So I was recently feeling the pull towards live foods and instead of just flowing with it from moment to now an a salad, I was trying to put it in a box....oh now I am being guided to a raw food diet. Immediately the thought that I was to regulate or box in or label my in take began to highlight things that I couldn't have, normally wouldn't even want. This false construct I was making with the mind was interfering with my being in the moment with food.

I was chatting with a friend who loves to fast an do raw foods and such and just kept saying, even though I can see the loveliness that it might offer, that it just doesn't feel right to have rules about the food.... DUH!!!

So now I happily embrace. "I eat whatever I want, whenever I want."

Saying that, feeling that, feels really good and freeing.

If I were to say that and in my minds eye see my inner child jump for joy at the prospect of eating anything I wanted or feel fear about food I would use that for my inner clearing process. I don't want my inner child making my food choices. AND there is also a place for nurturing the inner child and creating a relationship with her by offering such treats that I may not have had, part of the "repair work" or undoing process.

This frees us so much food energy exchange with my kids. It is one things to remove external control but to feel it and live it from an authentic place is miraculous indeed.

Is it me?

By taking in The Work of Byron Katie we can begin to see how when we look at our world and the people in it and all of our judgements, we can begin to understand what it is we are creating.

In this video the man could have gone the route of thinking "better" thoughts about his sister or help her fix all of her problems (the problems HE thinks she has), yet using The Work he was able to question his thoughts and see how they were really about himself. You can hear in his words how questioning his thoughts had a physical reaction. He is shifting his internal reality and there will be results outside of himself as a result. He says his sister is already showing up differently in his mind, just by questioning the box he has her in.

The same is true with our children. We think we are responding to the "reality" of who they are. We are in fact creating that reality with our own beliefs. We think by focusing on them and changing things outside, they will be happy, we will be happy. Or that they are the ones with a "problem" that needs fixing. Trust that they are perfect in every way. A gift is this relationship because it allows us to see into ourselves. Anytime you are trying to change something on the outside you are avoiding your own inner work.

Child Spills Milk

When I keep my eye on the prize of peace, obstacles fall to the way side. At other times the obstacles seem permanent and require attention. I personally believe that joyfulness, I can call it peacefulness too, is our natural state of being and it is life's programming that covers up that joy. By holding out my intention for joy, the blocks to that joy will naturally pop up so I can be with them and clear the way.

Where does the programming come from?

Imagine yourself a little computer and the first 7 years of your life are all about setting up your programming of how you will be in the world. The early year experiences of life are going to program you for your later years. Input comes in, is filtered through the program and out "it" comes.

Input....child spills milk...filtered through past experiences of calm and understanding.....
Output....probably calm and understanding.

Input.....child spills milk....filtered through past experiences of upset and blame...
Output....probably anger and blame.

The spilt milk is meaningless, we give it all the meaning it has for us. So if joyfulness is our natural state and I react with "less than" that, it is only due to my programming. The good news is that my response can be deprogrammed and, in my experience, when I deprogram my response, reprogramming is effortless when I am mindful of appreciation and gratitude for all that is.

Inner Peace

Sometimes even our best intentions can lead us astray. In our desire to be happy, chasing rainbows, we just keep spinning our wheels. There is no difference in my ego chasing success in the business game and chasing success in the happiness game. I am still chasing, still seeking external control, still focused on the outcome, looking for things outside myself to fulfill me. When we focus on the outcome we miss the journey. I have found that by embracing everything, everything about my life, I stop pushing and pulling and I am able to allow happiness to unfold. Allowing happiness and peace to guide me feels so much better than seeking happiness and peace.

In Neale Donald Walsch's book "Happier Than God" he states, "Staying positive when surrounded by--even when submerged in--what others might call 'negativity' is easier than you think. The trick is to bring an end to judgement, to 'judge not by appearances.' When you bring an end to judgement you bring an end to an entire way of living. This is no small thing. This is a life changing shift in attitude and behavior. This is a miracle."

I love how he puts quotes around negativity calling attention to the fact that nothing is negative, it is the mind that makes it so. In the past I have often viewed my children fighting as a bad thing. I put lots of judgement around it, labeling their behaviors as good or bad. When I can step back, take a breath and not jump in trying to control them. The mind is so fast. Oh no fighting, that's bad, must stop it. I have been truly amazed at how my children navigate their experiences when I get my agenda, even an agenda for peace, out of the way.

Last night my older son was feeling badly and he started teasing my younger son. My younger son, now feeling badly himself, gave him a kick. This led to a punch. One flopped on the floor in tears and the other ran for cover. It was an interesting thing for me to witness. I sat with the one on the floor and held him. When he was feeling better he ran off to seek his revenge. He chased big brother around the living room with a shoe in hand. I said, "Okay when you are done I'll be in the other room," and I went to my room. I didn't want to participate. I embraced the moment and I trusted that they would work it out. If they wanted help they would ask. I felt very free. Not ten seconds later my youngest came and sat on my bed, shoe still in hand. Could it be possible that my total surrender and acceptance of the moment diffused the war? Could the presence of my own inner Peace have contributed to a cease fire? Works for me.

In the past my desire for Peace when my outer world was in chaos would have had me pull out all my controlling tactics. STOP fighting!! Don't throw that shoe!! Why are you teasing him? Why did you hit him? Definitely adding fuel to the fire. So much easier to accept and appreciate them and myself and then take action from there. My action happened to be leaving the room.

Our own inner work

It is so very important to do our own work. Our childrens' behavior and being is influence by our own unresolved emotionality. They are expressing themselves and our reactions (different from a response, a reaction has historical emotionality in it, a response is free and connected to the moment) to them will either lend to emotional paterning or to a free flowing capacity to be authentic and in the moment.

Honoring Being

In his book "Radical Parenting: Seven Steps To a Functional Family in a Dysfunctional World" Brad Blanton poses the question "What would a family organized around values that honor being, rather than obedience to authority, be like?"

This is something I have as my vision for this life. To honor the being in myself and others, to just let us be! I was watching our beloved cats the other day. What a wonderful life they have. They come and they go. They have a full bowl of food available at all times and fresh water and loads of love. We love them dearly and let them do their thing. Never once a moment of, "Honey, do you think that Moe is sleeping too much?" "Honey, do you think he ate too much?" They come and go as they please. I trust the life that they are.

I had a chat with my husband about that being the kind of life I want for all of us. To come and go as we please. Follow our inner self, our inner being, let the life force that moves through us, lead us. Growing up in this world I have learned to answer to an external authority in so many ways: parents, teachers, friends, culture and even God. Trying to be obedient to these authorities has been very painful and deadening to my free spirit.

It is our family intention that we be who we be and let the inner life force guide us. My children have an easier time of it than I do, as I am still in the process of deprogramming my reliance on externals to feel whole and complete. I must get out of their way. Having a strong desire for their freedom motivates me to find my own. It is really true that I can only give what I have. The more space I allow myself to be, it just naturally flows out to those in my life. Using my role as parent to notice the blocks that I have to the awareness of loves presence I free up my whole being. That is the greatest gift I can offer them.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

The Present Moment

This is from "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle

"The present moment is sometimes unacceptable, unpleasant or awful.

It is as it is. Observe how the mind labels it and how this labeling process, this continuous sitting in judgement creates pain and unhappiness. By watching the mechanics of the mind you can step out of its resistance to patterns, and you can then allow the present moment to be. This will give you a taste of the state of inner freedom from external conditions, the state off true inner peace. Then see what happens and take action if necessary or possible.

Accept--then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life."

In my journey I have done enough emotional release work and shifting of limiting beliefs where Peace is now the predominant energy that runs through our house. There are still those times when the present moment appears unacceptable to me. In these moments I have allowed myself to get caught up in externals and I leave my peaceful presence. Sometimes in my attempt to regain my experience of peace, I shift my focus to managing (controlling) the world so I will feel better. I have found that tactic to be brief and in the long run unsuccessful. When I can keep my focus on my inner experience, permanent shifts happen.

It is a completely different experience to managing the world from the mind or inner imbalance than from allowing actions to flow from a clear place. I love to say that it never matters "what" we do it matters with what intention or energy that we do "it" with.

I love this Zen proverb:

Before enlightenment
Chop wood, carry water

After enlightenment
Chop wood, carry water

We are still doing our business, yet one experience can be full of stress and thoughts, of past and future. The other experience can be full of peace and joy, of now.

So the next time you are faced with a present moment and you argue with it, you perceive it as unacceptable and THINK you want to change it. Stop for a moment and just let it be. As you let it be, just breathe.

Last night I was sitting on the couch enjoying my diner, watching the boys playing their Tony Hawk video game. I was savoring the beauty of it all. I looked out over the living room and I saw piles of clothes everywhere. We have been going through old winter clothes. I have been putting them back into their containers and then life will offer a moment of inspiration through the boys and they will dump them out to use the containers for a moment. Seems like the piles have been migrating around for days. It almost looks like new carpet I think. Beautiful. I say outloud "Hmmm, I wonder how long these clothes will stay here?" My son replies, "I think they will be here until you invite friends over and then you will feel the need to clean."