Unconditional Love

Back in December, I chose my 2020 theme word. It was “Unconditional Love.”

We never know how the universe will twist and turn itself in order to help us achieve our goals, right?

Standing here at this moment, looking at the world, quarantined in my house, limited in the work I can do, feeling the collective suffering, I keep asking myself, “What should I do? What should I do in this moment for the dream that I live for? What should I do for creating a brighter earth and a peaceful humanity?”

I get the same answer every time I ask. Each time it gets louder and clearer: Love.

Love and love and keep loving. Love the people your heart was closed to, the people that you felt hurt you, the people far away from you and the people near you. Just love endlessly and infinitely and let that love ripple out and bring your dream back to you. Love big and wide without expectation of return. Love with your purity, your sincerity, your authenticity, your truth. Love without conditions.

Even as I share this message with you here, I can feel the possibility of how different my life will be if only I can achieve this great love. And I feel that NOW IS THE TIME to make it happen. If not now, when?

I am reminded of one of Ilchi Lee’s messages from his “Calligraphic Meditation” book. I have dug it out so that I can add it to this post, in hopes that this time can be a meditation on Love for all of us. If that meditation is deep and real, then maybe – just maybe – when we emerge from our houses once more, the world will be a brighter, more peaceful, more loving place than the one we remembered.

The Law of Love

The human soul grows through love. It’s important to realize that you can create love infinitely instead of wandering in search of someone to love you.

Love grows more greatly when you give it than when you receive it. This amazing fact is the Law of Love.

If you want to live a life full of love, first give it without striving to receive it. If you keep trying to get love, your love will constantly grow smaller.

Because you’re trying to receive love, you will constantly feel sad and inadequate when the love you want doesn’t come. You will become endlessly sadder and lonelier. And you will come to mistakenly believe that you don’t have love yourself.

If you think about it quietly, you’ll realize that you’re happier when you give love than when you receive it. To use a knife as a metaphor, the one trying to get love holds a knife by the blade, while the one trying to give love holds the knife by its handle.

Those who keep trying to get love are anxious and worried. “What is my love leaves me?” they ask. “What if love never finds me?” On the other hand, people who give love to those around them have confidence.

Every one has the power of love. If you want love, you must use love. If there is no one close you can give love to, then love yourself first. Once that love fills you, then all you have to do is give it to others. That’s how you begin.

There is love inside us. However, we can’t experience the love unless we use it. We can’t trust it unless we experience it.

Love is like a spring that never runs dry . The more we use it, the more new love arises. – Ilchi Lee

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Living Tao

As I said in my previous post, we all need to take our daily doses of good news to keep our spirits high, our minds bright and our bodies strong. For me, reading the “Living Tao” book by Ilchi Lee is one of the best ways to put healthy, positive, hopeful, Life-affirming information into my brain.

Today I wanted to share a couple of short passages that I came across as I was doing my reading last night. As a Self-Mastery Trainer, I especially love these passages because they address the topic of emotions. Being able to manage our emotions – especially in times like these – is critical for our overall health and well-being. I strongly believe that the better we are at deeply knowing ourselves and exercising our ability to manage our emotions, the more we can truly participate in making the world a more peaceful and harmonious place. After all, it’s human behaviors, fueled by their unruly, unconscious (and sometimes conscious) emotions, that causes much of (all of ?) the chaos that we witness in the media and in our lives everyday.

So! Here are some information vitamins for your soul!!

“You can begin to master your emotions by acknowledging them in an honest and compassionate manner. As you develop your awareness, you will increase your ability to observe your emotions calmly and objectively, without overreacting.

When we are in pain and overwhelmed by extreme emotions, it’s easy to believe that our emotions have a hold on us and won’t let go. But actually, we are frequently the ones who do the clinging. We must first realize this to control our feelings: ‘My feelings aren’t holding on to me; I’m actually holding on to them!’

Emotions come and go like clouds drifting across the sky. We do not need to cling to them, as they will inevitably soon change…. Our enlightenment takes root when we calmly observe the ups and downs of life as we witness the cycle of the seasons, trees growing, blooming, bearing fruit, and withering.” p. 63-64, Living Tao

“In order for our souls to control our emotions, there must be proper dialogue between the two. First, the soul must cease to identify itself with the emotions. The soul must seize leadership of the emotions by declaring, ‘My emotions are not me, but mine!’ In the instant the soul makes that proclamation, the emotions will say this to the soul: ‘You’ve always listened to what I said. We’ve been one, you know. Why are you suddenly saying that we’re no longer one? You’re my friend, aren’t you?’

Then the soul must be able to say to the emotions, ‘That was then, not now. You are emotion; I am soul. You are are not me, but mine. I have the power to watch and control you.’

Even though you make this declaration., it still won’t be easy to free from the domination of your emotions — at least not at first. As this dialogue between them continues, however, the soul will gain the power to lead the emotions, and the emotions will be tamed by the soul. The soul will recover its central place, its seat as master, and the emotions will act as helpers, assisting in the soul’s growth.” – p. 68, Living Tao

~ Ilchi Lee

In my life, the process to gain management over my emotions, while growing the strength of my soul, has been incredibly rewarding. It has brought much healing to my relationship with myself and others, and even to my own physical health. It has had a positive impact on just about every aspect of my life.

If you’re reading this and feel like now might be a good time to start practicing how to gain better management over your own emotions, please contact me by email, which can be found in the Work with Danielle section of this site. Even if you just have some questions – you are welcome to email me directly or reply to this post in the comment section. It is my great joy to be able to share the tools that have been so amazingly transformative for me and countless others on this journey of recovering inner peace.

Good News

I feel like we all need some good news these days. The bad news that is circulating throughout the world right now is toxic for us.

It’s like food. If you feed your body junk food long enough, it will get sick. Your body needs vitamins and nutrition to be healthy and strong. “Bad news,” or negative information, is like junk food for our spirit. At first we might want to munch on it for a bit. It might be kind of delicious in its own way. The drama of it all might entertain and excite us. However, if we listen to it long enough, our spirit becomes darkened and weak. We lose our inner strength, our inner center, and when that happens it’s easy to be consumed with fear, anxiety, worry… frustration, sadness and despair. In that condition, even maintaining one’s physical health becomes endangered.

We could even say that “good news,” or positive, hopeful information, is the spiritual vitamin that we need right now. It’s not even an understatement to say that this is a very important vitamin to maintain not only our emotional well-being, but our physical immunity too. It may feel really hard to do when we are bombarded by negativity from all angles. However, it’s up to each and every one of us to protect our own brain and make sure that we continue to polish the brightness of our spirit, despite the external circumstance. We all have the power to do this. Nobody can turn on your inner light for you, but it is truly hopeful and empowering that we are the ones who can do it for ourselves. It’s in our hands. It’s all about the perspective, the lens, we choose to see through.

So, let’s ask our brains. “My dear brain, please show me the positive side of things. Please give me hope. Please help me to find good news.” Your brain will definitely respond to you when you keep at it. Don’t let your brain become a slave to the news around you! YOU become the CREATOR of the news that you need to hear – the information that will make your brain work well. Information that will turn on the light inside and bring joy to your heart.

If it’s hard to find it, then place your hands on your chest and breathe. Feel the warmth inside, your heart beat, and keep communicating with yourself sincerely. If it’s still difficult, then go for a walk in nature and look up at the vast expanse of sky. Or, take a hot bath! Enjoy a talk with a friend! Sip on a cup of sweet tea! Exercise is always useful to shift your perspective, as well. After activating your muscles and raising your body temperature, your eyes will see things in a new way. The point is: Just keep trying something! At some moment, you will discover that brighter thoughts are naturally bubbling up to your mind. The condition of your brain has changed!

I want to ask for all of us to become Good News Creators at this time. The world needs us to do that now more than ever. We can continue to nervously nibble on the toxic information out there, or we can contribute to the much needed healing of the collective consciousness. We can build a bright, strong, healthy information field as we focus together. Each moment is critical. Let’s begin today!

I Choose Love

I’ve been watching myself these days.

I’ve been taking time to sink into some of my repetitive emotional reactions that I notice rising up. I’ve been going for a deeper dive to search for solutions within me.

It’s been an enlightening experience.

For instance, the other day I was sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast when my phone pinged. I looked down to see the text and became aware that the heat of anger was rising up to my head. “Woah,” I thought to myself, “this is a strong reaction to be having at 8am. I need to work on this feeling.”

So, right there at the breakfast table, I sat quietly and tried to feel into my heart. Calmly and without judgment, I sank directly into the center of my anger. What I found there was a feeling of hate. Now, I know it’s a bit of a risk for me to say that here, because some people may judge me as being evil or something. However, I don’t think that having the feeling of hate inside makes me evil or bad in any way. In fact, I think it just makes me human. I believe that we all have these kinds of dark and heavy feelings lurking in the depths of us, and when they go un-cleaned and un-processed, they cause bigger problems in our lives.

So, I allowed myself to sink into the center of my hate. And when I did that, I discovered that the root of my hate came from my hurt. A while back I had felt hurt by the person who was texting me, and I had not properly cleaned up that hurt, and that’s why I was being so reactive at the sight of the text. I thought, perhaps this is the root of all of the hate and anger in this world – unprocessed hurt. Hurt that one is not able to own. It’s my hurt, just like it’s my hate and my anger. It’s my choice to hurt. And suddenly I thought about my texter. She too probably had hurt deep inside of her own heart. And perhaps that’s where the problem between us began. Once I honestly and completely allowed myself to feel this, suddenly my hurt transformed into a sense of empathy, and I felt my heart filling up with compassion. I felt lighter and a sense of brightness, and I was able to live an enjoyable day with greater sense of compassion as I interacted with the world. I enjoyed that moment, knowing that my feelings may come back again, but that I had made some significant headway on them.

Then again, as expected, more recently I found myself sinking into another uncomfortable feeling. As I let my awareness drop in, I discovered the feeling of hate again. “Aha hate, I know you!” I thought. “I already know that you are just a product of my hurt, so let me find where I am hurting and face it.” So I did just that. I bravely felt into the center of my hurt. It wasn’t easy, as I found the energy to be so very tight and dark and lacking. This lack was what was causing the pain in my heart. So I tried to enter into the lack and found that this was the place inside of me that was void of love. A place where I did not allow love in. A place where I starved myself of my own love. Ah ~ all hurt comes from a lack of love, a place where I do not love myself! As I realized this fully, a sense of unconditional love opened inside my heart, like the morning sunlight shining in as the curtain is slowly being drawn.

Finally, I faced my hurt head on and found that it was this everlasting love that I was ignoring, that was at the bottom of all of my hurts. The Love was always there, waiting for me to choose it. Not the love from somebody else, but my own self-existent love. It was there waiting for me to feel it in every breath, in every blue sky, in every person’s heart. What a beautiful Love it is! And it is my Love. It’s my Love to feel and share. All the times in my life that I had suffered, it was because I had closed the door on that Love and was left shivering in the darkness of the lack. Suddenly it all became so seemingly easy. All I have to do is choose my Love. Over and over and over again. Until it is a new habit.

Even when I feel hurt by another, if I look deeply, I can see that it was born from my love and care of that person and my interpretation that somehow they were not loving me back in the same way. That too was also just my perception and my story. The truth at the bottom is that I have loved them, and that I have a great and bright and warm Love within me. The most important point is not what they did or have but that I recognize my own precious Love that lives inside of me.

I found this discovery to be very very good news. It brought me hope and peace. All of the people of my life danced through my mind and I felt my pure love for each of them. But most importantly, I felt it for myself. Not like, “Oh Danielle, I love you.” But more like, at the fibers of my being, I AM LOVE ITSELF. And nothing can take that away from me. Unless I choose to let it. So I declared to myself that from now on I will pay more attention, I will put more effort. I will be more awake.

Moment by moment. Day by day. I choose Love.

20 in 2020

This year celebrates my 20th year of practicing Body & Brain. In fact I realized this yesterday, on January 11th, because that was the exact day that I joined as a member of the center in Waltham, MA., just a few miles from my parent’s house.

I know this because the master of the center had written my name and joining date on my uniform, which I practically lived in. I wore that uniform so often that one day my friend turned to me and said, “Could you at least take it off when we go out in public?” Hahaha ~ I had no awareness of those kind of things back then. All I wanted to do was practice. I only thought about when I could go back to the center next and do some training, some cleaning, drink some tea, have a profound conversation with someone, read a book, water the plants, listen to a peaceful song… I felt most alive when I was at the center. The center that was tucked behind a gas station, above a dry cleaners, that housed a couple of pigeons and vibrated from the machines below, was a place of magic and wonder to me. A place of love and authenticity where I felt rescued from the insanity of the rest of the world. I had no idea on the day that I first walked in that I would become a life long practitioner, but in just a few months it was very, very clear to me. I had found myself and found my home.

Never before or since have I been so clear or certain about such a decision. My path, my practice & my teacher mean so much to me. I am proud of myself that through all of the waves of hardships and struggles that I have experienced in the last 20 years, I have been able to hold on to my Truth. I have been able to maintain the choice that my Soul made way back then – when my hair was long and I rode my bike to work – the choice that I couldn’t help but make when I encountered the pure light in my heart. I felt I needed to honor and protect that light and make a choice to really live my life dedicated to it. It didn’t make sense to others around me – to be so dedicated to something that is not seen by the physical eye or valued by this physical world. But my spiritual eye had opened and from that perspective there was only one thing to do. Live for something bigger than my small self. Choose for something greater than my small life. This brought great joy and peace to my heart, and continues to.

I am thankful that with my choice I gave my heart room to expand, I gave my Soul an opportunity to truly grow and I gave Danielle a clear direction to walk through this chaotic world. It’s really not an understatement to say that I feel eternally blessed.

So at this celebratory moment, I’d like to offer my thanks. To Heaven for guiding me. To Earth for loving me. To my Seu-Seung Nim for showing me the way. To my many fellow travelers who walk beside me and give me hope. To all of my mentors who rescued me in hard times. To all of my students who make me a better person. To those of my family and friends who supported my choices along the way. To all of you – my readers – who have allowed me to experience the joy of sharing across space and time. And to myself. For never giving up.

It’s 2020. It’s monumental. Let’s make it really mean something. Let’s Get Bright. I love you ~

Get Bright!

2020 is coming. It’s almost here.

I really feel like this is the year. It’s the year to get bright. It’s the year for all of humanity to jump up our collective consciousness a notch and move into a new, more awakened awareness.

I choose this light. I choose it for myself first. I choose to get bright.

I am looking back on this year with awe. There were some really big things that happened and big successes that I would have otherwise overlooked had I not decided to take time to really reflect.

Without that reflection I feel it was just a year of inner conflict, hard decision-making, and a drop of avoidism. Yet, if I see without emotional eyes, there were so many things achieved. Amazingly, there were dreams that I had been dreaming for the last 5 years that were actualized in 2019. And I almost missed the chance to realize it! That’s why honest, non-judgmental reflection is so important.

Heaven is always helping us. I’m not talking about a religious Heaven. I’m talking about the invisible, spiritual world that is moving in accordance with our deepest wishes and intentions. It’s watching and listening and if we continue on with sincerity in our little lives here on Earth, then at some moment it brings to us what we have truly wanted. I have experienced this so many times.

At the same time, we have many “unconscious wishes” that we are putting out into the universe as well. Our emotional reactions and bad habits are also bringing equivalent energy and experiences back to us like a boomerang. An oriental medicine doctor once said to me “It keeps going around and around like this until we return to zero.” I guess this is what can be called ‘karma.’

That’s why I feel it’s so critical for me to really get conscious about this process. That is the only way to get back to 0. To become ever more conscious and intentional in my life. Then, I can truly get bright. I think it’s urgent for all of us who have some awareness and awakeness in this world right now, as we stare into the eyes of 2020, to become conscious about what we are putting out there. Let’s dream the same beautiful dream for our earth and the future of our humanity together, and then miracles will truly be possible. I believe this. Do you?

I am thinking of all of you and feeling you in my heart at this important time. Let’s bring our minds and our spirits together. Let’s get strong, get hopeful, get creative, get honest, get alive, get free, get powerful…..Get Bright!

The Light and the Dark

I asked my brother to share my post about my new YouTube show to his friends on Facebook. He’s a rising star artist so I thought it would be a good way to circulate the word out to a new audience.

He told me he’s not on Facebook anymore.

He told me I need to get active on Instagram.

*Sigh*

I barely just pushed myself out of my I-don’t -like-Facebook-I -don’t-want-to-post-anything-there box, and now there’s a whole new challenge to face. Seems like they are never-ending sometimes, doesn’t it?

And these little challenges that we face day to day are not just small things – they are connected to BIG stories, dramas, traumas, memories, and wounds they we have held inside for so long. One tiny little poke and boom, they burst into a mushroom cloud of smoke that covers our eyes. Well, sensitive people like me (and probably like you!) can tend to feel that way.

Truth be told, the reason why I began this mind/body/spirit practice in the first place – and the reason why I continue with it and seek to share it – is because I needed it desperately and I use it every single day of my life. I am an expert at putting to practice all of the things I talk about in every post I write, in every video I make, in every class that I teach. Because I need to 🙂 It has become a great new habit of mine – to practice and share and awaken from what I practiced and shared – a healthy habit replacing the long list of bad habits I was once pinned under like a wrestling match with an over-sized beast.

My journey was born out of darkness. And a deep longing for Freedom.

Today, I find myself still longing for that freedom, getting closer and feeling hope that transformation is possible. If I can do it, anybody can do it. Anybody who really wants to.

Everything begins with our will, our choice. And every step of the journey is carried forward by that same will to make that choice again and again and again…in the face of anything.

Decide who you really want to be, how you really want to live. Choose it. And then run towards it.

Does running include falling down? Yup, it does. Does it include getting a little banged up sometimes? Yes. Does it include feeling exhausted sometimes and lying on the grass for a while, staring at the sky, until you feel ready to get up and move again? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What’s really important is that we are just aware of this process that’s unfolding. That we are becoming conscious beings and conscious creators of our lives.

These days I have been reading different books and watching different speakers on YouTube. I really feel hope. From one perspective, the world is getting much brighter. People are waking up. And not only are they waking up, but they are sharing their awakenings in attempt to help enlighten and enliven others. It’s truly a beautiful thing. It’s like a global movement that we don’t even realize we are a a part of.

At the same time, flip the channel and the world looks like a dark terrifying place….like, what the hell is going on??? How can human beings be such a way and do such a thing to one another and to our beloved planet?

Yes, it’s all existing at the same moment in time. The light and the dark. And the principle of energy is: The Stronger Energy Wins.

That’s where you come in. Each one of us are so important to determine the “winner” here. Which energy will you feed each moment? The Light or the Dark? Again, everything is up to choice. And will. And the more we see our role in this – that each one of our heart’s and minds are so important, as we are profoundly connected in one energy field, one consciousness, the stronger your will can become.

That’s my will. No matter how dark it was and how dark it can be, no matter how many boxes I have to smash through, how many challenges I have to overcome, how many beasts I have to unpin myself from…I will never stop choosing. The stakes are high to me. My freedom is waiting. And I feel the heart and breath of my Mother Earth, watching her children, wondering, “what will they choose for me?”

Let’s have courage. Blessings to us all ~

My 2019 Surrender

It’s mid-October and there is only 1.5 months left in this year. I think that it’s a good time to self-assess our 2019 goals!

For me, this year’s theme was “Letting Go, Letting Go, Letting Go.” Yes, I put THREE Letting Go’s in there! What was I thinking ??! 🙂

Well, it turned out that I did have quite a big letting go experience this year. It was an experience that taught me – for the first time – what true letting go really is.

It was not a pleasant experience, mind you. Not while I was in the middle of it, anyway. It felt like dying. Ego dying. Because, in fact, my ego was dying.

The ego doesn’t go out easily. Its instinct is to live. It has its roots in the human body, so it behaves with the same program as the physical body – the program to survive.

The soul, however, has its roots in the Divine Oneness. It exists in and of itself eternally. Therefore, it doesn’t try to live. Because it cannot die. It just Is. It exists, like a great presence, that just watches and waits. It waits for us to seek it out. To find it.

What I came to realize was that my ego was feeding off of so many wants and likes that were living in my head and heart. “I want it it to be this way!” “I don’t want it to be that way!” “I like this!” “I don’t like that!” I had a laundry list of desires that I was attached to in my mind, and I was fooling myself believing that they were the only things that would make my heart happy. But what can really make the heart truly truly happy? Attaining my wants and likes? But then what happens when life brings me things that I don’t want and that I don’t like? Should I just be miserable then? Should I just suffer and live trying to dodge the so-called bad and reach for the so-called good? Personally I found this to be exhausting. And all it brought to me was a bunch of disappointment, a whole lot of unrealistic future fantasy, and a growing blockage in my heart chakra which bred all kinds of emotions such as frustration, anger and pride.

So what did I do to solve this? Finally, after a wild ego fight, I decided to let go of them. I let go of the wants and the likes. I just let go. Stop. Grabbing. For that stuff. And just be. And when the pain of my shattering ego cleared, there was a great light and peace inside. There was nothing, really. So my Soul could stretch out. And I felt freedom. The freedom of letting go.

Now, although I feel that my experience was one of the most profound and important spiritual experiences that I’ve ever had, which led me to a far deeper understanding about myself and life, I feel that it was just the beginning of a new door opening. I need to continually keep my eye on that ego of mine, that starts to build itself back up again in an instant, feeding off of all my opinions and ideas – my judgements and my desires. I’m not saying that the ego is bad, I’m just saying that after awakening my senses with Brain Education all these years, I am able to feel how uncomfortable and unhealthy it is for me to let my ego run my life and make my choices. A far better, although seemingly harder, but definitely greater choice would be to just surrender. Surrender to what is, and let the shell of the self who tries to fight and control it to be otherwise – with endless expectations and untruths – fall away. It’s just a shell after all. A shadow. A story. An illusion. These stories make me sick. And I choose to grow myself into the person who no longer buys into them.

It’s scary. We feel deep down that perhaps we will be painfully lonely if we let go of such stories and habits that have been with us for so long. In a weird way, they have become our “friends.” But such “friends” prevent us from true happiness and peace. They don’t allow us to exist here and now. They are stealing away our precious present moment. That is why we have to take the risk. And when we do, we will find, rising out from that darkness, the truth of Life.

It’s so hard to describe. And, it’s possible that this blog post has failed to do so. However, I wanted to try. Because it is the most important thing that happened to me this year and it wouldn’t have happened had I not had the goal of Letting Go. Letting Go. And still….keep….ever….Letting Go.

More from the Connect Book

I came across two passages in the Connect Book that I especially loved, and resonated perfectly with my own experiences on this journey of growth and transformation. I also felt they were quite relevant to the things I am usually talking and sharing about, so I wanted to post them here for you!

Continuous choosing and practicing are required to be a Power Brain. Just because you’ve had a moment filled with confidence and hope, that condition won’t continue forever. You may go back to a Dark Brain state, pushed there by the inertia of habits ingrained in your body as you’ve lived your life. There’s no other way out but to honestly check the condition of your brain. “My brain is now a Dark Brain,” you realize. “Negative consciousness is occupying my brain again.” Then you can choose whether to continue in that state or get yourself out of it. Isn’t it fortunate that you have been given the power and authority to make that choice at any moment, no matter how difficult or troubling your situation may be?

A Power Brain is someone who has clearly realized this: “I am responsible for my life and the condition of my brain!” Don’t push that responsibility off onto anyone else, and don’t make any excuses. Choose this harsh truth, and choose it over and over again. Practice, and then practice again… To achieve brain mastery, it’s only natural that innumerable attempts, trial and error, and continuous choosing and practice are necessary.

-Ilchi Lee, Connect, p. 162-163

When we trust that it’s all about choosing and practicing again and again and again, we can relax our minds and cultivate patience about our own process. It is, after all, a process that takes time and devotion, sincerity and humbleness. It is a process that strengthens our will and conviction with each and every choice that we make.

When you enter into deep meditation, you’ll clearly see the current state of your consciousness. You’ll realize what has captured your brain. You’ll see that the forms of negative consciousness…are actually heavy baggage continuously pulling you down. You can’t help but be shocked when you see yourself holding tightly to such things, even though all you have to do is let go. Why? It’s because those things are delusions. No real answers are found there, no matter how much you cling to them. You will just spin endlessly through a repeating circuit, going back and forth between suffering and pleasure.

If you tell people to let go of those delusions, though, they often act as if it’s so hard that it’s going to kill them. That’s because they are comfortable only if they are holding onto something. Living that way has become a habit. They don’t realize that they need to hold onto something else instead of what they’ve been grasping. What should you hold onto? There is but one answer: your true self, your original nature! This is your soul, and the divinity your soul wants so much to meet. That alone is true and everlasting.

-Ilchi Lee, Connect, p. 163-164

Letting go, recognizing illusions, choosing your truth. This all sounds so simple but often times feels so difficult to do. However, once we begin to get the hang of it, it leads us to extremely profound and liberating places. And although everything in our lives may remain the same, we somehow feel that we are new.

I hope that you enjoyed the quotes I posted today. If you resonate with them, feel free to share. Also, if you have had a chance to read the Connect book yourself and there were other parts that particularly touched you, please also share with me in the comments anytime!

Connect

Connect. A perfect word for this moment.

First of all, I am happy to have a chance to sit down and write this blog and connect with all of you once again. It has been an extremely busy couple of months for me, as I have been re-locating the Body & Brain Center where I work. I have never done such a project before, so it was a whole new world for me, and it took every ounce of my brain power to make it happen. Now that it’s wrapping up, I have time to reflect and re-connect.

I have been reflecting upon my theme for 2019 that I set out at the beginning of the year. I realized that I am more than halfway through the year, but I hadn’t yet stopped to evaluate my goal! My theme for this year was, “Letting go, letting go, letting go.” It’s funny to me that it was not just ONE letting go, but THREE of them. Now I know why the universe worked so hard to keep delivering this lesson to me! The year so far has looked very much like this: Let Go. Let Go More. No Danielle, you have to let go EVEN MORE! Thank you, Dear Universe, for loving me so much and keeping me on track to achieve my goal 🙂

Let go of what? I feel that most of all I have been asked to let go of two things. #1) My fantasies and illusions about people (including myself), and life. And #2) My reactions. Not only my reactions to outside circumstances, but my reactions to my own habitual thoughts, emotions and sensations. Let me try to explain this a little more…

Recently, we had a visit from a great senior master – Ilchi Lee’s longest student – Byuk Woon Sunsa Nim. While he was here in Washington, he said something that really pierced my consciousness. His words shook my brain and heart. He said, “Life is a daydream brought on by physical sensations.” Wow. Yes. So true. That’s how my brain responded. Day to day, moment to moment, we are all in a sea of many sensations arising from all kinds of stimulus. Then, unconsciously we keep making our own meaning, ideas, stories and fantasies based on those sensations. Further, we go on living our lives – making our choices and actions, building our relationships and our self-identity – according to such a fantasy. This is why awareness and watching ability is so critical. So that, at the very least, we can all become the Master of this Daydream we call Life.

My letting go experience this year has been very much a process of breaking down and sometimes even shattering the fantasy. Although this can be an extremely painful experience at times, there is nothing that has brought me closer to a sense of freedom. A momentary awareness of the place of zero attachment. Momentary. But, enough to influence me in profound ways. It’s like a disconnecting with the construct of life and the people in it that I have created, and a re-connecting with my Self.

So, it’s perfect that Ilchi Lee’s most recent book is called “Connect.” As I have been reading this book, there have been times where I literally say “Yes!” out loud because it has been so perfectly speaking about my own journey, as well as the process of Self-Mastery that I try to teach my students. And at other times, warm tears streamed down my cheeks as I have contemplated about my Soul. For instance, just last night I was sitting in my car, waiting for a meeting and I read this short passage:

Tell your soul, ‘Oh my soul, I’m truly sorry for leaving you like this. Immersed in other people or things, I failed to really take interest in you. Please forgive me.’

~ Ilchi Lee

When I read these words, I paused for a long time to have a deep conversation with my soul – right there in the parking lot. It was an open, honest, touching conversation that brought me healing and strength.

Personally, I made a choice 17 years ago to live for my soul above any other thing. As I have embarked on the journey to do so, there have been many many times when I have fallen into the grip of my own emotions, judgements and habits. There have been times when the shouts of my physical body, or the circumstances around me, pulled me here and there and I lost my precious soul. However, I am proud of myself that I never completely let go, and I always found my way back to the pure essence that I love so much and want to live for. The pure essence that I want to create a beautiful world for, and that I want to awaken in others. I always come back to my truth and my purpose. And this is how I have grown. But as I read this book, it reminds that there is still a ways to go, and it wakes me up to what I need to do.

So, the book came to me at a perfect moment. I highly recommend it for anyone exploring emotional mastery or spirituality. We always need the reminder to Connect more deeply with ourselves and our souls. And if we consciously try to connect with others from that place – rather than from our thoughts, emotions and fantasies – than I think we could heal our wounds, mend our conflicts, grow our love, and make our world a brighter place. All it takes is a bit of courage, choice, and letting go 🙂

Lastly for today, I will leave you with Ilchi Lee’s youtube video on Connection. Let’s stay connected! Enjoy ~!