a deep breath.  Ask yourself: what are the facts?  Look at the facts and decide, choose selectively, mindfully what you want to make of it, if anything at all.  Or choose just for this one moment, choose to have it mean nothing at all.  You can always come back to that subject and plaster it with all the meaning you want, but for now consider halting all the story about what *anything* means.  Feel the pure relief in that.

Thankfully I drove home sans the irritation over potentially being late or rushed because I realized it was all a resistance, filled to the brim, story.  And by the way, we got to the concert, no traffic, found good close parking and had plenty of time to spare.  We had a great conversation standing in line chatting with people we’d never met before but found so many crazy synchronistic things we shared in common, including the names and breeds of our dogs, the names of our kids, it just went on and on.

Things just flow and line up so much easier when I take the time to line up myself.  In my heart, I always want to be in my corner.  In all of our hearts, we all want to be in our own corner, our own good friends.  Just the facts and nothing but the facts, is a great and easy, user friendly tool to use and is definitely a keeper in my tool box.

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Gardens

Image

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” ~Audrey Hepburn*

This applies to all gardens, the literal ones and the metaphorical, symbolic ones.  It is to infuse our dreams for the future with faith.  Faith is the doorway to the realization of possibilities and potentials.

What many of my readers don’t know is that I raise a very special son.  He has brain injuries that have had a profound effect on him.  Several years ago we weren’t even sure we could continue to provide for his special needs in our home.  That’s when together, he and I wrote a letter from his future self.  In that letter, he was the person he dreamed of being, and all his needs were provided for throughout his childhood, in the nurturing safety and stability of our home.

Every night we read that letter together, until one day we no longer needed it.  The seeds we planted had come to fruition.  We believed, and our faith moved mountains. 

As we approach Spring, happy gardening everyone … whether you plant seeds in the earth or seeds in your consciousness, your heart enduringly sings of a belief in tomorrow.

 

*props to my friend Marie, for providing the inspirational quote

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havingfaith

We can let our lives be directed
by the same force that makes
flowers grow.  {…}

To trust in the force
that moves the universe
is faith.

Faith isn’t blind it’s visionary.
Faith is believing that the universe
is on our side, and that the universe
knows what it’s doing.

Faith is a psychological awareness
of an unfolding force for good,
constantly at work in all dimensions.

Our attempts to direct this force only
interferes with it.
Our willingness to relax into it allows
it to work on our behalf.

Marianne Williamson
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

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“Non-identification … stop taking the experience as me or mine  We inquire of every state or experience: is this who I really am?  We see the tentativeness of this identity, then we are free to let go and rest in awareness itself.  This is what Buddhist psychologists call the abode of awakening, the end of clinging.  True peace.  Nirvana.  No longer bound by fears and illusions of the small sense of self.”  Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart

I’ve been listening to the audio version of this book.  I do highly recommend this book though I would think twice about buying the audio version.  He’s not the liveliest speaker I’ve come across.  Sorry, Mr. Kornfield!

So, I’ve actually been using the question … is this who I really am? … for any unwanted feeling.  It’s a great tool to disengage from that feeling before I become emotionally flooded in a whirlwind of attendant thoughts.  Try it the next time you feel fear or jealousy or anxiety, for instance.  Notice where you are headed and ask yourself: is this who I really am?  Most of the time your answer will be – no, it is not.

Most of the time.  I hit upon one exception so far.  Asked the question and I received the immediate response of yes.  This was very telling about what I take to be real.  Rather than wrestle that baby to the ground, I’ll lead with — just for now, that’s how it is.  That’s another concept mentioned by Jack Kornfield.  It’s a radical acceptance.  Seems there’s always so much resistance to what is unwanted it starts a perpetual dance of push, pull where nothing really changes.  Jack Kornfield terms this resistance, flavors of “the wish it weren’t so”.  Yet it is, so why not accept it, just for now, or as they say in 12 step, Just for Today.

I think I’ll add to “just for now” an open curiosity.   In the same manner that I can witness or watch myself in a dream, I can do this consciously — witness with non-attachment in the awake state.  I can ask myself — what is it like to believe this?  Where do I feel it in the body?  What thoughts belong to this belief?  How do those thoughts feel?

And finally … Where is my Spirit in all of this?  This gently leads me back to the original question — is this who I really am?  I already feel a softening of beliefs.  An opening has been created into what is possible, and what was taken to be the truth, begins to quietly fall away.

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I wrote this a year ago and as the new year approaches, its timeless wisdom bears repeating.  I wish I would have had this post handy when I went through a life altering event this year.  That one question: am I giving myself to a conclusion that is set against my true desire?, is golden.  I’ll let you all read on, and allow the context of it all take shape…

It’s a fresh new year stretching before us.  I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions.  I began thinking about something else though and it’s timing just seems perfect for the new year.  All the little things that come up that get under our skin, bug us or in one way or another seem to draw us out of what felt like blissful alignment — to all of that — to simply stop and ask yourself this simple question:

Will it matter in a year from now?

I’m thinking just about 99.9% of everything you can resolutely say “no, it won’t matter in a year from now”.  Once you’ve determined that, you can drop it and just let it go.  Let it return to its “native nothingness”, as Florence Scovel Shinn once wrote, as it means nothing unless you assign it meaning.  It, whatever *it* is, is relatively meaningless and not worth your attention and certainly not worth your alignment.  When you get down to it, if you are willing to suffer less and be in alignment more then less and less is there any configuration of outer facts or conditions that can draw you out of alignment.  The more you step outside of your own suffering, step outside of the dream you are dreaming, the greater capacity you have to repeatedly step outside your own dream.

As for the other .1% or so that will matter a year from now, you won’t feel the same about it a year from now as you do today, as long as you are willing to suspend any judgment about what it means.  This means you don’t give yourself to conclusions that are at odds with what you really want.   You can check yourself at any time you’re feeling something unwanted by asking: am I giving myself to a conclusion that is set against my true desire?  This fosters a self rapport and an inner harmony that will carry you through even the toughest times in life.

Come to life with an open mind, an open heart and a willingness to let a wisdom greater than your own work through you.  It does so both visibly and invisibly every day.  Today is no exception, this year is no exception.  Solutions, answers, miracles happen in an instant and it all flows to us with ease when we let it. The “letting” is the key.

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One of my favorite posts here because it’s a true story of fear that was transformed with a Mother’s love and the Universe’s good grace in very real and tangible ways.  If I have a “manifestation” story to tell, when I’m older, this one would be it.  I’ve updated it a bit to bring it current with today.

Image Locale

I thought it fitting since we are at the end of the month, to write about beginning at the end.  It goes like this: begin at the end and stay there.  This is something I learned from studying with The Field Center and the Neville Goddard material, as well.  What does it mean?  The end that you begin at is to embody the feeling, the sense that you already have whatever it is you were wanting.

Passing through a wrinkle in time, time now collapses in on itself, the veil is pulled back and your heart’s desire has already unfolded.  What does it feel like in your heart, your body to know that what you longed for is no longer at arm’s length but it’s here right now?  Note what it feels like because this is a feeling you can come back to again and again.

It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?  I never really understood that it took a bit of commitment on my part to actually stay there.  That commitment flows out of falling in love with your heart’s desire so that it is no longer a desire, it’s a given.  You just know it and no fact that shows up in your now can sway you from this knowing.  It’s that kind of faithfulness and commitment that I am referring to.

The one who taught me about committing myself to “staying there” is my son.  Those who know me personally, know that I have a special needs son.  There were times in the past that his needs seemed to exceed what we could provide for him and for many reasons we thought he might have to live in an environment outside of our home where he could obtain the supports he needed.  More than anything, I didn’t want this to happen and I suffered a good bit over it for quite awhile.  I wanted a miracle to happen.

One day I felt inspired and made a decision.  I would fast forward to the ending that I wanted.  He stays here with us throughout his childhood and we have the supports that we need to provide for him.  I could see it in my mind’s eye, even though he is still a child today, here he was a young adult.  He had grown up and he’d stayed living with us in our home the whole time.  I could feel the feelings, the joy and contentment of raising him.  No more would I worry, will it happen?  It did happen — in my mind’s eye, my heart, my body it happened; I knew it was real and it was the truth.  I had peeled back the veil and saw and felt all that I needed to know.

Now my work is only to stay there.  By staying there, this means that nothing that happens day to day counts against my happy ending.  Why?  Because I don’t let it.  I don’t let myself come to any conclusions about anything that happens today.  I don’t take it seriously and I don’t allow it to have any importance.  That’s the commitment of staying there.  Only once since I experienced my happy ending have I given myself to a conclusion that counted against that happy ending.  On that day, I suffered and I suffered enough to renew my commitment again.

One miracle didn’t happen, many miracles happened over time: capable, highly specialized trained aides in our home, a cutting edge doctor working with my son, a specialty school, spiritual teachers showing up whose guidance has been pivotal, and many supports I was inspired to implement in the home.   Now today, I don’t question if my son will remain living with us, I know he will.

Ultimately children, and loved ones become our greatest teachers.  What we might not do for ourselves, we will do for them.  And what we do for love, we essentially do for ourselves, too.  It does not matter what path we take to get to alignment, only that we do get there.

Rumi, of course, said it best:

Close your eyes

Fall in love

Stay there.

There’s a host of happy endings inside each of us, awaiting our whole-hearted consent to join hands and “fall in love” with them.

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Stephen Hawking’s new book is about to be released and already there’s a buzz about the controversial idea he offers that there is no God needed to “set the Universe going” and that the “Universe can and will create itself from nothing”.  I don’t think he’s disputing that God exists, necessarily, but he does apparently seem to be saying that God is not needed for creation.

The first thing I did when I read this about him, was to check his birthdate and interpret it via the 9 star ki which is basically Chinese astrology.  This told me that he came into the world, or the equivalent to his sun sign in western astrology, as the number 5 which in Chinese astrology is the element of “middle” earth.  It’s a very powerful number and element to come into the world as.  A famous person, you may know who is also a 5 as their essential element, or first number in their 9 star ki, is Lady Gaga.

These are not people who are typically shy about being the center of attention.  They often have had life experience of an extreme nature and they’ve come with the potential to make a big splash in the world.  They often can have a profound influence on others.  So without question, Stephen Hawking is a shining example of his essential element.  I decided to give you all that background since you may read many things about Stephen Hawking but likely you won’t hear much about his 9 star ki.  And nowhere else, and I mean nowhere else, are you going to find any thing resembling a comparison drawn between Stephen Hawking and Lady Gaga.  You heard it here first!

On to my brief point here, let me first say I have not read his books and I am not a scientist.  I’m not out to really dispute his point either just offer an opinion.  I used to be an agnostic in terms of faith.  I had my first spiritual awakening in, of all places, Rocky Mountain National Park witnessing such glorious grandeur as I’d never before seen.  I knew this could be no accident.  Still, I’m by nature somewhat skeptical.  While I was not born in Missouri, referred to as the show me state, I was definitely a “show me” kind of gal.

Eventually I would become a nurse and am now retired from that profession.  It was during my studies of the human body that I realized again this was no accident.   There has to be a Grand Intelligence behind all of it.  Nothing else, in my opinion, can explain the orderliness and the sheer complexity of just the human body alone.  Additionally, throughout every moment your body will make adjustments to come into balance all day every day.  They even have a word for it in the medical field – homeostasis.  All of nature has the encoded ability to seek balance, equilibrium, harmony — homeostasis.  Not only then is it a Grand Intelligence, it’s an intelligence that operates with benevolence and dare I say kindness and grace even.

Call it God, call it Source, All That Is, etc., as I said in the commentary of my last poem, Life Never Fails, there is no place where God is not.  In my mind, it would follow then that God or a Grand Intelligence was and is behind the wheels of creation.  My only question, as a conscious creator then, is: am I working in tandem with this Grand Intelligence?  How will I know?  I will know, as Abraham says, in every moment by how I think and feel.

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I begged my husband, please let me read you this poem, it means so much to me (appended below).  He says he doesn’t like poetry unless it’s one of my poems.  Sweet.  He relents, I begin to read him this poem and am not half way through it before I’m crying.  It’s one of those poems where I wondered — did the author go inside my heart and read what was written there?

How did he know I’ve been afraid?  How did he know I thought I’d dump every idea of exploring consciousness and life?  I tried to convince myself, I’m older now, I don’t need to make the grand experiments anymore.  Maybe I don’t even care anymore.  Maybe I’ll never care again.  Maybe this small, safe place is where I belong.

I thought, if I don’t make big, bold footprints in the world, I won’t be noticed.  Big, scary things won’t happen to me then.  You see, if I’m not noticed, I can’t be hurt.  I’ll just go over here and carve out this small, quiet space and I’ll be protected.

I didn’t decide all at once that I can’t live happily like that.  I didn’t exactly turn a corner all at once either.  I tiptoed up to it, peeked around the corner and retreated.  Then I’d do it again and again and again.  Until one day I could say, I invite my true sense of adventure and exploration back in.  I invite Life back in again.

I turned the corner because I am a devotee of expansion more than I am a devotee of fear.  This is the path of my heart and soul.  I choose to follow it now.  Again.

* * *

For A New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plentitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

~John O’Donohue~
To Bless the Space Between Us
A Book of Blessings

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