Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gary Zukav On The Importance Of Voting

I first heard of Gary Zukav 10 years ago and he's been a huge influence on my life since. His books, The Dancing Wu Li Masters and The Seat of The Soul, opened my mind and heart to new ways of looking at the world. Gary sees our universe as a peaceful place where people coexist in harmony. He believes God intended it to be that way and if you read his work or watch his lectures you will believe it's possible too. He has a peace and gentleness about him that is rare in our time.

He recently wrote about voting in the November 4th election. Here is some of what he had to say....

It is time to vote. The most important presidential election, perhaps in American history, is approaching. Voting is your only way to determine what you want, what you stand for, what your life is about. When you “throw away” your opportunity to vote, you vote anyway. You vote for apathy, indifference, powerlessness.

What you vote for gets elected. You are the only one voting in the election. The candidates are always love and fear. Love runs on the harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life ticket. It presents itself as gratitude, caring, patience, contentment, appreciation, and more. Fear runs on the discord, competition, hoarding, and exploitation ticket. It presents itself as anger, jealousy, resentment, superiority, inferiority, need to dominate, need to please, and every obsessive thought that you think (such as, He is so stupid; I am so stupid), every compulsive activity you engage (such as workaholism, perfectionism, savior searching), and your every addictive behavior (such over-eating, smoking, gambling, watching pornography, shopping, alcohol, drugs).

Listen carefully to the candidates that are running for election. Get to know them. Let yourself imagine what it would be like to live in the world they want to create. Do you want to live that world? Each time you vote, the candidate you choose wins. You act on your anger or not, challenge your jealousy or not, indulge the need to please or not. You can lose the ability to vote in a democratic election. It is not guaranteed and it would not exist without the courage and blood that were required to create and maintain it. Don’t throw that courage and sacrifice away. Love your neighbors enough, including those who have come before you, to honor their gifts. People like you have died so that you can vote. Voting in a democratic election is that precious.

You will never lose your ability to vote for love or fear. It cannot be taken from you and you have no option but to use it. Each moment that you are angry you must challenge your anger or act on it, challenge your impatience or act on it, challenge your sense of hopelessness or let it control you. Each moment you vote for the world that you want to live in by choosing a loving part of your personality or a frightened part. No one counts your vote. Each vote creates consequences that you encounter in the intimacy of your own experience. Only your vote stands between you and the life that you want to live, between joy and pain, between meaning and emptiness.

It's time to vote...Love, Gary

Take a moment to ponder these things as you stand in line to vote. If you've decided not to vote in the election, think about your reasons and if they serve you well. If they don' is the time to choose to do something different.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Look, See, Move - Are You Ready?

What happens when you are faced with an opportunity to do something different? Do your palms sweat? Does your mouth go dry? Do you feel like you are going to be sick? That was me - the queen of indecisiveness. Not making a decision was easy and I could blame the results of my inaction on everyone else. "I didn't do anything. It was them."

For those of you who are regular readers of LifePrints, maybe you noticed the absence of posts in the last two weeks. There is a reason for that. I've been making decisions and all of them kept me away from my blog. Let me explain....

Two weeks ago I left for a seven day seminar in the mountains above Napa Valley, California. I went to PSI7, the second course offered by PSI Seminars. Along with 95 other people on my team, I learned what it meant to trust myself and to trust others. I left tons of emotional baggage in the valley below a spectacular cliff line. I figured out why I do many of the things I do that slow me down and get in the way of my goals and happiness. I also figured out I don't have to be that way.

We make hundreds of choices everyday. We decide between thousands of options, mundane things, really. But for me, the choice to speak up with a solution or join in a conversation were paralysing moments in time. I knew if I just stood still the opportunity would pass and I'd be safe.

Something interesting happened to me on the third day at the seminar. I'd been confronted over and over with the clear knowledge that based on results, the way I normally ran my life wasn't working so well. I decided to do something different and throw myself completely into the events and lessons that remained during the week. Every chance I had I chose to do what my heart told me was right...I made friends - I spoke up when I knew what I had to say was important - I contributed to the events instead of hanging in the background. And here's the clincher, when it all came together...

I have never been an athletic person and I have an intense fear of heights. Ask anyone who knows me. During one event, I harnessed up and climbed a 30-35ft telephone pole, balanced on top and leapt for a trapeze bar hanging out in space. I caught it and I found myself when I did. I literally danced as my belay team lowered me to the ground. Best of all, I have pictures to prove it. My favorite is me, perched just below the top of the pole. I love the look of determination on my face as pushed past my terror and I set my mind to standing up.

"This is the look, see, move seminar people! Didn't you know that?" I can still hear the staff shouting those words. Well, my life is the same..."Life is look, see, move, Lisa! Didn't you know that?"

I do now. I get it. So since returning from this transformative, empowering week, I've been using my time to reconnect and truly connect with the people in my life. I'm learning that it takes much more effort to "be engaged" in each day than it does to just trudge through it, head down, eyes cast on the sidewalk.

So I'm reordering my priorities. I have some great stories percolating for LifePrints. They will be up very soon but computer time now falls squarely behind family time.

Here is in a nutshell what I want to convey to you, my precious blogging friends - When you look at a situation, see the potential, and move before the opportunity passes you by. Be it as small as a smile to a stranger, a kind word to the checkout clerk or as risky as starting a business you know will make you happy or telling that special someone how you really feel about them.

Follow your heart. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lists Are Useful, Uplifting, and Often Totally Random

I'm reading a fiction book (The Writing Class by Jincy Willett) where the main character is a compulsive list maker so now I'm inspired. Here are a few you might find amusing on this overcast Thursday afternoon.

Whenever I think I'm weird for wanting to be, trying to be, and sometimes being a vegetarian I'll remind myself that these famous people were just as weird:

Sir Isaac Newton

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hans Christian Andersen

Charlotte Bronte

George Bernard Shaw

Henry Ford

Mahatma Ghandi

When people call me a Greenie I'll remember that environmental activism is cool to these people:

Dr. David Suzuki and his daughter Severn Suzuki

Julia Butterfly

John Robbins

Paul Watson

Al Gore

Quick list of ways I can be frugal in this challenging economy:

Make things last by fixing instead of throwing away.

Borrow books from the library instead of buying.

Rent movies from NetFlix instead of going out to the movies.

Plan meals and buy whole foods in bulk.

Stay away from prepared, packaged foods.

Park my car and walk more often. Most everything I need is within a mile of my house.

Buy my clothes second hand. Las Vegas is a great city for that..lots of rich people giving things away.

When I'm down remember the people who inspire me:

My family.

Martin Luther King Junior

Amelia Earhart

Grace Lee Boggs

Allene Morris

Ryan White

Nelson Mandela

Bono (Paul Hewson)

Random list of things I love:

my pets (even the ones acquired by my kids).

the sound of rushing water.

a sky filled with hot air balloons.

my childrens senses of humor.

the smell of mountain air.

my husband's arms around me while I sleep.
Feel free to add to or make your own list in the comments. This could be fun.