Nourishing the Humanity Body

I like to discover the world through mental games. It allows imagination to take the lead, and with imagination as your guide, there are no limits to what you can discover. One of the games I like to play is based on fractals - looking for similarities on vastly different scales, like the way a solar system is very much like an enormous atom.

While playing this game recently, I focused on a cell, like a blood cell, which travels through the body delivering nutrients where needed. The cells collect oxygen and nutrients, which they then carry throughout the body, distributing nourishment to keep us alive and healthy. Without these helpful little postman cells, we couldn’t exist. Pretty incredible when you think about it, but nothing that we don’t already know.

The fun comes with the realization that we humans are a fractal version of cells. We collect information and carry energy, every moment of every day. As we move about and interact with our world, we have the ability to share this energy and information to nourish the environment around us. Each of us has a unique combination of ‘vitamins’ and ‘minerals’ that we can offer those around us. And every place we go, we have the opportunity to collect new and different items to nourish others on our travels. 

Now, a blood cell doesn’t have to think about what it does; it just flows. It is the same for us. When we allow ourselves to collect ‘nourishment’ and flow through our daily routines naturally and from a place of patience and love, we will automatically share what we have with others. We ourselves will be fulfilled and nourished in the process, allowing us to continue to nourish others.

What we share affects our environment. If we share love and joy, we lift and heal our environment, and that environment opens up and shares love and joy with us. If we spread fear and negativity, it is the equivalent of spreading an infection. The larger body (in this case, our neighborhoods and civilisation), will have to react to defend itself, shutting out the offending cells. Think about those times when you just haven’t had the energy to call back a friend who always brings you down. This is a natural defence mechanism.

So how do we ensure that we can nourish the larger body? We start by making sure we are collecting the proper ‘nutrients’. Take time to regularly fill yourself with joy and thanks for the wonders in your life. Recognize all that is good in your daily routine - the moments of sunshine, the breaths of fresh air, the friendly greetings you can exchange with people in shops or on the street. These little moments can energize and recharge you in your mission to feel happier and share that happiness with others.

Imagine that happy energy emanating from you, infusing the air all around you. Anyone who passes nearby will be touched and affected by your energy, whether it is light and cheery, or calming and strengthening, and they will feel nourished by it. They most likely won’t realize what is happening, but chances are they will pass some of that nourishment on to the next people they meet.

Want to try it out for yourself? Next time you are in a shop, notice how the person behind the counter interacts with the customer ahead of you. When it is your turn, try to nourish the checker. Share your joy with them, let it flow and grow until you can see they have been nourished by it. Then, don’t rush out of the store immediately, take a moment to see how the checker greets the person behind you, and how they respond. See how often you can lift people in this way in your daily life.

How To Share Your Wisdom With Others

The experience of feeling joy in every moment is incredible, as many of you will know. Living in a state of thankful appreciation for the miraculous beauty of the world is an amazing sensation. Understanding your connection with all things to the point that wherever you look, you see a part of you, is inspiring.

People who experience these moments naturally want to share them with others. We want others to live in a state of love and joy, as we know that it multiplies exponentially when shared.

Yet, once we see the world this way, many of us feel alone and alienated from the people around us. We try to tell them about the wonders of our universe, but many of them raise walls, trying to protect themselves from our ‘eccentric’ views.

This leads to frustration, as though we are on a roller coaster that is ready to take off on an exciting and unknown ride, and we’ve stopped just short of the top of the first big hill. We’re stuck there, straining to move ahead, willing the ride to get going. Sometimes we might feel almost overwhelmed by the grinding combination of joyful understanding and exasperation over the hold-ups. We want everyone to lean in together to get the ride moving, and don’t understand why they won’t even consider it as an option.

I know it is difficult, but we cannot push things before their time. We have to travel the paths we have chosen. There are no short cuts, despite the fact that we know where we will end up. 

It is like trying to have a conversation with a friend, in which you know what they are going to say the whole way through your chat, right to the last word. It might be difficult to stay in the moment, and not jump right to the end of your discussion, but you have to stay calm, supportive and patient. Think of how your friend would feel if you talked over him, and told him you already knew everything he was going to say, so there was no point him saying it? 

Just because you see where it is going, doesn’t mean that you can speed everyone else through it. They need to have their own experiences in order to grow and fully understand. So we need to be patient. We need to put our information out there, and trust that when people are ready, they will find it, and they will be experienced enough - awake enough - to understand it.

Trying to wake people up before they are ready is like trying to rush a stuttering child. You know it is not helpful to speak the words for the struggling child; saying the words might help you, but it doesn’t help the child feel her own sense of expression. You certainly don’t get upset with her that the thoughts are not yet able to flow freely. You understand that if you did, everyone would just get upset, tense up, and close themselves down to the natural flow of possibilities. But many people who live in a state of joy don’t consider that this is exactly what happens when we try to force our understanding on others. 

It may be true that you will reach a larger audience by shouting through a megaphone, but you will reach a more receptive one if you whisper. 

I have met a great number of spiritual people who are so touched by their love for the world that they want to share it in all its brilliance with everyone they see. These spiritual people are often then shocked to find that the people around them shy away and seem guarded. Some of them have told me that they let their light shine brightly, so everyone can see it, and if people like it, they like it; if not, that’s their problem.

While I appreciate and understand their views, and want them to continue to do what they feel is right for them, I have found a way that works better for me.

Imagine you have just stepped out of a dark movie theater into the brilliance of a mid-summer afternoon. The brightness of the sunshine is likely to make you reach for your sunglasses, to shield you from the strength of that light. However, if you approach the exit slowly, allowing your eyes time to adjust, you can step straight out and take in the full glory of the light.

It isn’t just people who react in this manner to a sudden onslaught of energy. If you walk directly at a stray cat it will run, and if you run after a butterfly will flutter away. But when approached gently, and offered time to adapt, the cat and the butterfly will climb on to you, wanting to be close to the love you have to offer. This is a real world experience that I have been sharing with my children. They and their friends watch in amazement every summer as animals come to me, and butterflies climb onto my open hands, sitting on my arms, stomach and shoulders while I work in the garden.

If this approach can work with butterflies, it can surely work with people. 

So let people see that you are gentle, loving and safe. Let them enjoy your beauty from a comfortable distance, and when they are ready, share some of your vast wisdom with them, a little at a time. Think of it as a process of slowly, gently, birthing a new soul into your world. Don’t try to rush it, no matter how excited you might be to look into the eyes of a newly awakened being.

Shaping Your Reflection

People rarely realize it, but we all possess an incredible power: the power of reflection.

I don’t mean this in the sense that we can think back over our pasts and consider our choices. I mean, we can bounce back anything that comes our way, like a game of energy tennis.

In our default state, humans are essentially emotional mirrors; we take on - and reflect back - whatever is sent our way. But we are not simple objects — we thankfully have a choice of what to reflect and what to deflect, and with a bit of practice we can make reflecting or deflecting the appropriate emotions a routine habit.

From the time we are babies we learn to automatically reflect back the emotional energy that comes our way, imitating the facial expressions of those around us, and learning to ‘feel’ what they are feeling. This is an important part of understanding the world around us and coming to terms with our effect on those we care about. If we didn’t feel joy when our parents smiled and cooed, we wouldn’t understand the joy they feel when we smile and cuddle them.

In fact, we learn to effortlessly bounce all feelings and expressions right back. Have you ever found yourself laughing uncontrollably with a friend? When positive energy is fed into the cycle, your reflections can lead to an incredible circle of joy and compassion.

There’s a hazard, though. In the physical world, you would choose to dodge if someone lobbed something particularly nasty at you, but our natural tendency is to ‘catch’ and return negative energy to where it came from.

This can lead to an escalation of anger and frustration, as we have probably all seen in our own lives and in news stories of unchecked anger.

As with many things in life, the first step towards betterment comes with awareness. Once we realize that we have the power to reflect - and the power to deflect - we can choose what to amplify and what to dispel.

We can stay strong in the face of negativity, knowing that what comes our way doesn’t have to become our own. We can instead choose to deflect any nastiness, letting it slip neatly past us without any effect, and consciously send back understanding, love and acceptance, because, when it comes down to it, that is what everyone ultimately wants to feel.

Time Management + Awareness = Happiness

While trying to be a good mother, sometimes I am forced to realize truths which I would ignore if I were just taking care of myself.

One such truth I’ve shared with my daughters often - very often - recently is: True happiness comes when you are doing what you are meant to be doing in each moment.

That doesn’t mean that every moment is fun - it just means that it is right.

If you spend your day thinking ahead to something that will need your attention later, you are not living your life at all, but floating inattentively into your future without enjoying the trip, while building up a nagging stress within your own self as you put off tasks for later.

If your mind keeps drifting off to some other task, you need to ask yourself, is that something that you should really be doing now, instead? If you can do it and get it out of the way, you will feel freer to continue your next task, and the nagging sensation will disappear, leaving room for an energizing sense of accomplishment.

And, along the more obvious line of not-doing-what-you’re-supposed-to, while it might seem like more fun to spend a couple of hours reading or playing games, as my older daughter likes to do, when it comes time for school and her homework isn’t done, stress and regret are immediate reactions to her poor time management. In the end, the fun and relaxation she enjoyed is cancelled out by the worry over wasted time.

Children aren’t the only ones who fall prey to this trap, of course. Adults will happily spend time putting off what they should be doing, and then rushing, chastising and demeaning themselves for not being more organized later on. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t done this.

But, if homework is done when it should be, the taxes are sorted ahead of the deadline, and the dishes are put away after cleaning, life moves more smoothly.

Not to say we should constantly push ourselves to get things done. Our bodies need care and attention, just as much as taxes and dishes do, so when we feel the need to rest and recharge, that is what needs doing in that moment. You don’t want to live a Burnt Toast Life!

Listen to your body, listen to your brain, give in when it nags you to do something. Do what needs doing, when it needs your attention, and watch stress evaporate, making room for peace and happiness in your life.

Reawaken Your Magic Vision

When travelling as a child, I used to stare out the car window, across the fields and woods, and imagine a magical world awaited, just out of sight, beyond the hills. Somewhere in one of those valleys lived a happy society, where rainbows shone and sunlight sparkled, and people never stopped smiling.

As my husband and I were heading home from a recent trip to Munich, we were lucky enough to be travelling on the beautiful country lanes in England right at sunset. The sky glowed pink, and fluffy clouds loitered about waiting for imaginative minds to mold them into familiar shapes. I looked at the trees forming asymmetric tunnels through which our car passed; it was all so perfectly beautiful, and I thought, if this were a movie, we would be entering a magical world right now. Everything would be sparkling and the colors would be impossibly bright.

Then I thought, ‘Why am I making less of this beauty just because I am seeing with my own eyes, and not as delivered to me by Hollywood?’ I realized that the moment, and the place, were magic minus Hollywood lighting, and suddenly the world became even more incredible.

We take real moments that can move us so much in a movie – like a bird flying high over a plain – and virtually ignore it in our daily lives. Take moments like that, and turn them into magic. Read something special into them. Pretend that they are your own movie, and let yourself be enchanted.

And here is a fun travelling game to keep kids (or kids-at-heart) entertained on journeys:

As you travel, imagine what mythical or fairy tale creatures might live in the various locations. Does the cluster of trees ahead look like a scene out of Hansel and Gretel, or could you imagine fairies playing amidst the branches? Could there be a unicorn hiding behind those bushes? Is the plain out your window more suited to a Pegasus or a dragon? Try out different creatures, and enjoy the enchanting world in which we live.

Who Are You?

How do you describe yourself?

Once, I was a dancer. Ballet was what I did, and a dancer was who I was. When I met someone new, and they wanted to know who I was, I simply said I was a ballet dancer, and then they knew. When I stopped dancing, I no longer knew what to tell people, and I felt as though I had turned my back on who I was – If I wasn’t a dancer, then who was I??

My self-worth plummeted. And then I became a mother. Taking care of my children was what I did, so I was a mother. Finally, I had an identity again!

But, did I really change? Just because I wasn’t studying dance and performing, did that mean I lost all that I had learned? Did I change the way I interacted with people after becoming a mother? Did I care any less or any more about the people around me?

Although the way I spend my time has changed over the years, and with this, my “titles”, I am still the same person. So why did I feel the need for a title?

If you sign up at sites like Facebook and Gaia, they ask you to describe yourself so that other members can get a feel for who you are. For some reason, when reaching these types of sections, I could not bring myself to put together any group of words that describes me. Any time I tried to put together a description, the words became invisible cages, confining me in a ‘personality pod’. I felt claustrophobic, and limited in what I could do, or how I could act, based on those words.

Once, the titles of ‘dancer’ and ‘mother’ gave me a sense of security in who I was. Now those titles are as a confining as a pair of shoes two sizes too small.

My husband is currently going through the same ‘title’ crisis in his life. He no longer works as a programmer, and is at a loss for what to call himself. As we are in a time of reinvention, a time when people are finding the paths they are meant to take, I am sure there are many, many others currently going through this.

So, if you are one of those people, struggling to figure out who you are in this time of transformation, try to keep this in mind:

If you can describe yourself with labels, you are not letting yourself be free. Stop fencing yourself in with verbal barriers. Let go of the words we use to enclose our beings, and just be you.

The Thought That Counts

I have previously touched on manifestation, and how dangerous it can be when used carelessly. Just as we can create the lives we dream of, we can also create nightmares. Imagine then, if citizens of entire countries used their thoughts without knowledge of what they were doing. Actually, we don’t really have to imagine.

I remember a lot of grumbling around call centers being set up by companies in India between 2004 and 2006. People in many english-speaking countries felt bitter about firms using cheap labor in a land so far away. They wanted to know they were speaking to someone nearby. I was surprised at the truly angry stance many people took over this issue. There was an incredible amount of negative tension in the air, all directed towards India.

Then came the tsunami.

China has been the target of quite a number of Negativity Attacks in recent years. From numerous, well-publicized product recalls to a general sense that people in the U.S. need to be vigilant against a potential conquest of China over America, the level of negativity directed at that country seems to stay at a pretty high level. Natural disasters there are hitting regularly, too.

And, not to forget the U.S. – World sentiment toward America during the time of the Bush administration was, well, less than glowing. No one can forget Katrina. Mother Nature has gone on a rampage of destruction, and now the country is in financial ruins.

Could all of this be coincidence? Of course. But, having had plenty of experience accidentally creating negative incidents myself, it seems wise to send positive thoughts, rather than negative. Think of it as the next level of the old adage:

If you can’t say/think something nice, don’t say/think anything at all.

Why should I help?

Several years ago I overheard two young women who were reading a magazine article on 10 tips for a happier life ask each other about one of the tips on the list:

‘Help someone you don’t know, who you will never see again.’

“Why would anyone want to do that?” they asked each other. They truly could not comprehend how that could bring them any kind of happiness. (This conversation is actually my main reason for starting Look To The Stars, as I knew that if Madonna had walked in at that moment and explained how helping others made her feel, they would have become instant philanthropists. But I digress…)

I recently read about a deer that wandered into a pet store in Rossford, Ohio. The deer was injured, and somehow managed to make it into a PetSmart, where it lay bleeding on the floor. The animal calmly allowed the shop’s veterinary staff to stitch up the wound and administer an antibiotic shot, then ran out of the shop and back into the wild.

Naturally, one wonders how the deer happened to choose a shop with a veterinary staff, but what sticks with me from the story is how the vet and assisting shop employees must have felt afterwards. Can you imagine their joy at helping that deer? Imagine if you could do something like this every day, even on a small scale.

The deer didn’t pay them, and didn’t even say thank you. They will never get anything back from the deer. But they helped it anyway, and now, when they walk past the spot where they saved the life of that wild animal, they will remember that joy. And they will not be the only ones. Many of the people who go into that shop will feel some of that joy, as well. I can feel that joy even from here, on the other side of the world.

This unusual act of helping the needy has brought an immeasurable amount of love and awe to people all around the world.

So, tell me now, why shouldn’t you help?

How To Love Your Body

Everyone knows one of the tips for a happy life is to love your own body, but it seems the first thoughts that come to mind when told to love your body are always “Have you SEEN these wrinkles??” or “But look at these HIPS!”

No one ever really goes into the details of how you are supposed to love all those imperfections, so many people just end up pretending that they can accept themselves as they are, and therefore just pretend to love their bodies.

But really, loving your body does not in any way involve looking at yourself in a mirror, or even thinking about anything visible to the eye.

Take one moment to breathe deeply. Feel your lungs expand in your ribcage. Your diaphragm has just helped you to stay alive.

Now think about your heart. Imagine how it sounds as it is working. This amazing part of your body is sending blood through your veins right now. You are alive because that hard-working heart is sending nutrients and oxygen from your stomach and lungs all the way out to your fingertips.

Look at your fingers. Move them around. They do what you want them to do, they feel things so that you can experience the life that you have chosen to live. They are part of your body, and they exist for you. Your eyes, your nose, your ears, your tongue, are all part of you, and they are all working hard, gathering up as much information about the world as they can – just for you.

There are so many miraculous systems working in you right now. Your body is working all the time, every moment, and you are alive because of it. Doesn’t that deserve your love?

Experiencing and appreciating this magical process is what “loving your body” is all about.

“I Am” Breathing

When I was a child I used to lie in bed at night and meditate. This led to some really amazing, insightful moments and dreams, and, much as dancing at a young age will set a child up for grace and ease throughout her life, the meditations created centered awareness of who I am and a clarity of thought which have stayed with me.

Sadly, at this point in my life, I don’t manage to take as much time to contemplate myself and the universe as much as I did then. But, I do practice a method of breathing and meditation which is the spiritual equivalent of riding a bike, you might feel rusty after a long break, but after a moment or two, everything falls nicely into place.

Lying in bed at night, I take a deep breath in and think the words, “I am”. On the exhale, I choose between ‘love’, ‘peace’, and ‘joy’. I repeat the breathing, concentrating on becoming the chosen word until I feel that every atom of my being is love, peace or joy. The more often you do the meditation, the less time it takes to attain this state, and you will notice the feeling will staying with you throughout the day.

These days, I am usually nearly asleep after just one word, but in the past I have moved through all of them, ultimately uniting them together by thinking “I” on the in breath, and “am” on the out. At this point, I notice a light and powerful feeling, which brings mental clarity and good health along with it.

Due to “travels” I have taken in the past during which I have “seen” people in need, I recently added a section onto the end of this meditation. This allows me to drift off to sleep while spreading love, joy and peace. Once I feel the full force of love/joy/peace/I am, I imagine that feeling expanding into a giant blanket and wrapping itself around the planet. The feeling settles warmly around the Earth, and I pay particular attention to areas and people who are in pain and in need of comfort. My thoughts often go specifically to children who are alone and in need, and I picture the blanket wrapping warmly around them, with whispers of love.