“The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.” Galileo Galilei
The ancients have always known that the Sun is the center of the universe, yet how often do we wake up in the morning and greet it?
How much do we even know about it?
The Sun grows our food, brightens our days, affects the earth’s climate and our health. But we don’t think about it much except to cover ourselves in summer with toxic sunscreen that we don’t really even need [see next week’s post on that].
The Sun is also a great force of spiritual energy and spiritual teaching. So we should take the time to learn more about it!
Clearing clutter. We read about it all the time.
But it’s more than good housekeeping. It’s a key to self-healing.
When I was in graduate school working on a Masters Degree in Economics [yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true], I got tired of Economics [that seems much more believable] and instead took film courses.
This was at the University of California at Los Angeles [UCLA], which at the time had one of the best film schools in the country. [It still does].
The film classes were excellent, covered a variety of topics, and were like balm for the soul of true film lovers like me.
One of the best lessons I learned was from a casual comment by our teacher about the Alfred Hitchcock film, “Psycho.” It was a lesson that has served me in work and in life.
How is the “Washington Redskins” team name still in use in this day and age?
Most of us have heard the term, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?”
Did you ever believe it was true?
Not likely, because we all know words have power and can hurt.
In fact, there is ample evidence that negative thoughts, feelings and words, can be harmful to the body.
It follows that everyone, be it an individual or a national sports team, should be more conscious of their use of words.
THE HISTORY OF THE TERM “REDSKINS”
The Washington team has tried to defend its name choice by saying that the term “Redskins” honors Native Americans. But that view doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.
I was recently asked by a reader how to maintain positive thinking. He said, “every time I’m positive, or at least I think I’m positive, then negative things happen.”
Having struggled with that very issue, I promised him an answer.
I agree that when stuck in negativity, it can be hard to pull yourself out. But not impossible.
First, accept that we all go through negative thinking some of the time; the trick is to not dwell there. Like driving through a bad neighborhood, you want to get out as soon as possible!
Here are some of the things that have helped me:
As we begin a new year, many bloggers are writing about goal setting for 2015.
I have done that before and you can read my previous post.
But aside from setting goals and intentions, if we want to bring about something new in our lives, we have to change what we are doing, or how we are doing it.
If you keep doing the same old thing, you will get the same old results.
Today I’m going to propose one change to your life that may make a surprising difference: more rest.
WHY GOD RESTED ON THE 7TH DAY
We’ve all heard the phrase from the Bible, “And God rested on the 7th Day.” But what does it mean, really?
“What to do when life hands you lemons” is not the post I had planned for this week.
But I got handed a bunch of lemons – figuratively – by being stranded for three days [going on four] just three hours from home due to a blizzard.
When life throws us curves [the proverbial lemons] we have choices: to fret and moan and sulk, or make the best of it.
I thought I’d share the lessons I learned, which can be applied to most any surprising situation.
Well, I’m embarrassed to report that, after posting three weeks ago about my great start, I now get to report on lessons learned failing the “30-day no sugar challenge.”
Technically, I wrote about a 10-day no sugar challenge proposed by the documentary Fed Up, but I was undertaking 30 days of no sugar.
But whether 10 days, or 30, I failed.
However, I did learn a lot [about myself and sugar] which I felt was worth sharing.
The goal, set by my friend Gary, was to avoid anything with sugar in it for 30 days.
HERE’S WHY I FAILED
Like many people, I’ve always been uncomfortable with anger.
I don’t like to get angry, and I don’t like to be around angry people.
True to my Irish heritage, I’m slow to anger but when I do, watch out!
And over the years as I’ve meditated more, and done more self-healing, I’ve been rather pleased with how calm I usually am.
So imagine my surprise at finding myself angry quite frequently over the past month.
Mind you, there have been things going on in my life that many people would say justify being angry about.
But that is not an excuse for someone like me who is trying to live her life at the highest vibration possible.
Healing from our anger can be one of the most powerful ways to move our lives forward.
WALLS BUILT OF ANGER
Best-selling author Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., tells the story of holding onto anger toward the alcoholic, abusive father who abandoned him and his family when Dyer was just an infant.
A couple of weeks ago my friend Gary posted on Facebook that he was going to do 30 days of yoga and no sugar and asked who would join him.
I was the only taker! And neither Gary nor I had even watched the documentary “Fed Up” yet.
“Fed Up” proposes a 10-day no sugar challenge. If you go to the website www.fedupmovie.com you can sign up to join the challenge and get helpful reminder emails for 10 days.
You can watch the “Fed Up” trailer at the end of this post.
I am now on day 11 and feeling great. But I’m surprised no one else wanted to join us so I thought a blog post on why we should be avoiding sugar was in order.
Because sugar is slowly killing us as a nation.
Do you know where you come from?
I’m not talking geography here, I’m talking about our ancestors – those who walked before us and paved the way for our life today.
Learning about your ancestors can give your life a whole new meaning.
KNOW YOUR ANCESTORS, KNOW YOURSELF
In 1992, I accompanied a Native American elder to Australia for a conference including Maori and Aborigine elders.
Maoris are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, but the group traveling with us was living in Australia at the time.
Known for their warrior culture, Maoris are also known for their traditional haka war dance. If you’ve ever watched New Zealand’s rugby team, the All-Blacks, you’ve likely seen them perform the haka before the game. It’s meant to intimidate their opponents and raise their own energy and is quite a sight to behold and feel.
But Maoris are also very friendly and fun loving and loved to sit around camp singing and inviting people over for coffee and laughter.
Because they were living in Australia at the time, the Maori family invited our group to come and stay at their home in Adelaide for a few days in between teaching events. It was here that I got the most powerful life lesson of that trip.
How many do you see when you look at this picture?
In most of my classes I hold up my hand and ask this question: “How many do you see?”
I always get one of two answers: “five fingers” or “one hand.”
But a traditional Native American might say, “nine,” because they count the spaces in between.
To them, the invisible world is as real as the visible. And it’s the invisible world we want to connect with in order to maintain the magic in life.
WHAT’S IN THE INVISIBLE WORLD?
What we cannot see is usually depicted in Western society as the stuff of horror stories or science fiction, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with reality.
And, yes, the invisible world is real.
In my years of “walking the red road” as well as well as living in the non-Indian world, I’ve come across a few misconceptions about Native American spirituality that I’d like to lay to rest.
Here are the most common misconceptions I’ve heard:
1. Native Americans idolize things such as bison [buffalo] skulls and nature.
2. Native Americans don’t believe in God.
3. Native Americans believe in ghosts.
None of the above is true. Here’s what is true as to what Native Americans believe in:
Upon finding a road-killed snake last week, “crushing it” took on a whole new meaning for me.
According to urbandictionary.com “crushing it” means: “Being in severe shape, looking good, being better than others, looking hot, feeling positive, having more than others, having relations with other attractive people.”
Or put another way, “doing it all…. well.”
But can we really “crush it” in everything we do?
Not according to television screenwriter/producer Shonda Rhimes in her June 2014 Dartmouth Commencement Speech. Ms. Rhimes is the creative force behind the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal and had this to say:
“As a very successful woman, a single mother of three, who constantly gets asked the question, “How do you do it all?” For once I am going to answer that question with 100 percent honesty here for you now.
“Shonda, how do you do it all?
“The answer is this: I don’t.
“Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life…
“Anyone who tells you they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.”
I love her honest answer, and this is why I want to take a look at how we really “crush it.”Continue reading
How do we teach children?
By example, our words and our actions. That seems pretty obvious. But how do we do it well?
If we are living our best possible lives, we will teach by example and the teaching becomes easy.
I found a great example of it in my own family during a recent visit.
A few weeks ago, I walked into my kitchen and discovered my three-year old grand-nephew standing in front of the open refrigerator precariously holding my great-grandmother’s antique glass serving bowl with just one hand.
“We” versus “I” – which you say the most may determine your success in life.
As a Keith Urban fan, I make a point of listening to interviews with him. Something caught my attention earlier this year when he was being interviewed about his duet with Miranda Lambert on their hit song, “When We Were Us.”
Urban said “Miranda used to open for us…”
Note that this megastar musician who is backed up by his own band said “us” not “me.” He considers his band as important in the equation of success as he is.
And it also shows a high consciousness.
“Us” and “we” consciousness is what makes the world go around in a good way.
“I” and “me” – not so much.
NO SUCCESSFUL PERSON SAYS “I”
Ernesto Sirolli in his September 2012 TED talk has this to say on the subject:
There are five questions I suggest people ask themselves to steer their life in the right direction.
These are questions I’ve asked myself to bring about powerful change.
Questions are motivators: we can’t help but start working on an answer.
In fact, in studying copywriting, the writer is encouraged to phrase statements as questions– because people naturally want to know the answer! Humans are problem solvers at heart.
QUESTION ONE. “IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY AND NEVER HAD TO WORRY ABOUT EARNING AN INCOME AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?”
This was a question asked of me by a career counselor many years ago. And the answer is a key to revealing what you should be doing with your life — even without winning the lottery.
Never think about your age! I learned that from a horse. When I started riding lessons as an adult, the horse I rode most often was a Quarterhorse gelding by the name of Bug. Bug and I got along quite well together and, as a result, my teacher usually paired me with him. He was […]Continue reading
I love Facebook, and not for the usual reasons.
I joined kicking and screaming about five years ago after my Australian friend Barbara convinced me it was a great way to stay in touch with friends around the world.
She was right, but I’ve found it’s also so much more.
Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2003 and has since changed the way we live our lives.
Is it misused? Of course. But the good it is doing can’t be minimized – it’s connecting the world, or at least the half a billion people worldwide who use it.
Facebook is an excellent example of the old saying: “you get out of it what you put into it.”
A few decades ago, I had frequent back pain and visited my chiropractor often. That was before I discovered stretching.
There wasn’t anything inherently wrong with my back – my problem was I sat at a desk all day, then was very physically active evenings and weekends without stretching properly before and after walking, running, hiking, cycling, etc.
During one visit, my chiropractor handed me a sheet depicting a morning stretching routine and told me to do it every day.
This post contains links to some good morning stretching routines.
Hopefully in thirty years you can say you’ve done them every day and your body is pain free!
Bear Heart was a traditionally trained healer of the Muskogee Creek tribe. What outsiders would call a “medicine man.”
But the real ones don’t call themselves “medicine men” as Bear Heart explains in this video. The medicine is already here – healers just put things together to facilitate healing taking place.