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My Birthday and Tony Robbins

On the road, my favorite way to spend a birthday. I am currently adventuring with my family, following my heart, following the forgotten roads into the deep wilderness and desert oasis of New Mexico.

The long drive and open spaces give me the time and tranquillity to think and reflect on aspects of my life like the day of my birth, the purpose I want to engender, and the many transformations that have brought me here. The following are some of my thoughts from the last few days.

“Whose love did you crave more growing up?” asks Tony Robbins in the new documentary out on Netflix, “Tony Robbins. I Am Not Your Guru.”

“Your mother or your father?” Robbins is asking a young 19-year-old woman at his Date with Destiny seminar. But I answer the question for myself.

“Good question, Tony. I would have to say, my father. I had to be very vigilant around my father. I had to watch what I said and somehow anticipate his moods so as to avoid setting off his anger.”

I ponder the question a while longer and realize to what extent that shaped me. How it has affected my life, especially my relationship with men and authority figures.

It’s a good enquiry for me and I know I am going to chew on it for a while. It’s not an especially new revelation but rather the realization that I am now more ready than ever to drop this behavior and to act differently. I am ready to be free of the trembling I feel when I stand up to authority figures or bullying types. It’s funny how we can know something and not act on it. The fear we felt as children keeping us in lockdown.

I want to take a moment to draw further distinctions between knowing something and not acting on it. Knowing might be half the equation, but there are many reasons why we may not choose to do anything about it.  We may not always act on something we know because sometimes:-

  • there are other aspects of our lives that occupy our thoughts and actions completely.  
  • the knowledge comes in as fleeting thought and is gone before we can grasp its true potential.
  • we just don’t have the support system or the desire to dive into a life changing transformation at the time
  • we know it but are afraid of the consequences a change in our behavior may cause.
  • it is easier to stay being the way we are.

But then something happens and the pieces fall into place. Parts that kept you distracted no longer hold your attention, people you once feared cease to be so intimidating and all the judgment that stopped you from being you, evaporates because it doesn’t hold a candle to the passion moving you towards your freedom.

I only caught a few minutes of Tony Robbin’s documentary, but it was enough to remind me that I was through walking on eggshells around the strong personalities in my life. I had known this. I just needed a little push to own it.

Onward!

Bare Skin

IMG_4547If you know my story, then you know that I cover my body from head to toe because of the burn scars from an accident 6 years ago. Whenever I go to the pool or to a river or any bodies of water, I wear sun protection gear from top to bottom. Part of the reason is to protect my scarred skin from the sun rays and part of the reason is that I have been afraid of being pointed at and/or pitied by others. But wearing the head to toe gear makes me feel just as self-conscious.

I hate feeling self-conscious. So, I did what I have been afraid of doing for 6 years. I wore a bikini for the first time at the Ojo Caliente Hot Mineral Springs Spa. Being there with family and feeling their love helped me to finally let go of fearing other people’s judgement about my skin and more importantly my own judgement about my skin and the story that I have been carrying.

This is a big win for me. I feel as if  I popped into 48 as myself and that is thrilling.

Where are we heading?

I will be voting for the first time here in the USA and boy, is this a good time or what? Our votes matter.

Love

I feel love. I feel it in every single cell and breath of my body. I feel it melting out of my bones as giggles of gratitude. I feel this love sending out love beams to the stars, snakes, rivers, and the atoms dancing on my skin…

.. I think feeling love, filling up with love is the first miracle to perform. If we can do that for ourselves then we can love others. Truly loving others is a magnificent miracle of life.

There are many roads to travel whether in summer or winter (my southern hemisphere friends), inwards or outwards, long journeys or short, spinning or standing still, alone or together.

Always, always we travel on.

May your journey be enlightening and delight-filled, may it be soothing and deepening, may you discover that you are gorgeous in many ways than one. May your journey be yours.

Thank you for reading my musings and please feel free to share them with anyone you think would benefit from these conversations. Tell me what’s on your mind. What’s real for you in your current life? Add your thoughts to the comments below.

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As I look at the carnage and intolerance of current events, as anger, fear, and helplessness take their toll on all of us, I am forced to look back at our collective history and wonder if we have changed at all. It is hard not to conclude that we are living in dark times.

Some days my heart really hurts and I think, “I don’t want history to repeat, again.“ It would seem that almost everyone else I’ve spoken with, is having  similar thoughts and feelings.

So, what can we do as the anger, fear and helplessness writhe within us?

I say we continue to evolve and learn.

We must learn from the past. We must also learn to do things differently and this time, we must cast a wider net over what we care about. One that includes all life under an affirming maxim such as, primum non nocere- first do no harm- and we must let it guide all of our actions.

If we want to be able to look back to this time and be able to say: “Oh that’s when things began to change. There was a real shift in people’s behavior and consciousness. That’s around the time I started loving more, caring more and including more. I became fearless” then these are only a few of the things which we must do.

What changes in our collective consciousness are we going to need to make in order to birth a kinder humanity? One which doesn’t war in ceaseless, repeating cycles of injury and retribution?  One which doesn’t commit terrible atrocities and crimes against itself, against nature, against our planet?

Maybe it’s as simple as recognizing the equality of all sentient life forms? There is more than enough evidence to suggest that we need to start looking at all life through a different set of eyes.

Here’s some of the evidence:

A donkey lies dead as other donkeys bray and gather around him. They are mourning their friend.

Pigs solve puzzles by differentiating between colors and shapes.

Zebra fish feeling pain.

Plants learning from experience.

When we imagine a better world, I would like to think we could include animals, plants, mountains, skies, oceans and the stars.

Maybe one day we will learn that clouds respond to our thoughts or that oceans transmit deep intelligence to us. Maybe we will learn large bodies: clouds, oceans, mountains or planets and the smallest of the small, can teach us. We can learn from viruses and atoms.

Thus far we have included so few of our fellow travelers as being worthy of our kindness, our listening, our thoughtfulness. Maybe, in these days of turmoil and uncertainty, we could look to the truer qualities within ourselves to include and protect all of life, not just our loved ones, our tribes, our people?

All of life is sacred. Are You Willing To Think Bigger and Not Just Differently?

Who or what would you protect from harm? Do you think you can call the rain? What does a bigger, better world look like for you? Share your thoughts and ideas with us we would love to have a discussion about this with you in the comments below.

Sources Donkies crying https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMU6CrlbfVk   Smart pigs http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3122303/Move-Lassie-IQ-tests-reveal-pigs-outsmart-dogs-chimpanzees.html#v-4123294280001  Zebra fish http://www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com/article/S0168-1591(03)00113-8/abstract?cc=y=  Plants https://www.deepdyve.com/lp/springer-journals/experience-teaches-plants-to-learn-faster-and-forget-slower-in-0ZgFoH4IWe

 

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At the beginning of this year, I committed to doing a restricted calorie day, once a week, as part of my drive to get healthier.

On my fasting days, I limit myself to 500 calories and experience a wide range of uncomfortable feelings. From self-doubt to impatience and frustration. All the while, the ever present pangs of hunger feed those negative emotions.

However, I counteract the negativity with self-encouragement, reminding myself of my many good reasons for doing this.

  • Reset my immune and nervous system
  • Give my body a break
  • Rewire my brain and body’s hyper alert nature

Each time I fast I learn something new about myself. Much like an athlete measures faster times or better endurance, with each passing session I am able to gauge subtle improvements in my being. For example, in the early days, I thought about food from the start of the day until the end of the day. I would encounter waves of mild panic as each meal time, snack time, or break time would arise. I thought that I just had to get through the day and that would be achievement enough. My focus was all on me and my survival.

Now, almost 7 months later, if a thought about food or hunger comes into my mind during my fast, I don’t judge it. I notice the familiarity of that thought and take a deep breath. I breathe into the fullness of me, the fullness of my consciousness and smile back at the hunger feeling or thought, embracing it.

Being in this, self-imposed state has made me think about things outside myself, as well. Hunger forces one to think about those in an even worse state. I think of the homeless, refugees and those facing famine and I wonder how they cope with not knowing when their next meal will be.

This simple practice has shown me just how easily I can lose my focus and good intentions. How quickly I tumble into the fear and desperation that hunger brings on. I see that I am still attached to scarcity consciousness and how that halts me from sharing with others.

Because of this simple exercise, I feel the truth of this adage: “What happens to you, happens to me. If you are hungry, I am hungry.” I Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 2.29.31 PMknow what it feels like to be hungry by choice, for a day, and I know what a difference a meal or a few words of encouragement can make.

Each time I fast, I am brought closer to taking actions that bring me into alignment with what I know to be true.

Each of us, individually, can end the hunger of a few in our local area or nationally and internationally
. We can invite someone to share a meal with us. We can give to a food bank. We can make care packages for those seeking shelter. All of us, together, can end it for good

This July 4th, will you join me in feeding someone? It can be a friend in need or a stranger, even a refugee. By feeding someone who is hungry, we free them of fear. That is a freedom I want to be a part of creating.

How about you?

Happy 4th of July,  America. May we all get to be free.

If you would like to donate a meal or would like to get involved with ending hunger, please take a look at these organizations.

Stop Hunger Now

Share Our Strength

Meals on Wheels

Feeding America

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