Meditation

Big Island 2017

Meditation is something that I have done off and on for much of my life and I am really working on adding it as a daily practice. I truly feel that taking time to clear our minds is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. I think that some people are afraid of meditating. Maybe this is because they think they don’t know how, maybe they feel “bored.” maybe they are just so used to filling every second of their life with busy-ness that the idea of sitting in stillness for 10 minutes completely freaks them out. My own husband is one of these people. He said that he tried meditating before and he felt like he got nothing out of it. To that I say “phooey!” But he still won’t meditate.

Personally I think that meditation is the best way to get in touch with our inner selves and collective conscienceness. But be warned, sometimes the things that we shove down deep come out when we quiet our minds. This can sometimes be painful, but it is a necessary step in recognizing and releasing toxic emotions. You have to let those painful emotions go. If you push them down deep they cause all kinds of havoc.

An awesome way to get meditation into your life is to create some rituals with your meditation time. Put an uplifting essential oil in your diffuser. Make a special oil blend that you can put on your pulse points or chakras (to get you some oily goodness, contact me or check out my About Young Living page). Choose a quiet, comfortable place to sit. Put on some quiet music. Maybe even start with reading a few affirmations. I like to hold some of my favorite quartz crystals while I’m meditating. I feel that their energy helps to clear and focus my mind. Whatever floats your boat people! Just be sure to…

Meditate… it’s what your mind needs.

Redemption

My husband Mike likes to talk to cab drivers and Uber drivers and airport shuttle drivers… if your driving us, he wants to talk with you. His father was a driver here on Oahu, as well as a gifted story-teller, and I think Mike realizes the depth of both information and history that these amazing people hold. I actually like that he likes to talk to our drivers. It makes the trip much more interesting and you never know what you might learn.

Last week we were in Florida  attending a conference for our Young Living business. We decided to stay in the convention center where the conference was going on and we decided not to rent a car since we would be busy much of every day. When you stay at a conference center without a car you are pretty much held hostage. They charge you crazy prices for mediocre (at best) food and drink and you’re forced, out of boredom, to walk around the man-made environment that is designed to look like nature so you feel better about paying $7 for a bottle of water. It is, in a way, oppressive.

One day we decided to take an Uber to a Puerto Rican restaurant that was recommended to us by one of the valets (we prefer recommendations from local people as the concierges tend to be trained to give tourist-specific advice). We hopped in the back of the car and within minutes the conversation with the driver began. On this particular day the conversation began as it usually does: the drive was going to take a bit longer than we’d thought; the weather was unseasonably hot; no, he’d never eaten at this particular restaurant. I noticed the man’s Caribbean accent and I knew it was a matter of time before…

“Where are you from originally?” Asked Mike.

“Jamaica,” replied our driver (I’ll call him Willy). Then the conversation took a turn that I hadn’t anticipated. The two of them began discussing the similarities among island people; how they are very family oriented; the problems living in a place crowded with tourists, the loss of culture and dignity of the native people. During a pause in the conversation I told Willy that I had been to Jamaica before. I asked him what city in Jamaica he was from and he replied, “Oh it’s a very small place, you probably have never heard of it. St Anne.”

“I’ve been there!” I said. “That’s where Bob Marley was born. I went to visit his childhood home when I was in Jamaica.” I didn’t tell him how I had drank some “tea” from an old Rastafarian man who was selling it outside of Bob Marley’s birthplace (bad choice but it made the bus ride down the mountain more enjoyable). And so, the subject naturally turned to Bob Marley. Willy told us that he had met Bob Marley once right before he died. We talked about his music and Mike said that his favorite Bob Marley song was Redemption Song. Willy agreed that it is the best song that Bob Marley ever wrote. They talked a bit about the significance of the lyrics and how powerful they are…

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
‘Cause none of them can stop the time

To me, this is deep. This made me understand my husband and our driver in a new way. For these two men from different islands share a similar history. Both of their peoples have been  oppressed and marginalized for over a century and continue to be treated as less. In my opinion the worst thing about oppression is not that others are mistreated (although that’s terrible, don’t get me wrong). To me the worst thing about oppression is that, because of this mistreatment, the oppressed are convinced that they are less; the mental slavery that comes from oppression is crippling. It makes the oppressed believe that they are unworthy. And that is simply not true.

And whether or not you have experienced oppression, the truth is that you are affected by it. We all suffer from the effects of oppression whether we realize it or not. To allow some to suffer while others go about their day as if all is well in the world affects us at the soul level. To believe that this is how the world should be and that there’s nothing we can do about it is crippling to ourselves and those around us. To put your faith in a system that is unjust is the mental slavery that Bob Marley talks about in this song. And, to some degree we all suffer from it. But there is good news in Bob Marley’s song. The good news is that the redemption can be found within ourselves. We have the power to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery.

We are, none of us, better or worse than anyone else. To believe in our own superiority or worthlessness is an illusion and only facilitates suffering. But the good news is that Bob Marley was right; we can free our minds from these illusions. We can change our thoughts and help others to change their thoughts to reflect the light that is in each and every one of us. We all have within us that same spark of life that was given to us by the creator when we first came into this world.We can start today by treating ourselves and those around us with aloha; with love and kindness, remembering that, whether you are a doctor, teacher, waitress, cab driver, or anything else, you share that same light with those around you. We can free our minds from the status quo and in turn we can free the world.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

You Tube video of Redemption Song

 

 

One

 

As I set off on my journey towards self awareness and inner peace, I can’t help thinking that this world is seriously in trouble. All this conflict is getting in the way of my peace: the current political craziness, the environment, racism, homelessness, it goes on and on. How do you have inner peace when you witness so much chaos?

Our western culture is built upon what we can observe with our senses. Even science is built upon this, which is so ironic considering that there are things that we can’t directly observe that we know exist. For example, we know that dogs can hear sounds that we cannot hear. We don’t say the dog is crazy for hearing these sounds. We just accept the fact that they can hear things we can’t. Our culture is so focused on the self  and our sensory experiences and what we can consume that everything else has no value. That, to me, is completely horrifying. And it daily creeps in on my ability to maintain inner peace.

I was reading a bit about quantum physics the other day. Now I am probably the farthest thing from a scientist that ever lived but even I can see the implications that quantum physics has about how things work in the world. According to quantum physics, everything is made up of energy. This energy vibrates at different frequencies, thereby giving us the illusion of separation. We are basically all blobs of energy floating around in more energy, surrounded by blobs of energy. We are all connected by what is called the unified field (basically just more energy).

What this means to me is that what some people call New Age, is really Old School, Original Gangster (O.G.) thinking. Thoughts have energy. Words have power. We can connect to a higher source. We are one. The idea of interconnectedness is old. And sacred. And was somehow lost to the people who greedily began to conquer the world some hundreds of years ago (aka white people. Yes I said it). What happened?

My husband is Native Hawaiian. He has many friends who are from various indigenous heritages and I have been blessed to sit around the table with them and listen to them talk story. From my tiny (but growing) understanding, indigenous people all have a belief in the interconnectedness of the people with the land, with each other and with what some might call the spirit world. From what I gather, this interconnectedness is pretty much universal among indigenous people and has held on despite the fact that western people (aka white people… again) have been doing their best to wipe Native peoples and their beliefs off the face of the Earth for several hundred years now. Native people see themselves as caretakers of the land. It is a sacred law. Take a look at what’s going on at Standing Rock. I can barely stand to read the news; it has made me sob uncontrollably many times. The Water Protectors are living out their sacred responsibility. They are doing this for everyone. When all the water is poisoned, what are we going to drink?

This sacred responsibility of the Native Peoples extends to humans as well; in caring for each other. One friend told us that in her tribe The Great Law is that if there isn’t enough food for everyone to eat, then no one eats. I felt my eyes filling with tears when she told me that because, really, this is how the world should be. Why isn’t it? I’ll tell you… the world is like this because people don’t share. We consume and collect and hoard and then throw away things that we’re bored with or have rotted or turned to dust while others are forced to rummage through our trash, hoping for a few bottles to exchange for a packet of bologna or a McDonalds happy meal.

So how to have inner peace when there is so much outer chaos? To me I have to believe in the goodness and love that is within all these blobs of energy that surround me. I have to believe in the goodness and love that is in myself. Then I have to extend my goodness and my love and my positive energy outward; knowing, trusting and believing that this energy, this love has power and that it can change the world. I focus on this love knowing that what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said is truth: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Let us all unite our light and our love and drive out the darkness that has somehow overtaken us. Let us live surrounded by, and filled with, and extending love.

Aloha

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