Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spirti As Naava Has Moved to a New Site!

Thank you for following my blog!

I have moved to a new site!

See you there!!

You can read this week's article here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Your Great Wall

Where is your Great Wall?

Where do you keep yourself separate from everything and everyone else?
Or where in your life do you put up a barrier to feel safe, secure, but alone?

We all have them.

When Did This Wall Show Up?

We learned to do this as we grew up in a world where everyone around us had them.
As children, we internalize what we see and feel and observe in the people around us. You know that you have seen a child mimic a parent's behavior. Well, we do this to some extent with everything that we experience when we are those young sponges learning how to be in the world.

But as adults, we have a choice to notice and examine these assumptions, beliefs and habits, and from there to choose new ones. The first step is to notice them.

If you make the intention to be open to seeing some of your walls or beliefs, there are plenty of opportunities in our day to day lives to find them.

So Now What?

So when we notice a wall, that's our chance to become fascinated with how it appears in our life. It helps if we can look at it without judging it or trying to change it. We can try to just notice it and what it is telling me. We can notice what effect it has in your life.

Just seeing it is often enough to dissolve it.
For tougher walls, it can take seeing it several times and just gently seeing how it no longer serves you.

And it takes FAITH. It takes trust that the world is a friendly place, and that Spirit is FOR us.

So if we remember that Spirit is in, through, around and for us, this can be enough to start melting the walls. For me, it is an ongoing process of dissolving the layers and revealing the Wholeness and Light within.

How About You?

Do you notice places where you are walled off?
Do you have a process or a phrase that helps you at those times?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Making Friends with Money

Have you made friends with money or do you stress about it?

Here are two exercises you can do that I have heard in just about every workshop about money consciousness. I'd love to hear what insights they bring you.

What are some of your beliefs about money? 

Do any of these sound familiar?

1. Money doesn't grow on trees.
2. You have to work hard to make money.
3. There is never enough money.
4. A penny saved is a penny earned.
5. Save for a rainy day.
6. I will never be wealthy.

And on and on. What are some of your beliefs about money? Is money your friend or an elusive dream?

What is your earliest memory about money?

Relax and think back. Can you remember an early memory about money?
Remember your thoughts and feelings that happened then, and what you decided was true about money. Is that still true in your mind or in your life? How does that affect the way you use money now?

If you need more education on using money wisely, there are plenty of programs out there to help you with budgeting, spending, saving.

If you want to change your feelings and beliefs about money, start to imagine yourself with more money. Imagine that money loves you. Imagine that money is attracted to you and likes being near you. Start making friends with money, and it just might make a difference in how much you have.

How About You?

Are you friends with money?
Do you have a story about increasing your income or getting out of debt or a dream that money helped you realize?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lessons From the Garden Part 2

In Lessons fro the Garden part 1 I talked about how deep the Bermuda grass roots were in the community garden I helped weed.

That's what struck me most about those roots. I dug down about 18 inches, and saw most of the root. And they went deeper than that. As I dug down, following the root to their source, I couldn't help but think about how deep my habits run.

Mental Weeds

 Of course some habits are very useful. Can you imagine if you had to learn all over again every day how to brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed, or walk?

So habits can make life easier. It's how you can be driving along and suddenly be surprised to find yourself at the store, your office, or a few miles down the road. It's a route you drive often, and so go on automatic pilot for parts of it.

Bad Habits Run Deep

But some of those habits are harmful. And we know that if and when we indulge in them. For me, it's sugar. Which apparently lights up the same parts of the brain as cocaine. Great. What do I do with THAT information?

And those habits run so deep, deeper than that Bermuda grass,  that it seems impossible to change them.

If I follow the roots down deep enough I might find a source. Or like the Bermuda grass, I might find that several appearances on the surface are actually coming from the same tap root. Without getting stuck in analyzing it, I can just notice that they are connected. That in itself can be enough to start changing a habit.

New Thoughts About Bad Habits

So this year I am working on this in a new way. Instead of a war between the part of my brain that wants that cookie and the part that knows it is harmful to my teeth, my blood sugar level, and my waistline, I can take a different attitude. I can remember that taking care of myself is a basic part of my foundation from which I can give my gifts to the world.

If I stay stuck in that inner battle, I am simply being distracted by it. When the real work is much bigger: to express all that I came here to be. So I can build my couch potato resume and eat sweets, or I can use this gift of life that I have been given to create something useful or beautiful.

How About You?

How do you deal with your less desirable habits?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Let's Get Vertical

Have you heard of life described as having vertical and horizontal dimensions?
In our Western culture, we are overwhelmingly horizontal. So let's get vertical.

The Horizontal Aspect

The horizontal aspect of life is all the stuff we do in our lives. Work, laundry, play, social life, and everything on your to-do list. We're really good at the horizontal dimension.

The Vertical

The vertical dimension is our connection to self, to Spirit, your inner knowing. Problem is, in our society, we tend to focus on the horizontal and forget the vertical.

Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

There is a well-known analogy from Steven Covey about rocks, pebbles and sand. Imagine that you have some of each and you put the sand in a jar, then the pebbles, and last the rocks, The rocks will not all fit. But if you start with the rocks, then add the pebbles, they will fill the spaces between the rocks, then the sand, you can even fit water in.


And I don't know about you, but between the avalanche of email in my In Box, Facebook, and my recent addiction to old TV shows on Netflix, I seem to have less free time than ever. There is an endless amount of distraction in our lives. These things are the sand in our lives. Here’s an article on taming your email In Box.

Adjust the Horizontal and Vertical - Rock On

So the idea is to know what the rocks are in your life and put those important things in your day first.
Then let the pebbles and sand will fit. For me, a daily fitness routine and meditation are really important. If I tell myself that I will do it later in the day, it rarely happens. I find that it works best to do these first thing in the morning, before breakfast.

Get Vertical

So I invite you to consider spending more time on the vertical dimension of life, and to do these things first thing in the morning. Put those rocks in your day’s jar first, and then the pebbles and sand will not fill it up.

How About You?

How do you manage your day and find the time to get vertical?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chinese Finger Cuffs as a Spiritual Practice

Not long ago, someone gave me some Chinese Finger Cuffs. So how are these a spiritual practice?

I laugh when I saw them, because I had not seen them in years. I remember having one as a child. No doubt it was one of my older brothers who gave it to me, and instructed me to put an index finger in each end.

Resistance is Futile

If you ever played with these, you know that trying to remove your fingers is not easy or intuitive.

You cannot remove your fingers by pulling on them. the harder you pull on your fingers, the tighter the cuffs become.

I suppose it is meant as a practical joke played on unsuspecting children too young to think of alternatives. I probably went running to my mother, who would have told me to push in instead of pulling away.

Non-Resistance in Life

I love this metaphor. That when I encounter a tight or difficult or frustrating situation, the best and

So now I keep one near my computer, where I tend to get frustrated most often, and one in my car. They remind me to pause and breathe, to stop resisting, and to allow, relax, and go with the flow a little bit more every day.

When faced with a frustrating or challenging situation where I feel tight or upset, the most effective action is to relax my resistance and move in toward the thing I instinctively want to resist.

Only by relaxing instead of panicking can I feel that the appropriate way to free myself from the situation is to go with it, to stop resisting, and to move into what seems like discomfort. When the struggle is released, the tightness dissipates, and I can free myself from the predicament or frustration.

How About You?

What reminds you to go with the flow instead of resisting?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Falling Off the Resolution Wagon

So it's 5 days into the new year. Did you make a new years resolution to eat right? I did.

Did you already fall off the wagon?

Do You Want to get back on?

There is quite a bit of information online about how to lose weight, and even how to stick with it. So I won't go into details here. Besides, even though I have read about nutrition since I stopped eating red meat as a teenager about 40 years ago, I am not a nutritionist. If you need information on how to eat healthy, you can find programs online such as my friend JoAnn Newton's Nutritional e-cleanse and many many more.

I am lucky, because I have been eating healthy meals for decades. But I have this little problem with a huge sweet tooth. So I frequently resolve to quit sweets. Not just at New Year's. And I keep falling off that wagon. So I decided to look for ways to stay on it.

Staying on the Resolution Wagon

For me, staying with my nutritional resolutions includes knowing where my "weaknesses" are. I know that I need to ignore the call of the delicious chocolate chip cookies at Oliver's Market. They are the only store-bought cookies I have ever encountered that taste as good as my own. Real butter, plenty of brown sugar and dark chocolate chips. Heaven in a cookie.

So even though they remind me of childhood treats, and they taste fabulous, I know that I have a choice every time I crave one, every time I shop there, every time I walk past them.

If you ever tried to diet or to clean up your eating act, you probably know all too well the internal argument that goes on. Like a parent telling e a child no, I immediately rebel.

For me, it's something like this:
8:00 AM "Today I will eat healthy."
By 8:15 AM, the dialogue begins:
"I want one of those cookies. They are SO good!"
"Are you sure?"
"You know it might interrupt your sleep."
"I don't care. I'll eat healthy starting tomorrow."
And I watch myself walk over to the cookie counter (sometimes drive to the store first!) and get a cookie."
I usually enjoy it thoroughly while eating it. Then regret it the next time I step on the scale or see my reflection in the mirror. Or sometimes, 10 minutes later.

Sound familiar?

Choosing - What Is a Treat, Really?

But why do I argue with myself? Am I going to let this happen every day for the rest of my life? Or will choose to be in control of my mind rather than let it run rampant like a 3 year old with no discipline?

I can succumb to my deeply-ingrained habit of reaching for one of those amazing cookies. I can even savor it as slowly as possible. And then, as often as not, several minutes later my sensitive stomach will remind me that it wasn't such a good idea. And maybe I get a little hyper from the sugar. So is it really a treat then? Is the series of reactions to that confection really worth it? Are the extra pounds really worth it? Am I really giving myself a treat when I think about it? Am I really depriving myself if I choose to not eat that cookie today?

The Key to Staying with the Resoultion

For me, the key is finding a place of peace between these 2 warring sides. I learned a long time ago not to let the argument gain steam. Instead, like Chance in the movie Being There, I watch. Either I
watch myself buy the cookie, or I watch myself walk past them.

I remember that I used to reach for candy bars more often than those cookies, and that I trained myself to walk past them after I discovered that I am pre-diabetic. It helped that I found something I like better: Cacao powder in my morning protein drink. So I am not deprived of chocolate. I actually like the cacao better than chocolate. So if I can walk away from my favorite candy bar, I can certainly practice walking away from the cookies too. The candy now seems smaller, less bright, less appealing. And I don't even like the taste any more. So this year I am practicing doing the same with the cookies: making them smaller, duller, less interesting than before.

How About You?

What is your favorite mental trick to avoid your trigger foods?