Thursday, May 1, 2008

Best laid plans

This week has left me wondering if it's possible to have jet lag without getting on a plane or traveling from one time zone to another. My return from vacation has left me a wee bit disoriented this week and I'm having to completely let go of the idea that I am "on top of" just about anything. Ultimately, this is a very good thing for me, releasing me from my sea of "shoulds" and allowing me to just be. However it does mean that my idea of returning to our regularly scheduled programming this week was a little premature.

The good news is, I've got a lot of fun and exciting stuff going on...

Chinese Medicine. A lot of my time this week has been taken up with the basics of getting started with a Chinese medicine regimen. I've gone to the clinic twice this week for acupuncture and massage and I'm on day two of my yummy and delicious (yes, that was sarcastic) herbs. It's all a lot more involved than I realized it was going to be when I signed on, but I really appreciate the holistic approach to wellness they take and feel like it dovetails nicely with my spirit-based approach. It feels like a way to release old patterns and behaviors and their effects on my body as I do the same with my mind.

Training Walks. As my walks get longer, more and more of my time is invested into my Avon Walk training. This weekend, I'm squeezing in a 14-miler on Sunday and a 7-miler on Monday. Even my weekday training is expanding, moving from 3 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays to 4 miles. I'm still loving the process and just going with the flow, enjoying the ride, and trying not to focus too much on the time aspect.

Globe Sound Healing Conference. I was recently introduced to sound healing and discovered there's an institute in San Francisco that specializes in this concept. They have an annual conference that happens to be this weekend, and I managed to get myself on their mailing list in time to volunteer to work the conference in exchange for free admission. I am especially interested in anything having to do with voice and music, but really I find it all fascinating. I'm sure to learn a lot from this experience and I'll have much to share with you all next week.

Family Visit. Next Thursday I head to Georgia to experience some true jet lag, traveling to visit my family there. I don't know how much internet access I'll have while I'm gone, but I am sure I will have plenty of stories when I return. Spending time with my family is wonderful on many levels, and provides me ample opportunities to practice what I'm learning. Wish me luck.

And, as always, I have a lot of things I want to share, but I will limit myself to just one today. CNN recently published a great article of Martha Beck's from a back issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, entitled, "How to feast on joy every day." In a world where dieting is ubiquitous, it was wonderful to read this article about truly feasting. Let me leave you with the thought that concludes this article:

"If you have a choice between a feast of love and any other option, go with love. Compared with other activities, love-feasts will mess up your life, complicate your career, wear you out, make you crazy. But I guarantee that when you look back over the time you've spent on earth, the feasts of love will be the events you'll remember most joyfully, the experiences that will make you glad you have lived."

Photo: "Distilled Moment," originally uploaded by Angelo Juan Ramos

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A New Earth -- The Discovery of Inner Space

Jenn's thoughts and learnings from the eighth week of A New Earth: The Oprah Web Event.

I have to say, while I enjoyed taking a week off from my usual routine, I really did miss diving deeper with Eckhart and Oprah and A New Earth. It's good to be back!

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor
I was so excited that they were talking about Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor! Apparently Oprah is having her on the Soul Series radio show after A New Earth is all over. If you haven't yet seen the video that's been going around, take a few minutes to treat yourself to a viewing. Really inspirational stuff. Apparently, she thinks that your right brain IS the consciousness, the awareness, the presence that Eckhart talks about. It's all connected!

This, too, shall pass
One of my favorite expressions that you run into on the spiritual path just about everywhere, really, is "This too shall pass." It's an incredibly powerful concept that allows you to let go of the outcome of any experience. Most people find it soothing it times of stress or sorrow, a reminder that tomorrow is another day full of new possibilities, but don't like to apply it to the happy times, seeing it as a reminder that the joy can't last and feeling like it's a bit of a buzz kill. The thing is, nothing lasts, and once you truly come to understand this, you can truly accept the present moment without judgment, without expectation. It is an expression of true freedom, allowing you to enjoy this moment and not think about what is going to come next, relieving you of any sense of dread or worry, enhancing the joy and pleasure.

Spiritual does not mean passive
A young man was asking about how one stays present and follows one's true purpose but still manages to pay the bills on time and take care of the mechanics of life on this planet. Oprah really got into this one, I think because it's a fairly common misunderstanding, this idea that somehow being spiritual means we're supposed to be passive. It's akin to the misconstrued idea that if we all followed our bliss then everyone would want to be an artist and no one would be a garbage collector. Truly, it's about aligning yourself with what resonates with you and allowing things to flow from that place. Oprah is a perfect example of how it works--she is someone who has shown up completely as herself and the universe has said, yes, please, more of that! She did not sit on top of a mountain and meditate and expect things to come to her, however. She took action, showed up, and allowed the universe to flow from that point. The same is true for everybody. You go to work, staying fully present to Who You Are and aligning your action with what resonates for you and things will flow for you. In Religious Science there's a saying, "Treat and move your feet." It essentially means pray, set your intention, and then get out there and stir things up and see what falls out. Try it out yourself--take steps in the direction of your dreams, stay present and connected to your true self, and see what happens.

Everything is amazing
Towards the end of the webinar, one of the callers was talking about how present she's felt being on vacation but that she's worried when she returns home she'll fall back into her old patterns. Oprah's response really stuck with me. She was basically saying you just have to be really conscious about bringing this work into your daily life, making sure you take the time to practice awareness. But then she said, when you really put this into practice, EVERYTHING is amazing. It's not just that nature is beautiful and the sound of a child laughing is joyful and whatnot, it's that even just the act of breathing in and breathing out takes on a whole new level of consciousness and presence that just simply BEING is amazing. Wow. When she said that, I really got it, really felt it for that moment. What a way to live, to truly live your life. And you don't have to go anywhere to find it--it is always available to you, within you, right here, right now.

So my assignment to myself and to anyone else who is interested in giving it a try is to practice Active TV watching. Eckhart talks about this in the book as well as on the webinar. The idea is to not allow watching TV to make you unconscious. Pick and choose when and what you're going to watch--don't watch TV for TV's sake, but make sure that what you're watching is something you truly want to watch. While you sit there, practice staying conscious throughout, feeling the aliveness within your body, staying aware of what is passing through your mind. Don't allow yourself to glaze over--move your body periodically and look away from the television from time to time, allowing your gaze to fall on something tangible within the room. Use this time to practice staying present instead of using it as a time to escape. Good luck, let me know how it goes! Namaste.

Photo: "inner space," originally uploaded by Wendy

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Aldous Huxley quote

The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one's own ignorance concerning one's self and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening. The finding of God is a coming to one's self.
~Aldous Huxley

Notes from Jenn's World

Just a quick check-in about what's going on in my world . . .

Happy Anniversary!

Sean and I are celebrating our second anniversary this weekend with a mini escape to Point Reyes. We have a little cottage on Tomales Bay--it's wee, but so peaceful and beautiful. We had dinner at a wonderful spot in Point Reyes Station last night, The Station House Cafe, which I would highly recommend the next time you're in the area. This morning, I woke up early and went for a walk on the little beach off of our deck, watching the sun rise up over the hills across the bay. While I was out there I meditated and did a little Qigong, experiencing such a deep feeling of connection and sense that all is right with the world. Today, we'll probably head over to Point Reyes National Seashore and do a little exploring on their trails. We spent a weekend up here back in 2000, but it was during the rainy season, gray and damp and cold. It feels good to see it in a different light this time.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

I feel so blessed to be participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this year. Yesterday I did my first "official" Training Walk, joining the Urban Dog Walkers team for one of their two 9-mile loops through Redwood City. I parked a mile and a half away from the starting point so I would completely my full 12 miles in one fell swoop. The energy of that training walk was so motivating--a large group of friendly, welcoming, and kind people, joining together to support each other and the cause. There was pink everywhere you looked, and I realized it's time for me to start unfurling my inner pink! While I will continue to savor my 3- and 4-mile walks by myself, I am looking forward to continuing to train with people for these longer walks. In the meantime, I continue to be blown away by everyone's generosity--I am up to 41% of my personal goal and 82% of my required donations with 11 weeks to go. Thank you!

Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

We return home tomorrow afternoon. For Sean, that means going back to work on Tuesday after a much needed 2-day break. Working weekends has been taking its toll, so it's especially good that we've been able to unwind for a few days. For me, it means that I will return to my regular blogging schedule. Look for me to post on weeks 8 & 9 of A New Earth this week. I am also looking forward to a busy freelancing week. I've had to postpone the Spiritual Fitness class, but I know that just means the timing wasn't right. I'm shifting my focus now towards a monthly Abraham / Law of Attraction group as well as fleshing out a book idea that I'm working on with a friend. I already feel rejuvenated and look forward to getting to work!

So what's going on with you? What are you working on these days? How are you taking time to unwind and reconnect? I'd love to hear about all the flow and synchronicity that is happening for you. Namaste.