Maximizing Your Creativity

Maximizing Your Creativity Individuality and Creativity are closely linked. Finding your creative voice is a matter of getting to know who you truly are—at a deep level—and what you most desire to accomplish or project in life. Being creative means using every facet of mind and heart to create your life in the world. As Mary Oliver wrote: “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” This regret can be addressed no matter how old we are. It isn’t about art, but the art of life. We ARE the creators of our own life. There’s no doubt in my mind that I have found out how to begin to say something in my own voice.  Virginia Woolf, July 26, 1922 When Virginia Woolf wrote this, she… MORE

The Creative Power of the Heart Brain

Discovering the Creative Power of the Heart-Brain We are drowning in facts, factoids, lies, rumors and multiple offers of redemption and transformation—from diets to gurus. In order to focus and know who and what we are meant to be on this planet, we have to trim the waste. Much as a forest can’t breathe when the trees and bushes overwhelm the land, neither can we breathe when information runs riot through our daily lives. So we, too, need a clearing away of the brush to reveal the true shape and purpose of our lives. If this sounds like a big order, it is. It is because it is our life’s work, not a day, a week or a month’s project. We like being told we can make changes “overnight” to a life that has formed itself for multiple years. We can envision these changes in a short period of time,… MORE

The Place of Beauty in a World of Crisis

The Place of Beauty in a World in Crisis Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Rumi Beauty is our sustenance and our purpose. We know when we are in the beauty of nature, dance, music, good writing or art that our spirits rise up and our souls find satisfaction. Beauty has its own energetic vibration that passes between the observed and the observer. When we see the face of a beloved—whether a child, lover or parent—our heart sends waves of energy to the beloved. Who has not experienced that indrawn breath at the landscape we love, whether mountains, redwoods, deserts or plains? One person’s idea of beauty is not always that of another, but we recognize the energy as each of us beholds our own particular idea of beauty. Yet, today, as I write about when… MORE

The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude Gratitude is not a thought—it’s a behavior. Thoughts don’t reach the heart, but feelings and emotions triggered by gratitude go straight to our heart’s center. The science is certain, and you can check that out by reading about HeartMath®. Or you can rely on your body feeding back to you what your emotions are telling it. Emotions are “stirred” in the body by memory, anticipation or in-the-moment experiences of love, fear, anger or any other feeling. You know it’s not a thought because the whole body becomes wrapped up in the feeling. A thought can arouse the feelings, but we “feel” emotions in every system of the body. Fear arouses fight or flight symptoms, including the physical signs such as shaking, sweating, and shortness of breath. Love arouses a completely different set of feelings, such as warmth, a sense of connection, reaching out, even joy. Your… MORE

Making Meaning of the Holy Days Therese Tappouni

We need cool heads, warm hearts and the guidance of our Holy Ones as we navigate the new world we now inhabit. This post takes into consideration the shift in the world and the upcoming Holy Days of major religions which are celebrated by millions. Each holiday celebrates the birth or anniversary of a beloved person or a passing year. Our heart quietly asks, beneath the hub-bub of sales pitches, to remember why we do this. In stark contrast to the constant “buy, buy, buy” emanating from our televisions, radios, internets and families, is the quiet story of a Jewish family journeying to Bethlehem to register with the tax man and birth a child. This event changed the world as it was perceived. The message of Peace on Earth and Good Will towards All has reverberated down the centuries, becoming a distorted message of “good will only to those who… MORE

TIME TO BREATHE

TIME TO BREATHE by Therese Tappouni Stress had its way with America during this election. Though we are now taking stock and asking what’s next, we need to pause, regroup and heal. For those who do not know me well, my work involves teaching grief recovery, stress recovery and the spiritual path known as the everyday life. I counsel those who are grieving their losses and learning to move on. I’ve written many times that this schism in our country is causing grief, which expresses as depression, stress and anger. This morning I awoke to the news of another horrific mass shooting. This article is not specifically about that—I have written about this subject often—but grief expresses in the body exactly the same way whether it’s the loss of people, the loss of a belief, or the horrific violence we see on the news. Survivors suffer and the everyday citizen… MORE

Healing our Global Grief

Healing Our Global Grief Day after day I hear the politicians and various religious leaders pronounce that we “must unite” the country. Before we look for solutions, we must identify the major things that divide us. Then we can look at how we begin to unite in a conscious effort, even if that unification is limited. I have to admit that in my generations on this planet I don’t remember people being united. Democrat vs Republican reverberates through recent history. My religion is the only “True” religion. My part of the country is better than yours. Our family came over on the Mayflower, yours doesn’t belong here. Or the other variation: now that I’m here, let’s close the gates. If I sound discouraged, there is good reason. Public discourse and public actions have led to a high level of stress and inappropriate or downright dangerous actions. We have gone beyond… MORE

Healing Anger

HEALING ANGER This is a longer blog than usual since we have been in what seems like an eternity of fear, anger and sorrow. It’s important to see the benefit of growth, even if it’s painful. Abraham Maslow reminds us: In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. He reminds us that pain is often life teaching us something. Yet when we are in pain, this is when we are most resistant to that belief. “No! Take it away!” I see this current climate of division, tribal loyalty and even outright hate as one of the biggest teaching moments in my lifetime. I know about Hitler and the Holocaust, but I only know by reading and feeling shock and empathy for our human ability to hate and hurt. It is the same for slavery, but I saw what happened… MORE

Safe in the Light

10/5/2018 Today is a day that will live in infamy for women and those who love them. This morning I recited a mantra from the Oracle Cards that said: “It is safe for me to be seen. I shine my light.” This afternoon that became an untruth. One of only three women allowed to serve as a Republican Senator, confirmed we are not safe. Her name is Susan Collins. Senator Grassley, Republican head of the judiciary committee was asked why there were no women on the Republican side of the committee. He said that it was hard work, and required going to meetings. My past life as a mother, PTA mom, Little League chauffeur and cook and employee was denied. As a woman, I must be too weak to attend meetings! Given the presence of Democrats on the committee, does that mean Democratic women are tougher? After the vote of… MORE