Over the week-end I attended the annual Conscious Life Expo that brings together a dynamic and eclectic community of speakers, exhibitors, artists, and visionaries for a four-day exploration on how to transform your life in the areas of health, spirituality and lifestyle. The event is like a kid going to Disneyland. I look forward to it every year and leave on a cloud.
With such an amazing variety of lectures and panels, from luminaries of both the transformational and socially-conscious movements. This year I got to meet Laura Eisenhower, great-grand-daughter of our 34th President whose politics are nothing like her those who came before her. She discussed the Goddess, her symbolism, her death, healing and revival. Stay tuned for that conversation along with my take on futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, who ran for the Vice-President seat in 1984 under Geraldine Ferraro.
There were film screenings, and special panels on the environment, the future of humanity, spiritual healing techniques, and the afterlife. Sheer Nirvana.
Yesterday I intended to upload this blog post, but the day got ahead of me with appointments and I spent time seeking the right avenue to create a play list. I found it and it will be posted next time. Then I heard about the disaster in Nice and goose bumps flooded my body in the heat of the day, as it confirmed much emotion. And the world reverberates with calls of prayer for the victims in the attacks.
As I see it, there is a divide between ideas and ideologies with struggles in communication. This gap is between the urge of expansion and the need for consolidating a belief and/or political systems. This is as much of a challenge to humanity whether it is expressed as Islamic fundamentalism underscoring the various conflicts in the Middle East or as the self-righteous rhetoric going on now with the presidential elections in the U.S.
Instead of fighting with anger and more guns, let’s try the Gandhi approach. Let’s align ourselves with the Muslim brethren to dialogue and negotiate offering a peace pipe. There is no peace without prayer. Only through peace do we acknowledge that as humans we share the same basic needs and desires. By bringing in clergy, peace makers and others who understand the Koran, and the sub-religions it has produced can we build an alliance beginning with government, to regional and grass-roots levels. Words may prove helpful to give form, focus, and support observations with a goal of practical implementation of rules, and understanding a particular religious and philosophical perspective.
If we strive to understand the myths and realities of Jihad, education becomes our weapon against the fight. While it may not immediately turn things around, if we allow unconstructive expression to persist, it triggers the attracting of glamour and illusion of martyrdom masquerading as universal truth. Instead let’s embrace our similarities and jointly address God. In the past differences in religion created thorns. Keep in mind even Jesus was seen as a radical in his day. At a time when Muslims are expecting to be ostracized, — expecting to be hated, love them, and create another outcome.
Use the breath, meditation, and prayerful aspiration to stay centered, which means holding steady to a center of inner magnetism that transcends multiplicity and expresses unity. This requires dis-identification with mind and identification with Self. If this process is already known to you, you have already won half the current and near-term battles. Only by working in harmony, with civility and respect is there a possibility for a social order that is administered with love and inclusivity.
France, is our friend, pray not only when she is in trouble, continuously and for world peace.
Now for the post that should have been…
Do you love fireworks? I do. I also love the Eiffel Tower. Every year, France combines the two, and you have Bastille Day, on July 14.
It commemorates the Fête de la Fédération, a huge feast and official event that took place on July 14, 1790, the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.
The storming of the Bastille is seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern French government. The Bastille was a prison, and a symbol of the absolute power of King Louis XVI. By capturing the Bastille, the French citizens made it clear that the king’s power was no longer absolute, and that they demanded a voice in how they were ruled.
The storming of the prison was a symbol of liberty, and the fight against oppression for all French people. And so began the French Revolution, and a new form of government. Akin to American 4th of July, it represents freedom.
As I see it, summer also represents freedom; not because of politics or history but because of our natural attunement to water, and the ocean. Nothing screams more than summer than wearing all white. Another one of my loves, especially when it’s teamed up with tan or beige- it looks so clean and polished. I’ve chosen two fashion picks that I’d wear in a heartbeat; one that says let’s play and the other than says I know what I want.
Now that I have your eyes, let’s turn to your ears…
Some time back when in Ocala, Florida I told my brother-in-law that it had been years since I had been on a horse and how I enjoyed riding. Ironically at the time I was living in Las Vegas, home of the wild west and the cowboy. Since we lived in the isolated northwest, I’d see horses when driving, but riding there was out of the question. Sometimes I’d get out of the car and watch them from a distance, marveling at their trots. But there weren’t any stables and I didn’t know any horse owners with the exception of one student. However I didn’t feel comfortable verbalizing my burning desire.
As a teen I’d go with my friends to stables in Rosemead and we’d ride for an hour or two. I was fascinated by horses; powerful yet simultaneously gentle. There faster, bigger and stronger than we are, yet temperate enough to be a child’s friend. And they’re beautiful to look at. Best of all, I sensed that they understood what was going on with me; a silent communication that caused me to feel accepted and understood. I don’t know why I have this allure with horses, it’s a spiritual connection and when I’m on one, I feel I can do anything because they are magnificent animals, velvety and smooth and ever so gentle.
Ocala is a city where horses are bred, so my with brother-in-laws wide circle of friends and acquaintances, he arranged for me to ride. Making that event happen on my behalf was the best gift he ever gave me. It would be the last time I saw him since he passed on months later. But the memory of his generosity lives on.
Today I was reading how hippo-therapy ( from the Greek, “with the help of a horse,” ) includes equine assisted therapy, for the mentally and physically disabled, and veteran’s programs. Simply put, animals are an important and comforting presence for humans.
And I also found out that horses have five hearts, in a manner of speaking. The idea of four additional hearts refers to the action of a horses bare hooves expanding to accommodate blood when each hoof hits the ground and then contracts so that the blood is pushed back up their long legs as they move. It’s one of the many unusual anatomical phenomena of a horse that makes them so unique.
Through the Internet I became acquainted with a friend living in Mount Shasta. Why am I sharing this, you wonder? Well in part because one of the reasons I’ve not blogged is because nature has been beckoning me to be with her. And with yesterdays’ Summer Solstice that also brought in a full moon, I’ve been contemplating power spots or sacred places.
The naturalist John Muir described Mount Shasta’s mountain’s peak as a religious icon, and helped to spread its legendary fame. Since its discovery it quickly became one of California’s must-see tourist destinations.
Mount Shasta, located near the Oregon border in northern California, holds the distinction of being one of the world’s preeminent sacred mountains. It is recognized as an eligible Native American cultural and cosmological property on the National Register of Historic Places. Artifacts found in the surrounding area suggest at least 11,000 years of human habitation, designating this region as one of the longest-occupied areas of North America.
The mountain, runs along the thousand-mile-long Cascade Range stretching from northern California to British Columbia, and is part of a chain of volcanoes that encompasses the Pacific Basin’s notorious “Ring of Fire,” along which the majority of the planet’s earthquakes and eruptions occur.
Throughout history mankind has always been drawn to mountains as a sacred feature of the landscape. Perhaps it’s because mountains are among the oldest places of worship on the planet; as the first temples. They figure prominently in the earliest religious myths of mankind, and our connection to them is so powerful that many of the world’s oldest monuments, such as the Egyptian and Mayan pyramids, were built in their semblance.
Northwestern California Native American tribes traditionally view Mount Shasta as being structurally and energetically connected to a wide range of important volcanic landscapes and mountains, which extend northwards and southwards of their tribal territories.
Native Americans have observed Mount Shasta as a sacred mountain from time immemorial; they viewed the mountain and its surroundings as holy ground; it is thought to be one of the first earthly places created by the Great Spirit. In the past, no one but medicine men or women climbed up the mountain beyond the tree line. It was thought to be too powerful for ordinary people to visit, and inhabited by hosts of potentially dangerous spirits and guardians who could harm a person who traveled up the mountain unprepared.
These “sacred sites” around the world influence human consciousness and other living organisms in a number of unusual and remarkable ways. They have become colloquially known as ancient “power spots,” places where people commonly experience unusual phenomenon such as UFO-related activity, portals into other dimensions, consciousness-altering experiences, and other paranormal-phenomenon.
The spiritual use of these major “power spots” around the world is now beginning to be thought of as the unifying influence behind the rise of human civilization. Previously it was believed that spirituality arose only after mankind had already developed farming and villages, and religion was subsequently invented as a coercive means to promote social cooperation and control.
It turns out, however, that this theory is completely backwards. Now, science is beginning to understand and acknowledge that mankind’s spiritual awakening actually precipitated the rise of human civilization.
Humanities earliest spiritual experiences drew diverse groups of people to come together, who invariably clustered around the locations where most of the world’s major sacred sites and great spiritual centers exist today. People came together at these sites for ritualistic and ceremonial purposes, and this, it turns out, created the need for people to form communities to grow food to accommodate the large populations gathering at these sites all over the world; and subsequently develop farming, villages, culture, and social cooperation.
Mount Shasta is one of these places; an ancient, sacred mountain pilgrimage destination–who’s mysteries still call out to us from the past, and continue to challenge our comprehension in the modern era.
One of the best things about spring in Southern California is that you get to see Monarch butterflies. The months of February and March are filled with this beautiful, elegant feminine like creature that glides about the sky, uplifting our mood. But we tend to forget what the butterfly has gone through, how it has struggled to reach its place on the breeze.
Our path of transformation can be likened to that of the butterfly. Generally, when we embrace transformation, we only want to think of the end result. We don’t want to think about the work that goes into it, or the sacrifices well have to make to be able to soar.
Transformation begins with the Universe uncomfortably pressing us into desiring something better for ourselves. We may not know what it is that we want, just that we have this impulsion for something more.
Originally, the butterfly was once a caterpillar, inching across the grass to climb up the marigold to reach its daily meal. Its main drive was to eat, to fill its stomach.
The same could be said of us. Before we begin to transform, we have a compulsion to meander around; reading spiritual books, listening to tapes, attending lectures, digesting information.
We’re still in the old form, fattening our minds to get ready to build a cocoon, where we will use all that we’ve digested to transform our lives into a greater reflection of our highest good.
Once our appetite has been satiated, we feel compelled to allow what we’ve learned to gestate. Letting it process is like the caterpillar inside its cocoon. The time to incubate. It may last for days, weeks or months. While this is happening, we are slowly changing. We may not see the change, but there are parts of us that are being released, transformed and altered. All we know is that we are ill at ease.
But when the transformation is complete, we like the butterfly can begin an emergence from what held us back and we feel the rapture of having been set free!
Yesterday I attended the 14th annual Conscious Life Expo 2016. It drew together influential speakers and thinkers, best-selling authors, renowned educators, provocative panel discussions, workshops, film screenings, book signings, and live performances.
This year topics discussed were spiritual healing, the environment, solutions for a healthy planet and anti-aging.
Anti-aging was such a large component of the expo that it got a kickstart on Friday, February 19th, with Dianne Bischoff James lecture on “Live Your Best Life Ever.” On Saturday, February 20th, Grazyna Pajunen, gave a seminar called “Breakthrough in Anti-Aging.” And on Sunday, February 21st, Renee Lynn Echt covered “Healing and Anti-Aging Through InfraRed Technology.”
In addition, a new feature to this year’s Expo was the Permaculture Zone with lectures, panels and exhibitions presenting the most innovative and eco-sustainable solutions for a health planet. The Expo also presented a special Latino program featuring lectures and workshops in Spanish.
What I found most enlightening was Stewart Pearce’s “The Shining Ones” where we had an actual sonic meditation tuning into an Angelic presence to be the conductor of our destinies. It was revitalizing to the body, and created lightness in being.
Personally, my biggest boost and most memorable experience came from the electrifying Dannion Brinkley http://www.qsl.net/w5www/brinkley.html. His message is that we are ruled by 12 major Universal laws. He practiced the Law of Vibration, on the audience, to maximum our happiness and enhance our quality of life. He made us laugh like crazy and be in harmony with one another. And what better way to remember that life is about shared laughter and bursting from enjoyment—just ask any child.