What does it mean to live an inspired life? Where do you find inspiration? Is it in your work, a relationship, a story you’ve heard, your garden? Inspiration can come from just about anywhere. The catch is grabbing hold of that inspiration—as loose, flimsy, and jumpy as it may be—reworking it, and making it part of your inner fibers.
All too often, we come across an amazing story or have an “Aha!” moment where an incredible idea comes to mind. And instead of owning it and helping it to soar, we put roadblocks in our way—I’m too young, the timing isn’t right, I don’t have the funding, if only my situation was different—the list goes on and on. But what if the next time that moment arises, you actually took it and made it real? What if you let it inspire you to the point where it changed you—changed who you are, what you do, what you believe in? What then? Could you change the world?
Each and every one of us has the capacity to change the world—even if it’s our own little piece of it. We can use inspiring moments to jumpstart something within us. And by ingraining that inspiration into your being, you own it; and you have no choice then, but to transition into a better, more enlightened version of yourself.
Watch out, world! A new you is coming. And it’s going to shake things up.
The moon’s incredible energetic power is at its peak during a full moon. This month’s full moon, often referred to as the Buck Moon, will grace our skies Tuesday evening, at 5:38 PM. However, it will appear full for three days—from Monday evening through Thursday morning. Take this opportunity to connect to this pure Universal energy.
Here are some suggestions:
Observe the moon. Whether with the aid of a telescope or without, recognize the presence of this celestial being. Become aware of its power to affect ocean tides and human emotions. Breathe in and breathe out, bringing this power within.
Walk under the light of the moon. Smile knowing that the Qi that lights the evening sky is within and around you. As the moon’s light touches your skin, feel its embrace.
Practice in the moon’s presence. Each month, the Universe gives us the opportunity to download Universal Qi in the form of a full moon. Practice The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth to align Universal energies with your own.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes the body holds the key to reverse any illness that it expresses. The body can heal itself if we provide the right opportunity and the right environment for it to do so.
Every disease has a cure because everything–disease included–is energy. When you take a tangible mass or disease and set it in the right environment, it has the potential to transform back into invisible energy. After all, the invisible is always more powerful than the visible. But as humans, we use our limited minds to try to understand the unlimited body and all of its capabilities.
When a health challenge arises, we often fail to see beyond the tangible. Our skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, veins and blood can all be viewed, sampled and studied. Our thoughts can be unpacked and our emotions can be discussed. But in separating the body into its distinct parts, we ignore the guiding principle of Oneness.
Why stop at the visible when there is so much more? What about the rest of us? Do we ever allow ourselves to fully experience the pieces of us that are invisible, like spirit and life-sustaining Qi?
Body-mind-spirit healing has been in practice for thousands of years. At the body-mind-spirit level, illness and disease are just a shadow of the highest, spiritual dimensions. Everything is a reflection of your spirit. Your body is the life of your spirit. Do not separate them; they are one.
We know the importance of feeding our children good food so that they grow to be strong and healthy adults. But what else do we feed them?
Before they are ready for preschool, we teach our children to share and say “please” and “Thank you.”. We send them to school and cross our fingers that they are surrounded by teachers and children that are kind and loving. We drive them to sports teams and after-school activities, not always knowing what they will encounter.
Although some of us would like to, we can’t always protect our children like fierce mama (or papa) cubs. But we can give them the best head-start possible. We do this with our example: By teaching our kids that spending time together is important and that kindness matters above all. And we show them that they are smart, loving, beautiful human beings capable of adding their beauty to this gray world to make it colorful and bright. Our words become their inner voice. What do you want your children to hear? What do you want them to repeat to themselves? How do you want them to react in times of peer pressure?
We feed our children the best foods. We know the importance of good nutrition. But equally as important is what we feed their minds and souls.
Thomas Edison was one of the most impressive human beings to ever grace our planet. The “Wizard of Menlo Park” as he was known, was responsible for countless inventions, and even some failed ones, that later gave way to things our modern society could not live without. Of his 1,093 patents, the most well-known were the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, and motion pictures.
So why the mini-bio on Thomas Edison? Because his is a story that could have had a very different ending.
When he was a child, Edison came home from school with a note from his teacher. His mother’s eyes filled with tears as she read the note aloud: “Your son is a genius. We do not have good enough teachers for him. Please teach him yourself.”
Many years after his mother died, Edison found the note folded in the corner of a desk drawer. He unfolded it and read: “Your son is addled (mentally ill) and is not allowed to return to school.”
Edison later wrote in his diary, “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”
What might have happened if Edison’s mother had reacted differently? What if she had believed what the teacher wrote, and shared that with her son? Instead, she put her fears and concerns aside and fed her child love. Feeding our children goodness brings out the very best in them.
Smoothies are often a welcome treat in the blazing summer heat. But in many of our programs, we have taught that warm is best. So why the change? ‘Warm is best’ will always remain true. The body loves warmth, especially first thing in the morning. However, since the essence of summer is hot, a smoothie (hold the ice!) is a great way to cool the body down. The ingredients you choose to add to your smoothie can further help cool down the body.
Watermelon and cucumber are two of the top cooling foods. Watermelon is used to help release heat from the body and is even used on sunburns. Its naturally juicy nature makes it the perfect addition to a summer smoothie. Cucumber is a purifying food that cleanses the body of toxins and accelerates healing. It has a deep cooling effect on the body, and its sweet, clean taste pairs well with summer fruits.
So the next time you’re feeling overheated, try mixing up a fresh smoothie. Just remember: wait until later in the day, and use fresh fruit, not frozen.
Blend any combination of foods from this list and enjoy!
In Part 1 of our series on Heart harmony, Grand Master Lu encouraged us to experience the feelings that love brings us—in body, mind, and spirit. He then discussed the body’s ability to recall love on a deep cellular level and return to those feelings during times of sadness. In Part 2, we learned how to use love for healing. In our final segment, we focus on the fact that through love, we are all connected. You are not alone.
There are many paths that you can take to discover yourself. You can choose to find yourself through love or through hate—choose love.
All love has the same frequency. Through love, you connect to the Universe, to the animals and to people past and present. Everyone and everything around the world that resonates with love is bound together.
We’ve learned that love nests inside our cells at the deepest and highest levels. That’s why a simple touch of a fabric can bring back a memory from childhood. But our memories of love go beyond what we can remember. Love remains with us through generations. We benefit from the love of our ancestors and it stays within us forever.
For thousands of years, sounds for healing have connected people at the cellular level. The simple sound of /om/ connects us to the frequency of love and consciousness. Practice it. Sit peacefully with your eyes closed and say /om/ three times. The first is for the past: all generations of love and consciousness within and around you; the second is for the present: the here and the now; the third is for the future. In this moment, you are not alone. Through this practice of love, you connect to the past, the present, and the future. They are all part of the same space and the same time. You connect to many, many lives. All the loves, all the hearts, and all the consciousness will vibrate together. You are not alone.
Toward the middle of August, Summer transitions into Late Summer. The Heart—the King of all organs, which thrives on peace and harmony, is giving the reins over to the Stomach. But don’t lose this practice of love. Continue on. When you put time, discipline, and effort into yourself, love becomes your best reward. All you need to do is smile to reap the benefits of this Heart harmony journey that we’ve traveled on.
See yourself change in love—your face, your body, your taste—everything about you has to change. If you can be peaceful and change your Heart, your love will continue to grow throughout the year.
Walking along the shoreline, one can observe the familiar sights and sounds of beach life. Giggling children build sand castles, crashing waves wash in and out and noisy seagulls fly overhead. But although the beach itself may be anything but quiet, the serenity of the landscape brings a hint of refreshing solitude.
Salt air renews the soul. Every lap of water is a reminder of this earthly presence and of yours, too. As you stand in the midst of this seemingly endless sea, water washes over your toes and ankles, instantly cooling you from the muggy, summer air. You become suddenly aware of the undertow sucking the sand from beneath your feet and feel powerless for just an instant, losing yourself in the beauty and strength of the ocean’s might. Everything changes in the ocean’s grasp. Yet underneath it all, you feel strong, renewed and alive, having experienced the quiet that only the ocean can bring.
This is the Spirit of the Heart. The graceful solitude that leaves you smiling deeply and living simply. Whether at the beach or in your own unique space, honor the Spirit of your Heart this Summer. Revel in quiet solitude and renew your inner being.
It’s often been said, “You are what you eat.” Standing at the checkout line, it’s easy to see those that make healthy eating a priority over others. But if those same people also spend their time worried, frustrated and angry, the benefit of the things in their shopping carts have been lost.
Healthy eating is very important. But what matters even more than what we put in our bodies is what we feed our minds. In the words of Grand Master Nan Lu, “You are what you think!” So, what is it that you think about? What crosses your mind in the times that you are sitting still? Do you have a quiet, peaceful mind or is your mind constantly running?
Take a few moments to reflect on how others might describe you. Then think about the characteristics that are best representative of you as an individual. List 5 of those characteristics on a piece of paper. Now take a moment to reflect on what makes you uniquely special. Are you kind, loving and patient? Or are you motivated, driven and fiercely independent? Find the good in your list. Find the good in you!
Any “negative” adjectives on your list can be seen as a positive, if viewed in the proper light. For example, a shy person might be reflective and a messy person might be creative. In the words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” So focus on the good within you and train your thoughts to see the good in every situation.
“We are all connected.” The roots of that statement extend far beyond the walls of its traditional meaning, but depending on your perspective, connectivity takes on a multitude of meanings:
We are all connected… to our cell phones and devices. Intimate dinner conversations are often interrupted by bings that wake up an otherwise quiet room. Kids are often entertained with movies and ipad games, replacing family time and opportunities to learn social graces with an isolated connection.
We are all connected… to our schedules and responsibilities. Bills call each month. Therefore, the responsibilities continue to follow. We have schedules to keep and meetings to attend. Whether these connections are to work life or to after-school activities, the calendar fills up quickly.
We are all connected… via social media. It’s hard to get through a whole day without a tweet or like popping up on our pages. But this makes sense: we live in a society with so much negativity that connecting with each other to see happy photos is a welcome break to the news and political rants that often clog our feeds.
But connectivity in the truest sense of the word goes much deeper than the above definitions. It extends beyond our human reach.
We are all connected… to the earth. As we dig in the garden or walk along a stream, we become aware of our earthly roots. And we are reminded of the powerful presence of Nature, not only around us, but within us, as we disconnect from our material connections, and then take the time to reconnect.
Summer is the perfect season to disconnect and reconnect–to yourself, to others around you and to the earth. Take time to breathe the fresh air, listen to the chirping birds and renew your spirit with each wave on the beach. Pay attention to the moon, feel the breeze and appreciate the beauty in everything around you: from leaf to flower to sunset.
And as you reconnect, recognize that you are part of this larger picture. You are part of what makes Nature so uniquely beautiful. Without you, the whole picture would be different.
Happy Fourth of July! Many people will attend barbecues or relax on the beach today, and then stay up late to watch colorful fireworks wake up the night sky. We often get caught up in all of the merriment and forget what this holiday is truly about—freedom. It’s the day we celebrate our nation’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence—when the United States of America became its own independent, free nation.
We are celebrating our country’s freedom today. But July 4 is also a great day to celebrate your personal freedom. What independence do you seek? Maybe it’s the freedom to control your own finances or the freedom to make your own responsible decisions. Maybe it’s the freedom from aches and pains. Or maybe it’s the freedom to drop your worries and fears and finally take steps to follow your heart’s true intentions. Whatever personal freedoms you long for, today is your day to name them.
So ask yourself: What holds me back? How can I work toward letting those things go? What steps can I take toward achieving my own independence?
As those celebratory colors flash across the sky tonight, imagine your personal independence, and then go out and achieve it.