7/19/14

"I free you with my loyalty"
(beautiful wedding vow)

7/17/14

who is pamela love:

Where do you find your inspiration? From travelling around the country, particularly the south-west United States. I love Native American and Mexican design. 
Describe your aesthetic. 
A mix of masculine and feminine. I think a lot of people assume I am a goth, but I actually really love florals. 
Who wears your pieces? 
Someone who appreciates design, detail and is looking for something that they can wear for the rest of their lives. 
What's your background? 
I studied film at NYU and spent a while working with [the painter] Francesco Clemente. I was also doing a lot of styling, which is how I started to get more involved in creating my own jewellery.

7/15/14

Sky-Circles
The way of love is not 
a subtle argument.
The door there
is devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn that?
The fall, and falling,
they're given wings.
~ Rumi

my mantra today:

When we take control of our thoughts by focusing on the breath, we are able to stay present. Our thoughts are products of the mind. When we bring our focus to our breath, we engage our mind in the present and free ourselves of extraneous thoughts that may not be serving us. When we become rooted in our bodies, all that matters is whats in front of us rather than worries over what might or might not happen. We are able to be fully present and engaged with whatever we are doing. Calm any worries by paying close attention to your breath and you can effectively and successfully meet your obligations.

7/11/14

7/9/14

pema pearls:

 If you can live with the sadness of human life (often called the tender heart or genuine heart of sadness), if you can be willing to feel fully and acknowledge continually your own sadness and the sadness of life, but at the same time not be drowned in it, because you also remember the vision and power of the Great Eastern Sun, you experience balance and completeness, joining heaven and earth, joining vision and practicality.
~ Pema Chodron

7/8/14

Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security. 
~John Allen Paulos

7/6/14

c h a n g e:

"If you are feeling stuck in your life and are ready for change, take time to declare to the Universe that you are ready.
There comes a point in most of our lives when we feel ready to experience a change weve had trouble carrying out. Maybe weve been stuck in a home, a relationship, job, or a town that hasnt felt right for a long time, but weve been unable to shift our circumstances in the direction we want to go. At times like this, it can help to declare to the universe that we are ready for a change. Think of it as informing a helpful friend that you need her assistance to move to the next level in your life. If the time is right, the universe will respond with opportunities and offers designed to help you create the change you wish to see.
You can begin the process of making your declaration by getting clear within yourself about what exactly you want to change. Whenever we ask anyone for help, they can assist us that much better if we are specific. The universe also appreciates our clarity and has an easier time answering a direct communication than a vague yearning. When you are clear on what you want, write your declaration on a piece of paper and place it on your altar, if you have one. If you dont, you can also place it under your pillow or in a box on your nightstand. Set aside a period of time every day to be silent with your wishes for change, repeating your declaration like a mantra. This lets the universe know that you are ready to change and will be receptive to its efforts.
Feel free to continue to refine and redefine your declaration, and remember to be open to the many different ways in which the change you seek might come to be. Remember also to be active in your own efforts, taking opportunities that come your way, watching for signs, and always taking responsibility for your intentions. If things dont happen quickly, try not to be discouraged; it might take time to free up energy that has been blocked and possibly serving a purpose beyond what we can understand. If you continue your conversation with the universe, declaring yourself clearly and openly, you cannot help but experience the magic of changing and being changed."
~ Madisyn Taylor

7/3/14

The body is our vehicle of awakening. Through the body we receive the wisdom, love, and compassion that animates us. All we are, all we know, all we feel, all we experience is via the body. Listening with our whole being is wise indeed.
~ Cheri Huber

7/1/14

i heart my community:

"Assessing the people we spend the most time with allows us to see if they add something constructive to, or subtract from, our lives. Should a friend sap our strength, for example, we can simply set the intention to tell them how we feel or simply spend less time with them. We will find that the moment we are honest with ourselves about our own feelings, the more candid we can be with others about how they make us feel. While this may involve some drastic changes to our social life it can bring about a personal transformation that will truly empower us, since ! the decision to live our truth will infuse our lives with greater happiness. 
When we surround ourselves with positive people, we clear away the negativity that exists around us and create more room to welcome nurturing energy. Doing this not only enriches our lives but also envelopes us in a supportive and healing space that fosters greater growth, understanding, and love of ourselves as well as those we care about."
~ Madisyn Taylor

6/29/14

maria popova ~ creator of brain pickings ~ shares her top 7 :

1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for "negative capability." We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone. As Paul Graham observed “prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.” Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the moment, but they ultimately don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night — and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards. 
3. Be generous. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.
4. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken. Most importantly, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking moment, dictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?
5. When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living — for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
7.“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.” This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it’s hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I’ve reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.

6/27/14

6/25/14

to
all 
of 
my
spiritual
teachers
What is transmitted from a spiritual teacher to a student? The possibilities of love and freedom, of living in a joyful heart. Extraordinary spiritual teachers empower us, pointing us towards our own awakening. In their presence, we can feel the qualities of enlightenment rather than just hearing about them, and we are inspired to see in a new way.

6/21/14

spiritual meaning of the summer solstice:

6-21-14
The summer solstice is a time to celebrate the light of consciousness within ourselves and within each and every person, and to reflect upon the potential for consciousness to achieve its own awakening.
The progress of the sun throughout the year symbolizes the process of attaining enlightenment, and the summer solstice is the apex of this journey as the day of most light in the year.  It symbolizes the ascension found in many great spiritual teachings – the return to the Great Father Spirit, the triumph of light over darkness in the individual, and the return to wholeness in which the Son, Mother Goddess and Father God become one great consciousness.
The Druids, ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Essenes, Romans and many others have aligned their sacred sites to the summer solstice and conducted ceremonies on this day. At the Great Pyramids of Egypt the summer solstice sun crowns the head of the Sphinx; the Druids celebrated the marriage of heaven and earth and the defeat of the dark god of the year just as the Egyptians celebrated the defeat of the dark god Seth by Horus, the sun; and in Rome the festival of Vestalia continued a Druid tradition of guarding the sacred fire.
~ Mark & Angela Pritchard
Pay Attention:
How do you do What you do?
and
Why do you do it?

6/20/14

paul levy explains quantum physics:


  • There is no objective reality independent of an observer.
  • We live in a participatory universe. The observer affects what is observed by the mere act of observing.
  • Quantum entities exist in a multiplicity of simultaneous potential states (called a superposition), hovering in an abstract realm between existence and nonexistence prior to being observed.
  • There is no independent quantum entity separate from its properties. Its properties are a function of our observation. This is to say that these quantum entities aren’t real in the way we ordinarily think of something as being real.
  • The act of observation is the very act which turns the potentiality of the quantum world into the actuality of the seemingly ordinary world.
  • Our act of observation not only changes the present state of the universe, it reaches backwards in time and changes what we can say about the past. This turns our conception of linear time and causality on its head.
  • The questions we ask make a difference.
  • The universe is a seamless, undivided and instantaneously interconnected whole. This is to say that each part of the universe is interrelated with every other part in an immediate and unmediated way.
  • An expression of this wholeness is the universe’s nonlocality, in which every part of the universe is related to and in communication with every other part. Our universe doesn’t play by the typical rules of third-dimensional space and time.
  • Quantum entities can jump from one place to another without traversing the path in-between.
  • The laws of physics are not written in stone, but are mutable.
  • The quantum universe is not separate from consciousness; rather, it is an expression of consciousness. Mind and matter are no longer seen as separate.
  • Our ordinary, day-to-day universe is quantum through and through.
  • Quantum physics literally changes and transforms our mind, as it introduces a new way of thinking. It also helps us see the world differently, which helps the world to manifest differently.
  • Quantum physics is showing us how we ourselves are moment by moment playing a key role in the creation of our experience, as well as in the genesis of the cosmos, in this very moment.
  • Significantly altering Descartes’ famous principle, “I think therefore I am,” quantum physics would instead say, “I choose therefore I am.”
  • Quantum physics is a revelation in living form: it is showing us the dreamlike nature of our universe.

    The creative spirit cannot be discouraged, otherwise it would not be creative.
    ~ Carl Jung

    6/18/14

    what is shenpa:

    Not Biting The Hook
    In Tibetan there is a word that points to the root cause of aggression, the root cause also of craving. It points to a familiar experience that is at the root of all conflict, all cruelty, oppression, and greed. This word is shenpa. The usual translation is attachment, but this doesnt adequately express the full meaning. I think of shenpa as getting hooked. Another definition, used by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, is the charge”—the charge behind our thoughts and words and actions, the charge behind like and dont like. Heres an everyday example: Someone criticizes you. She criticizes your work or your appearance or your child. In moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste, a familiar smell. Once you begin to notice it, you feel like this experience has been happening forever. That sticky feeling is shenpa. And it comes along with a very seductive urge to do something. Somebody says a harsh word and immediately you can feel a shift. Theres a tightening that rapidly spirals into mentally blaming this person, or wanting revenge or blaming yourself. Then you speak or act. The charge behind the tightening, behind the urge, behind the story line or action is shenpa
    You can actually feel shenpa happening. Its a sensation that you can easily recognize. Even a spot on your new sweater can take you there. Someone looks at us in a certain way, or we hear a certain song, or walk into a certain room and boom. Were hooked. Its a quality of experience thats not easy to describe but that everyone knows well. 
    Now, if you catch shenpa early enough, its very workable. You can acknowledge that its happening and abide with the experience of being triggered, the experience of urge, the experience of wanting to move. Its like experiencing the yearning to scratch an itch, and generally we find it irresistible. Nevertheless, we can practice patience with that fidgety feeling and hold our seat.
    ~ Pema Chodrin

    6/17/14

    great answers from arianna huffington:

    1. What advice would you give your graduating self? 
    In college, just before I embarked on a career as a writer, I wish I had known that there would be no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and my ability to do good work. I wish I could go back and tell myself, Arianna, your performance will actually improve if you can commit to not only working hard, but also unplugging, recharging and renewing yourself. That would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion. 
    2. What advice do you have for this year's graduating class about holding on to your passion when you are met with the real world reality of having to find a job? 
    Remember that your first job may not be directly linked to whatever it is youre most passionate about -- and thats ok. Happiness in its full sense -- what the Greeks call eudaimonia -- is thriving and flourishing. This full definition of happiness includes moving beyond our own personal passions and pleasures and being part of something larger than ourselves. 
    3. Because of this generations deep relationship with technology and the instant gratification that comes with it - what advice would you give to those who are seeking the same instant gratification with their passion? 
    There are benefits -- not only for our careers but for our lives -- to experimenting, taking risks and failing. I failed many times in my life. I watched HuffPost come alive to mixed reviews, including some very negative ones, like the reviewer who called the site the movie equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar, and Heavens Gate.” But my mother used to tell me, failure is not the opposite of success, its a stepping stone to success. So at some point, I learned not to dread failure. I strongly believe that we are not put on this earth just to accumulate victories and trophies and avoid failures; but rather to be whittled and sandpapered down until whats left is who we truly are. 
    4. If someone graduating college now wanted to start their own business - what advice would you have for them? 
    I would advise them to pick an idea that differentiates them from others and put their heart and soul into it--but not at the expense of their health and well-being. There was a recent piece on Forbes.com by Michael Thomsen connecting the fact that three-quarters of startups fail to the prevalent burnout culture in which sleep deprivation is a badge of honor. As Thomsen wrote, "How can any work ethic connected to such dimming of cognitive function produce anything worth having?" Dont fall into the trap of chasing only the successes built on money, status and fame. When this happens, we miss out on the happiness, purpose and meaning that come from reaching out to others, pausing to wonder, and connecting to that place of strength and wisdom within us from which everything is possible. 
    5. Many times people become successful later in life because they spend their 20s and 30s distracted from what matters most to them. What advice would you give today's grads about staying focused on what matters most? 
    Staying focused on what matters most is ancient wisdom that has now been validated by modern science. One of the steps I recommend in my book Thrive is disconnecting from our devices in order to reconnect with our wisdom and focus. I love what Eric Barker wrote: "Those who can sit in a chair, undistracted for hours, mastering subjects and creating things will rule the world while the rest of us frantically and futilely try to keep up with texts, tweets and other incessant interruptions." 
    6. What would you say to grads who are interested in personal growth and living the Thriving life, but their peers aren't? What if they feel alone and like there's no tribe for them? 
    The worst thing you can do is give in to peer pressure and buy into our current notion of success, in which we drive ourselves into the ground, if not the grave, and in which working to the point of exhaustion and burnout is considered a badge of honor. Before too long hopefully before they experience a painful wakeup call -- your burned out, sleep-deprived peers will be begging to join your tribe! 
    7. What do you have to say to those graduating college that feel like they aren't wise enough to begin leading? 
    Wherever we look, we see a lot of smart leaders making terrible decisions. What they are missing is not IQ but wisdom. So it's time for each one of us to look in the mirror to find the leader within and make sure we stay connected to that place of wisdom, strength and leadership. 
    8. Finally, what advice would you have for today's grads to hold on to wonder? 
    Einstein defined wonder as a precondition for life. He wrote that whoever lacks the capacity to wonder, who ever remains unmoved, whoever cannot contemplate or know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment, might just as well be dead for he has already closed his eyes upon life." Remember that while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, and pause to wonder. One simple thing you can do is pick an image that ignites the joy in you. It can be of your child, a pet, the ocean, a painting you love something that inspires a sense of wonder. And any time you feel contracted, go to it to help you expand.

    6/13/14

    who are the stella sisters:

    beautiful advice from a divorced man:

    Gerald Rogers shares his insightful advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage:
    "I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done differently. After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had because in the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time."
    1. Never stop courting. NEVER EVER take your partner for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
    2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but always keep a special place in your heart where no one enters except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
    3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
    4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
    5. It’s not your job to change or fix her. Your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
    6. Take full accountability for your own emotions. It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
    7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry. It is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them … when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
    8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.
    9. Be silly. Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
    10. Fill her soul everyday. Learn her love languages and the specific ways she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.
    11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.
    12. Be willing to take her sexually. To carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
    13. Don’t be an idiot. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
    14. Give her space. The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing ~ (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
    15. Be vulnerable. You don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and be quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
    16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know if she will like what she finds. Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
    17. Never stop growing together. The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
    18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strengths to win.
    19. Forgive immediately. Focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
    20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices are governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

    6/11/14

    pema pearls:

    Nonjudgemental Openness
    Over time, as the thinking mind begins to settle [through the practice of meditation], well start to see our patterns and habits far more clearly. This can be a painful experience. I cant overestimate the importance of accepting ourselves exactly as we are right now, not as we wish we were or think we ought to be. By cultivating nonjudgmental openness to ourselves and to whatever arises, to our surprise and delight we will find ourselves genuinely welcoming the never-pin-downable quality of life, experiencing it as a friend, a teacher, and a support, and no longer as an enemy. 
    ~ Pema Chodron

    6/9/14

    What 
    Are
    You
    Learning
    Right
    Now

    6/5/14

    Your inner warrior is one source of strength you can draw upon in times of great need. When you employ your warrior spirit thoughtfully, it manifests itself as clarity, focus, determination, courage, constancy, and an unflappable zest for life. The warrior views roadblocks as evolutionary opportunities and is not afraid to pursue a purpose to its climax. There is more than enough room in the existence of the warrior for softness and benevolence. Exploring your warrior side is a means of broadening your reality so you can internalize mindfulness while meeting life's challenges with an intensity of spirit that never wavers.
    ~ Madisyn Taylor
    The purpose of mediation practice is not enlightenment; it is to pay attention even at unextraordinary times, to be of the present, nothing-but-the-present, to bear this mindfulness of now into each event of ordinary life.
    ~ Peter Matthiessen

    6/4/14

    happy accident:

    Today I went to buy a graduation gift for a special friend of mine ... after much searching I found the perfect book:
    How cool to read this book in its entirety and to find myself quoted twice! 
    I am thrilled and honored to share page space with:

    6/3/14

    At first glance it may appear too hard. Look again. Always look again.
    ~ Mary Anne Rodmacher

    6/2/14

    The Truths Within
    "Your very own inner wisdom is your greatest gift and will always guide you in the direction you need to travel. Throughout our lives, we will encounter individuals who presume to know what is best for us. The insights they offer cannot compare, however, with the powers of awareness and discernment that already exist within us. From birth we are blessed with wisdom that cannot be learned or unlearned.
    It is when we do not use our inborn wisdom that we begin to doubt our personal truths and are driven to outside sources of information because we are afraid. What we know to be true in our hearts is invariably true, and we discover how intensely beautiful and useful self-trust can be when we recognize the power of our wisdom. Inner wisdom is not subject to the influences of the outside world, which means that it will never demand that we surrender our free will or counsel us to act in opposition to our values. We benefit from this inspiration when we open ourselves to it, letting go of the false notion that we are less qualified than others to determine our fate. The wisdom inside of us is the source of our discernment and our ability to identify blessings in disguise. When we are unsure of who to trust, how to respond, or what we require, the answers lie in our inner wisdom. It knows where we are going and understands where we are coming from, taking this into account though it is not a product of experience but rather a piece of our connection to the universal mind. In the whole of your existence, no force you will ever encounter will contribute as much to your ability to do what you need to do and be who you want to be as your natural wisdom will. Through it, you reveal your growing consciousness to the greater source and discover the true extent of your strength. If you heed this wisdom with conviction and confidence, the patterns, people, and fears that held you back will be dismantled, paving the way for you to fulfill your truest potential."
    ~ Madisyn Taylor
    (painting by Steven DaLuz)

    5/31/14

    How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.
    Clarissa Pinkola Estes

    5/29/14

    This Summer ~ Get Self-Empowered!

    5/28/14

    redefining stretch:

    This Summer ~ Relax, Renew, Restore:

    5/27/14

    redefining stretch:

    This Summer ~ Get in the Best Shape of Your Life!

    5/23/14

    remembering:

    It's Memorial Weekend here in the states; I am honoring the memory of my mother who died when I was 16 years old, she was only 42. I am now ten years older than she was when she died and these last two years I have never needed her more, it's made me think about her a lot while also wondering how my life might have differed had she lived. Last night I watched The Dead Mothers Club, a moving HBO documentary http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/the-dead-mothers-club#/. Every female I have ever met who is motherless at a young age has a profound experience of this pivotal, primal loss and what it means to navigate life without her. As Rosie O'Donnell says in the documentary, it's a club that immediately connects two people. I wish I wasn't a member of this club and I wish I had more photographs of my mother, I have less than ten. I stare at these few images often, one of my favorites being my first birthday (above). I've always known that surviving this loss made me strong and provided me with tools to help others, it's no accident that I'm a Confidence Coach. What I'll never know is what my life would have included with her guidance, love and support. Recently my dad showed me a few slides of my mom, I was so thrilled to see that we have the same thighs and hands. Oh what I would give to have those big hands wrapped around me in a tight hug telling me everything is going to be alright. In the meantime, I honor her memory and the extraordinary life she gave me.

    5/22/14

    Question for Eve Ensler, artist-activist: Are there any practices to bring us back into our bodies and spirits?
    Answer: I really believe in dancing. If the women of Congo have taught me anything, it is that dancing is the answer to trauma. The women of Congo dance like no other people I've ever seen in the world ~ they dance in a way that is transformative on the cellular level. I've seen a woman who's gone through terrible trauma, and the women gather with her, and they dance and they dance. I think people should dance all day long. I think it should be a part of what we do.

    5/21/14

    pema pearls:

    Humanizing Strangers
    Suppose we spent some time every day bringing the unknown people that we see into focus, and actually taking an interest in them? We could look at their faces, notice their clothes, look at their hands. There are so many chances to do this, particularly if we live in a large town or in a city. There are panhandlers that we rush by because their predicament makes us uncomfortable, there are the multitudes of people we pass on streets and sit next to on buses and in waiting rooms. The relationship becomes more intimate when someone packs up our groceries or takes our blood pressure or comes to our house to fix a leaking pipe. Then there are the people who sit next to us on airplanes. Suppose you had been on one of the planes that went down on September 11. Your fellow passengers would have been very important people in your life. It can become a daily practice to humanize the people that we pass on the street. 
    ~ Pema Chodron
    True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience."
    - Oprah Winfrey

    5/19/14

    who is misty copeland:

    highly recommend!
    listen from start to finish.
    repeat.
    listen
    without
    judgement

    5/18/14

    how to pitch yourself to your dream job:

    March 15, 1933
    Gentlemen,
    I suppose you’d be more interested in even a sleight-o’-hand trick than you’d be in an application for a position with your magazine, but as usual you can’t have the thing you want most.
    I am 23 years old, six weeks on the loose in N.Y. However, I was a New Yorker for a whole year in 1930–31 while attending advertising classes in Columbia’s School of Business. Actually I am a southerner, from Mississippi, the nation’s most backward state. Ramifications include Walter H. Page, who, unluckily for me, is no longer connected with Doubleday-Page, which is no longer Doubleday-Page, even. I have a B.A.(’29) from the University of Wisconsin, where I majored in English without a care in the world. For the last eighteen months I was languishing in my own office in a radio station in Jackson, Miss., writing continuities, dramas, mule feed advertisements, santa claus talks, and life insurance playlets; now I have given that up.
    As to what I might do for you — I have seen an untoward amount of picture galleries and 15¢ movies lately, and could review them with my old prosperous detachment, I think; in fact, I recently coined a general word for Matisse’s pictures after seeing his latest at the Marie Harriman: concubineapple. That shows you how my mind works — quick, and away from the point. I read simply voraciously, and can drum up an opinion afterwards.
    Since I have bought an India print, and a large number of phonograph records from a Mr. Nussbaum who picks them up, and a Cezanne Bathers one inch long (that shows you I read e. e. cummings I hope), I am anxious to have an apartment, not to mention a small portable phonograph. How I would like to work for you! A little paragraph each morning — a little paragraph each night, if you can’t hire me from daylight to dark, although I would work like a slave. I can also draw like Mr. Thurber, in case he goes off the deep end. I have studied flower painting.
    There is no telling where I may apply, if you turn me down; I realize this will not phase you, but consider my other alternative: the U of N.C. offers for $12.00 to let me dance in Vachel Lindsay’s Congo. I congo on. I rest my case, repeating that I am a hard worker.
    Truly yours,
    Eudora Welty

    5/16/14

    5/15/14

    When you re-read a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in yourself than there was before. 
    ~ Clifton Fadiman, editor and critic (1904-1999)

    5/14/14

    You can't always know when someone is lying, but you always know when someone is telling the truth.
    ~ Sean Penn

    madisyn on marriage:

    "The decision to marry should not be based solely on having the feeling of love in your heart.
    Though we may make many commitments throughout our time on earth, few have a lifelong impact on the path our lives will take. The decision to marry someone you loveto bond yourself to them completelyis unlike any other and can reshape your existence. When two people have similar goals, values, and needs, marriage can result in a lifetime partnership of love and respect, shared laughter and tears, friendship, and intimacy that is ultimately fulfilling. Love is often cited as the sole prerequisite of a strong and stable married life. However, the decision to get married should be made with the mind and the soul as well as with the heart. Carefully considering whether you truly want to get married, both individually and as a couple, can ensure that if you do choose to marry, your relationship can grow to unimaginable depths. 
    The decision-making process you employ to determine whether you should marry should be a thoughtful and honest one in which you appraise not only your partner but also yourself. Consider that love and attraction do not guarantee long-term compatibility. If your relationship is not secure, marriage will not make it so. Likewise, if your partner is not as attentive, loving, or kind as you would like, your becoming spouses will not change that. Marriage has no power to permanently fill any emotional or spiritual gaps in your life. Before you choose to marry, ask yourself whether you and your partner are adept at resolving conflict, can speak openly to one another, and fully respect one another. Your attitudes regarding the nature of marital commitment, children and child rearing, and marital roles may be the same or they may differ. It is your shared responsibility to discuss your similarities and come to agreements regarding your differences that will predict how successful your future marriage will be. Often times, younger couples rush into marriage just for the wedding dress, the ring, the party, and honeymoon. Would you still be willing to be married if you couldnt have these things? 
    Remember that planning a wedding is simple when compared to the intricacies of nurturing a marriage. The honeymoon and nesting period will eventually wear off, and what you are left with is a partner for life (or not)."
    ~ Madisyn Taylor

    5/13/14