photo credit: jerseytourism
It’s the end of the journey through another year, December in the northern hemisphere where I live. I love this month not for the holiday lights, shorter days and colder weather, but because things slow down for once. Largely thanks to the cluster of December holidays, the pace lets up, and there is time, space, and breathing room to reflect. Mmmmm . . . just savor how good that feels. Take a deep breath, let it out. Exhale. Doesn’t that feel wonderful?
Yet no sooner do we reflect on the past year, or our entire lives to date, than we fast forward to what we will do next, do differently, or both. We can’t help but move from reflection to dreaming and intending for the future.
Intention has been a growing focus in my life this year and is a paramount theme for 2011. And it’s not just me – the concept of living with intention seems to be popping up all around me, and I say it’s about time. Especially with science catching up to spirituality, we’re learning more all the time about the power of intention – even before it leads to action – to really and truly move the physical universe. (If you’re curious for more on that – especially the science piece – don’t miss what Lynne McTaggart is doing at The Intention Experiment. This ain’t hocus, people).
One thing’s for sure on this journey: you can set the course, or [click to continue…]
photo credit: AlicePopkorn
Hi, Karen here. While I’m off on a new accidental adventure in Barcelona Spain I invited my good friend Penelope Love to submit the following guest post. I know you’ll adore her story as much as I do. Happy Thanksgiving US readers!
My first intimate encounter with an Eastern medical doctor occurred not two weeks after 9-11, when recurrent images of crumbling towers on the nightly news all too accurately reflected my disheveled marriage to my first husband and correspondingly—my inner world.
There I stood at the outset of this fateful journey, my bare calves streaked with filthy water, my ankles rubbed raw and bleeding, again. Arrayed in my DKNY raincoat and spike heel uniform, I’d just dashed five blocks from my midtown Manhattan office and down a block decorated with Brazilian flags to make it to my doctor’s appointment on time.
It was already 11:03 by the time I found her location on the second floor of a…well, I’m still not sure, but I believe it was a residential apartment building. A massage sign on the downstairs door had almost thrown me off the scent, because being fresh out of the University of Florida, I was looking for a lone medical office, perhaps two or three stories and an elevator; and in light of a Catholic upbringing, I shuddered and almost didn’t pass go once I saw that sign. Yet I felt vaguely aware of some benevolent force drawing me in despite visions of oily naked [click to continue…]
We all think and say we want our dreams to come true, but there’s a funny catch-22 about dreams: it’s often more fun to dream them than to live them.
On the one hand, when what we desire is still “just a dream”, it’s airy – illusory and imaginary – and often highly motivating. But when and if it comes true (it manifests), the reality of a dream might not match the fantasy. Often, the dream made real feels a lot more like a goal achieved or work to be done than what you imagined your dream life to be. Which is why – with as many dreams as I have – I try to use them as a landscape in which to create specific goals. You could say I use my dream-scape as a creative play space. I think that’s part of living consciously – knowing what you want while at the same time daring to get wildly, almost insanely creative about it. Think and imagine without limits; they’ll always be there later, right?
Because on the other hand, the dream made real might far exceed the fantasy, so what have you got to lose?
For those who are serious about making dreams come true or (no matter who you are) for those dreams you’re absolutely sure you want to make real, I offer this simple recipe. (Isn’t it easier to just follow instructions than to have to find creative ways to keep ourselves motivated toward dream-making?) That’s what I love about recipes – they provide a point for an immediate beginning and a framework you can build on. The creative pressure of getting started is off , yet you can take all the creative license you want with the instructions once you have them. I encourage you to do so with this recipe too, so here it is: [click to continue…]
In any process of learning, growth or change, it’s terribly easy to get caught up in the illusion that you’re becoming “more”.
We send ourselves to school to get titles and degrees – to acquire knowledge and develop the intellect. We comb the far corners of the world to explore, see or experience more. We strive in our jobs and careers in order to become richer, promoted faster, or accredited and known in the process. We save and scheme and plan for a bigger house or more luxurious car, to live in a better neighborhood, or to send our kids to superior schools. Elite athletes train to break records, celebrities vie for more time in the spotlight and press than their peers, and politicians must outdo their opponents in fund-raising and face time to even get in the game.
Such is the metaphor for success in the modern world: climb, rise, move up, escalate, soar, transcend. Most days it feels like if you’re not advancing, you might as well not even get out of bed.
This is a serious pitfall for any seeker, because [click to continue…]