red rose
September 27, 2016

ABOUT SAYING EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON

They say, “Everything happens for a reason,” and I’m sure I’ve used this saying before too. But mostly I’m not a fan of it because it seems to justify every perceived bad thing. I don’t think the saying is necessarily wrong, but it just comes off as callous. It doesn’t express the full story.

Things happen in our lives that we register as pain. Whether it is emotional or physical, we tend to want to avoid pain at all costs. We don’t want to be hurt, let down, or disappointed. And most of the time we don’t know how to deal with the resulting emotions when one (or all) of those things happen. We can try to avoid thinking about it, but that’s usually just a signal to your brain to think about it more. Or we can pretend like it didn’t happen, which again keeps our mind constantly going back to reexamine. Or we can tell ourselves a different story about what happened.

The latter option sounds like we’d be lying to ourselves, but that wouldn’t really work — again, we’re too smart for that. Re-framing the situation is something else entirely. Instead of placing ourselves as victims of our own stories, we have to force ourselves to look at the bigger picture. If we believe that the Universe is for us, we understand that whatever happened was meant to wake us upAnd really, who doesn’t want to hit snooze when the alarm goes off? Staying in bed is comfortable. Getting up to face the workout or the workday takes effort.

If we want to adequately deal with what has happened to us, it’s going to take a little effort. Instead of continuing to play the victim in our story, we have to acknowledge simply that some things happened that were meant to move us to a different — and, I think, better — reality. We can stay in a rut thinking about what might have been or what we think should have been… OR we can bravely face the day waking up to a new reality where we are thankful for grace and lessons learned from a painful experience. Like an artist, we approach a new canvas and start painting a new picture of the life we want and live that.

If we accept that things could not have happened any other way…and we give up hope that the past could have been any different…we breathe in the flavor of forgiveness. We stop the cycle of the victim mentality and get to the business of building the life that we want — not staying trapped in a life we don’t want. By taking what we’ve learned from the experience and sharing it with others creatively, we ease our pain and unknowingly ease other’s pain.

Just think of the song that you played over and over again while going through a tough time that expressed all of your unspoken feelings and comforted you. Or a painting that transported you to another place and eased your spirit. Or a movie that inspired you to reach new heights. Or a photograph that captured your emotions and gave you a pathway to your next steps.

Yes we can say that everything happens for a reason. But more specifically, things happen as the Universe’s way of participating in your unfolding. The rose may not appreciate every rain drop, but the bloom is so beautiful. We don’t have to understand the reason why things occurred, we only have to decide what we’re going to do about it energetically. If you can find beautiful ways to transform negative energy into a positive for all, you win and we all win.

An illness experienced by you or a family member may lead you on the path to find or develop a cure. An accident may lead you to develop safety standards or preventive measures. A poor educational experience may inspire you to be a great teacher. An increase in crime may make you decide to run for office to change policies. Seeing the beauty and potential of the world may inspire you to write about it, paint it, or sing about it. For who can say what is right or wrong or good or bad? All of these energies flow together and we must dance a cosmic dance to prevent any chains from taking hold. (I envision the whirling dervishes of Sufism.)

Emotional freedom means reframing your story and determining how to transform energy into a loving state. As you love yourself, you love others. As you forgive yourself, you move forward. Regardless of what happens, my wish for you is that you stay free and release yourself from being the victim of your story. You have so much Art in you…and we need you to paint it ;)

Namaste.

 

Photo source: Red Rose

Burdened with the weight of the rain, the rose blooms anyway and allows the water to nourish her. ;) <3

death-valley-600x400
September 18, 2016

SCREAMING OVER PRICE

We should make all spiritual talk simple today.

God is trying to sell you something that you don’t want to buy.

That is what your suffering is:
your fantastic haggling
your manic screaming
over
price.

-Hafiz

I originally posted this quote as a free standing post. I love Hafiz and I think his poetry holds its own. But I saw it again on the website today and really wanted to add commentary because I think what he’s saying is so important.

When I read this poem, I think of the things that we say we want. We say we want freedom, but we don’t want to give up the car. We say we want peace, but we keep the toxic person in our lives. We say we want love, but we don’t want to give it.

I believe that God makes a way for us to get exactly what we want. But it may not be in the form we want. We cannot except to have a new life when we continue to hold on to old things. The reality is that our attachment to things that cause suffering can feel comfortable. We become comfortable in our suffering. It is familiar and we imagine that life without those things or those people will be worse. We think we will be immobile without the car or lonely without the person.

Of course, with perspective, we can figure out other solutions. But in the moment of the decision, the price seems too high. We think the price will take our freedom and security. We’re not really ready to give up everything.

But an amazing thing happens when you let go. Freedom feels a million times better than leather seats, new clothes, and a broken heart. Suffering is a decision. 

Even in death, we have to realize that God didn’t promise eternal life in this form. In a way, the price of life is death. We cannot avoid it and we cannot negotiate our way out of it. If we recognize life as a gift meant to be enjoyed, we stop trying to hedge our bets. We stop delaying and postponing…and we start really living.

So, instead, recognize that the price to end your suffering will always involve letting go. Let go of your attachment to things, people, and even ideas. Let go of false beliefs that you will be able to get something for free. See the lesson in every experience and the gift in every day. Take the bold step to live your dreams in reality. What are you waiting for?

If we live life fully, death then becomes the final let go of our physical form. It becomes the final piece we strip away to achieve freedom in the spirit realm. And maybe we find that the peace there was worth letting go of everything we thought that made us who we are.

Namaste ;)

Photo source: Death Valley

puzzle pieces
September 18, 2016

WHY ASK WHY?

This morning I was contemplating the folly of asking why. Since I wrote a book of questions (Meditative Questions), I decided to check my book to see how many questions I had asking why. I found only two (both on page 41) asking why you want what you think you want. I can’t argue with those ;)

The reason I think asking why is frivolous is because it usually involves wondering why something has happened. Or why someone has done what they have done. It’s focused on the past. It relegates you to detective…trying to piece together a mystery.

But the reality is that the why usually doesn’t even matter. It’s a distraction that gets you trapped in a cycle of unproductive thought. And it usually doesn’t help you move forward. (A notable exception is if you use the lessons learned from the why to make different decisions in the future.)

So ok, how about an example? Let’s say you figure out why someone has wronged you. Does knowing why change the wrong that was done? Does it help you feel better about why the person wronged you? Doubtful. Does it give you real closure? Maybe (unless you see it for the excuse that it probably is; however, they probably don’t know why they did it either). But could you have gotten that closure on your own by deciding to move on for you?  Yes.

Every puzzle doesn’t need to be solved. And every past decision doesn’t need to be analyzed. Your peace and happiness are worth more. Trust your intuition and be brave enough to move on without the receipts that you think you need. By the time you get the proof that confirms what you felt, you’ve probably wasted more time and energy and allowed the situation (you don’t really want) to grow.

And you will get to a place where you find that nothing is worth your peace. Let it all go.

 

Photo source: At Piece

 

image
September 17, 2016

UPS AND DOWNS

While out mountain biking today in Cabo Verde, it’s impossible not to think of ups and downs while powering up some incredibly steep inclines and coasting down some equally steep hills (the fun part!!).

Is it more fun to coast down the hill because of the work put in to climb up? I don’t know for sure. But I know that life is this way. Often we feel like we’ve been climbing forever. And then we hit the top of the hill and get to glide. Do you enjoy the glide or do you use that time to figure out how you are going to get up the next hill?

Sometimes it only requires a change of perception to realize we are already where we want to be. And that we already have all we need.

The ups and downs do make things interesting. They strengthen us and allow us to experience the feeling of freedom. But if you hold on to the feeling of struggle while coasting, the flavor of the experience will be entirely different.

How you choose to experience the journey is always up to you. I always say choose freedom…which always requires letting go. ;)

 

image
September 17, 2016

NEW LIFE

Before leaving for my month long trip to Thailand for Muay Thai training, I was inspired to do so by one picture (below). For you see, I was having a really bad day…followed by a sleepless night…and I knew I had to do some things differently. The discomfort was because I needed to let go, and that can be hard because sometimes we fight to hold on to what is familiar. I had to break the pattern of my life. I had to give myself new life.

80994

When I saw this picture, I saw someone fighting through their circumstances…literally and figuratively. Though I’d trained a bit in Muay Thai while living in LA, it had been a while. I didn’t care though. I had a new mission and decided I’d go to Koh Samui…the island I didn’t have time to visit when I was in Thailand in 2010. Before giving it much thought, I was reserving a space at the Lamai Muay Thai Camp. A week later I was there!

Traveling to Thailand from Cape Verde is a much longer trip than from LA. I literally had to cross all of Africa and all of Europe. It took a couple of days to get there. Unfortunately I caved and ate some plane food on the long trip from Paris to Singapore and ended up sick for a couple of days when I got there. (I wish airlines would just sell snacks instead of the preservative filled meals.)

While at the Lamai Camp, I had an awesome trainer I worked with 1:1 (thanks Joe!). I was also fortunate enough to meet some really amazing people along the way. Most of us seemed to be in transition, and I think the camp represented a turning point for us. We were all getting closer to figuring out our next moves. But the beautiful part of the camp is that it made us all very present. Our daily lives were centered around the training.

Another incredible thing happened while I was away a camp…three of my closest friends had their children! I became Auntie three times over to Siham, Paheli, and Makoa! I was fortunate to see the mothers (and fathers) of these now beautiful children in June when they were all pregnant. How amazing that this new life should all arrive at this time.

As I write this by the side of the ocean in Cape Verde, I marvel at how quickly life can change. Though I was only away one month, I returned feeling like a new person in a familiar place. Everything was the same and nothing was the same.

image

Shaking up your life requires leaps of faith. You will have no idea how things are going to turn out, but you have to go for it. Whether inspiration hits you from a photo or a film, you have to go with it. Don’t think too much about it…just do it.  Your life will be richer for having done so ;)

 

Life is the journey. Live it up! ;)

 

image
August 29, 2016

LIVE YOUR TRUTH

Living your truth means more than just being yourself. It means that regardless of criticism or praise, you remain true to you. Your beliefs shouldn’t require the agreement of others. And you also should not feel the need to have everyone agree with you. Those that agree will find you. Others will drop away without requiring any effort on your part.

 

The reality is there is nothing you could ever do that would make everyone agree with you. By living in your truth, you are able to live an authentic life for yourself — no one else. But a remarkable thing happens when you do that, you inspire others to want to live an authentic life too. Someone who sees you living your truth may be inspired to step a little outside of their comfort zone and try something that they only thought about before. This is the true magic of being you.

 

Everyone is born with unique and beautiful gifts. While society encourages conformity, the brave misfits are the creators. So don’t be afraid to create a new reality for yourself that is in beautiful alignment with who you really are. Like a caterpillar being a butterfly, rebirth awaits you ;)

 

Author note (+photo source): I am so thrilled and thankful to be writing this post from the very resort in Bali where I wrote my first book, Meditative Questions, last year! What a difference a year+ can make! I return to Bali more free and more me and I am in thankful celebration for this beautiful gift of life. I am reminded to keep moving through all that might trouble you as change is constant and a brighter and more beautiful future becomes possible with bold choices! Namaste. Love!
image
August 26, 2016

WATER FLOWS

Despite obstacles, water continues to flow. Rain increases its power. Because of its constant movement, water can make even the sharpest rock smooth. 

When we face challenges in life, often our first reaction is to stop everything and withdraw from everyone. We may want to stay in bed and resist facing the world. But in reality, there is power in movement. There is power in connecting with others. Separation is the biggest illusion. Consistent action will help you to achieve any goal.

If you remove the boulder, even a river will change its course.

Change is inevitable. While we can become accustomed to life going in one direction, this will not always be the case. People change, situations change, we change. As water simply adjusts to various changes, so must we.

Nature gives us all of the cues that we need to live. A living leaf connected to its life source on the tree is flexible and pliable. The dead leaf on the ground is rigid and can be easily broken into a million pieces.

Continue to flow with nature, adjust your course as needed, and be flexible with life. Embrace change and continue to move. Connection with positive forces can propel you forward at a faster rate. Just keep going ;)

 

Photo source: Falling water

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