Sunrise

I saw a definition of the sunrise, it made me laugh. This world full of too many people worshiping pragmatism. So many people since I have landed in Atlanta make sure to tell me they are so practical, before risking to elude to some deeper reality. The wild world of the unexplainable, certainly no reasonable person would set foot there. Intuition, Energy, Earth Consciousness, scary ideas meeting with harsh rejection from a world that fights wars to protect their illusion of imposed stability. But, there is no contingency plan for life..so, Be Bold, Be Magical, Be Alive. I like my definition much better:

A bird sings, the dark still envelopes a dewy world, the edge of the horizon glows a misty purple. Is this where the dreams go that you cannot hold once you are awake? A coolness sets over the land. Silence comes as the light of our existence slowly breaks away from the shadow of the earth, the brilliance bleeds into the starry sky as an orchestra of morning birds rejoice the awakening. Celestial beauty bringing light and fertility to all the land bowing before it. The sun has risen, a blessing to all that a new day has come.

or

Sunrise or sun up is the instant at which the upper edge of the Sun appears over the eastern horizon in the morning.[1] The term can also refer to the entire process of the Sun crossing the horizon and its accompanying atmospheric effects.[2]

Which world do you want to live in?

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Before you reach for the Extra Virgin Olive Oil….

You might want to make sure, it’s real. Unfortunately, here we find a great example of the seriously weak food and label standards American consumers are constantly faced with. I found out about rancid oil at an Herbal training I was a part of. Since then every kitchen I have cooked in I taste the oil, and they have all contained rancid olive oil. The oil has gone bad, it tastes stale, and it is very harsh on the digestion. I bring my own olive oil now, but I have found out that buying spoiled olive oil, as common as it is, is not the worst part. In America there are few if any olive oil regulations, and there is no standard for Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). Marketers can put that on the label no matter what is in the bottle. There have been studies finding that much American EVOO is not Extra Virgin and some of it even contains other oils such as canola. I avoid canola at all costs, so that is seriously upsetting. The best way to ensure your olive oil is what is says it is, is to look for a seal of authenticity from the area that it was bottled. Taste test and smell your oils, it should have a golden, clean aroma and taste. Also, I have also stopped using Olive oil for any kind of cooking as it breaks down easily at high temperatures which can cause health issues, but it is wonderful raw. Coconut oil, Ghee and Sesame oil are much better options when cooking. If you all are interested in more let me know.
olive

Liberation in Limitation

For many years I have been drawn to the teachings of Buddha, there are many elements that seem to bring peace and harmony to the person who can hold this wisdom.  However, there was a piece that had bothered me, the limitation of certain behaviors that is often called upon by one looking to reach enlightenment.  I could not understand why, in this world of abundance, would we be called to renounce desires and attachments. The wisdom of this escaped me, if I wanted to indulge in the sensual pleasures of this world, why wouldn’t I?  Surely it was for enjoyment that these things were created.  Even reading these words now, they seem so juvenile, so I wish to share my transforming experience of direct liberation as a result of limitation

 

I was very blessed to meet with a wise man, who took me under his wing so I could learn deep esoteric knowledge, and heal my deep wounds of the spirit.    In this apprenticeship I was asked to abstain from many things.  I was hesitant and  distrustful of the guidance at first, but I found a willingness deep in myself to be challenged on new fronts.  This abstinence surely could not hurt me, I could only gain.  Through some discomfort, emotional ups and downs, and much imperfection, I came to some very profound revelations about the nature of life, love and the spirit.

I limited social interactions, quit drinking, abstained from sex, ate only simple organic foods, pushed myself past boundaries with exercise and work, and I committed to deep internal investigation through meditation and journaling.  As I let go of many things in my life, I began to realize how much the attainment of these desires dictated my happiness.  I was happy if I had it, unhappy if I didn’t.  When I let go of the compulsive need to fill these desires, I began to find I had control over my emotional stability.  I could be happy and at peace whether these cravings were satisfied or not, and this is a powerful place to be.  In this place fears dissipate and your life is no longer centered on running after the fulfillment of these material desires.  When you let go of the chasing an amazing amount of energy is freed within yourself.  I began to see my relationships as lessons, not as another  way to fulfill desire.  Everything changed.  My well-being soared, and I had the energy to pursue the things that nurtured me on a deeper level.

In the past years this practice and discipline has brought me much freedom.  I do not leave a job because it does not please me, I do not enter a relationship because I fear the future.  I have been able to simplify my life to such a great degree, and I can clearly communicate real needs, so that I can aspire toward healthy goals.  I find that when I do involve myself in a relationship there is deep meaning there, not simple satisfaction of simple desire.  I can be discerning with what I put in my body, and feel great.

As I have found, all you need is already within, when we curb the superficial cravings through limiting our access to them, we gain a greater understanding of ourselves and we can begin to perceive where our true motives lie.  When we clean out the clutter and compulsions we can hear what our wise inner voice is trying to communicate to us.

keeping your power

At some point we all have an experience with someone who says or does something that can causes us to feel negatively about ourselves. Sometimes this is intentional, but often times it is just some reaction to pain in that particular persons life that is directed outwardly, mostly unconsciously. It can even be just a pain imagined  that has developed inwardly. Regardless of intention, insulting or degrading comments or attitudes can leave the recipient feeling weak, inferior and upset. This is a natural reaction as we tend to view ourselves through the actions of those in the world around us. If someone implies we are not good enough in whatever way, we  believe that. You may have also noticed that many antagonists seem to have a strong will and confidence that furthers the impact of their insult. This is because anytime we allow someone else to make us feel any less than a fully integrated part of the human family, anytime we allow someone to cause us pain or feel insecurity we are allowing them that bit of our energy to build themselves up. The person agreeing with self doubt becomes weaker, the originator of the ideal becomes stronger and  a power struggle begins. This can be as small as a minor irritation at work or larger as in an abusive relationship; and on an even larger scale between the public and their leaders. The fact is we all have our weaknesses and we all have divine gifts.  The spectrum of individuality is so large who can judge what is more or less important in this world? If we cultivate our own beautiful heart, accept that we must work through our weaknesses and honor others, we can be strong enough not to accept self defeating ideas, no matter where they come from. Once the realization takes place that you are exactly as you should be in this place in time, regardless of societal agenda, based solely on the gift of your life, you will no longer be offended and weakened by the words and actions of others. If you do become offended take it as a chance to grow in your own confidence, reclaim your energy, don’t agree with negative thought structures, and in this way you will become free to explore and find the gifts you have to share with the world. How you feel about yourself is up to you, take charge and define the life you want to live, leaving expectations behind.