820th Week: The Importance of Hope
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

820th Week: The Importance of Hope

In a recent interview with Bryan Stevenson with Krista Tippett on her On Being program, I found myself resonating with a new and deepened experience and understanding of hope. During the interview, Bryan said something along the lines of “without hope there can only be injustice.” It had to do with what happens to people when they lose hope. They give up, we give up if we don’t have hope that things can be different.

Here’s the link to the podcast, in case you’d like to hear it:https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zaW1wbGVjYXN0LmNvbS9BdUF4SF9CZg/episode/NzRlNzI4NGEtNDgyNC00MGI0LWFhMjgtODRjNTE3MDFkYTJl?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwj7kIzZwrntAhXqpVkKHUJiAwcQjrkEegQIBRAI&ep=6

I remember being in a class a long time ago where someone taught that hope implies that we don’t have what we need. Now that I have returned to an early interest in quantum physics and what the dynamics of quantum realities reveal, I have a different take on hope. I now relate to hope as a dynamic statement of intention orienting me to possibilities that contain positive outcomes I can’t currently imagine. They key is that my relationship to hope resonates with intentions focused on healing, on opening the hearts of all humans, and more. I no longer feel that hope implies lack. For me, now, it implies focused attention on potential healing outcomes.

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819th Week: More About Focusing on Love
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

819th Week: More About Focusing on Love

I seem to be returning to a theme I’ve written about many times in recent weeks—the healing power of love and the benefits of living with an open heart. Those of us in the United States, as well as so many people all over the world, find ourselves living in a world of loss, suffering, and discord. I’ve spoken many times about my sense that our species is in a developmental crisis, where we have an opportunity to grow into a deepening sense of oneness and a recognition of our underlying interdependence. The question that is not yet answered is whether we will take this developmental step into recognizing that we are inherently responsible for one another, as well as having responsibility for how we treat all our other earth-kin, including the care and well-being of the earth itself.

Because I can’t begin to imagine what the answer is to resolving this developmental crisis, I have consistently turned to calling on universal love to enter the hearts of everyone and, there, to elicit whatever healing is possible. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I hold the intention that universal love will generate healing that serves the greatest good for the greatest number. I have some confidence in this particular intention because it draws on a wisdom well beyond my own that orients to serving the greater good, whatever that may be.

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818th Week: The Prevalence of Compassionate Action
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

818th Week: The Prevalence of Compassionate Action

So many of us have been taught that the nature of nature is “survival of the fittest”, suggesting that competition is the underlying principle of evolution. Elisabet Sahtouris, an evolutionary biologist, points out that the early stages of a species development involves competition, and that the mature stage is characterized by cooperation and collaboration within and between species. Agustín Fuentes, a biological and evolutionary anthropologist also points out the many moments of collaboration and cooperation in our human species, moments that arise spontaneously and seemingly without thought countless times each day.

There’s no question that we humans can be cruel and injurious to one another, and to other species, and I don’t in any way mean for us to ignore those realities. As I listened to Elisabet recently in an interview, though, I thought about how important it is to support the movement toward maturity in our species, and also pay attention to the natural expressions of compassionate collaboration among our kind, not only to each other but to other species, as well.

I’ve mentioned many times that I start the day watching or listening to something that inspires me. That’s where I again encountered Elisabet and her wonderful wisdom. Because of this commitment to finding inspiring resources, I’m more able to live with my heart open and free of hatred and fear—well, not overwhelmed by fear or carried away by outrage, anyway—and to allow my heart to be a major source of information and understanding. I’ve written any number of times about the importance of orienting to heart intelligence, which has a different take on things than does our brain intelligence. In fact, I’ve posted as a past practice a process of shifting into heart intelligence when pondering a problem or exploring a situation, then comparing what your heart says to what your head said. It’s a very useful practice!

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817th Week: The Healing Power of Love
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

817th Week: The Healing Power of Love

Sitting in Central Park on an absolutely beautiful morning, I find myself focusing on a daily practice I’ve taken up since the political situation in the United States became so contentious. I’d like to share it here, in case you, too, would like to engage a way to contribute each day to whatever healing may be possible for all of us.

Because of my history of growing up in a multidimensional reality, where my grandmother was a healer and collaborated actively with the “unseen world”, I have been deeply grateful to have been able to engage in what is called subtle activism. For some people, this means a practice of prayer and/or meditation. For others, it’s a practice of imagining positive energies and outcomes, offering healing energy to situations of trauma and distress, and more.

The practice I’ve taken on as a serious daily aspect of my spiritual life is to imagine the essence of universal love flowing onto the planet and into every living being, offering whatever healing and inspiration may be available. I also imagine this universal force as flowing into our human collective consciousness, touching our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs with the healing essence of love. My underlying intention is to support “the greatest good for the greatest number”. This intention allows me to be fully engaged without having to figure out how we will get to an outcome that serves the greatest good for the greatest number.

What appeals to me about imagining universal love touching and filling everything and everyone is that this force doesn’t come with any belief system. Every spiritual approach I’ve encountered has identified love as the most healing force in the universe and it comes with an open neutrality, content-wise, that appeals to me. One doesn’t have to believe anything in particular to have the healing benefits of universal love. One doesn’t have to do anything at all in order to receive love—it holds no prejudice, it expresses absolutely no separateness or tribalism. 

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816th Week: Return to Silence
Weekly Practice in Conscious Living

816th Week: Return to Silence

Sitting in my living room on a Sunday morning, I’m filled with the gift of silence. No city noises disturb the quiet this morning and that is a great gift. It has gotten me to thinking about the brain research I’ve mentioned before that reflects the benefits of silence in fundamental and literal ways. 

One of the benefits of having quiet time, time spent in silence, is that we gain access to our default mode network. This is the aspect of brain activity where we allow our minds to wander, to think deeply, to listen to our internal experience. All it requires is for us to move away from distractions and give ourselves quiet time to simply be present to our awareness.

Another reason to seek out times of silence is that research has shown that two hours of silence daily can lead “…to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, a key brain region associated with learning, memory and emotion.” In addition to this, we know that noise pollution raises blood pressure and creates stress for both body and mind. According to researchers,  “Just as too much noise can cause stress and tension, research has found that silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in the brain and body.” These findings were reported in the Huffington Post by Carolyn Gregoire and shared by Daily Good a while back.

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