Friday, August 26, 2011

This Time We Live

Mayan Ruins in Belize: Face From the Past



It is exciting, gratifying, wonderful, amazing to be alive at this time in history, but it is also very difficult. The schedules, practices, organization, “givens,” and old reliable ways of navigating life no longer work. We know how we want our interactions, our work, our moment to moment life to feel and we have moments of realizing that, but so often we know how it could be, and it just doesn’t get there. There is a drive in all of us, and some of us are now consciously feeling it. This drive is to move to what is better, more satisfying, more meaningful. I have always thought of it as being somewhat “Type A” and labeled it as slightly negative. I am discovering that is not true.

Many of today’s leading-edge thinkers, mystics and sages are talking about the unprecedented change that is to happen about 12/21/2011. The great majority agree that it is not the end of the world, but the end of society as we know it—that is, it will be if we are to survive as a species. There are many indicators that this is so—the state of the world economy, the political unrest throughout the world even in places that had been controlled to eliminate that, the atmospheric and weather changes, the dwindling pool of natural resources, the disillusionment of our youth and the rise of gangs, and the toxins in our air, water and food and in the earth itself.

From throughout the world, the wisest of us are seeing a similar solution. For the first time in history we understand that our thoughts/energy create. We know that groups of us joined together with a focused intent affect outcomes. We know that nature promotes those organisms that cooperate, and that nature inherently wants to seek balance. We know that evolution has happened in leaps and spurts throughout history, beginning with the Big Bang. We know deep in our core that we can make a difference in ourselves and through that, in our planet. But how?

It must begin with becoming acutely aware in every moment of the effect of what we think and do on others and the environment. We must find our individual way of connecting to the Essence, God part, Universal Intelligence of our inner being and coming to the place where we can choose to allow that part to manage our ego—not destroy our ego. It is through our Local, Individual, Ego Self that we make things happen in the world. The source of what those things will be must now come from our Essence, Higher Self, Divine Field, Universal Intelligence, God Within or whatever words make that real for you. I know these are just words until you have the experience of being quiet enough, long enough, with enough emotional clearing to truly feel your Essence. There are so many “issues” that we use to veil that experience. Perhaps the most potent is our fear of the power we have if we are deeply connected to our Universal Self, and our lack of experience with using it.

That drive I mentioned at first: Barbara Marx Hubbard and others define it as the drive of evolution itself held within us. Back in the 1980’s I read a paper written by a Methodist Minister who posed the question “Is God Evolving?” It was a very controversial topic at the time. More and more thinkers are answering “Yes” to that question, and God, Divine Source is doing it through each of us; but in order for us to realize what could be, we must co-create together. More on that to come.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Overcoming Overwhelm with Energy Medicine



Dona Eden showing her

Energy Medicine Exercises:

COOK'S HOOK UP


ZIP UP

Overwhelm is everywhere: whether in Rwanda, Australia, or here, and those of us who have more highly tuned neurological and energy systems are especially good at feeling it (do the checklist below to see if you might be what is called an empath). But I have been noticing that I actually feel more overwhelmed here in the U.S. than in Africa where the lack of creature comforts causes almost constant physical stress. There are many reasons for greater overwhelm here including my partial shift back into the mind-set of accomplishment and deadlines. However, I remember that in Rwanda I expected to have difficult energies around me, and I did my favorite Energy Medicine exercises to protect and realign my energy frequently during the day and evening. We taught the Project LIGHT students Dona Eden’s Energy Medicine Daily Routine and did it every morning. They looked forward to it and reminded us if we forgot. I’ve picked two techniques that are easy and effective in bringing that scattered, ready to scream, feeling back to relief and focus: Cook’s Hook Up and Zip Up.

For all Energy Medicine exercises, breathe slowly in your nose and out your mouth. Step One on the Zip Up card shows the “thump” that is always to be done first, as it assists our primary energy meridians (the ones used in acupuncture) to run in the correct direction (they can go backwards after stress). That allows all the other exercises to do what they are intended to do.

1. To find the spot to thump, touch the collarbone points that protrude the most, close to the center, then move your fingers below the bone and slightly further apart to find the indentations or hollows on both sides at the top of breastbone. Tap vigorously for at least five slow breaths.

2. For Cook’s Hook Up cross your left ankle over your right. Then extend your left hand straight in front with your palm turned out to the side and cross your right hand over your left wrist with your palm facing the left palm. Clasp your fingers, and then bend your fist down and under and up to your chest. Take four slow breaths and then release your hands downward with a flourish and a strong exhale. This exercise is intended to focus your mind, bring out your best skills, and calm overwhelm.

3. For Zip Up stand up and drop both hands straight down in front of you, close together and with palms facing your body, about one or two inches from your body. Take a deep breath in as you slowly and carefully bring your slightly cupped hands up the front of your body to just below your lower lip. Twist your fingers as if you are turning a key in a lock at your lip. Continue moving your hands up, joyfully spreading them into the sky. Circle your hands back down and repeat at least three times. This integrates and seals in your energy system as you are tracing the Central Meridian. It has been shown to protect a person from negative thoughts and energies sent from others, and can help you distance yourself from the chaotic energy in public places.

As with all methods that are intended to realign and change habits, the more often and consistently you do these exercises, the greater the effect. I have been known to duck into the Ladies’ Room for a quick Zip Up after an encounter with disagreeable energy. I can’t think of a time when it hasn’t helped me even though the energy outside didn’t change.

I promised you a checklist to see if you might call yourself an empath, so here it is. You might also want to check out the classes being offered at QuietStar about how to manage and care for a more sensitive body-mind-energy system at quietstar.com.

“ARE YOU AN EMPATH?” Created by Elaina Geltner and Robin Klickstein

1. Does it seem like you feel everyone else’s “stuff”?
2.
Do world events (especially tragedies) send you into a tailspin?
3.
Do you often wonder where “your” feelings are coming from?
4.
Not sure about: “What’s mine, what isn’t mine.
5. Do your feelings make no sense sometimes? (Am I crazy or am I an Empath?)
6.
Do you feel more than other people?
7.
Do family gatherings leave you feeling overwhelmed and discombobulated?
8. Do you find yourself spaced-out after being in a crowded store or big event?
9. Do people tell you that you are too sensitive?
10.
Do you sometimes have food cravings or impulses to behave strangely that don’t seem connected to what you are experiencing?

If you answered Yes to more than 5, it’s pretty likely you are an empath.

Stay tuned for more musings about the Rwanda experience and more insights about the lessons it presented to me, and those for all of us on the planet.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

All There Is, Is Love


Betty (who wants to be

a teacher) teaching EFT

for an internet mailing

to 300,000 people.



What an unbelievably wonderful two days (but we do believe it). Yesterday we started our usual way with the Energy Medicine Daily Routine and then the Check-In where students tell what has been difficult and what they are grateful for since the last Check-In. We had an extremely busy day planned to be sure to get in a session on forgiveness, more on heart-focus, more on business planning, and more on changing perspective. Lori tore up the notes she had after the third student’s Check-In. Unbeknownst to us, all of them had gotten together and gone over all their notes from the three weeks and thought about what the program has meant to them. Remember that they started out with most of them feeling isolated, hopeless for their future, feeling unworthy and with extremely low scores on the Quality of Life Inventory. I want to quote some of what was said (we did not script this at all): Drogba said “The first few days I was in darkness and now I am in full light, and I won’t cover my light ever again, I will share it so others can find it too.” Etienne had a dream that he was in another African country teaching what he has learned at Project LIGHT. Mathieu said, “In Leadership I learned that you have to change yourself before you can help or lead others and always ask, ‘What is needed here?’, so if there is a riot you can think about what makes people come and riot.” He also talked about two high school students with problems that he has been helping and they consider him their counselor so he really doesn’t want to leave them. Yvette said, “I started feeling well for the first time when I came here. After I got my diploma from secondary school I was happy for a few months, but then saw that it was meaningless because I had to just stay at home with no job, no money and just being sad and confused. In the beginning here when you taught that we have to love and accept ourselves, at first I couldn’t feel it at all. Then I prayed and asked for the learning to enter my heart. It did and now I love myself so much.” Fidele: “I am so grateful for your love. You come from a country where life is much easier and you even come up the mountain from Kigali on bad roads and bad climate and you leave your families to come here. The Bishop taught us about unity and reconciliation and it is not easy to live with someone who killed your family, but I believe I can and I can teach others. I have learned that everyone can be a leader, and I now believe I can succeed. I now know so many people around the world think about us.” Etienne said, “Before I came here I had no hope and could do nothing and I didn’t even pray. All the things I’ve learned here are very important. It’s helped my critical thinking and bettered my mind and all my abilities. Now I pray every day and in the future I will become a pastor.”

I will write more in future blogs of what the students have said, but the impact of their words had all of us on the team in tears of joy and gratitude. The way these young people took everything we taught them, shared and multiplied their understanding, connected and supported one another, trusted us enough to try things totally foreign to anything they had experienced before, and found their inner passion for life and the future blows us away. The only explanation we have come up with is that above anything else, we loved them and we showed up for them through harrowing drives up the mountain in the rain even when exhausted and slightly ill. The other explanation is that when a person suffers the most extreme of traumas, the crucible of that experience creates a strength of character, soul, that yields expanded capacities. All it takes is clearing the negative effects of the trauma and a catalyst to ignite their innate knowing. Words cannot express the joy, amazement and humility I feel at being allowed to be a part of this. To all of you who supported me financially, emotionally or spiritually, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blossoming


The foam eraser

Alisoun and "It's

Possible"





Each day seems more amazing than the last. There were so many synchronicities and satisfactions today. Our favorite interpreter, Sharon, has a beautiful voice and writes her own music. She wrote a song just for us: “Imagine what a difference we could make together, if we join our hands together as one”. The melody and rhythm are addicting. Paul, the film maker, corralled one of the students who is an exceptional drummer and taught him how to record by listening to Sharon on earphones. The result could very well become a hit. It will be in the video that is being made to accompany the interview Lori had with Jessica Ortner from the Tapping Solution. Our PLR Ambassadors came up with twelve benefits they had received from tapping (EFT), showing depth, insight and gratitude. They chose the top five, and then chose the five students who speak the best English, and those students came up to the camera, said their name and the tapping benefit. Then one girl who started out so shy, demonstrated the entire tapping process for an e-mailing list of 300,000 people with clarity and confidence. All of us were crying to see the transformation from na├»ve, shy, isolated, self-doubting, hopeless young people to vibrant, confident, creative, hopeful leaders. They have become a team, supporting one another by going to visit one student’s ill mother, doing tapping with them when a student has a problem, feeling incomplete when one is missing (only one student has missed one day), and the local students inviting the homeless ones home to meet their families. Several of the students have lost all family members except a few cousins or one sibling, and two have lost all known family members. Some do not know their birthdays because there is no one to tell them and they were too young at the genocide to know. Two of them have almost constant pain from their injuries and diseases—although the neck pain of one has gone away and the other has a reduced level of pain after tapping on those issues. They look forward to the Energy Medicine Daily Routine (simplified so they can teach others) every morning and report feeling calmed and ready to learn afterward.

Alisoun and I had a group of 33 high school students in the afternoon to begin teaching them to become peer counselors. They are so enthusiastic, and so eager to help other students and us. We use a regular classroom which is an experience in itself. I mentioned before that the blackboard eraser is a torn piece of foam mattress. The board has ripples and sandpapery places and slick places, and you can’t get all of the past writing off. Everything within six feet of the board is covered with chalk dust, and whoever erases the board coughs for several minutes. The chalk breaks after a few sentences when it hits one of the rough spots. It is hard for the students to see what you write because the board is so white from the layers of chalk still there. We gather small pieces of chalk from the floor by the board to use, as there is no chalk tray. Since there are almost no books and definitely not a book for each student, everything has to be written on the board. The teachers have to be dedicated to the students, or they would not continue under these conditions.

We stayed at the school until 6:30 tonight to have a Skype call with Pacific Grove Middle School in California tonight. The call did not work, but the students were prepared with Sharon’s song, a cheer we use (It’s Possible), and thank yous for their T-shirts and crystal heart necklaces. We will try again for the call. We used 19 of the solar book lights to illuminate the area next to the computer enough to do the call at dusk. The two two-foot fluorescent light bulbs in the library were not enough to really even read by (and the power went out for about thirty-minutes). The solar lights are one of the products the students will be selling as part of their cooperative business venture. Tomorrow we continue with the peer counselors and the PLR Ambassadors will make a matrix of all the skills that each member of the group possesses to start their creative process to decide on what business ventures are best for them.

Project LIGHT is working! When you walk into the room we use for training you can feel the hopeful, magic energy that everyone together has created. It truly is an international, intergenerational, interracial co-creation.