Innocence

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What is innocence?

Innocence is childhood. Purity in forms intangible, but always perceived and shown through smiling eyes and dancing feet. Innocence is running and jumping just for the pure exhilaration, without caution, just to feel the air rushing through your lungs, your life force pumping rapidly, and your muscles tingling.

Innocence is seeing everyone, everything without meaning, attachments, past notions, beliefs, pre-designed dreams. We sleep in a state not unlike this, and upon waking, we shift to the mechanical thoughts that endlessly grind as we walk, drive, talk to and meet people.

Innocence is imagination. No limits. Literally imagining anything as possible and truly believing that it can be real beyond a doubt.

Innocence is discovery. The pure exhilaration of finding something previously unknown, and looking at it with a gleam in the eye, and figuring it out or just appreciating it with a slow touch. We rush too much today.

Innocence is nature. Nature does not judge. Nature does not act according to others. Nature lives in its own purity. Nature just is. Innocence is being fully aware inside of nature. Keeping close, physically, and mentally the eternal bond.

Innocence is happiness. True happiness. A state where we feel no burden, no sadness, no guilt, no anger. Peace. Innocence is peace. To be still and feel the peace within is to capture innocence.

Innocence is Love. Love in its purest form. A soul connection in pure bliss and light.

Innocence is strength. Confidence. To be true to oneself, wholly, in integrity, according to the universal laws, and your own.

We are all born with purity. A crystal clear glass of water. How does our water become muddy? Thick with discernment and scrutiny? Why do many seem to lose their innocence not long after childhood? Why do we completely forget about it, let it slip through our fingers, our hearts?

Is it due to selfishness? We want all the physical pleasures this world can offer, and once freed from parental ties that were tight for many years, society seems to give the green light for freedom of any action, no matter the consequences- because in those minds, there are none.

Physical pleasures are false freedom. You are not truly free or gaining anything. They are ways to avoid reality, the innocence that’s always inside. It is when you reach a point of alignment between your heart, spirit, and mind that you can truly be free. We do not need any outside stimulation to become who we already are. We wouldn’t deprive ourselves of that natural, sustaining lifeforce that flows around us always in us if we were aligned.

Sometimes, when certain words are spoken to us at a young age, we create harsh self-judgments, and judgments about the world that we don’t let go of until much later in life. It is freeing to let go of those words from the past, as they are only words- literal sounds from your body with meaning that was created by a human mind.

The universe is our guide. Part of us. Our very being is made up of the same matter that the planets, stars, and sun are made out of. How thrilling it is to be alive! To experience our time here on our tiny planet we call home. We’re all here to figure it out. To coexist and learn. We are here to learn what we may have not learnt in a previous life. What we accomplish here, we carry forward after death. We were put here, born here for a reason. We all have our own unique skills which were designed to entwine with others in order to make life enjoyable. If we choose to not work closely with others, then why not spend time in adoration of life itself? The very fact that we can breathe, and see, and speak? Even if we cannot. There are other senses to explore. Our subconscious already has the answers to any question that may arise.

Let us not question too deeply, as we will be sucked into the quicksand called debate. Let us not go so fast that we do not take time to sit and experience. And let us not be idle for too long, as our sedentariness could be desensitizing. There is always a balance to be had. In life. In mind. In body, and in spirit. Find the balance within. Do not wrestle inner wisdom. Let it well up and overflow. Do not doubt, cause yourself unnecessary stress. Do not give the body what it doesn’t want, what your mind thinks it wants.

We are our own destruction. Inviting sickness and disease with our clouded thoughts. Nothing has to be hard. What we think, we create. Return to innocence. Meditate on the feeling of purity. Remember a time when you felt completely carefree, happy, childlike. Really relive the experience. Become that person again. Filled with wonder, and awe.

Here is a favorite quote of mine, beautifully spoken at the end of a brilliant, musical masterpiece of an album called, “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” by Nightwish:

“We are going to die. And that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die, because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place, but who will never in fact never see the light of day, outnumber the sand grains of the Sahara. Those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds, it is you and I in our ordinariness that are here. We privileged few who won the lottery of birth against all odds…how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state…from which the vast majority have never stirred.”

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Ode to an Outsider

“The present moment is all we have,
So we are not constantly seeking
A faster way to do things
Or a better place to be.
Our vehicles sit idle except when truly needed,
And our weapons remain locked away.

Our attention is always on
The experience of the moment
So we enjoy our food,
Our clothing,
Our homes,
And every aspect
Of a simple way of living.

Though the world is filled
With sights we haven’t seen,
We die content because
We have truly lived.”

– Translation of verse 80 of the Tao Te Ching from “A Path and a Practice”


Date of occurrence: 01.11.19

Today I attended a homeless man’s burial.

The air stung as it wrapped around us, and the sun strained to warm us as we watched his golden casket be lowered into the cold, but not-yet-frozen earth. He wouldn’t have minded this cold. He would have built his small fire as he always did, right along the fence across from his stuffed storage units and huddled over it. He may have even attempted to heat up a can of baked beans on a day like today. Chances are, he would have been perfectly content. I remember him riding around on his motorbike, or his scooter, or his bicycle, or…whatever he chose to ride that day…in the cold, in the rain, in the heat. This homeless man seemed invincible.

His name was Dave.

Dave was never afraid to speak his mind, or ask for a favor, or two, or three. “Can I charge my phone here?” “Would you give me a ride to _________?” “Can I park my bike here?” He spent most of his days in seclusion, with his own systems and self-contained sanity. There was never a day that you’d run into him, where he wouldn’t be wearing mismatched, ill-fitting, dirty clothing and a baseball cap or bandana or on a rough day, boxers. These clothes clung to a thin, brittle frame. Wild, billowing white and gray hair always protruded from his headdress. He was loud, and dare I say proud of himself.

Dave was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

Dave’s sister never believed he was. She wasn’t quite sure what happened that led to his decision to live a life on the streets, in the woods, and…in a dark brown van in a side lot of a storage business that my boyfriend, also Dave, owns. In the grassy lot that is part of the storage business where cars, boats, and RV’s are stored, there once existed an old, battered, brown van. This van was stripped of its interior and eventually became packed with old newspapers, cans of food, some personal notes, and innumerable pizza boxes. Dave ate, slept, and dreamt in his metal castle.

Dave was intelligent.

He spent many days listening to an old radio next to his van, or in the parking lot of the storage business as he waited for someone to give him a ride to who knows where. Dave was mostly harmless; a curious creature always wondering how the world worked. He knew how to read and write. And he’d often leave us handwritten notes at the business, and when he left us a message, he spoke very professionally. Loudly, but professionally. He liked to read random magazines he’d probably picked up on the side of the road. He even had his very own personal, hand designed and written, detailed travel log. Carefully written out on the back of a pizza box lid, he kept track of dates during “2013 -N- 2014” where he’d travel from one side of town to the other. “Front Street to Lower Broadway” and “Across Town – Round Trip”. I’m not sure if these were solo trips on one of his sets of wheels, or a cab ride, but either way, he was determined to have a record of it.

Dave wasn’t always harmless.

Dave had a couple guns. I never saw him shoot one. I never saw him hold one. Sometimes I’d be a bit nervous when my Dave would have to confront him over something…mostly him leaving plastic bags, bottles, and the occasional beer can strewn about the property. Homeless Dave and my Dave had this deep, mutual soul agreement that allowed peace to always prevail between them. No matter what. For that I’m grateful! And, still homeless Dave had a temper. Him and my Dave’s aunt, also a manager at the storage business, did not get along. Cats, dogs…you get it. She’d always get frustrated with his littering habits, and ask him to clean up, and I guess he didn’t feel the need to. Those things weren’t trash to him. Dave threatened to shoot my Dave’s aunt once. That was when my Dave had to evict him. The van was towed out for good. He fled, retreated, fearing the cops. Dave disappeared for months.

Dave had a softer side.

Everyone wants to be loved. According to homeless Dave’s sister, he was picked on and made fun of when he was young. He never finished school. He got in trouble, committed crimes, and was locked up on and off for 15 years. Then he was homeless. He didn’t have anyone to love. Until he met Jewel. Jewel lived across the street from the storage business. She was a full-bodied woman in her late 30’s, had green dyed blond hair, tattoos on her face, and always wore tank tops that revealed more than I wanted to see. Dave fell in love with Jewel. Dave became obsessed with Jewel. He would confess his love for her to us many times. Once, he came in the office and asked, “can you go back on the security cameras?” “Yes, why?” “Go back to Sunday around 12:45 pm.” “Okay…?” “Look, there she is! I gave her a kiss you know! Watch!” And sure enough, through the fence you could see him in all his scraggly glory give a brief kiss to this woman. Then, during that winter, we went to plow snow, and he had the van at the time, right along the back of it, facing outwards was a small shrine in her honor. Five or six empty whiskey bottles were lined up with a few of those dollar store roses in them. (You know, those single fake roses that are made to look fancy with plastic white lace, and a little bear in them. I think they even had a scent.) In front of those bottles was a piece of white cardboard with her name written in black marker in large letters. There may have even been a stuffed animal next to it, but I’m not sure. And, one last thing, on the property next door that my Dave also owns, homeless Dave took a can of blue spray paint and drew a huge heart on the front of an abandoned concession stand and wrote “Dave loves Sweety” with some smaller hearts surrounding it.

Jewel had a boyfriend. Going back to the not-so-harmless Dave, he tried to run Jewel’s boyfriend over once on his motorbike down in the parking lot of the minimart at the end of the street. He bragged about how he made that dude’s bicycle fly into the air.
Oh, and Jewel was prettier than me. That was a fact in Dave’s ever-competing mind.

Dave was able to open up.

My Dave is one of the most selfless men I know. He would always go out of his way to be kind to homeless Dave. He never treated homeless Dave with malice. And if he got a little too upset with him, he would apologize. Like the time he threw a rock at the empty van’s window and cracked it. On a different occasion, my Dave went to homeless Dave to have a talk about his living arrangements. On that particular day, my Dave got homeless Dave to open up a bit. He shared with him how he was made fun of and how that hurt him. Homeless Dave carried those feelings with him. When he shared with my Dave he actually sobbed, and Dave hugged him. I thought it was a beautiful thing that the two of them, so very different, in very different worlds could bond on a soul level. After all, we’re all on this ride together.

Dave wasn’t invincible.

My last memory of homeless Dave was when he was laying on the ground next to his storage unit waiting to be picked up by the ambulance. He had fallen off his small minibike that he had just purchased from a local store. Just an hour or so before, my Dave gave him a ride to the store so he could get it. Prior to that, he came in the office to ask if he could charge his phone. Of course I said yes, and as I was on my way to check a unit, I asked Dave how he was doing. He said not good. His leg was bothering him and he was recovering from a bit of bronchitis. He barely could walk, never mind ride a motorized vehicle. Yet, he did. Thankfully, we were late that day at the office wrapping up finances and paperwork. We saw people walking over, and heard yelling. When the police pulled in we figured we’d better go out and see what was up. We stayed with him until they loaded him up and took him. He was terrified of the paramedics picking him up, and I remember him yelling, “I’ll scream! I’ll scream! Don’t pick me up that way!” They hoisted him very well, and as he was being loaded into the ambulance, he made sure he had his scruffy little canvas bag with him.

Dave was wealthy.

I guess when you evade responsibilities your whole life and get a disability check every month, you can save up. He had over $2,000 that day in that black bag. His sister eventually used that to help pay for the funeral arrangements. Years ago, my Dave said that he once saw homeless Dave carrying around $8,000. Problem was, he blabbed. A couple times his storage units were broken into. There was a legend going around that he had over 20 grand buried in a lot behind a grocery store on the other side of town in plastic grocery store bags. Legend also has it that someone dug it up after his death. I’m not sure if that’s fact or fiction. What I do know, is that he had even more money stashed away in his storage units. He could have had anything he wanted. Lived anywhere he wanted. Yet, he consciously chose to reside outside. A month or so before his passing, his sister secured an apartment for him. Dave said he’d only use it when the temps dropped into the single digits. One time he attempted to live with a friend in his apartment; that didn’t go over too well when the messiness set in.

Dave passed away in peace.

I regret not going to see homeless Dave when he was in the hospital. My Dave went to see him a few times. Twice locally, and once an hour or so away when he was transferred. It was during that time, Dave snuck a picture of him for me. He was a different man. Untamed hair cut short, and a wild beard neatly trimmed, he looked like an elderly retired man who perhaps worked in pharmaceuticals his whole life. My aversion to hospitals and sickly people I know kept me from going. Actually, I had planned on going after finding out he was going to be transferred back here. At that point, Dave seemed to be fine. There were no signs that anything was going wrong. He even asked about me and encouraged that I come next time. I was flattered. One phone call came from his sister that he was transferred. The next phone call a day later, he had passed. My Dave and I stared at each other in disbelief. No. How could this be? He was doing well. We never know when our time is up. Dave knew he was going to die, and vocalized it to my Dave. I think he was concerned and at the same time at peace about it. My thoughts were that if the chain of events leading up to his death didn’t happen, he would have died, perhaps completely unknown to anyone, in the woods and later found after silently decaying in the wild. I’d take a hospital bed over that.

Dave’s burial was beautiful.

Admittedly, this was the very first time I had this experience. In a cemetery, with large machines with cranes and big track wheels, lifting his casket into a concrete box, then driven up to a neatly dug hole in the earth. My Dave helped get his casket there. Once gently placed within, there were six of us surrounding – myself, my Dave, homeless Dave’s sister, and three funeral directors. One of them asked my Dave if he’d like to say a few words. It was as if they knew he was a presence of authority. He is a minister, after all, so it was appropriate. Before he spoke, he tossed in a couple tiny Herkimer diamonds that we had mined up in NY earlier in the year- a token of connectedness. When Dave began to speak, I immediately teared up. His words resonated a depth of connection that only souls can know. He flawlessly recited the Lord’s prayer in Aramaic. He acknowledged that while they were very two different beings, they were human just the same. And lastly, he thanked Dave for teaching him things that he didn’t know…for showing him a part of himself. Once the eulogy ended, Dave threw in small handfuls of dirt onto the concrete box- one last parting gesture. And we walked away. I gripped Dave’s hand tight, tears continuing to stream, telling him that was one of the most beautiful and selfless things I had ever witnessed him do.

We are all connected.

It’d be selfish to think we hold any one true answer to anything. And to think that we are better than another. Everyone on this planet is a reflection of ourselves. When we meet another and make a profound connection, we are receiving a piece of ourselves needed to unlock something bigger. When we are open, we learn from others, always. I am grateful I met Dave Krotzer. I learned from him that this human experience can be lived out in many ways no matter what the circumstances. It’d be judgmental to say that Dave was homeless because he was escaping the pain of the world or just avoiding it. Maybe it was true though. I believe he chose his lifestyle because it’s exactly where he needed to be. The lessons he needed to learn in this lifetime were contained in his outdoor world, in his seclusion. There was nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with him. I learned that we can choose our course, no matter what, and as long we live it out boldly, we won’t be unhappy.


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In Loving Memory of David Krotzer 1956 – 2018

Connecting Thought: Unmasked Identity

In my previous post, I mentioned complete connection with everyone and everything. Right after writing, my boyfriend sent me a link which introduced a term to go along with that feeling! Samadhi. A Hindu word meaning seeing with equality. It’s tied in with yoga practice, and can also apply to everyday living. I found a short article online which has a section that sums it up wonderfully:

“Instead of attaching to happiness or a sensation of ‘bliss’, Samadhi is about seeing life and reality for exactly what it is, without our thoughts, emotions, likes, dislikes, pleasure and pain fluctuating and governing it. Not necessarily a state of feeling or being, or a fixed way of thinking; just pure ‘I – am – ness’.”

I can SO identify with this. Ever since participating in the Landmark Forum, and the Advanced Course, along with many seminars, I have been practicing this. It does not come naturally. I’m still in the process of training my brain to recognize and acknowledge instead of react and feel.

Just this morning, I had an incident come up with Dave where feelings and reactions bubbled up as he spoke. What was missing for me was just being…pure listening. He even admitted all he wanted to do was share something with me. Not debate it, not ask me to solve anything…just to share what he was thinking and how his sleep was affected by some thoughts.

So, what happened was- Dave spoke to me of how he lied awake during the night. I made his words mean things like, he’s keeping the past in the present. He won’t let go. He can’t just get over it…etc. When those thoughts clouded my thinking, my being shifted dramatically. I was not Love, Peace, and Togetherness. I was creating a boundary in myself before he was even finished talking. Which then created unnecessary arguing after, and feelings of sadness, and guilt.

I took our incident this morning as an opportunity for connection and self-realization.

To continue to fulfill my main concern- Peace, Love, and Togetherness.

When I stopped analyzing, feeling and judging, both himself and myself, I was able to disconnect from those feelings in order to connect to Dave and truly understand him. Immediately, I felt relieved. It was as if a literal switch was flipped to put a stopper in my flow of consciousness. And yet, I could acknowledge that I am still not fully letting go. And I am noticing what is blocking me, and what fears are holding me back.

It’s in this noticing, without judgment, that I will be able to completely connect with Dave to get complete on an important issue from years ago. I can be in the space of pure peace, which, I dunno about you, but to me feels 100% better than being in the space of defensiveness and anger. I can literally feel a difference between the two. It’s as if I’ve literally separated the two things and set them down in front of me.

Like two colored balls of the same size. One red, and one blue. Say, the red one is a bit heavier than the blue. I can now, from the outside, not only see the difference between the two, I can also feel it. The red one feels heavy. It wouldn’t work for me to carry it around with me all day. The blue one is light. It would work to carry that one.

It takes effort to be angry, and in conflict. And much energy. The body rejects it, defends it, and when it does, it hurts. Back pain, headaches, stomach issues…you name it. Pain arises from actually trying to keep those behaviors in place. Yuck!

Living inside of Love is natural. Your body will not argue with you, nor will your mind. Life and all activities in it become effortless. Even complications will come and go effortlessly when in a state of Peace and Love. A flow.

This I have experienced.

This I will continue to experience.

This journey, my Sadhana, will help me reach my full enlightenment.

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Samadhi Article

Book: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Unmasked Identity

 

 

 

Unmasked Identity

the-real-face

Are we really that separate from everyone else? From everything else? In a world where survival of the fittest sometimes applies, many live to do just that: survive. In doing so, they capture a false sense of individuality; they spend time developing a sense of self that on the outside appears to be a “one for all” mentality, yet on the inside is a “one for one” mentality. Those people may be giving, loving, caring…and if you look closely, there are conditions. Why? Well, the answer is simple and will always boil down to the same emotion: fear. They might say to themselves, “surely I can’t be as open to that person, as I am to this one. I have to protect myself. …This one will keep me safe. No problems will arise. But with that one, ooh, others may disagree, I will be discredited somehow…I’ll only let that one in so far…”

All of these conditions, based upon circumstances, create thick and heavy boundaries. When one is not willing to let go of their own, created fear, they cannot create the space for anything or anyone else to come in. No matter how loving that other person might be. Self-righteousness becomes a prime concern. And separation becomes apparent. Like the laws of quantum physics, those behaviors that create separation are then repeated and mirrored over and over again in every type of human relationship and perhaps throughout lifetimes.

These cycles can be broken.

When we realize our true self, and that we are connected to everyone else in a deep profound way, we can disappear those boundaries. When only Love is present, there is no room for fear; we are able to embrace others in a way that brings unity. Even if there are disagreements, and that person isn’t a perfect fit for your life, there can still be communication, conversation and connection. A healthy disconnection may happen, and that certainly works in many cases, yet the lines for real, non-reaction based communication are still available.

What’s missing in our society today is just that: connection. Many believe their sense of connection is tied to technology. Many believe it’s impossible. Many let fear block them. In reality, who we are is everyone else. We are the very essence of that person in fear, that person unwilling to communicate, or that person who is wide open and loving. We are the miracle of life that is contained in every organism that surrounds us. We are the soul, the God, the Creator of all. We are not separate! Once that can be realized, there would be no need for family feuds, broken friendships, and so forth. World leaders would be able to get along, have meetings where Love for others, for other countries, the people in them are the main concern.

We can all work together as the team that we are.

We can look into each other’s eyes and see the entire universe there before us. How breathtaking, how peaceful to know that! All fear, anger, resentment and resignation is pure illusion. Can you see yourself, your mother, your father, your friend in a stranger’s gaze? They are there. All there is to do is to open up to Love to see.

I took part in an extraordinarily powerful exercise recently in a weekend course. The exercise was simple: in silence, stand up and look into another person’s eyes. Just look. Notice feelings. Notice judgments. Then notice that connection. One girl that I connected with was a Chinese woman. She was beautiful. Her soul so vibrant. What I noticed initially when looking in her eyes was that she was very different than myself. From a completely different culture, with a different language, a different set of values. Her eyes physically were different than mine. A different shape and color. The color of her skin. The shape of her face. The color of her hair. All different.

And what was extraordinary in that moment that I noticed all of those things, I also noticed that she, too, just like me, was a soul. A soul that contained God, Love, Peace. I was able to quickly let go of all those differences. They vanished. Because they, too, are illusions. It was beautiful. Tears welled up while looking into her brown eyes. I was able to recognize everyone else I knew in her. Because she is me. I am her. We embraced deeply when it was time to return to our seats. I felt such a unique movement inside of me after that. My soul shifted. I had a spiritual experience unlike any other, yet I could say it was connected to other moments of spiritual awakening I’ve had. Suddenly, I felt deeply connected to the other ninety some people sharing space with me in that room. Even the ones I hadn’t spoken to. Stunning.

Then this morning, I had to laugh…I watched a short news clip about a death in a trailer park. A body was found in a burned shed. A man that was interviewed shrugged and said, “what do you expect? It’s a trailer park!” And you can tell he was totally unfazed by the death and perfectly content with the way things were, no matter how devastating. It’s actions and behaviors/beliefs as such that keep the current system of disconnection in place. If it’s expected that a certain place or type of people should be one way, and a large group agrees, then they will remain that way. No one should be any one way. Why in the world has it become okay to just go on living this way?!

School shootings…same thing. Actions based on fear. A system that repeats itself, keeps particular behaviors in place, no space for transformation. The space is filled with debates, emotion and reaction ridden stories. No action for a different result.

We are disconnected from those that haven’t experienced connection.

Again, if we could just see ourselves in those that are being that way, we could find our true identity.

So many are not being what they truly believe in.

So many haven’t even discovered hat it is that they truly believe in! And it’s there, always. Inside.

They are being who they think they should be, or who they have been conditioned to be. Their beliefs are clouded by illusion.

They choose to follow illusion instead of their heart.

I believe we all have the power to identify our true concerns for ourselves and inherently others. I also believe that everyone’s could be similar if we felt connected. What would we be concerned for? Love, peace, happiness, togetherness, gratitude, joy. Actions are then produced in accordance with those concerns. Those concerns are not only for ourselves, but every other human being we share this planet with.

I am the possibility of Love, Peace and Togetherness. With this possibility, I will be those things. My being will shine with radiance that can transcend pain, suffering, and sadness. Love, Peace and Togetherness are instruments to shatter the illusions of the opposite. I say illusion because they are all created. Nothing happens to us. What we believe, we become. What we be, we see.

Let us gain control of ourselves, as a whole, a group, a community, a society, a world. We are all souls inhabiting these borrowed vehicles on this plane of existence. Take off the mask. Surely it must be heavy, a burden? Perhaps there are many masks…if so, begin to peel them away. What is behind them will be the most beautiful, shining soul you’ve ever encountered.

Dare to meet yourself.

Dare to create new possibilities.

Man’s true self is eternal,

yet he thinks, “I am this body, I will soon die.”

This false sense of self

is the cause of all his sorrow.

When a person does not identify himself with the body

tell me, what troubles could touch him?

One who sees himself as everything

is fit to be guardian of the world.

One who loves himself as everyone

is fit to be teacher of the world.

-Tao Te Ching, The Definitive Edition, Verse 13

Double rainbow in a meadow, Silt, Colorado, U.S.

We Cannot Live With Our Minds Alone

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We can compute, analyze, create, destroy, but where do important emotions like love, peace, compassion arise from? Where does deeper creativity spring forth from? How do we do more than just…survive? At a recent holistic show, Dave chose to give a lecture on “Heart-Based Perception”. Meaning, how we feel the world around us, and are able to have an instinctive and deeper overall knowing of things. He suggested that when we use our thinking, rational brain, we can certainly make decisions, create, and survive, but sometimes that can only get us so far. And sometimes, those decisions we, or even higher-ups make aren’t so great.

Enter: the heart. It’s the largest perceptive organ in our bodies. It carries and projects a measurable magnetic field that radiates outward up to at least three feet away. And when in close proximity of another, both energies collide and merge. If you think about it, everything is energy. Your body, the air around, every plant and animal has their own energies that are pouring out every minute of every day. The entirety of space is humming, vibrating energy. We are immersed in it all the time. Some of these energies are subtle, so we don’t feel them. Yet, when tuned in, you can easily tap into that energy all around. Check out the link at the end to learn a bit more about physical heart energy.

Reiki is one such practice that facilitates healing using the abundant, swirling energy around us. I have been practicing reiki for a couple years now. I achieved level one, which focuses on direct healing with another person. And level two is where you can do long distance healing using that powerful heart energy. Even with level one, I use my heart energy, the other person’s, along with outer God or Spirit energy in order to heal and release either physical or emotional pain.

Considering that your body uses and stores energy, i.e. food, it’s easy to understand that emotions are energy, too. When negative emotions become locked in, anxiety and depression can occur; especially when there’s no healthy outlet for that energy. On a physical level, our backs and shoulder blades will tighten, our spines will stiffen, and so forth. Yet, I truly believe that we can release any type of pain we have by simply using our heart.

What convinced me of this recently was an incident I had shoveling snow. In mid-March, we had the largest snow storm ever. 26” of the white stuff buried us. Dave struggled with the plow after many attempts just to move the truck a few feet! Once he got it going down the driveway, he got stuck. So, I had to help him shovel it out. I wasn’t happy. My back began to hurt after a few lifts. (And I was trying to lift carefully). It wasn’t too bad. It got worse when I helped him again at the bottom of the driveway, and then again multiple times at our storage business. At that point, I was beyond fed up with the snow. As I cleared pathways, I cursed and hurled my shovel angrily over and over again. In the moment I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but I just remained in that state.

Within the next couple of days, the most excruciating lower back pain arose. I literally couldn’t sit, stand, or lay down…every way I moved just…hurt. Badly. I asked Dave to work on me some to loosen the tightness. He had to work on me for a week straight, twice a day before it subsided. Yet it wasn’t the physical massaging that helped it. Dave advised me that it’d only completely release if I acknowledged the pain and why it was there- basically why I put it there. Then, if I used my own energy from the heart to help it along, it would heal faster. I used my own energy, as well as visualizations of water trickling down my back and through the tight knots. I breathed in white light, positive energy, and exhaled the negativity that was locked in. Lo and behold, after putting that concept into practice, the very next day there was a dramatic difference in my pain level. And a few days after that, there was barely any pain at all, and Dave said that the physical muscle tightness decreased tons. So, moral of the story: it was my conscious and unconscious effort that helped release something inside of me that wasn’t purely physical. I found that to be absolutely astounding.

Going back to anxiety and depression…I see so many suffer. I used to suffer, too. I found a way out. It wasn’t in expensive counseling sessions, medication, or anything artificial. I put myself into a program that helped me dive into myself to release what I had stored up. Some of it I didn’t even know was stored up! It’s astounding what you can discover about yourself when you allow your mind to get out of the way; when you listen to your heart. Once you get to the root, you can let go of what you’ve been holding on to. Let go of what doesn’t serve you. Acknowledge it, take responsibility. In regards to the heart, if you’re not truly feeling, or being perceptive in a deeper way, you’re merely surviving.

When any one of us is in survival mode, we’ll do anything to keep old, and sometimes harmful ways in place. We’ll shut ourselves down, shut others out, and get angry, and blame. We get trapped in a fear. But remember, fear is an illusion. Always.

These fears, anxiety and depression keep us from truly connecting to another human. There are barriers that don’t allow you to feel another, feel and listen to another’s heart. Your energy might still blend in, but in a sense it could be reflected back; in fear there’s no room to grow. With yourself. With another being.

Have you ever felt like you were in the right place at the right time? Where you met someone for the first time, and knew that it was meant to be for some reason? Or, maybe it was something simpler than that, perhaps you felt you should drive a different way to work, walk a different path. All of those things happen when your heart leads you.

Your heart is tremendous. Listen to it, connect yourself to something higher. Connect yourself to yourself! Once you begin to unlock your subconscious intuition and turn off the misleading mind, you’ll begin to see new possibilities that hadn’t existed before. Flourishing creativity, being part of the flow of life instead of against it in work and at home, enhanced and clearer communication, overall stress-free living…these are possibilities you could create, and live. I have- it takes work, and like anything worth doing, practice.

Here are some ways to begin practicing:

  • Simple meditation- with a focus on what’s in your way, identify first, let go second, and create third. Visualize rays of light, a wave of energy flowing outward from your heart. See them slowly expand outward with every breath you take. Then, feel Feel your energy reaching further and further. Connect with someone close to you in your mind. Imagine that heart energy enclosing them in a calming green light. (Green for the heart chakra). Write down your experience afterward.
  • Write- just write down your feelings. Write where you’d like to feel more, how you’d like to feel more. Is it connection you’re longing for? Wanting to eliminate anxiety? Write that down! Then write what your life would be like if your heart ruled and led the way. No obstacles.
  • Reiki – level one. There are many classes out there both in person and online!
  • Reading- I’m sure there are tons of books out there, but one that will help you become focused, and let go of metal clutter is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. Pure brilliance! (Link at bottom).
  • The Landmark Forum! – An astounding three-day course designed to help you find and activate your true potential. Diving into the past to find how and why certain behaviors are dominating your life, becoming complete with them so you can create whatever you want in life are just a couple of things you can get out of this mind-blowing course. I highly recommend it!
    Image result for heart chakra

https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/science-of-the-heart/the-energetic-heart-is-unfolding/

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493757570&sr=8-1&keywords=the+power+of+now

http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/

Creating Healthy Boundaries

Image result for chinese symbol for balance with english

“When confrontation arises, we face it without aggression. When someone opposes us, we do not give in to anger. We view no one as a competitor because we do not seek our own way.

We know our strengths and we know our weaknesses. We use them each for benefit. We are not trying to fix ourselves or others so we move naturally and easily along our path.” –Tao Te Ching (translation of verse 68)*

Sometimes, you just gotta walk away. Take a deep breath, and take some steps back. Are you dealing with someone that you still want in your life but your relationship isn’t quite meshing? Have you been trying to convince them of a point of view, an attitude, a new way of being, a belief? There are times when no matter how many words you say, conversations (or arguments) you have, a person will not change their view. And that’s okay! Instead of getting stuck with spinning tires, lay off the gas, and turn the motor off! Breathe. I’ve been learning and practicing this essential trick for the past few months with my family.

Here’s a secret to letting go: realize it’s not the person that you are walking away from- it’s their behavior. I struggled with that concept for a long time until Dave led me to a personal epiphany. So many times people are quick to judge. Quick to doom a situation. Quick to give up and think that they have to get rid of the person that they are in conflict with. Yep, that’s where I was! In my mind, I was never going to have my family back, because they will never change, and the only solution to heal the pain then was to detach completely. And that felt pretty crappy. I still yearned to talk to my family and remain in close connection.

I had to give up what was in my way since they weren’t willing to give up what’s in their way.

It didn’t take me long to drop all my “nevers”. Why worry about some invisible future that may or may not happen? I held onto my mindset of being in the now. Right now. No other moment. Not in the past or the future. Eckhart Tolle sums it up quite well- “What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that.”

Sometimes it’s crazy hard to let go, and just be in the present moment. Therefore, it’s even more difficult to create those healthy boundaries! Typically, you remain trapped on the hamster wheel, spinning faster, and faster, (coming up with more and more arguments as to why “you’re right”) and eventually, your legs run out of stamina and you’re flung off and splattered against a wall- defeated.

If you’re truly dealing with someone you authentically care about, show them! The greatest gift you could give them is a boundary! With a boundary, you can still communicate. In my case, the boundary was not physically seeing my parents because they refuse to acknowledge Dave. That hurts both of us. Yet, I created the possibility of still being as close, and loving as I can to them. I call my mom often, and we chat for hours! We haven’t exchanged gifts in about 3 years…last year was the first! I could speak with my dad more easily, too. What it boils down to, is that I can just be myself.

After all, when you’re just yourself, your completely honest self who’s not trying to resist, not trying to change, or feed into drama or create it, who could hurt you?

Beauty reigns in simplicity. It all starts with a conversation. Talk to the person you care about that you feel you have to create a boundary with. Stand firm in your belief. If the other person becomes angry, or sad, remember to not take it personally. They have a right to their feelings, too! It’s also healthy to let them express everything they need to. There will come a point in the conversation when those options are exhausted. There will be an energy shift where you feel a mutual understanding being reached. This is a good place to end the conversation peacefully. Express your care, and love for that person, and hopefully they will return it back. After this, all following conversations should be easy.

How can these boundaries be overcome if one person isn’t willing to budge, yet continues to be civil and close, but distantly?

I’ve come to believe, with Dave’s insight, that if the person in opposition truly cares, and feels that they want to reestablish a connection, or mend some aspects of the relationship- they will. They will be the one to come to you to mend some broken fences. (I have yet to experience that, fully.) But! I am happy to say that that has happened with an Aunt of mine. Dave and I are becoming closer with her, and the feeling is amazing!

Pro Tip: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever blame the person that you’re upset with. When you blame someone, you make them wrong. In situations like these, no one is right or wrong. Keep that in mind when attempting to work it out.

Hold a space in your mind, in your heart. Your boundaries won’t last forever, but in the meantime, they will be healthy!


 

*Image result for a path and a practice by william martinQuote taken from one of my favorite, most influential books- A Path and a Practice by William Martin.

 

 

 

New Chapters & Transformations: By D. Cooper

DNA butterfly

A short intro before my guest blogger’s post: I find it uniquely intriguing how at the deepest core, all of us humans are all the same, yet we can experience and live such amazingly vast and varied lives with a million and one different perceptions. In the basic human experience, we all breathe, eat, live and die. We also witness other humans, with shared blood, pass on. Yet again, no two grieving humans have the same perception or express the same emotions. It fascinates me to learn of other peoples’ lives- in a deeper, more meaningful complex manner. I want to know what makes those I know function. I want to know what and who they live for, how they perceive this human experience, what their beliefs and values are and how they analyze and figure out where to go from their ever present moments. After all, we only have now. This moment. Not the next and not the one before it. We have the extraordinary ability to create the future we are living into. I thirst to know what motivates people to make the choices and decisions that they do; to know how and why they create their own distinctive future.

Everyone I meet teaches me a lesson that I was meant to know. Recently, I worked with a shining, motivated soul named Dwanna Cooper from New Mexico. When I edited her book about how to effectively read job ads, I never thought I’d develop an intricate connection with her…learn about her feelings, desires and values. I certainly never expected that she’d want to share a piece of her human experience with me. Now, I couldn’t be more blessed that she has. D. Cooper has an enormous treasure chest of insight that she is more than willing to share with others in order to help them learn, grow and transform! Here is a personal glimpse into this multi-faceted, talented, successful HR Professional’s life: Oh, by the way, she’s also been an expert ice skating instructor for over 15 years!! Pretty cool, right?


transformación personal

When I look back on my life I can most certainly pick out the beginnings and endings of new chapters in my life. There are certain events in my life that often mark new chapters such as new jobs, moving to new places, new friends, and new loves.  There are also unfortunate events that trigger endings such as death of a loved one, loss of love, or friends, or jobs.  But more often than not, I see the good that came from those changes in my life and those new chapters in my life and always grew as a person.

The funny thing about changes or new chapters though is we don’t always recognize them as they are happening.  While hind sight is clear, seeing those transitions while they are occurring is not always obvious.  And, even if we do recognize them, we’re still not prepared for the outcomes.

We all know that as children we will outlive our parents.  However, I don’t think we are ever ready when that day comes. We see the illness or the event that triggers the beginning of the end and then we watch the decline and we still hold out hope against hope that they will still pull through. And, when they don’t we are still not prepared for that ending. I recently went through that ending with my father.

My father was my rock and my biggest supporter.  He was my health guru, my confidant, my guide, my shoulder to cry on or share my frustrations with, and the first person to share my joys with. Most of all, he was my friend. He was just always there for me; there are very few people in my life that I can say that about.  So I think this is why it’s just so hard to accept that he is no longer here. So, even though I know he is gone I still take my steps forward hoping he is still with me in some way.

So, this is my new chapter.  I’m unsure of what will come next but I have in front of me a new job, a move to a new home and a different future—without him.

One of the things I am finding so far is that my friends are becoming my family.  I have always had good friends but I am relying on them more and caring about them more.  I think this is a good thing.  I’m learning how to love more and to extend that love outward. And, I think they are feeling more needed and I think everyone needs to feel that from those that they care about.

Another thing I am finding is that I’m planning my future better. I’m thinking more carefully about my next steps and taking them with my eyes on the future.  After all, I have only myself to rely on as lonely as that is at times. While I have a partner in my life, I have no one to look out for me unconditionally at least not like a parent.  It’s different now and I am ultimately responsible for myself.

And, then I find that I am thinking about retirement.  While it is still about 15 years away, I am taking more cautious steps and holding on to my money more.  I’m also re-assessing the role of “things” in my life and moving out the unnecessary stuff and keeping only what is dear to me. It’s funny how we collect stuff.  Right before my father died we went through his garage to get rid of what he no longer needed or wanted.  The irony is that when he died, he couldn’t even take what was left with him. Stuff is irrelevant but yet we cling to it.

I am also thinking about alternative incomes that I can build so I have options, even when I have a job–something that I enjoy but will make me money in my spare time. It’s always good to have a backup. I think this is also because I have no parents as my backup.  Not that I asked for money or needed it from my parents but they were always my safety net.  Now, I am my own safety net.

All in all, my heart is still broken from losing my dad but I’m taking the next steps, moving on to the next chapter and most likely on to more transformation.  It sometimes saddens me to think that even at my age I’m not too old to be an orphan.  And, I’m not sure if losing both your parents has any upside but if there is I hope to find it.  I’m sure I’ll become stronger and I know my heart will heal eventually.  I’m open to what the next chapter brings.  After all, nothing is for sure except change and if we pay attention, a new chapter that leads to amazing transformation.
transformation_butterfly


Check out D. Cooper’s book about effectively deciphering job ads in order to find that perfect job you want! Easy to read, follow and put into practice!

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Reading-Job-Ads-Know-ebook/dp/B01CF52HL2?ie=UTF8&keywords=D.%20Cooper&qid=1462494065&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2