We all tell stories. To our kids, our friends, our families, heck, even to strangers in the checkout line (as I did just yesterday, as a matter of fact). Many of these stories are deeply and richly embedded in our generational history. Who doesn’t have a tale or two to share about an eccentric aunt, a doting grandparent, a precocious toddler? We know these like the back of our hand, and can recount them as if by rote.
Perhaps the most deeply embedded of all the stories we tell however, are the stories we silently tell ourselves. That internal storyline that ‘ghostwrites’ the behaviors which shape our actions and keeps us rooted in repeating the same unsuccessful patterns, over and over (and over) again.
Our tired – and unneccesary – repetition of these internal storylines reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
‘Consciousness is observing your thoughts and actions so that you can live from true choice in the present moment rather than being run by programming (ie stories) from the past.’
But how can we do that? The process of navigating from our old story to a new or revised story requires a ROADMAP. The ROADMAP is an integral piece of the New Life Story Wellness Coaching training that I recently completed with Dr. David Krueger. ‘Dr. Dave’, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist and executive mentor and coach is the creator of the New Life Story® coaching system, which integrates the dynamic insights of psychology and neuroscience with the principles of strategic coaching and life fulfillment. In my experience, the depth of wisdom and level of sophistication of this coaching system is unsurpassed.
I find the New Life Story Wellness Coaching system to be some of the most satisfying – and compelling – work I have experienced, both for myself and my clients. The ROADMAP process used in this coaching model is extremely effective. Here is a description:
The ROADMAP process systematically informs active listening and understanding of the participant’s own story. Beyond that, it provides structure and strategies to guide the evolution of a participant’s unique voice as he or she writes and revises a new story.
The ROADMAP (acronym for the seven steps in the creation of a new story) is a structured process by which participants deconstruct an old story and systematically construct a new or revised one. No matter whether the story has to do with life, money, relationships, career, wellness, or business, this structured process serves as a guide to transformation.
I am proud to announce the publication of Dr. Krueger’s new eBook Successful Life Story Transformations: Using the ROADMAP System to Change Mind, Brain, and Behavior and honored to have contributed to the case studies that appear in the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in moving toward a ‘New Life Story’ of their own. You can order a copy of this extraordinary eBook through Amazon via this link: http://amzn.to/1yuaSGe.
I’d love to hear your story.
What does that word bring up for you? Being a Sagittarius with Aries rising, I am all about independence. With a capital ‘I’. For a long time that manifested in me as an ‘I can do it all myself’ attitude. At its healthiest it meant that I was self-sufficient. The flip side of that meant denying people the opportunity to be of assistance, of service. And wasn’t I passionate about service? To others, to humanity, to the planet?
It wasn’t until recently that I’ve taken a different approach to independence. It came in the form of a beautiful lesson I received when I attended a training awhile ago. Part of my role at this event was to construct astrological charts for the attendees on an ‘as need’ basis – as in, ‘We need this right now!’ I sat behind a computer churning out chart after chart, sometimes for hours at a time – being of service. People would come by to check on me. One young man, a new initiate in our spiritual community was particularly earnest – “Do you need anything?” “Can I do something for you?” Each time I would automatically reply “I’m all set – thanks”.
One of the teachers came to consult with me about a chart. The young man came by, asking if we needed anything. Without blinking an eye, the teacher – a very wise woman – said, “Yes, could you get me a drink of water?” The look of joy on this young person’s face as he dashed away was indescribable, having been given the gift to be of service. The teacher didn’t need water – and I ‘got it’. I also got an opportunity to balance my Yin and Yang – my tender and assertive aspects.
Needless to say, the next time he asked if I needed anything, I gratefully requested something; more paper for the printer, a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate (after all, the Shakti was pretty thick!). And it felt really good…
A similar opportunity was presented to me last week when I attended a family wedding. I was helping with the preparations and decided to move some card tables to create more room for the abundance of food that seemed to appear out of nowhere. A shy young teenager asked if I needed help. Truth be told, I could have lifted the tables with one hand and…without blinking an eye I said “YES! I would love some help!” The look on her face? Well, you get it! Happy Independence Day!
We awoke at 5:30 that morning and were out of the house by 6:15. Of course, the pilot and crew were up and out at least an hour before us. I was visiting my family in New Mexico, and my brother Paul had arranged a hot air balloon ride for me. I know at least 5 people who have ‘hot air balloon ride’ on their bucket list. How lucky am I that Paul’s friend and neighbor Mark is a hot air balloon pilot AND he offered to take me up. A hot air balloon ride! I couldn’t believe it when Paul told me about it prior to my arrival. And now here we were, driving to the launch field in Belen, about an hour away from his house.
We drove mostly in silence, the kind of easy, comfortable silence one feels with a loved one; no words needed. The gorgeous, full moon was calling it a night, and we watched as she slipped quickly out of the perfectly clear sky, into bed, pulling up the covers of the beautifully surreal mountains that lie before us – ‘Goodnight Moon’. The dawning sun quickly took her place, and we arrived at the field to a bright, breezy and surprisingly cold morning. My excitement was mounting.
The various crews and pilots were convening, discussing the wind that threatened to put a kibosh to any flights. I hoped, hoped, hoped that we’d be able to take off.
As they assessed the situation and discussed strategy, I quickly learned that the ‘chase crew’ 1) arrived before the pilot, 2) unpacked and prepared the balloon ‘stuff’, 3) waited around while the pilot went up and, 4) drove out after the landing – wherever the balloon ended up – to pick up pilot and passengers, pack up the ‘stuff’ and go home. Huh???
Then, something happened. I relaxed into the experience, and the energy of the pilots and crews (some would say ‘fanatics’). Yes, they were grumbling about the wind, yet they were joking, grabbing donuts and goodies that had been shared by the group, trying to stay warm, catching up with each other. It was a St. Patrick’s Day flight, and many were wearing green: streamers, hats, temporary tattoos, boas. And shamrocks, lots of shamrocks. A unique group of people – non-conformists; I later described them to someone as ‘air bikers’. I didn’t understand the lingo, yet one thing was obvious – they LOVED being together, and being in the moment, regardless of the outcome.
We never went up.
And I loved it! The whole thing. The drive out with my brother, standing around waiting (and freezing!), watching this unique group of people who share the same passion and come back time after time, regardless of the outcome. The discussion, the final call. And nobody left. They stayed, we stayed and we all stood around laughing, talking and enjoying the beautiful morning.
I am a Sadhaka, and although the literal meaning is ‘someone who follows a particular sādhanā, or a way of life designed to realize the goal of one’s ultimate ideal’, I am finally starting to get that each experience – each triumph, each setback, each windy day and ‘no fly’ call – is a precious reminder that indeed, the journey is the destination. Om Namah Shivaya Shivaya Shiva!
‘Teach me to listen to the song of the Earth’. That is the byline on my email signature. And listen I do. Today I will be doing something in addition to listening. Today I will be joining many others as we sing a sonic Valentine to our Beloved Gaia on World Sound Healing Day.
When I was a child I loved the hymn ‘This is my Father’s World’. I still sing it today, especially when I am walking on the grounds of the Mystery School. The first stanza of the hymn is:
‘This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears, All nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres’.
I never gave much thought to the phrase ‘Music of the Spheres’ as a child. After all, there were so many phrases that didn’t make sense to me in the hymns I sang. It’s only been in the past few years that I became curious about that phrase. ‘Music of the Spheres’ refers to the intertwined relationship between the structures of music and those of the physical world. It is a conscious awareness of mystical or spiritual qualities being transmitted through sound.
I invite you to join me today – and every day – in making ‘a joyful noise’, whether it be through song, laughter, japa, chanting, or the use of communication as a healing tool.
Happy Valentine’s Day Beloved Gaia!
I’m doing things a little differently this year. Yes, I know that’s what we all say, but here’s my twist. In this new year I have made the decision to ‘Evolve’ instead of ‘Resolve’. I even ‘evolved into this blog post, waiting, incubating and gently falling – instead of jumping – into what I wanted to share. Maybe it’s my Venus in Scorpio… or perhaps it’s because, according to numerology, 2014 is described as a year of Introspection for me.
I’ve been thinking about how I want to manifest this year. It feels important to me. ‘Monumental’ was the word used by one of the astrological sites I consult. This feeling started coming in to me in early December. But can one year be more important than another? It really does have to do with ‘evolution’ – each year, each day, each action building on the other. I have decided that my motto for this year is ‘The best way to predict your future is to create it’. I will be doing just that by looking within for the guidance, creativity and motivation that is bubbling up from deep inside my ‘Self’.
So why the kaleidoscope picture? Well, it’s because my favorite way to enjoy a kaleidoscope is to twist the chamber ever…so…slowly, savoring each small nuance of change. Did you ever notice that you can’t go ‘back’ on a kaleidoscope? It’s never the same. Can you look back at your life and see how the many small changes all add up to who you are today? I’m spending some time doing that and liking what I see.
Happy New Year!
I received an amazing gift yesterday. Even better than the 12-string guitar I received on my 15th Christmas. It wasn’t a gift that I could touch or see, yet it touched me deeply, and gave me clarity and in’sight’. It was the gift of love; connecting with like-minded souls who have the same yearnings, the same thirst for knowledge and the same open hearts. Some were new friends, some old friends – all seeking (whether they know it or not) to grow and evolve in this incarnation, this physical body, and sharing the pain and joy and wonder of it all. We gathered together to take an Alchemical Scents Journey with the 3 Magi to receive a gift from the Christ child.
I AM THAT I AM – this meditation is playing in the background as I write this post. All mystical revelations, all paths, are based upon the I AM. God is often known as the I AM. The Judeo-Christian as well as Eastern paths are all infused with the I AM power. Jesus said, “I AM the Light of the world.” Rumi, the great Sufi poet, wrote:
I am neither a Moslem nor a Hindu
I am not Christian, Zoroastrian, nor Jew.
My place is the no-place
My image is without face
Neither of body nor the soul
I am of the Divine Whole.
Our little group experienced that yesterday, I think. Hearts reaching out and touching hearts, silently praying ‘Take me as I AM’. And we did, and it was beautiful.
May your heart be newborn this Christmas.
‘Bradford pear -Orrnamental’ said the tag. Not known for their fruit, which is typically less than an inch in diameter, I figured nonetheless it would look pretty in the spring. I planted the tiny sapling right in the middle of the backyard which overlooks our serene 7 acre property.
As it grew and blossomed, fruitless yet beautiful, I began to see it as an obstruction to the meadow and the farmland behind it. I began to look past it. Two years ago I found a pear – one pear – on the ground underneath the tree, and my first thought was “Where on earth did that pear come from?”. ‘Cut it down’ a little voice whispered. The following year wasn’t much better – 3 or 4 pears. The voice got louder ‘Cut it down’. I spent my time looking past the pear tree out into the meadow and beyond. During our walks the dogs and I all but ignored it, moving quickly to the meadow paths we loved to explore.
Then, late this spring during a walk with the dogs they caught my eye…hundreds of blossoms with the beginnings of tiny pears. Now, each day we began our walk with a visit to the pear tree that was smothered with fruit. It was like watching a pregnant woman unfold, and the womb-shaped fruit was a visual symbol of growth, new life, ‘fruitfulness’. How is she today? I hope the windstorm didn’t cause her any damage. Too much rain? Not enough?
Delivery day has arrived, and the pears are ripe and luscious, dropping to the ground in their heaviness. The dogs race me to the tree, gorging on the bounty that is spread out like a picnic. Each morning I lie beneath the tree with them, looking in wonderment at this miracle of nature. Eating the pears warm, freshly plucked and vibrantly alive, I feel like a fetus tethered to the umbilical cord of my Mother, Gaia. My gratitude knows no bounds.
The Mahavatar Babaji Mystery School of Rochester, NY is part of the Taoist Yogi Christ Lineage of Mahavatar Babaji and offers opportunities for deep spiritual and metaphysical studies. The Mystery School hosts classes and events focused on healing, meditation, spiritual astrology, numerology, tarot, eastern occult doctrine, mystical philosophy and theology, metaphysical shamanism, among others.
For more information on current classes and workshops, please visit our events page.
For information on our sister school, the Mahavatar Babaji Mystery School of Connecticut, located in Newtown, click here.
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