Tag Archives: chaos

Life is What Happens When I’m Making Plans

life“If we actually believe half the shit we talk and write about, why are we worried? It’s all going to be what it’s supposed to be, isn’t it?” This was what I said to my best friend Cate the other day as we yammered on to each other about the woes in our life – you know, money woes, men woes, kids woes, work woes– whatever woes. Of course we attempted to add in our very aware and very spiritual observations, just to make sure that even though we were whining and worrying, we were being enlightened about it.

Such as me stating my desire to be in love – followed by self eviscerating examination as to why I need to be in love, judging myself for wanting to be in love; all of which is true. I do have issues with love (I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a very generalized statement- which is probably very true- most of us have issues with love) but I also want to be in love, because love is fun. I have a much better understanding of myself and what love means to me and my desire for love is pretty freakin’ normal.

Is it possible for me to hold both concepts: Desiring love because it’s normal to want to share your life with someone and desiring love because I have issues I’d like to work through regarding love? They actually work together, if I stopped trying to blow one of them up in the name of enlightenment and just have some fun with love, explore love, try on love. Do I have to wait until I have all my love stuff worked out before I can be in love? And if I do, how exactly can I do that? Seriously not looking for another class or seminar or book, I swear I’ve read them all, and I learn by doing!

I spent some time with another friend whose life is in a big transition. She has an entire list of things that need to happen before she can do the things she really wants to do. There is no room for either or, nor both simultaneously- it’s this way first and then she can have that. She’s not capable of seeing that it’s possible to have a mixed up convoluted version of both. Life is convoluted! There is life in-between the pages of your plan!

It’s true that sometimes you have to follow a recipe. Having a plan is a good thing; I like plans, but I spent an awful lot of my life planning and organizing and waiting for things to happen that were in my plan so I could do the next thing only to have wasted that time and missed out because I was so locked into my plan, which eventually blew up because I was, okay I admit it, attached to my plan.

It sort of goes back to that old myth “Wait until you’re ready to have kids.” Is anyone ever really ready to have kids? You might think you are and then you have one and you’re like “Shit I was not ready for this!”

Last year I had a plan and almost nothing in my plan actually happened, at least not exactly. But here’s the interesting thing: all the things my plan represented happened, but not in the way in which I had actually planned them. Huh, go figure.

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 5.51.28 PMWhich brings me back to my original question – if I were to live my life, with the understanding and acceptance that my life is going exactly as it should because I am following my true souls desire and trusting in that, and then of course planning (you have to plan a little) but being very clear about what my desire really is and then being open to what might come that isn’t in my master plan- but is my ultimate, true plan, then everything is going to be okay.

In my own life I have come to see the beauty in the chaos of plans unraveled. People often desire balance. We are often told to find it as if it’s something to look for. We like it when things happen the way we think they should. It makes us feel like we have balance and everything is under control. And sometimes that works- but really let’s get real, how often does it really happen that way?

Life is full of duality for which I don’t think you can find balance per se – balance means to equally distribute, and I don’t feel like my humanness equally distributes. It flows from one to the other and it holds each as possible and not possible and all possible. When I hold to tightly to one way another invariably gets jealous and puts a monkey wrench on my plan, thus causing me to feel completely out of control and unbalanced, and things start to fall apart. Once I finally allowed myself to live and breath and accepted that life is utterly unbalanced, I have no control, and only strive to know and to learn my true souls desire, have I found a steady wire to walk on.

Deepak Chopra: Life is Chaos and Order

The philosopher Nietzsche wrote: “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” Beauty can grow out of destruction; order can spring from disarray. In the latest episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra discusses the intrinsic relationship between order and chaos, so fundamental to our Universe.

Imagine the electrical storm within our brains, the constant activity of neurons and synapses giving birth to thoughts, feelings, and impulses in every moment. Consider the erratic and seemingly random movement of ants in a colony or birds in migration, who in spite of chaos adhere to organized, pragmatic patterns that serve their communities’ needs.

Chaos and order go hand in hand, even promote and uphold one another. All of Nature knows this truth, yet for some reason human beings constantly struggle against it. We create unnecessary boundaries to contain and compartmentalize life, suffer anxiety when things are messy, broken, or unpredictable. If, as Deepak suggests, we can accept and give into the flow of life, we will be accepting what is real. And we will live in peace and happiness.

So who’s ready for some chaos?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success!

photo by: nandadevieast

Hero’s Quest: What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

A good story is the story of the hero’s quest, and a hero’s quest begins with a dream. This is why all great leaders are visionaries. They ask themselves mythical questions: Who am I? What do I want? Who are the heroes and mentors our society can learn from?

In this week’s episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra explores the key elements of visionary leadership. History traffics in myth-making, which is based on personal charisma and uses spin to evoke an aura of destiny. But it is alarming to witness how often leaders come to power through the force of arms and money. When the strong and ruthless rise on the world stage, we find ourselves led by kings and generals, autocrats and dictators, power-hungry premiers and presidents. Leadership of this sort is flawed. Power and prestige do nothing to ensure leaders like this will actually improve the lives of those who follow them.

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 10.00.36 AMA truly successful leader, Deepak suggests, learns to cultivate her power as the result of being tuned in to her inner voice and guided by intuition. The inspired leader walks a path laid out by her own soul, characterized by love, creativity, and intelligence. In her core self she strives for alignment with the greater, collective society she serves. In this way, listening comes first, followed by comprehension, empathy, and, finally, action.

In the midst of chaos, certain individuals step out of the shadows in order to lead society in new directions necessary for further evolution. Only a truly great leader will find wisdom in the face of mythic-proportion challenges. And only a leader who operates from the soul level, with vision, creativity, and love, will be remembered as such.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and order Deepak Chopra’s book, The Soul of Leadership!

Harmony and Disruption Are Part of the Same Whole

The tremendous event of a human birth begins an epic story of both chaos and harmony, a profoundly familiar rhythm of life that we know and revisit on both physiological and emotional levels as long as we live. As soothing and essential as harmony is life demands disruption as well. Harmony is disrupted, and life-forms deepen in intelligence, evolve.

The word harmony evokes equilibrium and peace. When we idealize harmony we imagine the smooth melding of opposites. The music of life supporting us, internally and externally. The balm of a tropical breeze. Floating in the peaceful, friendly ocean of life.

Looked at closely, however, harmony reveals itself to be composed of both stress and rest in balanced relationship. Parts that on their own may be jarring can together form a harmonious whole. All of nature is a great mix of differences, and when the mix is harmonious, it nourishes us. We don’t usually dissect the opposing forces in a particular moment in a forest or a mountain top, but those opposites are there if we look closely. Individuals may be adrift and stressed on their own but harmonious in a couple, family, or community. Certain aspects of a person may be disconcerting, but when experienced as part of the whole contribute to the depth and lovability of that same person.

When experience is primarily harmonious, we have the sense of being held, either internally through our own equilibrium, or externally through the alignment of supportive outside forces. With too much rest, we lose the stimulation necessary for development. With too much stress, we lose the rest necessary for development. In harmony we have both.

Whether our early lives were hard or easy, they were the “nature” for our emerging sense of self. As you grew in age your awareness of yourself as a somebody grew. Maybe you had the great good luck and grace to be nourished in love and tenderness, and your sense of yourself developed easily and naturally. Many of us have had less than ideal sheltering, and that too has its own kind of surprising grace, a grace that is discovered when we are willing to meet the result of our less-than-ideal sheltering.

When our early nourishment has been less than ideal, the edge of uneasiness that accompanies our growing identity leaves the sense that there is a hole where there should be wholeness. We feel essentially unprotected, vulnerable. In search of protection and strength we attempt to fill this hole with any number of temporary plugs. We learn to be more lovable, or to know more, or to be tougher, or to need less, or to pretend that all is fine.

The perceived holes in our cocoons insist to us that something is needed, something is missing. We hope that others will give us back what we seem to inherently lack. And in harmonious phases, we do feel whole again, but the return of the sensed lack within us keeps proving that nothing and no one can permanently fill it.

When we are willing to stop avoiding the pain of this absence, to stop making war against this absence, to stop dramatizing it and stop filling it with pleasurable objects, the absence turns out to be the gateway to the living presence of wholeness. The inner incompleteness we experience calls us deeper into ourselves through pure inquiry. Pure inquiry reveals the insubstantiality of the perceived “me” that needs protection and completion. The hole itself, when experienced directly, is the window into revealed self-completion.

At the end of our first cocooning, after our time in whatever kind of womb we inhabited, the placenta burst. The onslaught of the hormonal sea at puberty ended whatever kind of childhood we lived in, the realities of adulthood disrupted our idealizations nourished in adolescence. Aging or disease of the body ends the sense of physical self as indestructible.

Do we learn? Mostly we haven’t, although wisdom does assert itself in bits and pieces along the way. Mostly we have fought every disruption as we have longed for what is lost. Mostly we have been surprised and even offended when disruption has appeared. Can we learn? Certainly, and it is time. Disruptions can be fully met. Rather than longing for what has passed, we can assess what we have lost and be open to what is next, bearing whatever pain any transition may bring.

This is not a recommendation for simple-mindedness or new age naïveté. Global disruptions demand attention of the highest order, and many of our personal disruptions do too. There is the possibility of all that is good being lost in any disruption, from the ending of our time in the womb to the ending of an era. The point is to realize that disruption and harmony are part of the same whole.

When we no longer simply mourn whatever has disappeared or fight whatever has appeared, we can discover what is not lost in disruption. In this discovery, a deeper, inner harmony is revealed. It is absolute. With awareness of the essential, undisrupted integrity of oneself, clarity of action and courage of inaction are natural and appropriate. We live without the need to search for fulfillment. We find it in who we are.

This blog is adapted from “Hidden Treasure: Uncovering the Truth in Your Life Story, which was published by Penguin Tarcher in 2011. In this life-changing book, Gangaji uses the telling of her own life story to help readers uncover the truth in their own. Publisher’s Weekly said, “This gently flowing but often disarming volume invites readers to examine the narratives that shape them, and is a call to pass beyond personal stories to find a deeper, more universal self.”

Gangaji will be offering a silent retreat in May at Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Visit www.gangaji.org for more information about Gangaji and her upcoming events, including the monthly Webcast / Conference Series, With Gangaji, which is currently undergoing an in-depth study of Hidden Treasure.

photo by: Steve-h

Staying Positive – No Matter What

 Saturday, 7/29

Staying Positive – No Matter What

“Is there anything more important than staying positive in these times, or in any times? It seems to be the lesson for so many of us nowadays. Having learned that our thoughts and words are the precursors to our daily, worldly experiences, we now know that keeping our attention on any negative, limiting, angry, doubtful or harmful thoughts takes us in the exact opposite direction from where we intend to go. 


With each day that passes, more of us are staying awake to that which we are creating with our everyday thoughts and words. We are remembering, when unserving thoughts come to mind, to go back to our original intention or vision: "I AM healthy, happy, abundant, perfect in every way, and so forth." Indeed, not only are we remembering to continue to call up our positive thoughts, we are also learning to trust in the Intention Process / Law of Attraction at a much deeper level than ever before. This is what is needed if we are going to remain uplifted in the days ahead.


You see, our souls, in their infinite wisdom, are arranging it so that we are having the exact experiences we need in order for us to reach our ultimate joy. At the same time, the chaos in the world is leading us to a strengthening of our resolve to hold steadfast to that which we truly desire to create for ourselves. As we are strengthened, we are rising up and out of the worldly turmoil and into the light of our own power: a power that sets us free from our past; a power that allows us to retain our emotional balance in any and all situations; a power that, when we stay positive long enough, cleanses our world and connects us to the knowledge of who we really are.”

–The Intenders of the Hihest Good

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director


The Energy Of That Will Prevail Through The Chaos Of These Times

 Saturday, 6/11

“The energy of that will prevail through the chaos of these times is found when you connect with your heart.

 When people across the world learn to access this place of wisdom, a different existence will be possible.

When you access this place more of the time – including and especially when challenged by outer circumstances – you will find peace. “  

 Selacia, The Council of 12


Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director


Why Japan Will Be Okay – A Reflection One Week Later

People often say that it isn’t until we distance ourselves from something that we truly learn to appreciate.

That is the case for me and Japan.

I am half Japanese. I grew up there for most of my life from age 3 until age 18. I remember being frusterated as a young adult trying to separate myself from other Japanese teenagers, trying to exert my "foreignness" while I spoke English with my blonde gaijin (Japanese word for "foreigner") friends loud enough for the train to hear. At the same time, I knew that I could never be truly foreign to the Japanese people as I knew too much of the nuanced cultural expectations of the verbal and physical language of Japan.

I went to a university in California after I graduated HS and immersed myself as much as I can in American culture. It wasn’t because I wanted to be more American… or maybe it was. But by the end of my freshmen year, I missed Japan. I missed the culture, the national pride, and, of course, its public transporation systems. I realized that there was a certain respect and camaraderie that exists in the Japanese people that I could not find in the US. This is not to say that the US doesn’t have respect and camaraderie, but it seems to be in the blood of the Japanese people.

When the earthquake hit Japan 1 week ago, I was struck to the core. It was the first time a natural disaster was personal. My dad and my mom’s side of my family were in Tokyo. They were okay, but Tokyo was running out of food, gas, and electricity. As the week went on, my mom and I constantly flipped the channel between CNN and NHK (Japanese news) comparing information and trying to make sense of what was going on.

What we saw was a certain organized chaos. Chaos – yes from fallen ceilings, villages lost by the tsunami, and power plants falling apart. But once the Japanese people understood what had happened, it was time to come together.

A friend I grew up with and is currently in Japan recently wrote this note on Facebook:

Dear Japan,

You make me proud.

No looting, violence, or outbreaks.
Discipline, thoughtfulness, and kindness–even during times of devastation.

Our ability to stay psychologically strong as a country and supportive of each other is a trait we all possess, which becomes more noticeable when tragedy strikes.

The amount of empathy and unity I’ve witnessed, both around me and in the media after this cataclysmic event, has given me so much hope and strength.

We have bounced back from numerous catastrophic events–natural and anthropogenic–in the past. The question is not if we’ll recover, but when we’ll recover.

We can witness Japan recover, and help rebuild this amazingly resilient country, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.

We can do it.

This is true. There is no looting. There is no violence. The Japanee people will stand in line in an orderly manner for hours at a time just to make a phone call or get on a taxi to go home.

Some people argue that the Japanese way doesn’t allow for "individualism." The goal instead is to blend in, to not stand out. Many believe it’s a bad thing. But perhaps there is method to this ‘madness.’ When disaster strikes, we come together as one. There is no sense of "individualism" not because we aren’t worried about ourselves, but the Japanese people have always operated together and know that our strength comes from cooperation toward a common goal.

This is why Japan will be okay.

Out of this devestation, we will rise and be stronger.

And this is why I am proud to be Japanese and will continue to take pride in both my Japanese identity and my Western identity.

We can do it.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Akira Lai / Raincity blue design


The feminine force and the masculine force are within each human being.  A balance of the two exists in the healthiest of people.

Passions and dreams are created within the feminine force. Words, images, colors, ideas swirl and multiply until so much energy is created, the energy the will overflow or burst.  The masculine force then takes this energy of passions and dreams and makes them manifest in the physical world.  The feminine force goes along for the ride as the masculine force manifests softening and expanding the energy.

The masculine force is of reason, logic, form and function.  The feminine force is of dreams, passions, creativity and chaos.

Allow the feminine force to create and build the energy of dreams and passions.  Chaos may reign while the energy is built but if you allow it to occur, the masculine force will be there, stepping in to take hold of the reigns and manifest your dreams and passions.

So often doubt interferes as does as the schedules of daily routines – that’s okay.  Do your daily work whether it be a nine to five at a desk or dishes, laundry and chauffuering the kids.  As long as you allow the energy to build and expose yourself to the wonders of nature, art, literature and the love of those around you, your feminine force will have more than enough to use to create what you want.  Walk in the woods, swim in a lake, go to an art gallery, read lots of novels, cuddle with the kids as often as you can and make love as often as you can – all this is fuel.

The pursuit of passions and dreams can be more important than the outcome.  For as long as you continue to create and pursue, the life force within you will continue to pump. 

The creative force, the life force and the sexual force are all the same force.  How you use the force identifies it – living daily life is the life force – making dinner is the creative force – making love is the sexual force – it is all the same force.  Use it, it builds and builds, rising through the body and out the crown, healing everything along the way.

Pursue your passions and dreams and live a fully human life.

It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up~ by Emily Dickinson

It was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down.
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues for noon.

It was not frost, for on my flesh
I felt siroccos crawl,
Nor fire, for just my marble feet
Could keep a chancel cool.

And yet it tasted like them all,
The figures I have seen
Set orderly for burial
Reminded me of mine,

As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame
And could not breathe without a key,
And ’twas like midnight, some,

When everything that ticked has stopped
And space stares all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground;

But most like chaos, stopless, cool,
Without a chance, or spar,
Or even a report of land
To justify despair.

Emily Dickinson


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