Be Your Brightest Self! – Richard’s Commentary

Rosemary’s article and post this week continues this conversation about “being the light.” I have heard her and the multiple “sources” she channels say many times “you are the light of the world.” This is an easy phrase. Many of us have heard it most of our lives as quotes from the New Testament of Christian Bibles. Jesus frequently said this about both himself and his followers.

But when that simple phrase is closely considered it is not necessarily the easiest concept to embrace! In particular here is one challenge Rosemary throws out:

And when you are having a bad day, do you seek the light within yourself or do you try to pull others into your bad mood to commiserate with you?

OK, I don’t think I try to pull others into my bad moods. But I do have them. And when I am in a mood that is not necessarily of the lightest variety, do I seek the light within? Not always! Do you know what I mean? Are there moods you experience that are dark but you want to stay there, to feel them, to wallow for just a bit? There’s a soothing quality to these moods sometimes.

But consider others around you. I have to pull this notion toward me first when I am in one of my moods. Now that I’m retired I “work” at home. And, yes, it is actual work to keep two businesses going. The point is I am home, with Rosemary, a lot. We do have a big enough house to spread out and go to separate rooms. However we are frequently and often together; our moods rub against each other. It is much easier and more pleasant to reach for the light, even when I am in the darkest of moods – it’s only fair!

How do I do this? As I’ve written many times I have lots of practices to move my moods around: body practices include Yoga and Qigong and I do one or both almost daily. My mental practices include reading, research and my “morning pages.” My “pages” are the quickest way to shift my mood. I enjoy writing anyway; to write about my moods is a sure way to dig in to them, sift through them and finally shift them. Some of my page writing begins quite negatively. But by the end of the third page they always end on high notes! I don’t even know how this works, but it is true. It’s a wonderful practice, for me, and the reason I’ve been doing it for years now.

My spiritual practices include several forms of meditation. But it is difficult, for me, to meditate when I am in a mood. The mood needs to be shifted first. I need to “seek the light within” first and be in that space of light in order to still my mind. But there is one Koan meditation practice that does work; I’ve written about it here before. It is to simply ask the question “what is this?” when the mood insinuates itself enough to be recognized as “a mood.” The question is answered and then repeated several times until the root cause is revealed. It works. You might wonder at first if this is more like a mental practice, but as the questioning and answers move deeper the process does become meditative.

You may ask “why go through all this; moods change eventually.” Hopefully for most of us this is true enough. But here’s what Rosemary says about the “why”:

Your purpose on Planet Earth is to be your own Sun, to shine your light. Those around you are looking to you to shine. They need the light of your love and warmth as much as they need the Sun’s. Who are you to withhold that light from them?

It starts inside. We need ourselves to be lights for ourselves! And this radiates out to those closest to us. And it continues to radiate out to the neighborhood, the community, everyone we encounter from store clerks to friends, from family to strangers (friends we just haven’t met yet). Imagine if we all knew this purpose and became “suns” for everyone else on the planet!

For one thing we’d all have shining eyes – and that would be something to smile about!

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The Light Quotient – Richard’s Commentary

I am struggling with this response. Why? I am in a bit of a dark place at the moment, so Rosemary’s post is aimed directly at me! And what do we often do when something is aimed directly at us? We freeze! And I’m sitting here at the keyboard a bit chilly, frozen, dark!

But here goes! Here’s the key to the whole article:

You might never have thought about decisions and choices as a matter of assessing Light Quotient before but the time is here to bring more Light into the world. Thus, we must constantly focus on how much Light we are contributing to the energy field around us and around the Planet.

Staying in my dark mood is a choice. I realize that and have been moving this choice around in my mind – and my heart – since yesterday afternoon. As I went to sleep, and it took awhile to drop off, I worked to lift the “light quotient” all around me. And it took work! I did a “nightly review.” Do you ever do this? It’s a good exercise: before dropping off to sleep go over in your mind all the events of the day, moving in reverse order, latest event to earliest. Review the events, and especially your responses to those events from the perspective of learning lessons. Ask: did I respond appropriately? Could my reaction have been different, better in some way? How might I have done that differently, more effectively? This process is not about self-judgment but about learning and improving. Maybe another question can be Did I bring in enough light into that situation?

This process did help me drift off to sleep last night. It didn’t solve any problems and it didn’t lift my dark mood entirely, but it did bring more light into my life and my rest (dreams were good!).

Now, here, this morning there are still some clouds overshadowing the light in my day so far. But as I write I have the sense that there is a lifting to those clouds. Maybe just writing about it has helped bring in some light. I do picture myself as a “writer.” I can add this “tool” to my approach to lifting the “light quotient” in my life. In fact, this is exactly what my “Morning Pages” practice is about. Following the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way approach has helped me with the “light quotient” in my life for many years!

When I awoke this morning my first thought was about this blog article and how I was resisting it, resisting writing about this business about “light quotients.” I was still in the darkness. But I asked how I could bring in more light and that’s when I reminded myself that “I am a writer.” I need to be able to write about anything, even (especially?) about light when I am in the dark!

The sun is coming out. My day will be bright now because I am choosing to see the sun beyond the clouds. I wish for you a sunny day filled with an abundance of light. And if you are in the clouds ask what choices you are making to remain in the shadows. It’s a process and takes practice!

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The Success of Your Authentic Self – Richard’s Commentary

Rosemary and I just returned from our monthly gathering of the EQUAAC group we are part of. This is the Equality Anne Arundel County group who, among other things, worked for the passage of Marriage Equality in Maryland. It’s a wonderful, warm group of men and women, both gay and straight who happen to believe in “equality” in all things! Rosemary and I are always welcomed with open arms, hugs, kisses and big smiles. It is such a pleasure to be part of this group!

And one thing always strikes me when we get together: I can be my authentic self with these wonderful human beings. I don’t have to pretend; there are no pretenses; there are no hidden motives, no one trying to get an upper hand or convince anyone of something other than genuine gladness to be together.

Maybe this is a luxury of getting older. I can be myself no matter whom I’m with or what I’m doing. Why can’t it always be this way? Here’s Rosemary’s answer:

We forget.

We forget to reach inside ourselves for answers. We forget that we are ‘enough’ just as we are. We forget that no one else knows exactly what our Soul Contract with the Universe is and that we agreed to come into this world at this time.

I am forgetting less often! I am working very hard, through my various practices to remember who I am, why I’m here and to live with that level of authenticity. And it does take practice. The ego wants to pretend; it’s sometimes easier that way, less risky. The ego doesn’t always like authenticity. But inside there are better answers; “real” answers. When we go inside we do remember what’s important.

And it is a matter of remembering, as Rosemary points out in yesterday’s post. We all come in knowing and remembering our purpose, our true self and the true reason the Universe called us to BE, here and now. Society and our ego want us to forget. We go through our growing years and our “educational process” learning to forget! If we all remembered to fulfill our purposes society would be very different. And society, just like our egos, wants to maintain the status quo.

There may be stability in the status quo but I wouldn’t call it success. Where is the impetus for evolution if we all toe the line and forget our purpose? Where’s the progress if we ignore our inner truth and accept someone else’s judgment about that? Where’s the lesson, the gain, the success if we pretend we are something other than who we came here to be?

Our success can only truly be measured against our true purpose. We all know our purpose; we may have forgotten it but it is in there, inside. We came with blueprints; we can remember. It takes practice but it is there.

Rosemary’s clarion call is to “remember.” I echo this call! We are called to awaken to our purpose, to our authentic selves. What better time than now, this holiday season and at year’s end to take up this cause and remember!

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Moving Forward – Richard’s Commentary

Rosemary’s “Exploration” in her MuseLetter on Friday and again in her post yesterday was timely considering our physical move of home and belongings over this past weekend. Clearly we had a lot of experience “moving” and I can only hope, given the energy put into this move, that it was “forward”!

The move itself went very smoothly. The weather was great, especially for early August in Maryland. The logistics all worked well from rental truck to professional piano movers. Even the “baby grand” cooperated by just squeezing neatly through the door.

I expected to be sore from all the physical lifting and lugging, the twisting with heavy boxes and the tight hold needed to boost them into and out of the truck. And I do have twinges of an ache here or an over-used muscle there. But I don’t feel nearly as stiff and sore as I expected.

And immediately following the move I began a new Qigong class series this past Monday evening. As I was doing my final preparations and going through the form one more time before class I realized why I survived this strenuous and very physical move with relative ease: I had been practicing Qigong for well over a year and mixing in a steady dose of Yoga as well. I am fit and ready for this kind of physical exertion.

Qigong consists of circle-motions and spirals, movements to gather and focus the Qi. The more I practice and the longer I experience this building Qi the more effortless it becomes. The practice is to evolve to effortlessness. And while my move over this past weekend was anything but effortless, it certainly wasn’t as exhausting as I expected.

And then I reread Rosemary’s post and this paragraph caught my attention:

Our personal journeys are not linear – they do not go forward in a straight line. They spiral, around and around. And, if we are moving forward in our personal growth, we are able to see from a new perspective with each return of the spiral, to understand in a new way what we couldn’t see before. This is moving forward along our path of personal growth in consciousness.

Just as our Qi spirals and turns around and around, so too does our journey through life. As Rosemary observes, every cycle presents us with a new perspective to grow into.

Keep moving forward. It is not just for you. It is not just to ease your pain, extend your life or live more comfortably. It is to expand your consciousness and to be an essential part of the evolution of Universal Consciousness.

How? Practice. It doesn’t have to be Qigong, although I highly recommend it. Keep moving forward, spiral around and take another look from the new perspective. Learn, grow, take the next step and wake up to a new you!

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It’s a Sign!!! – Richard’s Commentary

Inside-outside; optimism-pessimism; half-full-half-empty. There’s a spiral of thoughts here in Rosemary’s Exploration to digest. And somehow the article this week points directly at me!

I’ve been an optimist all my life. And I live a reasonably healthy internal life and do look for confirming signs all around me. And then I went to the doctor last week.

It’s funny Rosemary should use the example: “You might have been given a medical diagnosis that you don’t like.” My doctor visit, the first in several years, was just routine; I thought I should get a new base-line of all the numbers western medicine is so fond of analyzing. I feel in excellent health, eating well on a pretty strict regimen of raw nut, seed, fruit and vegetable smoothies for breakfast and lunch, exercising with yoga and qigong, meditating, working for myself and a pretty gentle boss (Rosemary); all good things right? So, the nurse took my blood pressure and seemed pretty alarmed; “all the celery in your smoothies doesn’t seem to be working” she remarked.

OK, I’ve had an issue with high blood pressure before; it’s a genetic condition. I have taken medication in the past but then controlled it reasonably well with Chinese herbs, acupuncture, etc. I thought I was good to go for life! Not so! The external sign here is a warning that things need to change even more.

And I am resisting this change; my resistance is not improving my blood pressure a bit! I am ignoring the external signs, but struggling to change the internal perspective in order to see the external signs change. While I remain an optimist my glass seems to be closer to empty than full! Am I fooling myself?

Since my experience at Qi Revolution with Jeff Primack I have been practicing his Level 1 Qigong Form every day. I am getting prepared for Level 1 training this Saturday. And I am planning to go for certification to teach Level 1 a week later on March 9th. I am optimistic that I can achieve this goal. I am changing my diet to include many of Jeff’s recommendations in his Conquering Any Disease book, following many of his suggestions for reducing high blood pressure (yep, more celery!) and curing heart disease. More internal changes.

Now, I realize this is a life-change and not an over-night change that I’m working on here. It’s only been a week since that doctor visit. But the optimist in me is looking for the external signs to support my internal changes. And my blood pressure remains high; that half-full glass is looking even more empty!

And the spiral continues, but in a downward spin. What is this about? All signs, whether they are inward or outward, point to lessons. There’s something karmic here; something much deeper than qigong practice and meditation. And I need to dig down where that spiral is drilling to wedge out this darkness that is shadowing my optimism. And no matter how deeply we dig for the lead or the gold, there is always another layer to dredge up, examine and alchemically transform. The signs point the way; they are critical signs to follow.

I am reading those signs carefully; I am taking my blood pressure multiple times a day. I am asking many questions and looking deeply in the dark mirror, working to clear it of dust. I am watching but not expecting new external signs any time soon. And that’s OK; I have time.

And I’m taking a newly prescribed drug (two, actually, in one pill). Yes, I have at least temporarily resorted to western medicine’s approach to my condition. I am hopeful this will improve my pressure and give me more time for the natural approach to kick in.

Yes, I read the sign, and while I didn’t like the direction it pointed, I realize there are many more lessons for this western man to learn, many more internal adjustments to make and many more years to practice!

MUSE-INGS: Fill Your Coping Toolbox & Write Your Story

The fairy tale of today. What a way to look at the start of every day!

‘Once upon a time…’ conjures up stories of princesses and fairies and wicked witches and rescuing princes. Can I really write one for myself today?

The real truth is that we ARE writing this story every day, whether we know it consciously or not. How empowering it is to realize that we can write our way out of sticky situations as the author of our own fairy tale!

This does not mean that every day happens like a Disney movie, but, if you notice, the Disney movies do all have a dark moment, a character who tries to block the hero and heroine from having that ‘happy ever after’ ending. But, in the end, we are left feeling good about what will happen next.

This past weekend we had a harrowing experience when our daughter was struggling for breath and 911 had to be called. Thankfully, she is on a healing path now (after an ambulance ride and 8 hours in the emergency room) and the doctors feel they can control what is going on. But the moments could have been tragic.

My first reaction was not to panic, but to go to my hidden helpers in other dimensions: The Divine Feminine, Reiki Masters, Spirit Doctors. I asked them to heal her and surrendered the situation to them. I felt a huge sense of calm after this, which all happened in less than a minute.

This is not to say that the Mom in me wasn’t concerned, but I never lost the calm feeling. I moved into helping others through this moment.

I wrote the story for myself.

This is not something that happens in an instant because you wish you could do this. It takes practice and intention and work to access this state of consciousness. But it does come with the work.

And so, in other areas of life, you, too, can work on developing your consciousness so that the resources you have to call on can support you in the writing of your story. If your only option for a knee-jerk response is to panic, you will be less helpful to yourself and those around you. And the story will get written for you by default.

Take the action to write your own story each and every day. If you procrastinate on doing the personal growth work that allows you to develop new tools, your ability to handle the crises of life is diminished.

A fairy tale life does not mean that nothing happens that is difficult to deal with. Most fairy tales have some life-or-death moments in them, based on the archetypes that are represented. Each day we live in the 21st Century can have a life-or-death moment in it. A life can turn around in an instant and we can be called upon to reach into our coping toolbox to find the most appropriate tool to use. This is when you want that toolbox to be full. This is why it is so important to work on your own personal growth work BEFORE you need these tools.

Identify the beliefs that are blocking you from the life of your dreams. Work on the issues you are unconsciously giving power to influence your life. Take charge of those circumstances that you can change. Shift your thinking about those that you cannot change.

All the power rests within you to write the fairy tale story of your life for today. ‘Once upon a time there was a powerful person who opened their heart to share the Love within with the world around them.’ That’s you! The hero/ine of the story!

PS: Are you subscribed to my Weekly Muse-Letter, a video ezine to inspire, encourage and enlighten with Evolutionary Thought, every week? Click here  to subscribed to  my Tips for Conscious Living. It’s FREE.

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MUSE-INGS: Every NOW is a Powerful Place for You to Be!!!

Your true power comes from within you but too often we look outside for approval in order to feel our power. And we also find ourselves giving away our power to others – other people, other circumstances, other times.

Say this with me now – “I claim ALL of my power NOW!”

Some of you might be laughing or doubting or, sadly, crying. But I want you to feel your own power right now in this present moment.

You might think that you aren’t feeling very powerful, but that could be because your definition of ‘power’ is linked to the old model of ‘power over another.’ That is no longer what ‘power’ means! Your inner power has nothing to do with other people or circumstances or times. Your inner power derives from YOU being YOU! And the best way to access that inner power is to bring all your awareness, your consciousness, into the present moment so that you have all your energy available to you in the NOW.

Sometimes I wonder why this is not as easy as it sounds. But I realize that our minds are such fantastic computers, always calculating what might happen and what we’ve learned from what has happened, that it takes a special effort to bring our conscious thoughts into the present moment.

The gift of a great mind is the ability to transcend time. And the gift of a great consciousness is to be able to access fully this present moment in time.

Imagine that you can bring all your awareness into this moment NOW and to fully focus in the NOW in which you are existing. This is powerful stuff!

In classes, I sometimes ask for a volunteer to stand with me and concentrate fully on some problem they are having outside the class and really use their mind to focus on that problem. I can touch them with my finger and push them off balance! [I never let them fall, of course!] Then I ask them to bring their attention fully to their power center, the Third Chakra, the Dan Tien, that energy center that is the seat of your personal energy in your body. Holding attention here, focusing fully on the body’s power center, located a few inches below the navel, gives such stability and power that no matter how hard I push I cannot get the volunteer to move. It’s a dramatic demonstration of bring your consciousness into the present moment so that you can access all of your power!

Try this exercise yourself and see how it feels to bring your attention to your power center and to focus your attention in the NOW. Breathe. Then move into your next activity. Come from your own inner power. Move through your day taking time to focus in the NOW.

And if you need practice, try meditation. Sometimes people have a lot of trouble with meditation and I hear complaints that they can’t still their minds enough. I believe that meditation can be practiced without having to fight your mind’s tendency to think. Allow yourself to practice being fully present to this moment NOW and don’t worry about the thoughts that come. Also, don’t attach to those thoughts and feel you must ‘think them through.’ Allow them to drift by like the clouds in the sky and bring your attention back to the NOW.

NOW is all we have. Enjoy this NOW and let go of the past and the future. Happy NOW!

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