Chopra and Oprah, At It Again

You may have noticed the phenomenon that someone is always socialmedia-sharing their progression through one Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra meditation program or another. They’ve become very popular. After all, who wouldn’t want to take a lesson from these two inspirational people? Plus, who can argue against the benefits of daily meditation?

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My friends and family certainly seem more grateful and shiny as they write about what they have learned about life and themselves on any given day of the programs.

I want in! Not only does daily meditation always sound like a fun and worthy intention, but getting a syllabus and a daily pat on the back might be the right recipe to get it beyond my fits and starts.

So when a friend sent me this……

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…I said, “Sign me up!”

The program begins on July 13th. I don’t know exactly what it entails, but away we go! If you like the idea of guided daily meditation and an online community with whom to enjoy the experience, join us!! I definitely know myself well enough to know that I will NOT be posting regular “Today I am grateful for…” posts, but I’ll try to share some thoughts and updates. It’s always more fun if we do it together. 🙂

You can go to THEIR WEBSITE HERE to register. Or get there through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ChopraMeditation .

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Looking forward to meeting you there!

Weekend To-Do (Good) List

You know how it works. Life As a Wave is focused on recognizing our connection with each other, our inner selves, Source, the animal kingdom, and the natural world around us. Our relationships with these elements of life require our personal responsibility to make more positive connection.  In short, we all have the chance and the calling to DO GOOD. God knows the world needs more of it.

It’s not always easy, but this list makes it easier. This weekend, take some time to nurture your connections and make them more positive. Have fun with it and spread the word!

~~~S Wave~~~

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1. Autism Awareness Day

April is Autism Awareness Day and the 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day. By now you probably know that the growing rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is startling. It is the fastest growing developmental disability. In March, the CDC released new statistics for autism prevalence, 1 in 68 children. It was 1 in 88 just a few years ago.

This is a life-long disability with varying degrees of impairments. There isn’t a cure for ASD, much less a known cause. While the scientific world scrambles for understanding amidst competing possible factors, the therapeutic services such as speech and language pathology, occupational therapy and behavior interventions continue to bring support and skill development to individuals with ASD and their families at the average annual family cost of $60,000.

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Whether or not you personally know someone with ASD, your life will be impacted by this disorder, if in no other way than by the growing percentage of individuals with ASD that will be in our shared communities in years to come. Families raising a child with autism need support. They need understanding and community. This mother, a parent of 3 girls with autism, explains why and how she would like to see Autism Awareness Month become Autism Action Month in :

My three daughters are autistic. I despise Autism Awareness Month.

Her suggestions in the last paragraph are worth directly quoting. They are:

1. Give to an organization that provides service dogs for autistic children.

2. Serve as a volunteer as an autism buddy.

3. If your child has a classmate on the spectrum, invite that classmate to your child’s next birthday party.

4. You know that cashier at the grocery store who doesn’t look at you as she takes care of your order? Smile at her, even if she does not smile back.

Will you begin to transform your awareness into action?

2. Cosmetic Testing

This is Easter weekend and you can’t help but think of cute, fuzzy bunnies. Last week we warned against buying a rabbit for a gift for this holiday. There is, however, a way that you can honor and celebrate the long-eared cotton-tailed cutie patooties this weekend. Make an effort to stop the use of rabbits in cosmetic product testing!

I know that the questions of animal testing for scientific advancement is whole separate complicated issue. But, can we agree that testing on rabbits to develop better face soaps and eyeliners is a barbaric practice with no real value? Even for household products, shouldn’t we all be trying to use natural ingredients anyway that don’t require testing of all kinds of chemicals and toxins??

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If you agree, here are some things you can do:

First, look for the Leaping Bunny symbol on cosmetic and household products before you purchase. No bunny, no money!

Second, commit to a fresh, cruelty-free start. Take a look in for medicine cabinet and under your sink. Do you have products with these brands on them:

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If so, are you willing to throw them out and find a more animal-friendly replacement? This is one I’m going to do for sure. I know I have some of these brands hiding out in my house. Time for spring cleaning!

Third, talk talk talk! Spread the word, especially on Easter. You can’t walk your talk if you don’t have any talk to begin with. Tell people how you feel about this kind of testing and make a pact with them to make a change.

 3. Gratitude Practice

Today is Good Friday, a Christian remembrance day of Jesus’ crucifixion. It is also the first day of Passover, the Jewish remembrance of the Israelite’s divinely-guided escape from Egyptian enslavement. It is a day of gratitude, a virtue celebrated by leading religions and faiths worldwide. A virtue also that has been shown to be good for a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

passoverToday, no matter what you personally celebrate, I think we can take this divine energy of gratitude that is so strong in our hearts today and share it with people around us. Doing so honors God, honors yourself, and honors others. Here are some ways:

Happy-Good-Friday-2015-Quotes1First, think of one person (at least!) who has done something for you recently without a “thank you.” Maybe you forgot to say it…maybe you were in a hurry…maybe you were withholding a bit?  Now go give them a genuine “thank you.” Look them in the eye when you say it, touch their hand or give them a hug.

Second, think of one person (at least!) who has wronged you without saying, “I’m sorry.” Maybe they forgot to say it…maybe they were in a hurry…maybe they were withholding a bit.  In your heart, forgive them. Try thinking of all the reasons you can be thankful for having them in your life. Even the most challenging person can be seen as someone who has helped us grow and strengthen so there is at least ONE reason to be grateful for everyone.

Third, resolve to embark on a Gratitude Month…or Week…or Year…whatever you feel works best for you! Every day, start the morning with a statement of gratitude for something. Share it with others and carry it with you throughout your day. For a great guide on doing a 21-day gratitude challenge click here.

I’ll kick us off by telling you all that I appreciate every single moment that you have taken out of your days to read these words that I write with love. Writing Life As a Wave is one of the most treasured tasks I have ever taken on. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of if.

Have a beautiful weekend. If you are celebrating a holy holiday, may it be a blessed time with family and friends.

With gratitude,

~~~S Wave~~~

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HEALING LIFE INSIGHTS…You’re invited!

Hello friends!

On this day of love I am so excited to share with you my latest life adventure which is described on a new Life As a Wave page here. The adventure is the official announcement of my energy- and consciousness-based support services, Healing Life Insights.

This has all been in the works for a while now. As hard-core followers will know, I have felt called to this specific work for a long time. HLI is the result of many years–two decades now– of fascination of, devotion to, and exploration of all things freeing, empowering, and happifying (yes, that’s a word). This has been one of my greatest joys and a way that I find the assurance of love in life. Find out more on the page!

Life As a Wave has been a big part of that journey, a place where I could apply and share the things I have learned or just ruminate on them with you. It has been a place where I have learned from all of YOU as well. And so, because this blog has been such a place of healing for ME, I want to extend that healing back to each of you: When you sign up for a HLI session, just mention that you are a Life As a Wave reader and get a 20% discount in all sessions you ever have with me. Hmm…this may be a good Valentine’s Day present for someone. *wink* Visit the page to find out how to start the process.

I look forward to sharing this experience with you. May we all keep walking toward our deepest callings and loves.

In gratitude,

~~~S Wave~~~

Untethered Soul: Chapter 5

The most important thing in life is your inner energy.

The Untethered Soul

Welcome back to Life As a Wave’s series on The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer. I took a little hiatus since the holidays, so to catch up on the first four chapters, visit my Untethered Soul Series category to the left. In a nutshell, the first three chapters compose Part 1, which introduced you to your inner self, your seat of witness, the place where you can find the “real you.” Now that you’ve realized that you really are pure consciousness or awareness, Singer takes us to Part 2 called, Experiencing Energy.

Chapter 5, Infinite Energy, is a crash course on what this “energy” is that he refers to throughout Part 2. Now I assume that many Life As a Wave readers have at least a basic understanding of the idea of energy. Singer explains that this is the Spirit, Shakti, Chi that people across many ages have recognized, often associating this energy with various energy centers or patterns in the body. You may very well have recognized this energy as you did the exercises from the previous chapters. When you feel inner rejuvenation, optimism, peace — the kind that seems to come from something bigger than you — you are experiencing this energy.

All the great spiritual traditions talk about your spiritual energy; they just give it different names. That spiritual energy is what you’re experiencing when love rushes up into your heat. That is what you’re experiencing when you’re enthused by something and all this high energy comes up inside of you.

To be clear, we are not talking about energy in the sense of high or low energy that we might feel throughout the day depending on our rest or caffeine intake. That is outer energy, physical energy. Singer describes the energy in question as inner energy and suggests that each of us has the ability to allow it to flow or to be blocked.

For instance, if you choose to worry about the future, fear an immediate situation, or dwell in anger about the past, then you are blocking this good energy. Or, you can allow it to flow. Singer says, “True spiritual teachings are about this energy and how to open it.”

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The author goes on to address your question, “How do I keep this energy open and flowing?” His beginning answer is, “Choose to.” The control to stay open, he says, is within your power at all times. It just takes practice to do so.

Any time you start to close, ask yourself whether you really want to cut off the energy flow. Because if you want, you can learn to stay open no matter what happens in this world. You just make a commitment to explore your capacity for receiving unlimited energy. You simply decide not to close.

Don’t be too distracted, wonderful humans, by the words “just” and “simply” in that quote. I’ll admit they kind of rubbed me the wrong way as someone who has dealt with serious anxiety and deep sadness over the years. I’ve had to make a colossal effort to shift much of my thinking and believing and I still face emotional hurdles that seem insurmountable from time to time. So I do think that for many people, “simply decid(ing)” to not close the flow of positive, spiritual energy implies a remarkable task that challenges deeply-engrained defenses and habits.

Nevertheless, I do still believe that Singer’s call to choose openness is a worthy undertaking. And in his defense, Singer will touch on the power of habits and beliefs in the next chapter. I also do fully agree when Singer says that it is this energy that, when given more room to flow through us, also begins to flow out of us.

All these energy centers open, and a tremendous amount of energy starts flowing out of you. What is more, the energy affects other people. People can pick up on your energy, and you’re feeding them with this flow. If you are willing to open even more, it never stops. You become a source of light for all those around you.

So how do we stay open? More details to come in the following chapters. But the first step is to start choosing…especially when you would normally choose to close.

When your heart starts to close, just say, “No. I’m not going to close. I’m going to relax. I’m going to let this situation take place and be there with it.” Honor and respect the situation, and deal with it. By all means deal with it. Do the best you can. But deal with it with openness. Deal with it with excitement and enthusiasm. No matter what it is, just let it be the sport of the day. In time, you will find that you forget how to close.

Let’s begin to play with opening and closing this week. Can you notice when you close up in a moment of fear or offense? Can you connect to your Inner Self first and allow yourself to be open to the situation? I’m going to try more. And just a hint from ~~~S Wave~~~, for what it’s worth, when I’m scared I sometimes remind myself of my eternal nature and inwardly say, “This can not hurt you.”

In the next installment, we’ll see how resisting and clinging can interfere with our ability to be open. Stay tuned!

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Exercise Your Inner Senses

“The inner senses will allow you to perceive the reality that is independent of physical form.… Try this simple exercise.…

…pretend that you are on a lighted stage, the stage being the room in which you now sit. Close your eyes and pretend that the lights have gone out, the setting has disappeared and you are alone.

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Everything is dark. Be quiet. Imagine as vividly as you can the existence of inner senses. For now pretend that they correspond to your physical ones. Clear from your mind all thoughts and worries. Be receptive. Very gently listen, not to physical sounds but to sounds that come through the inner senses.

Images may begin to appear. Accept them as sights quite as valid as those you see physically. Pretend that there is an inner world, and that it will be revealed to you as you learn to perceive it with these inner senses.

Pretend that you have been blind to this world all your life, and are now slowly gaining sight within it. Do not judge the whole inner world by the disjointed images that you may at first perceive, or by the sounds that you may at first hear, for you will still be using your inner senses quite imperfectly.

Do this simple exercise for a few moments before sleep or in the resting state. It may also be done even in the midst of an ordinary task that does not take all of your attention.

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“Meditation” by Jepchumba

You will simply be learning to focus in a new dimension of awareness, taking quick snapshots, as it were, in a strange environment. Remember that you will only be perceiving snatches. Simply accept them, but do not attempt to make any overall judgments or interpretations at this stage.

10 minutes a day to begin with is quite sufficient.”

From Jane Roberts, Seth Speaks

Untethered Soul, Chapter 4: Get Me Lucid!

“What differentiates a conscious, centered being from a person who is not so conscious is simply the focus of their awareness. It’s not a difference in the consciousness itself.… Just as all light from the sun is the same, all awareness is the same.”

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Are you lucid?

Now that you know you are aware, based on the last four posts we’ve shared covering the topics in The Untethered Soul, have you found yourself being more aware that you are aware? Chapter 4 is called The Lucid Self and wraps up Part 1 for us. So let’s see what Singer has to say about all this awareness stuff before we launch into the very exciting Part 2, Experiencing Energy.

A lucid dream, as you probably know, is a dream in which often you are flying but especially in which you know that you are dreaming while having the dream. Michael Singer says that similarly if you are aware that you are Awareness, then you are lucid.

Throughout the day you might not be aware that you are Awareness. But when you’re seated in the self you’re lucid, aware that the thoughts, feelings, judgments, labels, emotions that you are experiencing are not you but that they are the dream in which you are immersed. Or, if it resonates more with you, they are the movie in which you are immersed.

Singer uses the analogy of TV to make clear that we can allow our awareness, or our consciousness, to wander. When you’re watching TV, you often don’t focus at all on what else is going on in the room, or the time that his passing. In the same way, we can get wrapped up in what Singer calls our “inner show.”

Let me get a little personal to make this more relevant. I don’t just want to write chapter summaries here. I want to be real and I want you to take something from this for your OWN lives. In thinking about all this in relation to my own life and trying to think of a way to make it functional for you readers, I ended up noticing that there are three levels of lucidity for me. (Nothing is really so easily categorized, but for the sake of ease let’s say three levels.)

Level 1: I Love Lucid!

This strongest level of lucidity happens for me during times of meditation and prayer when I can remove all distraction and “go inside” to be in the witness seat. With practice, I am more and more able to remain there fairly steadfastly and commune with whoever/whatever I want to from that place. When I began the exercise of silent mediation a few years ago it was MUCH harder to quiet down and let the monkey brain relax. Now, I can get myself into that seat of witness with more ease and once there, I let the prayer begin…if that is what needs to happen. I rarely start with prayer anymore (unless I am praying with someone in person) because it is much better for me to get into the seat of Self and pray from that spot instead of just sitting down and praying from a more ego-run place.

Level 2: Lucid or Lose It!

My Level 2 is the point where I have to work out my awareness muscles. It is where I am inundated by distractions of my external movie and internal reactions and so my intention and effort to remain aware of my awareness is in full effect. This would be for example while I am driving my car in busy traffic, while at the grocery store, hiking at the busy and bustling Hollyridge Trail, or surrounded by energies at a family gathering. Basically, anywhere that is not my quiet meditation spot requires me to flex my awareness muscle!

The great thing though it that I fully believe that the more I flex, the easier it will become. It is very liberating to be among people and egos and be in the seat of witness, from which I can interact with them with less attachment, emotion, and defensiveness. Things get to me less, traffic is okay because all things unfold as they are meant to, people are more lovable because they are on a journey just as I am, etc. You get the idea. Stuff is just better.

Level 3: Luciwhat?

This Level is where I am not at all lucid. Not even thinking about it. Forgot all about my Self. Totally engrossed in my movie and emotions. What are we even talking about?

This inattention happens most frequently and intensely when I’m at work. Work is busy, busy, busy; I have anxieties that get triggered easily at work; I am almost constantly in someone else’s presence so there is little gratuitous alone time. In a social situation I can step aside and get reentered before entering back into the pool of egos. At work, not so easy.

No guilt though. This level just gives me a challenge, helps me set a goal. What would it be like, after all, to be more Self and less Ego at work?? It probably would be pretty amazing. I probably wouldn’t feel as stressed or nervous.

So those are my levels. What about you? Where is your awareness throughout the day? Is it in your movie, in your emotions? do you remember at different points in your coming and going that you are much, much more than all of that external and internal gunk?

“You will find that you are tremendously expansive.… You realize that your consciousness only appears to be small and limited because you are focusing on small and limited objects. ” Pg. 37

I’m setting a goal. I’m going to try recalling my true identity during my work days. That’s at least 40 hours a week in which I have a chance to be more of who I want to be! To be more free! To be more authentic! What a great opportunity.

Will you join me? If you have already grasped your true identity through reading the previous Untethered posts, now think about when and where you can bring that awareness of awareness into your daily life. I’ll meet you there!

With Love,

~~~S Wave~~~

Clarity Is Just Above Your Problems

I have a friend who recently moved to Missoula, Montana. The move coincided with an extremely challenging time in life for her, with many difficult and nagging unknowns.

Before the moved she lived near Houston, Texas. She is a lover of the sun and had been dreading the winters in Montana. Recently, she sent me two pictures, one from the outside of Missoula and one from the inside.

Here they are:

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As it turns out, her new city was submerged in an inversion, which can occur when warmer air is above the cold air sending a thick blanketing cloud cover down near the ground.

My friend felt stifled inside of the inversion, claustrophobic even. She said it felt like the sun was just a memory. But one of the foremost things I love about this friend is that she seeks to see the spiritual message in almost everything. And so, under this inversion, she wondered what life lesson, what spiritual message, what guidance she could receive from this new experience. I think the answers she found were beautiful, aware, and worth sharing. Here is some of what she wrote:

“No vision of what’s ahead or what’s been or what’s going to be. …And yet the sun and clear skies are right there. Just a couple miles above. … The Son is right there at the top of the mountain but in this layer of smog it’s difficult to decipher that God is so near. It feels as if hopelessness and sadness and depression is trapped inside this thin layer that won’t lift. … I mean, the Son/sun is everywhere but you can’t see it.”

“Clarity is just above your problems. Hope is there.”

I share this with you because I hope that you can also relate to what she’s experiencing. Not just the occasional dreariness and hopelessness of course, but also the remembering that the sun is always there. Hope is always there. No matter what your circumstances are, clouds lift, things change and new days come before.

I send a big THANK YOU to my friend, who is hanging in there and being always a positive influence in my life and in many others’ as well. Love you, ~~~A Wave~~~!!

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