Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Resistance and Risk

As we step into healing which is another word for transformation of that which is in a state of dis-ease within us, we don't have to take too many steps before we come face to face with our own resistance.  Healing, transformation, change, personal growth, magic--these all require of us a commitment to risking what we have considered "safe" and leaping into the unknown.

Stop for a moment.  Take a long, slow breath.  Come fully into the body.  Open in the places you hold tension.  Relax by following the slow breath in and out of the body.  When you are feeling centered and as though you can hear what your body is trying to tell you, say out loud, "I'm going to leap into the unknown."

What just happened within the Body and Wild self?  The Wild inside us doesn't really know that we aren't physically standing on the edge of a precipice.  The Wild and Body are intricately connected and when threatened, move immediately into a stance of defense/protection.  The breath catches in the throat, adrenal glands activate and flood the bloodstream with fight-or-flight chemicals, the heart skips a beat.  If we are already living in a state of heightened anxiety (which has become normalized in our culture), we may even notice our hands or feet going a little numb as our small blood vessels constrict in response to the adrenaline wash.  Our mouths go dry, our ears strain and our pupils dilate in response to perceived danger.

It's no wonder we are so resistant to change!  Even change our Genius understands as  positive and healthy for us can cause this Wild-Body reaction, effectively terrifying us into resisting actually doing anything which will bring about personal transformation.

This week, we're going to explore some ways to settle down the Wild-Body so we can move past resistance and risk change.  If we want anything at all to move forward, we have to move past fear.  Making the commitment to ourselves to step over the ledge of the known into the unknown takes huge courage!  Whether the known we are stepping away from is a job, lifestyle, relationship, way of thinking, addiction or a method of protecting ourselves, we need to be able to confront fear.  Whether the unknown we long for is a healthier body, a deeper relationship to Self or love for another, we must be able to step past resistance and risk everything we have known in service to our new vision.

It's Thanksgiving week in the States--a traditional time to focus on gratitude.  It's also a time when we are gathering with family, friends and community.  These gatherings, in my experience, provide ample opportunity for us to move past resistance and risk changing the ways we behave and the roles we have habitually played in our families and other relationships.  Are you ready?

Right now, your Wild-Body is most likely awash in a fear-chemicals.  Take some long slow breaths and as you exhale, release as much of that tension as you can.  Take as long as you need.  Drinking extra water will also help wash the adrenaline through your system quicker (as will reducing caffeine, sugar, nicotine and other stimulants).

Daily Commitments

12-4-09. Today and over the course of the weekend. Continue to observe and notice the new patterns you are setting in place. How is this work affecting you? How is it impacting those around you? How has it influenced your decisions and actions? Continue to breathe through fear so you can expand to contain the new patterns you are building.
Have a magical weekend.
12-3-09. Today, give yourself the space and time to integrate what is happening within you as a result of the word of the past 10 days or so. Notice how the changes you have set in motion as affecting both your internal and external life. Try not to be judgmental or fearful. Simply observe. Journal about it if you like.
12-2-09. For today's Daily Commitment you'll need to set aside about 20 minutes. You'll also need a glass containing about 4 ounces of water.
Settle your body and breathe. Let your breath be intentional, slow and deep. Allow it to carry away from you, on your exhalation, any tension, stress or anxiety you are carrying. Just let that go. You may want to make a sound on your exhalation.
And as you continue to breathe long, deep breaths, imagine that each inhalation carries into your body a sense of calm, centeredness and stability. Breathe that in. With your mind's eye/imagination, see that each breath makes you more calm and steady.
Next, take your glass of water and hold it in front of your belly. While doing so, call up for review the behavior you are going to change. In the part of you that thinks and solves problems, the Genius Self, name the behavior and commit to changing it.
Continuing with slow, steady breaths, now engage the Wild Self. Allow yourself to feel the emotions, anxiety and distress which occurs when you are acting in that pattern as well as those feelings which result from engaging in the behavior. Let the emotion rise in you. Let your body respond as well. Feel the places in your body which become tense, shrink in, get smaller or enraged and engorged. Let these sensations wash through you.
Now, imagine that you can gather up all of the tension, stress and discomfort and push it into the water. You can use your breath and/or you can imagine the energy moving down your arms and out through your hands and into the cup. The point here is to really engage the Wild One and your capacity to "pretend." Let all the tension anxiety and stress go. Put it all in the cup using any image that feels appropriate to you.
Take your time.
Next, take a few long, slow cleansing breaths. Come back to the present. Come back to now. You are no longer carrying the problem. It is in the cup. Imagine the water in the cup is infused with the toxic sludge of your no-longer needed habit. Now, we are going to transform that into something shining, glorious, transformative and healing.
Continuing to hold your cup, raise it your your forehead, to the place sometimes referred to as the Third Eye. With your intention, begin breathing in Life Force. Fill yourself with Life Force. As you do so, make a decision in your Genius Self to change the pattern, to change your future, to transform your life, to transform what is in the cup to something healthy which will set new patterns in you and which will cause beautiful rippling effects in your life and the lives of everyone you touch!
Really feel that. Feel the excitement of it! Imagine in as much detail as possible, your transformed self. Imagine how you will respond appropriately in situations that once made you uncomfortable, angry, or small. Feel how your posture changes. Imagine not only with your mind's eye, but with your whole body. Remember to breathe Life Force while you do this!
Next, gather up all the positive energy you have generated in your Wild-Body self. Call upon the part of you which is Divine to transform this old pattern. Call upon Spirit by whatever name(s) you prefer to help you with this transformation. Put all the energy into the cup. The energy of the Wild-Body and your imagination, the blessing of your own Divine Nature, the love and power of the Spirit(s) you are accustomed to working with.
Feel, if you can, helpful spirits of every kind rushing in to help with this act of Will and Surrender! Hear if you can the wings of angels as the come to participate in your elevation!
Now, the contents of the cup--once toxic and poisonous--are illuminated, glistening and shimmering with Life Force, with the power to heal you from the tiniest of your cells to the workings of your gorgeous mind! Drink the water. Drink it all down.
Know that this Elixer is changing you from your cellular level up. Continue to behave in the new ways you began to several days ago. This prayer with water will speed along the process of deep and abiding change.
Note: Praying with Water is from the Kahuna Tradition of Hawaii. If you feel too energeized after doing this, use the energy to get a task accomplished in your life. Wash the dishes, fold laundry, take the dog for a walk, go for a run. Don't leave the excess energy untended (you may be tempted as it can feel good) or it will quickly turn and may cause problems.

12-1-09. Happy December. I hope you are doing what's necessary to prepare to stay grounded and centered for the upcoming Holy-Daze.
Thanks for your understanding that I needed a few Holy-Days myself and am just getting back to last week's Daily Commitments this week. Hopefully you've been carrying on with the commitment to "pretend" at new behavior during these past days.
We have well-worn neurological pathways in the Body Self which cause us to fall back on old behaviors, even if they are ineffective or have been proven to cause strife in our lives. 'Pretending' is a sneaky way to trick the Body/Wild Self into building new pathways.
Today, go back and review your notes from last week. Sit quietly, watching the breath come in and out of the body while you think about what you are letting go. If grief, fear, shame or guilt come up, that's okay. Just breathe through them and let them go like a leaf being carried along by a gentle river.
As you breathe, reaffirm your resolve to change your pattern. Tomorrow, we will do the
crux of the work to make it so.

11-26-09. Happy Thanksgiving, US readers! Today, let's not do anything too taxing. Rather, as you move through your holiday festivities, see if you can mimic--even a little bit--with your words, gerstures, body language and eye contact, some of the details of new behavior you wrote about yesterday. Don't overdo. Don't make yourself uncomfortable., Play with this. Have fun with it! Engage the Wild within and enjoy.

11-25-09. You'll need up to fifteen minutes for this one, depending upon your ability to readily find your point of relaxation and centeredness. Have your journal and a pen.
Breathe deep and slow. Release your habituated tensions. Open yourself to insight. Feel your body and the breath coming in and out. When you are ready, open your journal.
Write or simply jot down notes regarding your desired change. Yesterday, we focused on the behavior or pattern and how it shows up on the body and in our actions. Today, focus your attention on how you would like to be instead.
We've all heard the old addage, "The universe abhors a vacuum." This may have been scientifically disproven, but holds true on a metaphysical level. One of the reasons it is so difficult to change negative behaviors is that we forget to replace them with positive ones!
As you write about how you would like to be, feel and behave differently, try to get as much detail as possible. It doesn't really matter that you don't yet know for certain how you will be. Engage your imagination! As you engage that playful, hopeful, innocent and Wild part of you, try to get a sense of how your body will feel. How will your posture change? Your tone of voice? The way you communicate? The way you feel about yourself inside? Flesh it out as much as possible.
Breathe into this image of your future self. Let the image expand and fill with the life force which enters you with each breath. Come back to your body. Find your center. Take a few more long, deep breaths and close the journal for today. This is enough. This is good work. Nice job!

11-24-09. For this week, choose one thing you would like to change within yourself. Key is that this needs to feel reasonably do-able for you this week and that it does not involve attempting to change anyone else. What small habit, behavior, way of reacting, act of procrastination would you like to transform? We begin small and practice for a while. Then, when we feel secure, we can move on to larger issues. For now, choose something you feel you can claim success with in a few days.
For today, set aside about ten minutes. Sit quietly and breathe. Quiet the mind and
emotions, relax and open the body. Then, with your journal open and your pen poised, write down the thing you want to change. Say it out loud. Now, notice what your body does. Take notes. Breathe on through.
Next, allow the issue you intend to work on to show itself to you through the Wild-Body Self. What I mean is for you to get an emotional and physical sense of this thing you want to change. What are you feeling when you are in the midst of the behavior? What is the Body experiencing in the midst of the habit? What happens to your tone of voice? What muscles tighten? How do you hold your gaze or meet the eyes of another when you are enmeshed in this issue? What happens to your posture? Do you stand tall and go on the offensive or do you become small and defenseless? What is the tone of the internal dialogue during the moment when you are engaged? What about when you look back on behaving in this manner? Are you proud? Ashamed? Guilty? Afraid? Envious? Enraged?
We are only gathering information here. We are simply taking notation on our observations of Self. Be as thorough as you can so when we are ready to move through our resistance and take that courageous leap of faith, we will be armed with the facts gathered today by our Genius self.
Set aside your findings. Breathe deeply until you feel cleansed. If you cannot acheive this through breath, try drinking water, taking a walk or getting a mundane task completed.
Well done!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Love, Honor and Respect

We give a lot of lip service to putting ourselves first. Although we are aware we need to know and respect ourselves before we can really be present in relationship to others or fully commit to any course of action, we still put ourselves last in order to conform to social niceties.  How is it that putting ourselves last still gains approval in some circles?  How is it that selflessness is so often equated with kindness and generosity?  How is it possible that dishonesty in the name of "being nice" still prevails?

Traditional wedding vows included a promise to "love, honor and obey"  but have, in many cases evolved to say, "respect" rather than "obey."   Hopefully, these are vows marriage partners think deeply about before stating them at the altar. 

What are the vows we make to ourselves?  Can we vow to love, honor and respect ourselves?  If so, what might those vows require of us--not in theory, but in real practice?  How might these vows impact our daily decisions, our relationships our other commitments?

One of my daily prayers includes the promise, "In my wholeness, I would love, honor and respect myself." 

"Wholeness," means that my Genius, Wild and Divine aspects are aligned and in agreement with one another. 

Can we love ourselves even in our apathy, insecurity, greed?  Can we honor our need for good food and rest?  Can we respect our decisions, which mean following through on them?  How do we foster this kind of self-awareness, honesty and integrity within ourselves?  Just as importantly, how can we generate and abide by such high ideals in our relationships with others until we embody them in our selves?

This week's Daily Commitments:
11-20-09. Today, and over the weekend, let's bring it all together. Aligning with Love, Honor and Respect within our Genius-Wild-Divine Wholeness.

Take some long, slow, cleansing breaths. Imagine the air coming into your body is opening you up. Feel your chest open. Feel your pelvic floor relax. And as you exhale, imagine the air leaving the body carries with it the tension in your jaw, neck, shoulders, fists, calves, spine. Take as long as you need. If your thoughts drift, gently bring yourself back. Allow for opening and relaxation.
Now, breathe into the belly, the center of the body. This is where your Wildness lives. Breathe into the Wild in you as you allow yourself to be bathed in Love. Feel Love welling up in your heart and overflowing into your belly. Feel Love pouring into you from the top and center of your head, which is called the crown. Feel each breath bring love into your body. Open to it. It cannot hurt you! It's love. It is unconditional and non-threatening.
Next, breath in Honor. Feel honor arise in you. It begins in the area of your throat and shoulders. Feel your posture change. Recall the honorable life you live. Remember the honorable acts you have committed. Let honor flood all the cells of your being. And breathe that into the Wild at the center of the body.
Your Wild Self may very well feel excited at this point. That's good! Just note the pleasure and move on to respect.
Feel Respect for yourself. Respect starts in the lower belly and pelvis. Feel it bubbling up into the belly and being caught by the Wild in you. Good. Recall the things you most respect about yourself. Remember that you are Loved and Honorable and deserve respect. Fill your Wild Self with Self Respect.
You are engaging your Genius, who is directing all this thinking. You are engaging your Wildness who is directing all this imagining and sensation and gathering all the Love, Honor and Respect you are sending her/him. Now, let us engage the Divine.
Continuing to breath--expanding beyond the edges of your skin, like a ballon. With each breath, fill the balloon with Love, Honor and Respect for your Self. If you are really excited, that's good. If you are weeping, that's good. Let whatever arises, arise withour judgement.
When you feel as though the balloon is filled with these emotions, and the life force which is a part of the air you are breathing, take four more breaths, and release the excess air in the balloon upwards, to just above your head, with the last exhalation.
Sit quietly for a few moments and notice any sensations you might feel. All your parts--Body, Genius, Wild and Divine--are aligned now with the powers of Love, Honor and Respect. Thus aligned and embodied, move through your day as usual, noting anything different about your actions, responses and relationships.
Have a gorgeous weekend.

11-19-09. Now, we come to respect for ourselves. Today, as you go from task to task, as you walk through your home, as you look in the mirror, ask yourself if you are respectful of yourself, your situation, your body-mind-soul.
True Self-respect is not and cannot be ego-driven or derived from the opinions of others. True Self-respect arises when we are certain we are making good decisions and engaging in right action.
As we progress through the day, there will be incidences where you realize you are behaving in ways that are disrespectful to the Body, the Genius, Wild or Divine aspects of yourself. Perhaps you promised yourself you'd exercise today or make that phone call and didn't. Perhaps you had fully intended to meditate or write in your journal but didn't prioritize your time.
What happens inside of us when we make ourselves promises and don't keep them? What happens when we repeatedly do that, as most of us have? What happens is the same thing that happens in our relationships with others who make promises and fail to keep them. We loose respect for them. We stop giving them our trust. When we fail to make good on our Self-promises, the same thing happens. And out negative self-talk drowns out any chance for self redemption.
Today, commit to keeping your promise to yourself about just one thing. Follow through. Start earning your self-respect back.

11-18-09. Invoke honor upon yourself. What does it mean to honor oneself? To be honorable? It's a good idea to get a sense of what you think and feel about the word "honor." You might look it up in a dictionary or write in your journal about it until you get a conceptual and emotional sense of the word.
Once you have defined "honor." set aside five to ten minutes to do this exercise.
Take a long, slow breath to deepen and center yourself. Relax the places in your body where you habitually hold tension--the jaw, forehead, neck, pelvic floor. And, using your breath, allow your fingers, chest and heart to soften and open. Each in-breath opens. Each exhalation deepens. Good.
Next, say out loud, "I honor myself." Feel that resonate within you. Your breath should be natural and relaxed as you name what you honor in yourself.
Honor your honesty and integrity, your passion and will. Honor your kindness and generosity. Honor your skills--list them. Honor your Genius self who is thoughtful, rational, logical and precise. Honor your Wild self who is intuitive, instinctual, emotional and signals us when we are in trouble or in love. Honor your Divine self who loves the whole self without condition. Let your Honor for self wash over you in waves.
Right now, you are honorable. If there are things you know you could be doing which would bring you more fully into a relationship of honor with yourself, what are they? Can you commit to pursuing those goals.
May you live honorably. May you behave honorably to yourself and others. May your actions be honorable.

11-17-09. Take a long, slow breath to deepen and center your attention. Let your jaw, shoulders and pelvic muscles relax. Allow your belly, chest and heart to open. Imagine your exhalation is ridding you of the armoring around your tender heart. Imagine your in-breath gently opening the heart while simultaneously carrying into you the courage to do this. You are being en-couraged and heartened.
If you can, allow yourself to feel love for/toward yourself. If you cannot really access that emotional state, that's okay. Pretend or imagine that you can. Make believe you are able, right now, to love yourself. If you feel silly or sad, or if reasons arise in your mind concerning why you are unlovable, just let them go. Release them with your out-breath. Be gentle.
Here, we are bathing in self love. Feel it wash over you and also through you. Feel (imagine or pretend) that everything which makes you you is being bathed in love. Imagine this in the way that makes sense to you, seeing your Genius Self--your mind being bathed in love. See your body, all its cells and organs being bathed in love. Your Wild Self with your memories, intuition, instinct and playful nature is loved. The Divine Self with your perfected wisdom is bathed in love.
Love all your parts. The beatiful truth is that we don't have to do, change or heal anything before loving ourselves. We can bathe in love right now. We do not have to earn it or prove we are worthy. We do not have to wait until we are further down our paths.
Allow love to wash over and through you. Immerse in it. Revel in it.
Breathe this feeling deep into you so you can carry it with you and access it always.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


What is it you want most?
No, not materials things. What is it you want most right now? Perhaps health, security, love or belonging? Maybe what you want is to use your time more wisely. Or, to create beauty, justice or peace. To raise your children up into beautiful adults or assure your parents don't suffer pain or degradation in their old age. Perhaps you are compelled to dance, make ritual, sing or build kayaks.What is it you want most? You can choose more than one thing. It's not selfish at all.
What actions are you taking toward getting what you want, becoming who you envision yourself to be, creating the world you want to live in? If you are taking concrete action toward attaining your desire, good for you! If you aren't, let me ask you the hard questions you know is coming: Why not? When are you going to begin?
We have long lists of reasons why we are not pursuing our Highest Will. We are too busy, too broke, too wounded, too overwhelmed. We are too: tired, broken, unsupported, uneducated, disconnected, depressed, anxious and addicted. Pursuing our Highest Will--our brightest, best, most sparkling and glorious vision of ourselves and our desires--is what we are here to do. We are here to radiate the fullness of our Soul Purpose.
We are not getting any closer to it by sitting on the couch watching television or spending weekends and money at the mall. We probably aren't going to find it at the bottom of your wine glass or prescription bottle. We won't find it in any of the things we use to fill ourselves up in the places that feel empty. Those places will only stop aching when we reach for what we really want and who we Really are.
Our Highest Will, our Soul Purpose, is something that gets us up off the couch before we are aware we've moved. Every single one of us has a whole basket full of reasons for being here, in this body, at this particular point in the evolution of the human race. There is something, and maybe many things that fire up your passion. What are they? These are the reasons we live! These are the reasons we keep trudging through the daily grind--so we can get to that things that matter.
When we begin to acknowledge those reasons and place them at the center of our lives, miracles, magic and synchronicity become commonplace And each step we take toward taking responsibility and working toward bringing our Highest Vision into being, is supported by all the whole of the Cosmos.

In fact, as we step into our Highest Will, our eyes light up, our step lightens up and even our skin starts to shine! Our dullness falls away as we awaken to our gifts. And we begin to commiserate with Angels.
Right now, They are asking if we are willing to choose Love over Fear. We have turned away from our Highest Will because we have been afraid. Afraid we'd go broke or crazy or be ostracized by our families and friends. We've been afraid we'd be laughed at, rejected or turned away. We've been afraid we aren't good enough, strong enough, perfect enough to bring forth what we know in our souls is a Perfect vision.

Now is the time to love that vision more than we fear it. For more devestating than our worst fears coming true is the refusal to nourish and bring into being our Highest Will. At the end of our days we will want to claim more than successfully avoiding embarassment or pain. At the end of our days, we want to look back with the knowledge that we really lived and that our lives made a difference.

Wanting to make a difference is a universal human desire. Whether the difference we make is in the life of one of many, the life of the rainforest or the fish in the sea . . . we ALL want to make a difference. This directive is encoded in our very blood alongside the Free Will to choose which difference and how it is made manifest.
Now, more than ever, we must to insist upon and persist in Love. Now we must begin to face our fears and choose love instead. Now, we are even being called to love our fears so we can release their death grip on our lives. We are being supported by all the creative and cosmic forces in the universe! What more can we possibly ask?

Now: What is it you want more than anything right now? Say it out loud! Tell the whole universe! And see if you don't feel your own wings starting to sprout right there under your shoulder blades. Get ready to soar with the angels.

Lets not stand at the ledge all alone looking down at the long, long fall. No! Let's stand together hand in hand, bright-eyed with daring and laughter. Let's count to three and leap into the Void. All of us, Fools for love.

And just when you think you are doomed to crash into the craggy cliffs below, your wings unfurl behind you and you find are lifted by the currents and are soaring! All around you, the sky is filled with other awakened Human Beings who woke up, took a leap of faith and sprouted wings! Behold! How beautiful we are!

Daily Commitments for the Week:
11-10-09. Today, see if you can answer the question, "What is it you really want, right now?"

The answer isn't a mystery. When you are hungry you are compelled to feed yourself. When you are tired, you must sleep. When you feel compassion, you must show that in one way or another. These are all natural and instinctual. So, too is the feeling that arises in the body, from the depths of our Wild Nature, in response to the question, "What is it you really want right now?

Set aside ten to thirty minutes today to write, meditate, talk or otherwise contemplate your answers. The one that excites you . . . that's The One.

11-11-09. Today, tell one person what it is you really want. Who is the person who will be excited for your excitement? Who will unconditionally listen and support the desire arising in you? If you can think of no one, feel free to post your answer in the comments section of this blog.
11-12-09. Today, set aside ten minutes to brainstorm. You've identified your desire. What steps can you takes to move toward that? Let your thoughts go crazy! No censoring or saying mean things to yourself for your ideas. Spend ten minutes just writing down or recording yourself brainstorming.

When you're finished, take a moment to feel the excitement you generated in yourself! Feels better than boredom, cynicism or fear doesn't it? Great!

Now take some long, full, deep breaths. Imagine that with each breath, this excitement is absorbed by your cells--nervous system, bones, blood, organs, skin--into all the places where extra life force can best be used to bring oyu health and vitality.

Set aside your notes from your brainstorming session. We'll come back to them tomorrow.
11-13-09. Today, set aside 10-15 minutes to review your notes from your Brainstorming session. What which of your ideas might be feasible ways to bring you closer to whta it is you want?

Out of that list, which can you commit to today? Make that commitment to yourself and to your Highest Will. Breathe into it. Give it Life with your breath.

Then, tell one person what you plan to do.

Take a step away from apathy and toward your True Purpose which is to be joyous.

11-14-09. This weekend give yourself some time to daydream about your desire. This is a more passive form of brainstorming. Let your mind chatter quiet by breathing in silence and stillness. Then, introduce your desire to your thoughts. Se where thoughts flow. You may want to have a journal on hand. You will want to jot down any notes.

If you find yourself confronted with habitual skepticisim or cycnicism--the thoughts that say, "Why are you wasting your time on this," or" You'll never be able to do that"--simply breathe through. Remind yourself that it is only Fear chittering in your ear. The Truth is that you are Genius-Wild-Divine and your Highest Will is undeniable. Breathe into Love for your Highest Will and Feear will dissipate.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Negative Space

Here we are, trying to create more authentic, spiritually rich and peaceful lives.  We are doing the best we can.  Some days are easier than others.  Some days it is really difficult to maintain a positive outlook or a serene inner landscape.  And it's really no suprise:  We are confronted with hundreds of anxiety producing messages and images over the course of a day from sources such as the news, television, radio and internet.  We all know (or perhaps are) people who are habitually cynical, anxious, negative, depressive, angry, worried, paranoid and destructive.  We might even tell ourselves, "It's just easier" to keep watching, engaging or initiating negativity than it is to disengage.  We might be so utterly habituated to our own Negative States we cannot imagine behaving any other way.  It might feel easier to continue to deny the truth than to take a step toward change.
But is it really easier?  Taking one step toward change is easy.  We only have to take one step at a time. We don't have to go the whole distance today.  What are the long term health effects of anxiety?  How does cynicism help deepen your relationships?  Is habitual anger or paranoia really easier to deal with than taking time to notice beauty or cultivate healthy relationships?

We are all easily distracted from our goals to do, feel and be better.  The state of being distracted is a Negative Space, as are the negative states I mention above.  If we are really going to get anywhere on our quest for wholeness, we are going to have to make some new choices about what kinds of input we agree to allow into our environment.

We can't change other people, but we can change how we respond to them and we can make certain changes to our environment in order to generate less Negative Space and therefore more opportunities to pursue the positive things and states we truly desire.

How much time do you spend in Negative Space?  Simply begin to note how often you actively, passively, silently or vocally spend time worrying, complaining, telling negative stories, gossiping, angry, repeating fear-inducing news or judging yourself or others?  How often do you engage in Negative Space by entertaining someone else's negativity?  How often do you seek out alternatives to the negavity on commercial television, radio or internet?  When we begin to recognize how much energy we are giving over to Negative Space, then we will have a place to begin clearing it so as to open the way for Positive Space.

11-6-09. This week we've observed ourselves and even taken some action to move away from Negative Spaces as they arise in our environment. But what about the negativity which arises, unbidden from within? What about the running commentary on our ineptitude, insecurity, fear, shame and guilt? That's not as easy to turn off as the television. It's not as simple as walking away form a conversation you don't want to participate in.

Or is it?

Today, tune in once in a while to the commentary in your mind. What kinds of things are you saying to yourself? Are you feeling accomplished or anxious after completing that task? Are you comparing yourself to others? If you heard someone talking to your best friend the way you talk to yourself in your own mind, what might you say to that person?

When you find yourself slipping into negative self-dialogue, stop. Take a breath. Really slow down. Come all the way in to your body by following your breath. In that stillness, say to yourself, "I am sorry. I didn't intend to be so hurtful."

You may want to talk to someone about this experience. It may feel overwhelming for you--this tenderness and forgiveness. You may want to write in your journal or comment in this one.

When you apologize to yourself for being so hard on yourself, a space opens up in you. Where there used to be self-derision, there is room for beauty. Plant a seed. Breathe into that.

Each time you find yourself slipping back into habitual negative self-talk, stop. Apologize. Breathe into that seed of self compassion. Watch. Something glorious will grow there. This I can promise.

11-5-09. Today, we are going to take all this observing one step further. Today, choose one or two Negative Spaces to disengage from socially. It might be a choise to take a long walk outdoors or read an uplifting book or engage with different co-workers on your lunch hour. It may mean gently turning a conversation toward the positive rather than getting hooked in to someone else's drama. It might mean confronting a gossip or complainer once and for all, saying something like, "I really think that person has a lot of positive qualities," or "I have a different way of seeing that than you do."

Where can you begin to make choices for positive change rather than slipping into habitually Negative Space?

If you get scared or if you feel overwhelmed and shakey after disengaging from a socially Negative Space you usually engage in, take some time to breath and release all the places in the body where you are holding the tension of that fear/overwhelm. For example--let your breath open your chest, fists, jaw and buttocks.

We are learning here. Change involves action. Wishful thinking alone will not change anything. But, thoughtful action directed toward creating more positive spaces . . . just this one subtle move creates ripples, waves and even tsunami's you might not have expected!

Be proud of how courageous you are!

11-4-09. Today, begin paying attention to the social traps you fall into that drop you into Negative Space. Perhaps someone is gossipping, complaining, whining or just generally negative. How does that affect you? Do you slip into their space--allowing them to affect your mood or emotional state? How much energy do you give over to them? How much time? Does an interaction with a negative person or people take you a minute to overcome or hours? How do you shake that energy off of you? Or, do you just hope it'll dissipate on its own?

Are you attracted to the intensity of Negative Space? That is, do you find yourself drawn to converations where people are generally expressing unhappiness and slipping right into that groove? Or does it repel you?

Today, simply notice. If you find yourself beginning to judge yourself, your emotions or motivations, simple take a few deep breaths. We are only observing. In observing the Self in all our parts, we gain the knowledge necessary to being working toward positive transformation.

11-3-09. Today, can you commit to spending one hour doing something positive which will increase your Life Force Energy? Some suggestions are: Read inspritational writing or poetry. Put on your headphones and really listen to music. Go for a walk in nature. Gaze outside at the just-past-full moon. Turn on some music and dance. Call a dear friend or sibling and catch up. Get down on the floor and play with your kids.

There are two catches to this Daily Commitment. First, the activity you choose must not already be on your To Do list for the day. Second, it must take the place of an acitivity you usually engage in which saps Life Force or carries you into Negative Space.

Some examples of activities you might want to replace: Watching television. Randomly surfing the internet. Drinking alcohol. Engaging in conversations which erect Negative Space (gossip, complaining, worrying).

Are you up for the challenge? One hour out of twenty-four where you spend the entire time allowing yourself to enjoy Positive Space and increase your Life Force.

Ready? Go!

11-2-09. Today begin noticing the time and energy you give over to Negative Space. We are not doing this so we can then be negative toward ourselves. We are taking inventory and naming how we make use of our most precious commodities: our own Life Force/energy and time.

Today, it is enough to simply take note. It's not necessary to try to do or change anything. You might only be able to follow through on this for an hour or two. That's okay. Do the best you can!