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CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS OR UNCONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS?

CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS OR UNCONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS?

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What would a conscious Christmas look like? It would look like the Christ – loving others, caring about others without second agendas, no attempt to impress, patient, and caring. It would not be limited to a day, evening, or night. It would not be a special event. It would be a life-long endeavor, focusing the power of goodnesscompassion, and Divinity onto to every interaction and experience. It would be willful, not mindlessly habitual. It would demand commitment and an elevated perception. It would be the experiences of lovewisdom, and compassion brought into the matter of your life.

Who would benefit from a conscious Christmas? Everyone. It would cleanse the road film of sentimentality from our experiences, wipe clean the lens of our expanded perception, replace every distortion of anger, jealousy, resentment, superiority and inferiority with clarity, and free us from fear. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, recognizing the differences between a conscious Christmas and a commercial Christmas will help you recognize the differences between a conscious life and an unconscious life.

A CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS IS: AN UNCONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS IS:
Quality time with family and friendsvs.       impatience, overwhelm and stress
Aware and healthy interactionsvs.habitual and unexamined interactions
Compassion for others and yourselfvs.judging others and yourself
Seeing from an impersonal perspectivevs.taking things personally
Cultivating love at every chancevs.indulging fear (impatience, anger, etc.) at every chance
Being kind (no second agendas)vs.giving so others will like you
True and deep connectionsvs.sentimental interactions
Acting and speaking with integrityvs.letting things slide because it’s the holidays
Caregivingvs.caretaking
Conscious use of moneyvs.shopping out of obligation or need to please
Healthy, conscious eatingvs.eating and drinking to cover pain
Open heartednessvs.evaluating, assessing, judging others

In short, a conscious Christmas is filled with experiences of love and an unconscious Christmas is filled with experiences of fear. Only an empowered heart creating without attachment to the outcome can live a conscious Christmas, and only a heart clouded by lack of self-worth and searching for value outside of itself can experience an unconscious Christmas.

This mirrors the creation of authentic power – the alignment of the personality with the soul – and the pursuit of external power – ability to manipulate and control. Every deed, word, and gift at Christmas can express the creation of authentic power or the pursuit of external power. The intention that you hold as you act and speak makes the difference.
May your Christmas this year – and all your times – be heart-filled, joyful, and fulfilling.
Love.
Linda & Gary
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LOVING DR. MAYA ANGELOU

LOVING DR. MAYA ANGELOU

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I met Dr. Maya Angelou in 2011 when I interviewed her for a film project that Linda and I were helping some young friends create. Oprah made the connection, and we flew to interview her at her home in Winston Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A. As our questions became more substantive, I could see her engage more deeply in the interview, and her answers became more and more awesome to me. After the interview, to my surprise, she invited us into her dining room for tea. She also gave Linda and me one of her famous cookbooks and inscribed it to “My New Heart Throbs.” I soon realized that Dr. Maya Angelou was one of my heart throbs as well. This was the first of eight trips to her home that Linda and I would make during the next three years.

We both found ourselves thinking about Maya Angelou a lot when we returned home. It was as though we had never left her. Two weeks later she called. “I am still soaring!” she told us. Linda and I felt exactly the same. We decided to create a “salon” by phone and to meet monthly to talk about important and interesting things. Soon we were speaking every Sunday morning, and we continued to speak every Sunday that she was not traveling until she passed on.

There was nothing romantic about Dr. Maya Angelou that I saw, but everything she did came from a deep and deeply loving place. “When you know better, you do better,” she told us and the many members of her extended family that gathered around her dining table, especially on her birthdays and at Thanksgivings. “When you get, give,” she told us. “When you learn, teach.” “People will forget what you say and they will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you make them feel.” Dr. Angelou made me feel included, welcome, significant, part of the family, and a colleague. I have never met a person like her.

She traveled around the country giving events and inspiring talks, often to young people, in her private bus. We once drove to meet her in Portland, Oregon, where she was giving a talk to a huge sold-out audience. As we rode with her in her bus to the venue, she was quiet and inward, as though conserving her strength. When the curtain went up, however, there she was, seated elegantly without her oxygen, ebullient and unstoppable. I wondered whether going that long without oxygen was uncomfortable or fatiguing to her, but as one of the extended family observed, “If Maya’s got it, she’s giving it.” I often thought that she might be in pain as she moved on her walker from her private quarters in her house to the dining table, but if so, she never talked to us about it. Instead she told us, “When you are in pain, don’t be a pain.”

I did not at first recognize the greatness of our new friend or the scope of her reach. The First Lady of the United States described one part of it, “She reached a white woman in Kansas who named her daughter after her and raised her son to become the first black President of the United States,” while a few rows in front of us President Bill Clinton, who had invited Dr. Angelou to read her poetry at his inauguration, sat with the rest of us in celebration of her life.

“When I go on stage,” she told us often, “I bring with me everyone who has loved and supported me. They are on the stage with me. How can I be afraid?”

Dr. Maya Angelou inspired me to do more, reach deeper, and give more than I have in the past. She touched me with her love and caring and complete commitment to loving. The last time Linda and I called her, she came to the phone to tell us that she was speaking with her grandson and said in her matter of fact way, with complete authority, “I can’t talk with you now. The important thing is that you called and I love you and you know that.” We had no doubt about it.

Thank you, Maya Angelou. Your presence will always be a joy in my life.

Love,

Linda & Gary

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A DIFFERENT CHOICE

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Linda and I spent a wonderful two weeks in Japan. I was curious about how open the Japanese would be to authentic power and spiritual partnerships (partnerships between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth). They are very open. They drank in everything we shared and asked for more. A magazine that interviewed us last year doubled the number of pages devoted to this year’s interview and is publishing a Special Edition to feature it. People at our workshop, both men and women, who were somewhat reserved at the beginning became warm and loving family members to us and one another by the en

Five-sensory Japanese finger-paint the symbol for “Small” on the foreheads of female neonates at birth and the symbol for “Big” on the foreheads of male neonates. (They really do.) This may sound shocking, but if we look around us we will see that Americans do the same, except without the paint. The root cause of assigning different values to souls in the Earth school is fear, and fear is part of the human experience. When we judge other cultures, we indulge fear. When we judge anything we do the same. The Japanese participants in our workshops wanted to learn how to challenge fear in themselves, not change other people. They came to create authentic power instead of pursue external power – the ability to manipulate and control.

The thirst for authentic power and the natural attraction of deep and substantive relationships among equals are multisensory experiences, and they are emerging in millions of individuals around the world – Japanese, American, Brazilian, Chinese, young, old, wealthy, and indigent. They are emerging in you, and they are emerging in me.

Linda and I love sharing about authentic power and spiritual partnerships, and we love experimenting with them in the Earth school.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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WHAT ILLUSIONS ARE YOU CAUGHT IN?

WHAT ILLUSIONS ARE YOU CAUGHT IN?

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When your painful emotions seem to be caused by something outside of you, you are in an illusion. For example, your child falls from a tree, and you feel fear, anxiety, and panic. The fall seems to have caused these emotions, but if you look inside yourself, you will see that they are not new. You have experienced these emotions before, even before you had a child! The fall activated dynamics inside you and they cause the painful emotions that you experience. Other events will continue to activate them until you become familiar with these internal dynamics and move beyond their control.

The fall brings your attention to what you must change inside yourself. Chopping down the tree, scolding your child, and becoming angry at the neighbor who planted it will not change the dynamic in you that caused your painful emotions. Only you can change that dynamic in you. The illusion pulls your attention outward and demands that you change the world. In order to grow spiritually you must direct your attention inward and change yourself. The illusion is that someone or something outside you is responsible for your emotional pain. The reality is that you are responsible for continuing to experience it again and again rather than challenge the source of it in yourself and cultivate the source of loving experiences in yourself. This creates authentic power.

As you create authentic power, you begin to recognize the difference between the illusion in which painful emotional reactions occur and are blamed upon the external world and the reality of the dynamics inside you that create loving experiences and cultivate them.
Love.
Linda & Gary
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SOUL THOUGHTS

UNIVERSAL HUMAN

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Loving parts of a personality are naturally generous, kind, and connected. When you align yourself with yours, you become generous, kind, and connected, too. This is the creation of authentic power.

I was thrilled when Linda and I were invited to a gathering in India. I was even more thrilled to be asked to give a talk at the Gandhi ashram. Gandhi is one of my heroes. I spoke about authentic power and, for the first time, I spoke of the Universal Human, which I have been writing a book about for thirty years. Gandhi’s ashram seemed the perfect place to introduce the Universal Human because I think of Gandhi as a Universal Human when few existed.

The only other time I spoke of the Universal Human was at Mt. Fuji, in a special celebration called the Symphony of Peace Prayers. Twelve thousand of us prayed for the peace and fulfillment of each country in the world, one country at a time. It was a wonderful expression of Universal Humanity.

The creator of the annual Symphony of Peace Prayers, Masami Saionji, was in India with us, and she spoke at the ashram with me! Now I am thrilled again to share about the Universal Human with you. I am writing the last chapter(s) of it now, and the book will probably be published next year

Universal Humans are authentically powerful multisensory humans, and therefore, they are naturally generous, kind, and connected, as are you when you create authentic power. In other words, our new potential of the Universal Human is beginning to appear, and it is beginning to appear in you.

Love

Linda & Gary