Update

Hello, to everybody and anybody who came here for a visit     🙂

We are now cruising through September of 2016 and we are almost in the month of October. The year is truly flying by!  Some of you may remember that I began my year with a theme.  I decided it would be called the year of “Breakthroughs.”  To my satisfaction, I have experienced many breakthroughs on various levels this year.  Also, I am eager to meet with the grand finale of breakthroughs that still await me!

The thing that I am the most happy about at this moment, is it is the first year of my life that I can honestly say I have not given up on my goals.  I continue to utilize those goals as a way of developing myself.  In previous years, I often wouldn’t even remember what I had promised to do on January 1st by the time February rolled around.  That’s because I had not fully chosen those goals, and therefore could not even commit them to my memory, let alone my action.  But this year I made a change.  I really tried to CHOOSE.  And it has made all the difference.

In fact, at the end of last month I realized, “It is almost September and I have done nothing this year for strengthening my muscles!” (which was one of the things on my list :))  So I contacted someone in Seattle who I met last year at a business networking group, a personal fitness trainer, and we decided to do a trade.  I have been meeting with Jason every week, today being the 5th week in a row.  And yes, I do think my muscles have grown stronger!  But most of all, I feel proud of myself for not giving up on my goal.  That single thought drives me as I force myself to enter into his dungeon-of-torture every week where I huff and puff and sweat and ache and sometimes whine for one hour 🙂

When we keep our promises to ourselves, we grow our confidence.  I finally have realized this key to inner strength.  When I take actions for my choices and achieve my goal from my sincere will, an unbreakable sense of self-esteem begins to develop in my heart.  Of course, life still has many ups and downs, but I can now feel the self that is able to bounce back again and stand proud more quickly, because I have been cultivating this center within me through keeping my promises.  It feels liberating, and it feels good.

Having said all of that, I would like to ask you who is still reading this blog post to help me to keep one of my promises to myself this year.  Let me explain…

Some of you may also remember that I have been interested in writing and publishing a book on the topic of my own life journey of adoption, re-uniting with my birth mother, Kate Mulgrew, and the healing spiritual path that I have been on for 16 years.  Well, I decided at the beginning of the year that I would enter a contest led by Hay House Publishing Company, where I can submit my book proposal to them.  I became eligible for this contest because I took their online writer’s workshop, and  I was exhilarated when I found out the prizes!  Simply, the first 3 winners will have the opportunity to publish their book through either Hay House, or their partner self-publishing company, Balboa Press.  So, I made my mind that, at the very least, I would enter.  Proposals are due December 24th, 2016.

This has been one of the most difficult choices for me to keep to this year.  I am so busy with my job – happily busy, but still quite busy – and I have very little time to write.  When I do make time to write, I find it challenging to switch the gear in my brain from managing a center, leading workshops and trainings, teaching classes and counseling people all day long, to book-writing mode.  For anyone who has ever written a book or tried to, you may know exactly what I’m talking about!  But yet, every week and sometimes even every day, my promise keeps haunting me and pushing me….I must overcome my excuses and limitations! I must keep this promise!   So, here I am, still at it.  Chipping away, little by little, at my future book.  I have an intro and two un-edited chapters, a rough outline, a blog full of content to pull from, and hope 🙂

However, there is one more thing required to enter this contest.  I need to have a “platform.”  This means that I need to show Hay House I already have an audience of people who would be willing to read my book if it were to be published.  They are asking for proof of that through a sizable email list. That’s where I need your help!

If you are at all interested in reading my future book, then please add your name to my email list.  You can find it by visiting the Services or About section of this blog.  Even those of you who I know well and who contact me often, I can only submit your name on my list if you put it here.  Also, if you have friends or know of others who also may be interested, please ask them to add their names as well.

If you do this, then you will be helping me to keep my promise to myself!  And you will be helping yourself by investing in something positive, healing and good in this world!  So, I see it as a win-win opportunity 🙂  Thank you – all of you – in advance.

And, more than anything, I hope that through this post today you will not only feel moved to join my list, but most importantly you will be inspired to check in with your own promises to yourself.  Then, no matter where you are at in the process, make a choice to move forward again and discover a new strength within you!  I will be cheering you on 🙂

 

Hongik

Today I want to talk about Hongik.

This is a term I have been listening to for 16 years since I joined this Korean-based practice.  It is a Korean word, translating into “Widely-Benefitting”.  Simply, this is the knowing that helping others, helps myself and helping myself is helping others. It recognizes the oneness among us – that we do not live alone on this planet and therefore our essential self recognizes the need to live not just for the good of myself, but for the good of all.

I have a distinct memory regarding this. Many years ago, when I was just a student of the practice, I took a very intense training.  The training was designed to expand our consciousness and develop our compassion and awareness on a universal level.

During one portion of the class we watched a slideshow of  a number of pictures that had recently been posted by Time magazine. Many of them were horrific pictures of people affected by war and disease all around the world.  Then, in the final exercise, we were led into a deep meditation. Once we were deep within, we were guided to choose one of those photos and fully imagine ourselves as the person in that picture.  To fully feel what they might have felt.  I decided on an image of a young girl standing alone in the dark night, crying out, with blood splattered all over her little dress.  I allowed myself to completely put myself in her shoes.  When I did that there was instantaneous terror, of course, but I also discovered a feeling inside that I did not expect.  As I imagined near me the man with the gun who caused that bloodshed, an innocent voice cried out from inside, “You were supposed to help me, but instead you hurt me!!”  It was an absolute shattering of trust. Trust in my own humanity.  Trust in the very people who are supposed to be my brothers and sisters, sharing this magnificent planet with me.  It was a deep feeling that we are here to help each other and protect each other, fundamentally.  That’s what we are innately meant to do.  But we don’t.  We betray each other and we betray our own pure conscience all the time.  And that is the most devastating thing of all.

I came out of that meditation in a deep state of despair. Others in my class seemed to bounce back, but I could not shake it.  I remember for the next 3 days I was in a trance.  Walking and driving and going about my life as usual but completely dominated by the question, “What should I do?”  I felt horrible about myself – living a very comfortable and safe life here in America, compared to that little girl and countless others who are being violated by fellow humans in countless places.  I just couldn’t sit well with the pain I felt inside when I thought about the reality of our world.

Then one day, a light bulb finally turned on.  I realized that being born in America was my Soul’s choice and therefore it is my responsibility to create light and do the work that others in less fortunate places cannot do. I committed myself at that moment to put forth double and triple the effort for those in darkness, until we can all live together in a brighter world.  With that conviction, I could come out of my trance and find the courage and spirit to move forward.

As I write this blog, I feel thankful for the opportunity to check myself. Am I really still keeping to my promise?  There are many human beings suffering every moment who I never even think of as I live my daily life.  I’d like to take a moment to honor them, send light to them, and renew my commitment once more.

Ilchi Lee always speaks of this Korean philosophy: Hongik Ingan, Ee Hwa Sae Gae.  When enough Hongik humans gather together on this Earth, then a Harmonious world will emerge.  Only Hongik humans can make that happen.

I will finish my post with one of his messages that I recently came across, that inspired me to write about this today in the first place.  I hope you all enjoy it and feel the spark of Hongik flickering in your pure and beautiful heart.

 

For the Good of All

The heart that seeks to go beyond its own narrow interests to work for the greater good of other people and life — this is the most precious value of humanity, and the greatest function of the human brain.

Regardless of what sort of lives we have lived so far, or what kind of people we believe ourselves to be, we all want to be remembered as people who contributed something to the world.

Somewhere deeper than our victim consciousness, selfishness and arrogance, somewhere deeper than our instinct to find sensory pleasure, all human beings have a Hongik instinct: we want to do something good for the world.

The Hongik instinct is the fundamental power that caused us to enter the world and the driving force that enables us to keep going, even when weary and troubled.  When this Hongik instinct is not fulfilled, we feel somehow empty, even after we’ve finished a busy days work, and we have regrets about our lives when we end our time in the world.

Somewhere deep in our hearts lives a noble desire to do good for the world. This is the seed of divinity planted deep within us.

Each of us has a dream. And we hope that dream will not stop at the pursuit of our personal profit, but will contribute to our families and neighbors, and, furthermore, to all of society and the human race.

No matter where we work or what kind of jobs we have, no matter whom we work with as we live our lives, deep in our hearts we want to be people who strive to do good for the world. We are originally Hongik Humans.

~ Ilchi Lee