Monday, November 30, 2009


Spirit never acts in a fixed way. In general, to hear that someone you love needs you does result in fulfilling the need. There are certain loving instincts that come naturally when you are in touch with spirit:

You don’t oppose. You put feelings over results. You want to help. Service gives rise to feelings of joy. You put another’s wishes on the same plane as your own.

These instincts develop and mature through surrender over the years. But if you go back again to the experience of falling in love, you will see that these aren’t learned responses. Love already contains them. Love automatically means release from ego conflict and struggle.

A single experience of falling in love isn’t a complete release, since struggle inevitably returns, but lovers get at least a glimpse of the Way. Whether they can articulate it or not, this is what they discover:

It takes no effort to love. The state of being has its own innate joy. Questions answer themselves if you are aware enough. Life is safe. Flowing with the current of being is the simplest way to live. Resistance never really succeeds. Controlling the flow of life is impossible.

These are the realizations that bring a person out of struggle. Struggle is born of the ego’s isolation; it ends when you can find the Way and surrender to its guiding force.

Since one of man’s most prized qualities is his ability to struggle against diversity, a life of nonstruggle falls far outside our current worldview. Yet to come from love obviously cannot be a struggle. How are the two reconciled?

The answer lies in free will. Humans can choose to end the struggle and come from love–every day this possibility is precisely what you face in your relationships.

Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).
love, surrender, struggle,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

After Thankfulness

-Devlyn Steele

I know God won't give me anything I can't handle, I just wish he wouldn't trust me so much.

-Mother Teresa

The Thanksgiving holiday came and went. Some took the time to reflect, acknowledge and share what they were thankful for. Others just dug right into the food, and some didn't even think about being thankful, but instead were more focused on what was going wrong in their lives.

Regardless, Thanksgiving has concluded and we're back to our routines, and for many the notion of being thankful has also come and gone. The past year has been a tough year for a lot of us. The economic turmoil has created fear, strain and stress. Many are also facing career and financial obstacles. These obstacles may have lead to relationship strain, high anxiety and or depression. With the struggles we face every day, it's often a difficult concept to remember to be thankful.

It's precisely when times are tough that we need to be most grateful. It's easy to point out what is wrong, complain or to be bitter. Concentrating on the negative takes no imagination, and doesn't clear the path to see other possibilities. In fact, dwelling on our problems builds a wall that impedes our ability to see past our obstacles. When we cannot see the possibility of things improving we lose motivation and quality of life. Without motivation we fail to get into action to create real change in our lives. Then as we stay stuck in the negative unable to get into action, we lose our enjoyment of the day.

Learning to change your perspective to being more grateful creates a new experience in life. It allows you to enjoy where you are and fosters an atmosphere of hope. Hope allows you to see a future with possibilities of improvement. Thinking that things can get better creates motivation. Motivation gets you into action today towards building a brighter future. Getting into action gives you confidence that you can improve your life. Having the opportunity to improve your life is something that you can be grateful for. Developing a deep sense of gratitude will make you stronger and propel you into a cycle of action to improve every aspect of your life.

If you feel that you have nothing to be grateful for, then start by just being grateful for experiencing this day. Being grateful for this day means you have an opportunity to get into action, which in turn mean you have the possibility of improving any aspect of your life. Once you start being grateful you will jump start improvement in your life. You will discover that you actually have so much more to be grateful for. You will find yourself grateful for the food you eat, shelter you have, clothes you wear and the people you know. We all have things to be grateful for, we just live our lives overlooking them. The fact that you have this day is an amazing gift that you can use to create a better tomorrow while finding joy in today.

Make living in gratitude not a once a year tradition, but a way of life. It requires very little effort and time. If you take just a couple of minutes each morning and evening to recite a grateful list out loud to yourself, you will find your attitude changing. The world will start to look different and your relationships, mood, energy, work, and overall life will improve. Isn't that worth a couple of minutes of your time a day?

It is your decision. As I always say, your attitude is your decision. Nothing forces you to be negative. Nothing forces you to complain. Nothing prevents you from reciting a grateful list. No one or does anything makes you behave and look at the world the way you do. You are a product of the choices you make in how you interact with the world. The events of the world both good and bad happen every day to all of us. These events in life do not define us, we define ourselves by how we react, or respond to the events. Define your life as a life of opportunity and appreciating the gift of life by being grateful for the day. With this day you can find joy and get into action to create positive change. Be grateful for that! Live a life with an attitude of gratitude all year long. Be grateful for this

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Art Janov's Blog

Stop The World I Want to Get Off!

Posted: 28 Nov 2009 07:08 AM PST
When will the madness stop? Above all, the madness in the name of science and medicine. In the N.Y. Times today (Nov. 26-09) is a story about places like Harvard, of all things, doing surgery for obsessive disorders, depression and other psychological maladies. Here is what they do: In cases of obsessive rituals and thoughts which have been intractable to psychotherapy, they have decided to cut out those pesky afflictions with brain surgery, cutting out pieces of the emotional brain to ease the problem.

This surgery, they warn, is only for those obdurate psychological problems that do not respond to any sort of psychotherapy. It involves drilling four holes in the brain and inserting wires deep down. From there the procedures differ but in one key surgery, cingulotomy, they pinpoint the anterior cingulate for partial destruction. The rationale: they want to destroy some of the brain tissue that forwards emotional messages to the thinking brain, the prefrontal cortex from the feeling areas such as the cingulate. The claim is that this area is overly active in cases such as obsession in inputting emotional messages to the thinking, intellectual centers. There are variations to this theme but in nearly all cases the attempt is to suppress emotional pain from its apprehension higher up.

The claim is that standard therapy cannot touch the problems such as deep depression . This is brain surgery, remember. The result, according to the surgeons, is about sixty percent satisfactory, although we do not know the long-term consequences of brain surgery. There is one follow-up study which indicated that these patients seem apathetic and lose some self-control for years afterward. It is no wonder since we have cut out the person’s passion.

But what if we could do exactly what the surgery does? What if we could avoid a very serious surgery? I believe we can because primal is the only therapy to be able to go deep in the brain purely by psychological means. Because other conventional therapies do not have this possibility in their theories or in their therapy, they think that the only other solution is surgery. And of course deep depression sometimes is being helped by this surgery. Deep depression means just that; origins deep in the brain. So again, a therapy that probes the depths, the antipodes of conscious/awareness should work as well or better than to have one’s brain cut into.

I have not kept our therapy a secret but it is up to those who do this surgery to investigate what is out there before burning out brain tissue. What is sad is that this kind of “way-out” procedure can have positive stories on it in the New York Times and many other respected journals, while a “far-out” psychotherapy such as ours, cannot get a line printed in any newspapers. It is not “safe.” But here is a surgery that is decidedly dangerous and obtains cache in our country. So someone who compulsively washes her hands needs brain surgery? This, it seems, is recommended because, I think, the pain imprinted down low was too much for the usual tranquilizers. So, ergo, we cut out the relay mechanism that sends terrible emotions to the understanding cortex. So, no relay, no pain and no symptoms. If anything about this procedure is enlightening is that we see how compulsions and obsessive develop out of pain surging up from lower brain centers, and how ordinarily, the gating system keeps symptoms from showing. The pain is still doing its damage, however; only we are no longer aware of it. Certainly, the surgeons did not cut out the origin, the emotional imprint, they cut out the circuit that forwards the message to our awareness. That imprint is all over the brain and body. So a piece is cut out and the imprint is still there doing its continual damage. It will certainly find other outlets. What we will do then? Cut out more? The imprint is the conductor; it won’t help to kill the violinist.

In this highly respected scientific atmosphere the most outrageous modes of therapy are taking place.


Confidence in the goodness of another is good proof of one’s own goodness. –Michel de Montaigne

Many relationships suffer from a lack of self-esteem. A relationship’s self esteem is connected to that of the partner’s but it also has a life of its own. Genuine esteem is founded in the courage to see oneself truly, both the positive and negative aspects of who we are and how we function and malfunction in the world. This path, which the Buddhists have called the path of the warrior, instructs that even through struggle and difficulty, we thrive in the openness of true knowing and seeing. The courage to confront the brittle edges and the messy corners of our own life and how we relate to others offers its own reward: acknowledging our brokenness is also the gateway to our ability to bear witness to our own basic goodness.

“Whenever you see a bright and beautiful color, you are witnessing your own inherent goodness. Whenever you hear a sweet and beautiful sound, you are hearing your own basic goodness. Whenever you taste something sweet or sour, you are experiencing your own basic goodness….Things like that are always happening to you, but you have been ignoring them, thinking that they are mundane and unimportant, purely coincidences of an ordinary nature. Slowly, you begin to realize that you are able to feel the freshness of realizing your own goodness, again and again.” Chogyam Trungpa

Our relationships are perhaps the most generous and gentle teacher of this lesson in basic goodness available to us. No one knows my most brittle edges and the places where my heartache can break me like my husband. For years, when our relationship would bring out these places in me, it was easy to blame him. At the same time, I didn’t recognize the many small moments of tenderness and attentiveness in our life as the inherent and basic goodness in us that it was. My identification with what was broken in us became habitual. Being a warrior in our own lives and in our relationships is a steep slope.

Years of practice helped me learn that it was never really my husband, or for that matter anyone else, that brought up the harshest parts of who I am. The work of creating something good out of what often feels like not enough brought us both to our knees at times. This was also true about the places where we each shined. It wasn’t really the other person that provoked that steadfast patience with self or others, it was the basic goodness of what we were doing together, usually in the smallest details of life that lifted our head above the water line.

Making a practice of recognizing your basic goodness in the beauty surrounding you will change how you look at the world. Bringing that practice into your relationship and acknowledging the basic goodness that our relationships offer us, especially when they drive us crazy, will change how you live with others. Acknowledging the soft space of coming home, celebrating of all the little details of making a home with someone offers endless opportunities for recognizing the goodness in our lives and our selves.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Spiritual Recipe

Spiritual Recipe:

Here is a recipe for the winter, one that not only will help you in the now but also will help you in planning your tomorrow. I wish you much success in all that you do.

1. Honesty
Being honest is a vital key, the first step is to always be honest with yourself and from that point be honest with your family, spouse, the public or your clients, companies etc. Without honesty there is no integrity.

2. Have a good outlook and a good attitude
Much of our success is due to our outlook of life and our attitude. If we expect failure, that is what we get, if we doubt that we can accomplish, we don't and if we treat life with fear that is what we also attract. Have a positive predominant mental attitude.
As Confucius one said: "Attitude not aptitude determines the altitude in your life."

3. Love what you do!
Fall in love with what you do, see the value and the contribution that you make to others, to life and see how you can change your surroundings just by the love you have for what you do; This will be felt by your clients, patients and they will talk about it.

4. Be generous and Kind
It is not so much what you know or how much schooling you have but it is about how much you care, give always 100% of your self, and when no one is watching, when you don't have to make an impression give to someone you don't know, someone in need.

5. Do your best!
During these times in our lives everybody is trying to be better than someone else, always comparing themselves to others. No, you cannot be anyone other that you, be real and always do your best no matter what. Remember you will not be able to please everybody but you can always do the best you can.

6. Create a plan to succeed
Create goals and follow them, every day do something even if that something is small to take you where you want to go. A plan should include: What do you want to do? And in what time frame you want to achieve it. A detailed budget plan, even if it is a few dollars on an envelope (seed money), what is the desire outcome of your plan? Where do you see yourself in one, two years from now?

7. Plan on continuing growing old graciously
No matter what you do, how many clients you have as we age people around us age as well so make the most of it. Treat your people like family know that they will be around to support you as you both go through the aging process.

8. Have FUN!!
Treat life and all that you do as if it was a wonderful adventure, take risks and make it fun and enjoyable. Pretend that you can regress to the child like attitude you had when you where 12 years old, be silly, laugh out loud and hard, find the fun and enjoyment that life has in store for you at all points and ages of your life.

9. Have a mission Do you have a mission statement for your life?
If not, create one, write it down make it big and visible, place it somewhere where you can read it every day and read it over and over until you have it memorized, until is part of you. Create a set of goals for your life, your business, if you don't have one write one today.

10. Acknowledge life by the "law of cause and effect"
What you give is what will return back to you. What you plant is what you reap, how you love is how you get loved.

11. Be grateful!
For everything in your life!! All the lessons good and bad, painful and joyous, for all the ups and downs that hopefully will help you to stay up all the time. Be grateful for the inner guidance you receive from Spirit and ask for a more deeper and meaningful connection to continue receiving guidance in your life.

From the heart....

Story from bill baldwin


Gratitude is a Force
By William Baldwin

Showing gratitude is basic, down-to-earth, good manners. Saying "thank you" after someone has served you in some way should be as natural as taking a breath. Like the tip you leave a waitress at the restaurant, it's just the right thing to do. When a child offers a timely "thank you" to an adult, it turns heads. No matter how young, the polite tyke transcends age and wisdom, and gains respect with their elders. For a moment the child is an equal. It's an astounding thought when you realize that this happens in response to a simple, two-word phrase "thank you."

Here's the issue at hand. A spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving transcends polite manners. It's more than genteel formality. Gratitude releases energy, power, even an authority that positions you to be better than you were before it was given. As the title suggests, gratitude is a force!

The word thanks and thanksgiving are used 120 times in the Bible. Further, it's a common thread we read in the Psalms. "I will give You thanks in the assembly; Enter His gates with thanksgiving; It is good to give thanks to the Lord." As King David established Israel's government it says he designated certain men, morning and evening "to give thanks to the Lord."

This principle was of such importance that David hired people to sing their gratitude to God all day long. The legendary king was not just being polite. This spirit of thanksgiving was rooted in his soul.

David was a grateful man. It was no coincidence that the sweet singer of Israel was also a successful military strategist. David's grateful spirit made him sweet-but it also made him a force to be reckoned with throughout the ancient world.

America became a similar power using the same principle. In 1621 our pilgrim forefathers paused amidst the turmoil of settling this new land. It was said that there were more graves to bury their dead than huts to house their living. They left England to pioneer a land of freedom but in the beginning, freedom eluded them and disease plagued them. Death was their companion.

In the midst of their trouble after gathering in a scant harvest, they paused and gave thanks. Thanksgiving we call it. It was a harvest season tradition they brought with them from Europe. Here it moved beyond mere formality-more than sheer ritual. This was a sacrifice they chose to give despite their hardship.

As far as I know America is the only nation that proclaims a day of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Is it any wonder that America, like David and ancient Israel, continues to be a force to be reckoned with?

Likewise, a grateful heart becomes equally powerful when we offer thanks. This sacred act becomes especially potent when offered in the midst of life's contrary circumstances. Furthermore, I am convinced that thanksgiving embodies a spiritual law that God established in creation. As surely as the law of gravity draws us to the ground, the law of thanksgiving attracts better situations into our life as we give thanks for our present blessings.

Indeed, favor rests upon those who live in the spirit of thanksgiving. The Bible records how ten lepers came to Jesus asking for mercy. Scripture says, "they were cleansed," of the disease. All ten went their way but one returned to say "thank you." To him, the Lord said, "Your faith has made you whole." I'm not sure the difference between "cleansed" and "whole," but I have the feeling that "whole" is better. A simple "thank you" opened the way for greater blessing. Grateful people get favor. It follows the law of thanksgiving.

Likewise, two good men, Paul and Silas, were imprisoned in a first century prison for sharing their good news. In a dark, rat infested cellar these offenders decided to sing praises to God. One Bible translation says they "gave thanks." As they did the law of thanksgiving was enacted and the prison doors forced open! Rather than run, Paul and Silas stayed put and shared their story with their jailers.

Such is the spirit of grateful people. What prison are you in today? Is it an emotional prison? A financial prison? Are you locked up with guilt, worry, discouragement, or disappointment? Are you imprisoned with a habit you cannot break free from?

I know at least part of the remedy. Begin everyday giving thanks for the good things in your life. Forget about the bad and concentrate on the blessings. As a song says, "Count your blessings." Write them down if you have to. Over time, a force will be released through the gratitude you offer.

And in case you do not think you have anything to be grateful for, what about the last breath you just breathed, and that one, and that one? That deserves a "thank you," don't you think? Start with that and you're on your way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And "thank you" for reading.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The Real Thanksgiving

Did you know that there is no real Thanksgiving? Before you get upset, the Pilgrims did celebrate Thanksgiving, but not as we think in the traditional sense of a specific day with turkey and cranberry sauce and all.

The pilgrims of Plymouth were strict Calvinist Protestants and did not believe in Christmas, Easter or All Saints Day. They believed these were man made holidays, and that only when they found evidence in the Bible should there be a celebration. This came down to three types of holidays: Sunday Sabbath, Days of Fasting and Humiliation, and Days of Thanksgiving and Praise.

Both Days of Fasting and Thanksgiving had no fixed points on the calendar. These days were in response to circumstances. When the days were unfavorable and there was not enough to eat, the crops were failing, or there was disease and unexplained deaths, then a Day of Fasting was called. Everyone went to church to ask for forgiveness and guidance, followed by a modest meal. Contrary to this, when things were going well, say a good harvest or the arrival of a supply ship, a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise took place. Again, they went to church to thank God, and then celebrated with a festive meal.

In essence, there was no "First Thanksgiving," merely many different days of celebration throughout each year. The pilgrims made it a practice to give thanks. Cultures around the world shared these similar traditions of celebration of thanks.

Today, Thanksgiving has transformed from a religious celebration of thanks, to a secular cultural event of thanks. We gather in groups and with our families and are truly in a spirit of thanks and appreciation for our lives. Yet often we are not in touch with the real meaning of Thanksgiving so we don't stop to make sure that we recognize our thanks.

This year before we feast, let's take the time to share our thanks. This is not a religious exercise. This is an exercise of appreciation. Recognize that by changing your thought patterns to the positive you can accomplish anything!

So enjoy this holiday and join with family, friends and strangers alike and participate in the real Thanksgiving, by giving thanks and sharing with each other.

If you do not celebrate Thanksgiving, use this exercise at any time and if you do celebrate Thanksgiving, you don't have to wait till next year to do this exercise again.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And so it goes.....

And so, life is moving swfitly, eh? Have you thought about what you'd like to do when you get older? Funny how we are forced into patterns out of sheer fear of change. With the children moving up and out, the passing of one's loved ones, the changes of those who we thought were predictable, we come to realize that no one is keeping score but ourselves. Then how do ones aquire the sensibility to take care of the one thing we have control over -ourselves.

As i listen to the day to day drama of the human condition, brought about by rumor and inuendo, I think-do they not know they they could have having a party? No one told them that this moment is wherein the fulfillment of being alive is either worshiped or denied. Why are so many making choices based on the past instead of the future? Why do not become the example instead of just being one of the many?

If I am blind to reality, then give me sunglasses. I much prefer to joy of being alive in this moment than creating a false moment based on fear. There will always be an excuse not to move forward...our friends..our family....our job....our weight....hell, we've got many more excuses not to participate in the journey than to jump into the deep end of the pool.

And as Linda Ellerbee once said..."And so it goes".

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful." – Sigmund Freud

This phrase Freud makes is seem that it may be true although looking back at the struggles, it may be that the time distance of them protects me from remembering how bad they felt at the time. Like a wound or bump, the immediate reaction is not pleasant but time forgives the immediacy of pain and does not attach the physical component of it. How incredible of the brain to "forgive" some pain. And then, there the memories of painful moments that cause an immediate knee-jerk reaction to a similar situation; a cognitive rememberance of a pain so bad that we cannot forget. These moments do impact our lives. How we behave from the memories do impact our behavior and give us pause. How do you feel with your memories?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Some things are never to be...

I think I have finally come to that spot where I recognize that there are some wonderful things that I have witnessed but will not have in this lifetime. The most dominate thought is the one that I have not ever felt that someone looking at me like they really wanted to spend their life getting to know me better. I will not be married on a beach nor hold hands watching a sunset. I am not sure who will be there at the end of my life and I may just pass away alone in the my sleep. And so it or something like it. Time passes more rapidly each day and I am acutely aware that this is the way it is.