Be A Magnet

On Thursday evening, I came home from work and kids activities feeling nauseous and barely able to lift my head for fear of throwing up. I thought it was food poisoning. I thought i would be back on my feet in 12 hours. But– i had no ‘ejections’ of any kind. Hmmm.

Friday- I stayed home and after I got the family off to school and work, I fell back into a deep sleep for nearly 5 hours.

My body was craving rest.

It’s been a hectic few months– between fundraisers I have to attend, kids activities, work, business, family, it’s been nonstop.

My 45 year old body needs attention too. Running, spinning, boot camp, yoga, dance. (More on the dance later.)

Nutrition and hydration are always top of mind.

I’ve been sleeping ‘fairly’ early — averaging about 6hrs 45min a night. Ok so that’s on the low side. I do make up for it by sleeping nearly 9 hours on Saturday/Sunday. Not ideal I know. Our bodies are creatures of habit and consistent good sleep is way better than inconsistent good sleep.

So– what was this knock-me-off-my-feet episode all about?

You see, when something like this happens to me, it’s always an opportunity to go deep and see why.

It’s never the thing you think it is.

It wasn’t food poisoning.

Or even the 24 hour stomach bug that it turned out to be, complete with fever and achy body.

It’s something more.

It’s a message to me.

From me.

From my Inner Guidance System.

It’s a message to slow down.

Not just the outer body shell that executes all the instructions of the mind.

Slow down the mind.

I have meditated off and on for over 15 years now.

But lately, the meditations were few and far between.

The only time I was truly meditating was during the twice a week 5am walk.

And while moving meditations are powerful.

Your conscious mind is still activated and keeping you safe from the 21st century versions of saber tooth tigers and wooly mammoths. That is; fight or flight is still activated.

It is only when sitting in what your conscious mind can consider to be a completely safe environment that it can even remotely attempt to quiet down, and allow your subconscious mind to be accessed.

So today- after I sent my family off to their various activities.

I sat.

I primed my body with a powerful breathing technique by Dr. Joe Dispenza and then I meditated.

And through my meditation this is what I received:

Be A Magnet

Keep your vibration high

Keep your vision clear

Keep your intention focused

Keep your body nourished

And your soul satisfied

with the love you share

the company you keep

the gratitude you emanate

Be a magnet for the best and limitless possibilities of all time.

I came out of meditation with this profound sense of gratitude and love. I didn’t realize it but tears were streaming down my face. I had envisioned a wonderful world and it felt so real.

Peace

Bliss

Joy

Abundance

Love

So much love.

Isn’t this what John Lennon said when he asked us to Imagine?

Be A Magnet for all that is wonderful and good in the world.

Take a stand for love.

Love is truly magical.

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Why Are You on Social Media?

apps blur button close up

So last week, during my meditation, I had this sense that I was supposed to do a digital detox. A week of no social media, no Facebook, no Instagram, no LinkedIn etc.

Interestingly, the first day or so was hard, just like weaning oneself off an addiction. I had distract myself so that I wouldn’t go to the apps that were second nature to check on a daily, sometimes 7-10 times a day. YIKES!

Imagine if you did anything 7-10 times a day.
7-10 glasses of alcohol
7-10 cups of coffee
7-10…well you get the picture.

So this was really a way for me to see if I could do it.

Cold Turkey!

And, I have to say – I didn’t last all week.

Now mind you, I do have to check social media for my job, as the fundraiser for a regional performing arts center, I do manage our infant social media accounts. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

So, when I would log on to check for work, I would surreptitiously check notifications but was good about NOT checking the feeds or getting lost in a the black hole of an endless, mind-numbing thumb scroll. You know what I mean! Where we just scroll after scroll after scroll to see if anything catches our eye – and then we settle on a cute cat or baby video, or worse on a rant from someone we barely know. And in that moment, because our vibration is so low, our energy is practically at an all time low, we are attracted to things/posts/videos/comments that have a low vibration themselves. Because after all, like attracts like.

I tried to be hyper vigilant about my limited time on social media this week. What did I really miss if at all?

And what it came down to was this:

I missed my Facebook group, The Breathing Space – this group of like-minded souls who are committed to putting the oxygen mask on themselves first so that they can better support the people they love, the community they serve and the world they seek to change.

  • I missed my friend Donna’s uplifting quotes on Facebook. (they never cease to make me say to myself YES!! that’s exactly what I am talking about!)
  • I missed my friend Anna’s exercise and gym videos on Instagram (she inspires me so much!)
  • I missed my friend Susan’s posts who’s passion around creating and capturing memories is infectious!
  • And my friend Vickie who never ceases to make me laugh…and there were others too that make me smile on FB.

You get the picture. I missed the personal connections and updates. The real updates. The ones that tell me what is truly going on in the lives of my friends across the country and the world.

And THIS is why I miss and mostly want to spend time on Facebook.

BUT!

Think about it, if those friends were close by, and some of them are…we wouldn’t/don’t text, talk or visit 7-10 times a day.

So what about social media makes us do that, and most of the time without even thinking?

Lately, with my kids’ swim schedules I spend nearly 2 hours each day at the local swimming pool. It would be so easy to get lost in the black scroll…2 hours a day! 4 days a week.

That’s 8 hours a week!

That’s enough time for a very productive side hustle endeavor
Or write a book
Or study for a new degree
Or take an online course
Or walk/run/ride around the facility
Or read a book that helps with personal or professional development

But, the thumb scroll usually wins out when we are waiting somewhere. Because it’s easier. Because we are programmed that way. Because it’s the 21st century equivalent of 4am infomercials when we can’t sleep at night.

So, the next time you find yourself in line somewhere, or waiting while your child is participating in their after school activity (an activity you signed them up for, to better themselves), don’t check into Facebook to see what others are doing.

Spend that time identifying what YOU can do for YOURSELF that will better yourself.

  • Keep your sneakers in the trunk so you can walk the perimeter of the facility or field.
  • Keep a book with you at all times.
  • Find a grassy surface and do some push ups, planks or simply march in place. (yes people might think you’re nuts…or you might start a new parent club!)
  • Meditate. Yes, even in the midst of noise and bustle, you can take yourself off from the main activity, or go back to your car, and just spend 5 minutes doing some intentional breathing.
  • Plan the family’s meals for the following week and get your grocery list in order. You will be much more time and cost efficient if you do it this way.

Make intentional times to check into Facebook and your other social media platforms so that you get your ‘fix for the day,’ but don’t let it rule your life.

Take control back and use social media to your advantage, instead of giving the marketers, advertisers, vote-tainters exactly what they want.

You at your lowest energy point.

Take your energy back!

Look Up From Your Phone

I went to a wine walk yesterday here in Camarilllo. It was being held in our little downtown district to help bring more visitors and drive traffic into the stores. A good concept to be sure. I took an uber to get there, and had this interesting out of body observation of myself.

I spent the entire 10 minute trip from my house to Studio Channel Islands on my phone. Not looking up once to see where we were, or even say a word to the driver.

I had a wonderful time with some wonderful friends tasting some excellent wine and stopping into stores and businesses that I had never entered before, even though I have lived here nearly 20 years.

In the uber on the way home, I was struck by the fact that this young man’s car contained water bottles in each of the seat pouches in front of the passengers as well as a little jar of dum dum lollipops and eclipse gum if you wanted to freshen your breath or were in need of a sweet treat.

A small but thoughtful touch, costing less than $5.

The young man struck up a conversation with me. I asked him what he did besides drive for uber and he let me know that he had big dreams among which were taking care of his immigrant parents. He wanted to have multiple revenue sources, he wanted to inspire people, he wanted to help people live better lives through health and fitness. He wanted a gym, a record company and a marketing and design company, all in the next decade.

Big dreams!

Big goals!

Very crystal clear intentions of what he wanted.

No 9-5 job for him.

He was not quite 25!

We talked about meditation then.

He said his favorite way to meditate was to visualize his future.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Kudos Vincent. (Yes i asked him his name)

So often these days we hide behind our screens instead of engaging with humanity. We use it as a way to zone out, numb out, the endless black scroll on social media dulling our senses and our abilities to connect.

We think we’re connected.

After all we have 2,000 friends and 9,000 likes on our feed.

But what do you REALLY know about those friends?

Are they really friends?

Recently someone pinged me and said- oh my goodness what a small world– we have mutual friends on FB. I stared back at her blankly– I didn’t know those people. They’re friends of friends so I didn’t reject their friend request.

So today, or tomorrow, instead of looking into your screen, following someone’s political rant, someone’s viral video or someone’s riveting schedule as it unfolds on social media, leave your phone tucked away, pretend that you don’t have that distraction.

And when you have a few minutes to kill in the grocery line or in an uber, just ask the person in front of you–

So how are you?

You might be inspired by their answer!

Time Shows Up

So I ran into a friend at Target yesterday. I was there shopping for home supplies and she was in line for her prescription. I walked toward her to hug her but she paused me — ‘pneumonia…’ she whispered hoarsely.

This friend, I’ll call her ‘Kay’ is one of the most inspiring people I know. She had a vision to make a change in her community and not only did she rally the community behind her idea, she got government and community leaders behind it as well. This vision is becoming a reality. And the entire city and county in fact will benefit from Kay’s idea.

Kay will go down in history of our area as being THE WOMAN who brought value to our kids, tourism to our area and tax dollars to our city.

She’s my hero!

This summer Kay’s vision moved forward very significantly. There was an outward showing for the community. The public could see this idea become a reality.

When I saw her at the public showing- she said that her whole summer had been spent for the most part in getting ready for this preview. Her little kids, her inspiration for this vision and this idea were a big part of helping her. This was their summer.

This woman doesn’t stop. She at everything. She’s networking, doing 1:1 visits and volunteering at places that will help increase visibility for her vision, she’s doing all the right things!

AND

She’s running on fumes.

When life is that busy, it’s easy to continually put yourself on the back burner.

Because self care feels selfish!

I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

I’ll rest after my vision is a reality.

I can’t let my family down.

I can’t let my community down.

People are expecting me to be the face of the organization/project/company.

Sound familiar?

Some version of this is always going through our heads.

Until our body collapses in sheer exhaustion.

It’s almost always the case that after a big event, project, presentation etc. we experience major exhaustion.

Our body carries us through the process, but then the minute it’s done—

Collapse.

Illness.

Fatigue so deep that you can’t move.

Complete system shut down.

Your body has been carrying you on adrenaline the entire time.

You’re way past normal functions, your mind is in flight or flight and fighting for survival!

And once you release the breath breath you’ve been holding your mind recognizes that the danger is passed and it can relax.

And it does.

Every cell

Every nerve ending

Every emotion

Releases

Relaxes

Collapses

Takes you out of the game for a while.

Or a long while.

So how do you avoid complete collapse?

Make your self care non negotiable. It doesn’t have to be complex, you don’t have to spend hours on yourself. But you can.

Go ahead, I give you permission.

30 minutes a day is all it can take.

Breathe: before starting your car, take three deep breaths. Before exiting your car do it again.

Walk: one mile can take you less than 15 minutes. If that’s not an option, find a way to move your body. Park as far from your destination as you can – and walk.

Hydrate: (water not coffee!) aspire to drink 1/2 your body weight in oz. e.g. a 130 lb person would be drinking 65oz.

Nourish: higher intake of lean protein keeps you full longer and gives you sustained energy. A plant based protein shake blended with berries, greens and a good source of fat (think avocado or nut butter) is an ideal breakfast for the dats when you don’t have time to sit and eat a good meal.

Sleep: 7 hours at least

And probably the single most important thing is to have intention.

Don’t make your self care another checklist item on your to-do list.

Promise yourself that you will care for you.

So that you can care for your family, community and the world.

And yes, it feels like if you do these things for yourself you’re stealing time from other more productive things you could be doing.

I can promise you this.

Time.Shows.Up

The Arts Change Lives

I had an interesting experience this week; we were hosting nearly 700 kids from different schools to see a puppet show production of Alice in Wonderland. Everything was ready, the stage crew were primed, the actors were in the wings and it’s 2min to show time. I get a text message from the technical director that says ‘we have a problem, we’re over capacity with the schools.’ One of the schools on the list was supposed to be there at 11:30am but had shown up early.

They had already been seated and I had the unpleasant task of asking them (60 kids and 7 adults) to leave their seats.

It further turns out that they were there at the right time but I had inadvertently put them on the later time slot therefore throwing everyone and everything into a state of confusion.

They weren’t going to stay or come back for the next show because it interfered with their lunch time.

The idea of all those kids being disappointed- after looking forward to seeing the show for possibly weeks was too much to bear. I begged the teacher to get approval to stay and play in the park below and that I would run out an get lunch for them all.

Apparently trying to source lunch for 70 at 10:30am is not an easy task. I called three pizza places who all said it would take over an hour. I didn’t have an hour. I had to get them show ready in an hour, which meant I had 40min to get them food and eating so that they could be done by 11:30am in time for the next performance.

Luckily I called a Subway who couldn’t accommodate but was happy to help me find one that could. And within minutes I was on my way to 501 S Reino Road, Newbury Park, CA where the store manager and his one employee were furiously making and wrapping sandwiches for me. They gave me a box to put the chips together and before long they sent me on my way. It was already 11am when I left the store.

11:08am: I call my colleagues at work and ask their help to get the trolleys down to where would make the most sense to unload the boxes of cookies, chips and sandwiches.

11:11am: I pull up, my colleagues are just arriving with the trolleys – we unload, and quickly line the kids up to get their sandwiches, chips and cookie.

11:26am: technical director calls to get a status update. “We’ll be there in 4 min.” Now mind you these are 2nd graders we’re talking about – no way to move them at our pace. They have their own pace.

11:31am: we have to start moving I tell a teacher– she starts the process of corralling all the kids and counting them to ensure no kid has wandered off.

We start walking up the ramp and of course have to stop for bathroom and water. More counting.

11:35am: we’re now within yards of the stairs toward the theatre, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel but we still have to get there.

One of the teachers says that she has a student who’s having a bit of a melt down.

I try and talk to him, to see if he’s excited about the theatre–

NO!

Does he want to stay back with me and not go in?

NO!

Is he happy to be with his friends? NO!

I tell him I would be mad too if I had to be on time only to have to wait for nearly 2 hours before I can finally watch the show. I should say too that he refused to eat a sandwich or cookie. And I think only grudgingly ate a bag of chips.

11:40am Finally we’re moving down the stairs and into the theatre. I make my way backstage to do the welcome announcement and apologize to the waiting audience for the slight delay. The house lights go dim, and it’s show time.

The show is wonderful. The message is positive! It’s about recognizing that your thoughts have power and you you have the ability to rearrange what you think, feel and say which then can change the outcome of your life. So watch what you say to yourself.

After the show we stood waiting as the kids filed out of the theatre. I was particularly waiting for that young boy to see how he felt now.

I saw him come skipping down the hallway and break into a dance move as he went on by.

Did you enjoy the show? I asked.

Yes, it was awesome! He effervescently responded.

Do you want a picture with the actors? Alice was still in costume.

Oh, yes please he responded with a huge smile and quickly ran up to hug Alice and stand next to her.

Mission accomplished!

This is what it’s all about.

The arts change lives.

One experience, one exposure and the whole attitude can be shifted.

Exercise is Poetry of the Body

Exercise moves your physical body and occupies your human mind for you cannot exercise and think about anything other than what you are doing for fear of injury. Stay focused. Exercise helps you engage all parts of your body and mind and get them working in unison in a way that few other activities can do. Exercise is the execution of God-consciousness. It is poetry of the body just as meditation is poetry of the soul. 

The Storm before the Calm

You cannot plant seeds or plants into soil that hasn’t been stirred up or amended. You cannot stick seeds for new growth into existing soil beds that already have plants growing. There is no space or nutrients for this new growth. In the same way in order for you to have growth, in order to step into the next best thing, you too need to be stirred up, amended and woken up from your status quo so that you can Be, Do, Have the next best thing in your life. It feels like the storm before the calm for you because you’re being shaken out of your reverie. Human nature doesn’t like change. It is resisted. Hence change has to come in a way that makes it a necessary one, often one that is seemingly out of your control. However the more self aware you get, the more you will realize that you do get early warning signs about the change. You usually ignore or overlook them because they aren’t as painful or uncomfortable. Only once we get to that level of discomfort where it is untenable, then that is when you are willing to change. Your job is to get hyper aware and heed the early warning signs for yourself and then change will become second nature and you won’t resist it; rather you will welcome it. 

Pause

Music is formed not just with continuous notes. It is often the rest between notes that makes it more dramatic or memorable. Meditation is the pause between thoughts, sleep is the pause for your body, breathing is the pause that enables you to access creativity and information. You can access all that you need to access from within instead of relying on anything outside of yourself. Much like the cycle of the moon and waves has an ebb and flow- so too does your body have the need to retreat and recover- to restore, rejuvenate, regenerate and then reengage with the world. Human beings often try and go, go, go without regard to the natural rhythm of their lives and bodies. The human body can adapt to a lot, and has adapted to going constantly as well. 

However there is a natural threshold- which if you cross- will make your body slow down and force the pause. 

Simple ways to be mindful of this pause is to allow yourself 4×4 breathing (inhale to the count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, hold for 4) 4-6 times a day. This simple yet effective exercise will build in pauses and additionally provide life-giving oxygen to your body making it stronger both mentally and physically. Go ahead and try this for 28 days and see if you have affected change in your life. 

I Am Divine

Wow this has been quite a year! God’s calling up a lot of angels. Lucky them. Yes it’s sad to lose someone we love and revere. I think this is an opportunity for us to pause and reflect why death impacts us the way it does? Why does death bring us together in a way that nothing else does? In these past many months there’s been so much angst, negativity, frustration, fear, hate spewed both on and off line. What if, just for one day, instead of the lower vibration emotions, we all engaged in higher vibration emotions? What if we were grateful to be alive? What if we wondered what we’re to learn about ourselves from the passing of someone we love and adore? What if we believed that they’re not gone? That they just outgrew their physical body and that their soul has a greater calling than this shell of a human body can contain? What if their death is here to show us that they, just like we are — human, and have huge human potential? That instead of revering them, we revered ourselves as the child of God, the extension of God, the perfection of God that we all are! What if we’re not meant to save the world, rather just to be a beacon of light and hope to show the world how to save itself! Because everyone of us, if we just took care of the square footage around our own two feet, if we just worried about how WE showed up in the world, if we just worried about how we behaved and are perceived – I have to believe that magic is possible! Regardless– it’s what I choose to believe! I’ll take care of me, my vibe, my emotions, my words, my thoughts, and how I show up in the world, and as a result, my corner of the world is better for it– not because I did anything TO or FOR anyone else- after all that’s not my job…my job is to be the best version of me, and the rest will magically fall into place. Because I’m an expression of God. I Am Joy. I Am Divine. I Am love.