Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's Goin' On Round Here?

This seems to be the year of the protest. All over the world, including Wall Street, people are gathering to express their distress about what's happening in politics and in big business (hard to separate the two anymore).

Then we have the everyday experiences with large corporations we deal with where customer service is so often a byword with absolutely no meaning in the 'real' world. At every turn there seem to be cutbacks in staffing both in the private and public sectors and I have to ask, ‘What’s going on?’ We keep getting increases in fees for services and corporations report huge profits yet they seem to need to cut back staff on a regular basis and often claim they don’t have the money to pay decent wages to the ones who are left.

The talk is of recession and countries going broke yet somebody’s making some very big money in the middle of all this. So I keep asking, ‘What’s changed?’

Here are a few of the changes I’ve observed in my lifetime that seem to be related to this decline:

On the individual level
1)      We’ve become a debt based economy. The advent of credit cards and high interest debt changed the way we live in ways I can only begin to fathom.
2)      We want, want, want and we are willing to owe, owe, owe to get, get, get.
3)      The amount of ‘stuff’ individuals are accumulating is mind boggling (notice the number of storage places that have popped up in the past 25 years or so).
4)      We’d rather mask problems than face them for the most part.
5)      We’ve become totally distracted by the desire to be entertained. Even churches have become entertainment centres in order to attract and keep followers. Notice the amount of money entertainers and sports figures command. That’s only possible because of the amount of money we are willing to spend to keep ourselves distracted so we won’t have to feel too much despair, unhappiness or lack of fulfillment.

On the business level
1)      The economy is dominated by large, publicly traded corporations where the owners are stock holders who have no investment or interest other than financial. As a result the sense of pride in ownership and service mindedness that goes with that have all but disappeared. Employees seem to be the most disposable assets.
2)      Lots of small businesses start up but few succeed because we are so conditioned through advertising and such to go for the well known brands.
3)      The large pharmaceutical companies fund most of the medical training and so doctors are taught to treat with drugs. The amounts spent on prescription and non prescription drugs today are staggering.
4)      Big banks and big business appear to be the ones really running our countries at least here in the West.
5)      Oil companies, fearing they may lose control and money seem to be blocking a lot of the progress that could be made in finding other sustainable energy sources.

On a global level there are just so darn many of us on the planet now. No matter what else we do, somehow we need to deal with the overpopulation situation.  

These are just a few of the changes that readily come to mind, there are many more no doubt.
So what do we do given where we are?

Here are a few thoughts that come to mind.

First, we need to face what is going. Putting our heads in the sand and trying to ignore it all doesn’t seem to work very well. Believe me, I’ve tried. Thinking positive is great as long as it isn’t about avoiding but rather being unconditionally present and able to see beyond limitation .

Then we need to take a big breath and own it all. It’s so easy to point fingers and blame ‘them’. We may not see exactly how we’re responsible but if there is a willingness to see that we are all in this together then perhaps we can join in more meaningful ways to make necessary changes.

Of course it would be very helpful to notice what beliefs and assumptions we’ve been making that contribute to the situation. If we can compassionately inquire into these stories we have about the way life is and bring peace to the emotions engendered by those beliefs perhaps we can find compassionate and peaceful ways of evolving into something more tenable for everyone. Otherwise, if we keep avoiding and projecting ideas that aren’t actually working to make anything better onto the world we only maintain the status quo or dig ourselves even deeper into the mire.

Then from a place of peace and openness we are better able to see other possibilities and make choices based on what is truly important to us as part of the whole rather than from a limited, fear based position.

Some of the possibilities that come to mind include:
a) We might start buying more quality and less quantity, supporting more businesses that are locally owned.
b) What if instead of running out and creating more debt by buying things we don’t need to make ourselves feel better, we spent more time doing things that are meaningful and fun.
c) We may possibly look at our investments and see if there are other options that may be more in alignment with our values.
d) Perhaps we might partner with others to provide services that contribute to wellbeing rather than just economic gain.

The possibilities are only as limited as we are.

In this year of the protest, it’s important to realize that even if protests should bring about wanted change, there needs to be a change in consciousness to sustain it. Compassionate, connected commitment to living authentically and responsibly is a powerful way to bring about sustainable, inclusive and effective change in the world.

Nature always seeks balance; living a balanced, inner directed life is a great way to follow her time tested example.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Loving It

Doing what we love and loving what we do is such a logical thing yet such a rare thing in our culture. I am very blessed to be doing what I love and loving it. There is also a marked improvement in loving what I do when I'm doing things that I have not been as fond of.

When the focus is on inner joy rather than outer pleasure there is so much to love as expression becomes more important than achievement. Everything encountered becomes an opportunity to bring forth the love and joy that is inherent in appreciating all that Life provides.

A statement I heard several years ago in one of Dr. David R. Hawkins videos went something like this, 'The Earth is a planet of optimum karmic opportunity.' It is one of those ideas that is continually blossoming and bringing forth amazing fruit in my life. I brought it up several times in my workshop yesterday for whatever reason and it is still very much in the forefront today. It is a perspective that changes the dynamics of any encounter in life and has been a wonderful reminder for me that no matter what comes up, there's an opportunity in it for love and joy to be expressed. I can't begin to tell you how much more perfection is witnessed from this awareness. I am so grateful!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Joy of Transcendence

What does it really take to transcend lower energies and limited thinking?

Unconditional presence.

Being able to fully hear 'complaints' and connect with the beliefs inherent within them is often the way through them. Trying not to complain or whine when feeling low may be admirable in one sense, however, it does little in terms of transcendence. If there is an urge to avoid or resist there is undoubtedly a gift to be received.

The person being referred to here isn't someone else and this isn't about telling every person encountered how awful life is but rather about being able to hear with the inner ear what is being said within and responding to it with unconditional presence.

When limiting and painful assumptions and beliefs are seen through the eyes of unconditional presence, they are seen for the falsehood they represent. This is transcendence and it is indeed a joy-filled experience. 

The Inner Light of Transcendence

Monday, September 19, 2011


As always, the moment of letting go of resistance and acceptance of the way things are brings the gifts of ease and flow. Last week there was clarity about stepping directly into what was 'in my way' with the family and since then things have been flowing better than would have been expected.

A big part of the letting go, which is such an important part of opening to more creativity and flow is that of releasing assumptions about what is going to happen. When there is a preconceived idea about what is possible there is the likelihood of not even being willing to take the first step. When it is recognized that what is going to happen is truly unknown an opening is created for previously inconceivable possibilities to emerge in awareness.

So basically what generally needs to be released is: 1) the resistance to what is and 2) the idea that we know what's coming. This is a much more vulnerable and authentic place in which to receive the wonders that are just waiting to be discovered.

Consider this; we are aware of something like 1/millionth of the data that is available to us at any given moment. It would follow that letting go of that tiny bit of information we call 'the way it is' and shifting the focus to the open space of possibility would exponentially increase the likelihood of seeing something entirely different.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As Life Presents Itself

In the process of life you really never know what's going to show up, on the inside or what appears to be in the outer world.

One of my favourite lines from the movie The Four Feathers was when an African tribesman who had taken it upon himself to protect and care for a former British  soldier was asked by the soldier why he was risking his life for him responded, 'Because God put you in my way.'

That thought has come up for me regularly over the past few years. It is a great reminder that whatever shows up is really Life unfolding, putting whatever we need 'in our way'. Sometimes it looks a lot like something unwanted yet if it is here avoiding it doesn't seem to work.

This is showing up in a family of origin situation for me right now and I have to admit, I had been trying to avoid it, telling myself stories that allowed me to pretend I didn't have to step up but it wasn't the truth. It is in my way, it is somewhat unpleasant and I have judged it to be quite an impossible situation in the past. Having realized that helplessness and powerlessness were only concepts a short while ago, when those thoughts came up for me in this situation I soon recognized the falsehood and shifted into 'I really have no idea what this means or what I can do.' I started wondering what was possible and sure enough I got my answer.

 Now stepping into what has been avoided. Even though these are only the beginning stages of untangling the mess, I feel a lot better about it and much more in tune with what Life is presenting me.

I asked myself another question in the shower this morning, 'What do I have to give right now?' (Not necessarily related to this particular situation). The answer came quickly and clearly, 'Unconditional Presence'.  Mmm, delicious.

What opportunity is Life presenting you today?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I've been pondering how the mind works from the perspective of a neuroscientist the past few days. Incognito by David Eagleman is a very easy and informative read for anyone who has interests in that direction.

I enjoy reading scientific perspectives when they're written in layman's terms and David does a great job of that. Of course it helped that his findings were in alignment with my intuitive thoughts on a number of subjects. I do love being affirmed, and I would guess there are undoubtedly other research findings that would tell a different story. Such is the beauty of our world, so many different ways of looking at the same thing.

One of the first things that stood out for me was when David talked about how our vision (eyesight) works with the brain in one of the early chapters of the book. He talked about the fact that we all have blind spots in our vision that we are not aware of because as long as we are using both eyes, one eye basically covers the blind spot of the other eye and the mind fills in any missing data. He also talked about how little we actually see of what's going on; it's actually a tiny fraction of what's available.

We have blind spots not only in our eyesight but in our thinking as well and we do the same thing there, fill in the gap with memories, beliefs and assumptions. We don't do this consciously, it's all happening so fast we don't even know what's going on. What we can do however is when we notice patterns of filling in the gap with information that isn't serving us so well anymore we have the amazing ability to question it, to undo the associations and open to something entirely new to us that does serve us better at this point in life.

Here's the kicker to making any real change; we're most likely going to have to interrupt the old patterns over and over because the neural pathways have been well worn into the grooves of current thinking. As much as we may want to see things differently, the automatic nature of the old patterns surfacing usually trumps that desire. Allowing different ideas to replace the old usually requires a great deal of repetition. It's like learning any new sport, it takes practice, practice, practice before the muscles are trained to respond without you having to think about what you're doing.

This may sound like a lot of work but if learning to see and respond to life in a more life affirming way is what you are committed to, it isn't really as taxing as it may seem at first. After all, when you think about it, how much time and energy is spent now on what isn't working for you or on suppressing what you don't want? Might as well invest some of that precious energy in dismantling the old pathways and allowing the new to emerge. Believe it or not it really only takes a few dedicated minutes a day once you know how to do it.

PS Here's a link to the September Newsletter if you haven't already received it. Internal Equinox

Friday, September 2, 2011


Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed. - Blase Pascal
That's the opening quote in a book I am just starting, Incognito by David Eagleman. The book was recommended to me by a friend and I can already see it is my kind of book. The quote says so much.

Our inability to see the nothingness as well as the infinity seems to play a significant role in our tendency to hang on to ideas that have nothing to do with anything other than they keep us 'safe' from what is.

We define ourselves and our world with thoughts about who and what we think we are, trying desperately to convince ourselves of the veracity of these thoughts, yet knowing deep within that they are simply fleeting, ephemeral ideas floating in the sea of infinity.

Thoughts come and go, as do these bodies we temporarily inhabit, so clearly they cannot be what we are. In truth, I am unable to comprehend what I am. I can only play with the thoughts that seem to be inherent in this life expression and rest in the infinite nothingness from which they emerge.

All the busy-ness of this mind and the world has no meaning other than that which is perceived within the limitation of mind itself.

So why hang on so tightly to that which has no substance? Why not simply dance with ideas, take them for a turn around the dance floor and release them. There's always another coming our way.