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Safe Within Danger

Last night I found out the place I'm subletting starting May 1st is near a dangerous place in Berkeley, replete with drugs, violence, and desperation. As you can imagine, I flipped out. I started contemplating how I could get out of the sublet — perhaps subletting my sublet, if you will. Anxiety had me in its grips all day today as I couldn't stop feeling afraid. In my mind, the danger I could potentially experience was a given, practically a guarantee: "You're going to live near a dicey spot so of course you can expect some bad stuff to go down."

Tonight during my meditation my spiritual teacher came to me in a vision and said, "You could be in the most dangerous place in the world and still be safe." I didn't want to share that tonight, would have preferred to write about how ignorance is NOT bliss, but this issue of safety felt more important.


I feel really safe when I’m in child’s pose.

How often do we cruise through neighborhoods expecting bad things to happen to us? How often do we stay away from places because they're "not safe?" What if safety is not merely an external affair and instead included an internal element as well? What is our safety was not dependent on the outside world alone and was more about our internal world?

I'm not saying to put yourself in front of a firing range and assume you'll escape unscathed because you "feel safe," but maybe there's a relationship with the idea, "When it's your time to go, it's your time to go." Perhaps safety is like that too; when something "bad" is supposed to happen, it will. And maybe I can be safe in the most dangerous of places because there's the divine element I'm not factoring in. I've heard of many stories were people were in dangerous situations and called on angels, Jesus, their guru, etc. and the attackers became dazed and walked away. In fact, that happened to my own brother.

Perhaps instead of assuming I'll be raped, murdered, or mugged because I'm living next to a sketchy park, I can embrace the idea I'm safe anywhere and everywhere because my safety is dependent on owning my power, being in an assertive state, and calling in my divine help as needed. I don't know what I'll do about my sublet situation, but I'd love to really feel I can be safe in dangerous situations, and I have that wish for others.

I dream of a world where we all feel safe all of the time. A world where we trust we'll be taken care of. A world where we ask for divine intervention and then receive in. A world where we feel safe even in the midst of danger.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

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Doing for Me What I Can’t

For the past week I've had the experience God (or whatever) is doing for me what I can't do for myself. I signed up for a motorcycle safety and training course to learn how to properly operate a scooter. The driving portion lasts for two full days — you drive around for five hours in a parking lot learning how to swerve, brake quickly, etc. As I've mentioned, I'm still recuperating healthwise. I physically cannot handle as much as I once could. Last Saturday, the first day of the course, I was physically wrecked from all the stress ("Would I make it on time? Would I crash? Would I like it?). My adrenals were pulsating, my body was shaking, and I had no idea how I would handle another full day of riding.


This is what I mean by a scooter. Can’t you see me riding around on one of these?

So the next day, Sunday, I trudged to the BART station, ready to push through my exhaustion even though what I really wanted to do was rest. God, however, did for me what I couldn't do for myself. The train was delayed and then it went out service meaning there was no way I could make it to my course on time. Because it's a course that builds on itself, we are not allowed to be late. I called the site manager and he said I could ride standby the next Sunday, and because the delay was not my fault, they wouldn't charge me anything. Huzzah! My needs getting taken care of!

The rest of the week continued in much the same way: yesterday my friend picked up my luggage for me in her car so I wouldn't have to transport it myself, and today I was also able to rest. When I went to the motorcycle course to ride standby today, I didn't make it in because everyone who signed up for the course showed up, meaning I have to try again next week. At first I was upset about this, but as the day progressed I realized it was a blessing because I'm thoroughly exhausted from wandering around like a gypsy without a caravan. In the past three nights I've slept in three different places, so you know, I'm not exactly sitting still.

It's important for me to hold onto the idea God is doing for me what I can't do for myself because I'm operating on big-time faith right now. I'm a gypsy without a caravan because I still haven't found a place to rent, much less sublet. It's not as if I'm not trying — because I am, I'm practically living on Craigslist — but it's a two-way street. People have to get back to me; there has to be some reciprocity. I have to trust the universe knows what I need and want. Knows how to take care of me, and that my needs will continue to be provided for.

This is a lesson I have to take with me as I move forward in life because reaching for my dreams requires a whole lot of faith. Not settling for anything means I have to live with some uncertainty. In order to achieve the life I've always wanted I have to imbibe the lesson that God is doing for me what I can't do for myself and that all of my needs will always be met. I believe it's Gabrielle Bernstein who says, "If you expect miracles you will receive them." I'm ready for my miracle.

I dream of a world where we realize sometimes the universe does for us what we can't do for ourselves. A world where we know all of our needs will always be met even if at first it doesn't seem that way. A world where we trust in divine guidance. A world where we expect miracles and then receive them.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.   

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I Feel It in My Body

Every morning for the past month or so, upon awakening I put my hand on my heart and say, "I love how sensitive you are because that means you are better able to accept and receive divine messages." Lately what that means for me is feeling my intuition in a tangible way. In the past, my intuition would be a thought, but now it's a thought accompanied by a physical sensation.

The other day I traversed the Bay into San Francisco. On my return home I had options for where I would change trains: Civic Center, Powell, Montgomery, or Embarcadero. As my train pulled into Powell St. station I had the thought, "I should get off here to catch my train," and then my body chimed in by feeling warm and tingly. I was practically excited by the idea of transferring at Powell St. In an impulsive move (because previously I had decided to transfer at Embarcadero, the more "sensible" thing to do), I jumped off the train and walked to my next platform. Lo and behold, within 30 seconds the exact train I needed arrived.


This little girl is tuning in. You can just tell. And, er, copyright is bloggysarah.

Doreen Virtue often says our bodies are our best divining tools — if we feel something in the body that's an intuitional message. It's certainly true for me — the more I've been taking care of my body the more strongly my body speaks to me. I bring this up because I think many of us spend time divorcing our bodies from our minds. When there's a decision to make — big or small — we employ our rational minds, ask a lot of people for advice, and then make our decision. The truth is we already know what to do. We're already receiving the message.

Intuition is often painted as the opposite of logic. In my experience that's false. Intuition encompasses logic plus other factors that I can't see. It seems to me intuition is more logical than logic because it transcends the rational mind. Intuition includes rationality but also acts like a bird soaring in the sky, offering a much broader perspective.  

I need that broader perspective because from where I'm sitting things are, er, a little bleak. I don't know where I'm living after Thursday. I'm unclear what's going on with my finances and if I'll be able to afford to live by myself. I'm thinking about buying scooter (like a Vespa) but I don't know if I'd enjoy it or if it's a good decision. If I employed my rational mind I'd be a wreck, full of fear and anxiety. It's important for me to sink into my body and use my intuition because I know I'll be OK. I know I'll find a place to live. I know all of my needs will always be met. I have to stay close to my intuition and keep feeling what's going on in my body in order to maintain my sanity and to sift through all these decisions. My intuition is working for the small things so I have to trust it will work for the big ones too.     

I dream of a world where we pay attention to our intuition. A world where we understand our bodies are our divining rods so it's important to take care of them. A world where we trust what we feel. A world where we give in to those intuitional impulses even when they seem illogical because in truth they're probably more logical than logic.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable. 

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Compassion is King

In journalism we have a saying, "content is king." It means good content sells newspapers, boosts page views, and garners subscribers. While I agree "content is king," I think the biggest king of all is compassion. The word "compassion" comes from Middle English via the Latin word compati to sympathize, or com- + pati to bear, suffer. In my mind that means to bear together, to understand where another person is coming from.

Lately, I find compassion is so important because it gives me peace and serenity. When I can postulate why somebody is acting the way they are, I am better able to forgive them, to let whatever it is go. I don't stay angry or resentful; instead I'm able to glide through life like water running off a duck's back — that stuff slides right off. For someone who spent much of her life not at peace, this is a big deal. It's a relief to not keep an emotional scorecard, to fume over how people "should" behave.


Even the Buddha says to fill your mind with compassion.

For instance, last night my taxi driver was laughably bad. He kept mixing up his numbers and directions. "Did the GPS say to turn left on 56th st?" "No," I replied, "65th." "Left or right?" "Left." He wanted to turn down Telegraph when the GPS clearly said Shattuck. (Oh, and yes, those are California street names because I'm back in California!) When we pulled up to my rental, he told me there was a $5 extra fee for crossing the bridge. I'm pretty sure that was a scam but I paid it anyway. I'm not angry at the guy for his possible machinations because if dude is so desperate and fearful about money, how can I possibly be angry at him? Don't get me wrong, I'm going to call the cab company and talk to them about it, but continuing to feel angry about it accomplishes nothing.

Having compassion means I can deal with it and let it go. I'm letting that stuff go! I don't need any more emotional baggage, thankyouverymuch — I have plenty to deal with already. One of the absolute best ways to take the wind out of my sails and help me to forgive, to find compassion for other people, is asking, "Do I remember other people (myself included) are emotionally ill and frequently wrong?" Because they are and I am. Ain't nobody escaping through life unscathed. We are all warriors on this spiritual journey. And let me tell you, the more I forgive and have compassion for other people, the more I have it for myself. The more I'm able to let myself off the hook when I do something dumb or put my foot in my mouth. And ladies and gentlemen, that is a miracle.

I dream of a world where we all have compassion for ourselves and each other. A world where we let go of the things that bother us. A world where we understand where people are coming from. A world where we realize we're all in this together doing the best we can.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

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