Thursday, May 30, 2013

" Preacher ... "

When I was a kid
I used to buy and sell gravity
I knew how to fly
And I could teach you for a fee ...

When I was a kid ...
I took a little faith ...
I drove to a strange town
Full of have and have nots
And as I walked through that storybook life
I was looking for an angel to chase the devil at the light

... 'God only helps those
Who learn to help themselves'
He was a million miles from a million dollars
But you could never spend his wealth ...

~ One Republic ~ Preacher ~

Life is full of contradictions ... people often make moral claims that they cannot live up to.  There are countless examples of scandals involving leaders who talk publicly about living up to standards, but whose personal lives do not measure up.  But if we are truthful, can we honestly say that we perfectly practice what we preach?

Cognitive Dissonance ~ holding two contradicting ideas ...

We all have experienced this ... for example, you know that you want to be healthy, talk about getting fit and strategies on how you will do it all while finishing a bag of potato chips.  You see our minds cannot handle contradiction, so we start to rationalize.  We take a shortcut that might make us feel better but often ends in a poor choice.  We also decide that one of the two ideas is false ... something true is mistaken and your behaviour was incorrect ... because it is easier to rationalize a mistake than to use that mistake to make changes.

So people behave differently than what they would predict they would do.  In essence, it is hard to predict what you are going to do in a situation if you are not experiencing that situation.  You basically take your best guess about it.  Hence your predictions are often inaccurate.

Now in my life, I don’t except unrealistic expectations, lies and empty promises.  I know how that story ends, and no thanks.  The bottom line is that if you say one thing and do another, it is fake ... the bottom line is you lead by example, period.

And that starts with integrity ... doing that right thing even when no one is looking.  Example ... ever notice that the people that lie their way through life always have the “newest” friends?  

So start with the truth ... 
then you can adjust your behaviour and life to coincide with it, 
even if that is difficult at first. 

The shift will happen when you address the contradictions.  Because rationalizing them away will only bridge the gap between what you do and what is.  And the beauty is that those gaps is what allows growth and improvement ... and a life towards your ideal capacity.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

" Trust Yourself ... "

someday soon
and I don't know when
your little world
will come crashing in
don't think twice
I'll be around
turn your back
someone's gonna let you down
you know that it's true
nobody led you on
they left that to you
now you'll be alone
when the sun comes up
with your tattered little dreams
and a broken cup
then you'll have to 
trust yourself
and don't believe in anymore lies ...
then you'll have to trust yourself
and don't believe in anymore ... 

~ Blue Rodeo ~ Trust Yourself ~

Trust ... five simple letters put together to determine the kind of life that we want for ourselves and also what makes us responsible for ourselves.  Which leads to trusting yourself ... a process you discover as you grow through life.  So how many of us are fence sitters then, afraid to make a choice for fear of making the wrong one?

Learning to trust ourselves can sometimes be the most challenging ...

I think it starts at a young age, being told that you cannot trust you, to put all your trust into your caregivers instead.  Now that is not to say that a 5 year old has the capability to make “big” decisions, but instead of thwarted that sixth sense, intuition, perhaps embracing it instead.  

Meditation assists in tapping into that sixth sense ...

I know many of us can reflect back on a decision that turned out to be disastrous and painful.  Leading us to believe that we are wrong, so ask someone else instead.  You know ... survey says?? ... and we let fear, external pressure or low self-esteem get in the way.

The inability to trust oneself can also come from not knowing who we truly are ...

To know yourself is to love yourself is to trust yourself.  Because really, how can you trust other people if you can’t trust yourself?  So begin by forgiving yourself for those past decisions.  Instead of getting down on you when you mess up, be your own best friend.  Because making bad decisions doesn’t make you a bad person.  Be generous with yourself, be kind.

I recently read ... “decisions are the seeds of courage ... your life is the garden that grows and sometimes a seedling will fail to take hold ... sometimes in your haste or fear, you will trample your own progress, but remember not to abandon your garden.”

What matters is what’s most important to you or what works best for you.  If you’re feeling ambivalent, take the time to listen to your intuition ... it will guide you if you’re quiet enough to hear it.

And how do you know if you can trust your intuition?  Well you won’t until you start testing it out.  The more you find that little voice to be accurate, the more you will begin to trust yourself.

So don’t let your fears or other defense mechanisms get in your way.  Go with your gut and see how things turn out ... and don’t get discourage if sometimes you are wrong.  We can all learn from our mistakes allowing us to move forward.  

Self-confidence is built by looking positively at yourself, acknowledging what you can do, and testing your capabilities ... besides isn’t it better to try and be wrong instead of not trying at all?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

" Spare Me The Details ... "

And I don't really wanna know
So don't tell me anymore
And I really don't wanna hear ...

Now I can understand friends who wanna tell me
They think they're gonna help me, open up my eyes
But the play by play makes me wanna lose it ...

Cuz I don't wanna know
Don't wanna know
(Spare me the details if you don't mind)
Don't wanna know
(Spare me the details if you don't mind)
Don't wanna know...

~ The Offspring ~ Spare Me The Details ~

What does the phrase “the devil is in the detail” mean? ... that whatever one does should be done thoroughly.  But what if you obsess over details, you are pre-disposed to “perfect” every little thing and you miss the big picture?

Yet when you refer to the big picture it is not the big picture at all, at least not spiritually.  From your higher self, the big picture is quite universal and elusive and we are limited by our current human experience.  So then do you really have access to it?  

“It is a process as to where to direct your attention ... “

Some people thrive on details ... as it gives them roots, grounding and helps to solely direct their focus.  Others not so much.  Yet there seems to be gravitation to one extreme over the other.  Maybe it is the view point of a visionary versus a realist.

“Realist think visionaries are not grounded, lack a sense of reality ... 
Visionaries feel realists lack a sense of expanded possibilities ...”

Before a change happens there are signs that herald it is coming.  But if we are focused on the details we do miss the big picture.  This can lead us in a direction that may not be in our best interests. 

“Seeking the big picture ensures we have a bird’s eye view 
that is always useful when it comes to decision making ... “

It is a matter of perspective ... as you shift towards your natural space, these extremes will overlap and become inseparable.  The connection between the details of the moment and your “own” big picture will just be there.

So can you facilitate this process ... consider the following: 

S - stop ...
T - take a breath ...
O - observe your body, thoughts and emotions ...
P - proceed in a special way by asking what’s most important for you to pay attention to ...

Life brings us adversity at some point or other and nothing happens to us in a vacuum.  Everything has a cause and an effect.  So the big picture allows us to remain detached and objective about how to resolve the issue at hand.  We need to see all details of the events that are happening as a whole ... then we will be able to make better decisions and truly live in our natural divinely state.

Friday, May 17, 2013

" Judge Not ... "

Don't you look at me so smug
And say I'm going bad.
Who are you to judge me
And the life that I live?
I know that I'm not perfect
And that I don't claim to be.
So before you point your fingers,
Be sure your hands are clean.

Judge not
Before you judge yourself.
Judge not
If you're not ready for judgement. 
Woah oh oh!

The road of life is rocking
And you may stumble too.
So while you talk about me,
Someone else is judging you.

~ Bob Marley ~ Judge Not ~

I was not sure if I was going to do this.  I sat with this for some time ... plus it’s been a hard week.  Yet today, I decided to write down all my thoughts.  So here are my two bits about Angelina Jolie preventative mastectomy.

I have no intention of judging her.  I believe that Ms. Jolie was faced with a difficult decision ~ her body, her choice.  Anyone faced with cancer understands.  Not sure what to do and when to do it.  And of course, personally, her story stirred up a lot for me ... the agony to make a decision regarding your treatment, staying on your path and hoping that you will be cancer free, one day.  So whether you sacrifice a part of your body or you sacrifice your lifestyle, it takes nothing less than courage.

And Ms. Jolie’s story has both sides, conventional supporters and natural supporters, weighing in.  I read some harsh words and some kind words.  Topics ranging from risks factors to epi-genetics.  But no one really knows because you don’t get cancer until you get cancer.

But what I want to focus on is the concept of prevention.  Ms. Jolie said that because she had an 87% chance of getting breast cancer she opted for her mastectomy.  And whether this is considered “medical hexing”, giving a patient a poor prognosis, or not, it was decision she made because of the possibility.

My view ...If prevention is the key then I feel it has to be taken one step further.  

  • I understand that Jolie-Pitt are smokers.  And as we know, smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer.  So hopefully they have considered quitting on the basis of prevention.  

  • As well, tattoos are known to have toxic properties that seep into the body and can cause further health issues.  So hopefully Ms. Jolie is rethinking her ink and considering removal of the many she has on her body.

  • And I am not sure of their family’s eating habits, but hopefully with their celebrity lifestyle they can afford good, wholesome, healthy, GMO free, organic, fresh food.  Again, to prevent the carcinogenic currently found in conventional foods.

  • Perhaps a look at personal products as well.  Ensuring that there is no lead and other nastiness in hair, makeup and other applications used on the body.  Again to prevent the possibility.

And the list can go on ...

My point is that if we are going to be in “prevention” mode than it goes much further than the painful decision to under go a drastic surgical procedure.  Prevention is like the maintenance program, because the possibility of not following through on the aforementioned may increase the chances of other health issues, or not.

Personally, I believe that best way to rid your body of cancer is to not get it in the first place.  Because once you do, you spend the rest of your life trying to get ahead of it.  

So even though I do believe Ms. Jolie probably made a courageous choice ... she also choose to publicly shared her journey ... so now she must follow through on prevention in all aspects of her life because that is what she owes to herself.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In Loving Memory of Manuel Razo ...

They say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too, yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you ...

Come on
Yes we're going to a party party ...

I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (Birthday)
I would like you to dance (Birthday)
Dance yeah
Come on ...

~ The Beatles ~ Birthday ~

These lyrics may seem odd when writing about the passing away of our dear friend Manuel.  But this is the song he sang often at the Clinica Nutricion in Tijuana, Mexico .. forever in my mind and heart.

I remember coming down the stairs from our room to find Russell chatting with Manuel and his partner of 42 years.  Instantly, Manuel introduced himself and shared his story.  We had only been there a few days and it was so comforting to find another person, dealing with cancer, freely willing to connect.  

Manuel had a jolly attitude, almost child like in nature.  And he made sure to get to know everyone at the clinic ... fellow patients, caregivers, doctors, nurses and even the kitchen and cleaning staff.  We use to laugh about his potty mouth, no not like a trucker but more about his experience with the enemas in detail!  For Manuel, it didn’t matter if we were having a meal, we heard all about how difficult the experience was and also what resulted in the toilet afterwards.  Although there were a couple that were “bothered” by his candidness, the rest of us embraced his innocent spirit and kind nature.

For three weeks, a group of us ventured out to the ocean, usually on a daily basis.  We would go to the local coffee shoppes and of course found our way to the open mic pub that had instruments just awaiting us.  Russell and I would strike up an “acoustic” version of our cover band tunes with everyone joining in on singing, dancing, moving and shaking.  And you guessed it ... Manuel would sneak in The Beatles song “Birthday”!  He had a great voice to support his great passion of music.

When the time came to leave the clinic, many of us didn’t know if we would see each other again.  I remember when Manuel hugged me, whispering into my ear that he cared for everyone there, but I was his favorite.  Manuel told me he loved me and that I was part of his family.  And at that moment, I didn’t want to let go.  

A memory I will cherish for the rest of my life ...

Over the past two years plus, Manuel and I kept in touch.  Speaking often, sharing our ups and downs with this thing called cancer.  Manuel beat the odds for so long, because regardless of his prognosis, he had an upbeat attitude.  He told me that he wasn’t going to give up yet he also accepted that there was a bigger plan ... and to let go and let God.  

I know Manuel is somewhere singing a tune, smiling, dancing and laughing ... somewhere at peace where his mind can have the dream he desires ... somewhere where his body can have the peace he deserves.  

♥ Rest in Peace our beautiful friend ... 
we will always love you and never forget you ♥

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

" Chasing Pavements ... "

I build myself up
And fly around in circles
Waitin' as my heart drops
And my back begins to tingle
Finally, could this be it ...

Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place should I leave it there
Should I give up
Or should I just keep on chasin' pavements
Should I just keep on chasin' pavements
Ohh oh

~ Adele ~ Chasing Pavements ~

Ever have those moments where an overwhelming feeling of purposelessness takes over?  Ever stop to think about the meaninglessness of life?  I mean what significance does our life really have?

We try to give our lives significance ... we find something to occupy our efforts ... we even find a cause to belong to and be a part of.  A chasing after the ever eluding fix it seems.

Think about your daily routine ... you get up, work, accumulate stuff, take care of your stuff, tend to your family and go to sleep ... and repeat.  Do you find yourself asking is this all there is to life?

Recently I read that life is just a puff of smoke, a chasing after the wind.  A never ending, unsatisfiable pursuit.  How depressing ... and maybe a viewpoint to protect yourself from crushing disappointments.  After all, if you don’t expect the best, you won’t be crushed when the best never happens.

“Better one handful with tranquility than 
two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind ... “

I think it is about getting some perspective on what it is we are seeking and what drives us to be discontented.  The desire for so much materialism can rob us of our peace.  We get caught up, consumed and lack patience.  We lose purpose and meaning.

The essential question is “what matters most to you?” ... 
the expression in the living of life, not in a set of words about the living of life ...

So unless you are one those rare people who are born with a clear purpose or directly guided by the Divine telling you what you are to do, you don’t have to wait around for an external source to make up your mind.  You can, whenever you wish, get up your courage, breath, take a great leap of faith and choose your own purpose.  Because as we proceed through this thing called life, we begin to understand that the meaning of life is to give our life a meaning. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

" Thank You Mom ... "

And all the times we laughed with you, 
and all the times that you stayed true to us ...
There's nothing I won't do, 
to say these words to you 
That you're beautiful forever ...

And even when the times got hard, 
you were there to let us know...that we'd get through ...
You showed me how to love my God, 
you taught me that not everyone knows the truth ...

And I thank you, I'll always thank you 
More than you could know, than I could ever show 
And I love you, I'll always love you 
There's nothing I won't do, to say these words to you 
That you will live forever 
Always, always and forever 

~ Good Charlotte ~ Thank You Mom ~

It may seem odd to write about Mother’s Day when I am not a Mom because I don’t know the first thing about being one.  But I do understand the bonds and influence of Mothers from family and friends.  And of course have experience the unconditional love from my own Mother.

Mother’s Day is a celebration.  We honour motherhood.  But where did it get started? 
Well in North America it dates back to the early 20th century.  And although it is not related, the Greek cult of Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria and the Christian Mothering celebration, they have all become synonymous with it.

So back in 1908, a woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in West Virginia.  She began a campaign to make a recognized holiday in honour of Mothers.  By 1914 she was successful, only to be further commercialized by the 1920s.  Soon other countries adopted the holiday and as we know it is pretty much celebrated around the world.  Mothers, grandmothers and maternal figures are all remembered on this special day.

Where would we be without our Mothers?  
Well not here ... 
no matter what your relationship with her, 
she gave you life.  

And many of the females tell me that although Dad’s are just as important, they do most of the child rearing during the early years.  Just think about it ... there is something special about the bond between Mother and child.  Probably because she carried us around in her womb for nearly 10 months.  Mother’s take care of all our needs when we are infants.  They heal our wounds by offering gentle comfort when we are hurting.  They lend an ear when we need it the most.  They know us all to well at times when we don’t know ourselves.  And they will do pretty much anything to make our lives better than their own.  

As we get older, it doesn’t stop.  In their eyes no matter what age we are, we are still their child.  Once a mother, always a mother ... 

And for those whose Mother’s are no longer with us, say a little prayer for them.  Spend a few moments reflecting on all she did for you when she was alive, which keeps her memory alive.  A Mother’s ... love, care, help, worry, energy, encouragement, sacrifice, compassion, kindness and warmth ... never leaves us.  She is always with us as we are with her, deep in our hearts, unconditional love.

My message to my Mom ... I’ve silently celebrated YOU for the last 364 days because I don’t need a “special” day to know that I love you EVERY day ...

♥ Happy Every Day MOM 

Friday, May 10, 2013

" Words ... "

Smile an everlasting smile, a smile can bring you 
Near to me. 
Don't ever let me find you gone, cause that would 
Bring a tear to me. 
This world has lost it's glory, lets start a brand 
New story now, my love. 
Right now, there'll be no other time and I can show 
You how, my love. 

Talk in everlasting words, and dedicate them all to 
And I will give you all my life, I'm here if you 
Should call to me. 
You think that I don't even mean, 
A single word I say. 
It's only words, and words are all I have, to take 
Your heart away

~ Bee Gees ~ Words ~

Words can be powerful because they have a biochemical effect on the body.  As soon as a word is used, chemicals are produced within our systems.  So when we don’t choose our words consciously to describe our emotions, we have issues  because the words we attach to our experience become our experience.  Our mindset can be impacted by powerful words. 

Think about it ... how does it make you feel when you think, speak or hear certain words?  Do they encourage you or do they hold you back?  

Some think words have magical powers.  They can used to rapidly shift our senses of what is real for us.  Even the order in how you use words can re-create the situation and change your perceptions.  I have heard change your words, change your life.  

I know for me there are certain words that trigger responses.  It is the association that creates a feeling.  I am aware of it, so now I also try to substitute with something else ... another experience.  And as hard as that is, I purposely remove the association of something that causes me grief and replace it with something better. 

You can even try to take a word and start to play with it and see what happens.  This is an application within something called “transderivational morphology”.  By adding prefixes or suffixes you start to shift your internal response to words that constrain or limit you.  Even replacing words can do this ... like replacing but for and.

And there is remedy in words.  Mind over matter ... deliberate focus of your mind over a situation can guide your thoughts and body into feelings of peace and tranquility.  We receive messages into our subconscious and conscious minds and they make all the difference in our well-being journey.  Really ask yourself what words are being used, what are the messages you are being told and what are you paying attention to?

I feel words need to be intentionally positive, comforting, compassionate to help guide us all in the way we want to feel.  I hope to live on purpose and manifest my words into the reality I want ...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

" Transformation ... "

Come with me, I'll take you there
To a place where you'll see
Everything you need to be the one
you need to be
And all of those things that you feared
Will disappear from you in time

Everything will become clear to you
When you see things through
another's eyes
Everything will become clear to you
Whatever's meant for you, you will find

~ Phil Collins ~ Transformation ~

Do you believe that transformation must happen in a grand way?  Do you underestimate the influence you have?  Do you believe that change happens with you?

Putting hopes into action can be a catalyst ... a powerful way to enhance and transform your world.  But having an idealistic view on things can be a hindrance.  I always thought that I needed to contribute in a massive way to have a massive transformation.  That perhaps if goals were to small and trivial, it wouldn't matter.  And I have always questioned my life purpose ... what am I here to do, to be and to provide?  

You see, most of us get stuck with the idea of perfection ... “it has to be big and perfect to be worth it”.  Yet what we know is that mistakes will be made and directions will be flawed.  So instead of questioning your goals, activities, pathways and commitments when things don’t work out the way you planned for, change your strategy and move on.  As I have read ... it is "simply course correction".  Accept that perfection is hard to attain and appreciate that you are motivated to make things better. 

What I have realized is that a simple and gradual process of awareness can lead to change that has profound effects.  Like a tiny drop in an ocean creating a ripple that is felt far beyond what I could imagine.  And this applies to all of us.  We all have the ability to have this effect.  Just trying to make a change, transforms you and ultimately transforms those around you.

Finding others on a similar journey can help 
you create your own desired environment... 
Sharing your vision leads to natural transformations...

We are guaranteed only one thing, that change is inevitable.  So adapt and move on with no anxiety or shame.  Know that you are always transforming ... and believe you were not the same person yesterday as you are today.  Your intentions to be better and do better, will manifest transformations ... and regardless if they are big or small, flawed or perfect, they'll be just right.

Monday, May 6, 2013

" Love Is A Battlefield ... "

When I'm losing control
Will you turn me away ...
Will it still feel the same
There's no way this will die
But if we get much closer
I could lose control
And if your heart surrenders
You'll need me to hold

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises
No demands
Love is a battlefield

We are strong
No one can tell us we're wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield

~ Pat Benatar ~ Love Is A Battlefield ~

Sometimes you just have to get in the battlefield, you have no choice but to hold firm to your beliefs and convictions till the end.  But sometimes you just have to walk away.

As it is said ... you must learn to pick your battles because some will forever be raging no matter how hard you fight, the drama will continue.  Somethings you have to except as they are and then you decide how to deal or if to deal at all. 

So how do you decide?  
Ask yourself if this is something you feel passionate about ... and if it will really matter 5 years from now.  Then make a decision to remove yourself from a negative, toxic situation towards a positive and productive frame of mind.

If passion and matters apply then make sure your approach is spot on.  Remember arguing when you are angry will be the best speech you will regret.  Retreat and understand the other’s point of view.  Your goal should not be to hurt another because then you are in battle for the wrong reason.  Every single argument you have ought to aim to improve an undesirable situation. 

Inner peace begins the moment you choose 
not to allow another person or event to control your emotions ...

Connections that are carefree, laid back and easygoing are usually the most loving ones.  Those are the ones we strive for.  There is always a hidden message or lesson in any circumstance.  So instead of getting caught up in the whirlwind of emotions and resist what we are going through, make the choose to react differently.  Make sure you are able to speak coherently, honestly and from a place of compromise and compassion.  Because those battles that really matter need all the energy you have to endure.

~ Find your calm ~ Pick your battles ~

Saturday, May 4, 2013

" The Static Age ... "

Can you hear the sound of the static noise,
blasting out in stereo?
Cater to the class and the paranoid,
music to my nervous system
Advertising love and religion,
murder on the airwaves
Slogans on the brink of corruption

Billboard on the rise in the dawn's landscape, 
working your insanity ...
Squeezing out your state of mind
Are what you own that you cannot buy

I can't see a thing in the video
I can't hear a sound on the radio
in stereo in the static age

~ Green Day ~ The Static Age ~

I love the saying “you’re only as old as you feel”.  It gives me an excuse not to act my age.  Because I really do think age is just a number and not a state of mind.

So what does it mean to “act your age”?  I mean, who is the guru or swami of age, telling all how to “act”?  I am sure we all know people of the same age and they act completely different ... usually one has more fun than the other ... one plays more than the other.  And yes there is something about aging gracefully but does that mean just “fitting in” with all the people who got there before you?

I believe we have to make the opportunity to play every day, even for a moment or two.  I mean, why go through life, taking no chances, avoiding danger, only to arrive safely at death?

Luckily I have a few people in my life that are older and have forgotten how old they are ... and it is the coolest thing ever.  I assume they wake up in the morning feeling every muscle and joint in their body.  Maybe they look in the mirror and see a reflection that isn’t quite what it used to be.  And possibly they have to take a handful of pills before breakfast.  But the beauty is that the don’t care.  You see they won’t listen to anyone that tells them they are too old to enjoy life ... they are the ones that have found what we all want ~ pure joy.

Although Russell and I are not parents ourselves, we have been fortunate to be around children most of our lives.  I say fortunate because children continue to teach us how to laugh and play and sing and use our imagination and just see the magic in life that is waiting to be embraced.  Children have no sense of time or age ... they are truly present in the moment, the perfect place.

We all know that inevitably, our physical bodies will age.  Yet growing old is a matter of choice.  Rediscover the child within you and take time to play, yes PLAY!  Because play is one of those pleasurable activities that is underestimated.  Play recharges us, improves our outlook, and lets us just let go and BE.  So take the time and just BE fun and remember that ...

“we don’t stop laughing because we grow old, 
we grow old because we stop laughing ...”