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Even More Fun Now

Having discovered how much better life is now that I live sober, I want to share about it. Certainly repeated attempts and failures at quitting bad habits are part of the process. However it was once I understood that I had to focus on what I want, rather than what I don’t, that the monkey fell off my back for good.

If there is a part of life that doesn’t look like what we want to see, let’s put more energy into seeing (even if only in our mind’s eye) what we do want, and cease from staring at, agonizing over, or giving energy to what we don’t want. This is the best and most thorough way to let those harmful habits fade away… by replacing them with new, better, healthy habits. The obsolete organically falls away as we grow into larger happier beings. Pay attention to how loved you are by God, right here and right now. Focus on what brings genuine joy. Let’s put our energy on that, and let the real fun begin!

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

fun is still here

“At the root of addiction is a natural impulse to satisfy our human needs for security, comfort, self-esteem, sensory gratification, and power. But at a deeper level, we know that that our addictions cannot fill the emptiness inside ourselves and will not lead to lasting peace and inner satisfaction.

“Identifying the void you have been trying to fill and replacing life-damaging beliefs and behaviors with those that are life-supporting ~ including meditation and other practices for higher consciousness ~ will serve you immeasurably on your journey to healing and transformation.”

~ excerpt from the Chopra Center’s ‘Overcoming Addiction’ [source]

Additional reading: http://professionsforpeace.com/2014/02/05/better-than-ever/

Risk It

Let’s be courageous adventurers and risk keeping our hearts open!

“The only gift we can give to life is to arrive in the present moment with the strength to be open.” ~Ann Mortifee

risk your heart adventure

“An adventurous life does not necessarily mean climbing mountains, swimming with sharks or jumping off cliffs. It means risking yourself by leaving a little piece of you behind in all those you meet along the way.” ~Shawna Grapetin

What Is

“It is said that if we want to be truly powerful we need but command what is happening to happen.

billowy morning curtains“While there is a humorous note in this advice, there is also a profound wisdom. We are most powerful when we are aligned with the flow of the universe.

“To deny what is would be like running out on your front lawn in the morning and commanding the sun to reverse direction and set in the east. No matter how strong your wish for this to be so, your chances of succeeding are very slim.

dawn sunlit meadow“Our attempts to make life other than it is are just as foolish and ineffectual.

“To try to change other people to suit us or fight against unchangeable situations is debilitating and useless.

“If something cannot be changed, our most powerful position is to go with it and find a blessing that we could not see when we wanted to be in charge.” ~ Alan Cohen, Dare To Be Yourself

“As we learn to meet whatever arises in our body, heart and mind with radical acceptance, we discover a precious freedom.” ~ Tara Brach, tarabrach.com/article

Something Maya Taught Me

I used to happily reside in the physically descriptive category of ‘tall and slim’. Genetics really. But as my mid-life arrived with a more rounded mid-section, I saw my self-esteem fall. Rather than being a tall, slim, ‘wisp’ of a woman, I now had to accept that I’m large. Not really heavy, as I carry it well, but let’s just say I have a terrific build to have been a Viking warrior woman. Or an Amazon.

As I left the tall and slim category and became more of a big woman, I felt my spirit shrinking. I kept noticing I was head and shoulders (and fifty pounds or more) over every one I encountered and I felt a shyness growing I hadn’t experienced before. I even found myself slouching – not uncommon for tall people but something I’d never done.

Then I watched the episode of Maya Angelou talking about her life on an episode of Oprah Presents Master Class. She shared something about herself that touched me deeply as I paused and replayed the section many times. I had not realized how tall she was before. I didn’t know she was six-feet tall! I smiled and thought, Maya’s really tall too? I cheered Yes! I’m tall, just like Maya Angelou!
I felt proud to be as tall as Maya Angelou. To be able to walk like she would walk. Head held tall, face up, bright eyes forward. At last I celebrated being a tall, strong woman bringing light to the world, in my way, and that my large size is definitely a part of that. A joke came to my mind and stayed: Of course I’m large. A small body couldn’t hold this much personality!

gypsy-vannerI thank her for helping me rediscover that I have the heart and height of an Amazon. I proudly claim the responsibility that comes with having a large personality with a strong energy field housed within my tall ‘warrior woman’ body. I feel it’s important, that it is my responsibility, to remain calm, balanced, and to consistently radiate lovingkindness. I am not wispy like a fine-boned Arabian horse, but rather am more like a strong and steady Gypsy Vanner.

My love, respect and admiration for my role model Maya Angelou helped me to reclaim my self-acceptance, and therefore my power, with regards to being a large, dynamic, loving woman.

What is one of your lessons learned from her, or one of your dearest teachers? I’d love to hear.
Blessings from Gina, glad to be back. Namaste.

Sing On

joyful Maya AngelouI first heard this song from 1994 around that time on a Public Broadcasting Station (commercial-free radio!), allowing for this long song. Eight enjoyable minutes of movement-motivating music! This fantastic compilation by the talented Branford Marsalis and friends, which includes Maya Angelou reading some of her incredible poem, is delightful and makes me dance (even if just in my chair!).

I hope this song brightens your heart and your day as it always does for me. May we remember our love for Maya with gratitude for her magnificent example, and how she blessed us with her years here. She will live on, forever in our hearts, and we are so thankful for all she shared. Namaste. Gina

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

(This is her complete poem; certain excerpts are in the song)

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

For more of her exceptional poetry, here’s a post for Maya Angelou on my other blog:
http://peopleexcitedaboutcoexistence.com/2014/05/28/lift-up-your-hearts/

Breathe In and Relax

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” ~Etty Hillesum

“Breath is the power behind all things… I breathe in and know that good things will happen.” ~Tao Porchon-Lynch

Divine Refreshment


Dehydration has been shown to negatively impact people’s moods. Mild dehydration is “associated with confusion, fatigue, and negative moods.” Moderate dehydration symptoms include “lethargy or extreme sleepiness”. [source]

As with dehydration, an early symptom of a weakened spiritual connection is a feeling of listlessness, making us wonder why our zest for life seems to have evaporated.

Symptoms similar to dehydration surface when I have been negligent with my prayer and meditation practice. The ‘busyness’ of life and the distractions of pain are excuses I’ve used to allow lapses in my prayer practice. It’s terribly ironic that when I need that grounding connection the most is when I often forget to be still and go within.

Let’s remember to refresh our body and our spirit. As I reach for a glass of water, I also reach within. I bring my glass to set on the table beside my small altar. I close the door, light the candle and have a seat. It is time. God patiently waits while I run around distracted and in pain. At last I notice my spiritual dehydration and take a moment, no – I make the time – to sit down and empty my mind. Calm those thoughts. Observe them and let them dissolve. Feel the deep calm and bubbling-up of love that rises to the surface to fill all of my life, if I will but make the time to actively pursue my connection with God. Once I am quiet enough it feels as though the still small voice within seems to whisper ‘there you are’.

I like to remember this old poem by an unknown author:

Whoso draws near to God one step, through doubtings dim,
God will advance a mile in blazing light to him.

(Note: To my women friends and spiritual sisters, we know this is beyond gender and speaks to the love God has for us all: if we will take ‘one step’, God will advance towards us ‘a mile’.)

Today I propose that we maintain proper hydration for our spirits as well as our bodies. As healing as a glass of water is for the dehydrated, actively maintaining our spiritual connection nourishes our soul and refreshes our life. Energy and vitality return, bringing a flush of growth in the form of enriched gratitude and renewed awareness of our vast blessings.

Whether you turn to the scriptures of God or other spiritual texts or turn towards a walk in the woods, whether you sit to pray at an altar or practice meditative yoga, whatever works to help you feel God’s love surrounding you, do that. Let us strengthen our relationship with the One who patiently waits. It is we who must make that first step. We must pick up the glass. God is waiting to fill it to overflowing if we but ask.

Are you feeling hectic and busy? Overwhelmed? Depressed? Tired? Take a pause. Close your eyes and go within. Relish some deep calming breaths. Pray, or go for a prayerful walk. You deserve some nourishing refreshment of the most divine kind.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

[Gratitude to the makers of these amazing images found on Pinterest and Google]