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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual path’

The end result of emotional extremes is extreme emotional dissatisfaction. Perfect happiness lies not at any of the extremities of outer experiences, but at a point of calmness midway between them all. – Paramhansa Yogananda (Stanza 39 of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam explained)

It is so easy to become disgruntled and vexed by the loveless actions of others. Inattentive friends. Family members acting like strangers. Co-workers with political agendas. To quote Marvin Gaye; “We are all sensitive people with so much to give.” At times we just feel too much. Pushed to emotional extremes in reaction to perceived unfair or shoddy treatment. I love the quote here by Yogananda. Our ability to relate to life and the people in it as the unrocked boat is one of the keys to our happiness.

I am most at risk of being rocked when I am dealing with people who feel they are disadvantaged. Don’t you just love a victim? The thing is these very people tend to take advantage. As victims they don’t own their own power. So, they try to take your power and wield it over you by manipulation or (my personal favorite) playing super-victim. You know the type well I’m sure. “You did this, and you did that, and you are the cause of all the drama and unresolved grief in my pitiful life.” Yeah, one day I’m gonna write a really whiney country song inspired by this theme if Reba doesn’t beat me to it. The “disadvantaged” amongst us are always at either extreme and extremely b-o-r-i-n-g! Not to mention a-n-n-o-y-i-n-g! As for myself when blessed with the presence of this energy? The flags go up and my heart shuts down.

I know… it isn’t a befitting way for a person on the Path of Light to behave. I know. I will continue to work on this. I’m not striving for perfection, OK? I’m striving for peace. In order to live life from the point of calm response rather than extreme reaction we need to be armed for bear. Here’s what we need to pack for the hunt. Meditation, inspiration and perspiration. The afterglow effect of meditation will open the gates of our intuition. We need our intuition to navigate the deep waters. Being inspired will keep us from being tired. Perspiration? Well, I hate sweating. It’s so…sweaty. But a walk, a swim, time working in the garden, a little cha-cha-cha will engage our serotonin and endorphin levels far better than a Prozac cocktail ever could. It’s difficult to be reactive when your psychic and physical bodies are in harmony.

 I suppose it will prove helpful to accept that sometimes it is just gonna be a long rugged road from drama to daylight. In the meantime? Keep calm and carry on. Have a sweet one!

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 I write about “Story Telling” quite a bit I know. The thing is, every single being has a story to tell and I find these tales to be absolutely fascinating. These days, the stories animals have to tell are most compelling to me. I volunteer at my local animal shelter here in Sonoma. When you walk through the glass doors of the entry way and look to your left there is a room full of bunnies available for adoption. The bunnies come and go but my favorite bunny story is the story of Harvey and Rose. Harvey Rabbit came into the shelter and soon became the George Clooney of the bunny habitat. All of the girl bunnies were in love with him and Harvey enjoyed the adulation. He wriggled his adorable little nose at all the single ladies! Until one day when the lovely Rose Rabbit hopped on by. It was love at first sight. Harvey and Rose have been an item ever since. Soulmates, right?

 Then there is Phoenix the Cat. Poor little thing was hit by a car. She was a mess. Internal bleeding, broken pelvis, heart murmur, she could not move at all. The Vet’s at the clinic treated her of course but with little hope of their efforts producing a positive outcome. Phoenix had something else in mind. One fine day Miss Kitty just stood up and started walking. Phoenix, ashes, rising up from, get it?  Every single animal at the shelter has an interesting story to tell. Some of the stories we have heard before and some of them are entirely new. Love stories. Survival stories. Fallen hero stories. D-I-V-O-R-C-E stories. The only difference between human stories and animal stories is that an animal needs a human to change the outcome for them. Animals bear their troubled stories with endless grace. Even the most abused animal will still find it in their heart to be gentle and loving.

We can learn so much from them about forgiveness and humility. A little love, care, food, water, and almost any animal can be rehabilitated. What’s up with we us? Why do we humans insist upon making such a big deal out of our silly, sad stories? And guilt? That false emotion can rank a free lunch. We really believe we are making moral progress when we feel pangs of guilt. (I did that “bad thing” but I feel awful about it so I must not be a “bad person” after all.) Forget guilt! No self-respecting Pit Bull has ever felt a moment of guilt in its life. An animals ability to stay in the now, accept a healing, embrace the moment, move-on is remarkable. Inspiring beyond inspiration.

Yes, every being has a story to tell. But the lack of angst and drama in an Animal Tale is something I myself aspire to. On any given day of our lives we may find ourselves lost, broken, alone. Next day? We can find redemption. We only need to let go of the tired tale we are telling ourselves (and anyone who will listen) to begin living the happy ending.

 Adopt a spayed/neutered pet from a reputable animal rescue group if you are able. Then live to tell the tale of the greatest love of your life. Have a sweet one!

http://www.facebook.com/DrAlexandraBrooks

http://www.AlexandraBrooks.com

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Today was Father’s Day. The day we put aside every June in celebration of the most important man in our lives. (For better or worse.) I grew up with two fathers. My biological father was almost 60 when I was born. Back in the 1950’s if you were a 60-year-old man you were an old duffer. None of this 60 is the new 40 stuff we Boomers wax-ridic about now. I was just two weeks shy of my second birthday when my mother Betty-Jane passed away from cancer. My old Dad could not take care of my two brothers and me. The three of us took on a very diverse karmic destiny at an early age. I wasn’t unhappy with my lot! I got to stay with my Aunt and Uncle in a little apartment in Dormont, PA. I loved my Aunt Christina whom I had always known as Mommy. I was in her tender care almost from birth. I was crazy-nutsy-mad for my Uncle Danny whom I had given the nickname “Hon.” We aren’t quite sure how it came about but the name stuck. My Aunt and Uncle were just out of their teens when they took me in. Years later when they had kids of their own all three children called their father Hon. As did all of Hon’s friends and relations. My father was known as Daddy to everyone. It sounds confusing but it wasn’t at all. The two men were as different as a Cadillac DeVille and a green De Soto. But given the great differences – I learned everything I would ever need to know about men. From the sublime to the ridiculous and everything in between. They both gave me time and attention. They both laughed at my silly jokes. They both liked me to sing for them and encouraged me to dance. Neither one of them ever unleashed their epic tempers on me. (That alone made me feel special.) I couldn’t wait for Hon to come home from work every day. I lived the first four years of my life sitting on his lap laughing and singing. I saw Daddy on the weekends. He wasn’t as much fun as young, movie-star-handsome Hon was but he was a great cook. He baked the best Syrian bread and homemade yogurt ever. Plus, all of the other Middle Eastern goodies he made for me were always beyond delicious. Gotta love a man who cooks for ya! Don’t get me wrong my childhood was not perfect by any retro-stretch of the imagination. Both of these men were terribly flawed. But I loved them both even though Hon was my favorite. I didn’t always understand why they did the things they did or said the things they said. I haven’t wasted much time trying to figure all that out either. What would be the point of that archeological dig? I just thought it was cool to have two Daddy’s. Happy Dad’s Day fellas!

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As long as we are alive the only certainty we can absolutely be sure of is change. Constant change. Temporary change. Permanent change. Change that may change how we see ourselves forever. Most of the time we live our lives protected by whatever bubble circumstance or premeditation has created around us. We often lose track of the fact that we are not the bubble itself. We call ourselves salesmen, parents, artists, teachers, accountants…whatever. We identify with the label and begin to color our inner and outer world in a style we deem appropriate for the label. Years go by and we become used to living this life-style. We believe the life-style, the image, is who we are. Then things begin to change. We experience a physical injury that keeps us in bed for an extended period. We find ourselves in a situation where we are unhappy. Our company downsizes and we are let go. Our children are in trouble and we can’t help them. Our anchor is lost at sea. Our life-style, our image of ourselves, begins to unravel. Who are we now?

An identity crisis isn’t just a personal phenomenon. We can experience this confusion as a nation also. In my lifetime it has happened many times. The JFK and RFK assassinations. The Vietnam War. 9/11. The financial crisis the world is experiencing right now. So much more. But we are not these events. We as a people are not these events. These events may shake you up, or wake you up, or bring you to your knees. But we are not these events. Most of us have had a life-style change recently given the recent financial downturn. We need to stop whining about this and move on. Figure out what to do next. Remind ourselves that we were never our bank accounts and four bedroom homes in the first place. Connect back to what is really important in life. I can assure you what is truly important cannot be found at Neiman Marcus. (Although, granted it can sure be a lot of fun looking for it there.) We are still now and forever only our hearts and minds. Our thoughts are still things. Things that matter. Things that make a difference. Things that defy categories. Things that will turn any personal or national crisis around. Everything from losing a paycheck to oil spills ravaging the oceans can be remedied by our innate creativity. We are not the mess we are the solution to the mess. We need to forget about our life-styles and remember who we really are. We are miracles! And miracles “happen” every day.

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Nothing like passing through a ring of fire, eh? We have all been there and done that. We will all most likely do it over and over again before we go to our great reward. There is tremendous power in the storm but to the faithful there is ever more power in the sweet afterglow of the rainbow. When you bring your true heart to all you witness and endure in life you cannot help but be changed for the better by your experience. Miracles are entirely necessary and willing to happen. Our faith is sure to be tested before the miracles reveal themselves. So what’s a poor ol’ faithful wretch to do? No matter what you have to go through to get to the other side of your worst experience, be loving. Loving to others. Loving to yourself. Consider always who you really are and who you really want to be. Consider who you want to be remembered as being. Spiritual lessons are often difficult. Still, every time you are knocked to your knees and rise again you grow another heart. A heart wiser and more capable of living a purposeful life. A heart Spirit can use effectively now because it once was broken and survived to thrive. Hallmark moment…maybe? But there you are my little butterfly.

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 The unlived life. Dreams all your own lost along the way. Or maybe the dream life of a parent you tried to fulfill in vain. Where do these lives go? I suppose they go where all unlived lives go. They are idling somewhere in time between childhood and the day you decided you were a grown-up. As a grown-up it was time to put away such foolishness. It doesn’t matter if you were 16 or 60 when you made the decision. At some point you thought it prudent to lose the dream. Into the ether it disappeared along with your Grammy acceptance speech and your first dream house by the sea. Gone, gone, gone but not ever truly forgotten. On odd occasion your old dream come to mind. You feel wistful. A gamut of feelings catch in your throat. Your heart yearns for the time when dreaming of that life was all you ever really wanted. Wouldn’t it be great if you could go back there? Take all the knowledge and experience you have today with you. Push a reset button and live your unlived life. Think about it? 

 Make no mistake now, the fact you aren’t living the life doesn’t mean aren’t grieving the loss. The loss of a dream is much more painful than the loss of reality. Why do you think we take it so hard when a great love is finally over? It’s not that we forget the small and large acts of lovelessness bringing the relationship to its end. The unrealized dreams attached to the “we” involved makes it hard to let it go gracefully. The unlived life attached to the relationship calls to us like a haunting refrain of a Chopin etude in a minor key. What to do? To tell you the truth I’m not entirely certain. I am certain about living life just right though. Whatever is just right for you is the life you should be living. If it takes a hundred phone calls and heaven knows what to realize all or part of  your unlived life? I say go for it! Just do it. Don’t allow anyone or anything to keep you from your unlived life one more day. If you feel your unlived life where your happiness lies why would you just let it go? You are older. Hopefully wiser. You are unlikely to do anything really stupid because you have more to lose now if you do. If your dream was really meant for you? You can manifest it. It’s never too late. The Heart of the Divine has been holding on to it as a precious keepsake for you. Just waiting for the day when you had enough courage to ask for it back. Ask. It belongs to you. Take full ownership. You two take good care of each other. Have a sweet one!

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Jumped in my trusty Honda and drove out Hwy 12. Life affirming sunny-yellow Acacia trees waving to and fro in the chilling breeze. Our state flower (California Poppy) just beginning to pop out their happy orange faces here and there along the way. It was a rather nippy day but with Andrea Bocelli’s ever-embracing tenor to keep me warm I was feelin’ no pain. Bliss quotient? Off the charts. I’ve been living in Sonoma for four and a half years now. I surely love these weekly jaunts I indulge in. It’s all about the magic in the wine and music, eh? I’m not sure how much longer I will be staying in NoCali. My intention is to be thankful for every moment I am blessed enough to call it home. Even a Psychic cannot know where life will lead her all the time. I actually enjoy the mystery therefore I’m not asking any questions. My nature doesn’t allow me to become attached and I have become adept at surrendering to what is. When and if it is ever time for me to go I’ll know. I have spent many hours this last week looking into what it would take to start a non-profit organization or L3C for an idea I’ve been toying with. In between this current passion I tended to my usual passions. Read for a couple of new clients and a few old ones I hadn’t spoken with in a while. As long as I’ve been doing this work it still rocks my world. I love that moment when the fog lifts and the person I am Reading for is finally poised for positive action. I studied Italian. Did a bit of writing. Made pasta sauce on Sunday with Opera playing in the background. This culinary ritual is as close to going to church as there will ever be for me. I did my volunteer stint at the pet shelter. Made a couple of new canine buddies. I’ve been thinking a lot about passion lately. What it means to have it. The debilitating effects of living without it. Here’s what I know I  know more clearly than I have ever known it before. Not surprising as it is the day after The Oscars. Look… some folks win shiny gold statues and some folks don’t. The people going home without the statue are still winners. Living a life on purpose is the win! Doing what you love is a win! Waking up everyday is a win! Being rewarded with “the gold” is a karmic toss of a coin. Life is not about receiving statues of recognition. We need to focus on our bliss and honor our passions with passion. Allow ourselves to follow the sweet scent of love in all its many disguises and drink it in. Know how to recognize joy when we are feeling it and expand on it. Stir the sauce and lick the tasting spoon with relish. Turn up the volume when we hear the music to our favorite songs. And the Oscar goes to…

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