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Archive for January 2010

Make your dreams come true

January 28, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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This morning I woke from one of those brilliant, emotionally indelible dreams that you know really mean something. I was following the most enchanting music and my heart was light and joyful yet grounded in confidence. The music had grabbed my very soul and I found myself effortlessly moving to its source. I enter a whitewashed stone building and make a descent to the basement auditorium where my enchanting orchestra played. Down and around the corners of my subconscious, the music continues to guide me and I am in effortless, essential pursuit. I’ve got my ticket and I enter the auditorium.

This dream has sparked a reflection upon the two difficult years leading up to this deeply joyful and satisfied place, where the certainty that I am on my own true path is a tremendous source of peace, even in the face of life’s endless uncertainties. It is with nothing but gratitude that I look back on the many months of darkness, stillness, waiting, listening and watching in the belly of the beast. I’ve emerged with a fresh lens though I recall days, weeks, then stretches of months when I began and concluded each day utterly depleted.

I felt the grief of separation from the circumstances I wasn’t yet positioned to pursue and was overwhelmed by the sense of being in the wrong life.Eventually something shifted and my intention was galvanized and increasingly focused. The beginning was so subtle that it took weeks of consistent practice to really see and fully feel the early glimmers of transformation. This simple yet extremely powerful step built momentum; with commitment to the daily practice of mindfulness and spiritual study and contemplation in less than a year my entire life had been completely transformed.

While we may at first have absolutely no idea how we will emerge from the darkness or cross the chasm that seemingly separates us from the life of our

dreams, setting your intentions is the first step. Maybe all you can do is endure your present situation and hold onto those intentions like precious seeds, waiting for the warmth and light of spring to bring them to blossom. But remind yourself of them daily, hourly even. Soon you will find those seeds gaining strength, and perhaps a bit like a celestial song, drawing you toward your dreams.

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Are you listening?

January 25, 2010 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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“If you open yourself to insight, you are at one with insight and you can use it completely.” – Tao te Ching

Do you often having difficulty making a decision, vacillating between one outcome or another? Even when one road seems the likely way to travel, the one decision most practical, sometimes we are still inundated with numerous responses rolling around in our minds. We remain unclear about what our highest good is. Oftentimes we rely solely on mental and intellectual faculties of decision making, and ignore possibly the more accurate weather vane of what is the best choice  to our life questions.  The power of intuition is at our beckon call if only we listen, if only we take the time to hear as well as  see the signs around us.

Remember the voice that told you to turn right; there was a parking space? Or when you knew who was on the phone as it rang? What about that morning  you woke up with a resolution to an idea you’d been pondering? All those nudges, hunches, aha! moments are what I call intuition. An instinctual, creative mechanism held deep inside us all which arises sometimes in moments of stillness when we seek to know. Other times,  a word, warning or picture  just appears  out of nowhere (now here).

It’s been said intuition is similar to a muscle; it needs to be exercised. Part of that work means believing in the inner voice, asking for its assistance regularly. Taking 5 minutes in the morning before preparing your day’s itinerary, breathing deeply and listening to what your intuition has to say is exercise. Another voice may begin a stream of objectives for the day or a “get going” demand. Hearing the innate wisdom -intuition- will take practice. Remember, any muscle doesn’t gain mass overnight.  Attention given to this “muscle” of intuition –while chopping vegetables, before opening your books to study, after tucking in children at night, as you close your own eyes at day’s end– is all exercise. It will pay off too. Solutions will arise from nowhere, the unknown will become known, surprises will grace your life by what has been referred to as our sixth sense: intuition.

“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.”
– Florence Scovel Shinn

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I am grounded, guided, and confident

January 22, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Mantra, Malas, Meditation, Mind Body Spirit

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Being ungrounded is like trying to walk in shoes that are too big: feet sliding around trying to hold on and stay centered to keep moving. Being ungrounded feels fluttery and weak, with anxious electric sparks throughout my body. It’s the tension of held breath, willing myself to think/feel/be different. Ungrounded, I do not fully inhabit myself! And it’s very difficult to receive guidance, whether it is wisdom from within or simply being present for the spontaneous lessons the universe bestows in ordinary moments.

As someone with a persistently busy mind and a tendency toward anxiety, I have found that the practice of mantra recitation using a gemstone mala to be especially calming and rejuvenating. One of the mantras I use is I am grounded, guided, and confident. While gently rolling each bead of the mala in my fingers, I recite the mantra 108 times, or more until I feel my energy begin to center and flow a little more smoothly.

The mala I use with this particular mantra is made of Smoky Quartz and Garnet beads. The inherent properties of these two stones increase the power of my practice and I visualize the stones’ healing energy being drawn into me as I touch each bead, one by one.

Smoky Quartz is the stone for grounding and connection to the earth. Because it releases negative energies from the mind and body, more energy is available for joy as well as for endurance and creativity, especially in business and organization. As a busy entrepreneur, this quality is especially helpful to me. The grounding nature of  smoky quartz promotes presence and calmness in the moment.

Garnet is a stone of health and energy. Garnet is regarded as a stone of purity and truth and is a symbol of love and compassion. Garnet is also lucky stone for love and success and is known to increase self-esteem or alleviate depression by moving energy (chi) throughout the body and dissolving emotional blockages.

After 21 days of consistent practice I felt my feet more firmly on the ground and a steady breath easier to come by. It also seemed as if  life wasn’t quite so relentlessly on fast forward, and this allowed me to more carefully evaluate what was before me and make decisions from a grounded, guided, and confident perspective.


Mind: Book 3

January 21, 2010 By: Julie Clayton Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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The Great Field: Soul at Play in a Conscious Universe
By John James, PhD

West Grinstead Publications

The Great Field is a hopeful evolutionary story about the place of the human soul within a vast, energetic universe. Far from being new, it is a perpetual story that we already know, but one that continually evolves as consciousness changes and the human story unfolds. The author presents an absorbing and original investigation into a unified theory: the Great Field. He describes it as a limitless field of energy from which everything has been created and within which everything exists. As a transpersonal psychotherapist, James’ intention is to explore the power of the personal field of energy we call “soul,” within this immense domain.

In the latter half of the book the author draws from twenty years of therapeutic practice to describe his experiences of working with clients from this paradigm: therapy becomes “transformation,” and healing occurs in the deeper fields of vibration that form our psyche. Accepting and experiencing what lives beyond the physical senses can “help to clarify all creation and give meaning to the conflicts that so damages our species,” James optimistically concludes. Writing with an innovative synthesis of scientific evidence, cultural wisdom, spiritual truth, and therapeutic data, The Great Field pioneers an original vision of human potential.

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Grace

January 20, 2010 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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The winds of grace are always blowing; it is for us to raise our sails.”

Today my neighbor left our building belted in a transport chair with two strong attendants at her sides. I heard her fearful questions outside my apartment door, asking “what are you going to do?” The EMT’s firmly but gently responded with words of assurance for her safety. As the emergency vehicle moved away with her fragile body inside, I felt relief both for my elderly neighbors and myself. It took not only the grace of the medical emergency team, but the love of her husband to change her life. Grace is compassion toward another, regard for one who struggles. In “Invisible Acts of Power,” Carolyn Myss believes there is no more powerful an act than making a choice. The grace of healing is often uncovered in these moments of action.

A young woman I know has recently returned from several months in Ghana. She worked in a refugee camp, assisting in simple but profound ways of making the lives of children in particular, a little better. Grace flowed through her as she sat with those children, being fully present to their needs and immersing herself in their meager lives. She worked side-by-side with mothers cooking meals from foods shipped to them from aid programs. This young woman was moved to study African culture with the intention of giving herself to something greater, the need of another. Many lives, including her own, are shaped by this abundance of good which she expresses through serving.

When we pay attention, we find the experience of grace often. It exists in small and larger ways: a smile from a stranger, an acquaintance making a job contact for us, someone holding open a door at the library, feeling part of community through volunteer involvement, receiving a letter in the mail from a grandchild, reading wise words from a favored author. Grace is infinite if we open our mind and heart to its wonder. A moment of time, willingness, surrender and the example of another’s courage will reveal this marvel called grace. Raising our sails to the many acts of spirits’ generosity is a gift to and from us. Being receptive to all manner of grace in our every day is to live from soul, where we and another are healed.


Mind: Book 2

January 20, 2010 By: Julie Clayton Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

Healing and Transformation Through Self-Guided Imagery
By Leslie Davenport

Celestial Arts

This book is about seeing with the heart and allowing your unconscious imagery to surface when you do, particularly in response to psychological trauma and crisis. It is one of the best written self-facilitated, self-help books I’ve seen in a while: easy but profound worksheets walk you through your own process, case studies model how the process can work, the guided imagery really does guide you, and the author’s heart-based wisdom comforts you as if she were right at your side through the entire process.

Please join me tomorrow for my review of the final book for “Mind”  in my Spiritual Tools for Conscious Living series.

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Part 2 of 3: Mind

January 19, 2010 By: Julie Clayton Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

Spiritual Tools for Conscious Living

The “mind” of body/mind/spirit is our consciousness, the means by which we interface inner and outer knowing, cause and effect, matter and energy. Self-reflective awareness is how we come to know ourselves: diving into the perceptions and impressions encoded in our mind and soul, returning to the surface with each new awareness, and holding it up to the light of source; discerning when to be still and when to take action, when to ask questions and when to surrender, when to hold on and when to let go; transforming and transmuting—glimpsing eternity in everyday life.

Throughout this week I will share three books that offer deep and profound insights for self-realization—blending psyche, science, and spirit with an awakening universe.

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
By Michael A. Singer
New Harbinger Publication
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This book is divided into five parts of soul-searching, each of which journeys ever deeper into the self: the development of consciousness; self and inner dialogue; transmuting blocks and opening the heart; embracing of universal consciousness; and coming full circle to everyday life and the pursuit of unconditional happiness. The author writes with simplicity and mastery about transcending the human condition and achieving emotional clarity and spiritual lucidity. Singer masterfully blends Eastern and Western spiritual teachings, and lovingly guides each of us to embrace new dimensions of understanding, depths of introspection, and true spiritual liberation.

Join me tomorrow for more!


Take a moment. Change your life!

January 15, 2010 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Conscious Livelihood, Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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My commitment to living mindfully and with intention has brought about tremendous transformation including the key to relief from an overwhelming sense of being rushed. For too long I was consumed by the sickening crush of too much to do, too little time to even breathe, let alone tend to the enigmatic needs of my soul.  When I decided to leave the regular 8-5 world I sought to create a new way of relating to time in my work. I knew there was a different way to approach getting things done that would be far more efficient, not to mention enjoyable.

The single most powerful thing you can do when you are overwhelmed and consumed by the rushing vibration of our modern culture is to simply STOP. It takes practice, but now I find that in just moments of stillness and breathing I am able to peel away the layers of an overwhelming feeling, regroup, and come back to the task at hand with a fresh perspective.

When I am in a rushed state I notice how I am disembodied – not breathing, disconnected – frustrated. I feel out of control, as if my to do list were in charge of me, instead of me being in charge of what I do. Disembodied. Disconnected. Out of control. With no time to stop and attend to these feelings being rushed soon becomes being crushed.

But I have a choice – we all have a choice. Coming into the moment, being here, now, holds more power than you may realize. Through practicing my commitment to intentional living – attending to the needs of my body, my mind, and my spirit – I have managed to create more space and more presence in my life while accomplishing more personally, socially and professionally than ever before. In this space, which is often just a moment or two, I can slow myself down enough to see the choices I have. Will I proceed disconnected and frustrated, or will I embody my highest principles and approach myself and others with presence and compassion?

While the hardest thing is making that first choice to STOP in the midst of panic, stress or fear, it truly is in the moments of our lives that transformation occurs. When we are able to grasp the individual beads and move them about, thoughtful and intentional, rather than seeing only the strand – each moment stuck together in a blur, we are able to take a step in a new direction; toward peace, strength, beauty and joy. Take a moment, as often as possible to connect to that, your truest essence, and see how greatly your life can change!


Possessed

January 14, 2010 By: Pamela Wright Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

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Socrates considered it a gift, an inner voice he adhered to without question in all matters. It never directed him, but merely warned of unforeseen danger and poor judgment. Plato understood there existed a spirit separate from man but assigned to him throughout his lifetime, rather like a guardian angel. Some psychology purports that in our individuation –a development toward wholeness– this power assists us in overcoming obstacles. Ironically, this protective force may also summon stumbling blocks –job downsizing or illness– that rouse us to the edge of our known, adhered to convictions and routines. As individuation matures, we witness a truer identity of personal strength, passion and vision for life’s purpose which often involves risk, a drive toward the untaken path and trust that soul’s life work is in process. Who or what orchestrates this destiny? Could it be what the ancients described as our daimon, an invisible numinous presence, divine urge, deep intuition?

I recently encountered Christopher in a social group at a local eatery. His quiet nature belied his daring story of leaving behind work as a successful attorney in the east for a more enriching experience in the northwest. Not only did he brave a significant life change, but discovered he also needed time for personal exploration every two years. Without excuses or apologies and offering thoughtful warning to his employers, he readies for departures to whichever destination calls him. I imagine this is how he soothes his soul, governs his artistic expression and allows universal intelligence to play itself through him. Remarkably, I was in touch that night with three other people who were living and loving what they do, pursuing what moved them with less heed toward making big dollars.

My youngest son personifies the phrase “living out loud.” His personal strength is robust, his passion luminous. Boarding a helicopter with several other courageous thrill seekers he landed (more than once) atop a peak in the Purcell mountain range of British Columbia, with a plan to ride –as in snowboard– the summit. Imagine “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” invoking a scene of sparkling “blower” snow, azure skies, scalloped downhill tracks, speed, and exhilaration. Sacred, untouched nature. I didn’t need to board that chopper -nor would I have the guts- to feel stirred by the magic of those moments. Watching his video journal generated tears of amazement and a constant verbalization of “oh my god; oh my god.” Colin’s divine urge to really be in this world through epic adventure and subsequent artistic portrayal of it, incites my spirit. He models a life led by daimon.

Thomas Moore describes the daimon as a primal, creative urge, perhaps directing our character, style and destiny. Living with this principle often requires whimsy, risk-taking, mysterious spontaneity. Some even call it crazy. English novelist, Margaret Drabble, declares “when nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Stepping outside our “box” isn’t easy for many people; others consider this their norm. When the daimon pounces on the psyche and opens a gateway to the soul rousing and cajoling, “something incredible is waiting to be known.” I imagine the scientific brilliance of Carl Sagan spurred on by his daimon’s impulses. In my more modest and less systematic life, I simply remain alert to signs, be true to my intuitive creative impulses and ready myself for changing course when directed . After all, possession could well be nine tenths of who we are.


Part 1 of 3: Body

January 13, 2010 By: Julie Clayton Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

Spiritual Tools for Conscious Living

There is so much information available these days about taking care of our bodies. At times it can seem overwhelming, not to mention contradictory. How do we recognize what is useful, what is coherent with our own unique biological system, and what will fit into our lifestyle?

With intention we can attune our awareness to the various elements of our body, which will provide feedback to support our particular health needs. With intention we can notice the innate intelligence within our body, expand our knowledge and understanding through outside information, and take responsive action.

As a new consciousness book and film reviewer, I read hundreds of books each year. Below I highlight one book for our physical, mental and spiritual “bodies” that I have found particularly useful. It just happens that these are mostly contemporary books, but there are many, many books, old and new, which can inform, inspire, and invigorate our intentions.

Beth Shaw’s Yogafit: The program for a more powerful, flexible and defined physique
Beth Shaw
Human Kinetics, 2009

Over the years I have been both a student and teacher of yoga, and like so many of us, my commitment to yoga goes in cycles of intensity according to my life circumstances. But what I always give myself is fifteen minutes of yoga stretches each morning, just to keep my joints loosened, my muscles stretched and worked, and to assure my body that I haven’t forsaken it. Beth Shaw’s Yogafit is a practical book suited for novice and experienced yogis alike. It has enough background information about yoga poses to satisfy our intellectual understanding, and specific experiential instructions to get us into each pose, hold it, and modify it, along with a photograph of someone in the pose. The last section of this book has ready-made workouts for fitness and specific sports activities, along with a chapter on diet and nutrition, and meditation. You can follow her workouts, make up your own, or just choose poses that resonate for you. Remember to take your time and breathe. And be sure to quiet the inner critic: yoga is not a competition, even with yourself. It’s a journey.

The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy
Cyndi Dale
Sound True, 2009

Brain research has demonstrated that our mind can’t tell the difference between something real or imagined. So, for those who may be skeptical about energetic healing, I propose that it doesn’t matter if it is “true” or not. If, in our collective psyche, we have imagined and “experienced” it to be so, then it is so. Every health issue has a physical and energetic component and every organism has numerous energy bodies within it (think acupuncture meridians, chakras, light, electric frequencies, and so on). Ancient systems mapping these energetic bodies and “information highways” have stood the test of time; more modern research of our energetic nature permeates many related fields, including quantum physics.

Although Subtle Body does not present anything new in holistic healing, it is an outstanding compendium of subtle energy anatomy, where mechanism and mysticism find common ground in whole being consciousness. More so, it is marks a milestone in the merging of science and subtle energy healing traditions, without getting too esoteric. It is visually pleasing with outstanding color photographs and overall is an extraordinary body of work and reference book for subtle energy healing.

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