Several weeks ago I attended a yoga workshop, led by Arthur Kimurray and hosted by Farmington Hills yoga teacher, Katherine Schaefer. Arthur shared his thoughts on what he called: Our Historical Moment". I call it: WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON OUT THERE? I found his thoughts interesting and wanted to share them with my readers. Some of you will find them true or true enough, and others, not. Some of you will find solace in them, as many (including myself) find the seemingly increased hate, violence, war, greed, deceit and corruption in our world frightening.
1. We are in the midst of an enormous cultural and spiritual awakening.
2. This is a messy and chaotic process as unconscious forces are being stirred up by the accelerating technological change.
3. Each of us has a role to play, a unique piece of the cosmic puzzle known in the depth of our soul.
4. Culture is terrified of the soul and the feminine qualities of wildness and surrender it requires to fully awaken.
5. He then asked: How will you participate in the healing?
I happened to find a slip of paper today with the words 5 to 1 ratio written down. I had forgotten about this magic ratio (offered years ago by relationship researcher and therapist, John Gottman), and decided to share it on this blog to inform my readers but also to remind myself.
The basic idea is that it takes five positive interactions with a partner to neutralize one negative. Think on that. I'm not saying you have to begin praising your partner day in and day out (although what would be so bad about that?). Positives might include: really listening to your partner, expressing affection, validating something s/he did, offering to help, using humor, etc.
I want to expand the magic 5 to 1 ratio to negative interactions with oneself. For every negative statement you make about yourself or to yourself, it will take five positives to neutralize. Most of the people in my practice and in my personal life, rarely say anything positive about themselves.. In fact, the "critical internal voice" of most people is often relentlessly negative while at the same time, unacknowledged. Think on that. So step one in using this ratio for the Self, is to begin to listen to that critical voice: become aware of it. Second step is to counter the negativity.
For next day or two, I challenge you to play with this ratio. Try it on yourself. See how you feel if or when you shift your focus to this 5-1 ratio. It could be life-changing.
"Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away...and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant starts of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation." (Martin Luther King)
“We all — adults and children, writers and readers — have an obligation to daydream. We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing: an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field. But the truth is, individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.” -- Neil Gaiman
Who is Neil Gaiman? The Dictionary of Literary Biography cites him as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. Check him out. But mostly pay attention to his words: ...adults.....have an obligation to daydream.
Expectations are resentments under construction. Very interesting thought to reflect upon. Just recently I saw this manifest in my own life. I purchased some mats for the car and for 4 months they were sitting on a table in the garage. I expected my husband to unpack them and put them in the car. Four months later, I resentfully unpacked them and put them in the car. Sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves. Amusement. A more powerful approach would have been to express my desire: I want you to unpack those mats and put them in the car. Or, make a request. Would you please unpack those and put them in the car. Either one would have been more productive than the "energy leak" of expecting/resenting.
8/1/2016: DREAMING, DESIRING, WANTING
It is a rare adult client that comes into my office with the ability to dream. It has been lost.
On the other hand, who hasn't heard or read that we (adults) begin to lose our muscle tone/ muscles begin to atrophy early in the aging game. Is it in our thirties? We even hear and might know of 80 year olds who benefit from weight training to build back muscle and with it -- greater strength, flexibility, endurance and health.
Few are encouraged to build back their dreaming muscle. Quite the contrary, actually. Early in our lives most of us have been told to "be realistic" and we are even berated, yes berated, for dreaming. Perhaps you heard words like this: "Don't be foolish". "Your do you think you are". "That's not possible for people like us." "Where will you get the money?" "You can't make a living doing that." Etc.
Well, no surprise that as a life and wellness coach I urge my clients to build that muscle back. Why? For greater health, happiness, excitement, fun, joy AND possibility. I ask many to buy a notebook and begin to list their wants, desires, dreams in nor particular order and with no thought to whether the dream is realistic or not. (Note: this is hard. Almost all of my clients resist this. ) Further, the dream book can list so-called frivolous or silly dreams, small dreams/desires, and yes, medium-sized and BIG ones. All and any size is welcome. . Why is this important? First and foremost, it is important to really understand that everything that is now manifest in our material world, once was a thought.: a wish, a desire, a dream. The computer I am using right now didn't even exist 50? years ago. It was a dream, a thought. No time today to write about this incredible Quantum Universe that we are living in, but I hope that whoever reads this blog post will take my advice and begin some serious personal dream training.
"I believed at twelve, that I could be a scientist. I read a book a day. I believed I could be a writer, an actress, a professor of English in Rome, an acrobat in a purple spangled outfit. Days opened for me like the pulling apart of curtains at a play you've been dying to see. My life was like a wild, beating thing, exotic, capable of unfolding and enlarging itself, pulling itself higher and higher up like a kite loved by the wind....There in front of m, my own for the taking. And then, suddenly, lost.
Elizabeth Berg, The Pull of the Moon
For those who wish to reflect, you might ask yourself: When did I quit dreaming? What dreams do I still have that I have repressed or filed away under lock and key, fearful to voice them? Maybe even ashamed to voice them? What new dreams do I have now -- the updated version of me today? What dreams might be out there waiting for me to discover them?
A client of mine recently reminded me of this tiny book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, published in 1994. I loved it at that time, but it eventually found its way onto one of my bookshelves. I dusted it off (yes, my bookshelves get dusty) and decided to use this book and these laws for one month, to see what might occur in my life, how my perspective and/or life might be different. And is this another tool to offer my clients.....
The practice is something like this: Every day during the week I read one of the Seven Laws in the morning. It takes approximately 10 minutes. I then try and remember it during my day -- which is an accomplishment in itself -- and also apply it. Mondays I read the First Law, Tuesday, the second and so forth.
Today's Law, a Friday, is the Fifth Law: The Law of Intention and Desire.
Deepak says: "....when we introduce an intention in the fertile ground of pure potentiality [aka Quantum Universe], we put this infinite organizing power [aka Quantum Universe] to work for us." I am fascinated by the Quantum Universe, which will probably show up here in my blog over time. And his short essay on Intention and Desire is a lovely blend of the scientific and the spiritual. If you are interested in attention, intention, desire, attachment, present moment awareness, and the like -- this chapter, a mere 14 small pages long, is packed with information and insight.
I have put my intentions out into that Field today. That in itself feels so good. At the same time, I will (try) and release my attachment to the outcome and let the Universe handle the details. I will speak more on this topic in the future. But feel this is enough for my first experiment with blogging. Namaste!