When I read about Eve Ensler’s global initiative to end violence against women and children, something stirred my soul and I cried. And not just for the women and girls around the world who have endured unimaginable pain and suffering, but also for my dear friends who are living (and some who are not) with the aftermath of sexual abuse. These wounds can be healed, but it takes a tremendous amount of work. How much better to put an end to this barbaric behavior by supporting the evolution of mankind. So tomorrow on Valentine’s Day, I’ll be dancing along with women in 197 countries. I hope you’ll join us!
“Specific guidance for living your life well lies in your dreams. Like a blank canvas, they provide a medium where both intuition and your unconscious can freely experss themselves. You have only to listen.” – Judith Orloff, M.D.
A year before I moved to New York, the crowd dreams started. Night after night I found myself surrounded by throngs moving en masse on a city sidewalk. Nothing in the dreams indicated where I was or what I was doing in this place, but considering that I was living on a farm in Maine at the time and had no plans to relocate, they seemed bizarre. Yet I didn’t question them. I was too busy growing and preserving vegetables, baking bread, cooking meals, running a food co-op, writing a cookbook and nipping into Bangor for the occasional modeling job. Then one day I woke up and realized that almost everything I was doing revolved around food. It was time for a change.
After I landed in New York, I remembered the dreams. Clearly they had come to prepare me for the transition from my isolated country existence to the gritty, mind-numbing, high-octane reality of my new life.
Many years, another cross-country move, and several career changes later, I began having food dreams. Dandelion roots. Carrot and celery sticks. Watercress. Potato seeds. Sliced radishes and hard peppermint candies. Loaves of bread and bags of rolls stashed away for so long that they disintegrated when picked up. What could all this mean? Despite the distance I’d put between myself and the farm, I seemed to be preoccupied with food again. What was I being prepared for this time?
The answer came with the cupcake dream:
I’m in a large room filled with people. An announcement is made that lunch will be served shortly and waiters bring out big platters with salads and place them on long tables as people begin lining up for a buffet. I’m not hungry, so I wait until the line has dwindled before going up to see what’s left. I take a small piece of rare, thinly-sliced beef, I look up and see them––CUPCAKES! They’re inside a cabinet with glass doors behind the buffet table and Sandra Bullock is sitting on a stool in front of the cabinet. I approach Ms. Bullock and politely ask if I may please have a cupcake, specifically the one with silver frosting and a purple charm in the center. She turns around, unlocks and opens the cabinet, reaches in and hands me a wholewheat muffin encased in brioche paper. Even though it’s not a cupcake, I nibble a bit from the top and then ask Ms. B if I might please have a cupcake with frosting. As before, she turns around, retrieves another muffin just like the one I have already and hands it to me.
Western psychologists interpret dreams in a number of ways, but all seem to agree that the world of dreams is a mysterious place. Indigenous peoples see this realm as a powerful one that can be manipulated to change our daytime lives. In their book, Awakening to the Spirit World, Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman tell us that dreams connect our everyday selves with our souls: “Dreaming carries the experiences of the body to your soul and conveys your soul’s guidance to the body personality.”
Without much thought, I came to the conclusion that my very wise Higher Self was telling me to stop eating sugar. I already knew that sugar was not my friend and I had cut back on my consumption of sugary treats, so I was a bit perplexed by this message. But recently I learned that my total cholesterol level is too high. And sugar raises triglycerides.
Okay, I think I’ve got it. No more cupcakes! And maybe I should eat more greens and a few more carrot and celery sticks. Oh, and fresh is good. And maybe I need to clean out my closets.
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If you’ve been agonizing over the Gulf crisis, you may be relieved to know that there’s something you can do that doesn’t require grabbing your hazmat suit and hopping on a plane to New Orleans.
A group of global visionaries put out a call last month to join them in an experiment in collective consciousness, The Gulf Call to Sacred Action. You simply sign up online to listen and participate in what is hoped to be the beginning of a new global movement of planetary healing.
The first call on June 26th led by Deepak Chopra, Lynne McTaggart, and Jean Houston, focused on setting intention. Deepak started by sharing an old Cree proverb:
“Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
Of all the Evolutionary Leaders on the call, Lynne McTaggart, author, scientist, and architect of The Intention Experiments, has the most experience in the use of collective intention. Having conducted 21 large-scale experiments, she’s determined the effectiveness of her subjects’ focused attention on scientifically quantifiable targets in laboratories around the globe.
Lynne’s call to action for the Gulf crisis included finding positive intentions for BP; finding ways to move beyond our reliance on petroleum; and healing the rift between mankind and nature. She then challenged us to ‘power up’, focus, and actively imagine with all five senses BP correcting the Gulf situation as soon as possible while visualizing all the ecosystems restored to perfect health and imagining our connection with everyone else on the call. By working together in a group, it’s hoped that new and creative solutions will emerge that can be carried forward to change other world events.
To step up our collective efforts, Lynne has suggested that we send the following intention to BP’s engineers every day at 1pm EST, mentally imagining their success:
“My intention is for BP’s engineers to immediately and successfully divert the Deepwater Horizon oil leak with no long-term damage to the environment.”
Jean Houston, Senior Consultant to the UN in Human Development and co-director of The Foundation of Mind Research, suggested that we see this collective intention as an accomplished fact. She looks at this tragedy as the beginning of a new story – our entry into “high-level civilization” – a masterpiece of possibility to create new ways of being. To move humanity forward, she suggests that we use our senses more, explore our imaginations, and learn to nourish and support positive emotions. With a collective mind, we can empower higher modes of knowing that will empower those attempting to stop the oil hemorrhaging into the Gulf.
Barbara Marx Hubbard, President of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution and co-founder of the World Future Society, believes that we may look back at this environmental catastrophe that has the potential to make the entire earth uninhabitable as the best thing that ever happened to us. Crisis proceeds transformation.
So there you are. Don’t you feel better already? I know I do. For me, joining with a group of dedicated people focused on healing the planet beats sitting around feeling helpless mired in the negativity of anger and resentment. The next call is Tuesday, July 6th at 8:30 pm EST. I hope you’ll join in!
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A few months ago, I stumbled upon six guys dancing their guts out to wild African music on So You Think You Can Dance. I got so excited that I jumped up and started moving. And I promised myself right then and there that I would find a way to start dancing again.
DANCE had been at the top of my ‘to do’ list for years. But every time I even thought about dancing, my goblin appeared and provided a laundry list of reasons why I couldn’t do it. I was too busy. I didn’t need to dance because I was doing Tai Chi. And besides, I couldn’t possibly find a decent school; after all, I didn’t live in New York any more.
But after my reading with Dr. Steven Farmer last fall when he advised that dancing would help bring about the changes I felt coming, something shifted and I was finally able to give myself permission to do what I wanted to do.
All of a sudden, I had plenty of time. And a quick Google search revealed a dance school affiliated with a world-renowned dance company within walking distance from my house. Best of all, the school’s mission to provide students an opportunity ‘to re-connect heart and mind’ could not have been more perfect for me.
From the very first class, I was hooked. The teacher was so full of joy and passion that even though I hadn’t put my body through such a rigorous workout for a quarter century, I made every effort to jump and leap across the floor with the 20- and 30-somethings.
I’m not saying I succeeded. In fact, I could barely follow the choreography and my lungs were imploding halfway through the class. As I walked home – very slowly – every muscle, every sinew, every tendon – in short, every cell in my body was screaming, “What have you done? What do you think you’re doing?”
It was my goblin again. But this time I wasn’t going to listen. I loved the feeling of pure joy I’d experienced so much that I knew I had but one choice, and that was to put my goblin to rest and step outside my self-imposed prison.
Spiritual intuitive Colette Baron-Reid uses the term goblin to describe the shadow self whose job it is to keep us stuck in our current reality. When our intuition surfaces encouraging us to do something that would disrupt the status quo, the goblin does its best to keep us from paying attention to it. According to Reid, we can free ourselves from this entity by acknowledging it and transforming it into an ally.
Cellular biologist and pioneer in the science of epigenetics, Dr. Lipton produced breakthrough studies in the early ’80’s connecting the principles of quantum physics and the information-processing systems of the cell. His research showed that the outer layer of the cell is the cell’s equivalent of the brain. This ‘cellular intelligence’ allows the exterior environment to operate through the cell membrane and to control the cell’s behavior and physiology. These discoveries not only challenged the established scientific belief that life is controlled by the genes, but also pointed to the power of the mind.
How exciting is that? If our cells respond to our thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions, it would seem that we can use our conscious mind to create health, happiness, abundance – anything and everything we desire. But this is possible only if our thoughts are in harmony with our subconscious programming.
Over the past decade, Dr. William A. Tiller, Professor Emeritus of Stanford University’s Department of Materials Science, has expanded the proof that human intention does affect physical reality. When we repeat emotional processes over and over, our brains create neural pathways that direct our behavior. Using brain scans, Dr. Tiller’s research showed that when we imagine something long enough and with enough detail and energy, new neural networks are created.
This would explain why meditation, visualization, and affirmations work. Simply making the choice for a change can work, too. If you’ve been yearning to do/create/try something new and you’re meeting with resistance, look your goblin straight in the eye and JUST DO IT!
*Thanks to celebrity portrait photographer and recording artist Lynn Goldsmith for the title of this post inspired by her self-help comedy album of the same name.
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Ever since I saw Julie & Julia, I’ve been shouting out random two-syllable words like CUPCAKE and BUSHTIT in a voice that somewhat resembles that of Julia Child. It’s not that I’m trying to mimic her distinctive diction – it just feels good. No, wait – let me be completely honest here – it feels GREAT! The reason behind this uncharacteristic disruptive behaviour is that I am finally finding my voice.
After seeing The September Issue, R. J. Cutler’s documentary that chronicles the production of Vogue’s biggest, fattest issue ever, I think that Anna Wintour may need to look for her voice, too. Judging from the way people around her react when she moves a finger or lifts an eyebrow, it’s clear that she doesn’t really need to speak to convey her thoughts. But watching her in this film, I could almost ‘see’ steel hoops encasing her torso and her throat, and I wanted to cry out, “Break free, Anna! Let it go!”
Maybe Anna’s reserve can be attributed to the cameras that followed her around for 8-1/2 months. And for all I know, she’s a veritable chatterbox at home. But somehow I doubt it. Years ago when I worked in the public relations department at Tiffany & Co., I helped Anna pick out jewelry and accessories for her fashion spreads in New York magazine. She didn’t say much back then, either, and from her demeanor, I just assumed she was shy.
I don’t know what’s behind those sunglasses, but I feel Anna’s pain. Until recently, I didn’t talk unless it was absolutely necessary. I know my friends would discount that statement, but that’s how it felt to me. When faced with the opportunity to voice an opinion or to recount a story, I chose to remain silent. The trouble with holding back is that unexpressed thoughts and feelings get stuck in our bodies and they can manifest in illness.
According to John C. Pierrakos, M. D., author of Core Energetics: Developing the Capacity to Love and Heal, “The constrictions of energy are not isolated dysfunctions. They are blocks of stultified energy that trammel the physical body in skeletomuscular rigidities, and also disrupt the higher planes of energy, thus affecting mental attitudes.”
So, as I go about my day loudly repeating nonsensical two-syllable words and phrases, I’m thinking of Julia who was filled with joie de vivre and was so unabashedly herself. And I’m thinking of Anna with her perfectly coiffed blonde bob and her hands in her lap just so, hoping that my perception of her rigid, good-little-girl demeanor is just a reminder of the work I have yet to do.
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