Tag Archive | learning

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/

Kahlil Gibran On Teaching

teacher who is wise leads you to your threshold Gibran

Then said a teacher, ‘Speak to us of Teaching.’
And he said:
No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.
The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.
And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.
For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.
And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.

 

Khalil Gibran self portrait c.1911Lebanese artist, writer and poet Kahlil Gibran‘s novel from 1923 “The Prophet” has been translated to over forty languages, has sold over 100 million copies, and has never been out of print. Click here to view it on Amazon. According to Wikipedia, Kahlil Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, only behind William Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. [This paragraph to this point was previously shared in my post On Children]

On the right is a self-portrait he painted in 1911. Click image to visit source on Wikipedia.

My own copy of ‘The Prophet’ was given to me as a cherished gift from my brother-in-law nearly thirty years ago. It has since been read repeatedly and is wonderfully worn. I recommend it for every library so that all may read and enjoy its poetic wisdom. Namaste. Gina

[I cannot recall where I found this bright poster-image and give loving thanks to the maker of it. I will immediately add the source if/when I locate it. As always, I welcome any info in my comments.]

Healing Ourselves Helps Heal Earth

There is no world outside us. The world is, in fact, our collective projections of love and fear, hopes and conflicts. In taking responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings, we play our part in the healing of the world. ~Marianne Williamson, Illuminata

heal ourselves heal earth

Our only work is to transform base metals, our thoughts and feelings, into gold. Our daily lives have no ultimate purpose other than this great alchemical transformation of being. Every moment offers an opportunity to surrender to the great work of maturing humanity by expanding our own consciousness and leading evolution onward. ~Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

 

Feed Your Faith

Faith is courage; it is creative while despair is always destructive. ~David S. Muzzey

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. ~unknown author

You deserve better

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
~PSALM 27:1 NIV

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

Connection With Source

God loves each of us

“The greatest teacher is our own soul’s connection with the Source. To access wisdom, distortions within our human nature must be removed: beliefs that do not serve, emotional attachments that cloud. We arrive in the present moment with no agenda of our own making. Here in the eternal present, a fountain begins to rise from within. It is the inner waters of wisdom, the essential wellspring of remembering.” ~Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

My gratitude to the maker of this image with the spectacular photograph and inspiring quote. I wish I knew who to credit it to and will certainly add it as soon as I discover it. Namaste. Gina

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.

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]

Choose Vibrant Thoughts

I discovered inspirational author and speaker Raymond Charles Barker when I was in my teens and his writings still move me today. Today’s excerpts are from my old, weathered, and deeply cherished hardcover copy of his incredible book ‘The Power Of Decision’. These paragraphs really resonate with me right now, and I hope you will feel a lift of your heart and a burst of inspiration as well. Namaste.


“Static states are not conductive to happiness. Static states produce monotony and this in turn creates boredom; and the latter was never intended for you. When you are bored, you are experiencing that which God never planned. The Infinite in Its creative process is always exciting.”

“A great factor in the matter of being unhappy is being bored. Many people are bored and do not even realize it. Check your mind and see if you are bored with your present situation. If so, you had better break it up and fast, for it is negative mental and emotional states that breed unhappiness. It is lazy thinking. It is thinking that is uncreative and, if indulged in too long, it becomes destructive. To be bored in today’s world is nonsensical. The whole planet is exploding with interesting ideas, interesting people, and interesting events. Never before has so much music, art, and great entertainment been available. To be bored takes a good deal of doing, and a large segment of the population is doing the doing that causes boredom.

“Creative thinking gives a zest to living and you are a creative thinker when you decide to be one. The feeling that it is great to be alive is a spiritual necessity. It lessens the strains and tensions of routine functioning. It quickens new ideas in consciousness, and alerts the mind to the fascinations that are available to us. It allows no morbidity, no boredom, and no lazy thinking. It prevents us from drifting in the past. It causes us to be today people expecting great things in our tomorrows.”
Raymond Charles Barker, The Power Of Decision, excerpts from chapter ‘Decide To Be Happy’

Emit Our Own Frequency

“As the body, mind and emotions become more integrated, our true Self begins to emerge. We realize that we are not separate and apart from the world. We are actually one with it. The same enlivening energy that flows through us flows through all things. Like the stones, stars and oceans, we are patterns of energy composed of the one unifying Essence that permeates all things.” ~Ann Mortifee

“Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” ~Barbara Marciniak

Rest Your Heart

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.” ~Jeffrey R. Holland

Where The Happiest People Live

One of my teachers for decades has been author Alan Cohen, and today I’m sharing a special excerpt from his wonderful book A Deep Breath of Life. May you enjoy, and may all of us learn to live from a place of thankfulness and thereby enrich the quality of our lives, and the world. Namaste. Gina

Alan Cohen on gratitude

Why I Pray

source PinterestDuring prayer, when I go beyond life’s chatter and listen for the voice within that says ‘Be still and know that I Am God’ I fall into love and release attachment… to anything and everything. Through the process of connecting with the vastness of God’s power and love throughout the universe as well as in every fiber of my being, I fully let go and relax.

If I forget to pray, I lose my equanimity and can become grasping and desirous of outcomes. These lower energies are felt in my shoulders and stomach as tight muscles and tension, concern or worry, or even excitement and anticipation. Left undirected and untrained, my mind wanders and generates passionate reactions over this and that, with emotions as unstable as sand beneath my feet.

But when I carve out time to sit and be still, to quiet my thoughts and go deeply within, everything in my life benefits. The time I spend in prayer and meditation grants me a sense of stability that speaks to me of ‘building my house on a rock’.

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~unknown

source PinterestDeepak Chopra shared in an interview that there has not been a quarrel in his family for decades. He has worked on and mastered his inner calm and remains unflustered by outer events. I admire that and work towards it. Whether I am driving in traffic (often a button for me) or preparing a meal for many people, I endeavor to bring the results of my daily prayers to the task. A sense of non-attachment is what I am learning, and from which I have discovered tremendous calm.

As one who used to live amidst perfectionist tendencies, learning to release outcomes has improved my life. I still make lists to help me stay on track. I still plan ahead because it helps set me up for success. And I still visualize the best and highest outcome, yet I now include the phrase ‘this or something better’ and turn it over to God.

Putting it all in God’s hands makes me feel safer than when I used to strive to be in control. Having been on my own from a young age, taking care of all I could was an essential skill. However now it no longer serves but rather limits my true freedom. I’ve learned that when I forget to pray and attempt to control things, events, and people around me, deep within I feel unsafe.

For example, driving alone to attend an evening workshop across the city can generate feelings of fear if I’m only operating from my logical human awareness. I attempt to be in control and know everything: where to park and will it be well-lit; how early should I get there to get a close spot; can I walk out with a crowd to remain safe on the way back to my car; is my car fully gassed up; battery charged on the cell phone; and someone knows where I’m going and when I will return home?
Certainly all these steps help ensure security but they do not help me FEEL any safer. Only prayer helps me feel safe and secure. It is in acknowledging I control nothing that I notice the solid rock beneath me. It is in letting go of my human attachment to control that I truly feel safe. I embrace my trust and celebrate my faith in the One who controls everything.

faith is courageMatthew 7:24-27 NIV ~ Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

This is what prayer and meditation does for me. It is the rock beneath my feet and the awareness that I am truly safe.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE