You can choose to ignore your super powers and let them got to waste, or you can ignite them today and do some good in the world. We need more goodness.
Super Power #1 Your Imagination
Activating your imagination is a super blessing. We can create something that wasn’t there before, even if it’s only in our minds. Use your imagination to create beautiful things.
Super Power #2 Your Impactful Connection
You connect with life through reaching out. You can touch another with words, thoughts and prayer or with your hands and your body. Use your ability to touch and connect to send loving kindness to the world. We need more of that. Less critics and more lovers. A hug is a great super power tool. Hug more people today.
Super Power #3 Your Smile
Another wonderful connector. A smile can light up a whole room. I know mine does. Smile today and turn on the love light in everyone you meet. Your smile is a reminder to everyone to remember, it’s all okay.
Super Power #4 Your Words
They are powerful. The words we choose have a remarkable way of bringing goodness out in the world. Choose your words wisely. Let them encourage someone today.
Super Power #5 Your Thoughts
Your thoughts help you navigate the world. Where do you want to go next? What is your purpose today? Guard your thoughts. Think better. Clearer. Smarter.
“To lead a free life, a person must separate him/herself from negative imprinting and remain open and vulnerable,”
Thoughts today on creating awesome experiences. Memorable ones – like the time my husband and I took our four daughters on an 18-day bareboat charter around the British and US Virgin Islands. They were ages 8, 6 and the twins 4 years old. They were young and fun.
The Future of Travel
Just how close do you think virtual reality arm chair travel can get to replicating a real barefoot beach combing, dolphin swimming, colada sipping vacation for you?
Imagine all the travel pleasures without the annoying TSA security check points, baggage claim blunders and long exhausting lines.
While I still think there is plenty of reason to travel IRL (in real life), like new friends to make, dishes to try, terrain to hike and air to breathe, I can also imagine enhancing your weekends with even more jet-setting and globe hopping in the comfort of your own cozy family room.
A Virtual Bucket List
What an amazing gift a virtual reality vacation would be for my housebound mom and dad, who are too ill to travel, but can simulate the relaxation and adventure of a vacation while checking off cherished places on their bucket list.
I am fascinated by the future of virtual reality travel. Are you?
“By its very definition, virtual reality is a simulation of being somewhere different, and if you’re in need of an immediate break from your current reality, stepping into a virtual one in a matter of moments is the ultimate form of escapism.” – read more about Occulus Rift and how technology will take you anywhere with 360 degree video experiences here
The British Columbia tourism bureau filmed this virtual reality video to lure in vacationers –here
“To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.” Rolf Potts, Author of Vagabonding.
With mindfulness we live in the present moment. This is not, however, where most of us currently spend a lot of time. We topple forward into the future and worry about the next day or month or year. We think about what happened yesterday or last week or five years ago. We plan a vacation for months, then when we’re finally lounging on the beach, our mind drifts off to the problems we left at home. The habit of being a little (or a lot) ahead of ourselves, living in the past, or lost in fantasy, extracts an enormous price: We miss out on our life.
I am currently researching and planning a trip to visit the best of Bali. I want to find the less traveled, secret and sacred places. Oh what an adventure this will be. 95-miles-wide and located in the Indian Ocean, Bali is a part of the Indonesian archipelago known as the Lesser Sunda Islands north of Western Australia. I am sure one of the highlights of this trip with be a bike tour through the bamboo forests of Bali and have found Bali Countryside offering what looks like amazing tours.
The Future of Space Travel
In the meantime, I have been pondering the potential of space and mind travel – the last two frontiers of exploration. I’m currently reading and recommending Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. If you are interested at all in space exploration, than I believe you will be fascinated by his mission to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. For up to the moment news on his progress, follow space exploration @elonmusk on Twitter
The Creative Possibilities of Mind Travel
I became very curious about the idea of creative mind travel this morning after reading this quote from John O’Donoghue’s book Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom “No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it.”
Dance Trance, Strobbing Lights and Whirling Dervishes
All travel and stories start with an idea in our minds – in the inner vast space of potential, limitless creativity. Now imagine taking self-exploration to the next level – tripping if you will, sans drugs, for mind expansion.
This is not a new idea at all. Psychologists and neuroscientists have been experimenting with stroboscopic lighting techniques to activate the pineal gland which in turn produces visions not unlike a psychedelic trip.
Entering a dance trance have had many throughout time traveling into the spirit world. Native cultures such as the Australian Aborigines, African tribespeople, Sufis and American Indians have utilized the power of dance to make contact with the spirits as they enter a world of vivid color and surreal architecture and archetypes.
Those that practice insight meditation have reported experiencing hallucinations. From simple shapes and colors such as one might see on a low LSD dose to full on “out of body” experiences where entire characters and environments are formed and interacted within.
Interested in touring the deep vastness of your mind without magic mushrooms, microdots or black sunshine? You can read more in this article How to Hallucinate Without Drugs.
Adventure as a Mindset
To embrace the unplanned experiences and to fully appreciate the spontaneity of life is to believe the next adventure is about 5 minutes away.
Call it what you will, bliss, contentment, excitement, enthusiasm, well-being, enchantment — happiness is a skill, a skill that needs to be trained and practiced daily. My mind and body training includes a daily ritual (beginning around 5:30 am) of gratitude prayer, stoic philosophy studies, meditation practice, workout training (running, hiking, biking, swimming and high intensity interval training) and learning something new every single day.
Self- experiment for the day – to pay very careful, non-judgmental attention to the contents of my consciousness in the present moment. To watch my mind – to bring my soul into harmony with itself, and not let my purpose be out of tune. Seneca wisdom Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics) Why all this mind watching? Because it’s a over-crowded zoo in there.
Through the Lens of Thought
What lens are you using? The way we see and think about things is the most powerful force that shapes our lives. Any impoverished thoughts that are brought into our perception are like poison for the brain. This would be thinking that is deprived of richness or strength; thoughts that are limited or depleted. Yeah, these thoughts have to go. Inspired by the wisdom of Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Biking Plantation Run & Coconut Muscle Mylk from COMO Parrot Cay
Rode the sweet four-mile palm-covered path to the fresh coconut plantation on Parrot Cay. Yes they grow their own and serve it up for breakfast daily.
Coconut Muscle Milk
This delicious drink speeds muscle recovery by reducing inflammation and replenishing electrolytes and nutrients with 1 banana, 1/2 cup young coconut water, 3 slices of coconut meat, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 cup of almond milk, handful of flax seeds, 3 dates and a few cocoa beans. Blend and replenish.
‘Man needs reckless courage to descend into the abyss of himself.”– Yeats
Somewhere along the line, over the course of a few decades – between paying the monthly mortgage, grinding through the 50 + hour work week, suffering through the daily three hour commute, sitting in front of a screen for eight to ten hours, my heart-felt dreams faded into the background and literally sailed off into the far-away sunset. I’d forgotten how to dream. I became fearful of the “unknown”. I felt like I was leaning forward, tumbling into the fear of the future.
No More Fear
Around this time last year, I reached a point. The point where my mind, body and spirit just said no to the manic attempts to run from my life and bury myself in work and possessions.
“A time comes when you know that you can no longer wallpaper your soul.”
This deep inner reflection takes rigorous daily practice, because if you are or were stuck like me, you need to unwind the tape and reverse back into your own true nature to discover the deepest natures of your fear. It’s a painful path and the self-delusion must cease to exist. Every excuse you make is nothing more than an attempt to justify why you are not doing what you truly dream.
Interesting side note: the phrase “do not be afraid” recurs 366 times in the Bible. think about that.
What is truly important
After shining a flashlight in the face of fear I have discovered -what my heart really longs for is deep love, connections, peace-of-mind, serenity, calmness, security and freedom.
Now I know, one does not need to travel to find any of this, but re-igniting a sense of adventure also helps set the course.
So this is one of the reasons I yearn and plan to visit Bali and the Maldives. Yes they are on the dream bucket list and yes I am determined to visit, what I believe a place for a soul retrieval – a slice of nirvana – heaven on earth.
I’ve been inspired by others who have gone and have raved about the experience.
I’m just back from Como Shambhala Estate, and life has not been the same since. Spread out across the lip of the Ayung River Valley, about 10 kilometres from Ubud in Bali’s green hinterland, Como Shambhala is a silken, holistic health resort, one of the world’s finest, according to the arbiters of such places, a “Retreat for Change” by its own definition.
Bali and the Maldives. Mother nature provides the magic.
I would love to know, I am very curious, what does your heart long for?
Have you thought about what pace feels right for you? At times I do have a need for speed and love the energy and creativity that feels supercharged in big cities like Manhattan. Right now, I feel the need to breath deeply, chill out and slow down to refocus. Not unplug, just down shift to first or maybe second gear.
Something clicked the minute I stepped off the plane at Providenciales. An assuring voice inside my head delivered a comforting message “a more intentional pace.” This slower island pace. Not the harried, brisk and hurried hustle of New York, but the more deliberate and intentional easiness, much like the gentle movement of the waves and soothing breezes of this island. I am not describing a snail-like, creeping, lazy/boozy pace, but that of speaking, thinking, walking and working which is more conscious, considered and purposed. More thoughtful living. This is the pace for now.
And so it goes with meals, especially meals together. My memories of my youth bring me back to four hour dinners around the long outdoor communal table, under the grapevines, with my loud and excited extended Italian family. The never-ending conversations, the slow and relaxed experience of enjoying a meal together.
The Art of Slow and Mindful Eating begins with an intention to create an experience. Setting the mood, dimming the lights, selecting soft and slower music and smaller plates, create an atmosphere for mindful eating. Imagine setting a stage to enjoy and savor your meal. This mindful eating ritual can be extended to any meal – from breakfast to dinner. For more tips on mindful eating, check out Dara Rose, PhD, neuroscientist, foodist, author and the creator of Summer Tomato.
I start my meals by saying grace. Sometimes privately, sometimes with my family. Saying grace can transform a mere meal into an act of celebration, focus, and gratitude.
Listening to meditation talks from Tara Brach, I actually envisioned what she describes as “A Sky Like Mind“, a more expansive mind that allows me to open to the very healing, healthy and beautiful moment that is right now, this healing presence. Tara’s podcasts and book, Radical Acceptance has really helped release the fear, worry and pain that stems from the mental swirl of anxious activity, the grasping and wanting that only proves to enslave my mind.
It is by meeting each moment throughout the day with radical acceptance for what ever is going on and holding those feelings that arise with a compassionate and open heart, a forgiving heart, this is feels like true freedom.
With everything moving at a slower pace this week, I had the opportunity to try Pilates class for the first time. One of the slowest classes I have attended in a long time, a slight pick up from yoga, nothing about the Pilates Method is haphazard. The reason you need to concentrate so thoroughly is so you can be in control of every aspect of every moment. The one reminder that I have walked away with today is Active Abs and focusing on my posture, especially when sitting at my desk for hours at end. Two exercises to help you feel your abdominal muscles correctly.
If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing.
Busy, so busy, crazy busy.
It is is pretty obviously a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation. “well that’s a good problem to have!” “Better than the opposite.”
This frantic self-congratulatory business busyness is a distinctly upscale affliction. Notice it isn’t people pulling back to back shifts in the ICU or those taking care of their senescent parents or holding down three minimum wage jobs that have to commute to by bus, who need to tell you how busy they are. What those people are is not busy but tired, exhausted, dead on their feet.
It’s almost often said by people who’s lamented business is purely self-imposed- work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily. Classes and activities they’ve encouraged their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety because they are addicted to busyness and dread what they might face in its absence. – excerpt fromTim Kreider’s “The Busy Trap”
The Art of Slow Travel
I’m leaving this Sunday for an impromptu week on Turks & Caicos – Parrot Cay to be precise. My husband was called down on a design and build mission and I get to tag along. You see we don’t do vacations, we do “adventures”. Sailing excursions where we squeeze six humans on a 35 foot boat for 18 days. Camping trips with small babies up the Cape coast for three weeks. I don’t really understand the concept of doing nothing. It frightens me like nothing else.
So, unfortunately, I’m already worried about the wi-fi. Really? Well there goes 100 hours of meditation practice down the drain. Will I have a bike? 24/7 internet access? transportation to island hop? Access to anything I might, need, want, desire? What if I get tired of the beach? Will I be “trapped” on this beautiful slice of heaven? And to think I’ve been dreaming of going on a silent meditation retreat. Who am I kidding? Laughing very hard at myself right now.
This neurotic anxiousness of being left out (a bit of FOMO I gather) reminds me of a brilliant essay that Tim Kreider wrote for The New York Times a few years ago. It’s called Lazy, a Manifesto. For anyone who feels the same, it’s a quick must read- the full essay here The Busy Trap, Tim Kreider and one of my favorite book of short essays buy the same author –
While I do feel incredibly blessed with this opportunity to go, I ask myself, how will I learn to slow down, savor and enjoy this gift of a “vacation”? Perhaps I will meditate on Thich Nhat Hanh’s advice and enjoy a moment of nothing.
If you can find a moment to sit, wherever you are, stay there and enjoy nothing. Just enjoy your in-breath and out-breath. Don’t allow yourself to be carried away by your thinking, worries or projects. Just sit there and enjoy doing nothing; enjoy your breathing and the fact that you are alive . . .
Every day is its own kind of hectic. Filled with lists, work, frustration, chores, bills, etc. And as much as I’d like to take a leave of absence, a few days off or dare I say, go on a “vacation”, right now I’m satisfied with stealing daily moments of downtime, right where I am.
Near future plans for travel include far off adventures to the Isle of Skye in Scotland; Bahia, Brazil; Angkor Wat, Cambodia;Koh Rong in the Gulf of Thailand; Palau in the Pacific . . . . .wild and natural places, near and far.
The mindset of a traveler.
I’m currently listening to the audio version of Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. More like a guide book for freeing your life, it’s not just about tactical advice on own to make room for your own travel adventures, it’s about adapting a new way of thinking, living, working and exploring the world.
A sample quote –
“Vagabonding is an attitude—a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word. Vagabonding is not a lifestyle, nor is it a trend. It’s just an uncommon way of looking at life—a value adjustment from which action naturally follows. And, as much as anything, vagabonding is about time—our only real commodity—and how we choose to use it.”
Oh how I look forward to the adventures ahead, but in the meantime, I keep my mind in a calm, relaxed and summer vacation-like state with meditation. I began practicing Vipassana meditation about three months ago for about 10 minutes a day. It’s not easy letting go of all the racing thoughts and anxious emotions, so I looked for a guide.
Becoming aware of the mind’s power to incorporate moments of calm and peace, the type of relaxed inner calm you might get on a vacation can serve to reduce stress in just a few seconds. It’s like a road trip for the mind.