How To Focus On The Now

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #50

Do you take time to reflect upon life? I choose not to reflect on the past because it is done and gone. You can’t go back or change it; you can only live in the “now”–the present moment. Now his is all we have. There is no such thing as the future, so you can’t worry about that, either, unless you want to make up a big ass story in your mind of how something might play out. That’s a waste of time. Once you arrive at a future moment, it will be your “now.” Similarly, all past experiences were your “now” moments at that time.

What I often reflect upon is consciousness–the consciousness of this very moment. It’s profound. True, I like to ponder why we do the things we do. Why we say the things we say, but that is all ego stuff. It’s all a made-up story. 

True reflection comes from one’s essence to be still with the here and now. That is the part of you that is free from stories that your mind makes up. I like going to that place. Like many of us, I force myself to be still. When you are still and focused on your breathing or some lovely music, you can drift into the “gap,” as Deepak Chopra refers to it. You can hone in on the consciousness of now. Sometimes, I like doing this with my eyes open and take time to recognize something that I wouldn’t otherwise if I was distracted by all the business of life. 

Often, we consume our lives with lots of activities and movement all around us. You can still practice consciousness in these moments. There have been times when my body is in motion, like on a treadmill or elliptical, but my “center” is entirely still. There is a certain peace there, a knowing, a feeling of love. When I’m distracted, I envisage the owl high up in the tree on the Tenney River. That beautiful image of his stillness amidst the frenzy of the crows circling him at proximity. He acted as though there was nothing there at all. He was unaffected, unattached, still, and at peace—a true reflection of pure consciousness. 

When there is chaos all around you when you are feeling mixed and muddled up, when the reeling thoughts of the ego’s storytelling are grating on your nerves, stop. Reflect upon the consciousness of now, your present precious moment. Don’t let anything or anyone rob you of it, including you! That’s why God says, “Be still, and know that I am, God.” There’s a profound meaning in that statement. A lot more than one can imagine or describe, but I repeat it every day to understand its true meaning. It is an essential piece that one should add to their daily reflection practice. It helps to center oneself and focus on the here and now. Try it and let me know what you think.

Excuse Me, I Need Help!

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #49

Are you willing to ask for help when needed? I hope so. As a quiet observer, I often witness so many people who aren’t keen to ask for help. Most folks want to do everything themselves. There are different motivating factors for this mindset. Some may feel that the job won’t get “done right” unless they do it themselves. For others, they may feel too much pride to ask for help. “I can do this by myself without bothering anyone else.” Yet others might feel guilty about asking for help. “If I ask for help, I’m creating a burden on this or that one.” Or, “If I ask for help, it makes me look weak.” The quotes above represent the ego in action– How will asking for help make me look? How will others perceive me? Will they think I’m a wimp and can’t handle things on my own?

I’m truly guilty of all of the above but own that this is not how to think or live. We all work together as a collective consciousness. We all have a symbiotic relationship with one another, from the animal and mineral world to the very human world. There is nothing wrong with asking for help; in fact, it’s essential. There is so much to learn from one another in the asking.

Collaboration is key to learning things from all different viewpoints and perspectives. It helps us to discern situations better and make decisions in life. “Going it” alone can be very lonely and saddening. It’s much better to open your viewpoint. “Everything, every situation, every scenario that has ever occurred, has been experienced by so many others. I am not alone in this. Help is on the way.” I state this mantra repeatedly when I’m feeling fearful of making a decision or asking for help.

Some people withhold asking for help until it’s too late and to their detriment. I will use you as an example, Pierce, for instance. You didn’t make me or dad aware that you were still having symptoms of dizziness and ill-health after your previous spell that landed you in the hospital. You thought it would be too much of a bother and burden to tell us that you were still sick. You let your symptoms build for four months until they reared their ugly head. This caused you even more anxiety and worry, which exacerbated your physical symptoms. And then you finally broke down. You recognized that the quality of your life was suffering, and it was time to let me know.

Why did it take you so much time to ask for help? Did you think I would attack you? Brush your feelings under the carpet? What good did it do for you not to ask for help? Do you see where I’m going with this? Asking for help is essential. It shows that the individual is willing to take care of themself and perhaps others, depending on their situation. Only good things can come from this.

Of course, I will always point you in the direction to ask God for help. “Ask, and it is given.” However, we are all of God and hold the divine within us. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask others for help. Believing that you can “do it all” will lead to failure. We need one another for help and support. Asking for help is the greatest form of self-care and demonstrates that you are strong and wise. I’ll leave you with a quote from the late Rick Ocasek: “Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful.”

I Don’t Mind What Happens

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #48

Are you feeling stressed out about anything today? School and college can be overwhelming at times; I get it. I know that I often express to both of you that it is good and healthy to put a reasonable effort into your learning. I hope you’ve listened even more to my other, more important message. Your grades don’t define who you are. They are just an indicator of something you may or may not have learned. That is all. They are what they indicate. 

Today, I was trying to recall a quote by spiritual leader Jiddu Krishnamurthi. I heard this quote through one of Eckart Tolle’s lectures. To be precise in my delivery to you, I looked it up. He stated, “I don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom. It is a timeless spiritual truth: release attachment to outcomes, deep inside yourself, you’ll feel good no matter what.” I repeat an abbreviation of this quote when I’m stressing out about a result or an outcome. For example, it’s been incredibly frustrating to wait for others to try to decide a given situation. It takes all my might not to interject my “preferences” into the decision-making. 

My role as a facilitator is to help my teams but not make the decisions for them. Ninety percent of the time, I have a clear vision of where a team’s decision will land them. It frustrates me to no end when I know it’s not the right choice, but I keep my mouth shut. I try not to judge. I keep my breathing steady, and I repeat this mantra consistently, “I don’t mind what happens.” 

For a while, I was misquoting this! I was saying, “I don’t care what happens.” Well, that holds a different tone. It seems a bit negative. Henceforth, I will correct it to “I don’t mind.” I don’t mind what the outcome is. Why? Because it doesn’t matter. Focusing on an outcome points to satisfy the ego. How will this or that decision affect me? What do get out of it? That decision will make me look bad. They don’t know what they’re doing; I do. See what I’m getting at? 

By releasing your attachment to an outcome, you surrender to what is. You are living in the present moment. It’s a difficult practice but worth your awareness. The next time you are stressed, worried, or become attached to a preferred outcome, state, “I don’t mind what happens.” It is a curious and effective little mantra that I highly recommend. As in the words of Krishnamurthi, “you’ll feel good no matter what.”

Word, From Your Mother

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #47

Have I been a good parent to you? I know I’ve done the best I could, but I also know that I screwed up along the way. After all, there is no manual on perfect parenting. Whatever concepts or perceptions you have about me as your parent, please take them very lightly. I hope I haven’t persuaded you in any way with my beliefs and egocentricities, as I never meant to. You are your persons who are here to create your reality and life. I’m here to share pointers, not dictate.

I’m here to support you, not make demands. I’m here to offer advice based on my experiences, but that doesn’t mean you should follow it. You have your own mind and your own creative spirit. As you’ve grown older, I’ve had to bite my tongue and let you be. Many people define the role of parenting as being superior or above their children. I hope I haven’t sent that message to you! I’ve always tried to stick with my philosophy of encouraging you to be self-determined. In other words, I provide you with some tools, and you do with them what you wish. I don’t like telling you what to do.

Sometimes I get hot-headed because I “think” that you’re not making a wise choice. I know at times, I’ve pressed you with seeking an alternative. I certainly hope I haven’t ever set any ultimatums with you, for that is total egoic. My wish is that I’ve given you the freedom to be and express who you indeed are without interference. As Eckart Tolle would put it, I hope that I’ve focused more on your “being” (the formless part of you) rather than your human part. I hope that I have led by example, and I certainly hope that example was a good one!

I apologize for hurting you in any way, not because I humiliated myself but because I might have broken your spirit. From what I’ve learned, much of our deep-rooted sorrows and repeated bad habits (especially of thought) developed in early childhood on account of our parents and cultural beliefs. This isn’t to blame anyone, but we are so impressionable that even the most seemingly innocent comments can be very damaging as children.

I can’t even begin to enumerate all the “bad stuff” I’ve overcome through years of counseling and many psychological issues as a child. I recognize the things that were said to me by my parents that may have caused damage in my adult life. Now, it’s essential to be aware that only I have chosen to let those things bother me throughout the years. I’ve held on to them for some reason. I’ve made them part of my “little me” story. However, we can rewrite our stories. I refer back to the transmutation of thought. Turn the negative into a positive. Recognize that a belief is only a thought that you keep thinking over and over, which unfortunately or fortunately became part of your story.

You can always change your story. I change mine every day. I hope that you recognize these things within you and bring awareness to them. Acknowledge your pain and embrace it as though a little injured pup. Would you hurt an injured pup? No, not I nor you. You would hold it and hug it and tell it that everything will be alright. As always, follow up with my usual advice, look up to the sky and take three cleansing breaths. Know who you are. You are free.

How To Live In The Now

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #46

How can we perceive timelessness? After all, we live in a world perceived by time, a human concept created for the sake of a beginning, middle, end, or yesterday, today, tomorrow, or past, present, future. I’m sure you’ve heard the mystics say, “there is no such thing as time.” Timelessness is especially true if we are living in the “now” or the present moment. So, then, what is timelessness? 

In front of our very eyes, what is not fleeting, passing away, deteriorating, dying? Deepak Chopra explained in his meditations that what survives and is not fleeting is “creativity.” That energy will always be “out there,” building and building upon itself infinitely. Everything else is transitory from an external or form perspective. 

We can create beautiful pieces of art and sculptures, but they fade away, crumble, or decay over time. However, the creative idea will always exist because it was born of energy, the energy of an idea, or desire realized. We, ourselves, our form or shell, dies every day. I don’t mean to describe that from a morbid viewpoint. It is true that as we grow older, our cells break down. Those cells are the tiny powerhouses of energy that keep our human form moving and alive. Then, there comes the time when they are slow down and retire. But, the creative force inside of us—call it spirit or essence, never goes away. It is free once again to move about, perhaps finding another form as its vehicle for transmitting its precious, beautiful, creative energy. 

The trick is, how do we remain present throughout the day without looking at our watch, our phone? How do we squelch the anxieties and fears associated with our time reference? Isn’t everything based on our perception of time? We have busy schedules; we divide up the day into chunks. We categorize our tasks allotting 10 minutes to do this. Oh, it’s time to cook—how long will it take to make dinner? Will I get to bed on time? In timelessness, if you can live there, you go beyond these ideas, things, preferences. As Deepak said, “We have the choice to shift our allegiance to the timeless.” 

How do we put this into action? By celebrating creation in the present moment. It is a challenging task to live in the now. It takes awareness and concentration to divorce the ego. I remind myself with gentle reminders (especially if anxiety or negative thoughts arise), return to where I am presently, and relish in the creativity of now. How? I take notice of the mundane and my role as a quiet observer. I listen to the children’s voices without referring. I watch the people in the classroom interact without judgment. I turn to my senses to recognize the subtle smells of school cafeteria lunches, a crayon-marked coloring page. I hear the song of the “aha” moments of a child who has learned something. I observe the number of visible dust particles on my desk without counting. I feel from the inside without labeling. I observe the tortoises in the large aquarium next to me, which produce joy. “Life is fleeting, but what survives is not fleeting.” Deepak Chopra 

Our World–Reimagined

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #45

Why would you give attention to something you don’t want? Remember, our intentions and thoughts (which are energy) materialize both from an individual and a collective perspective. I wonder why so many people give their attention to the coronavirus. Why? Why would one hand their attention and energy to such a thing? Does one you wish to attract it? Abraham Hicks, regarding the Law of Attraction, says you attract what you don’t want if that is your primary focus.

By giving energy to something negative, you power it up. You draw it near. Imagine if all of the world’s people were thinking about the negative and freaking out about the coronavirus. That would be giving that virus a lot of energy. It would find its way right to us. My choice? I radically refuse to harp on negative things such as viruses and illnesses.

I have a pretty significant immune disorder, but I pay no attention to it because I don’t wish it to be part of my story. When I see illness or begin to feel it coming on, I transmute my thoughts about it. I chant my mantra, “I am immune.” I say it over and over. And then I observe my thoughts and let them float away. I choose not to attend to such things because I don’t want to fuel its energy. I’d instead focus on the better feeling thought.

If you catch yourself thinking about a global illness such as coronavirus, catch yourself. Be the observer of what your thoughts are. Don’t dismiss them in fear; acknowledge them for what they are and transmute them for the better.

Stop reading all the crap on your phone and turn off the T.V. There are many people out there who thrive on creating a fear-based society. It’s maddening to be an active observer of the lunacy in this world, from ridiculous reality shows to the insanity of news broadcasts, politics, religious fanatics—all fighting for the position of who’s right. It is truly a war of the egos. Therefore, nobody is going to win!

We are living during a significant time on this Earth. It’s time to realize (with our “real eyes”); the true essence of who we are. We must let go of feeding the little self (ego) with all its preferences. What preferences? The persistent desire for attention, validation, acceptance, recognition. It’s time to recognize who and what we are, divine beings having a human experience.

The external (all that is without) needs dismantling. If you can envision that the form, the human body, and intellect are just a vehicle that drives our innermost self, our soul, then you’ll understand our mission. Our soul’s mission is the evolution of our journey towards our true essence. Our purpose, in the words of Eckart Tolle, is to be conscious. I genuinely believe this. Can you imagine all the possibilities available if and when we all awaken from the world of illusion? The matrix of thoughts that have reeled over and over can be reimagined and rearticulated to benefit all. We function as a collective, all as one, and co-create by turning our ideas into matter.

Here’s the question: What is the matter? Though many will say we’ve created quite a mess, I’d like to think that we’ve created some of the most amazing things on this Earth. My point is that we have to start making positive changes one person at a time. I learn from my teachers; I teach you or anyone else I can get my pointers out to. In return, they teach others: small steps but necessary steps to create positive thinking and positive changes towards our evolution. So, stop giving your attention to ideas that materialize, to negative, meaningless, ineffective crap. Instead, choose the positive. Choose who you want to be without reserve or fear. Believe it. Feel it. So, it is.

You Are Free

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #44

A good friend of mine said something to me that got me thinking. She said, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Ironically enough, the next day, I read one of Deepak’s blogs, and a similar message came through. He said, “Without conscious intention, nothing can happen in the direction you desire.” In other words, intention (your aim, purpose, or intent), along with action, leads to the desired outcome. 

Sometimes it isn’t easy to do these two things simultaneously without becoming attached to either one of them (the intention or the outcome). On my journey, I find it most appropriate to “ask,” or set my intention first, “God of my heart, I ask and desire that I will land a job that serves others;” in other words, “putting it out there” and then waiting for the response or the outcome to happen naturally. 

If we place attachments to the outcome—like a sense of urgency or desperation skipping over intentionality, we won’t attract what we should imagine to already “have.” I also feel that the more precise your intention is or the higher your vibration is, the more likely you are to attract all that is good and satisfying in your life. Some refer to this as the Law of Attraction: what you put out there comes back to you; however, I feel it goes a bit deeper than that and would instead turn to the biblical verse, Matthew 7:7: Askand it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 

It’s all about the flow of energy in your life. You can choose how free you indeed are. Abraham Hicks once said, “You are so free, you can choose bondage.” We do create our reality through our thoughts, intentions, and beliefs. We can choose which way to go, and we can change the course if it doesn’t work. It seems so simple to grasp the written words as described but another to play it out in our daily lives without interference or distraction. The interference is that non-stop chatter that goes on in our heads. Again, to reach liberation and truly put intention and desirable outcomes to work, you need to still your body and clear your mind of all the clutter. 

Even if you set aside one minute per day to chill out and “be,” you’ll see that limitless possibilities are awaiting us in all that we seek in life. Make it a goal to take small steps, incrementally, to still your body and ask all that you desire in your heart of hearts. Don’t expect immediate answers. Just bask in the quietness of being. The answers will eventually come. As Eckart has put it in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.”

“Cognito, Ergo Sum” (Reimagined)

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #43

Did you know that life is a play of consciousness? Descartes had described it as, “Cognito, ergo sum “–I think; therefore, I am. Many of my teachers think that he almost got it right, though, in terms of consciousness awareness, he should have expressed it as, “I am, therefore, I think.” I’m not sure if I can fathom an explanation of what I’m trying to say, but it’s something like this. Suppose we are aware that we are aware (conscious). In that case, we can undo all the mental constructs that the thinking mind has created. Why? Because the thinking mind is ego-based, attached to thoughts, beliefs, ideas, concepts, etc. All of which are limited and unimaginative.

Therefore, if we are aware of such thoughts, beliefs, ideas, and concepts…and how they “play” out in our life, we can deconstruct them with our “I am presence.” Again, I’m pointing to the internal “I am,” or the formless part of who we really are. How do we deconstruct all those thoughts? Though it may seem complex from a “how-to” point of view, it’s pretty simple.

When you feel a thought arising, especially a negative one, catch it, observe it and say to yourself, “it’s just a thought.” Then, try to transmute it or replace it with a more positive one. This may be easier to do if the thought is, “I don’t look good.” You can catch it and say, “well, I look a bit better than yesterday,” or “you’re too hard on yourself, you look fine, besides it’s better to feel good than looking good.” Just go for the better feeling, thought.

This may seem pretty surface level in terms of deconstructing thoughts, but it’s a start. Sometimes, I’m so frustrated, I can only get to the level of saying, “it’s just a thought.” In other words, I acknowledge that that particular thought doesn’t define who I am. It’s just a bad habit of thinking, or as I mentioned before, you hop on the train of wrong thoughts.

If you want to go deeper, you really need to still your body and be mindful of internal sensations. In other words, divorce your senses (seeing, touching, tasting, and hearing) and go deeper into the true self’s intuition. Eckart Tolle offers the simple exercise of closing your eyes and trying to feel sensations in your hands. It may feel like a tingling or swirling. That is the energetic part of you or what he refers to as true essence. Then, try to feel sensations or sense perceptions in other parts of your body; your arms, legs, abdomen, feet, etc. Giving this undivided attention to your energetic body is key to divorcing all that we attach to the external world.

If you make this a daily practice, you won’t even need to close your eyes to feel such movement within. This is the quickest way to break down the ego state. Turning your attention inward strengthens awareness and leads to awakening and complete liberation.

You Are A Miracle

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #42

Do you recognize the synchronicities occurring almost constantly, every day in your life? It takes some concentration and awareness to recognize the small miracles that appear on this plane. Some things that happen are so fleeting that we don’t even realize when they occur. Others are so blatantly obvious that there’s no denying that divine intervention has taken place. That’s when we say things like, “I must have been at the right place at the right time.” Instead, if we truly become aware…really tune in to the present moment, we would replace the fleeting thoughts (or lack thereof) with thanks.

I’ve been trying to make this a daily practice, even for the most seemingly mundane thing. Why? Because we tend to take note and notice when terrible things happen and make that our focus. We take for granted the small miracles that are occurring almost every minute of the day. For example, our heart is beating. Our chest rises and falls with every intake and exhale of breath. There is light all around us.

Everything appears still, yet it is moving at different rates and with different vibrations and frequencies. We have an abundance of food. We are well clothed and roofed. Each night, our heads lie on a soft pillow. When we wake up each day, you can see. There is an abundance of clean water everywhere we turn that we can drink, bathe, cook, float, and witness other life forms within.

Are you expressing appreciation for these beautiful things? What about all the synchronicities? (Those things that are happening at the precise moment). It’s more difficult to enumerate these, but I’ll give you some examples. As I’ve expressed, I feel connected to the universe through the appearance of specific number sequences. They have a lot of meaning to me and translate into particular messages that I’ve received for quite some time. Often, when I’m thinking about something spiritual, or joyful a number sequence will appear. To me, I feel as though Source Energy is communicating with me during these moments. This also holds true when I’m praying, when I’m worried, when I’m inspired, and when I feel unsupported. Almost instantaneously, a particular number sequence will present itself and make me feel more at ease. Coincidence? Never. I’ve always believed that there are light beings all around us who are constantly trying to communicate with us.

How To Realize

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #41

Lately, I’ve been trying to understand life from a much different perspective. Often, we use words to identify, interpret, translate and, in a sense, own our situations. In other words, what we observe and conceptualize on an external level adds to our “story” or identification. A question arose in my mind. How can one instead realize (in this case, realize means “know”) an end result without labeling?

As a practice, I might have mentioned trying to be the witness of any given situation in your life. In other words, refrain from labeling what you see, hear, touch or feel. Just observe. This is difficult to do as we are so conditioned from childhood to identify or name things. Inevitably, this is how we begin to conceptualize our world and our personal (personality) story. 

Last night, I was watching an interior design challenge show. I was fascinated by the three potential designers’ visions regarding how they would go about decorating similar bedrooms. One of them said, “It would be so great if the homeowners can realize how the room will look once it is done.” 

It occurred to me that the designer’s interpretation of “realize” was the end product or what she “imaged in” that room. Hence, tapping into her imagination, she already saw the end product and the associated feelings (happiness, satisfaction) before tackling the laborious job ahead. The clients couldn’t imagine that her designs would work coherently. They couldn’t realize the end product. 

This brought me to some further pondering about realizing something from a deeper level. Perhaps artists and great visionaries have an easier time imagining and knowing what the end product will look like because they see things with their “real eyes.” I’m not trying to be “punny,” seriously. I mean that artists and visionaries tend to have an easier go because they are “seeing” through their internal heart space, not through the external place of naming and labeling. 

For example, a great sculptor can look at a marble block and already see the potential of a form emerging. This must be tapped into from an extraordinary and creative place. The same would go for a plastic surgeon. They tap into that part within themselves to see or realize the beauty in the end result of their work. This is quite amazing when you think about it from this perspective. 

Before you consider judging a situation, allow yourself to tap into your heart space for guidance and realization. Be open and let your internal self or your essence-self guide and lead. Sometimes, it takes others in our life to lead us in that direction, to help us to utilize our “real eyes,” to realize, and this is a good thing. However, I believe that we all have access to this inherent space within and that it can be tapped into, tuned into through stillness and faith.