This is the book that changed me internally. It showed me that there was no need for hunger because we can feed the world right this very minute!
What the heck is a Gleeper you ask? Well, it is a made up name of students of The Good Life Project of which I am one of them. I posted in a previous blog how I made it in to GLP's immersion program. Any-who, when I was trying to make the cut a person who was going to invest in my education told me to research others who already went through the program and that is how I found Jennifer Boykin, from the website "Life after Tampons." Crazy name right!
She is a "Midlife Midwife".....Love that!
I was on her website today and I found this piece of wisdom as part of a larger post titled Hold v. Fold: A guide to Strategic Surrender and I thought I would share it here:
Happiness can’t be caught. It comes as a result of other actions. Here are some actions that generally work for me:
* serve others
* be grateful
* own all of yourself – be an adult. Fearlessly look at YOUR side of the street
* get help when you need it
* keep perspective
* develop your faith
* remember the essentials: Love and Service. Always. Every Day!
So, if you find yourself discouraged by what isn’t happening in your life, it’s probably because you’re using the wrong spiritual tool. Remember, “If all you have is a hammer, pretty much everything around you looks like a nail.”
If you are trying, with little success, to “make something happen,” why not give this a shot instead?
Put your attention elsewhere.
Fill your own well.
Again and again and again.
Blessed be. Amen
I am doing all of the above at the moment. I am re-accessing my life and I am thinking of changing my blog site to :
The Deconstruction of Lisa Nigro
I will just leave you with that thought. If you had a chance to rebuild what would it look like?
While cleaning out my email box I came across this post I did in October. It was a day about learning big ideas so I decided to repost and share....Love you guys. Enjoy
On October 16, 2011 I attended with my friend Zen, a great event called the Day of the Dog, at Found Shelter in Chicago. It was a celebration of all things dog and I loved it. I currently don't have a dog, but I have rescued many in my childhood, and in fact, I can confidently say there have been a few dogs that have rescued me. So when I met Dreamer all kinds of memories came flooding back of why animals are so healing.
Dreamer was born blind. You will see his story in the video below. He is an amazing ambassador of non judgment. In the dog world things are communicated through body language (in the human world too) and much is communicated through the eyes. Since Dreamer has no eyes this sense is not an option. Dreamer uses his other senses AND he openly receives help from his owner Barry. Dreamer and Barry are a perfect pair. Dreamer landed an owner whose professsion is a dog trainer. This gave him the abiltiy to use many tools from his dog training toolbelt to help Dreamer cope in the world. Barry landed Dreamer who is really Buddha dressed in dog clothes.
Dreamer taught me two things. One lesson is to be open to receive help when I need it. The second lesson is to practice non judgement. I need to be open to the possibility that my eyes may not always reveal the truth. One must use all of their senses to reveal the truth, but most of all I need to only seek my own personal truth. This in yoga is called Svadhyaya or self study. Oh, Dreamer you are so clever to use your doggie charm to take me to a new level of understanding. Thank you ...Thank you ...Thank you....
In January 2009 I went to an ashram in Kona Hawaii for 21 days. I slept in a tent, I did yoga, I learned about yoga philosophy, I ate insanely wonderful food, and I chanted. I became friends with some very precious people and don't even get me started on the power of seeing whales swimming in pods every morning at breakfast!.
The ashram is part of the Shoshoni family of yoga centers http://www.shoshoni.org/ and I highly recommend any of their classes or retreats. Every morning (if one chooses to) at 5:30 am we would chant the Guru Gita which is a Sanskrit prayer. While chanting the prayer the my eyes would fixate on the words "Satyam Satyam Varanane." When translated it means "the truth, the truth oh beautiful one."
One day I had a contemplative thought about how the past few years had been ones soul searching. I have been learning how to open my heart to give space to new experiences. I knew I had to give up my old life and start creating a new one, but I was so attached to that life that grief enveloped me. I began to meditate to redirect my pain and during the meditation a voice spoke inside me. It said in a tone so clear like someone was standing before me, "you are enough"....."you are enough".....and then the Bodhi tree that I was sitting under started shaking its leaves wildly like it was clapping in joyous recognition of this truth. I felt warm tears slide down my cheeks because I knew I just had a truly mystical experience.
It was up to me to own my own treasure. I had to start recognizing my gifts and realize that my value in the world had to come from inside. I needed to "live my own truth" and that is where my tattoo was born. I wanted something to remind me that I was valuable just because I was here on the planet.
You, my reader, are also valuable just because you are on this planet. Each of us as unique as a fingerprint. Value doesn't resonate from the outside. Value comes from the deepest parts of your soul and its up to us to nourish it and feed it and surround ourselves with positivity and light.
The tattoo as you can see above has mala beads. My tattoo artist used my prayer beads. They are made from Bodhi tree seeds and the green leaf next to the beads is a Bodhi tree leaf. I wanted to mark my time under that special tree when I had that mystical experience. I also had the words "Satyam Satyam Varanane" scrolled across my arm which for me signifies "live your truth."
As I start living my truth and creating a new way to be in the world it may not look like what it is now. This causes anxiety to those around me and that for me is the hardest part. I don't like making others feel uncomfortable even if its because I am living more authentically. I push through this thought because if I don't live authentically what am I teaching my kids? What am I modeling to the world? Will the message be only do what makes others comfortable? or will it be live from your heart and find your own truth. You have to love yourself in a big way and you have to love others in a big way and allow them their feelings whatever they may be.
To some this picture may disturb you to find beauty in someone with a handicap. However, I would always disagree because each person comes with their own beauty and contribution to the world. When we judge another based on our criteria of what is beautiful in the world we miss out on so much.
I currently work among individuals who were born with all kinds of challenges, mental and physical. Recently, I was blessed to observe a friend of mine teach a yoga class to 10 medically fragile people. They were all wheelchair bound and many had bones twisted and bodies contorted. In society, they would be called crippled and some would probably be called freaks or monsters, but Rita calls them angels.
As a fellow yoga instructor I know the benefits of yoga, but I was not prepared to witness such amazing beauty. Rita met each person where they were. Turning on soothing music Rita began her class with three OM chants and even though most of the participants couldn't even speak I could actually see them shape their mouths to form an "O" and the shift in energy was incredible.
Then Rita would take essential oils and move to each individual asking them to inhale and exhale all the while matching their breathing patterns. Doing this work automatically relaxed each person. She then would proceed with gentle massage and light stretching from the top of their heads to their feet and in between she would place her hands on their hearts. Each persons eyes met Rita's and through this gentle exchange I saw happiness and recognition and grunting expressions of more touch please.
I was hypnotized and so caught up in this beautiful moment that I didn't recognize the twisted hand that reached my palm. I was seated on a stool between two students in their wheel chairs with my palms open on my lap and my heart exposed so I could bathe in this incredible energy. That is when it happened. A student named Eric placed his twisted deformed hand in mine. I smiled and slowly put his hand back onto his chair because I thought his muscles were in a spasm and his hand accidentally landed there. So out of respect I placed his hand back on his chair and proceeded to watch the class. Slowly, his hand returned and I realized at that moment he was reaching out for me!
I turned and looked at Eric and said, "Are you trying to hold my hand?" and this gigantic smile came across his face with a grunt that certainly meant "yes!".
Tears welled up in my eyes and I said, "Thank you for including me" and we began to chant our OM's once again. Eric may be someone whose body is twisted and confined to a wheelchair without the ability to speak, but he spoke loud and clear to me through his touch and his eyes and that incredible smile.
He was my teacher that day to open my heart even more. To breath in the gift of another persons presence and energy and to be thankful to have been bathed in beauty. We were two souls united and probably closer at that moment than I have possibly been with another human being.
I have always admired the work of Mother Teresa and her Sisters of Mercy, but on this day with Eric I don't think I truly "got" the depth of her work in the world. Thank you Eric for being such an incredible teacher! Thank you Rita for allowing me to witness such grace and beauty and thank you universe for showing me the incredible healing gifts of the practice of yoga.