Some of My All-Time Favorite Quotes

Last night I was looking through some of my favorite quotes. There was a time when I was a voracious reader; I was also going through a rapid phase of personal growth. I pretty much only read for educational purposes, and I read A LOT, but only books that I felt expanded my mind and my understanding of life.

I blogged about Abraham and Ester and Jerry Hicks yesterday — they were the authors who really got me reacquainted with my emotional guidance system — what many call our sixth sense, our emotions. They talk a lot about how our emotions are giving us accurate feedback from the broader part of us (our soul, or as they call it, our inner being).

What is this feedback indicating? How in alignment we are with what we want, how far we are from it, and the intensity of our emotions tell us how fast we are going in one direction or the other. Or even more accurately, how in alignment we are with our inner being. They go on to describe that our inner beings are always only focused on the outcomes that will give us the most joy, and it is our work to come into alignment with that view point, which then creates that reality. It’s kind of like following the yellow brick road, but you are doing it not with action, but with your focus, attitude, and attention.

It brings a whole new light to the saying, "attitude is everything." How do we change the way we feel? We change our view point, our thoughts, and our beliefs to be more in alignment with our inner knowing — which is basically what feeling good is. Slowly but surely, and with a lot of practice.

While looking over some of these quotes, I was really appreciating the memories of those "ah-ha" moments, and appreciating the reminders. Hope you enjoy these, too!

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Your Challenges Are a Gift

When I chose to step into the process of making my first yoga DVD earlier this year, it sweetly reminded of how my life’s challenges have brought me my greatest gifts. In 1996 at the age of 24, I was seeking a way to become more of myself when I was presented with a huge challenge and gift — a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. With this diagnosis, I thought life was over for me, but there was a call to the yoke, to begin my practice of yoga. Early on in one of my yoga classes I heard for the first time that my blessings were hidden in my challenges. At that moment my journey of healing began, there was no turning back — I chose to embrace my situation, commit and connect to my power through the teachings of yoga.

Like any practice it takes time to find our way and stay focused. In yoga the body forms with breath, attitude, alignment and action and grows every time you come to the mat. Yoga has prepared me to see that all of my experiences are part of my foundation (good and bad); they are all there to support my process to uncover my authenticity. One of the best gifts my diagnosis offered me was the choice to shift from working in the fashion industry in New York City to study and then teach yoga in Los Angles.

After a few years of teaching, I took on a new challenge and expanded into producing my Yoga Podcast, Hillary’s Yoga Practice — this was totally scary for me. I had to take on the obstacle of learning the technology, but then discovered hidden in this challenge that yoga is also technology. Now after almost two years of producing my podcast, yoga helped me once again embrace this next challenge to produce the DVD. While in pre-production, production, up to the day of shooting, I was living on the edge, holding steady, doing my best to not retreat from the fear of the unknown.

At this point I am able to be grateful for all that I have learned over time. As I moved through my obstacles more would appear and by embracing them, it becomes easier to use them as a roadmap for my own growth into becoming more of myself.

Here are three steps you can use to begin to discover the gift in your challenge and become the best you. You are invited to do this daily, weekly or monthly.

Please keep a journal by writing lists or creating some other visual image as a way to help the mind and body connection.

1. Embrace your challenge by practicing gratitude.

[Ex: I embraced my diagnosis of MS and was grateful that my body was calling for my attention]

2. Empower yourself by asking what you can learn from this specific challenge.

[Ex: The first time I asked this what came up was honoring my boundaries.]

3. Evolve into the best you and uncover the gift.

[Ex: The gift was to love myself and to be kinder to myself. Over time I had to work on this and discover ways (empower) to create those boundaries.]

What Is the Role of Dreams in Our Lives?

My question is, What is the role of dreams in our lives? Is there always a hidden (or obvious!) meaning to the stories, or are they at times just recycled memories, fragments of what our senses have processed through the day etc.

Answer:

Although we know that dreaming is important for our physical and mental health, no one really knows why or exactly what the role of dreams is. From a psychological point of view Freud and Jung saw dreams as the product of the dominating unconscious acting upon the conscious. Gestalt therapy extended that idea to seeing dreams as the projected aspects of the self which have been suppressed, denied, or ignored during waking consciousness. This seems to accord with the current understanding that dreams help us adapt to stressful events that have occurred during the day by making connections that our logical mind wouldn

Empowering Nurses To Love Themselves

Empowering Nurses To Love Themselves

What is in the realm of my ability to help, as a nurse,
to change the situation for the better, to help a grieving
person,
to give comfort and grace?

As I think of ways to help other people, I must be
constantly
on the lookout for all the ways I must heal, thus to
empower myself.

The following 22 points are a guideline for ways that
nurses
can empower themselves:

22 Keys To Self-Empowerment For Nurses

1)

New Moon in Libra

Moses was told by God that the newly freed slaves wandering in the desert towards their Promised Land should start using a calendar. I guess the logic was that while they were slaves, time was not their own to spend. Now, as they were journeying towards their own piece of land, it was important they master time. Moses informed his trailing congregation that the year should start in Nisan — Aries, the first day of Spring. And so it was for centuries. But all things change, including time. Later on, as Judaism developed its own identity, the Rabbis transplanted the New Year from Aries to its opposite sign — Libra. They based the reason for this shift on a passage from the book of Leviticus: "In the seventh months (Libra is the seventh sign) on the first day of the month (the Jewish calendar is Lunar/Solar therefore the months begin on the New Moon) shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of the horn. (Lev. XXIII, 24) The horn of course belongs to Aries the Ram.

In Jewish lore and Kabbalah, the day of Rosh Hashanah, which means the head of the year, is a very special day. It is believed that God created Adam and Eve 5769 years ago on this day. That means that mythologically speaking, humanity’s birthday this year will fall on the New Moon in Libra, September 28th. It is not a coincidence that Adam and Eve were born as Libra. Maybe it is an embedded message to all of us to once and for all realize that women and men are equal under God. Libra is also the sign of relationships; Adam and Eve after all are the primordial couple.

So while we all might have our own individual birthdays, this coming New Moon is another celebration for you. Please buy yourself a gift as well as give another human being a present or a hug on that day.

September 28th is a magical day according to Kabbalah and astrology. Ask the moon for a wish, something that you need in your relationship. If you have a relationship, ask for clarity on a specific issue. If you do not, then send to the moon an image of how you would like your future relationship to be. You never know

Calculated Kindness

Who wants change?

That depends.

I was speaking to a friend last night via webcam. No email or phone to hide behind. It was himself, a human on the verge of change and I got to see it, watch it, and coach it raw and live.

It all started when I Skyped him with some fantastic news. I was interviewed yesterday by Metro magazine and it was all could do to keep my glee contained. I wanted to phone EVERYONE.

Now my friend’s first reaction was to say the least, lack luster, borderline critical and deflated me to the point where I could have happily pulled the plug on the webcam.
Instead, I sighed, gave myself a few seconds by looking out my gorgeous picture window and then spoke.

Without blame I took him through examples of the other reactions, by other people throughout the day. From 10 of my associates, I received immediate heartfelt congratulations and support. From my best girlfriend, absolute pride. From my Mom, "oh my god Honey!!!" From my 13 year old niece, "Wow Auntie, you’re getting famous."

After that, my friend, before my very eyes, leaned into the camera and spoke from his heart. Not an easy thing for any man to do; especially not easy for an ex-army captain and European man to boot! He explained that he’s become very aware recently that he speaks his thoughts without editing them and as a consequence has encountered personal and professional setbacks.

Oh could I relate!! My runaway mouth has caused more personal sorrow than I can remember….UNTIL the day I began to realize that I have an edit button located between my brain and my mouth or between my brain and my fingers when I write, and that it was incumbent upon me to use that switch more often than I had been and especially, ESPECIALLY when it means more to someone else than to me to use it.

It almost makes it sound as if I’m promoting "calculated" kindness. Well I am. You know why? Because by proactively choosing kindness as a first response, it becomes second nature and the internal shift takes place within you fairly painlessly. And then the day will come when someone you care about comes to you with outstanding news or even a small personal accomplishment, and your knee jerk reaction of being HEARD will be supplanted by compassionate joy for their achievement. They will SEE it, FEEL it, and instantly their day will have been doubly blessed.

What you have to say at that moment is never more important than what they have to tell you.

I’m happy for my friend. It’s not easy to change. It’s rare for people to even take stock of their deepest character traits and then take on the awesome challenge of changing or tweaking their stock responses and reactions. Can I tell you though….the rewards of change far outweigh the pain of execution. When you look into the eyes of a friend, spouse, child or lover and see what joy your words or actions have wrought, how could you ever want to be that old you anymore?

Obama’s Call: Wake Up!

The urgency that anyone feels, or doesn’t feel, about the 2008 election rests on the issue of waking up. Over two-thirds of Americans tell pollsters that the country is on the wrong track. Dissatisfaction with government is rife. Looming crises such as climate change and global recession call for quick action. But if the conventional wisdom sees this as a race against time before the clock runs out, conventional wisdom is wrong. This election is a consciousness race. Either you see the need to wake up or you want to keep sleeping, which means giving in to inertia and denial.

I make this point because there is no bigger reason in 2008 to ask for change than in 2004. Resentment ran high four years ago; failed policies were evident; the war was seen as dishonest and fruitless; corruption in Congress had been laid at the feet of a discredited Republican leadership. But causes for discontent aren’t enough. A willingness to change must be found. It wasn’t found in 2004, and the same opposing forces are at work this year. They aren

Gotham Chopra: Is Being “Elitist” So Bad?

I’m an intellectual elite and I am not ashamed to admit it.

There I said it.

I’m proud of the fact that I graduated from an Ivy League school (barely) and that I earn a solid living doing what I do.

I’m not sure how we got to the point in America where it’s a stigma to have been educated in an institution of higher learning. Admittedly, going to an Ivy League school doesn’t by definition qualify one as smart (Dubya is a Yalie after all). Still, by and large, the majority of applicants that earn entrance into elite universities generally have academic records that separate them from the rest. Those who survive the rigors of four years for the most part can claim some level of accomplishment. And yet, these days, if you’ve made it through to graduation day, you may be better off denying it (See Sarah Palin and family) because it’ll make you more “relatable.”

And then there is this whole “elitist” thing. Truthfully I am not sure if this is a social thing or an economic one. Because apparently if you are an upper class white guy, raised in a middle class white suburb, who now is the owner of nine homes and 13 automobiles, you are a populist maverick. But if you are an upper middle class black guy who was raised in a lower class neighborhood by a single mom and earned your way to become the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review (there’s that Ivy League achilles again), you’re an elitist. Go figure. Not to be forgotten in the whole “elitist debate” is your global outlook. If you go overseas and are popular amongst the citizens of your allies, you’re an elitist that sucks up to “foreigners.” If you snicker and sully the idea of appealing to people in other countries, you’re a patriot. Like I said, go figure.

So there you are. It’s not easy these days to be an elitist or an intellectual, let alone both. You’re strange, weird, deviant even because you may in fact be influenced by ideas that, God forbid, were conceived by great thinkers, philosophers, theorists, and true mavericks of ages past. My message to you: Stay strong.

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