A Bigger Universal Perspective… Think Like a Hawk

Imagine yourself sitting on the ground. You lift up a large stone & there before you exposed for your observation are a myriad of smaller life forms… bugs, worms, snails, slugs & the like… all busily…even frenetically going about their business of living their lives in their earthly environment. The closer you look, the more you tap into how each species performs their tasks for survival as well as how they interact with each other in a more communal way.
Now picture yourself as a hawk… gliding along on the wind currents… ever aware & observant from high above all that is going on below. The hawk is capable of seeing exactly what it needs to see from great distances. It doesn’t need to tune into all the details… only those which support its own life & true survival.
Nature is a wonderful & wise teacher… microcosm/ macrocosm. When we fallible humans get caught up in the “emotionality” of a situation, it then becomes very difficult to access it with the clarity needed to find a viable solution. “Emotion” is about feeling… something we need to be able to connect with to be healthy & well-rounded. It comes from a natural tendency & need to give & receive. “Emotionality” on the other hand, is about drama & being triggered into a reaction to something that has wounded us prior to that. Operating from that vantage point never serves us well so it’s important to recognize the difference.
If we can learn to mentally stand back out of the chaos that so often permeates life & observe it from a more Universal vantage point, we automatically give ourselves the gift of seeing any given situation with much more clarity & truth. It also allows us to see a new perspective in relation to the level of importance we tend to assign things out of misplaced emotion, something by the way… the animal kingdom never does. What may have appeared to be much more important when we’re right in the middle of it often is merely a drop in the bucket when we consider the bigger picture, especially when we can let go of our fear & ego & see it for what is really is.
That my friends, is a recipe for true freedom & peace of mind & when all else fails, just remember… this too shall pass.

Get Curious… Remember…

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There Are Reasons and There Are Excuses…

Whenever I hear someone say… “Yes… but…” I automatically realize that person has no intention of changing their mind on that particular subject. From that point on, the wall goes up & the open-minded listening ceases to exist.

At the end of the day, every single one of us has the power to be our own jail-keeper… or not. Even a prisoner in shackles has the ability to choose his attitude & our thoughts absolutely create our realities. I remember times in my own life as a still-dependent kid when I was (op)pressed at such a level that I would say to myself… “You may be able to control what I do & where I go but you will NEVER control my thoughts! Nobody can take that from me.” Survival…

Every moment we have choices and the cause & effect of those choices puts us squarely where we find ourselves at any given time. This is by a much bigger design and unless we can sincerely own our own stuff, we remain stuck in an endless cycle of dysfunction. The requirement for breaking free is insisting our egos take a backseat.

There will always be reasons for everything & as inconvenient & untidy as it can sometimes be, there’s often more than one for any given issue. Humans tend to prefer neat, tidy, black & white packages but the world we live in is a spectrum of shades of gray… always. This is where the realist & the idealist part ways. In the end though, it’s a lot less stress to lean toward being realistic because we can waste a lot of valuable time sitting there staring at a rock and wishing it was a flower. Sadly, some people waste a lifetime that way.

The definition of a “reason” is a judgment of what is right, practical or possible; in essence, common sense. An “excuse” is defined as a release from a duty; an attempt to lesson blame. I’ve always found the TRUTH lies somewhere in the middle each time which requires us to first look at our part in it, own it, learn from it & then let go of the rest. The ONLY thing we really have control over is ourselves. It is & always will be an inside job!

 

                                                                             

                                                                                            GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER…

We First Have to Recognize Who We Aren’t In the Process of Discovering Who We Really Are

Face painted like earth

We’re birthed into this world as perfect beings coming into our bodies & respective lives to learn the lessons we’ve chosen to learn in order to continue our personal & spiritual growth. Upon our arrival, a “veil” covers our memories of where we just came from & who we truly are.

We then become human “works-in-progress” & embark on our individual studies at the “University of Life” whether we know it or not. The tough part is by our very nature, we don’t learn when things are easy & going splendidly.

When life becomes hard however, it tends to humble us & we’re better able to look beyond our egos & go within ourselves. We often develop a sense of longing for a connection to something much bigger than we are. The greater the pain, the bigger the lesson & some of us seem to think we need to learn things the hard way (just another limiting belief).

Universal God/ Goddess energy is very real & with it comes a great amount of Wisdom. Knowledge feeds our brains as we learn on a linear level but Wisdom must be earned by experience… much harder & but also infinitely more rewarding. The key is learning to be aware enough to recognize it when it crosses our paths. We have to learn to live in a more conscious way.

It’s easy to unconsciously accept what we’re told as innocent children growing up… by our parents & families… our extended community… our peers we want to fit in with. At those young ages, our survival depends on others. We gradually begin to believe our illnesses, issues, habits, belief systems, etc. are all simply part of who we are. In actuality though, nothing could be further from the Truth! They’re nothing more than lessons put in front of us to teach us something. Once the lesson is learned, it’s no longer necessary to have it in our lives & as a healer, I routinely see “miracles” occur. It’s about getting to the CAUSE… not trying to put a band-aid on the symptom.

To recognize & get beyond this, we each have to get curious enough to seek our own, individual truths. As well-meaning as others in our lives may have been, nobody has the right to decide another person’s path for them… NO ONE! Divine Free Will is our own gift & it exists for a reason.

When you take time to concertedly ponder it, just how often do you find yourself “tucking in” what you say or do to avoid making waves in an effort to keep the peace? Or maybe you fear being judged, ridiculed or shamed? Do you ever feel you’re being loved “in spite” of who you are… not “because” of who you are? These types of things are precisely the “in-authentic” issues that not only feel awful but also aren’t serving us in a Higher Way.

How do we break free of these limitations? PERCEPTION is the first place to begin. If 10 people stood in the same place at the same time & had the same experience, all 10 of them could & would likely have 10 different opinions & descriptions. Each of them would be basing their thinking on their own, individual, past experiences which formed the way they see the world they live in.

Soooo… reality is actually only a personal matter & another person’s opinion is just that… THEIR opinion… not the last word! It takes courage & effort to look honestly at ourselves & learn to recognize what doesn’t feel good or positive about ourselves. Those things either aren’t authentically us or they’re things we need to look at & change. Either way, it’s something we have to do to grow & expand. If it isn’t good for us, it ultimately isn’t good for anyone or anything else either.

I’ve learned that TRUE Freedom is an inside job. We can’t control what’s coming at us on an on-going, daily basis. The key is learning to control how we react to it & not giving our Power away to someone else’s idea of what we should or shouldn’t be.

There’s no greater joy than living our own lives in a sincere way that feeds us on deeper levels & by surrounding ourselves with situations & people who see, love & value us for who we are. At the core of every human being is the innate need to be valued for taking up space in this world & to be part of a bigger “community” of Love & Support. It’s what gives us our humanity, joy & compassion & without it, we become disabled in sharing our gifts, talents & Wisdom with others.

                                           GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER…

Experiencing Life Through the Perspective of Another

 

On my second trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica with a humanitarian, dental, non-profit organization called Great Shape/ 1000 Smiles, I again found myself working in a remote, jungle community called Walkerswood at the local school… in fact, the only school. It was a series of small, run-down, dirt-floored buildings joined together by sidewalks, metal bars in the glassless windows & surrounded by a rough-shod playground.

The kids, who ranged in age from 5 through 17, were more than curious as we hauled in box after box of dental equipment & chairs. They couldn’t wrap their minds around our odd ways either, whether it was petting or talking to the myriad of poor, starving dogs everywhere or wincing at the sight of bug-covered food that they would eat without a second thought… bugs & all.

Although the principal & staff cared greatly for these children, they were very strict about manners, obedience & the effort they put into their studies. I was even asked to speak at their monthly PTA meeting! The parents initially had a difficult time believing we would actually volunteer to take  time away from our own jobs & families & pay our own airfare to come there & not want something in return. Their own survival had always depended on having to hold so tightly onto anything they could get.

It was also an expectation throughout the community that if someone’s child was caught misbehaving, whichever neighbor happened to see them could take it upon themselves to mete out punishment which often included hitting them… the old “spare the rod… spoil the child” mentality.

The second day there, I met a teenage girl, Dana… 15 years old… who lived nearby. Her developmentally disabled brother attended the school & although she was no longer a student there herself, she could often be found helping with him or just hanging around. Her mother was a local healer… a very spiritual, church-going woman who was well-liked & respected in the community.

As we struck up a conversation, I asked why she wasn’t in school. She had attended previously & had actually been a very good student. At some point though, she’d come down with an auto-immune disorder which slowly robbed her of her ability to function. Often exhausted, she would ask the teacher to be excused. Her mother, being very concerned, had taken her to various local healers with no luck. She was finally able to get a clear diagnosis from a medical center some distance away.

Unfortunately because of the culture there & a lack of understanding, that explanation wasn’t well-received by the school staff. Assuming she was just being lazy, her teachers became so hard on her she eventually dropped out of altogether. Fortunately by the time we met, her symptoms had begun to go into remission & her strength & energy were slowly returning.

Since we were short-handed, this seemed like an ideal opportunity to have her work with us as a team member & build her self-esteem at the same time… a win-win! She seemed to have a natural aptitude for dentistry & before long she was performing a number of tasks quite well. The change in her demeanor was palatable & it did my heart good to see her confidence in herself grow.

Each year as our trip came to an end & we prepared to go back home, there was always a dinner back at the hotel to say “thank-you” to everyone who had participated & give them a chance to say their good-byes to so many they had developed strong bonds with. Everyone shared how much it had meant to them to really be able to help but they also felt they’d received so much more in return.

Our team invited Dana to come spend the night at the hotel in my room so she could attend the dinner & with her mother’s permission, she excitedly agreed. I knew this would be a great experience for her but I had no idea what an adventure it would be as well… for both of us…

She arrived carrying a change of clothes and an old, ragged towel in a paper bag. I explained it wasn’t necessary for her to bring her own towel as the hotel supplied them for their guests. I then told her to go ahead & feel free to take the first shower. She headed into the bathroom as my roommate & I took that time to kick back after a long, hot day.

About 20 minutes later, out she walked… tears in her eyes… red blotches all over her skin. Surprised & concerned, I asked her what was wrong. “I tried to stay under the spout” she said “but the water was just SO hot, I couldn’t stand it anymore!” To my dismay, I realized she had never been in a shower with hot & cold running water before.  I thought about how naïve I’d been not to realize that. Most Jamaicans shower in rainwater they trap in vats on their roofs. It’s a tropical climate so water heaters aren’t used, even though there are days I’m sure it’s chilly. They simply can’t afford the electricity or plumbing.

I apologetically explained the situation to her & helped her get ready for dinner, all the while trying to ease her extreme nervousness.  By the time we got to dinner & seated ourselves, the poor thing looked like she was going to pass out!

As our dinners were served, I noticed one of the Jamaican waiters standing by the wall near our table, quietly & quickly came over to her, placed her napkin in her lap for her & showed her the silverware. Once again, I realized she had never been to a restaurant… never experienced the nuances of having her glass filled with water or ordering from a menu. Again, I felt like I’d failed her in not being aware enough of the circumstances she came from. No wonder she was so anxious!

There are many people who live in the U.S. who also go without these things as well but even more Jamaicans do. So many of us in this country are so blessed to have enough to eat, a place to sleep, a chance for an education, clothing, charitable organizations who are available to make up the difference & opportunities for some type of dental & medical care should an emergency arise at least. We can’t know what we haven’t yet learned & sometimes it’s easy to forget to appreciate what we haven’t had to go without.

Gratitude is our gift to ourselves & to the collective because if we can’t see our own reasons to be grateful, we’re not near as likely to be there to support & empower others.

                                                 GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER…

 

 

 

 

The Physics of Humor

I became acutely aware a few years ago of just how powerful laughter can be. As with everything in this Universe, humor has its own vibration. Higher, lighter, positive things have a higher vibration while just the opposite is true of denser negativity in any form.

As a shamanic healer, I’ve trained in various modalities but the core of my training the past 13 years came from a fairly large community of healers from the US and Canada. After reaching a colleague status as a faculty member with this particular group, each healer is invited to attend a yearly, 9-day conference in Canada where we collectively learn & work experientially on far-reaching projects in service to our own personal growth, each other & the wellness of our planet.

Although we have our own, individual experiences there, I can tell you housing that many lit-up Healers & Light-Workers under one roof or via the phone (often 200+) for that many days packs a very powerful energetic punch! It allows us to do some wonderful work but it’s also one, eye-opening way to learn about the negative energies that exist was well & how hard they can work to stop large gatherings like this & the Light they bring in.

The older levels in this training spend a great deal of effort building energetic constructs well ahead to shield & protect us all from this type of interference. We each also do our own work. I’ve witnessed & had amazing & often terrifying experiences during this gathering. That’s why healers need to be aware & diligent about understanding what this calling requires for their own safety. That especially applies for a shaman. As near as I can figure, I seemed to get hit with these types of things more than most. But that’s another whole story…

As a large group, upon arriving in the conference area each day along with all of our other safe-guards, we included PLENTY of laughter. There are those who seemed to have missed their callings as stand-up comics. We’ve laughed there… on outings… among ourselves & with our peers… It was a big part of the week… not forced in any way… just “on time”.  Initially I thought it was simply a group of people who enjoyed each other & loved having fun. It didn’t take me long to realize that although that was true, it also had another very specific purpose.

 

As “tuned-in” as we are so well-trained to be, when we sense any dark energy pushing in, we also feel the lightness of our humor & laughter which almost immediately dispels it. For several years as I traversed through an often terrifying & unexpected “initiation” into shamanism, I used this very real form of “protection” many times.

Humor & the laughter that usually accompanies it benefit us on many other levels as well. On our physical, it releases our “feel-good” brain-chemicals, endorphins which raise our immune systems, boost our energy & protect us from stress. Additionally, our neuro-pathways are formed by the quality of our thoughts & our actions… and repetition.

On a mental & emotional level, anxiety can be a pre-cursor to many things. Relieving stress helps us relax & enables us to gain a wider perspective beyond the confines of only that which we’re upset about. We stop taking ourselves too seriously. Of course, there’s a monumental difference between laughing “at” & laughing “with” ourselves or anyone else. The latter is only a matter of letting go of our limiting egos!

Laughter feeds our ability to strengthen relationships, work as a team-member & attract others. People by nature gravitate toward positivity. It symbiotically feeds them & creates an up-spiral of energy.

So… how does one go about learning to laugh if we’re having trouble seeing the humor in our lives? Shift your perspective. Watching the antics of our pets or children is one great way which allows us a gold-mine of opportunities. Every year on their birthdays, I give my now adult daughters a kid’s toy… something fun that I remember playing with (& still do…)… silly putty… bug-catchers… balls & paddles… yo-yos… kites… you get the idea. Go outside & play… take a walk… connect up with Mama Gaia… go to an art museum… read a great book… remember to let your inner kid out… You know… the innocent one who just wanted to be a kid… even if only for a while. If you weren’t fortunate enough to have that experience or simply can’t remember, just go watch a group of kids or dogs for a while at a park… on a playground… etc. It’s infectious.

Honor yourself. It’s never too late to meet up with your inner-kid! After all… that’s who we all were early on before we got saddled with those “life-lessons” we’re all familiar with. There’s great wisdom in immaturity at that age!

                                         GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER…

 

How Do You Define Intelligence?

 

Many people think of intelligence as our brain-based I.Q.  Although helpful & necessary for linear information, it’s only 1/3 of the entire equation…

How many times in your life have you noticed someone you considered to be intellectually bright & talented yet unable to maintain personal or business relationships? If they’re in positions of authority… managers, CEOs… teachers… parents… partners… friends… this definitely makes for a miserable & destructive atmosphere.

Without empathetic wisdom… instead of empowering others through good communication, they tend to deplete & undermine them. Regardless of their ability to understand & pull off the day-to-day tasks, they don’t have the ability to relate to or understand those they share their homes, work-spaces & lives with. After all, we get back what we put out there at the end of the day…

Sometimes it actually becomes harder for someone with a gifted MENTAL I.Q. to even understand the concept of this. Because things always came so easily for them in their heightened intellectual capacity, they become accustomed to feeling superior. Their egos disable them from being able to humble themselves enough to seek or recognize what they’re missing. Certainly, this doesn’t apply to every person of high intelligence. I’ve know many wonderful, very compassionate, gifted people but I’ve witnessed enough of the misery caused by those stuck in their egos to warrant speaking out.

Not only is there a great deal of damage done to others affected  by someone’s lack of emotional understanding but also to the person propagating it because they’re not able to interact with others in the fulfilling, rewarding ways they deserve as well.

The important component which is lacking in these situations is EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. It’s the ability to tap into someone else’s feelings through body-language, intuition & their words. For some, it comes so naturally they simply react that way without being conscious of it. They have gifted emotional I.Q.s. For others, it must be learned & sometimes in order to do that, they have to leave their intellect at the door.

Although it can be learned at any age, the best place to begin this development is in childhood… right along with our ABCs. Parents & teachers need to “teach” children how to have empathy and to be kind & compassionate. The lack of it manifests in bullying & other destructive behaviors that create woundings for the recipients they often carry around inside for a lifetime.

This is also where SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE comes in. It’s our ability to connect not just within but also without… to something bigger than ourselves. It allows us to expand our perspectives & consider the collective good instead of just our own well-being. It’s not a dogma… it’s a way of “being”… towards ourselves & others. It’s what gives us our humanity towards ALL life.

Not only do these 3 types of intelligence each play their own specific part of the whole but every one of them can be used in creating whatever it is we want… art, business models, curriculums, our plans for our lives… literally anything. Everyone is born with certain gifts whether they recognize it or not & when we’re given a gift, we’re expected to use it to the best of our abilities. When we know better… we do better. To use them wisely, we need to be humble & caring enough to use them to benefit the most people.

                            GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE…