Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Practicing Mindfulness With Children

Practicing Mindfulness With Children

“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” Dalai Lama
Recently, at the Center of Spiritual Living, Capistrano Valley, the Roots of Science of Mind class concluded its 10 week journey. As part of the closing, a special project was to be created by each student. As a pull, Meditation for the Middle (as in Middle School children) was my direction.

Weeks prior to the conclusion of class, a purchase of Thich Nhat Hanh's wonderful book, "Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children," was made. This book is a guide with many lessons, as well as a CD to assist in leading a child to Mindful living. A film (based on the book), is in the midst of creation, through the help of supporters on

Assisting a child in the life-long journey of meditation is a gift that will never stop unfolding. This is a gift which allows them to become in tune with themselves, experience the Oneness of nature, and find a deeper connection with others. It can lead them to a place of peace, leading to a radiating place of peace throughout their lives.

Meditation for the Middle starts August 1st in my family. I'm looking forward to witnessing the experiences that await. Namaste.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Science Delusion Rupert Sheldrake

I had heard about this banned TED talk and wanted to watch it, an interesting take of the default world view of "educated" people.  Surprised to find out how metaphysical this Ted talk was.  Enjoy!
The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this talk, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. 
Where have your assumptions become dogmas?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebrating Our Sentient Beings

I am dedicating this blog to my dog. Happy Birthday to my Pretty.

I am also dedicating this blog to the people in my life who have shown me what it means to love a dog. You know who you are.

Happy Birthday to my dog Pretty
Happy Birthday Pretty. 11 Years of unconditional love, comic relief and companionship.
I found this letter written by Fiona Apple, a popular singer and song writer. She cancelled her performance tour to be with her dog. Get some tissues.
It's 6pm on Friday,and I'm writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later. Here's the thing.
I have a dog Janet, and she's been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She's almost 14 years old now.I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then, an adult officially - and she was my child.
She is a pitbull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face.She was the one the dogfighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders.
She's almost 14 and I've never seen her start a fight, or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She's a pacifist. Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.
We've lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it's always really been the two of us. She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head.
 She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album. The last time I came back from tour, she was spry as ever, and she's used to me being gone for a few weeks every 6 or 7 years.
She has Addison's Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death.
 Despite all of this, she’s effortlessly joyful and playful, and only stopped acting like a puppy about 3 years ago.
She's my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she's the one who taught me what love is.
 I can't come to South America. Not now.
When I got back from the last leg of the US tour, there was a big, big difference. She doesn't even want to go for walks anymore. I know that she's not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people.
 But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go.
I just can't leave her now, please understand.
 If I go away again, I’m afraid she'll die and I won't have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.
Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed. But this decision is instant. These are the choices we make, which define us. I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship. I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend. And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important.
Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.
I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time. I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments. I need to do my damnedest to be there for that. Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I've ever known. When she dies.
 So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel. 
And I am asking for your blessing.
 I'll be seeing you.
Love, Fiona
That's Love. Now excuse me ... I need to go hug my dog.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Affirmation: It's Game Time

Today, spiritual practice rises to the top of my priority list, strengthening my faith, training my mind and releasing false beliefs, so that regardless of appearances I see Truth in all situations. Instantly and without effort, I choose to see God in all experiences knowing life is unfolding in perfect right order always.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Turbocharging the Law of Attraction

What keeps you awake at night? Are you: frustrated, fed-up and tired of the way things are now? Tired of settling for less in your personal and professional lives?  Looking for solutions that work?

Since the movie The Secret, the Law of Attraction is a hot topic. The idea is that everything in life has a vibration frequency and that Like things attract other Like things. We give off our own vibration frequency generated by the sum total of our beliefs. Based on this concept, every experience in our life is invited by our own beliefs. There are books and courses taught by people calling themselves “Law Of Attraction Experts.” They teach that all you have to do is think about the things you want and they will start to show-up in your life.

There is more to it. To effectively use this law you need more information. There is a difference between believing and positive wishing. How do you go from want or wish to Belief? Beliefs (positive or negative) are called Beliefs because you believe them to be true!

Energy goes where the attention flows. As a licensed psychotherapist, I know about self-fulfilling prophecies. For example, if someone believed that he can’t attain a certain goal, it’s unlikely he would put much effort into it. Failure could result. Another person who believed that she could succeed wouldn't quit when obstacles are encountered. She would continue until she reached her goal.

The idea that our subconscious mind is the driving force in our lives is not new. There is evidence that we create circumstances in our lives that match our expectations. We generally get what we expect to get based on our beliefs, not what we hoped or wished we believed.

When studying spiritual beliefs, I found much the same idea, with an added feature. I learned that there is a creative power greater than just our own individual minds, and that we can use it. In fact, we are constantly using it whether we are conscious of it or not. This power is known by many names. Some call it their “Higher Power”. Others call it Universal Life Force. Some call it God. Many teachings claim that this power responds to our thoughts. For example in the Christian Bible, it says “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:23-25).  Other Spiritual teachings offer similar ideas.

Here’s the key! Life is primarily an emotional experience, not an intellectual one; your feelings reflect your beliefs. If you are feeling anxious, depressed, angry, or afraid, you aren't feeling safe. You then attract people and circumstances that match feeling unsafe.

The good news is that you can learn how to take personal control of your own inner emotional state. As you experience positive emotions you automatically Turbo charge the Law of Attraction in your favor to attract and accept every good thing life can offer.

~ by Bruce R. Fredenburg, a Staff Minister at the Center For Spiritual Living in San Clemente, a Licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist, and a Life Coach. Fredenburg will offer a workshop on Saturday, August 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley called Turbocharging the Law of Attraction, offering four steps to getting what you want plus the secret to activating the Law of Attraction. Cost is $97.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Want to Know How Evolved You Are? Visit Family - Part 1

I once heard that saying because I laughed out loud.

Nothing can make me crazier than my extended family, to be honest.

That's why I left my small home town in Pennsylvania at the age of 18 and never looked back.

Always filled with drama, I ever felt comfortable being a part of it.

I wanted to get out of our small town and explore the world and ended up settling down over 3,000 miles away in California...

...about as far as I could get from my family outside of moving to a new country.

My mother did the same thing and moved to South Carolina... she's moving to California, so we decided to make a road trip to Pennsylvania before heading back out to the West Coast.

A 12 hour drive with a 7 year old, a 5 year old, and your mother....already a good test for one's consciousness!

As I took my turn driving yesterday, I thought about my prayer before I left...

...I gave thanks for compassion, patience, and protection.

All qualities of God, so my prayer reminded me to receive them as my own as I AM all the qualities of God as well.

I also thought about how, after 7 hours into our trip, all of those qualities were in me.  

I didn't lose my patience with my boys, or my mother.   

I had compassion for my mom as she spoke about her fear of getting cancer, or her fear of losing all her retirement money in the stock market, or many other fear-based ideas she has lived with her whole life.

I tried to give some alternative view-points, but I could tell they went in one ear and out the other.

I wanted to yell and say, "Mom, why do you choose to think this way?"

But, I was always silently reminded of compassion and patience, so I would let it go always remembering that everyone has their own path.

We all have our journey to consciousness and to  a new way of thinking about our lives.

As I parked in the hotel parking lot, my heart fluttered at knowing that the next day, I would see the rest of my family.

I will continue to pray for patience and compassion because that is what I will most have to embody during my visit...

...but remarkably, I am excited to see my whole family.

I'm not sure much has changed, however, that would be a perception as I know how much everyone changes over the years.

I will also pray to let go of judgments that may arise or false perceptions and open my heart to love....

....I know, when we open ourselves to love, we shower others with it.  

No matter where I am in my own growth as a person, I am doing the best I can at where I am in my heart...I know this for everyone and if I simply put my mind on love, I give it to everyone no matter where they are in their own journey.

So, as I write this post, in a few hours, I will be surrounded by my extended family.

This post has helped me know what to pray and meditate on in preparation as it has also shared the true principle of how we approach life...both the good and the challenges... knowing that we each embody the qualities of God, we can take on anything....even our perceived "crazy" families...

....I'll give you an update next week and let you know how I faired :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fish for Life

Off of the wharf in Dana Point, California there is a wonderful event happening once a month. Volunteers arrive early to the wharf on a Saturday morning to set sail for a special cause.  They are there to create an experience to those who are walking this earth with challenges.  The gift experience is fishing. Guests with special needs and their support guest are treated to a day of fun, excitement and the ability to work through some of their challenges.

Jim Holden is the founder of this non-profit organization and was inspired by his friend, Jeffrey Kutcher, who has cerebral palsy.  Through Jim, the love and passion of an idea took shape and manifested itself as Fish for Life.

Jim says, "We're Spreading the Love One Boat at a Time!"
"I'm hopeful the Fish for Life experience will inspire many others to take action with their calling whatever it may be to help make our world a better and more loving experience."

When we align ourselves in the Love of God, the flood gates of ideas come in the form of an inspiration. As Jim stated when he had his first idea for Fish for Life, "God then blessed me with ideas one after another!"  It is easy to disregard a thought as fleeting, harebrained or something that could be difficult to accomplish.  Once in a while take a look at those ideas.  If they are truly inspired, the ideas come with ease.  Our call is to listen with our entire Soul, heart, and body to catch those ideas and act from that vision. 

If your inspiration comes by way of Special Needs volunteerism, remember, they definitely are the master teachers of this life.  Each one of them teach Love, Joy, humility, and patience.  Volunteering with those who have disabilities will allow the volunteer to show peace, compassion and understanding. Teaching a special needs individual to Fish for Life will be reciprocated by teaching the volunteer about living life. This in turn may create an environment in the volunteers life of Joy and Peace. Fish for Life, Fish for Love.  Namaste.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Blue Jewel You Matter

"I am a Sentience, a sentience is that which knows and is, feels, speaks, thinks, cares and loves all at once. 

"I am the presence, soul, spirit, the encodement, the embodiment and purpose of this planet we call earth."

"I am Gaia, I am the planet, I am One with You."

And So It Is! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Epilepsy Was My Lesson in Self Care

18 Years Old & Diagnosised with Epilespy
18 Years Old & Diagnosised with Epilespy
When I was 18 I was diagnosed with Epilepsy and put on a prescription of Dilantin.

It was my freshman year in college and I was terrified I would make a mistake. I took the hardest classes I could get my hands on. Advanced Placement Chemistry and Russian Language would have been enough for anyone but I had to add on Economics, Religion 101 and a filmmaking class for fun.

I had begun to get headaches and pass out on occasion. It would come with no warning. I would get dizzy and the next thing I knew I was in a heap on the floor. My diagnosis meant I couldn't have a driver's license, I had to take this mind-numbing medication and I certainly didn't linger in stairwells.

I was taken to a few Neurologists. They gave me the regular battery of tests. But even the EEG that I had to stay up all night for revealed nothing.

Now I must add that the head of the Neurology department did make the suggestion to practice martial arts. At the time that seemed like a very off the wall suggestion, in retrospect it was probably the best advice I received at the time.

What the tests couldn't detect is what was going on in my head. The fear, the self criticism, the "if it's not perfect it's RUINED" attitude.

I had myself wound up beyond recognition.

Yesterday I proudly watched our teens share their experience at camp. I was just so impressed with their poise and application of Principle in their lives. Their self knowledge, their compassion for others and themselves, their wisdom and their ability to articulate what is going on with themselves.

What a gift to have these tools and teachings and support at this age. Meditation alone would have been transformational!

I think that is why I am so glad my girls are here. They know that life unfolds as it should. They know to listen to their inner wisdom and that they are creative beings in a creative universe.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Affirmation - Playing with Spiritual Practices

Today, I enter into my spiritual practices with child-like innocence, wonder and awe. Playfully, I explore silence, journaling and prayer, allowing my one-on-one time with God to be filled with great joy.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Empowerment Night

As you may or may not have discovered this week, the mountain which the CSL Teen Camp took place (and has taken place there for years) caught fire in the middle of our spiritual work. We were asked to evacuate, and in which we did, were helped immediately by a plethora of volunteers and wonderful people. But, it was no mistake that this must have happened.

At CSL Teen Camp 2013, There's No Place Like Om, we had themes for each day and events for each night that took place for our own enjoyment and spiritual hunger. On Wednesday, July 17, the theme for the day was Trust, and the event was Empowerment Night. We moved through the day as usual, occasionally glancing up at the rising, scarlet and lavender-colored smoke of the fire (which we had been aware of since it began), and then moving back into the processes and workshops we had attended camp for.

After Me Time, our reflection time after lunch, all of the teens met with their family groups (our workshop groups for the week), and moved through a powerful workshop called 'Leave Your Baggage'. It worked on letting go of emotional baggage and moving on to a greater experience, or greater life. After a tearful workshop, I joined some friends for recreational time, hanging out and bouncing in anticipation of our favorite evening event. But, as rec. time came to a close, all of the advisers asked us to sit in the amphitheater and wait for instructions. When our amazing leader, Rev. Keith Cox, showed up we were given the news to evacuate, and to leave our baggage on the mountain, bringing only what was absolutely needed for the next twenty-four hours. So, we were literally leaving our baggage. And, at that moment Empowerment Night began.  

     We left the mountain in buses, but not after having been fed (by concern of the camp staff), and ended up at Hemet high school where the Red Cross gave us their best care. By words from Rev. Keith, they were blown away at having such a large group of teens behave the way we did, all-loving, peaceful, and relaxed as we were. We spent the night in the school's music-room, where the volunteers had put down soft mats, blankets and pillows for us to sleep, and even brought us pizza. In the morning we were greeted by our wonderful advisers, and some breakfast; we had left-over pizza, honey-cakes, Hostess Donuts, and (my favorite) Starbucks Coffee, all given by volunteers and generosity of the Red Cross. After breakfast, we did a nurturing activity(A's and B's), in which we all came together to support each other during this whole, new experience. And, finally, we were given the news that we were going to be taken in by the lovely CSL Palm Desert. So, we got our things together and waited for the buses. And, as we waited we were even visited by a minister of CSL Hemet, telling us that we were all in their prayers. Then, the buses came, and we departed.

So, as we drove on to the Center, CSL Capo Valley youth group and I bathed in the gratitude for all of the love and support, and generosity that was shown in the past twenty hours. And, as we drove to the Palm Desert center, I couldn't help but remember the conversations on the bus about the fire. More than five teens had recalled dreaming about the evacuation the night before, and I would say more than a dozen had said they had packed their bags at Me Time without knowing why they'd had the urge to do so. And, in my form, I had written in all of the stroke books that I had needed to on Monday, because I felt the urge. I didn't know why, but I felt the longing and the need to write down all of the loving things I enjoyed about people in their stroke books. But, even as everyone had received so many signals to the evacuation, it was still an empowering experience-to step into our own Power as individuals and move through the experience, supporting the fellow campers, and recognizing all of the love and support we received with gratitude. So even though we had left the mountain physically, Summer Camp 2013 came with us wherever we went.

So truly,

There's No Place Like Om.  


Friday, July 19, 2013

My $10,000 Miracle

The sinking feeling of the last two weeks set in.
I had lost my wedding bands with one mistake...the mistake not being in the present moment and trying to multi-task. I sat driving in my car, I was mad at myself for the wild goose chase I'd just put myself through looking for my lost wedding bands...
After 2 1/2 weeks, I had made one final affirmative prayer asking for a miracle.  During my meditation following the prayer, I heard, almost audibly, "Go to San Clemente."
How could I be so dumbI thought, the scene of where I lost the rings in the cosmetic bag that had NO identification in it whatsoever...gone for good (or so I thought) in the middle of Del Mar street! Am I really going to go all the way down there and look for them?
Being the intuitive girl I am, I decided to follow my intuitive message and went.
As I drove down the  busiest street in San Clemente, packed with the summertime lunch crowd, I looked for a parking spot. 
Hmph! I thought....I truly have lost my mind thinking I'm going to get ANY kind of parking near Del Mar.
But wait! What was that? 
Holy, crap (although, I did use another, more colorful word), that's the VERY spot I parked in when I lost my cosmetic bag out the door 2 1/2 weeks ago! I pulled in...
...O.K. Universe...I'm listening!
I went in to four businesses, the first being Nick's restaurant recounting my stories to the managers and employees and getting a big fat "I'm sorry, we don't have it" at each one.
I left my name and number with them, and chided myself for being irresponsible and a hopeless optimist for trying to find unidentified rings 2 1/2 weeks after losing them. I still hadn't told my husband fearing some ungodly reaction...which, I couldn't even fathom because he's not an "ungodly reaction" kind of guy.
As I got into my car and drove through Capo Beach,  I tried to re-affirm a more positive opinion of myself, and then, the phone call came... was Liz, the manager from Nick's Restaurant.
"Vidette," she said, "I was looking at our company database at our corporate offices. We photograph and log in everything that is sent in, and I see a bag that looks like yours."
My heart dropped.  More out of fear that maybe it sounded like my bag, but would end up not being it.
She went on, "In the notes section, it says that it was brought in by someone who had found it outside of our restaurant almost three weeks ago.  I didn't remember logging it in because it was logged in by my assistant manager."
It HAD to be mine!  But what if whoever found it saw the rings, stole them, then handed in the bag?
I made arrangements to go pick up my bag the next day.
When I arrived, I was handed my bag.
I opened it up as I held my breath.
I moved the breath mints, the lip gloss and lipstick out of the way, and peered down to the bottom...
...and there they were.
My rings were safely snuggled down between all the other beauty items.
I welled up in tears, thanked the receptionist profusely, got to my car and said a prayer of gratitude.
Later that night, I reflected on the lessons learned:
1.  After telling my  husband the whole saga, he was surprised to learn that I was so afraid to tell him and toiled for almost three weeks over it.  He told me he would have been bummed, but then asked what I feared he would have done if I would have told him.
I don't know, was my answer.
I toiled for weeks over something that wasn't even reality.  I feared something that didn't even happen and also wasn't sure what I was fearing about telling him anyway.
2.  People are really good.
I immediately went to the "thief" that would find the bag and steal my rings.  Just like when I have lost my kids in Costco (three times now), I think about the child-molesting kidnapper that may find them and take them, rather than the good people that would find them, announce that they had been found and hand them back over to me. (which is what happened...everytime!)
Instead, I realized, once again, that there are more good people in the world then nasty people.
I figured out that my cosmetic bag had to go through about five sets of hands before it got back into mine....the person who found it, the hostess at Nicks, the manager who checked it in, the driver who drove the lost and found items to the corporate office, and the receptionist.
Five good people who either looked in the bag and left it's contents or didn't bother to look at all knowing it wasn't their bag.
3.  The biggest lesson for me was the power of affirmative prayer and the presence of miracles in my life...everyday.
I pray to the Universe, affirmatively, everyday.  I give thanks for already having the things in my life I am praying for.
I don't beg for them to come.
I simply give thanks for them being in my life.
I pray for small miracles like a rock star parking space or my favorite song to come on Pandora.
I receive those miracles almost daily, which over time, has truly built my faith.
But I also pray for big miracles everyday like world peace, the chance to make a difference in the world, the health of my kids, etc...and after this saga, I prayed to find my rings when there was NOTHING that looked as if there was a chance of getting them back!
I got my big miracle on this day.
If there was a sliver of my mind that wasn't completely filled with faith in prayer, it certainly was filled with the realization of this major miracle.
I used the value of my rings in the title of this post, not because I want to brag, but because I wanted you to click and read and money makes people click.
I wanted you to know the power of praying in gratitude for already receiving that which you desire.
I wanted you to know to expect miracles everyday...big ones and small ones.
If you are unsure of how to pray affirmatively or are unsure of whether or not you can expect miracles, start with small ones to build your faith.
Start with parking spaces, "I am so happy and grateful to have the perfect parking space open up right in front of this store" and KNOW it will happen.
The more it does, the more faith you will build in affirmative prayer and in small miracles.
It will build your faith in big miracles and when you pray with faith in the outcome already being so, truly, my friend, big miracles will happen everyday for you!
Happy B-I-G miracle-making!
*** I want to hear YOUR miracle stories!  Share them in the comments below and help me spread the faith in expecting miracles.***

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Something is brewing in San Clemente

A lovely momento as a reminder of connection.
At the Center for Spiritual Living, Capistrano Valley a women's group has formed.  With the initial visioning, the idea of support was prevalent.  Not really sure how this would play out in the form of our meetings each month, this idea of support has taken on a variety of shapes.  It included a variety of activities: a painting project, a planting of marigolds, a creation of cork magnet succulent planters and, our latest, an outing of dining, karaoke, and dancing.

Along with the activities, a Spiritual connection in some form (an exercise, prayer, or holding of a member's prayer request) is also established.  The ages of these women range from mid-twenties to mid-eighties and each one have much to contribute.  The Love is rich in the formation of this group.  The ability to honor all forms of ourselves as women have lead to such an interesting dynamic.

The one common bond is the understanding of our individual and our collective Spiritual connection.  There is  a sense of  honor to come together in Consciousness to celebrate one another in each of these forms. Women who support each other is a celebration of life.

Please join us. We meet every first Friday of the month. For the month of August, a nature walk is planned.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This Is What Life Sounds Like

1, 2, 1, 2,  Here we go 
Everybody wants me to be who they want me to be except you 
All I wanna do is be with you 
They all tell me that there’s something strange 
I don't wanna meet nobody new. 
All I wanna do is be with you 
Life sounds like 

I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive!

This is what it sounds like.  

I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive!
And So It Is! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Do You need Some Dream Therapy?

Do You need Some Dream Therapy?

In my latest Hypnotherapy class called Dream Therapy I learned the importance of sleep and dreams. We really got into the nitty gritty of the why's and how's of it. I'm excited to share a bit of what I learned. I think you will find it eye opening!

Every night when the sun goes down all over the planet human beings go through this ritual. We remove our day clothes and put on this special uniform and go into a dark room and lie down on a platform, cover ourselves with some warm material and lay vertical for a few hours. If you're in good health its usually eight hours. Anything less and problems start to occur.

When we engage in this behavior we enter into a dream state. It has three stages, 1st stage is the lightest and least important called Wishful Thinking. 2nd stage is called pre-cognitive and the 3rd stage and most important and the longest is called the Venting Stage.

Imagine all day you are taking in millions of what's called Message Units or information from your environment. By the end of the day you are done. You can no longer take in anymore information. Any further information causes irritability and actually hurts. Your brain has to process all these Message Units or you could actually go crazy. That is the job of your three sleep stages. To go through all this information and decide whether its important to keep it or vent it out through the third stage of sleep. This usually happens in the early morning hours. You are able through your dreams to let go of information and stress that isn't serving you anymore. When you wake up you are literally a blank book ready to take in millions of message units again until your own personal meter shuts itself down at the end of the day.

In a clinical study they deprived 10 people of sleep for 205 hours. The subjects experienced a gradual increase in fatigue, as well as a decline of perceptual, cognitive, and psychomotor skills. episodes of brief hallucinations were experienced by the subjects. After some sleep and follow up studies all the subjects recovered without any permanent  affects. Another group was studied the same way. Only this time they were awakened before they reached The Venting stage or full REM sleep. These subjects were even more anxious and irritable when awakened before the third stage of sleep. If REM deprived subjects are permitted uninterrupted sleep on subsequent nights they will dream more (more REM activity) for a night or two. This phenomenon is known as the "REM rebound effect." These observations have led experts to believe that REM or The Venting Stage, is necessary for proper development or functioning during sleep.

Have your sleep interrupted by even one hour and you will be operating throughout your day on %10 less capacity. Add drugs and or alcohol and you will never reach REM. Waking up not feeling much better than the night before.

So tonight before you go to bed put a journal or a piece of paper on your night stand and when you wake nice and refreshed quickly write down what you can remember about your dream. You will be amazed at how much you've let go of and some insight you may have gained. You may need help interpreting those strange dreams. That's a whole other class!

Goodnight and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Getting to the top of the hill is worth the climb

path, climb, hill, walking path, metaphysical path,

This week I found myself walking up a hill. The hill was metaphoric and literal. The literal hill is one I have walked up and down many times. I know that it's a good hill to stretch my legs and get my heart rate up. On this particular morning I was walking up the hill after a very invigorating conversation with a good friend. We had met for a walk and ended it with a shared breakfast and well meaning direct conversation. I was grateful for my friend's insight and reminder that I always make it through the challenges in my life.

So, I find myself walking home after my visit with my friend, I am walking hard, my head is down and I am concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I am just getting to the top. It's all uphill - literally! And then, I noticed that I could see the top and I could feel the success of reaching it. The top in sight I relaxed a little and paused. I looked around.  I noticed the beauty surrounding me, the vegetation along the trail, the view of the distant mountains, and I realized that I was near the top. I am feeling the effect of a good workout and liking it! I also noticed that I had been walking with my head down, aware of, but not really paying attention to, everything along my path. I became aware that walking up that hill with my head down, concentrating on my steps and my workout was exactly what was needed and I had now reached the place to rest and look around. As I contemplated my surroundings I could see how far I had come, I could see the steep path that I had navigated and I realized that the rest of the hill would be easier. I could see my destination and I knew I had made it through the hardest part.

I realized as I stood there at the vista that I had also found myself on the metaphorical hill. That I had been working through a challenge in my life in much the same way as I had just hiked that hill. I had been putting one foot in front of the other, keeping my head down (mostly) and had been aware of, but not really paying attention to, everything around me. In that moment I gave a huge thanks for the friend that I had shared my morning with, for surely, I had reached the place on the path to pause, look around, notice how far I have come, and trust that although I cannot see the top, I do know it is there and that I will reach it and pass it and my journey will continue.

I am reminded that there are many paths that lead to One God and there are many paths on which I will find myself during this life journey. I remind myself to walk hard when I need to and to rest as often as needed, to enjoy the hills, the valleys and the flat parts for they are all the paths of my life. And through it all I remind myself to lift up my eyes, lift up my thoughts, lift up my heart,  to notice the beauty of the moment, the sacred ground which I walk upon, the friends and support that line my path. I know that every hill is rich with blessings every step of the way!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

So Many Blessings!

Dr. Emoto and I  after the water blessing
On Thursday I joined fifty or so like-minded people to participate in a water blessing of the ocean at the south end of San Onofre Beach nearest to the nuclear power plant. The blessing was given by Dr. Masaru Emoto, whose molecular pictures of water we studied in our Beyond Limits class earlier this year. For those of you unfamiliar with those pictures see his book Hidden Images in Water

Dr Emoto spoke briefly in Japanese, then his speech was translated into English. Due to the close surf and the large circle, it was difficult to hear his entire message but we felt it in the blessing. He asked us all to face the ocean and pray for the water between San Onofre and Japan. Then he did a call and response chant in Japanese. (We all did the best we could but I think our English-speaking expression did not very accurately reflect his intentions.) We all om'ed together. Then a minute of silence. Then he asked us to repeat after him, the words of the Ho'opononpono Blessing of Ihaleakala Hew Len that Joe Vitale made famous.

Remember the story of Hew Len who was a director of an asylum for the criminally insane.  The inmates were violent. The workers were stressed, fearful and watchful. The staff had no morale. Everyone feared for their lives. The workers were drug and alcohol addicted. When they walked down the hallways they would walk with their backs against the wall so they could see everything on either direction. The staff were often absent due to sickness.

Dr. Hew Len was a new director. When he had only been there for a few months, the staff started relaxing and enjoying their work. The patients seemed to be calmer. Then the patients started to get better. One by one they were released from the institution until finally they closed the institution.

What kind of miracle work did Dr Len Hew do? What kind of psychological techniques did he know? How did he accomplish this huge turn-around?

He never saw a patient.

He didn't do any therapy.

What he did everyday was to take the file of each patient and bless the patient with the Ho'oponopono Blessing. This blessing is very easy. It is the same blessing Dr. Emoto used for the water that Hew Len used on the mental patients. In Dr. Emoto's words it is:

Water, I am sorry.
Water, please forgive me.
Water, I love you.
Water, thank you.

We repeated it three times. Then he sang a song to us and asked us to sing something into the circle. Nobody seemed brave enough to do it. He said that there was a melody everybody knew. He asked us to just sing La-la-la to "Ode to Joy." He kept the pitch low and sweet.It was beautiful, simple and transformational. 

How blessed I felt that I had been invited to the blessing, that I had time on my calendar to do it and that we have further proof that in this Universe (uni-verse, one song)we are all connected.  Our positive thinking and feeling not only effects us but the world in which we live.

If there is anything that you are troubled by, I recommend chanting the words of Ho''oponopono silently for five minutes or so. You will know when you are complete because your energy about the situation will have changed. You will see with the eyes of Love.

To find out more about Dr. Emoto's work, check out his book on 
To find out more about Ho'oponopono,check out the book Joe Vitale and Hew Len co-authored entitled Zero Limits.

Friday, July 12, 2013

How the Practice of Listening Gave Me Answers

San Onofre Water Blessing
San Onofre Water Blessing 
Have you ever been witness to a scene that just wouldn't leave your memory. This happened to me just this last week. It wasn't an unusual scene but there must have been something in it that I needed to think about.

My 7 year old nephew was over to play with Ella. It was about an hour before bedtime and we let them know that.

"But isn't Ella going to come and play at MY house" asked Dane. "Well no, not tonight."


And then my articulate and insightful Ella said compassionately to her cousin "I know Dane. I know. Sometimes when I don't get things the way I want them I just don't want them at all."

Wow! I resemble that remark.

I recognized a little of myself in that statement. I had a brief impulse to correct this "immature" point of view but then I thought maybe I should explore this in my own thoughts before I jump to correct the children. I chose to listen.

I have been struggling with this in my own way. When political, economic, environmental injustices occur I feel angry, unheard and sometimes I rail against the world all in my own head. I want to be heard and there is also a part of me that wants to burn the house down.

I want to matter. I want to make things better. I want everyone to jump on board and say "YES YES YES." And they don't always do it. After all I have all the answers to MY perfect world worked out in my head.

But what I learned this week is that Spirit is always supporting us. Even when we feel like pouting children Spirit is there sending messages and love. It's so remarkable.

So, would you like to know what I have learned?

Maybe your "Divine Discontent" is pointing you to your work. 
When Ian Percy came to our center he brought this idea. Your passion is energy drawing you to the work you were meant to do. We all have a part to play. Strong emotions point us in the direction of our path.

Make Constructive Use of What You Have
And then a book popped into my life. A small book by Wallace Wattles entitled "How to Get What You Want" I didn't even know it existed even though I had read his more popular book "The Science of Getting Rich" till the book was worn and falling apart. This book brought a message I had not heard before.

"Do not reach out after more until you have life to spare after doing perfectly all that you have to do now."

We all have things to do. They are ours to do. We are given gifts and passions and it is up to us to express them. You want to move things forward then bring your best self forward. Look around you and get creative about how you can leverage all your blessings. You have so many. Honor them.

You and Now are the only point of transformation that you are ever going to have.

We mustn't fight amongst ourselves. We must find a way to work together in Unity.
And Wednesday night we received a message from a dear dear friend that Dr. Masaru Emoto author of "The Hidden Messages in Water" and Ruben Saufkie would be performing his beautiful Hopi Water Blessing for the waters at San Onofre.

Again, things didn't turn out quite how I had hoped as I ended up chasing my 2 year old around piles of stinking fly infested seaweed while the ceremony was taking place. But as I chased her around I heard loud and clear "We mustn't fight amongst ourselves. We must find a way to work together in Unity."

It must have been the message I needed.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Teachable Moments for Parents Available at the Parent Forum

How is your summer going?

Tomorrow is July 12. It will be one month since the CUSD schools ended for summer, and I’m pretty sure that all I did was blink. One really has to wonder where the time goes... If I was one of those conspiracy theorist types, I would venture to guess that somehow they are siphoning minutes from my days when I’m not looking – you know, the way hackers can get into your bank account if you’re not careful. Of course, I am the only one who can fritter my time away. I know that... (Anyone for a game of Words With Friends?)

The thing is that as summer approached, I purposely avoided signing the kids up for a bunch of camps (any camps, actually), because I wanted to give them a chance to recharge a little – to have some down time to relax and enjoy their summer. Of course, July finds them still training for the Junior Olympics, playing high school summer league, and my youngest is in summer school. While I guess the minimal-obligation phase of summer won’t officially start until August, their schedules are considerably lighter than they are during the school year. Although, I must confess that I was stunned by how quickly the first month of summer flew by.  My visions of lazy days spent at the beach were slipping away like sand between my toes.

Epiphany struck as it occurred to me that this was far more about me than it was about them. I found myself in one of those parenting teachable moments – only I was the student! Skipping the camps was only part of the issue. There was no doubt that the girls needed the down time. Between school, water polo, church and other charity activities, they are very busy during the school year. However, it’s not just about giving them big chunks of unstructured time to use as they please. They (and I) must be mindful about the free time. They don’t need me to dictate what they do, but they need to be aware of the time, and be cognizant that they are at choice as to how they spend it. At fourteen and twelve years old, they are old enough to be making these sorts of decisions for themselves; and I need to be okay if they choose to spend an afternoon watching what I consider mindless cartoons. It’s not going to impact whether or not they get into college.

Giving them room to make those less than desirable choices is one of the hardest parts of parenting. It is also the birthplace of so many other teachable moments. Many of my children’s best-learned lessons were the ones they taught themselves. Those opportunities for showing them a new perspective also brought a deeper connection and greater mutual understanding.

My children are wonderful, delightful, people who know that I love them dearly, which I guess is why they put up with my occasional parenting missteps. They know that I, like most parents, strive to do my best. Fortunately, I have found a great friend and mentor along my parenting journey who has created a powerful tool that is available to parents. Her name is Rev. Pattie Mercado and the tool is the Parent Forum.

Rev. Pattie has created a space where parents can benefit, not only from her wisdom and experience, but also share tips and support each other. The forum typically meets at the Center on the first Thursday of each month at 11:30am-1pm. Due to the holiday last week, we are meeting today this month, so please plan to join us! Childcare is available and a delicious light lunch is served. 

It is truly one of the highlights of my month! I hope to see you there.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Embracing Diversity through Compassion

As we all are living in this time and space, in this moment on earth, a shift is occurring on this planet.  A direction of the understanding of Oneness is taking shape.  A movement that we all are here together to coexist amid our differences.  And those who are born with “disabilities” are given the ability to navigate through this time to cultivate compassion in their fellow human.  Compassion is created through the hearts of parents who recognize the child’s place in the world.  As this is a cyclical universe, this experience of compassion can lead to reciprocity of compassion throughout the planet.

In part of his Ted Med talk, Andrew Solomon, discovers an acceptance of diversity through parents of children with inabilities to be “typical.”  He speaks of his search to understand the struggles associated with raising these children.  He finds the underlying power of Love, that creates a deep compassion, that may not have been experienced if not for these children’s “disabilities.”  As a journey to find his own discovery of acceptance, as a homosexual man, Solomon discovers parental Love is one of the strongest forms of Love.  Through his quest, the trajectory of his life changed, which lead to a deeper, richer experience in the decision to become a parent.

As with Solomon, to truly learn compassion is to put it in action.  To donate monetarily to a cause is admirable; to actually enter into the life of that cause is transformative.  To have this experience of compassion can change a life, and can change the world.  Who is ready to change the world?

Embracing Diversity through Compassion
And So It Is! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let's Talk About What Life Is.

A single thread of self generation ties the cosmos, the bios, and the technos together into one creation. Humans are not the culmination of this trajectory but an intermediary, smack in the middle between the born and the made... the arc of complexity and open-ended creation in the last four billion years is nothing compared to what lies ahead. - Kevin Kelly

Let's Talk About What Life Is.
Wake Up Universe
And So It Is! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy to be Hapa

Happy to be Hapa

Hapa is a slang term used to describe someone that is half Caucasian and something else. Usually the other half is Phillippino, Hawaiian or any other Pacific Islander.

Growing up in Southern Orange County is pretty colorless. Being white myself I never really took notice. Until I married my Philippino husband and we had Hapa kids. For the most part being in an interracial marriage in this neck of the woods has been without incident. Maybe a few sideways looks and some stupid questions about whether or not my kids are adopted or am I possibly the nanny.

Both our girls are teenagers and the last two years I've heard a few disturbing comments from them. Such as they wish they were blonde like me so that they would fit in. One daughter goes to great lengths so she won't get so dark in the summer. The older one in high school has had a few racial slurs thrown at her. I feel so helpless and for right or wrong try and down play it. Of course being biased and their mom I tell them they are exotic looking and kids are jealous. But now I'm not so sure. One girl told one of my daughters that more boys would like her if her skin was lighter. Yes, I had to call the mom on that one. The older daughter is obsessed with getting a nose job because some kids at school said it is a fat and ugly Phillipino nose. So very tragic and unbelievable in this day and age.

On a recent family trip to Hawaii this summer it all changed. The minute we stepped off the plane and into the first eatery both girls exclaimed, "no one is looking at us like we're aliens!" From that point on my eyes were open. Every where we went the locals smiled and said hello to them. Now I was the white girl out! The daughter that doesn't like her nose suddenly saw other beautiful Hapa girls with the same nose. No more talk of nose jobs. She also went surfing in a local spot and not only did everyone in the line up say hello but they would give her waves. My younger daughter said it felt so good to fit in and be excepted .

This realization was both wonderful and tragic at the same time. My girls finally embraced their heritage. Since we are not moving to Hawaii I felt they needed to learn some coping skills for living in The OC. Much to my surprise they were glad to be home and lifted up with a little more pride and confidence.

This experience has really made me see more clearly. I've spent many hours wondering why some California kids feel the way they do and I have a lot of theories. None of which matter. I know this is the way God is choosing to teach my girls about life. They will grow up to be better people for it and hopefully will be globally minded and have a new view on what it's like to be a minority. As we left the airport in Maui there was a huge sign that said Embrace Diversity. The girls and I looked at each other and smiled each of us knowing we already have. Our surfer daughter wants to have her own surf company for women only called Hapa Wahini. The slogan will say Embrace your inner Wahini. So that any women of any race or color can wear the clothes. The younger one wants to do the clothes design.

God's plan is already working.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Affirmation: Consciousness Conditioning

I am pure consciousness and the creator of my life. 
Each day I acknowledge this truth and open my mind to the grand possibilities. 
This simple practice elevates my vibration, my life and the world, 
creating a world that works for everyone.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

You Are Never Too Old

Have you noticed how many beautiful young women come to our Center? These women are beautiful spiritual beings who are confident and radiant, living life fully because they know who they are. We live in a culture that worships youth and emphasizes the appearance of youth. If you don't know who you are, it would be very difficult to live in our culture. Open a magazine and you will see photos of beautiful women. These models are often very young and have tortured themselves to stay a size zero. Sometimes the photos are of older women who look remarkable thanks to the magic of photo finishing. Oprah reminded us when she talked about her photos in her magazine that there has been a lot of retouching before we ever see the finished picture.

Why do we want to look young? I believe we want to feel attractive, graceful, maybe even glamorous. We want to restore the vitality and love of life that we had when we were in our twenties.

What if we really could have the effects of that fountain of youth by believing in ourselves and acting accordingly? What if we used spiritual practices to form a new idea of someone our age? What if we really could be as graceful as a teenager into out eighties and nineties?

Well the fact is we can! Watch the video to see 86 year-old Johanna Quass do the most graceful routines on the parallel bars and the floor. She competed in her native Germany last year in the Cottbus World Cup and wowed the audience. She has the strength and agility of a youngster! She isn't trying to cover up her wrinkles! She is living her life fully! She has become one of my role-models!

What do we have to do? The answer is available every Sunday; we are going to discuss it all month. We are going to Practice: Exercising Our Souls!

What does that mean? How do we exercise our souls?

It is a very catchy title and it is the heart of our teaching. The Soul, according to our founder Ernest Holmes, is the Law through which life comes to be. It is the way God, or Divine Presence works in us. The Soul is like a mirror, whose job it is to reflect back to us, the thinkers, what we have been believing about ourselves and our lives. Exercising your Soul means to invest some of your precious time imagining the life that you DO want. When we have a clear mental picture we will notice that we naturally want to take some actions in the outer world.

I don't know Johanna Quass but I can see that she is a women of determination, strength and imagination. In addition to her desire to be a graceful, strong gymnast, she also needed to learn the skills of a gymnast and perfect them. Maybe she signed up for an adult gym class. Maybe she has been practicing gymnastics since she was a child. It doesn't matter to me. The fact is she did it!

That is the great news for all of us. If one person can accomplish something extraordinary, then we all can. It is simply a matter of believing it until we see it.

You are never too old to accomplish your dreams! What is it that you have been dreaming of doing? Has anyone told you that you are too old to begin that practice? Share my blog and the video of Johanna.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Are You Living in Freedom or the Prison of Your Mind?

As I sat last night watching fireworks from a balmy Southern California beach, Katy Perry's song, "Firework" was running through my head (lyrics below courtesy of:

What ran through  my head as we celebrated our freedom as a country is that, although we do have freedom to live the way we would like, most Americans do not live in freedom.

They are tied to jobs they dislike, they suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, they are unhealthy, overweight, in financial ruin; they truly live in a prison in their own minds.

As hard as this might be to hear, especially if you suffer from one of the challenges above, it is very easy to use blame or excuses to push away the fact that everything in our lives is created by us.

The freedom comes when we recognize that we have the freedom to change each circumstance with our thoughts and with affirmative prayer.

It's as simple as holding a vision for that very area of your life you'd like to change.  Feel what it would be like to let it go and accept something grander and more fulfilling.  Pray affirmatively expressing gratitude for already having it and watch it unfold in your life.

We have the freedom to re-create our lives, or any part of it, at any time.  

So, as I sat last night, I found one area of my life I have to change.  Today I prayed on it and then wrote this blog post knowing that in some way, that part of my life will start to  Today, let's celebrate our freedom.

Our freedom within to choose.  Our free will that allows us to express our greatest gifts.  Our freedom to "show 'em what you're worth!"

Katy Perry's "Firework" Lyrics:

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under?
Scream but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause, baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

You don't have to feel like a wasted space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it's time you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause, baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through-ough-ough

'Cause, baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Freedom Day!

Happy 4th of July! May it be a day of connection, appreciation, and celebration!

In 1776 the Declaration of Independence...
 "...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...."

In 2013 the Declaration of Inner-dependence...
"This is what I know is true: that there is only One. One life, one power, one source. Everything and everyone is an expression of this one that I call God.

Today as we celebrate our countries independence I am reminded of the freedom that I often take for granted. The freedom to say yes to my heart, my joy, my love. The freedom that I have to attend the spiritual center that I do without a thought or worry  about safety. The freedom to choose to be inner-dependent for me is remembering and trusting my inner voice. I am remind myself that as an inner-dependent person I allow the outside conditions of my life  to be the feedback of my inner thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. I turn to the truth that I know: that I Am Love, I Am Peace, I Am living in harmony with life and cooperating with the divine inner whisper that says yes, it is all good and all God.

Today as the family and friends of our nation gather together in celebration I am reminded of one of the best lessons that I was ever given and that is: "we come together to share what we have in common".

So today as we come together with family and friends in celebration of our freedom I am deeply moved by the power and presence of Love. For me it is this love that we come together to share.