Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ten Tips For Organizing Art/Work Space

Dear G,
Please write a One Love Nugget suggesting ways of keeping my work space clean. I am a professional artist and writer and can't seem to keep clutter from engulfing me and blocking my creative flow. How do I organize my space?"

Messy Maven

Dear Messy Maven,
Thanks for your question. It is one many of us can relate to, as we are all artists of many mediums, including life and reality. Here are my current top ten tips for getting and staying organized in your work space.
  • Become a lover of Immaculate, Impeccable Spaces (but not neurotic).
  • ZEN OUT-Declutter. Get rid of everything in your space that is not useful, loved or essential. When in doubt, throw it out. Simplify, Simplify!
  • Make your workplace “sacred space”. Create a simple altar, light a candle, place fresh flowers, etc. This serves as a small way to call in the Divine Muse of Creativity and will support you in respecting organization (you would never leave piles of papers and messy supplies in a temple or church, right?).
  • Clear and organize your head and heart! A clear mind (meditate!) and a light heart (forgive, feel, express, release held energy) support a present, clear physical space.
  • Use efficient systems to track paperwork, files and store supplies and items.
  • Keep storage systems out of sight. If possible, use a closet, cabinet or even a bamboo screen for keeping boxes, bins, file drawers out of your line of sight.
  • Every week clear out any extra clutter that has accumulated in your work space.
  • Keep a running list of goals and action items so that the energy of your art/writing/creativity keeps moving. Creative blocks create eddies of messes and disorganization. So keep your flow current and in motion.
  • Cultivate Clarity and Focus in your work. Clarity breeds Cleanliness. Focus breeds Organization. In fact, I find that they are bi-directional! They are interdependent.
  • Love yourself, Love your life, Create beauty. This one should speak for itself.
I'd love to hear from other readers who are lovers of organization and inspired work spaces.
Give us your fave tips! Thanks! One Love!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Avatar -Unity Consciousness 101-Let's Debrief!

I saw Avatar recently. What a packed film - giving voice to multiple memes, powerful implications and possibilities. Join me, let's debrief.

After the first 30 minutes, I wondered if this was simply a Pocohantas meets the imperialist Bush administration story. Indeed, it was much more, and I will only cover the core of it for me here.

  • We are Multidimensional and we are One
  • We are all Connected
  • The Earth is our Mother
  • Telepathy is real and practical
  • We can "See" at essence level
  • The Divine Feminine is the Spiritual Leader
  • Respect and honor all life
  • The energy of the Source of all life is always available/accessible
  • Love your people, and really SEE them-Let love transform you

These “lessons,” are very practical and very real to life. From my perspective, much of the essence of this film is not science fiction, rather it's metaphysical and emotionally intelligent non fiction. Humanity, could really benefit from getting more connected to one another, the Earth and Cosmic energy. Further, the Shamanic perspectives and practices in the film offer an educational transmission for anyone who is open and willing to receive.

In an airport last week, I caught a CNN update, stating that Avatar viewers are suffering from depression. I can see why. Reemerging from the film into a mass reality that lacks connection and has lost it's sense of deeper "seeing" , and grocking the genocide and atrocities that are still happening in our world is depressing. I say lets feel the whole heart aching truth of what Avatar evokes. Let's feel all the way into what has not been working in the way we do life as humans, individually and collectively. And then let's use our awareness as fuel for reclamation, reeducation and reinvention.

I also hear that Avatar received negative press for being Anti-America. Right wing
conservatives even criticized Avatar for being Pagan and Goddess worshiping, (as if anything is wrong with being deeply earth connected and honoring the divine feminine aspect of the Godhead). Well, I am American, I am human and I am universal, just like many of you. And I actually felt my voice and views were portrayed in this film in a positive light.

Metaphorically speaking, I see Avatar as being pro-Earth, pro-Life, pro-Humanity and
pro-Awakening. If anything, Avatar seems anti-ignorance, anti-genocide and anti-demolition of life in the name of obtaining "unobtanium."

How obvious that the richest mine of “unobtainium” just happened to be under the tribe's "Mother Tree". Of course it would be. What is the metaphor of this precious resource? Is it oil? Is it power? Is it enlightenment? Or salvation? Perhaps a community's most valuable resource is the heart and home of its people. Perhaps it is life itself and a harmony with it that cannot be obtained but only cultivated and honored. What is it for you? For me, “unobtainium” is the mystery of life itself. It is a blessing and a birthright yet it cannot be possessed or controlled.

What would Jung say about Avatar? Maybe he'd say that our collective psyche dreamed this film so that every archetype voiced, as a part of our selves, can come back into wholeness and integration. I feel that Avatar offers a probe for shifting paradigms; for further realizing our potential. We can dream a new dream; one where we steward our planet, get connected and nurture the essence of life. After seeing Avatar, my willingness to be a compassionate reality artist of unity consciousness is stronger than ever. I hear a call to humanity to evolve ourselves into more conscious, reverent beings with love and unity as driving forces, Universal laws. Do you hear it too?

It is our dream. What shall we create next?

I see you. I love you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Spacious Being- Stop, Drop and Flop.

Drop...Drop in.
Flop... be held in Love, in the Mystery, in your deepest self.

There is a sacred marriage of being and doing and I am always in the dance of living this harmony. I sense this true intimacy and unity is available in any moment! I wrote the following thoughts a few weeks ago after falling asleep and waking suddenly from a dream.

I am coming out of the dream time to broadcast a very important message:

I know, this may sound contrary to all this "waking up" I constantly spout, but it is not at odds with awakening at all. Nor is it a polarization to the "Carpe Diem" of living fully.

The last few nights, I have fallen asleep in total ecstasy. I snuggle beside my 3 year old love bug, massaging her feet to the soundtrack of my sweetheart's deep, loving voice telling an epic bedtime story. Last I remember, he was talking about shooting stars with rainbow trails of light. Then, Talia's breath fell deeper and her body dropped (and flopped) into the bliss of sleep. Mine too apparently, till I got myself up to come bring you this important message.

During the Winter season, all kinds of living things draw inward, root deeper into the Earth, into darkness and stillness, only to emerge with new life in the Spring. Bears hibernate, nights are longer, our psyches call us into a deeper quiet, "being with" and " dropping in" to the depths. Are you responding? Are you stopping to pause? To rest and sleep? The Dalai Lama says, "Sleep is the best meditation". I admit, I definitely am not getting enough sleep. Are you?

Lately, I stay up late doing creative work and then savor sleep till the crack of dawn or a bit later, if I am extremely lucky. I can count the number of nights of uninterrupted sleep I've had since becoming a parent, on one hand. Extra luxurious nights have minimal swats and kicks from little limbs in the bed or my kind hubs takes our little one to the bathroom instead of me. But even beyond sleep, lately, I am feeling the need to just STOP. Where is my "off" switch?

The richness of my life is a joyous blessing that I treasure with gratitude. However, if I am not mindful to stay in balance, my life, my body and my mind get over active. Whether the over activity comes with working or playing, dancing, running, writing or thinking, traveling in cars, planes and trains, there comes a time when I need to stop, drop and flop!

In my family, we experience "flopping" as a total letting go. It is a complete surrender to having to hold up our bones as well as our postures of an engaged "go for it" human. Even our nervous system releases any grip when we flop. Lately, I have been craving the "flop." Flopping on the couch and doing nothing or flopping on the Earth in the sunshine, this is ecstasy. I am after the no-thingness, the just be-ingness. I want to dissolve all agendas and responsibilities of time, caretaking and cultural agreements. I want to be like the frogs on the canyon walls that lounge all day and commune with the elements of water, earth, wind and sun.

I know that quieting the monkey mind and nervous system rev is a moment to moment choice. I know this choice is available any time, any where. There is a quality of reflective spaciousness that though subtle is pure soul food. While I often experience being lit up by the muses of movement and expression. Stillness, quiet and stopping also fill my cup and refuel my soul. I love prayer, ritual and meditation for all these reasons. They bring intention and attention into the very breath of now and the time space continuum (which can sometimes feel like a fast train going everywhere at once) disappears.

I know how to live in the world of people and things. Yet the Indigenous idea of time as a circle is really much more nurturing and ultimately more life giving to me.

I invite you to join me...stop, drop and flop. Step out of linear time, even if just for a few moments and be receptive to what you discover there. Stop, pause, breathe. Drop in more deeply into your core, your source. Flop into the arms of the Divine.

And with a long, luxurious exhale, in just an instant, we are deeper in our center, where nothing is lacking, relaxed at home in our selves, wherever we are.

Ah yes, Spacious Being.

How about you? How do you strike the balance of being and doing?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Compassion For Haitians and All Humanity

Greetings, Lovers of Life!
This morning I read my friend Britt's post on the Earthquake in Haiti. I don't follow the "news" at all, partly because there is so much media brainwash and "bad" news reported. I relate to my friend Darren's teacher, Lee Lozowick, that it is important to 'make judicious choices about what kind of impression food we will eat.' In reference to films with suffering content, he says , "We should already be so deeply in touch with the reality of suffering, it should be such a cellular knowledge for us, that we hardly need to go to a movie to remind us of it." I agree.

The devastation and suffering in Haiti is part of daily life. It is not my daily life, yet a part of me and of humanity I cannot deny, even if it hurts to see it. The world has plenty of sorrow and devastation. We need not be resigned to it. Thankfully, trusted sources, like Britt can keep us up to speed on how to "do good" and make a difference. She offers several options for making donations and participating in relief and support efforts to Haiti.

According to the U.S. UNICEF press release: "Funds are urgently needed to provide safe water, temporary shelter systems, essential medical supplies etc. . . . Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has a population of 9.6 million inhabitants, of which more than half are under 21 years old."

I saw photos of the Earthquake and instantly my heart ached with the suffering of the Haitians in their reality. In addition to making a donation towards relief efforts, I began to practice Tonglen. Tonglen is Tibetan for 'giving and taking' (or, sending and taking). Wikipedia says "in this practice, one visualizes taking onto oneself the suffering of others, and giving one's own happiness and success to others."

'It is a practice of 'using what seems like poison as medicine. Using suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.' Pema Chodron writes,"Tonglen reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure and, in the process, we become liberated from a very ancient prison of selfishness... It awakens our compassion and it also introduces us to a far larger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness that Buddhists call shunyata. By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being...

Tonglen can be done for those who are ill, those who are dying or have just died, or for those that are in pain of any kind. It can be done either as a formal meditation practice or right on the spot at any time. "

Please, give yourself and all of humanity a gift. Read more about the simple steps to practice Tonglen, and make it a part of your daily, on the spot awakening of compassion. Donate your consciousness and loving kindness to the people of Haiti and to all of humanity.

And a special thanks to my mother in law,Terra, for introducing me to this practice. She is a Bodhisattva beacon and an awakener of compassion in the world.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Right Tarot Deck For YOU!

Today's Question:
"How do you select a tarot deck? I've been feeling like I would like to get one for 2010, but there are *so* many out there now, I don't know how to choose one. How did you choose the ones you use?"

Today's One Love Nugget:
For those of us who may not be familiar with the Tarot, it is a deck of cards, usually 72, with images and archetypes that contain universal symbolism used in divination. Many decks are not actual "Tarot" yet serve as insightful oracles none the less. They are basically a tool for reading more deeply into all things life and love. While traditionally used by fortunetellers and "readers", these days they are widely accessible and very user friendly. We can utilize these decks to drop into the dreamtime realms and collective unconscious, to bring into consciousness, elements and information that can serve us in the Now.

I can say a lot here, but I will keep it to a bite size morsel...a nugget.

When choosing a deck, I suggest you
  • Go to a metaphysical or specialty bookstore that has a wide selection of sample decks.
  • Explore and let your heart and intuition guide you.
  • Choose a deck that speaks directly to your unique brand of personalized spirituality.
  • Select one with an interpretive book that is languaged in a way that resonates with you.
My personal favorites are decks with ecumenical, universal images and interpretations. I love the Osho Zen, Inner Wealth, Medicine Cards, Mother Peace and Voyager. There are so many possibilities out there, so, do your research and find the one that fits you best. This site has hundreds of decks and even sorts them by themes.

After 25 years of using oracle and tarot cards personally and professionally, I can vouch for an oracle being like a trusted friend. Though really, the trusted friend is not the deck itself, it is YOU. The tarot is ultimately a tool of self discovery and inquiry into our deepest nature. So whatever deck you feel magnetized toward, use it to hone your intuitive knowing and support you in bringing forth the light and glory that you are.

Blessings and gratitude! let me know what you choose! Or which chooses you!