Tag Archives: action

Empower Your Kids for #GivingTuesday

Screen shot 2013-11-12 at 3.41.25 PMIt’s a quiet evening in the Gobes household.  The autumn sun sets early as the rich aroma of Barefoot Contessa’s boeuf bourguignon peaks our appetites.  With a click of the mouse, my cozy, quiet, comfort-food kitchen is suddenly infused with emotion as my family quickly transitions from hunger to contemplation to tears to determination to inspired action.

My children and I are wrapped around the sound of a news story aired by NPR online, brought to living color by Paula Bronstein’s stirring photo of a Filipino expressing his raw suffering after Typhoon Haiyan.

For a long moment we four are suspended in stillness as we connect with his suffering.  His tears flow through our eyes as we watch the computer screen in silence.

I break the hush and spend a few minutes talking about what it means to be human.  This man is a stranger.  He is thousands of miles away, but his pain is as familiar to us as our own breath.

My youngest children are 9, 7, and 5.  They know suffering, or at least they think they do.  Their low points are dredged up by missing sneakers on gym day, by two green brussel sprouts on a dinner plate.  But their imaginations are fertile and their capacity for compassion is immense.  They examine the man’s expression and begin to list emotions he might be feeling.  They, too, feel those things.  They connect the dots.  He’s just like us.

“How can you help him?” I ask.

“We can send him blankets!” suggests one.

“He’s not cold, he’s wearing short sleeves,” says the other.  “How about pillows?”

“How can we get the pillows to him?”

Maybe the best way to help him from so far away is to raise money.  He can use it to import what he needs,” I suggest.

“Can we color him a picture, Mommy?” my little one requests.

“You bet, babe.”

My 9 year-old seems to be experiencing a paradigm shift.  She picks up the house phone and begins to dial with great urgency.  She’s recruiting her besties to lead a fundraising effort – a good old fashioned coin collection.  Empty your piggy banks, fellow third graders!  The people of the Philippines need our pocket change!  She disappears into her bedroom, chittering quickly, hashing out details and coordinating collection locations.

My 7 year-old has settled back into her book Big Nate, but upon absorbing her big sister’s charitable enthusiasm, she ditches the read and picks up a marker.  “How do you spell typhoon?”  She churns out several posters as I type emails to friends soliciting support for the children’s mission.

My 5 year-old is on the edge.  He’s constructing cannons out of Tinker Toys and monitoring the commotion cautiously.  “Mommy,” he ventures, “Can I ask Jack and Billy to give quarters to that man?”  I respond in the affirmative and hear his barely audible, “Yessssss.”  He continues to quietly play with his cannons.

“Can you believe that a 5 year-old boy like you can do something important like this?  You have the power to help a grown man feel better.  You’re like a superhero.  What do you think about that, buddy?”

“Good,” he mutters, not lifting his head.  But I can see past his long bangs that he’s smiling.  The enthusiasm for this project is contagious.

Big sister returns to the kitchen, placing the cordless on my desk.  The plan is a go.  The  primary players are enlisted.  We decide to collect change until Thanksgiving and have a coin counting party on #GivingTuesday.  They’re excited to be part of such a special day.

Dinner is hot and it’s time to eat.  I take a moment to reflect.  In the time it took a pot of stew to boil, my children adopted a cause and took action.  I’m reminded of a quote by Seneca, “It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste of a lot of it.”  No wasted time here.  Giddy-up.

Give what you can, how you can, where you can.  And be sure to give your all on #GivingTuesday.

This Is What Real Love Looks Like

Burning Love -- Spring Botanical Red Tulip Flower“Real love is something so deep, so energizing, that you will not know it unless you experience it. Love is an expression of energy, not something that is transacted. Tell me one thing: can you love people when you meet them for the first time?”

(From the audience: No Swamiji! We don’t even know them, then how can we love them?)

Exactly! This is what you think. Let me tell you, with a little bit of intellectual understanding and meditation, you will realize that you can love anyone without a reason! You can love the trees on the road, you can caress them and feel the energy flow from you. You can love people whom you pass by on the road without even knowing them. Love is actually your very being, not a distilled quality that you possess.

Nothing is as misconstrued as love is today. Today, love is more of a transaction. If someone says something nice to you, you love him; tomorrow if the same person falls short of it, you don’t love him that much or you probably hate him.

Even your lifelong friend, with whom you chat everyday on the computer, will seem suddenly not-so-close if he says something that goes against your approval. Where is your love at this time? It has suffered temporarily!

It is just games that you play; a game in which love and hate surface alternately and interchangeably. And this love-hate relationship is not love at all. Be very clear. It is simply your reaction to a person or a situation, that’s all. This is what we call love. This is not real love. It is subjective love, that’s all.

Real love knows no object. It is simply there whether there is an object or not. Real love is the subject itself. It does not know any object. You are the subject and you have become love, that’s all. Any object that comes in touch with it, feels it. Just like a river flows naturally and people enjoy it at the different places that they encounter it, real love exudes from a person and the people around him will be able to feel it.

There is absolutely no room for conditioning in real love. The energy in you should overflow and express itself as love. It is then that you can break through the highly knotted boundaries of relationships and express yourself beautifully, as a loving being!

In order to discover the quality of your being, that is love, two things can be done. The first thing: repeatedly listen to words like these so that they create a conviction in you about real love; so that a space is created in you for the process of transformation. Second thing: meditate so that the transformation can actually happen.

In practical life, when you go deeper and deeper into relationships, you will understand that all that you feel is not real love, but just some form of give and take. It is all just adjustment, some compromise, some duty-bound feelings, some fear, some guilt. It is all there in the name of love.

Meditation will take you beyond these mis-understandings of love. Meditation will work at the being level. That is why it is a shortcut! When you have to go through life and know it by yourself, it will take you a lifetime. But with meditation, a space opens inside you to experience these things clearly for yourself, whatever your age may be.

Just understand this one thing: when you are able to love without a reason, you will expand like anything. Your world will suddenly seem larger than life. It will be so ecstatic. You will become an energy source to yourself and to others. You will be so overflowing that the energy in you has to touch others. There is no other way. Others will be naturally drawn to you.”

 

Originally posted September 2011

Size Does Matter… The Power of Thinking Small

Thinking small will change your life.

Let me explain.

Many of us have grand, elaborate, visions. We have big dreams that we visualize. We want to change the world. We want to write bestsellers. We want to be super hero’s. We want to end world hunger. We want to make millions.

We make all sorts of plans to take big actions.

Often those big actions never happen.

The big mistake is thinking that small action steps won’t make a difference.

It wont matter if I miss the gym today.

Eating one doughnut won’t make me fat today.

One phone call won’t make me successful.

Spending $50 won’t affect my debt.

One lie won’t really make a difference in my relationship.

Not writing a page of my book today won’t harm.

Yet it’s those tiny action steps compounded over time that are the difference between success and failure. Those tiny things that you do when no one is watching has tremendous impact.

It’s not the big things you do once in a while, it’s the small things you do consistently that make the difference.

It might not seem to make a difference in the moment. But it is the series of moments that lead to the fulfillment of your destiny.. or not. The more consistent action you take the luckier you might seem to get. Luck favors those that are consistent.

Rather than waiting to do your entire master plan, or take the massive action.

Think small.

That’s right. Think small.

The key is to take ONE action step in the direction of your dreams no matter how small it is.The first step in front of you is the best action step you can take. The power to your dreams is in the first step. The first step is often the hardest step to take but the most powerful. And many of us do not take it.

Throw away your elaborate plans.

One small action step in the direction of your dreams is more powerful than any BEST big plan with no action. The first step may not be the most sexy or glamorous – picking up the phone, going to the gym, running one mile, sending an email, cleaning your desk, saying “I’m sorry”.

But it is the first step which leads to the next step, and the momentum builds and you’ve taken 1,000 steps before you know it. In the fulfillment of your vision there’s not 10,000 steps, there’s just ONE step… one step over and over and over again.

Many people sit around and wait. Waiting for the perfect sign, the perfect person, the perfect moment, the perfect tarot card… waiting is a waste of precious now. Waiting will get you no where unless waiting is the necessary step in front of you now. All the time you are waiting you could be taking action and moving towards manifesting your vision.

Stop waiting for stars to align. Stop waiting to do it perfectly. Stop waiting until you know everything you think you need to know. Stop waiting until you have healed yourself completely and become like Buddha.

Simply, start where you are, exactly as you are. Take the small action in front of you now and before you know it, you will be living the dream that you were dreaming about. And the dream will no longer be a dream but reality.

Size does matter.

Think small.

Act now.

Love.Now

Kute

PS – Tell me what one small action you will take now?

photo by: laszlo-photo

What Are You Manifesting?

By Jennifer Pastiloff

If you want to have something show up in your life you must first be able to imagine it. For a long time, this wasn’t an option for me. I simply could not un-see myself as: stuck, unworthy, lost, a non-working actress, “just” a waitress, a failure, among other non-fabulous things.

It’s like when you feel happy. It seems that you’ve always been happy and that you will always be happy. We also feel this way when we are sad, lonely, depressed, scared, heartbroken. I felt like I would always feel lonely, scared, depressed, lost and like a really bad waitress who spilled things on people. (How I lasted 13 years is truly beyond me.)

And then one day I didn’t feel that way anymore.

After 13 years of working in the same Los Angeles restaurant I decided to take a yoga teacher training with Annie Carpenter after coming to terms with the fact that yoga was keeping me from being hospitalized for depression daily. To make a long story short, I found my calling. I taught my first yoga class and can safely say, I knew I had a gift.

Was teaching yoga my gift? Not necessarily. It was what I always knew was my gift, even as a child: I could connect with people. I could provide a space for people to heal with my touch or my words or my humor or my music or my eyes. It didn’t matter to me, per se. What mattered is that I found something I wanted to do and I found an avenue to do it. After years of walking down the wrong street, I found a different avenue and I started to sprint.

Shortly after I taught my first class I was able to quit my waitressing job. I can only attribute my success to finally connecting to my purpose and finding what I was meant to be doing with my life. Finally allowing myself to imagine what was possible.

I started to believe in myself. I started to take risks. I smiled more. I got into a healthy relationship (now my husband), I healed from an eating disorder. I accepted my hearing loss. I admitted I actually had no desire to be an actress. Gasp! I changed my thoughts. I finally was able to say  I love what I do and I do what I love.

I decided to call my company Manifestation Yoga after listening to my teacher Wayne Dyer talk about manifesting at length. After years of having negative tapes run the show in my brain, I made room for new thoughts. Those new thoughts allowed me to take action, where before I felt stuck and incapable of moving. I realized that I had manifested the life I always wanted but had never allowed myself to imagine before.

Manifesting is not about sitting in a corner and wishing for something and then having it appear like some kind of fairy tale. Although that would be nice. It is a lot of work indeed. But before the work, there must be the thought. There must be imagination.

Even Einstein says that imagination is more important than knowledge. I started to use my imagination. I changed what my old tape, or mantra, was, as I call it in my classes nowadays. It used to be: I am nothing. I changed it to: I am powerful. I am on purpose. I am a successful yoga teacher and writer. I am a healer.  I am an inspirer ( I think I made that last word up.)

In my workshops I have people do an exercise called “ I am-ness.” (Pretty sure I made that word up, as well.) They get a partner and tell that person their own I am-ness. I ask them to finish the sentence I am ______. It cannot be I am hungry or I am broke or I am tired etc. (I knew from experience that these I Am’s didn’t get you very far.) I ask them: Who would you be if nobody told you who you were?

They then answer that powerful question and fill in the blank after I am, sharing it with their partner. This, of course, is according to their own imagination. After each has declared who they are, they stare into each other’s eyes for three solid minutes with no talking. They simply sit and witness the “I am” within themselves and in turn, in the other person. It takes not only imagination to declare the new “ I am” but a willingness. To sit and let someone look into your eyes for that long, especially after you have declared this I am, takes courage.

Some laugh and some cry and some squirm. Most have a profound revelation about what is possible when they decide to imagine who they are and declare it as their own truth. They then watch someone witness them in that very truth.

I will leave you with this: One of my dearest friends and students, Steve Bridges, died suddenly on Saturday in his sleep. He was with me in Mexico in February for my last and most profound retreat. After his death, the other retreat attendees started writing him posthumous letters. One said this:

You have profoundly affected my life. Especially when I stared into your eyes for three amazing minutes during yoga, and what I wrote down afterwards was: Steve= powerful, being, creator of love, confidence, kindness, strong. Power… I felt my power in his. The next day I said to you “ Steve, All I saw was power. It was amazing. I saw no fear.” And you looked at me with those brilliant blues and kindly said “Thank you”.

This is what manifesting is. Looking into someone’s eyes, especially your own, and declaring who you are. It is being with that truth. It is acting from that truth, and no matter what, and no matter who tells you different, absolutely living from that assumption of who you are.

I use Steve Bridges as an example, not to make you sad about his passing, but to see what he was able to accomplish. He not only conveyed that he was powerful and a creator of love, but he allowed someone else to be in their own power. That is what a manifester does. And notice what he said in response. He said Thank you.

Imagination, action and gratitude. That’s it.

So I ask you: What are you manifesting?

Photo credit: Robert Sturman

Are You Standing In Your Power?

As we head into February, it is important to reconnect with the vision of the most incredible year of our lives. This is a time when it’s easy for our visions to fade or for us to get distracted by the busy-ness of our daily lives. But one way to ensure that we continue to commit ourselves to creating the best year of our lives is to claim all of our power by using this Right Question: Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another?

It doesn’t matter who we are — how rich, famous, talented, or educated. At some point each of us will face the choice of claiming our power or giving it away by trying to please someone else. Pleasing others is a habit that some of us developed when we were young. We learned that if we did something special — if we were cute, danced, used good manners, or received good grades in school — we would gain the affection and the approval we desired. Some of us learned that we had to forsake our own needs to fit in with our families. We kept our opinions to ourselves. We stayed silent, even when we longed to share our views. We followed along with the crowd rather than making waves. For most of us, this pattern of behavior began in our interactions with our parents. Now this habit is embedded deep in our psyches. We’ve learned to give away our power for the approval of others. We deny ourselves the gift of our voice, our opinions, and our authentic expression. Obligations, “shoulds”, and guilt become the dictators of our actions.

When we’re stuck in the pattern of people-pleasing, we do not have access to making clear choices. We are driven to fulfill others’ needs in order to be loved. In order to stand in our power, we must have the option of saying no. We have to be willing to give up the need for others’ approval and give up our need to make others happy. The truth is that not everyone will like us and it’s not our job to make others happy — just as it isn’t the job of others to make us happy.

It’s so easy to give our power away to oblige our partners or console our families. But if the choices we make rob us of too much of our private time, if they deprive us of our joy or our inner peace, if they prevent from expressing our creative gifts, then ultimately they are violations we are perpetrating against our own souls. These violations do not affect just us in negative ways, they affect all those around us. When we don’t take care of ourselves because we are trying to make others happy, we build up resentment toward the very people we are trying to please.

The Right Question, “Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another?” allows us to stand in our power and to be clear about our priorities. If I choose to ignore myself when I am in desperate need of my own attention, I will resent those I have deemed more important than me. Even though I might spend the day trying to be happy and pleasant, underneath I will feel angry because I have made a choice that depleted me. This underlying resentment will inevitably come out no matter how hard I try to deny what I feel.

We set ourselves up to lose every time we give away our power and minimize the importance of our own needs. Many people I work with truly believe that they don’t matter. They think it’s okay to abandon themselves as long as they are making someone else happy. They tell themselves that they are strong enough to withstand the neglect as long as it’s in the name of making someone else happy. Or they tell themselves that it’s their job to be the sacrificial lamb. This is often what we were taught when we were young, and it sets us up to violate ourselves and play the part of the martyr. Each time we ignore our own needs to please another, we disconnect from our own ability to love and nurture ourselves. Please remember that pleasing another is not the same as caring for another. The important thing to realize is that we can’t really care for another if we do not first care for ourselves. By consulting ourselves to see whether the choices we make come from a place of standing in our power or one of needing to please another, we are forced to confront the subtle and not so subtle ways in which we violate ourselves.

Transformational Action Step

This is the week to reclaim your power in every aspect of your life. You may feel that you have your power in some areas of your life, but certain people and situations are bound to come along that will temporarily blindside you. It is precisely at those moments that I invite you to remember to breathe deeply, check in with yourself, and ask yourself this important question: Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another? It’s time to take back your power!

Creative Commons License photo credit: m3shaff

Inspivideo: The Economy of Love

Starting in February, we here at Intent will spotlight one remarkable video each day to inspire you to fulfill your intentions and improve your life. Today, a brief taste of the upcoming documentary, Occupy Love.

“If I want a society that works, then I need you to be powerful, I need you to be responsible, I need you to be fully engaged, and maybe I need you to be joyous. The more I can give you the better my society is, because we are actually in this together”

Rebecca Solnit

You Have Answered The Call

 

Friday, 10/7

“You have answered the call;  you have begun to realize that it is you who makes the difference.  You are taking action.  You are igniting your magnificence.  You are committed to anchoring a new reality.  Step by step, breath by breath, heart beat by heart beat; You are calling forth a breakthrough, inviting a powerful shift in how you and others relate to one another, to this planet and to all living things as well as honoring your partnership with the celestial and galactic realms.”

–Answer the Call by Peggy Black and the ‘team’

Steve Farrell

Humanity's Team World Wide Coordinating Director

What is Enlightenment?

"We are always chasing happiness. We want to be happy all the time. The shortest way to be that way is to become enlightened!

 

Let me tell you what it means to be in the state of enlightenment. This is my personal experience.

 

The enlightenment keeps me in tremendous ecstasy 24 hours, 365 days a year. The word ‘ecstasy’ is not enough to describe the bliss I am in. Scientists say that whenever pleasure is stimulated in your system, a hormone called dopamine is released. Doctors call the point where it is released as the D-spot. When the chemical is released, our body is flooded with enormous energy.

 

When I am in the state of enlightenment, the idea of boundary, a limiting factor for most of us is lost. The feeling that my body ends here and the rest of the world starts here is absent. Everything is mine. The sensitivity with which I feel my body is the same that I feel for the whole cosmos.

 

My first experience with this kind of joy happened when I was a mere teenager. When I experienced it for the first time, the heightened sense of ecstasy lasted only for a few days. It gave me the first experience, the first glimpse. But after enlightenment, I live continuously in this heightened ecstasy. I am always in bliss day in and day out. It does not diminish, reduce. It just is. There is no time where I am not in this state.

 

When I became enlightened, I could no longer be judgmental. I only have compassion for everyone and everything. Merely by my physical presence, I radiate energy that will touch everyone.

 

With enlightenment, the basic idea of sex disappeared. The idea of being either male or female died. Though I have a male body, I can never identify with a male or female body. The truth is I am holding on to my body delicately, just like I hold a handkerchief, with my fingertips.

 

My mind doesn’t exist. I am like a tape recorder that plays when it is switched on. When it plays, you hear the sound. When it is switched off, there is silence. Similarly, when I stop talking, a space is created. There are no words here. There is only silence.

 

There are thousands of enlightened masters living on planet Earth. Their energies are all one and the same. Only their expressions are different.

 

Let us all strive towards enlightenment. Let us all partake the ecstasy and bliss that is eternal. Let all of us be in Nithyananda – eternal bliss."

 

Join us: http://www.facebook.com/eNithyananda

Visit Us : http://www.amazon.com/Paramahamsa-Nithyananda/e/B004W24N5K/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=enintent-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325

You Are the Critical Link

 

Friday, 5/6

“You are the critical link between what is possible and what is real.  With your actions, you can bring to life the best of what can be.

Life is awash with great and wonderful possibilities.  Yet possibilities alone are not enough. 

Someone has to follow those great possibilities, and work at them, and breathe meaningful life into them.  In your world, that someone is you.”

–The Daily Motivator by Ralph Marston

 

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director

Lightening the Mood

 Question:

I have some acting skills, and if I want to, I can lighten my mood by employing them. In my experience, this energy is no different from how I might feel if something "caused" my happiness. In other words, the feeling in my body is real, not fake. Should I employ these skills all the time? Or is this method too aggressive?

Answer:

It’s too controlling if you try to do it all of the time or even doing it often. There is a wisdom  to the natural flow of our emotions. Chronic depression is a different story, but in the normal rhythm of life, we are exuberant sometimes, more sedate or  reflective at other times. If we are sad or grieving, then that emotion is directing conscious energy to heal  the pain. It’s kind of like our emotional immune system.  If we try to make ourselves happy, or chipper all the time, then we lose connection to that healing intelligence of our emotional response.  So instead of allowing our natural emotional response to be what it is and work to heal past trauma, we are short-circuiting that response by imposing a light mood on top of the sadness. The happiness can feel real to you, but it is not a happiness that is arising from your core evolutionary needs in response to your present situation.

Love,

Deepak

deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter

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