When I am in the kitchen cooking, I think about my mom, grandma, popo, and gung gung that have passed as they were the ones that influenced my food choices and the way I cook today. I feel extra connected to them when I am preparing my meal by carrying on with family traditions, and the small nuances of the secret ingredients that have been passed down through generations.
Just the other day I was having lunch with my dear friend Amy who mentioned this story and I feel compelled to share. While this story relates to the generations that have passed on their customs, it is also a beautiful story that enables us to grow into our own accord. The underlying statement of 'this is how it has always been done,' is an opportunity to check-in to see if certain practices are still relevant to our life today. Explore this question, 'are there any childhood beliefs that are no longer true for me at this time?'
Maybe allow this following story to support your process of self study and awareness building.
A young woman was hosting a dinner party for her friends and served a delicious pot roast. One of her friends enjoyed it so much that she asked for the recipe, and the young woman wrote it down for her.
If you could live the life of your dreams right now, what would that look like? 2020 threw us all a curve ball with covid and turning many of us upside down to look at things from a different perspective. It was like a catalyst that asked us to face the hard questions of who we really are, what are we doing with our lives and why are we doing this? Is it making us happy? Here is a cute story that shows the different perspectives.
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
When is the last time something caught your attention that touched that your heart? The most adorable picture landed on my Facebook page and my heart was warmed instantly. During these tested times, and dark moments, all is not lost. We have that candlelight still flickering within us and we know this because we feel it. Animals with their natural instincts have no deterrent of the skeptical mind and they just follow their innate sense. Our primal essence comes from a place of loving kindness, it is our birthright to expand our unconditional love. As we enter into 2021, begin by building the things around you that kindle that loving touch in you. Remember and come back to the heart that knows, love wins every time.
In 2019, photographer Tobias Baumgaertner snapped a romantic shot of two widowed penguins overlooking a pier in Melbourne, Australia. He shared the photograph on his Instagram during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help lift people's spirits and it quickly went viral, garnering thousands of likes, comments, and shares. So, it's only fitting that Baumgaertner's photo, which was nominated for the Community Choice Award in the 2020 Ocean Photography Awards, won the title by popular vote.
“I posted this image of these two Fairy penguins a little more than half a year ago and since then it has circled the globe, it has been seen by millions, and I have received thousands of messages and comments of how these two little guys have touched and mended broken hearts, brought joy, hope and love into your lives,” Baumgaertner said on his Instagram. “
It has become a symbol of togetherness and love. Times are still not easy for many of us, [so] I repeat what I wrote back then. During times like this, the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most.” mymodernmet.com
In conversation with a dear friend the other day, we discovered that feeling guilty can be a powerful veil that can set our emotions up for suffering if we do not come to terms with the truth. How about staying in a relationship which already expired in your heart? Or staying at a job that you outgrew but felt guilty for leaving? I definitely have had these moments in my life. In this next wise story, the concept of 'ahimsa' comes up which translates as 'non-harming.' I believe it starts within ourselves to realize that we are harming ourselves when we allow the power of guilt to overshadow our hearts truth.
There is a famous story about ahimsa told in the Vedas, the vast collection of ancient philosophical teachings from India. A certain sadhu, or wandering monk, would make a yearly circuit of villages in order to teach. One day as he entered a village he saw a large and menacing snake who was terrorizing the people. The sadhu spoke to the snake and taught him about ahimsa. The following year when the sadhu made his visit to the village, he again saw the snake. How changed he was. This once magnificent creature was skinny and bruised. The sadhu asked the snake what had happened. He replied that he had taken the teaching of ahimsa to heart and had stopped terrorizing the village. But because he was no longer menacing, the children now threw rocks and taunted him, and he was afraid to leave his hiding place to hunt. The sadhu shook his head. "I did advise against violence," he said to the snake, "but I never told you not to hiss."
Protecting ourselves and others does not violate ahimsa. Practicing ahimsa means we take responsibility for our own harmful behavior and attempt to stop the harm caused by others. Being neutral is not the point. Practicing true ahimsa springs from the clear intention to act with clarity and love.
One of the best pieces of information that I learned helped me to discover a deeper meaning of meditation and the power we already have to liberate ourselves from destructive pattern conditioning. I heard Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist explain what happens when an emotion is triggered within us. She called it the 90 second rule. Saying that it takes 90 seconds for that chemical reaction to flush through our body and if we continue to feel that emotion, it is because we are the ones choosing to re-circuit that feeling. Surrey Mindfulness.
Our thoughts are that which we deliberately choose whether we want to admit it or not. It is through my meditation practice that I was able to catch the reoccurring storylines that fueled my self-destructive patterns.
As we are currently dealing with COVID-19 and the repercussions of it, the mind can easily fall into reruns of the past.( i.e. our life we had before this pandemic). Our lives will never be the same after this and we are now evolving into a new norm. We can decide to see the things we don't have, once had, or wish we had and replay that script. Or maybe we decide to see that we have come this far and have gained so much from birth till now that we are indeed quite abundant. Can you see an empty box or a full box?
Here is the story.
'The members of a certain West African tribe tell the legend of the Sky Maiden.
It happened once that the people of the tribe noticed their cows were giving less milk than they used to. They could not understand why.
One young man volunteered to stay up all night to see what might be happening. After several hours of waiting in the darkness, hiding in a bush, he saw something extraordinary. A young woman of astonishing beauty rode a moonbeam down from heaven to earth, carrying a large pail. She milked the cows, filled her pail, and climbed back up the moonbeam to the sky. The man could not believe what he had seen.
The next night, he set a trap near where the cows were kept, and when the maiden came down to milk the cows, he sprang the trap and caught her. "Who are you?" he demanded.
She explained that she was a Sky Maiden, a member of a tribe that lived in the sky and had no food of their own. It was her job to come to earth at night and find food. She pleaded with him to let her out of the net and she would do anything he asked. The man said he would release her only if she agreed to marry him. "I will marry you," she said, "but first you must let me go home for three days to prepare myself. Then I will return and be your wife." He agreed.
Three days later she returned, carrying a large box. "I will be your wife and make you very happy," she told him, "but you must promise me never to look inside this box."
For several weeks they were very happy together. Then one day, while his wife was out, the man was overcome with curiosity and opened the box. There was nothing in it. When the woman came back, she saw her husband looking strangely at her and said, "You looked in the box, didn¹t you? I can¹t live with you anymore."
"Why?" the man asked. "What's so terrible about my peeking into an empty box?"
"I'm not leaving you because you opened the box. I thought you probably would. I'm leaving you because you said it was empty. It wasn't empty; it was full of sky. It contained the light and the air and the smells of my home in the sky. When I went home for the last time, I filled that box with everything that was most precious to me to remind me of where I came from.
How can I be your wife if what is most precious to me is emptiness to you?'
by rvcbard blog
Do you have stories in your memory that stick with you and every time you hear it again, it never ceases to warm your heart? This is a true story and every time I read it, I remember that no matter how difficult things may get, there is always hope. And sometimes you find it in the least expected ways and then you might just rekindle your faith in that, everything is going to be ok.
'During this past year I’ve had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. They all happened while I was driving other people’s cars, which for some reason makes it worse on an emotional level. And on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my own car, and know enough not to park on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.
Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn’t bother to help. I was stuck on the side of the freeway hoping my friend’s roadside service would show, just watching tow trucks cruise past me. The people at the gas stations where I asked for a gas can told me that they couldn’t lend them out “for safety reasons,” but that I could buy a really crappy one-gallon can, with no cap, for $15. It was enough to make me say stuff like “this country is going to hell in a handbasket,” which I actually said.
But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke any English.
One of those guys stopped to help me with the blowout even though he had his whole family of four in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to three hours with my friend’s big Jeep. I put signs in the windows, big signs that said, “NEED A JACK,” and offered money. Nothing. Right as I was about to give up and start hitching, a van pulled over, and the guy bounded out.
He sized up the situation and called for his daughter, who spoke English. He conveyed through her that he had a jack but that it was too small for the Jeep, so we would need to brace it. Then he got a saw from the van and cut a section out of a big log on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top and we were in business.
I started taking the wheel off, and then, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones, and I wasn’t careful, and I snapped the head clean off. Damn.
No worries: he ran to the van and handed it to his wife, and she was gone in a flash down the road to buy a new tire iron. She was back in 15 minutes. We finished the job with a little sweat and cussing (the log started to give), and I was a very happy man.
The two of us were filthy and sweaty. His wife produced a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to put a 20 in the man’s hand, but he wouldn’t take it, so instead I went up to the van and gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I’d send them a gift for being so awesome. She said they lived in Mexico. They were in Oregon so Mommy and Daddy could pick cherries for the next few weeks. Then they were going to pick peaches, then go back home.
After I said my goodbyes and started walking back to the Jeep, the girl called out and asked if I’d had lunch. When I told her no, she ran up and handed me a tamale.
This family, undoubtedly poorer than just about everyone else on that stretch of highway, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took a couple of hours out of their day to help a strange guy on the side of the road while people in tow trucks were just passing him by.
But we weren’t done yet. I thanked them again and walked back to my car and opened the foil on the tamale (I was starving by this point), and what did I find inside? My $20 bill! I whirled around and ran to the van and the guy rolled down his window. He saw the $20 in my hand and just started shaking his head no. All I could think to say was, “Por favor, por favor, por favor,” with my hands out. The guy just smiled and, with what looked like great concentration, said in English: “Today you, tomorrow me.”
Then he rolled up his window and drove away, with his daughter waving to me from the back. I sat in my car eating the best tamale I’ve ever had, and I just started to cry. It had been a rough year; nothing seemed to break my way. This was so out of left field I just couldn’t handle it.
In the several months since then I’ve changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and once drove 50 miles out of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won’t accept money. But every time I’m able to help, I feel as if I’m putting something in the bank.'
By Justin Horner
According to a new study, studyfinds.org, adults wake up grumpy 300 days of the year. How did you wake up this morning? And yesterday? The day before?
Truth be told, I was never a morning person and my default norm is less than cheerful at wake time. Knowing this, I build a morning ritual with soothing sounds, a warm shower, followed by essential oil aromas, and my favorite toothpaste. Visually, I surround my environment with positive affirmations wall decor and feel good images to take in at first light. Upon waking our senses are heightened and what we choose to start our morning with affects our day. Studies have shown that three minutes of negative news in the morning has proven to affect a person by 27% with the likelihood of it turning into an unhappy or depressing rest day. inc.com
Invite positive shifts into your routine. I feel that it takes effort to re-program ourselves and a bold truth to own up to the fact that we are the ones who are responsible for our happiness. Our past experiences culminate and color our world and once 'woke' we can begin to modify as needed. Carl Jung says, 'I am not what happened to me, I choose what I am to become.
And here a story for a deeper thought process.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Some people will choose to be right than to be happy. What choices do you tend to make when faced with opposite viewpoints and contradictions? In our meditation today, the oracle cards brought up the topic of win win and how to create that world for where we are designing a beautiful life for yourself and others.
Change is inevitable and with change comes contradiction with others and it is an opportunity to investigate our own inner battles. A personal struggle I have been dealing with is the fact that I wake up in the morning each day and my body has much more aches and pains than before. It is a body that needs more TLC now and I have to make peace with the idea that my body is not the same as it was five years ago and it will change again in the next five years. Applying the same metrics to my body today that I did in the past, will trigger my body to resist in some way. Instead, I practice softening towards acceptance, kindness, compassion, and gratefulness. Some days it works and some days my ego gets the best of me and throws those thoughts out the window. The internal struggle is always present.
Releasing old notions, past experiences is a detox process mentally, emotionally and affects us physically. This process I believe is the renewal of ones old self into a new self and the evolution of the human life. I believe our inner struggles manifest in this realm in the form of others as our mirror. In your everyday living, bring awareness to the choices that you are making and if it is serving your best self or not.
Here is a story that I found helpful for my self evolution.
'One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.” God showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of stew. It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, “You have seen Hell.”
Behind the second door, the room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful stew that made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The man said, “I don’t understand.”God smiled. It is simple, he said, Love only requires one skill. These people learned early on to share and feed one another. While the greedy only think of themselves.' theboundspirit.com
There are moments in my life that I remember really well and this art exhibition was one of them. While living in New York City, my friends and I went to see Gregory Colbert's Ashes and Snow exhibition. His photography worked moved me and struck a chord within me that had me in awe.
In my studies at ISHTA Yoga, I was first introduced to the Chakras. The body has seven subtle energy centers that reside deep in the body known as the Chakras. The information contained in our thoughts, feelings, and actions travel through these energy centers and there is a physiological and emotional response to the information that is received. A balanced heart chakra is when you feel a sense of gratitude and this art spoke to me in that way in all it's magnificence. In a balanced throat chakra, you are comfortable with speaking your truth. See the article written by Mind Valley about the chakras.
Here is a joke about a little girl speaking her truth.
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales and how she had heard in Sunday School about how a whale had swallowed Jonah.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl remained steadfast in her position and reiterated that indeed, a whale had swallowed Jonah.
Irritated, the teacher again stated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "I'm not sure how it happened, but when I get to heaven I will ask Jonah."
The teacher replied smugly, "What if Jonah isn't in heaven?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."
Ever wondered how the full moon affects you? For some, it affects their sleep and researchers have found that we get 20 minutes less sleep, and it takes us 5 minutes longer to get to sleep. Notice if you wake up groggy the next day or have brain fog throughout the day.
According to the Ano Lani Ano Honua moon book the Mahealani full moon is about endings, closures and spiritual rebirth. Also, if you happen to be missing any personal belongings, this is the time you have a good chance of finding it. :)
Interested in knowing what the Oracle cards have to say? I have collaborated with Kealapono in my cyberspace yoga classes to set the stage to align with the wisdom of the cards. The spirit animal in the cards was the serpent which lead me to tell the dharma story, ' The Marriage of the Princess and the Dragon.' See the following quote. Click HERE to see the video clip of the oracle card messages.
Because of the mishaps of her parents, a young princess named Aris must be betrothed to a fearful dragon. When the king and queen tell her she becomes frightened for her life. But recovering her wits, she goes out beyond the market to seek a wise woman, who has raised twelve children and twenty-nine grandchildren and knows the ways of dragons and Men.
***The next cyberspace class is Sunrise Stretch and Meditation which will include the mayan calendar.