Breathe well!

I have been reading the “I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years” book and I came across a great passage on breathing that I really wanted to share with you.  This passage can be used as a meditative exercise, or it can be used to simply receive the comfort and hope of it’s wise message.  Here it is:

Close your eyes and slowly inhale and exhale. Now focus your mind on your chest and heart. Imagine breathing life energy into the soul in your heart.

Feel your breath gradually deepening as your body and mind relax. Forget special breathing methods and just breathe however your soul wants. You’ll find a rhythm for your breathing after a while.  As you inhale, imagine the life energy of the cosmos entering your body, awakening the energy of your soul in your chest.  You’ll feel your heart gradually filling with warmth and peace — the pure energy in your heart, the feeling of your soul.  Feeling the soul is never difficult.  Just let yourself be breath itself.

Breathing is a time for fully feeling your life, a time for being one with pure energy.   Whenever you feel that you’re mired in thought and emotion, when you feel that your life has somehow lost its center and direction, balance yourself through breathing.  The goal of a spiritual life is to remain  centered in your soul and to develop the strength of your soul. ~~ Ilchi Lee

In the past, I have also talked about using breathing as a form of acceptance.  Through breathing we can let go of our heavy thoughts and judgements and settle into the present moment.  We can feel the Great Okayness of nature and the universe, of who and what we truly are. We can restore ourselves with the life energy that is always there for us when we take time to simply focus and feel.

What a gift!  Let’s not overlook a tool so simple and so accessible, given to us with this human body ~ reminding us of where we came from.  As I write this to you, I remind myself…. let’s breathe well!

(I included a link for the 120 book in case you want to read more!)  http://amzn.to/2GRFnQk

 

120 Steps

I just returned from another wonderful meditation tour in New Zealand.  It was a very precious healing time for me.

As I always say, New Zealand is my favorite place on the Earth.  And it was confirmed again.  This time was even more special because I had the opportunity to visit the Earth Village, which I had not been to when I went in 2016.  The Earth Village is a place that Ilchi Lee is developing so that people from all over the world can come together to live and work harmoniously, to learn to cultivate the health of their body, mind, brain and planet, and perhaps to bring those tools back to their home countries. A village where we can all live in oneness with ourselves, with each other, and with the Earth.

The Earth Village is over 300 acres of land and much of it is untouched, pristine forest.  There has been very little development done so far, but one of the highlights is the 120 staircase.  Ilchi Lee built this staircase at the time when he himself decided to make it his goal to live a 120 year life.  He chose this goal because he felt it may take him this long to fully blossom his dream of a complete Earth Village, and he felt that it was worth it to live to such an age for a dream that could benefit humanity and mother earth.  The 120 year human is a model of a healthy, happy, peaceful human and the representation of a life lived with purpose.  This is not a material purpose, but one that stretches beyond the systems of the current world we live in and touches the pure greatness that lives inside of each of us – the Soul inside that wants to bloom itself  into completion, like a beautiful golden flower.  If you’re interested to understand this concept more, please reference the “I’ve Decided to Lve 120 Years” book. The 120 staircase was built so that all people could come and contemplate their own lives – how they have lived so far, and how they will live for the remainder of their days.

When we entered the forest that day in the Earth Village, I felt instantaneously happy.  It was if the trees were welcoming me back home, enveloping me in a sense of belonging.  The first thing we did was pay a visit to a 500 year old Hwangchil Tree and offer our respect.  There, I felt as if I was standing in the presence of an ancient mother. Her roots were thick and strong, and when I knelt down to put my hand on them, I could feel them coursing with warm energy.  Tears came to my eyes for no reason and I felt such love and honor to be in her presence.  I felt her warmth through my whole body, and I desired to just be near her for a long long time.

After that, we moved onto a winding upward path that had been built for us.  Without it, the forest would have been too steep and too muddy for us to trek through.  It was a mystical walk, as a gentle rain was coming down, intensifying all the sights and smells of the forest.  We winded here and there and I felt as if I was suspended in the air, walking among the trees.  Finally, deep inside of this vibrant place, we arrived to the 120 steps.  The steps had numbers on them, and we were guided to meditate on each year of our lives at each step.  We could pause for deeper reflection at the years where we had an important, impactful event or experience.

That’s all.  It was such a simple instruction.  But it was so profound.   For me, as you can imagine, even stepping on the very first step was difficult.  Before the first step we sat on a small deck which was “the womb”.  Whenever I do womb-meditations it is always quite difficult for me.  I do not experience a cozy comforting feeling when I imagine/remember being in my mother’s womb.  Instead, I observed myself as I became very tense, and feelings of anger and defensiveness arose within me.  Where was that anger and defensiveness coming from? I believe it was some sort of feeling of guilt and shame.  And confusion.  So there I was, standing before the first step, filled with sensations of deep churning tension, frustration, defensiveness, a wall over my heart – covering and protecting me from guilt and shame, all encased in a cloud of confusion. Lovely 🙂 And I felt I could have stood there meditating on it forever.  But a voice inside my mind started nudging me, “C’mon Danielle.  You have to move.  You have to accept this as your beginning and move on.  Just step forward.  Begin.  It’s time.”

So I did. I stepped and stepped and reflected and felt and meditated and cried and smiled and stepped and stepped.  I paused at just about every single step 🙂 It was a very beautiful experience.  I saw how much my parents love had melted my initial tension and pain.  I saw that my mother’s mental illness had exacerbated my confusion, which caused a great deal of insecurity and lack of confidence.  I saw how I manifested so many people in my life – friends and lovers – that were mirrors of my inner chaos.  The dramas I experienced with them were actually the beginning of my self-purification process.  I saw how meeting Kate also added to the confusion inside of me, but at the same time brought a sense of relief.  Then, meeting Dahnhak and Ilchi Lee was as if a bright light shone down on me and sent me into an even deeper unravelling.  All the experiences I had from then on, and the great Souls who have come into my life, have helped me transform my rapids, into a flowing river of hope, courage and confidence, and even sometimes a peaceful stream of love, light, joy and gratitude.  I could understand that my whole life so far has really just been a huge movement towards healing, growth and transformation. I felt inspired by my own life.

Then, after passing my current age, it was time to throw off the past and move lightly forward, into a life of pure creation, manifesting my greatest self and all of my dreams.  We all climbed the remaining steps swiftly and joyfully and had a great heartfelt celebration at the top!

Later, one of my students who was on the trip with me said, “I think that was a magic staircase!”  I couldn’t have agreed more 🙂

It was a perfect opportunity to see my whole life clearly, in a perfect place, surrounded by the non-judgmental arms of the forest.  Something happened in my heart at the Earth Village that day.  Something let go, and a new sense of acceptance set in.  A lightness. A hope.  And a feeling of possibility.  Since then, I have a felt a new space to love opening in my heart.

When we continue to clean out the dark closets of our heart, our Soul’s light will naturally rush into those corners, filling us with love and gratitude and lifting us to higher levels of consciousness.  Our work never ends.  Our possibilities are limitless.  All we have to do is keep going on our soul’s journey, and never give up.

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with you 🙂

 

 

 

2018

I know that I’m a couple weeks late but….Happy New Year!

Have you created your 2018 goals yet?  I hope that you have, and that you are joyfully and consciously moving towards them.  Depending on the depth of your sincerity, I’m sure that the Universe will provide many great ups and downs to help you achieve them 🙂 . Remember that everything is your choice.  You can take every single one of your hardships and turn it into a precious blessing.  Or, you can just suffer repeatedly with a victimized mentality.  Always check yourself to see what you are choosing.

Everything that I recommend for you, I am also always practicing myself.  I have found that the more I work towards my goals without letting go of them, the more I am truly able to develop my brain.  I realized that in the first part of my life I did not take care of my brain well – I did not manage it properly, I did not train it to help me.  Instead, I let my mental and emotional habits become like over-sized pets that drag their owners around, instead of vice versa.  Then, one day I began the journey to change this trajectory – to let my emotions and habits know that in fact they are NOT the owner of me.  That journey has bloomed many beautiful flowers of awakening over the past 18 years, but I can say that it is only now that it is truly blossoming the flower of brain management. I love it when I have the feeling like, “Ah ~ now I am at the beginning!”

So, I enter 2018 walking on a tight rope, balancing the ability to see the insanity of my habits and illusions even more clearly than ever, with a much expanded ability to return to my center, to remember who I am, to challenge myself physically, emotionally and spiritually for my continued growth.  It’s a unique place to be internally – one I have not experienced yet – and I feel grateful.

I mentioned briefly in my last post that I have been doing a lot of one minute exercises and reading the book “I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years.”  Honestly, I feel like I am walking that tight rope with these tools in each of my hands.  The one minute exercises started with the One Minute App that I talked about (www.changeyourenergy.com/1minchange/ravennapark) but then expanded into me making it a daily habit to do muscle training and exercises to make me sweat for even just 10 minutes every day.   This has been extremely empowering for me.  I have never been a person to have strong muscles 🙂 In fact, when I was young I never even played any sports.  So, purposefully working on myself this way has me feeling like I have a whole new body! And it’s true ~ along with changing my diet in a couple of different ways, I have lost about 20 lbs and I feel stronger physically then ever before.  How this affects me spiritually is that it gives me more power to 1.  Face myself, 2. Plow through obstacles and 3. Purify myself when I do my training.  I have been able to feel what Ilchi Lee means when he says “Physical power is Life!”

And the 120 years book is like a holy scripture of wisdom for me!  In fact, I have been really wanting to share with you one of the dozens of passages from it that I love so much. Here it is:

You must understand the relationship between yourself and your emotions: emotions are not you, but yours. Emotions are merely a variable environment that affects you like any other surrounding that you experience.  You can choose to walk away from an emotion the same way that you choose to walk out of a room. You can change your emotions because they are only your internal environment, not the essence of who you are.

No matter how much you try to control your mind through meditation and training, however, negative emotions will arise within you. You’ll be lonely, sad or angry at times. That is normal. As long as we live entangled in countless people and events, such emotions will arise. Because we live in many external and internal environments, emotions are bound to arise according to changes in those environments – just as our days are not always sunny but sometimes cloudy, windy or rainy. Holding your center allows you to calmly watch such changes.

It’s important not to get bogged down by negative emotions. It’s natural for emotions to arise but you must guard against getting stuck in those feelings and being led around by them.  Flailing about in a quicksand of negative emotions for a long time saps your strength and makes you feel lonely, afraid and unhappy.  Such emotions bring your energy down, making it darker and heavier.

To avoid getting stuck in negative emotions, you need to be aware of your emotional state and to develop the strength to escape from it.  That’s the power of the soul. Nothing but the brightness of consciousness, the power of the soul, can calm the rolling waves of emotion.  Once the power of your soul is awake, you can watch your feelings transform and renew your consciousness. And you become able to use your environment as you wish instead of being controlled by it.  You think of your environment, whether good or difficult, as a problem that has been given to you for the growth of your soul, and you explore ways to achieve your soul’s growth through it.  Will you get stuck in your environment, becoming it’s slave, or will you master your environment, putting it to good use?  You must choose.  Only then can you create happiness and become the true master of your life.  ~ Ilchi Lee

 

This passage brings much clarity and even as I write it here I can feel parts of it penetrating my brain and giving me a sense of hope and eagerness for my own growth and the path ahead.  It’s a great passage to read many time sover, absorbing the key points deeper and deeper, and resetting your brain with this healthy understanding.

I hope that all of US grow our LIGHT 2X and 10X and 100X in 2018!!!  Let’s make a fierce bonfire of consciousness that crosses the planet, illuminating the dark corners and giving birth to a brighter and better humanity.  The world is waiting.  WE ARE ALL SO IMPORTANT.  I love you~

Winding Down

It’s the end of the year so I have been doing some reflecting on the goals that I set out at the beginning of the year.  I want to encourage you to do the same.

-Did I achieve my goal?

-Did I forget what my goal even was?

-Did I get some things done and others need more work?

-Where am I at?

-What did I learn?

-What obstacles did I face?

-How did I deal with those obstacles?

-Do I feel satisfied with the result of this year?

For me, this year brought many challenges physically, emotionally and spiritually.  However, if I see carefully, I feel for certain that all of the difficulties that I found myself facing were placed perfectly on my path because of my year-long goal of “letting go of myself”.  I realized that hardships are the BEST way to let go of yourself!  Through each one I navigated my way through, I felt I was filing down my ego more and more, building new habits to replace old ones and discovering new ways of approaching life.  I certainly gained a good deal of insight and more confidence, as well as an increased sense of overall acceptance of my body, my mind, my life and all the cards it has dealt me.

Even though the process of letting go of myself is a life long process that could never be completed within one year, what I feel best about at this moment is that I am very clear what goals I want to set for next year for continuing to develop myself.

On a final note, I just want to share with you two of the things that I have been using for my self-development these days are:

The One Minute Exercise app for helping me with daily training (www.changeyourenergy.com/1minchange/ravennapark)

and Ilchi Lee’s newest book, “I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years.”

I highly recommend them both!  And I’d like to conclude my post today with a simple message from the book, which is full of clarity and wisdom for living a healthy and purposeful life:

Self-cultivation presupposes self-exploration, for you cannot truly develop and grow unless you know yourself. And true self-cultivation never end with yourself. When you develop yourself, you find the benefits extend to your family and other people, to your community, to your country, and to the whole planet.  Changes in you lead to changes in the entire world.

Happy self-cultivating in 2017 and beyond!!!

Just Breathe

These days I am utilizing my breathing a lot.

For many years I have been using my exhalation as a way of letting go.  “Letting go” can be such a difficult thing to do – letting go of emotions, reactions, pain, people, the past – so hard!  It seems that when we are deep in the thick of those feelings, if someone tells us, “Just let it go,” then what we are actually apt to do is to hold on more tightly!  Struggling with attachment is normal, that’s why I often recommend to my students to instead try to breathe out.  Breathing out itself is an act of letting go.  Just breathe out a long gentle exhale through the mouth, and continue to do so until your mind returns to stillness.

And nowadays, I have become very interested in my inhale.  I don’t mean a huge, strained, gasping-for-air inhale.  I simply mean that when difficult thoughts, emotions, feelings and situations are taking place in life, I try to actually breathe in to them.  I have discovered that if breathing out is an act of letting go, then breathing in is an act of ACCEPTANCE.  Breathe in and lean into the feeling. Don’t fight it, don’t judge it, don’t blame it, don’t hate it and DON’T try to run away from it!  Just breathe in and fully try to feel it. Feel it 100% – no matter what it is.  I know that this is not easy, but when you can truly do it, you find that the feeling begins to dissolve like mist in the morning sun.  It’s a great exercise for keeping you present and facing your issues, instead of hiding from them because, as we all know, they only get worse and manifest in more ugly ways later on.

Also, it’s not easy to “accept” our pain.  If you are in the middle of deep heartache or struggle and someone says, “Just try to accept,” then you may have a knee-jerk reaction to reject that idea altogether.  You might think, “If I could accept, I would!!”  That’s why, I want to say, don’t try to consciously accept.  It is highly likely that your ego will not let you get off that easily 🙂 . Instead, just try to breathe.  Breathe in and completely feel the feeling.  Embrace it.  Lean into it.  That is your way of naturally telling it, “Ok, I allow myself to feel you.” And this leads naturally to a sense of acceptance.  When we feel the feeling of acceptance in our bodies, it is extraordinarily calming and healing.  It comes with a wonderful sense of peace.

This breathing exercise has been a great way for me to practice shifting my perspective and having a new experience with all of my moments.  The so-called bad moments, and the so-called good ones as well.  I breathe in and feel the feeling of the moment completely.  I enjoy the sensation of feeling all of me.  And it seems to me that my body loves to receive this attention from me! My energy gathers, and as I continue with it, I begin to feel full and bright.  Then, as I breathe out, I gently relax.  Through relaxing, I let all of the feelings be as they are, and a letting go of all of my reactions to my feelings takes place automatically.

Is this easy to do?  No. Absolutely not.  It requires constant practice.  Do I forget often?  Of course.  And then I remind myself and begin again and again and again.  Isn’t this what life is all about?  Try, try again, practice, stumble, fall down, get up, try, try again, get better, and breathe your way through it all!  That’s the best news: There’s nothing that you CANNOT breathe into!  It’s a wonderful tool for your self-healing tool bag.  Give it a try 🙂

Forgiveness Again

I think this is my third time to write about the topic of forgiveness.

I am still grappling with it, and I have had some awakenings about it recently.

When I went deep inside, I discovered something that surprised me.  I found that the people who I thought that I needed to say, “I forgive you” to, are actually the people who I need to ask, “Please forgive me.”

When I turned it around this way, my heart opened and tears of repentance flowed out.  Repentance for not being able to embrace those people with my biggest mind and my brightest self – for not being able to hold them in my heart with unconditional love and understanding.

Then, I asked myself to forgive myself for this.  I began to feel that this is one of the main things that I came to this lifetime to do – to forgive myself.  If I am honest, this is a work in progress for me.

A student of mine shared with me a beautiful prayer that she came across.  I’m assuming that the author is anonymous.  It’s perfect, so I wanted to share it here with you.

A Prayer of Forgiveness

If I have harmed anyone in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly, through my own confusions, I ask their forgiveness.

If anyone has harmed me in any way, either knowingly or unknowingly, through their own confusions, I forgive them.

And if there is a situation that I am not yet ready to forgive, I forgive myself for that.

For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself, judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions, I forgive myself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love this prayer because it makes everything easier to forgive when seen through the perspective of “confusions.”  And it’s so true, isn’t it?  Aren’t we just forgetting who we really are in those dark moments and confusing the Light of Truth with its shadows?  This prayer asks us to forgive unconditionally.  To step out beyond the small I did’s, You did’s, I didn’t do’s, You didn’t do’s and just step into the eyes of Heaven, the Universe, to see with a cosmic mind….

It’s so healing, isn’t it?  I hope that you find healing in it also.  If we could all forgive ourselves and forgive each other, just imagine the possibilities for humanity and the earth!  I would like to finish my post today with that beautiful dream sparkling on the screen my imagination*

The Journey Continues

Wow ~ I am just looking at my blog now and realized that I have not written in well over a month!  As I was living my life and doing my ‘study’, I did not realize that time was flying by.

Life has kind of pushed me into a corner these days and is forcing me to go deeper within.  I feel like all obstacles and challenges are an opportunity for greater growth and development, and they are a blessing.  Habits are hard to change, even when we so desperately want to change them, but when you get so many messages repeatedly from the Universe, you start to feel like, “Ok, ok, I get it!” and you begin to change.

When the caterpillar goes into the cocoon it can be a quiet time.  Sometimes it looks like nothing is happening there.  Or, it can look like total disaster is happening there – annihilation of the caterpillar!  Nonetheless, transformation is taking place.

Everything is as you choose it to be.  Falling apart, growing, changing, healing, awakening, struggling…aren’t they all the same thing?  It will be determined by your perspective.

The new world needs new humans.  The new human must choose to have the perspective of hope, in order to successfully shift this planet into a brighter consciousness.  Hope is needed during these chaotic times where the change is taking place.  In a time where light and darkness are both increasing rapidly, those of the light must keep choosing the light.

As I tell you this, I tell myself this too. As I tell myself this, I am in the midst of discovering small truths: That it is a deeply healing and replenishing thing to just breathe and feel the body, be here and now, accept all that here and now has to offer.   I am discovering that it simply feels better to not fight against life, to love and listen, to praise myself and others too.  It also feels much better to simplify things – to not add meaning to every little thing, to just embrace the moment for what it presents, even if it presents physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pain.

I have known these things and spoken of them for a while now but as I said, life asks me to go deeper.  I’m so grateful for that. I’ve never been one who is satisfied with only the surface of things.

I truly feel love in my heart for all of you who are on this planet with me at this time.  I feel like we can create something great together.  I pray that you are all gathering your hope and light and truth and strength, wherever you may be, during these times of change.  In my mind’s eye, I smile to imagine that we are holding hands and leaping together into a brighter world.

Whether you are opening your eyes to transformation, or in the middle of your cocoon, or feeling transformed, or all of the above, I hope that you know how important and precious your choices and actions are. With each and every one of them, we are co-creating.  We either creating light or darkness, fear or love, truth or illusion.  Let’s keep making the BEST choices that we know how.  I believe that our higher selves are standing by, cheering us on, as we step forward creating tomorrow together.

Emotions Are A Bear!

I want to start today’s post with a story.

This is a true story that Ron, one of the regular practitioners at my center, told me recently.

Ron came in on a Monday morning, sharing with me about his short camping trip that he took over the weekend.  An avid camper, he had gone by himself to enjoy a quiet overnight in nature.  As evening approached, he began to cook some dinner for himself.  There was a picnic table at his campsite, so he laid out some of the food, a fork, a plate, and went over to the fire to tend to the remainder of his meal.  When he turned around he was surprised to see what he called “a teenager” bear standing on the picnic table eating his dinner!!  He described it as a “teenager” because of his light brown color and medium size.  Nonetheless, it was a bear!

Ron said, “I was taken aback for a moment, but then I don’t know what came over me.  You know me, I never yell, but I picked up the metal walking stick near me and I just charged at that bear shouting ‘RAAAAARRRR’!!!!” He said, “It was just my instinct to try to scare him. And it worked! I startled the guy so much that he dropped my food and tumbled off the picnic table.  Then he ran back into the brush and watched me from behind the trees.”

As I listened to his story I was totally terrified and hanging on the edge of my seat so I said, “Then what happened?!  Did you leave?”

And he said, ‘Oh no, of course not.  I enjoyed my meal.  He eventually went away.”

Well.  The story kept playing over and over in my mind because I was truly amazed by Ron’s bravery.  I certainly would not have behaved with such courage.  And I’m sure that I would have ended up the one hiding in the trees while that teenager bear feasted on my dinner!

It wasn’t until later when I realized this story is a perfect analogy of our relationship with our emotions, and Ron’s actions are a perfect example of how to take control of them!

Our emotions are like a big, scary, unwanted visitor to the campsite of our brains and hearts.  They just waltz right in and begin feasting on our minds, behaving like they own the place because they have fangs and claws and growl really loudly.   Most of us behave they way I described myself above – we quiver and shrink back and allow them to just take over.  Suddenly, we are the frightened guests of our own brain! And the hairy beasts of our emotions are the careless bullies, knocking things over and making a mess.

What we all need to do is to become like Ron.  We have to take back our rightful ownership of our territory.  There is an owner inside of each of us – a conscious awareness, or what we can call a “true self” – that is the proper master of our brains.  The problem is that we have not been aware of this self for most of our lives so it has grown weak, and the emotions seem so much stronger (just like a bear!). However, this self actually has infinite power and we can only discover it if we begin to exercise it.  When uninvited emotions come bounding in, we need to have the strength to shout at them …..”No!  You are my emotion!  You are not the true me!  You stay over there!  I am the owner of this brain, not you!”  We have to take back the control and mastership of our brains and hearts this way.  Because if we don’t, we will always be a frightened, quivering slave of the roaring waves of our emotions, living as if they are the master.  But they are not the masters!  Those emotions are not the true you, so how sad it is to just spend our lives being prisoners of them.   This single thought deeply haunts me sometimes, and is one of the reasons why I work so hard on my inner world management each and every day.

Ilchi Lee always says, “Take back your brain!”  The above story is a great example of that.  Just as Ron took back his campsite, let’s take back our brains!  Re-awaken the true owner within you, so that you can pick up your stick and order all of the beasts who are sitting at the table of your heart to go back to their rightful places.  It doesn’t mean that they will be gone forever – we simply need to put them into their place.  Just like Ron did – I sit here, at the head of my table.  You go over there, back to the forest from where you came and where you belong.

Without that order, we have chaos within.  We all know how that feels.  The next time you are feeling that way, just realize that you have lost leadership of your own mind.  It’s like having a dog that’s so big that when you take her for a walk, she’s the one dragging you around.  It’s not supposed to be that way.  You need to be the leader of your mind.  So the next time you see an emotional bear creeping in, just give it a loud shout, “Hey! You are not me!  You are mine!  This is my heart! This is my brain!” and watch that emotional bear lose it’s footing and begin to step back.  Begin to take back your power.  Your true power. You may or may not feel an immediate difference, but if you keep practicing to take the lead, over time your relationship with your emotions will totally change.  You will come to feel the great power that lives deep within you, and taste the freedom that is your birthright.

 

I am enough

I just returned from another beautiful retreat in Sedona, Mago Garden.

It was special for me in so many ways.  I was there with several of my closest students. The weather was HOT and I was enjoying the searing heat soaking into my bones (something that rarely happens here in Seattle).  With the hot days days came warm windy starlit nights that evoked a sense of sacredness and a feeling of reverence in and of themselves.  And perhaps most importantly, we had the opportunity to train with a very special Master, Ilchi Human Dae Sunsa Nim, who led us all to a profound meeting with our souls.

My meeting with my soul this time was grand and unforgettable.  I came to feel myself, complete and whole and full, in and of myself.   I recognized that so often I turn my awareness away from my wholeness, looking outside at others, sending subliminal messages to myself that I am not enough.  This behavior causes holes inside of me, where energy leaks, and the soul weakens.  The message this time was loud and clear and shook inside of me like thunder.  I Am Enough.  I AM ENOUGH.  I AM E-NOUGH.  It kept repeating inside of me over and over, as if it was speaking to all of my life, every single tiny moment when I failed to believe it.  It felt like the message within me was re-setting my information bank, re-wiring my brain circuit to establish a new belief in my psyche, one that would take strong roots and become unshakeable.

Of course, with every awakening comes a test 🙂  So, the day after this deeply profound and touching experience, I met with a situation where my emotions completely took over me and I ended up having a small altercation with a person who is very dear to me.  I won’t go into the details, and the two of us cleared it up rather quickly, but the whole thing saddened me.  For hours I kept chewing on it, trying to feel into it and understand what happened.   What was  the lesson here?  And why was it so unsettling to me?

Finally, later that evening on an airplane to L.A., the realization came to me.   I take things too personally.  I do that when I am not staying present with my enough-ness, and instead looking outward, creating holes within myself.  Those holes weaken me and cause me to feel pain and emotion where it was not necessary at all.  Because the fact is, I am whole and full and there is no need to take the actions of others so personally.  When I do so, I am denying my own complete perfection.  And when I was able to come back to myself and say, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz’s second agreement, “Don’t take anything personally,” I could feel the fullness, warmth and light of my soul filling me once more.

I took this precious awakening with me when I went to L.A. to visit Kate for a day.  I could observe how quickly and easily I instinctually take things personally, and I kept trying to step away from that thought pattern and re-establish my wholeness again and again.  There were times on that visit that I also failed to do so.  I am aware now that it is something that will take a huge amount of effort and practice on my part and I am fully ready and excited for the road ahead!  I feel the refreshing breeze of freedom touching my heart from the prison that I have lived in my whole life – the prison of taking things personally and diminishing my own value.  This beginning fills me with light and hope!

All souls are on their own journeys.  There is no need to take things so personally.  Our jobs are to find the lessons and change ourselves anew.  Through this, we grow.  It is truly a beautiful thing.  From this place, forgiveness, acceptance and love arise – for both ourselves, and others.   This is the meaning of healing myself, healing my family, and healing my world.

 

For my Father

Father’s Day is a much more comfortable day to me than Mother’s Day.  I am happy and grateful to celebrate my father, who I find to be one of the most admirable humans that I have ever met.  Truly, he’s one of the great ones.  He’s simple, kind, soft-hearted, honest, loyal and is always trying to help.  Yes, it could be that as his daughter I am always looking at him through “best dad ever” goggles, but I do feel that I have enough insight to see his flaws.  However, his great qualities far far outweigh them.

One of my most special memories of my father is from a bitter sweet time.  It was when I was 19 years old and my father, who was only 44 years old at the time, had a minor heart attack after he went out for a jog on a hot summer’s day.  My mother took him to the hospital and they discovered that he had several blockages in his heart, and that he needed to have five bi-pass surgery.

That was a pretty terrifying time for all of us, including my father, and I felt so sorry for him while he had to lie in a hospital bed for several days waiting for his surgery. I couldn’t imagine what he must be thinking or feeling.  He was trying to play it cool but I knew that he was worried inside.  So I decided to bring him my first and only novella that I had just finished writing.  It was about 100 pages long.  I thought he could maybe read the first chapter or two to keep his mind occupied before his operation.

On the day of the surgery, my mother asked me if I wanted to go with her and my grandmother to the ICU to see him when he came out.  I was scared, but I said “Yes.”  Thankfully, everything had gone well and the surgeon came into the waiting room to tell us that we could go in.  As we entered the room I was so surprised to find my father all swollen-looking and yellowish with a big tube down his throat.  We stood around his bed, me on the right side and my mother and grandmother on the left.  He opened his eyes and when he saw us he started making all kinds of  groaning noises, motioning for the nurse to take the tube out of his mouth because he couldn’t talk.  She came over and removed it and this is what my father did…

He looked at my mother and said, “Sorry Bev.”

Then he looked at the nurse and said, “I love you.”

Then he looked at me and said, “Danielle I finished reading your book!  It was so good!! I wanted to tell you that I loved it!”

That’s what my father was thinking about upon the completion of his open heart surgery.  He was thinking about apologizing to my mother before thanking the nurse who took the tube out of his throat.  And he was thinking about my book, and how much he wanted to tell me that he loved it.  I was so  so deeply touched by him that day.  I cried all over his cheeks,  kissing him and telling him how much I loved him.  And even now tears are welling up in my eyes as I remember that moment.

It’s such a pure, untainted and grateful love that I have for him.  My father is good down to his bones.  He is extremely generous.  If he were to receive $500, he’d try to give me half.  He’s always been that way.  And he’s always trusted me.   In all the choices I’ve made, he’s supported me and encouraged me.  Whether he agrees or disagrees, he always trusts and supports as his ultimate decision, because I am his daughter and he feels that is what’s most important.  And that love and support has meant so much to me, and healed me in so many ways.

My father, I love you.   Your goodness has had a profound impact on the direction of my life.   You are my hero and my friend.  You are so precious to me.  Thank you for everything ~