Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lights Out! And More Power to You

I encourage people daily to Live Your Light — and we're all letting our light shine more brilliantly than ever before. As we reclaim our inner radiance, it's ever more crucial to reduce our man-made light to co-create a sustainable future. This Saturday is your chance: the 6th annual Earth Hour.

What began as a one-time event organized by World Wildlife Fund/Australia in 2007 rapidly rolled out to countries around the globe. In 2011, Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries switch off the power for an hour. But it also marked the start of going beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action on climate change.

There's now an awesome Earth Hour dare: an "I will if you will" YouTube channel that showcases the creative and amusing extent committed planetary citizens will go to for environmental action.

So set your clocks for "lights out" at 8:30 pm local time on March 31st — and let it be your inspiration to shrink your carbon footprint for good.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How to Defy Gravity

With Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, Franciscan priest Richard Rohr has written an eloquent book about the journey to self-knowing that's decidedly non-religious; a refreshing loom of spiritual authenticity on which to weave your own awakening odyssey. He gives voice to that which doesn't translate easily into language, so powerfully and truly that from the Introduction alone, I was nodding with inward recognition. I wish I'd written it!

In the Coda, he quotes Thomas Merton with a poem written a decade after his fabled The Seven Storey Mountain, when Merton had moved into his own "second half." The piece encapsulates the essence of Rohr's offering with such spare significance that it will be a deep acknowledgment for those on the far side of the journey, who understand viscerally what it means to own "poverty" as success ~ and an inspired meditation/guide for those yet to travel and unravel:

When in the Soul of the Serene Disciple

When in the soul of the serene disciple
With no more Fathers to imitate
Poverty is a success,
It is a small thing to say the roof is gone:
He has not even a house.

Stars, as well as friends,
Are angry with the noble ruin.
Saints depart in several directions.

Be still:
There is no longer any need of comment.
It was a lucky wind
That blew away his halo with his cares.
A lucky sea that drowned his reputation.

Here you will find
Neither a proverb nor a memorandum.
There are no ways,
No methods to admire
Where poverty is no achievement.
His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction.

What choice remains?
Well, to be ordinary is not a choice:
It is the usual freedom
Of men without visions.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Have a Happy Orange Life

I once heard a story of three monks who had only one orange between them. The first blessed it and passed it to his brother, who blessed it and passed it to his brother. The trio kept on like this for hours, until the orange was brilliant with light, and the three of them were sated well beyond any hunger of the stomach.

I recalled this parable yesterday after a series of mini transformations. In this incredible time of awakening, the smallest act can lift us up or plummet us — and this energy affects everyone.

I was at a gas station, and the squeegee didn't seem to be working very well; I had drips running down the windshield. Mumbling about worn-out tools that needed to be replaced, I got back in my car and was preparing to depart, when I noticed a man re-doing my windshield ministrations.

Astonished, I asked, "What are you doing? Do you work here?" I realized he was the driver of the truck at the pump in front of me. He replied, "You seemed a little upset, so I redid it for you. My dad taught me how to clean a windshield without streaks." I said, "You’re amazing, thank you so much!" My mood did a 180 and lifted towards heaven with this simple, selfless act. As I drove away, we both wished each other a wonderful afternoon.

It wasn't until later that I remembered I'd spied a disabled woman at the library just prior to getting gas, whose shirt label was sticking out, and asked if she'd like me to fix it. She responded as though I'd offered to buy her a house: "Oh, thank you so much, sweetheart!"

Tiny actions; huge returns.

Then I drove to the park, taking my travel soap along to wash my hands after pumping gas. Once on foot, I walked past the home of an elderly gentleman who often sits in his driveway on nice days, enjoying the view from his wheelchair. He hailed me, and I stopped to chat. Seeing the front door open, I asked if I might use the kitchen sink to wash my hands. He said, of course.

Inside, his caretaker emerged from the back of the house and said, "Do you just walk into people's houses and use their facilities?" My experience of her has been like this before; she is clearly a very unhappy person. I was feeling so good from the previous encounters I didn't want her sourness to steal my joy, so I politely responded that Harold had given permission for me to come inside, then quickly dried my hands and left.

Walking in the park, I stopped to stretch, and another walker smiled and remarked, "You have beautiful hair!" This comment prompted me to share the extraordinary series of encounters that had just taken place, and the incredible power we all have to shift energy. If we're having a down day (or a down life), we don't need to siphon off anyone else's light, I reminded him (and me!); we can simply "dial direct." There's plenty of Light to spare.

Wishing you a happy orange life…

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Equinox: Stoking the Fires of Transformation

Did you know that on Equinox, you can balance a raw egg on end, because everything (day and night, and thus, the world) is in balance? This is the lore, anyway; I've not yet tried it.

Spring Equinox 2012 (Autumn Equinox for our Southern Hemisphere allies) is an Equinox like no other: a time when the world is breaking open to a new age, when what breakthrough biologist Bruce Lipton calls "imaginal cells" (each of us as cells in the body of Gaia) reimagine ourselves/our cells into greater harmony, joy, and the regenerative power of possibility, beyond patriarchy and domination to limitless co-creative play, purpose and passion.

It is the time of the Ram, as transformation fans our inner flames into a bonfire of celebration. As you e/merge from your personal egg into the Light of the new, what will you bring to the Cosmic Egg as we dream a new world into BE-ing?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Should You "Beware The Ides of March"?

Five centuries after Shakespeare's astrologer counseled Julius Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March!" we still shudder at the thought that March 15th might harbor some hidden hazard.

But it's just another day, albeit one that was part of a convoluted calendar. In ancient Rome, each month had an "ides." In March, May, July and October, the ides fell on the 15th. In the other eight months, however, the ides fell on the 13th.

Maybe Julius meant to follow the advice, but got his months mixed up. Or maybe he just didn't place much store in prophecy.

In recent history, the rock group, The Ides of March had a hit with the upbeat tune, Vehicle. The lead singer went on to superstardom as the founder of Survivor. Yet the Ides continued to play and record. The group's now been together, with all the original band members, for 45 years.

Mythologically speaking, the ides of March can transport you where you most need to go. If you pay attention and pay your dues, you won't pay the Piper — and you may just hit pay dirt.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

How to Save Time Forever

This month, approximately 75 countries worldwide will create an annual illusion: saving time. We move the hands of our clocks ahead, and think we've harnessed the sun. In the U.S., our participation begins at 2 am on Sunday, March 12th.

How time flies when we perceive it as linear. By contrast, cultures that live in tune with natural rhythms do not alter their clocks, because clocks do not define their time. The seasons and the stars do. I once heard thought leader Deepak Chopra share how he explained existence to his three-year-old granddaughter as they walked along the beach at sunset. Essentially, he told her she is made of starlight, and that the spirit of the stars is reflected in her eyes. Tara was silent while she digested this information. Then she said, "Nanna, look up!" When Chopra asked why, she replied, "The stars want to see themselves!"

Time is elastic. Athletes know this. When athletes move into the space known as "the zone," time slows down. They see every move or play with perfect clarity, and execute the correct maneuvers as if in a dream, sensing the favorable outcome. Something expands within them that translates into success.

How many people do you know who never seem to have "enough" time? We are each gifted with the same twenty-four hour cycle to use as we choose. People who are time-deprived are exhibiting one aspect of our pervasive scarcity consciousness.

Psychologist Maria Nemeth writes, in The Energy of Money, "Scarcity is a reality in the physical domain. As a minister friend of mine once told me, 'It's as though we got bored living without limits. We decided to incarnate — which means, literally, to turn into meat. We further chose to work with the limits of form, time and finite energy. This was to see how much of the divine we could bring into the mundane before it was time for us to leave.'"

As paradoxical as it may seem, says Nemeth, "We reach the infinite through living fully in the finite. The infinite is not reached by trying to ignore limits, as many of us try to do."

And in Eastern Body, Western Mind, chakra expert Anodea Judith observes, "Manifestation requires an acceptance of limitation. A boundary allows us to contain, and thus collect and build."

So holding the "both/and" is a prerequisite to freedom, whether from the constraints of the clock or the tyranny of the paycheck: "We must accept limitation in order to transcend it." This is what zone athletes do.

My articles, Embracing Paradox Can Help You Beat the Clock and 'Om' Is Where the Heart Is suggest ways to shift your beliefs about time and creativity.

I also include extensive information about using natural time to reclaim our feminine power, passion and purpose in my e-course, Loving Our Lunacy.

As we set our clocks ahead, on Saturday night or sometime soon, let's look out at the stars and remember what we're made of. Recognize the expansive possibilities that exist within the limits of form.

There is enough. It's all a question of consciousness. Choose to embrace the both/and, and you'll grow with the flow!