Be body-full - let the love you are unfold in all your bits.
Share this if you’re ready to get out of your head and into your heart.
How about rather than being full of mind we drop into our bodies?
Be body-full - let the love you are unfold in all your bits.
Share this if you’re ready to get out of your head and into your heart.
The minute I feel a cold coming on, have to travel on an airplane, or am around people coughing and sneezing - I think of olive leaf. This is my favorite go-to immune support herb as it always feels so supportive and gentle in my body. It is also very effective and I've had great success in preventing and healing upper-respiratory conditions in myself, my family and my clients. Scientific studies support olive leaf extracts as modulators of the human immune response and as a regulating agent in the inflammatory response in the digestive and cardiovascular systems as well.
My suggestion for olive leaf extract use is 2 capsules of a high quality supplement (containing 700-900mg olive leaf extract) twice a day during an active infection - or if you feel you are fighting something off. Once the infection has subsided, reduce the dose to 1 capsule (350-450mg), twice a day for a further week.
I hear many people talk about the idea of “picking your fights” or “not making a big deal out of something” - but this way of living often comes back to haunt us. Can we truly get away with moving on from such moments of tension without expressing anything - even to ourselves? For me the answer is increasingly a solid no. I had the opportunity to really seal this understanding in recently when I became aware of a brief moment in a conversation I had with my wonderful partner - a moment where I took a less-than-loving tone with him. It was very subtle, meaning I was not yelling or disagreeing or being outwardly rude to him. But I know that in that moment what he was saying made me feel insecure and so - in a vain attempt to protect myself from feeling hurt - I made a comment to him that was a bit of a jab, really. At the time I felt tension for my choice, but I didn’t say anything, and he didn’t say anything, and so instead I quickly shifted the subject and we “moved on”.
That moment in our conversation kept returning to my consciousness regularly for three days afterwards until at last I was like, “OK! I get it, I have something here to express.” So I first pondered on it myself until I got some clarity as to what had been going on for me, and then I brought up what I was feeling with my partner. He was surprised and felt very moved and appreciative that I would make a point to take responsibility for this seemingly very small thing that had passed between us. But that is just the thing - no matter how little it may seem, it was not a loving comment I made. It stuck out like a sore thumb from the harmonious way we usually communicate. It did not reflect the immense respect and love I have for him - and it is from such little things that big things grow.
Bringing it up with him unfolded into a great conversation that deepened our intimacy. We both agreed to do our best (no perfection here) to bring these small things to each other as we feel them - to see them as great opportunities to continually develop our relationship. If I had not chosen to bring this up, I would be setting the scene to become accustomed to allow other similar moments of tension to be swept under the rug. With time, a thick wall of resentment and frustration grows out of such “bricks” made out of many small harmful comments, glances, or gestures - and they are cemented in by the allowance of them. Once it gets to that point, outbursts, in-home riots and/or passive aggressive festivals begin - and we have the ugly big thing that grew from the many, many little ones.
But I didn’t always live this way. I too used to pick my fights and not make ‘big deals’ out of things. Why did I in the past choose to so often silently hold tension in, only to then perversely let it slip out in dramatic glances, body language or outbursts, rather than simply express when I felt it? Like so many, we normalize harmful patterns based on familiarity. Holding back expression is what is predominantly modeled to us in our world. Us “I am fine” humans do not tend to really say how we are feeling, and thus another way of communicating honestly may not even be considered appropriate or possible. Even if we do know another way, we may not consistently choose it as it is simply not comfortable to deal with unresolved hurts and issues - especially if they have already grown into big things. Healing is something we are either ready for, or not and it takes two to tango. If both people in the relationship are not open and ready to lovingly explore what is underneath the tension, then choosing comfort and complacency often becomes the status quo - instead of true expression that brings forth what is there to "feel, deal and heal."
It took a little getting used to, but now I absolutely choose to tend to the seeds of disharmony right away, so I can re-sow seeds of harmony in their place. When my partner and I agreed to create a safe place for anything to be ‘brought to the table’ to be talked about and dealt with, we laid the foundations for a relationship where we can allow our bodies to relax and let go of tension. It can be as simple as saying, “I am feeling some tension between us, can we explore what that’s about?” Then the issue becomes like an object, external from us, that we are examining together. Once the personal is taken out, it can become an incredibly interesting healing exploration together - one that without exception leads to a deepening of intimacy between us, a confirmation of the power of our connection, and a burst of affection and playfulness. Not only do I bring this to my partner, but I am learning to develop relationships of all kinds - with my friends, children, parents, co-workers - where when tension is felt - even the slightest bit - it is a fabulous sign that there is an opportunity to stop, express, understand, accept, love and evolve together. Then all those little seeds of harmony may bloom and grow into a big, beautiful thing - like real union, deep intimacy and the foundations of truly loving relationships.
Ok - I know I am treading on thin ice to bring this up (people are pretty attached to their coffee, no doubt) but here goes.
Last year I was on my way to sing at an event. I had prepared myself lovingly that morning and felt very still and light. On the way, I had a meeting at a cafe. As I hadn’t had any caffeine at all in my body for two years at that point, I perused the menu for some herbal tea, and ordered Peppermint. I sat down with the tea and took one sip and thought “boy, this is strong peppermint tea.” I took one more sip and began to feel very strange. It began with a sensation that my head was swelling up, then my heart began to race, and I became incredibly shaky and slightly anxious and began to speak much faster and a hardness came into my voice. My muscles contracted, most noticeably in my jaw and face, and my whole body felt inflamed and hijacked. It reminded me of the first time I had something with a lot of caffeine in it as a child - a vivid memory for me - and I knew that my tea was not caffeine-free. I went up to the counter to ask if they had given me the wrong tea and it turned out that they brewed it through the same machine as they brew all the caffeinated teas, and so my tea had been contaminated with some black tea. It would have been a very small amount, but a body that has had none for so long can feel it. I then had to leave the cafe for my gig, but instead of going to sing with my body still and light, I went to sing with a body that was wound up, racy and tense.
Before I gave up caffeine I used to feel that it didn’t really affect me much at all - just a little energy lift. I used to feel ‘normal’ when I had a black or green tea, but at the moment of the 'peppermint tea mishap', I realized that this had always affected my body like this - I had just completely acclimated to it. I looked around and realized that everyone around me was buzzing on caffeine, but to most of them it felt normal. Yet we all know that caffeine is a major stimulant. Recently I was talking to a yoga teacher who said to me “I love coffee but it doesn’t work well to drink it before yoga.” I would agree! But is not true yoga how we live in every moment? So, I feel that in truth it does not work well to drink coffee to be who I am. Do we really love coffee/caffeine drinks, or do we need them as they allows us to function and get through the day? Need them because of the world-wide epidemic of exhaustion. We have on nearly every commercial corner a shop selling alcohol, one selling sugar and one selling caffeine. Our legal drugs that help us function. But we are not meant to merely function. We are here to Live!!
While I can’t say that caffeine affects everyone the same way as it does me, one thing I deeply know in my body - caffeine directly sabotages stillness. Anything that sabotages stillness sabotages us being all of who we are. Just to be clear, I share this never with the intention to tell anyone what to do, but just to present it lovingly to feel into. Just recently I was called out on a choice I was making that was not loving. When this happened I realized I was just waiting for someone to call me out on this as I knew, “Just under the surface” that it was harmful. Once that happened I immediately renounced that choice and made a change. Sometimes we just need a little help and it just takes another person to confirm by reflection what we already know.
I leave you with some comic-relief - one of my favorite scenes from Moscow on the Hudson where Robin Williams plays a defector from the Soviet Union. This is his first time in an American grocery store coffee isle. Enjoy!
With love and care,
Today is my birthday. At exactly 11:17am Minneapolis time, I will have been blessed with - so far - 46 trips around the sun, in this body. As I return to this same point in time, to the time of my birth, I feel an amazing sense of celebration. I celebrate myself and the abundance of who I am. Feeling the abundance of myself and celebrating that, I joy-fully and naturally am also celebrating you too, and all of humanity. This incomprehensible beauty I feel in me is who we are - in total equality - no one is more beautiful than another. We are all equally beauty-full. I feel in my very body, to the bone, this amazing love. And it only continues to deepen the more I accept and allow the magnificence of that love to unfold within me. It had been busting to get out for so long, but like so many of us on the planet, I too had hardened, guarded, tensed, and contracted in the false effort to protect myself from harm, only to cage myself and impede my natural expression of this love - a love that I once knew so easily as a child. Now I experience every day again that feeling of not holding back the love I am, and really letting others in. There is nothing better. Nothing at all outside of ourselves - no other person, no food, no drug, no destination, no job, no possession - nothing is better than just us being who we are in full. Discovering what that truly means has been the most amazing experience. As one of my favorite songwriters - Michael Benhayon - writes "nothing before you is more than your light." There simply is nothing better than being the love that we all naturally are. Choosing to be love and discarding, renouncing, and clearing all that is not that has given me an ever-deepening way of Living with such great joy, intimacy with others, tenderness, beauty, stillness, true sexiness and spunk - and a freedom that is far better than my wildest dreams and imaginings. It only keeps getting better. And so today as we mark this point in the cycle around the sun of the time of my birth, I feel to express my deep appreciation for the love that each and everyone of you is, and my deep appreciation for myself and all I have chosen to return to this way of living once again. I share this humbly and yet from an authority that simply comes from how I choose to live. Never in perfection, but with deep commitment and dedication to being of true service to humanity simply by being me.
With much love,
Hello fellow travelers, my beautiful brothers and sister planetary passengers. Here we are, together for the 238th time, curving around the sun to the same ‘point’ in our yearly cycle since the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. A friend inspired me to re-read the document earlier this year, and I really began to feel and understand it for the first time. It brought me to tears of joy – the potential it represents - it is such a beautiful document that I felt to share it here (the main text is included below).
The cyclical nature of life presents us this radical blessing as we come back to the ‘same point in time’ – the 4th of July, 2014 - with the opportunity to change patterns and make new choices. We can now re-claim the meaning of what Independence Day was originally about. 238 years later, it is time to step it up even more, and make this a declaration about building foundations for a living equality for all of us on the planet, not just the inhabitants of one country.
A TRUE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE –
TO BE FREE FROM OUTSIDE CONTROL
The word “independence” is defined as “free from outside control” – and so this document is a declaration of being free from outside control. When we feel the lives of the men who wrote and signed this document, and the people they represented, it is clear that, while of course this was about being free of the tyranny of the then King of England, that this document holds a far greater sense of the yearning for true liberation as human beings. Today, we could say that it is our inalienable right to evolve towards a liberated way of being. Such evolution is “the pursuit of happiness” in the truest sense of the word.
Another countryman, Henry David Thoreau, reflected what it means to be free from outside control when he said, “for an impenetrable shield, stand inside yourself.” This is how we begin to become free from outside control, by simply ‘standing inside’ ourselves, being in our own body, being in alignment with our own inner heart, and developing the foundations of the way to step forth from there – renouncing any need for anything outside of ourselves. This is the basis for knowing that we are all, equally, far more than we need.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Once we feel the tender, precious magnificence in ourselves, it is palpable - palpable being a synonym for the word “self-evident” - that this same greatness is in everyone else equally. Once we understand the equality we all share at our essence, and really feel the truth of it in our body and how we then choose to live, we could never choose to create separation between us and others, nor harm or control another tender, precious, magnificent human being. In true equality, there is no need for violent ways, no need to shield forcefully, guard aggressively or protect by not letting others in to our heart and our life. In true equality we experience harmony, unity, openness, and the ability to give and receive love in full.
Sounds pretty good, so why is it so elusive to find people living this truth? I feel that the answer is hinted at in what I feel is one of the most powerful parts of the Declaration of Independence - these following lines:
“…experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
We are so used to living in a way where we are vastly controlled from the outside, that it is ironically uncomfortable to abolish this way of living. We have become so accustomed to this, and it is this form that is reflected at us from all around. It is no easy thing to handle our greatness. Yet handling our greatness is key in letting go of outward control, and to changing our own destructive forms of 'self-government' based on this outward control. The more we handle our own light, our own immense grandness, the more we find the liberty of true independence, and the more equality we bring to all the other magnificent beings around us.
Some may be angry or sad about where this nation has travelled since the signings, others cynical, other blindly patriotic, but there is no question that we have moved far from the original energy and commitment that the founding fathers had in this country. Yet the seeds are still planted there, waiting to bloom to their full potential. So, now is a powerful time to consider how we might tend to those seeds of independence, equality and liberty and thus return to building the foundations to live that way, that way which can be felt in the words of The Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence (abridged)
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States.
Hello beautiful beings of light,
Here's what I have been pondering as summer blooms into it's glorious beauty: Talking about 'my truth' vs. 'your truth' is an oxymoron. Truth must be whole. Anything else, at best, is a 'partial truth' - or possibly more accurately termed a subjective ideal or belief. To know whole truth, we must again allow ourselves to feel energy, and not merely rely on our temporal senses. Science has proven that everything is energy, yet most still do not live even close to the glorious way of Living that reflects this. Therefore, we accept partial truths and subjective ideals and beliefs as 'our truth' which separates us, from ourselves and all beings. Returning to truth begins with honesty - honesty about unloving choices we are making in our bodies and our lives, and honesty about subjective ideals or beliefs we may have accepted as whole truth.
Truth is whole - it is universal - it is simple - it united us - with ourselves and with all beings.
With much love,
Today I woke up and gazed out the window where diamond-like sparkles greeted my eyes from the ground. The first frost of the season made me realize I had missed my chance to harvest the last of the basil, its tender leaves now limp and browning. I got my kids off to school and, soon after, got a call from my daughter, “I forgot my reading notebook at home, mom, and I need it now.” So I threw on some cozy clothes, and went out into the cold to make the delivery. The
car was also covered in a thin layer of ice which required a bit of work to remove, and then I was off to the school. I delivered the package and received a sweet kiss from my daughter, and then I was back outside in the crisp,
cold air. I felt myself making a choice to slightly contract my body in and subtly harden in an attempt to shield myself from the low temperatures. Fortunately, within a few moments, I remembered the practice I had firmly
established the previous winter, the momentum of my season-long efforts and body memory returning quickly –
“do not brace against the cold.”
So with this first wintery day, with many more to come, I want to share this wonderful, self-honoring practice with you.
To begin, simply step outside on a cold day. Begin to notice what you do with your body. Do you contract your shoulders inward? Do you harden your muscles? Do you tend to slump down and compromise your posture? Do you feel any emotions such as frustration or anger? Do you bring tension into your facial muscles? Do you escape further into your head? Bring awareness to your body and just honestly notice what goes on for you. Even the most ‘physical’ of us –athletes, yoga teachers, bodyworkers, etc - are often not consistently and deeply aware of how we are feeling in our body. Simply recognizing and being honest about the quality we are holding our body in any situation is a giant step toward being open to healing. Once we become aware of the choices we are currently making in how we are in our body, we create the space to make different, more loving choices.
The next step, therefore, is to feel if you want to make a different choice. What I have found in this scientific experiment with my own body and my own being, is that contracting against the cold provides me zero benefits – it simply never feels like a loving and tender choice to create hardness in my body. What does feel beneficial is to be aware that there is contracting, shielding or hardening that is occurring, and then choosing instead to become very gentle, open and
expansive in my body. Usually this is a shift that is truly enjoyable, and I actually feel instantly more comfortable, and even warmer, but sometimes it is hard to hold. When that is the case I ask myself, “am I dressed warm enough for the
day?” or, “Is this the right time to spend much time outdoors?” as there is, of course, a very practical aspect of loving self-care in Winter - to be sure we are prepared for it in what we are wearing and when we choose to spend time
The final step of this practice is to be aware of the metaphor it contains. This simple practice of being aware of
how we harden against cold or harsh conditions can symbolize the sometimes more subtle, yet insidious occurrence, of how we tend to also harden/contract/shield/guard/tense/contract in situations that we deem cold or harsh in our lives. This can happen in a myriad of moments – such as when we are interacting with someone we find challenging, when we are facing a difficult task, when we are driving in heavy traffic, when we are paying bills, when we are rushing through ‘mundane’ tasks – it is different for all of us what ‘triggers’ us to harden in the body, but in every single one of these moments of hardening there is always the choice to make the self-loving choice to return to gentleness in our body. And thus the cold of winter can become a symbol of the ‘cold’ situations in our lives, and thus a great tool of developing a momentum of real self-love. The more loving we are with ourselves, the more loving we can be with others. So, do not brace against the cold, cold of any kind, as it harms us by limiting the flow of loving energy in the body. The more we choose to develop an ever-deepening gentle quality in our body, even in the harshest conditions, the stronger of a momentum we build to live in a consistently more connected and loving way.