A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Liz Gilbert speak at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. It was a conversation guided by Lisa Congdon, a fine print and graphic artist. As I post more quotes and selections from her talk, I'll be tagging them all under Elizabeth Gilbert for easy finding.
We live in a culture that really celebrates fearlessness.
All the language around fear is this very Navy Seal kind of like 'Kick fear in the ass! Punch it in the face! Show it who's boss!' It so violent. And I know that anything in my life that I have ever fought, has fought me back. Anything.
Anyone, anything that I've ever fought - it's like a rule - you punch and you get punched right back. Anytime I've ever tried to punch out fear, it roars up and reminds me quite thoroughly that it's stronger than me. And so, with fear, I approach it as a befriending.
The difference between fearlessness and courage is fearlessness is "I feel nothing." And courage is "I feel everything and I'm doing this anyway."
At this point, fear for me is an emotion where I'm like, "Hello old friend, you again? Come in, have a seat!" I just let it be there in the room.
I allow myself to recognize that the reason it's there is because evolutionary development taught us that anything that is unknown might kill us. And creativity is always unknown. So anytime you embark on any creativity, you're entering into a landscape where you do not know how it's going to end. Your fear thinks, this literally means we're all going to die in a blood bath. You could be writing a poem and your fear is like "We're going to DIE!"
And so there's a lot of tenderness that I have towards fear. I say to it, "just some trying some free verse. So far no one's died from this." But it doesn't know what it is, and so it just gets freaked out. What it needs is to be included and loved, and not fought.
To be more childlike, you don't have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.
- Wayne Dyer
I don't know about you, but this year has felt especially cold and dark. I am so ready for the days to get longer and brighter!
To celebrate tonight's solstice, I'm going to 108 Sun Salutations. I've done this event before during the summer solstice, and wrote about the experience here. I've since done it one other time, and this will be my first time doing it as one year closes and another prepares to begin.
I've also been preparing for this solstice by doing my Winter Healing meditation. This meditation is wonderful for releasing the old, preparing for the new, and rejuvenating your spirits. You will finish it feeling refreshed and ready to go forward motivated and energized.
And a quick reminder - I'm running a numerology special in the store. Hop on over to see what it is!
A New Year is almost upon us. You're doing a great job! All you've been working towards will soon be flourishing in your life. Stop on by the store and find the free gift I'm offering!
You do not understand the dimensions into which your own thoughts drop, for they continue their own existences, and others look up to them and view them like stars. I am telling you that your own dreams and thoughts and mental actions appear to the inhabitants of other systems like the stars and planets within your own; and those inhabitants do not perceive what lies within and behind the stars in their own heavens.
— Jane Roberts & Seth
The "Unknown" Reality Volume 2
Section 4: Session 713 October 21, 1974
The term "monkey mind" has become synonymous with worrying, anxiety, and an addiction to business. It's essentially a mind at the opposite of stillness.
Ever since I first heard the phrase "monkey mind" I disliked it. For one, it didn't make any sense to me. Monkeys are by nature playful, curious, and spirited. When I'm spiraling down in negative thinking, the last thing I associate that with is monkeys. In fact, I would rather have a monkey mind, because I'd be far more likely to go play and stop worrying so much!
As I was talking to a friend the other day, this expression "monkey mind" came up as I was about to say I was wrestling with my thoughts. Since I'm not a fan of the phrase, I got all jumbled up, and ended up saying,
"I'm wrestling the monkey!"
After I said it I began laughing. This, for me, felt like a much more apt metaphor for what I was feeling. I could see how when I'm wrestling with worry, what I'm wrestling with is something that is by nature care-free and happy.
My mind, when not engaged with worry and doubt, is naturally playful and curious. All of ours are. We know this because we were all once playful and curious children.
So when I begin obsessing over worrisome things, fighting with my anxiety, or thinking about all the things that happened ten years ago, and might happen ten years from now, I am basically grabbing a part of myself and engaging it in battle. All these thoughts want is to be set free and to be able to return to their carefree and curious state.
Now, when I catch myself wrestling with my thoughts and feelings, I imagine I'm wrestling a monkey. This always makes me laugh, because it's such a funny visual. Once I get myself to smile, I'm already feeling better.
Then I acknowledge that the thoughts don't want to be wrestling with me anymore than a monkey does. All the thoughts really want are to be set free, so they can play and find solutions in the way the mind does best - through feelings of ease, joy, and freedom.
I don't know about you, but I've never solved any of my problems by wrestling with the monkey.
The next time you find yourself obsessing over things you can't control, spiraling into negative thinking, or just feeling like you're fighting with your own well-being, imagine you're wrestling a monkey. It will hopefully make you laugh, which will break the tension. It will also put into perspective how hard it is to get perspective when you're fully engaged in the inner-battle.
In the same way a monkey would get tired if you never let it rest and always wrestled with it, so too does your spirit. Your spirit is tired. It wants to rest. It wants to let go of all that stuff you're fighting with. So just let it go. Let the monkey go. Repeat after me.
Do not wrestle the monkey.
The monkey will thank you. And since the monkey is just a metaphor for your thoughts, you will thank you. You will return to wholeness. And you will find what you need, which is so hard to see when you're neck deep in monkey fur, trying to wrestle the poor thing to the ground.
Every morning after I wake up, I tell myself the Universe loves me. I say it in my mind, slow and soft. The Universe loves me.
As I wake up more, I take some deep breaths. I then remind myself that everything in this Universe was created from one source. I remind myself that this is more than a spiritual philosophy, but a fact.
The entire Universe, at one time, was compacted down into one primordial atom.
Everything that the Universe would be was in that atom. It all exploded outwards in what we call the Big Bang, and as those original elements sped outwards they crashed into each other, creating new elements, and fusing together to become stars.
From those stars, even more fusing and birthing happened, and somehow, in stars that died billions of years ago, a chain of events began that would lead to me.
The Universe loves me.
I remind myself each morning of the cosmic beauty of this world and this Universe. This Universe that I am a part of.
I remind myself of the vastness, of the power of it all, and how it's all love. It all came from one source. It always has been love. Always will be. And all of that out there, it sees me with as much wonder, awe and love as I see it.
And then I remind myself, that every single person who walks on this Earth was created from that love also.
The Universe loves me.
And all the people with me? They're the Universe too. In the same way I look out at stars and see the Universe, what's out there can look back at us and see the Universe also. So if the Universe loves me, and people are the Universe, then everyone in this world must love me also.
The Universe loves us.
Which isn't to say everyone likes me. Nor that everyone approves of me or even wants me here. That's a different subject all together. It's only to say that within each person is a cosmic love, a love tied to the primordial atom from which everything originated. The essence of every person is tied to creation, and that creation is love.
People are love. People are the Universe.
The Universe loves me.
Then I remind myself that every tree I see, every strip of concrete, every house, every bird, every star in the night sky, it all came from that same powerful, intensely hot and mystical singular source of energy and matter.
It all came from that one source of love, and it all loves me, because it all is love. It's not that the trees and the birds choose to love me. They just are love. They were once the Oneness as much as I was. It's all love.
Love is radiating from the core of everything. It's up to me whether I decide to focus on that or not.
I used to wake up and focus on worry.
I worried about what negative things people would say. If they would like my creative projects. If they would yell at me and make me want to retreat inside of myself. I worried people would offer me opportunities, only to decide later I wasn't good enough and then rip them away. I worried about things hurting me, physically and emotionally.
I looked out at the world and the Universe and I did not see love. I saw only things to be afraid of.
When that worry starts to creep back in, I breathe in I am the Universe, and I breathe out The Universe is Me.
The Universe loves me.
It also loves you, and you are love.
Which means, because you, at your core are love, you naturally attract love to you. It's harder for you to conjure up thoughts and feelings that reject love because that's like swimming up a river. So if you aren't feeling the love, if you're feeling sad, afraid or worried, take a deep breath, and know, the Universe loves you.
Everyone and everything around you, in its cosmic core, loves you. Relax, let go and fall inwards to your core, into the love. It's already there. Breathe into it.
The Universe loves me.
Miracles happen everyday. Change your perception of what a miracle is and you'll see them all around you.
- Jon Bon Jovi
During the holiday season, people tend to talk about miracles.
Sometimes it's in a joking way, like they'll get the last parking spot and say, "It's a Christmas miracle!" Sometimes it's in a fond way, as they think of all the blessings in their life. Or maybe they just think of all those Hallmark movies that have a miraculous ending (did you see the one about a woman who crawled through a dryer to a parallel universe? It's my favorite).
Whatever it is, we talk a lot about miracles during this time of year. But do we actually see them? Is it real? Or is it just a thing we do in December, like the same way we hang lights?
Perhaps miracles are just another holiday concept we'll box up and forget about until next year...
Or maybe not.
I've shared two blog posts before on miracles, and I have to tell you, they're still two of my favorites posts. So much so I re-read them myself.
The first one, The Miracle of the Diaries, is about the only story I've ever heard that's a real life, I can't explain this, the only way this happened is divine intervention miracle. The first time I heard it I was listening to a podcast and I was so moved I ran home to write a post about it. I had to share this story. It was powerful and beautiful and best of all, real.
The second one, Expect Miracles, is the inverse of the first. It's not a big story at all. In fact, it's about the small miracles that are all around us. It's about how the entire world conspires together to make even the smallest things come together in your life. It looks at how miraculous are world really is, and I promise you, you'll never look at a cup of coffee the same way after.
I hope you enjoy these posts on miracles. And wherever you are, whatever your beliefs, I wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Every cell of my body is a cell flush with Divinity.
There was never a moment I became divine.
My divinity is infinite.
It never started, and it can never end.
I was created that way, and I shall always be that way.
Nothing can change this, and if it seems it has, it's only an illusion.
I was created from a single cell, and in that cell was all the cosmic love and magnificence of all the Universe.
From that single, divine cell, I grew into hundreds, and then thousands, and then billions of cells. Each one divine. Each one created from the same Source as the first. Each one mystical. Each one as valuable and spectacular as the stars in the sky.
With each cell, my Divinity expanded with me.
When I took my first breath, I breathed as a divine being, and the Divine breathed with me.
The Source of Creation did not stay in some parts and not others.
There was no part of me that separated from the divine Source of all of that is.
If it seems some parts are separate, it is only an illusion.
There is divinity in every cell of my body.
I am a holy temple.
Each breath I take is a breath of divinity.
There is nothing in the Universe more holy, more divine, than my own Self.
There is divinity in every cell of my body
If there's one thing I've learned in my life, it's that a truly self-empowered state comes from feeling, with my whole body and soul, that the Universe sees me as a vital part of it.
When I feel into how much the Universe loves me, how it just knows it would be incomplete without me, I feel how truly loved and supported I am.
I feel the love in my heart, the love that connects me to all the beautiful things I dream of. I feel All That Is shining onto me, and I feel myself shining back. As we commune and I drop my walls I feel like I'm coming home. I feel the power of higher dimensions of consciousness guiding me, wanting me to succeed.
They want me to feel happy and expanded and safe and powerful because I am as important to to the Universe as the whole Universe is to me.
If one cell in my body, one single cell, fell into dis-ease I would give it unconditional love and support. I would send it waves of love, nourish it with good food, drink plenty of water, and all in hopes that it returned to health and harmony. I would do this, because it is a part of me, each cell is vital in making me whole.
You are the same to the Universe. The Universe wants you to be happy, healthy and whole because without you, it's incomplete.
When I feel into that, into the knowing that vast and powerful resources are asking, begging, pleading with me to stop trying so hard and to let them help, I feel empowered.
I feel it as I go about my day. I don't have to think it or affirm it or keep reminding myself of it. Whenever I feel lost, alone, sad or scared I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and I feel that the atoms of my body are composed of the same material as the stars. Then I feel the cosmic connection I have to those stars, and then I feel the power, the literal power of all that mass, all that hydrogen burning and churning and crushing down on a core so hot it lights up entire worlds.
This state of empowerment within me feels like warmth. It feels like ease. It feels good. Really, really good. And that's all being self-empowered is. Feeling good from within.
If you would like to tune into this feeling further, my Self-Empowerment meditation will take you on a journey to your cosmic core, to the You that is fully connected to your true magnificence and power.
You are the universe, you aren't in the universe.
- Eckhart Tolle
Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.
- Ben Franklin
In my guided meditation Expect Miracles I ask you to start looking for miracles everywhere in your daily life.
The more you see miracles, the more you will believe in them and the more they will show up. It's using the basic Universe principle energy flows where attention goes. When you think about something, and you feel good about it, it makes an energetic connection in the quantum field, which then manifests that thing in your physical life.
In other words, get excited about the miraculous nature of life and your life will become miraculous.
Asking you to start looking for miracles everywhere can seem like a high order. Who in this world of struggle and conflict sees miracles all the time? All of us. It's simply a matter of changing your perspective. Miracles really are around us all the time, so long as we're willing to see them.
For real? I mean really. I'm just sitting here drinking my coffee. How is that miraculous?
The real question is, how is not?
Let's imagine you've just gotten a cup of joe from your favorite coffee shop. You're walking out with a paper cup full of piping hot dark roast. Let's take a look at that simple paper cup that's so magically holding your liquid from sloshing to the ground. And I do mean magically. Do you know that the atoms that compose you, me, cups, everything, never touch each other? That's right, it's an illusion. Between every single atom is an imperceptible cushion of space.
The fact that the cup appears solid, and that your hand holding it appears solid, is one of the miraculous illusions of this world.
How does this happen? When atoms reach a certain point, they are no longer attracted to each other, but start to experience repulsion. The closer they get the stronger this repelling force is. Which means the more you try to force them together the stronger the force is pushing them apart. How strong? Stronger than any force we're capable of producing here on this Earth. Which means that two of the most microscopic building blocks of life area capable of exerting more strength, more POWER, than the strongest person alive.
The smallest pieces of this world contain power. That in itself is rather miraculous. You are created of those pieces. You are created of billions and billions of powerful atoms, atoms which are working in their own divinely intelligent and miraculous way to keep you together - or at least, seemingly together. Let's not forget those atoms like their space.
So this cup you have is kind of amazing, and we've barely scratched the surface of its fascinating makeup.
If you collapsed the empty space of a cup and somehow overpowered those powerful atoms, the actual dense matter of your cup would be less than a fraction of a grain of sand.
Along with there being space around atoms, there is also space within the atoms. Around each nucleus, electron and proton is also space. A lot of it. The world is much less dense than it appears. We just take for granted that the way our eyes process reality is the whole story.
It's not. Far from it.
Now we're starting to understand how wild and strange your cup is. But we should go deeper. Let's consider the material that makes up the cup and take a look at this paper receptacle. Paper's not special, right? Okay it's got that weird space between the atoms thing going on, but beside that, it's just paper.
Is anything just anything? Where did the paper actually come from? It didn't just appear as a cup in the coffee shop.
It had to start as a tree. A tree has a protective layer of bark, which acts like your own skin, protecting its interior from the outside elements. It also has a system of veins that run sap up and down it in order to nourish the tree, much like your own blood system. A tree is a living, breathing part of this world. It's not just a tree.
But how do we even have trees that can be turned into paper? Where did the first tree come from?
In 2007, tree stumps that were 385 million years old were uncovered. Trees have been living and evolving on this earth longer than any human ancestor. A lot longer. About 379 million years longer. When you stand before a tree, you stand before something that connects back to a time that we know almost nothing about. The trees connect back to the mysterious and miraculous birth of life as we know it.
There's more to it than that. Trees are grown in special harvesting places called managed timberlands. The logs are shipped to sawmills for processing... oh but wait, that's not simple either. What are the trucks made of that ship the logs?
What about the person who drives the truck, the person who can never be again and was never before? That special person who is them self a cosmic mystery.
The tires for the truck had to be made, the metal was made somewhere. All of these separate parts of the earth turned into a truck, so that someone could ship logs to a processing plant to make paper.
And then there's the wax that lines the cup, which has its own mind boggling story of how it came to be. Nothing in this world is simple. Everything is connected to everything else. Those trees that make the paper? They were nourished by the water that cycles through the sky and earth, by the soil that has been on this planet for billions of years. When you hold paper, you hold something that is connected to all of time and creation on this planet. It's that amazing.
To say that the entire world conspires together to make a little cup that holds your coffee would be true. If that isn't miraculous, I don't know what is. Not to mention the fact that we've already established the cup itself, with all its space filled atoms, is miraculous in nature.
And that's just the cup. We didn't even get into the coffee inside of it. When you sip coffee, you sip something that is only made possible by a complex and fascinating series of events. It's something that passed through the hands of people half a world away, was shipped by fuels that came from inside the earth and was brewed by somebody who is made from the same materials as the stars in the sky.
Everything in this world can be looked at in this way. Including you. Maybe even especially you.
There are miracles all around us. Life is the miracle. You are a miracle.
It's often just a matter of change in perception to see how miraculous this life and world are. Why not take a moment and marvel at what's happening all around you right now? As I said in the beginning of this blog post, that which is like itself will be drawn to itself. Think about miracles, notice them, and notice how your life changes.
Take a deep breath
Let it out slowly
Feel your body move with the breath
Take another breath, feeling your whole body move and respond.
Notice your shoulders rise with the in breath,
and your stomach shrink with the out breath.
Each breath is a moment of freedom
It's a moment to feel your body rising and falling as it responds to you.
You choose to breathe, and so you breathe.
Whenever you feel you've lost control, that you are no longer the director of your life, return to your breath. Only you can make you breathe. Only you can stop your breath.
I choose now to breathe in.
I choose now to breathe out.
Each deep breath is a moment of your own design.
You command yourself to breathe and so you breathe.
Breathe in the freedom of this beautiful union between mind and body.
Breathe in the intimacy that is shared only by your own Self.
Breathe and know that freedom is always just a breath away.
When you return to your breath, you return to your point of power.
From there, you recenter with all the power, energy, and help that the whole Universe has available to you.
You are powerful
You are breathing as one with the Universe
You are the Universe breathing
I breathe in, the Universe breathes in
I breathe out, the Universe breathes out
I am the Universe
Breathe and know that all is well.
You got this.
Last night, I had the immense pleasure of hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak. Ladies and gents, this woman is a legend. I heard so many insightful and thought provoking quotes.
The entire show was recorded as a podcast by the Nourse theater. I'm going to listen to it and pull out my favorite quotes over the coming week. To get you started, here's one I kept thinking about on the way
A common obstacle to having more ease and grace in our lives is believing we don't have time to pause and center.
However, taking a moment while at your desk to focus on an uplifting, empowering thought could completely shift your day for the better. Below are some quick and easy mini-meditations to use for various situations.
As you read a specific affirmation, slow down your breathing. Put your shoulders back, soften your face, and relax and ease into the words, letting them flow over you. You deserve a break. You deserve to feel good. This moment of ease is here for you.
Take some slow, deep breaths, find the words you need, and read them a few times in your mind.
I release my need to rush and feel impatient, as that creates stress in my body. I am a beloved being who thrives when I am feeling my best.
For my own highest good, I relax into the present moment. I ground into my heart and feel into the infinite wisdom there that tells me all is well.
I slow down, breathe, and nourish my soul. I breathe in and restore my energy. I breathe out and release the stress. All is well.
I am a cosmic being, infinite and connected to every star in the Universe. Abundance is as natural to me as a summer field full of wild flowers.
Although I can't see it, I am connected to endless possibilities. With each breath, I am breathing with the energy of All That Is. I am taken care of, I am supported, and I am free to create my life anew in every moment.
Courage to Change
Change is the most natural thing in the world to me. In every moment, I am breathing in a new breath. In every moment, my body is regenerating. There is nothing static about me.
The world around me is changing too. Seeds are sprouting. Clouds are passing. The world is turning. I flow with it all, because change is the most natural thing in the world to me.
In each moment, I am thinking new thoughts, and these thoughts will naturally evolve my life in brilliant and unimaginable ways. As I think, so do I change. It's so effortless, I hardly even notice I'm doing it.
There is a power inside of me that can never be broken or taken from me. It is the power that is in each atom of my body. It is the power that comes from knowing my atoms are connected to my source of creation.
I was created from the mystical source of Love and Divinity that breathed life into the whole Universe.
I am the Universe.
There is nothing around me nor in this world that could ever overpower the Universe.
I am the Universe.
Deep down in my core, the primordial source of everything beats within my soul. This can never be taken from me, and it can never be destroyed. When I feel lost and alone, I return to that hot, pulsating source of life. It is within me now, beating with my own heart and whispering to me, I am the Universe.
If you enjoy these affirmations, please share with others who might also!