I have spent the last eight months intensely focusing on my meditation practices, with a commitment to healing my own heart in hopes to help others heal. During this season, it becomes essential to withdraw ones energy from external creative projects to recharge your batteries. What I have become aware of during this time has amazed me because life seems somewhat surreal, there is a certain detachment from things that once had great meaning to me, now life is quite like watching a movie, a comedy of sorts. Everyone has a story, everyone has drama, problems abound, the world is spinning with war, famine, disease, greed, corruption, battles of egos and self importance. Yet in the center of all the chaos, having spent a lot of time in the laughter and innocence of children, what has become crystal clear to me in the midst of a child's joyful spirit and lack of materialistic desire is that the world is full of wounded hearts in desperate need of healing.
Underneath the surface of our 'well manicured materialistic society' we are infected. Oozing from the puss of negativity and past wounds long needing to be cleaned, bandaged and healed. When we glorify gossip, and the destruction of "peoples marriages, the family unit, the demise of a loving union." No matter how perfect our physical appearance is groomed, no matter the social status of the individual, no matter how many educated people run Fortune 500 companies, no matter how many rich people dot the planet or how many famous people fill another tacky tabloid newspaper, it is all an illusion. Let's face it, we are a sick society. All of it is a distraction from the truth, that the world is reflecting back to us the turmoil of our own wounded hearts in a major way. Good ole Saint Nick needs to bring on the bag full of heart transplants for the holidays to replace modern day values and priorities. If a child in a third world country can laugh, smile and find joy playing with a stick in the mud, instead of a toy made from Mattel what does this say about those of us that live in rich nations whose lives are filled with material abundance and resources?
Just look around you; at our houses, our cars, our grocery stores, our mega malls. In comparison to some third world nations, we live like Kings & Queens of the royal court and yet once we have obtained what we desire, it is still not enough and the quest for more continues. In an era of material and technological abundance why are we never satisfied with our bessings and is the sole expense going to be the extinction of LIFE on the planet as we know it? Will we pollute every creature on the planet to satiate our material hunger, including ourselves and our children because we refuse to deal with our own pain. Instead we cover it, hoard it, buy it, bury it in all the material desires money can aquire ...just to let go of it all once we die. Will we infect our children with our warped material priorities instead of sustainable business practices that ensure the survival of future generations. When did we decide 'material things' were more valuable than sustaining human life, or the lives of the animals and creatures we share the planet with? The last time I checked, quality of life for all people; food, clean water, shelter, clothes and education is priority. If you want to drive a Mercedes, fine but the damn thing needs to run on water and spit out grass clippings or plant trees so your children can breath in the future. Follow me? The heart of our Constitution, what our country represents to impoverished countries around the world is the possibility of building a future better than the past. We need to live up to our own reputation as a nation and exceed our own expectations. Yet, how is it possible for us to be willing to share our own abundance, if we are wounded on the most basic human level and believe whether consciously or subconsciously that we are not enough, so therefore what we reflect into the world that what we have materially is never enough?
How do you make people care when thousands of businesses are cranking out toxic products, manufactured in China & India unsustainably? While at the same time, some of the worlds most famous celebrities, with mass international audiences are creating product lines that do not support sustainable environmental practices or packaging. You cannot tell me people don't know any better because that is a lie. There is an unwillingness to change because it effects the bottom line. So here comes fear based thinking, that instead of doing the right thing and leading our businesses into better eco practices, what we are saying to our children who inherit our fortune or misfortunes is that what we have -right now- is never enough. Through unsustainable example we teach our children that the almighty dollar, a piece of paper, is more important than changing who we are or who we have been in the past when our lives and our childrens lives depend on becoming a Sustainable Nation. We can be the Eco Country of future business models and a shining example of the full possibility, of the brillance and the talent of our country represents or we will be left behind, drowning in the dust of our old habits and ways. Our scarcity mentality is archaic and needs to be thrown back into the stone age where it belongs. There is enough for everyone if we are willing to share our abundance with others...if we are willing to make a change in our own hearts, and in how we are showing up in the world as leaders in our own lives and in business. We can be the movement that heals hearts around the world, improves the quality of human life in developing nations if we are willing to change and be better than who we have been in the past...but this greedy, consumable, fear based mentality will never lead us into the future we dream of....we must dream bigger...we must dream sustainably and usher our nations children into a brighter future instead of turning over a toxic mess.
The truth is, we have enough on the planet to sustain and support life, you are enough. The fact you exist is a blessing and you are loved and supported by an abundant universe. I believe every person on the planet is a solution to a problem in the world, without you, without your contribution, without your puzzle piece, the world will never be the same. And when you are successful in your life, you are blessed with the opportunity to reach out your hand and bless others in your family, friends and community. The challenge is I see a lot of successful people forget where they came from, forget the people who supported them and sustained them when they were on their way up struggling for the cherry on the cake. Only to arrive to the peak of their 'success mountain top' and suffer from amnesia about those that blessed them and supported them along the way, sometimes even turning their back on those that got them there. Which only creates and perpetuates a cycle of pain and resentment in relationships.Thereby wounding more hearts instead of healing them. Why should you hoard your abundance? How many cars do you need? How many houses can you possibly occupy? How many pairs of shoes and closets do you really need? Excess is killing us, especially emotional baggage. Come on, let's get real here. We need to conquer our own selfishness and positively make an impact on the lives around us, and in more than a ' I just donated 10k to xyz Foundation' kind of way. When we love ourselves, when we commit to healing our lives, we begin to care about the bigger picture and our legacy.
Life is relationship(s) and when I heal my own heart, and my relationships, when I support the healing of the hearts of the people closest to me, when I uplift those who have empowered me and forgive those that disempowered me in my lifetime, the potential to transform the world is huge. When I commit to healing my own wounds, when I 'look beyond my own selfish desires / needs' and see the wounds of the people around me, see the humanity in my enemies, the needs of my family, when I share my abundance and commit to helping my friends, my family, my community heal and improve the quality of their lives...one person, one heart at a time, the world begins to reflect back the healing, love and abundance everyone in the world, every member of our global family deserves. The love you choose to extend to another creates a 'butterfly effect' and somewhere in the world anger is disarmed. Wounds are healed. Guns are laid down. Wars cease. Love wins. One healed heart at a time.
Be a Soldier for Love. I encourage you to get 'down & dirty' with the wounds of your heart. Be radically courageous in the healing of yourself, your friends, and empowering your community emotionally and sustainably. Imagine what the world would look like if hearts around the world were whole and complete?
Let me give you an example of the power of meditation and healing...what is possible. This past Saturday was my nephews birthday party. He is a little love ball of light, and I was concerned because my ex stepfather, whom I had not seen in over 7 years, since he and my mother divorced was going to be there. My sister had recently reconciled with her dad, she was a young child when he and my mother seperated and she does not remember all the domestic violence, but I do. At one point her father broke my mothers nose and arm, so my way of dealing with him since their divorce has always been avoidance. He is a charming man on one hand, but on the other, some of my memories of him are not very pretty. So I just don't look backwards or reminisce on the pain of the past, I look forward to the future. My concern that day was how I would respond to him after not seeing him in such a long time. I'm naturally over-protective of my petite mother, and when he would attack her back in the day I would either play peace-maker to disarm the problem or take the blows by getting between him and my mom or my little sister. I spent ages ten to eighteen playing defense like a professional football player. My point is that I was on guard in his presence and I have a low tolerance to men who are disrespectful to women in any way, shape or form.
When my step-father arrived at the costume party, ironically he was dressed as a priest. His new girlfriend was dressed like an Oriental Superwoman. My mother, whom I watched carefully was the first person to hug him, and I realized if my own mother, whom was deeply wounded by him not just emotionally but physically, could find it in her heart to let go of years of resentment, heartache and pain. So could I. Granted, I went to therapy for years but it was still a very powerful thing to witness. My ex-stepfather went around hugging all the people in my family and then it was my turn. Seven years ago, I would not have been seen in the same room with my ex-stepfather. Yet here I was, hugging him and in the middle of embracing this man who loved us but caused our family so much pain I realized how wounded he was from his own childhood experiences and I decide to bless and forgive him...letting go of the past as I released him. My nephew suddenly ran by to get a hug from my stepfather, his grandpa, while the beauty and reality of "love with the heart of a child," passed through my mind like the wind.
One of my teachings from the Monks is, " to drop it all...the anger...the pain...the resentment...the joy...let it pass..." In truth, when our life is over, we drop everything. We are here for the experience and to learn to love unconditionally, which can be a very difficult thing to learn. If I cannot forgive the people closest to me whom have hurt my heart (which can take time) how can we expect to heal the wounds of the world?
Lesson: Change in the world and healing of the world first begins in me, through me & within my own family.
I think Michael Jackson says it best, " I'm starting with the Man in the Mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways...If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself then make a change."
The monks also teach that in life we are constantly trying to 'manage' our states of suffering but because we live in a 'material world' on 'automatic pilot,' we do not even realize what is occuring half the time because we are much too busy to notice. We fail to notice that in our states of human suffering, we run into addictive behavior patterns; entering into relationships pre-maturely to distract us from facing our personal issues, sleeping with multiple sex partners to deal with our loneliness or sadness, using drugs, prescription meds or alcohol to numb our pain, being addicted to the spotlight of admiration to balance out our insecurities or obsessive need for approval, we may even go shopping to spend away our problems, basing our personal worth on brand labels. In being human, we do these things to avoid our pain to manage the three states of suffering that we continually drift between; physical, spiritual and psychological.
Here are a few things I learned that have helped me get through some of 'my dark nights of the soul ' and helped me in my own journey of healing without any meds. None of these are meant to replace a good counselor, and I can only hope they will help you in your journey to healing:
- Let It Go (Monk Prayer): One of the prayers I learned from the monks is very simple and beautiful. Make a list of whomever you need to forgive or whatever is upsetting you on a piece of paper. Get on your knees and place the paper where you can read it comfortably. Pray to whomever your divinity is while clenching your fists, and start with the the first person or upset on your list, and tell your divinity 'the story' of whatever is upsetting you or whatever xyz did...but keep your fists clenched while telling the story no matter how long it takes. Be with the emotions that come up for you, feel them, cry, let it out of your body. When you are done 'running your racket' ie...telling your story ask for divine grace to help you forgive the person or situation and state that ' I am releasing and surrendering xyz person or situation to their highest good." Let go. Let God and 'open your hands, symbolically releasing the situation or person.' Repeat for every item / person on your list.
- Daily Meditation / Spiritual Exercise Practices: Find a local class if you are a beginner. Most Whole Foods have 'Hollistic Magazines' in the entry of the grocery store with event listings inside. If you prefer the privacy of your own home I recommend Chant, by Robert Gass. Especially if you have a hard time with 'monkey mind,' ie...endless head chatter. Chanting seems to give you focus while meditating. Moving meditation classes such as Tai Chi, Yoga (there are 10 asanas to master for competitive folks) or Quigong are also good. And if there is a Labyrinth / garden in your local community (which I love) it is a great place to do walking / chant meditations. Try to do at least 15 to 30 mins per day. Keep a journal so you can document how you are feeling, your experiences and epiphanies. All of the above will help get you centered and ' still.' Make 'moments of peace' a conscious daily habit in your life, and watch everything shift. When we change, all things around us change.
- Oneness University: Also known as Oneness or Deeksha meditation classes (International locations are listed on the website.) These are free classes but a thirty day retreat in India is also available to students wanting a deeper process. (I'll go with you to India if you want company ;) First, let me say these meditations are not about converting you from your current religion, it is non-denominational. Everyone is welcome to receive the blessings. However, if you are not familiar with any kind of hollistic or energy body work, it works like roto-rooter for the soul. The meditations are very peaceful, but the day after meditation classes, you are 'processing' and let's just say all the 'stuff clogging your energy body / pipes; pain, trama, etc' will begin to 'flush' and clear out of your system. In other words, you will learn to " be with" whatever emotions come up for you to release the pain out of your system and energy body for good. Cleanse and release is the process. Ride it out, it's intense. And I highly suggest doing the advanced course if you are serious about healing your life. It is not for the faint of heart but once you 'go through' the process, it will do for you what years of therapy never could in terms of conquering whatever has held you back in life.
- EFT / Tapping: EFT was technique created by a Doctor for the treatment of war veterans or trama victims suffering from Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, I highly recommend EFT by Gary Craig for everyone. I started doing tapping with Margaret Lynch about a year ago but was not doing it correctly. EFT is a 'sandwich technique' and it was not until I learned all three parts that I found out how powerful it is not just for the mind but in combination with energy work and Oneness meditations, it is a life saver. Especially while you 'process any kind of pain.' Seriously, you can 'tap' any upset, any racket right out of the body. It's fabulous. The man deserves a Nobel Prize.
- Energy Work / Removing Cords of Attachment: Welcome to the wonderful world of advanced Reiki and Pranic healing. You will need to find a Reiki Master and people like myself who do energy work on clients. Clearing your 'energy body' and chakras of emotional sewage is essential to your healing. Based on your life experiences, tramas, heartache etc, you carry all of it in your energy field. When you are interested in someone, or once you are sexually intimate with someone, if you can imagine a cord or rope of light connecting your heart to the heart of whomever you are involved with. Remember the biblical passage that states, " the two become one flesh." Well chording merges your energy body with another and let's face it some people have had enough 'flesh' i.e...lovers to look like a GE light bulb that could power Manhattan. The challenge with this is there is a positive and negative energy flow between you and the other person. Even if you break up, you are still connected. Which is why sometimes you get the 'aww' or 'ugh' feeling whenever you bump into an old lover months or years after the break up. The catch is since you are 'energetically connected' you are now also picking up the energy of all the lovers they have been with since you and visa versa. Now you know why you sometimes get that ' slimy used car salesman' feeling after being with someone. Which is why we have to 'cleanse' our energy fields and 'cut the old chords' to move on with our lives. I cleared a clients energy last week and she called to tell me the next morning that she & her new boyfriend had 'an out of body' sexual experience afterwards. Which is pretty cool. It's amazing what occurs when you clear the 'energy body' of years of emotional garbage. Just because you 'can't see it' doesn't mean the energy body does not exist. Chinese medicine, far older than Western medicine is built around thousands of years of this particular knowledge...and knowledge is power and healing for the soul
My wish is that when we 'heal our own lives & hearts' the 10,000 lives we touch are unfolding at the moment we make a committment to change our lives for the better. Healing the world begins and ends with each one of us, for we are the keepers of our own internal universe.