Sunday, September 27, 2009

Going Raw

I am a vegetarian – which generally makes me an unpopular (if not, intimidating) dinner guest. But that’s okay, Mom and Dad, I’ll be bringing my own food to Thanksgiving dinner this year. Not that you would ever begrudge any of your children or grandchildren anything, but I do understand how difficult my lifestyle choice has been on you and all the other dedicated carnivores in my life.
And now, I’ve gone and made things even worse… this weekend, after much research, reflection and fear of aging gracelessly, I have decided to go raw. That’s right, no more cooked or processed food for me. I’ve dusted off the juicer, my Excalibur dehydrator is on order and the fridge is stocked with enzyme-packed veggies, fruit and nut milk. I have read Sarma Melngailis’ book “Living Raw Food” from cover to cover and now, I am certain I’m ready to meet this challenge head on. (Wish me luck!)
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

What If…

What if you could change the past – or if not change it, put it away on a shelf in your mind and only allow yourself to take it out and re-examine it in a neutral setting with an objective mind?

What if all the things you perceived to be “bad” in the past were actually opportunities for learning and growth? If those things were now on your shelf, could you look at them and acknowledge them for what they truly are? Could you see the benefits they’ve brought to your life and be grateful for them in that capacity?

What if all your good experiences were also on that shelf – the things that you romanticize, but are no more? Those things that also hold you back from reaching your present-day potential.

By putting the past away, and focusing your intentions on the present, you are claiming your power to change the influence past events have on you. In doing so, you are also changing the energy around yourself, which in turn, will attract fresh new experiences and challenges rather than a recycling of the old ones.

What if choosing to live in the present and focusing on how to deal with the issues of the here-and-now could actually lead to your ideal future? Where would you be then?


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seize the Day!

“Looking for alternatives ­- better sights than we see, better sounds than we hear, a better mind than we have ­- keeps us from realizing that we could stand with pride in the middle of our life and realize it’s a sacred mandala.” ­ - Pema Chodron

Why is it so difficult to live in the present moment and to appreciate it for what it is? Instead we tend to find it more alluring to look into the future and fantasize about a time when we will be richer, thinner, or happier for a myriad of reasons. Or we get stuck focusing on past glories, or what would have, could have, should have been.
To live for any time that is not the present, is quite simply to be outside of reality. Sometimes, when things are really bad, looking to the future can pull you through. But doing it too often can only lead to more unsatisfactory feelings about one’s present experience.
Getting stuck in the past can be even worse: We imagine what might be if we had only done something different. How things would be better in our current situation, if only... But there is no way of knowing how things would have turned out if another choice had been made, because it’s impossible to see far enough down that path. Things could indeed be worse!
When we spend too much energy imagining better outcomes or dreaming about a perfect future, we lose sight of the true power we have in our present time to make the positive changes necessary to move forward in our lives. We certainly need to remember the lessons of the past, and set goals toward our future success but the key to getting the most out of our experiences lies in our ability to live consciously in the present.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Evidence of God

A few days ago, someone asked the question: What evidence do we have that God still exists? In answering this, however, I believe it’s necessary first to define what God is.
To keep things simple and to avoid getting into any sort of deep, theological debate, I’ll just say that to my mind God/Goddess is The Creative Source from which we and everything else in the universe were conceived. It is the ultimate intelligence, pure Divine light, and the very essence of love.
And by the very nature of all that is, we and everything else that exists are truly comprised of All That Is. Or in other words, we are of God and therefore, God exists through us. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

Monday, September 7, 2009

On Love

When you look at anything through the lens of love, it changes.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Life Lessons

What does it really take to unite people to a cause? Do we bond more easily in good times or does it take a crisis? Unfortunately, it seems like many of us are only motivated to respond when the going gets really tough – when situations reach critical life and death proportions. Whether we are talking about war, environmental destruction, a global health pandemic or economic collapse… nothing spurs the public on quite like a good tragedy.

So is this a bad thing? Perhaps we’d wish for people to see what’s going on sooner or that it would take less severe circumstances to get us all moving, yet, it’s through these extreme examples that we can often learn the most. Out of horrible, desperate circumstances we find incredible examples of heroism. Like a wildfire that burns long and hard, but leaves fertile soil in its wake, offering nature the opportunity for new growth – people who have been similarly devastated have to reach down deep to find the strength to turn their situation into a positive. But for those who are able to meet such a challenge, the rewards are often unpredictably wonderful and far-reaching and almost make sense of the original sacrifice.

Is this, perhaps, what life is all about? A continuous cycle of birth, death and renewal: proving our metal through the ups and downs, taking on the challenges that come our way, and growing better and stronger along the way? I think so.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rishi and Emily

When two year old Emily Bland met one year-old orangutan Rishi there was an almost instant connection, as her father tells it.

Photographer Robert Bland had taken his daughter along with him on assignment at the T.I.G.E.R.S. animal sanctuary in Miami, Florida because he thought it would be a good experience for Emily. The resulting friendship and unplanned photo-op has instead shown the world yet again what a truly magnificent combination animals and humans can be.

According to Dr. Bhagavan Antle, “Orangutans are intelligent and certainly the most friendly apes on the planet. All infants have the capacity to get along and as youngsters the barriers between species appear to disappear.

“Orangutans are one of the most endangered species on earth. Recent expansions of palm oil plantations and over logging of their forests in Borneo and Sumatra have created a rapidly declining habitat for these great apes.”

If you are interested in learning more about their cause or how to help them, please visit: