Living to Your Fullest Potential
Often we have goals or dreams that we let go of because we have no idea how we would obtain them or worse, we believe we do not deserve them. We discount our abilities and strengths and focus on our weaknesses (or perceived weaknesses) to talk ourselves out of taking the risks that would be needed to achieve what we really want, but desire is where it all begins.
Becoming an author was a dream of mine for over a decade. The interesting part of that dream was when the desire first came to me I had no idea what the content would be, what my message would be or how I would ever get a publishing deal. This is one of the first lessons in the power of desire.
All you need to put a dream into motion is a deep-rooted desire. Once you have that desire and set the energy in motion, then you must have the faith that life will give you the experiences, lessons and people to move forward in the direction to achieving your goals.
Next, you must commit to the work of the journey with unwavering determination and perseverance. The journey itself provides you with many new goals and achievements along with failures, many of which you never could have predicted, but are very important as part of your process.
One other extremely important part of the equation is gratitude. I believe that gratitude is the emotion that brings depth into the journey; gives it real purpose. Being grateful for the good times and the lessons learned in the bad times gives meaning to whatever it is you are doing. It is an emotion that fuels your spirit and creates internal happiness.
As the new year approaches we begin to reflect on the past year’s events and make new plans and goals for the future; both personally and professionally. Know that you truly have the power to create the life you choose. No matter where you are today, you constantly have choices to determine how your future can be.
As you begin 2011, challenge yourself to not just set goals like “join the gym” or “be more organized” but additionally challenge yourself to reflect on what your purpose is, what you would like your legacy to be and commit to taking action steps to move closer toward those visions everyday. Even if you don’t know how to “get to where you want to go”, gaining clarity and desire in your vision and maintaining gratitude will perpetuate better circumstances in your life along with incredible people who will be your teachers along your journey.
Know your worth and know that choosing to strive to live to your fullest human potential is how you create the most abundant intrinsic happiness that will radiate and positively affect the world around you.
John Of God Healed Me…I Think
I only learned about the big spiritual macha John of God a few weeks ago from an online radio show hosted by Dr. Wayne Dyer. People from all over the world travel to Brazil to find themselves in his presence. He heals the sick, the blind, the old and dying — and apparently a few neurotic chicks like me.
He and his spirit guides do these “interventions” which are spiritual operations. They go into your body and repair what needs to be fixed. Then, seven days after your “surgery,” they visit you in the night and remove your stitches. Sounded wild enough that I had to try it.
So last week I drove myself to Omega and found myself in a huge tent filled with what seemed like a couple thousand people. Only, I didn’t get the “Wear All White” memo, because I was the only one dressed in black. They told me afterwards that John of God sees your energy better in white. Oops!
We were told to meditate in the tent until we were called to pass by John of God. That was a bit hard — I was distracted by all the many faces around me: The young children with shaved heads who had cancer, the ladies who seemed too young to be using walkers, the young boys shrieking from their Tourette’s and the regular spiritual seekers who could use some peace of mind like me.
Finally row by row we were sent in to pass by John of God. I walked into a room and saw an older man sitting in a peaceful, dream-like state, accompanied by men and women acting as ushers and translators. I noticed that he spotted me from down the room. Maybe it was my bright green sweatshirt? Or was he just a big spiritual flirt?
I finally walked in front of him and put out my hand and smile again. He told the ladies next him in Portuguese to have me sit in the room in front of him and to order me up a spiritual intervention at 2pm. Just what I needed?
After lunch I returned back for my healing. Again, I was led in a big line to a room and asked to close my eyes. Only this time I felt a deep force or energy around me. When I opened my eyes, they actually stung a bit — though I wasn’t scared. I just sat still. Then a woman told us to put our right hand over our heart and think about all things we wanted healed. Oh brother, here I go.
I thought, “Give me patience, keep me kind and loving, find any problems in my body and fix them, oh and can you make my PMS go away?” After about 5-10 minutes John of God walked in, recited a prayer and said that we had concluded the healing. The room felt intense and I wondered what I had done to my body.
The experience with John of God was pretty exciting. I’m glad I tried something new and opened myself up to some intense positive energy! But I know the real healing and answers still have to come from inside me. As great as John of God is, my true nature is more powerful. Then again, let’s see how I feel after the stitches come out!
About the author
Ilana Arazie is a documentary filmmaker, video producer and blogger. She blogs weekly at her own DowntownDharma.com, which is featured on The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. Arazie is known for keeping a video camera on her person at all times – sometimes in the strangest places – in order to capture footage for her syndicated inquisitive video series, Downtown Diary. Her stories have been featured on the Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Travel Channel, Gawker, Yahoo and other media outlets. She lives in peace in NYC.
In The Kitchen: A Grape Grows Up
We’ve seen deep, rich purples across the board this season - from the runway to the kitchen table to home design. Taking advantage of the final harvest of concord grapes the other week (my mini food obsession this fall), I wanted to make these tiny jewels of sweetness last a little longer. The result, a concord grape reduction with its concentrated flavor that reminds me a bit of my childhood, sipping mini glasses of Welch’s concord grape juice. All grown up without any of the extra added sugar (those grapes are so wonderfully sweet, you really don’t need any).
Toss a bunch of grapes into a small saucepan with a bit of water and simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Pour the juices and grapes through a sieve and strain well to obtain excess juices. Toss the seeds and skins and you’re done. Pretty pure and simple. I updated my morning Maple Hill plain yogurt and 18 Rabbits granola with a drizzle of the reduction. A few other ideas…a decadent, fruit-forward sauce to compliment duck breast or roasted chicken; a low-sugar syrup drizzled over hearty buckwheat pancakes; crostini toasts topped with fresh ricotta, crushed toasted hazelnuts and a swirl of concord grape reduction. Until next year…
Redesign Your Life
I was speaking with a client the other day, and she was overwhelmed. She said she comes home from work, and her mind is still racing with news headlines, work overload, and day-to-day tasks. Simply put, she could not relax. I’m sure you can relate!! I think every one of us, no matter what phase of life we are in, is busy with lots to do and lots on our minds! Whether working inside or outside of the home, with children or without, married, single, man, woman, busyness has become standard in the fast-paced, always connected world we’re in!
Believe it or not, busyness can be fun, too, if you learn to embrace it, and find your own sense of balance! Since we spend so much time at home, positive energy and balance can easily begin there, just by creating your ideal living space to fit your budget. Being positive will open the door to amazing things, so follow these simple tips to “redesign” your life!!
Set the Stage First things first, go through your surroundings and take inventory! Is there a room that you aren’t crazy about? wallpaper that’s screaming 2 decades ago? a light bulb that just doesn’t seem bright enough, or maybe a bit too bright? It doesn’t cost much to slap on a coat of paint, or replace bulbs and batteries for a fresh, updated look, and you’ll feel so much better! And, if design isn’t your thing, flip through a magazine to find a picture if a room you’ll love. Recreate the look yourself, and you’ll save tons!
Choose Colors Carefully Keep in mind colors affect us more than we think! Pick colors that are conducive to what you want your space to be. If you want a serene room, stray away from red! Red is an energizer and may even stimulate your appetite! Greens are calming colors, perfect for a spa-inspired setting. Or, if you want a cross between calm and amped up, choose a shade of blue!
Tackle Your To-Do List We all have mental to-do lists, but now’s the time to put it on paper and check it off! Make a list of the things that have been on your mind, like organizing a closet, filing cabinet, or drawer. Tackle the items one by one. Clearing clutter clears your head, too!
Store No More! Our closets, garages, and basements are havens for hidden treasures we may have written off too soon! You can go green and save green by refurbishing old furniture (it’s amazing what furniture treatment and new hardware can do!), using old clothes to cover pillows, pocketbooks, or accent your windows! Get creative, and you can design a whole new space with items you already own!
Organize to Organize If you’re trying to get organized, it may be overwhelming at first. Start simply by getting 3 bins together: “Use, Donate, Shred.”
Items in the “Use” bin should be put to use now! Donate unwanted items by picking an organization of your choice. Many even offer free same-day pick up services, as long as you pick up the phone to call them!! The only items we should be tossing are paper such as non-essential paperwork. Shred private information and recycle it!
Article By Jennifer Tuma-Young