Thanksgiving

Life

With Thanks

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merry christmas

2015

Merry Christmas!

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Inspiration

Harry Potter, Puppies, and the Origin of Joy

LeakyCon!Growing up during the “Harry Potter Era” taught me innumerable lessons, one of which is that I love Harry Potter.  I can’t count how many times I’ve read J.K. Rowling‘s gift to this world, but each time I do I am no less entertained than the time before.  Every time I go through the series it feels new.

New things, feelings, experiences, and insights provide an unparalleled joy.  Why is that?  Is it possible to feel that same sense of joy more often?

The joy that comes from the new is actually the joy that arises from the now.  Usually we do not truly experience the present moment, because our thoughts and perceptions are clouded by a heavy veil of past.  It is so natural to view everything through the eyes of the past that it can be impossible to notice we aren’t seeing the reality of the eternally new present.

New things unveil the joy of the present because we have no past experiences through which to filter them.  The beginning of cultivating that experience in everyday life is to acknowledge you are viewing the present through the lens of the past, and do no see the actuality of what is.  This opens the door for the infinitely new now.

On that note, get a boost in present moment awareness with these adorable puppies experiencing the newness of life.  Dogs are great teachers of presence because they are always fully experiencing each moment.

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Inspiration

The Best Day Of Your Life

 

MY 21ST BIRTHDAY SURPRISE AT THE SATCHIDANANDA ASHRAM

MY 21ST BIRTHDAY SURPRISE AT THE SATCHIDANANDA ASHRAM

What happened on the best day of your life? What did it feel like?

One of my more recent memorable days happened while I was in the midst of the first experiment from Pam Grout’s E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.  I won a raffle that included 30 days of unlimited Yoga classes at studio steps away from the new apartment I was just about to move into.

There is nothing in the world like the experience of pure joy, which in extraordinary circumstances overwhelms all of the thoughts and feelings that had since been covering it up.  Recalling that state and feeling is a powerful tool, and essential aspect, to perpetuating that joy.  Michael Beckwith explains how to use this “WHAT!” moment beautifully in this video.

This morning I came across this series of videos posted on The Huffington Post that made me so happy I cried.  If you can’t recall the feeling of a “best day” in your own life, or you just want to rev up your joy, have an awesome time perusing these ridiculously uplifting videos by clicking here.

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Inspiration

Living For The Weekend And The Secret To Joy

What is so wonderful about a vacation to the Caribbean? What is appealing about walking along a white sandy beach at sunset?  Why do we so often long for the next vacation, or live for the weekend?  To put it simply, we long for the feeling.

If you’ve ever had a wonderful experience on vacation, or a revitalizing weekend after a long week of work, you have experienced a beautiful inner feeling that keeps you coming back for more.  Many addictions begin just this way.  There is an experience of a feeling that you enjoy to such an extent that you want to feel it again and again.  What are you actually enjoying?

Your mind will tell you, “I love the margarita,” or, “I love laying on the beach in the sun with nothing to do and a good book to read.”  The mind confuses the state of joy with the outer experience it perceives while in that state.  But it is not the form of the experience that keeps you coming back for more.  It is the state of joy.  The joy of being.  I call it a “state” because it is not the same as an emotion that passes through your consciousness and then dissipates.  Joy is an inherent natural state of the being that you are.  Joy is discovered when layers of form, emotions, and thoughts are uncovered.  Joy is revealed, not created.

That longing for a vacation, or the weekend, is a longing to be back in that state of pure joy, your true state of being.  Once you have realized that what is so enjoyable about a good time is not the experience, but the state of joy itself, you open yourself up to being able to experience that which you desire regardless of circumstance.  Joy is your natural state, it is always present.  It merely gets covered up by thoughts and the “cares of the world.”  How did you feel on your last vacation?  How did you feel Friday after work was over?  Relax and allow that sensation to well up from within you, imagine you are on that beautiful sandy beach with clear waves rolling over your toes.  Joy can be uncovered at any moment in any situation; it doesn’t have to be Friday.

The following video on manifesting abundance operates under this very same principle.  Abundance, like joy, comes from within.  The experience of abundance in outer form is only its surface layer.  The state of abundance originates within you:

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Inspiration

Football as Spiritual Practice

Bears FootballThere was a buzz in the air of Chicago Sunday morning.  Football season had begun.  Yesterday was a great day for Bears fans. We won our game, and the Packers lost theirs.  Personally, I have never felt compelled by football.  That was until yesterday.

My boyfriend was so overjoyed all day, and I as I watched the multitude of fans on TV cheering from the stands I saw football in a new way.  Football has no utilitarian purpose.  It isn’t a necessity for survival. (Although I know some who would disagree.)  Football is a game.  And people love watching games.  They are full of joy.  While some describe it as an escape, I would venture to say that football is as real as any other aspect of life.  Humans brush their teeth, we eat food, we build ourselves shelters.  Games, art, creativity, and playing around are integral aspects to the human experience.  Our minds tell us that joy is not as important as survival.  This is because the mind doesn’t experience joy; you experience joy.  Meanwhile, survival thoughts are very real to the thinking mind, which thinks it has to control its environment to survive, that it has to fight and work hard.

Those thoughts are all very productive at providing momentum for the thinking mind.  Joy is not.  Often in moments of joy our minds become still, with all of our attention placed on the present moment experience.  These moments make being alive feel “worth it.”  Has the voice in your head ever questioned you when you decided to relax and do something purely for enjoyment?  Perhaps you sat down to read a book or listen to music, and your mind said something like, “You shouldn’t be doing this right now.  You have so much to do.”  Even though our thoughts are convinced those “other things” are more important than an experience of joy, we don’t have to buy into it.

I’m going to do an experiment, and I invite you to join in with me if it speaks to you.  Be alert the next time you do something just for yourself, with no end goal or purpose besides enjoyment.   If the voice in your head attempts to sabotage that joy, see what happens if you don’t take it seriously.  Maybe even smile or laugh at the thoughts trying to convince you there isn’t enough time for enjoyment.  After all, you cannot waste time.  Past and future exist for us right now as thoughts in our heads.  The only moment you’ll ever have to actually live through and experience is the present moment, right now.  And you have all the now in the world.

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Inspiration

“Every setback means you’re one step closer to seeing the dream come to pass.” – Joel Osteen

Have you ever experienced an obstacle in your life?  Maybe things didn’t go according to plan?  I’m sure for the majority of humans the answer might sound something like, “duh,” or, “why are you even asking?” While accepting that challenges are a part of life is healthy, the old tried and true negative reaction can cause further difficulty.

This video has the power to make you shout for joy each time a setback presents itself.  Instead of feeling discouraged when situations don’t flow with ease, this simple wisdom can allow you to experience those instances from a completely different perspective.  I love this clip of Joel Osteen on Oprah’s Lifeclass.  It transcends religion, and mental constructs, reaching right to the heart of personhood.  Thanks Joel and Oprah!

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