Living in Paradise

Whether we choose to see hell on earth or heaven on earth, either way we are correct. It merely comes to a choice…what is it that we want? Do we want happiness in our lives, igniting a spark of the divine with in our being? or do we prefer to remain in a fiery inferno of hate, fear and other negativity?
It truly is our choice as how we perceive this world. Do not look to the streets for the answers of today, instead look to the stars for the answers that lay within. We are surrounded by negativity, but also surrounded by positivity. Which we choose to see, is our choice. Why not choose the latter of the two?
When we focus on the positive side of things, we enter into a realm of unlimited possibilities or infinite potentiality. Carlos Castenada refers to this as ‘The Active Side of Infinity.” Think about that for minute…and then come back to read the rest.

… to access the field of pure potentiality is through practice of non-judgment. Judgment is the constant evaluation of things as right or wrong, good or bad. When you are constantly evaluating, classifying, labeling, analyzing, you create a lot of turbulence in your internal dialogue. This turbulence constricts the flow of energy between you and the field of pure potentiality. 

~Deepak Chopra
When we focus on what we truly want in life, opening a door to unlimited possibilities, we essentially tap into the Life Force that co-creates our every desire. This Life Force is always working. Unfortunately it is the same force that co-creates what we do not want in our lives, cautioning us to really focus our intent on what we do want in our lives…not what we do not.

Focusing on the negative side of infinity visually impairs us into seeing hate,

fear and destruction,

leading us to our own decay.

~Joseph

Changing our perspective to the active side of infinity, we are born into unlimited Life Possibilities…igniting a fire within. The fire within is the beginning to a raging forest fire, clearing all negativity from our dashboard of life. Planting New Life, we harvest a bit of Heaven on a daily basis.
Stepping into the Canvas on the Active Side of Infinity, creating the life we always dreamed of. Cancelling our subscriptions to old paradigms of thinking, we subscribe to a new thought process. This process is not concerned what others think, what everyone else is doing or what suffering is going on in the world. No…the new thought process…is in this simple question…What is it that I want? Own it…and you too shall be Living in Paradise.

Step of the Day

Stepping into the Canvas with Spirit as your guide. May vibrant, resilient optimism fill your being, giving you comfort and nourishment for your soul. With each step fix your gaze on Love, leaving the rest to the Painter of The Canvas.

The Fragrance of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is often discussed but rarely observed. It is singular or plural and the acceptance that we are not perfect. It may have different names: self-forgiveness or forgiving others. We can be asked to be forgiven or we can ask for forgiveness. Through forgiveness, we emit only Love.

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

~Mark Twain

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

~Mahatma Ghandi

The Bible says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).” Recently confronting someone on this matter, they just made excuses not forgiving them, “Oh, I can’t. If you knew what they did to me you couldn’t either.” Asking this same person why they don’t try, they come up with another excuse “because nobody’s perfect and we all fall short.”  While this is true we are not perfect this does not mean we couldn’t try to be more Christ-like. It is my humble opinion that most feel there is no use in trying because there is no physical evidence they will be “saved,” but rely heavily on faith. “Trust by Faith, that God will take care of all your worries (Philippians 1:6).”

The Qur’an says, “Hold forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant Qur’an 7:199).” Just as the Bible promises God taking care of are worries, the Qur’an makes similar claims, “But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow (Qur’an 42:43).”

The Bhagavad-Gita says: “Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy — all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone (Verse 10 4-5).”

Many traditions preach forgiveness but remain non-practicing. Why? It is my humble opinion they are shrouded by their own shadow, project it onto others around them. Carl Jung often discussed “The Shadow is the easiest of the archetypes for most persons to experience. We tend to see it in “others.” That is to say, we project our dark side onto others and thus interpret them as “enemies” or as “exotic” presences that fascinate”.

While projecting outwards we find it difficult to forgive the other person as we see their behavior as inexcusable. The truth of the matter is we need only look within for the answer to this dilemma. Carl Jung refers to self-actualized people as being able to let things go, finding it easier to forgive the self and projecting forgiveness onto others.

None of us are perfect so why do we judge people so harshly? Is it up to us to judge them anyways? Or is judgment reserved for an end of days? Regardless of when judgment will come we can choose to forgive not just ourselves, but the people around us. Jesus said it best, “Forgive them Father for they no not what they do.”

Stepping into the Canvas with a taste for Love, projecting only that which I hunger for most. Filling my palette with a rainbow of colors preparing a scenery of Love, forgiving those who trespass against me. Today I will practice forgiveness and project only Love. If all I have is room for Love in my heart, then I will have room for nothing else.

Meditations of a Warrior

How does one find happiness? Is it a place? or is it a state of being? In any event it is attainable by all. Whether we go searching for it or just accept it as it is…we merely choose to be or find happiness. We return now to our Warrior as she ponders these thoughts during her daily meditation…

Happiness is found in eight steps:

  1. Willingness
  2. Actions
  3. Acceptance
  4. Gratitude
  5. Awareness
  6. Cleansing
  7. Removal of emotions
  8. Unconditional Love

Channeled through the meditations of our Warrior, we take the first step towards happiness.

Note: the eight steps are not to be considered actual steps towards happiness, but more of a natural progression as one enters the path. It also worth noting that an person does not need to follow this path at all, but merely accept Love as their guide.

Willingness to change, is the driving force behind actions and the basis for developing a basic need for something deeply rooted internally, leading towards an active side of infinity. It is the willingness that allows us to throw away our conditioned beliefs, accepting a new belief system…based on Love.

It is during this willingness stage that we begin accepting guidance from a voice that resides in all of us…it is the one that we all fight with throughout our lives, ignoring its call. In this stage we listen to its call and seeking out whatever it wishes. Our instincts may call us to do an act of kindness, that we may otherwise miss. This inner guidance system may also align us with an appropriate book or other source of learning material.

With willingness, we take action. Action towards how we want our life to be. No longer subscribing to beliefs of old, subscribing to new beliefs that only serving our highest needs. Taking action towards this active side of infinity, we instinctively let go of thoughts and behaviors harboring negativity. Our thoughts become embedded in positivity and our thoughts become that of acceptance. This is also the stage where we begin analyzing our friends and immediate members of our inner circles…are they positive? are they whom I want to emanate? Do they serve my highest needs of feeling good? If not…time to clean house in that department as well.

Through acceptance we find peace and happiness wherever we go, with no judgment and no resentment. We accept a mindful approach to life, fixating on being present at every given moment. When we are completely present, we see the world through eyes of gratitude.

In gratitude, we find good in all things. Even the most heinous of people, we find to be loving in some form or another. It is finding the silver lining in every cloud. Begin each new day in gratitude and end it the same. Start the day submersed in gratitude for: the many life lessons, providing service to others, the feet that support us throughout the day, the sympathetic heart, and the ability to enjoy all there is about the Canvas of Life. Beginning the day on a positive note, only leads to a positive day. Think for a moment…where would I be is  “{blank}” didn’t happen to me? Whatever the scenario, fill in the blank, good or bad, everything has led to this very moment in our lives. This moment of self-realization and that everything has happened on purpose up until now, this is our moment of true awareness.

Awareness allows us to witness our words and actions without full understanding and allowing them to be. This is the moment that Thich Nhat Hanh would refer to as being mindful. Being mindful means being present in every given moment. When we are fully in the moment, we are mindful of our thoughts and actions with complete consideration for our seven generations. With awareness, each step is carefully plotted, each word carefully chosen and each moment is like the first time. When we are truly mindful, our days fill with awe-inspiring moments. Having awareness we begin purging more negativity from our lives. It is a lifelong journey and we could spend a lifetime purging our negative attachments. This is the cleansing stage.

To cleanse one must submerge themselves in Love. Whether it be through ritual or intimate setting of a quiet room, the person begins asking for more Love to poured into them, “Lord make me an instrument of your Peace. May Your Love be poured onto me until my cup over flows, allowing me to give it away and may it be replenished, keeping it forever over-flowing all the days of my life. ” When we reach this place of our journey, we shall be filled to the rim with His Love and we will be left to give it all away. In this stage we no longer get emotional over things that people say or do against us. We become invincible to their behavior and detach from negativity.

Checking our emotions at the door is the hardest thing to do, but once we master this task, our lives become so much easier. Don Miguel Ruiz discusses this concept in his Four Agreements. Removing the emotional response mechanism that humans commonly have, we allow are selves to interact in a non-judgmental, collaborative and mindful approach, allowing us to focus on end results with no expected outcomes. If we focus on merely allowing others to shine, we detach from expected outcomes and come to a place of Love. This unconditional Love is for all and is to be given away.

When we meditate on these eight steps we cannot forget the teachings of Christ, as he discussed the “Old Laws” being intertwined by a common thread. That thread is Love. As in the beginning, so shall it be intertwined throughout our lives. Love intertwines throughout these eight steps and if an individual were to only have Love from the beginning, these steps would unfold instantaneously.

Stepping into the Canvas with a mindful attitude. Stepping, leaving varying colors as we kiss Mother Earth with Love. Our trail of Love travels throughout the land, spreading more rainbows of colors and ending in a glorious pot of Love. It is our heartfelt intentions that will lead us to paradise. We do not have to wait until death to get a glimpse, but merely open our hearts.

Digging Up Some Dirt

In a world of negativity, it is only natural to create a protective barrier towards an experienced negative emotion. When we were children experiencing name calling or physical abuse, we immediately create a defensive behavior protecting us from future encounters. Growing up we create protective barriers  and these barriers keep us from being who we truly meant to be. Our defense mechanisms actually block us from reaching our inner most feelings…that of pure Love.
Have you ever an experience make you so mad you felt helpless? Where do you suppose that conditioned response came from? It is often said we are conditioned through our personal direct and indirect experiences, leaving us no choice but react in fear. The following story is about a man who finds a treasure map. The only thing he need doing,  is dig it up…for the treasure was guaranteed…
A man comes home to his beautiful bride uncontrollably excited he tells her he found a treasure map guaranteeing riches beyond comprehension. The exciting part was he deduced that the treasure was buried right in their very back yard! Already getting the shovels ready out back, he invited his wife to join him in the dig.
They begin digging and imagining what the riches might be. The wife imagines paying off their house, getting new cars, sending their kids to the finest colleges and taking 3-4 exotic trips per year. The husbands ideas were a bit different, as he expressed the need for a boat, new cars, motorcycles, 4-wheelers, snowmobiles, cabin on thousands of acres, new house, and quitting his job.
After about 4 hours, they both are experiencing fatigue while second-guessing there is even a treasure at all. Losing hope fast, they continue the dig. The wife quits from exhaustion but the husband keeps digging.
After 8 hours in total, the husband is angry and wonders why he is even digging in the first place. His wife, handing him a refreshing glass of lemonade, offers him some encouragement, “Dear. How will we ever know if there is a treasure, if we give up digging?”
The husband replies, “But dear. We have dug for over 8 hours and we haven’t found anything yet and the ground is getting more difficult to penetrate. It would be easy if it were topsoil, but the clay and rocks makes it nearly impossible to cut through.”
The wife reminds her husband that “if it were all topsoil the treasure would have been found by now. Being clay many people are certain to have given up, just as you want to. Now is the time to press on and go for the treasure that you were so sure of in the first place.”
“Yes, I can do this.”

He looks to his wife, “I need your help dear. I cannot do this alone. Together we can cut through the toughest of earth thrown at us.”
After digging for another 45 minutes they come to stop…they found something. It was a treasure alright, filled with everything imaginable. Gems, gold, bonds, deeds to land, and a mirror that read…”while these treasures are here for your taking, the true gift lay within. You persevered where others gave up, you came together when others split up, you sacrificed much time to obtain your goals. You are the gift beyond all measures…the rest is just details.”
Just as in life, there are promises of  a treasure beyond measure but when we discover it may require a bit of digging up past negative experiences we forget about the promised treasure. Truth is, only 1-5% of all people are willing to cut through the dirty part of our lives for true healing. Our true healing can come from undeniable faith of being saved, but more often than not our human flesh gets in the way of our beliefs. Because of our stubbornness, we often have to learn things the difficult way. In the case of the husband and wife team, they their faith and actions to find paradise. It took faith of the husband and wife, but it also took the support of the wife for this dream to come true. In going beyond the dirty past, we find a beautiful paradise.
There was a clay Buddha statue owned by a battered monastery. One day a monk noticed something shiny coming through the dirty clay statue of the Buddha. When he began chiseling away he discovered a golden Buddha thought to have been lost for thousands of years. The monks of the old days covered the golden Buddha in clay so that the armies, that destroyed their village years ago, would never find the Buddha. The treasure would not have been found without persistence of this monk.

“David was already in there. I just chipped away the excess.”

~Michelangelo


As in life we are to chip away the excess. If all we know is what we know on the surface, how would we ever know what lay underneath?

While the Pilgrim would have given up digging in the dirt, with no promise of ever finding a treasure and leaving him unknowing to what lay underneath. The Warrior continues digging, giving thanks for each new layer unearthed. With every layer, She knows that her treasure lay beneath the next layer…going yet another layer.

Stepping into the Canvas with shovel in hand. Daring to dig up the past, only to heal once more. Those willing to chip away the excess will surely find their David laying underneath. In unearthing the past we instinctively lay a new canvas to be shared by all.

Oneness

Many spiritual traditions discuss oneness or becoming One with the Universe, but what does this actually mean? Oneness is a feeling a person gets when they see themselves as a Divine Creation part of the collective whole. They see themselves as everything or everyone around them, contemplating their every actions as cause and effect. Their actions carefully planned, as they may effect the next seven generations.

Judgment becomes a thing of the past with self-actualized people, as they see themselves as part of the collective body of  Universe.  When they admire a quality in person, they are admiring a part of themselves they like…or hope to emanate. In opposition, they show anger towards negative behavior mirroring negative parts of themselves. Referred to as the Shadow Affect, Debbie Ford has brought much awareness to this field of study. While the majority looks in the mirror and sees themselves,  the self-actualized looks in the mirror and sees everyone else.

Looking beyond the mirror, we look beyond flaws of the flesh. It is during the identifying process of our imperfections, that we gain perfection. The path of the enlightened is first seeing that we are not perfect. Next is seeing all imperfections as perfectly imperfect. When we see the collective whole as imperfectly perfect or vice versa, then we have found Oneness. Lao Tzu discussed The Way, Jesus discussed the Way, Buddha Discussed the Way, Zoroaster Discussed The Way, even Homer Simpson discussed The Way (ok, maybe not Homer Simpson but his distant cousin Homer, author of Iliad and the Odyssey). The result of The Way is…Oneness. We become One.

When we find oneness we essentially come to a place where “All Is Good.” No bitterness and only Unconditional Love. Co-creating the life we always dreamed of, we begin the descent down the river singing, “Row, Row, Row your boat. GENTLY down the stream. MERRILY (with much emphasis on merrily), MERRILY, MERRILY…Life is but a dream.”

Stepping into the Canvas singing this childhood song, paddling only when needed. Drifting effortlessly down the stream of Life, we no longer worry about when we will reach our destination or how we will get there. Instead we Let Go and We Let God. Faith is our navigator, hope is our first mate, and Love is the name on the back of our boat.

Come in Tokyo

When I was a teen, a close friend and I would isolate ourselves on the playground and “tune in.” We could be heard making radio sounds and yelling “Come in Tokyo.” Not knowing what we were doing and thinking we were strange, the other kids left us alone. We were both a couple of kids going through our first set of life changes, with deepened voice and hairy armpits around the corner.

Still in our innocence, we pretended to tune into a higher plane of consciousness. Having no idea what this meant we would soon lose our innocence and our means of connecting with our higher selves. The next twenty years would prove up and down…until one day…a voice would speak. This voice spoke with much authority and I trembled at His tone. The voice told me to “Sell my cleverness and Purchase bewilderment (Rumi).” Suddenly a light went on as If I were in darkness for the past thirty-five years. This voice spoke once more…”You can choose to be happy or you can choose to remain in sadness. The choice is yours and yours alone. Whichever you choose, that is where you will remain.”

I surely do not want stay in darkness and no longer enjoy the up and down swing of this ride…yes…I choose Happy. How do I get there?

“Just choose happy: Be happy, surround yourself with happy people, do whatever makes you happy, and for goodness sakes let go of those self-defeating thoughts!”

How do I get rid of the negative thoughts?

“Simply replace them with positive thoughts. It really isn’t that difficult. Whatever you are thinking, ask yourself does this make me feel good? If not, then find a replacement thought that does.”

This sounds to easy.

“It is! It is that easy. Remember that book you read about Management Today? It mentioned it to you, but you missed the message…If you can’t make it…fake it until you can make it. All those self-help people talking about positive affirmations…why do you think they do it? They are retraining their brain to Make It!”

So, you are saying I will be retraining my brain? How will I do that?

“As you rewire thinking with positive thoughts, neurofibers make new connections emitting more positive thoughts. The neuroplasticity of your brain allows remapping to commence.”

So what do I do? Do I ignore this voice? No way. In the past, anytime I ignored this voice, pain was sure to follow. According to this voice it was my psycho-somatic response, to my self-defeating beliefs, which caused me pain. I choose Happiness…and I will fake it until I make it!

That was several years ago and can truthfully say that I have made it. Where am I? I am here…and the journey has just begun.

Are you stuck in between thoughts? Do you have a desire to make changes in your life? Then I double-dog dare you to make the change! Fake it until you make if need be, but take that first step towards happiness. IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SINGLE THOUGHT.

Knowing what I know, I invite you to tune into this frequency. This frequency will give you everything that you desire and will turn the simplest of music into a full orchestrated symphony. Tune in, listen to that voice and trust that all will be good…It will never let you down!

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project,

all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations,

your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great,

and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive,

and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far that you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

~Patanjali

Stepping into the Canvas letting go of the extra baggage that has weighed me down. Lighter and more vibrant, able to run freely shouting at the highest of mountains…I Am Free and I am Here! Today is my day! Say this with me and repeat this as necessary as often…”This is the day, the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad (Psalm 118:24)!”