Romance is Good for the Heart

Late for a meeting, mounds of traffic and I’m Zen as a Tibetan Monk.  Butterflies which usually fly in formation in my tummy area have gone rogue.  It’s the mutiny of butterflies and coherent thought.  Yesterday seemed like a distant memory with computer problems, rude drivers and lost reservations.  Today is heaven on earth, I am lost in a day fantasy and every love song on the radio is meant for me.  I am in love.

Everyone has a memory like this.  A time you were “head over heels in love”.  That juicy time when your eyes twinkle and delight is the order of the day.  The entire feeling spills over into the rest of your world.  The feeling is not limited to your “beloved”, instead you have a renewed sense of life, take risks with all kinds of things from conversations you would never have, to trying a new food.  You are considerate of others, listen rather than talk over, and generally love life.

Even though romance and molecular biology seem unlikely partners, research has shown that this feeling of being in love is actually good for your physical heart.  How you ask?  According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, a stem cell biologist, recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, it’s quite an affair.  He calls it the “Honeymoon Effect.”

It’s true!   When you feel “in love” all the cells in your body feel the vibration of love too!  What does that mean in layman’s language?  Each cell is responding to your signal of love and happiness and transmits that to your brain.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that when your cells are head-over-heels in love vibration mode, they work and function a whole lot better than if they are receiving signals of irritation.

Lipton says it best, “the cell is a data ‘chip’. . . constantly transmitting to the brain for interpretation.”  Most of you are familiar with the old computer slogan, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).  If you believe you will be sick, your mind will coordinate your cells to make it true.  Conversely if you transmit signals suggesting you are vibrant and healthy, our mind again will go about making that happen.

As you recall that sensory memory of being in love, re-create it today for yourself about yourself.  Focus on your own heart; send that romantic feeling of love, appreciation, caring, kindness, generosity of spirit and these emotions will immediately shift your heart rhythms to that of vitality and vibrancy.  You will reduce stress hormones and even create the anti-aging hormone DHEA.

Love can make you healthier, happier and longer-living.  Love yourself today!

 

 

 

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Sand In Your Shorts

If you’ve ever had sand in your shorts you know how irritating it can be.  Probably where its name sake drink originated.  You need a Sand in Your Shorts when you have “sand in your shorts”.  The first thing I want to do is get the sand out of my shorts.   Kelly Clarkson’s song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’ is playing as I spin this morning, my sweat glistening translucently as the lyrics push me forward, the oyster flashed in my mind.

Oysters on the Half Shell, I was beginning to feel faint from hunger, then the idea that we are more similar to the oyster than most people think.  It has a stomach, heart, intestines, abductor muscle, and a mouth.   How nice I thought to be an oyster right now, I probably would not have to do this much cardio.  As my rambling thoughts spun out of control along with my legs, I contemplated the commonly held belief that sand in an oyster becomes a pearl.  Boy I wish I was on the beach in Playa right now shaking sand out of my shorts, magical afternoon, stunning nature, oysters on the Half Shell again. Oh yeah, back to the oyster.   As it turns out a pearl forms when an “irritant” becomes trapped inside.  It’s kind of like the oyster getting a splinter.   The oyster’s natural reaction is to cover up the irritant to protect itself.  Kind of like how I want to cover up the pain I’m feeling on this spin bike right now.  Here’s where the oyster and most people part company.

The beautiful role model oyster, instead of dwelling on this irritant or even trying to expel it from its life,  layers the same material it uses to build it’s shell in such a magnificent way that the ultimate outcome is Mother of Pearl.   Is the Pearl always this perfectly round specimen of translucent white beauty?  No.  Of course not.   They often come in uneven shapes,  a variety of colors, white, black, gray, red blue, and green, just like our lives.

As I look back on my life and the moments of irritation I realize they are blessedly there to build the Mother of Pearl of my heart, my soul and my body.  Without those moments of heartache, angst, pain, sweat, tears, loss, hate, rejection, injury and all that I sometimes wished had killed me I would never had juxtapositioned them against the intense love, peace, pleasure, rest, abundance, inclusion, tolerance, wealth and health which has showered my life.  In other words, I would never have known the pearls.

To say we are not molded and motivated by pain is to say that this beautiful way shower planet does not have a clue.   The examples abound of beautiful creation everywhere you look.  A butterfly’s metamorphism, a chicken hatching from an egg, a tree in the driest place on earth evolving to become draught resistant.

The irritants of our lives can show up as a reflection of a trait we most dislike about ourselves in another person or the loss of a loved one.  It can manifest as a horrific experience in life or as a loss of physical stuff.  The oyster would be hard pressed to use its building blocks of shell making if it were compromised by stress, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, arthritis or other ailments.

When I have Sand In My Shorts or irritants in my life, I can only layer the building blocks of my life into Mother of Pearl by practicing the pearls I have created as I have sailed through this life.  My wellness is predicated on not only the physical fitness, but the intangibles of intense love, pleasure, rest, self-caring health and showing myself with celebration as I embrace the irritants and turn them into something translucent and spectacular.

What color and shape are your pearls?  Find the irritant in your life today and create another.

 

 

 

 

 

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Backwards Thinkin’

My auto pilot navigation system has been engineered by deeper beliefs lurking just below the surface.  It has been programmed to Loch Ness monster any “new” idea before it has time to scream.  Of course relying on inner guidance is the first course of action but this can be a tricky as well.

Navigating through the English Channel of life avoiding Loch Less becomes more interesting as my beliefs morph and shift.  Moving towards the ocean through the channel, more and more boats seem to appear with others having beliefs that are cheering me on with “backwards thinkin”.  I hear them cheering, “you must work hard to get ahead in life”, “the economy is bad”, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “milk is a good source of calcium” and my favorite “chocolate makes you fat”.

These are just the ones that get through even when I have my hands over my ears.  For lack of a better term we can call it “race consciousness”.  A way of thinking that a whole lot of people have agreed upon.  Of course my reptilian brain would like to relax, feel safe and unthreatened by going along with the rest of the tribe.  The uncomfortable begins to feel comfortable and that is where “backwards thinkin” sets in.

Urban Dictionary hasn’t defined “backward thinking” as of yet.  Google returns 64,000 results.   Perfect metaphor.   Imagine this with a Southern drawl twang “honey, just how much “backwards’ thinkin are you doin today?”

Sometimes it’s easier to see the opposite of something to understand it.  Consider a more common phrase, forward thinking to contrast “backwards thinkin’”.   When forward thinking you might be considered ahead of your time, engaging in forward motion.  Plenty of examples of ahead of your time always the funniest has been when Chris Columbus said the world was round.  We laugh now but if you had lived then would you have been one of the “pack” who told him HE was crazy?  I don’t know about you, but my reptilian brain wants to retreat when confronted with something scary, or perilous.  This part of our brain used to keep us safe from big, ferocious animals and such.  Now all it does it keep us stuck and away from or dreams.  Case in point, the “scary” now are beliefs that are “new” always falling into that category.  Scary and perilous for me these days is completely challenging every belief I’ve ever had and asking is it true and does it serve me.  Mostly the answer comes back NO for those things that have been hanging around for a while.

A blogger wrote:  When you’re striving to reach a goal, it’s always above you.  You’re climbing upward and reaching higher.  You’re overcoming adversity and winning the race.   This sums up the idea that forward thinking propels you to your dreams.  A simple experiment done in Radboud University concluded that taking steps backwards and forwards, participants could readily recognize a colored card quicker and easier when taking steps backwards.  Their findings:  Those who had walked just a few steps backward were far more focused and attentive than were any of the others.  That is, their physical retreat triggered increased mental control. Poppy cock!     I say “backwards thinkin”.

Of course they were more focused.  How easy it is to be on auto pilot thinking the same old thoughts you always have.  The courage is when you are off balance, moving forward, cannot identify the color or solution immediately.  Taking a risk, stepping out into the unknown, being comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Giving up on “backwards thinkin”, does not seem be programmed into our DNA but in truth it is.  We have free will and choice.  Taking the easy road is, well, easy.  Navigating the channel to your dreams will be scary, tenuous, rocky and more fun than you ever had because when you see the Loch Ness Monster it’s only Cecil the Seasick Serpent.  Listen closely you will most likely hear:

“You can work less and have more in life ”, “your economy is great”, “money does grow on trees”, “milk is for baby cows” and my favorite “chocolate makes you healthy”.

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Love University

Driving home after spin, I pondered the question, what if there were a Love University. Graduates achieve a master’s degree in Love.  What would the course curriculum be?  Tolerance, Forgiveness, Charity, Kindness, Praise?

Before leaving the gym today, I asked my spin instructor for a copy of today’s play list.  This simple request turned into a moment of praise as easily and effortlessly as turning the light switch on.   In that one small inconsequential conversation, the door was opened to lavish her with recognition and delight in her expertise as an instructor.  As the conversation unfolded, I could see her cup being filled.  Sensing it was low after an apparent drought of feedback from her students, I could only hope it was overflowing at that moment.

I wonder how many times a day we miss the opportunity to praise and appreciate those who cross our paths.  Think of how incredible it feels to allow your own cup to be filled by another.   Sure it’s important to be self-confident, self-loving and have your own sense of doing what you do well.  We should not depend on others approval to feel worthy.  What is true is that praise, tolerance, forgiveness, kindness, charity and all the classes held at the Love University (which are all qualities of love by the way),  when practiced will automatically boomerang back to you ten fold.

In Leadership Workshops one of the most important qualities I teach is to “find them doing something right”.   It is human nature to find faults in our surroundings, be it with the beliefs of others or the way somebody else does something.   As we grow up the only way we could distinguish ourselves from another was to compare and contrast and build a sense of identity.   Without attending some type of Love University program, this comparing and contrasting alienates and isolates us from the beauty and diversity of all those around us.

Finding those moments of greatness in another not only fill their cup, but fill our own.  My cup runneth over as I saw the gratitude and humbleness in her eyes as I told her how I looked forward to 6:00 a.m. Monday  and Wednesday mornings.  Her passion and dedication oozing into the room even at that wicked hour.

Love reminds my of my beloved Playa ocean.  Boundless, beautiful, warm, embracing and most of all supportive.  Praise someone today and watch your cups runneth over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Light Under a Bushel

As we sat street side at a Palm Springs Mexican restaurant, my loving teacher Petra said to me I’d appreciate it if you would “stop making up stories about me”.

Out of context you might think she meant I was telling stories out of school, gossiping or doing any number of untoward acts we do toward each other. Instead she was referring to my remark to her that “I don’t think you like me .”

A common story I’ve told myself all my life.  I even once for a prayer request that “everyone would like me.”   A brief stint in AA surrounded me with the same story.  As much as this beautiful 12 step program would like to own the idea that “not good enough” is their theme song, it is prevalent everywhere, all the time, with everyone.

I discovered a long time ago that all adults are little kids running around in big grown up bodies wondering “what about me?”   Our “stinkin’ thinkin’ will get us into more trouble than we could ever imagine.  I was reminded again this morning with GI Jane the incredible fitness instructor at 24 Hour Fitness that even those we perceive on the outside as “having it all together”, have their own self-doubts and self-talk that does not support who they truly are.  As Oprah often says you never what is going on inside the house from looking at the outside.

 

What is the difference between the haves and the have nots?  Simply the story they tell themselves.   The story I made up about Petra was no where near as bad as the stories I make up about myself.

It will impede relationships, marketing, health and any other area of life that falls under the spell of the “story”.  A good example of my story always shows up in marketing my seminar business.  Instead of realizing that my gifts are precious and lovely, I choose a lot of times to “hide them under a bushel” because I don’t want to put anyone out by “marketing”.  In this case no one gets the gift.  I don’t get to give it and they don’t get to receive it.

Today think about the stories you make up about yourself.  How do you know what the story is?  Anything that you tell yourself over and over that is not life affirming, creative and supporting your dreams and passions.  How are you hiding your gifts under a bushel?  How selfish is it to keep them there?

Make a new choice today.  A choice to be bold and let the light out.  Stop making up stories about everyone else, especially yourself and know the real story about you and the light.

You are the light, you are the gift.  Come to life’s party with your gift and let the world unwrap it and delight in its magic.

 

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Imagine You Had Three Wishes

This morning I found a cup resembling a magic lamp way in the back corner of the cupboard.  It’s been there for ages and only revealed itself recently since its companion cups had found their way to the yard sale/thrift store.  It’s incredible what we uncover/unearth when we clean out a cupboard, a closet or our minds.   I was reminded that our life is full of opportunities to ponder “what would you do if you had three wishes”.  It’s an age-old question dating back to Aladdin and his lamp.  Legend has it that the “master” of the lamp can have any three requests fulfilled.

Coming up with a quick answer is usually easy for people.  Money.  Coming up with a serious answer is a bit more difficult.  The reason 90/% of people polled say money is what that money will buy them.

Maybe a better question would be if you had all the money you could imagine, what would you do with your life?  Use it to create world change, ensure your mortality, travel around the world, spend more time with your family, write a best-selling novel?

This list could be long and expansive.  Of course, all of the wishes are irrelevant by simply requesting everlasting happiness.  Happiness is after all the goal of money, fame, power, beauty and any other desire.  After all, even if you were dirt poor, unknown, weak and ugly, what would it matter if you were absolutely thrilled with life?

The old saying “Money does not buy happiness” rings true since happiness is an inside job.  Despite money being the top answer to this question, the two that round out the top three are health and family/relationships.  Incredibly the more money people amass, the less time they seem to be able to spend on family and relationships.  I am reminded of a poignant story about a Mexican fisherman:

An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long did it take you catch them?” the American asked.

“Only a little while”. The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs”. The Mexican said.

“But” the American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said:  “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed:  “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you.  You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you could buy a bigger boat and, with the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats.  Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.  Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory.  You would control the product, processing and distribution.  You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked: “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied:  “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said:  “That’s the best part.  When the time is right, you could announce an IPO – an Initial Public Offering – and sell your company stock to the public and become very right.  You would make millions.”

“Millions, senior?  Then what?”

The American said slowly:  “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos . . .”

So here’s the question, is your wish just waiting for you to accept it?

 

 

 

 

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Embrace Selfish

I feel selfish and self-centered today and I embrace the urge in all its glory.  I could have fallen victim to the dreaded pour me, pour me, pour me another drink syndrome, recognizing that mundane life has taken charge and I have let it.  Time to get selfish.

Selfish is such an interesting concept.   I was taught as many of you were that being “selfish” is not Christian-like, spiritual, nice, kind or any other adjective you wish to use.  The truth is that being selfish is how we nurture ourselves.   Is it selfish to take the first breaths of oxygen when the airplane is losing altitude before your 1-year-old infant who sits beside you horror on their face?  Of course not, the flight attendant even instructs you to do so.  How much help would you be to your child if you yourself have passed out from lack of air?

It’s funny how we do not apply this miracle philosophy to our daily lives.  Busyness intercedes and life shows up and we forget our soul mission.  What is our mission any hoo?  Why do I care about a purpose, a dream a mission?  I have diapers to change, dishes to wash, cold calls to make to pay the mortgage and 10 kids that need car pool.

It seems not every day is a day in paradise even when you live in paradise.  Emails and messages, text messages, and busyness pile up.  Some days you can’t find the energy to respond to even the simplest question or request.  Perhaps you feel on the brink of a breakdown.  I know I have succumbed to the ugly cry in the supermarket over not finding the right bread.  Denial is a great arbiter of these moments and sometimes pushing through is easier than confronting the angst gurgling just beneath the surface.   Do you find yourself saying to yourself “maybe if I don’t respond, if I don’t acknowledge, then maybe I’ll wake up and this life I’m living will all disappear, Prince Charming will appear.”   Or perhaps you are a runner, keeping busy cleaning, filing, resorting the kitchen cupboard.    “Maybe if I run fast enough away I can forget I even had a dream”.

True selfishness is taking time for you to reflect, regroup and recharge.  What better place to do that than my beloved Playa.  I fear I have fallen prey to all the avoidance and overwork habits listed in this blog and yet I know that the only way to find true happiness is to be selfish.

Trust that instinct.  Nurture yourself this week.  Love on yourself.  Praise yourself.  Create space for yourself.  Be true to yourself.  Most of all spend time with yourself.

My great, great, great grandfather once said:

Happiness is a butterfly which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp but which if you will sit down quietly may light upon you.  — Nathanial Hawthorne.

 

 

 

 

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The Law of Circulation

Spinning my little feet as fast as they will go, the spin instructor barks “turn it up another notch”.  Salty sweat dripping into my eyes, the epiphany is clear.   I hear, one two, one two, legs spiral their circular motion.  It is not the law of attraction it is the law of circulation.

No mystery behind this curtain.   With all the hoopla surrounding “The Secret” and the “law of attraction”, I wondered if I was just a really poor magnet and needed to visit the North Pole.  My heart burst with joy when I remembered, life is circular and in motion all the time, just like my little legs at that moment.  Attraction or being a “magnet” carries with it an implication that there is something forcing another thing to it.   I have this picture of a horseshoe magnet full of the paper clips which commonly serve as irritation on my desk.  Clinging without will to this magnet, instead of allowing themselves to be recycled back to somewhere or someone else.

Being introduced to this beautiful law of circulation during the many prosperity classes I’ve been blessed to attend, it has been described similar to a body of water. The best example being the Dead Sea.  It has not outlet, just an inlet.  No circulation, well they call it the Dead Sea.  Such a great metaphor for stagnation. When something is only coming in and nothing is going out there is stagnation.  If it is only going out and never coming in it dries up.   I strive to push the circulation in my weathered body every day through this thing called cardio vascular exercise.  What a great metaphor as well.  It’s not just money that is under the rule of the law of circulation.  It is everything in life.  Your relationships, your attitude, your love life, your happiness.  We create whatever we like through this law of circulation.  What you circulate out in the harmonious connection with your thoughts and feelings will circulate back into the channel.

As this epiphany turned into salt crystals on my face during the drive from gym to home, I could see it everywhere.  The weather patterns are circulatory; our own physical make up is a complete circulatory system.  Disease and illness is attracted to our body when something is attracted to it in a stationary spot.   Birds are circulatory; the life process is circulatory, birth to death.

The oceans in my beloved Playa are the antithesis of circulation, the currents, the waves the tides.  It is such a blessing to be in charge of my own circulation.  As a cardio vascular exertion helps blood pump into my veins, so does my circulatory exercise of demonstrating what I wish in my life.  In order for me to have an abundant flow of goodness, wealth, love, health, kindness, creativity, I simply begin to flow those things outward from my vessel into the universal ocean of life.  As it circulates around it comes back to me in harmonious exact precision to create this seemingly new influx of life energy and yet I created it by my own exertion.  As I exercise my heart muscle in the gym so to do I exercise my heart muscle in life.  It becomes stronger and healthier and supports the entire eco system of my physical and yes my emotional body.

So as much as I love the idea of the Law of Attraction, I subscribe to the notion that I am the circulator or the stagnator of my life.  I create the flow or turn off the flow at any given moment with my breath, my thoughts, my feelings, my attitude, my love, my goodness towards myself and others.

Today circulate whatever it is you wish to flow back into your ocean.

 

 

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Magic

“Magic, Magic, Magic

Magic, Magic, Magic

I got the Magic in me!”

– B.O.B.

 

 

Thursday night adorned with crowds dressed in black.  Something about black screams festive and fancy.  Last time I saw crowds like this out on a Thursday night it was after the great Southern California wind storm of 2011.  That time it was because there was no electricity.  Tonight the electricity was buzzing due to 92 Australians setting theMagicCastle’s twinkling lights on super magic mode.  Their wands were the shape of orange “free drink” buttons nestled on their lapels compliments of their wood flooring fairy god mother.

My own pass to the Castle came graciously from the Whistling Diva, daughter of one of the 150 founding members of this historic landmark.  Stepping inside you are magically frozen in the splendor and grandeur of times past.  Mandatory dress code:   jackets for men, “pretty” for women.  Isn’t it great ladies we don’t really have a dress code, just show up looking good, more skin the “prettier”.  Upon entering, a first-timer Castler in our party, came sans jacket.  He was offered the “house jacket” for which he could produce no I.D. to securitize said jacket. Sending a sense of hushed anticipation over our small but mighty group, I was Abracadabra-ing a spell my own mind spell over the maître d‘castle (boss man) as well as crossing my fingers it would not ruin what was to be a magical evening.  With our “thought wands” we prevailed and we poof we were all in. Into the parlor where Irma, the magical self-playing piano, greeted us with a tune the Diva whistled to while she opened the gift provided by the jacketless couple.  To the untrained naked eye unwrapped the gift appeared to be a box of See’s Candy.  Alas upon opening it was merely a box of bath bubbles.  I looked around for a Hogwarts wizard to Shazam the box into See’s candy only to see more “Free Drink” orange-button wands.

Settling into the evening, a little Vegas and a little vaudeville, the magic is fun and mysterious.   Mesmerized by every “trick”, I wondered to myself “What is magic?”  An illusion, a Harry Potter wizard’s spell, or simply the ability to change a box of bath foam into candy?

Or is magic simpler than that?  Is it believing in something so much that you will it into existence with a lot of focus, dedication and action?  Look around; so much of today’s magic seems less like Hogwarts and more like Silicon Valley.  Examples are found in Facebook, Craig’s list, I pad, snuggle blankets or just dreaming.  Is it magic to have a vision even when other people think you are crazy and just going for it?

If having a vision and bringing it into being is magic, then magic abounds in Playa.  Over the past 10 years I have seen ex-pats, foreigners Germans, Italians and others start their own lives and businesses in paradise.  What once was a sleepy fishing village has become the Hogwarts of wood be magicians from around the world.  To follow your dream into a tropical paradise is perceived by some as the Webster’s definition of magic, “an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.”  How else could someone follow their dreams into such a magical place?

What is your dream?  What is your vision for your life?  One thing I know for sure, the magicians at the Magic Castle practice their craft.  They are focused, determined, love what they do and most of all do it every day.  So here’s the question?  Do you focus on your vision?  Are you determined to have it?  Most of all do you love it, cherish it and nurture it?

True Magic starts with you and YOU can create anything you want as long as you believe.  You go the Magic In You!

 

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Namaste

This says it all for today’s post.  Namaste!

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