Day 45, What’s your “vicarious ratio”?

For years now I have explored within myself and observed in others the way we live “vicariously”. I listen to people talk about television shows or series they are addicted to, they chat about this famous person or that one. Today people can binge watch a whole season of a show, becoming so emotionally engrossed with the characters that for a bit they forget the world they are living in. I experience that the viewing can impact their mood and behavior, just as sports impacts others. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good movie, I love an inspirational show, and I welcome the opportunity to learn something new – so I do my share of watching too. 

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“Watching television in those days was not the same experience as it is today. After years of listening to radio, we found the black-and-white images mesmerizing.” ~Annette Funicello

Personally, I contemplate, what will the long term effects be? As I watch my children walk around with their eyes often glued to their phones or some boxed media, I struggle. However, I keep my mouth shut, for I know that the world they are growing up in is very different than the world I grew up in. The world and time I matured in was very different than my parents and we can say this forever, generation after generation. So, where is the line? What is a healthy balance? How is the constant use of technology and media feed going to change us and the next generation?

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“Viewers can’t work or play while watching television; they can’t read; they can’t be out on the streets, falling in love with the wrong people, learning how to quarrel and compromise with other human beings. In short, they are asocial.” ~Pete Hamill

I think for me the biggest struggle is that I see so many people living their lives vicariously through the screen versus engaging in their own life. They are not going out there to create or experience. It seems to be a new way to do life, watch other people. Let’s dream about having all those things and doing all that stuff, but never move out of the chair, except to refill the food bowl and drink cup. It perplexes and frightens me a bit with regard to the long term effects. Are we going to become like “Wall-E” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RcNwlq7JSw, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WALL-E), or “The Giver” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJNNugNe0Wo, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giver) or “The Lorax” (original version – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V06ZOQuo0k)?

It is fun to watch a movie and have some feel good emotions or inspiration. It is nice to just relax and let your brain travel someplace else. I enjoy learning something new that I would not otherwise be exposed to, thanks to the “magical airwaves”. Going to the movies with others and then philosophizing together after, is one of my favorite things to do. As a kid, I loved watching my weekly shows, “Little House On The Prairie”, “The Waltons”, “The Love Boat”, etc… The characters became people in my world. I maybe spent an hour to two in front of the TV and that was not everyday. Today, we are viewing something almost all the time – is this good? Is it bad? Or???

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“This whole thing about reality television to me is really indicative of America saying we’re not satisfied just watching television, we want to star in our own TV shows. We want you to discover us and put us in your own TV show, and we want television to be about us, finally.” ~Steven Spielberg

My curiosity is, what makes some people want to watch others live the dream they want, while others go out to create the dream? Is there benefit in living vicariously through such means? Is there a magic balance between the two? I suppose there might not be a true answer. With the pace of technology inventions there may be no way to measure or evaluate for it is all becoming something new tomorrow. I do wonder, when they look back a 100 years from now, how will they archeologically figure out how we lived? Will they see us as wise or the beginning of the fall?

Vicarious living is a concept I like to explore, we have always done it in one form or another, computer, TV, books, going to a play, a game, etc… It does seem to be one of the ways we learn. My recent concern is, are we so busy watching, we are forgetting how to live?

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“If I hear the word ‘retire,’ it makes me want to throw up. And then do what? Sit around all day watching television?” ~Joan Collins

As you go forth today, I ask you, do you live your life more through vicarious interactions, or engaged personal interactions? If you could create your life movie what would it look like? A.C.T. (always choose truth) with personal engagement today, exploring how you might wish to live and be engaged with your life. Chat with you next week…

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Day 44, Cyclical Denial or Acceptance?

Today, I find myself quite stumped as to what shall I write? The world around me is caught up in the pre-holiday frenzy. In a world that already seems over the top with busy-ness, I find it fascinating to watch the intensity of that increase. The ten plus years I was in the wine business as a seller or buyer were crazy at this time of year, whew.., I was always counting down the days until the New Year, for on January 2nd, the sales would fall off. Everyone was embracing their New Year’s resolution to not drink so much and get in shape. By the third week of January, the sales would start to pick back up and steadily increase as we got closer to patio season and summer play time.

We are funny cyclical creatures, almost despite ourselves. It makes perfect sense that we would intrinsically be this way, for nature and the earth itself follow a cyclical pattern. The tide comes in and goes out. The seasons swirl each year (I realize some places stay more consistent). A farmer gets to work around the cycle of his crops and animals. Night and day rotate on the twenty-four hour time clock and life and death create their own complete turn. There is a comfort in the loops of our life, a knowing of something coming around again, the grace of ebb and flow.

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“Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.” ~Margaret Mead

Now is our time for immense intensity in many places around the world, a time of festive celebration. Last night, I gifted myself with a walk in the dark, a great way to relax the body and free the mind before bed. I used to do this quite often, but due to my early 3 to 4am wake ups, I am often down for the count and already enjoying the idea of dreamland before the stars can beckon me forth. It was quiet, so quiet last night. The air was still and slightly heavy, the inversion still clinging to the atmosphere. I listened to the layers of silence, the clop of my shoes as they hit the sidewalk, and the occasional passing car. I enjoyed viewing the Christmas light extravaganza, taking in their unique expressions.

I caught myself free falling into a space of questioning. Humanity is a curious thing to explore, for we rage against that which we perpetuate. Denying our chosen cyclical patterns which we partake in over and over again. Perhaps it is our quiet way to stay stuck, to not raise the bar, for then we will have to show up, shine, be real and openly authentic. So, if we hit repeat, we know what comes next. Quit drinking for awhile, then gradually increase throughout the year until we can quit again. Start a serious workout routine the beginning of the year, only to gradually give up and come back again next year. The quiet promises spoken about not watching so much TV, getting more involved in the community, volunteering, spending more quality time with the family, make more money, get a better job or start a business, take better care of the body, mind, and spirit….

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“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.” ~Stephen Covey

I must agree and admit guilt when it comes to enjoying the sensation of a New Year, for it does feel like you get a new opportunity to get it right. To try again from a clean slate. Here is where I marvel at people, we make these resolutions and commitments and think that miraculously overnight we will change our ingrained comfortable habit. So, we start out all gusto, only to inch our way back to the known behavior and pattern. How often do we have to hear that it takes at least twenty-one consecutive days to change a pattern? That a new way of being will not happen overnight? For me, metaphorically it is like weight training, a new muscle does not form, without consistent effort and focus. Why should we think behavioral patterns are any different? It takes daily CHOOSING and sometimes moment to moment CHOOSING. Like the Detox I have coming up for people through my Health Coaching, they will get to CHOOSE to stay true to the dietary guidelines or cheat on themselves. Behind closed doors the thought will be, “no one will know”, the sweet little lie we tell ourselves, yet the most important person already knows – YOU.

In our funny life ride, we are at CHOICE to perpetually deny our cyclical patterns or accept them. Frankly, some of them I want to accept and keep, for I like them and they make me smile with nostalgia when they come around. Others do not serve me, thus it is time to develop new muscles in those arenas, to CHOOSE day in and day out a new way of being. Gradually the New Way will take over and I can wave bye bye to the old cyclical pattern.

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“I believe we create our own lives. And we create it by our thinking, feeling patterns in our belief system. I think we’re all born with this huge canvas in front of us and the paintbrushes and the paint, and we choose what to put on this canvas.” ~Louise L. Hay

As you go out into the Holiday cheer today, take a real look in the mirror, what cyclical behaviors and patterns do you wish to accept and keep? Which do you want to notice and no longer deny hurt you, so you can make a new choice? A.C.T. (always choose truth) with the knowledge that you do have cyclical patterns to honor or discard.

Day 43, Are Your Perceptions Truly Your Own???

At the end of November, I briefly explored ATTACHMENT, the first section of my second book in the “K.I.S.S. Happiness Is Easy.., Series”. Today, I want to dig into PERCEPTION, the second section of “Stop APE-ing Around” (Attachment, Perception, Expectation = APE). Perception is the quieter one of the three and yet it is profoundly life impacting, if not actually more due to its under the radar existence.

Let’s start out by looking at the dictionary definition of this powerful little word:

per·cep·tion

pərˈsepSH(ə)n/

noun

1. the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

2. the state of being or process of becoming aware of something through the senses.

3.  a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression

Oh my, see what I mean. Ten little letters that pack an intense punch! Perception rules my moment to moment experiences through my senses and awareness, then it comes back around to “limit” or “expand” my understanding, interpretation, impression and or regard for something. Hmmm…might not be talked about very much, but can you now see how it is the spider that builds the web of Attachment and Expectation?

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“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” ~William Blake

Let’s think about this a bit and go back in time. You are born with no Attachments as we previously discussed and then the journey of life helps you to build many Attachments. How do we acquire those Attachments, through our experiences and teachings? If that is the case, then Perception is the foundation for our Attachments, for as we engage in life we are constantly digesting through our senses (#1 above), creating an interpretation (#3 above) that we then decide to own or belief. It will likely stay stuck or Attached based on our decision of “what it means to us; our perception” unless something comes along to change it or make us look at it again.

To put this into simple and complex examples –

  • As a baby/child I was blessed to be lovingly cared for, thus, being held and touched gave me a sense of comfort, safety, security. Now, how would I feel about touch if I had been neglected and or abused as a baby/child, what would my perception be?
  • Hypothetical example – I am a child growing up with parents who have no judgments about race or sexuality, thus I grow up with the perceptional experience that all people are “equal”. How would my perception differ, if I grew up with parents who hated blacks and homosexuals?
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“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you.” ~Deepak Chopra
  • I am a student who is popular in school, learning comes easy and I am well liked by the teachers and staff – what do you think my perception of learning and schools is? Now, I am a kid who is bullied, struggles with learning, and has very few friends – what is my perception now?
  • I go to a party with a friend, I meet lots of new people, everyone is nice and welcoming – what is my perception of this party? The other friend who came with us, met a guy who wouldn’t leave her alone, when she asked him to stop following her around, he became verbally abusive – how is she going to feel/perceive the party? Same party – two very different perceptions.
  • Depending on where you live in the world, I am going to bet that your perception about “who is attractive” differs from mine.
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“Science is nothing but perception.” ~Plato

Perceptions are being formulated in all our moments, for even when we are sleeping, we are in a dream perception or subconscious experience. If you wake to a sound (sense), where do you go in your thoughts? Fear? Curiosity? How does your past experience or societal teachings impact your reaction when you are wakened by a sudden sound? This reaction is based upon your perceptional sensing (#1 above) and then, what meaning (#3 above) you give it.

Oh, I could go on and on, however, this is a blog entry, not a book, so I shall try to summarize. Perceptions are the glorious experiences that we Attach meaning to, they help us to formulate what we do or don’t want. They impact how we see the world around us, for they are the little root causes to how we judge and interpret meaning. They are sometimes sneaky, while at other times overtly in your face. The gift I have received by creating awareness around perception for myself, is beginning to look at them with inquiry. Is a perception I created around an experience when I was young, one that I want to keep, is it true for me, does it serve me? Am I open to seeing through another’s perspective, to perhaps reshape a perception I formulated due to my limited scope and life experience? When I dig into my Attachments and Expectations, what perceptions planted the seeds for their existence? The bottom line in this exploratory search is to free myself to CHOOSE how I want to engage in life. What do I want to feel and explore in my moments? In Choosing to Perceive a situation one way or another, I dictate what I emotionally experience and participate in. Play it out for yourself, it can be a fun and interesting game.

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“There is no truth. There is only perception.” ~Gustave Flaubert

As you go forth today, challenge yourself to be consciously aware of your senses and the meaning you put on things, stuff, etc… What perceptions do you formulate about the business meeting, traffic, a conversation..? What story do you write based upon your Attachments, Perceptions, and Expectations? Do you assume everyone else sees and experiences it the same? A.C.T. (always choose truth) with the awareness that your life journey is uniquely your own, another person sees and experiences the world through very different Perceptions.

Day 42, “Tomorrow…”

Inversion blahs…!! I live in Boise, Idaho, where during the winter time we are often “gifted” by consistent days of gray cold inversion. I do not do well with so many days in a row that have no color differentiation. Presently it mirrors my business, stuck in blah, because everyone is zooming around in the holiday buzz, with nothing left over to engage in self care. Guess it is a good thing the New Year follows so quickly behind all the intensity of the Holiday demands, for it encourages us to Reboot and start afresh.

Today I encourage myself to look past the gray, drab, biting cold day to embrace the little song, “Tomorrow” from Annie, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yop62wQH498), or “Here Comes The Sun” by the Beatles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgiQD56eWDk), or “Sunshine On My Shoulders” by John Denver (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgiQD56eWDk), yes, just listening to them as I place them here upon the page lifts my spirits.

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“Every day is a good day to be alive, whether the sun’s shining or not.” ~Marty Robbins

It is a great metaphor for life, in that there are up days and challenging days – all the while we are at choice with how we will choose to feel. I sit back, take in the gray day and know that the sun will come back out eventually. I know that if I drive up towards the mountains, I will drive into the sun and rise above the gray stuck pollution. With the business, I recognize and honor that people are so busy making sure all the presents are bought and wrapped and Holiday parties attended, that there is no energy left for anything else. So, it is not a time for people to sign up for Health Coaching, Interpersonal Work, or Detoxing. It is the quiet time for me to sit back and observe the hustle, aware that many people will look to the New Year as their time to change.

Did you know that statistically 80% of the people will give up on their New Year’s Resolution by February (http://www.businessinsider.com/new-years-resolutions-courses-2016-12). I remember experiencing this when I was a weight trainer at the YMCA, January was crazy with all these new members, then February would slow and by March, forget it, we were back to the usual capacity. Take a peek at last year’s New Years Resolutions – https://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/, what I have come to hear and see for years now. I share just one more tidbit, for in reading about this, I found two articles that talked about only 8% of the people will keep their Resolutions – (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-years-resolutions-psychology_us_5862d599e4b0d9a59459654c) – Wow!!

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“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

I find all of that quite sad, when for the most part our New Year’s Resolutions are things we want to improve about ourselves. In all the years I have worked out and eaten healthy (30 plus years), I have watched the “give-up” pattern over and over and over again. Being healthy is not a quick fix, take a pill and you are all set. It is a lifestyle! It is choosing day in and day out to honor the one body, mind, and spirit you have been given.  It will be interesting for me to share my annual detox with others. How many people will see it through to experience the profound shift in their whole being? How many who say they want to do it now, will bail on themselves between now and January 5th? It is always fascinating to sit back and watch what people choose.

It has been my personal experience that changing a habit, pattern and or behavior takes time and consistent aware practice. For me, I have a “strong muscle” built up around health and fitness, this year I shall tackle my weak muscle – finances. It will take focused sincere intent to create change and manifest. As I tackle it, one day at a time, I know that the changes I seek shall become.

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“If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.” ~Cyril Cusack

Just as I know with patient, persistent action, my business will grow and become, I also know that the Sun will come out tomorrow…. May today be full of new awarenesses for you, light behind the clouds, and rainbows on the horizon. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with perseverance and humble faith for the future you can envision in your heart.

Day 41, Infinite Wisdom

One of the six books I am presently juggling and reading in between the crazy moments of my life is “From Poverty to Power” by James Allen. It was published in 1901, yet as I read the words I am struck by the infinite wisdom they offer.

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“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” ~James Allen

In his chapter titled, “The Secret Of Abounding Happiness”, he states, “Great is the thirst for happiness, and equally great is the lack of happiness. The majority of the poor long for riches, believing that their possession would bring them supreme and lasting happiness. Many who are rich, having gratified every desire and whim, suffer from ennui and repletion and are further from the possession of happiness even than the very poor. If we reflect upon this state of things, it will ultimately lead us to a knowledge of the all-important truth that happiness is not derived from mere outward possessions, nor misery from the lack of them; for if this were so, we should find the poor always miserable the rich always happy, whereas the reverse is frequently the case.” Hmmm.., I do not think I have to add any commentary to that statement. I know I have experienced its truth, often on a daily basis.

Upon arriving at his next chapter, “The Realization of Prosperity”, he states, “It is granted only to the heart that abounds with integrity, trust, generosity, and love to realize true prosperity. Here I suppose one gets to look to their personal definition of prosperity, for its meaning is purely derived from our emotional internal self. What is your definition of “prosperity”?

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“Our life is what our thoughts make it. A man will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.” ~James Allen

I shall conclude my little exploration into James Allen’s infinite wisdom by sharing one of his quotes –

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”

My interpretation of this quote is the deep truth that all which surrounds us, was once a dream. Someones creative ability to see what could be. Nature always carries its vision of grandeur, its tapestry of creation. Within the bud lies the bloom, waiting to glorify and awaken the senses. If you gaze around your home, who’s dream was it to create the lightbulb, stove, computer, indoor plumbing, mirror, carpet….? As we look outside our windows, who’s vision was it to create the car, airplane, roads, grocery store, bank, restaurant? Do you not find yourself grateful that someone along the way did not give up on their dream? For if they had, what you enjoy, what gives you freedom and comfort, would not be in existence.

I love the last line, “Dreams are the seedlings of realities”, for it gives me hope. The hope rises not just from my own constant dreaming and believing, but also from the sheer faith that there are many dreamers out there. They are all over the world, coming from diverse backgrounds, with incredulous visions for the universe. They offer various perspectives with a kaleidoscope of intentions. I conclude with a curiosity. While we think and say we are “advancing”, I do wonder and ponder, shall we find ourselves returning to the simple infinite wisdom of thinkers like James Allen, Thoreau, Gandhi, Aristotle, Einstein, Socrates, Rousseau, etc..? For is the truth no matter how “advanced” we become, always wrapped up in the same seedling that awaits its time to bud?

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“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” ~James Allen

As you embark on a new week, may infinite wisdom rise up to greet you in today and everyday. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with chosen thought and intention today, leave behind the reactionary defensive behavior to welcome in the peace of inner knowing.

Day 40, “Walking Naked Truth”??

People are always so sweet when I share my business/blog name, they control their facial reactions and do not ask, “Why did you name it that?”; not wanting to offend or hurt my feelings. I welcome the inquiry and definitely will not take it personal – yet they refrain. Some check out my “About” page on my website (http://walkingnakedtruth.com/) or blog and get the short answer. Today I feel inclined to expand a bit, so you can maybe feel good about directing people to my “stuff”.

Walking = This bi-pedal mode of motion is rare in the creature world, so we have a unique musculoskeletal ability. Figuratively I like to question, do we use this gift to step into our future and the next moment, or do we stay stuck and frozen, or choose to walk in circles repeating our patterns of where we have already traveled. While it is lovely to carry the sweet memories of our past in our being, I am not sure it serves us to stay stuck in our past behaviorally; it is as though our feet are cemented to that experience or reaction. In choosing to step forward, we keep our momentum in the present moment, heading toward a future. Electing to be open to the possibilities and aware of that which we consciously choose. Thus, I see and feel “walking” as a flow of motion, an opportunity to step into our dreams, passions, joys, and loves. Expressing ourselves to the world through our way of walking – do we skip, drag, spin, dance, stand still, stomp, kick, jig.., how we engage in our lives is visibly expressed in our walk. How do you want to “Walk” forth in your life?

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“Walking is man’s best medicine.” ~Hippocrates

Naked = We enter this world completely clothesless, bare and exposed. A blank canvas to be adorned and dressed. An empty white page, naked of ink, for the life story is yet to be written. Do we care when we are young if have clothes on? Are we self conscious about how we express ourselves in our bodies? Do we hide and feel ashamed of our physical form? In my life experience, I joyfully loved the innocent freedom of children with their bodies when I worked at a Daycare, they were so exuberant to express unabashedly. Then when I worked in a nursing home, I felt such sadness, for many of the patients felt dishonored in their forced exposure, due to personal capabilities. There were those rare special ones, who felt confident, peaceful, and accepting of their present life situation, they humbly with profound grace offered up their nudity without shame or fear. Naked to me represents full exposure, open, and completely present. Free of walls, attachments, expectations, secrets, or hiding. Choosing to be vulnerable, with an open heart and soul. A willingness to celebrate all that has been, that which is presently expressing and all that shall yet become. Do you cover yourself up with more than clothes?

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“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” ~Steve Jobs

Truth = Have you ever noticed how truthful a toddler or child is? They spew out whatever is true in that moment for them. They do this with such authentic sincerity, until they become “trained” on what is right or wrong to say, or are impacted by the cause and effect of their words and actions. As we grow, truth becomes lost behind a smoke screen of perceived and chosen attachments and expectations. Most people completely detach from their own inner knowing truth. “Truth” becomes a mirror of what we are told it should be, yet within each of us a solid quiet space resides, a force willing to guide, share, and express in sincere, humble, integrity. Our truth is free of outside attachments, perceptions, expectations and judgments, it is uniquely our own. In learning to hear and connect to it, we can “Walk” forth in full “Naked Truth” to be our passionate, expressive, dynamic, loving self. Do you know how to breathe into and hear YOUR truth?

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“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” ~Albert Einstein

Thus my business and blog name is “Walking Naked Truth”, for it is my personal belief that being our naked truth frees us to walk forth in life with passion, joy, and peace; open to the wonders of the world and each other. It unencumbers us from staying stuck in victim, blame and shame. Our bodies natural truth is to be healthy and happy, provided we care for and nourish it. Embracing the truth propels us forward, walking with awareness that we are at choice, our life is in our “hands, mind and heart”. Thus we step away from a REACTIONARY life to embrace a life of CHOICE.

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“I don’t know what my path is yet. I’m just walking on it.” ~Olivia Newton-John

May today be a joyful expression of your “walking naked truth”, free of all inhibiting and limiting chains. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with unabashed joy, love, and passion – then experience what unfolds.

Day 39, Looking for Inspiration…

Today I struggle to write. I look out the window to watch thick soupy fog holding steady to the scene. I can hear the random quack of a duck as it skates across the pond, the sound lets me know the day is moving. I search within myself for inspiration, hoping for a spark to ignite. Like the fog, I am trying to lift. All that greets me outside the window is shades of gray, the outline of leaf-less trees barely visible through the suspended moist air. Nothing moves, it is so still and heavy. On days like this I love to be curled up by the warmth of a wood stove, for the the crackle reminds me that there is life, and the dancing flames bring in color and movement. No wood stove here, I instead welcome the flicker of a nearby candle.

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“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

Inspiration, hmmmm… I ponder that for a moment. Today I am a bit perplexed by it, for usually I can find it everywhere. It eludes me, just out of reach. I can hear it in my thoughts of people I admire, the authors that never gave up, the leaders who stood up without fear, the singers who poetically express through sound, the athlete who pounds it out day after day, the parent who gets up to care for their children no matter what – yep, the inspiring people are there in my minds view. Yet, it almost feels like they too are taking a seat today, quietly hidden behind the fog.

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“There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Do you remember when you were young how you would play in your imaginary world, often with invisible friends and family. I like that idea for today. A day of pretend. Let’s pretend that my second book is complete and on the shelf. I shall make believe that there are 500 people or more signed up for the Detox journey – that would be FUNl! I will imagine facilitating a big workshop that gives people the experiential journey to practice the teachings from my book series. I will pretend that I have a bunch of friends coming over for dinner and games, oh how I love these times. And in my make believe world, I enjoy the company of a special someone. It is fun to dance in this imaginary world.

I shall cradle the visions of my make believe world. They are my inspirations for today. In addition I will plant in my being the wise words of one my heroes, Henry David Thoreau, for he was one to walk his own path. Many young people reading this will not even know who he is, much less wish to read his works. I relate to Thoreau, his desire to live a simple life, one that is focused on connection with others and nature. A life that does not get caught up in the rat race of “do” with no real meaning. Thus, I shall utilize his quotes and my imaginary world to pull myself up and out of the fog.

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“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” ~Henry David Thoreau

We all have days like this, sometimes they are just moments. Like the wise words my great grandma used to say, “this too shall pass”. I know that within a very short time, some bright spark of light will break through the fog to ignite my day with gusto, joy, love and miraculous grace.

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“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” ~Henry David Thoreau

As you go forth today, I hope you are inspired from within and without. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with gentleness towards yourself and others, as you step forth into what is forming.

Day 38, Humility Practice!

As I work on book two “Stop APE-ing Around” and the “21 Day Transformational Detox” to share with others (be on the look out for the Youtube channel on both), I find myself reflecting on the lessons I have learned along life’s path. Smiling of course, for I am always a work in progress, growing and becoming everyday.

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“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

A practice I started years ago, continues to surface with soft grace. I keep trying to remember when I embraced this powerful practice. I think it came around the time I had a life altering experience with forgiveness, which rocked me to my core and changed me forever. It was the summer of 2008, a time of humbling proportions for me. The dictionary defines humility and humble as a “lowering” of one’s importance or dignity. While “lower” is often defined as less than, I must say that with regard to humble humility, the “lowering” of my importance and or dignity is the most gracious gift I can give myself and others. When I am in this state I feel as though I float on a cloud of love, wrapped with sunlit inter-connectedness.

hu·mil·i·ty

noun

1. a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.

hum·ble

verb

1. lower (someone) in dignity or importance.

So, where does humble humility fit in with my next book, the detox and a practice? Well, the book is digging into how Attachments, Perceptions, and Expectations (APE) can intensely impact our relationships and interactions with others. The detox requires one to let go of addictions, patterns, and sabotaging behaviors with food, to really get clean within the body, mind and spirit. The practice keeps me in humble honoring authenticity with myself and all others.

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“An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person’s main task in life – becoming a better person.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

The day lightening struck me with the true intensity of forgiveness, is also the moment I came home to a practice that can always bring me back to the truth. I am not a “religious” person, actually rebelled against it all during my growing up years, I am however a very spiritual being, and have been my whole life. That being said, on the morning of my grand awakening, the teaching to bow and wash the feet of another, especially one once considered an enemy, absolutely filled my heart and soul with a level of love beyond anything I had ever thought possible.

I took this newfound awareness and asked for the privilege to wash the feet of the person involved with my profound journey. They elected not to receive, which of course was of their choosing. I bowed in gratitude and swelled with joy for the love I could now feel for this person. Since this experience I check myself always to see if I am in a space of loving humility, leaving behind the ego attachments, perceptions, expectations and judgments. It is a “feeling” driven experience, as all things truly are…

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“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” ~Saint Augustine

How does it work? When I find myself reacting to someone, I understand clearly that I am taking something personal, due to attachments, perceptions, expectations or judgments. This is not how I personally wish to connect or experience time with others. So, I check myself! I take a deep breath, truly look at the person and ask my internal self, “Can I bow down in this moment to wash this person’s feet?” As I shift into the humble feeling, all reaction is washed away and I am free to interact from a place of compassion and truth. When I move into the feeling of humility, I visualize myself washing their feet, how incredible it feels to honor someone with such vulnerable openness. I am free of all attachments, preconceived perceptions, expectations and judgments in that moment. It changes everything.

I am no better than another. I am merely a human being doing my best with love, compassion, joy, and a little bit of grace. With this practice, I get to always choose love. It does not mean I stay and allow myself to be attacked or abused. It frees me inside to not carry and hold the experience as negative. I get to drop into humility, forgive, let go, and step forward accordingly. It is a simple practice that has empowered and changed how I live. I am daily grateful for the light heart it bestows upon me.

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“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

May today offer you the gentle cradling of humility, for its loving grace opens grand pathways to the heart and soul. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with humble awe for the gifts that each new day bestows upon you.

Day 37, The Five Things…

Today as I journey some questioning about my path, I sit in the “monkey mind”, the one that uses fear of failure and scarcity as its controlling force. I breathe deep into the inner sensation of “False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR)”, I look at it as though it plays across a movie screen. I acknowledge it there and look at the reality with no emotional attachment. I am willing to do what it takes. I have no pride involved. I just want to do what I was put here to share, to serve and be the difference. I am a loving, happy, content soul, who enjoys and finds great magnificence and grandeur in the simple things of life.

I ponder, for if I took money out of the picture, I absolutely know I am doing what I am meant to do and all is perfect as it is right now. So, I consciously work on that muscle, for it is the weak one in my life – financial abundance. Definitely a muscle that needs daily focus, intention, action, and acceptance of its purpose. I do feel it growing, I am getting stronger in this arena. Maybe today the muscle I get to focus upon is humble trusting patience that ALL is aligning perfectly. It is that muscle which works in divine symmetry with surrender, the kind of surrender that let’s go of extreme control, while not giving up on the daily grind to succeed, there is a big difference.

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“Authenticity is everything! You have to wake up every day and look in the mirror, and you want to be proud of the person who’s looking back at you. And you can only do that if you’re being honest with yourself and being a person of high character. You have an opportunity every single day to write that story of your life.” ~Aaron Rodgers

Everyone today is so bombarded, things zoom in from all angles and at all times. How do I get people to breathe deeply just for a few moments? Stopping long enough to notice the pure grace of NOW? Perhaps I am a very simple being, for the things that bring me the most pleasure, love and joy, do not require the swipe of a credit card, or the crinkle of paper money. They require presence and time. The still moment taking in a miraculous sunrise. The musical sound of a fire crackling in the wood stove. The glorious chorus of friends laughing together. The pure sharing of bread over a meal made with love. The unbelievable gift of feeling the earth beneath my feet, the breeze on my skin, the warm touch of a caring hand. Oh, how I could go on and on with the pure dew drops of grace that swell my heart, soul and mind.

The other day I was listening to one of my motivational teaching mentors, he presented a question that made me stop and think, “What are the five things you would want written on your gravestone or shared about you in your eulogy?” Gulp, that snaps you to attention, like pulling a scab off a wound. “How do I want to be remembered? How do I want to impact people along my path? What do I wish to leave behind? What legacy do I wish to leave my children?

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“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” ~Abraham Lincoln

I think about the people I have loved who have passed on. What do I remember about them? What stirs me as I think of them? All memories wrap around an emotional experience. Shared times, “good and bad”. I remember times of laughter. I recall sweet walks and deep conversations. I smile at the memory of my great grandma teaching me to bake, my grandpa skiing with me, my grandma and I sharing a tiny burger at the little diner, helping my great grandpa put on his socks… All of my memories pull up emotions, experiences of shared loving time together.

So, how do I want to be remembered? When people think of me I want a smile to cross their face and a joyful warmth to fill their heart. I want a dance to gurgle up from within their soul. A believe to sprout that the world is good and love is safe. I want to be remembered for always having faith, for never giving up on the truth of love, joy, peace, compassion, and being present with each other. I want to be the small moments in their hearts, the laughter in their ears, the skip in their step, the reminder that life is preciously magnificent.

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“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.” ~Anne Frank

The ending of one year to welcome in a New Year has that little sensation of something dying never to be again, while juxtaposing a new birth. As I look at 2017 coming quickly to a close I glance back over the year with awe and humble gratitude. In looking ahead I take a deep breath and chuckle, for I have learned that life is FULL of surprises, small and large!! So as I plan and map out my dreams, taking daily action steps, I also giddily wiggle, for I just know there will be unexpected adventure along the way.

Today is a good day for me to face my fears, to look them in the loving eye and say, “Thank you, I appreciate your sharing, but I CHOOSE to continue to step with faith, courage, determination, love, and joy. I am on my path of purpose, putting one foot in front of the other on the crisp frosty path of today with gratitude.”

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“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What five things do you want to be on your gravestone, spoken in your eulogy? How do you want to be remembered? What we focus upon and live each day becomes our life. What shall you focus upon and live in 2018?

A.C.T. (always choose truth) with humble awareness today, acknowledging that how you interact and live today effects more than yourself.

Day 36, “One Chunk At A Time…”

So, I sit here before the white page and ponder the many ideas that swirl around my brain – “What do I put to the page this morning?” I go back and forth between so many diverse things, for my whole being is swirling with all the ideas that pop forth. The random zooming of thoughts, “Do I talk about the next book, do I talk about the upcoming 21 Day Detox that I am so excited to share, do I discuss some deep thought and feeling around gratitude, or that each moment is a fragile experiment held in space…” I decide to just be honest with the moment, the truth of fears, the mental experience of overwhelm, and the vulnerable reality of “I don’t really know what shall unfold” – I am completely embraced in the free fall of faith and being true to my life calling/purpose.

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“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

In just a month I will be sharing a 21 Day Detox with whomever signs up to experience the profound transformational journey. I get so excited when I think about it, for I know how GOOD you feel once you go through the 11 days of the detox. The body is such a miraculous machine, if we truly take care of it, the power it has to heal and gloriously care for us with grand energetic joy is phenomenal. I always wish for everyone to feel the pure grace of natural health!! In our increasingly unhealthy world, especially in the United States, so embarrassing when we know “better”, I ponder why we do not put our inner and outer self care higher on the “must do” list. If we are not healthy, everything we experience gets tainted and pulled down.

I digress, for the blog began with “One Chunk At A Time…” As I look at all I wish to get done and present before the Detox, I begin to think I am crazy. Yet, if I chunk it out one piece at a time it can be done with focused TLC and determination. As I work on the Detox project, I keep plugging away on book two, have three Women’s Circles to celebrate with during the month, one on one clients to delightfully share time with, a workshop to plan for in January and at the core a business to facilitate. In the back of my simple mind, I hear the chant “keep it simple”, my favorite mantra!! It always reminds that doing stuff one chunk at a time to the best of my ability is just perfect.

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“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” ~Henry David Thoreau

So, today I chunk out rising to face technology challenges – teaching this ole girl new tricks, so I can reach out to the world. This is both scary and exciting!! Mailchimp here I come! Youtube, you are next!! Then there is the organizing of the materials and videos for the 21 Day Transformational Detox!! Whoo Hoo, “We have only just begun…”!! As the business grows and I can afford it, I shall gleefully hand over the technology pieces to someone who really knows what they are doing and it is their passion. Patience, perseverance and time.

It has been my experience throughout the years as I have worked with people that often someone has this amazing dream that they are quite passionate about. They talk about, lighting up with excitement and joy. Yet, they never take action. Why? When asked, there is always the excuses, time, money, know-how, and most importantly energy needed to manifest. What some people do not realize is that as you step towards your dreams your energy begins to skyrocket, for nothing is more exciting than doing what you love! The other missing truth, is that you accomplish it one step at a time – one chunk at a time. The dreamer looks out at the BIG picture and says internally, “How can I ever accomplish that?” I encourage every dreamer out there to break it down, one bite size piece at a time. What happens next is the miracle aspect, things start to flow into place, connections occur, answers come, it begins to cooperatively manifest.

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“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ~Lao Tzu

Do you have a dream that you keep putting on the shelf? Why? Do you know something I don’t, about turning back time? Our time is fragile and fleeting, “If not today then when?” Is your dream possible if you just took one small action step everyday? What could you do today that would move you one step closer and make you feel alive? I invite you to stop falling prey to your distractions, addictions, and excuses, tomorrow is already here!!

May today be full of successfully chewed up chunks, leaving you a sense of accomplishment and excitement for what is next on the adventure of your life. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with conviction towards that which you dream to create, experience and share!