Stay the Course

So this week I’ve decided to shake things up a little with a slightly new format. Yes, there will still be a message from over yonder, but instead of it being topic-related it will be more an energetic forecast for the week. This change was prompted by a message that I received last week while lying in bed with some sort of incapacitating bug. I’m not very good at being sick and between dosing off I tend to do a lot of thinking (the hamsters riding the wheels in my brain have a difficult time slowing down). As I lay there I wondered if my blog had run its course, if it had become a little stale, and if I needed to pull my posts back to once or twice a month. Whether any of this is true, one thing I did get was a little thump on the head telling me to simply change the perspective…a little. This new perspective, I was told, was to center on an area of focus for the week ahead. Well, ok then.

Because this is a new way for me to pull in information I welcome all feedback and comments about whether you feel it is more or less useful than the previous format. After all, I do write this for you. And one more thing, I’m also going to start posting answers from “over there” to questions I receive from my readers. This means that I need your questions. They can cover just about any subject, though if you’re looking for winning lottery numbers, sorry, I’ve tried and they won’t give ‘em to me! Anyway, please contact me through email at mollie@molliejensen.com, or private message me through the [Random] spirit Facebook page. You can also post a question as a comment to this blog, if you don’t mind it being seen by the general public.

Anywho, let me know what you think!

With Love.

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From Over There: Week 2-2-14 Energy Forecast
 “Know that all that you have been striving for – if done so with a true heart – is beginning to unfold. Know that although the accomplishment may still be yet unseen, the energetic course has developed. Be patient, yet active. Now is not the time to be complacent, but to ride this energy with action. To do so will encourage you to stay the course, even if you do not feel the immediate reward of your effort. Hold the vision of accomplishment in your mind’s eye. This focus will keep the desired outcome energetically active.”

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Featured Guest: YOU

Yes that’s right, you! So send on over your questions and let’s get this started. And please know that I won’t be posting names along with the questions for confidentiality purposes. Also, I may not be able to get to your question right away, and if I feel that your question may not be suitable for this format, I’ll let you know. Either way, I’ll definitely respond to any message you send. So, whadd’ya need to know?

Pace Yourself

I most often get this weekly post done by Sunday evening, though this time it’s a little later than usual. Every time I sat down to write and asked for a message nothing came. I kept trying, but nope, nada. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch and watch movies. I was tired and really didn’t want to sit and write. And truthfully, it was a little unsettling when I wasn’t able to connect to any information. The panicky thought actually came into my head, “Oh my god, what if I’ve lost my connection?! Holy sh**!”

After I peeled myself off the ceiling and allowed myself to watch American Graffiti, another thought came, “What if this is exactly what I’m supposed to do? What if that, in itself, is the message?”  So I did, and then was in bed before 9:00 without writing my post.

In the shower this morning lo and behold popped in the message. Funny how that works. It was definitely a good reminder in how if you don’t allow some downtime burnout out sets in. And there’s nothing as unsetting as burnout affecting something you love to do.

Wishing you all your own type of rest and relaxation…

With Love.

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From Over There
“Motivation is a combination of understanding the individual’s own energy patterns coupled with continued desire. This understanding of your own individual energy patterns is vital to keeping on the path to pursuing that which you desire. Disregard of these patterns can lead to increased fatigue, stress and overall lack of vitality. This, in turn, removes joy from the process of achieving and demotivates when fatigue accelerates.

It is imperative that one pursues beloved activities – those activities which bring pleasure simply from the act. This, coupled with an understanding of one’s own individual energy patterns and requirements for balancing rest with activity will keep one motivated to act and inspired to continue.”

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Featured Guest: Will continue next week…

Hey, I’m tired!

I Have a Dream

This week’s post is dedicated in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream of racial equality. Although we’ve come a long way, there’s still plenty more to go, and when I reflect on his dream I like to think that it has unfolded to include all races, genders and sexual orientations. To put it bluntly, I don’t look at his message as just a black and white issue, but as an overall human issue.

I recognize that being white has brought me a level of social privilege and that being straight has meant that I haven’t had to fight for the right to express my love in the way I see fit. And I also am acutely aware that – aside from being female – I haven’t really had to define myself by race or sexual orientation as a means to overcome social or judicial bias. Though one thing that has always bothered me are titles like “African-American” and “gay marriage”. Shouldn’t I then be defined as a Scandinavian-American who used to be in a straight marriage? Shouldn’t we all have to subscribe to the same structured definitions? Better yet, no definitions? I know, easy for me to say as I sit here living in the liberal-peace-love-and-understanding mecca of the US, but it’s just a thought. And you know what? I can dream too…

Sweet dreams to you all.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“To be exclusive of any segment of humanity based upon gender or ethnicity creates a fractured sense of wholeness within oneself. To be exclusive of those whose lifestyle conflicts with one’s sense of morality – when the behavior deemed offensive brings harm to no one – creates a state of separateness in viewpoint upon the world and a skewed sense of moral judgment. This creates a world view not solely based on love, but one of fear and need for retribution. This moves one further away from love and further away from a connection with the spirit. It is in recognition of the interconnectedness of all that one forges a deeper relationship to the spiritual aspect of oneself. It is through this connectedness that brings understanding and a harmonious existence for all.”

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Featured Guest: Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr.
Here is a link to Dr. King’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream”. I’d like to think that today this dream to move to a more just and inclusive society includes equality for everyone, regardless of skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or spiritual beliefs.

Act, Responsibily

This week I’m pulling from the archives and giving you a truncated version of a previous post. The reason for this is that in doing so it conveys more closely what I want to talk about, being responsible with your energy. What I mean by this is simply taking responsibility for your reaction to having a bad day, or bad extended period, whether from occasional mood swings, dealing with emotional trauma or something more physically related.

I bring this up, because for the past few weeks I’ve had the experience of witnessing a few people who were going through some sort of painful issue and the varying degrees of responsibility they took for how they processed it. On one hand was individual who was very in a bad way, but took full responsibility and acknowledged the effect their turmoil had on those around them. The end result was that everyone rallied support, and this individual took an active role in getting help. They took responsibility – even while in a vulnerable state – for their actions and now is on the path to wellness.

On the other hand, I’ve also witnessed someone who consistently choses to throw their energy around in the form of bad moods and overly dramatic displays of emotion without care of how it affected anyone. To top it off, they’re completely unwilling to see or take responsibility for any of it. It’s really unfair, and quite frankly, draining.

At the end of it all the most we can do is hold ourselves accountable for how we are in the world, be compassionate when someone is having a bad day, and keep interactions with toxic people at a minimum.  

With Love.

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From Over There:
"Worthiness of a desired outcome arises from action coupled with responsibility. When one takes action toward the creation of a desire and full responsibility for its implementation - whether seeking help or completing the full process individually - one moves into a state of worthiness. This includes action without harm, since the act of responsibility carries with it the consideration of others.

Entitlement is the feeling of deservingness without appropriate action or responsibility to outcome. It is in this state that the individual can never be satisfied. It is in this state that respect for others and their needs diminish. It is a state of demanding, not compromise.
  
Working toward a desired outcome with action and responsibility creates a sense accomplishment, self-respect and worthiness for the individual - and it is the way toward greater peace for the whole."

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Featured Guest: Marshall Rosenberg
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence-- the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs. People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution. To learn more visit cnvc.org.

Designer Labels

In my family I was known as “the baby” (aka youngest) growing up. At the time I wasn’t a big fan of the title, as to me it conveyed that my age somehow implied that I was inferior due to my lack of the experience or knowledge. Now that I have plenty of years behind me, I have absolutely no issue with this label and have to admit sometimes taking pleasure in reminding my older siblings of it. I think this is a good example of how we can interpret the meaning of a label we’re given and how we associate with that interpretation. It shows that it’s not so much the label itself, but the power that we allow it to have over us that affects us. I realize that the label “baby” may not be the most inflammatory, and that there are much harsher things that we as a human race label each other with. I won’t go into it too much as I’m sure you’re all very aware of the labels you’ve had to overcome in your own lives, though I know it took me a couple of decades to rid myself of the not-so-endearing names thrown at me in my youth.

The thing is, it seems every time we turn around there’s an opportunity for a label to be thrust upon us via the media, family, work relations, etc., etc., etc., and as a culture we have such a strong need to put a label on people and things so we can categorize them. How do we rise above it? As a culture we're most likely not going to stop labeling anytime soon so the best we can do is be conscious with how we use our labels – of ourselves and of others. Labeling can be used to uplift or degrade, or empower or imprison. It’s up to us as individuals first to decide the power we want to give to them, and what type of power that is. And if you have to label, why not give yourself and others a few to inspire and encourage?

My label for you all today is…”beautiful”…and it’s yours to do with however you’d like.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“The human need to label is unnecessary, though it is human nature to label and categorize in order to form identity. What one chooses to identify with creates a perspective and world view based on that identification. It is up to the individual how to use this perspective to interact with those around them.

When one releases the need to categorize oneself by identifying with a particular culture or label, one allows for perspective that is based on personal knowledge and spiritual wisdom, not on indoctrinated philosophy.  It is choice of the individual whether to adopt the cultural teachings around them, or to form their own independent perspective. It is those with the independent mind that are able to reside within a cultural group and retain the ability to dismiss the collective beliefs that feel misaligned with their spirit.

The self-identification with labels – whether self-made or created through cultural dynamic – may empower or disempower the individual. It is the evolved spirit that seeks cultural principles based on unifying humanity with kindness and personal responsibility.”

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Featured Guest: Guy P. Harrison
Guy P. Harrison is a writer dedicated to promoting science and reason. He is the author of five highly acclaimed books with critical thinking themes. This week I’m featuring an article he wrote, Four Simple Reasons Smart People Shouldn't Believe in Races, using anthropological references to describe how we really are just one race and that the concept that we are made up of different races is just a cultural creation. I found it very interesting and much food for thought. Could this just be a humongous form of labeling one another?


Anytime Now

As I sat down to write this post my goal was to receive a message that gave some insight to the upcoming New Year, but as spirit often does, they had another topic in mind. The subject is time, or our attachment to it. Life on this planet warrants that we manage our time – some more than others, some better than others – though what the message below refers to is how we can get caught up in allowing the calendar to govern our lives at the risk of sabotaging our creativity and ultimate happiness.  

This time of year is doubly symbolic for me in that my birthday also occurs in the mix. It’s definitely a time where I feel the pull of clearing out the old and creating something new. Though as time marches on I’ve also found myself putting pressure on things I feel I should’ve achieved by now. Not to mention that I’m a quintuple Capricorn which can be crazy making when it comes to work and goals I set for myself. All this aside, who’s to say what anyone needs to accomplish by a certain point in life? It’s the dreaded “shoulds” and “have to’s” that get in the way of things. It’s the stories our society tells us of what we’re “supposed” accomplish and have and have done by a certain time. Buying into this only boxes us in and keeps us from creating our own individual version of life. And you know what? Whatever that version, it’s just fine.

So Happy New Year, and Happy New Day, and Happy New Moment to You!

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Time is linear and the spirit does not view through a linear perspective. One does not need to wait for markings on a calendar to create a new beginning or to release old patterns. This use of the calendar is purely symbolic, as time as you know it does not exist in the realm of spirit.

As the actions of the spirit are only limited while housed in the physical body, so does the concept of time have the capacity to limit the free flow of creative accomplishment. Approach the concept time as a means to organize and invite that which you desire, not as a barrier to creation.

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ time for moments to occur. They just occur. Allowing situations to unfold as they will – without attempting to force or hinder their appearance through the date on the calendar –allows divine for creation. As the human mind has a need for creating structure through time, use this ritual to your advantage. Do not let it hinder expression or your actions, only as markers along the way to accomplishment, and not as a form of self-judgment.”

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Featured Guest: Gandalf the Wizard
Yes, I’m a big Lord of the Rings geek and proud of it, so I’ll leave you with this short snippet from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. 2013 was certainly a year of many challenges for many people and I think in this scene the ring signifies those challenges. It’s all about how you react and meet what comes your way and what you do with the time you have left on this dense sphere we call home. The wisdom of Gandalf.


Get to Celabrating

Since this time of year is a whirlwind of activity for most everyone I’m giving you all a re-post from a couple of years back. It’s a good reminder – one to remember all year – that celebration is really all about experiencing  joy and not about stressing out over the specifics of how things unfold.

I wish you a very joyous holiday season; however you celebrate, whatever you celebrate!

With Love.

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From Over There:
"To celebrate to is experience joy. If there is no joy, there is no true celebration. When one celebrates from only a sense of duty, it is not true celebration. True celebration comes from love, joy and excitement. It is felt with the heart. It is fluid, not rigid. There may be thought and execution of planning preceding, but the joy of celebration is always spontaneous. Allow it to unfold." 

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Featured Guest:
This week you get a quote from the beautiful soul who was once housed in the body of Mother Theresa: Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.” A good to remember – every season of every year.

Kind, Respectful Individual Seeks Same

I have to admit that I recently realized that I had a bit an obsession with running into a couple of people I hardly know, just so I could give them a piece of my mind for having had a part in hurting someone I care deeply for. To give you a little perspective, this incident happened several months ago, and although the individual at the receiving end of the pain has moved on, I’ve been holding onto a grudge the size of Jupiter. You can imagine that this hasn’t been a very pleasant thing to do, and from time to time has distracted me from focusing on the important things in my life – like staying present with those I love. Not to mention that the offending individuals have had no idea what’s been circulating through my mind and therefore have gone on with their lives, seemingly unaffected.

The reason I bring this up is that in sitting myself down and really looking at the situation I came to realize – aside for my anger at their hurting someone I love – that I wanted to hold them accountable for their actions. I wanted to hear them apologize. I wanted them to fully grasp the repercussions of their actions. And I wanted to know if they had learned from their mistake – or if they even viewed it as a mistake in the first place. Basically, I was projecting my own standards of decency upon them, and was very attached to them holding the same standards. It was then that I realized that – whether I feel someone’s actions are wrong or not – everyone has the right to choose how they interact in the world. That’s what free will is all about. And I knew for my own peace of mind it was time to let it go.

We all make mistakes and do things we later regret – we’re human, and like it or not, that’s often how we learn. But when you find yourself confronted with someone whose standards of compassion are completely out of synch with yours it can be unsettling, especially when they appear to lack any concern for the pain they’ve caused. Though at the end of it all the most we can do is hold ourselves accountable for our own actions, and be forgiving of those who make amends for their human errors. We owe it to ourselves and everyone else to be as kind, considerate and respectful as possible. And when someone pops up that can’t or won’t deliver, it just might be time to let them go – whether they’re physically present or just swirling around in your head. 

Here’s to focusing on those who really count…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Pain is the result of moral standards that have been compromised that one sets for oneself. These standards are different for each individual and are subject to cultural background and familial identity. One is not born with these standards, one is taught these standards. Oftentimes these standards are created as a means for a society to keep its members acting within certain behavioral boundaries. When one knowingly engages in acts that are harmful to another – without fear of consequence – the individual acts through disconnect of their spiritual self. This leads to disharmony in relationships and slows the evolution of humanity, as the actions of each individual are valuable to the whole.

It is the individual who has no need for such standards as a means of behavioral control – yet chooses to interact with those around them with loving kindness that are the most enlightened. To act from the perspective of love for another as a way of life – not as a rigid condition – is the purest form of human connection.”

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Featured Guest: Thich Nhat Hanh

This week I’ll leave you with a quote from Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh:  Listening to and understanding our inner sufferings will resolve most of the problems we encounter.

Holistic Happiness

This week I want to talk about happiness, or rather, allowing happiness in all areas of life, not just some. I like to refer to this as “holistic happiness”. We all have different things that make us happy, though is there one area in your life in which you ignore your well-being? I know for me, I have a tendency to allow work to take over. I have to consciously make an effort to take care of myself and remember to eat, be social, and allow some down time. It took a while for me to realize that I was doing myself a grave disservice with my workaholic tendencies.

Distracting yourself to avoid feelings that may arise from focusing on a particular area of life is also another thing that can thwart happiness. I call this the pursuing of shiny objects. These are things that present themselves in nice, glossy packages, but lack what you need to be fulfilled. This can happen with work situations, home situations, and yes, people situations. For instance, pursuing work with an organization that may seem to fit in with everything you desire, yet the boss has control issues, is a shiny object that will most likely leave you feeling powerless and undervalued, and distract you from finding a better working situation. Or what about that attraction to an individual with a gorgeous outside wrapper, but nothing inside to offer? This type of shiny object distracts you from noticing those diamonds-in-the-rough that have loving, kind and present insides that are all around you.

So what areas of your life could use better tending to? What shiny objects are you willing to let go of so you can bravely pursue what you deserve? It’s up to you and only you to decide. How cool is that?

With Love.

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From Over There:
“When one chooses to focus only on happiness in one area of life and forsakes happiness in other areas, one is not being true to the whole self. Balance focus on all areas of one’s life – relationship, career, home, family – and allow flexibility in pursuing satisfaction in these areas. It is with flexibility that one may bring more attention to a chosen area when needed, yet not forget the importance of the whole self.”

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Featured Guest: Marci Shimoff, Happy for No Reason
In Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, transformational expert Marci Shimoff offers a breakthrough approach to being happy, one that doesn't depend on achievements, goals, money, relationships, or anything else "out there." Most books on happiness tell you to find the things that make you happy and do more of them. Although there's nothing wrong with that, it won't bring you the kind of deep and lasting happiness most people long for -- the kind you'll never lose, no matter what happens in your life. Based on cutting-edge research and knowledge from the world's leading experts in the fields of positive psychology and neurophysiology, plus interviews with 100 truly happy people, this life-changing book provides a powerful, proven 7-step program that will enable you to be happier right now -- no matter where you start. To learn more visit happyfornoreason.com.


Stop Shoulding Yourself

This week I’m, once again, pulling from the archives. I’ve been immersed in book rewriting and holiday festivities which has left me next to no time to write a new post. I thought this one from a couple of years ago was a good one to share, as it talks about the issue of what I like to refer to as “shoulding” yourself. And since I won’t be pushing to cram in a new post because I feel I should, I’m going to take the message’s advice. Maybe there’s something you need to allow yourself to let go of, too.

Allowing a little breathing room.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Dwelling on what should or should not occur takes away action and possibility of growth. It takes responsibility out of your hands and puts it into the hands of the individual or group whose beliefs you are pushing yourself to subscribe to.

Instead of telling yourself that you should do something, what instead, would happen if you simply decided not to do it? Just not do it. Make a decision instead of being in a perpetual state of limbo. This would free up the time and space around the inaction and create action. Opening to the possibility of something better for you - something that resonates with who you are, and not who or what you are trying to be."

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Featured Guest: Will Return next Week!

Thanks, Giving and Receiving

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving, the American tradition of eating until we’re stuffed way beyond any comfort level. Along with my love of playing dress up at Halloween, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food, I love my family coming together, and I love the opportunity to take a road trip up to the mountains. To me, it’s a time to appreciate abundance and slow down enough to enjoy it.

This week’s message speaks to the necessity of slowing down in order to allow more enjoyment into your life. We all move at such a hurried pace, it’s good to be reminded that shifting into a lower gear now and then is needed to balance the times when you have to rev things up.

Sending my thanks to each and every one of you.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Patience and stillness are needed in addition to action to increase the flow of abundance. The act of stillness is a state of receptivity, which is needed to allow more abundance into one’s life. If one is in constant action, there may be missed opportunities to receive, as one maybe too focused on a desired outcome to see that there is another, even more beneficial opportunity presenting itself. If one does not use patience to allow desires to materialize, it is a sign of mistrust in the possibility of achieving the desired result. This mistrust sends an opposing signal of that which one wants to manifest – forming a block which slows the process of creation.

It is the balance of stillness and patience with action that creates a dynamic of greater manifestation of that which one desires to come forth, and is necessary in recognizing the self as co-creator. This, in turn, builds self-trust and empowerment – the foundation of an empowered life.”

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Featured Guest: Deepak Chopra
This week’s featured guest is Dr. Deepak Chopra, or more specifically, his center. Dr. Chopra opened the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996 along with David Simon, M.D. to help people experience physical healing, emotional freedom, and higher states of consciousness. Located in Carlsbad, California, they offer a wide variety of programs, retreats, and teacher training programs that integrate the healing arts of the East with the best in modern Western medicine. To learn more, please visit chopra.com.

Me and My Shadow

Many nights I take a walk an hour or two after dinner to release the stress on the day. I enjoy walking around the neighborhood after dark when it’s quiet and no one else is out because it’s easier to let my thoughts wander. The other night it was particularly brisk outside and there was something about how the street lights cast shadows that seemed a bit sharper than normal. As I walked I noticed how my own shadow would shift – sometimes in front of me, sometimes to the side, and sometimes behind me – and every once in a while when the light hit just right there were three shadows at once.

This got me thinking about how my various shadows could be viewed in a symbolic kind of way, as in the past (behind me), the present (beside me), and the future (in front of me). I also noticed that when my “behind me” shadow popped up it made me a little uncomfortable, like someone was following me. Which again got me thinking, this time about how much past pain we allow into our present circumstances. Think about it, if you were able to wave a magic wand and remove all of the past trauma, drama, betrayal, slights, and judgments that you felt at the hands of another, wouldn’t right now feel a whole lot better? This all coincided with a situation for me that brought up some triggers that I swear were from my teenage years. Very old wounds to be sure, and although I practice a method of belief release work on a regular basis, sometimes things have a way of getting buried way…way…way down.  

This leads me this week’s message, which is about the necessity of confronting your shadows on a regular basis. Without doing so the darkness has a tendency to grow, blocking out the light. When you confront the pain it’s like flipping a switch on so you can reveal the situation for what it really is.  And the reality of it just may be buried in the past.

Over here letting some light shine…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Recognizing and expressing  human emotional pain is necessary to bring forth healing and releasing. When one does not allow the depth of feeling to surface, it forces the pain to be stored in the psyche and energy bodies, creating a perspective of the world based on that pain. This keeps one trapped in the feelings of pain and a reliving of the trauma through present and future relationships. Only when one confronts the pain and allows the feelings to release through the emotions does one begin the healing process, and create life through clearer perspective.”

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Featured Guest: Ruth Kellogg, LCSW

Ruth is a practical coach, who provides in depth counseling, and deep emotional healing. She works both from a traditional psychotherapeutic point of view, as well as from an energetic perspective, using her intuitive skills, along with other varied healing modalities to provide short term counseling, for what otherwise might be long term issues. To learn more, please visit ruthkellogg.com.

All the Time in the World

I admit, once again, that the message below is a repost due to my book rewrites taking over a vast amount of my time. The thing is, if I had been uber-structured with my time I’m sure I could’ve squeezed in something fresh, but instead I decided that some very necessary down time was in order. We all need time now and then to just chill, and I’m notoriously bad at doing that.

So here it is, a message about our concept of time and the structure we create in our lives. I, for one, needed to hear it and I hope it speaks to you too.

With Love.

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From Over There:
"Need for structure has created the concept of parcels of time. This can be useful, yet also a hindrance if one becomes overly attached to this structure. Over attachment impedes flow of possibility and change. Balancing structure and flexibility with time schedules allows for greater action with receptivity. To remain flexible with life as it occurs, while taking action steps toward that which is desired, generates the movement needed for creation of change.

Over attachment to structure creates rigidity and the attempt to control time. In contrast, over attachment to flexibility without form creates aimlessness. With balance, there is action and inaction. There is striving accompanied by rest. Both are of equal value in attaining goals and desires. Both are the foundation for a fulfilling life."

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Featured Guest: Golda Meir
This week I’ll leave you with a quote by Prime Minister Golda Meir:
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.

Move It!

Maybe it’s because of daylight savings time, or maybe it’s the constant stress of trying to get everything done that needs doing, but I woke up Sunday morning with pounding headache and a raging desire to eat an entire pumpkin pie. Thankfully there was no pie in the house or I would have devoured it for sure, and then would’ve have had a pounding stomachache to match the headache.

I sat down to see what this was all about and got very quickly that it had to do with the lack of exercise. I’m usually pretty good about getting out for a walk on a daily basis, but lately all manner of work situations have been getting in the way. Well, to be honest I haven’t been making it a priority and have allowed work to get in the way. Yeah, there’s that personal responsibility thing popping up again...So I threw on my hiking shoes and decided that a real hike was in order, not just my usual-as-of-late walk around the neighborhood.

It’s truly amazing what happens when you allow a tightly wound up body to de-coil itself. As I began down the trail I could literally feel my chest, shoulders and back relax. Being in nature is truly magic for the body and soul. I was reminded the hard way that I need to remember to move my body – especially while overtaxing my mind. This helps keep the overactive brain from blowing a circuit, which is pretty much what I felt like I had done.  After the hike I felt so much better and no longer had a burning desire to down a whole pumpkin pie – just maybe a slice or two.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“The body must experience movement on a consistent basis in order to keep energy flowing. Without movement the energy in the body becomes stagnant and creates lethargy. Movement increases the flow of energy and allows the body to restore itself.  Movement releases excess energy that builds up through persistent fear or worry or anger. This release allows the body to relax and produce regeneration through consistent sleep patterns. Physical movement is necessary for optimal health of the body, and to quiet the mind, and ultimately, for a clear connection to the higher soul’s perspective.”   

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Featured Guest: Lou Reed
In light of Mr. Reed’s recent passing, I chose to feature him this week to honor his creative influence on the world of music. And although I can say with certainty that he wasn’t talking about walking out in the wilderness with this song, it’s one of his major contributions, and well, I like it. This version is a little different than the original: Walk on the Wild Side

Laundry...Check!

As stated in last week’s post, I’m currently in the midst of rewriting my book. This weekend I had every intention of getting a certain amount of revisions done, though only got to about 30% of what I had hoped for. This happened due to my focusing on all of the other little things that needed tending to in between bursts of writing. Over the years I’ve learned that laundry doesn’t do itself, and is a necessary task if plenty of clean underwear are important to you. And as the saying goes, a cluttered house represents a cluttered mind, so tidying up the living space is an essential part of my writing process. Not to mention that occasionally preparing something to eat – and eating it – helps keep the brain functioning. Mixed in were some social engagements, though unfortunately I had to miss a few I would have liked to attend, and alas, the carpets never did receive a proper vacuuming.

As I sat thinking about how my best intentions went awry, I received the short, but sweet message below. It’s about valuing all of your accomplishments, not just those at the top of your list. Life is filled with so many things to do, rarely are we able to get them all checked off. So let yourself feel good about what you did accomplish, instead of beating yourself up for what you didn’t. I know I feel better having done so.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Rejoice in all endeavors, as life is filled with many things to accomplish. Understand the value in all of your undertakings – whether profound or mundane – as each has its importance in life’s progress.”

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Featured Guest: Steven R. Covey
This week’s guest is author of the classic time management book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. No matter what it is, or what you choose to accomplish, good time management skills really help. To learn more, please visit stevencovey.com.

I'll Commit to That

This week I’m cheating a bit by reposting a message from about a year or so ago. The reason is that I’ve been immersed in rewrites for my book. I received some great feedback from a source I respect very much, and so dove in, full-throttle. The message below has to do with commitment, and since I’m completely committed to getting this book published, thought it fit quite nicely!

With Love.

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From Over There:
"Commitment is necessary to follow through to a desired outcome. It is important to be flexible within the framework of commitment, as there are times when the path to manifesting that which is desired is different than envisioned. Be open to changing commitments when necessary to move along the path that brings joy.

Many times, new experiences will alter the course of life. Changes in perception will - at times - broaden the view and reveal choices and desires that were once hidden from awareness. This is why flexibility is vital to growth and expansion. If one stays rigid and attached to the initial outcome - or avenues to the outcome - it has the potential to create fear of change that stifles forward movement.”

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Featured Guest: Will return next week!

Flex Your Flexibility

I find it pretty funny that this week’s message is about staying unattached to the course of an outcome. The reason for this is that I’ve sat down several times to write the opening portion of my post – something that usually flows very easily for me – though I keep finding myself in the middle of other tasks. Suddenly, I’m outside in the bright sunshine doing yard work. Oops, I had better get back to writing. I start to type and then…hey, how did I end up over here straightening up this bookcase??? After a few more similar situations such as these I realized that in allowing myself to do what I really wanted to do (putter around the house) I was actually heeding the advice that this week’s message was relaying.

So after much organizing and weeding, I’m back to writing this opening. Or actually writing about not writing it, for the most part. The great thing about allowing myself to deviate from my expected path today is that I accomplished a lot of stuff that I’ve wanted to do for a while, AND got this post done at the same time. It’s also a wonderful reminder that sometimes you need to change course a little to get back on track. It’s all about staying flexible.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“To remain on course with a desired outcome one needs to be unattached to the outcome and the method used to pursue the outcome. This fluidity is necessary to allow all opportunities to come forth, and to recognize an opportunity otherwise not yet envisioned. It is this ability to remain unattached and fluid that allows for the greatest change to occur. If one is resistant to change, then one cannot readily expect the change that they desire. The experience of resistance comes from the repetition of pursuing old patterns of behavior that are no longer useful. When one releases the need to control the outcome or the path to the outcome, then one releases the patterns that keep one in stasis. It is action met with non-attachment that creates the truest path toward achieving of a desired outcome, and allows doing so with a joyful heart.”

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Featured Guest: Thich Nhat Hanh 
This week I will leave you with a quote from Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh: Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.

Just Smile

I recently read somewhere that wearing sunglasses has the ability to increase happiness. How so, you ask? Well, as the story expressed, when you don’t wear sunglasses in the bright sun it creates a squinty facial expression that’s similar to when you’re angry. This “angry face” then triggers a response in the brain that can cause a person to become irritable. Interesting. This made me think about how when I’m stressed and irritated I tend to hunch over, almost as if I’m closing down shop and preparing for battle. On the flipside, when I’m feeling happy I tend to hold my shoulders back a little more. A much more welcoming stance!

If you’ve ever paid attention to body language when talking to someone you know how the body can communicate quite a bit, even when no words are spoken. Being aware of this is great for understanding how to interact with others, but what about your interaction with you? As the message below says, how your body speaks to you is pretty important as well. So from this day forward I do solemnly swear to make my best effort to stop scrunching my face and hunching my shoulders whenever I get cranky. Maybe my crankiness will disappear…or at least not stick around for such an extended stay.

May your smiles be wide and often.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“The human body is an instrument that is capable of expressing or repressing emotion. When the body is in joy the muscles lift, tension releases and the body feels light. When the body is in sadness the muscles droop and the body feels heavy. When the body is in anger the muscles tense and the body feels tight and disconnected.

As the human body and mind are symbiotic in nature, the body’s actions have the ability to change patterns within the mind. Anger and sadness may be lessened if one engages in joyful posturing. Through purposeful breathing, through opening and expanding the chest, through lifting the facial muscles the body expresses to the mind feelings of joy. Through this symbiotic connection the body communicates to the mind and the mind reacts to the message through shifting to a more positive position.”

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Featured Guest: Nat King Cole
This week I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs, written by Charlie Chaplin and performed by Nat King Cole, Smile.

Sparkle & Shine

I write this while sitting in a Laundromat. I come here every so often to wash my comforter since it’s too big to fit in my washer at home. The place is right down the street from my house, and every time I’m here I gain a greater respect for those who have to schlep piles of laundry here every week. Not to mention it reminds me to be very grateful for the rickety washer I have at home.

Tonight there is a family here with me. A young Hispanic couple with three kids ranging from what looks like between 3 months to around 12 years. The middle child is a boy who is most likely around 5. He’s chock full of energy, but not in that obnoxious wreaking-havoc-on-everything-around-him sort of way. Instead, he’s playing some sort of imaginary game, and although I don’t understand what he’s saying, I can only imagine that he’s conjuring up something grand. Whatever it is, it’s sweet to watch. He glances at me occasionally, and smiles back when I smile at him. He seems curious about me and like any kid, starts becoming a little more animated with whatever it is he’s pretending to be when he knows I’m watching. I send out a secret wish to him that he gets to pursue a path in life that gives him as much satisfaction as he’s getting right now.

That’s the thing about kids, there’s a time in life when the whole world is wide open for them. It’s before they start listening to a world that tells them that they can’t step outside the box that society has constructed for them. I remember my daughter telling me when she was very little that she wanted to be “the person who makes sidewalks”. I can’t recall exactly why she said that was so alluring to her at the time, but in retrospect it showed a desire to create and design something, which speaks of the artist she is today.

My point in all of this is that as adults it’s important to find that kernel of childhood spark – a belief that anything is possible – to uncover the bit still untarnished by society’s boxes. Without it we would be devoid of so many things. Can you imagine the flack that the Wright brothers got for even talking about their dream of building a “flying machine”? What if they had listened to the naysayers? They had to have a combination of confidence, vision and the childlike belief in possibility to pull that one off.

Whatever it is that makes you feel all sparkly, do it. If you feel that your spark has been snuffed out or is fading, then it’s time to start doing what you love again to rekindle it. Find something, no matter how small, to fan the flames. It doesn’t have to look like it did when you were a kid. I didn’t achieve my once-upon-a-childhood dream of becoming a secret spy, though I’ve been able to pursue work that requires observation, something I enjoy and I’m sure is a necessary skill for a productive secret spy. Do whatever it takes to start feeling inspired – take a walk, grab a sketchpad and doodle, read a book, sing a song, write a song – whatever feels good to you.

I believe in you, Sparky.

With Love.
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From Over There:
“Belief in one’s abilities circumvents the limitations perceived by others. The perception of limitation is the product of the mind, and represents the closing off of connection to the spirit’s wisdom.  The mind that remains open allows for creative flow and the spirit’s wisdom to be present. By remaining open one calls forth benevolent forces to support the unfolding of ability and the confidence needed to sustain belief in oneself. Belief in oneself is necessary regardless of the level of ability. Without it the ability becomes stagnant, never meeting full potential”

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Featured Guest: Venus Williams
This week’s guest is Venus Williams, professional tennis player (former world #1), entrepreneur, and role-model. Here's a quote from her that pretty much says it all: Some people say I have attitude - maybe I do... but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does - that makes you a winner right there. 

Laugh It Up

I want you to imagine a time when you were in the midst of uncontrollable laughter. We’ve all been there, something funny strikes and you just can’t seem to stop. Belly muscles start to ache a little, tears start to fall, but at that moment there’s not one thing that feels bad or wrong. And there’s nothing quite like it when it happens in a group, it’s infectious. One person starts to laugh and then before you know it everyone is joining in.  

On the flipside, have you ever been around someone who didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor, or had a hard time seeing the light side of things? They feel heavy, don’t they? Not to mention a bit of a buzzkill, if I don’t mind saying. Now I know we all have times when we’re down, but what I’m talking about are those who just never seem to get the joke, and never seem to want to. It’s as if laughter and silliness is beneath them. I often wonder what it must be like to be in their skin, seems like it must feel pretty uncomfortable.

To horribly date myself, I remember reading my Grandmother’s issues of Reader’s Digest as a kid and would automatically go straight for the section I believe was called something like Laughter is the Best Medicine. Most of what was written was pretty cheesy, but what I loved were the stories that highlighted everyday life circumstances where a funny twist occurred. I liked how it showed how you can find humor in just about anything, and that doing so makes life a whole lot more fun. Let’s face it, life can be challenging. So why not make the best of it? I mean, no one is immune to painful experiences on this planet, so if laughter makes dealing with the inevitable easier then I say “Ha, Ha” and another big “Ha!”  
With Love.

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From Over There:
“Laughter is the soul’s way of reaching through the physical. Laughter, when done from a lighthearted perspective, is a high vibrational form of communication that has a profoundly positive effect on those who come in contact with its source. The sound of laughter reverberates at a frequency that raises the energetic fields all around. This is why it appears to be infectious. It is through this energetic shift that the true self is revealed. While is this state of joy there is no sorrow, no anger.

To view life from a lighthearted perspective allows one to find humor throughout day-to-day life. This way of being releases the heavy burden of emotional discomfort. One cannot be sad while one is in the state of laughter. This is not to use laughter as a form of avoidance of emotional discomfort, but to help one ease through the pain. It is to help one release the pain, and create the ability to remain less affected by the pain one experiences.

Much laughter equals much joy. Joy is the spirit’s expression of true self.”

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Featured Guest: Mark Twain
This week is a simple quote from master humorist, Mark Twain: Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.