Deepak Chopra

Mindful Monday: Being open to the presence of miracles

My original commitment to the August 28 Days to a New Me accountability group was going to be me working on the spiritual aspect of myself more consistently through meditation and reflection. Then I wound up committing to writing the book. Now I realize, as things have progressed over the past few days, I really do need to do the spiritual work while I’m writing the book. Otherwise, by the time I’m done with the book I could be at my highest weight, ever.

You see, writing the book isn’t going like I originally planned. Apparently the book knows better how it wants to be written, than I do. At least that’s how it seems. My original plan for the book was to base it solely off of the content and events since the blog’s inception. I had zero plans or intention of writing my life story. Yet, here it is, Day 5 of 28 and I’ve written an extended synopsis of the first twelve years of my life. The personal history portion of the book was going to be minimal and limited to little anecdotes accompanying and illustrating the “Lessons.” At this current point, it would appear that a significant portion of the book will contain the sequences of my life, as I recall them, which led me to the starting point of beginning the blog. Maybe not, but at this point I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that several things have been triggered by this: binge eating, pain, fatigue, insomnia, and either a complete avoidance of and reluctance to write or a compulsive, obsessive drive to just keep writing. The cleanliness level of the apartment has diminished, again. Almost all the dishes are dirty again. There’s a familiar part of me rising to the surface and I’ve been more irritable and impatient, not wanting to be touched or talked to.

This can get difficult when Luna gets tired and clingy. Almost five years old and she only sleeps when connected to me or her daddy. She’s having dreams about monsters and purple spiders chasing her to turn her into a zombie. (Mind you, the only things we are watching these days are Horseland, My Little Ponies, Blues Clues, and Barbie movies.) If she needs to rest during the day, she wants to cradle herself against my body. At night it’s an imperative, “Mommy, hold me!” If we are on public transportation, she’s either climbing the walls, or she is doing her best to phase her body into mine so that we are one. At least that’s how it feels.

I did do seven loads of laundry between Friday and Saturday, so, I guess I’m not as far gone as I have been in the past. I still made it to church, followed through with Luna’s play therapy appointment, and had some positive and constructive conversations with my loved ones. I have been able to just let Luna cuddle and attach herself to me. When we were in the church service and she wanted me to hold her, I did. I probably held her at least one third to half the time we were there.

At any rate, I feel and know I’m out of balance and out of sync. So, whether I go back to Step work, read a devotional book, or start practicing meditation, it’s fairly obvious I need to do something to open myself back up to the inner, spiritual connection that has brought me this far.

Last month I signed up for the 21 Day Meditation Challenge that Oprah and Deepak Chopra are hosting, free of charge this month. The first one came to my inbox this morning. The centering thought is:

Today I am open to the presence of miracles

Lying still (I am unable to sit upright without excruciating pain from my lower back, through my left hip and down into my leg and foot) and focusing was easier than I expected. At first. I listened to both Oprah and Deepak speak about what this meditation journey is about, miraculous relationships. Oprah talked about how having the kind of deep, loving, and connected relationships is about connecting to our inner self and becoming the love we want to have. Deepak explained that the miraculous is all around us and present in our lives, we simply don’t pay attention to it.

He said the Latin root of miracle is mirari and the meaning is to behold with rapt attention. I looked it up. Latdict is an online Latin dictionary. (Isn’t the internet a miraculous thing?):

Latin definition for: miror, mirari, miratus

verb
conjugation: 1st conjugation
voice: deponent
Definitions:
• be amazed/surprised/bewildered (at)
• look in wonder/awe/admiration at
Age: In use throughout the ages/unknown
Area: All or none
Geography: All or none
Frequency: Frequent, top 2000+ words
Source: “Oxford Latin Dictionary”, 1982 (OLD)

So, the idea is that we need to look at the world around us with rapt attention and an attitude of wonder and awe, if we want to see and experience the miraculous. That’s what children do naturally.

I believe this may have been what Jesus was teaching when he said that in order to enter the Kingdom of God one needed to be as a child.

20130805-135038.jpg

God is Love.
Jesus is God.
When Jesus ascended, his spirit was given to us to guide and connect us.
His spirit resides within us.
The Spirit is Love.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
Therefore, Love is the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus is the conduit to God.
Love is the conduit to Love.

20130805-141741.jpg

A newborn child opens her eyes, looking into the eyes of mother and father. The child is love and needs love to grow and thrive. Seeing love reflected in the Mother’s and Father’s eyes, love is reflected back to them. That love grows in them, enabling them to be the safe, secure base for the child to develop from. Supporting exploration, providing safety and comfort, teaching how to regulate emotion, delighting in the child going out and coming in.

This is the Circle of Security. Our lives get disrupted, damaged, and disconnected. The circle gets broken and we forget what love is, if we ever thought we knew it.

Our Father and Mother is Love. That is where we reconnect to that security. Relearning and accepting that we are loved and love exists within us. Love is the miracle which can be seen if we look with rapt attention.

Today, I am open to the presence of miraculous Love.

Athena Brady: Author Interview

I was recently honored by a friend of mine from the blogosphere. We met in June when I first found out about and joined WANATribe, a social networking site for creatives, especially writers and aspiring authors.

Since I’m “just a blogger,” I wasn’t sure I fit there or belonged (nothing like being a 13 year old girl in the body of a 43 year old woman). Athena was one of the first to engage and interact with me. She was such an inviting, encouraging and nurturing soul. Partially due to her support and acceptance of me I founded a tribe(group) specifically for bloggers.

All along the way she has challenged and mentored me. She was the one who introduced me to the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Her steadfast friendship and discerning nature have enabled her to know what to say at exactly the moment I needed to hear it.

Now, her first book is available on Amazon for Kindle. She has given me the honor of showcasing her work and introducing her to my virtual friends and family of the blogosphere.

We did a little Q & A session, via email, and I got the opportunity to get to know her better. I’m excited to share this wonderful lady with you.

Q: I’m always curious about what other people like to read. What genres and authors do you like and what do you like about them?

I like a wide range of books from many different genres. I like chick lit, romance, sci fi, autobiographies, non-fiction, fiction, yps books, self-help, and spirituality. I have many favourite authors: Martina Cole, she writes gritty crime stories and is particularly good at getting right inside her characters (she will even have you feeling sorry for the bad guys and is a very skilled writer); I read all of Neale Donald Walsch’s books years ago and they stay with me even today; I love Deepak Chopra; one of my special favourites is Paulo Coelho, who writes such amazing stories and weaves such wisdom into them.

Q: Have you always been a writer or known you wanted to be an author?

Yes, I have wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. However, life got in the way and there never seemed to be time.

I picked my writing up and put it down throughout my life. When I was younger I didn’t have the confidence in myself. As I got older and had a family, I felt it was self-indulgent; I felt selfish for putting my own needs first and gradually I forgot about my writing.

It wasn’t ’til my family were grown, and I moved in the countryside of West Wales UK, that I had the peace and tranquillity to write and think of myself and what I wanted from life. I decided to cut my job down to part-time and use the time to write.

I ambled on like that for a couple of years, joining a writing site and submitting my articles. I got good feedback and earned a very small amount of money. This lifted me and made me think, “Maybe I could be a writer after all.” As I look back, I think I was afraid of failure, of ruining my perfect dream. I wasn’t sure I could take the reality of not making it.

Then I thought, “I have always faced my fears, why not now?” It was, I suppose, because there was so much attached to the outcome for me, emotionally. I decided that I didn’t want to be an old lady who regretted the chance she never took, in later life. One thing I have learnt from older people is that they do not regret the things they did but the things they did not do.

Q: Do you have a favorite or special space where you think and create?

Yes, I live in a log cabin and I love to, when I can, weather permitting, write on the porch. At other times I write in the lounge on the dining room table. When I need to think, I go a beach not far from me. I find it centres and grounds me.

Q: What inspires you and influences what and how you write?

I find my inspiration from life, from what is important to me. This, my first book, “Thoughts on Life” is a collection of short articles, about various issues we all face in life.

20121205-235001.jpg

    Excerpt

Hope Speaks

Hope is a precious thing, without it we are lost in a world where no one cares.

Yet with it we can move mountains. It inspires us onto better things and lifts us up where we should be. We have dreams and goals when we have hope in our lives and we can take others with us, as it speaks directly to our souls. It enables us to fulfil our potential and puts joy in our hearts.

What happens to people who do not possess hope? They have nothing to strive for and are lost wandering through the desert of life, parched, lifeless and directionless. How hard that must be for them to cope with this, on a daily basis. Where are these people? Well, they are everywhere around us; they could be the person sitting next to you, your neighbour, friend, or a member of your own family.

One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is hope, for it is love in action. A selfless love, that asks nothing for itself but gives unconditionally. So today, if you can, take a little time to give the gift of hope. As it is when we reach out to each other with genuine love, that miracles occur.

The people who read my work inspired me saying I had helped them, influenced them, and helped them to understand things from a different perspective. Every time someone comments on something I have written, it lifts me and inspires me to reach deeper inside myself and share what I have found.

Q: Where did you get your strength and encouragement from when going through the experiences that helped you give birth to this book?

I have a strong faith in God, the universe, or whatever you prefer to call it. It has helped me through the rough times in my life. I can empathise with a lot of things people struggle with, as I have been through some of them myself.

Q: When did you realize you had a book, a story to share with the rest of us?

I met a woman who opened her soul to me. She told me things she had never told another person. It was a precious gift, for her to give me her trust, as she had been hurt so much in the past. This lady wanted to make a difference, despite what had happened to her. She wanted to turn a negative experience into a positive one. She wanted to help others, who were on the same journey. Out of respect for her family she wants remain anonymous. Susan (the character) was healing and wanted them to heal also.

This book will be out in early 2013 and is called “Broken”. We have put both our heart and souls into this book and have taken many years to write it. It is my gift to her and hers to other people on similar journeys. Here is a short synopsis of Susan’s story.

This is Susan’s story of her journey from despair to healing. Susan begins to experience a feeling that leads to childhood memories of sexual abuse in middle age. Memories she has no recollection of, that begin to haunt her in the present. She embarks on a journey of discovery, which challenges everything she thought about her life previously. There are times she thinks her dark night of the soul will destroy her and all her closest relationships. Once she has opened Pandora’s Box, it cannot be closed until she has come full circle. This book is a gripping, tense and sad narrative that you will not be able to put down, until you have finished it. A must read for those who dare to explore the grey and darker areas of life.

Q: How did the journey of writing and getting this book publish change you?

I have written these two books concurrently. “Thoughts on Life” is really a market tester and I plan to publish a series of three, alongside my third book. This series is a compilation of articles from my blog, put into an e-book.

I want to be able to reach as many readers as possible. I don’t want money to be a barrier to these “Thoughts on Life” books. So I have told people they can see all these articles for free on my website. I have also added that I need funds to survive and those who can afford it to please buy the books.

I believe in human nature and that people do the right thing. Some people feel I am mad for doing this, but I feel my readers will not let me down.

Book three is the book I am writing now; it has a working title of “Prisoner of Love.” It is about a woman who falls in love and her partner has an affair. It is about the emotions these three people go through and what they learn about themselves along the way. It is a book that will really stretch me as a writer as I tell the story from three different perspectives. It also will be released in 2013.

Q: What do you want readers to take away with them from reading your words?

I would like my readers to know that they are not alone, that there are others going through what they are going through. If they find something new to think about or something that assists them in their journey through life, I will have done my job well. There is nothing better for a writer, than for their readers to enjoy their books.

And that, ladies and gentlemen concludes my very first author interview. Please visit Athena’s website, http://www.athenabrady.co.uk/, and get a copy of her inaugural e-book, “Thoughts on Life” on Amazon for Kindle.

Please let me know what you thought of the interview and if you would like to see more in the future.