Where In The World Is Your Heart?

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Friday, January 30, 2009

The Truth With A Twist


For anyone who has not seen this video, I HIGHLY encourage you to take the 1:44 required to do so. I found this extremely enlightening and creative...and a gorgeous flip of words.

The video was created for the AARP U@50 video contest and placed second.

It is based on the Argentinian Political Advertisement "The Truth" by RECREAR

What a treat, folks.

With love,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Listen Up!

In my opinion, there is no greater way to show love and devotion for our friends, family, loved ones, etc. than to truly listen to them. And by listening, I mean listening from the heart. I am sure none of you can relate to this, but I have actually had experiences of people texting DURING conversations with me! I wish I could say that I was fail proof in this arena, but I am not. However, I have made it a daily practice to be very present in conversation with others for several reasons. Besides having the opportunity to hear the rich perspective of someone's life and experience, listening reminds me to tune in deeply to my own inner wisdom and voice. "The listening heart", as this state is called, really leads deeper relationships and a greater sense of self. Now that I am in to.

There is a term I have coined since living in Los Angeles that I call "LA-itis". There is such a tendency here to be rushing constantly and be too busy to ever slow down and actually communicate with another person. Of course this is a gross generalization, but I can't help but notice this phenomenon. I find this experience interesting as it signals to me that people are a bit shut off to themselves and really quite removed from their own best interests and inner voices. And of course, not listening gives the impression of a self-important attitude and a lack of interest in what is going on around us....and inside of us for that matter.

I was so taken with Barak Obama's interview the other day on foreign issues of peace. President Obama was asked by a Dubai based TV station what his plan was regarding foreign peace deals. Obama's response was that the US was going to participate fully by first listening because there had been a tendency in the past for the US to dictate first. The new approach would involve respect over divisiveness, listening over dictating and engagement over militarism. What a profound lesson for our daily lives.

Let's all join in on the pathway to authentic listening to enrich not only the lives of others, but our own.

And remember the advice of Native American seers: Speak only half as much as you listen.

With love,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cheers to High School Memories!...I Think

I have had such an interesting 48 hours. You see, there is this thing called Facebook. And there is also this woman called my mother. Together, we are talking about 2 very powerful energies when combined together. My mother (who is my friend on Facebook) has re-connected me with some of my old high school friends out of the blue. She found 'em and scooped 'em up for me. Truly a force of nature. :) And she is friends with them too! I realize where I might have gotten my out-going, social, "wanting to connect everyone" personality. Needless to say, it has been blast from the past mania. And I am loving it.

So, I've decided that our high school class needs a heart to see how many of us we can find and re-connect through one single gesture of goodwill. I look forward to reading the stories on the site because each person will no doubt know exactly who needs the heart next.
To my Alief Hastings Class of '86 peeps and heart #1206......
GO Fighting Bears!

With love,

Monday, January 26, 2009

Are You Doing Your Peace Work?

"If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

A profound thought for the day. Take it in...and enjoy.

With love,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Got Milk?

I found this wonderful organization today by chance. They followed me on Twitter and I turned around to see what they were all about. The message is one of hope and courage to undernourished children worldwide.

Check out the cause. Over 162,665 ounces of breast milk has been donated already to infants in Africa.

They have been featured on The Oprah Show, Good Morning America, ABC World News, amongst others.

Here are IBMP's Goals:
  • Provide donor milk to infants affected by HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, disease, and poverty in Africa.
  • Provide donor milk to infants in need where local donor milk is not available.
  • Provide funds for milk banks and infrastructure to help increase local sustainability.
  • Raise awareness about the importance of donor milk.
With love,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Committed to the Dream....or the Fear?

Here I go again this week with my "signs". But I cannot help what keeps showing itself in my life.
All I hear from this photo is..."Move Forward. Move Forward." But what keeps us from doing this in our lives? What holds us back from living our greatest dreams? Oh yeah, that pesky little thing called fear.

Well, the good news is that we have choices when it comes to dealing with fear and our beliefs. You see, beliefs are never neutral. They either move you forward or hold you back, but you choose what you believe. The way to actually move from limiting beliefs and fears that hold you back to empowering beliefs that leap you forward is through courage, practice and willingness.
Basically, its about saying Yes. And Yes again.

The most extraordinary thing about the creation of Heart is Hot is that I never looked back. Good thing because that tire damage would have been severe! I never once questioned my thought process the day I saw the man on the street crying. In fact, it was the willingness to say Yes to those thoughts and feelings that led me to where I am today. And for that I am forever grateful. The best part about the experience was that it did not have anything to do with me at all. And still doesn't. It has to do with the birthright we all have to live a life of our greatest dreams and passions. The universe is our greatest cheerleader...just waiting for us to say Yes to what we truly deserve.

Be willing to believe in yourself and your dreams and have the courage to act on what you believe. And in moments of indecision, ask yourself this question: "Am I more committed to the dream..or to the fear?" Your answer will be very telling of your next direction.

Smile at the "doubter" that arises occasionally. Actually interview it and be curious about what you find. This will help you determine what it is you are actually afraid of. Simply saying "I am afraid" is not going to cut it because it keeps you in the stuck position right over those tire spikes. Ouch. Identify the fears from the doubter and view them as opportunities for focus and growth. You can see which of the fears are merely challenging self perceptions and which are obstacles that need development and strategy. From here,begin making a plan to manage each obstacle. This is forward movement. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Remember, and I love this one so much,....There are no problems. Only solutions. (Taken from John Lennon, of course). This is my mantra. Truly. With focus, determination and a whole bunch of self-care, you will create endless solutions to propel your growth and success. Practice this every day, until it becomes your way of life.

The question I am leaving you with is this: Do you live in the universe, or does the universe live in you? You decide.

With love and great support for your journey of abundance, health, wealth and success,


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Take a Breather

I am always seeking the deeper meaning in things and stay open to signs of inspiration in my life. That said, I find it hilarious that I ran across this "sign" last week at a local pool. Hello blatancy!

How often during your day do you truly take a moment to breathe with full awareness? You might be surprised at how few times you actually know you are breathing at all.

Think about your day. Specifically consider the things you deem stressful in your life. Do you stop breathing just thinking about them? Chances are you might. And ironically, breath is life. The more deeply and consciously we breathe, the more deeply and consciously we tend to live our lives.
So, I would say it's time to breathe!

On Oprah last week, a young woman spoke of her struggles with her current economic situation. She and her husband invested their life savings in a bakery, and it was about to go under. She had come to the end of her rope and did not know what to do. Pastor Ed Bacon and Reverend Michael Beckwith stepped in immediately and asked her to consider things that were going well in her life, and to focus on those as opposed to the rough situation. She paused for a moment and began crying. She could not come up with one thing that was going right for her that she could focus on. Then, Reverend Michael reminded her that she was experiencing the greatest gift in her life every second: her life itself. Her breath brought her life. Her simple breath. He asked her to focus on the miracle of that breath and what it offered her ever single moment.
I find this truly profound.

To tell you to take a deep breath and relax is so common a mantra that most of us miss its true message. Focused and controlled breathing has the power to boost energy and defuse anxiety. In fact, the notion of breathing as therapy has ancient roots in pranayama, an aspect of yoga that means "expansion and control of cosmic power."

But I am going to tell you to take a deep breath. In fact, 10 of them. I have found that taking 10 slow, deep breaths is guaranteed to relax my body, mind and soul. It's an instant fixer of stress, slows down the racing thoughts and brings me back to the present moment, where I can be grateful for the breath in the first place. Ahh, that is much better.

If you really want to get a feel for how present you can stay with your breath, try this simple yet deceptively difficult technique used in Zen practice.
Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to force it.

To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale.
The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five."
Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation.
Never count higher than "5" and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to 9, 12, or even 20.

Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

So, do yourself and everyone else around you a favor...and breathe. And remember, regardless of your situation you're never far from a sigh of relief.

Be well,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tips To Get Your Giving On in '09

Our times are more uncertain than ever given the state of the economy as well as the challenged health of our planet. It is up to us to make the difference now and for our future generations.

I was very taken the other day when someone commented on my Facebook status. I had written "Sahara is unstoppable". (This sounds really silly unless you are familiar with Facebook). In any event, this friend of mine asked me publicly on the site, "What is your secret?" I did not hesitate at all in my reply and did not really even realize I was answering her because of how quickly I began to write. It was as if I got out of my own way to write the answer, which was one word: Giving.

I was astounded even by my own response and I had not actually realized that the energy of giving was creating an unstoppable force in me. But it was, and is. Allowing for "more space" in my life by giving is creating more room and motivation to give. To give to myself and to give to others.

I think it is very easy these days to fall into the trap of "lack". "There is not enough to go around". Or "How can I give when I don't have anything myself?" Or "Giving is something that others will take care of. I am not in a position to." To me, these voices are all just a very simple misunderstanding as they believe there is lack in the universe and that there is a cap on energy for everyone. I have to say I disagree.

The universe (call this force what you want) is wholly and completely there for us at all times. 24/7. Consider it a spiritual 7-11. Very convenient. Yet we often get so caught up in the vibration of "not enough" that the universe has no choice but to continue to create scenarios that coincide with that vibration. See, the universe is impersonal. Whatever you put out is what comes back. What you focus on is what you manifest. Simple really. So why not think open thoughts? Think abundance. Think gratitude. Think loving. Think kindness towards yourself and others. Think giving.

Here are 5 tips To Get Your Giving On in '09. You might have forgotten about the last one already.

1. Make a "What's right" list. We tend to focus on what's wrong in our lives. What about what is right? You would be surprised when you really sat down to write it out just how many things are right that we take for granted daily. Be sure to write this everyday. I do this before going to bed so I can reflect on all the wonderful things that happened in my day...like my car starting!

2. Begin your morning with a smile throughout your body. This is a fantastic way to not only start the day, but to connect with your body. Start in bed with your eyes closed as soon as you wake up. Picture a huge smile all throughout your head and say "I love my head. Thank you for your service". Then move on to the neck and do the same. "I love my neck. Thank you for your service". And yes, you can group body parts together so that you are not in bed for hours going through all the systems and intricacies. But start slow and deliberate. And take your time. End this meditation with "I love my body. Thank you for your service".

3. Watch your thoughts throughout the day. See what you tend to focus on. Is this what is getting you down? I can tell you that if you are focusing on your "challenging" boss all day and how unhappy you are, I guarantee you are not going to be open to truly giving. I know this first hand from past experience. It is not worth it. And you do have a choice on where you focus your thoughts and energy. Focus on openness in your life. Gratitude. And getting the heck out of dodge if you need to!

4. Create wealth accounts for yourself. Set aside money each month for charity, "fun time", investments, education and savings. From 10% in each to pennies...give what you can each month. And stick to it. Signal to the universe that you are thinking of yourself and others and are open to giving. Feel the expansion this creates in your life. And if money is challenging for you at the moment, no worries. You really can start with pennies.

5. Have fun. Please. Oh, and drink lots of water. And breathe.

Make room inside and out for giving in '09. You will be glad you did. The universe is just waiting for this.

With love,


Rilke's Words of Wisdom

I just found this quote today....

"I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try and love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms of books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

~Rainer Maria Rilke

Filmmaker Challenges Prop 8 in 7 Minutes Flat!

If you have not seen this, I think you will want to. The message of tolerance and acceptance is beautifully and comedically laid out. Read on....

Director Anne Renton, in association with her production company Andali Films, recently globally launched an online version of her wildly popular short film, Love is Love, with a stern but compassionate message to supporters of California’s Proposition 8.

Since its original release in 2007, Love is Love has widely spread its message of tolerance through the comedic window of a societal flip. In the film’s world, the majority of society is gay and heterosexuals are the “queer” ones. With the passing of Prop 8 in California last month, Anne immediately took the opportunity to release the film online with written cards before and after the movie, asking any supporters of Prop 8 to think again. The film cues up with following messages:

• This is dedicated to all of those who voted Yes on Prop 8 .
• Imagine if you were the minority and other people voted on your rights.
• There is an old proverb: “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”…Consider this possibility.

Jane Lynch (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Best in Show, The L Word, etc.) heads the cast as an intolerant Reverend literally preaching to the choir about the unexplainable practices of heterosexuals ("It's like kicking the Lord in the teeth"). Meanwhile, a closeted heterosexual woman confides in her therapist that the lesbian path was not meant for her and a straight man confesses to a bartender (in a gay bar) that he prefers women. To top the comedy off, Margaret Cho re-defines the meaning of a cameo appearance with a one liner that sends audiences into hysterics.

“The comedy is quick and biting, but behind the laughs remains a poignant message of tolerance. It is speedy in its seven-minute delivery but lasting in its intention”, says Deborah Nicol of The Desert Sun.

With cloe to 25,000 hits already on You Tube, Anne hopes to continue to spread the message of acceptance worldwide, and I want to help her!

With lively discussions already brewing on YouTube and various blogs globally, Love is Love’s final closing card of “We All Deserve Equal Rights” is definitely stirring the Prop 8 support pot in a positive, meaningful manner.

Check it out. http://www.LoveisLoveshortfilm.com

A Little Birdie Told Me To...

On the way to Seattle to visit my parents in September, I grabbed Southwest Airlines "Spirit" magazine from that same little pocket as the barf bags sit. You know which one. Anyway, I literally opened it to a page with a sweet little pigeon photo staring at me. What I learned quickly is that the little bird had a name. Cleo. And a story. A story that sent me to tears in row 14.

"Cleo" was found sprawled on a sidewalk by Nancy Bevilaqua one morning in May 2002. She hauntingly described the little bird as "injured and exhausted, awaiting the last blow of fate." Displaying the skills of an exceptionally good samaritan, she gently scooped up the bird with the tiny bit of life left in him, and took him home.

She spent the rest of the day holding Cleo on her lap in the sun, gently whispering calming words to him as he helplessly lay there. Nancy expected him to die any moment. So that I do not lose you at this point to a tragic ending vignette, Cleo did live, and is thriving beautifully 6 years later.

What strikes me more about this story though than his recovery is the depth of surrender that little bird must have been experiencing lying there, unable to move or fend for himself. The surrender to what is. Nancy mentions that she has been through hard times, but never one drastic enough to leave her sprawled out on a sidewalk, paralyzed, with no one but a stranger to trust. Whoa. I agree.

If that little bird can do it, so can I. I can trust that I will always be cared for by the divine no matter how extreme the circumstance. I can feel safe in the arms of the universe.

Cleo and Nancy, you are inspirations. I was not prepared to learn such a deep lesson about trust and unabiding, accepting love from my middle seat on the plane. However, I was certainly thrilled to capture that moment in time and share my peanuts with my neighbor who politely offered me a tissue.

Who's got your back?

So, my question of the day yesterday was, "Who's got my back?"

After listening to Ilyana Vansant speak yesterday at the Agape International Spiritual Center, it was clear. God has my back. And subsitute any name for God you wish here, folks. Makes no difference to me. This is about the essence of what Ilyana spoke about.

See, our back....our spine more specifically, allows us the flexibilty of movement. It controls our movement in a sense. Think of God in this same respect. God's got our back. Actually, God created our back in the first place, and so by definition, God "has our back". (smile inserted). So, God's got our back. God is there for us in any moment, through any situation, circumstance and life event. God's got our back. As the spine allows movement in the body, God allows movement in our lives. God is the movement in our lives. All we have to do is let go and remember that God creates the movement. You can't go wrong and you can't fail, because God's got your back.

God's got my back. And yours. And everyone whom you know. Our greatest cheerleader, the God within, has our backs. Comforting. Truly. May this bring a breath of fresh air into our remembering space today.

Hello, Wake Up Call....!

I was reminded the other evening in Santa Monica of the magnificent feeling I get when I see the sun set. Remarkable, isn't it? The tranquility and ease of being that occurs as the colors brighten in all their glory. I do not want it to end. I am, at the same moment, reminded theorectially that the sun does not actually ever set, but rotates around the earth (or vice versa). My 7th grade science teacher would not be pleased right now! :)

In any event, the sunset is actually an illusion. An illusion that I fully accept with great surrender and joy. But what about doubt and worry in my life? Aren't those illusions of the mind as well? The lesson for me is in preference. I much prefer illusions that make me feel better than those that cause stress. I am going to take a moment and review, or should I say question, those illusions that tend to run my life that I do not much prefer. May I greet them with the same acceptance as I do a sunset and see them for what they really are: gorgeous, enticing illusions. Then may I embrace the truth of who I really am...beyond any illusion I could ever create. And by all means.... let's all enjoy the sunsets!