Whenever I feel like something's missing in my life I find a way to really soak it in. I like to think of myself like a dry sponge, soaking up what's been missing, restoring every cell of my being to its full vitality. For me, what I love is books and writing. Recently I felt I'd neglected my writing too much though. I went to a bookshop and I didn't try to force anything. I walked around, and I soaked it in, feeling the love for the books, the pages, the writers, the people who love writers. I sat down and closed my eyes and I breathed it into every corner of my body, bathing myself with the energy of the books and shop from the inside out. I let it flow, I let myself be one with it, seeking no particular or thought or feeling, only allowing back in that which nourishes my soul. Is there a way you could nourish your soul this weekend? If so, go and find it. It could change the direction of your life back to your passions in an instant.
I chose this quote today because it really reflected on my desire to join Toast Masters. For years, truly years, I have wanted to join this group. Toast Masters is a group where people overcome their fears and limitations in communication. For me, I have a terrible fear of public speaking (who doesn't?). I find it holds me back with my writing as when I go to present my ideas I'm overcome with so much fear I don't give the best pitch I can. And yet, each time I consider going to a meeting I find a reason not to go. So this quote really struck me, because by never taking that step, I am affirming my indecision to go forward in my career. But you know what? I want to go forward. I'm deciding that, here and now. Come Monday, I will be at Toast Masters. What step can you take today that will affirm to yourself and the Universe, 'YES, I have decided and I am clear and willing and ready to go!'
p.s. a little update: I went to my first Toast Masters! I was terrified and thrilled. I'll be posting a little story about how it went soon.
I was gifted a beautiful intentional exercise by my wild and lovely pal Nadya. Me – being me – took it a step further.
We were talking about making order out of seeming chaos, embracing the chaos and accepting that perhaps – just perhaps – layered under the mystery is a larger natural order. We also spoke of directed energy. Taking desires from a vision to an intent but – rather than focusing on the ‘thing’ – focusing on the qualities. The energy of the qualities imbued, given name – thus give form to formless energy. The outcome remains a mystery and therein lies all the fun. Seriously – isn’t it the anticipation of a gift that keeps us juiced rather than the gift itelf? Well – maybe not if we’re talking about shoes…
You’ll need time, a sharpie, and a place where rocks gather -
Each month on the 8th day the Infinity Wave Center is hosting a group meditation. It will always be on the 8th due to an 8 resembling the infinity symbol. This event is very informal but uses one of my favorite meditation tracks. Play the beautiful track below and feel the peace and harmony that resonates from it. AMA is a chant and a pure tone in the same vein as AUM, HU, or SHANTI. Hope Fitzgerald, the creator of this group meditation, says "Think of [AMA] as chi or kundalini with the added components of Empathy, Compassion and Love. As such, it is a perfect balance of Masculine/Feminine energies, emanating from the Earth itself."
This group meditation will occur at 5PM PST/ 8PM EST. Participation is simple, you can even do it from here. Play the track below and sing, chant or hum along at your local time. You can imagine your voice connecting with all the others doing this also, or just simply drift and allow the vibrations to ripple from you as they may. If you can't make it at the specific time, don't worry. Your intention to join is enough. Chanting/singing this out loud will send the vibration throughout your entire body and you will feel something very, very cool.
"When you transmit AMA, you will rise above your fear.
Click here to visit the Wave Center Page for this event and to read Hope's full description of AMA. You can also download this MP3 there for FREE to use for the rest of your life. I would highly encourage this because this track is so beautiful and you will really enjoy meditating to it. Please share this with anyone you think might enjoy the meditation track!
A few local times for this:
Honolulu: 2:00 PM on the 8th
Los Angeles/ San Francisco: 5:00 PM on the 8th
Denver: 6:00 PM on the 8th
New York: 8:00 PM on the 8th
London: 1:00 AM on the 9th
Paris/Amsterdam: 2:00 AM on the 9th
Istanbul: 3:00 AM on the 9th
Beijing: 8:00 AM on the 9th
Auckland: 12:00 PM on the 9th
by E.E. Cummings
If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn't a lie,
Life would be delight,--
But things couldn't go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn't be I.
If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I'd be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn't be you.
If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair,--
Yet they'd all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn't be we.
This week I would like to share the app Insight Timer.
Judie Hurtado mentioned this app on Facebook and I was instantly curious! It's free, easy to use and full of cool features. You can see how many other people are meditating when you log on and feel you are connecting to them. If you have ever joined a group meditation you know that what you feel is compounded and expanded as you experience meditation with others.
The first time I used it I meditated using one of the free guided meditations (yes, it comes with free guided meditations!). It was a beautiful meditation and one I would recommend to anyone. I was very impressed with the quality of it. Since then I've used the timer alone, which is the main feature of the app. You set your end time, maybe ten minutes, and which bell you'd like to chime for you at the end. It's also possible to set a bell or gong to chime once every minute or so. I love this feature as it's a wonderful way to graduate into meditating in quiet. This is something that will truly ground you in the present moment, and help you practice the famous "Mindfulness meditation" everyone is talking about. Usually, I play music or have a guided meditation going, so this app is really helping me expand and try new methods. What I love about this as just as my thoughts start to drift the gong will play, pulling me back into my mind, heart and body. It really does clear your mind, the sound reverberating throughout you. The timer is also a great way to take a nap and be gently reawoken. Please note some of these features are part of the upgrade, which is $2.99.
Whether you upgrade or not there are tons of cool features. It's possible to set a daily reminder, join group discussions and more. I customized it to give me the message, "Have a great day" after each meditation, which always puts a smile on my face. I sincerely wish this kind of app had been available when I began experimenting with meditation so many years ago. But it's here now and a big think you to Judie Hurtado for bringing it to my attention.
It's no secret that the words I AM are two of the most powerful in our language.
"I am successful" versus, "I am a failure" are two very different vibrations you use for or against yourself.
The other two words, which are utilized less often but I consider equally powerful, would be I CHOOSE. If you are feeling unempowered in your life, you might want to consider playing with the words "I choose." It will help you remember that no matter how weak and powerless you feel in your life, you really are choosing things, moment by moment.
As you realize you can and do make choices you will start to step back into your power, bit by bit, and before you know it you will be in a new, stronger, more empowered state of mind.
Maybe you have a co-worker who is a bully. They might say things that are aggressive or hurtful to you, and that's frustrating, but you cannot control them or their behavior. They are who they are and they are choosing to project their inner torment outwards.
You can, however, choose how you feel.
If said co-worker insults you and you feel ashamed by their words, you can at the very least say to yourself, "I choose how I'm feeling. That hurt me. That made me feel low. I can't change him/her. But I can know that I chose how to respond."
Then, take this choosing further. "I choose not to beat myself up because an angry person made me feel bad." Take a deep breath. "I choose not to linger in a place that makes me feel bad." Take a deep breath. "I choose to let that moment go. It's already over." Take a deep breath. "I choose to focus on what makes me feel good. I choose to look at this plant on my desk. I choose to enjoy my plant. Because I'm important, and how I feel is important."
And if you want to, keep going. It's a very simple yet effective way to remind yourself that no matter how crazy and hostile everyone is around you, you are empowered.
You can and do choose how you feel. Remembering and embracing this can lead to a freedom like you've never known.
Keep practicing "I choose" all day and you'll notice a difference. If you go the fridge for a snack, say to yourself, "I choose to eat now." If you have to pick your kids up from soccer practice but you're exhausted, once you're in the car say to yourself, "I'm tired. I could choose to stay home and nap. But I choose to go because I want to be there more than I want the consequences of not being there."
For all things big and small, do the "I choose" exercise and notice how your thinking and emotions start to change.
As you say "I choose" before each and every thing you do you will notice how many choices you make in a day. And as you notice those choices you will become aware of which ones benefit you and which ones create resistance in your life. Start now and make a habit of it.
I choose to read this blog because I am looking for more ease and grace in my life.
Single-celled algae that live in the ocean produce 70-80% of the world's oxygen.
I'd like to ask you to just think about that for a moment.
Think about one miniscule algae cell.
Is it important? Does it have value?
What about when it's joined with billions of others?
I love this fact about algae because it reminds me that nothing in this world is insignificant. Everything has value. Every last cell on this planet is important to the miraculous web we live in. If you are sitting around wondering if you have something of value to offer consider that you are infinitely more complex and dynamic than an algae cell.
One algae cell doesn't do much. But together? They keep life going. They are life. When you do things like join group meditations for peace you are joining together and creating something new, something that is made up of separate people but needs each person in order to happen. You don't have to join a group meditation to see your impact though. Each time you interact with someone, each time you smile at another and connect you are exercising the power that happens when individuals come together, even for a moment.
You might feel that alone, you don't do much. But you are part of the human collective. You are making an impact, whether you choose to see it or not. You are more dynamic, complex, and interesting than a single-celled algae. Never, ever let anyone (and this includes yourself) tell you that you are worthless. Every single drop counts. Every single cell of your body was created for a purpose. You were created for a purpose. Every drop is a part of something bigger.
My friend posted this photo of a baby snail she found and I fell in love with it.
It reminded me how beautiful, perfect and important the small things are, and is this one ever small! This baby snail could be a nice little meditation break. Relax your focus, look at the snail, and breathe deep. Notice any thoughts that come up for you.
For me, looking at this little snail reminded me of the importance of honoring the beginning of a project.
So often, I set a goal for myself and focus on the end result. I forget to bring my focus in closer, to take notice of the journey that will get me there. And when I don't get that result right away, I get frustrated, anxious and even depressed.
I forget that all things in life, whether it be a weight loss goal, a business goal, or anything else, is created from a series of small steps. Each day we make choices that seem small and insignificant. But it's those small choices that dictate whether or not we will reach big things.
Today, I encourage you to not only meditate on the snail, but reflect on the projects that are tender little babies in their own fragile shells. Are you giving them a chance to grow, or are you dismissing them because they're still in their birthing phase?
Wherever you are, give yourself credit for all you've already done and know that you'll get where you want. Think over what your journey has been and ask yourself if there are little things you didn't appreciate in the moment, things that weren't the end results, but perhaps important on their own.