I officially became Canadian on Friday with over 80 people originally from over 30 countries.
I got to sing "Oh Canada!" and the judge told a story about a party she went to that could only happen in Canada, a combined Robby Burns Day and Chinese New year celebration.
It was a fun experience and though I don't I have a "national identity" (people are people) I'm VERY thankful to be here.
When it comes to improving our life experience, it's good to have clearly defined goals, but sometimes being too fixated on what we think we want can divert us from our highest possible path.
I personally like to be available to "go with the flow" and simply trust that the Universe has my best interests in mind, provided I am willing to learn about and participate in the game. The unexpected happens and I choose to accept and enjoy that.
The site below has some insights on how we create our own adventures every day! Don't be scared off by the "channeled" aspect of it, as the ideas are actually quite down to Earth and worth trying.
Some of the Core Concepts of Elan
Since the Present is the result of the Present, and not the result of the Past, in each NOW moment each of us "decides" exactly Who and What we are, and thereby instantly IS that. The Infinite Consciousness that each of us really is "creates" us to be "whatever way" we decide in that NOW moment that we actually are. Normally, we "assume" that we "become" a certain way because of the steps we created to get there, or the criteria we must meet to get there, but this is only an illusion. For example, a person may think "If I exercise every day, then in 3 weeks I will be strong." And in 3 weeks they are strong, but they are strong then because they are deciding in that NOW moment to be strong, not because of the "prerequisite steps" of exercise that they have set up for themselves to get there.
Therefore, if you want to be a certain way, you can take the long route (the normal human approach), which is to set up an elaborate set of steps that must be taken in order to reach your destination state of being, or an elaborate set of criteria that must all be met in order to get there. And then take the time to go through all these steps, or meet all those criteria, and then finally give yourself permission to decide to then be that way. Or, you can take the short route and simply decide NOW to be that way, with no intervening steps or criteria necessary to "get there". And then, by trusting that decision, and acting accordingly, you become that way NOW.
I am enjoying a perfect Sunday doing my online thing and have just found the website below. I love the minimalist design and skillfully crafted content.
Idea of Self
Your Idea of Self is who you think you are. Do you think that you are a good person? Do you think that you are a confident person? All of the ideas that you have about yourself is your Idea of Self.
Certain things in your life will try to make you change your idea of self. If someone tries to criticize you, then they are attacking your idea of self. If they are successful in attacking your idea of self, then you will change your idea of self and have a new idea of self. For example, if you believe that you are beautiful and someone says you are ugly, who are you going to believe? Will you let that person change your idea of self?
It's amazingly powerful when you can let the insults of "others" roll off your back emotionally. My current MO is to forgive everything instantly (as much as possible!)
Don't let anyone steal your smile! -- my Italian friend Alessandra
Here's a blonde joke that made me laugh today...
Q: How do you brainwash a blonde?
A: By psychologically breaking down her confidence with a rigorous behaviour modification schedule, alternating between sensory deprivation and sensory overload, thereby breaking down her conception of self, leaving her unable to resist outside suggestion (just like anybody else).
I recently learned that Waldorf Schools don't recommend teaching children how to read until age 7! At first, I thought this was ridiculous, but after learning about how the written word (as opposed to spoken language) affects cognitive development (and the development of entire societies) I am starting to think they might be on to something.
I'm planning on researching this topic further, but here's an article with some insight on their point of view...
Learning to Read & Write in Waldorf Schools
Is it possible that the cultural pressure to teach children to read earlier and earlier promoted in our monolithic school system is misguided by requiring of the child’s lively, intuitive consciousness an inappropriate degree of abstraction too soon? Could linguistic intelligence actually be retarded by leaving the riches of the oral tradition prematurely? Are the outcomes based goals and behaviorist procedures for achieving the ability to read at an early age well supported by developmental research? Is it wise to get on with the program as quickly as possible, with four and five year olds taking home worksheets from kindergarten? Should we then measure through testing the children’s reading progress (disregarding the wide variation of individual developmental differences) and hold teachers accountable for improving test scores? Logically in this approach more resources and skill development time (“drill and kill”) would be devoted to those children below agreed upon benchmarks, targeting exactly their weakness. The result of this paradigm is that whirlwinds of anxiety, stress, feelings of failure, and avoidance behavior rise from the current system meant to address national goals and standards without an understanding of where young children are in their development.
Here's a word I've been learning about lately...
The opportune occasion for speech. The term kairos has a rich and varied history, but generally refers to the way a given context for communication both calls for and constrains one's speech. Thus, sensitive to kairos, a speaker or writer takes into account the contingencies of a given place and time, and considers the opportunities within this specific context for words to be effective and appropriate to that moment. As such, this concept is tightly linked to considerations of audience (the most significant variable in a communicative context) and to decorum (the principle of apt speech).
Here are a few passages from Perfect Brilliant Stillness, a book that some might say is about "enlightenment" but is really more about awareness. I'll write something up about it after I finish reading it, but wanted to share these:
The difficulty with most systems of 'working on yourself,' therapy, self-help and analysis is that they become tools with which to judge ourselves and at the same time tools with which to prop ourselves up by justifying the judging of others. Forget all that. Just be yourSelf. It All just Is.
Listen. There is no escape. What you want to be free from, what you reject, what you want not to be, want your teachers not to be is It. Is Presence, is Consciousness. This, here. No one needs a spiritual teacher, certainly not one on a pedestal, to show them something else. There is nothing else. Judging it 'dark side' or 'light side' is the illusion. If you're not disillusioned with your spiritual teacher, he isn't doing his job. A spiritual teacher worth his or her salt is in the dis-illusion-ment business.
It has been said that if you want to know when you're getting close to the Understanding being total, to awakening, it's when the importance of awakening happening, in the body/mind you call yourself, fades.
Yesterday I took part in a "transformational writing" workshop in which a small group of us sat and wrote on a given topic (or "prompt") for five or ten minutes and then compared what we came up with.
It was a fascinating exercise and it was interesting to see how similar what we came up with was.
Here's what I wrote on "The Journey" edited only for spelling & punctuation. This is what spontaneously flowed from my pen... it's not 100% "original" but it's what I've been thinking about lately. I don't promise that it's fully accurate (that goes for everything I say actually!) but am sharing it in case anyone is curious :)
Travelling and talking, exploring and seeking, I've done my share of them all, but somehow it all leads back INSIDE. The outer world, the people we meet all as projections, reflections, refractions of the Love that exists inside.
Really, there's nowhere to go (though it's beautiful to explore) beccause it's all HERE, NOW. Somehow, these ideas resonate but I know my understanding is limited at this juncture in so-called space and time. The key to me it seems is Presence -- being here Now, paying attention, bringing the multislacking mind back to the centre, the light (whatever we call it, however it's experienced) and embracing it all (including our pain and transgressions) as Perfect. There are no mistakes on the journey.
So many people have intestinal disorders these days and few doctors really know how to help. It's the 2nd most common disease after the cold but no one wants to talk about it (for understandable reasons!)
I personally get twisted up inside when I spend time worrying about the past or future!
Here's some wisdom from the Daily Om newsletter that really helped me today!
So often, emotions that we long to express get stored in our bodies instead. The space where this most often happens is in our bellies. Rather than telling people, our even ourselves, the way we truly feel, we may stuff our true feelings deep inside of us, where they take up space until we are ready to let them go. Stuffing our feelings in our bellies may feel like the "safe" response, since we then don't really have to deal with our emotions. Yet, doing so can actually be detrimental to our emotional well-being and physical health.