Feeling The Pull of The Present

I want to feel the pull of the present moment lure me in – Madeline Johnson

It is so damn difficult to stay present in the moment. Distractions are everywhere, especially in my mind, which vacillates between the recent past and unknown future.

Once in a while, when I can remind myself to pay attention, I become fully aware of my life unfolding in real time. It’s for a split second really. It’s as if I awaken for a moment. My mind fully in this present.

I want to feel the pull of the present moment lure me in. I am tired of not being here. I want to feel the excitement of unencumbered first sight, a virgin noticing.

I am looking for experiences that violate my expectations. Places, people and things that will take me somewhere new.

I want to get off the reservation. Travel a bit. Somewhere new.

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I expect being some where new will allow me to be fully present, my senses heightened, absorbing the freshness of it all.

To steward the contents of my consciousness to the here and now.

Tune in:  Jason Silva’s eye-opening perspective on this seven minute video.

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Featured Artist

Kari Lilt

 

Rising Up To Your Highest

Today is the ideal day to let go of what you think is protecting you and create a life that supports you. Madeline Johnson

I find that the quiet early mornings before the sun rises and anyone has awoken, I hold a moment to myself to examine my consciousness. This gift of time presents a wonderful opportunity for me to rise up. An opportunity to let go of any fear of the future and anxiety about my abilities or abandoning myself.

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The rituals, the exercises, the journaling, the meditation, the prayer, the gratitude serves a single purpose and that is to elevate my thoughts so I can rise up and shine brighter today.

Today I must let go of what I think is protecting me and create a life that supports me.

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Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD, is an internationally recognized authority in the fields of psychiatry, health, business, and education. He has published extensively, including classic bestsellers “Forgiveness”, “Teach Only Love”, and “Love is Letting Go of Fear”.

Featured Artist

Victor Whitmill

A note from the artist. Questions are generally more interesting than answers. So…I paint to raise questions. The answers aren’t the point. Being entertained by not knowing is. Depth comes from wonder. My work isn’t deep. However, viewing it might be. 

 

 

Manifesting Your Reality

Don’t waste your thoughts worrying. Don’t give away your thoughts and don’t waste time thinking about what you don’t want to happen. By Madeline Johnson

Your thoughts have the power to change everything in your life. Everything you have in your life right now, started with a thought.

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What you focus on with your thoughts, your mind will manifest as reality.

Sometimes our thoughts create realities that we have to overcome.

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Every single thought we have is a unit of energy. Energy to create something new.

Don’t waste your thoughts worrying. Don’t give away your thoughts and don’t waste time thinking about what you don’t want to happen.

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Invest in thoughts that are productive.

The next time you start obsessing about something, ask yourself . . .

Is this thought going to enhance my life

or take away from it?

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Place your thoughts and energy behind that which will make you stronger, rather than wasting your thoughts on remorse about things that have fallen apart.

Conserve your thought energy to create more beauty, rather than manifest more pain.

The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body.   Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief

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Recommended Reading

Way of The Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman

Featured Artist

@demoontier makes weird, queer, drag and fashion inspired art.

https://www.instagram.com/demoontier/

 

 

The Messy Process of Loving Yourself

Learning to love and respect yourself isn’t something that you decide to do one day. It’s a daily practice. By Madeline Johnson

Learning to love and respect yourself isn’t something that you decide to do one day. It’s a daily practice. Self-acceptance requires patience and practice and maybe even managing those great expectations you have for yourself while holding onto your standards.

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Expectations can sometimes get in the way of lessons and joy found in unexpected experiences.

-George Leonard, Poet/Philosopher and the granddaddy of the consciousness movement.

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To be unaware of our irrationality and

derangement of our own thoughts

is what keeps us stuck.

Read More: The Three Levels of Self-Awareness by Mark Manson

An argument for loving and accepting yourself . . .

When we refuse to accept ourselves as we are, then we return to the constant need for numbing and distraction. And we will similarly be unable to accept others the way they are, so we will look for ways to manipulate them, change them, or convince them to be a person they are not. Our relationships will become transactional, conditional, and ultimately toxic and fail.

Go deeper into learning about how to better handle adversity in your life. Read his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

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Featured Art

Leif is an artist and Creative Director. His work explores themes of connectedness, the relevance of nature and the psychedelic experience. By utilizing these subjects he attempts to inspire the viewer into a realignment with themselves and their surroundings.

What is Significantly Yours To Own

A morning manifesto that resets your mind to start the day with a stronger, healthier mindset.

With every rising of the sun,

think of your life as just begun. 

Change. Transformation. Something new for you. It starts with ownership and attitude over your thoughts, words and deeds. You see, I take pride in owning my problems. I hammer away at them daily.  Unfortunately, I also take on other people’s obstacles and challenges as well.  Perhaps this makes me feel more important. Validated. Essential. Significant.

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When Fixing Problems Becomes a Problem

By day, I deal with  problems and concerns by constantly updating my to-do list. I also take time out of my day, time that I really don’t have, to help others solve their problems. And I get very frustrated when they don’t listen to my advice.  It gets me so twisted. Have you been there? Do you know what I mean?

At night, I have a tendency to take those problems to bed and ruminate over them until I fall asleep from mental exhaustion. On occasion, I can even take that worrying to a whole new level of crippling pain and insanity. I believe I may have perfected the art of catastrophizing – believing that things are worse than they actually are. My mind a maelstrom of nighttime worry.   Day in and day out. Night dreads and morning anxiety.

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Believe It If You Need It

Meditate they urged. Journal it away. Pray they said. Clear your mind. I thought about it. I tried new ways and altered my approach. Crystals, sage, affirmations.  Nothing really worked. Rote prayer never inspired me.  I was seeking more. I wanted to focus on transforming my mind, breaking the patterns of rumination,  tapping into the limitless, openness of possibility- – not just mechanically reciting phrases that meant nothing to me.  I wanted to turn worry into wonder.

Show Me Holy Places Not Yet Found

Sometime last year, I considered writing down a morning manifesto that would reset my mind to start the day with a stronger, healthier mindset. This was to be my very own prayer, a promise to myself, my mantra for manifesting a more powerful and positive life.  It’s working to help me reset in the morning. So on the start of a new year, I share it with you. Maybe it will inspire you to write your own. I believe it has helped me dissipate the morning anxiety that crippled my days. 

I pray today that I remember that I already have the strength to sustain a positive open awareness and joyful caring presence through the gains and losses and the highs and lows that today will inevitably bring upon me and I to myself. 

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I know that I am brave enough to face this day and to be of benefit to this world.  To be of benefit with a compassionate and loving attitude and to make sure it shines through with every smile, hug, word and deed that I do today.  No matter what happens to me today, I remain constant and confidant that my loving acts will help me and others heal our pain.

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Through it all today, I pray that I will be able to take full responsibility for my life and to groove through all the moments, the good and the bad without sinking into false refuge (drinking too much cheap wine, mindlessly snacking on chocolate and chips, gossiping about other peoples BS), without hiding from my pain and problems and without blaming others.

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I pray that I remember that I have the strength today to positively face what is real and to take on each problem intelligently with love, humility and an open mind, knowing I need the help of others to grow and learn.

I remember that what we all want most is to be loved and acknowledged for who we are today.

I continue today to remember what matters most. That no matter what happens today, that I have loved more that I thought possible and demonstrated that love to everyone I have the fortunate opportunity of spending time with today. I am so happy and blessed to be alive today.

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I pray that I feel strong and confidant enough and passionate about my purpose and existence that I may understand and act on exactly, precisely what God has intended me to do with this precious life and that I may become a more inspiring human being.

I am strong enough to be radically and transparently open and honest enough with myself and everyone I encounter and that I see everything in my life as it truly is, not how I wish it would be. 

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And may I have the courage to take extreme ownership of my life and change what I believe is not serving me or others well.

I will embrace the magic of today. I do not wish to simply make sense of today. I choose to dwell and inhabit in life’s sacred mystery. 

To expand my awareness and elevate my consciousness and my attitude.

To stay fully awake.

For I believe that this very life is one infinite, remarkable, unfolding miracle.

The important moment I’ve been waiting for is now.

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Every single breath take, you take, we take is a genius gift of infinite energy, an inhale and exhale breathing into a limitless universe, of which we are all connected to and supported by.

 We are all so much more powerful than we realize. We must remember this daily.  We are not alone, we have God as our co-pilot.  We are in this together, supported and loved by our creator.

For every person I come in contact with today has this power as well and together we are meant to hold each other in reverence, now and forever. When I talk to you, I am talking to God. God loves us all.

I remain curious and humble today, for this life, this existence, is nothing short of magnificent.

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Life for me is a daily, daring, epic adventure, a thrilling mystery ride to explore.

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I live for the questions, the seeking, the learning and the breathtaking moments of awe.

I am content with the unknown, I do not need all of the answers, but simply love the experiential process of living. I look up at the cosmos with appreciation and awe in my heart and mind.

I pray that I remain on the right path today and every day and that I am always learning and applying what I have learned to become smarter, stronger and a humble servant to love.

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Gratitude is my living, breathing, moving prayer, and my heart pours open wide with an enormous appreciation for everything that happens today. My soul cries out a passionate loving thank you to God and the universe. This is how I pray.

And when I forget today, I will let my heart soften and melt into the moment. Remembering, with discipline that we are all temporary tenants here and all we have is this very moment. . . . we are all just one exhale away . . .

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There is nothing to prove or improve about my heart today.   My heart is in the right place and on the right path. No fixing or controlling myself or others.  I am remembering and honoring that we are all made perfect already and everything evolves in it’s own time.  No mistakes, we are all made of divine intelligence. We connect and reconnect to our compassionate soul source in each moment with each thought, word and action, it is like this that we return  to our innate goodness, to our loving nature right now.

If I am disappointed today by someone or something,  I remember to love through it with patience and understanding. Love is the only real emotion, every other, the absence of it.

This is my best self, my connected self. Leaning on the cheek of of God, I sway through a divine dance with life each day.

I remain awake, aware, alive and here.

I will not waste a moment of this life today. Not a single second.

I will not doubt my greatness today, the beautiful essence of God within me.  I will remain calm and at peace for there is no pressure to do anything at all if the spirit doesn’t move me, for I already am perfect with God and love in my heart.

This is how I rise.

Recommended Reading

Ram Dass Be Here Now 

“We’re talking about metamorphosis
We’re talking about going from a caterpillar to a butterfly
We’re talking about how to become a butterfly.”

Tara Brach True Refuge

How do you cope when facing life-threatening illness, family conflict, faltering relationships, old trauma, obsessive thinking, overwhelming emotion, or inevitable loss? If you’re like most people, chances are you react with fear and confusion, falling back on timeworn strategies: anger, self-judgment, and addictive behaviors.

Charles Bukowski Essential Bukowski

Few writers have so brilliantly and poignantly conjured the desperation and absurdity of ordinary life as Charles Bukowski. Resonant with his powerful, perceptive voice, his visceral, hilarious, and transcendent poetry speaks to us as forcefully today as when it was written. Encompassing a wide range of subjects—from love to death and sex to writing—Bukowski’s unvarnished and self-deprecating verse illuminates the deepest and most enduring concerns of the human condition while remaining sharply aware of the day to day.

Featured art by Ouzo Kim

illustrator & graphic designer & creative director

 

 

A Heart-Breaking, Soul-Healing, Amazingly Awful & Ordinary Life

Some of my recent morning notes from inspiring books I’ve been reading. Links included.

Our humanity is expressed must fully in our treatment of others. 

Performance psychologist, Jim Loehr in Tribe of Mentors

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Spencer Tunick’s Nude Installations

It is okay to wander. It is never a mistake to get lost looking for the psychic and soulful kinship of our desires. 

Women Who Run with Wolves

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When we get lost, we need only pause and look at what is true and relax in our heart. We arrive again. Remembering the light of our nature.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

When I feel overwhelmed I realize I am bottlenecked. Bottlenecks help me prioritize.  Feeling overwhelmed can prove to be very useful.

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Attitude before anything. It all starts in your head. Anything can be done with ease when you have the right mind set.

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Discipline equals freedom. Discipline with our time by keeping to a schedule; discipline with our sleep, keeps us awake and energized; discipline with our meals and exercise keeps our health optimal. When we are feeling fully alive, we are free. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink

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Everyone has the freedom of choice to express either their high self or something else. Sacred Poetry & Mystical Messages

 

Featured Art 

For nearly seven decades, June Leaf (b. 1929) has created a deeply imagined world of unreal creatures and settings that metaphorically probe the human condition.

 

Riding Shotgun in The Sky

We are limitless. Eternity. Capable of imagining anything. By Madeline Johnson

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Well, I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, Tell me, where are you going
This he told me
Said, I’m going down to Yasgur’s Farm
Gonna join in a rock and roll band
Got to get back to the land and set my soul free

We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

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Well, then can I roam beside you?
I have come to lose the smog,
And I feel myself a cog in somethin’ turning
And maybe it’s the time of year
Yes and maybe it’s the time of man
And I don’t know who I am
But life is for learning
We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

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By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere was a song and a celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes
Riding shotgun in the sky,
Turning into butterflies
Above our nation
We are stardust, we are golden
We are caught in the devils bargain
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden
  • Written by Joni Mitchell

 

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FEATURED ART BY EDWARD FAIRBURN

Origin of Riding Shotgun

Riding shotgun was used to describe the guard who rode alongside a stagecoach driver, ready to use his shotgun to ward off bandits or hostile Native Americans. In modern use, it refers to the practice of sitting alongside the driver in a moving vehicle.

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Slow is Strong & Stillness Your Superpower

Stillness has power. By being still, you gain the power to think your thoughts more clearly. You gain the power to separate the right thoughts from the wrong ones. And this gives you the power to do the right action, and say the right words.

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Be still your head and allow your senses to become heightened.

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Artwork

Sebastian Ospina

Everything

To Express The Creative Capacity of Our Essence

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.  – Joseph Campbell

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Absolute freedom. A life devoted to creative self-expression.

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A life that is fundamentally free is one that is free of certainty.  Purpose, passion, goals. . .they do not matter. The only guarantee of success is that every outcome is uncertain.  Their is no guarantee. Our purpose is not to be found or “discovered”. Our essence is to be expressed or we may fall into arrested expansion.

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To become completely comfortable with uncertainty is total freedom.

To live a life that is full of curiosity, enthusiasm and wonder.

To be free to live open to every situation at one time that we imagined would be difficult or a conflict.

To express the creative capacity of our essence.

This is how our lives become a work of art.

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To live in direct contact with the perpetual, dynamic uncertainty that is implicit in the power of life itself.  To appreciate the mystery of life.

This is equal to living in the heart of intimate freedom.

When we simply are, we are free.

There is no purpose to be found. Just the creative expression of life itself.

As you stroll along, if you’re awake enough, you will be led by your curiosity and excitement.

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Recommended Reading

Will I Be The Hero of My Own Life

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Links

Why Finding Your Passion is Bullshit @ThoughtCatalog

The Bullshit Question Your Ego Loves

Screw Finding Your Passion @markmansonnet

 

Quotes

The granddaddy of the consciousness movementGeorge Leonard was a co-founder of the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo in Corte Madera, California. He also developed the Leonard Energy Training (LET) practice for centering the mind, body, and spirit.

Art

Arrested Expansion by George Grie

Cairo is my muse by Huda Lutfi

Featured Art by Penelope Slinger

Why Keeping an Open Mind and Heart is The Healthiest Thing You Can Do

Having had my fair share of stressful and painful experiences, I am intrigued by studies that explain how negative emotions manifest as physical pain in our bodies. I am specifically interested in the role of stress and the condition of our heart because even though our heart governs most of our decision making, we truly take for granted one of the most magnificent masterpieces of creation.

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A New Type of Heart Attack in this article from Harvard’s Heart Health Newsletter.

Most heart attacks are due to coronary arteries being blocked by blood clots that form when plaques of cholesterol rupture. The lack of blood flow through the blocked arteries results in heart muscle dying — hence the name “heart attack.”

But over the past few years, physicians have come to recognize and better understand another form of heart attack. This unusual type of heart attack does not involve rupturing plaques or blocked blood vessels. It is called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or stress cardiomyopathy. Japanese doctors, who were the first to describe this condition, named it “takotsubo” because during this disorder, the heart takes on a distinctive shape that resembles a Japanese pot used to trap an octopus. The disorder was commonly believed to be caused by sudden emotional stress, such as the death of a child, and to be far less harmful than a typical heart attack. For that reason, some had also labeled this condition “broken-heart syndrome.”

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Purifying Your Heart

In the yogic tradition, so-called heart blockages are caused by unfinished and unprocessed emotions. They call this energy, Samskara, which in Sanskrit means “impression”. You know, the things that make either a good impression or bad on us that we can’t seem to get “over” – those things that cause our mind to ruminate on horrible or remarkable experiences that have happened to us. The heart and mind playing an important role in making us feel inspired and loving or apathetic and victimized.

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Our heart is an instrument made of extremely subtle energy that few of us come to really appreciate. The heart’s energy flow (referred to as Shakti, Spirit or Chi) plays a very important part of our lives and experiences.

The heart controls our energy by closing and opening. For example, you can experience great feelings of love for someone until they say something negative towards you. Vascilating between open-hearted and closed. For deeper reading on The Secrets of The Spiritual Heart, a chapter of the book I have now read five times, I recommend The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

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So science is also demonstrating that volatile emotions like anger and hostility are bad for heart health. But studies have shown that some of the quieter emotions can be just as toxic and damaging.

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“Study after study has shown that people who feel lonely, depressed, and isolated are many times more likely to get sick and die prematurely – not only of heart disease but from virtually all causes – than those who have a sense of connection, love and community,” Dean Ornish, MD, tells WebMD.

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Author Michael Singer explains that we have spent a lifetime of storing up unresolved conflicts which can lead to a heart that is shut down and closed for business. But all is not lost. We have a choice.

We can simply allow the experiences of life, whatever we label as good and/or bad — from falling madly in love to experiencing the death of a loved one —  yes, just simply allow those experiences to move right through us.

Will they be joyful and painful experiences? Yes. But the clinging and resisting and wrestling you do with these emotions will no longer distract you from living fully in the moment with an open mind and heart.

The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.

Art by Turkish artist and graphic designer Aykut Aydogdu, based in Istanbul.

The indomitable will of our soul burns on even during the downward spiral of our destiny.