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Many people are experiencing fear and anxiety, as the stay at home orders slowly move through different phases. Many people become addicted to the emotions of stress, like an adrenaline rush, but it can make you ill. People say this is the new normal—a world filled with uncertainty. I watched a special with Elton John. He claimed the universe is trying to tell us something. Even if it is, we are oftentimes too worried about catching or passing on Covid 19 to our loved ones or others to decipher the clues to a new world.
Most everyone’s life has changed in blatant or subtle ways. Staying in, wearing masks when out, social distancing are de rigueur. While we can go out for exercise, we can’t mingle. We miss our people and our routines. Thank goodness for Zoom! Very real concerns such as continued employment, children’s education, childcare, stocked shelves in the market, and the ability to pay our bills are wearing us down. We want to visit our loved ones. We want to stay safe.
Yet, many things have remained the same for many of us. Staying at home highlights challenges we may have faced in the past with our selves, our relationships with others, our ability to cope with challenges. Now is a good time to sort these challenges out. We have time, before we explode into our next new future.
Let’s talk Dialogue! I invite you to the Being InSpirit Healing Art’s Dialogue Group, beginning on Thursday April 23rd 6:30pm. Space is limited, RSVP 708-523-0000. I was introduced to Dialogue by one of my mentor’s, Dr. Bonnie Holstein in 2006. She organized the group around the book, Dialogue, by David Bohm; Bohm (1917-1992), an American physicist and philosopher, suggested a way for individuals to collaborate on complex issues. He stated, “we have an ability to perceive or think differently, it is more important than the knowledge gained…the form of knowledge is to have, at any moment, something essential, and the appearance can be explained. But then, when we look deeper at the essential things, they turn out to have some feature of appearances… anything known has to be determined by its limits…Therefore, we have to say no matter how far we go there is the unlimited. It seems that no matter how far you go, somebody will come up with another point you have to answer.”
In Dialogue, we practice non- judgment. This is a skill that allows us to think critically and on a deeper level. It will help anyone learn to suspend judgment and respect others. We may not solve world or community problems, but we may. We welcome your participation.
“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.“ Amit Ray
What does it mean to be spiritual? Do you wonder what it’s all about? Feel lonely, empty, tired, lost, unfulfilled? Looking to fill your needs with food, material goods, recreational drugs, alcohol, promiscuity? What does spirituality have to do with any of these things?
I am not talking about your religious affiliation, but about witnessing awe at the sunrise or sunset. Being at the bottom of a waterfall, hiking in the mountains, walking on the beach. Tranquility that comes from just being, tops the list. Receiving the gift of peace when you watch kindness in action is a joy—allow it.
Spirituality is overall wellbeing and the essence of being human. “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, man cannot live without a spiritual life.” Buddha
When I was a child, my Auntie told me I was a small pebble on an endless sea of pebbles, my purpose was to contribute to those pebbles. I found this quote that really says the jist of it: “I realized then that even though I was a tiny speck in an infinite cosmos, a blip on the timeline of eternity, I was not without purpose.“ R.J. Anderson
If you find it difficult to sense your purpose, try Focusing. I can teach you how to do it. It is a delightful way to align mind, body, and spirit.
Many blessing to you!
My thoughts on Labor Day 2017
I grew up believing we lived in a civilized society whose characteristics were shared by all first world countries. Our culture complemented civilization, our values included free speech, freedom of religion and press, independence, diversity, a sense of competition, fairness, and individualism. We think big, have American spunk, creativity, a strong desire for our children to do better than their parents.
The civilized part of our society included much more than courtesy and politeness. It allowed for safety and protection for its citizens; a sense of law and order—justice, education and the passing down of morals and values, access to clean water and food, and while equality in life did not include financial equality it did allow for moving up by hard work.
I was taught violence was wrong. We could settle our differences in a civil, respectful manner. There was room for discourse and peaceful protest. My world has changed. When I see situations like Charlottesville and Berkeley I am saddened. Violence has never been a part of my civilized world. I was taught to work hard to achieve success, respect others, and participate in critical thinking.
A friend of mine shared this poem with me. He said his grandfather always repeated it and a copy hung on the refrigerator.
Go to work and save $ (also titled The Prescription)
If you are poor– work.
If you are rich –continue to work.
If you're happy– keep right on working.
Idleness gives you room for doubts and fears.
If disappointments come– work.
If sorrow overwhelms you, and loved ones seem not true–work.
When faith falters and reason fails–just work.
When dreams are shattered and hope seems dead– work.
Work as is if your life was in peril. It really is.
Whatever happens or matters– work.
Work faithfully–work with faith.
Work is the greatest material remedy available.
Work will cure both mental and physical afflictions.
(The California Citrograph, July 1922)
This poem, come to find out, was printed and reprinted (Dear Abby, college graduations) for close to a century now. In addition to a strong work ethic, I was also taught that critical thinking is a crucial skill necessary for true understanding of life and one’s place in it. After observing the recent violence in our society, analyzing the data, reflecting on all of the information presented, I continue to be at a loss as to why people think violence is a plausible manner in which to get one’s point across. Freedom of speech allows for peaceable protests—not violent ones. Anyone who perpetrates violence against another should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I think most of our leaders are negligent and lack true conviction, values, and morals, because it is not acceptable that individuals go to demonstrations with bats and weapons intending to do bodily or property damage. That said, from a Libertarian perspective everyone should do what they want to do with their own lives as longs they don’t impose their view or will on others.
While I reject violence, I do acknowledge that genocide or enslavement of other humans is a time when violence may be justifiable (self defense). We, as a civilized society, must reevaluate what values we are passing on to our children and support a strong, united, positive leadership. Violence is not the answer when we disagree. Let’s move towards work, education, and positive discourse.
And on a positive note: Kudos to all the wonderful first responders and self sacrificing individuals who are helping the Hurricane Harvey and Irma survivors!!!
Navigating your life
Navigating your life through all of the unpredictable and predictable body, mind, and spirit challenges is very much like navigating your way through rush hour traffic. Dangerous drivers, accidents, traffic jams, crazy weather, and often indeterminate construction sites are just part of the daily challenges of driving. While neuroscience is allowing us to understand more about what’s happening inside us, we are still mostly in the dark.
Planning versus leaving it to chance generally ensures more lifetime success. But the truth is many things cannot be planned. Let’s focus on the ones that can be planned out, while understanding that the best laid plans can blow up at any time. The easy stuff first, which for many of us is not easy:
- Sleep is the number one thing we can do to ensure our health. The National Institutes of Health recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults. Children need more sleep.
- Exercise is vitally important for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Please read Dr. Ina’s following article: “Live an active and inspired life.” 30 minutes five days a week will do wonders!
- Mindfulness Meditation is helpful for reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, strengthening the cardiovascular system, being more present, improving concentration and focus, and generally improving overall well-being. 20 minutes three times a week creates new neural networks.
- Develop strong relationships to allow for a positive support system.
- Eat clean, healthy foods.
- Be curious and engaged to stave off dementia and BE Happy.
For many of us, doing all even of these practices can be overwhelming. We want to start out with sleep, work in exercise, and add a new practice one at a time until you are living your life healthfully. This is the foundation to navigating your life--At this point, evaluate how well you are doing. Do you have a purpose in life? Do you engage with others, look at the glass half full?
Next, analyze what will make you happier, have more fun, be healthier. Create a realistic plan to move forward, always with an understanding that life is fluid and unpredictable. Work is 1/3 of our lives. Is it only a means to an end, or do you enjoy it? Perhaps, a kayak is in your future or an animal companion.
Sometimes, talking it out is helpful. There is never any shame in seeking help. We are always available to listen, because Life is short and happiness can be a choice you make to enrich your life.
18 January 2016
On being happy:
I do believe that happiness is within the reach of all of us. Yet, many experience happiness as elusive. There are numerous self-help books available describing step by step instructions to achieving happiness. I am sure that they work in a large group of individuals that follow the steps diligently.
Perhaps, the first step should be to define the state of happiness. Oxford Dictionary states: the state of being happy. Happy is defined as: Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Well, we can continue here defining pleasure, then contentment, and on and on.
Happiness is subjective. In other words, individuals describe happiness as it relates to them. It is an emotion—an affective state of consciousness. Therefore, it is controllable, changeable, in a sense programmable. Happiness is not wealth, love, or even wellbeing. It is a way of being.
Imagine that happiness is personality wallpaper, designed by each individual. When one takes responsibility for one’s life, life changes. Behavior, feelings, and thoughts are skewed to the positive end of the spectrum. Instead of feeling victimized and blaming others, one has a vested interest in a positive outcome.
The end result is a feeling of self-efficacy. How to get there if that is not a personality trait: think about how you want life to be, how it is now, and what you can do to move into that happy place. Some things may never change, but attitude is everything.
It is possible to allow hope and joy to be present in your life
Make good decisions
Have positive relationships relatively free of conflicts
Change--be the best you can be
Enhance Your Life
Sometimes we can't do it alone--no shame to it--just call, find a new way to live.
Become more involved in the direction of your life.
Become a participant in your healthcare decisions.
I believe people want and need complementary and alternative medicine.
Improve career, relationships, life goals.
Learn to include:
Creativity, Hope, and Joy in your life.