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I picked up this easy to read 135 page book when I went to see His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar while he was here in Boise.  Until recently, I had never even heard of him but all of a sudden, I have seen him twice in 2 days (1st a major public appearance and 2nd at a private gathering at my church) and now I have read just one of his books.  When I went to the resource table at the big event, I looked around at all the books and all the cd’s that were there.  The title of this book is why I ultimately chose the book.  I can always use a little more fun in my life.

This book touches on the topics of fun, true intimacy, the four approaches to practical and spiritual life, real laughter, dealing with feelings, the nature of God and being a fool.  When I picked up the book to check it out, I noticed these topics and thought, “Wow!  This should be a fun read…..fun, laughter, being a fool!  That’s right up my alley!”

I have to say that when I started reading the book, I kept hearing Sri Sri’s voice as if he was saying it to me instead of me reading it.  It made reading this book so much more fun.  I saw his gentle smile and heard his laughter in the words he wrote.  I saw the mischievous look in his eyes when he cracked the jokes.  It really did make this book that much more enjoyable.  But even without that first hand experience with Sri Sri, the book is a very easy and enjoyable read.  It does get into some very deep thinking, and I did have to re-read things on several occasions.  This is definitely a book that will need to be read a couple of times.  Good thing it only takes a couple of hours to read to begin with!

So what did I learn?  It is more about what I re-learned.  I take things too seriously.  Reading this book just reminds me of that.

  • I learned that God loves fools and that being foolish is really being more like God than being this serious person is.  The chapter on being a fool was very enlightening!
  • I learned more about laughter!  I have taken laughter yoga classes, and this just reiterated what I learned from those classes.
  • He also talked about observing our feelings; this is something I was working on in therapy.  This is also something I read about in Geneen Roth’s book.  So here I go again, re-learning it in this book.  Being mindful of my feelings, allowing myself to feel them, and then let go.  Sri Sri suggests taking the feeling to its height (which may mean feeling at your lowest) and once you have done that, you have  felt and experienced all there is to feel with that feeling and it will just disappear.  How cool is that?  He says to feel it, but not to act on it.
  • Stop paying attention to happenings.  When we are attached to happenings, we create opinions, then we are stuck and attached to them.  We are living in the past and we will never remain open to new experiences and live in NOW.
  • “An enlightened person may not say, “I love you so much.”  In the very presence, you can feel the love.  In the very breath, you can experience love.  In the very look, you can experience love.  In any word spoken, you will hear that it is full of love.  The very existence is love.  That is enlightened love.”
  • “True intimacy is not in a hurry; it’s not anxious.  It relaxes, it knows.”
  • I am you.  You are me.  We are God.  We are all one creation/mind manifesting itself in different bodies.  This brings a whole new depth to the belief that we are One.  The book explains it so beautifully :).
  • In most of our problems, the biggest issue we have is the fight we have with our mind.  This is so true.  When I am miserable or depressed or stressed, it is because of an issue/conflict I am having within my mind.  It is MY experience, my THINKING that is causing me so much distress.  Sri Sri talks about letting go and surrendering.  and Forgiving myself.
  • This is one of my favorite paragraphs in the book:  “Thinking is like chewing gum.  It doesn’t produce anything.  You can think about only those things which you know.  and once you know, what is the need to  think about it?  And you can’t think something which you don’t know.  How can you?  It is not possible.  Ultimately, thinking is useless!!!”
  • Here is a great strategy for life:  “See life as a game, as a play.  You are God, you know it.  I am God, I know it.  So let us play. And when you come from that level of consciousness, there is nothing to teach.  Only being.  Come and sit, be with me for a while.  That is enough, for you and I are one.  This is love,  isn’t it?  That is what God is telling you every day, ‘I am doing everything.  You come and sit with me.  Whatever needs to be done, I will get it done through you.  You simply stop existing.'”  I know I am guilty of taking life too seriously..always looking for a connection to God..always learning..always searching.  It’s what I do.  Yet, I have found recently that all I want to do is do things that make me smile, feel joy and live.  I find myself wanting to PLAY and be joyful.  Not only am I WANTING to do this but I AM DOING this.  It’s pretty darn cool!

I will close with this last quote found in the chapter about being a fool.  “George Bernard Shaw said somewhere, ‘Cricket is a game where eleven fools play and eleven thousand watch.’  It is true.  All games are foolish acts.  A game is a game because it is foolish.  If you find meaning, purpose, aim and competition, you destroy the whole game.”  How about we just stop looking for the meaning of life, and just in-joy it!  Have fun!  Play!  Laugh!  And just BE!

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Some things are just to beautiful for words, which makes it pretty hard to blog about!  This past weekend was just that.  I had the extreme pleasure and honor of meeting Velcrow Ripper and watching his film Fierce Light:  When Spirit Meets Action and taking his workshop.  And of course, between the movie on Saturday night and his workshop Sunday after noon, there was my regular church service at Center for Spiritual Living of the Treasure Valley.  Wowzers!

When I decided to go see the movie and take the workshop I really didn’t know what I was in for.  Except that I had decided at the beginning of the year to take the workshops, watch the movies, read the books….to help me grow.  When the opportunity came, I had to take it.  Right?  Right.  Besides, it goes along with my passion…being of service.  Or so I thought.

It did,  kinda sorta in a way.  It was more on Spiritual Activism.  I’m not much of an activist.  I mean I attend the same-sex marriage rallies.  Every once in a while you might find me a peace rally.  But in general, I’m not a huge activist.  Mostly because I find people are more angry and one-sided about their side of things, and that is not an energy I want to surround myself with, but when its done from a place of love; it is an amazing thing.  Anyway, this movie was phenomenal.  It spoke of Ghandi, and of what Spiritual Activism means.  It spoke of non-violence.  And it spoke to my very strong belief that we are ALL one!

“I am because you are, and there is no space between human beings, what I do to you essentially I do to myself.”

” We are one family, one people, we are citizens of this world, citizens of this planet.”

Watch the movie, and make sure you have a box of tissues with you when you watch it.  I guarantee you..you will cry.  I sobbed, and I would guess by the sounds of sniffles in the room, at least half of the 50 people in the room with me at the time also cried.  You will too!  It’s a call to action.  Be prepared to feel inspired to be and create the change you want to see in this world!

Then next day, I took Velcrow’s workshop.  I was told it would help me find my “Fierce Light”.  As I am transitioning from  one of my volunteer organizations to “I don’t know what comes next”, I thought this would be a good time to find that “Fierce Light” and maybe find some direction.  What I found during this workshop shocked me.  I found more healing/awareness/teaching around the incest at my father’s hands.  Between Church’s message of “there are no victims” to an exercise that asked “Who are you?”, I found out that I am my father, and that he has gifted me with lessons of compassion.  For that I am grateful.  (I realize that may be clear as mud, but for me to type it all out word for word, would take DAYS!)  Just trust, that this realization was HUGE, HEALING, and POWERFUL.  Not just for me, but for the other women that came up to me later (after I openly shared what I experienced) and thanked me for helping them see it in their lives as well.

The other part that shocked me (or maybe not so much) was what my “Fierce Light” turned out being.  I know I have a passion for youth.  I know I have a passion for service. I also know that my  kids and I have often discussed the lack of things for kids to do at our end of town.  So why did my “Fierce Light” really shock me?  I don’t know.  It turns out that my “Fierce Light/Dream” is to open a community center for youth and a resource center for women/moms here at my end of town.  Not sure why this shocked me…maybe because I have been all talk and not really felt motivated to do it myself.  In my own thoughts, I always thought it would be nice to have but someone else should create it.  *laugh*  The city should do it!  The YMCA should do it.  They Boys and Girls Club should do it.  Not me!  Well, I found out..that Yes, it should be me!  If I see a need, it should be me that stands up and makes it happen.  It not me?  Who?  If not Now?  When?

I’m not certain how this will play out.  Actually, I don’t think I have an inkling of an idea of how it should happen.  I just know it should.  And as a confirmation of that, at the beginning of the workshop we were told to pick out a gift form this bag.  Midge Woods (a community leader here in town) picked out a walnut seed and said how perfect it was for her.  I picked out a bone carving of Quan Yin (Goddess of Compassion) which I thought was perfect for me.  Little did we know that through this event, we would be exchanging these gifts with other participants.  During the workshop, at some point, I was working with Midge and she and I discussed creating community centers (since this is what she has done).  She is very inspiring.  She had no idea what it would look like for her either, but she did it.  And it’s amazing.  Here’s is a spiritual community center.  The very last exercise we did, I was with a completely different person and we exchanged gifts again.  I ended up with that same Walnut Seed that Midge had picked out at the beginning….indeed very appropriate.  The seed of community spirit, center has been passed down from Midge to myself.  It is time.  Not sure how….but it WILL be done :).

I would be remiss if I did not share with you how to purchase or find out more about this amazing movie and workshop.  www.fiercelight.org www.velcrowripper.com Both of these are excellent sources for more information about the movie and the film maker.  Please, if you are passionate about change in your community, world or planet, check out these websites and find your inspiration!  Get involved!  Find your Fierce Dream and shine your Fierce Light!

Chapter 4 “The Listening Mind”

I don’t know about you, but I always have a conversation going on in my head.  I have lists being made, being checked off, reviewed.  I am usually doing one thing and thinking about what I need to do next.  And when someone is talking to me, I quite often and wondering how to respond to them and/or trying to figure out how to help them (instead of really listening).  Active listening???  Not so much.  I am constantly reminding myself to practice ACTIVE listening…instead of being active while listening. *laugh*  So this chapter made complete sense to me!

When someone comes to talk to us and share their troubles, our minds tend to jump right into action.  They start talking, and we hear a little bit then immediately start to label/judge what they are saying.  We categorize what they are saying and then we pull up our experience with this category and staring listing ideas of how we can help them.  All the while, our friend is still sharing with us and we haven’t really be listening, have we?  They stop talking, or maybe they even ask us, “So what do you think?”.  Like a good friend, we have already made up our minds which direction to go and what to say, so we start spouting off our great ideas!  But are they really great?  Are they really what our friends need?  How can we even know what they really need if we were so busy thinking about what *WE* though they needed instead of listening for what their hearts are really telling us.  Whew!  Now there is something to think about.

So how do we stop this insanity?  How do we stop our minds from chattering about and making these lists and really detaching from our friends and/or people in need?  MEDITATE.  Stop the attachment to our thoughts.  Realize that yes, thoughts come and go, but they are not us and they certainly are not our friends.  They are just thoughts.  One will float on by and another will follow right behind it.  It’s okay.  Let them go.  Meditate, and quiet your mind.  Then in the still of that moment, your intuition will find a way to communicate with you, and you will KNOW what needs to be done to help your friend.  You will stop doing what YOU think is right, and really KNOW what IS right.  And maybe what is right is not doing anything at all, but just being there so that your friend feels heard.

In this chapter, it suggests practicing meditation and the art of letting go for 20 minutes a day.  Here is a great quote as it pertains to service:

“First, we have to appreciate the value of such qualities of mind and desire to develop them. Next we have to have faith in the possibility that we can indeed make progress.  Finally, we have to explore and practice appropriate techniques.  Twenty minutes a day of such practice can lead to results and the incentive to go deeper still.  Continuous practice brings about great transformation of mind and leads to a new quality of service.”

“When we function from this place of spacious awareness rather than from our analytic mind, we are often surprised to find solutions to problems without our having ‘figured them out.'”

Have you ever had the right answer just hit you like a ton of bricks..out of nowhere.  That Ah-Ha moment?  That is what this is like.  When we stop trying to “figure things out” and find that space of awareness where all things are possible, the right answer will just come to us.  When we stop being attached to the outcome of our own thoughts and about the way we think things should play out, and just give our own intuition the space to flow, we will truly be able to be of service to our friends, family, and people we serve around our community.  We won’t have to FIGHT it anymore..it will flow freely.

When we listen to our friends, with this kind of spacious awareness  in our minds, our friends will FEEL truly heard, and sometimes, that is all that they need.  I know for myself, I am constantly telling my husband, “I don’t need you to fix anything, I just want to be heard.”  Stop going into “White Knight Syndrome” and just listen; that is the greatest gift you can give anyone :).

Meditate and Let Go………and you will be more effective in your service :).

Chapter 5 “Helping Prison”

When we as service providers start labeling ourselves and label the ones that we help, we have a tendency to get stuck, or trapped, within those labels or forms.  “Entrapment in these alienates us from one another:  a social worker and a juvenile offender just miss; a nurse and a patient seem worlds apart; a priest and a parishioner, so distant, so formal.  What otherwise could be a profound and intimate relationship becomes ships passing in the night.  In the effort to express compassion, we end up feeling estranged.  It’s distressing and puzzling.”

These rolls we play continue in separating us from our true desire which is to be of service and be helpFUL instead of being Helpers.  As long as we continue to separate ourselves from those we want to help, we will be unable to truly give them what they need.

So why do we do this?

As someone who is active in 3 different volunteer organizations, I found this chapter really enlightening.  Each of us has our own reasons for being of service, but one thing we can all say is that when we have truly made a difference in someone’s life, it feels good.  There is a reciprocity in service relationships, but there is a fine balance.  Do you provide service to feel a void in your life (so then the result for you is that you fill that void) or do you see a need for service and your provide it (and as a result feel good because you were able to help someone)?  That is the line.  Are you a Helper or are your being Helpful.  Are you a noun or a verb?

In one of the organizations I volunteer for, there is always an orientation meeting and a training process.  During orientation, the new ladies are always asked, “Why do you want to join us?”  The replies very, but many of the answers are: I want to make new friends, I want to network, I want to have adult interaction and get away from my kids for a bit, I would like the training you provide…then these are always followed by, “And oh ya, I want to give back to community.”  Not this is not true for all of the women in this organization.  Now this is an amazing organization with a heart of gold.  The women are talented, amazing and caring, and they have done some amazing work in my community.  I do not say any of this to disparage them or the organization, but when I read this quote from the book, i was reminded of this organization:  “Or maybe we’re just plain lonely.  Intimacy is what we’re looking for, and it’s often there to be found in a helping relationship.”  “Rare indeed is the individual for whom the helping act does not arise in part out of some personal motive.  To the extent that it does, however, what we are looking for is a role that meets a need….our need.  We’re looking to be helpers, not simply to be helpful.  A personal agenda leads us to invest in the position, not simply the function.  And we invest in other’s reactions to it as well.”

As this “God Project” is about ME and my own personal journey, I will admit that the previous quotes gave me pause.  Why do *I* belong to this particular organization.  What was *my* answer to the question “Why do you want to join us?”  What was my motive?   I will say that I joined this organization because it allowed me to follow my passion which was to inspire young women to be strong and independent.  It allowed me to work with young women; it allowed me to be of service to them..which is what I had been looking for.  I also joined the organization to make friends and for the training and for what it would look like on a resume’.  I’m not going to lie.  However, my first reason for joining was to be of service.  That was *my* answer.

As I continued reading, I found this quote about organizations: “The service organizations so many of us work for have an investment in collective self-image.  Reputations, budgets, relationships in the community, need to be protected and promoted.  By building and investing in formal helping institutions we often end up creating distances between who we think we are and those we’d like to serve.”  It’s this self-image that imprisons us as Helpers…rather than being helpful.

For me, I have found that in the organization I belong to, the “image” of the organization is so important that I believe we are afraid to get dirty.  We want to help as long as it feels and is politically correct.  After all, if we offend someone, we might lose funding or support.  However, I believe that the people we strive to help are rarely put together in nice neat packages that are politically correct.  In behaving this way, and in making these choices, we continue to separate ourselves from those we strive to help.

Another great quote from this book is from the philosopher Gurdjieff, “If we wish to escape from prison, the first thing we must acknowledge is that we ARE in prison.”  We can’t be helpful if we are in prison; if we are bound up by shackles of what others might think of us, we can not be helpful.  And it is for this reason, I have chosen to walk away from this organization.  I have learned alot from them, and I am totally grateful.  But I don’t do well in prisons, and I have found that there are many other places where I can inspire young women to be strong and independent.  This may mean joining another organization which may have some of the same issues; I don’t know.  I won’t know till I get there.  But one thing I have learned, is that if I don’t try, I’ll never grow : ).

This chapter also discusses the feeling of helplessness.  Until we know the feeling and sit in the acceptance of helplessness we will not be willing to accept help.  Until we can accept help ourselves, we will be unable to GIVE help and be helpful.  That is a pretty profound lesson.  As a “super mom”, I have been guilty of not allowing others to help me.  As a culture, we teach independence.  Our national holiday in the USA is INDEPENDENCE DAY!  But we need the community…..It’s okay to accept help graciously.  In doing so, we open ourselves up for such great learnings.  “Help has become a collaboration.  In this collaboration we see just how much we ourselves have to offer: our own perseverance, honesty, openness, gratitude humor.  And we may be amazed to find out how hungry people are for these qualities.”

I will end this blog entry with this quote:

“The challenge, then, the opportunity really, is to accept the roles in order to cut through them, and to cut through them in order to be able to participate in them without entrapment.”…..”it’s a chance to take on form in order to liberate one another from it.  This is the true work of a conscious human birth.  This is what we’re all here to do.”

Here’s to breaking out of prison!!!!

The 2nd chapter is titled “Who’s Helping?”  Again, I found some very profound thoughts/lessons/reminders in this chapter.

As some one how is passionate about being of service, I am constantly volunteering in organizations.  However, being of service does not need a formal job or position.  I like the word “help”; it is broad and allows the opportunity to be of service even in the simple act of supporting someone who is going through a rough time.  Anytime we give something of ourselves we are being of service.  I guess I just never really thought of it that way until this week.

Currently, I know two people who are going through some major legal issues in a very public way.  One of them is James Arthur Ray recently arrested/charged with 3 counts of manslaughter when 3 of his seminar attendees (one of them being my friend Liz) passed away during his sweatlodge in October 2009.  The other person is Laura Silsby who is my husband’s previous employer; she was arrested  and charged with Kidnapping in Haiti when she was taking 30 “orphans” across the Haitian border to the Dominican Republic.  It has been an interesting time in our house watching these two cases progress, and in the case of James Arthur Ray, it has been heart breaking for many reason.

There are a couple of quotes in this chapter that really resonated with me regarding my feelings and my sense of service about these two cases:

“So often we deny ourselves and others the full resources of our being simply because we’re in the habit of defining ourselves narrowly and defensively to begin with.  Less flexible, less versatile, we inevitably end up being less helpful.”

“When our models of who we are fall away, we are free simply to meet and be together.  And when this sense of being encompasses all–one another, the park, the rain, everything–separateness dissolves and we are untied in compassion.”

There are alot of James Ray’s students who became angry and outraged by the deaths of our friends and by our perception of the way James handled the sweatlodge and what happened after the event.  Shortly after the event, the “warriors” (what James’ students called themselves) were split in 3 different camps.  Those who staunchly supported him.  Those who were adamantly against him.  And those  who walked both sides of the fences in the middle.  As for myself, I have visited all 3 of these camps; I now stand firmly in the middle.. a place of compassion, peace, understanding, love.

In regards to the first quote, I believe that the 2 camps that are on both extremes the James Ray issue do so in a defensive thought and action.  While standing in those two camps, we become less flexible.  It is not until we let go of our “models of who we are” that we can stand together and really HELP James (and everyone involved, including the families of he deceased).   For that matter, as long as we stand defensively, we can’t even help ourselves and heal.  When we realize that we are all connected and none of us are separate, then we allow love to flow and HELP and HEALING can truly begin.  The same can be said for Laura Silsby and her team of volunteers who wanted to help the Haitian children.

It is not up to us to stand in judgment and or defense.  It is not helpful.  If we truly want to HELP those affected by both of these situations, then we must let “the models of who we are fall away” and find ourselves free to meet in the middle.

I am currently reading HOW CAN I HELP? (Stories and Reflections on Service) by Ram Dass & Paul Gorman.  I am 56 pages into it, and because it is sooo deep, it is going to be a bit slower read for me.  I find myself underlining, taking notes, and folding over almost every page.  How can I do my type of review on something like that.  It would be pages long to read.  So instead of doing just ONE review of this book, I think I will write something up daily on what I am learning from this book.  It might be easier for you to read, and it will definitely be easier for me to type.  🙂

I bought this book because I overheard a conversation by the 2 women who work in my church’s bookstore.  One woman was telling the other that this particular book was great for people who spend much of their time in service and who might feel burnt out at times.  That instantly sent bells off inside my head.  I volunteer for 3 different organizations.  My passion and mission in life is that of service, and to be totally honest with you, sometimes I get burnt out.  So, of course, I bought the book!

Do you participate in community service?  If so, why?  This is a question that was talked a bit about in SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME and WHAT DIFFERENCE DO IT MAKE.  People have all kinds of reasons for participating in community service or even just helping out a neighbor.  The other day, I went to pick up my daughter from her friend’s house. It was 7pm and it was time for her to be home.  When the other mom let me in, she said, “Naomi was such a great help.  She helped Cameron with his reading homework.  It gave me a break. I really appreciated that.”  I thought it was pretty cool that Naomi would help her friend (who is 2 grades behind her).  I thought, “you learn more when you teach” so this is great for her.  I was also pleased that she WANTED to help her friend (kind of like taking care of a younger brother).  The mom also told me that he had to have his homework done before he could play, and that is when Naomi offered to help him.  So I know at some level, her helping Cameron was self-serving.

Motives.

Do you help to make yourself feel good?  Even if that isn’t what set you in motion, it’s an undeniable feeling afterwards, isn’t it?  Denver Moore said that he felt like people came to work at the homeless shelter food lines on the holidays out of guilt for what they had and the others didn’t…because it made them feel good about being blessed.  I know in some of my organizations, women get involved because they want to make new friends within the organization.  Neither of these things is wrong.  But in HOW CAN I HELP? it talks about being separate from your Ego (which is what gives you the motives) and realizing that we are all ONE…”US”.  Once we recognize that and FEEL that UNITY of being “US”, being of service is a natural thing that comes without motives or that “feel good” feeling.  It is just what you do as a natural extension of being alive.  The word “symbiotic” comes to mind: “any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc.” (definition from dictionary.com)  When we help ONE, we help ALL.  And this desire to help is born of a natural compassion (which is what the first chapter of this book is on).

On Natural Compassion:

I think most of us are born with a Natural Compassion.  We see someone hurting, and we want to help them.  Yet sometimes, we stop and we ask ourselves if we can handle that or if we have what it takes to help them.  I know that when I was asked to lead a women’s retreat for women who are HIV/AIDS positive, I asked these questions.  I do not have HIV/AIDS; I don’t fight that battle every day.  How am I ever going to know what these women need?  How am I ever going to be able to provide them with a retreat that meets their needs?  Here is what the book says about that:

“We may have a difficult time facing the suffering of others because we don’t know how to deal with our own pain and suffering.”

“And when we wonder what we have to offer anyone under any circumstances, aren’t we really questioning our self-worth?”

“The more wrenching the situation, the more likely such issues will be central.  Who are we to ourselves and to one another? — it will all come down to that.”

“Can we see that to b e of most service to others we must face our own doubts, needs and resistances?”

“The reward, the real grace, of conscious service, then, is the opportunity not only to help relieve suffering but to grow in wisdom, experience greater unity, and have a good time while doing it.”

I can tell you that in planning for the women’s retreat, I took volunteer classes at Allies Linked for the Prevention of HIV and AIDS, the organization that was hosting the event.  One of the classes I took was named “compassion”.  It was my first very real conversation with people who were both HIV/AIDS positive and who were not.  And my fear was erased, well at least some of it.  During the registration period of the retreat, while the women were arriving, I was very nervous. I still doubted myself.  What did I have to offer these women?  I knew I had planned an amazing weekend for them, but would they accept me as a non HIV/AIDS person?  Would I be an outsider? Would they allow me to serve them?  All of these were *my own* fears.  Once they arrived, it was quickly clear, that my fears were my own.  It was an amazing weekend of service…..why?  Because I let go of my fears and realized that I had everything I needed in order to be of service to them…I had my compassion and my love.

Tomorrow we will go a bit further into how I was able to help them during the retreat…how I let go of that fear (as described in this book).

For now, thank you for taking this journey with me.  I do truly appreciate all of my readers!

Much Love,

Martha

The other day, at the urging of one of my friends/mentors, I watched The Shift by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Here are some of the quotes from the movie that stuck out for me..along with some insights.

• “We can not live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning for what was great in the morning will be little in the evening and what in the morning was true at evening will have become a lie”
• The real purpose of life is to just be happy where you are. Return to nature. Find your own nature.
• “All being originates in non being”~ Lao Tsu.. Jesus said “It’s the spirit that gives life. All of our purpose, everything that we are to be (physical, mental, spiritual), was all given to us from the moment of conception, but its our culture that tells us differently.
• Edge God Out (Ego) “Who you are is what you have” is what the world would like us to think. “The more that I have, the more valuable I am as a person” Not only is what I have what I am; it is what I do. It becomes achievement. We become consumed by success, my value, my worth as a human being is what I accomplished. Competition is what the Ego says. I am what other people think of me (my reputation). I have to dress the way people think or there is something wrong with me. Women: in relationship to family, the only way we can fulfill ourselves is by how we relate to our family: mother/daughter/granddaughter. This is NOT The only thing. When we have a calling to do something great. Don’t ignore that calling that says we are here to create something powerful. We have just as much of a right to do this as anyone else.
• Who I am is separate from everyone else and everything that is missing (all the things I would like to have) in my life. We think we are separate from God. I came from a source and this source is everywhere. If there is no place that it’s not, it must be in me and what I feel to be missing from my life. Then in some way that is missing from my life, I am already connected to it in spirit. Just have to find the knowing to connect with it.
• Let yourself be lived by it rather than you taking over
• TS Elliot, “We shall not cease from exploration. In the end of all of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
• Non interference: parenting is not about having children lean on you but making leaning unnecessary. They have a compass, let them follow their own compass; freeing you up to be your own person on your own time and allowing them to become who they are to become.
• If you can stop interfering in your own life and just be done, everything will be done for you.
• Enthusiasm: Greek: Enthios yasm “the god within” when you have enthusiasm/passion for something. In side of you, that is god speaking to you saying “don’t get to the end of your life and ask say “what if my whole life has been wrong’”.
• When you trust in yourself, you trust in the very wisdom that created you.
• The best way to have those doors open is to forget about yourself and serve; it’s always about service. You can’t attract what you want into your life; you attract what you are.
• Sometimes all you got to do is show up and engage and music happens…YOUR music happens
• I think you have to get to a place where you no longer focused on just yourself and the things you really want for yourself. When you begin to say “how can I want them more for someone else than I want them for me?” That’s God Realization.
• You must be like what you came from; if you came from divinity, you must be divine. If you hold your hands up and say these are the hands of god, and what does god do with his hands? God is just giving that is all God know how to do.
• Becoming the observer (step back) you begin to live in process, trusting where our source is taking you. You begin to detach from the outcome. That detachment allows you to stop fighting and allows things to just come to you; you no longer make things happen but allow them to show up. The fight is gone.
• We came here with music to play…
• When the shift happens, you begin to realize you are not here to push life and make it a struggle all the time you being to enjoy life and that is what happens in the afternoon of life.
• After all this time, the sun never said to the Earth “You owe me” Just think what a love like that can do; its lights up the whole world.
• “If you want to be like me, knowing that we are alike, I will help you. If you want to be different than me, I will wait until you change your mind; and you will change your mind” ….Jesus from A Course In Mirracles.
• No one needs to ask the question “What is my purpose. It will always be founding service. If you can just for one day put your attention on making life better for someone else, if you can focus on thinking like that. That’s how god thinks.”
• To touch someone’s life is more valuable than any amount of money
• You can run an entire business on not being attached to outcome and putting your attention on service. Your life becomes about living these virtues: how can I serve, be gentle & reverent. Thinking like this means you are living in meaning.
• The messages of the morning are about what you can and can’t do…about how society defines you but in the afternoon after the shift its about connecting to an energy that is taking care of everything and we are all just being done. Living the virtues is all we need to do.
• It’s about surrendering to something else that is bigger than you and is control of everything.
• You’re only a thought away from changing your life.

Most of these have been quotes or ideas from the movie itself. I did a lot of stopping and rewinding so I can get the words right. This was such a beautifully made movie with even more beautiful insights. The whole time I was watching this movie, I felt like I was surrounded by this loving peace…like being wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy blanket.

This is one other scene in this movie that really got to me, and I did not capture any direct quotes from it. In the scene the maintenance guy from the hotel (where most of the movie took place) thought he was alone while he played this amazing piece of music. Well one of the characters had been quietly sitting in a corner without saying anything, until the music stopped. They started up a conversation about why the maintenance guy doesn’t play piano for a living.

His reply went something like this: I used to love to play the piano. When I started playing as a young boy, I played for it for myself. Then I started playing for the audience. And I began to wonder if I failed at playing the piano, if the audience would still love me. So I began to fail on purpose. I would miss notes here and there, and the audience members noticed, and they began to treat me differently. They didn’t love me when I didn’t play perfectly. So I stopped playing all together.

This hit me like a ton of bricks. Self-sabotage: that is what he is talking about. In my eating/weight struggles, I have done exactly this. I start doing something right, and I lose weight and I get praise from my husband or my children. Then I wonder, will I still get praise from them if I eat a muffin and drink a diet soda; will they still love me? So, I start eating like crap again. And sure enough, Nate (my 17 year old son, whom I have given permission to rag on me if I eat like this) starts to rag on me and berate me for making poor choices. And to me (even though I have given him permission to do this and keep me in check) it felt like he no longer loved me. (Whether I asked for it or not, whether it’s true or not, that is the way I felt). So I would give up on eating right and exercising, and I would gain back the weight plus some. I’m not entirely certain how to correct this other than to refocus myself and do this FOR ME and no one else and to let go of my EGO….because ultimately that is what is causing such issues. Letting go of EGO can be difficult (because we make it so). Letting go of outcomes……….. whew…breaking habbits…that is what this is about.

Interestingly enough, one of my good friends also watched this movie (and neither of us knew the other was watching it). He too has a weight issue, and we have supported each other through this over the last several months. When I told him about my insights regarding this part of the movie, he said, he came to the same conclusion. Pretty cool, I think.

Anyway, it is a truly amazing movie. I have never read any of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books. I’m not sure how they slipped under my radar, but they have. He will certainly be put on my list for the year. Along with some of the books he mentioned throughout the movie.

Also, if you are into listening to some great music, the Ethan Lipton Orchestra is the band that plays during the movie, and they are amazing!