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Archive for April, 2013

INSPIRATION FROM ROSEMARY: Your Spiritual Practice

April 30, 2013 Leave a comment

My video for the week: Your Spiritual Practice

PS: Last Day, today, April 30! Spring Book Special: Get Your Woman On!  Embracing Beauty, Grace and the Power of Women – The Amazon Best Selling book that Rosemary co-authored with some amazing women – is available this month at a very special price –$12 with free shipping in the US and some great bonuses!  This would be an inspirational gift for Mother’s Day for a woman who would like to read 39 stories of transformation.  Here’s how to get your copy: Book Sale

MONDAY’S POEM: Celebrate Emptiness

April 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Because some days are just like this:

Celebrate Emptiness

Celebrate Emptiness as
The beginning of Fullness.
Inside of grief is always
Room for praise.

Buddha taught Shariputra
“Form is no other than emptiness.”
This completely relieves
Misfortune and pain.

When down there is always up.
When empty, only a filling.
Let the empty cup of grief be filled
With the joyous song of praise.

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Stand Up or Stand Out?

April 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Yesterday I posted a comment on Rosemary’s message from The Divine Feminine about living into the greater vision the Universe has in mind for us. And I challenged you and me to “stand up” and live that bigger vision, no matter how scary it might be!

Then I came across a story in an old favorite little book by Thomas Merton, The Way of Chuang Tzu, that I’m re-reading to refresh my mind and spirit about the Way, the Tao that Chuang Tzu so eloquently and deeply explored. Here is that story, The Man with One Foot and the Marsh Pheasant. I believe it speaks loudly to this theme of living into a greater vision of ourselves:

Kung Wen Hsien saw a maimed official
Whose left foot had been cut off–
A penalty in the political game!

“What kind of man,” he cried, “is this one-footed oddity?
How did he get that way? Shall we say
Man did this, or heaven?”

“Heaven,” he said, “this comes from
Heaven, not from man.
When heaven gave this man life, it willed
He should stand out from others
And sent him into politics
To get himself distinguished.
See! One foot! This man is
different.”

The little marsh pheasant
Must hop ten times
To get a bite of grain.

She must run a hundred steps
Before she takes a sip of water.
Yet she does not ask
To be kept in a hen run
Though she might have all she desired
Set before her.

She would rather run
And seek her own little living
Uncaged.

As is so often the case with these stories from Taoism or Zen Buddhism, there is no clear cut moral to the story! On the surface we seem to hear that the Man with One Foot lived up to his charge from heaven – to “stand out.” But perhaps he over-reached his destiny, the “vision the Universe had in mind for him”! (Maybe this is a simple commentary on the “political game” as it was played then—a more dangerous one than today’s!).

Then there is the comparative lesson of the little marsh pheasant who sought her “little living uncaged.” I can presume that she is living in accordance with heaven’s will, nature’s choice. So often these Taoist stories urge a natural way of life, to go with the flow of the Tao.

For me the point of this story is not at all contradictory with the message from The Divine Feminine. The Universe (heaven) has big plans for us. We are standing on the backs of several thousand generations of human ancestry not to live small, to live caged, to live unnaturally with one foot. We are to stand up, not out. And yet, even if we are to lose a foot to the greater cause of living into our vision, is that too much?

There is a polarity to this story that seems to call for balance. We are called to stand up, but not out. We are called to live free as nature intended. And yet we are “called” by the Universe to live big. The story presents us with contrasts, the duality we so often face in daily routine. There is no right or wrong in this story of opposites. The story presents both sides. This complimentary nature of the Tao is a favorite theme of Chuang Tzu. And as Lao Tzu says in the Taoteching, Chapter 2:

All the world knows good
But if that becomes good
This becomes bad.

Follow your nature. And follow the Universe’s call. Stand up and be counted. And yes, there will be both good and bad consequences when you do. The “free” choice is yours!

What do you make of Chuang Tzu’s story?

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Will the REAL YOU please stand up? – Richard’s Commentary

April 25, 2013 Leave a comment

I don’t know about you but I was really struck by this message from The Divine Feminine posted yesterday! And I realize part of this message’s impact is the “memory” it hits. I think anyone reading this post knows the truth of this message about themselves! We are all here, now, in this time for a very specific purpose. We are here to be part of an enormous transformation. And it is time for the REAL Us to stand up! Here are the specific instructions from The Divine Feminine:

Expand your Consciousness to embrace the biggest version of YOU that you can imagine and then allow that to continue to expand.  The Universe sees YOU as large as you REALLY are.  Dissolve the limitations that you have put on yourself and BE THE BIGGER VISION OF YOU.

What does this mean? I have a perfect example of a couple of people doing this very thing. You may or may not know of Deva Premal & Miten, two artists who have made chanting mantras, both in Sanskrit and from other cultures in other languages, not only beautiful art but moving, spiritual experiences. Rosemary and I have all of their albums and listen to them regularly. We have attended their live performances and have been truly inspired. Here’s what they are now doing to embrace their biggest vision: they are offering a completely free 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey over the internet. It just began on April 23rd and it is fantastic. What a wonderful way to start the day, with 15 minutes of these beautiful human beings introducing and then chanting a new mantra. Deva and Miten have stepped up to a higher level of offering Divine Chanting for the world!

You can still join us in on this journey; sign up here: Deva & Miten

We are all called to Stand Up! The Divine Feminine requests this and Deva Premal & Miten demonstrate a perfect example of what it means and how to do it.

It begins with an expanded consciousness; it begins with a “bigger vision of you.” We all have dreams, wishes, desires. Are these true visions of who we are and what we can be or are these fantasies of the “if only” category? Visions are dreams that can be actualized. They require motivation, planning, resources, scheduling and action. The Divine Feminine are not calling us to dream, they are calling us to Vision and Action. They are asking us to Stand Up!

What is my vision?  I have outlined my first Qigong class! I plan to teach a 10-week program beginning in May. I have a marketing flier completed, class syllabus ready to go, sign-up/release form to print and a few ideas for marketing the class to local groups here in Maryland. I am excited not only to be doing this but with the notion that I am moving in a new direction and beginning to “stand up.” OK, a Qigong Class may not sound like a big leap, but it is a step.

And Rosemary and I are moving forward with other plans to expand programs and offer more to our local groups, followers and clients here in the Maryland area. We are also continuing to develop our online plans to bring what we offer to a wider, global audience. Rosemary’s voice already reaches around the world with her services to select international clients. She too, as the “Voice of The Divine Feminine is stepping up and moving into a much bigger Vision of her Service to Humanity.

It really is time for all of us to Stand Up, to live into that greater vision we all sense about ourselves and the Universe knows about us!

Are you ready to Stand Up? 

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ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: Will the REAL YOU please stand up?

April 24, 2013 Leave a comment

This week’s article is a message from The Divine Feminine:

Dear Ones,

Your work now is to be fully YOU.  Who are you?  Independent of your roles, your relationships, your duties and obligations.  Who are you when no one is looking?  Who are you in your dreams and fantasies?

What do you wish you could say?  Say it.

What do you wish you could do?  Do it.

Who do you want to be?  Be that person.

There is nothing stopping you except you.

Who is limiting you?  Only your beliefs and thoughts about you hold you back.

What is your relationship with money?  If money seems to be a limiting factor in your life then you have cut off the flow of money to you and through you by defining a limiting belief about HOW money operates.

If, for example, you say, “I would like to travel but I don’t have the money,” then you are defining how you cannot travel and you are correct.  If, however, you say to the Universe, “I would like to travel to ________ and I am grateful and eager to see how you will provide that trip,” then you allow the Universe many options for making that happen.

If you believe that you cannot make the money you need then you are only looking at a particular method of receiving money and, again, you limit the ways in which the Universe can bring money to you.

Be grateful.  Be curious.  Be open.

Be yourself.

Who must you BE to receive the money you desire

Be the powerful manifestor that you already are.  Be in the flow of your Life Purpose.  Be constantly grateful for the reality that is your Life, for the lessons you are learning, for the people who are helping you to learn those lessons.  Be in touch with your Inner Child who is trying to feel safe, happy, protected and playful.  Be creative, for you may have forgotten how to play and create.  Be joyful, for Joy is a powerful magnet to attract more Joy into your Life.

Be who you are behind the limiting beliefs you have created about yourself.  Stop defining yourself by the money you do or do not have.  Stop confining yourself to what you used to believe and think.

Leap forward into possibilities that hold the most Joy for you.

You are there.  You are here.  You are the Light of the World.  You are the Delight of the Universe.

Expand your Consciousness to embrace the biggest version of YOU that you can imagine and then allow that to continue to expand.  The Universe sees YOU as large as you REALLY are.  Dissolve the limitations that you have put on yourself and BE THE BIGGER VISION OF YOU.

And so it it.

Rosemary’s Comments:

I don’t know about you but I need the reminder to stop playing small.  It seems much easier to focus on what seems do-able then to stretch into the bigger visions.  Take a leap of faith!  Reach for something that really scares you!  Trust the Universe to support your bigger visions.

And I have learned that it is important to ask for help.

We asked the Universe for a house to rent and our friend asked for someone to rent her house.  Voila!  We move in August.  It happens just that way when you trust.

PS:  The final week of the Spring Book Special: Get Your Woman On!  Embracing Beauty, Grace and the Power of Women – The Amazon Best Selling book that Rosemary co-authored with some amazing women – is available this April at a very special price – $12 with free shipping in the US and some great bonuses!  This would be an inspirational gift for Mother’s Day for a woman who would like to read 39 stories of transformation.  Here’s how to get your copy: Book Sale

INSPIRATION FROM ROSEMARY: Who Are You REALLY?

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Rosemary’s video for the week: Who Are You REALLY?

PS: Book sale! Spring Book Special: Get Your Woman On!  Embracing Beauty, Grace and the Power of Women – The Amazon Best Selling book that Rosemary co-authored with some amazing women – is available this month at a very special price –$12 with free shipping in the US and some great bonuses!  This would be an inspirational gift for Mother’s Day for a woman who would like to read 39 stories of transformation.  Here’s how to get your copy: Book Sale

Monday’s Poem: Faith

April 22, 2013 Leave a comment

It was a tough week in many ways. Natural and unnatural disasters, a breakdown in the democratic experiment, even numbers don’t seem to hold much truth these days! I wrote this hanging out there somewhere between hope and despair:

Faith

A sense of the intrinsic goodness
of Life.
A connection to the evolving nature
of Consciousness.
A belief in something beyond the reach
of Humanity.

Are these tricks of the human mind?
Is there something beyond the matrix
We have built to protect our faith?
When we peer through the holes in
that matrix, the glitches that disrupt our
Flow, our faith
Grow large.

Faith in the matrix of military might
is not Life.
Faith that there is no connection between
drones and guns
is Unconsciousness.
Faith that someone or something out there
will save humanity
is naive.

Breathe down to your belly.
Feel there the vibrations of hope.
They quicken one’s own intrinsic goodness.
Find there the source of New Faith.

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

The Story is Not the Person! – Richard’s Commentary-Part 2

April 19, 2013 Leave a comment

“The story is not the person.” But the person is part of the human story, as I wrote in my post yesterday. There is so much to Rosemary’s article posted Wednesday that I wanted to come at it from another angle.

She wrote of boundaries that people have that must be respected. We have them to protect our inner vulnerabilities. We all have these soft spots that can cause us great harm if exposed (at least that’s what we believe). But these boundaries can also become barriers to growth, to expansion, to the evolution of human consciousness I wrote about yesterday. There is a balance needed here that I want to explore today.

Rosemary writes: “Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and to others to learn how to live in community with the people around us. We are not private islands with ‘No Trespassing’ signs on our foreheads! The most important lesson to learn about living in a civilized society is to learn what healthy boundaries are. Learn what to let in and what belongs to the other person.”

The question this begs is what are these healthy boundaries? Until we gain the answer here we may be hiding behind unhealthy boundaries (barriers) and blocking our own growth.

We all have secrets. We are human, we grow up in human families with foibles, stresses and all the baggage of generations of growing up in human families. Some secrets like those from our youth don’t necessarily need to see the light of day. If they served their purpose in teaching us then they can remain hidden; no harm done.

But if we have not yet learned the lessons from these secrets then perhaps they do need to be aired, to see the light. This is particularly true if the secrets, the unlearned lessons, are blocking our growth in some way.

Another form of boundary is the façade we erect to pretend we are someone other than the person we know on the inside.  This is our persona; and we all have them. In fact we likely have several of them we “wear” in different situations. And this too is OK. We don’t necessarily want to expose the “real” person behind the persona in every social situation.

But if we always hide behind a persona in every situation we may be hiding something even from ourselves that needs to be examined. Our persona may form a barrier to our own true story that we need to understand. That story is the base for our expansion, growth, evolution.

The healthy boundary comes from a balance between over-exposure and hiding, between blurting out old, irrelevant information and withholding information that might help us better understand ourselves and others. With healthy boundaries in place we can move easily in society, learn as we interact with others and grow beyond those boundaries.

As Rosemary concludes: “Own your story but do not be governed by it. Be conscious of your responsibility to continue to grow. Help others to grow by allowing them to have their own stories while keeping healthy boundaries for yourself.”

Do you “own your story”? Does it set up healthy boundaries or barriers to your growth? The place to begin to answer these questions is to write your story down. It may have some lessons, some hidden gems that need to be mined!

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The Story is Not the Person! – Richard’s Commentary

April 18, 2013 Leave a comment

“The story is not the person.” And often the story is not the story, at least not the whole story. I think that is one of Rosemary’s points.

I had the great privilege over a number of years to “sit at the feet” of Robert Bly. One of his “lessons” was to examine a story or poem on at least three levels: the concrete, the psychological and the mythical. And even then large swaths of a story can be glossed over or missed entirely.

At the concrete level, the story is never the person. You can’t know much at all from this level. It is superficial at best. To use a well worn cliché it’s like judging a story-book by its cover. I am a great fan of science fiction; I can never guess what a book is about from looking at the typically lurid cover! These days you certainly can’t judge anything from clothes. Styles are all over the map and casual is becoming formal in many venues! For those who are well trained and experienced in sensory acuity there are deeper layers to the concrete level that can be observed. Milton Erickson pioneered the use of body language in his hypnotherapy work and could utilize a subtle movement, twitch or flush to take a patient into deeper trance. And this brings us to the psychological level of the story.

Rosemary’s point that “the story is not the person” is much about this psychological level, the back-story, the underlying elements to a person that are buried behind the external persona. Sometimes this deeper part of the story is hidden even from one’s self. Our layers of beliefs for example are not necessarily something we dwell on to determine our current motivations or reactions to situations. It is this psychological level that gets protected, especially the shadow components of our makeup…and we all have them. Our boundaries protect this area and need that respect Rosemary urges us to observe.

And it is this level that we need to take into consideration when interacting with people. We all have our psychological stories. Some we can feel free and even good about sharing. Some remain hidden, protected behind our walls of privacy. The point here is to realize every one of our encounters with a person involves a hidden layer that needs our understanding and respect. We have our boundaries and they have theirs; let the unrevealed layers be a part of the mystery of the encounter.

It is at the mythic layer to the story where we can have some fun. And I don’t mean to make fun but to be inventive, creative in our approach to interacting with others. At some level we humans are all archetypes; we embody all the mythical gods and goddesses, the legendary figures from history, the stories of golden ages with mythic heroes and heroines from pre-history. Bly’s approach to analyze a poem or a story at the mythic level is to look for the archetypal, the over-arching theme that holds deeper meaning beyond the superficial and even the mental levels; the god-like meanings that underpin the entire arch of the story. And we can apply this approach to our encounter with others. Ask, what part of the greater mythology of human existence is this person playing, in his life, in my life, in the greater context of human evolution!

That’s right! Every one of us is playing a role, our personally designed role, in the expanding story of human evolution, the evolution of consciousness! This is exciting, scary, sobering, even mind-boggling. And it’s true.

So, next time when you meet someone, a friend, an acquaintance, even a stranger, ask yourself what role that someone is playing in the unfolding mythology of humanity!

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ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: The Story is Not the Person!

April 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Everyone around you has a story and you have only heard the part of the story that they want you to hear.  Everyone has a part of themselves that is hidden away, being protected, staying safe by not being revealed.  Behavior is not the story.  Behavior is often the cover-up for the story.

When you understand this about the people around you it is easier to be gentle with those folks.  What if that person just lost a loved one and doesn’t feel comfortable sharing that with you?  What if that person was so horribly abused as a child that they cannot bear to be hugged by anyone because it re-traumatizes them?  What if that person just got off the phone from a very disturbing conversation and they are in the middle of processing the information when you try to talk to them?

There is an endless list of possibilities for what is going on in another person’s life and most items on that list have nothing to do with you.  Do you keep this in mind when you interact with other people?  Can you be sympathetic to the part of the story that they are protecting from exposure and give them the benefit of the doubt?

Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and to others to learn how to live in community with the people around us.  We are not private islands with ‘No Trespassing’ signs on our foreheads!  The most important lesson to learn about living in a civilized society is to learn what healthy boundaries are.  Learn what to let in and what belongs to the other person.

Asking others to respect your boundaries includes allowing them to ask the same of you.  Some people have very private stories behind the fence of their boundary and that is theirs to protect.  By the same token, you are allowed to hold parts of yourself private from public scrutiny and anyone who doesn’t respect that boundary does not get the privilege of interacting with you.

In learning how to interact with others in a healthy way it is important that you know your own story.  What motivates you?  What has happened in your past that is influencing your present?  What parts of you have you disowned that are lurking in your shadow bag waiting to be rediscovered and reintegrated?  With whom have you had an interaction that might influence your current relationships with baggage from the past connection?

Study your story.  Write it out.  Do a timeline of your own life.  It can be useful to do a timeline of your parents’ lives as you know them, or as they can share with you, and compare that with your own.  Sometimes we can uncover hidden beliefs about ourselves by noticing what has moved onto our timeline from our parents.

Notice when you get stuck in your story instead of continuing to create it.  Are you in a loop that has you repeating a part of your past story that is holding you back from growing in the present?  Are you re-traumatizing yourself by repeating that story over and over again and never giving yourself a chance to open to new possibilities that allow you to release that old story?

What parts of your story are you hoping no one else will discover?  Why?

Part of being on the path of personal growth is expanding your consciousness to encompass ALL of who you are.  Every part of your story is important in shaping you to be the person that you are today.  And this is true for everyone around you.

Own your story but do not be governed by it.  Be conscious of your responsibility to continue to grow.  Help others to grow by allowing them to have their own stories while keeping healthy boundaries for yourself.

And you can change your story!  There are many techniques available to help you to do this.  Empower yourself by taking the first step – write your story.  Then the work can begin.

PS: Spring Book Special: Get Your Woman On!  Embracing Beauty, Grace and the Power of Women – The Amazon Best Selling book that I co-authored with some amazing women – is available this month at a very special price – $12 with free shipping in the US and some great bonuses!  This would be an inspirational gift for Mother’s Day for a woman who would like to read 39 stories of transformation.  Here’s how to get your copy: Book Sale