"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe
"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself
Monday, April 30, 2007
Anonymous left this comment appended to my post dated April 5th about Wallowing in Relationship Pain:
Being married for 20 years and having 5 kids together creates a definite bond between a man and a woman. Words cannot describe the feeling a woman has when she devotes that sort of time and effort towards her family and her marriage not to mention the huge sacrifice only to find out that he is cheating, lying about you being a boring fat non-social lead weight to him and that he decided he doesn't want to be a dad anymore. He wants to trade it all in for a drinking at the bar social life with professional women sex goddesses who make as much as he does who never cared to have any kids and who are skinny as a rail because they don't eat anything but salads. You want to cry because you just know that there is some desperate half drunk lonely female out there who will be taken in by his charm and charisma just as you were and lose it all and be left behind just the same way too. He's a great lover and the thought of him being with another lover makes you want to throw up and somewhere in the back of your mind, you wonder if he will call her your pet names and if he will use the sexual moves you taught him on her. Jealously, rage, plain old sick to your stomach feelings arise. I don't think I enjoy wallowing in this pain. Rather, I would do anything NOT to be in love with him anymore because he clearly isn't in love with me having treated me this way and traded me in like I was ready for the glue factory now that I hit fifty. I just feel so damned empty inside like I have no more to give anyone else ever again, nor do I ever again want to try to trust someone to have a relationship. This time was the charm and I realized the chances of finding real honest love out there are pretty slim in today's world. People are out for themselves to use and abuse. Some men like to use you up and then dump you for their own selfish needs. It is what it is, one big lie. Men are about money, sex, and how you look, not about the beautiful person you are inside or how loving and giving you are to them. They think with their lower anatomy and will tap every thing that moves if given the chance. I feel like the world's biggest joke and bust out though when I look in the mirror I see a very tired, yet beautiful intelligent woman who has been hurt beyond belief and who will never be able to love another man every again after all of this. And men wonder why women turn into bitches - now I know exactly why they do!
As I read this, my heart bled for this anonymous reader. I encourage her - and anyone who has been in her shoes (and I know the world holds many of you) - to read one of the articles on my website titled I Need You...I Need You Not from the July 2006 Newsletter.
I also encourage those of you who feel this way, no matter what your particular circumstances, to realize that relationship pain must serve a purpose other than simply to cause you pain, and make you feel bitter, and resentful, and to say to yourself that you will never be able to trust another human being again. Relationship pain must bring you to a new place of realization about yourself, a place where you recognize that ultimately we are all responsible for ourselves and our lives.
How, you ask can you be responsible for someone who behaves the way this woman's husband did, or for the things he brought about in her life? It's not that you should take responsibility for that, but for how you react to the things that he did. Here is where you can find greater growth and inner freedom. See also my February 2006 Newsletter Making Choices: Taking Responsibility For Our Lives. What happened is not my anonymous reader's fault, but how she now decides to live the rest of her life, and how she now decides whether this rest of her life is full of growth and ultimately joy, or not, is once again her choice, and her responsibility...no matter what he did. She can decide to move forward, or remain in her pain about his betrayals. It really is a choice and it can lead to great freedom and growth.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Baelo Claudia (Bolonia, Tarifa, Cadiz, Spain) Foto Credit
Baelo Claudia, founded approximately 200 B.C.E. on the shores of the modern Costa del Sol in southern Spain, was a bustling and thriving Roman city situated slightly east of Cadiz (the over 3,000 year-old metropolis once called Gadir, initially founded by the Phoenicians, which later became Roman), and somewhat west of Malaga (you know, the place Antonio Banderas is from...).
This once rather important city, a maritime connection to Tangiers, and centered about the fish salting industry, was even given the rank of Roman municipality by the Emperor Claudius during his reign from 41-54 C.E.
It's quite close to where I live, and during a recent visit there, I could not but reflect on the fact that we must truly learn to treasure the now as Eckhart Tolle encourages us to do in his books and tapes. This city, that impresses even now with its majestic ruins of temples, an amphitheater with eight entrances, a forum with a magnificent statue of Trajan, a broadly paved main avenue that traverses the city with stores lining one side, the imperious city walls, and the basilica, is nevertheless, a city that disappeared.
All those lives, all those hopes and aspirations...all gone. Part of the decline of the city occurred some two centuries A.D. due to an important earthquake. Lives began to shift, changes happened, decisions were made, some people died, and the city was no longer the same.
Isn't this the way it is with us? Here we are, over 2,000 years later (and if I had chosen to look elsewhere, at older ruins, I might be writing 10,000 years instead of 2,000), and while much has changed, some fundamental things have not. We are born, we die, and we have the in between part. What we do with ourselves during that part is what it's really all about, isn't it? And that's a lot more important than how many gorgeous cars are sitting in front of the house.
Those Romans that lived in Baelo Claudia so long ago...what were they able to take with them when they died, and when the city died? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Except that which had become a part of them. And I guess here we come back to my post about feng shui, ficus trees, and the bees. Back to the eternal validity of the soul. Back to why it is so important that we take great care of what we do with our "now". Tend your garden well...
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Bearing in mind that scientists have now discovered that we have a second and third brain, these being located in our intestine and in our heart respectively, by virtue of billions of neural cells in each of these "other" brain centers, it is now understood that these two other brains actually feed the first brain with information which it then processes in order to come up with its decisions.
So what we have called our "gut" feelings, or intuition for millenia, and what are our emotions, or heart feelings, are literally come by through the processes of these billions of neural cells in these other two areas of our body. If you want more detailed information about this cutting-edge research, also see my May 2006 Newsletter Introducting Our Second and Thirds Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct.
So...to the French voters preparing for the May 6th elections I would say: "don't choose between heart and head, but use both, PLUS your gut, in order to come up with a sane choice!". Much greater inner freedom can be experienced if we make our choices with all of the information available to us, rather than merely paying lip service to philosophies bred from rationalism, empiricism, or positivism. For far too long our patriarchally influenced occidental world has suffered from the one-sidedness of these positions. Let's not make the mistake of falling into another kind of one-sidedness, and let's recognize that we now truly have the knowledge to show us how to make use of all our intelligent faculties.
Monday, April 23, 2007
A few months ago, just before Christmas, I ruthlessly decided to get rid of much surplus clutter…mainly papers and books, something I dote on, and hence is horrendously difficult for me to actually do. Therefore, after I tackled the job so ruthlessly, and used my fireplace to burn most of the papers (the books were donated), creating many a flaming blaze over the winter months due to the quantity implicit in the task, I realized I felt freed from a burden.
Feng Shui tells us about this, when we create order where before there was clutter or disorder, or where there are unnecessary elements in our homes, and indicates that it has a great lightening effect. And after it actually happened, I realized that I felt as if I had more space inside of myself to dwell on other matters, as though I were now able to be more creative, due to a greater capacity for creative thought.
And then, about 8 weeks ago, I realized I needed to replant some large ficus plants that were in pots that were simply too small to sustain their healthy growth and development…are you beginning to see where this is going? When you work in your garden, and perhaps prune, or get your hands right into the soil and begin to pull out some plants or weeds by their roots, clearly, on a symbolic level, this may signify that you are going through a cathartic period in your life, even a chtonic one, one where you may be delving into the deepest layers of your subconscious in order to come up with a new kind of order on an internal level, a re-structuring, or re-organization of sorts.
In this case I was not deeply into the soil, only re-potting in order to give these trees more space to grow. But once again, I saw it as giving myself more space to grow and expand, symbolically speaking, and felt that the coming weeks and months would be of some importance to me on a personal level. Imagine my surprise – and disappointment – when I saw that about half of the ficus plants lost not only some – but all of their leaves after the re-potting. The plants were looking worse than ever, and certainly no new growth was taking place – at least not visibly.
I told myself that the plants had to get used to the richer environment in which they now were, as had I since I had burned the excess papers and donated the books. I told myself that although nothing was visible on the surface, on other levels, new growth was taking place that would soon become obvious to the naked eye. I could feel my inner growth; I knew it was taking place on several different levels, and so I desperately wanted to see it symbolically in these plants that I had so lovingly repotted. And so it is. As I opened the curtains this morning and looked out, I saw that all the ficus plants that had lost all of their leaves now have new buds, new baby leaves peeping out from the bark of their branches. And those that did not lose all their leaves are also budding away amidst the lush growth that was already there from before.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
- The Roman Catholic Church has decreed that limbo is no longer the place that unbaptized newborns are banned to … they, just as all others (who have been baptized, it is assumed), will be allowed into the arena of eternal life after death
- Iranian police have decreed that mandatory dress code for women of that country means being veiled in public at all times, from head to foot, not even a bit of hair may show, let alone a bit of leg. Modesty, as indicated by the Koran, is the reason given by most articles discussing the topic. (We might quickly ask: how is this different from rulings in France that deny Muslim girls the right to wear veils at some schools?)
Both bits of news have to do with freedom because both infringe upon it.
Baptized or not, when institutionalized religion – whichever religion it may be – tells us what will happen (frequently with dire consequences) if we do or do not adhere to certain dogma, laws, or rules, including what will happen to us after death, means that our freedom to think, believe and practice our belief in whatever way we deem right for us, is infringed upon. Simple as that.
And for a particular dress code to be dictated by state ruling is – again – an infringement of our most basic rights as human beings. The fear on an inner level, that may surge within us, due to a need to resist such rulings for the sake of a wider freedom for all, may be overwhelming, and may in some ways, restrict our inner freedom of thought about such matters.
The purpose of this blog is not to criticize any specific religion, or any specific country or political leaning, but to speak out for freedom. While our inner freedom should not depend on external factors, and as we walk our path of inner growth, indeed, we may begin to reach such a goal, the fact of the matter is that many external factors do keep us from conceiving inner freedom while we still continue to work on our own self-development. As this 21st century progresses, may such external factors lessen considerably.
Medical intuitives are people who are able to tell an individual’s physical condition and emotional state just by talking to them – even if it’s just on the phone, without even seeing, touching, or examining them. Sometimes, medical intuitives are also medical doctors, such as Mona Lisa Schulz, a neuropsychiatrist and a neuroscientist, author of Awakening Intuition, although some, such as Caroline Myss, author of many books, including Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, may not be medical doctors.
Mona Lisa Schulz goes into great detail about using illness or disease to heal emotional, professional, or relationship areas of our lives. In other words, to use the illness in order to begin to look at the reasons for which we may have it, or why it is causing us frustration at this particular moment in time. If we carefully examine the areas in which it is causing the back-up, and if we listen to our innermost intuition, we may be well on the path to discovering the gift which the illness is bearing. And of course the gift is closely related to achieving greater inner freedom.
In so doing, and if we then act upon it, we may also be well on the path to healing ourselves, in more ways than one. The author cites an example of a female competitive athlete who began suffering from panic attacks whenever she boarded a plane. This obviously caused her to avoid flying, which impeded her movement about the country in order to attend competitions. Upon examination, it was seen that her hormone levels were severely depleted, not an unusual finding in female athletes. Replacing hormones and placing her on steroids would resolve the situation, but would fly against drug laws regulating competition sports. In other words, in two different ways the athlete seemed to be getting a similar message. The medical intuitive felt that this individual’s body was asking her to stop her current life path and begin to move in another direction. This individual chose not to change her main life direction, and tried to control her panic attacks and depleted hormones with dietary regulation, so we are not able to know what might have happened if she had listened to what her body (and even the professional consequences of medication, had she chosen that route) seemed to be telling her. Nevertheless, the example seems clear.
Our intuition, our bodies, the state of our health is often the path to greater understanding, healing and growth. Since neuroscientists have discovered that we have more than one brain, the second one being in our intestine and the third one in our heart (both of these areas contain a vast number of neural cells that feed the brain with information, which the brain then processes in order to make decisions), we can say that our “gut” feelings, or our “heart” feelings told us to behave in a specific fashion. See also my May 2006 Newsletter about this subject.
Dreams also give us much important information about healing. Pay particular attention to those dreams that keep going back to a specific part of your body. Try to understand what these dreams might be telling you. You might even want to have that part of you checked out, in order to ensure that everything is in tiptop order. More importantly, don't ignore your dreams as something of no real use to you. The Talmud tells us that dreams that are not understood are like letters that were never opened – and these are letters that your psyche, your soul, your spirit is sending you.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Have you seen the news over the past few days? All the major international network news stations and much of the press in many of the languages you can come up with - and then some - have been telling us that there is a possible decline in breast cancer since 2003, the year that many women stopped using HRT due to the scare after clinical trials showed that HRT users reported a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer than did non-users.
So far so good.
Just to make sure we're on the same page, let me reiterate: after the clinical trials many women ceased using HRT, whether because they themselves took the decision, or their doctors persuaded them to, and hence the decline. Or so it appears. What is not said in most of the reports that were made public over the past week is the fact that many other factors have not been examined in order to see whether they have a bearing on the decrease in the incidence of breast cancer.
An eye-opening article available at Longevity Matters, dated April 19th, 2007, furthermore indicates the fact "that a great paradigm shift has begun. More people are realizing the healthy benefits of having their hormone levels measured and then replenished to levels of wellness, not replaced with a foreign hormone. They are seeking balance in their hormones...". They are seeking this balance with bio-identical hormones, which are hormones that replicate, according to many medical doctors, on a molecular level, precisely that which we had in our bodies when we were younger, but have nothing to do with the synthetic hormones (HRT) that women were routinely prescribed prior to the 2003 clinical study results referred to above.
Clearly, no one has all the answers at this point, but studies being carried out by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (click on the link to download Suzanne Somers' speech at the November 2006 Conference she had been invited to due to the two major works she has written in order to spread information about bio-identical hormones for men and women), may soon provide us with more definitive proof.
The two books are:
- Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bio-Identical Hormones
- The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection For Women and Men
What does this have to do with freedom?
If we are not in an optimum state of health, a portion of our freedom is gone. Be informed. Ask questions. Make choices. Be healthy and vibrant!
The sound of my sigh
Brings a gentle smile to your eyes
Your breath is warm
But as I turn to you
The dream evanesces
Your touch is gone
And you disappear.
I fold in on myself once again,
Alone with my thoughts.
What is this fantasy -
What are these dreams but paintings
Of impossible landscapes.
Escher and Magritte shaking hands,
Laughing about their little joke on me ---
Or perhaps pointillism with little substance,
Fleeting memories of what can not be.
My tomorrow embraces a world
You have never traveled to.
Visas are readily granted
But must be requested
From a position of freedom.
I get a little closer every day.
My house is slowly being built,
I am already choosing furniture,
Planning bamboo groves
That will sigh and sway and sing with the wind
Tall, slender, and graceful palms to give perspective to my garden,
Fragrant jasmine to pleasure the senses
And bougainvilleas – not only for their lush and vibrant splendor
But also for their pitiless thorns
(As I have felt serrations in my defenses).
I have not yet taken up permanent residence
In my world of tomorrow,
So it is still easy to think of you
But I booked a one-way passage there
Long before I was born
And that is my path…
I can not waver from it.
It has never been yours.
And so I dream –
Fleeting memories of what can not be.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I remember many years ago I read one of Stuart Wilde's wonderful little books, one of which is still, after over a quarter of a century, on my bedside table (if you want to know which one, feel free to comment here on the blog and I'll reply). At any rate, in the one I read (not the night table one...), he mentions waking up, having some nice green lettuce (or something like that) for breakfast, and then going out for a jog...
In the naivete of my youth, I remember being hugely amused - and repelled - by such a bizarre notion, and I certainly had no intention of emulating the author. Now, in the wisdom of my years, while I still don't tend to have lettuce for breakfast, I certainly have a number of habits, nutritional and otherwise, that others might find bizarre - or at least amusing.
But what has happened? I have learned to respect and care for this very special house of mine. I want it to be functional and useful for a good many years to come. I want it to provide me with optimal functioning at all times, to allow me to live not only with the energy I have to do all the things I constantly am inventing to do, but also with the vitality I feel inside of me, and the speed with which my brain functions when faced with out-of-the-box thinking, or cutting edge research that causes all my previous paradigms to tumble off of their shelves.
I want the excitement I am capable of feeling every day to endure all the days of my life. I want to be able to fill my lungs with fresh air right down to the very bottom without coughing or feeling pressure in my chest. I want to be able to stretch and twist and turn and walk and exercise without pain or breathlessness. In a word, I want to be as healthy as I possibly can until the last possible moment. And then I'll be quite thrilled to go on to the next adventure...
So guess who has the responsiblity for that? And guess who has to make choices about that responsibility every day, all day long? About what I eat, what I drink, how often I exercise, and so on. Obviously what works for me may not work for you and vice versa, and there are many roads that lead to Rome, but clearly, you don't have to be a rocket scientist in order to recognize that you need to make this a priority in your life - if you are interested in living in an optimally functioning house.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
This is really the crux of the matter. We all need to recognize these moments - at whatever time of pain in our lives, whether it is anger, loss, anguish - moments when we deliberately choose to remain in the "bad" place, rather than choosing to go elsewhere. Only by becoming conscious of the strong pull of pain, by becoming conscious of Eckhart Tolle's pain body or the emotional body as Chris Griscom calls it, can we begin the process of extricating ourselves from that pull and finding inner freedom precisely by making the choice.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
So you've been reading these posts and by now you know some techniques to use to keep yourself in a good place, or to bring yourself back up to a good place...and you're sitting in your car, and an idiot almost causes you to have an accident.
I mean, you have a right, right?
So then you think about what you've been reading here...and you tell yourself: "No way am I going to get my mind away from this now to feel better about it - I NEED to feel this anger and frustration; I WANT to feel it. The last thing I want to do right now is get away from this place in my mind, because I LIKE this feeling...at least for a bit".
This is actually simply another type of challenge you get presented with. Life is so great (at this point you may not want to agree). All these challenges bascially all serve the same purpose: your inner growth which leads to your inner freedom.
So this angry place from which you just don't want to come away, is a version of that. All I'm suggesting is that you give this some consideration next time it happens and think about this. Maybe the pull will be less strong. Maybe you'll want to stay there less time. Maybe you'll decide to leave as soon as you realize what is happening. That's where freedom starts.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Music has almost magical qualities. If you choose your music carefully, and you choose music that carries no nostalgic connotations for you, then by merely listening to the pieces that make you feel good, your energetic vibration can rise dramatically.
For those of you who know about kinesiology (muscle testing), you will know that some types of music lower your vibration, and even leave you feeling weak. David Hawkins, psychiatrist, and author of Power vs Force among a number of excellent books, shows this on one of his fascinating videos in a demonstration of muscle testing of a person listening to different types of music.
But what I'd like to encourage you to do is to listen carefully over the next few weeks, as you hear music, particularly music that you do not connect to a specific person in your life, or to a specific event. Sometimes you will hear a piece that literally lifts you off your feet, or brings tears of joy to your eyes. Start collecting these pieces. Make a CD of only these songs, and use this CD to raise your energy whenever you feel low.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Feed the brain?
Of course! Just as we feed our bodies, hopefully with more healthy than junk food, so it is also very important how we feed our brain, heart, and spirit. What we read, or what we watch on TV, discuss with our friends, even the kind of friends we spend our time with, all has a huge impact on the state of our inner energy.
So watching horror movies that give us an adrenaline rush as we wait with bated breath for someone to be sawed into several pieces, may make us feel energized, may even make us go back for more of the same in order to get that same feeling of the high that the adrenaline surge gave us, but none of that energy is left the next day when we wake up.
What happens when you eat empty sugar products? You get a quick rush, but soon you are either craving more, or simply feel bloated. No real physical energy. So it is with much of what is available on TV and radio, in the press, cinema, and so on. Even - I am sorry to say - with many of our conversations...
But there is so much to choose from. Just like the supermarket. You can find fantastic foods there that truly nourish your body and cells, then there is all the artificial, pre-packaged stuff with empty calories, and then there is you. You get to choose.
So when you make choices about what goes into your brain, heart, and spirit, try to consider how you will nourish these. Take the radio: when you drive to work every day are you listening to endless variations of can't love without your love or I am nothing without you, that merely keep you in a state of false belief about love? Or are you listening to an irate political or sports commentator whose goal it is to excite you into arguing about whatever happens to be the subject of the day? Or inane social babble that fills you about as much as two tablespoons of sugar?
Don't get me wrong...all of the above is ok if not done in excess. A bit of sugar is ok too. It's the typical excess that most of us resort to that results in a loss of energy to our spirit. Maybe we say there's nothing else to listen to in the car, or when we get home at night we're too tired to watch something "educational".
Fair enough. But how about preparing for the daily car ride by always having a selection of tapes that actually stimulate you in totally other directions? How about listening to some interviews available on the radio (and downloadable) with people like Bruce Lipton, cell biologist who discovered that what you think changes your cells (yes! that's right...it changes your cells), or Donna Eden, who speaks a special language of energy healing (as do Caroline Myss and Judith Orloff), to name only a few. Maybe Wayne Dyer is more your cup of tea, Gary Zukav, Carlos Castaneda, or Eckhart Tolle.
Maybe you prefer to listen to an audio copy of The Secret as you drive, or any number of other types of speakers and authors. The point really is that this type of material will drive your inner energy up a number of notches, and the more you feed yourself with this genre, the more you will notice that it gets harder and harder to remain on a lower level within.
And isn't that part of the quest we are on? Inner freedom and joy?
Easter holidays (Semana Santa) began here in Spain last Friday, and run through to Easter Sunday, a full 10 days for many lucky people. Some of these have braved heavily congested roads to get down here from Madrid, Bilbao, and Barcelona to the Mediterranean beaches in the hopes of some summery weather (which we had already been enjoying late February, sunning on the beach, no less).
However, as luck would have it, rain has been forecast since late last week right into the middle of this Easter holiday week. Last night it poured and thunderstorms and lightning threatened the precarious state of the electricity to which my precious computer equipment is connected, and I debated whether I should go the safe route and turn it all off, surge protectors notwithstanding. As I am working most of the week, I've had occasion to observe the effect this somewhat foul weather is having on other's moods.
We've all been there...wake up in the morning hoping to see the sun shining, or a blue sky, and find instead, greyness, or clouds or rain. In the larger scheme of things, this isn't particularly important, but for many of us, it actually makes or breaks our day...especially if it happens to hit us during holiday time.
It's not fair, we rage. We only have these few days off...it was so beautiful all those weeks when I had to work so hard, even on weekends!
So this is what I meant when I wrote yesterday that we can literally grow to inner freedom by using the events of our daily lives as exercises in whatever they present us with. In this instance, learning, or being willing to, or recognizing that we have the choice to regard the weather situation as something beautiful, rather than something which is spoiling our plans, that we can be felixible and change our plans, and that we can learn to see the beauty in this type of weather, even walking down the beach in the slanting rain and wind in order to experience something new. It can be rather exhilarating.
How does this bring us to greater inner freedom? By allowing us to learn that we can be joyous no matter what the outer circumstances. It really just requires that we make some choices about how we want to feel today, rather than thinking we only have one road to walk on.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Let me start this particular blog by encouraging you all to become aware of yourselves not only as human beings, but also as beings who vibrate to an inner purpose or mission, whatever that may be, and who, if that inner purpose or mission is not found, may realize that finding true joy in life becomes very difficult.
Wow! True joy…that is actually a biggie. We’re raised believing that others owe us joy and happiness…until we figure out that if it’s ever going to come from anywhere, it will have to come from inside, unless we want to live in a state of eternal external dependence. But for it to come from inside, that inside part first has to get worked on…cleaned out…polished…and so on. Doing that actually means working on everyday stuff. It’s not a case of high spiritual work, but of the actual day-by-day things: impatience, communication, anger, loving, giving, receiving, forgiving, opening up, listening, compassion, and so on.
I guess we often think that in order to grow, and in order to become more free, whatever it is we do has to have this high spiritual tone. Not so…in my book…the high spiritual tone is actually set by working on these commonplace everyday things in our lives. That is where we can bring about the true inner change.