How can we make a difference in the world today? This is a big question with so much going on currently. It's clear that systems are changing, shifting - government, education, beliefs/racism, climate, environment, etc. But what about our own transformation, our own shift in consciousness? This is where it all starts. The way we operate within ourselves will change the actions being taken outside of ourselves. Listen to this episode and learn how to take different actions in our daily life to see the change we want to see in the world. If we all do our part, collectively with compassion, with love, we will create a new humanity together.
I've Been Thinking...
How are you? I really want to know.
How are you feeling emotionally, physically, and spiritually on this Sunday? Are you feeling optimistic about September and about the fall? Or are you Zoomed out and stressed out by all the politics, social unrest, and COVID-19?
Take a moment to check in with yourself. Put your hand over your heart. There is no hurry or right answer here. Allow yourself to be exactly where you are. That’s how I try to start each day, assuring myself that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Today, I am back in your inbox after my August break. I am so grateful to be here again! Thank you for making me and The Sunday Paper a part of your weekend routine. If I’m being totally honest, I thought twice about returning this month, particularly when it comes to social media. The distance I’ve had allowed me to look anew at all the noise and wonder whether I’m adding to it.
The mission of this newsletter is to rise above the noise, clutter, and mayhem. It is to lift up the voices of those trying to move us forward in a passionate and purposeful way. The more I thought about that mission over these last few weeks, the easier it became to return to this forum. My hope is that the inspiring voices we elevate in The Sunday Paper will elevate and reassure you. I hope they will remind you that you are where you are supposed to be, and that you and your voice are so needed at this time.
Number 1: Take the word should out of your language. If you want to learn how to be more kind and loving and gentle, then stop using the word should. Should automatically implies guilt.
Number 2: Find the Positive. You may not like it, but you can honor the other (person, perspective) for where they are at.
Number 3: Look for the Big Picture. Ask yourself, “What is the big picture here?” When you have such energy around something negative, or somebody that’s saying something negative, it is there to teach us how to expand and love beyond what we have been.
Number 4: Find Appreciation. First see the big picture … now find some appreciation for the person. Find appreciation for their perspective.
What are you resisting?
As general clusters that each include a number of specific methods, my Top 5 types of practices (all tied for first place) are:
- Be mindful
- Take in the good
- Go green
- Open out
The practices of “go green” helps you get out of the brain’s fight-or-flight, Reactive, “red zone” setting and instead, engage life from its recover-and-refuel, Responsive, “green zone” setting.
In this JOT, we’ll enter into the fifth cluster – open out – by which I mean relaxing into a growing sense of connection, even oneness, with all things. For some, “opening out” could go all the way out to something transcendental (it does for me). But I’m going to write about this practice in very down-to-earth, practical, and psychological terms.
When you re-emerge into the world, post Covid-19, you will get to choose how you will participate, what you contribute your energy towards, and how you choose to live.
Thanks to the blessing and gift of this time, many of you have undergone a deep and profound immersion into presence, and living in the present moment, you are able to meet every challenge, every obstacle and every single facet of crisis with peace. This allows you to respond, instead of react.
Living in the present moment allows you to engage in whatever is unfolding, secure in the knowledge that the highest and best is the only outcome. Instead of going to every worst-case scenario, anchor yourself in peace and presence.
You know me … I always love to talk to people and learn interesting things about them. So, I thought it would be fun in this blog post to turn the tables and share some things about me that you just might not know about me. Here ya go:
Many people say my name fits me perfectly.
Strangers will stop to tell me how bright and “sunny” I am. It always makes them smile even bigger when I tell them my name. However, I haven’t always been as optimistic and positive as I am now. I actually was a pretty pessimistic, low-vibe teenager & young adult. I had to really work on my negative mindset and lack-based mentality… and all that it was attracting to me. It was excruciating at times to show up differently, but it paid off. Now, the opposite is true. It is so painful in those moments when negativity and fear creep in… and I care too much about how I feel now to let them stay, let alone take over. I have learned to pivot quite quickly!
I’m still coming down off the gratitude cloud from last weekend’s OraclePalooza Virtual, and equally swimming in the searing truth of my best friend Doug’s crossing over the rainbow bridge a few short weeks ago. The entire weekend I was in two places as I stepped into one of many “firsts” without him. Being my wingman and emcee at OraclePalooza was the thing he loved best. It was strange to be without him although it was an important new beginning and I felt his spirit the entire time.
I miss the brave, real, loving human though. In the flesh with me backstage eating gluten-free snacks and giggling about how lucky we were to do what we did, and him crying reminding me that not everyone’s stuff was for me to take on. God, I love that man. What a pair we were.
Doug was with me for 16 deep meaningful and fun years of friendship, but what made it special is that we shared a mission. Those kinds of friends are gifts from the Divine.
Stephanie and I recently enjoyed a week in the Colorado Rockies with Dylan, Sophie, and their friends. I knew this was going to be a relaxing few days away from the normal (and wonderful) busyness of the Humanity’s Team workday and that we’d have a great time being together hiking and riding bikes, sharing meals, conversation, and laughter.
What I didn’t expect to happen was that within the deep relaxation of the physical body and mental mind, my heart exploded open in gratitude for what’s come to be known as the front-line workers of the 2020 pandemic and also those who knowingly or unknowingly are helping to raise the consciousness of humanity, including George Floyd and John Lewis, who recently yielded their physical form.
Here in the United States, and all over the planet, people are taking a stand for what they believe in. They are raising their voices and bodies in the demand for justice, equality, and kindness.
(To make sure that I communicate my strong belief in inclusiveness to you as well as I’m able, I want also to say that I believe those who respond to the protests are also standing for what they believe in. After all, who of us is called to judge the Divine unfolding?)
We often put happiness out there in the future and we are in a constant state of seeking it so we end up never feeling happy now. The ego has no interest in being happy. The moment it actually finds it, its role is dissolved so it keeps you distant from happiness.
Happiness does not come from what you achieve or get, it is a state of being. You can be happy regardless of what is happening in your life, regardless of what you have or don't have. You must question your definition of success. You must question your definition of happiness.
- How to stop procrastinating
- How to get the things done
- How to make choices to honor the promises that you are making to yourself.
We all have goals and we all have dreams. We all have things we want to get done. Even if they’re just little goals, like I want to get the kitchen cleaned up, or, I want to clean up my closet or I want to build a business, or I want to have the happiest relationship I can, or I want to, I want to raise my children to be just kind loving, being whatever our goals are. We all have them, right?
We all have goals, but a lot of times we sacrifice our goals for something else, something that is seemingly in the way or necessary to focus on right now.
And we do not honor the promises that we have made to ourselves. And so, I thought we would talk a little bit about how to get shit done.
That is what I called it, how to get shit done and how to do it in a place that honors you and the promises you are making to yourselves and can still support others. It just means that you do not sacrifice your dreams and your goals and your wants, for everybody else to be happy.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead, 1901-1978, Anthropologist, Writer and Speaker
Do you have any idea how much your caring and kindness change the world each and every moment? Do you understand that your joy, as well as your misery, goes into the energy field that we live in and has an effect on the entire planet?
Energy is not local. Many of us have had the experience of picking up the energy of someone we are very close to, even if they were thousands of miles away. You might have had a sense of the moment when someone you loved died. You might have picked up the phone and called a loved one just as they were thinking about you. We live in a universe of energy, and our thoughts, feelings and actions are a part of this energy.
The first thing I see out my window each morning are the surfers. We live across the street from South Bird Rock, the best “break” in San Diego and only the most expert surfers dare to ride here.
Not only do you have to be an advanced surfer, you also have to hike down a cliff and then paddle out a quarter mile or more to get in position.
Some days, like today, there are as many as a dozen who are wildly riding the high surf.
Other mornings there are just a few wet-suit clad dudes sitting calmly on their boards scanning the horizon for the next wave.
As we move towards the end of June, there is so much going on in our hearts, our minds, our world, and the heavens. Yes, Mercury is in retrograde, but that’s not all! This week we’ve also experienced a solar eclipse, a new moon, and the summer solstice… on top of everything that’s been happening in our day-to-day lives. So if you’re feeling a bit… unsettled… that’s natural! It’s all part of the divine chaos that has entered our global consciousness and the beginning of the Aquarian age.
It feels abrupt because it is. This is a full-on paradigm shift, and although it’s been coming for a while it feels like a giant whomp on our collective and individual noggins. We’re going through momentous change, internally and externally, and it’s critical to give ourselves space and time to adapt. There is still more awesome change to come, and we need to allow ourselves recovery time so we’re ready to do our part whatever that may be.
I see a huge opportunity in front of us. Yes, it can seem daunting. Yes, it can seem overwhelming. But this is what is in front of us, today. We’re all being invited at this time in human history to address things that challenge us to our core like the fall out from how we handle the global pandemic, what to do and how to change systemic racism. On top of this we have seismic shifts in the economic system and the health care system and the education system, all the things that have been revealed as not working as well as we need them to.
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
I've Been Thinking...
Memorial Day weekend, the so-called “official start of the summer.” It’s also the weekend when we are supposed to focus on those who have given their lives for our country. This year, both have taken on new meaning.
It’s hard to “celebrate” the start of summer when millions are still struggling with a new normal and practicing social distancing. So many of us are walking around masked. Millions are desperately struggling to put food on the table, pay rent, or afford diapers for their kids—all in this “most powerful and greatest nation on Earth.”
Feed the mouse.
To simplify a complex process spanning 600 million years, your brain developed in ways that are loosely related to the three major stages of vertebrate evolution:
- Reptile – Brainstem, focused on avoiding harms
- Mammal – Subcortex, focused on approaching rewards
- Primate – Neocortex, focused on attaching to “us”
Since the brain is integrated, avoiding, approaching, and attaching are accomplished by its parts working together. Nonetheless, each of these functions is particularly served and shaped by the region of the brain that first evolved to handle it.
In this three-part series, the previous JOT – pet the lizard – was about how to soothe and calm yourself. This affects your brain as a whole, including its most ancient structures and the management of perhaps the first emotion of all: fear. This JOT continues the series by focusing on how to help you feel rewarded, satisfied, and fulfilled – in a word, fed – which also engages your brain as a whole, with a particular focus on its subcortical regions that emerged mainly during the mammalian stage of evolution.
A Question to Walk With: Describe a simple detail that carries the essence of a significant relationship in your life. What does this detail represent? Honor this detail by talking about it and its significance to the person it involves.
This excerpt is from my book of poems in progress, Elsewhere.
Unless you are in deep denial, the fact is that the rug has been pulled out from under all of us and it’s going to be bumpy for quite some time.
As we adjust to being in a collective dark night of the soul, we are individually figuring out how wrap our heads around the fact that right now there are no real answers: no one can say when/if the virus will end; when/ if certainty and stability will return; or if life as we once knew it will return.
Whether you are suffering through this process or are doing great with it (or bouncing between happiness and misery), most of us are now learning to adapt to “being with not knowing.”
Times are tough for a lot of people right now. I get that’s an understatement but I am fortunate to be able to continue to serve and keep my business doors open so I feel I am in a position of privilege and can help people, and so I am, in any way I can. The other day, I felt moved to send money to an old friend whom I know is out of work right now, just as a gift. We’ve known each other for years and had attended a woman’s group together when I lived in the US full time. She posted on Facebook that this happened to her. So my spidey senses went ding ding and I sent it.
When she received it, she called me and said, “Oh, Colette I can’t believe you did this. Thank you, but I really can’t accept this. I’m good. I just know Spirit is going to look after me. I am really tuning in to manifesting something.”
I paused and thoughtfully said, “Well, how did you think that was gonna happen? Maybe Spirit just told me to send you cash because you’re not working. You’re a single mom with small kids and no job! That is pretty darn good manifesting!”
All she could say was, “…Oh!”
I've Been Thinking...
This week, I wanted to wait until the very last moment to write about what I’ve been thinking because I knew that yesterday was going to be a milestone moment for me. You see, Saturday, May 2, was supposed to be my youngest son’s graduation day from the University of Michigan. It’s where he spent the last four years of his life—perhaps the happiest four years of his life.
Like every other graduation, his was canceled five weeks ago. So, I got together with some other parents and we staged a virtual graduation celebration for the boys that were left in his house and in his community.
We wanted the boys to have something special to mark this momentous moment in their lives. I guess as parents, we wanted that, too. I know I did. So, we gathered on Saturday via Zoom. We played the boys favorite songs, like Billy Joel’s “Saigon Nights,” and, of course, we played “Pomp and Circumstance” and the Michigan fight song. Some families made lawn signs. We made pretend diplomas. We got some cheap caps and gowns for pictures. We also got some food to-go from the legendary Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor and sent it to the boys’ house, where they have been holed up for the last five weeks finishing classes.
We all knew our “celebration” wasn’t exactly what they had been looking forward to for the last four years, but it was at least something to commemorate what was to have been their big day. It was something for us as well.
What could you offer?
Make the offering.
One of the strangest and most meaningful experiences of my life occurred when I went through Rolfing (ten brilliant sessions of deep-tissue bodywork) in my early 20’s. The fifth session works on the stomach area, and I was anticipating (= dreading) the release of buried sadness. Instead, there was a dam burst of love, which poured out of me during the session and afterward. I realized it was love, not sadness, that I had bottled up in childhood – and what I now needed to give and express.
We can hold back our contributions to the world, including love, just as much as we can muzzle or repress sorrow or anger. But contribution needs to flow; it stagnates and gets stinky if it doesn’t. Thwarted contribution is the source of much unhappiness. For example, the wound of loneliness and heartache is about not having others to give to as much as not having others to get from. And one of the major issues with adolescence in technological cultures is that there are few opportunities for teenagers to make a real difference, to matter and feel a sense of earned worth.