Posts tagged ‘inspiration’
“…from time to time we need to ‘rewild’ ourselves,” says Vajragupta, and he shares his encounters with wild creatures and wild landscapes in an enchanting way, making us feel we’ve entered a secret world with him.
Wild Awake: Alone, Offline & Aware in Nature will make you want to follow Vajragupta’s example of using solitary retreats in nature to become more “fully awake,” more like the Buddha, a name which means “one who is awake.”
What are the benefits of being more fully awake? Perhaps you’ll find it easier to meditate, to get in touch with your soul, to make the right choices for your life. In solitary retreat, as Vajragupta describes, you are better able, in the silence, to hear your truth and know the solutions.
“Places, perhaps especially wild places, can talk to us; they can be full of suggestion and meaning. Inner and outer worlds can mirror each other, and this changes our awareness.”
It’s easy to understand how being out in nature stimulates and nourishes your soul, as Vajragupta describes his 25 years of taking solitary retreats. For those who have questions about how to get the most out of such retreats, he provides an A to Z guide with practical advice and suggestions for designing your own.
Read Wild Awake: Alone, Offline & Aware in Nature for inspiration, then get out there as often as possible!
Thanks to author and Buddhist teacher Vajragupta, who answers my questions here…
AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH VAJRAGUPTA
What would you like readers to take away from the experiences you shared in Wild Awake?
I would love it if the book encouraged more people to try out solitude in nature. Some people take to this quite easily. For others, solitude can seem more daunting or challenging. Fear and trepidation can put us off. In solitude we are going to meet ourselves fully and deeply. And we might feel afraid of who we might meet!
I remember one place I stayed in for a solitary retreat that had a “visitors book” and it was moving and inspiring reading the entries. Quite a few of them were from people on retreat, and on their own, for the first time, and they described how those first feelings of anxiety soon gave way to a sense of joy and freedom. We all have our ups and downs on retreat, but we can learn to be OK with that, which is tremendously liberating and confidence giving.
How does it feel when the barrier drops between your inner and outer worlds?
Perhaps we won’t even be aware of it till afterwards. At the time we are not thinking about things like that, we are just absorbed in the world around us. There is a story about the Zen master Dogen that I love. He was asked what it was like to be Enlightened and he said, “it is to be intimate with all things.” In nature I sometimes get glimpses, or intimations, of that. There is a sense of closeness and connection, of love. Trees, stone walls, old winding lanes become like friends! Things become more beautiful and interesting for their own sake.
Years ago I heard a story of a man camping on Dartmoor, probably the wildest part of England. He really tuned into the place. So much so, that if he kicked a stone when he was walking along, he stopped and put it back where it came from. That might sound crazy, but I can understand how he felt. I too can feel that strong sense of care, closeness, and respect, wanting to leave things exactly as I found them, wanting to “live lightly in this world.”
How can a solitary retreat lead you to a realization of your life’s purpose or change you and your perspective?
A friend of mine who was a poet once said that in order to write we need space, and space around the space. In other words, for deeper emotions and thoughts to emerge, the heart and the mind really need lots of time and space. Our lives can often be so full and busy that those deeper parts of ourselves get crowded out and damped-down. We lose touch with what is really meaningful and significant. Of course, the day-to-day stuff we are engaged in may be an expression of what is really important to us, but retreats (solitary or otherwise) are really important for staying in touch with those depths and allowing new inspiration to arise.
How did the places you retreated to become part of your transformation?
In the book I describe some of the beautiful places I have done solitary retreats, and how the landscape and character of a place could have an effect on me. For example, I talk about staying in a lovely old stone cottage on the mouth of an estuary. It was a mile from the road, so you had to bring everything you needed in by foot. When the tide was up, you looked out over a mile-wide stretch of water, like a big lake. When the tide was out, there was an open expanse of sand, with the sea just visible on the horizon. Then the tide gradually snaked its way back again. Birds, fishes, and other sea life moved with the tides. Everything was always moving and changing. I loved the changingness of it – it totally absorbed me. It was an easy place just to be, to be still and content. I think I touched into a deeper contentment than I had ever experienced before. That was partly because of the place, the character and atmosphere of the place. It was generous, abundant, it gave so much to me. The outer world spoke to my inner world, it changed me.
How did your solitary retreats make you feel “closer to life?”
In lots of ways. For example, on retreat you can just feel more alive and energetic. Because there is less external input and stimulation, you can be more in touch with your emotions, and the dreams and reflections of your inner world. You also start to notice the senses more, and what is around you in the external world. Things can feel more raw, but also more real.
One thing I reflect on in the book is encounters with wild creatures – foxes, birds, deer – that have sometimes happened on solitary retreats. For example, I talk about meeting a fox on a mountainside and us just looking at each other for a long time. Like many people, I can find these encounters special, magical, almost like a “blessing.” I have often wondered why we find these meetings with wild animals so significant and wonderful. Again, I think it is about that sense of connection, of overcoming our human separateness from the world. We are drawn out of ourselves and into the world. At the very same time, having that creature gaze at us, in the unblinking way wild creatures just gaze, also throws us back on ourselves. We are aware of them as a creature, with their awareness, looking at us, and that makes us more aware of standing there, being there, as a human being, with our mental faculties and our particular mode of awareness. That is another kind of “closeness to life.”
How can being alone strengthen your connection with others?
This may seem paradoxical, but my experience of solitude is that it helps me be more connected to others. I go back home from a solitary retreat with a stronger sense of those I am close to, perhaps more appreciation of someone, perhaps more understanding. Again, it is about having enough space for the heart to fully open, and for awareness to broaden, so we can really take others in.
Often, when we are too busy for too long, our awareness narrows and our heart closes down. In Wild Awake, one chapter is about a solitary retreat I did quite soon after my father died. This might seem a strange time to choose to be alone, but I found it very helpful. It was a rich and special time. I brought lots of photos of my father from different times in his life and pinned them up on the walls. I had the time and space to really assimilate what had happened, to think of my father, to write down in my journal some of the things he had said in his last months. He was strongly present with me on that retreat: every time I meditated he appeared in my mind’s eye, many nights I dreamt about him. I felt very fortunate to have the time to process his death in this way. Of course there was pain, sadness, and grief, but there was also joy, gratitude, and appreciation.
I understand you are currently writing your next book, Free Time. What did you learn on your retreats that spurred your interest in the subject of time?
I noticed that my experience of time was totally different on retreat. In everyday life I could often be trying to do things fast, so I had more time later. Or trying to get everything ticked off on my “to do” list. Or always planning how I could fit more useful activities into the day, to get more done, more efficiently. But, as Jon Kabatt-Zinn says, “if you fill all your time, you won’t have any.” Time rushes by and feels thin and insubstantial.
On retreat, by contrast, life can seem almost “timeless” in a liberating way. After a few days on retreat, I often feel I have been there for a few weeks. Time feels rich, full, brimming. I am able to have more awareness on a retreat and this means my attention moves along with things as they unfold. I can move along with the day, more in its time and rhythm. Often our attention is leaning back into the past, or straining forward into the future, and this distorts our subjective experience of time. But on retreat we can stay more in the present, which means time feels more relaxed and open. To be more mindful is also to be more time-full!
Laughing, Learning, Leading, Loving and Living Large all play a critical role in making our lives and personal relationships as good as they can be. Arthur F. Coombs’ delightful storytelling in HUMAN CONNECTION: How the “L” Do We Do That? is all about becoming the best “you” possible using these five tools.
Coombs is an excellent storyteller, weaving a very personal narrative with historical examples of how it takes connection with others to be happy and fulfilled. He takes us under his wing, and unabashedly shares the most poignant moments in his life, including both his failures and successes. He also includes motivational stories and quotes from his family and friends as well as famously wise men and women, from Gandhi and the Buddha, to Coco Chanel and Marianne Williamson.
Laughing is the first key to forming a solid connection with others and also “the only way to get through life…” quotes Coombs, adding “…laughter can kick off positive thoughts and feelings that lighten the mood and put things into perspective.” Coombs offers wonderful examples of how humor not only alleviates stress, but makes us feel good, and then he keeps us smiling and laughing throughout the book as he covers the other four L’s as well.
Whether you want to be a good Leader at work or at home, the capacity for Laughing, Learning, Loving and Living Large are all interconnected and Coombs deftly makes it all sound seamlessly doable, from loving ourselves, to unconditionally loving others.
Reading this book will inspire you to Live Large — abundantly, wholeheartedly, to the fullest — and also give you the tools to do so.
Arthur F. Coombs III is a best-selling author, speaker, leadership guru, and single father of four, who is known for his visionary and innovative practices. Here, he answers my questions on HUMAN CONNECTION: How the “L” Do We Do That?
What would you like readers to take away from reading your book?
If we want to have a meaningful impact on those closest to us, at home or in the office, we must genuinely connect with them…in person. Not just through email, texting, or social media sites.
Technology has made our lives easier in many ways, but when it comes to human connection, nothing beats doing life together in real time.
Yes, life in community gets messy. We hurt other people’s feelings. We get our feelings hurt. We disagree. We argue. We sometimes say and do things we regret.
But when we continue to try, when we make connections and develop deeper relationships, we grow exponentially. We learn about the world around us. We bond with others. We heal. We mature. We become better versions of ourselves.
Why is connecting with others in person so important?
With genuine human connection, you can have more profound, more fulfilling relationships if you focus on five L’s: Living, Laughing, Learning, Leading, and Loving.
Living: Making an effort to be physically present, to interact and share with others on a regular basis is a critical step.
Laughing: Laughter is a beautiful and healing expression of joy. Whether you are 2 months or 102 years old, laughing is how we communicate: “I want to know you. I feel safe with you. I trust you. I feel connected to you.”
Learning: Being open-minded and willing to listen to another’s point of view or feelings without necessarily accepting them is a gift to both people. Connection demands that you are eager to teach and be taught.
Leading: If you want to lead others well in any capacity, you must first care about them. Whether you are leading or being led, true human connection is vital.
Loving: Love has many languages, takes many actions, and has endless forms of expression. Learn what moves you and perhaps more importantly what moves those you care about. Choose mercy. Choose compassion. Choose forgiveness. Choose each day to be genuinely kind.
We were not created to live and work alone. Authentic human connection is everything. And it begins with you. Without genuine human-to-human connection, you will never live the rich, wholehearted life you were meant to live.
In your book, you explain how we “Create Our Own World.” Can you provide a little insight into that concept here?
It sounds so cliché, but you truly are the masters of your own destiny. It seems we all commit to ourselves to improve and yet most will admit they are not living the life they truly want. How many times have you made the same commitment to change for the better only to see it die a quick death? Many make promises to lose weight, stop smoking, start their own business, eat healthier, exercise regularly, be a better parent… you get it. I applaud the verbal affirmation. It is a start. However, there are no quick fixes, magic pills, or secret shortcuts. Real transformational work is hard, exhausting, and will involve sacrifice and uncomfortable choices. Two cues:
1: Break the goal down into small, doable, daily tasks. Instead of the abstract goal of “losing weight,” commit to specific small actions you can do every day that will propel you towards your overall goal.
2: When you stumble on your small committed action (it will happen), no sweat! Just get back to it tomorrow. Recognize that stumbling and getting back up is part of the process.
You are the source of your fortunes. Your dream is clearest to you and you alone. Let the dream drive sustained action. You have a fresh 24 today. What will you do with them? What world will you create?
What is a “Story Holder” and why do you think it is so important to be one?
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
Just like those tree-climbing fish, society often tells us that we are not enough. We are not smart enough. We are not tall enough. We are not pretty enough, thin enough, fast enough, strong enough. Enough, enough, ENOUGH! When we pile on our own negative perceptions and feelings for others on top of what society tells us, we are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that will most definitely come to pass.
You must bask in the light of others and allow them to share from time to time. You must give them the emotional space and comfort that allows them to drop their mask and talk to you. You must listen to your friends’ stories and savor and celebrate their authenticity and empathize with their pain. Hold their stories with reverence. Let your friends know you can be trusted and are worthy of hearing their stories. And when appropriate, laugh with them. Let them feel they are enough. Let them feel your trust, loyalty, and love.
You quote Brené Brown saying “…we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.” How does one truly love themselves?
There are many things I do that promote healthy self-love. I sing and dance in the kitchen making my kids cringe and laugh all at the same time. I laugh at my mistakes. I make many. But the quickest and easiest tip I can give anyone that is struggling with self-love is to do a random act of kindness for another.
My natural reaction to stress, depression and my own selfish funk is to turn inward and shut myself off; I want to stay focused on my burdensome to-do list, and I want to be left alone. But then the lyrics of the song “Have I Done Any Good” by Will L. Thompson start dancing through my head, and I remember that the fastest antidote for self-loathing, discouragement and depression is to do something for someone else. I promise it truly works. I’ve tried it over and over, and it has been a foolproof method for creating healthy self-love, optimism, and cheerfulness.
How would you define true or real love?
The best definition I can give you for true love is “Love is wanting the happiness of another with no ulterior motives.” It is that simple. Hard to do, but that simple.
What is the secret to Living Large, as you describe a genuinely fulfilled life?
Do not let your past enslave or define you. Do not worry about the things you cannot control. Embrace and even encourage honest mistakes. Happiness is a choice, and anger, resentment, and jealousy are as well. Choose wisely. It is yours and yours alone to make. Your reputation means little; what other people think of you is not nearly as important as what you think of you. People and organizations who use shame, guilt, and judgment to create fear, intimidation, and control are not worth my time and energy. No matter how hard I try to please, plenty of people are not going to love me. There are only two things that are truly important to me — my time and my relationships. I protect closely what I do with my time and who I do it with.
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Many have said “We are all one,” but what does that really mean? The Principle of Oneness is a practical guide that helps you understand and experience the profound unity of everyone and everything. Author Russell Anthony Gibbs explains the science behind the connections of everything — both physical matter and nonphysical energy. He supports his points with quotes from scientists, enlightened beings, spiritual leaders, philosophers and others.
Great minds like Albert Einstein, Buddha, Aristotle, Rumi and Jesus all understood the profound Oneness of the Universe. Gibbs further clarifies some of the misconception about the Universe/God as well as explains how to live and experience the Principle of Oneness.
Thanks to guest reviewer Constance Messmer, an author and psychic and spiritual development teacher.
Author Russell Anthony Gibbs does it again. The Principle of Oneness expounds on the first principle from his award winning and bestselling book, The Six Principles of Enlightenment and Meaning of Life.
His new book offers compelling enlightenment information in a clear and concise read. It illuminates the interconnectedness (Oneness) of the physical and spiritual realities, using quantum physics, philosophy, and religion to support his explanation.
Readers will appreciate Gibbs’ easy-to-follow explanations as he brings them to a deeper understanding of others and helps them to find joy and Oneness with activities and, yes, even abstract concepts. Self-love, acceptance, inner strength, wisdom, and knowledge of our eternal existence, all can be gained as one reads through Gibbs’ book. He skillfully guides the reader in an effort to teach the power of connecting to the collective consciousness and the great sense of empowerment, awe, responsibility, and ultimately peace in knowing we control everything in our reality.
It left me with a much deeper understanding of who I am and my profound connection to absolutely everything. With this highlighted awareness, my approach to life has been realigned in a powerful way.
After reading this, his second book in his series of enlightenment material, I look forward to his third installment.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RUSSELL ANTHONY GIBBS:
What are your objectives with this book and this series of books on enlightenment?
Gibbs: The Principle of Oneness is the second book in this series of enlightenment material. It serves as a reference guide to spiritual and scientific enlightenment clearly explaining the Oneness connections of the Universe/God and the collective consciousness. If you can understand and experience the Principle of Oneness you can then utilize the infinite power of the Universe to better enjoy your experience of life. The objective of this series of books on enlightenment is to create a comprehensive body of work that clarifies the nature of our existence.
What is enlightenment and why is it important?
Gibbs: Enlightenment is a profound, intellectual and spiritual awakening to your higher consciousness. Enlightenment is the ultimate goal in several religions and philosophies and is the means to achieve nirvana, which is the state of perfect happiness and peace. Confusion, suffering, pain and faltering through life are the opposite approach to enlightened living. While enlightenment is not necessary to exist, it makes your journey in life much less difficult and far more enjoyable. Attaining enlightenment is ultimately a means to improving the quality of one’s existence.
Why use so many quotes in your books?
Gibbs: The use of multiple quotes utilizes the power of the collective consciousness. Other people are actually the multiple facets of your broader self. Enlightened beings, scientists, sages and some intellectuals understood and articulated the principles of enlightenment in profoundly beautiful ways. The quotes help support and add depth and richness to the explanation of the principles. Also, the variety of quoted authors can offer readers a familiar voice that resonates more with their particular personal consciousness.
How was the first book in this series received?
Gibbs: The first book, The Six Principles of Enlightenment and Meaning of Life, received numerous professional 5-star reviews and won multiple national book awards. The book is clear, concise and straightforward and many readers were surprised with the depth of the material in so few pages. The book is distributed worldwide and made Amazon’s Bestsellers List in two different categories and in all three formats.
What is the best aspect of these books?
Gibbs: The simplicity and clarity of the enlightenment material is one of best aspects of the books. A reader can walk away with a basic working knowledge of significant spiritual and scientific concepts such as string theory, multiverse theory, atomic emptiness, dark energy and matter, panpsychism, Oneness, Manifestation and Timelessness. All of the books in this series offer vast spiritual/scientific concepts in concise formats and are branded Espresso Wisdom, because they are concise, intense and deep. Like espresso coffee, the insight is an intense jolt of enlightenment. Enlightenment is an awakening, and Espresso Wisdom is meant to help jumpstart you on your journey.
The Principle of Oneness and The Six Principles of Enlightenment and Meaning of Life are both available on Amazon.com in Kindle, paperback and hard cover. For more information on this philosopher and enlightenment seeking author, see RussellAnthonyGibbs.com.
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Dancing at Angel Abbey is an entertaining, whimsical, light-hearted novel that also offers deep, thoughtful messages about life and the miracle of it. The story revolves around Kate, a woman who loses her self and her purpose in life, then gets angelic help to bring her back to her divine purpose. She’s a partner in a Wall Street law firm who loses her job and her father all in 24 hours, only to discover options she had never considered.
Kate goes home to Angel Falls to see her estranged father the night before he dies and falls into despair at not repairing her relationship with him, while destroying her law career at the same time.
Author Lauren M. Bloom offers a simple recipe for healing:
“…healing comes in the simplest things — good, plain food, a favorite story, a comfortable place to sleep, the loving attention of familiar friends.”
I was captivated by the protagonist and the problems she faced, and inspired by the angelic help she received.
In fact, one of the most interesting aspect of the novel is the introduction to the archangels in heaven, and their commentary at the end of every chapter — giving us another view of what Kate just experienced. They also sprinkle their messages with advice we can all use.
“You are good enough. Just get out there and do some good.” ~ Archangel Michael
I found myself entranced by the imagery used by the author, as well as the story and the many inspirational messages woven throughout. In addition to the angels communicating with Kate through dreams, visions, visitations in disguise, and even actual physical notes, Kate also gets advice from the Lady of Angel Abbey, where she donates her time after returning to Angel Falls:
“…interpreting your memories of the past in the best way rather than the worst is a very good strategy. It can save you a lot of resentment and regret.”
I do believe, I do believe, I do believe in angels, and am not above asking them for help. They certainly helped Bloom write a perfect book to read this summer or any time of year — it’s a good read for the beach or during a quiet weekend at home. Either way, it will be hard to put down.
It’s easy to see why Dancing at Angel Abbey won the New Age Fiction category in the 2017 International Book Awards.
Here is my interview with Lauren M. Bloom, an attorney, interfaith minister, and award-winning author who believes that listening to the voices of angels can help us discover our best destinies and become our finest selves:
Is there a message you would like readers to take away from your novel?
Life is meant to be a magical, magnificent adventure. We were meant to live in loving collaboration with the Divine, to care for one another and our shared world, and to savor the incredible experiences that come from just being alive. Scary as it gets sometimes, I believe that we’re always beloved, and that help and comfort are always there if we remember to ask for them.
Your bio says that you are an attorney and an interfaith minister. Is any of Kate’s story modeled on your own experiences?
It is, although I haven’t had the kind of direct encounters with archangels that Kate experiences (at least, not yet). However, I know the kind of soul-crushing damage that a hard-charging professional career can inflict. I’m all too familiar with Kate’s sense of never being good enough, and of longing for a gentler, more meaningful life. Like Kate, I get tremendous satisfaction out of giving practical help to people who need it, but I can be stubborn about accepting help. And, like Kate, I’ve had the privilege of being owned and loved by several Siamese cats. All of those experiences contributed to Kate’s character and the choices she made throughout the book.
You describe Kate and modern women in general as self-loathing. Why do you think that is, and what is the remedy?
We hold women to ridiculously high and narrow standards in our society. Unless you look like a fashion model, have a successful career, are in an ideal relationship, raise flawless children, live in an immaculate home, and devote your spare time to community service, you’re not accomplishing as much as you “should.” That message is everywhere in popular culture, and it’s positively brutal.
The remedy, I think, is for women to recognize that “perfection” is the last thing we can, or should, strive toward. Rushing around trying to juggle all of those demands is a wretched way to live. Learning to appreciate our “imperfections” as the things that make us uniquely precious isn’t always easy, but it allows for a much more comfortable and happy life. It’s also better from a spiritual perspective. Perfectionism strangles gratitude, and being genuinely grateful for our imperfectly beautiful selves is a huge first step toward entering into a loving relationship with the Divine.
In your plot, Kate loses her job over a seemingly small lie. Why do you think lying is so pervasive among people when, as one of the archangels says, “…it always gets them into so much trouble?”
People most often lie because they’re terrified of the consequences of telling the truth. A lot of the time, there’s reason for that fear. Going back to the perfectionism that poisons so much of our society, I’m concerned that we’ve reached the point where even a minor mistake can ruin a person’s life. Kate’s lie was relatively insignificant, but I’ve seen people lose jobs over less. If we want people to stop lying, we have to make it safer for them to tell the truth. Yes, hold people accountable for their mistakes, but keep those mistakes in perspective and make sure that the consequences don’t become too severe.
With help from many angels, Kate leaves the practice of law and discovers her divine destiny. Do you believe we all have a destiny that is mapped out for us?
I don’t believe that anyone has a predetermined “divine destiny,” because that would make us nothing more than pieces on a game board. As beings with free will, we make choices that are more or less consistent with our better selves, and the choices that bring out the best in us are, in my opinion, the choices that lead us to our best destinies. It can be very tempting to pursue things like power, money and fame just to have them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with those things, but it’s important to remember that we literally pay for them with our lives. If we’re miserable, they just aren’t worth the price.
Your protagonist gets a lot of angelic help in finding her true life’s work. How do you think one can best find meaning and purpose in their lives?
It starts, I think, with recognizing that meaning and purpose can come from many sources. What makes you genuinely happy? Anything you do that leaves you feeling as though your time was well spent is a step in the right direction, whether it’s building a skyscraper, reading to a child, singing a song, petting an animal, saying a prayer, writing to your Congress member, or calling your grandmother. Maybe you want to make the world a better place, or maybe you just want to enjoy some time alone or with someone you love. Maybe it’s what you do for a living, or maybe it’s what you do when you’re not at your “day job.” Each of us only has so much time in this life. Spending it in a way that seems meaningful to you is important enough that it’s worth devoting enough time to figuring out how you really want to spend the rest of it.
If someone wants help from the angelic realm, how would you recommend they ask for it?
Just ask. Don’t worry about choosing the perfect words, don’t worry about things you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t, don’t fret about not being good enough. Just ask, keep asking, and keep an eye out for miracles. The angelic realm doesn’t always answer right away or exactly as expected, but an answer always comes, and it’s always to the good. There have been times in my own life where it’s taken me years to realize just how important it was for me not to get exactly what I wanted. Once that realization finally dawns, however, I’m always grateful that the angels took better care of me than I would have taken of myself.
You mention that self-forgiveness may be the ticket to heaven. Do you believe most people are too hard on themselves?
Heavens, yes! And I think the people who struggle hardest to be “good” are the ones who tend to punish themselves the most. There’s nothing wrong with having dreams, and ambition can be a wonderful thing if it arises out of a happy excitement about life’s possibilities. But even the highest achievers among us fail at least as often as they succeed. I also believe that it can be very difficult to forgive anyone else if you’re unable to forgive yourself. Time spent agonizing over mistakes, whether they’re your own or someone else’s, is time wasted. It’s better to forgive, and to devote that time to something more productive and pleasant.
You write that miracles happen every day. Can you explain that?
In my opinion, it’s a mistake to think that miracles have to be huge and flashy. The fact that each of us is here at all, that we’re surrounded by beauty if we stop and look for it, that love exists, that there are an infinite number of things we can do, to care for Creation and each other, all of those are inherently miraculous. Here’s a simple example. Think of a piece of music, a painting, a book you like that was created by someone you never met. Even though you don’t know that person, you immediately recognize the work as belonging to its creator and, if you thought for a minute or two, you could probably explain exactly what it is about that work that makes it his or hers. Nobody else could have created exactly that song, painting or book. Each of us is that unique. If that’s not miraculous, what is?
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read as much as you can of what you love, and write what comes to you. If it surprises you, so much the better. (I’m normally a non-fiction writer and would never have imagined writing Dancing at Angel Abbey. Once the idea for the book came to me, though, it wouldn’t leave me alone. Then, the characters started saying and doing things I didn’t expect. That got a little nerve-wracking, but it ultimately made the story a whole lot more interesting than it would have been if I’d stuck with my original plot.) Only give early drafts to people whom you trust to be both honest and kind, and get a good editor. Finally, don’t handcuff yourself by believing that your story has to be “big” or “important.” If it speaks to you, write it down, and trust that it will speak to other people, too.
How can readers learn more about your work or connect with you?
Dancing at Angel Abbey is available at Amazon.com.
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Wake Up and Activate Golden Energy to Improve your Life: #BookReview of Golden Age, Golden Earth and #AuthorInterview
How can we best cooperate with our own energy so that that everything in life goes quicker, easier and smoother?
Author Anni Sennov is a renowned Scandinavian clairvoyant advisor who shares her supernatural gifts of sensing energy and auras in an enlightening book, Golden Age, Golden Earth, on how we on earth now fit into the bigger spiritual picture.
According to Sennov, the Golden Age began with the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, with humans ready to use their power in a constructive and positive way for the benefit of the Earth and mankind.
“…spirit energy is beginning to take form and become visible for all to see, feel and sense and even hear, smell and taste. This is going to be very significant for the future development of planet Earth.”
The new Golden energy is described as the current height of human spiritual development here on Earth, higher than other energies in a human’s aura, including Indigo and Crystal energies.
To better understand Earth’s role in the overall cosmic development, the author examines the influence of the planets in our solar systems on consciousness here on Earth and on those born with particular planetary influences.
“Earth consists of many different entities and individuals who come here from virtually the whole of the Cosmos.”
Golden Age, Golden Earth then explains how to use this information and how to help manifest integration and cooperation here on Earth.
Sennov shares insights that were a revelation to me, and will be to others who haven’t read any of her previous books or taken her workshops. This book offers a greater understanding of our human potential, explains how to make better choices, and shares knowledge of how to create a better future.
Here, Anni Sennov answers my questions about her remarkable book, Golden Age, Golden Earth:
Q. What would you say is the major theme of your book?
The major theme of my “Golden book” is my favorite spiritual topic in life, the Golden Life Force of Planet Earth.
I love the spiritual materialization power and Golden life force that is found here on Earth even though not all people show interest in the spiritual part of the Golden energy. Most people with a physical approach to life are usually mostly attracted to the material part of Earth’s energy where the money is. In their world money is the solution to everything.
On the opposite side, most spiritual people look to the Cosmos, away from Earth, for answers to all big questions in life, but as I see it, all physical and spiritual answers are found within our own body, which represents the densest part of our spiritual energy. Our “Golden body” always knows what is right for us, if we allow ourselves to listen to it.
In the book, I have also shared information about the other planets in our solar system and about the future of our planet seen from an energy perspective. It’s my main goal to make the reader understand that the highest creation and creative power is found here, and that they can use their free will and power to test out all sorts of amazing and crazy ideas in the physical sphere as well as change their own life, if they want to. There is no reason to accept everything as it is.
Q. In these stressful global times, why do you write that we should be optimistic about the future?
In my books and work I try to motivate people to “fight” in a positive way for what they believe in and at the same time cooperate with others with a similar vision. Don’t sit down and do nothing, unless you are ill or very old and thereby excused from acting. Stagnation is not what the Golden energy is about, as stagnation can be compared to death. The Golden energy is a flowing, spiritual, intelligent materialization power and life force that allows people to breathe, relax, have fun, love and be dedicated.
Every time I teach people how to approach the Golden life force in Planet Earth to better succeed and change their existing life conditions, new possibilities always show up in their lives based on their inner needs and their trust in the Golden energy. People simply wake up and suddenly understand that there is a much bigger life force and power in Planet Earth than any president or guru can ever control. Paradise is here for those who believe in it and make the right decisions in life based on their inner needs, balance and love – not on outer physical, material and mental needs and wishes.
Q. What message would you like readers to take away from Golden Age, Golden Earth?
Even if my readers have not had a happy start in life, they always have the opportunity of changing their life conditions, if they are willing to cooperate with the Golden life force in Earth.
We all know that there are many bad places on Earth, and many bad people who are selfish or survival-focused in different ways. But in all bad places there are also kind people, even if you don’t see them. So, whenever you start cooperating with the Golden life force in Earth and you accept the terms of not being selfish and greedy, and you show to the world that you can cooperate with others without judging them and feeling superior, you will always get help in a way that you can’t imagine.
You will get help from the biggest Golden creative source in Earth that is in contact with all existing energies on Earth. Do you get the point? The Golden energy can make all things happen, simply because it has the biggest spiritual and physical network ever.
Q. Can you explain how an AuraTransformation™ assists one’s personal development?
An AuraTransformation™ is for adults only, as all children and young people born since 1995 do not need it.
It’s an energy upgrade of the soul aura structure that will be transformed into a Crystal aura with a much stronger radiance and magnetic protection, that matches the frequencies of today’s children and young people. You will be better able to attract what you need in life even without knowing what it is, you will be faster in acting out your inner thoughts and be true to yourself and others, be more intuitive, prefer balance and pick your fights, try to influence your own life as well as the life of those you care about, you will think of yourself and the whole, and be more patient, and you will no longer fuel hidden agendas and programs that you dislike. Best of all is that your timing will be optimal – especially if you listen to the Golden energy in the body.
Today more than 700 Aura Mediators are educated around the world and more than 100,000 people have had an AuraTransformation™.
Q. What is the relevance of December 21, 2012, to changes occurring both in our galaxy and here on Earth?
December 21, 2012, was the day when the Mayan Calendar ended, and it was the day when Planet Earth took over the full responsibility for all human and spiritual development here on Earth. Until then all development was predetermined into detail in all people’s lives as a part of an overall soul-based reincarnation plan for our solar system. All decisions related to things taking place here on Earth were therefore a compromise between powerful energies residing outside of Planet Earth, which is about to change. Therefore, there is chaos in many places around the world until a new Golden balance is reached.
Q. How is Golden energy different than the other energies we have experienced on Earth?
The Golden energy has been here all the time, but most spiritual, mental and intellectual people have thought it was primitive and not spiritual at all, which is why they have underestimated and belittled it. So now when the New Time Crystal energy is present in the auras and bodies of today’s children, the frequency of the Golden energy can be raised from survival level and greed to a much more balanced level with focus on taking care of one self and others as well as of the environment of our holy planet.
Q. You write that “Deep in the interior of Planet Earth, the Golden energy of all mankind lies waiting for each individual person to be ready to activate his/her personal Golden energy.” How can one increase their level of Golden energy?
All people can increase their level of Golden energy – connect with nature, eat healthy food, rest, try not to live a stressful life, be happy, cooperate with others, don’t be judgmental, set reasonable boundaries in life, listen to your body’s needs (and not just to the brain or heart). Focus on having balance on all levels in daily life, do balancing energy exercises and move your body, feel love and be grateful for what you have, etc.
In my Golden workshops and Transformational webinars, I guide the participants through exciting and powerful energy exercises where they learn how to connect with Planet Earth in a very profound and different way, so they end up getting in contact with their own inner Golden source and dharma.
Q. How does Golden energy affect one on the soul and spirit levels?
On the soul level it’s more difficult to act out things in life that are not part of your karma and destiny. However, the Golden energy will always cooperate with you if you have positive, and not egoistic, intentions.
On the spirit level where you find all today’s children and young people, as well as those adults who have had an AuraTransformation™, you have the possibility of changing your own life according to your own inner needs, as long as you fulfill your dharma and life tasks that are the reasons why you are born on Earth.
Q. Can you explain what you mean when you say “Earth is positioned on a development belt in the Cosmos?”
Many universes in the Cosmos are very spiritual – their energies are evolving in a very balanced and predictable way. That is not how things are in our solar system, where Planet Earth, due to its combined spiritual-material energy, expands extremely fast in many ways. Just have a look at how things change in society every day.
Q. Does this book stand alone in your mind, or is a follow-up to others that readers should process first?
Golden Age, Golden Earth can stand alone. However, if readers prefer to better understand the differences in the aura structures that today’s children are born with, which I refer to in the “Golden book”, I recommend that they first read Balance on All Levels with the Crystal and Indigo Energies.
Q. What is the best way for readers to connect with you?
The best way to connect with me is probably by signing up for my newsletter on my website www.annisennov.com. Here you will find information about the 25+ books I have written (published in 10 languages), and about my workshops, webinars and AuraTransformation™. Furthermore, you can read articles and comment on/follow my Golden Blog.
Golden Age, Golden Earth is available on Amazon.com.
Join people around the world this Saturday, January 28th, 1 p.m. Eastern time, to carry the prayer from Standing Rock to the steps of banks around the world who are funding harmful Oil Extraction.
If you’ve been reading news about President Trump’s Executive Actions this week, you know that prayers are needed to help the protestors at Standing Rock.
President Trump has effectively declared war on environmental protection, according to an opinion piece in the L.A. Times:
On Tuesday, he signed executive orders that took the first steps toward reversing Obama’s rulings against oil pipeline projects. One of those rulings, from the Army Corps of Engineers, told owners of the pipeline to come up with alternative routes that would not endanger the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota.
Now, the Army Corps of Engineers is being ordered to “review and approve in an expedited manner” the North Dakota pipeline plan of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.
BECOME INSPIRED TO JOIN IN PRAYER WITH STANDING ROCK PROTESTORS
Unite in Global Prayer Action to elevate the consciousness of the financial institutions and governments, asking that they make the choice to invest in clean renewable energy, the future of our planet, and the protection and rights of all people.
PRAYER IS ENERGY HEALING IN ACTION
Do you get discouraged if your prayers aren’t immediately answered? The problem may be that we are praying for God or a higher being to do something which it is not in its nature to do… take direct action vs. inspire and guide us to make the right choices.
Serge Kahili King, Ph.D., teacher of the Hawaiian Huna Philosophy and head of Aloha International wrote On Prayer:
In prayer we are trying to do something or to get something done, either for ourselves or for someone else. We pray to get an effect, and since an effect is involved, energy has to be involved, and all prayer involves the transmission of energy, [in this case toward the people and situation at Standing Rock].
In the prayer form known as the Lord’s Prayer that is found in the Christian Bible, Jesus states that we should ask for energy (“our daily bread”), cleansing (forgiveness), and guidance. A little further on in the chapter of Luke (11), Jesus makes the famous statement about, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you….” This has been taken to mean that you can ask God for anything you like and you will get it, although in practice it obviously doesn’t work out that way. The reason is revealed only a few lines further. What is to be given is the Holy Spirit. In other words, energy, ideas, and inspiration. We find this same idea in the Old Testament, in Sufi, Hindu, and Chinese writings, as well as in Hawaiian – namely that what we receive from above is the wisdom and the power to act. But it is we who must do the acting.
This brings us to the point of fact that there are essentially two types of prayer: vertical and horizontal. By vertical prayer, I mean that which is directed toward God or the Higher Self or toward someone in spirit. From this type of prayer we can only get inspiration, knowledge, understanding, and energy. Note carefully that the guidance we may get is in the form of ideas and inspiration. We do not actually get the kind of guidance that tells us exactly what to do and how to do it. That kind of guidance implies the making of choices, and that is our sole prerogative.
Horizontal prayer is that directed toward our everyday life, either to heal or help ourselves or others, or to change the future. This type of prayer is accomplished by us, and its effectiveness is determined by our beliefs and by the amount of energy we put into it. We each create our own experience of reality, the circumstances we find ourselves in, and through prayer properly understood we can change those circumstances. But it is the individual who changes the circumstances, not God and not the High Self. From them we only get the tools; they will not do the work for us.
Please join in The Global Prayer Action for Standing Rock so that all involved get the guidance to resolve the situation in a peaceful, environmentally-conscious manner.
And please share this and invite your friends to help support the protestors at Standing Rock.
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Healing, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet
So many people do not feel happy, successful or satisfied with their lives. Perhaps, as author Atticus Aristotle writes, they have not set their minds on a specific goal. Do you underestimate your potential? Do you feel unhappy because of challenges or circumstances you face in your life?
We all have our ups and downs and it is great to have a resource to help lift us up when we need it. I recommend you pick up the FREE KINDLE of Success and Happiness – Quotes to Motivate, Inspire & Live By.
You will find advice from some of the most famous people in history, from The Buddha and Confucius to Gandhi, Helen Keller and Martin Luther King.
The subjects covered range from Character and Karma to Anger and Desire. This is a great book to skim through for a thought for the day, to overcome fear, release anger or resentment, or to be inspired to keep fighting for what you believe in, especially in the political climate we now find ourselves in.
I found these quotes spoke to me today, especially the first, as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
“The time is right to do what is right.” ~ Martin Luther King
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” ~ The Buddha
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~ Gandhi
“Happiness calls out responsive gladness in others. There is enough sadness in the world without yours….” ~ Helen Keller
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ATTICUS ARISTOTLE
1) What inspired you to put all these quotes from diverse times and places and subjects together in one book?
It was actually the mortgage crisis that inspired me. That crisis brought to light the lack of ethics and morals not only in the banking world but also in the schools that produced graduates who would go on to run these banks.
2) Why do you think our minds are our most powerful tools in achieving success, and what stops us from achieving success?
In my opinion, and based on personal achievements and observation of others, when we set our mind toward a specific goal and know deep down that we can achieve it, we usually do.
What usually stops us from achieving success is self doubt, when our mind questions our ability.
Some people say they were successful because of a parent, teacher or other figure, but what those people do that inspires us is to put us into the right frame of mind, to believe in our self and our abilities.
3) What is the most important message you would like readers to take away from your book?
That the right frame of mind can make you soar higher than you thought possible.
Many of us never had a mentor who helped us eliminate self doubt or teach us the moral and ethical path. For those of us who go it alone, or need something more, the quotes in the book fill that void to give us that push we need or the moral compass to help steer us.
Success and Happiness – Quotes to Motivate, Inspire & Live By is available now for FREE DOWNLOAD at all online retailers.
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet
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Paulo Coelho’s latest book, Manuscript Found in Accra, is a gem like all his others. Inventive as always, Coelho tells his tale as a transcription of a manuscript written in Arabic, Hebrew and Latin, discovered by an English archaeologist in 1974. The document’s origin was traced to Accra, a city on the southern coast of Ghana.
The life lessons of this 192 page-turner by Coelho are immense, masterfully crafted, threaded, woven, brought to life, nourished and laid at our feet for our choosing. Not just lightning in a bottle but wisdom we already know – if we listen to ourselves, if we pay attention to the world, if we care what happens and dare to make a difference first in our own lives and thus in the collective consciousness of the Universe.
We learn those who never lost a battle, avoided scars and taking action, those who eschewed the powerful emotions of humiliation, loneliness, uselessness and despair, also missed the open arms of love and plenitude of beauty that crossed their paths. The manuscript warns that by wasting energy to forego adventure and to shun change, we will likely squander our blessings of love and be quickly and quietly killed by routine in the dead of night… and no one will mourn our passing.
The old storyteller reminds us that no one can go back but everyone can go forward and so our imperative is to scatter our seed wherever we go because we know not which seeds “will grow and flourish and enlighten the next generation.”
A delightful book… Buy it, download it, borrow it, somehow get your hands on it and read it again and again as I have.
A personal note – I wrote Chakra Secrets before reading Coelho Aleph, and was struck by the theme of past lives which ran through both stories. Now, I’m amazed that his latest book echoes some of the themes from my upcoming book, Chakra Secrets: On Mothering.
Has Paulo Coelho also inspired you? Let me know which of his is YOUR favorite book.
“101 Inspirational Quotes to Live and Learn” by Yvonne Thomas was written to help you approach problems and obstacles more effectively, overcome difficulties, respond to challenges, and continue forward towards your goals in life.
Thomas has collected 101 of her favorite quotes and is offering them in a free eBook to inspire you to improve your life, by helping build your self esteem and self confidence.
Here is the link to the ebook: 101 Inspirational Quotes to Live and Learn
Thomas includes gorgeous photos with some of the quotes, a few of which are long-time favorites of mine:
“Expect wonderful things to happen to you. Get up each morning and say; ‘I believe something wonderful is going to happen to me today.'” ~ Brian Tracy
“In every situation do the thing you fear. If you do the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
For the other 99, download your own copy to scan whenever you need a little push to take that next step to success.
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries