Introspection vs Reflection vs Projection

May 2013 be filled all things amazing and beautiful.

Reflection and introspection are often confused but in reality they are worlds apart. Both are valuable tools for continued growth. Introspection is the act of examining within. Reflection, on the other hand, is more like holding a space of deep consideration of something. One is not more important than the other and they work well together. 

Examining within is what we do to figure out how we process life and all its beautiful drama. It's like a trip around your inner world. Reflection is like staying in one destination and deeply visiting that place. When we look back in slow motion on the events of 2012 give meaning to these momentous moments, we are reflecting.

Quiet reflection and introspection are practices that are wonderful to do around this time of year. As we prepare to usher in another year, the practice will help clear the space for more goodness to come. For any kind of growth both reflection and introspection must happen. Of course they can happen at any point, not just the last day of December. Every day can be a new year if you make it so. 

Then there is projection which means to forecast the future based on an assessment of past events. This is the fun part. You can decide what your future will look like in every minute detail. The exercise is exciting if not daunting. But once you can taste, feel, see, and fully experience what new and amazing things you want in your life, you will have called upon the heavens and the earth to help you see this life through.  

Skip the whole resolution drama--they will set you up for disappointment. As I wrote in an earlier post instead of resolutions, I create intentions. I do not share them with the world. I just live hem. When you set the intention and project them into the world, it's like whispering or shouting to the universe, this is what I desire. More than a hope, it is a declaration. Like a manifest your destiny practice. Each day, work on it and stay on it.  

Remember, whatever you pay attention to will grow, whatever do don't, won't. 

There is a world that you can't see beyond the horizon in front of you...

But that doesn't mean is not there. 

Opinion is all about perspective. Perspective is all about where you are standing. What you see is not necessarily what is real. 

These are not riddles or head games, it is what sages have known for eternity. But we, modern day folks, have forgotten as much. 

What you get on the surface, like the line on the ocean that separates heaven and earth, is not the entire story. There is a whole universe beyond. We know this and yet we don't. Human beings are conditioned to see and accept what makes us comfortable. We go around being with people who confirm what we believe in,  seeking out "facts" in everything we do that will confirm our opinions.  

The bold and brave know this for sure: nothing is black or white or even gray. Real life has offered us the rainbow. And it's glorious. 

I'm always looking for the rainbow. Are you?

Focus on the possible, not the impossible

Believe that all that you dream for yourself + this world is possible...


Get giddy.

The good that you want for yourself & others will transform your world, and mine.

Cultivate gratitude, change your life

"How you live your life is a form of prayer." ~ Sandra Maria Esteves

Living in gratitude has connected me to the divine. I notice and rejoice the glory of each morning and the beauty of being alive. I pause and give thanks. Even on days when I am not feeling it, and trust, there are those days, I catch myself, breathe, and find one tiny thing that I am thankful for. In living like this, I've become awakened to glorious moments that otherwise would have not been perceived. I experience wonder because I live in gratitude. But it takes commitment to live in gratitude. And when I stray, I give myself a break.

Living in constant gratitude is like living inside a treasure chest. Everyday little experiences--dew on a plant, my radiant children being who they are, the smell of coffee, a glass of water, watching a butterfly breakfast--take on a more profound meaning.

Gratitude has been proven to change our brain patterns and allow us to have a more expansive view of our lives. It's been proven to improve happiness. Being stuck on what you don't have will dampen your spirit and mess with your head. Being stuck on giving thanks will deepen your joy.

Letting go of bad habits first takes diagnosing them

There is nothing more comfortable than the comfort of our habits. It's not for nothing that they are habits.

We are intelligent by design and part of this intelligence is that we conserve energy like no other beings on earth. Our brain is always looking for short cuts in order to work efficiently. When we learn something, for example how to parallel park, we figure out the moves it takes to get the four wheels perfectly and quickly parked so that each time we parallel park, we don't have to figure out how to do it like it was the first time, again and again. The more we parallel park, the deeper the imprint until one day, parallel parking is as familiar to us as breathing. And so it is with all our habits--the-good, flossing our teeth every day, several times a day, the bad, procrastinating on working out, eating healthy, writing that novel or the ugly and the bad, staying in shitty relationships or having self defeating thoughts etc.

We all have habits that one day were were meaningful but today no longer serve our continued growth.

I desire to walk with grace & purpose...

And to always be close to nature and the divine within.

What is your desire? What is your path? If you don't know where you are heading, chances are, you will likely get lost.

The word shanto, in Japanese and in it's original Chinese language, means a philosophical way or path. The energy of the word comes from Shantoism, a polytheistic religion that celebrates the worship of human spirits that are believed to have transcended and become one with nature. In some Asian countries during the new year, there is a ritual that was performed that beckon the energy of tomorrow. You are asked to write or draw a picture on a piece of wood, rock or paper of what your heart desires in the new year: health, wealth, love, fertility, wisdom, a new home. The idea is hold this image close to you as a reminder of your desire.

It's important to be mindful of where you want and what you desire and to create your version of happiness and fulfillment.

We are above all, storytellers. And images are a powerful way to tell a story to yourself. On this sacred day named after the brightest star in our skies, may you see the light within and start to imagine the year ahead.

You are like light bulb. If bliss starts growing inside you, it's like a light, it affects the environment. ~ from "Catching the Big Fish" by David Lynch

Welcome winter: a day of transformation

Winter Solstice 2012 has arrived! Celebrate the change of season and new era by taking a moment today for quietude and connection to the divine within. Give thanks. Discover your ancient and wise self and allow her and him to speak to you. Listen.

The ancients, who had a close ear to Mother Earth, understood that winter is a time to go into hibernation, both literal and metaphorical: to rest, restore, replenish, and revive. For most sage wise men and women this too was celebrated as a new year! Indeed, it is a time for transformation. Let go of the old that helped you to get to this point in the past but that no longer serves you to move forward. Welcome the new habits that will move you into the direction of your higher self.

I share a wonderful winter solstice meditation. 

Go within, your many lessons are waiting. Wishing you all things amazing on this special, more introspective time of the year.

A poem written in mourning for Newton

The angels of Newton should provoke us to think about how we each can make this a less violent, more loving world. Louisiana born poet Yusef Komunyakaa, moved by the massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, wrote this beautiful poem, "Rock Me Mercy."

He read it on NPR and sounded just as moving:

The river stones are listening because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today.
The singing in the electrical woods has gone down.
It looks like rain, because it is too warm to snow.
Guardian angels, wherever you're hiding, we know you can't be everywhere at once. 
Have you corralled all the pretty wild horses?
The memory of ants asleep and day lilies, roses, holly and larkspur?
The magpies gaze at us still waiting. 
River stones are listening.
But all we can say now is mercy, please rock me.

Your Breath is your Essence

STOP what you are doing for the next five minutes and take a deep breath. Let it go and do that a two more times. Welcome back!

How many minutes of our days that turn into a lifetime do we run around trying to cross off all the  things on the to do list and forget to breathe? Raise your hands if you are with me.

Our breath is our essence--we begin our lives with a breath, take our last breath and bow to this existence. So, are you making each breath you take count? If you are, there is not doubt that you are enjoying a life filled with quality--joy, health, abundance, sweetness and clarity. If you are not, just breathe. It's that simple.

My friend Belisa Vranich is traveling the nation teaching folks how to breathe. Turns out most Americans are not breathing correctly and it's causing all kinds of dis-ease. Poor breathing may be the at the root of insomnia, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol and even premature aging just to name a few. Let your brain receive the oxygen it deserves for optimal functioning.

RIP Jenni Rivera

I don't waste too much time dreaming, I rather get to work on the things that I have always aspired to have so that they become a reality. 

Stay gentle, be positive

These are the two challenging emotions to hold onto during stressful times.

What does it mean to be gentle with self, others, and the world? To be gentle is to be sweet with yourself. To turn off the self judging as soon as it starts. The hate against self is rampant and the evidence is everywhere. A great way to gauge where people are at or where you are at is to watch the way you speak to others and how others speak to you.

To be gentle with self is to give yourself a break. When was the last time you looked at your body and told it you loved it, thanked every body part that works? Be grateful for your feet that take you places, your eyes that allow you to see, your mouth that lets you taste, your heart that lets you love. When was the last time you took a deep breath, exuded joy and thanks for just breathing? It's that simple.