Where do you stand this Election?

 

 This year Americans have an important decision to make; the election of a President. We are at a crossroads… continue moving forward or change course completely and head in the opposite direction. Regardless of your political views, voting is paramount to preserving our way of life. Your vote means more than ever as the fate of the world and our very freedom depend on it.

There is a lot of misleading information and fear-based advertising geared to confuse the American voter as well as international community. However, there is truth underneath all the rhetoric when we really listen to the candidates and look at the facts. Facts don’t lie; interpretation does because it’s subjective and based upon individual viewpoints, beliefs and feelings. The dangerous part is that emotions are fickle and not logic based. They blind us to the facts of a situation and cause distraction from solutions to real problems. However you feel about the state of our country, or the issues we face, one thing is for certain; we are all in this together. And, we all need one another to prosper and thrive. Rich, poor, young, elderly, disabled, in-firmed  Black, White, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, women and men.

The world looks to the United States for stability and support. There is no room for error or distraction by personal or corporate agenda’s. The planet needs our cooperation and respect of its natural resources. We are the pillar of democracy for the world and even though we appear politically divided, we must remain united as a nation; regardless of what political party we belong to.

So what does all this mean? It means, we must put aside fear, hatred, ignorance, and greed in order to do what is best for the country as a whole. It means, that we each play an important role in our countries future and thus the future our children will inherent. Exercising our right to vote is one of those activities that fulfill our civil obligations. It means that each person must take responsibility for their actions and hold themselves accountable for the choices they make. It also means that we must hold our elected officials accountable for the actions they take and ensure they represent the best interests of America as a whole!

We are each powerful instruments for change and we must use our individual power to unite as One in order to ensure domestic equality and freedom as well as maintain international peace and prosperity. Take a step back and evaluate the needs of your community, state, and country? What are the needs of the all citizens and of all people in the world? Safety, security, food, shelter, healthcare, education, clean water, and acceptance. What are the needs of this planet we call home? How can we best meet these needs?

Vote for the candidates that will best serve everyone. The country and world need your support.


 

Are you Happy?

We are One; inextricably connected. In bringing joy and comfort joy to others, we receive everlasting joy and fulfillment. In waking up to these universal principles, we release selfish motives and dysfunctional patterns of behavior. So what are you willing to do differently on your quest for happiness, prosperity, and purpose?

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Happy Birthday America!

 Yesterday was our nation’s 236th Birthday! How did you celebrate? If you’re like most American’s you enjoyed an outdoor BBQ with family and friends. Perhaps you splashed in some water or visited a National Park. Whatever activities you choose, we all celebrated Freedom!

We live in a great nation of hero’s and patriots. According to legends of America, a “Hero, is a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities Patriot is a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.  

I believe that every citizen falls into one of the above categories due to our big hearts and generosity. From sea to shining sea, we are a land of diversity and beauty.  I am grateful for our government, and all the public services that are available to each and every citizen as well as visitor. I appreciate all the branches of the military and their families for all of their sacrifices in ensuring our way of life; freedom!

Thank You my fellow countrymen and women for your patriotism. Wave your flags proudly and show your appreciation. Visit the many national monuments in Washington DC and learn about our nation’s history. Happy Birthday America~ I love you!

Declare Your Independence!

Fourth of July is almost here; a time to celebrate our (United States of America) independence from Great Britain. Unrest from the colonists began the  American Revolution as a way to assert their independence and more than a year later the Continental Congress was formed. A special committee was formed and the Declaration of Independence was created and then finalized and signed on July 4th, 1776.

The freedoms declared in this document, were the building blocks of the freedoms we enjoy today. Yet, how free do most of us feel? How often do you allow fear or challenging circumstances to control your life?

The Declaration of Independence states that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Instead of allowing economic pressures and political unrest to dictate your life, declare your independence from fear and stop oppressing yourself with negativity, doubt and despair. Poverty is a state of mind; one can have limited to no income and still choose to be happy, grateful and free. Believing in lack and limitation only create more evidence of lack and limitation. The media is a breeding ground for fear, bombarding us with negative information all the time; unemployment rates, foreclosure statistics, reports of crime and political unrest. We think there is “not enough” work, money, food, affordable housing, and opportunity; however, the reality is that there are thousands of jobs available, plenty of food sources, an abundance of housing and unlimited opportunities. We are FREE to choose where to work or create our own business in order to earn as much money as we want. We are free to buy a house/condo/townhouse or rent. We are free to grow our own food, use coupons or bargain shop for the best deals on everyday consumables (food, soap, paper products, gas, etc). We are free to voice our opinions and vote on elected officials as well as keep them accountable in representing our best interests. We are free to choose our thoughts, actions, and behavior at all times. Thus, we truly are independent and yet interdependent since our actions, behavior and attitude affect everyone around us.

When investors panic, the stock market goes down, affecting the U.S and global markets. When we’re stressed and unhappy, we tend to make mistakes, over-react, and complain. When we’re not in gratitude of all that we do have or what’s working in our lives, our perspective is clouded by judgement that is a breeding ground for unrest. These decisions lead to choices that have a ripple effect on the people around us, the entire nation and around the world.  Fear is contagious, but so is positivity.

By declaring our independence from these negative ideas and influences, we can experience the freedom that is our birthright and stop oppressing ourselves. We can find the happiness our forefathers declared when we live in the moment and take advantage of the freedoms that are available to us today! It’s up to us. What will you choose; freedom or bondage?  For me, the choice is clear; enjoy freedom in accepting my right to life, liberty and happiness.

I hope you join me in this declaration today and allow yourself to celebrate all the freedom that available right here and now!

Are you in good company?

What kind of people are in your life? Typical circles of support consist of family and friends; however are all of these people positive influences in your life? Maybe not; let’s see.

Immediate family knows you best, and so they are more likely to be very protective of you in order to show their love. Many times, family members interject their own doubt and fear onto us, although they are well-meaning. While their motives are from a loving place, criticism or other negative comments can zap our ideas before they start.

Some families aren’t close at all and may even be toxic (destructive/unhealthy). If your family is unsupportive and dysfunctional; don’t despair, as you are not alone. Awakening to the truth about your family dynamics is essential in protecting yourself from becoming too vulnerable by expecting the impossible. Seek support from other people who can act like a “surrogate family” for you and provide a loving, support system that you deserve. Try attending support groups or get involved in a church community that inspires, motivates and supports.

Friends are supports of our choosing, so we automatically think they have our best interests at heart. Unfortunately, not all of our friends are positive influences in our lives and can actually be detrimental. Sometimes, friendships start out for one reason, such as co-workers or schoolmates, then shift as our interests and personality changes. Everyone is constantly changing and growing; this is a normal, human process that occurs organically.

In order to avoid this, practice the skill of discernment while confiding in family or friends. Ask yourself who are the people in your life whom you want to share your innermost desires (goals, feelings, ideas, plans, dreams) with? Who do you trust and admire? Who is the best listener?

Being in good company is about paying attention to all the influences in our lives and discerning which ones are beneficial from those that are harmful. Being around “Negative Nancy’s”,  “Gossip Queens”, or “needy people”, can drain the life right out of a person; zapping energy, time, and/or positivity. While it is true that not everyone in your circle of support will be your best friend, it’s imperative to identify people you can confide in who will really listen and provide positive/encouraging support. It’s also important to set clear boundaries with everyone in your life in order to be happy and successful.

We all need each other on this journey called life and keeping good company ensures that only the best influences (people) in our lives permeate our minds and hearts. This love, truth and positivity is the encouragement needed to propels us to greater heights.

Lisa’s Top Summer Reading Pic

This is my favorite book of the summer; Gift from the Sea from Anne        Morrow Lindbergh. It’s an inspirational story written in the early 1950’s about a woman who went on a retreat-style vacation to Florida’s Captiva Island where she reflected on lessons of love, marriage, youth, age, peace, solitude, and contentment. Lindbergh used seashells for inspiration and as metaphors for all stages of life.

This compelling book is a must read for women of all ages and its simple, essay-style meditations make time stand still. I found myself not wanting to put it down and yet each chapter called me to reflect on its message for me. Lindbergh starts with the notion that “every person, especially women, should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week, and each day“. I’ve heard this practice referred to it as taking “mental health days”, but the idea of a solitary vacation is a stretch I’ve never considered. Not many Americans take annual family vacations, let alone solitary retreats. We live in a fast-paced culture that demands constant activity. Everyone seems to be on a roller-coaster schedule; children included. Stress related illnesses are prevalent. Yet where has this landed us? Divorce is at an all-time high, depression and addiction plague our youth and poverty is on the rise. For all of our frantic activities, most of us aren’t any happier or better off. Gift from the Sea offers a time-out of one’s busy schedule for personal reflection and inspiration.

Lindbergh talks about the importance of finding an “inner stillness” that is devoid of all outward activities. Lingbergh quotes Charles Morgan who describes it as “stilling the soul within the activities of mind and body so that it might be still as the axis of a revolving wheel is still“. For me, I find this stillness in the quiet of meditation; however it is available in a myriad of repetitive activities such as jogging, distance walking, or even yoga. From this stillness comes understanding, inspiration, creativity and a refueling of the Soul that is priceless. Inner stillness is also paramount to dissolving fear, problem solving, and finding the meaning to one’s life.

As for the rest of the lessons, you’ll have to read the book. Pick up a copy at Amazon.com or your favorite bookseller today. At just 132 pages, you will be able to read it in an afternoon at the beach and re-read all summer long.

Enjoy!

 

Living in the Land of Plenty

As American’s, it’s easy to say we live in the land of plenty because of all the economic opportunities our freedom allows. Often people from poor countries view the U.S. as “the land of milk and honey” traveling far and wide to be here and “get their piece of the pie”. Alternatively, there are citizens here who feel the pains of poverty (physically or mentally), hunger, fear, and oppression. These ideas may seem impossible to those from other parts of the world, but its true nonetheless for these people. Americans have the highest levels of depression and other psychiatric illnesses than anyone in the world. We work ourselves into the ground out of necessity or ambition with little down-time and even less serenity. Why? In the pursuit of happiness? How can this be so when opportunity is all around us? I think the answer is simple; many people are living from a place of lack and limitation. A belief that there is never enough which translates into hopelessness and fear. We compair ourselves with others instead of recognizing all that we have. Although the truth is that Americans have the greatest freedoms and opportunity for happiness than most, we haven’t been taught how to grasp the ideas of plenty. We haven’t been taught the language of Abundance.

Living in the land of plenty is all about “abundance consciousness”. When we can turn our attention to all the blessings in our lives now, we realize there is more than enough food, water, shelter, clothing, work and money for everyone. There is plenty for all the necessities of life and then some. According to John Randolph Price in The Abundance Book, “Abundance in the physical world is an outpicturing of a prosperity consciousness, so work from within. The higher your consciousness, the greater your prosperity.” This means that we have control of our manifestation of abundance by the way we think, feel and act. Therefore, living in the land of plenty is truly a matter of perspective or belief.

The word “plenty” has many connotations for people depending on our background and personal/spiritual beliefs. What does it mean to you? Where does your mind go when you think about it? Money…Security? According to the dictionary, plenty means “a full or abundant supply or amount; the state or quality of being plentiful; more than sufficient; ample”. Consider what living in plenty means to you. I’ll bet that when you do, a peace and joy that surpasses all understanding will wash over you filling in all the empty places where doubt, fear and lack once lived. Try it and let me know your results.

Namaste’
Rev. Lisa

Excellent article on when it’s time to share.

You are NOT alone!

The time has come to put aside individual greed, discord and corruption in order to awaken to the larger reality of a world that works for everyone; regardless of class, stature, or faith. No matter how depressed or alone you may feel; the Truth is, you are NOT alone. Although American culture prides itself on individuality, productivity and capitalism, there is a great deal more to life.

The world is home to all of humanity and despite contrary belief, there is plenty of food, water, shelter and medicine for every woman, man and being as well as animal on this planet. There are untapped resources that work in harmony to correct pollution, disease, homelessness, fear and hopelessness. These resources are a combination of physical and spiritual laws of nature that ensure our survival. 2012 is a time to emerge our collective consciousness with thoughts of plenty, peace and harmony. The days of isolation are over. Truth is, we have never been really alone; but have separated ourselves from our Divine essence. This Spiritual core is inherent to everyone, regardless of religious beliefs.

Faith is merely a path to enlightenment; a path to freedom from oppression. A path to greater love through acceptance and forgiveness instead of hatred or ignorance. There are many paths to God and all are just as long as they don’t harm another. There is no need to fight for conformity because there is no threat; only a belief in control, greed, fear and ego. This way of thinking is what separates people from each other and causes war. Even those who fight in the name of God, are driven by fear and anger. If we respond in kind, we only perpetuate the problem. Again, we are not alone. It is merely an illusion.

So I challenge you to consider the idea that Oneness. Awaken to the Truth that is deep inside of you that beats to the collective heartbeat. Synchronicize your thoughts and actions with your highest Self (whatever you call it) and befriend one another as we are all family. Think loving thoughts and perform loving deeds. Release any wrongs, fear, doubt, or anger through forgiveness and acceptance of what’s more important…. peace & harmony. When you do this, all feelings of separation will disappear and fade into the nothingness from which they came. It is the individual who holds grudges. It is Spirit who binds humanity together.

Namaste’
(A Sandskrit word meaning the Spirit in me, see’s greets and honors the Spirit in you.)

Awaken to Yourself!

“The universe will fill your cup — if you carry a big cup, a little cup, or a thimble!”
Sonia Choquette 

 Meditating in this Zen Garden, would easily renew a sense of tranquility and peace, but what if you don’t have a garden? Not to worry. Re-fueling our dreams and renewing our hope is possible anywhere. All that is required is a quiet moment (or several) and focused breathing. This little exercise will automatically restore clarity and energy as well as boost your attitude as well as outlook on everything.

Try clearing your mind right now. Close your eyes (or stare at this picture) and simply breathe deeply, allowing your belly to gently push out while inhaling and contract when exhaling. Many times we tend to breathe from our chest shallowly, which only creates more anxiety or stress. By simply remembering to breathe from the belly, our body will naturally…

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