Jill Of Some Trades

And Master Of At Least One


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Day 21: Expressing The End

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Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

It’s finally here, my last blog on meditation.  Thank you for sticking with me through it.  I was getting grumbles from some of my readers –  they were getting bored with this, but when I committed to 21 days, I had to see the whole process through and this blog was my way of doing that.  As I mentioned, I think meditation is fine and that I’ll enjoy it more without the added pressure of writing about it.  I think the only way that it can work for me is through guided meditation.  I need some sort of structure, otherwise, I’ll just be sitting there wondering if I’m doing it correctly.  I can’t say that it’s something that I’ll do every day, but I do understand now, why Dr. Oz recommends it and after I finish writing this entry, I am going to go and peruse Deepak Chopra’s meditation library and buy myself a little something special.  Now onto the final words for this, the 21st day!

I’m going to skip most of Oprah’s remarks, although they are inspirational, it’s a case of been there, written about that.  To end though, she reminded us that although we’ve completed one cycle, we will begin again.  You can say that again Lady O – I’m beginning a whole new 21 day meditation and it’s great because I’ll be able to go back and concentrate on the ones that I liked  best.  Consumerism lives even in spirituality.  

Deepak starts the last meditation with a statement that we step into living our vision as we align with the light that is focused on the seven chakras.  A month ago, if someone said this to me, I’d likely laugh at them, by the end of the three weeks, I was buying everything that Chopra was selling me.  He let us in on another spiritual secret which encourages you to be the source of light in your life.  It’s like that old song, “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone with a twist making it “I Light Up My Life”.  So when you are sitting by the window waiting for someone to sing you their song, get up, go to the mirror and sing it to yourself sister (or brother).  Anyway, DC believes that the most important lesson for us to learn is that spiritual awakening is natural.  The process is similar to waking up in the morning and opening your eyes to the light, only here we have been opening our inner sight to the light of consciousness.  I know, I know – a little abstract.  Maybe part of this whole process is realizing that there are no easy answers?  Just a little something to meditate on – and by that I mean you, not me!

Back to rolling in the Deep-ak.  Our light expresses our personal vision.  We all have dreams to fulfill (otherwise our lives would be pretty dull).  For spirituality to be valid, it must be useful in bringing fulfillment.  Well, there goes that purse that I dreamed of – but purses are useful and bring me fulfillment.  Could this be what he is talking about?  Hello Chloe if he is!  Nope – he’s talking about truths that will lie dormant and asleep – foiled again.  The fulfillment of our dreams is meant to be activated by the seven chakras and as we activate them, we are focused on seven levels of fulfillment.  The highest state of fulfillment arrives when you are fully connected to the internet (just checking to see if you were paying attention).  It actually arrives when you are fully connected to the light of being oneself.  

We are supposed to offer ourselves a simple reminder of the light that we share with others. We should smile with our hearts and let our true selves shine through our eyes.  A few words offered with kindness is another way to let your light radiate – isn’t that lovely?  Another way is going inward when you are feeling good and saying silently to yourself “I am enough”.  If that isn’t self-affirmation, I don’t know what is.  It’s simple and true, but it’s easy to believe on some days rather than others.  When I experience disappointment, I never feel that way but maybe it’s because I didn’t think of those three little words.  DC goes on to say that if you radiate the light of your own being, nothing more can be asked of you.  It may take a journey to find your true self because of past conditioning or other obstacles that cloud our inner vision.  All of these things can be overcome.  DC suggests that meditation is the way to do this since it allows you to find your inner vision and use it in daily life. Today, even though I’m not 100% on everything that I learned over the past month, I can say that I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in this experience.  I am grateful to you for bearing with me too.  I promised you awhile ago, that I would share my very favourite poem with you – I think it sums up, in a very non-abstract way, the point of this whole exercise.  It’s called Desiderata and if you aren’t familiar with it, please enjoy:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927


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Day 12: Express Yourself (Part Deux) and Other Challenges

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Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

Life is so complicated.  I have no clue how many more weeks that I have left to blog, but my weekly anniversary is Wednesdays.  I haven’t spent any money on my health since this meditation started except for my Twinrix shot, but that isn’t Oz related so I can’t count that.  I haven’t tried yoga yet, because meditation takes up so much time.  Tomorrow is the start of a new month, but I can’t move into inflammation until I finish meditation and I still have 9 more meditations to go.  Calgon – take me away!  I’m seriously not all that stressed, although, I’d really like to move on to a clean new topic tomorrow like I’m supposed to and go back to the land of Oz.  As I keep saying, I like the meditation, and I will do it again…next year.  I am going to continue reading more from Deepak Chopra, but meditation every day is just not my thing.  I get distracted by whether I am pronouncing the mantra correctly even in my inside voice.  My saving grace is that I don’t think the universe is really listening to me.

Back to expressing myself or expressing a summary and my thoughts on activating expression.  Oprah sounded more like her authentic self meaning she didn’t have that fake gentleness in her voice that she likely thinks is meditative.  I just find it insincere, but because she is Oprah, I forgive her.  She started with a some truthful statements, “Our intentions create our thoughts, our words and our actions.  We are what we feel, say and express.”  She goes on to say that if we hold back on the full expression of our truth, we limit the richness of what life has in store for us.  I’ll buy that.  I don’t agree 100% when she says that when we express negativity and fear, that we experience more of these feelings.  I find if I express something that I’m afraid of, it sometimes helps me get over my fear.  Plus, what she calls negativity, I call venting but you can’t do it all of the time.  Sometimes, it’s a case of better to express how you feel than keep it trapped inside.  She ends on a more positive note saying that you need to give voice to your dreams to actualize them.  The more you talk about something that you want to do, the more likely you are to do it.  I spoke of writing this blog for months before I actually did it, but by telling a lot of people, it created an expectation and my pride wouldn’t let me walk away from the idea.  I love writing this blog and even if I had only 6 people reading it, I would still love the experience.

Expression is the fifth chakra and is located in your throat – so no, that’s not a frog in there, it’s a chakra.  DC speaks to the fact that it makes sense for it to be located in your throat since the way we most often express ourself is through speech.  He goes on to say (or express) that your personal reality, the way you see the world, is connected to how you express yourself.  Right he is!  He picked up on what Oprah said about expressing negativity and his take is that when you keep expressing negative feelings, you will start to filter out anything that isn’t negative and your brain will start to process your reality to fit your beliefs.  I agree to an extent but still think that venting is good.  You just have to balance the glass is half empty with some happy, fulfilling thoughts as well.  I don’t like being around people who are conistently negative, and I try to see the silver lining in many clouds, but there are times that even perky me needs to tell someone that I’m having a crappy day or several.  We all need pity parties at times, but the key is to know when the party is over and get some perspective.  I agree with his theory that if you express yourself from your true self, it is natural to favour optimism, love, appreciation, gratitude, kindness, and compassion.  These feelings are what make us all happy and warm the chakras, I mean cockles of our hearts.

He then went into some symbolism that was a bit much for me, I’d even go so far as to call it hooey.  He got back on track, just like I knew he would by reminding us of connection that comes from communication.  The next part was my favourite – he said that words convey the impulses of consciousness which include encouragement, ENTHUSIASM (sorry got a little carried away there), EXUBERANCE!!!!!! (sorry, got carried away again), and nourishment.  These allow us to open ourselves up to people and the world around you.  He encourages us to be exuberant YAYAYAYAYAY!!! I love exuberance.  As Dr. Phil always says, it’s time to get excited about your life and it will make people around you feel better if you do.  Or they will think you are annoying and fappy (fake happy), but I choose to believe, the more positive that you are, the more people will want to be around you.

To end on a positive note, today, I am grateful for having an umbrella with me on a rainy day, for meetings that don’t always have to be scary, even when they are about change, and for getting a seat on the subway when my hands were quite full.  Life isn’t so  bad now, is it?  I’ve got to go meditate on how I am…

Gratefully yours,

Jill


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Day Five – Express Yourself

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Image courtesy of chopracentermeditation.com

In the words of the immortal Madonna (the singer, not the religious one) – today’s topic was all about expressing yourself.  Keeping it real, the words were beautiful, but I really wasn’t in the mood to meditate today.  I did it, but I wasn’t at one with the universe.  I kept thinking about today’s mantra, Ham – I’m Jewish – is this an unkosher meditation?  I didn’t really – I just thought about hooked on phonics because Ham was really Hum.  I hope tomorrow’s mantra isn’t Bam because it will be Bum and my inner 3 year old will giggle all the way through this deep experience.  I’m just getting silly, but I am going to do the full 21 days or else!  Plus, Dr. Oz really believes in meditation.  Everyone has an off day – right?

Oprah began by reminding us that we are all here for a unique purpose.  We all have a calling (maybe – I’m still trying to figure out what my calling is – hellooooo!!!! Calling are you out there?).  She goes on to say that expressing ourselves is why we are here (I thought it was for the Boxing Day sales and chocolate).  Apparently, our life is whispering to us – I think I need a good old fashioned scream – and it is up to us to listen to, honour and share what it is that we are trying to express.  All lovely thoughts – I think it was all just lost on me today.

Deepak steps in for more inspiration and had some great points as he always does.   Deepak-C said that people are afraid of expression but it is a natural part of life.  It should be natural to express oneself.  If you hold back expressing yourself, you are missing out and your thoughts will be lost.  The most interesting thing that he mentioned was to take notice of how you feel when you do not express yourself through compliments, loving words or even criticism (for yourself or others).  He rightfully states that your throat tightens – it has happened to me.  It’s because the words are stuck there.  The solution (other than saying what’s on your mind) is to take a deep breath, relax and tap into the flowing energy of expression.  He wants us all to accept and honour ourselves for who we are.

The words are beautiful and the message is simple, yet potent.  It’s the hardest thing in the world sometimes to tell someone how you feel or what’s on your mind, but we have all had experiences where by holding something in, we’ve caused ourselves more harm than good.  I’m not suggesting verbal diarrhea, but sometimes clearing the air can strengthen, not weaken a bond.  Even being honest with yourself, which can be painful, can be a relief.  I’ve ended friendships, etc. without a word at times and I’m not proud of this.  I have also been honest with people about what has been bothering me and it’s saved relationships.  Expressing yourself doesn’t have to just be a confrontation, it can also be something that you find cathartic.  For me, it happens to be this blog.  I don’t think I’m necessarily the best writer in the world or will get my face splashed on Dr. Oz’s magazine, but I do think that it provides me with a means to explore better health, a supportive audience and the flow of expression that we all need.

Today, we have gorgeous weather and I had an outdoor shoot for a client.  I am grateful that the shoot went well, the talent was great, the client was happy, the sun was out and I got to be outside on the nicest day of 2014.  I am also grateful to my followers for reading my outlet for expression.

Gratefully yours,

Jill