Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Time To Release

At the end of each year, our thoughts tend to take us back to where we've been and where we want to go in the new year. But this year is more than just moving into the year ahead. It's a powerful time of transition when the universe is beginning a new phase of its journey through time, an era in which we make an evolutionary leap to the next dimension in a more loving and peaceful world.

In this New Age, the old ways that no longer work for us will tend to pass away, and humanity will have opportunities to embrace a different way of life. During this time of transition, each of us is faced with a choice to either hang on to these old ways and be swept along by a negative sea of energy, or we can choose to shift our energy to new ways of managing our lives on a stronger and more fulfilling path.

Self-knowledge is the great power by which we comprehend and control our lives. Vernon Howard

To embrace the new, the old must be released. And this will take some introspection, soul-searching, and self-awareness. Our inner feelings and beliefs determine the quality of our life, and the better we know ourself, the better will be our life creations. We need to stop, pay attention, and become the observer to develop self-awareness.

Identify what needs to be released:
 1. Quietly go within and ask for insight and guidance regarding what needs to be released from your life.
2. Keep a list handy to jot down thoughts and ideas as they come to you through each day. Your inner Voice will be talking to you.
3. List your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, worries and fears, defeating habits--anything that helps you understand yourself better.
4. Notice your current behavior patterns and problem areas in your health, work, relationships, finances, household, free time etc.
5 Identify any clutter in your life. Clutter holds stagnate energy and impedes forward movement.
6. Is there anything you need to forgive in yourself or others? Self-criticism, past mistakes, old wounds that need healing?
7. Examine all of these issues, and clarify each one.
8. Each night review progress and express gratitude.

This is a tall order, but take your time, be patient with yourself, and allow the whole process to unfold, dealing with one thing at a time. Release as you go along, releasing each issue as you come to it.

Release and let go:
Visualization is a powerful tool for releasing what you no longer want in your life. A method I've found helpful is to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and sit quietly for at least a few minutes. Then imagine a big balloon any color you want. Now create a shape, texture and color for whatever issue you want to release, dump it into the balloon, seal the balloon, and allow it to float gently up into the air, into the sky. As you watch it disappear, tell it goodbye and express gratitude for what you've learned from it, even if you're not aware that you learned anything from it.

Releasing what doesn't serve you in a positive way allows you to be open and receptive to bring into your life the blessings the Universe has for you. Release. Let go. And be ready for the next step, embracing more love, peace, and light into your life. Now is the time.

I wish you freedom to express love and peace in your life.

Marilyn

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012

Today is December 21, 2012, a date for much speculation around the world. Everything in our universe has always moved in cycles, and from what I've read from many sources, my opinion is with those who see this as a universal time of transition from one cycle into another. And today marks the beginning of a New Age in which the earth and its inhabitants can undergo a positive physical and spiritual transformation.

According to scientific reports, our universe is expanding at a rapid rate, and for many years our solar system has been in the midst of a shift. The earth is going through an unusual upheaval. The magnetic shield that surrounds the earth is shifting, going into a reversal, and the earth's pulse is speeding up. Our universe has traveled one path for many years and is now turning the corner on a new phase of its journey through time, an era in which we make an evolutionary leap to the next dimension.

This process has been studied by astronomers, quantum physics, and scientists from various fields, and prophesized by Galactic synchronization by Jose Arguelles in the Mayan Factor, Greg Braden and his study of the Galactic alignment, Terence McKenna's i-Ching Time Wave Theory, Nostradamus, and the Hopi indians.

For many yeas we've seen changes taking place all around the world leading up to 2012. We've seen increased violence, greed, unrest and upheaval everywhere. Governments are crumbling and institutions are failing. Even mother nature is on a rampage. Our old ways and behavior patterns no longer work as they have in the past, and life becomes increasingly complicated. And the earth and humanity are crying out for help in our chaotic world.

There have been many times in the history of civilization when the climate was right for a spiritual leap forward, and this is one of those times when strong forces in the universe are now in a position to help us take that move forward. Now in this new cycle we have the opportunity and the power to set up a wiser, stronger and more fulfilling path. Everything in the universe is energy, including humanity, and we are all one with the universe, governed by universal laws. As these shifts take place they affect our universe, our earth home, and our personal life right down to our DNA on a cellular level. 

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Seymour Miller and Jill Jackson

Our solar system is passing through a very high vibrational band of energy flooding the earth, and this New Age we're entering provides new ways of managing our lives if we're willing to raise our vibrational level in harmony with the shift; if we're willing to make changes in the outer and express our light from within to transform the darkness for a more loving and peaceful world; if we're willing to unite in love with all the world.

We're shifting into a new elevated consciousness. As we shine our beautiful light, we elevate our vibration not only for ourself, but for the whole planet. Join your mind and heart with those many groups around the world who are now moving with this new cycle of love, peace and harmony in our world.

I wish unfolding love and peace in your life.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Reverend Ed Bacon Interview

Today I am pleased to present my interview with Reverend Ed Bacon, author of 8 Habits Of Love: Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind.

                                                                Introduction
The Reverend Ed Bacon is the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California. He is an advocate for peace and justice in the world and focuses on interfaith relations, integrating family, faith and work systems, and articulating the Christian faith in non-bigoted ways. He has received several honors for his peace and interfaith work. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and has a current role as guest host twice each month on Oprah’s “Soul Series.” His book, 8 Habits Of Love: Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind, has recently been released.

Question 1: Welcome to my blog, Reverend Bacon. I’m honored to participate in this interview with you. I’m looking forward to exploring several issues with you today, but first I’d like to know more about you, as a person. Could you describe yourself—your personality, likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, values, habits and so on. I know this is a tall order, so just tell me about yourself, and help me to get to know you.

     Thank you for asking! I appreciate it, because I do feel there is immense value in connecting with individuals in a more intimate way, even in situations that are business-like or goal-oriented. When we connect on a deeper level, knowing that we are each individuals and yet part of a larger interconnected family, it allows us to get to the heart of the matter with a more open-minded attitude. But how to characterize myself? That’s not so easy. I am a man who is on the go 14 hours a day, and I thrive on this action. I feel passionately about my work and my family. I’m married to my college sweetheart, and have two wonderful children who are adults now. I love family gatherings around the dining table or any vacation spot. Our grandchildren bring me endless joy.
     I know myself well, and my areas of weakness, so each morning I take an hour in Stillness so that I can say prayers, actually experience God’s love, and think deeply about the issues I am called to work upon during the day. I sink into that time to energize myself for later when I’ll be on the go. I see it as synchronizing my breathing with the breath of God. This has been the key for me in finding personal equilibrium and joy .
     People have told me I’m an extraverted introvert. I think this paradoxical label suits me quite well. I’m gregarious and energized by community, but I need significant amounts of quiet time for reflection and rejuvenation.

Question 2: Your ministry also reflects who you are. Could you tell me what led you to the ministry, how your path brought you to where you are today and the wonderful work you’re doing in the world.


     I grew up in small town called Jesup, along a historic railway stop in pine-studded, rural Georgia. My father was a Baptist preacher, school principal, and later the county school superintendent, and my mother was a teacher. My parents expected me to become a Southern Baptist minister (in fact, my father wanted me to be a medical missionary), but the version of God that I heard preached from my father’s pulpit was one who was often loving, but ultimately was wrathful, punitive, and condemning of those who did not believe. All around me I saw people who were marginalized and suffering, in particular African Americans, and I struggled with a sense of inner confusion that left me feeling isolated. I could not reconcile these images and messages.
     When I chose to deviate from my inherited script and enter Law School at Vanderbilt, my family was proud yet confused. Truth be told, I was confused too. I was running away from my vocation because I was religiously confused. Although I loved studying the law, after I came upon the writings of Thomas Merton—this was during the Vietnam War—I realized that all along I had indeed been called to become a minister, just not in the tradition in which I had been brought up. After that, I was able to articulate my vision and passion to my family. In time they accepted and supported my decision.
     I first returned to my home for ordination as a Baptist minister and to work as Campus Minister at my Alma Mater. Several years later I was ordained an Episcopal priest and have served in four churches whose community of believers have all been theologically and politically progressive, as well as spiritually diverse and inclusive. The entire portrait of broad opportunities for transformational social action and service—as well as personal and professional development—has made my heart beat fast with excitement. I have continued on this path throughout my career as I find the work compelling and infinitely rewarding.

Question 3: We humans tend to forget we all belong to one race, the human race, and we tend to divide ourselves into groups by ethnicity, religion, political views, socio-economic levels, and so on. And then we create conflict between our groups. Do you have any thoughts on reasons for this way of life, and what we may be missing in our human experience because of it? What do you believe is the answer to reaching the truth of who we are and living in love and peace with all?


     It is a primordial instinct to forge an identity and to find ways to belong. There comes a time, however, when we must examine our identities and our sense of belonging.  We must ask ourselves: Are they resources for expanding our sense of connectedness to the world at large? Or do they instead keep us constricted in unconscious enclaves where we try to protect what we have, fear any dilution of our power, or fear that we won’t have enough for ourselves if we share or give in? What we fail to realize is that by separating ourselves—mentally or physically—from others with whom we do not agree or who we don’t understand, we ourselves become weaker, not stronger. The human spirit, just like the seas, needs both inflow and outflow in order to foster life and create energy.
     When love flows out from within us, more flows in. The more we give, the more vital our lives, the bigger our spirits, and the deeper our living. When people are on the receiving end of this kind of generosity, it opens their hearts in a way that is deeply transformative and sends ripples of love outward into the universe.
     Overcoming the fear of scarcity is quite challenging, especially in our day and age, but it is absolutely necessary in order for us to live in a healthy and thriving world. The very first step is to recognize the power of community and the necessity of generosity and in so doing, take small steps every day to open our hearts toward others. This may mean showing a small kindness, or stopping to help or compliment someone, or recognizing a good deed and expressing gratitude. It could also mean supporting a mission or cause with our time or our money. At the end of each chapter in my book I give suggestions for actions that readers can take to actively engage the Habits of Love in their lives.
     And we must also take time to pause and reflect on our values and the way we are living them in our lives. What fills us up and what depletes us? What can we give to others and what do we need? What “truths” need to be jettisoned because they no longer serve the experience we are having in the world? When we incorporate stillness into our days, as I do every morning, we soon come to see the world more holistically. We come to recognize our part in creating a human family in which each and every person has a place at the table.

Question 4: Writing your book, 8 Habits Of Love, must have taken a great deal of insight, contemplative thought and inspiration to create such a valuable answer to our human need for guidance in this time of global upheaval. How did you come to write this book, and in what ways will this gift help us to move into the understanding, love and peace we seek?

     It all started in 2008 when Oprah Winfrey wanted to interview a person “of the cloth.” She had hosted Eckhart Tolle for a teaching series from his book A New Earth on her radio show. A number of people had challenged her, claiming the material was too New Age and un-Christian. I accepted her invitation to talk this through with her in Chicago on “Oprah’s Soul Series.”
     Then, later that year, I participated on a panel called “Your Spirituality” on her national television program. Ms. Winfrey pointed out that I was the only one of the three who hadn’t written a book. Less than a year later, I had a book contract!
     The idea for the book came from decades of thinking about the nature of love. I have long been interested in the dynamics of love and fear. I often noticed that the most frequent injunction in scripture is, “Do not fear” and that Jesus said, “Perfect love casts out fear.” My sermons at All Saints in Pasadena on living in the House of Love versus the House of Fear have generated the most response over the course of my many years of preaching.
     My hope is that this book will open people’s hearts and minds, as the subtitle states. In reading about each Habit of Love, people will begin to see what an integral role these habits play in having a full and meaningful life. There should be many aha! moments while reading the anecdotes and coming to understand the philosophy behind the Habits of Love. These moments of recognition will propel the reader to take the journey toward love with me. When we all work together in this way, it is inevitable that we will function better as a community, and be happier and more fulfilled as individuals.

Question 5: What is your dream for our human experience in the future? And what do you think it will take to get us there?

     My dream is that we will shift away from seeing ourselves as separate entities in the human race and become a human family instead. It will take millions of us developing our awareness that we were created in an interconnected web of life and that the only sustainable way of living is in harmony and respect for our interconnectedness. That will in turn require a certain lifestyle on the part of each of us – the kind of joyful, exhilarating set of habits I describe in my book. The great news is how energizing it is to live a life with Generosity, Stillness, Candor, Truth, Forgiveness, Compassion, Play, and Community.

Thank you, Reverend Bacon for sharing with me and my readers. I so appreciate your insightful message and the work you do to promote a more loving, peaceful and interconnected world for all of us. I have already begun using your 8 Habits of love.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Gives Your Life Meaning?

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning, and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.  Joseph Campbell 

There is in each of us a need, indeed a longing, to express who we are. We need to be heard, connect with our world and know that we're not alone. Our life needs to matter in some way. We're all born with a gift, our own unique voice that speaks to the world like no other. Some of us respond to this inner voice and consciously find meaning in our life, some do this without realizing it, and others miss this calling and never know fulfillment. Every life is a gift to be explored and made meaningful.

Meaningful self-expression can manifest in many ways, and can be so subtle that it may seem to go unnoticed. But everything is energy, and our inner thoughts as well as our outside actions create meaning. According to Victor Frankl in his book, Man's Search For Meaning, suggests that we create this meaning through good deeds, experiencing a value and, yes, through suffering.

Good Deeds: Good deeds don't necessarily have to be on a grand scale. We find acts of kindness and serving others in daily living and doing. I have a friend who shares her baked goods with neighbors, because she enjoys seeing them smile; one of my neighbors goes up and down the street mowing lawns for people, because it makes them happy; many help others through volunteer work in schools, hospitals and anywhere they're needed. These people answer the voice within, and their lives are meaningful.

Experiencing a Value: We humans hold a myriad of values. Pursuing a passion involves values, and we create meaning by honoring these values. This may be work we love, growing a garden, writing poetry, preserving nature, or simply by expressing love in our life. Our spiritual life expresses values in many ways.

Suffering: It would seem that suffering is meaningless, but much can be gained through our suffering. Much depends upon our attitude toward it and our ability to deal with it, and we need to know that ultimately there is some meaning in our suffering. Have there been painful times in your life when you thought you could not survive, but you found inner strength and did it? Have you ever shouldered some kind of pain to protect another person? Has some kind of suffering led you to a positive change in your life you would not have found otherwise? Suffering can bring blessings, spiritual enlightenment, self-discovery, and unimagined miracles. And it can have profound positive meaning.

No matter what is happening in your life, when you allow your gift to bring you joy and touch others, even with your suffering, your life has meaning. You may see it. You may not. But know this, and smile at the wonder that is you.

I wish you a peaceful heart and a happy life.

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Healing Power of Gratitude

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. Gerald Good

Thanksgiving has been signified as gratitude day. And that's good. But how different would our world be if we spent time each day being grateful? Maybe we should apply gratitude to the other 364 days each year. Those are the days we're running as fast as we can to keep up with our fast moving lives and avoid as much stress as possible. And that's when we need something to nudge us in the direction of survival.

A sense of gratitude is one of the most powerful ways we have to find that peaceful place inside that can lead us not only to survive, but to thrive. As we move through each day on auto pilot, our thoughts are usually focused on problem solving, and we forget to apply some oil to make the wheels turn smoother. Thoughts of gratitude can be the oil that makes a difference at the end of each day.

Yesterday, I made a trip to the grocery store, nothing special. But I decided to practice gratitude on this trip. I noticed the price of gas had gone down, I found a really good parking place, avocados were on sale, and there was less traffic than usual, so I got home in a hurry. And the grocery bags seemed lighter along with my mood. Each time I said "I'm grateful for this," I smiled as I felt a subtle shift inside to a more peaceful feeling. Just think how this gratitude attitude could lighten a whole day if it became a habit to interrupt our auto pilot thoughts.

Energy in our bodies moves at a particular vibrational frequency, and its greatly influenced by our thoughts and words. So thinking and saying you're grateful is not just an empty gesture that sounds good. It raises your energy to a higher vibrational frequency and creates a healing force for your body, mind and emotions. It's good for you.

Exercise: Stop, get quiet, clear your mind, and focus your attention inside. This only takes a few seconds. You don't need a life-changing event to be grateful. Anything will do. Now express gratitude. Let it flow from your mind and heart, and feel that subtle energy shift within to a sense of peace. It's there. Catch it. That's all your cells thanking you in return.

Giving thanks daily will change your energy, and the Universe will hear your vibration and reply in kind. A grateful heart builds on itself, and getting used to saying thank you for the little things will bring more important things for which to be grateful.

I wish you peace in your heart.

Marilyn

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Caught In A Bind

Today I'm caught without a message to share. Yes, I know--I preach about being prepared, and I goofed up this time myself. I had planned to write and post a message this morning, but I woke up with 3 spider bites on my neck. At least I think they're spider bites. I don't believe in that Dracula stuff, and I think if there were someone else in my bed I'd know it.

Anyway, when the bites turned red and began swelling really big, I headed for the acute care center. I waited for an hour with my hands in my pockets so I wouldn't scratch to relieve the itching, and then spent another 45 minutes being examined, getting 2 shots (one in my rump. Oweee), and instructions for what to get from the pharmacy. When I hobbled into my house from the car I collapsed on the sofa wrenching with nausea and pain. Well, maybe not that bad, but I sure felt like I was caught in a spider's web and needed help to escape.

I know, rationally, my situation is really no big deal. But when you're beset with a sudden unexpected painful situation, it's easy to fall into an exaggerated state of helpless worry. Oh, by the way, I think I blogged about that last week. I need to start reading my posts so I'll know how to handle stuff, even the less traumatic stuff like mine today.

Well, now I have to go get that additional remedy from the pharmacy to further aid in my recovery. Hey, I think I just wrote a blog post for today.

Keep your neck covered at night.

Marilyn

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How To Deal With Life Challenges

Life is a series of the good times that warm your heart and put a smile on your face, times so painful we wonder if we will survive, and all those in-between times that we call routine. We hope for the good ones, but sometimes we're faced with those sudden challenges that seem to come out of nowhere and knock us off our routine path. The shock of an unexpected situation can leave us in a state of confusion and mental chaos. We may be faced with a sudden illness, loss of a job, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, a financial loss, divorce, and the list goes on. We hope something like that will never happen, but many people are faced with such traumas.

During the years I worked, I felt very secure as I invested money each month for my retirement, and I remember the emotional devastation I felt when I found out, due to the neglect of financial advisers, that I had lost my retirement fund. Gone. I tried going back to work, but found doors closed to me. Not only was I faced with finding a way to rearrange my budget, I became immersed in fear and self-condemnation. Why had I been so trusting? Why had I not paid off my home mortgage instead of investing? Why had I been so stupid? This was a time of suffering, but also a time of learning. There are many kinds of losses we can't recoup, but with the suffering, we can grow from them. I may not be much smarter today than I was then, but I do know myself better. And I learned some useful coping skills.

It's easy to get so emotionally caught up in a situation you're rendered helpless with no visible way out. But you have to begin recovery somewhere.
1. Get quiet, clarify the problem and identify your feelings. Don't criticize yourself. Most of the time it isn't your fault, but if you have made a mistake, condemning yourself doesn't make it better.
2. Accept where you are, and voice your intention to move forward--even if you don't feel like it.
3. Begin to move yourself from the problem to a solution with a list of actions you can take to move through the trauma. Just one step in the direction of a solution can take you from a sense of helplessness to one of power. Inner action is just as important as any outer action.
4. Change what you can, and accept what you can't.
5. Fear promotes a closed mind. Hope and compassion promote a clear mind. Find someone who will listen and offer emotional support. This is vital.
6. Look within yourself to your wise inner Voice. Allow yourself to be guided from within. Ultimately, that's where you find your answers.
7. Find as much as you can in your life for which to be grateful. Express gratitude for each step you take toward recovery, and learn with each step.

You've probably already lived through many challenges--that's part of life. And you will live through this one. Stronger in the future.

I wish you peace along the way.

Marilyn

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What Happened To Acts Of Kindness?

Yesterday I was at Brooks Rehab, and I saw an older man using a walker headed for the very heavy front door to leave the building. I opened the door for him and made sure he was okay the rest of the way. He thanked me with a big smile and a look that said he was surprised at my gesture. If I read his message correctly, I'm not surprised that he was surprised. Over the years I've noticed changes in the way people treat each other, and consideration for others seems to be fading away.

Because of this observation, I look for those times when people are considerate, and I acknowledge this behavior. When a store employee is especially helpful, I ask their name and find the store manager to report this kindness. Every single time I do this, the manager seems pleased, but surprised, to hear something other than a complaint. And I have a warm feeling inside.

I don't know if it's really true, but it seems like there are more rude people running around today than in the past. Of course, we can always say, remember the good old days, but maybe our memories are just distorted. Or maybe not. I really don't remember other drivers tailgating my car and honking because I'm only going 3 miles over the speed limit, and that's not fast enough for them. Or trying to reach something on a high shelf in the grocery store while others just walk by pushing their buggies past me. Or someone going out a door just in front of me and letting the door slam in my face. When I open a door for someone and they just walk through without any acknowledgment at all, I say you're welcome loud enough so I know they hear me. Then they either say thank you or look at me like I'm a crazy person. Well, I don't mind being a crazy person.

Are these people just preoccupied.? Or is there a dire emergency somewhere that they have to get to in a hurry? It doesn't seem rational that so many people are headed for one. Individually, they don't upset me. But as a trend, it saddens me. They're missing out on the good feeling inside that comes from helping another person and seeing them smile in appreciation.

Some people may never experience such a feeling. But everything is energy, so if more of us practice being kindness people and look for kindness in others, maybe some of it will rub off on those who don't know how to be kind--or forgot how to do that. Think about it as you look for ways to help someone who needs you, even in a small way.

I wish you joy in your heart.

Marilyn


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Launch

Today I am participating in a book launch for Eldon Taylor's new book, Self-Hypnosis and Subliminal Technology: A How-to Guide for Personal-Empowerment.

About the author:
Eldon Taylor has been called the "Master of the Mind" and "one of the world's foremost experts in preconscious processing". He is an award winning New York Times best-selling author of more than 300 books and audio and video programs, and is the host of the radio show Provocative Enlightenment. His prestigious awards, positions and accomplishments are numerous and known throughout the world. He was a practicing criminalist for many years when he began research into the power of the mind. He writes that in his 35 years of researching consciousness he has concluded that the 2 best tools for accessing the mind and assisting it to perform at its best are hypnosis and subliminal communication. He's the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and president of Progressive Awareness Research.

About the book:
There is in each of us an inherent desire to know and understand our true self, to know what misperceptions lie in our subconscious that hold us back from our untapped potential. These messages stored in our subconscious can sabotage our conscious goals. For instance, if we are brought up to believe that we will always be poor, that belief will sabotage our adult attempts at financial success. This process is true in any aspect of our life.

We want to grow and become more of who and what we want to be. But most of our choices are actually made by the area of the brain that is in the subconscious domain. So until we deal with some of those false subconscious beliefs, and until our inner goals are in line with our outer goals, we fall short of success. Hypnosis and subliminal communication deal directly with the subconscious mind, and once learned, can be customized for any situation and used almost anytime and anywhere.

Eldon Taylor explains that hypnosis slows down the brainwave activity making it easier to recover memories, access subconscious beliefs, and reprogram for success. It helps in many areas such as weight loss, smoking, pain management, stress, enhancing sports and learning abilities, self-healing and so on.

Subliminal communication bypasses conscious awareness and all of its defense mechanisms. This changes self-talk, or beliefs held in the subconscious, and as these changes occur, our life experience improves. It helps in dealing with our fears, doubt, and limitations and leads to improved quality of life. He has seen much success with his Prosperity and Abundance and Spiritual Healing for cancer programs.

Eldon Taylor's book offers a simple and straightforward course, with included CD, for the reader to gain information and to experience needed skills and increased mental abilities through hypnosis and subliminal-learning strategies and technologies. These alter various beliefs and behaviors to facilitate positive change.

He mentions that many people have been reluctant to use these tools in large part because they've been mired in mystique, urban legend and disinformation. But both are backed up by extensive research that demonstrates their efficacy. People cannot be made to do something that would go against their own inner standards/values, and if pushed in this way would simply come out of hypnosis. Virtually every day, Eldon uses these tools himself. He mentions two helpful subliminal programs, Accelerated Healing and Well Being and Quantum Plus or Quantum Younging, and he uses self-hypnosis for meditation and sleep.

Book Launch drawings and gifts
With the purchase of the book during the launch event, many of Eldon's friends and colleagues are offering fabulous bonus gifts, and there are numerous drawings for some great gifts from personalities such as Linda Evans, Dee Wallace, Norm Shealy, M.D., Crystal Andrus, Dr. Alex Loyd, Caroline Sutherland, Shazzie, and Steven Halpern. In addition is a drawing to win 2 tickets, airfare and hotel to a Hay House I Can Do It Conference, where there will be a chance to see Wayne Dyer, Eldon Taylor and other prominent self-help authors.

Click the link below to learn more about drawings, gifts and blog tour hosts. 

http://www.progressiveawarenesspromotions.com/it/12j/indexJ.html

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Help. I'm On Overload

Do you ever feel like that? Like the motor inside is running so fast, you can't slow down? I don't know if it's the fast-paced world we live in, or if I got caught in some kind of an invisible whirlwind. But I forgot to pay attention to my rate of speed and my brain went into overload.

My first clue was this morning when I arrived at my writer's group meeting, noticed I had forgotten my notebook and had to go all the way back home and get it. Then during the meeting, I heard my own voice jabbering on at times when I should have been listening. It was kind of like an echo that sounded like me, and then I realized it was me. Well, at the time, I didn't know how to back up, so I just rambled on.

The first thing to do when you get caught in a whirlwind is to stop...stop...just stop. Take a deep breath and examine what's going on inside, because inside is always the place to begin when you realize something's not right with the way you're feeling. So when I got home and safely in my house, I stopped and checked what was going on inside. Yeah, I had allowed too many commitments in too short a time to overload my nervous system and cause a short-circuit. I was in that whirlwind and couldn't find my way out. I think a lot of people today are functioning in that state, and don't even realize they've short-circuited.

Then I began drawing on what I know about whirlwinds, and figuring ways to escape and find a quiet, peaceful place again. My recovery plan began with erasing everything from my calendar that I could re-schedule or cancel. Then I took a long, slow walk around my back yard barefoot and let Mother earth replenish me with calming energy. (I live in Florida, so I can do that in mid October) Later I drank 2 cups of chamomile tea with honey, then sprawled out on my living room floor breathing deeply and reciting quiet affirmations. I would have listened to some quiet music, but my CD player is broken. Now I feel like I'll survive, but it will take several days to get back on my pace and balance regimen. And I need to share a hug, so I'll hang around church on Sunday.

A word of advice: If you experience overload, remember that overload doesn't happen suddenly. It slowly creeps up on you when you're not looking, and then it bops you up side of your head and disconnects those circuits that keep you calm and sane. Slow down. You don't need to run so fast. Pace and balance your life, and you'll land on your feet with your mind and heart in the right place.

I wish you quiet peace every day.

Marilyn


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How And Why To Let Go

Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own. Bruce Lee  

Today in many parts of the world nature is letting go of the old to prepare for the new to blossom in the spring. Trees lose their leaves, animals look for places to hibernate, perennials seem to die off until spring when it's time to bloom anew. We could take a lesson from nature. Our lives are heavy with old ideas, beliefs and behaviors that no longer serve us, or never served us in the first place.

All of life moves in cycles. There's a time for holding back, and a time for producing, a time for growing, and a time for resting, a time for letting go of the old and a time for embracing the new. But we humans resist the normal changes our bodies, minds and hearts are meant to experience. You've heard the saying, "It was good enough for my Daddy, and it's good enough for me."

During World War 2, we saved aluminum foil and tin cans to recycle for the war effort. I no longer save aluminum foil and tin cans. Sometimes I could only take sponge baths, because we shared a bathroom with 3 other apartments. Now I bathe whenever I want. I was taught I could never have more than bare necessities, I could never be a journalist, and my only goal in life was to be a wife and mother. I held onto those beliefs for a long time.  

Last year I did a thorough housecleaning and found mounds of "stuff" I haven't used in years, and would never use again. Boxes went to the Salvation Army. Then I did some inner housecleaning and found some old ideas and beliefs that were just cluttering up my brain. So I began cleaning out those that no longer apply to my life or serve me now. I've done this housecleaning several times in my life, but I've grown to realize this needs to be done each year when trees lose their leaves. What a great reminder.

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. Abraham Maslow 

I think nature knows things we adults have forgotten about living a purposeful life. Maybe we forget because we rarely listen to what our all-knowing inner voice tells us. Think about what ideas, beliefs and behaviors are no longer true or useful for you. If you hang onto old stuff, you can keep yourself stuck where you are now. Or you can clean out what needs to go, and grow into what will move you forward to new wondrous experiences. Nothing in nature stands still. Why should you?

Work on shedding your old leaves and look forward to blossoming in the spring. You are a beautiful part of nature.

Marilyn

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How Old Is Old And What Does That Mean?

Recently I taught a class in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of North Florida, a program for people 50 years of age and older. The subject of my class was "The Influence of Childhood Messages on Adult Life", and we used two characters from my book, "Silent Echoes" as case studies. I taught the same class last year, and enjoyed it both times. However, this time the idea of age drew my attention.

Everything in life is put into categories, including who and what we are. Different cultures have different concepts of what age is old and what it means to be old. Some apply status and wisdom to old, some just tolerate it, some consider old useless, and others just recognize the person and don't make an issue of age.

I happen to live in a part of the world where emphasis seems to be mostly on youth, with great fear of aging. How horrible for someone to reach the age of 60. And older than that? Just get out the way...you've had your day. Is that attitude a lack of understanding or misplaced values? Or both? Not that everyone has that attitude, but it does seem to be the prevalent perception of old.

Well, I have to say that the students in my class shot holes in that attitude. There were 13 intelligent, dynamic and vibrant older folks who were learning and growing far more than many of their younger counterparts, and with their inner child spirit in high gear. What a room full of living, loving energy that could give hope to anyone dreading the older years.

The body may age, but you are not your body. You are your inner, higher Self. This is who and what you are. The people in my class were living in bodies that had changed over the years, but their Self had grown, and was still growing, into more of who they really are.

When my mother was old (as we perceive old), I cared, but I didn't understand what it means to be old. And I guess a person can't understand what old is until they get there. Yes, there is a downside to being old. But oh, what a remarkable discovery to witness, respect and value that beautiful young spirit living inside the aging body.

I say thank you to my class members who reminded me of who we really are. And I will remember that every time I look into a mirror and feel like I can't find me in there. I will look past appearances and see my Self.

I wish you a happy life with your inner child.

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Guest Post

Today, I have a guest post by former CA Senator Omer Rains, legislator and world humanitarian, whose book, "Back to the Summit", relates his amazing physical and spiritual recovery from a near fatal stroke. Though he writes of his own challenge, his message regarding attitude adjustment and new goals can give strength and hope to those facing any serious life challenge.

Attitude Adjustment and the New Goals

I am Senator Omer Rains. I had a debilitating stroke and brain aneurysm at the age of 61, but it did not keep me down--and it will not keep you down either if you do not allow it. When I left the hospital, I was transported to my home in Carmichael, CA via ambulance. I was still unable to walk and, as a result, they carried me up to my second floor bed on a stretcher.

Friends and family saw the frail shell of my former self.

My stroke and aneurysm left my body severely impaired, but--thankfully--my speech was mostly normal. As my good friend George came to visit, there was not much that needed to be said. I didn't have to tell George how emasculating it was to have to be bathed and fed by a paid caregiver, who came by for a short time each day. She did all she could to help me feel as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

But, comfort wasn't what I had in mind. As I lay, trapped in my bedroom, I resolved to regain my strength and be on my feet in a month. And, after that, I would take on work to be capable of doing all the things that George and I used to do before the aneurysm and stroke: hitting the tennis courts, taking to the ski slopes, and biking trails of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

HeartHealthyWoman.org offers observations that aren't just for women on this front. Their stroke recovery guide notes, "Having goals for your recovery and a plan for how to meet them is essential to a successful recovery from stroke."

But it's more than just setting goals, it's about evaluating your current situation and using that knowledge to set short term goals that build up to long term goals. "Setting short-term and long-term goals will help you to motivate yourself to take the initiative to develop new abilities, activities, and interests, which is good for both your recovery process and your peace of mind." As I took stock of my own situation, my friend George offered encouragement. "The body will recover itself," George said. "And with your strength and your determination, you're going to come out of this and be stronger than ever, Omer. I know what a fighter you are. I know how determined you are. You'll do it. I did it, and you'll do it, too."

George knew that when I said I would walk again in thirty days, I would do it or die trying. I had already set two simple goals for myself:
          No matter what the doctors said, I would walk again.
          I would live to help others.
I am proud to say that I have reached both of those goals.
During my recovery, I started writing "Back to the Summit" and finally finished it just before beginning work with READ Global to build libraries and economic development projects in Bhutan and Nepal. I hope you will read it and that it will be an inspiration to you.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another New And Better

I'm not due to post anything until Wednesday, but I've been given a whole new blog interface which looks like a huge mountain I'm supposed to climb if I want to post anything. So now I'm practicing to see what will happen when I click strange icons on the screen. My computer skills are limited, and it took me a long time to figure out the format I've been using for a couple of years. Now I'm given the "new and better" version.

I hate "new and better", because "new and better" is rarely better, and it's a pain in the you know what to figure it out. Besides, I'm too old for this. I'm happy with the old stuff, so leave me alone and let me wander through what I know. At least a user should be given an option to stick with the old or adapt to the new. But then consumers don't have much clout in today's world. We're just supposed to shut up and do what we're told, or go without. Well, I've gone through too much in my life to shut up and obey now. (Read my book, Silent Echoes)

I do realize that if I don't learn the "new and better", it's no skin off the producer's nose, and I'll have to just pack up my gear and get outa' Dodge. (Older folks know what that means) On the other hand, maybe I'm spinning my wheels anyway. Other than one friend who occasionally writes a comment (God bless her), I never get comments. So maybe I'm just writing for myself. And I don't need to write for myself. I already know what's in my head. But it's an interesting question. Does anyone read what I write? Does anyone receive any help with those bumps in the road in their life? I started the blog to try and help people, but how do I know. Maybe I've been living in La La Land, and didn't know it.

Anyway, I'll see if what I'm writing now gets posted on my blog. If not, I may just disappear. But if nobody's reading my blog anyway, then nobody would know if I disappear. Oh, that's right--my friend would know. Maybe she would miss me. What a strange kettle of fish that is. (That's another one old folks would understand)

Well, I guess now I'll start clicking icons, and figure out whether I keep writing to take to the hills.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Ungrateful Ant

A few days ago I saw an ant crawling on my table. Since I don't want to kill the critters, I picked him up and headed for the back door to put him out. There he could return to his family--empty handed, of course, but still alive to hunt another day. Well, the ungrateful thing bit my finger before I could let loose. I think he bit me several times, because my finger swelled up, turned red, got burning hot and itched like crazy. How's that for gratitude. Now I know, if there's a next time, I won't pick up an ant with my bare hand. I'll put on a glove to protect myself.

Thinking about the incident, I realize the ant probably felt threatened, and did what ants do to protect themselves. Of course there's a big difference between ants and people, but there's a similarity between all living things. They all respond in negative ways when they feel threatened. Perhaps that's why some of the people in my life sometimes act like ants. they seem to get defensive, even hateful, about innocent transactions between us, and then I wonder what ticked them off.

Maybe you have people like that in your life too. Here's what I've learned about dealing with them.
1.    First, look within yourself to see if you, without realizing it, do anything to set them off. If so, work on changing your behavior.
2.    If it's someone you need or want in your life--or have to work with--think about the person and decide how much contact you want, or have to have, with them.
3.    If you want to work on the relationship, choose a fairly peaceful time, and tell them how you feel. It's very important to reassure them you're not a threat. I used this one time when someone resented my presence in a new job and thought I had invaded their territory. We became close co-workers.
4    If the other person still feels threatened in spite of your attempt to bring peace between you and doesn't respond in a positive way, then put on your glove to protect yourself. This can be done in a kind, peaceful way with one statement: You seem upset. I'm sorry you feel that way. I hope you feel better. Then walk away. Threatened people aren't  used to others responding this way, and it may make them think about their behavior.

The above responses may or may not change a threatened ant's behavior, but you'll have your protective glove in case it doesn't. And it will probably work more often than not. We learn from each other, and it's worth the effort.

May you have few ants in your life.

Marilyn


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We Need Each Other

Today I had planned to interview Reverend Ed Bacon, author of 8 Habits of Love, Open Your Heart, Open Your Mind. But we ran out of time, and I have to postpone that interview. So I'm going to talk about something I think about when I feel lonely and saddened by our individualistic culture.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa

We live in a world motivated by a competitive, what's in it for me mind-set with ultimate separation from others. We take for granted things like illness, stress, conflict, anger, loneliness, confusion etc. We say, "That's life", and we continue this without question. But is this the way we're meant to live?

Research has shown there's a connection between all people so deep that it runs through our total structure on a sub-atomic level. It's our innate nature to connect, to belong. And our body, mind and spirit need to experience this connection. Living against this nature creates a world of physical, mental and emotional pain--the world in which we find ourselves today. So how did we get here?

Many years ago the cultural norm was a sense of community with others. Yes, there were individual differences, but this was accepted without conflict. When I was a child in the Great Depression years, we lived in an apartment building in Detroit with people of different nationalities, but we shared our food, our time and our love. And much of what we suffer from today was minimal then. Now when I sit in my back yard, I look at my neighbor's privacy fences that were not there a few years ago. I hear their voices and their dogs barking, but I'm not a part of them. And I feel the separation.

The technological society in which we now live has opened doors we never thought possible, and much good is realized in our world today. But it doesn't seem to contribute to the love, peace and harmony our true nature longs for. Why can't we have both? Why can't we see the differences in people, but accept our connection without intention to change another? Can we share our problems, pain and joy and work with others toward common goals? Could we rethink the meaning of our life and send love to the pain and suffering we see in the world?

We are cells in the cell of humanity, and we can choose to be a part of the whole creation. Change begins within each of us, and we can use connection and community to create love, health, peace and harmony within our world.

We need each other. We can change the world.

I wish you new beginnings.

Marilyn

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Let's Talk About Love

We use the word love quite often. I love this. I love that. I love him. I love her. But I rarely hear I love myself. That seems to be forbidden in our culture. Small children express self-love, but that's soon discouraged as wrong, and guilt begins to cover up our most beautiful quality. We're told to love others, but how can we truly love others if we don't feel that love for ourself? Our world begins within us.

True love is not ego. It's that deep knowing inside that we are innately lovable. We're just made that way. But many of us are unaware of that love that longs to be expressed, or we're afraid to express it. Fear blocks our freedom to be who and what we really are in a world of judgmental eyes, including our own. The most unkind and unhappy people I've known in my life were those who felt the least love for themselves. When we truly love ourself, we love the world. Maybe we need to re-learn who and what we truly are and walk in love and peace.

There is a book being released this month that could help us choose a more loving path. It's 8 Habits of Love: Open your heart, Open Your Mind by Reverend Ed Bacon. Reverend Bacon has been a guest on Oprah's show and is now a regular guest on her radio series. His book also received a beautiful review by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Next week, I will be interviewing Reverend Bacon on my blog.

Reverend Bacon's book is written for all people of any faith to stir that seed of love within us and to develop our walk in love and peace. He says that all humankind is connected through the energy of love, and we each carry within us the capacity to love deeply, unconditionally, and fearlessly. He speaks of the critical role of love as a liberating, joy-filled, and guiding force. It is through practicing the Habits of Love that we can transform our lives by freeing ourselves from fear. These Habits of Love can become habitual, and thus change the way we think and behave, fundamentally altering our interactions with those we love most dearly, those we barely know, and the world at large.

Each one of us is special and unique. No two are exactly alike. Yet we all share in our deep need to love and be loved. Just think ... if we learned to walk in love, as love, there would truly be peace on earth and good will for all people.

I wish you love.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 Ways To Survive Life's Hurricanes


Sometimes hurricanes miss the state of Florida. Sometimes they don't. But if you live here long enough, you will experience one. I'm praying for everyone and everything in the path of the one that left Florida and is now moving through the gulf.

As I watch the news, I'm reminded of the similarity between hurricanes and life's challenges. As long as we're in the human condition, we will experience storms involving our health, finances, relationships, work etc. Sometimes those storms are a category one, and sometimes a five, but all affect life in some way. Just as a hurricane zone is where you find hurricanes, life is where you find challenges, and how we handle them determines how much devastation is left behind.

When I was a teenager, my cousin and I sneaked out of the house and went to see what the ocean looked like during a hurricane on Daytona Beach. The winds were so strong that our bodies were forced into a 45 degree angle to the ground, and we had to walk on all fours to get there. I still remember the breathtaking sight as the white ocean foam thrashed in mighty torrents all the way out to the dark threatening sky far beyond. After the storm passed, the ocean and its ocean life fell back to earth to recover, regroup and once again assume it's beautiful place in the world. In my life, I've experienced some life challenges that felt like being in that violent, raging atmosphere that left me exhausted and wondering if I would recover. But I did.

I know hurricanes, and I know life challenges. And over the years I've learned from them. We deal with both in similar ways.

1. Stay prepared: Don't wait until something is upon you to prepare for it. Just as physical structures need to be made strong to face hurricane winds, so we need to maintain strength within us to face life's challenges when they come. Keep your body, mind and spirit as healthy and strong as you can on an ongoing basis. Meet each day with love, peace and gratitude, and your strength will be there when you need it.

2. Action: With a clear mind do what is yours to do in every situation. Examine and define the problem. Don't cloud the issue with worry and fear. Use whatever outer resources you need to correct it, and draw upon your knowledge and inner strength to get through it. And when you're in the midst of the clouds, remind yourself that the sun never really disappears. It's always somewhere above the clouds, just as it's above the hurricane roar. And you will see it again.

3. Recovery: Once a challenge is under control, don't analyze or chew over it. Move on, and congratulate yourself for crossing another hurdle. If it happens to be a chronic situation, and there's no more you can do, draw upon the strength within yourself to live with it in peace.

When life's challenges come, in any form, know that there is in you the strength you need to survive and see the sunshine in your life.

I wish you sunny days.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. Fr. Alfred D'Souza

There's a difference between existing and living. Some people exist while biding their time waiting to really start living their life. They're busy fixing things, problem solving, and cleaning up conditions and situations. Once they get everything out of the way, then they can live their life with purpose and meaning. But that time never comes, because there's no ideal time to start living.

Are you one of those people who puts off living until tomorrow? Do you ever feel like you're in a constant state of waiting to get everything done so you can begin? Well, you have already begun. The living is now, and life's obstacles are part of the journey. They can stretch our boundaries and make us more tomorrow than we are today. A well lived life is one in which we can look back and see how much we've learned and how far we've grown in spite of, or because of, those obstacles we worked through.

There is a part of us inside that longs to express in the outer. Are you allowing life's problems to help you expand and bring out more of who and what you are, or are you fighting those problems like enemies invading your comfort zone? A comfort zone may appear safe, but your inner self won't be quiet until you listen and allow it to speak in your life. Life needs to hear every part of us, not just our problem-solving self.

So what are you waiting for to start living? Have you ever dared to seriously think about it? Maybe fear is holding you back and your comfort zone feels safe and predictable. Do you think you could trust enough to reach out and transcend your status quo and discover your greatest gift, your true self with all its beauty and wonder? What is there in you that wants to express in your life? It may be an untapped talent, a hobby, a new way of doing things, shining your light to warm another's life--something that says, This is who I am.

The first step may be a simple statement of intention that will nudge your mind into possibilities and new avenues of expression. You don't need to wait until you get all your problems solved. When they come, ask what you can learn from them. And grow into more of who you are.

I wish you exciting discoveries.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Maybe It's A Blessing

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. Theodore Rubin

We live in a dualistic world where everything has an opposite--joy or sadness, inner bondage or freedom, peace or anxiety, bumps in the road or smooth sailing--everything. And we term things either good or bad. No one goes through life with only one or the other. We must experience both. But the quality of our life often depends upon how we interpret our experiences, and the label we put on them. Our life is what we see and how we respond to it.

Sometimes in tragedy we find our life's purpose--the eye sheds a tear to find its focus. Robert Brault

Until my early forties, I suffered with anxiety and depression. I saw these feelings as monsters in my life from which there was no escape, and I hated the suffering. Then I went through 2 years of therapy which changed my life. I went back to school and worked in the mental health field as a psychotherapist. Now when I look back, I thank God for those years of suffering, because they prepared me for the work I was meant to do, and they gave me a deeper understanding of my patient's pain. I didn't know it at the time, but those unhappy years were a blessing in my life.

We can't escape life's challenges, but we don't have to meet them with devastation and helplessness. I like what Oliver Wendell Holmes had to say about meeting those times of adversity. If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass round it. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it. We can look with wiser eyes and allow the adversity to reveal parts of us we might not see otherwise and inevitably bring deeper meaning to our life. When we survive a storm, the rainbow shines brighter.

Problems will come, and we'll either grow with them or be defeated by them. We have 3 choices.

1. Suffer with the problem for as long as it lasts.
2. Resolve the problem, learn from it, and move on.
3. If it can't be resolved, do what you can and accept it with an attitude of peace.
It may turn out to be a blessing.

Turn your wounds into wisdom. Oprah Winfrey

Blessings to you, Marilyn


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Do You Express Your Self

Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. Edwin Hubbel Chapin

I belong to a writer's group at a Senior Center, and recently we talked about how the energy in the group changes when some members leave and others come in. And this affects the dynamics of the whole group. Interesting phenomenon. For me, this is a good illustration of the uniqueness of every person and how our expression of self impacts others in unique ways.

We express from our human self and our spiritual Self, in tangible and intangible ways and to different degrees. But we rarely think about what we're expressing or the impact our expressions will have. You can't touch a smile, but it can turn someone's heart in a different direction, or the advice you give to someone may make a difference in the rest of their life, or maybe something you said or did hurt to the core. We do make a difference one way or another.

Have you ever taken the time to observe other people's behavior in a group setting--maybe with family, friends, at work, in church, in your neighborhood etc? There are fixers, nurturers, jokesters, know-it-alls, independents, team players, helpers, agitators, all kinds. And each touches the others with the way they express in their life. Have you ever observed your own behavior and thought about the impact you make on others? Is there something you'd like to change?

When I was a child, I watched my brother put together model airplanes. He opened the box, laid pieces on the table and carefully identified each one. Some were ready to use as is, while others needed sanding down and rough edges smoothed out. He was grateful for those ready to use pieces, and happily spent time on those that needed some work. No piece was more important than the other. He needed all of them to create a plane that would fly like the plane he wanted in the first place. If we're to fly, we need to search inside the box, see all the pieces and work with them without judgment.

By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before. Edwin Elliot

Wouldn't it be great if you decided what kind of a person you want to be and then expressed that person in your life? You are unique, different and special, and you might be surprised if you took a closer look inside and found the unexplored wonder within. You make a difference somewhere, somehow, to someone. So discover your own specialness, and touch others with the best of who and what you are.

You are beautiful. Let your beauty shine.

Marilyn

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ways to Manage Your Energy Level

Everyone needs energy to function, but our energy levels differ. I like to think of energy levels in terms of quarts, pints and less than a pint. The quart people are fired up most of the time, and have to force themselves to slow down. The pint people have all the energy they need to accomplish what they want or need to accomplish each day. And then there are the less than a pint people--people like me. The level of your energy depends on a number of factors--heredity, motivation, need, physical health, life situation, etc.

You may be a person who would like to make better use of the energy you've always had, or you may be someone who's energy has declined, you tire quickly and you feel like a frustrated failure. Sometimes energy can be increased with lifestyle changes, and sometimes not. But whatever your situation, there are ways to deal with the energy you have and produce more of what you want in your life.

I was never a quart person. I was happy being a pint person. I got a lot done and enjoyed every minute of it. However, I retired and developed health issues that knocked me down to less than a pint. My body would no longer keep up with where my mind wanted to go, and I became frustrated with myself, never satisfied with my performance. And that was unacceptable until I devised a way to function with whatever amount of energy I had. I may always be a less than a pint person, but a change in my perspective helps me accomplish what I can and find peace with myself and my situation.

I've always been a list maker, and this enabled me to get more done. I still make lists, but now I don't need to get everything done in one day. I listen to my body and obey what it tells me. I call this method of managing energy Go, Push, and Stop.

1. First make a to do list, and prioritize most important to least important. Then start out when your energy level is at it highest. Your body will tell you when it's that time.
2. As long as your energy is flowing, continue in the Go mode.
3. When you feel your energy level drop, continue in the Push mode.
4. When your body says you're too tired to push, then turn on the Stop mode and stop.

Always obey what your body tells you. Whatever you don't finish can wait until tomorrow or until you rest enough to Push some more. You're in control. You can manage your time and your activities. Who and what you are is not measured by your energy level, so find no fault with yourself. Just do your best whatever your situation, and love who you are.

You are worth loving.

Marilyn

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ad Lib

Today I'll have to ad lib, since I didn't have anything ready ahead of time. I just returned from Dallas visiting my daughter and her family, and while I'm tired, I'm still filled with the wonder of being with people I love and miss. Everything went great except for a few days without air conditioning in 106 and 107 degree temperatures. Luckily they have 2 units, one for the bedrooms and one for the rest of the house, and only the main house was affected. We were able to sleep, and now we can look back and laugh about eating dinner on a card table in the bedrooms to stay cool. I'm glad we all have a sense of humor.

Speaking of humor, I'm writing a new book, a fictional story written in southern dialect entitled, Me And Granmama In The Hill Country. It's a story by the narrator (me) relating memories of being raised with her little brother and sister by their Granmama in the hill country. Every chapter is an adventure with some humor and wisdom in each one. I'm having fun creating a life for this family. Recently, at my writer's group yearly celebration, I presented a skit in costume, complete with a hat and long pigtails, and recited the first chapter of my new book from memory using southern dialect. Now this skit is on YouTube. It can be found on YouTube at, Me And Granmama In The Hill Country Chapter 1.

When I went to Dallas, I took my costume with me and recited the skit for my family. We had a good laugh together, and it was wonderful sharing our lives in person, if only for that little while. I know how important that is, but a visit reminds me to never take the people in my life for granted. They're precious gifts to be treasured. Sharing our life with those we love enriches our own life. I'm trying to include that wisdom in my new book, and I hope this message will reach the hearts and minds of readers.

Share your love and it will come back to you.

Marilyn

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Instant Gratification vs Balance

Lately I've encountered some reminders of our cultures' instant gratification mindset in which waiting for something isn't our way of life. Everything must be accomplished yesterday. Not today or tomorrow, but now at the latest. People are actually getting rich inventing ways to speed things up. I realize that too slow is too slow. But too fast leads to frustration, stress, strained relationships, and increased use of anti-anxiety and blood pressure medications. Some say fast is more efficient, but there's a difference of opinion as to the meaning of efficient.

What started me thinking about this was recently watching a large crab sideling across my back yard. I've no idea how he got there, but he seemed to know where he was going. There's a lake in my vicinity, but judging from the crab's speed, it probably would have taken him 2 weeks to get to my back yard. Maybe he was one of those coincidences that I don't believe in. Maybe I needed a reminder, and he was happy to oblige. Actually, he made me think of balance. Crabs generally move slowly, but they can move quickly when they need to. Maybe that's the way we need to live, instead of running constantly on high speed through life.

Balance has advantages. By moving slowly when we need to, we have time to think before we act, to ask questions and gather helpful information before making important choices and decisions. And we end up with fewer mistakes to regret. While I watched the crab, I thought of all the times I got taken by pushy salespeople, because I didn't take time to think before I signed on the dotted line. Then I criticized myself for my stupid actions. I'm still working on letting go of those regrets.

Balance is also useful for more than doing things with better judgment. It allows us time to experience the wonders life has for us. Do you really savor the food you eat? Do you know what a cool breeze on a hot day feels like? Do you ever walk barefoot in the grass? Do you enjoy the childlike excitement of waiting to open a birthday gift?

When my children were small, we used to ride down hills together on our snow sled in Pennsylvania. And we didn't time it to see how fast we could get to the bottom. I miss those days. How did I get so caught up in this fast-paced life? Maybe I just unconsciously followed the crowd and ended up in the fast lane.

Do you need to do and have everything now? Or would you like to experience more of life when you learn to expand your consciousness to a life of balance? You create your life, and you can have it your way. This is possible. But be conscious enough to choose wisely.

Enjoy the journey.

Marilyn

PS. Don't be impatient with old folks moving slowly through the grocery store. They've earned the right.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How To Create Peace Between You

Is there someone in your life who rubs you the wrong way, gets on your nerves, annoys you to the point of frustration? Well, welcome to the human world. Most people know someone like this. If you do, then you know that uncomfortable feeling that bubbles beneath the surface and drives you up a wall, or at least ruffles your feathers.

Years ago I worked in a pharmacy, and my boss was verbally abusive. Then one day I exploded, and we had a yelling fight right in the store. I thought for sure I was fired, but instead he began treating me with respect, and we ended up with a good relationship. However, I wouldn't recommend that behavior to anyone. Don't yell at your boss.

Since that episode, I've learned a better way to improve relationships and my own response to people who push my buttons. There's room for change on both sides. First look at your own responses, and honestly question any hangups you may have that precipitate the other person's behavior. Am I being unreasonable? Do I expect too much? Do I respond from my own insecurity? Is there something in me that needs to change? Make necessary changes in yourself if you need to. Then if you feel comfortable talking to the other person about your feelings, do it. If not, there's an exercise you can try.

One time I worked with a team of people, and our supervisor's answers to the others was usually "yes", but always "no" to me, sometimes with a somewhat hostile attitude. I was confused, and I bent over backwards to please. But no change. Then I tried the following exercise. I stayed with it each day, and in about a month, I saw our relationship changing. Eventually, we became friends, and I valued that friendship.

Applying positive energy to a situation will diminish the negative energy, and thus change behaviors.
1. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and imagine looking at the other person.
2. Then say, "I love you. I bless you. I release you to your highest good."
3. Now take another breath, and let go. Let go. Let go.

When you say these words, you're sending the other person a love your neighbor kind of love--the kind that's wired in us to love others. You're affirming blessings in their life. And you're releasing them, and ultimately yourself, from the negative energy between you. You may not feel these words, so it may be hard to say them. But say them anyway. It gets easier.

In most cases, this exercise does work if you stay with it. However, you don't need to win every battle, so if there's still no change in the other person, at least there will be a change in your response feelings. Good results will come. People are in our lives for a reason. Turn the negative to positive, and find peace within yourself.

I wish you loving relationships

Marilyn

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Recapture Your Smile


Lately I've become more aware of my sense of self when I laugh and when I frown. It's like laughter brings out a part of me that frowning can't touch. One expresses from my heart, while the other is from my human mind. And each provides a very different perspective of who I am. Laughter reminds me that I am my true self as I was created, and when I frown I lose sight of that beautiful truth.

Smiles contain powerful energy--the good kind--the kind that transcends our pain and heals our wounds. And a belly laugh can turn a cloud into a rainbow. Laughter can dry our tears, and a smile at just the right moment has been known to actually save a person's life. And it's contagious. We tend to laugh when we hear others laughing. What a precious gift. I think God gave us this blessing, because He knew we would need it here on earth.

When I'm out running errands, I see people frowning. Some respond to my smiles. Some don't. Maybe the ones who don't respond haven't learned how to take care of business and smile at the same time, or maybe they're dealing with a heavy heart. Or maybe they just forgot how to smile.

Some children have pain and sadness in their lives, but they're ingenious, and they find ways to survive through laughter. I like to watch the innocent wonder on the faces of children. They're fascinated with life. I remember a time last year when I was behind a family in the checkout line in the grocery store, and a little girl about 2 years old was sitting in the basket ahead of me. She found the child in me, and we had a great time. We waved, blinked our eyes, and laughed together. It reminded me of the little child in each of us, that part of us that needs to play and laugh--that part that has not forgotten what is truly important and enduring in this human condition. Sometimes we lose that spirit when we grow up,and we forget when we used to laugh or how to even find a smile. We could take a lesson from the little ones.

When times are hard, we need to look to our inner child who remembers how to turn a painful challenge into a time of hope, and recapture a smile even when we feel the situation doesn't deserve one. Try it anyway, and watch a grin become a smile, a smile break into laughter, and your heart find peace and joy.

You are not your illness. You are not those bills you can't pay. You are not the crises in your life. Those are challenges you're dealing with. You are beautiful.

I wish you a joyful heart.

Marilyn

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Turn Insecurity Around

Insecurity is defined as feeling unsure, doubtful, unsafe, afraid, anxious, etc. Every person is insecure to a degree, although its unique to each person. With some, insecurity doesn't interfere with daily life, and it's hardly noticeable. With others it can be immobilizing. And we all fit in there somewhere. Some symptoms of insecurity are arrogance, jealousy, low self-esteem and self-image, bigotry, controlling personality, etc. It shows up in different ways. And the insecure person can be quite unhappy.

The root of insecurity begins in childhood, sometimes very young. My oldest son was born during an August heat wave before A/C. I put him in his crib in just a diaper to keep him cool, but he cried a lot. Finally a nurse told me he didn't feel secure, and I should cover him with a small cotton sheet. That solved the problem, and he slept well from then on. I can imagine how he felt being pushed out of the womb into wide open spaces. Of course he felt insecure. If a child grows up in a nurturing, supportive environment, they'll feel more secure as an adult. If the opposite is true, they can suffer from all kinds of insecurities.

Perhaps insecurity is part of being in the human condition. I don't know. But if you feel a sense of insecurity that holds you back sometimes, the first step toward healing is to figure out the root of those feelings. And you can do that with questions and searching for insight. Why do I feel insecure when _____? What do I feel insecure about? I feel insecure because _____.

Maybe nothing you did as a child was good enough. So now you feel insecure about whatever you attempt. Maybe you moved around so much when you were growing up that friendships didn't last, so now you feel insecure about meeting new people. I may feel insecure about one thing, while you feel insecure about something else. Once you understand your own feelings and reasons behind them, you can work on confronting the issues. You can take a deep breath and say, "That was a long time ago. Things are different now." And make them different.

You may or may not be able to totally heal your insecure feelings, but you can reduce their hold on you. And you can help others. When I first began working with a mental health team in a county jail, there was one officer who always gave us a hard time. I recognized his insecurity, and I had a kind and tactful talk with him. I told him I suspected he might resent our presence, and feel threatened by us. Then I reassured him that we honored his position and were there to help him when he needed us. After that, he was more at ease, and we developed a good rapport.

We carry baggage all our lives. It feels good to lighten it.

I wish you a peaceful heart.

Marilyn

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Is It Really A Coincidence?

Coincidence, if traced far enough back, becomes inevitable. Hineu

Sometimes I wonder if everything I call a coincidence really is a coincidence. When something out of the ordinary happens and that twinge of amazement is felt inside, some will say, "Oh, it's just a coincidence", while with others, these events stir the mind for explanations.

Those amazing events can be gigantic or just small ones we could overlook. The woman I found to edit my book, Silent Echoes, discovered her biological family, lost through adoption, living in the pages of the book she was hired to edit. Was it just a coincidence she was the person I happened to find for my book? Another time, I needed some groceries, but I was broke. I started to go to my brother's house to borrow some money, and I found a twenty dollar bill in the pocket of a coat I hadn't worn since last year. Coincidence? And what about the former Navy Seal, the only person near by when a woman's car went over an embankment into a lake, and he was able to get her out of her car. Coincidence? I don't think so.

The concept of randomness and coincidence will be obsolete when people can finally define a formulation of patterned interaction between all things within the universe. Toba Beta, Betelgeuse Incident.

Everything in the universe is energy, and everything, including us, is connected by energy. So through the action of energy, what happens today influences what will happen tomorrow. But going further, maybe different forces move the energy in different ways, depending upon the situation and the nature of the moving force. Some would say its Divine Intervention. Others would say you just happened to be in a certain place at a certain time. Others would blame it on the law of averages. And how much is the result of our own actions?

Many people are content to just accept these events as they come. But others who began asking why when they were children still persist in wanting to know more. Maybe the more we know about the cause and how things work, the better we can manipulate the effect for a better outcome in many of those not so happy coincidental events.

There's much we don't know about how our universe works, but we do know that our innermost desires are a powerful force that creates energy, and energy creates events in our world. We don't always know how something we do today may affect another person's life tomorrow. And that person may call it a coincidence. So maybe a good place to start contributing to a happier more peaceful world is within ourselves.

I wish you happy coincidences.

Marilyn

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Cracked Pot

Sometimes, in spite of positive situations, we may lack self-confidence, a sense of self-worth, or even a feeling that we matter at all. Our self-critic takes over with old false beliefs about us, and we lose sight of just how valuable we are. When this happens to me, I re-read the story of The Cracked Pot. It reminds me that each of us is important in our own way, and our value can't be denied. The story is long, but insightful, and may help if you have one of those inner critics that pesters you with false ideas just when you need to know the truth of how special you really are.

The Cracked Pot

There once was a water bearer in India who delivered water in two large pots that he balanced on a long pole across his shoulders. One pot was sturdy, but the other pot had a crack in its side. In the time it took the water bearer to walk from the stream to the master's house, the flawed pot lost half of its water. This continued every day for two years. The perfect pot was proud to say it did its job perfectly. The flawed pot was ashamed of itself.

Finally, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer as he was filling it at the stream. "I must apologize to you. I am embarrassed." "Why? What is wrong?" said the water bearer. "I am broken. It is no secret. I cannot hold all the water you put in me. I lose half of it as you walk to the master's house. I am of no use to you." The water bearer nodded. "I understand. But as we deliver the water today, take notice of the flowers growing on the side of the road." The pot agreed and became aware of a long row of beautiful flowers all along the road to the master's house. The pot was depressed that once again, at the end of the journey, it had lost half of its water. Again, the pot apologized.

The water bearer smiled. "Did you notice there were flowers only on your side of the path and not the other? I've known about the crack in your side all along. I decided to take advantage of it by planting flower seeds on your side of the path. You water those flowers every day. I've been picking the flowers and giving them to my master to put around the house. If you did not have your flaw, he would not be able to enjoy the beauty of the fresh flowers. They give me pleasure too. I see them every day as I walk the path. Because of your crack, I am able to do and experience something I wouldn't be able to if you didn't have it."

We are all flawed vessels. Like the pot, we are ashamed and embarrassed by our flaws. If we could see past our flaws as failures and ask how we can use them to our advantage, if we could learn to embrace them instead of pushing them away, we too could create beauty in the world for others. Our flaws are also the source of our strength. Anonymous

It's okay to be a cracked pot. We're all cracked in some way, but we're all special in the universe. And the universe needs each one of us.

I wish you days of making flowers for the world.

Marilyn

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Is Your Dream?

We all have time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Others take us forward, they're called dreams. Unknown

If I asked people if they have a dream, I think some would say, "No. I just live day to day." But dreams are part of who we are. Everyday we want something, but dreams ... dreams go deeper. They are the tools of our creative self, and they remind us that we're alive. We all have dreams, but sadly, those dreams are sometimes pushed to the back of our conscious mind, to pop out once in a while and then return to their hiding place. I think we shy away from dreaming because we believe that big dreams are impossible, and little ones are not worth our time, or we think we're too old to believe in a future.

Dreams don't need to be lofty and seem unattainable. They can be something well within reach, like a certain trip you've wanted for a long time, a flower garden in the back yard, learning a new skill, etc. Anything that moves your imagination and warms your heart. Children are wonderful dreamers. It's as normal to them as breathing. Maybe they haven't yet developed the fear that we grown ups have. They just take life as it comes while their minds dance in the wonder of dreams. This is life stirring in them.

When I was a child I dreamed of being an opera singer, and then as a teenager, I spent all my babysitting money on opera records, singing along with music. When the neighbors had company they invited me to sing for their guests, and I usually sang at my friend's parties. I dreamed with all my heart. But due to a family situation, my dream got lost, and I finally had to let it go. Then I got married, had a family and sang for myself. I still miss that dream and others I had to give up, but over the years some of my dreams came true. A picture of a cruise ship in Alaska sat on my refrigerator door for 7 years until I finally made the trip with a tour for minimal expense. Then Silent Echoes, a book I had in my head for many years, was published 2 years ago. And I'm still dreaming.

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. Henry David Thoreau

What is your dream? Are you pursuing it, or is it tucked away somewhere with a belief that it can never happen? Some will come true and some won't, but they're the stuff that life is made of. So go ahead and dream, help life to unfold in marvelous ways, and watch some of your dreams blossom.

I wish you a heart full of dreams that make you smile.

Marilyn

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Walk A Labyrinth


Recently I walked a labyrinth for the third time, and as before, it was a memorable experience. Some people use the walk for clearing the mind and centering. Others enter with a concern or question. I had just one question. I asked my inner Voice to tell me what I need to know, and the answers I received were right on, enlightening and meaningful. I came out feeling more at peace and with renewed direction in my life. Fifteen of us walked the labyrinth together, each in our own quiet space, and each with our own unique experience, yet bonding together in this experience. I'm now looking forward to my next walk.

Labyrinths have been around in every religious tradition for over 4 thousand years, and can be found all over the world. They may look like a maze, but they're not. A maze is built with dead ends to confuse and test. Labyrinths are usually in the form of a circle with a clear, purposeful path winding from the outer edge to the center and returning on the same path, with each person walking at their own pace. They're made in different designs, and the one I walked is the same as one of the most famous built into the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France in the early 13th century. The labyrinth walk facilitator has walked the one in France and uses this design for her walks. Labyrinths are used for prayer, meditation, centering, relaxation, problem solving, enlightenment, direction, etc. Today, in our stressed world, there's a renewal of their use as a spiritual tool.

There are also smaller labyrinths to sit on your lap and walk with your fingers. They're made in a variety of materials, such as metal and different types of wood. I've looked at some on the internet, and I plan to get one. I also want to make one in my back yard. How wonderful to walk barefooted on the earth and feel earth energy beneath my feet.

If you don't know about labyrinths and/or have never walked one, you might want to research them and find one to walk. I'm just learning they're becoming more available in our chaotic world as our need for peace and direction in our life increases. Once you walk the labyrinth, you'll want to walk again.

I wish you peaceful walks along your journey.

Marilyn

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You And Me or The Machines

As our world changes, the way in which we relate to each other is also changing. Oftentimes we use emails, texts and social media to exchange information about each other, and we don't seem to use as much personal contact as in the past. Personally sharing experiences with others is being replaced with information about them. The time we do spend together is often interrupted by the machines we find so important in our lives. And an emotional distancing seems to be emerging. I'm not saying this is good or bad, but it's something to think about.

Some people can't stand to ever be alone, while others need some alone time each day. I'm in the latter category. But our changing culture is determined to put us all in one category--more robot than social being. I suppose robots can meet on a material level, but then what happens to the being inside?

As life unfolds, we each choose the kind of memories we take with us. I find that my dearest memories involve shared experiences and feelings more than information. Yesterday, I experienced what will be one of my dearest memories, and it brought a deeper awareness of how I want to live my life. I belong to a writer's group, and each year we celebrate what we have accomplished together in the past year. We invite friends and family, enjoy a wonderful lunch, and each of the thirteen group members reads or acts out something they have written. I acted out my story in a southern dialect with a costume, including a straw hat and pigtails. We shared sad, serious and funny stories with some tears and some laughs. The point is, we shared from our hearts, and love flowed among us. As time passes, I may not remember everything about each person, but the feelings will never leave me.

Use machines. Play with machines. They're part of our present life. But machines come and go. Souls are forever. Let's not forget who we really are. Remember what it feels like to hold a child's hand, hug a friend, say "I love you" to that special person--or even stroke a faithful pet. Life is a series of choices. As the years of your life pass, what will be your memories? The time to create those memories is now.

I wish you many beautiful memories.

Marilyn

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Course Of Action

During the past week, while recuperating from a cold/flu bug, I thought about all the times in the past when one of those bumps on the road of life suddenly attacked without warning--one of those situations that nullifies your plans, and you're forced to regroup. Like when you're ready for work and discover your car has a flat, or you receive a notice saying you didn't pay your mortgage, and you know you did, or you forgot to register your kid for summer camp, or a sudden illness puts you down for a while, etc--nothing earth shaking, but definitely needing attention.

What do you do when something like this hits? Sometimes the first thought is to panic and begin playing "what if?" What if I'm late for work; what if this ruins my credit; what if my kid thinks I forgot because I don't care. My first thought with the cold/flu bug was, what if I get really sick and can't take care of myself.

Overreaction? Of course, but it's what we do when we live on autopilot. Looking back, it's what I've done many times, and I feel a little foolish for it. My mother used to say, "Don't make mountains out of molehills." But for most of my life I did it anyway. I'm glad I finally decided to take another look at how I respond to life's bumps, big ones and little ones, and find new ways to cope, at least most of the time. I'm still working on it, but like everything else, learning is part of the journey. For me, the past week was another learning experience.

The first response should be to stop, step back, and gauge the size of the mountain. How big is it really? It might be just a little hill to step over. Size up the situation, and then create a plan. Ask, "How big is it, then what can I do about it? What are the consequences if I can't fix it? Where can I find help if I need it? Etc.

If the problem is the result of your own mistake, never condemn yourself. If you do that, you're adding a second problem to the one you already have. Punishing yourself, even in your thoughts, does nothing beneficial. So don't do it.

Take life as it comes, and meet each day knowing you have what it takes to handle whatever comes up. Enjoy your journey and go with the flow. And don't forget to smell the flowers along the way.

I wish you little hills instead of mountains.

Marilyn