Geri's blog on happiness
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit
Celebrating Spirit 365
Since Christmas Day, Christ challenged me to celebrate Spirit every day of the year. Yikes! What have I gotten into by accepting this challenge? Since it's the fourth day of Kwanzaa, I will look at that for my inspiration to allow Spirit into my life today.
The fourth day of Kwanzaa marks Ujaama, cooperative economics. The creator of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karanga, wrote, "this principle reaffirms the right to control and benefit from the resources of one’s own lands and to an equitable and just share of the goods of the world.”
I think more of us are in the process of moving into a greater role of cooperative economics with our own businesses. I don't know the stats, but judging from my own circle of friends and family, many of us are jumping into the marketplace, offering our services and creating LLC's.
Today, I will look at my business and perhaps finish that project that's been on the back burner but really needing to be stirred and served.
There's a side story to my celebration of Spirit today. Since I am not African American and I don't know the cultural background of Kwanzaa first hand, "I googled it." The first story to come up was by political conservative social commentator Ann Coulter. She wrote this about Kwanzaa: "Karenga’s invented holiday is a nutty blend of schmaltzy ’60s rhetoric, black racism and Marxism. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are the very same seven principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army, another innovation of the Worst Generation."
I don't agree with Ann's statements. I don't think the principals are nutty or schmaltzy, and I don't think they are racist, Marxist or a product of what she calls the 'worst generation.'
I don't know how Ann is celebrating Spirit today, though since it's Sunday, she might be at Mass or maybe not. I googled her, too, and while Ann says her religious views are Christian, she has not claimed to belong to a church. So, I gather from that, she has a liberal interpretation of Jesus' message. We apparently share that. And, in addition to religious freedom, we also share our freedoms of speech and self expression.
And now it occurs to me, there is unity, even when we disagree. Well, Christ, how is that for keeping spirit alive 24/7? Unity in differing opinions!
Jesus, I love you and thank you for your guidance!
God Is Ridiculous
October 23, 2013
I woke up this morning with one of those feelings .. my friend calls it "the willies." I was wondering if it was a depression. I thought for a moment and decided I didn't have a word for this feeling. It was kind of close to a feeling of despair, emptiness. I wondered if maybe I was somewhere during my sleep time that I didn't want to leave, or maybe I was some place horrible. I wasn't aware of why I was feeling the way I did, so I turned to God.
While I was making my breakfast, which didn't get me excited, I asked God to get me out of this feeling. I was not comfortable.
I turned to the coffee pot and started making a cup of coffee. That instantly made me smile and I don't know why. "What? God," I said, "the coffee? You are going to use a cup of coffee to make me happy? "
God said to me, "I will use anything to bring you closer to me. Any thing. I want you to feel like I do all the time."
The thought shocked me. Are you kidding, God? Feel like you? You're just being ridiculous now. I can't feel like you. I'm human.
God said, "you are human with me in your heart. I grow my experiences through you. I am always happy. And you can be, too. Even if it's something as simple as a cup of coffee. I will bring it to you. I will make you smile. That's what I do. And that's what you could do, too. Do it for each other. Not everybody is consciously connected to me, though I am very consciously connected to everybody. Ask and it is given. Open yourself up to me and I will show you a heartfelt way to live."
That feeling that I had this morning, that I didn't know what to name. I am now calling it 'ridiculous.' I looked up the etymology: that which excites laughter. When I feel that way, I will say it's ridiculous. And that will may change my mood. Put in this context, I think ridiculous is a good word for God. God is ridiculous. He/She makes me smile, if not laugh out loud.
Energy and Challenging Experiences
April 21, 2013
I have been examining energy over the past several months. One of the first thing we learn in science is that energy never dies. With that in mind, I had a conversation with a beloved Spiritual teacher about events in Boston. Here is what he said:
"Each experience is recorded in the heart in a way that the individual responds to it. Whether I stub my toe or lose a loved one, the response to the event is recorded. When such a thing as a terrorist attack occurs, do you respond with hate, love or indifference or anything in between?
Feel it. That is what is being recorded in your energetics. Respond with love and love grows. Respond with something else and that will grow. It is up to the individual by way of his or her response."
This conversation was my interpretation of a communication I had with Jesus. Earlier this year, I had another communication in which He gave me a tutorial on healing. I found it odd that most of the lessons are for the healer. Those lessons and practices keep the one that is exposed to sadness and grief connected to Source. For many people concerned about others and the world, this is not easy because many take on the pain of others as their own.
I am trying to respond to the Boston Marathon attacks, all parts of it, with love because that is required of me to maintain my health and well being. At the same time, I have to keep a healthy distance so as not to take on the horror as my own. I have found that this is where studying energy and working with it, will help me move forward.
I hope you live in love. And respond the same way.
March 5, 2013
I don’t typically use Tarot cards in my readings. For one, there’s this seed/weed from childhood, “it’s the devil’s work.” Obviously, I have grown out of that deeply held belief and opened up to my own guidance. But, honestly, I don’t resonate with the traditional Tarot deck, though I use it when a client requests. For me personally, I find it too confining. I much prefer Angel guidance. But we’re talking tarot here.
Today, the Ten of Swords came up. The death card. I’ve personally gotten this card before and I know it related to my situation at the time. It was an emotional time when what I was perceiving about the outside world turned out to be what I was projecting about myself and the world around me. But back to today’s reading of the death card: many card readers see this as something to be warned about or protected against.
The card shows a man on the ground with 10 daggers inserted in his body. Ouch! But chances are you know how that feels, I certainly do. Some card readers say this could mean to watch out for gossip at the very least as you are being stabbed in the back. Or, it could mean you will physically go under the knife, as in surgery. There may even be a death in the family. But I don’t read cards that way.
For me, the Ten of Swords is an opportunity to let go of all that you are hanging onto that is not serving you well. The Ten of Swords invites you to close the door on this thing, whatever it is, that is tormenting you. Because when one door closes, it gives you the opportunity to sit with yourself. And then when inspired, you can open up another door, a window, or maybe another chapter of your life.
The Ten of Swords can be your birth card. That’s how I look at it.
Jesus cracks me up
Jesus made me laugh this morning. Here’s what he did: He took me out of my doldrums by helping to lift me out of the well.
Here’s how it developed: I was doing Day 2 of the “Find Your Joy” Journal and Spirit asked that we write about ourselves – describing who we are, what we like, dislike, and describe fears and aspirations. I wasn’t feeling great and decided to plug through the writing anyway. After about ten lines, I realized everything I was writing was negative. I was afraid of this, that and worried about everything under the sun and I mean everything: the children, the animals, the plants, and even the food we eat.
I felt, and then wrote, that I was in the bottom of a well and all I could see before me were four dark walls. I knew the sky was out there and a whole other, brighter world out there, too. But I was down in that deep, dark well.
Then, I heard in my mind someone talking to me: “You know, I happen to know that at a certain time every day, there’s a man that stops by this well, just to take a drink of water.” I continued writing what I heard. “When that man comes by, you could call to him and he’ll get you a rope to help you climb out.” I sat for a while with that, and then I heard: “And who do you think that man is?”
Well, immediately I thought of Jesus and the Bible story about the Good Samaritan. It made me laugh out loud to think that Jesus and maybe even the Good Samaritan would help me out of that well. Can you imagine the sideshow to the popular New Testament story if it was a stage production instead of the written word? I would be behind the scenes, or under the stage somewhere, yelling HELP! Get me out of here! Would I ruin the production?
When my laughter waned, it occurred to me: Maybe I could lift myself up by being available to help someone in need, like the Good Samaritan was. And like Jesus is, in every moment. If you're like me, you don't feel him in every moment. But I can tell you this: he certainly picked me up and made me laugh this morning.
The bikes in the living room: A tale of two decades.
Nov. 16, 2012
We’ve been through a couple of unfortunate events in our household. It’s nothing serious, just a little sadness for a young boy, for sure. My son’s just-bought bicycle was stolen twice in two months. Once from our garage, and then after we shelled out more cash, the second one was taken from outside his school – the lock just snipped and tossed into the bushes. He has the snipped lock on his desk as if it were a treasured paperweight. He's a teenager.
Anyway, he is blessed with an aunt who sent him money to buy a third bike, which we reluctantly did. You can imagine how gun shy we were and how foolish we felt making yet another purchase so soon after two new bicycles were snatched from him.
This story reminds me why we are in this home in the first place. We had to move here for the space. Our old home was a three story townhouse downtown. I’d like to think it was elegant. I know it was small. It was perfect for our family of four until the boys began riding bikes regularly. That meant they were parked in the living room; dirty smelly tires with training wheels -- in my most valued area -- right in front of the fireplace. That drove me crazy!
“Get your bikes out of the living room,” I would yell. And if I didn’t get a response immediately, the second scream would be one word: “NOW!”
The years have gone by since their younger boyhood days and a home ill-equipped for their larger toys. Also gone are my feelings of anger toward them for encroaching on my space. Now that my older son is gone to college, he stores his wheels in his dorm room seven hundred miles away. I know that will be Andrew's fate soon. He's our last child in this large home that has more storage space than the space we used to actually live in.
Well, back to Andrew’s third new bike in as many months (yes, he is blessed). We’ve been leery about putting that bike in the garage, not wanting to return it to the scene of the first crime. When he comes home, he brings it into the house. And yes, I have a bicycle in my living room again. But I feel differently about it now.
The other day he came in from school and stood by the door in disgust. He said, “I’m going to have to find a place for this bike in the garage because it can’t be taking up space in the living room, this is ridiculous.”
I didn’t say anything right away. I remembered my history with bikes in the living room, which he probably long forgot or maybe never recorded in his young mind. It was vivid in my mind and I smiled to myself about what it meant to me today, to have my son's bicycle in the living room. I know it won't be there forever.
When I got around to speaking, I said: “Andrew, don’t worry about it. It’s not in the way.. I mean, it’s not like we ever actually sit in the living room.”
I found myself saying softly: “leave it here.”
Celebrating a New Year
September 18, 2012
I am a summer person. If you know me, you know I love being outside, especially in the water, under the heat of the sun (non-peak hours of course). You may have even encouraged me to move from Chicago to Florida or California just to shut me up about it. So, you can imagine my sadness as we move into weather that limits my outdoor pleasures. This year, as quick as the sadness came, I was opened to a new way of looking at the middle of September: I found something to celebrate!
This week I am drawn to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. I am not Jewish, but a facebook post by Marianne Williamson lightened my heart, giving me encouragement to face not only the new season, but a new year! How exciting is that?
The Jewish New Year is said to be a time to plan a better life. Marianne says for ten days we look at some issues that come up for us and then atone for them on Yom Kippur. I must have sent an intention to participate, because while going to bed last night, some exchanges pleasant and otherwise I’ve had over the last several years came into my mind. I didn’t do anything with them, just watched them. I didn’t analyze how I could have spoken clearer in order to reduce a misunderstanding or could have not spoken at all. I just watched the incidents and listened to them. So, I’m doing what those in the Jewish faith are doing – looking back over the year. In my case, several years.
The second part of the process is the planning to make changes part. I think I’ll get there sometime today or tonight. But right now, I am so appreciative that I have the opportunity to learn and grow even though it’s not my number-one season.
Making the shift from Why Me? to What's Next?
August 1, 2012
In Journalism, you are taught to ask who, what, when, where, why and even how. But I find that sometimes in your personal life, the why questions are not helpful.
“Why?” can mire us in blame and even shame once in a while.
Today, I picked a guidance card that said: “The presence of God is everywhere, so if you feel disconnected from the Divine, you’re the one who left.”
I had been feeling disconnected. While I picked the card for my facebook friends, this message spoke to me directly. And after reading the card (from Sonia Choquette's Ask Your Guides deck) my focus changed from feeling a little down to feeling a little more appreciative. I felt the shift.
I often get stuck asking “Why?” when I could be better served answering the “What?” question. Instead of “why” don’t I have more money or “why” do I feel isolated? I can ask “what” can I do right now to make the money I do have go further? “What” can I do right now to feel less alone? “What” is my next step in feeling better overall? When we ask the “What” question, we can open up to divine help.
There’s a lot to be down about today: the economy, the job scene, the housing market and some are feeling stuck as we enter another mercury retrograde. But there’s also a lot to be happy about: the season, the flowers growing, the new sprouts and the great taste of the fruit that is available, to name a few. I’m sure you could find a few more things to add to your list. “What are you happy about today?”
The Law of Least Effort
May 9, 2012
I woke up feeling lethargic today. It might be the new medication, it could be my middle aged body reacting to its experiences, or I could blame Chicago’s erratic weather; cold then warm then cold again – all in one day.
Whatever the reason, I was delighted when I opened Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.” Today’s inspiration: “The Law of Least Effort.” I immediately felt relief. Yes, I am in tune with the universe! Lethargic, least effort they go hand in hand, don’t they?
Chopra writes, “nature is held together by love.” I know this to be true based on a vision, where I was given an experience of this.
In the vision, we were all in a circle and kind of in a state of plasma. I call it “Liquid Love.” Anyway, what I remember most about this experience is the feeling I had. We were all looking at each other, admiring each other and feeling joy. That’s it, only bliss. I don’t remember any other thoughts, but appreciation and adoration for each other.
Woo woo? Yeah, you bet! But that doesn’t make it any less real. It happened. I was there and you were there, too. It’s one of the many experiences I’ve had that reminds me that there’s more to life than what we see. And there’s more that connects us than divides us into countries of origin, political parties, expressed or unexpressed talents, where we live or what’s in our bank accounts.
As Chopra says, “Nature is held together by the energy of love, and least effort is expended when your actions are motivated by love.”
This morning, when I woke up feeling lethargic, I wasn't in a place of love. I went on a rampage of blame as if there was something wrong with how I felt. Lethargic means deficient in activity. I don't think that's a bad thing now.
Today, while I am deficient in activity, I am going to feel my essence and then try to bring more love into my life. Wow, it now occurs to me -- that might have been God's plan all along.
Giving and Receiving
March 15, 2012
You've heard it before: when you give you get back so much more. It’s not quite a week that I’ve been giving inspirational readings for clients, and I think I am benefitting just as much as they are. Before I started offering services, I was guided to keep a notebook. I put some blank pages together because I couldn’t find an empty pad. But in the back of my mind I wondered why this was so important. After just a few days of readings, I now know the answer.
It seems the readings are giving me information not only for my clients, but for myself as well. In just a few sessions, I’ve been exposed to spiritual guides that previously, I had no conscious contact. There’s another thing about the readings. My clients are remarkable. I can feel their high vibrations in just the first e-mail, or even the first “hello,” on the phone. What beautiful beings have been attracted to me; intuitive in their own right, just looking for clarity or validation. I feel good in their presence.
So, here’s my takeaway: In the giving, there is receiving. While I give a reading, I am getting so much back. Maybe these types of things are designed that way, so that we keep doing it.
If you are guided, you can book an inspirational reading on any topic:
by clicking here
St. Anne Speaks
March 11, 2012
My pursuit of happiness took me into the world of spirituality seven years ago. It was not a road I was glad to take. It was forced upon me, or so I thought, through an eye injury that left me out of work for a year. Even though my new connection to Spirit made me feel good, I proceeded with armed caution. I kicked, I screamed, I questioned, and I fought the whole journey. Until now.
Today I gave my first intuitive reading to a client. Marta is from Kissimmee, Florida and she interviews people on her blogtalk radio show on spirituality. Because of our connection this morning, Marta may include the spirit messages she receives from St. Anne on her show. That makes me happy. I was a conduit for Spirit. Or cheerleader.
Even though I am an intuitive, I could never have predicted I would be offering readings and even healing to others. But here I am. I followed the guidance, and in spite of my fear, it brought me here. I don’t know what’s next, but I trust each step will bring me more life, liberty and … well, pursuit.
So, how about you? Do you follow your guidance? What scares you most about it?
The Greatest Love of All
February 17, 2012
Singing has always played a role in my pursuit of happiness. Mostly done in the shower, in the car, and when I’m home alone. Listening to “The Greatest Love of All,” sung by Whitney Houston got me through a host of trials and tribulations in the late ‘80’s when I was living in Indiana away from my friends and family. I was chasing a career dream and Whitney’s voice carried me through some lonely times. She was my number one inspiration. And that song (written by another inspirational woman who suffered with breast cancer) picked me up and transformed my mood – every time I played it. And sometimes I needed to hear it three or four times a day.
Whitney’s voice did that to a lot of people. It touches our soul. I saw an interview where she said, “I could see Spirit (grow) in them,” as she sang to the community in her church during the early days. She knew she had a gift and I along with countless others are grateful she shared it. But God doesn’t give us just gifts. He gives us challenges as well.
When word came out last weekend that Whitney passed away, I found it hard to mourn. Hadn’t I, and all of us, been mourning her death for the last decade? There were the pills, the alcohol addiction, the abuse and the brushes with the law. It seems the very gift that she was giving us, was eluding her. Why could she not find the greatest love of all inside of her?
I read an article in an alternative publication (beliefnet.com) about how Whitney was telling friends recently she wanted to see Jesus. She loved Jesus. She said so on stage in front of large audiences. That makes me happy.
It makes me happy because I know Whitney is with Jesus and other loved ones on the other side. Jesus knew what it was like to live with enormous gifts from God. And he knew the pitfalls of this world and the human-not-so-kind things we can do to ourselves, and each other. So, I wonder what Jesus and Whitney are talking about right now in heaven. Are they singing duets? At the very least, I’m sure they are harmonizing.
Whitney, this weekend, as your family and friends gather to celebrate your life, this fan throws in one more tribute: Thank you for encouraging me to dance, sing, and to live as I believe. While you’re not here in the physical, your spirit lives on.
And in the days ahead, when one of your songs randomly pops into my head, when I hear your voice in my mind, I’ll know what's going on. I'll know that I am listening to one of God's angels singing. And I will know that it is the same gift you courageously shared with us here on earth. Thank you and Godspeed.
November 10, 2011
What’s your attitude today? I’m sharing a list of “be attitudes” God gave me this morning. I called them how to “be attitudes.”
There are beatitudes in the Bible. They are a type of teaching that Jesus used. They are not unique to Jesus. They were found in the Old Testament (in the psalms) as well. Beatitudes start with the world Blessed, which means “oh the bliss” or “spiritual well being and prosperity.”
Jesus coupled a troubled person with the word “blessed,” because from his perspective all are saved. So, we are told he said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” As a spiritual teacher, Jesus saw you and me as complete and united with God. I have heard many say that is precisely why he was a remarkable healer. He already saw us as whole.
Cut to today: This morning, God gave me His instructions for achieving my bliss. I’m going to share them with you because maybe some of them resonate with you as well.
Blessed be the one who shares my love in her work.
Blessed be the one who shares her heart with the world.
Blessed be the one who put herself (her “ego") aside to honor the whole of whom she is.
Blessed is the one who knows her full glory.
Blessed is the union between All That Is and All That Will Be.
Blessed is the peacemaker for he or she is in my heart.
Blessed is the glorious one for he or she knows I am there.
Blessed is the elderly one for he or she is growing in goodness/Godness.
Blessed are all beings as they are brothers and sisters of and in Christ.
Blessed are the ones who are whole (in balance) for they are the true holy ones.
Blessed are those who enjoy life for that is why you are here.
This last “be attitude” makes me smile. This is a message that has come through many times over in my life. It’s a reminder from the Creator that life is meant to be fun. Enjoy it.
The Study of Satya (Truthfulness) and The Sun
November 6, 2011
The study of satya (truthfulness) is taking longer and expanding further than I thought it would. I am looking at the first limb of Yoga, the Yamas. The second yama is Truthfulness.
Since I began studying Satya more than a week ago, I’ve looked at my finances, my relationships and my weight. Yikes. Yikes. And yikes! In finances, I had been ignoring the numbers in one column, in relationships I might not have been giving as much as I was expecting to get. And my weight, well, maybe I wasn’t being a good student of cause and effect. Truthfully, I thought doing Yoga several times a week was enough. I now realize that adding chocolate chip cookies to the mix is skewering my results.
At the same time that I am going through this inner turmoil some friends are saying they are experiencing tough times as well. Some point to the solar flares and question whether the solar flares are igniting the fires inside of our own souls. I have an idea about this. Could it be the Sun is experiencing Its own natural purging rather than causing ours?
Could the energy that is casing the solar flares be the same energy or quantum ripple that is stirring things up inside of us? And rather than causing our flare-ups, could the Sun be having its own reaction to the same energy we are feeling? Is Nature or Life itself or God asking us all to grow?
Are we being asked to cleanse and purge what doesn't belong in order to be better beings? In that regard, could the Sun be just like one of us?
Satya (Truthfulness) with Deepak Chopra
October 30, 2011
I think it’s funny. Not funny haha, but funny ironic that at the same moment I am studying truthfulness, I have a twitter exchange with Deepak Chopra.
If you’ve been following, I’m studying the first limb of Yoga called the Yamas. The second Yama is called satya in Sanskrit. Briefly, it means truth in thought, word and action. Mostly, I personally study the yamas as they it apply to thought.
So, here I am going along on my merry way, examining how I can be truthful at home, at work and mostly in my own mind. Enter: a tweet by Deepak with a hashtag cosmic consciousness (#cosmicconsciousness).
I had been thinking about cosmic consciousness and wondered out loud. Even more outloud, I got into the #cosmicconsciousness realm in the twitter world. Here was my question, born of a truthful state of inquisitiveness: “What is cosmic consciousness and do I want or even need it?”
Deepak’s answer was quick and playful:
“DeepakChopra: @GeriHearne No idea what you want :)”
Here’s my satya answer, Mr. Chopra: I do know what I want, I’m just not sure what cosmic consciousness means.
First, here’s what I want: I want to live in a world where anything is possible. I want to walk on an earth and swim in water that is not polluted by toxic chemicals. I want to respect and exchange ideas with all loving beings, no matter how different they may look from me. I want to above all else, love myself and love you (reader) as I love myself.
The truth about cosmic consciousness is that they are lofty words. The truth about what I want is found in four letters. And those four letters, for me, spell God as well. Because for me God is love. And our life is an expression of that love.
Well, if that’s what you mean by cosmic consciousness, Mr. Chopra, then yes, I’ll have some of that. But I'm going to keep calling it "love."
Ahimsa, My New Favorite Word
October 26, 2011
Ahimsa is quickly becoming my new favorite word. It‘s Sanskrit for nonviolence. Ahimsa refers to nonviolence in thought, word and action. While I am not a violent person, I have been known to gravitate toward negative thoughts as the occasion arises. So, I decided to be kind to myself and ease up on the violence toward myself.
The first day I tried practicing Ahimsa, I immediately felt the results. When a negative thought came in, I thought again. I chose to clear the thought from my mind. I immediately felt better and noticed there was room in my head to look at other things in my life. It was as if I cleaned the slate and the next issue that needed my attention shown through. I felt good. It was like I was polishing a tarnished piece of silver. My mind , of course, being the silver in this metaphor.
On the second day of practicing nonviolence of thought, I had a bad experience with a bill collector. I spiraled into a sea of anxiety. I found myself on the phone pointing fingers at the bank, at two people trying to collect on my debt, and if you were in my kitchen, I might have raised my voice at you as well. I apologize for that.
It took awhile to let it go. But eventually, I turned to Ahimsa. And nonviolence of thought, along with a glass of wine and a few belly laughs during a rerun of “The Office,” helped me see things a little softer. Hours later, I decided to look at how I could have acted differently – and avoided the anxious situation I was sitting in.
In Yoga tradition, there are eight limbs. The first branch is called “Yama.” It’s made up of 5 principles. The first is nonviolence. The next is satya. That means speaking truthfully. That’s my next challenge. Deepak Chopra writes in ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga,’ that truthfulness exists when you are able to "distinguish observations from interpretations." He says you accept the world as it is.
For my first act of truth, I am coming clean: Truthfully, this might prove to be tougher than my practice of nonviolence. But I hope it is just as rewarding.
Yoga and Jesus
October 23, 2011
I call myself “Christian Inquisitive.” I was raised Roman Catholic. For a long period of time I went to church every day across the street from where I lived on 60th street at The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn. It's a beautiful church and school.
I love Jesus Christ and his teachings. I always admired his ways and miracles. I never imagined that I could be like him. But after reading “A Course In Miracles,” and practicing its lessons over the course of a year, it is clear that is what he wants of us.
No effing way! I argued with Him throughout The Course. You are the Son of God and I am only Gerardette. How could I be like you?
“All this you can do and more,” he answered through the New Testament. Well, I’m a believer, and as I said “Christian Inquisitive.” And I’m getting off on a tangent, because this blog is about Yoga.
There are 8 branches or limbs of Yoga. The first branch is called “Yama.” It includes 1) practicing nonviolence 2) speaking truthfully 3) exercising appropriate sexual control 4) being honest and 5) being generous.
This week I am going to check out and I might even practice one of the Yamas every day. I’ll tell you more about the first on the list, ‘practicing nonviolence,’ after I try it out.
Some Churches claim its members should not practice Yoga because Yoga is not in its tradition. But when it comes to ‘practicing nonviolence’ I think Jesus cornered the market on this one. Wasn’t it Christ who told us to “turn the other cheek?”
October 13, 2011
Love Everybody Equally
I took a challenging Yoga class last night. It’s called Ashtanga and it involves moving from one pose to the other in a flow. The teacher was incredibly flexible and I was even more incredibly intimidated. But it wasn’t the flow of poses that were the most difficult about the class; it was the intention the teacher set.
“Love everybody equally,” she said.
Are you kidding, I thought? What does that even mean? Am I supposed to love my husband and children the same amount as the driver who cuts me off? Or the editor I hired to do a project now dragging her heels? What about the neighbor who blocks the driveway?
Then she said, “God loves everybody equally.”
I thought what does that have to do with me? I'm not God! And even though I keep arguing with the intention, maybe I do need to change my attitude.
After awhile, I start to soften my thoughts about what it means to love everybody. I remembered that the guy who cut me off on the road led me down another one, where I saw a very interesting moon. Only the bottom and top were visible; the middle was covered with dark clouds. It was unusual and memorable. And maybe I need to call the person who is delaying my project and have a conversation rather than e-mail exchanges that aren’t getting anywhere. And perhaps I could I even look at the delays I am causing, which are inconveniencing other people? And about my neighbors -- they are all great, really. I guess the driveway thing could remind me about the value of patience.
After looking at the things that bother me in a different way, I feel lighter. I wonder if that’s 'the shift' some spiritual teachers write about. Or maybe it's just like mom used to say when I took to complaining: "Try to look on the bright side, Gerardette."
September 23, 2011
Listen to your own guidance
A message made its way into my e-mail inbox. "The State of the Planet" address from a channel who translates a hierarchal thought form energy. Days ago I decided to take a break from other channels, who lovingly took me this far, and follow my own guidance. A new tool came to me: Ask yourself: “What would love do?”
The answer came: "Love would listen to all without absorbing all. Love would not take another channel's word as ‘gospel’ of course. Love would not even take the gospel as ‘gospel.’ Ask YOURSELF what is the state of the Planet?”
So, I did. I asked: What is the state of the Planet, Lord?
“The state of the planet is thriving! We see so much growth. We see an explosion of ideas on how to look at climate, work, relationships and many other things. We see the state of the planet as changing, like a soup that is simmering and will eventually boil. All the ingredients are just opening up their flavors and soon there will be a harmonious mix and the taste will be … belisimo! Delicious. That's what we see.”
I like that interpretation.
"Know it's your interpretation as well."
What is your state of the planet? How do you want it to look? One tool you could use to find the answer, "what would love say?"
September 18, 2011 pm
Play dates with the Archangels: Zadkiel and the color purple
Tonight I am wrapping up my weeklong play dates with the Archangels with Zadkiel. Zadkiel, according to Sunny Dawn Johnston in “Invoking the Archangels Workbook,” is the Archangel of forgiveness, mercy and benevolence. Whew .. that’s a lot of responsibility for one Archangel, don’t you think? Well, I’m sure S/he is up to the task.
So, the color purple, or violet, removes obstacles and negativity. I put on a violet shirt to help me get in touch with the Big Z. I went to the mall with my husband and son, where I lapped up the lavender cream at L’Occitane. Then I put my money where my mouth is -- I bought a purple jacket and shirt to remind me of clearing the negativity. Coincidentally, the bag was violet, too.
Looking back to the beginning of the week and before beginning my play dates, the workbook suggested I pick the order of colors intuitively, without knowing anything about the Archangels. As it turns out, I think Zadkiel is the best one for me to end the week and this project.
Now that I've shared smiles with Gabriel, laughed with Jophiel, felt peace with Uriel and Raphael, and love from Michael and Chamuel, it seems a little easier for me to release the negativity.
Well, it was nice to meet you, Zadkiel. And now that you know where I live, I hope you stop by often.
September 18, 2011 am
Play dates with the Archangels: Raphael and the color green
Do Archangels sleep? I don’t blame them if they take a break, but I would like to know in advance when they aren’t around.
Yesterday, I embraced the color green of Raphael. The healer. I wore a green shirt and green necklace. I took a walk in the park and appreciated the green grass and the trees. I even found two greenbacks by the park bench! But something went wrong.
I had asked Raphael to take care of my addiction to sweets. But after dinner, I had to have sweets and even before bed I had some candy. So, I am asking, Raphael, did you bail after dinner? I can’t see Archangels, so visually, I have no idea if they are with me or not. If one took a coffee break, would I be left on my own? If s/he did, and I am, how will I conquer my addiction? These are some thoughts to ponder as I look up my final Archangel play date for this exercise.
Archangel Zadkiel, represented by the color violent, means righteousness of God, according to Sunny Dawn Johnston in “Invoking the Archangels Workbook.” S/he helps with emotional healing, forgiveness of others and self. That’s interesting. Is Zadkiel here to help with my sugar cravings? Do I have someone to forgive before controlling my diet?
For starters, I’ll forgive myself for eating all those sweets yesterday. But as I ‘invoke’ you, Zadkiel, would you tap me on the shoulder when you plan to step away? Don't leave me hanging!
September 17, 2011 am
Play dates with the Archangels: Raphael and the color green
I’m reluctant to leave the color red of Uriel. I feel peace in my heart. I can’t imagine a better feeling. I slept with my red blanket again last night wanting to solidify Uriel’s presence. I’m asking Uriel to stay with me. I don’t think Raphael will mind.
Raphael, according to Sunny Dawn Johnston’s workbook “Invoking the Angels,” eliminates addictions and cravings, and heals on all levels. Raphael means God heals or God has healed. S/he helps with eyesight and clairvoyance.
“Well being is my divine birthright,” writes Sunny. Thinking about green, our green trees come to mind. Also, “Green fields and rolling hills,” the song by Carole King. And the walks I take with my family in the forest preserve here in Chicago.
I’ve heard before that green is a healing color and that’s why some doctors paint their waiting rooms green. Well, Raphael, come on over. Maybe you could help me with my addiction to sugar. I’m wondering if Uriel will have to leave, as I shun the red velvet cake? I know the cake is just a symbol, but if I want to experience Raphael, I think it will have to be one on one. Looking forward to seeing you again, Uriel!
Come on in Raphael, let’s do this!
September 16, 2011 pm
Play dates with the Archangels: Uriel and the color red
I enjoyed working with the color red of Uriel. I told you I slept with a red blanket last night. This morning, I wore a red shirt to remind me of the peaceful, open feeling I received in my heart, after calling on Uriel. Today, whenever I was a little bent out of shape, whether at work or at home, I thought of the red light and things instantly got easier for me.
I’m going to recap my play dates this week. On Monday, the blue of Michael felt expansive like the sky. On Tuesday, the white of Gabriel felt like pure fun and awareness of good all around me. On Wednesday, the pink of Chamuel gave me the most to think about and process, work through. The pink ray of unconditional love is powerful. It holds the good, the bad and the ugly. Its up to us to decide what parts we want to keep. Its energy stayed with me even after I invoked the yellow of Jophiel. Jophiel was jovial with an element of surprise. It was very much like the sun you drew as a child with the happy face. Today, Friday, the red of Uriel left me with a feeling of peace in my heart.
Uriel is intimate. He/She rests in your heart. I think Uriel goes deep, to the core. It’s red light, I found, opened up my heart. I picture a big red Valentine. The red blanket, my red shirt, the reflection of the red light outside the Yoga studio tonight and even the inspiration I had to teach class with a focus on the root, or red chakra -- all brought me closer to Uriel.
Another red brought a smile to my face. I enjoyed a guilty pleasure before going to bed tonight, a slice of red velvet cake. I’m telling you, it is fun to work with the Archangels, or color, or energy, whatever you feel comfortable calling it. It’s about making connections that make you feel good. Some even make you laugh out loud.
September 16, 2011 am
Play dates with the Archangels: Uriel and the color red
I’m out of my head and into my heart now that I asked Uriel to hang with me.
I got ready last night by wrapping a red blanket around me. This morning, I woke up an hour early for a morning news writing shift. I don’t do these early a.m.’s often, but when I do, it is always a struggle to get up and out. Coincidentally, it's not bad this morning. I'm even awake an hour earlier.
Uriel means, “God is Light or God’s Light,” according to “Invoking the Archangels Workbook.” Uriel helps with insight, clarity, peace, vision, problem solving and writing to name a few of His/Her areas of interest. I like that Uriel helps with writing, because I will be doing a lot of that at the TV station this morning.
Back to my blanket. Wrapping myself in red made me feel protected and at peace. You know what else is red? The heart in the Joy Media logo. And I think I’m finally getting what it means to be out of your head and into your heart. It’s experiencing things, like color, as if you are witnessing for the first time. Did I tell you, it's fun and it feels good?
Play dates with the Archangels: Chamuel returns
September 15, 2011
I am blogging all this week about my play dates with the Archangels. It’s Jophiel’s day, but Chamuel returned to finish a conversation we started yesterday. He/She is the pink energy.
You know, my bathroom is soft colors of beiges and greens. But I have this one bright pink bag. I put all the stuff in there that I don’t use, things I actually have no use for, but don’t want to throw away.
What’s in there? One thing taking up a lot of space is my hair blow-dryer diffuser, which I haven’t used since the ‘90’s. There’s also a foot massage mask cream, which I actually did use the other day after it sat for several years unopened. There are a few other things in there that I don’t use and really don’t need. Is Chamuel, like that big pink bag in my bathroom?
I look at Chamuel as the keeper of all things. The pink energy gives me a light, airy feeling, but like my netted pink bag, it holds everything, too. I throw everything in that bag that I have no place for, or I want to hide. In “Invoking the Archangels Workbook,” Sunny Dawn Johnston says Chamuel is the Archangel of unconditional love and adoration. I think about some of the emotions I have packed inside of me, and like some of the things I have in my pink bag, I don’t need them. Once in a blue moon, I’ll even play with one, just because it’s there. But if Chamuel is unconditional love, He/She loves all things even unwanted emotions. Where does that leave me and my stuff?
I’m going to go through that pink bag in the bathroom and look at everything in there. If there’s something that I truly want, I will find a home for it. But if it’s something I am hanging onto for no other reason than that it’s mine, I will try to let it go, throw it away.
I thank you for returning, Chamuel, your Pinkness. I will look at everything you hold for me in your unconditional love, and let go of those emotions that I no longer need. I’d like to make more room for the ones I want.
Archangel Chamuel “heals emotional wounds or pain that hold me back from truly loving myself as the divine Spirit that I am” writes Johnston. Thank you, Chamuel, for holding everything I keep close to me. But I’m letting go of resentments, fears and pain to make more room for forgiveness, self-acceptance and love. Next time you come to visit, bring me more joy!
Play dates with the Archangels: Jophiel
September 15, 2011
Jophiel is jovial
Friends, I think I have a secret weapon for the blues: the color yellow. In my weeklong play dates with the Archangels, today is Jophiel’s turn, represented by the color yellow. It was a cloudy morning early on, but it changed. Driving Andrew to school this morning, I pulled out of the garage, turned the alley and pow! Right in my face, I was hit with the bright yellow sun. I laughed out loud! Andrew just rolled his eyes.
Jophiel, ladies and gentlemen, is jovial. On my drive, I noticed the yellow “children walking” signs and that made me smile. Thinking about children always lightens my mood. Then I noticed the school bus in front of me that delayed me at several lights. I thought about the kids inside. I know if I took a bus to school, I would have a lot of fun, hanging with my friends. I could feel the joy in my heart.
Yesterday, I was working with pink and somehow turned blue. But now, after invoking the color yellow, I feel better. Can colors change your mood, or is this just mind over matter?
Marketers must know about the color yellow. Look how successful the golden arches are with their happy meals. Remember the smiley faces from the ‘70’s? They were yellow. And when you were a child, did you draw the sun with a happy face on it? I did.
I think the sun is always happy. And I think when I am feeling the blues, I will lighten my mood with the brightness from that yellow energy, right there in the sky. According to Sunny Dawn Johnston's workbook, Jophiel “helps those who feel spiritually lost, depressed, or in despair.” I can see and feel how tuning into yellow could help.
Play dates with the Archanangels: Jophiel, the Archangel of creativity, beauty and art (Represented by the color yellow)
September 15, 2011
I’m not done with pink, but I’m moving on. Today, I invite Archangel Jophiel to be with me. Jophiel means “Beauty of God.” Well, you know I like that, if you know about the “I Am Beautiful Journal.”
As I was thinking about staying another day with Archangel Chamuel (pink), my eye caught something that helped me decide to move on -- a bright yellow bouquet of flowers. I bought them to brighten up my September 11th birthday. But the biggest yellow in my life, I can’t see. It’s cloudy and the sun is not out. That’s o.k., I know it’s there.
Jophiel helps with manifesting beauty in our lives through thoughts, according to Sunny Dawn Johnston’s “Invoking The Archangels.” Jophiel also aids self-awareness, inspiration, hope and joy. I am told to call on Jophiel when feeling spiritually lost, depressed or in despair.
OK, then. Today will be a yellow day.
Play dates with the Archanangels: Chamuel
September 14, 2011
Pink. Is pink the new blue?
I had an interesting day with the color pink. I asked Archangel Chamuel to be with me today. To sum up, I feel that there’s nothing I have to do or say or have. I’m just being. It’s not like yesterday’s experience with the white energy of Gabriel, which was playful and gave me a lot to smile about. Today, I feel at peace, maybe a little pensive.
On the way to drop Andrew off at school, the first pink I noticed was the D in a Dunkin’ Donuts store. And on the next corner, I saw a pink sign that read ‘Unlimited.’ At first, I thought, unlimited donuts … wouldn’t that be fun, if we didn’t have to live with the consequences! But I knew that couldn’t be the message.
Earlier in the week, I bought a donut to give Andrew when I picked him up from school. That morning, we were picking shapes in clouds. I saw a fish and he saw the yummy treat. I thought it would be fun to surprise him with the real thing. And it was fun.
I wonder if that’s a small example of unconditional love. I bought Andrew the donut because I thought it would make him smile. Not for any other reason. I wasn’t bribing him to do his homework, or making him promise to eat his vegetables. Could ‘unconditional’ love be found at a Dunkin’ Donuts?
That pink ‘unlimited’ sign spoke to me, too. I'm guessing unconditional love, Archangel Chamuel's "thing," is unlimited. So, if we bring unconditional love into our relationships, could they be unlimited, too?
Tonight, before going to bed, Andrew asked me if everything was o.k. I seem a little distant. I liked that he cared about how I felt. In fact, he thought I was feeling a little blue. I assured him I was good.
Now, I’m thinking, after all this focus on unconditional love, why is my mood coming off blue when I’m in the pink? Is pink the new blue?
Play dates with the Archangels: Chamuel
September 14, 2011
Pink. I have some prejudices with that color. As a young person and a female, I wasn’t drawn to it. I think it’s because I wasn’t a girly girl. Maybe not, but you know how pink is played out in our society. It’s not for everybody, I thought. Enter my second son into our beautiful world. In the early years, it was his favorite color. If he were to grab a furry friend on the way out the door, most likely it would be pink; sometimes that purple dinosaur.
I struggled with it. Should I discourage his interest in pink? Turns out I didn’t have to ponder too long because he figured it out on his own. After a few months in day care, blue became his favorite color.
But I wonder why he was attracted to pink. And how did we decide as a group that pink is for girls and blue is for boys? I like the lax rules that bring in yellow and greens for newborns. But today’s color is pink and I wonder how Chamuel will turn up in my life in the hours ahead.
Like a child, I am asking Archangel Chamuel to come out and play. Chamuel, according to Sunny Dawn Johnston’s “Invoking The Archangels Workbook,” helps with career, life purpose and expressions of nonjudgmental self -love.
Nonjudgmental self-love. Yesterday I caught a snippet of an actor’s comments after rehab. He had been nasty to his partner. He said he has negative thoughts about himself and that’s why he used and abused. I think he needs Archangel Chamuel. And you know what, so do I. When I make a mistake, I want to love myself anyway. Give myself a break. I hope you do that already.
Yesterday, I had a really fun time with the white light of Gabriel. I experienced a lot of happiness. It was fun. Today, I’m hoping Chamuel shows up. And, even though I’m not a little girl, I’d like some pink in my life anyway.
Play dates with the Archangels: Happy Gabby
September 13, 2011
I think Gabriel is the happy Angel. According to the Bible, He/She’s the one who gave Mary the news about her baby. In my life, I can’t remember a more incredibly joyous time than finding out I would give another life.
On my way to school with Andrew this morning, I was thinking about Gabriel and His/Her color, white. I noticed a white door and white windows. A lot of doors and windows are white. To me, doors and windows are like invitations. We open doors for friends to come into our homes and we open windows for fresh air. Those things make me happy. Have you noticed a lot of cell phone towers are white as well? I’ve had many happy communications through my cell phone.
This morning, I was early for dance class, so I stretched out on the floor and looked up at the white tubular fluorescent light. I thought of Gabriel again. Later, I wondered if He/She may have blessed my class. There is a song we dance to that I have been waiting to ask my teacher to delete from the repertoire. I’m glad I never did, because today I heard the song in a new way. The song uplifted me. It’s about forgiveness, and not about loss as I had been interpreting it. It made me feel good. Was Gabriel helping me hear it in a different way? I can’t say for sure. But I feel happy.
Gabriel, Sunny Johnston writes in her workbook, "Invoking the Archangels," is gentle, kind and loving. I would add that Gabriel helps you feel happy. When I am done with this "one Archangel a day" exercise, I will definitely ask Gabriel for another play date.
Play dates with the Archangels: Glorious Gabriel.
September 13, 2011
Today I have a playdate with Archangel Gabriel. I’m excited about this for a few reasons. One, Gabriel is the Angel that helps with communication. And since I work in TV, I feel like we can relate. Even bigger, in the Bible, Gabriel is the Angel who came to Mary and told her she would give birth to a baby. What welcome news for most mothers, and in this case, glorious news for the world.
Well, I am hoping Archangel Gabriel will give me good news today. Though I have to admit, it would be very tough to top yesterday. I received so much!
For one thing, I had to drive to my son’s school three times and never felt stressed about traffic. One miracle right there. In fact, on the last drive I stopped into Dunkin’ Donuts and bought Andrew an afterschool treat. (I have never done that. Too much sugar!) The backstory: we had been looking at the clouds on the drive in. I saw a fish, he insisted it was a large donut. I had to continue the joke. Other good news involved Andrew and his homework. Miracle, miracle. Then there was the surprise news about my older son who got a role in a show at his university. Truly a miracle after six auditions and no call-backs.
So, today, I am introducing myself to Gabriel. White Light. Helps with communication, TV, radio, journalism, writing, and children. Children? So much clicked for me and my family yesterday, I’m left to wonder if that was Gabriel with me. Did he muscle in on Michael’s time? Can Archangels even do that? Or was yesterday on Michael's watch and does Gabriel have more surprises for me today?
September 12, 2011
Play dates with the Archangels: Hello, Michael.
This week I am going to get to know the Archangels. The background: I went to a workshop yesterday with the medium and author Sunny Dawn Johnston. She says any one can have a relationship with the Archangels and they can bring miracles into your life. So, I bought her workbook and I’m going to test it out. Today, I introduce myself to Archangel Michael.
Sunny says this Archangel is a brilliant blue color. I noted that before reading about Michael, I chose a blue hoodie to protect against the morning’s chill. Blue came up again when getting my son to school. The garbage trucks I passed were blue. I thought about them picking up the garbage from the alley, and I wondered if Michael would clean away the garbage from my experiences and leave me with the gifts.
I totally believe the Abraham Teachings “Ask and It is Given,” so I totally expect Michael to show up in my life. As I drove Andrew to school, I also noticed blue signs. One read: “We can fix it.” Another blue store sign read “World Choice,” still another, "Dolphin Tales." They reminded me of Michael.
Reading more about Archangel Michael, Sunny wrote that surrounding yourself with the brilliant blue will protect you from negative energy. Coincidentally, this morning, I noticed three times when I was negative. I asked my son, “am I always this negative?” He laughed, leaving me to interpret that as a ‘yes.’
So, the "getting to know you" period begins. Day One: Archangel Michael. Invoke the color blue, and it will protect from negative energy. So far, I’m noticing the color blue in my life and the times when I’m negative. Wondering if just noticing could count as one of the miracles Sunny spoke about?
I’m inspired to “out” myself. Is it because of the courage I see from my friends in the homosexual community, becoming more authentic in June; Gay Pride month? Or is it the date, June 21st, the Summer Solstice? It’s the longest day of the year and some Spiritualists say the energy is profound today. Or is the inspiration I received while listening to music from the late Michael Jackson this past Father’s Day? Either way, here it is: I am out: I am an intuitive. I speak to dead people.
Now, if I was to follow Conan O’Brien’s lead, I would say “deal with it,” (see the comic’s speech to Dartmouth grads June ’11). Or if it I were Stephen Colbert, I’d add, “try explaining that to your grandparents at brunch,” (see Colbert’s speech to Northwestern grads earlier this month as well). While at times, I think I can be pretty funny; and sometimes I look like Tina Fey, it's not what I do for a living. I am a TV News writer. That's as far away from intuition as the pendulum swings. We learned: if your mother says she loves you, get a second source. It's mostly because of what I do for a living, that I am hesitant about “outing” myself as an intuitive. But if Don Lemon can muster the courage to say: “I’m gay,” on CNN; then I can find the fortitude to say “I speak to dead people,” on facebook.
On June 25th, the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, I will publish here a message he has for his fans. I’ve never been an avid fan, but my heart was open when he passed and his Spirit stepped in. Two years later, he has another message. I don’t want to keep you in suspense, so I will tell you this: he is happy and taking a break with friends. What is making him happy and who are his friends? You’ll find out on June 25th.
All my love,
"Love all the ones you can"
I’m inspired by today’s date. 1/11/11. Ones are all lined up. It looks nice, but I wondered what it meant. I asked some friends on facebook and one dear friend joked that it was the end of the world. At first, I dismissed it. I said since it’s the first number, it must be a beginning, not an end.
But the more I thought about, the more I came around to his point of view. It can be the end of the world if we want it to be. Someone once told me that we have the opportunity to change our world with every breath we take. If I was living in fear, I was advised to take a few deep breaths, turn the other cheek and find courage. If I was feeling jealousy, find a way to feel grateful. So, in essence, if we want 1/11/11 to be the end of the world or a beginning, we can have it. Both ways.
One of my friends said she is going to make a wish at 11:11 am. We have another opportunity at 11:11 pm. I think it’s a great idea. Even if there is no special magic to 1/11/11, it certainly can’t do any harm. I’m going to make a wish, too.
Imagine if more of us made a wish at the very same time? And what if we all made the same wish? I wonder if our joint effort would make our wish more powerful?
At 11:11, I am going to wish that I realize more and more who I am. I am made from love. Anything else is just window dressing. And, being made from love, what else can I have to offer the world?
Today, another facebook friend posted this: “Love all the ones you can.” I think today’s date is a reminder to do just that. 1/11/11 is a reminder to love.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Jan 8, 2011
I’m a hanger-on-er. I hang onto things. My Christmas tree is still up and I have my outside lights on this week, one of the few on our side of the block. My neighbors packed their lights away last weekend.
When something feels good, I like to linger with it. That’s how I feel about Christmas. I’m a linger-er. I’m that way with physical things and I’m like that way with emotional things, too.
For instance, if you were my friend once and we don’t talk today, rest assured I still think about that last conversation that chilled our connection. And, if you ever had the misfortune of dating me, you’re on my mind from time to time, too. I think about how I ended it or how you ended it. It’s just what I do, even after more than 20 years of marriage to my “soul mate.” I put that in quotes because I think we all have many soul-mates. Some of them are our neighbors, friends and even coworkers. But that’s another blog.
Last week, some of my facebook friends said they wanted to clear the holiday decorations to bring in the fresh energy of the New Year. I think that’s a good idea. But I’m not ready to change the energy. I want to hang on to every moment of the holiday. Others said the tree had to go because it’s a fire hazard. I’m still not ready drop it and sweep