All posts by anjisilva

Week 20 – MKE

Sweet Gratitude

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What lovely gifts, to give and to  be a grateful receiver of gifts.

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I met a young Brazilian woman and her child at a market performance this summer. She was drawn to me because I was singing the music of her homeland, and she thought I was Brazilian. I am not. My father is a Portuguese descendant of the Azore Islands. I listened to Brazilian music all my life, and heard my elders speaking the language as a young child. As a teen, I got my first Brazilian record – Simone, Amar, and listened to it religiously. It was then and there that I was determined that I would learn to sing in Portuguese, and was on track to become a Brazilian singer.

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So, here she was before me, this beautiful, gentle, smiling Indo-Brazilian woman and her 5 year soft spoken son Joe. She asked where I would be singing next, and I told her. She came to hear me sing with her husband and his  family. I have been following her pregnancy on Facebook, and offered to help out when the baby was born. She replied that her husband was helping out at home, but invited me to meet the baby one evening.  I wanted to bring a special gift for the baby and for Joe, understanding how hard it is for older siblings to be uprooted from being the center of attention when another sibling is born. I found the perfect red car for Joe, and threw in the story/song CD The Fairy’s Flowers that I had produced for the Waldorf and Neo-humanist Education communities years ago. I also wanted to bring something sweet for the mother and family, as is tradition. I walked around the bakery at the local store, and honed in on a cheese and berry strudel. I am familiar with the Brazilian pastry, pao de queijo – cheese bread, and thought this would be the perfect treat. When I arrived, I saw the most beautiful golden mother and child sitting on the couch. She immediately offered me to hold her new daughter, Joy. The strudel was perfect and everyone had two pieces. Joe adored his new car, and red was his favorite color. They played the story CD while I was there, and Joe listened attentively. Leili was overjoyed, and said that she would use the CD during his night time routine. We schmoozed for a few hours, and as I was about to leave, Leili asked me to come back often, “I don’t have any family here, and would love to see you again.” I promised to come back with a feijoada next time (a Brazilian black bean meal). The sweetness and connection I felt with this family is indescribable, I felt as if they were my family too. My takeaway? Follow through on your intuition, you never know where it’s going to lead you.

Shabbat

At shul the other night, an elder friend of ours gave us a surprise gift. He and his wife asked me to open it in front of them. It was a crystal set of Shabbat candlesticks. He knew that my friend and I had begun to observe Shabbat, and wanted us to have special candlesticks to do so. This touched me deeply, as I felt seen by this man.

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I felt like this gift and gesture were from the Divine Himself. On a cosmic level, this elder sees the silver lining. He has lived on this earth for over 80 years, and he is silently guiding us to “follow our bliss”.

And so it is!

Week 19 – MKE

Striving and Thriving

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I have been striving for several weeks now, and my pattern is to strive and thrive. The opening up is beautiful, and I am developing myself in so many areas. And I choose to focus on what I am doing:  I am meditating and chanting more. I am softening my mind more (7 Laws), I am listening to my POA and the 7 Laws recording. I am writing affirmative songs. I’m working on a demo of Heart Songs for other CSL spiritual centers (part of my POA). I am consciously doing my services from my Service card. And, I am reading Og, the MKE and my cards at least twice a day, and sometimes 3 times. The Blue Print Builder is my favorite read, and I strive to read it aloud every day with enthusiasm. I am noticing Kindnesses and putting them in the Alliances. I am active on Twitter. I am writing and flashing Grateful cards. I am reading and commenting on other people’s blogs. I keep up with my own blog. I am deepening my understanding of the 7 Laws of the Mind, which truly speak to my soul. I am taking a Jewish communications course that is touching on the subjects of “listening” and “right speech”. I am taking a Mindful Meditation Class, and learning to Stop, Breathe, Notice, and Choose. I see a life coach twice a month who is helping me untangle some knots on the path of Life. I attend a monthly women’s guided meditation class, and Jewish Sisterhood meetings. I attend the CSL weekly; synagogue and dharma chakra once a month.

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Working on myself has become the top priority, and in doing so, I am able to show up more wholly for those in my life – I am in the flow! What changes am I noticing? I am moving towards things that are building off of the MKE. I want more of this, and the universe is providing it for me. I am learning to communicate more efficiently. I am pausing, and breathing and I am working harder every day to change my thoughts.

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My goal is to work the 7 Laws, one law at a time. Would you like to take the challenge? Take the first Law, and work it for a week. Law of Substitution – we cannot think of two things at the same time. If a negative thought comes to mind, try to think of God instead, or another pleasant thought. This week, I work on the Law of Substitution by doing Madhuvidya each time a negative thought comes to mind. Honey Knowledge – whereby I silently repeat a Sanskrit mantra which means “all is God”.

Peace be on your journey!

 

MKE – Week 18

I embrace the lessons in my life.

Listening to the replay of the webinar brought me to tears, especially when Davene was being so forgiving of us sliding back; and Mark was urging us to see that the World’s Greatest Salesman is us selling ourselves to our own self! What?!!

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After that, I felt I could face my troubles with “gratitude”. I am grateful for the clash in my life, because it will bring me to clarity. I am grateful for everything, big or small, good or bad. And Universe, I love you, because whenever I need it; whatever I need – you show up! Through friends’ kind and wise words, through support, classes, rabbis, clergy people, counselors, friends, loved ones, family, and strangers. You. Show. Up!

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I held space for my Native American sister whose cousin had suffered domestic abuse late one evening. It touched me so deeply, this story of tribal communities and abuse. Trafficking. My sister-friend is a survivor, an activist, and a huge advocate for Native women who have been abused, and especially in the world of Trafficking. Unimaginable. I looked up some information on the subject, and found that 83% of the perpetrators are White men. Not indigenous. This is the work that is calling to my heart.

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So, I held space for her and her family. I smudged, sang kiirtan, and sat in meditation. In my meditation, I surrounded my wounded sister with Divine Love, and asked God to protect her in her pain and confusion. I gave gratitude that my sister-friend was with her, and could be the solid rock and voice that she needed. And, with my mother and grandmother looking on, I realized that this too is my life’s work – helping women who cannot help themselves.

I surrounded her in love, joy and healing all night long, and in my dream state. As I awoke in the morning, I was holding them still, and felt peace surround them…

Week 17HJ – MKE

Haanel on Intuition

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“Intuition arrives at conclusions without the aid of experience or memory.

Intuition often solves problems that are beyond the grasp of reasoning power.

Intuition often comes with a suddenness that is startling; it reveals the truth for which we are searching, so directly that it seems to come from higher power.

Intuition can be cultivated and developed; in order to do this it must be recognized and appreciated; if the intuitive visitor is given a royal welcome when he comes, he will come again; the more cordial the welcome the more frequent his visits will become, but if he is ignored or neglected he will make his visits few and far apart….

Intuition usually comes in the Silence; great minds seek solitude frequently; it is here that all the larger problems of life are worked out.”

Intuition

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This week, the visitor revealed himself to me through so many forms – the Jewish communication class that popped up in my feed after several stormy days of communication. The letter of appreciation from the synagogue that came a few days before; The weekly Torah script that spoke on The Fear of Freedom, the Seder ritual today that spoke of the outer and inner shell of conflict, and how there is a softening and sweetness at the end of conflict; the ritual of mixing the clear juice with the grape juice as a symbol of a struggle that you are in the middle of, and getting ready to get out on the other side. All of these things connected to our Jewish life at a time when we needed these signs to reel us in.

I am grateful!

Courage

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“If you wish to eliminate fear, concentrate on courage.

Always concentrate on the ideal as an already existing fact; this is the germ cell, the life principle which goes forth and sets in motion those causes which guide, direct and bring about the necessary relation, which eventually manifest in form.”

Concentrate on that which you wish to manifest. Concentrate on it as if it already exists.

I needed to be super grounded this week, as I was facing adversity. I chose to do a deeper meditation lesson in my need to manifest courage. For me, the power of a Sanskrit mantra, and energizing the chakras works far better, and quicker than any other method. Mantra is “sound vibration”. Concentrating on each chakra, while repeating a powerful mantra helps to clear the channel and connect to Supreme Consciousness. This powerful act helped to carry me through a situation that could have gone south. I held steady like a rock, and had great courage.

I give myself permission to change my perceptions and to choose happiness!

I choose happiness

Week 17 – MKE

I Choose Love

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I give myself permission to change my perceptions and to choose happiness!

This week I was challenged in so many ways. I went to California to care for my ailing father whose overall health is fragile. My family members struggle to care for him, and some things fall through the cracks because of it.

Pops was not the kindest person when we were growing up, and as he ages, his crass behaviors amplify. I had to deal with several challenging personalities around his care, with great love and kindness, while asserting personal boundaries. And, I succeeded! By divine intervention, I was able to support my sister and my father, and put some necessary things in place for his care. I am also quite empathic, and able to hold space for my father – ask the right questions, and listen to his needs. This is a beautiful gift, and I’m only able to do so because I healed the childhood wound I had with him years ago.

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The greatest challenge this week was being deceived by a person very close to me. I experienced a range of emotions around the perceived deception – anger, sorrow, devastation. After writing a cathartic poem in the middle of the night, I was able to come to a place in communication where I encouraged this person to choose truth, because being truthful is healing to the soul of one who is choosing deception. Being truthful is essential in an intimate relationship. And, I opened up to hear the story. “I am ready to hear your story.” I held steady to my MKE and personal meditation practices, and was ready to listen with love.

Listen with love

Allow love to be the dominating force

In this way, my mind softened (a relaxed state of mind is a clear channel). So, I worked very hard to remain in that soft place in a phone conversation, until the moment I could see him again. And once I saw him, anger swelled up, and I began with digs, little, sarcastic digs. I watched myself do this, and observed my behavior. And then, full blown anger that needed to be expressed, but this anger needed to be there in order for me to step into my truth. I watched myself step in and sustain my personal truth. And glory to this human being, he did not walk away, but met my anger and listened, and reflected. And I softened. And we connected, and remained connected. And the softening was more important than the incident. The love overcame the rage, and it remained and sustained me.

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In the past, I would obsess over a negative action. It would imprint in my mind, and I would not be able to clear it for days. In this moment, I chose to replace the negative thought with love. Just that, love, and healing for the people involved. And I saw that this person loved me, and was hurt, and was acting out of his own pain. And I could show compassion.

I know in the core of me that the MKE is helping me to show up this way. I look forward to the day when I will face every situation with love.

I give myself permission to change my perceptions and to choose happiness!

I choose happiness

And I choose love

Persistence!

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A young woman I met on the plane told me a story that just blew my mind. She is a Filipino American from a lower-middle class neighborhood in Oakland, California – the first one in her family to attend college. She told me how she wanted to attend a women’s studies course, as it’s her passion. The class was full, and the professor said that she could not get in. Well, this young woman sat in every day, and talked to the teacher, every day after class. She emailed the teacher constantly, asking to be added to the class, ccing the dean of her department. In the end, they finally opened up a bigger classroom in order to accommodate her.

I persist and I succeed!

 

Week 16 – MKE

Kindness – Pay it Forward!

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What a fun week this is turning out to be so far with the focus on Kindness, remembering acts of kindness, writing it in the community Alliances, and checking it off on a daily column.

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My neighbors helped me solve a problem I was having with another neighbor

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Writing words of encouragement for someone’s sick mother

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Writing words of condolences and peace for someone who lost their mother

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My sweet darling friend buying soup, flowers and chocolate for me when I was sick

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Packing lunch for my son, when he told me he wasn’t able to pack enough to eat daily

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Hiding notes of appreciation  and affirmations for loved ones to find

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Massaging my dog with loving kindness

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Responding to other’s kind deeds with

Kindness…


I am a CSL Singer!

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This was my first week at the Center for Spiritual Living where I stepped into the role of Vocal Lead, and did I ever feel Jazzed! I opened with a Yoruba welcoming song – Mamaliye, and invited the congregation to sing along with Enthusiasm! And what a rocking opening it was – they didn’t want to stop!

The night before, I had to create a program without the help of the reverend, who usually tells me what the talk is going to be about. The theme for this month is Awareness, and I had to come up with a good song to sing for the end of the program. I usually close my eyes and tap into Supreme Consciousness when I can’t think of anything. “Put music to the MKE affirmation!” was what I heard.

I am whole,
I am perfect
I am strong
I am powerful
I am loving
I am harmonious
And I am happy!

In studying a New Thought singer’s videos, I found that she used very simple melodies that people could quickly grab onto, and decided to do the same. This affirmation powerfully moved everyone into another dimension. Some members were standing up with their hands to the heavens as we sang, our full voices filling the air! After the program, the interim reverend came up to me and showed his appreciation. He asked me if I would lead workshops on spiritual music and meditation. I have also been approached by several members to do a CD recording of the affirming songs that I bring in. I am ecstatic to be serving in this new community!

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Blessings on your week, and remember to show, see, and appreciate Kindness wherever you go!

Week 15 – MKE

Words, Thoughts, and Insight

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It often takes several readings in order to deepen my understanding of Haanel’s writings. By the third time, when I start highlighting the main points, that is when I finally get it, and say to myself, “Aha!”

“In order to possess vitality, thought must be impregnated with love. Love is the product of the emotions. It is therefore essential that the emotions be controlled and guided by the intellect and reason.”

Law of Relaxation – only a calm mind can receive the channels of wisdom, intellect and reason.

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“If we wish our ideal to be beautiful and strong, we must see that the words out of which this temple will eventually be created are exact, that they are put together carefully, because accuracy in the building words and sentences is the highest form of architecture in civilization and is a passport to success.”

“Words … they may contain all knowledge; in them we find the history of the past as well as the hope of the future; they are the living messengers from which every human and superhuman activity is born.”

Be careful with your words. My spiritual master said, “Think a thousand times before you speak.” Surely, we won’t think a thousand times, but the idea is to be very careful with your words. Use your intellect, reasoning and rational mind to convey your thoughts. And (Law of Substitution) change your thoughts before you speak your words. I practice this constantly. If I see my mind reacting, I keep my mouth closed, find a positive thought, and strive to speak only once I know that my words are going to be helpful.

Positive affirmation, law of attraction, Thoughts become things

“How shall we identify a vital thought? It must have principle… …there is principle in health, but none in disease; there is a principle of light, but none in darkness; there is a principle of abundance, but none in poverty.”

“…thought containing principle is vital and therefore contains life and consequently takes root, and eventually but surely and certainly displaces negative thoughts, which by their nature can contain no vitality….”

Thought must have vitality; must be alive! Think of a green plant, a flowing river, the red and orange sun! Thought must have prana – the life force! And what a great practice we are doing now combining the words, thoughts and actions through our Gratitude Flash Cards, and Franklin Makeover!

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“Insight is the faculty of the mind whereby we are enabled to examine facts and conditions at long range; it enables us to understand difficulties as well as possibilities.”

“Insight enables us to be prepared for the obstacles which we shall meet.”

“Insight is a product of the world within and is developed in the Silence by concentration…”

This all ties in neatly. Meditation and contemplation help to relax our mind, use our imagination, and to develop our “Insight” or “Intuition”. Tantra Yoga talks about the different layers of the mind, the highest being the Supra Conscious layer of the mind. It is the layer of intuition, of creativity, and invokes the feeling of being one with Supreme Consciousness. Musicians often times go into this realm of consciousness while performing, which stimulates the pineal gland to release “happy hormones”. A regular practice of meditation in a rotation of 12 hours (twice a day) helps to keep ones mind in that relaxed state, or spiritual flow. I see how the practices of the MKE in a rotation of 3 plus times a day has its value in comparison, and though it is a personal challenge for me to make it a habit, I appreciate it greatly!

Mi Semana

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The New Year flew in with Abundance, and I met it with Gratitude. There was Harmony all around me, and I was in the flow of Giving, which brought great Insight!

I have been asked to be the weekly Vocal Lead at the Center for Spiritual Living in Tacoma – a New Thought, Science of the Mind center! The reverend also booked me for several concerts in the city throughout the year. Hello 2018!

For New Year’s Day, I was called upon to lead the kiirtans (spiritual chants) at the Ananda Marga spiritual gathering in Puyallap. At first, I was compelled to decline, as I had too many commitments that weekend, and foresaw myself being exhausted. Well, during the MKE webinar, I received the 3rd text, begging me to come and lead the kiirtans, just as Mark J. was encouraging us to dive into our Personal Pivotal Needs. Mine are Spiritual Growth and Helping Others – how could I not lead the kiirtans for the community?! So I decided that I could catch up on my sleep during the week, and forged ahead.

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There at the gathering, I was put in charge of orienting a new visitor to our Dharma Chakra – Wheel of Dharma practice. She was a recovering addict who had dabbled in meditation before, and shared with me that she always felt better when she had a spiritual practice. I closed my eyes, and tuned into the Divine Mind before talking with her. Suddenly, the Words began to flow out of me, as if someone else was speaking for me. I felt an incredible surge of spiritual energy while engaging with this woman. Tears trickled down her face as I spoke, and she apologized for being emotional. I mentally and emotionally held her throughout our Dharma Chakra, which including dancing and singing a spiritual chant for one and a half hours, and doing meditation. I felt a deep connection with her, as if I had known her for several lifetimes, and a sisterhood was planted.

So, I listened to Mark, to the Divine call to follow my Bliss, I’m in the Flow, let my Compass be the Guide.

Blessed New Year, and Sweet Love to you all!

Anjali

Song of the week:  Harvest for the World, The Isley Brothers

Week 14 – MKE

Rise Above It!

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Our assignment for this week was to watch one or more inspirational films from a given list. I had already seen Coco, which wasn’t on the list, and really should have been, so I chose Cool Runnings. My son and his friend had watched this movie several times, and I wanted to understand why it was a favorite of theirs.

The story centers around three Jamaican runners vying for the Olympics, and don’t make it in, due to the mistake of one of the runners. The lead character is determined to get into the Olympics, as his father was a sprinter before him. He comes up with the idea to form a bobsled team when he hears that a friend of his father’s, an Olympic bobsledder believed that sprinters would make the best bobsledders. He seeks out this man, and asks him to coach his team.

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Watch these guys move!

The Four Point Formula

Definite Major Purpose:  The DMP in this case was the young man wanting to be in the Olympics, no matter what. He was going to do it via bobsledding, even though he knew nothing about it, and lived on a tropical island!

Plan of Action:  How did they achieve their goal? Training however they could, on the dusty roads of Jamaica, using the 5 Ps – Perfect Practice Prevents Poor Performance. Raising money, they got to the Olympics. They acquired a training sled, trained in the cold winter of Canada, did it “their way”, and crossed the finish line!

Master Mind Alliances:  They master minded with the coach, their own team members, and the coach’s friends in Canada who helped them along the way.

Positive Mental Attitude:  Several moments stood out to me in this regard.

  • The rich kid (Junior) encourages Yule Brenner to follow his dreams after he is ridiculed by another team member.
  • In one scene, Yule is telling Junior to toughen up by using the “man in the mirror”, and this affirmation:  “Take a deep look inside. What do you see? Pride, power, a bad ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody. What do you see?” He makes him say it over and over again, and Junior gains strength from it.
  • The coach tells them at one point “If you are not enough with winning the gold, you won’t be enough not winning it. Be who you are. Be enough now.”
  • They call themselves “Cool Runnings” which means “Peace be the Journey”.
  • The team succeeded only when they realized that they had to be their true, authentic selves as Jamaicans.
  • Even though they crashed terribly, and were injured, the team was determined, and  walked across the finish line. Though they didn’t win, they finished.

My takeaway:  It’s not about winning, it’s about being authentic, being enough, being your best and truest self, following your dream and putting everything into it, regardless of the outcome, and holding on with firm determination!

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Tamales!

A sweet moment in my week. I spent over 5 hours making different kinds of tamales from scratch for the holiday dinner with the help of my gorgeous and awesome son! I always feel the presence of my mama, my abuelita and my indigenous ancestors in the process of making the sauce, the masa, the filling; and steaming the tamales. The best part is the dark, rich flavor of the sauce and the sweet taste of corn in your mouth.

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What did I accomplish off my DMP? I held my goals in my mind. I had two great master minding sessions with my colleagues, and came away with some sweet gems – do my best for me, scale down my goals so that I am able to realistically accomplish them, be grateful for the things I do, and find a photographer to do a “glam shoot” (thanks Bobbi!).

I have been enjoying writing and using the flash cards, bathing in a sea of gratitude and positivity this week, and looking for the Harmony in everything!

Bright Beginnings, and a Very Happy New Year to All!

“Rise Above It!”

 

 

Week 13 – MKE

I Persist Until I Succeed!

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What a statement! I have been reading this 3 times a day for almost one month now, and can feel it vibrating in my heart chakra. I persist until I succeed! For me, it is about self-confidence, mastering my emotions, serving and giving to others, breaking through the barriers of my mind, and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. I persist until I succeed!

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This weeks webinar on the MKE was pow-er-ful! We are moving from several weeks of developing our inner selves with some of the most profound, external exercises, to executing the practices in our practical world of business. I especially enjoyed the NARC process of “Gestalting” emotions, and using the Law of Dual Thought:  “We can attach any feeling to a thought we want” in order to trick your mind into doing things that you don’t want to do, such as calling contacts for business. Yes, I am that person. I will do everything throughout the day to feed my endorphins and keep my brain in that happy space. Calling people and saying, “Oh, I am so and so, the great singer, and you need me for your next occasion!” is painful and humiliating for me. So, Mark has just given us a beautiful tool called NARC – Neurological Associative Reactive Conditioning, a “Gestalt therapy” hack, if you will.  Exaggerate and amplify your negative feelings, dramatize them by throwing away your written life dreams before making your calls. Then, make your calls, and reward yourself with a positive image, or a tangible talisman from the past with feeling. Hmm… This lovely photo of my abuelita and I when I was 4 years old is just the right thing!

Angelita y Abuela

My abuelita came from Mexico every year to take care of us. She woke me up early to make tamales with her, forced me (with love) to learn to speak Spanish, and carried me into a wild world of fantasy. Once, my abuelita lit a candle and led me into the closet, where she had brought a special box. Sitting in the glow of the candle, she opened it up and said, “We came from gypsies, and these are the trinkets and scarves that were stolen from the rich!” In the candlelight, I could see the shiny objects and silky scarves. I looked into her fiery brown eyes, and asked, “Really Abuelita?!” “Yes!” she said emphatically, “We lived in a caravan with wagons and horses, stopping on the roadside to make our camp.” The stories would go on and on, and I in my naiveté, would believe every single word!

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I adored my abuelita – she could do not wrong. I recently purchased the most wonderful wild rose butter from the Native American longhouse near my home. The sweet scent of roses reminds me of my abuelita’s smell, and that it came from the Native American center is another reminder. Abuelita’s photo and the rose butter are the perfect combinations for my most pleasurable experience!

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I had a setback this week, where I could not rein in my emotions during a very strong reaction to someone’s words and a negative image that enveloped my mind. I really beat myself up for that, as I thought I had gone beyond that. But the jewel that came out of it was that I was able to pull myself back in after several minutes, and working hard to pulling all of the tricks out of my hat. I apologized, and asked for forgiveness. It scared me to see my mind and body take over. But, what a win that I was able to take back control after such a short time. Yes. That was a win for me, not to hold the negativity and allow it to color my mind for more than a few minutes. I persist, and I succeed!

Song Mantra of the Week:

 

 

Week 12 – MKE

Mind Power

This has been a magical MKE week for me! Let’s start with the movie “Coco”. I am Mexican-American, and a musician, so this movie spoke to my soul. I had heard several of my friends say that it was authentic and true to our culture, and I also found it to be so. What spoke to me about the movie was the firm determination of Miguel to become a musician, against all odds. His family was against music, yet he created a space where he could practice and study in secret. His passion and “I will persist until I succeed”  attitude helped him achieve his goal against all obstacles. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it. The music, colors and flavors of Mexico were almost tangible.

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“You must first have the
Knowledge of your power
Second
The courage to dare
Third
The faith to do”.

Have the knowledge of your power – know the ledge of your power.
“I am powerful!”

The courage to dare – “coragem” in Portuguese. The image of the courageous lion.
Where in your body does courage rise from? Your heart? How do you develop courage?

Faith:  complete trust or confidence in something or someone; strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
I have the faith to “do”.

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While at the gym one day, I was listening to the recordings of my Definite Major Purpose, Plan of Action, and Laws of the Mind. While listening, I noted the shapes in the room as they correlated to my DMP. As I listened to the Laws of the Mind, I began to realize a few things a little deeper…

Law of Substitution – “We cannot think of two things at one time. If a negative thought enters your mind, think about God instead…” So, what do I think of instead? I have the perfect image of my spiritual master in my crown chakra, moon face, bald head, thick black glasses, pursed smile, infinite and all knowing tender gaze… this is the sweetest image to replace any negative thought!

Law of Relaxation – “Mental effort defeats itself.” The light finally came on for me around this. If you are thinking of something negative; if you are angry or irritated, you cannot relax your mind. If you are non-forgiving, you cannot relax your mind. “Relaxation of thought is the only access to Infinite Intelligence”. Do you want to access it? Try a little exercise. When someone is talking to you, and you want to react; to speak, to give an opinion, try relaxing your mind instead. I imagine my brain as an oval sphere inside of my head, and it is sinking in, relaxing. I can repeat to myself, “Relax, relax, relax my mind”. Thus, you are doing several things:  using the Law of Substitution by replacing a thought; using the Law of Dual Thought by attaching a new feeling; using the Law of Growth by growing your garden of relaxation in your beautiful brain; and using the Mental Diet  by substituting positive thoughts for negative ones.

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I was able to use the power of my mind to not react to negativity this week, while having a conversation with someone who has a habit of projecting negativity onto me – images and words that do not serve me. The old me would have internalized those words, and painted my mind with the negative colors – holding them for hours, if not days. My mother was a psychotherapist, and gave me many tools to carry with me throughout life. One of them was to use a mental shield when others are trying to harm you with words. She called it the “Teflon Shield” (I still laugh at this!)

While living in the mountains of North Carolina, a pre-teen girl, Amora came to my yoga camp one summer. On a walk by the river, she shared with me that her father belittled her often. In that moment, I remembered Mama’s Teflon Shield, and encouraged her to create a mental shield around her when her papa began to criticize her. I took a moment to help her visualize it, “What color is it? What does it look like?” “It’s a wall of flowers!” She said. “Good! Every time your papa starts to say something negative to you, you put up that shield of flowers, and repeat the mantra  ‘**Baba Nam Kevalam’, and feel the love surround you.” The next day, Amora came to me, very excited and told me that she had used the shield when her papa was shouting at her, and that it worked!

In the same moment that this person was trying to project his negative blueprint onto me, I created a beautiful, translucent shield of flowers as a barrier between myself, and his words. I saw the most beautiful colors, and was fascinated by the bubble. How funny now, looking back at this. The poor guy didn’t stand a chance with me in my flower la la land!

Star of David Hanukkah menorah

Hanukkah is upon us this week, a time to reflect on miracles, on God’s love and omniscience, a time to kindle our inner light. I am happy for, nay I live for these rituals, these connections to others, these prayers and reverent moments in time. I leave you with one of my favorite Hanukkah prayers:

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech Ha-olam she-heche-ya-nu ve-ki-yi-ma-nu ve-higi-a-nu liz-man ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

Shalom!

**Baba Nam Kevalam:  a universal mantra that transforms energy from negative to positive; love is all there is.