A Commitment to Reclaiming My Youth

jefferson starship

I celebrated Labor Day at the Sausalito Art Festival, where Jefferson Starship closed off the entertainment festivities for the weekend. While this particular festival is a world class art show, my boyfriend, Dean and I make our decision on what day we will attend by the music schedule.

As the day approached, I had been contemplating why the bands of my youth still held such appeal to me. While I looked around at the crowd today, many of whom were older than me, I got more in touch with the answer. The music is a part of our history.  As we gathered there in Sausalito, it was like we were reclaiming a part of our soul. For that one hour while the band played, my heart felt an elation beyond the every day. It touched the spirit of what I felt in my youth–optimism, hope, joy of life, and most of all, a connection to those around me. We had all experienced a lot of life since we first heard those lyrics, yet despite all the changes, somehow the music reminds us of who we once were.

The Lesson

As I sit here on the morning after, I still feel a hightened sense of peace and aliveness. This experience has inspired me to strive to bring all parts of myself into my daily life so that the most precious pieces can live on and continue to touch me.

Meditation: Priceless Gifts for Free

I hate to admit this, but I’ve been neglecting my meditation practice lately, big time. I’ve allowed myself to become “too busy.”  The result?  Well, let’s just say that I haven’t been my usual joyful self. I gave myself an inner boost this morning, though, and it made such a difference that I felt inspired to share.

Here are just some of the benefits you might receive in a 20-minute meditation:

  • Be reminded that your life is not about the outside world and all its complications.
  • Experience a sense of privilege to have been given the opportunity to live.
  • Feel closely connected with the energy behind all of life.
  • Remember how you are really supposed to show up.
  • Become refreshed with a deep sense of peace and joy

Would you agree that this list of benefits reads like a seminar you might pay hundreds of dollars for?

Meditation is free. Here’s a great wikiHow article to help you get started.

I’d love to hear your comments on what meditation has done for you.

10 Simple Tips for Managing Stress

I’ve been invited by Dress for Success San Francisco to give a presentation next week on managing stress. As I finished my initial preparation, it occurred to me that with all that is happening in our world these days, everyone could benefit from these 10 simple tips:

  1. Eliminate the idea of lack. Recognize that opportunities to create more abundance are all around you. It’s just a matter of focusing on them and following through.
  2. Look to see a benefit in the stress point – a silver lining or a valuable lesson learned. Choose to see tough economic times as opportunities to work hard and learn how to do what you do better to get and keep the job.
  3. Exercise your right to respond peacefully. A challenging situation does not require an emotionally charged response. Your choice to react peacefully does not mean that you agree with or support the stressor; rather it demonstrates your choice to minimize its negative impact.
  4. Take 15 to 20 minutes a day to sit quietly, relax and surround yourself with the energy of peace.
  5. Learn to accept things you can’t change. Choose to believe that the universe knows more than you about what is best.
  6. Find an exercise you enjoy and do it regularly.
  7. Avoid negative people and environments as much as possible. Do whatever you can to surround yourself with peaceful influences.
  8. Learn to say no. Don’t promise too much. Give yourself enough time to get things done.
  9. Trust in the goodness of the universe. Expect that what you need will be provided.
  10. Join a support group or seek out professionals if you can’t cope on your own. Consider seeking help as a sign that you are smart enough to know it and strong enough to go for it.

The Secret to Happiness

I woke up this morning, a Saturday with no plans or commitments, and asked the question, what can I do today to feel deep happiness, to embrace the joy of summer? You see, all year I’ve been working long and hard in building my personal development firm, Inner Architect and promoting my new book, Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live. It’s work I love, but I have been neglecting efforts to schedule time for non-work fun.

The answer to happiness that came was simple and powerful:

  • Look at the events of your days and the people and pets that come into your life as gifts of love from the energy that creates our universe.
  • Experience your life as an interactive relationship with this loving creative energy.
  • Be thankful for even the simplest of moments. You never know when your moments here will end.

Peace be with you.

Carrying the Torch of the Summer of Love

jefferson-airplane.jpg

I had the good fortune to see Jefferson Starship perform this weekend at the Sausalito Art Festival, a world class showcase of art and crafts in the Mediterranean village overlooking the San Francisco Bay. The spectacular display of art aside, there was something about the experience that has left its mark on me. I felt a connectedness of energy that moved me.

There we were among what must have been thousands of others, eyes mesmerized to the stage as Marty Balin brought us back to the days of our youth. I kept looking around me at the faces of the mostly 45 to 60 crowd, wondering what they were feeling. And then when Marty Balin introduced his song, The Summer of Love, I began to understand more fully.

The Summer of Love

(by Marty Balin)

The Summer Of Love was something special
We were so young and so free
The Summer Of Love that I was a part of
We had so many dreams
And even a few of them came true it seems

I still believe in all the music, whoa, and it’s still playing
I still believe in all the words, yeah, I’m still saying
I still believe in all the people, ooh, they were really great
And I get to thinking back to where we all once were

The Summer Of Love had special people
Everybody was together so it seemed
The Summer Of Love had lots of changes going down
Looking back’s like yesterday
And you can say it all was just a dream

I still remember all the good times
Boy, let me tell ya we sure had a lotta them
I still remember the world was changing all around us
Oh I feel like we could do it all again

The Summer Of Love was just the beginning
That’s when the light started breaking through
The Summer Of Love is just a memory now
But even though those times are gone
The Spirit still goes on in me and you

I still believe in all the music, whoa, and it’s still playing
I still believe in all the words, yeah, I’m still saying
I still believe in all the people, ooh, they were really great
And I get to thinking back to where we all once were

The Summer Of Love was something special
We were so young and so free
The Summer Of Love that I was a part of
We had so many dreams
And even a few of them came true it seems

Mmmm, that Summer of Love
Yeah, that Summer of Love
Sixty-seven was heaven

When the song was over, a couple of women in their 50’s began to make their way out of the crowd from different directions around me. I noticed that they both had tears in their eyes. Now I was only eight during that Summer of Love, yet it was just one line from Marty Balin’s words that said it all for me:

The Summer Of Love was just the beginning
That’s when the light started breaking through

Let’s never forget how important it is that we continue to carry forth that torch.