On Judgement, Guilt and Punishment

Food for thought:

“In highly evolved societies, no members of those societies are ever judged and found guilty of anything.  They are simply observed to have done something, and the outcome of their actions, the impact of them, is made clear to them.  Then they are allowed to decide what, if anything, they wish to do with regard to that.  And others in the society are likewise allowed to decide what, if anything, they wish to do to and for themselves with regard to that.  They do nothing to another.  The idea of punishment is simply not something that occurs to them, because the concept of punishment itself is incomprehensible to them.”

– Neale Donald Walsch, in Communion with God, p. 151

white dove image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/

Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/oddsock/ Used under Creative Commons.

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Filed under 2012, being, community, compassion, Conversations with God, human evolution, prosperity, spiritual evolution, spiritual path

Be First, Let Doing Follow

What do you most desire?  Happiness?  Peace?  Freedom?  If your first answer is something you’d like to do or have – for example, build a successful career, have lots of money, or raise a family – ask yourself what what doing or having this would give you.  After a few cycles of this question, you will probably end up with something you’d like to be – such as be happy, be at peace, or be free.

Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/thraxil/ Used under Creative Commons.

What if you could just be happy, peaceful or free, without having to go through all the doing or acquiring first?  Try this idea on for the extent of this article.  If it aligns with your inner truth, great!  If not, let it go and move on.

Consider that the world may really be altered by rose-colored glasses – or whatever filter you choose to see it through.  Consider that if you focus your attention on happiness, peace, freedom, or whatever you’d like to experience, you will most likely experience more of that.

Have you ever been in a foul mood and had a horrible experience, then later when feeling good, been in nearly the same situation and enjoyed it?  There’s no “truth” you’re ignoring when you enjoy yourself, nor are you wrong when you have a foul time.  You’re simply having the experience (foulness or enjoyment) that you were already being.

Here’s an experiment to try.  If you would like to be happy, notice happiness all day long.  Be aware of when you feel happy.  Notice other people who are happy.  Appreciate the happiness in you and around you.  Write all the happiness you experience and see in a journal.  Let happiness be your guide: when choosing, ask yourself, “Which feels happier?”

You can do this for any state of being you choose as your goal.  If you were choosing peace, you could:

  • Notice when you feel peace in yourself
  • Notice others who are experiencing peace
  • Appreciate peace in you and around you
  • Remind yourself of the many experiences you have of peace (for example, with a journal)
  • When choosing, let the feeling of peace be your guide: “What feels peaceful?”

Have fun with this.  Play with it, and enjoy being!

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Filed under being, conscious intention, gratitude, human evolution, letting go, prosperity, Prosperity Consciousness, spiritual evolution, spiritual path

Nurture Yourself: Self-Massage

I wrote this article for pregnant and new mamas, but much of it applies to all of us.  A regular ritual of self-massage is a great way to create prosperity for yourself!

The changes in a mama’s body during pregnancy, birth and postpartum can be a source of shame and frustration, or of excitement and celebration.  By nurturing yourself in ways that acknowledge and appreciate these changes, you gain healthy self-image and a positive outlook on the process.  Self-massage is one relaxing and pleasurable way to care for yourself in this way, as well as enhance your physical health.

Massage stimulates your circulatory and lymphatic systems, keeping a healthy flow of oxygen and nutrients into your cells and wastes out from them.  It releases physiological chemicals that relieve stress and maintain good health.  Mamas can benefit from its ability to improve skin elasticity and reduce swelling.  Self-massage provides an opportunity to regularly connect with your body, and appreciate its changes over time.

Self-massage as a regular self-care ritual is ideal for pregnant and new mamas who may be stressed by bodily changes, less sleep and new responsibilities.  Create a regular quiet time to indulge in your body – after a shower or bath, just before bed, first thing in the morning, or another time when you can focus on yourself.  Here are some ideas:

  • Make this time special. Even if it’s just five minutes, make it sacred by turning down the lights, turning off your phone, and closing the door.
  • Observe each part of your body visually and with touch.  Enjoy your curves.  See how your stretch marks, scars or other physical changes can be badges of honor, symbols of this rite of passage of motherhood.
  • Try different kinds of touch: gentle strokes, light kneading, fingertip or full hand.  Feel the surface of your skin, and feel the shapes and textures underneath.  (Light self-massage is generally safe.  If you want to work more deeply in an area, or if you have any concerns about massaging during pregnancy, consult with a prenatal massage therapist or a health care provider familiar with massage.)
  • Though self-massage can be done without it, you may enjoy using a massage oil or lotion. Find one that feels luxurious, or make one by adding a couple drops of therapeutic-grade essential oil to food-grade coconut, grapeseed or almond oil.  A few essential oils to try: lavender, ylang ylang, neroli or geranium.  (There are some essential oils to avoid or use carefully during pregnancy.  Check with an essential oil guide or a health care practitioner familiar with essential oils.)
  • If there are areas you can’t reach, ask your partner or someone you trust to lightly massage them.  You can also use a long-handled body brush (available at natural health and health food stores) to gently stroke these areas.  The brush should be used before any oil or lotion is applied.
  • If baby is in your belly, this can be a great time to say hello.  Gently massage your belly and baby while talking with baby.

When you spend time acknowledging and appreciating your body with self-massage, you honor yourself as a  mother. Pregnancy, birth and postpartum are sacred rites of passage in a woman’s life.  Celebrate yourself!

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From Task-oholic to Thinking with the Heart

My last post introduced the heart as guide in connecting.  I continue this theme with heart as guide in thinking.

I’ve been breaking through a pattern of making up reasons to be busy, and/or feeling guilty for not being busy.  In college, I used to keep a running to-do list in my pocket, crammed with tasks that would pop into my head throughout the day.  I have been a task-oholic, addicted to numbing my mind, and even more so my heart, keeping myself busy with things I thought of in the past, to do in the future.

This leaves little energy for experiencing the present.

It’s taken years of first idyllic rustic living, then immersing myself in the Bay Area’s spiritually and somatically in-tune culture, to heal myself of this affliction.  I think I’m finally getting there.

I’m finally accepting that, far from being a reason to be guilty, not being busy is my work.  My work is to cultivate stillness and peace within, and share this.  My work is to be human with people.

I sometimes forget that to take the time to be human, to connect in this present moment, is inspiring.  A few times lately, I’ve found that someone has highly recommended me, and I’ve wondered, “But what did I do?”  Friends remind me that it’s probably not what I did, but that I took the time to be with that person, that impressed them.  In the stillness of mind and peacefulness of heart I am cultivating, I find more space for hearing others.

As I turn my attention toward the present moment, and as I let my thinking move from my head to my heart, I am discovering increasing ease and clarity.  May you also discover this peace.

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What is thinking from the heart?  Here are some ways I find it:

  • Letting my head give up some of its busy-ness
  • Allowing myself to be guided by my heart
  • Letting go of control, and trusting that everything will work out
  • Trusting that I already have what I’ve been asking for
  • Trusting that I already know, from within, the wisdom I’m seeking
  • Being still enough to find clarity about my goals
  • Taking time to set aside busy-ness and practice feeling peace  (Here’s a supportive guided meditation.)

How do you experience thinking from the heart?  How do you find it?  Please share below.  If you’re in the SF Bay Area, come explore this theme with a very special group at the next Connections in Nature Workshop.

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Filed under heart, holistic health, human evolution, letting go, prosperity, Prosperity Consciousness, receiving, rest, spiritual evolution, spiritual path, thinking from the heart, trust

Connecting from the Heart

This new year marks, for me, movement in our transition as a world culture.

Many ancient traditions concur that around 2012 comes a transition to a new world age.  While some people view this with fear of an unknown future, I believe we are already living the transition. We have developed a global awareness, and diverse cultures are dialoguing. Eastern spirituality and indigenous ways of life are merging with Western science and culture.

One important aspect of this transition is a global shift from relating primarily with our heads, to relating primarily with our hearts. We each have the individual choice to connect more from our hearts. When we do, we make the world a more compassionate place.

Research by the HeartMath Institute demonstrates the physical effect of heart feelings like compassion and love on ourselves, people around us, and our world.  When we connect through our hearts to ourselves, others, and our world, we help the planet shift toward harmony and peace. We can only help the world be more heart-centered by making the shift ourselves. HeartMath’s Global Coherence Initiative is bringing together people who are making this heart-connection, to facilitate the global shift.

The Global Oneness Project shows, in beautiful short films, a heart-centered view of the world we live in – the inspiration, the beauty, the fear, and the pain.  The project fosters dialogue on how to compassionately meet our own personal and community challenges, and create a more connected and harmonious world.  I often turn to this site for inspiration.

The only way to really understand the heart-connected state is to become familiar with feeling it. I hope these links help you become more familiar with your own sense of heart connection.  You may also find it helpful to quietly bring attention to your heart center, or to focus on sensations in your body without judging them good or bad.

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Filed under 2012, coherence, compassion, conscious intention, global consciousness, heart connection, human evolution, spiritual evolution, spiritual path, transition

Ring Out the Old Year/The Space Between

etsunen in kanji - new year hibernation The word in this image, etsu-nen in Japanese, means both “ring out the old year” and “hibernation.”  Isn’t it neat that one word incorporates both the turning of the year and resting?

For me, the end of this year has been a time of stillness, of space between what my life has been and what I am stepping into.  And yet, the habitual, busy desire to do something still pops up, even when there’s nothing that really needs doing.

Everything is in motion, and there is only time between me and the future I’ve been asking for.  In the moments when I get this truth, I trust that my actions will arise in their right time, and I need not worry myself with them sooner.

For now, all I need do is enjoy this resting space.

In the space between 2009 and 2010, may we find rest and joy in simply being.

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Sufficiency for the Holidays

This document so well imparts what I am up to when I write about creating prosperity, I am simply offering a link so you can experience it yourself:

http://www.globalsufficiency.org  (The homepage currently features a link to “Celebrating the Holidays in Sufficiency.”)

(If it has been some time since I posted this, and the homepage no longer features the document, you can access it at http://gsn.onefireplace.com/resources/Theme/GSN-Holiday2009-Special-Report.pdf.)

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