Tag Archives: Karma

Intent Former Editor Chelsea Roff Gets “Best Shift Ever”

Chelsea Roff
Photo Credit: Chelsea Roff’s Facebook page

Good things happen to good people – that’s karmic belief. This week Intent’s former blog editor Chelsea Roff was the subject of Break.com’s “Prank it Forward” series where they surprise deserving individuals with life changing gifts.

For those that don’t know, Chelsea left Intent last year to pursue creating her own non-profit organization that shows the vital importance of yoga in eating disorder recovery. Chelsea herself suffered from extreme anorexia – at one point dropping to 58 pounds and caused her to have a stroke two weeks before her 16th birthday. She spent 18 months recovering under the custody of a Dallas hospital. When she was released her therapists suggested that yoga might be good for her – and it turned out to be a life changing experience.

To give back to the community that gave so much to her Chelsea started an IndieGoGo campaign last July that raised over $51,000 in four days. For those four days Chelsea camped out above the “You Are Beautiful” mural in Santa Monica, refusing to leave until she reached her goal. Now that money is going to fund research based studies in yoga studios and treatment centers around the country. To help get the funds to hire a full-time staff for the organization Chelsea has also been moonlighting as a waitress. Did we mention she’s only 24? Chelsea Roff is the definition of using your own talents and abilities – and the power of intent – to save the world. To reward her for all of her selfless good work, her friends and co-workers teamed up with Break.com to provide Chelsea with the best shift ever.

It starts off with a kind stranger leaving a ridiculously huge tip – that Chelsea insists on sharing with the rest of the wait staff. Then a free trip for two to Hawaii, followed up by Chelsea’s dream job where she’ll be able to use the work she’s been doing with Eat. Breathe. Thrive. in conjunction with a funded medical center. To top it off Chelsea was surprised with a brand new car and a visit from her very first yoga teacher that showed her so much about strength and being proud of your body and the space you inhabit.

We are so proud of Chelsea, who will always be a member of the Intent family, and all of the things she’s done. It’s such a wonderful thing to see her get the rewards she deserves for doing such amazing, wonderful work. Congratulations to Chelsea! You deserve it, girl. And we can only hope that Chelsea’s journey also inspires all of you to show the potential of setting an intent and following through with it. We really have the power to make meaningful change in people’s lives!

Learn how you can help Eat. Breathe. Thrive. or find one of Chelsea’s programs in a city near you here.

7 Quotes to Help You “Find” Good Luck

Luck is one of those words that means something different to everyone. What is responsible for good luck or bad? For some it is a karmic force and for others it’s a manifestation of personal desire. Are you someone that carries a good luck charm – an object you put all your faith in to bring your good fortune or a small trinket that brings you comfort? There have been several philosophers, spiritual leaders and proverbs that try to define the meaning of luck and locate it’s origins. So what does it mean to you? Whether you are one of the people that believes in luck at the end of rainbows or that it comes purely from our own creation we hope that one of these quotes inspires a lucky feeling for you today and whoever you share them with.

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Believing in God in All Shapes and Sizes

GodI thought I’d long ago gotten past believing in some sort of external “God.” (And by God I mean the anthropomorphized image of a guy in a beard and white robes meting out judgment based in rules of obviously human making.) And then, there I was, sitting in stop-and-go traffic one day.

A driver to my right was trying to get onto the road from a Safeway parking lot. Car after car crawled past his front bumper towards the next traffic light, never sparing an inch to let him in. Conscientiously I applied my brakes and gave him some space. He waved “thanks” as he nudged into traffic and I waved back, never thinking a thing about it. And then I suddenly realized…

I’d felt a fleeting sense of satisfaction about how “good” I’d been letting the guy into traffic ahead of me. And all of a sudden I saw the invisible belief implicit in that feeling. OMG! At some level I still believed there was some Guy In The Sky WAY UP THERE with a tote board taking note of my actions like Santa Claus, seeing if I was naughty or nice.

Really?

Really. I saw it and was horrified. Surely I was more spiritually evolved than this? Apparently not.

In that moment a whole bunch of other things I do and their raison d’être came sharply into focus. Rain or shine (and in Western Washington it’s mostly rain) after unloading groceries I always push my shopping cart across the parking lot from wherever my car is parked all the way into the cart-holders, no matter how sopping wet I get. I always let other drivers in front of me (does pissing-off drivers behind me count as a negative?); I often say nice things to clerks, noticing their smile or their efficiency or their new hair-do; I make sure I never let my impatience with slow service show, even if I’m seething and up to my eyebrows in thoughts like I’ve got NO freaking time for this! What’s fracking taking so fracking long anyway you fracking dilbert…??? (internal expletives modified of course for good taste and more points??? ack! )

Yep.

Seeing this, it didn’t take long until I was searching out all the other things I still do to  subconsciously placate this invisible Lord God In Heaven Who Is “Into Judgment.”

Any criticism of anyone I usually follow up with a “But s/he’s got good intentions” (or some such platitude). I guard my tongue against gossip. I try not to lie even whitely (and fail. It’s shocking how easy it is to whitewash even the most mundane incident in order to appear even marginally a better person.) Fortunately I’ve gotten beyond accepting compliments with the de rigeur Christian false modesty… “Oh, it was nothing…” But still…

All these actions are to the “good” I suppose. Being patient, being nice, being encouraging to others are wonderful things. The point I’m trying to make here is: what exactly is the motivating factor behind taking such actions?

Yes. I genuinely like to make other peoples’ days better. I like to pay compliments and only do so if said compliments are genuine. I do think patience is a virtue. Why add my shit onto anybody else? I mean, who cares if I’m in a hurry? Everybody’s in a hurry nowadays. And how nice to give others a break. But I’ve been SHOCKED to realize how much I still harbor the belief that by doing these things it will also pay off to some degree with You Know Who.

EEK! Surely I can’t be the only one with this ancient program nipping at my heels (and conscience?)  And what to do with it if you’ve got it?

Well, here’s what I’m doing. I now sometimes let my shopping cart stay in the walkway (not in the lot where it can (God forbid) actually obstruct somebody else’s ability to park.) And I (GASP!) don’t always take the time to shove the ridiculous amounts of postal junk mail through the teeny-tiny slots in the recycling bins at the post office. I occasionally plop my un-asked-for mail on top of the bins for paid employees (or other do-gooders?) to handle. Maybe if enough people do this they’ll replace the new closed-top bins with the old waste paper baskets that were so much easier?

I also don’t let quite as many drivers in front of me as I used to (easing the nerves, no doubt, on those behind me in traffic, so it probably balances out in the over-all scheme of things.)

Who knows what else is next? If God still made curlers I might even wear them in public.

photo by: Michal Osmenda

Kindness – It Does Your Body Good

Helping the homelessI remember being told to be kind as a kid, primarily as it related to how I treated any of my five siblings. I was thinking about this again this week while watching how little kindness there seems to be in the news. Between political battles of ideology, fighting for land, arguing over resources and fighting over egos, we have forgotten how to be kind. “Be kind for everyone you meet is fight a hard battle,” is a quote attributed to Plato. Regardless who said it, its message rings true now more then ever. What would it take for us to be more intentionally kind? And, how would our world change we did?

To me, the word Namaste says it all – “may the divine in me acknowledge the divine in you.” May whatever is great in me focus on seeing the greatness in you – even if I don’t know you. And if I did, I would be kinder. If I did, I would be more generous, more loving and more forgiving. I would see the greatness in you, trying to express your inner divinity. “We must find out for ourself that inside us is a god or goddess in embryo that wants to be born so we can express our divinity,” says Deepak Chopra in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

Here is an exercise I regularly use for myself and as a challenge I share with my audiences. The next time you are on the highway and someone cuts you off, or you are in line and someone steps ahead of you, how will you make a point of seeing their greatness and their divinity instead of feeling offended? How will you see them as related to you, part of you and part of a greater plan? It isn’t easy because we have been trained to focus on ourselves more than on others. We feel violated, slighted or insulted. But it doesn’t have to be this way – our reaction to this is our choice. As we can choose to be unkind, we could also choose to be kind.

Changing a habit takes intention. To change a habit of focusing first on us takes the intention of wanting it to be different and committing to make the change. The starting point is awareness. We have to be able to see when we are kind and not kind. We have to be present enough to see ourselves in action – to notice our triggers and be aware of our responses. Only then will we be able to stop the “go-to” reaction of selfishness and retaliation, and instead see that we have a choice. That choice could include kindness. In the example of the car cutting you off on the highway, it could mean not blaring the horn and passing a gesture, but instead slowing down, letting the other car in and be entirely unaffected by the event. This is a choice.

The most amazing thing about being kind, is the greatest benefit is not for the other person; it is actually for you. The more unkind we are, the more damage we inflict on ourselves. I was coaching a client this week who is getting ready to leave an employer for some unfair and unprofessional things the employer did. This employee has the ability to “stick it” to his employer; be upset, carry a grudge and bad-mouth his employer. Or, he can realize that in a win-win termination solution, the employee can choose to not be at the effect of the situation, but actually choose to show up kinder, more aware and more committed to greatness. He can choose a mutually beneficial response that treats both sides kindly and professionally. He took the higher ground. His mood, health and spirit were left intact from the event. Kindness, it does a body good.

In what ways can you be more intentionally kind today, this week and this month? Feel the effects of it. See the effects of it. Though kindness does a body good, it also can do a planet good. Choose kindness.

“Abused Goddesses”: The Ad Campaign that Tackles Domestic Violence in India

enhanced-buzz-13226-1378408862-44Hinduism is the most widely practiced religion in India and one of the largest religions in the world. It is a faith steeped in the concepts of karma, dharma, and the cycles of birth and death, watched over by central deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, among others.

Hinduism is also traditionally known to be highly reverent both the feminine and masculine forces in the world, paying tribute to gods and goddesses, alike. Some of these goddesses, like Parvati and Lakshmi are represented as ideal wives and mothers, modeling feminine virtue. But others, like Durga and Kali, and fierce and powerful in their own right, independent from any male god.

Unfortunately, this reverence in the spirit world does not always translate to real life. This is precisely why the ad company, Taproot, has developed a powerful campaign, called “Abused Goddesses,” to highlight the disparity between India’s goddess-centric religion and the troubling frequency of violence against women. The campaign states,

Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.

Here are three poignant images from the campaign:

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Taproot developed this campaign for “Save Our Sisters,” a nonprofit organization that works against domestic violence and sexual exploitation. The images mirror classical paintings of the goddesses Saraswati, Durga, and Lakshmi, and you may be surprised to hear that these images are actually photographs! Makeup was painted on the models to portray wounds of domestic violence, and props are either real or painted on, as well.

Even apart from the artistic skill that went into these ads, the message is crucial. It we as a culture and a society respect women in theory but not in practice, then we are bound for a regressive and continually troubled future. Let’s start treating women – and all people – like the gods and goddesses they are!

Does the “Abused Goddesses” campaign inspire you? Tell us your thoughts below!

Deepak Chopra: What Is The Soul?

Do you have a soul? Where is it? What’s it made of? We discuss the “soul” so often in the discourse on mindfulness, but many of us would be hard-pressed to really parse out its meaning. In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak discusses the soul’s relationship to consciousness, and how the two play out in our lives.

The soul is your core consciousness. It is the ground of your being. It has two components. One is called Jiva, which is the personalized soul that recycles through time on a cosmic journey. It is Karma, memory and desire. The conditioned soul is part of an unconditioned soul called Atman, which is part of the universal soul – Brahman. The purpose of the conditioned soul is to create the evolutionary journey to unity consciousness. We do this through being, love, creative expressions and through service. The soul is also the confluence of meaning, context, relationship and archetypal stories. The soul is the source of all our lives. It projects as the mind, the body and the universe of our experiences.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak’s book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul!

Deepak Chopra: What is the Purpose of Life?

What is the purpose of life? What is dharma? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak addresses this classic, essential question. It may be next to impossible to definitively say what the purpose of life is, as so many philosophers throughout history have been hard-pressed to do. But Deepak contributes this important commentary to the discussion:

Dharma means higher purpose. The Law of Dharma says that ultimately the dharma of all of us to reach enlightenment, unity, consciousness and total freedom from conditioning, There are several subsets of that purpose. We are here on to fulfill our talent and when we express our unique talents, we serve a higher purpose. We feel joy when we do this and even our profession should be in alignment with our dharma. Our bigger purpose though is always to reach enlightenment and to find our true identity. That is when we learn how to be, not to love how to create how to serve and ultimately how to exercise subtle intention in choiceless awareness so we become an evolutionary impulse of the universe.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Radical Responsibility

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“Why would God allow this to happen?”

I heard this questions, in many forms, in many variations many, many times. At last I responded. This time it was about a five-year old girl who was raped with an iron rod and died. Why would God allow this to happen?

“Maybe because God considers humans to be responsible adults who don’t need supervision, but can make their own choices, design their own lives and create their own reality” I responded “maybe because God acknowledges their freedom to do so. Humans are free to choose, some choose pain, others don’t — all create their experience of life with their choices.”

And the inevitable response came:

“But the 5 year old little girl didn’t choose all of this for herself. What does God have to say about that?”

 And … and it gave me pause. It gave me pause not because I didn’t have an answer to that – I have an answer and it is a good one — but because I was not sure my answer would be an acceptable one. I was not sure it would be a hand-able one.

I said:

“God might say: you choose your own faith, you create your destiny and your life in ways you don’t yet understand. You chose where and how you will be born and you choose how, and when, you die. Your life is called ‘your life’ not ‘God’s life’ for a reason. That you are not aware of choosing and creating doesn’t mean you don’t choose and create.”

Is that too much? Is it too much to say? Is it too much to expect from a five year old, from a fifteen year old, from a fifty year old?

But, you see, God just might see humans differently than humans do. God just might know the unlimited power humans wield and with which they create their reality, their world, their life. God might know that there is no limit to what humans can do, to what they can be. God might know that the human world looks and works like it does because humans say so, believe so, relate so.

God might know, at last, that it is nothing more than an outward projection of humans themselves. A name, a concept to which humans assign that which they, themselves, truly are — the ultimate, unlimited creators.

All humans, even those who are five years old.

Is this too much?

Deepak Chopra: Do We Reincarnate?

Do you believe in reincarnation? What happens to us after we die?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra examines different theories and perspectives on reincarnation. What is the relationship between memories and our material life? Are memories stored in our brain or in a consciousness field that transcends space and time? Watch to see how Deepak weighs in:

What do you think about reincarnation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Why Complaining May Be Keeping You From Living Life to the Fullest

Stop complainingBy Pamela Johnston

Humans are literally born complaining. The very first thing we do upon being dragged unceremoniously out of a nice, warm, dark, cozy place into the loud, bright, cold, and uncertain world is to register a noisy complaint. It makes perfect sense; the newborn has no other way to change the state of its life. We communicate our fear, hunger, pain, or discomfort with the hope that someone can and will do something about it, and we have narcissism to blame.

Social media has in some ways accelerated our human instinct to complain. Remember “he who can rain on a parade in the desert?” He was the guy at the club complaining because all the strippers have implants. And he has a twitter account now.

Twitter is a veritable hotbed of bitching, from the classic #humblebrag,“I hate that I can’t walk into a bar and just have a quiet drink with friends because there is always some guy hitting on me.” To the nigglingly Seinfeld-esque, “How can you date someone who names their dog Newt?

At times, we all register a noisy complaint hoping that someone somewhere will fix “it.” If your complaint is bigger than you, a fundamental wrong in the world, then complaints carry evolution and can actually be productive. If you organize your complaint into a protest, then putting your complaint out in the world can be net positive; it is a form of alchemy in which you turn your impotent words into a formidable action. But this example is the exception not the rule; most of our complaints are more akin to the narcissistic cries of the infant than the exhortations of Gandhi.

Everyone has that friend – Facebook or otherwise – who just can’t seem to turn it off. Among them are the “So do something about it, girl/dude,” – the ones with the same complaint, day after day, year after year about something eminently solvable. Stop going to the restaurant where you hate the fact that the waitress introduces herself to you every time. It’s annoying, yes, but after a while, so are you.

Then there are the “I’m so clever,” complainers, your standard eye-rollers who complain to impress, because really, who ever sounded funny, ironic, wry, and sexily jaded saying something nice? So let’s clarify here: All the various reality shows you said heralded the coming of the apocalypse did, and it’s not funny anymore. Watch or don’t watch but let the rest of us enjoy our Teen Moms and Honey Boo Boos in peace.

And of course there is the “first world” perspective. Yes, it would be nice if the barista didn’t screw up your order and give you a latte when you clearly asked for a cappuccino, or perhaps you can’t believe the sommelier doesn’t know the difference between a 1969 and a 1972 Pinot. Oh go take a bath in it.

It’s clear that far more often than not, we are complaining not out of oppression but out of entitlement. Rarely, if ever, do we stop to consider whether it is productive to voice our complaint much less ask if it is reasonable to want what we wanted.

When complaining becomes wholly destructive is when you can’t or won’t take action but refuse to accept powerlessness. Every small disappointment, every expectation unmet, attaches itself to the last as the snowball rolls down hill and your positive energy leaks out into the ether and is lost. The irony is that in accepting that you are powerless you can actually restore your sense of control and move on in a healthy way. After all, that acceptance is a conscious act, a decision you are making to clear that clogged and bitter real estate in your mind and rebuild there with something better.

Seriously, because after a while, if you don’t come up with a way to make peace with the gnats and nits of the world, you are really going to have something to complain about: loneliness. Think about it. You used to have that friend, that non-stop complainer. It’s a type.

To determine the difference between healthy expression and leaking negativity when you open your mouth, consider your motivation. Most complaining is essentially a byproduct of lack of control. Something goes wrong and we can’t immediately fix it, or change it, so we do the one thing we can do: We talk about it. In doing so we are able to experience, for a moment at least, the illusion of action and of being back in control. In some subconscious way we believe that by complaining we are actually doing something – that we can set the mechanics of karma in motion and make it right.

But of course, karma doesn’t work that way. Karmically, when you complain in most cases you are merely throwing an ultimately porous and futile roadblock in front of what is, rather than letting it flow around you and accepting its place in your path.

The point is, you may well slowly be becoming one of these types and forgetting that each and every one of them are someone you no longer spend time with because frankly, who has the time to listen to all that complaining?

So stop.

From our earliest moments, we know that this is a cold and scary world in which we are all too often anxious and tired…but you were born, and here you are. For goodness sake, suffer the minor annoyances in silence and enjoy the rest of life while you can.

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Pamela Johnston is an image and reputation expert, media expert, entrepreneur, and author who routinely takes on and triumphs over herculean challenges. Her landmark work in image management and market strategy spans numerous sectors where she has been ‘of record’ for governments, blue chip companies, consulting firms, technology entrants and incumbents, personal branding and image agencies, dating services and astrologers. She has precipitated great moments of business innovation and is a sought after speaker on innovation, authenticity and problem solving. It is her lifetime quest to help people and organizations realize their potential and navigate change.

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