Tag Archives: harmony

Applying Musical Terms in Our Life to Create Expansion- Part 1

guitar

Music is a universal language. There are things music can communicate in just a few notes that would take a lifetime to communicate in words.  When we hear something harmonious in a musical piece it can bring feelings of elation, elevation, love, peace, joy and can touch our emotions in so many ways.  On the other end of the spectrum, when dissonance in a musical piece is present it can create feelings of uneasiness, anxiousness, fear and contracting feelings… Dissonance, in small doses, has a role in music and our life.  I am sure we have all experienced the music of a chase scene in a film that tap into this theory.  So how can we use harmony and dissonance to create expansion in our lives?  Let’s Explore!

Harmony

So, what is harmony?  According to www.dictionary.reference.com:

har·mo·ny

1) agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
2) A consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
3) Music.
a. Any simultaneous combination of tones
b. The simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm
c. The science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords

Dissonance

So, what is Dissonance?  According to www.dictionary.reference.com:

dis·so·nance

1. Inharmonious or harsh sound; discord; cacophony.
2. Music ..
a) simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion.
b. An unresolved, discordant chord or interval.
An unresolved, discordant chord or interval.
3. Disagreement or incongruity.

In reading these definitions did it bring to mind different areas of your life that are in harmony and others that are in dissonance?

Let us move through a three-step process together: Continue reading

Using Music Sound and Vibration to Enhance the Process of Creating Intention

orchestra

Manifesting an intention is a process of becoming the vibrational match of what you are seeking.  More than attracting the “physical” something into your life, it is about tapping into the emotion of what you are intending as if it was already here.  For example, if you are looking to attract a loving relationship into your life, being the emotion of love and forming a loving relationship with yourself is where it all begins.  Although positive thoughts are important, it is your emotions that become the catalyst for igniting your intention.   This means forming a deeper relationship with your heart.  Music communicates to the heart in a language far beyond words.  In the following paragraphs I will outline three musical tools that will assist you in orchestrating your intentions. Continue reading

‘Tis the Season for 3 Types of Gift-Giving

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 6.38.17 AMGift-giving is a complex human story which can either be inspired by the expectation of reciprocity or pure unselfishness.  Various religions deem giving as holy, a liberating act taking you out of the self and into the larger context of humanity.  And if you feel lonely and stressed, counselors and therapists will advise you to volunteer in order to meet people and get involved.

Basically, there are three styles of gift-giving.

To

  • Someone you know
  • Someone you don’t know
  • Someone you don’t like

Giving to someone you know sets the stage to reinforce a happy relationship. You think about the gift from the recipient’s point of view, and place a value on the relationship. This type of present involves planning, imagination and effort.  You are rewarding another person. Consequently, you are enhancing your own reputation, romancing someone, banking a favor or attracting an ally. Often there are invisible strings attached.

Giving to someone or a group you don’t know makes you an anonymous giver. The act is not about receiving acknowledgement for the thoughtfulness of your gift. The gift is an act of compassion, a spark of genuine concern to help others and put back some goodness in the world. This is the social glue which brings people together for common values.

Giving to someone you don’t like involves loving your enemy – an enormous potential for spiritual expansion. Of course, you could take the low road and make a metaphorical statement about your relationship like giving a set of knives to suggest that you have been stabbed in the back. Another option is to give a gift which highlights a salient weakness like giving a diet book to an overweight person. However, to create harmony out of discord by forgiving this person you don’t like can help you shore up your own weakness. Does the object of your anger/jealousy mirror something about yourself that you don’t like? Do you have a fear or insecurity which you are projecting? Have you honestly assessed your own shortcomings?  When you forgive, you achieve equanimity – you get even.

Aim to accomplish all three diverse styles to satisfy the different parts of your personality. Take an inventory of which personality trait dominates. Don’t forget to give yourself a gift.

What type of gift giving will you be doing this year? Share your tips in the comments below! 

Deepak Chopra: Can We Create Peace in Egypt?

If you’ve been following the news in the past few weeks then you’re undoubtedly aware of the troubling political violence erupting in Egypt. In one week, alone, more than 900 people died, prompting EU-affiliated countries to suspend arms sales to the country.

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak is joined by two young Arab women leaders to discuss the current situation in Egypt and the steps to creating peace and resolving conflict.

Does taking sides, as Deepak says, perpetuate conflict? Or is there ever a line at which we should take one side to help overcome another? Do you believe we can change the world by shifting our own consciousness? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Thumbnail credit: Mosa’ab Elshamy / Flickr: mosaaberising

Deepak Chopra: How Can We Live With Least Effort?

How can we live with least effort? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak lends his advice on effortless living. It doesn’t mean that life suddenly becomes easy, but rather that you are in perfect harmony with the rhythms of the Universe. Take a look:

The law of least effort is based on the idea that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless spontaneity. Even Jesus mentions this in the New Testament. What is the law, really?

It means harnessing the forces of the universe and becoming aligned with them. There are three components to this. The first law is acceptance of yourself and everybody else. This removes the great burden of judgment. The second is responsibility – the ability to respond creatively without reactivity. you reach a higher plain of creativity and imagination if you are not reactive. The third law is defenselessness. This strips away the need to defend your point of view. When you give up being right, you ultimately get what you want.

Living a life without resistance and going with the flow of the forces of the Universe requires the least effort, when you live your life.

 

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and harness the effortless spontaneity of the Universe!

6 Tips To Start Balancing Your Life Like a Boss

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.23.25 PMAs an entrepreneur with two young daughters and who holds family time as sacred time, runs a small tech-firm by day and, by night, works passionately building a second venture with a mission to empower others, I am constantly being asked, “How the heck do you balance it all?”

The truth is …. I don’t! And, before you click off this article thinking ‘well, thanks for nothing, lady’, just hear me out here! Nobody does. The word “balance” itself implies that some sort of destination has finally been met where the weight of one’s life has been distributed evenly in every regard: career, family, health, personal growth, relationships, self-care, etc. And, in this line of thinking, since you’ve already arrived, there is no need for improvement in any of these areas. But, it just doesn’t work that way! Even if all things are perfectly balanced for a moment (hooray!) – don’t blink because it just takes one of life’s infamous little curve balls to be thrown our way to completely knock everything out of whack.

So, instead, I personally work towards balancing my life. That little “ing” at the end of the word is oh so important. It implies that an action is taking place. And, balancing your life takes a lot of action. Daily action, even. It’s about developing a strong sense of awareness and checking in with yourself and your beloved ones on a regular basis to identify any areas that can use improvement. Are you getting enough quality times with the kids? Is your spouse feeling loved or neglected? Is your career or business running as smoothly as you would like? How are you feeling physically? Emotionally? Stressed? Are you feeling fulfilled at a soul level?

Keeping all of the balls in the air is no easy feat … especially if you are diving fully into the person you want to be. And, frankly, some days will be better than others. As humans we can only try our best. But, it is important to work consistently towards that sense of balance so that you can help others, take care of yourself, and make your impact in the world as stress-free and full of joy and love as possible.

When any one area of your life is significantly off-balance, it throws you off in every other aspect, taking you out of your “A” game and making you feel a little less awesome than you actually are.

Here are a few guidelines that will help you to maintain the harmony, peace, and balance in your life that we all yearn for!

  • Be your beautiful authentic self. You have to let go of any preconceived notions of what your life is “supposed” to look like. Definitely steer clear of comparing yourself to others. We all have different paths, circumstances, and dreams. What works for others might not work for you. Instead, focus on what you stand for. What is the impact YOU want to make in the world? Learn to be totally comfortable in your own authenticity. If there’s an area of your life that you are not completely satisfied with, then put in the work to change it! But, only do it because it aligns with your soul’s calling, not because it will make somebody else happy. You will never feel peace living the life somebody else has envisioned for you.
  • Accept with Gratitude. Life isn’t perfect. It gets messy sometimes – for all of us. So, we all need to learn how to dance in the storm. Your house is not always going to be spotless, you won’t be able to attend every single social event, you’re inevitably going to let your spouse or your kids down every once in awhile, and you may need to pass up on some seemingly awesome business opportunities. Being okay with that, accepting the imperfections, and seeing the beauty of your life with intense gratitude no matter what will give you that sense of balance even in chaotic times.
  • Prioritize. At this moment, what is most important to you? What or who lights you up? Are you spending a good amount of your time with the people that you love deeply and working on the projects you feel most passionate about? If not, where might you be a little off balance and need to pay more attention? Is there something sucking up a lot of your time that just doesn’t serve you or drive you closer to your vision? It may be time to cut back in some areas. (Yes, I’m talking to you Facebook and TV!)  And, most importantly, are you carving out some time for yourself too? Remember: If you crash and burn from not taking care of yourself, you won’t be any good to anybody else either.
  • Plan. Schedule everything! And, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to opportunities. Spontaneity sounds lovely, but reality is that if you have big dreams include balancing all aspects of your life, you must plan accordingly! I use technology to my advantage here with digital calendars that sync up to my apple products. Everything from date night to kids schedules to business meetings and workouts to when I am going to write (which is also planned in a separate editorial calendar) all get put on the schedule. I then have reminders pop up to keep me on task.  Take some of the pressure off yourself by extensively planning your days. Take time to step back and look at your big picture. Then take a step back in and plan out all the details. Whatever works for you, just use it consistently.
  • Check your Slices. A fun activity is to do is a goal wheel where you draw a circle and divide it up into even sections, like a pie cut into slices. Each section represents an area of your life. Perhaps your “slices” would be named: family, career, fun, personal growth, spiritual, relationships, self-care, money, etc, or whatever resonates with you. How much energy are you putting into each area and how satisfied do you feel? It’s normal to have a slice or two that are totally dominating while others are just a few puny crumbs. Identify this and work to even things out.
  • Reevaluate from a Birdseye View. Make sure you pop your head out of the weeds and grab yourself an aerial view of your life on a regular basis so you can get a good honest look at where you’re at. Where are things going well and where do you need to revamp or recharge? If it’s not easy to get your head out of the muck to really evaluate things, than hire yourself a personal coach to help you hone in.  A coach is one of the best investments you can ever make! But, if you just can’t afford it right now, at least get yourself a network of peers, friends, or family members who can help guide your way on. Multiple brains are better than one and sometimes it takes an outsider to really call us out on our sh*t.

Don’t worry about achieving perfect balance because that will never happen –  life just isn’t designed that way. However, making a conscious mindful effort to regularly check-in and evaluate things will help you tremendously in the delicate act of balancing.

How do you find balance in your life? Please feel free to share and discuss in the comments below!

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For more from Dawn, sign up here for Dawnsense delivered right to your inbox!  Please also join the Dawnsense Facebook community for more inspiration and support and visit her website to catch up on past blogs and videos.

Check the (Spiritual) Weather Conditions

This is 18 of 108 Ways of Livin the Moment. Let’s take back our life one beautiful, funny and delicious moment at a time.

#18 of 108:  Check the (Spiritual) Weather Conditions

“We may be floating on Tao, but there is nothing wrong with steering. If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know where the rocks are.”  –Dent Ming-Dao

(photo from Bernt Rostad, Flickr Creative Commons)

In 2005, I was leading a yoga retreat to Tulum. Our group went to sleep one night knowing a small Category 1 hurricane was hundreds of miles off the coast. No biggie.

The next morning we woke up to discover it had jumped 4 categories overnight to become Hurricane Wilma, a Category 5 monster with 175 mph SUSTAINED winds.

Worse, we were right in its path and with very little time to evacuate.

Suffice to say, you don’t want to be in the path of a Category 5 hurricane.

There is a different type of weather in our lives, invisible to the eye, but with hurricane-like conditions equally as effecting to the soul as battering winds are to the body.

One in touch with this spiritual weather knows how to lie low on bad days and find their way through dark nights.

One out of touch with the “spiritual weather” has spent one too many days feeling as if they are sailing right into a hurricane. Can you relate?

Watch the following short video for my quick advice on checking the spiritual weather when you rise and shine.

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WHAT IS A MOMENTEER?

For the past several months, I have been asking those of you interested in starting a little revolution to become a Momenteer.

As our world becomes more advanced and more high-tech, there has to be a group of people (maybe you?) who advocate for the present moment, the simple pleasures, the importance of making humanity more important than technology.

And hey, this is not that we stop using technology. But that technology stops using us.

To find out how you can save a seat on the arc and become a Momenteer, email yeahdave@mac.com and write Momenteer! in the subject.

And to those of you who have already signed on, next week you will be receiving something very inspiring. Stay tuned!

#15: Excuse Yourself to Kiss the Sky

(photo by Affendaddy, Flickr Creative Commons)

This is 15 of 108 Ways to Livin the Moment. Let’s take back our lives one beautiful, funny, and delicious moment at a time.

#15 of 108: Excuse Yourself to Kiss the Sky!!!

“Kiss the sky!” is a classic line from Jimi Hendrix’s song Purple Haze.

Rolling Stone rated Hendrix as the #1 greatest guitarist of all time.  Take a moment to listen before reading on…

This is not about the music or the lyrics or the persona or the song…this is about the guitar.

I heard the guru Osho speak about how the guitar is based on tension.

(Photo by spacerock9)

If the strings are too loose or too tight, there can be no music, no sound…or certainly not the sound that we associate with a talent like Hendrix.

So it goes with life. To be in tune, you have to perceive the tension of your relationship, career, personal gift.

As Osho said, “Life exists through the tension of the opposites, the meeting of the opposites.”

All that you have and all that you don’t pull at you every day. This tension is the essence of all music, harmony, passion.

Woody Allen said, “Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it.”

So take a moment today, and feel all the ways you are being pulled and challenged and tried… all the ways you are tense.

Every one of these ways and intense moments provides you with a choice to bang the guitar to the ground in frustration…or to strike your fingers to the chords and make music.

As Emerson wrote, “The world is all gates, all opportunities, all strings of tension waiting to be struck.”

The trick is finding a little groove in the middle, and of course that, like learning to play guitar, takes practice.

Read the Tao:

Countless words
count less
than the silent balance
between yin and yang.

******

I’m getting ready to launch a little revolution, build a little arc, if you will.

Why? All this technology is crushing our quality of life, the fabric of our humanity. Something is not right and we need some kind of change!

It’s not that we stop using technology. But that technology stops using us.

To find out how you can save a seat on the arc and become a Momenteer, email yeahdave@mac.com and write Momenteer! in the subject.

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

The number one reason to meditate

AAEX001038I just got back from the third annual Texas Yoga Conference in Houston. I originally went with the intention of practicing with a particular yoga teacher, thinking that the rest of the conference would just be added bonus. While I truly enjoyed the rawness of this teacher, she did not inspire me in my own personal practice and teaching. I am very sensitive to other people’s pain, and I sensed such intense pain in her that it actually distracted me during my practice. I just wanted to reach out and tell her its okay to let go. I don’t think she can let go. I think that is part of what drives her and keeps her motivated.

For me, the pain so intense that I found my own energy was depleted after 3 hours of her class. I am a healer. I want to empower others to heal themselves, and when I encounter someone who cannot get past their own pain, I take it on and it sickens me.

To my surprise, my most memorable experience at the conference was not being this teacher’s class but instead the lectures and classes on meditation. I took the classes because my body was sore and needed a break. I ended up walking away with a host of ideas and curiosities beyond what I thought was possible, ideas about how meditation can help achieve happiness.

I am new to meditation. I have tried it on and off but never to the point of developing an everyday practice. It wasn’t until I did a 30-day yoga and meditation challenge in January that I had even attempted to practice meditation on a daily basis. I am so curious as to the health benefits of daily meditation and yoga. Stephanie Shorter, Ph.D. and Cody Drasser shared research supporting the health benefits of meditation in their Breath of Life: The Science and Practice of Pranayama class. Through this class and others, I started to notice a trend.

We are all trying to find our place on this world. We are all trying to find peace and calmness. We may pray to different Gods, but ultimately we all strive to contribute to the world in hopes that someday everyone will find that enlightened state. I met many people at the conference who through tragedy, a yoga class, or just an ah-ha moment, had left their high-paying corporate  jobs to pursue the state of peace. These people have PhD’s Master’s, kids, families and bills like the rest of this. But through faith that emerged from a state achieved in meditation, they left behind reason and went on just being.

I find this to be both exciting and something I’m not sure I could do. Instead of coming back from this conference wanting to do something different with my career, I found myself proud of my job and what I do for the kids in my community. I thought about all the possibilities that await me in my current job. I realized I need to stop planning and just focus on the right now.

Venkata Ponnaganti, PhD summed up the weekend the best. He said:

Human happiness and effectiveness are underlined by the ability to have attention on tasks you are doing. When you are able to focus on tasks, mindfully, you enjoy what you do.

Dr. Ponnaganti challenged us to give up multitasking for the next 3 weeks. He challenged us to do everything whole-heartedly, one thing at a time. The goal is to reduce some noise to gain harmony and happiness. Today when I came home, I found that Deepak Chopra was also inspiring everyone to do a 21-day meditation challenge. I immediately signed up.

Whether you decide to join me in Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation challenge or just want to do your own mindful challenge, here’s an exercise you can use to integrate meditation into your life:

When you eat, eat mindfully. Completely enjoy the meal you are consuming. How often do you actually savor the flavors? Do you think about how the food feels on your tongue? Do you think about what it feels like when you take that first bite? What about how it smells before you even take a bite? How many of you eat while watching TV or reading?

I challenge you to eat at least once this week without the TV on. Afterwards, think about how that meal was different from when you had the TV on. Did you notice yourself eating slower, faster, more, less? Just notice. Give yourself the room to notice without judgment. The goal here is to not judge or change anything but just notice.

Recipe for relaxing your mind 

Try a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, stevia and walnuts. The oatmeal contains zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin E and B1 and is known as a natural relaxant. The raisins have a high amount of iron and the walnuts are known to help with high blood pressure and contain a whopping 94.5% of the daily amount required of omega 3.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jessebezz

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