consciousness

What Just Happened?

NYE

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Bop and Mimi’s

It seems only a moment ago I was sitting in front of the fireplace at my grandparents’ house feeling completely at ease with my loving family all around me.

Annually in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Day my cousins from New Jersey stay at my grandparents’ house in the Chicago suburbs, along with my Uncle Joe from California, and we truly have ourselves a time.  Every day is filled with one delightful activity after another, always followed by a home cooked meal, and lounging around while enjoying each other’s presence.

Pancake House

Brother Joey, Cousins Jessica, Miriam, and Annie

After our time together we all return to our respective locations; I leave the suburbs and return to my apartment in Chicago.  Hopes and dreams for the new year usually don’t begin to creep into my consciousness until several weeks after my cousins have left.

When launching back into my usual situation I have to first focus on acceptance.  Good or bad, when change occurs I easily identify with the situation.  My thoughts and feelings become based upon the change I experience.  Whether I react to the transition with great sadness, or with great expectations for the future, the nonacceptance is the ego taking hold. Because I hold onto nonacceptance, my actions become out of alignment with the present moment.

Cousins

Joey, Miriam, Katie, and Jessica on Christmas Eve

It is now my intention to send love to what has been, and allow myself to return to the only moment where such joy and love as I experienced with my family can ever exist, right now

Is there anything, good or bad, on which you have a strong internal grip?  Take a breath and allow it to be as it was.  Now give yourself permission to come back to what is real, come back to the present.

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Ego

How We Unconsciously Open The Door For The Ego

Divided Whether self-deprecating or self-inflating the mind loves to attach itself to thoughts of “who you are.”  Temporary satisfaction comes with any type of ego inflation, any instance of identification with thoughts about yourself.  The ego can manifest through identification with physical things, situations, and thought forms.

I first heard this explained by Eckhart Tolle and my own experience verifies it again and again.  Yesterday’s post was a great example of how my ego gained strength through identifying with the situation of not having internet access or TV.

Attaching your identity to a thought about yourself, whether it is good or bad, gives rise to the ego.  The good or bad thoughts are not the reality of your being, of your consciousness.

What happens when you compare yourself to another?  How does it feel?

By Peter Spero

By Peter Spero

My loving and talented older brother is a very disciplined and motivated jazz pianist.  I love him and I love his success, for any success is a victory for us all.  I myself have never had a clear path, the motivation to move in a specific direction, or the discipline that would allow me to do so.  All of these things are of course attainable but if I compare my journey to that of my brother’s, I will inevitably give rise to the ego.

All comparison is a doorway in which the ego will enter.  I could inflate my ego by creating an identity of being lost and without direction, or I could go the other way and inflate my ego by identifying with my association with, and the successes of, my brother.  It really doesn’t matter to the ego, which thoughts I choose to identify with, as long as I buy into the identification.

Is there a way out?  How do you disinvite the ego when it has already come in the front door and is seated firmly at the center of your attention?

The way out is to notice the thoughts, and recognize rising identification with thought.  Another brilliant lesson from Tolle is that the moment of seeing is the beginning of the end of the ego.  All that is required is your presence.

The moment you gaze upon an instance of identification with thought, you have stepped out of the ego and into your true self.  And from there you need not create new identification, because you are already in the midst of your greatest power, the present moment.  In the light of the present the highest potential of your being has space in which to arise, to guide your life, and to manifest unimaginable and beautiful dreams.  Instead of seeking to create yourself through identification, you can now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

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Peace

15 Seconds of Peace

World Inside The World

My brilliant and loving father, Peter Spero, created both the footage and music for this short peaceful getaway entitled “15 Seconds of Peace #1.”  My parents and grandparents have always appreciated the beauty of nature.  What is so fascinating about the natural world, is that it too is alive; yet without the separation created by the thinking mind, it is one with life.  Trees, plants, animals, they live and die in complete alignment and peace of being.  They never project themselves outside of the present moment.

We too can experience the peace of nature by relinquishing the rapt attention on our thoughts, and being one with the moment we are living in.  I hope that today this video gives you an experience of the infinite peace available to us all in the present:

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consciousness, spirituality

On Smiling

It is amazing how momentous a gift one smile can be.  A single smile can be passed down from generation to generation.  When you smile at a stranger or friend it is impossible to know the boundless positive effects that it will have on their life.

I am so thankful for this video by SoulPancake.  My wonderful cousins are going back home to New Jersey tomorrow, after visiting us here in Chicago.  And although I am already missing them, I can’t help but smile when watching this:

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spirituality, Uncategorized

What Makes You Present?

536192_10151747318244894_586462762_nPhoto by Rob Kleeman

Today I had the privilege of performing with my family band at a town festival.  Waiting to perform is nerve-racking for me.  But the second I’m on stage and begin to sing all of the nerves just float away, and I’m there, completely present.  I love the feeling of being totally in the moment.  One of my favorite aspects of presence is the experience of joy; the natural state of being that is usually covered up by thoughts and emotions.

 What makes you present?  What snaps you out of thinking and brings in you completely into the moment? 

Presence can be practiced in any situation, but a great place to start is by finding a situation that tunes you into the now.  It could be yoga, taking a walk, straightening your hair, driving, singing, anything at all!  When you find that thing that snaps you into the present, it isn’t really that thing that is so enjoyable.  The joy comes from being fully in the now, without psychological past and future taking up all of your attention.  So give yourself a gift and begin practicing being in the now.  Start with whatever brings you joy!

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