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Archive for April, 2012

 

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Dearest Mother Earth.

On this Earth Day 2012, as we celebrate and commemorate the day, I write on behalf of humankind. I earnestly beg you to forgive us for all of the disrespect, ungratefulness, and sheer rudeness we have exhibited toward you; all which has brought us to this moment. We have littered the forests, the meadows, the highways, the byways. We have polluted the soil, the ponds, rivers, even the vast sea. We have released into the air we inhale, our breaths of life, fumes and chemicals that bring us to tears. Air is a divine mixture of gases – 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen – with traces of water vapor, carbon dioxide, argon, and various other components; what have we done to our very sustenance? Each day we inhale around 14,000 liters of air as we take about 26,000 breaths (that’s equivalent to about 150 full bathtubs). We no longer know what we are breathing because we chose not to honor your divine mixture.

We have contaminated the ecosystems shifting the balance so much that the climate is changing, so much, that the seasons are becoming unrecognizable, natural disasters are increasing, and noticeable not in the seasons that once they normally occurred.  We have poisoned the ocean and now the sea life, the fish, the shrimp, numerous ocean dwellers are becoming mutated; we destroyed the forest so now bears and other animals feel compelled to come into town. In a word, we have trashed our home.

Yet, in spite of this Mother Earth, you give us glimpses into your heavenly ability to rejuvenate yourself if we only choose to respect your grandeur. Each day we come face to face with what we’ve done to you, and now green is in vogue. So often, when someone wrongs another, pride and ego keeps them from uttering the words. “I’m Sorry.” Well, I am taking the liberty to say on this your day, we are genuinely sorry, and daily we have to confront ourselves in the mirror and recognize that we must change or we will soon all become homeless. The Earth provides nourishment for over 7 billion people everyday. 

Although it may not seem to be the case, we do sincerely love you Mother Earth, and now its time to show you.

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Are you addicted to your story? Are you present?

     For six weeks, Oprah Winfrey is taking her Life Class on the road, kicking it off in St. Louis, Missouri and of course on the internet’s super highway. The aim of this Life Class is to provide us all with insights and tools so that we can make our lives more fulfilling, so that we can unleash our divine greatness.

      The first thought leader to take the teaching stage was Iyanla Vanzant, author and spiritual thought teacher. If you’ve missed the classes, they are posted on Winfrey’s website.  The pair discussed that before you can move forward you must deal with your pain. This led to two compelling questions, “Are you living and masking pain in your life?” and “Are you addicted to your story?”

   Vanzant, through interactions with the audience and in direct conversation with attendees who were brave enough to share their personal struggles on the stage, pointed out that far too many of us replace our addictions to drugs, sex, food, shopping, gambling, whatever, to our story…our past mistakes, failures, our past pain.  The spiritual thought teacher pointed out that for some of us our conversation is a daily replay of all the pain and problems that have occurred in our lives. Quite compelling as you think about it, as many of us cannot recognize, harness and unleash our opportunities in life, work or business because we are truly stuck in the past, addicted to learned hopelessness.

    Where are you? When your name is called are you staring into the past or gazing into the future? Are you reliving your past on a daily basis, or are you dreaming about and banking on what the future may bring? I challenge you to take a look at your life and ask yourself the question, “Are You Present?”        

     Learning to live “in the present” is far more difficult than one may realize. Learning to enjoy the life that you have today, learning to be grateful for what you have, and learning to enjoy the gift of life one day at a time are things that escape most of us.  Some of us have gotten into such stifling patterns in our lives that we no longer realize that we are literally hovering out of bounds. Some of us have one or both feet in the past; one foot in the past and another in the future, or some of us have our feet rooted somewhere in the future just waiting for a new day to dawn. How many of us can honestly say that we are fully living in the present?

     When you sit quietly thinking, do you spend all of your time wondering how events or relationships would have turned out if you had made different choices? Do you still grapple with anger, guilt or past hurts? Do you still find it difficult to forgive people who have hurt or wronged you? Or do you obsess about past situations trying to uncover ways to have those same experiences again and again?

     Don’t get me wrong learning from the past is a good thing, as is planning for the future. But if all of your time is spent focused on the past and the future, what are you doing to enjoy life and pursue your goals right now, this present moment. 

    It is so easy to allow past hurts, disappointment and the wrongs that people have done to us control our lives and our actions. The person can be long gone, the event long past and still we have not let it go and moved on with our lives. Carrying baggage from relationships and love gone bad plagues far too many present-day relationships eventually causing them to crash and burn. Often the wounds from our childhood and youthful days have not been cleansed. We have not sought spiritual healing and instead these remaining scars fester seeping into the present and on into the future.

   When we refuse to live life in the present, we are not allowing change to enter into our lives. When we do not live in the present, it is difficult for us to appreciate all of the goodness that is being bestowed upon us, and it is even more difficult for us to embrace the opportunities that are knocking at our door, beckoning us to develop our gifts and talents in service to others and for our own personal fulfillment.

    The past is gone and you cannot change it. The only thing that the past can do for you is provide you with life lessons that can help you to live better in the present and even more joyfully in the future.  When we dwell in the past we almost become like a programmed robot, repeating the same actions, choices and behaviors over and over again.  We have in fact become addicted to our stories. Why? We have not left our past and shifted into the present.  When we feel guilt, it is because we are focused on the past; when we feel fear, it is because we are focused on the future.  Both of these mental situations do nothing but drain us and cause us a tremendous amount of unneeded stress. This way of thinking is truly a waste of our energy because in the final analysis all we have right now is this present moment.

   When you live in the present you are fully aware of all of the things you are thinking, feeling and doing. By being present you are seeing things and people as they are and you are not allowing your present to be dominated by your past or how someone use to be. Being present means that fear, anger, disappointment, hurt or even past success are not clouding your view of things today. Two people can experience the same event but have totally different perceptions. This is due in part to the amount of emotional and spiritual baggage that the person is still carrying around with them. 

    Strive to live “in the present” and enjoy your life today. Bring closure to past events, old hurts and negative relationships that do nothing but assault your spirit and your personal well-being.  When you find yourself dwelling in the past, gently nudge yourself; then ask the questions, “Am I addicted to my story? Am I living in the?” Quickly get in touch with what you are really feeling and then ease on back into the present.

    Remember situations and circumstances do not define us, they reveal us. We all have a story, just make certain you are creating one filled with possibility!

 

 

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