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Love

Love. Such a big word for only four letters. I’ve heard there are people who horde saying, “I love you” like a squirrel putting away nuts for the winter.

I am not one of those people.

I say, “I love you” all the time. It doesn’t always mean the same thing, however. For me there are many shades of love. They all emanate from the same source but each is slightly different. The love I feel for my mother is different than the love I feel for my brother, which is different than the love I feel for a friend. And I feel a different love for different friends.

Why do I mention this? I mention this because I understand saying “I love you” can feel weighty but why be a miser? Love is the greatest gift we humans can give and receive. It’s what makes life worth living, and I’m not talking only about romantic love, although there’s that too. Love in general is what makes life precious, beautiful and fulfilling. A world without love is the worst kind of hell.

It is my firm belief the best way to make the world a better place is to spread more love. Spread love like you breath air. Give it away freely and to everyone. Even if you can’t say the words, send out that energy. Spread kindness, a loving energy. How can there be hate and war if everyone is spreading love? How can there be loneliness and isolation if each and everyone person feels they are loved? And the thing about love is not only does it feel good to receive but also to give. And while it may seem exhausting to constantly send love to people, love surrounds us. God’s love is ever present. Every object, every person, every thing is saturated in God’s love. We are absolutely drenched with it but sometimes we are blind to it or take it for granted.

The best way to not take it for granted is to give it back. How about saying I love you to God? Or even, “Thank you for bringing me into existence. Thank you for dropping me in your glorious creation. I love you and the life you have given me. Thank you.” How about letting everyone around you know they are loved? Why horde it? Why wait? Why not express it to anyone and everyone?

Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone felt a steady stream of love. If everyone felt cared about and loved unconditionally. Imagine what a utopia the world could be if we not only recognized God’s love for us but we spread that love to others. Imagine a world where everyone on the planet felt constant love from all corners. Where every child felt safe and loved unconditionally. Where every adult felt secure about the love in their lives.

We can bring that world into being. It’s already here, glimmering beneath the surface. I can see it.

I know not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Happiness

There are probably a million articles about how it’s important to visualize what you want. “See yourself winning that marathon, driving the Mercedes,” etc. In fact, the entire premise of The Secret is based on it. The message I hear again and again is, “Visualize the things you think will make you happy.” What if we skipped that step altogether and just visualized being happy?

I’m reminded of the movie “Peaceful Warrior,” based on Dan Millman’s autobiography “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.” Dan was a gymnast at UC Berkeley, well on his way to winning a national championship. A lot happens in the movie, but basically Dan gets into a car accident and shatters his femur. He gets a metal rod stuck into his leg. His coach thinks he can longer compete in the national championship but Dan perseveres, training on his own with the help of a guy he dubs Socrates – someone who helps him realize the power of being present. Dan competes in the U.S. Trials for the Olympics and wins.

After Dan gets his medal, a teammate comes up to him and says something along the lines of, “Wow! Can you teach me how you did that? I just know I’ll be happy once I win. If I can just get that gold medal my life will be great.”

How often do we think this way? How often do we say, “I’ll be happy when I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happy once it’s the weekend, I’ll be happy once I get married.” Why do we think we need things/people/events to make us happy? Why not skip that step altogether and just go straight for happy? Why wait for it?

I think it’s great to visualize what we want. I want to publish a book (eventually) so I’m seeing it in my mind’s eye. However, I don’t believe my happiness is contingent on getting published. I don’t want to continue to put my happiness on the layaway plan. Instead of seeing myself happy X amount of time from now because I achieved X, I see myself happy right now. Not because I bought a new car or my boss gave me a pay increase or because of any outside factor. I visualize myself as happy. Now. I see/believe/feel myself in a state of happiness right now. I cut out the middle part, the illusion.

I dream of a world where people realize life is too short to put off their happiness. I dream of a world where we are happy because we choose to be, not because something happened to us. I dream of a world where everyone is happy a majority of the time. Not only can it happen, it does happen.

I know not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Community

Lately I’ve been thinking about community, how everyone feels a need to connect. How as human beings an integral part of our existence is a longing to fit somewhere. Most of us already have a community we belong to, but what if that community were bigger and grander? What if we truly became a global community?

I envision a world where we take down our fences, our borders, our guards and “keep out” fades from existence. I envision a world where we all understand what I do affects you, what you do affects me — that we all affect each other. I envision a world where there’s a true sense of community around the world, so we cannot stand seeing our brothers and sisters suffer, and in fact we all take care of one another. I envision a world where the phrase “starving artist” ceases to exist because our creative people are allowed to express themselves in whatever capacity they choose and don’t have to worry about earning a living from their art. I envision a world where love is what makes the world go ’round. Where compassion reigns supreme and we all support each other. I envision a world where we are not only individuals but part of a larger group. A group that loves us, supports us and takes care of us. I envision a world where I cannot utter “I’m lucky I have a community” because everyone has a community. Everyone belongs. The lone wolf, the lone ranger, the outsider will no longer exist because we are all insiders. The circle will be huge and grand and encompass everyone. My community will be anywhere and everywhere. I can belong in the U.S., in Belize, in Iran, in China, in Namibia. I can belong anywhere. Everywhere.

I envision a world where my community is your community. Where you and I are linked. Where we all support each other without forgoing our individuality. Where I can strike out on my own but also look behind me and see the safety net waiting to catch me if I fall. I envision a life where the world is my community. The world is where I belong.

This world is already manifesting. I can already see it. Not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Transformation

I wish to be transformed. Really and truly. I wish to soar to new heights to realize my full potential and be the person I’ve always dreamed I could be. I wish to do great, be great, and feel great. And you know what? I can.

I used to believe there were things about myself I was stuck with. I used to believe there were certain personality traits I was doomed to express forever.

Now I’ve come to realize everything can change, everything.

There’s an expression, “As you think so you become.” I think I can transform. I think I can change. I think I can realize my full potential. But retraining your thoughts is hard. Reciting affirmations all the time isn’t enough for me. The emotional freedom technique only takes me so far.

When I’ve gone as far as I can go I reach out my hand for help. I call on God and ask God to lift me up. I ask God to bring me above myself, my limitations. I ask God to help me to change, to show me the way. I ask God to help me soar to my highest heights, to transform me into my best person. I turn myself over to a power greater than myself, a power that has the capacity to change me, to get rid of the personality traits I no longer wish to express. I turn to God for my transformation.

And you know what? I shift, I change, I move. I don’t have to limit myself to what I “think” life is like. I don’t have to settle for anything, including myself. I don’t have to say “I’m impatient and that’s the way it will always be.” I can change, you can change, we all can change if we so desire.

I dream of a world where we as humans don’t settle for anything. Where we recognize all possibilities. Where we understand Yes We Can for anything, for everything. Where we can rid ourselves of personality traits we don’t like. Where we can rise above the issues giving us trouble. Where we can reach our dreams, where we can find success, where we transform ourselves. It can happen. It already has.

Not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Emotional Freedom

I find myself constantly reacting. “She said this so then I felt this.” Or “this happened so consequently I felt X.” I’m noticing how not fun that is. How not fun it is to constantly go outside myself for validation/support/comfort/whatever. How not fun it is to feel like a passive player in life instead of an active participant.

My last post I wrote about need. I suppose this post is a deepening/extension of that.

Rev. Michael Beckwith said our natural state as human beings is to feel high. I wanted to believe him when I heard that but didn’t know how being in that state constantly was possible.

Now I do.

Yesterday I was sick, and thus loopy and needy and crazy. I craved affirmation and sought it from others. Even when my mother told me what I wanted to hear, it wasn’t enough. It didn’t satisfy me, it didn’t comfort me, it didn’t fill me like I wanted it to. I realized (again) the only person who can give me what I need – including comfort, validation, etc – is me. Yesterday’s experience only deepened my realization, my belief.

Today I spoke to the now oft-mentioned Heather asking her for techniques or mechanisms to help me find the comfort I seek from myself. Is there some sort of visualization or something I can do when I want to hear how awesome I am?

Her response was to simply ask God/my Higher Power/whatever for help. Say “I want to shift, please show me the way” and the answer will reveal itself. Say “I feel X and I want to feel Y.” It will happen.

I also think by simply asking we open ourselves up to that change, we open ourselves up for the shift to occur. And you know what? I shifted. I wanted to feel better? Now I do.

When Rev. Beckwith says the natural state as human beings is to feel high I think he’s right. However, it takes time to get there. It takes time for the shift, the change to happen. In the meanwhile, certain events/situations/conversations will still throw me for a loop or put me in a funk. But! But! I can quickly move out of those funks. I can move myself from feeling down and low and depressed into a place of love and tranquility and peace. I can, you can, we all can.

I envision a world where we all stop reacting to what happens to us and instead we choose how to respond. I envision a world where we feel the constant bliss, or love, or whatever it is we wish to feel. Where we know we have the choice to feel what we desire. I envision a world where we recognize our own power, our own purpose, our own light. I envision a world where we consciously experience what we want.

I know in my heart of hearts not only is another world possible, it’s probable. Let’s make it happen. =)

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Need

Up until this evening I would have told you I need x, y, and z to be happy. I “have” to have such and such in order to experience joy. I “need” so and so to be in my life to feel fulfilled.

Tonight I experienced a shift.

Tonight I did some healing and realized, wait a minute, I don’t “need” to be in a relationship with someone, I don’t “need” an umbrella or a laundry hamper or a job or an apartment to be happy. All those things could vanish tomorrow and my soul, my essence, would remain unchanged. Who I am can never be harmed.

I realized tonight that yes, the things I surround myself with make life cozier but I don’t need them. I don’t “need” anything except for God. All I need is contained within myself right now, here, in this moment. All that I am, all that I will ever be, is locked in this body. All the rest is just trappings.

My happiness, my joy, my bliss cannot be found in the arms of another person, nor in a new computer or a brand new car. I recognize the people and the objects in my life for what they are: a gift. All of it, all of it, all of it is a gift from God for a short span of time. Everything in my life is a gift.

So no, I don’t need a man or new shoes or a job to be happy. All of it is just stuff — stuff to distract me, stuff to shield me, stuff to make life easier. But it is all transient. People and things will come into my life and they will leave my life. But I remain the same.

No object, no person, no situation will “make” me happy or give me the lasting satisfaction I crave. In yoga we say human beings have a thirst for limitless. What we really crave is pure bliss all the time. We delude ourselves into thinking a certain situation, a certain thing will give us that pure bliss. It won’t.

All I need is me. And God. I am all. I am that. I am Him. I am everything. Everything is me.

I envision a world where we as humans don’t get entrenched in our belongings, our things, our objects. I envision a world where we all recognize the people and things in our lives are not where happiness can be found, but rather they are gifts. Gifts to be cherished for the short time they are with us but not clutched in our hands like life preservers. I envision a world where everyone recognizes their own divinity. A world where we all recognize our needs and wants are fulfilled at every moment all the time.

I envision a world where we all express our truest most authentic selves. A world where we let our beauty and divinity shine through. A world where objects are merely that: objects. I envision a world where we reach for God and rise above the material things in our lives to grasp onto our inner divinity.

I know not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Bringing Another World Into Being

My good friend Heather sent me an audio recording from the Reverend Michael Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center. It’s some powerful stuff. I’ve only listened to half of it thus far but he said a lot already that resonated with me.

Rev. Beckwith talks about how we are all vibratory beings. How our natural state is one where we feel “high” and connected to divinity. Here’s an excerpt of what he said that really hit home for me:

“You’re a vibratory being. And when you come to that understanding the work/play you’re participating in is about lifting your frequency so that you are not fighting circumstances, situations, people, places, and things. Instead you are rising above that into a realm of cosmic ideation that allows you to transcend the world of appearances, transcend even your seeming personal mind and perceptions and opinions so that you can begin to see the world that has been made before the beginning of time. In the beginning was the word, the word was with God. You begin to see this world and participate in this word and a whole other thing begins to happen. You begin to understand ‘I make all things new. I make all things new. I make all things new.’ You are a vibration. This is why a right understanding of God and prayer lifts your vibration. When you understand that God…is spirit, not a man in the sky, not an anthropomorphic being, but God is spirit, every where present, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, omniactive, the only thing going on is the power, the presence and the love of God. When in truth that begins to dawn on your awareness…you’re a vibratory being…The right understanding of God and prayer lifts your vibration.”

Powerful stuff in and of itself, right?

Beckwith goes on to talk about how the world we want to live in already exists. Right now what we’re trying to do now is let it manifest. The antonym of manifest is latent. Latent means “present and capable of becoming though not now visible, obvious, active, or symptomatic.”

The world we want to live in is latent. It’s here, it’s present but not obvious or visible. You, I, we can make that world visible. We can make that world manifest. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in the world let’s focus on what’s right, what’s working, what’s good, what’s great. Let us lift our vibration and rise above the muck. Let us lift our vibration and rise above the things we wish would disappear.

How do we do that? I think one way is to focus on what’s working, what we wish to see. As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Let’s be the change! We are the change! We are the light and the love and the goodness. You, me, we, us. We are working to bring the world we wish to see into being. Right now, in this moment, as we are.

When we let our love and our light shine through our being we allow God/Spirit/the Divine to work through us. To use us as an instrument to make the latent world manifest. When we move our ego out of the way, when we move our “I” feeling to the side, we let God work through us, to lift us and the world around us.

I think the other way we lift our vibration is through spirituality. Whatever your path may be, I think by remembering we are all divine, that God is in everything, also lifts our vibration. By remembering our connection to the Cosmic source of all life, that inherently makes us “high,” lifts us up and allows us to soar.

I want to soar. Will you soar with me?

Not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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On Being Present

I have a tendency to spiral out and think about what I’m doing in an hour, tomorrow, this weekend, etc. When I moved to California that practice ceased because, well, when you don’t know where you’re living next or where the money will come from to buy groceries, it’s difficult to live in the future.

However, now I’m settled with a job and an apartment and I find myself going back to that terrible habit. I find myself constantly thinking about what’s next, what’s next, what’s next. I bring this up because (I think) many people do the same thing. I think most of us don’t live in the Here and Now because I dunno, maybe we’re constantly searching for something better.

For me at least, when I continuously think about the future I miss out on what’s right in front of me. I never get to enjoy where I am or what I’m doing. I never fully experience anything because I’m too worried about what’s next. How sad! What a tragedy to go through life never fully living in the moment.

While I realize there is a whole book (several actually) to Being Here, Now, there are some things that snap me back to my present moment, that keep me from constantly living in the future.

What I do is try to be more physically present. I notice how my yoga mat feels beneath my fingers. I notice how my hair feels when it brushes against the nape of my neck. I take a deep inhale and figure out what I smell. I listen to the sounds around me and try to distinguish what they are, what could be making them. I bring my awareness to my tongue and discern what I taste. (You get the picture.)

Why is this important? To me it’s important to Be Here, Now not only because this is the only moment we get but because being present brings me closer to God. I find God infused in every moment but only if I experience the moment! When I stop to notice my surroundings, enjoy where I am, I feel God’s presence and the latent divinity in everything. Yes it’s easier for me to think about the future but it’s much more fulfilling to live in the present.

I envision a world where people appreciate every single moment of their lives (even the bad ones!) because this moment is everything. I envision a world where people enjoy what is before them and revel in it instead of jumping ahead. I envision a world where we don’t trudge through the day but rather appreciate it for the gift it is.

It is my firm belief not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Finding Your Calling

It seems lately I keep running into people who are trying to figure out what their calling is. What they were put on this Earth to do. I am by no means an authority but I do have some thoughts about it.

I believe every person on this Earth is here for a reason. There are no accidents, there are no coincidences.

One of the best things my friend Heather, who is a spiritual life coach, said is, “I came to this planet for a reason and that reason is being fulfilled in this very moment with grace and ease. As always.” I really think that’s true.

The question becomes how do you figure out the reason?

For me it’s writing. When I write the world vanishes, time stops and I feel like I’m transported somewhere else. When I write I feel like I’m brushing against the divine and accessing my highest, most true self. When I write I feel a connection to God. When I write I feel like I’m tapping into something greater than me.

I think every person has something like that in their life. I think every person has an activity where they feel graced and loved and true and beautiful. I think every person has something in their life where they are guided, where they are most connected to God. I think your “calling,” your reason for being here, is connected to that feeling. If it’s when you sing, by all means sing. If it’s when you paint, or design websites or bake cookies, do it! How can we not want to do the activity that makes us feel the most alive, the most graced, the most connected to God? How could our purpose on Earth be anything other than to tap into our gift? Whatever makes your heart soar you should align with, in my opinion.

Once you find your calling there’s the whole matter of following through with it. (See “Fear, Trust and Dreaming Big.”)

I think part of the problem with finding your calling is some people are so out of touch with themselves they have no idea what makes their heart soar or what they enjoy. It’s like we’re all floating in the ocean looking for our life raft. Some of us flail around a bit and then bump into it. Some people flail around and panic because they can’t find it. Some people just stop looking. For those people who have been floating for so long they can’t even remember what a life raft looks like, it becomes necessary to shout out for help. By all means, shout out for help! No need to tirelessly continue swimming when someone will throw you a raft. And I promise, you’ll get a raft. It’s a universal law.

I don’t think it matters if you have to seek a spiritual life coach or pray a lot or whatever to find your calling. Finding it is all that counts. Why should you torture yourself by doing a job you hate just to make money? Isn’t life too precious?

I dream of a world where everyone knows what they are on this earth to do and they aren’t afraid of pursuing it. I dream of a world where people are in touch with their calling and they use their gift to benefit others. I dream of a world where people are happy and joyful because they have a sense of purpose, a reason for being alive. I dream of a world where no one wakes up in the morning filled with dread because they have to go to their horrible job where they are barely scraping by. I dream of a world where everyone lives up to their utmost potential, where talent is encouraged and where we all realize our reason for being here.

I see that world. I see how we’re on the cusp of it. It is my deepest belief not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! So, you may or may not know but right now is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I realize not everyone who reads this is Jewish, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits a new year brings, even if it is in September/October.

Seeing as how a new year often involves resolutions and hopes for what the new year will bring I have a few I’d like to share.

I envision a world where people aren’t freaking out about the economy, where they aren’t lamenting how horrible the world is. I envision a world where everyone’s basic needs are met. Where they don’t have to worry where their next meal is coming from or where they’ll be living tomorrow. I envision a world where people know and understand there is enough – enough money, enough food, enough water, enough land to go around. I envision a world where people recognize we are all brothers and sisters and as such we need to take care of each other. I envision a world where compassion reigns supreme and hording is not allowed. I envision a world where the disparity between the rich and the poor is not so pronounced. I envision a world where all people are valued whether they are a drunk or a doctor. I envision a world where human value takes precedence over money. A world where people can instead focus on what brings them joy, on what they can do to contribute to society.

I know it’s hard when everyone is going nuts about the stock market, but seriously, how does being afraid help anyone? How does being stuck in that fear place serve any purpose? Maybe this crisis is exactly what we need – a chance to re-examine our government and our economy. A chance for us to say, “hey, maybe this isn’t working. Maybe we should rethink things.” What better time than a new year?

There are options for us. There are solutions. There are at least a thousand nonprofits working on these very issues.

A quote from my spiritual teacher Shrii Shrii Anandamurti that goes something like this comes to mind: “Your difficulties will never be greater than your ability to overcome them.”

So I believe not only is another world possible, it’s probable.

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