The Buddha said, “I am not enlightened, I am merely awake.” What does it mean to be awake? Most of us spend our lives in relative states of “un-consciousness.” Sometimes we undergo a big, dramatic, once-in-a-lifetime awakening—such as a near-death experience—or we can occasionally experience subtler awakenings, such as hearing a story that resonates deep in our beings and creates a shift in consciousness.
Hope is one of those phenomenal insights of the emotional body that can appear in any shape and any context. Hope is cherishing the expectation of fulfillment in any part of your life. Hope is found in loved ones — your sister, brother, mother, father. Hope is the water that fills the well, the lighthouse that calls ships home. Hope is the food on your table and the gas in your car. Hope is as specific or as ambiguous as you need it to be. Where there is nothing, let there be Hope. Where there is something, let there be Hope. You can never have enough and there will never be a lack.
With the recent passing of the equinox and the shifting from one season to the next, Hope has taken up residence around each corner of Spring’s beautiful awakening.
In the middle of 2013 I met Julia, who told me a story about a voice that woke her in the middle of the night. She wasn’t scared when it asked her, “Do you want me to heal your heart?” Julia had had a congenital heart problem since she was a child. Now pregnant, this heart problem rendered a natural childbirth unsafe for her as well as her child. So when the voice asked her, “Do you want me to heal your heart?” Julia said “yes” without hesitation.
When I was 19 years old a dear friend, Angel, began dating a man named Bill. It was perplexing to me because they were quite different. He was conservative and went to bed early. She was someone who loved to party and stay up late. He was a respected high-level court reporter who played by the rules and she was a teacher with a rebellious nature. When they decided to marry I was present and supportive even though I didn’t quite understand the match.
I know that the moment you read this title, “Finding the Goodness in Life,” some of you cringed. Why? Because there is a lot going on at this point in time that would not be considered “good.” But what if, in everything, goodness existed?
I once had a client who was contemplating suicide. They did not see any reason for living and could find nothing in their life that was worthwhile. Every week, I prayed that this person would continue to show up and work with me.
Astral City on GaiamTV.com poses the answer to this question in an extremely unique and bold way, using the notion of spiritualism. With spiritualism, spirits of the dead have the ability and inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions are held by mediums, who provide information about the afterlife.
If you’re ready for a wild, mind-opening and thought-provoking ride that’s based on a true story, Astral City is your ticket. Here are the highlights:
The feature film for December is The Letter Writer, written and directed by Christian Vuissa. It is a story about connection across generations as a teenage girl learns a valuable lesson from her mentor, a man at the end of a long life.
I’ve been a big fan of angel oracle cards for many years, and my collection includes quite a few Doreen Virtue decks. I just love their artwork and their messages, and I’ve found them to be amazingly accurate. I have clients who choose a card at the end of our sessions together, and the card usually either beautifully summarizes our session or offers guidance in moving forward. When my friends and their children come to my home, they always ask to choose a card or two.
These days, oracle cards are often available as an app for smart devices; the convenience is wonderful, but I must say, I believe the physical cards hold a special value and power.
I took a lot of the summer off to rest and rejuvenate. It was a really powerful time for me and I used it to contemplate and reflect on many areas of my life. It is very interesting to me that when we slow down, the opportunity to witness our thoughts and behaviors amplifies.
One of the things that I noticed is that there are times when I will resist something or someone only to discover that the event or person is bringing me an amazing and unexpected gift. I paused and asked myself to explore the habit of resistance. It’s a habit I often see in my clients, so we work on dismantling the need to resist without reason. And then, here I am, watching the same behavior in myself. (We never really arrive, do we?!)
What happens during the transitions between yoga poses — and the transitions in life? Whether you’re moving from one pose to the next or from one life event to the next (a relationship, a job, a city), yoga instructor Bo Forbes says that it is during these transitions that we often feel discomfort or a sense of uncertainty. However, transitions are also pregnant with potential for transformation and change, so we should strive to embrace them — or at least listen to what they are trying to tell us.
So the next time you unroll your yoga mat, try to slow down your practice and lengthen the time between your poses. Really listen to your body and mind during these shifts, because that’s often the space where you can begin to grow.