Happy Healthy and Fit

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Be Brave Before the Grave: Go Sole to Soul


Lessons from the Departed: It's easy to Rest in Peace. Now Live in Peace.

To really appreciate life it can be helpful to look at death.

Yesterday I was drawn to the cemetery. I say 'drawn' because it wasn't a consciously intentional visit. Instead of going left to go home I went right and parked adjacent to the sprawling green lawns decorated with bright flowers, flags and memorabilia.

I kicked off my flip flops and took a walk amongst the departed. I wanted to be sole to souls. Although, statics indicate that as Americans we live to be 75, understand this is an average. Walking past the marked stones is as real as it gets. Simple math tells you, you really don't know how many days you get. Why waste one more moment being anything but joyful and free.

For the first time, I noticed that Stars of David peacefully coexisted next to Crosses of Christ. In the cemetery there is peace and unity. No judgment, no war, no suffering, no separation, no old, no young: just one.

There I met Howard H. Hunt 1908-1975. His stone reads: THERE'S NO MORE PAIN AND THERE'S NO MORE SORROW BECAUSE THERE WILL BE NO TOMORROW. YOU ARE NOW WITH GOD AND IN HIS GRACES AND YOU WILL SEE MANY FAMILIAR FACES.

Why must we wait until we depart this world to be free of pain and sorrow?
As I wandered over to the pond, I saw not one, but two swans gracefully grazing, two catfish synchronistically swimming, two turtles playfully paddling and two dragonflies divinely dancing. Love is everywhere.

It is easy to express love when someone is dead or about to die. We always love the dead. Be brave before the grave. Dare to Be love and express it freely. Dare to be vulnerable. Do not wait to Rest In Peace. Dare to Live In Peace.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means facing your fears before they consume you. Do not fear death: go sole to soul and then soul to soul. Perhaps this Memorial Day weekend is a great time to take your own stroll through one of the best classrooms around- visit your local cemetery and learn from the departed. Love the Life you Live!




Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keys to Riches: Unlock the Heart of your Enemy

Helping others is easy when we are selfishly motivated. It is actually amazing the things we find ourselves offering to do and be when we subconsciously desire the acceptance and approval of another person or organization.

To better understand this, think of all the nice things a man will do just to get a date with a woman. Think of the hazing that goes on before being accepted into fraternal 'brotherhoods.' When the perceived desired outcome is great enough, the motivation is there to help others.

What if there was an even greater desirable outcome? An outcome of lasting joy and fulfillment.

Reading spiritual or self help books, listening to positive audio or even going to church are great ways of waking up to the idea of helping others. Seeking opportunities to help others and applying that consciousness is where the real Light and lasting fulfillment is revealed.

Perhaps you have that someone in your life that just rubs you the wrong way. For whatever reason, you do not trust them. Pay attention, this person has the keys to all of the riches of the universe.

Recently, I ran into this person in my own life. On a continuous path of helping others to overcome their own negative inclination, the opportunity presented itself for me to do some real work and experience some real growth. Julie is the kind of girl who is always smiling on the outside, planning a night out and dating several men at once. She is also the kind of girl that you do not want to bring your boyfriend or husband around.

Last time I saw her, I saw something different. No longer did I see a threat. She cannot take anything from me. I saw the result of a lifetime of bad decisions and chasing things in the material world. I saw an opportunity to help someone crying out for help. In a matter of moments, she confessed that she wanted to go check herself into a clinic, wanted pain pills, anti-anxiety pills and said something that led me to believe she was on the brink of great darkness.

In that moment, I released all the judgment I had for years. I was able to channel some of the truths that had been channeled to me. The whole reason that we are in this world is to help others in a lasting way. Just as we seek those who can help us, we must seek those that we can help the most. Each one of us has the tools and strength to help another overcome pain and suffering.

After an hour, she went her way and I went mine. Her eyes were shining and her spirit dancing once again. I could see the peace in her heart. I just felt just the same. We can keep reading and saying things like - the greater the darkness, the greater the opportunity for Light. Or, we can seek those dark places and see for ourselves.

Today, seek out those who rub you the wrong way. Is it your neighbor? Grocery store clerk? Librarian? Boss? Friend of a friend? See that darkness on a deeper level. See past the low vibrations and into the pain and suffering. Increase your desire for lasting fulfillment. Every encounter every day is an opportunity to cash in and add gold to your spiritual bank account.

There is no greater joy than helping another see Light. Don't believe me. Try it! Being Happy Healthy and Fit means helping even those who we feel resistance toward helping. One at a time into infinity we can critical mass and create a world of peace, love, joy and harmony.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Loving Kindness does not Judge

Do not look at the faults of others, or what others have done or not done; observe what you yourself have done and not done.
~Buddha

Last week I got a valuable reminder about the importance and powerful nature of loving kindness. Working at a tax and business consulting office over the past few months has been an amazing learning and teaching environment. Many people allow their emotions to be ruled by money.

With the main admin on vacation, I have been filling in answering the phones and getting clients on the phone. When I placed a call to a client, I could tell in one breath, she was not happy. In 10 seconds, I knew it was not a good time, she was at the gym, she was too emotional to speak to the CPA and just wanted to receive an email. My heart sank, I could feel her pain and felt somewhat responsible. Before I placed the call, I knew only that she was going through a divorce and owed money to the IRS. After speaking to her, I felt like she had been let down by the firm, but I was careful to ask her enough questions to be able to communicate the message.

I emailed her the answers she was looking for and in response she emailed me back an apology for her behavior and thanked me for my kindness. She explained that she had just found out a dear friend has leukemia. She never said anything about her taxes. Once again, my heart lifted and I was grateful to have offered loving kindness regardless of her lack of receptivity. The truth is that we never know what someone is really going through or what just happened to them. Even if we think we know on some level, we may not know on a deeper, seed level.

Digging deeper inside an unhappy person, we will always find pain. The origin of the pain is a detail. It really doesn't matter. Pain is pain and it is not up to us to judge it. Happy people have transformed their pain. Angry people are still victims of and subject to their pain. Have compassion, offer loving kindness. Don't waste any time creating stories or making it about you. Do not be pulled off center by the emotions of others. Like Buddha says- observe yourself.

How many times a day are you shifted off center by the pain of somebody else? How do you react? Do you fire back when fired up? Does your environment pull you down? Responding to pain and anger with pain and anger only insures more of each.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means allowing others to have the space they need to transform their pain, while providing the wisdom of truth by example. Practice unconditional loving kindness.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Suffocating? Expand Your Lungs!

Inside each of us is an unborn and undying element known as our soul. It is this part that possesses boundless potential for infinite expansion.
Suffocate defined: to suppress the development, imagination, or creativity of; stifle

We commonly think of suffocating as being deprived of oxygen. The inability to breathe. The more you heighten your awareness and state of consciousness the more you become aware of people and environments that seem to be devoid of fresh oxygen.

Learn to tune into your body and trust what it is telling you. The feeling of being stifled is an indication that it is time to expand and grow. You can only ignore this sensation for so long before you must act upon it. To stay around people that suck the oxygen out of the room or to stay in a job that is too small is limiting your purpose and potential. If you have ever felt like you were drowning or experienced a state of claustrophobia you know that the feeling of suffocation is intense.

You do not need to make any rash decisions. Learn just to notice when you feel like you are being suffocated. Then just breathe mindfully. Be flattered. Your soul knows that you are not fulfilling your potential. Take up a mindful breathing activity: yoga, tai chi, walking in nature, chanting or meditation. Trust that when you breathe mindfully and expand your lungs, you will counter the feeling of suffocation. Just breathe and a higher and better path will reveal itself.

Next time you feel like you are suffocating and there is clearly no lack of oxygen in the room, breathe deeply and mindfully as long as you can until return to a place of calmness. Being Happy Healthy and Fit means including a mindful breathing practice to keep your body healthy, mind sharp, emotions calm and energy high.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gratitude: Flowers Fade Truth Transforms


Barn's burnt down --
now
I can see the moon.
Mizuta Masahide (水田 正秀, 1657 - 1723)

Recently I read a newspaper column titled "Why it's great to be grateful: It makes us happier and healthier," by none other than Dr. Oz himself. It goes on to express the ripple effect of expressing gratitude freely. An attitude of gratitude combined with sending three thank you notes a day or personally calling three people a day leads to a 25% improvement in happiness.

I am not sure how they came up with this formula, but I am inclined to agree in my own experience, expressing gratitude is wildly fulfilling. It is easy to be grateful and give a heartfelt thank you when someone pays you a compliment, gives you a gift, buys you dinner, invites you to a party or sends you flowers.

More challenging is to express gratitude and heartfelt appreciation toward those who have the courage to tell you the truth. That is where there is room for a 100% improvement in happiness. Compliments and gifts will be forgotten, dinner will be digested, parties end and flowers die. The truth perseveres. If you are lucky enough to have someone in your life that is willing to tell you the truth, you have the greatest gift in the world. You have found a friend. Cherish and appreciate this gift of wisdom. The truth is the key to unlocking the path to transformation.

Expressing gratitude to those who make you feel good is a great place to get started. Expressing gratitude to those who make you feel not so good is an indication that you are on the path to ascending ego. Learn to see Light where you once saw darkness. Appreciate that when the barn burns down, you can see the moon. The greater the darkness, the greater the opportunity for Light. The flowers will fade, but the truth has the power to transform.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means expressing heartfelt appreciation daily for those who make you feel 25% Happier, as well as those who are truthfully guiding you toward feeling 100% Happiness! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Magic : Give it Away Get it Back

By nature human beings are selfish creatures. The root of selfishness comes from a belief that there is a finite amount of resources: not enough to go around. This fear-based model leads to hoarding, stagnation and isolation.

A spiritual journey begins as a quest for clarity and enlightenment. A search for answers and meaning. It is natural to seek books and teachers to guide us closer to the illusive concept. The desire for knowledge becomes insatiable. Books collect on your shelf. You take more classes in martial arts, yoga, meditation or self study. This intense focus on purification of mind has the propensity to lead you into isolation.

Books and teachers will only take you so far.

Look at the Spiritual Laws like a child learning a new magic trick and always be in great company. A child is so excited to share a disappearing quarter act. In that moment they are applying their knowledge to wisdom and imagination. It is the purest path to Happiness. Without sharing their magic trick, it will soon be forgotten. The more they share it, the more magic they spread.

Although it goes completely against our nature as human beings to share, it is the only path to lasting fulfillment. In 2000, when I tested for my 1st degree black belt, I was so proud of myself for staying disciplined and achieving my goal. Within 24 hours, I felt completely empty and disconnected. I had been encouraged and warned not to hike this mountain alone. The next day, I demanded to know how to begin training for my 2nd degree. I wanted to be back on the path.

My teacher told me that he could teach me no more. You must begin to teach others. That is how you will truly learn. I can teach you more forms and give you more knowledge. You will then have more forms and more knowledge. You must help others to ascend on the path. See yourself in other people and that is how you will grow and expand. If you do not bring some people with you, you will be standing on the top of a mountain alone.

It would take me 10 years and owning a martial arts school to shift my consciousness and understand that when we are not really connected to the people we are sharing with, we are not really sharing.

Today I understand that being a teacher doesn't require a classroom, a uniform or a business card. It is only a desire to share from the heart. Only a desire to make sure that no one feels they are climbing a mountain alone. The view from the top is amazing and so much sweeter when shared.

Gathering knowledge is not much different than gathering clothes, purses, collecting guns, cars, shoes or anything else in the material world. If you do not use them regularly, you will lose interest. Practice overcoming your innate selfish nature and share your toys and clothes. Give away your knowledge fearlessly. Turn it into wisdom. Make Magic.

A great magician knows she cannot captivate her entire audience all of the time. That doesn't matter. With the right intention, you can elevate the consciousness of one person and thereby change the world. Fear and Finite thinking block the imagination. Focus entirely on your desire to share and to be of service.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means knowing that Magic is infinite. When you give it all away, you get it all back.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Less Clothes! More Fun!


Clothes are like walls separating a world that desperately wants to unite. The right clothes. The wrong clothes. Clothes separate classes, castes and cultures. Clothes divide.

It is great to dress up and have fun, but can you just show up and have fun? The most expensive outfit in the world will not bring you friends, peace, joy, love or happiness.

From as early as I can remember, I have had insecurity issues around the 'right outfit' for the occasion. I am certain that I have missed parties and events, because I believed I didn't have the right thing to wear. Today, I know this was just another lie I told myself.

As I was getting ready to transition my 5:30p Friday night yoga class into Savasana or corpse pose after 75 minutes of intense movement and sweating, I suddenly remembered that three doors down a friend was hosting a Salsa and Cinco de Mayo social. Of all the times I pack a change of clothes so I can shower after teaching, this was not one of them.

In a flash, I calculated that if I rushed everyone out of class, I could get home, shower, do my hair, paint on some make up and make it back for the last half hour of the party. Then suddenly, my mouth opened and out came this- "Yoga is about sharing and spreading great love, not just on the mat, but off the mat. Yoga is about creating community and support. Three doors down one of our fellow yogis is hosting a social. He has created his own salsa line, which now sells in Whole Foods and we are all invited. Now you are detoxed and ready to enjoy free margaritas, don't worry if you didn't bring a change of clothes. I didn't either. That's pure ego."

Mostly they laughed and I smiled. I realized in that moment, through connection, I had the power to change the course of many lives. However, in my heart, I knew that suggestion alone was not enough to create courage. No one would walk down to the party because they felt disconnected and alone. A great opportunity to connect with new friends was almost missed.

Practically naked and drenched in sweat, I rounded up my class from the parking lot and the changing rooms and led them down to the party. They were no longer alone. Hours later when I saw some still there I knew joy in my heart.

I laughed when I saw the pictures on Facebook. With not one hair in place, a purple T-shirt and green cut- off sweat shorts, I definitely would have deleted them at an earlier time. Instead, I look at them fondly and know that is me. I had the time of my life. Not once did I feel compelled to check the mirror to adjust my skirt or apply lip gloss.

The next night when I invited a friend to a Hawaiian Luau and she wanted to know what to wear, I laughed. We all spend so much time worrying about the things that don't matter. I suggested that she wear a smile on her heart. Clothes are just a distraction. The clothes don't make the woman, the woman makes the clothes.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means having the Confidence to show up fully in Spirit and to connect others to the party of life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mean has Many Faces and One Mind: Unconsciousness

I used to think that there were a lot of mean people in the world. Mean has many faces. It shows up as anger, violence, hatred, greed, selfishness, judgment, bullying and control.

These are really just masks. If you can see all of those behaviors as scary masks hanging at the costume store, you can also see the little children hiding behind them. Each one of those masks is really just an effort to cover up unconsciousness. Begin to see mean behavior as unconscious behavior.

People who act mean are small children trapped in adult bodies that do not know to give and receive love. The Truth about our childhood is stored up in our body, and although we can repress it, we can never alter it. Eventually we must deal with repressed emotions. Would you hate a small child acting mean or would you love that child so they see a brighter day?

Have compassion for the unconscious. Just as you would have compassion for a friend or relative unconscious in a hospital bed for they are experiencing a disconnect of mind, body and spirit, have compassion for the walking unconscious, they are actually in greater pain. Just as you pray and smile at the body of your loved one, pray and smile for the mean people. Inside of us are the healing powers to elevate the unconscious out of walking comas and into dancing free spirits.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means being kind and compassionate to everyone we meet. Change yourself and Change Yourself and Change the World! Expand the consciousness of the planet today!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Face Truth. Find Freedom.


It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized.

~ I-Ching

The truth is short.

The truth is simple.

The truth is one sentence.

Anything more is not the truth.

The truth is hard.

The truth is intimidating.

The truth is terrifying.

The truth takes great courage.

Step up.

Know Truth.

The Truth will set you Free.

Face up.

Freedom.