Lessons from Dogs

If a dog was your teacher you would learn stuff like . . . 

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and rest under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout --
run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

                                                                            - Unknown

California Central Coast Treasures

Venture to Morrow Bay

I just returned from a trip to the beautiful Central Coast of California.  A good friend of mine from Ohio (Thea Brigham) just moved to Arroyo Grande and she invited me for a visit.  Thanks for the great time Thea!!

Saturday we explored the beaches at Pismo and Grover.  It was part stormy, part sunny - but beautiful!  At Grover Beach there is a Monarch butterfly grove. The butterflies migrate from the Rockies and even as far away as Canada each year to this same area.  There are thousands of butterflies grouped together in the trees. During cooler weather (which it was when we visited) the butterflies stay huddled in large groups - but when the sun is out and the temp is above 55 they fly around in the woods.  Quite a sight I am sure!  There were telescopes set up so we could see into the clusters - and view all the individual butterflies.  It was pretty amazing!

We then headed to Santa Barbara to explore all the sights, shop and eat at a few of the many, many wonderful restaurants.   It was beautiful, refreshing, and uber cool.  We both decided the pressure to be "cool" would be exhausting if you lived there.  But maybe "cool" comes with a Santa Barbara address? Who knows.  But it was fun and not possible to see it all in a two days.  I would love to go back.

As always, when I travel, I look for bead shops, yarn or fabric stores and off-beat galleries.  This time I found a very cool place in a very unusual location.  On my way to Thea's I stopped off to visit the Santa Inez Mission.  To get there I had to go through the little Danish down of Solvang.  It is totally Danish in every way - from the architecture, the food and the atmosphere.  After visiting the Mission, I took some time to drive around the streets of Solvang.  One store caught my eye - it was filled with extremely bright colors - red, pink, orange, yellow - it was called Knit Fit, A Creative Community.  I parked on Copenhagen Street and walked to the store.  When I opened the door I fell in love!  Fabric, yarn, art supplies, papers, felt and more.  All in the most beautiful bright colors!  It filled my heart with joy!  Take a look for yourself.

There is so much more to tell, but I promised I would keep my posts short(er).  So you can see the rest of the trip in pictures.  It was a full five days!

Thanks again Thea, for showing me such a wonderful time!

In the spirit of adventure and friendship,  Cindy

What do you want?

How can you set an Intention when you don't know what you want?

The past two weeks my Awaken • Emerge • Create Spiritual Discussion Group has been discussing setting Intentions for 2012.  When I asked people to share their intentions, one person volunteered. Others has some idea, but others had no idea.  The concept for this topic was to help people look to the new year and create plans for a meaningful  year.  Not just the tired old "resolutions".  But what I didn't realize, people are not so clear on what they want.  Sure, they can tell you what they don't want, but seeing a clear picture of what they DO want, not so easy.  It has challenged me. 

The truth is, knowing what you don't want is half way to finding what you do want.  But it seems a bit more complex - or so I thought it was.  Then I listened to a guided meditation by Deepak Chopra (the link is below).  In the mediation he guides you to an understanding of the "infinite organizing power of intention".   What I realized from listening to the mediation a couple of times is that intention acts without much effort - we think and intention follows.  

I learned three important things:
  • Ask your heart what you want, not your head.
  • Ego gets in the way of truly understating what you desire.
  • Gratitude eliminates ego.  Ego cannot co-exist when we are in a state of gratefulness.
But, the most important thing is the knowing that we can harness the infinite organizing power of intention because we are part of the bigger infinite field of possibilities!  When we can accept the concept that we are part of everything that is, then an intention becomes a simple process.   The power of  a thought.

Hope you enjoy this meditation! Just click the link below.  Thanks Deepak. Let me know what you think.

In the spirit of infinite possibilities,  Cindy

An Attitude of Gratitude

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

This morning I woke up with a song in my mind.  An old 70's tune by Bill Withers, Lovely Day.  Along with that song in my head, I kept hearing the word gratitude.  It was a lovely way to wake up!

As I stretched and lay cozy in bed I let the song play in my head and contemplated the word gratitude. It is a state of mind.  Gratitude is about seeing what is good in your life, instead of focusing on what's wrong.  It is an instantaneous cure for being down in the dumps - just stop and think of all the things to be grateful for.   It is an attitude adjuster.

It is well known that what we focus on expands.  "Where your attention goes, energy follows", my yoga teacher used to say.  If we completely focus on the problems in our lives, than those problems will grow!  The more attention you give a negative thought the bigger it gets.  Haven't you ever done that!  I especially have this problem when I go to bed, the more I think about it the bigger it gets and I can't sleep and then the next day I am exhausted and usually I have forgotten what it was I was thinking about the night before! Crazy!  Focusing on the negative is exhausting and very draining!

On the other hand, gratitude is fuel for peace, love and compassion.  If you take time to think about what you are grateful for each day, then you feel energized and full of life.  What an amazing difference!  The same rule applies - "were attention goes, energy follows".  Attention to what's good in your life, instead of what's wrong, energies the good and brings you more good!  Now that is life affirming!

And all it takes is changing your thoughts!  We each have the amazing power to change our thoughts and create an entirely different experience.  Change your thoughts, change your life.  It is totally under our control.

Gratitude is a simple, efficient way to do that.  The more grateful you are, the more you will have to be grateful for.  It's true!  Give it try.  How about making a gratitude list each morning or in the evening before you go to bed (or both!) You will be amazed how your life begins to change.  I think I will start making my list today!   A great way to start of 2012!

In the spirt of gratitude, Cindy