30 March 2012

Tight Rope.

Alex Clare's Tightrope. I found this song really encouraging on this misty Friday. Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend! (FYI - his whole album Lateness of the Hour is fantastic!)

Life's a tightrope,
and your standing on one toe,
Don't let the fear take hold of you,
your bound to fall to the ground below.
Pick yourself up again, 
Over the edge again,
Hold on to your hopes and dreams.
When all seems to be lost, 
Don't start to count the costs.
Just go and begin again.
Tight rope walker, tight rope walker,


The only thing I'm sure of is to have no fear at all. 

Just go,
keep on rowing on.
And the only thing that's certain is that sometimes your bound to fall,
Just go keep on going on.

When all you work for,
Comes tumbling to the ground,
Don't let the sadness fill your heart.
Tomorrow may be a better day. 
Lift your head up again,
you know you'll start again. 
No matter what may come of it,
You know there's more to life.
I'm sure that you'll survive,
You know what you have to do.
Tight rope walker, tight rope walker,


The only thing I'm sure of is to have no fear at all. 
Just go,
keep on rowing on.
And the only thing that's certain is that sometimes your bound to fall,
Just go keep on going on.

Who knows, who knows, who knows what may come tomorrow, 
Who knows, who knows, who knows, what tomorrow may bring.
Who knows, who knows, who knows what may come tomorrow, 
Who knows, who knows, who knows, what tomorrow may bring.
The only thing I'm sure of is to have no fear at all. 
Just go,
keep on rowing on.
And the only thing that's certain is that sometimes your bound to fall,
Just go keep on going on.

28 March 2012

#25 & #26: Life Secrets and Tips

I haven't shared life tips from High Existence in a while, so I thought I'd post about two today.
25. Read Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss. This book will give you the knowledge and instruction to be happy at all times, regardless of the circumstances. Yes this sounds like an oversimplification of happiness, but I assure you that this book will change you in an amazing way.
While I don't know anything about this book, I did some research online and it has some great reviews. I am always looking for new books to keep my mind fresh and my heart open (people wonder why I don't watch TV or prioritize movies.... I would MUCH rather read). This sounds like it definitely meets my qualifications. 

Here is an excerpt from Amazon: In Zen and the Art of Happiness, you will learn how to think and feel so that what you think and feel creates happiness and vibrancy in your life rather than gloominess or depression. You'll learn how to adapt to life's inevitable changes, how to deal with stress in a healthy way, and how to nurture a mindful happiness in your daily life. Most importantly, the gentle wisdom of Zen and the Art of Happiness will show you how to invite magnificent experiences into your life and create a personal philosophy that will sustain you through anything. A timeless work about the art of happiness, the way of happiness, the inner game of happiness.

Sounds fabulous to me! I think we could all use some tips about how to de-stress and how to rewire our thinking to ensure maximum vitality in our lives! The next tip...
26. Develop the ability to forgive. Forgiveness is something that most people fail miserably at even though it's so simple. Grudges only bring more misery to those who hold them and prevent good relations with the target. YOU make mistakes all of the time, so why not have mercy when others do? Remaining angry feels horrible, while forgiving someone brings a refreshing sensation to the mind and healing to the relationship.
Forgiveness is so healing, and until we truly practice it altruistically, it's impossible to really reap the benefits (peace of mind, light heart, clear conscious, abundant light). Our ego and our pride LOVE to get in the way of forgiveness. We like to feel like our emotions are justified and knowing that someone has wronged us (putting them in the "bad guy" position). Usually, when we want to withhold forgiveness from others, we are feeling badly about ourselves underneath all else. Whenever you are finding it difficult to let go of the actions or words of others, ask yourself what holding onto that weight is doing for you. Is it allowing you to be the victim? Validating being hurt? Making the other person wrong? Demanding attention from others? You will probably answer "yes" to all of those things. I have been there (strangling the possibility for love by withholding forgiveness) enough times to know. Sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for 10 years. It is so much lighter on the heart and mind to surrender our pride and to be ALL about love and acceptance. When you are honestly committed to those two things, there simply isn't any room in your being for grudges. Life is too short to cut people out for the things they may have done or said. Don't waste any time blaming your parents, holding a grudge against that friend, or wallowing in your hurt...because you will miss the beauty and possibility that await around every corner if you do. Be at peace. Treat yourself and others with love.

25 March 2012


Empathy: the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person; capacity to understand another person's point of view or the result of such understanding. 

Empathy is incredibly powerful. It saves us from judging others. It brings us closer to people. It offers a way to learn about things that might otherwise feel outside of ourselves. It often requires us to surrender and be vulnerable. 

It always feels amazing to empathize... to really connect with how someone else is feeling, and to identify with the euphoria, sorrow, confusion, or love that they are experiencing. When we open our heart and mind to empathize, it allows us to embark on new journeys. We get to explore different emotional circumstances and try on new ways of thinking and being. All the while, you are connecting with another person on a deeper, spiritual level than would be possible if you were selfish with your ideas, love, and understanding.

Lately, whenever I feel like I have a strong (negative) opinion about someone, decisions they've made, their opinions, feelings they have, etc., I really force myself out of my skin into theirs. I give my very best effort to put my own ideas aside and instead try to see where they are coming from. When I am really analyzing things and giving empathy a genuine, wholehearted chance, I find that my judgements and negativity melt away. Caring about others and their experiences, opinions, ideas, and feelings really cracks open our hearts and removes any base for making an "other" or "bad guy" out of anyone. And that is a beautiful thing.

This weekend I tried things that I had previously been (pretty baselessly) critical and disapproving of. I hate when I realize that an opinion of mine isn't rooted in any logic, but just all emotion-based and founded on preconceived notions. I used to puff up my feathers and try to edge away when people would point out that kind of thing. But now all I want to do is to better understand where my judgements are really stemming from and instead give my opinions legs to stand on with real knowledge and experience. Many times, I have such realizations about some of my baseless opinions when someone I really care about differs from me in their beliefs. Instead of shunning that part of my loved one, I want to be more committed to empathy - to really attempting to get on the same page just by visualizing their experience.

Have a wonderful week, everyone. Love others and yourself wholehearted by consciously practicing empathy. xo

20 March 2012

Revisiting Brené Brown: Vulnerability and Shame

 Brené Brown (a hero of mine who I posted about last month) gave a follow-up speech on some of her shame/vulnerability research, and a couple items stuck out as wonderful things to share with you (and to put into writing for myself, too).
"Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage... Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation, creativity, and change."
With all of this talk about opening up my heart and laying my courage on the line, I often forget the tools I need to get there. Sometimes it's easier to recite quotes to myself than it is to really be actionable (because I forget how). Vulnerability doesn't have to happen while you're alone in your room at night trying really hard to rip your mind open to possibility. It evolves when you share love and honesty with others. Yes, you can challenge yourself (personal acts of courage) to do amazing things that don't involve other people. But if you get stuck in your practice, remember that it's easier (and more exciting, in my opinion) to practice vulnerability with others. The bonus - you get feedback! And perhaps they will share their vulnerability with you too! We can learn from each other.

I really love when Brené says, "If we are going to find our way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path." This fills me with so much hope and encouragement.
When we are struggling to be vulnerable and feeling shame of some sort ("I'm not X enough"), remember that the two most powerful words when we are in struggle is "me too." Share with others! (Of course, picking the right person to share must be done with consideration.) I can't even imagine how I would be able to continue growing and experiencing enlightenment without opening up to my friends and family. Shame thrives on silence, secrecy, and judgement. Wearing that coat of "I'm not enough" is made possible and comfortable when we do it in hiding. BUT, if you pour a heaping load of empathy on it, it simply won't remain. You'll want to triumphantly rip that coat off! And you can't have empathy without other people.  
Here is the full follow-up video if you'd like to watch:

Also, a cool song for the moment... Switchfoot's Afterlife (RHYNO remix)

18 March 2012


Patience is a virtue. It's a phrase I use to encourage my friends when the answers aren't readily presenting themselves. "Just give it time..." "The Universe will send you messages and encourage you towards what is meant to be..." "In retrospect, this will all make perfect sense." How hard it is to take that advice from myself, though. And what does that phrase even mean? Patience is a virtue... A virtue is something morally good - a desirable trait. So I suppose I should want to possess such a trait. And I sure as heck tell my loved ones that they should want it and embrace it too. It's funny how surprised I always am that the phrase does NOT say "Patience is a virtue and a damn easy one to practice." How unfortunate. But then again, it's not so unfortunate, because it's helping me draw awareness to my struggle. 

My meditation phrase for my date of birth is "Getting a fire started is much easier than extinguishing it." If you think about what that really says, you can understand why I struggle so much with patience. I live to light fires. Before a Taurus even finishes painting the idea of a fire, before a Leo can try to tell me how I should start it, before a Gemini can adapt to my actions, before a Capricorn can warn me to slow down, I already have the fire blazing. It's probably a really good fire too - perfect in the arrangement of the firewood and abundant with flames, dancing beautifully for everyone to see and admire. Sometimes that works out great! Something incredible is ignited and won't burn out until I decide to douse it. Other times, that once-admirable fire spreads wildly and takes a course of its own. And I'm left with the flint in my hand, wondering how everything got so out of control. But, I already know the answer to that question. I chose impulsive action over patience. I decided to write my own faith and see what the Universe thought of my idea instead of being open to what it has to offer me. 

Of course, we may all be too quick to jump the gun at times. Caught in the moment, feeling daring, reeling with encouragement, full of desire. And I want to live with no regrets, so I must embrace those kinds of moments when I give in to them. But I haven't always been committed to that kind of acceptance and living in the present. It used to feel better to paint that picture of myself as the ambitious, but impulsive, fire-starter who would feel guilt when camp fires became forest fires. And then the guilt ("I did something bad") would turn into shame ("I am bad"). However, lately, I notice that I have started planting little fire extinguishers in my life without even realizing it in the moment. I have been unconsciously practicing shame resilience - reaching out for support from people who are more calculative and steady, admiring patience in others instead of resenting it, really working on silencing the recordings that my mind sometimes tries to replay. It's as though painting that one-dimentional picture of myself allowed me not only to shatter the (no-room-for-growth) box I worked myself into, but also better equipped me to deal with my thoughts/actions when they do get ahead of themselves.

These fire extinguishers represent self-awareness. They could mean transformation is near! It takes enlightening readings, deep breaths, genuine sharing, and some amazing people for me to continue manufacturing the extinguishers and placing them strategically in the possible lines of fire. But this post tonight is encouragement for me in itself. I sat down to write about feeling like something was missing in my life and to more or less emotionally gush about how difficult it is to surrender my heart-filled desires and accept every moment as it comes. I wanted to write about my terrible relationship with patience and even considered doing/saying/predicting something impatiently. But I stopped myself. I got out of my own head, which has been jumbled with questions all day, and the answers started to come up in the writing. Sharing really is one way to nip shame in the bud (as the book I'm reading explains). I am not "bad" (weak, impatient, needy, underdeveloped, pathetic). I am choosing to accept all of the crazy emotions that I'm experiencing right now, for the sake of loving myself. Because I know I deserve that. We all do. And I can't love all of you if I can't do that for myself! So that's a pretty damn good reason to give it my all.

Make sure you give yourself a big hug today and thank the Universe for the course it is weaving. And quit trying to figure out what that course is. Because it's coming. Don't you even worry. (I've tried worrying and it doesn't work.)

;) xoxo

13 March 2012

A Visit from the Cosmos

I have to share a story with all of you, because looking at it in retrospect, I feel like it's akin to my "testimony." If spirituality and the practice of connection to the Universe were a religion, per say, then this would be the moment where I truly felt my maker. 

I've been having a lot of powerful realizations over the past week, and they have undoubtedly opened up a new portal in the Universe for me! I kid you not. It was not a smooth-sailing journey, and it took a lot of courage to give up my ideas, but the result has been incredible. It all started last week when I chose love and acceptance over hurt and judgement - multiple times and in a genuine way...

Early last week, I got some shocking news. I don't need to bog you down with the details, because they are not relevant to the story. But in short, the news felt like rejection and it made me feel used. (visualize a situation that would make you feel this way. the kind of feeling that jabs you in the gut and makes you want to crawl into a ball for eternity. got it? okay...) All I could think was: "how could I be so stupid?!" and "why didn't I listen to my gut?" and "how could a FRIEND do this to ME?" Over and over I played this shame game in my mind to the point of exhaustion and began blaming others for getting me into this "situation." I wanted to lash out at my friends and make everyone else around me feel as worthless as I did.

But then, I had a moment. The light bulb went off and the very teachings I had offered to my blog readers came to the front of my mind. I asked myself "what if I were on the delivering end of this news? How would I want the recipient to respond?" and "do I really want my friends to feel terribly because I have decided to take the actions and words of others so personally?" WOW! *breaks screech* I would want the person to respond with love and acceptance. I want my friends to always feel happy and uplifted! Heck, I myself want to feel those things! Even when you are angry with a friend, family member, or yourself, you may still claim to love them. But you're not practicing love if you lash out with blame, resentment, and judgement. I want to BE love (if you couldn't guess already from the title of my blog) so that I can let more love into my heart, and give it back to others and myself. I simply can't simultaneously freak out about this news and love the people involved.

And then I dropped it. Completely. I stopped reeling in my emotions of hurt and shame, and I instead chose to look at this as the natural course of the Universe. In fact, it was the start of a love story! How beautiful and exciting! This had nothing to do with ME unless I made it that way.

Being "over it" completely was complicated a bit by others in my life which whom I had shared my blame/shame story with. Friends who aren't studying self-acceptance and practicing love every day were quick to remind me of the "crappiness" of the situation and continually tried to validate my feelings of hurt and anger. I once again challenged myself to love and accept these people and their negativity (the same kind I had expressed to them just a day earlier) and offered up my new line of thinking. Most friends took to this revelation and saw the strength that I gleaned from practicing love. Others were skeptical and preferred fueling the more negative way of looking at things. But I didn't let them get to me and my new-found inner peace, and I also didn't force feed them or get frustrated when they would rather be upset about it.

A day passed after my revelation, and I got together with a very good girlfriend (who was involved in the "situation"). Let's call her Connie. I think both of us were nervous to see each other, given that we hadn't gotten to talk things out since I heard the news. Little did Connie know that I had overcome my hurt feelings and supplemented them with love! I wanted to wait to tell her everything that night in person. It happened to be a full moon that evening, and the moon was pulling at my heart like it pulls on the tide. I felt one with the Universe and let it push and pull me in its force field. As soon as I opened up to Connie about my arc of emotions and how I had combated the negativity with acceptance and excitement at the opportunity to embrace my friends, the night ignited! We had such a wonderful time together and it was as if nothing had happened (which is exactly how it should be). 

After our outing, we went back to my apt for a sleepover. Feeling overwhelmed with giddiness, love, and the lunar pull, we curled up in my bed and started to pour into my Secret Language of Birthdays / Secret Language of Relationships books. We began reading about ourselves, our past love, new love, friends, etc. We were amazed by the accuracy (as we always are by astrology), laughing and nodding at the reality of what we were reading. It was like we found a mystical outlet that could open up our eyes to the plans of the Universe. By looking at ourselves and our friends on a sheet of paper, totally objective and outside of ourselves, it became easier and desirable to accept them for who they are - for who the Universe crafted them to be.

And then, something incredible happened. We were reading a page from my Secret Language of Relationships book (which delves into how compatible two people are with each other) and through finishing each other's sentences about accepting the compatibility of two people, Connie and I made a connection to something that had been happening in her every day life. Let me explain - the book speaks in conceptual terms and says hypothetically how these two people (born on X and Y days) interact/mesh with each other. It's easy to be like, "Oh yeah, he is SO that way, and YEAH we always feel like that together." But we suddenly were able to draw a line from the writings and illustrations of the book to a message that had been popping up in Connie's apartment on a weekly basis. The Universe had been sending a message!!! Not just in an emotional, heart-tapping way. But PHYSICAL deliveries, and we wouldn't have picked up on it if we hadn't seen the words and pictures in the very book we were holding in our hands. The deliveries were communicating loud and clear that the two people we were reading about had a whole new chapter to start in their relationship! As soon as the realization left Connie's mouth, an undeniable wave of PHYSICAL ENERGY swept over my bedroom. The look on Connie's face told me she felt it too, and we both squealed at the top of our lungs and dove under the covers, laughing and shaking all at the same time. We were scared by what we felt, but also excited at what we had tapped into!

Of course, the little girl inside of me was scared to death and weirded out - as if a ghost had come to reprimand us for seeing the smoke and mirrors behind its tricks. I hadn't felt that overwhelming, tickling sensation all over my body since I was about 7 years old, cowering in my bed at night because I could feel some spiritual energy in my room. But Connie helped us to interpret this visit as something magical and beautiful. It was like we had seen the strings of the Universe's puppets, and it wanted to let us know that we were "right" in our discovery. We had done our homework, been open to giving and receiving love, and we were rewarded with a gold star (which has and will continue to shine). 

THAT, my friends, is my personal testimony. That is how I am able to embrace my place in the Universe and it's plan for me. When I was able to accept who I am and the decisions I had made to get myself into the "situation," and decided to transform all of my shame and blame into an even GREATER love for myself and others, the Universe opened up more to me. A little beam of light shone through. I believe that if I continue practicing this kind of love and acceptance, I will continue to receive incredible encouragement and light from the Universe. You can tap into this beautiful energy too if you surrender to it. You have to be willing to be 100% vulnerable to experience it. And that takes courage. Here is an excerpt from a book I'm reading, The Gifts of Imperfection, about courage:
"Heroics is often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. In today's world, that's pretty extraordinary."
Have a bright, wonderful day everyone!! If you would like to share a special story where you acted with love and courage, I would love to hear it! We can all learn and gain strength from each other's awakenings.

08 March 2012

Love is Louder

Ever since I heard about the Loud is Louder movement, I felt physically pulled to be a part of it - even if just through practicing love and acceptance on my own.

For those of you unfamiliar with the movement...
Love is Louder was started by The Jed Foundation, MTV and Brittany Snow to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. A movement of all types of people have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings us down. Individuals, communities, schools and organizations have embraced Love is Louder as a way to address with issues like bullying, negative self-image, discrimination, loneliness and depression.  Even as we work to stop negative words and actions that hurt us, we can strengthen our abilities to cope with hard times, focus on the positive, support the people around us and reach out for help if we need it.
My personal favorite...
...whether you or someone else puts that pressure to be perfect on you. Loving yourself is so much more powerful than superficial perfectionism. However, initially, it's also a lot more work to really love yourself than it is to set all of these unrealistic ideals. Fabricating unattainable goals for our bodies, our growth, our place in others' worlds, etc. is a cop out for loving and accepting ourselves! Another thing to keep in mind - setting goals in general pulls you out of being present (e.g. loving the way you look or the situation you are in RIGHT NOW) and being actionable (forgiving yourself or someone who you have made wrong to avoid loving them).  

That brings me to why I felt inspired to write today. I was thinking about the movement and asked myself what is love louder than for ME? (Loud is louder than everything, of course.) What is particularly personal to me? What do I want to be reminded of every day so that I can actively apply it? Recent (and past) events brought to mind a defense mechanism I've employed that is particularly hurtful to others. I recognize that I use it, whilst knowing that when it's used against me, I feel helpless and unloved. I don't want to resort to such a damaging reaction any longer. Today, I am putting out into the Universe a significant reminder for myself and others:
Love is louder than making someone else wrong.
As I read in in my Kindred Spirit book, you cannot love someone and make them wrong in the same moment. If you are completely loving someone, there is no such thing as right and wrong. EVER. If you are in a situation where you find yourself making someone else out to be the bad guy, you are not being love - you are not loving them with your whole heart. You have made the decision to make them wrong instead of love them. It's always hard to look at those moments in retrospect...guilt starts to creep in and chisel away at our love for ourselves. But if we are aware that we use this tactic, and decide that we are committed to giving it up, we can nip it in the bud! We can listen with love and use words that land in another's world as an opportunity (rather than an atomic bomb). The more present we are in recognizing exactly what we are doing and where the urge to get defensive is coming from (fear or hurt), the better we will become at responding purely with love. How much nicer for the person on the receiving end, and for our own souls?

Want to use some beautiful music to remind yourself that you are surrounded by love? 
Here is a great 15-song station that I StumbledUpon today:

06 March 2012

#24: Life Secrets and Tips

Today's tip is vital to our happiness and self-confidence... 
Learn to be unaffected by the words of others. Most people get very upset when they are called negative names by others, but there is a simple trick to overcoming this. Here it is: If I went up to you and called you a fire hydrant, would you be upset? Of course not. Obviously you are not a fire hydrant, you are a human being. The same concept applies to when someone calls you something that you know you are not. They are foolish for saying such things, so why would you react with such anger? The only exception is when someone calls you something that is true! In this case, you should thank them for alerting you to a weakness, one that you can now work on changing.
I want to add onto this and say "learn to be unaffected by the actions of others" too. People's thoughts, actions, and opinions can't affect you unless you allow yourself to personalize them. Personalizing things means that you give someone else the power to define you - letting another person's decisions or expressions say something about who YOU are as a person. That's probably one of the most hurtful things we can do to ourselves. WE are the only ones that get to say anything about ourselves - no one else defines us.When I notice that I'm allowing myself to feel affected by the words or actions of others, I visualize myself as a shell being rolling back and forth in the tide. Just letting everything pass right around me, rocking me gently while I remain strong at my core. My shell can only be corroded if I continually submit to being pushed around by the tide (refusing to remove myself from toxic situations/people). At my strongest and most balanced, my little legs emerge from the shell, and I scurry away happy and unaffected. Sometimes all we want to do is tuck in our legs and be tossed around by the words and actions of others. At times, it seems so much easier than removing ourselves from the situation. But who really wants to succumb to that sickening tilt-a-whirl? We must gain strength and DESIRE to be the facilitators of our own destiny. We need to stretch out our legs and move towards light. We can't see anything in the dark. The Universe has a beautiful plan for each and every one of us - you aren't going to hear its guidance and see the signs tucked away in that shell.

You are powerful, my little hermit crabs!