Monday, November 24, 2008

The Times In Which We Live

(Author's note: I wrote this is July hoping it would be published this fall in a holistic magazine. Please enjoy the energy and sentiments of it, now. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, giving gratitude for all that is.... And May you feel the love, joy and abundance of the universe, within you, always. Namaste. Lori)

As a practitioner of energy work, I have had occasion to discuss these seemingly terrifying times in which we live with like minded entrepreneurs. As disposable incomes become more disposed on fuel and food, and vacations become “stacations”, holistic entrepreneurs and purveyors of healthy foods and lifestyles are wondering whether our services and products will be the next trend to go the way of the SUV and boating holidays.

Are our services nice-to-haves that promote peace, health and long life, but something that can be put on hold until the economy is stronger? Or maybe our clients might find a different method for what ails them that is covered by their medical insurance.

Others may wait for a new administration to feel secure enough to trust a more holistic approach for their troubles. Maybe our clients, friends and fellow practitioners can wait another half year to learn new techniques for relaxation and better health. It is only a half year, right? How much harm can we do to ourselves by waiting until we feel more secure?

Light workers truly see our responsibility and service to Mother Earth and Humanity as self growth, holding the space for others to evolve and creating the infrastructure for all of us to move together. For us light workers, these times that seem so channeling and wrought with potential for terrifying actions and outcomes are really just the opposite. To paraphrase my teacher, Kris Duffy, these aren’t terrifying times; these are terrific times.

These times are terrific because of the opportunity we have to step out of our hiding places onto the path where our services and voices will do the most good. It is time to step out in the faith that we have trusted so many times before to hold us, it is time to walk the talk of no fear. It is time to walk the talk of universal love, universal energy, and universal brotherhood. It is not time to fall back on the divisive ways of recession, digging our heels in, building our barricades, stocking our shelves, bolting the doors, arming the alarms, waiting for the potential thief to come to us on his terms. If divisive ways worked, we would be home by now. We would already All have reached Nirvana, if divisive ways worked. They don’t. Those of us who know this must re-double our resolve to break down the barriers between ourselves and others. But, most importantly, it is time for us to redouble our efforts to remove the barriers within ourselves.

How do I do this, you ask?

First, we all need to look at how we spend our time, not just our money. Does the time we spend further us on the path we seek? Or are we simply waiting for the clock hands to move to the next position that we prefer…the evening cocktail hour? The weekend? Don’t get me wrong. I think Miller Time is a divine time of the day. But, so is oatmeal time, service time, walking time and devotion time.

Do we use our time to further our efforts or thwart them? Can we, in good conscience, say that a force outside of ourselves is hindering us from moving forward? Or do we remember that all pressure and power is within? The trouble with realizing that all the power is within us is that we then only have ourselves to blame (or congratulate, for that matter) for our situation.

Thus, we need to spend more time on the actions that affirm ourselves and our path and eliminate those that don’t. Then, as the old phrase goes, follow your bliss and the money will come. Once you sort out how you spend your time and whether you are doing the things that thrill your soul, you will prioritize how financial resources are spent and obtained.

Secondly, we need to remember that true abundance doesn’t have that much to do with financial security. Try this exercise. Make a list of what makes you feel truly abundant. I bet the items on the list will look more like “smelling the warm grass on the community greenbelts”, “sitting in meditation” and “quietly contemplating the unlimited abundance of the universe” than it does “saving for the larger house complete with maid service” or “billing an extra 3 hours a week”.

Finally, consider how you feel about your own security. Do you feel secure in your daily activities as they exist today? If not, waiting for a new administration, a new protector or a new rescuer won’t help the matter. The answer to our troubles, indeed to the condition of the country and world as a whole, is where it has always been; inside each one of us.

Inside each one of us, individually and collectively, is the security we seek, is the abundance we crave, and is the love we desire. We only need to remember the vast unlimitedness that is our true self and work toward merging with this energy daily. Inside each one of us is the power to create and destroy our own plight and our own pathway. Reach for the invitation that the universe offers us. Inside our daily practice to grow and evolve, to help our fellow man, is the power to change our situation from terrifying to terrific.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Washington Post Letter to the Editor

Hi All,

I was enjoying a morning in our back court yard lingering over eating breakfast outside and reading the Washington Post, yesterday. I was reading the Op-ed page and disagreed with something one of the authors said regarding whether peaceful measures have ever stopped war-like behavior. I then meditated for a while and realized I should probably write a letter to the editor explaining my ideas on the topic. Well, low and behold, they published my letter to the editor today.

So - I will put the original link from yesterday's paper and the link to my letter, today.

Op-ed page, July 24, Topic A: Obama in Berlin. Click on the comments by Michael Rubin.

Letter to the Editor on July 25, What even a strong military can't do



Monday, June 30, 2008

Arbor Day

I am the tree in your neighbor’s courtyard. I hang over into your courtyard with the imposing and un-apologetic-right-to-be-here only surpassed by teenagers at a mall, all in your face, talking on the phone assuming the world wants to hear what should be a private conversation.

I am here. I will drop non human edible cherries on the courtyard, staining the brickwork, tripping you up if you don’t notice another cherry has fallen and you roll just a little with the momentary loss of footing. I laugh a little when that happens. Not because I want you to fall, but because I want to be noticed. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

Then, I laugh even harder when, amongst my many branches, a squirrel takes a bite of the non human edible cherries and drops the un-wanted portion on you as you eat your human food while sunning in the courtyard. Yes, this makes me laugh and smile and take full enjoyment of the interconnection of us all. Me, the squirrel, the sun, and you. We are all in sync, laughing, loving and doing what we do best.

But, I remember when the rains and winds came in a couple months ago. There was so much moisture in my spring foliage that a couple of my branches gave way, and fell into your courtyard. Nothing and no one other than me was harmed in this situation. And I had plenty of back up branches, so even I didn’t morn the loss. It was simply a chance to downsize a little. This allowed more wood for your wood stack and more light to come into the courtyard.

Your neighbor said that she would have a professional group come in to trim the rest of me once the arborists had time for non emergency tree trimming.

Well, today, the professional came and now you are sad. You are sad because what use to be a home for birds and squirrels, blocked so much sun that tomato plants wouldn’t bear fruit and instead bore non edible cherries that shed itself in a raking mess, won’t be doing that for a long time. All my branches have been cut 6 feet. I look sick. I look like the people who have gone on radical diets or had their stomachs stapled and now look unhealthier than they did when they were clearly overweight. So – it seems with tree pruning, as well as dieting; very few know the benefits of moderation.

You tell me you regret having ever thought or expressed one complaint about me, for I am now a eunuch, without strength or power to guard. I am home to no birds, no squirrels and no shade.

The only saving grace is, similar to most people who have lap band surgery, my virility, my passion, my appetite isn’t really measured by my girth, but by my heart. I look forward to the day I am an imposing being again; the day of joy when the squirrel once again drops cherries on your head. I know you look forward to that, too.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just Breathe - Suggestions to Lessen Acute Stress

Hi All, This is part two of the suggestions to lessen stress. This entry deals with ideas to lessen acute stress. These ideas and others are discussed more in the workshops I am teaching this summer. See the April 25th entry to learn more about the workshops.


Suggestions to Lessen Acute Stress

(These are ideas to help when you are in the middle of a very stressful situation. They can be done at other times of the day, too, as part of an inwardly focused practice.)

1. Breathe with intention. Take three deep breathes.
a. Set your intention to breathe in Life, Light, Joy, Happiness, whatever good vibration works for you. (You can do this at the beginning of the day…”Every time I breathe in today, I will breathe in Perfect Health”, etc.)
b. Set the intention to breathe out negativity, stress, manic thoughts, etc. every time you breathe out.

2. Ask your inner self / higher self (or if you have a favorite guide, angel or master you work with) to help you let go of the emotional and mental reasons and causes that you are feeling stress. Your inner self (the space you go to when you are quiet) knows how to do this. These reasons and causes may be fear, anger, resentment, hatred, anxiety, lack of abundance, jealousy, envy, etc. It is time to let these negative vibrations go.

3. Start breathing in the good vibration that is the counter to the reason of the stress. For example: If you have fear, breathe in love. If you have jealousy, breathe in self love (you can’t be jealous of someone else if you truly love yourself in a healthy way.) If you have anxiety, breathe in ease and flow of energy or movement. The sky is the limit!! If you can’t think of anything, breathe in light to counteract the darkness of stress.

4. Repeat as necessary!

5. Consider the longer term suggestions to lessen chronic stress and improve your health so that acute stress happens less and less often.

Lifestyle Suggestions to Lessen Chronic Stress

Dear All,

I had the opportunity to speak at a health fair yesterday on the topic of Lessening Stress. I know these are things your mother has told you (or every other health care provider you have had!) for many years....but thought it was worth committing these to paper again...oh I mean to bits and bytes.

This is the companion entry to the one on Suggestions to Lessen Acute Stress. Check it out as well.

Lifestyle Suggestions to Lessen Chronic Stress

1. Get plenty of sleep. 7 – 8 hours a night
a. If drinking alcohol interrupts your sleep, you may want to cut back on it or at least stop a couple hours prior to bed.
b. Consider making breakfast and lunch the bigger meals of the day. Dinner should be lighter so that your body can work on healing itself while you sleep instead of digesting a big meal.
c. If you fall asleep with the TV on, consider getting an automatic timer to shut it and lights off. (Or consider shutting TV off earlier in the night.)
d. Take a hot bath or enjoy a caffeine free tea.
e. Be your own best advocate for getting a better night’s sleep.

2. Drink more clean water and less caffeine

3. Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit and less processed foods or sugar.

4. Exercise more…especially more outdoors where you can enjoy the sun, wind and energy of Mother Earth. Walk, bike ride.

5. Consider taking a stress reduction class or energy class like Evolutionary Reiki or Magnified Healing to give you tools for self relaxation and stress reduction.

6. Take regular breaks from work during the day. (This is the “non-smoking” version of a “smoke” break.)
a. If you don’t have time for a 15 minute break every 2 – 3 hours, at least stand up at your desk and stretch, roll shoulders, get the tense energy out of your upper back and shoulders.
b. If you can’t take a full break, consider changing the project you are working. A change is almost as good as a break. (This is especially helpful if the change is from a static project…like computer work, to a movement project, like filing.)

7. Consider regularly scheduled “atta boy / atta girl” sessions. (Massage, Hair appointments, private energy sessions.)

8. Consider Yoga and other classes where the teachers and other participants are there to help uplift you.

9. Listen to music that uplifts or relaxes you.

10.Remember and re-start the hobby that you really always wanted to do as a career when you were little. This probably gives you a lot of passion and joy, thus less stress.

11. Volunteer at your favorite non-profit.

12.Anything that brings you True Joy will help alleviate your stress.

13. Meditate, use energy work or other inwardly focused practice to relax.

14. Enjoy Life. Remember why you are here…Why you are Truly here!!

Monday, April 21, 2008


I was on the way to meet my sister for lunch the other day. I was speeding along the parkway (don’t tell the park police) and had gone about a half mile from my house when I realized that the car was shaking a little. I looked to the dash to see if there was anything amiss. The parking brake indicator light was shining like a blinding flash of the obvious. Sure enough, the brake handle was sticking up between the seats and I hadn’t even noticed.

HMMM…doesn’t that seem like real life sometimes? We are traveling at break neck speeds toward some particular goal without taking the parking brake off. We start to hear the clicks, the clatters and feel the shakes just a little at first and then more and more pronounced as the trip continues. Sure, we normally seem to get to the destination, maybe even on time…but what is the wear and tear on ourselves in the process?

Thus, Today’s entry is to urge you (ok – it is really to urge myself) to release the parking brake.

It is amazing what a smooth ride I had once I released the brake. Releasing the brake wasn’t hard. The real trick was in noticing that it was still on. But, even then, all I had to do to was listen to the subtle differences from when the ride is effortless, efficient and maybe even EASY and then started to investigate the potential causes.

On a twist of the old saying we teach kids for crossing the street, I listened, I looked and then I stopped the behavior that no longer made sense.

That is what we should do in all aspects of our lives. 1) Listen to the inner wisdom for information, 2) Look for potential causes or solutions, and 3) Release the obstacles, old patterns or anything that is putting brakes on the actions that will get us efficiently, easily and effortlessly to our true destination.

What brake do you need to release today?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Vows of Unconditional Love

Scandals. Scandals. The public can’t get enough of scandals. And if the scandal includes sex or drugs, then we fall all over ourselves to read more about it. It seems just when the news and political cartoons have just died down from the last scandal, another one hits us in the pituitary.

Recently, the pundits have focused on the spouse in these situations. Is it appropriate for the dutiful spouse to stand next to her man through think, thin, gay and wide stances? Why is it that instead of admiring the women for supporting their spouses, we tend to criticize them for being a little too Loretta Lynn – esque? We could explore the motivations regarding the reason each of the women stand by their men, but really shouldn’t that be left to each of her own meditations or therapist’s couch?

Instead, we should appreciate, at least on the face of it, that each of these spouses is standing by the vow they took at their wedding; to love and honor in good times and in bad. Isn’t unconditional love supposed to be UNCONDITIONAL? Or does unconditional love only apply when it is reasonable for unconditional love to apply…like when the other loves you unconditionally back?

Please do not think I am advocating staying in an abusive relationship or even a relationship that no longer serves you because you think that is what I mean by unconditional love. First and foremost, you must feel unconditional love for yourself. Not allowing someone to have power over you or you no longer exerting power over another is one of the first steps to showing yourself unconditional love.

I am more trying to point out the juxtaposition that society has with its marriage vows. We are suppose to love, honor and cherish our spouse until society determines that they aren’t worthy of that trust. And then he / she should stand alone to face the music. It may be appropriate for the “scandalous” spouse to be interviewed by the media alone.

But, society seems to treat the other spouse as if she is vapid for supporting her husband. Isn’t that Unconditional Love?

If a person has unconditional love for another, why do we bother with the vows in the first place? If I love my man unconditionally, do I need a vow to get me to support him through thick and thin? Vows are fear based, not love based. I fear that after 10 years, my love will find another and leave me without a way to support myself, without medical insurance, without a place to live. Thus, I expect a vow to ensure that I have recourse when the relationship goes south.

In these high profile cases, do you suppose that it is even more difficult to be kicked out of the White House when your spouse has forgotten one of the fear based vows he made during his wedding ceremony? And do you suppose that your eventual bid for the White House might be forestalled by no longer being married to said spouse and having his secret service detail remove your “delicates” from the First Lady’s Bedroom?

We make the vows during the wedding ceremony because society hasn’t evolved to the place where it believes in, let alone experiences, unconditional love. We have the vows to protect ourselves and our offspring from the lack of unconditional or even conditional love from another.

Whether the “wronged” spouse is truly feeling unconditional love or simply trying to save face amongst the media feeding frenzy, we should not judge how unconditional support is shown. We may all be just one scandal away from hoping our support system is unconditional both in and out of the public eye.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Snow Falling

As I watch the snow fall during rush hour in the city, I am reminded how like wisdom snow flakes are. I don’t see it so much as us being the warm ground ready to integrate and embrace the snow flakes of wisdom into our lives. Instead, we are the harsh ground hoping to eliminate the unwelcome advice of the universe before we have a chance to enjoy the beauty. We don’t want to alter our habits and our plans for the evening. In fact, this life giving moisture is seen as inconvenient at a minimum; do we have plenty of bottled water, milk and toilet paper (and wine, if you are in my house) in case the electricity goes off? I am never quite sure how the toilet paper is suppose to help if the electricity goes out, but if conventional wisdom says to buy it, we do. And at its extreme, at least on the days we need to commute, the snow is threatening, a burden and potentially has the power to kill. (At least that is how the headlines would read…”5 killed in freak snow storm.”)

Aren’t new ideas (aka wisdom) seen as inconvenient? “I am going to have to learn something new? Didn’t I learn everything I was suppose to in Kindergarten, anyway?” Oh we allow ourselves, grudgingly in some cases, to learn new technologies, new techniques, but do we really open ourselves up to new ideas and concepts? “If my mother didn’t tell me about it, well then, it probably doesn’t need to be learned.” OK – I learned a heck of a lot, both practically and spiritually from my mother, but I am willing to admit (as would she) that there are plenty of other teachers out there who might have another piece to help me complete my puzzle.

If we don’t embrace the wisdom when it is falling slowly, lovely and silently from the heavens…If we don’t get it when the wisdom is gentle, then we may only open ourselves up to the wisdom when it is piled high and terrifying. Just like the snow during the afternoon commute, the wisdom will eventually take hold. The only question is whether we will embrace it and be an early adopter; enjoying the benefits of the secrets the universe has for us and all? Or will we be late comers to the new information? It doesn’t matter which we are. There is no judgment from the wisdom. It is simply a matter of how joyful is our commute home.

Being prepared for the snow may be as easy as being open to the gentle wisdoms; integrate the snow flakes as they fall into our conscious awareness. Shovel as you go along and have the cork screw ever at the ready. Then, do as the teenagers do: pray for a snow day.