June 12, 2012
EXPECTATIONS 

I fell in love with Crepe Myrtle trees While visiting my daughters a few years ago in Alabama. They are beautiful trees that flower in late spring and summer and sometimes into the fall with purple, pink or white blossoms. Upon returning to Florida I saw them everywhere. How could I have missed them before? I immediately bought a beautiful flowering crepe myrtle. It was August and the tree was in full bloom. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Much to my disappointment, late fall came and it lost it’s blossoms and even it’s leaves! I had not checked and did not know Crepe Myrtles were deciduous!

This year I waited and waited for the blossoms to appear. Leaves grew but no blossoms. Each day I studied the tree. To my disappointment, no blossoms. I looked at neighbors trees and they had blossoms. What was wrong with mine? I had a right to expect blossoms, didn't I? Don't we all think we have a right to expect what we expect? It suddenly occurred to me that I was living each one of those moments with

disappointment. Disappointment I was creating for myself. Instead of enjoying the new leaves, the lush color, the new growth, all I did was feel bad that there were no blossoms.

This reminded me of a time long ago when I was just beginning to be published. I would go into bookstores to see if they carried my books. When they did I would be filled with excitement and feel high. If they didn’t I would feel down. Evenetually I was smart enough to stop checking. I must admit I still look on Amazon on occasion to see the latest ratings on my newest book.

Expectations can lead to disappointments. A sure formula for suffering.

May 17, 2012
Top five regrets of the dying 
A nurse has recorded the most common regrets of the dying, and among the top ones is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. What would your biggest regret be if this was your last day of life?

A palliative nurse has recorded the top five regrets of the dying.

There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. 

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware: 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it." 2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of themen I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence." 3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result." 4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying." 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again." What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

May 1, 2012
As I was preparing for our WOMEN'S SPIRITUAL RETREAT in DC, I came accross these pages in my book LIVING LIGHT AS A FEATHER and couldn't wait to share them with you!

Lifting Our Thoughts 
From LIVING LIGHT AS A FEATHER

One beautiful way of lifting our thoughts to a higher level and thus raising our energy is to tap into a stored memory of joy, love or self-confidence. It takes only a few moments to make this happen.

Choose a time when you felt full of joy, love or self-confidence. You can choose another high-energy feeling if you wish. Close your eyes for a few minutes and picture how you felt at that time. Remember it with all your senses. As you breathe in and out, feel that experience all through your body.

The HeartMath Institute  suggests that you place your hand over your heart during this exercise. After a few minutes, you can open your eyes. Practice this a few times to establish this memory within you.

When you feel yourself filling with emotions like fear or anger, place your hand over your heart and watch how the negative feelings are replaced by feelings of joy and love. Remember that everything begins with a thought. A thought of fear leads to a feeling of fear. A thought of resentment leads to feelings of anger. When you become willing to get out of your head and come from your heart, your feelings change to loving feelings.

John Grassi, a teacher I had in graduate school, told me a wonderful story to illustrate this. At recess one day, two young students were getting ready to have a fight. A girl caught the attention of one of the boys and put her hand over her heart to remind him to come from his heart. In turn, that boy put his hand over his heart and stopped acting out his anger. The second boy saw this gesture, put his hand over his heart-and the fight was over.

It is such a simple exercise but it works every time we have the willingness to change.

Neale Donald Walsh writes, "The Highest Thought is the thought which contains joy. The Clearest Words are those that contain truth. The Grandest Feeling is that which you call love. Joy, truth and love. These three are interchangeable, and one always leads to the other. It matters not in which order they are placed."

What are you holding on to that keeps you from feeling joy

Guided Imagery for Healing

Here is a guided imagery that can help connect you with a higher frequency of energy for faster healing:

Imagine that you have a cord connected from the top of your head reaching up to all the energies of the universe. You can feel it vibrating. See a glow of light all around you, expanding wider and wider until all you see is light.Feel it vibrating as you sit in the center of all this energy. Feel your entire body alive and connected to this higher frequency. Feel yourself surrounded by love. In this powerful place, say to yourself, All the energies of the universe are healing my body today. See this manifesting. Know this is a reality.

Now give thanks for the manifestation of this affirmation.

¬2004. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Living Light as a Feather byRuth Fishel.  
In process
Well, the latest on the Missy (old name), Dusty (new name which she doesn't respond to (dog story for those who are new)...saga.
She came to us over weight, depressed and old. We have kept her on a diet, given her lots of love, brought her to the vet to have a growth removed from her back and from her eye...
and now she is chasing Feather, our cat!!!
What a turn around in 3 weeks!
Dusty is still old and over weight...but she sure isn't depressed!
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!!!!!
Happy Holidays to all!

12/14/2011
BREATHE

One day last week I found myself so busy my mind was racing. In an attempt to do something new in my computer, something I barely understood, I had become frustrated, anxious and upset. I was rushing because I had a meeting to attend and, while taking a shower, I had one of those incredible AHA moments I would like to share with you.

I thought of what I would do to relax many years ago and I knew I would pour myself a drink.
I don't drink anymore.
In the years after I stopped drinking, I would have a cigarette.
I don't smoke any more.
I would have a cup of coffee.
I no longer drink coffee.

Today I BREATHE. I took a few long, slow, deep breaths and felt myself immediately relaxing. I smiled. Actually, I grinned.

A few breaths and I was calm. I had the ability to become calm at any and every moment.
No longer did I have to reach out for anything outside of myself. I had what I needed inside me.
What a moment! What a gratitude moment!


12/1 A PAGE FROM MY BOOK LIVING LIGHT AS A FEATHER


Lifting Our Thoughts
One beautiful way of lifting our thoughts to a higher level and thus raising our energy is to tap into a stored memory of joy, love or self-confidence. It takes only a few moments to make this happen.

Choose a time when you felt full of joy, love or self-confidence. You can choose another high-energy feeling if you wish. Close your eyes for a few minutes and picture how you felt at that time. Remember it with all your senses. As you breathe in and out, feel that experience all through your body.

The HeartMath Institute suggests that you place your hand over your heart during this exercise. After a few minutes, you can open your eyes. Practice this a few times to establish this memory within you.

When you feel yourself filling with emotions like fear or anger, place your hand over your heart and watch how the negative feelings are replaced by feelings of joy and love. Remember that everything begins with a thought. A thought of fear leads to a feeling of fear. A thought of resentment leads to feelings of anger. When you become willing to get out of your head and come from your heart, your feelings change to loving feelings.

John Grassi, a teacher I had in graduate school, told me a wonderful story to illustrate this. At recess one day, two young students were getting ready to have a fight. A girl caught the attention of one of the boys and put her hand over her heart to remind him to come from his heart. In turn, that boy put his hand over his heart and stopped acting out his anger. The second boy saw this gesture, put his hand over his heart-and the fight was over.

It is such a simple exercise but it works every time we have the willingness to change.

Neale Donald Walsh writes, "The Highest Thought is the thought which contains joy. The Clearest Words are those that contain truth. The Grandest Feeling is that which you call love. Joy, truth and love. These three are interchangeable, and one always leads to the other. It matters not in which order they are placed."

Here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help you begin the Heart-Lightening Process. Take plenty of time and remember, there are no right or wrong answers:

Can you see where you fit on the energy scale?
What are you holding on to that keeps you from moving up to the next level?
What are your obstacles to finding your higher purpose at this time of your life?
What interferes with you knowing God?
What blocks you from experiencing a light heart?
What blocks you from reaching a higher state of consciousness?
What are you holding on to that keeps you from feeling joy

Guided Imagery for Healing

Here is a guided imagery that can help connect you with a higher frequency of energy for faster healing:

Imagine that you have a cord connected from the top of your head reaching up to all the energies of the universe. You can feel it vibrating. See a glow of light all around you, expanding wider and wider until all you see is light. Feel it vibrating as you sit in the center of all this energy. Feel your entire body alive and connected to this higher frequency. Feel yourself surrounded by love. In this powerful place, say to yourself, All the energies of the universe are healing my body today. See this manifesting. Know this is a reality.

Now give thanks for the manifestation of this affirmation.

Shanti Iva  an 8th century prince wrote a beautiful poem  titled The Way of the Bodhisattva.
Bodhi means AWAKE. A Bodhisattva is a person within an awakened heart who wants to help end all suffering in the world. What a wonderful aspiration!
He ends his long poem with the following verse:

     And now as long as space endures
     As long as there is beings to be found,
     May I continue likewise to remain
     To drive away the sorrows of the world.

When I chose to be a join   Naht Hahn's Order of Interbeing, this was my aspiration, to heal my own suffering and to help everyone heal their suffering as best I could.

This page contains inspirational messages for you to enjoy. Some I have written, some are from other authors who have inspired me and I would like to share them with you. I hope you enjoy!


i'LL UP DATE THIS SOON


DEC11
I really didn't want to go to the gym today. 
I was tired, and my sciatoca and hip hurt.
But I knew it would be good for me.
And I stilldidn't want to go.
But I drove there anyway.
I didn't want to go in so I sat in the car for a while.
I knew it would be good for me.
I knew I needed it.
But I sat.
Finally I dragged myself out of the car.
The air felt good.
I walked over to the gym
and someone was on my favorite bike.
I used one I didn't like for a while.
The TV on the available tread mills would let me change there stations.
I used it anyway for a while.
I did the 3 other machines that were good for my knee replacement
and one that helped my back
and left.
I'm sure I walked taller as I walked to the car.
I was smiling/
I felt great.

Where are you holding back, resisting, staying stuck?
What's keeping you from walking taller and smiling today?

ourself today?

Inspirational Blogging

Spirithaven

July 9, 2012
WHY I BECAME A BUDDHIST 
Many people have asked me why I became a Buddhist. To be honest, if you told me I would do this ten or twenty years ago, I would e Jewish faith but haven’t practiced this religion since I was a kid. And then over the years I became an agnostic.

Finally, disaster hit. After a great deal of pain and suffering from the disease of alcoholism, I found a self-help program and was able to find sobriety. Because the main purpose was to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety, With gratitude for a new purpose, I became deeply committed to helping other people recover as well.

My spiritual search led to meditating daily and reading countless books, I found myself strongly attracted to the writings and teachings of Buddhism and tp author and meditation teacher Thich Nahn Hanh. While attending a retreat with him I heard him say the simple words: "our purpose is to stop our own suffering and to help stop the suffering of everyone." His words resonated in my heart. An indescribable feeling of peace poured over me. Everything around me disappeared and I was only aware of these words and the meaning they had in my life. I knew I was on a new, yet parallel path, and that I while I would continue to help people suffering from of alcoholism, I now would reach out to help anyone I could through the teachings of Thich Naht Hanh and Buddhism.

After four years of studying, I had the privilege of being ordained into Thich Nahn Hanh’s Order of Interbeing in August, 2009. It has been a perfect fit.

11/24/11
THE POWER OF AFFIRMATIONS...A NEW TWIST
I want to share a recent experience on my gratitide.

As many of you know, I wrote CHANGE ALMOST ANYTHING IN 21 DAYS, a book on a new way to do affirmations. It has worked for many people as well as for me! Up until now I have recommended beginning an affirmation with

God is guiding me...
Or
God gives me all the energy I need to...
Or
It feels so good to be "a daily meditator" for example.
I recently discovered an addition to this that is very helpful:
God is guiding me and I am doing the footwork to...
Here’s what happened to me!!!!

HOW THE STEPS CAN HELP US IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS

I recently had an incredible experience on the workings of the 12 steps in all our affairs. I’m a firm believer in affirmations. When my new book was published I began writing an affirmation to promote it:

God it guiding me and I am doing the footwork to do everything I can to make WRINKLES DON’T HURT a best seller.

After I wrote this my head was spinning. I was suddenly bombarded with ideas. I began furiously writing a to do list and could hardly keep up with what was going on in my brain. I kept adding to my list.

I asked God for help.

I turned it over.

How was I ever going to get this all done? I knew I had to work on each project separately. At the top of the page I wrote

EASY DOES IT
ONE THING AT A TIME
ONE DAY AT A TIME
BREATHE


I added more ideas as they came to me and felt so much better. I had put it all on paper and did the 11th step, where I sought my answer through prayer and mediation. I also saw that I had done that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd step were involved. I saw that was was powerless over my mind and my anxiety. I felt insane. I knew that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. And I had turned my will and my life over to the care of God.

Ahhh...peace. Ahh...Gratitude.

9/8/11 POINTING THE FINGER AT ME.    THE CHAIR IN MY ROOM SOMETIMES SCREAMS AT ME. There's an old saying that says when something bothers you about someone else, take a good look at yourself and see if you nave the same characteristics. My partner has the habit of sometimes leaving her clothes on the chair in our bedroom. It really annoys me. The chair is right across from our bed. Every morning I usually spend at least an hour reading and meditating and sometimes writing, as I am right now. When I look up I see The Chair stacked with sone pillows and yesterday's clothes.

I often want to say something to her. Other times I want to clean it up myself, it bothers me so much. Yet sometime ago I was introduced to another saying about cleaning up my side of the street. So I glance at the bureau and see everything I took from my pockets from the night before. And if I am truthful, the night before that and the night before that on many occasion. And I look at my night stand piled high with books. So I can't say anything until I clean up the top of my bureau and night stand. And then I think of my desk, with papers everywhere. In my mind I can see the floor next to my desk with a pile or two there as well, separated so I won't lose them in the mess above on my desk. I can't say anything until I clean up my office. And then, of course, there is the closet. And how about the couch in my office, where I put the mail when I am "too busy" to open it? The weeds in the garden? It will be a long time before I can say anything about the chair! (This blog is being made public with the permission from my partner, who is really being a very good sport!)

9/13/11 THE GIFT OF MINDFULNESS

I filled up my gas tank at Walmart ths morning, using my Walmart credit card. The advertised price of gas was $3.48 but, since I was using my Walmart card, I was supposed to get a .03 discount per gallon. However, the receipt said I was charged the regular price. I could feel anger rising in me as my mind raced around the conversation I would have when I called Walmart to complain when I arrived home. I could actually feel my body tighten and my breathing become faster and shorter. And then it hit me...look what I was doing to myself over $.30, the amount I would have saved if the discount had been there. I laughed as I felt my body relax, my breathing get back to normal and my mind quiet down. If I hadn’’t been mindfully aware, I might have stayed in that mood for hours until I made a very angry telephone call to Walmart. As it turned out, it showed me, once again, the wonderful blessing that mindfullness offers. Since it is so easy to get upset over the slightest disappointment, no wonder we have so much violence and so many wars!

9/1/11 A WONDERFUL WAY OF LIFE

In order to be ordained into the Order of Interbeing, a Buddhist order created by world renown author and meditation teacher Thich Naht Hanh, one has to study and take a vow to practice the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. This is one of the trainings I would like to share with you as it is a wonderful way of life for all of us!
 
The Seventh Mindfulness Training: Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment  Aware that life is available only in the present moment and that it is possible to live happily in the here and now, we are committed to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life. We will try not to lose ourselves in dispersion or be carried away by regrets about the past, worries about the future, or craving, anger, or jealousy in the present. We will practice mindful breathing to come back to what is happening in the present moment. We are determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing, and healing elements that are inside and around us, and by nourishing seeds of joy, peace, love, and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing in our consciousness.