“How Others Experience Us”
The Earth-Heart Institute of Vision and Healing
Vision Quests, Spiritual Retreats, Women’s Retreats, Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, Personal Intensives
Welcome to the quarterly newsletter collaboration between the Earth-Heart Institute of Vision and Healing and The Total Human™. Collectively, we offer Vision Quests, Spiritual Retreats, Women’s Retreats, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, Creativity Retreats, Personal Intensives, Healing, and Spiritual Counseling. This newsletter offers thoughts on a chosen topic with simple awareness exercises, meditations, or yogic tips that relate to the topic. We also update you on our class schedules,recommend books or products that relate to living a healthy and conscious life, and offer some web links to check out that support a greater and more unified Vision of the world, the expansion of the human spirit, and the protection of the environment. If you are not interested in receiving these newsletters once each season, you can click on the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the page. Click on our names (above) to visit our complete websites.
“Each person represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
— Anais Nin —
I recently turned 60 and while that is a lot of years and experience to wrap my mind around, it is also a lot of people that have moved in and out of my life! To mark that birthday, Allyson decided on a special surprise. She contacted everyone from my past and my present who she could locate and asked them to write a brief note to share with me how our time together had benefited their lives. She then gathered the hundreds of responses into 3 notebooks and presented them all to me on my birthday. It was truly a living memorial.
Seeing all these comments in one place was quite overwhelming and humbling. Many of the comments came from people who I hadn’t had much contact with. None the less, they had felt touched by that brief touch and it had uplifted them in a way that was important to them. It took me a long time to read through the collection because they brought up so much emotion and so many memories, and it radically altered much of the way I see–and certainly value–myself and my life!
I was surprised by the depth of feeling and appreciation that so many people expressed. While my life is about helping people find themselves and their passion and vision in life, I often don’t hear how deeply and totally that work touches them in the long run. This feedback is so important for all of us to receive and hear. It is essential for each of us to feel the appreciation and respect others have for us, but equally essential for us to offer our appreciation and respect to others as well. Too often we get sidetracked and focus on how other people are right or wrong (mostly wrong!), losing sight of the fact that they are our brother or sister, and that there is an unbreakable bond of love between us no matter what their opinion is! Our ability to love is the real measure of our character, not how much we can judge or hate.
Too often we see ourselves only from the inside, while we see others from the outside. Of course, anyone who can dress themselves and brush their hair look well put together at least from the outside, so seeing ourselves from the inside of our fears and doubts, we often feel “less than” others and are filled with insecurity. We lose sight of that which is essential within us. To have a gift such as what was given to me is profoundly healing!
The gift reminded me of an experience I had when I was 21. I had gone to a convenience store with a friend. I waited in the car for him. After a few minutes, I noticed a man come out of the store and pause on the porch. He was about thirty-five, and wore blue jeans, a tee-shirt, and a jean jacket. He merely stood there for a moment, looking off into the distance, then stepped down, went to his car and drove away.
My attention was drawn to him because his field radiated such strong intelligence and an abiding sense of power and peace. It was something I couldn’t define back then, but the impact of that connection seared itself into my memory and has been there ever since. My admiration and desire to hold in my field what that man had, has inspired much of the work on myself that I have done.
A simple meeting—no words were exchanged, and in fact, he didn’t even see me—but the inspiration I derived from meeting him has lasted a lifetime, has yielded profound inner shifts within me, and has thereby led to so much benefit to others, evidenced by the words of gratitude offered by family, friends, and students.
No, this article isn’t really about me, it is about the power of the gifts we offer to each other and how deeply they matter to us all. And it is about the “gift that we are” that touches even those people we don’t know. A kind word that we offer to the check-out person of course is nice for the person receiving it. However, it can also uplift the feeling of others who merely overhear it. Or the way a sense of peace washes over you when you gaze on something beautiful or pure touches those around you who sense that you have been uplifted and transported to a deeper, spiritual awareness.
Too often we get caught in the busy-ness of day to day living and we fail to notice the kind and generous things that are done for us, or fail to notice the opportunities we have to be kind and generous to others. Worse, though, as we miss those opportunities, we miss the chance to fill our lives with gratitude for all the kindnesses that have touched us whether from near or far.
So, I would like to invite you to the ‘action step’ of filling your life with appreciation and gratitude. Appreciation is the first thing. Look with ‘fresh’ eyes at everything and everyone around you. Look closely to discover the beauty, the heart of each thing you see. Don’t take anything for granted, don’t look from your old judgments, but keep looking until you see beneath the surface of each thing and find that which is beautiful and pure. Especially do this with the people around you.
Then, allow your heart to soften and feel grateful that so much beauty is in your life. This is the crucial step as it will not allow you to go back to your old ways of looking and judging what you see. The exercise sounds simple and it is, but what should be automatic (appreciation and gratitude) have become so foreign to us that we now have to consciously exercise that muscle. In time, looking with the eyes of love will become reflexive, a constant awareness and love.
In line with Malcolm’s article above:
Make a list of 3 people (still living) that made a deep and lasting impression upon you; someone that altered your perception about yourself or the world in a positive way. Then find them and tell them while you still have the chance. There’s nothing worse than the regret of wishing you had taken the time to tell someone what they meant to you, after you find them suddenly gone.
An old teacher who inspired you to learn, or who took extra time with you when you needed it? Call your old school and see if he/she still teaches there, or if they have current contact info. An old friend who came through for you in a time of need, but who you’ve lost touch with? Call the alumni association or ask other friends that might have a lead. A relative that you normally take for granted, assuming they know what they mean to you? Your spouse? Take a minute and tell them.
I would suggest writing it to them – either a note or an email. It’s nice to hear a comment, but a written note can be saved and re-read again on a rough day, on a day full of doubt. And while a note might be “more personal,” for Malcolm’s gift I had encouraged people to send an email; because realistically, I know that things get lost in the shuffle even with the best of intentions. Better to email it while you’re thinking of it, and actually get it sent, than intending to write a personal letter and never getting around to all the steps involved. You’re at the computer right now… go ahead and send a quick note. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life in private, and how much they might be needing to hear your words right now…
EXERCISE # 2
Meditation for Stress Relief and Clearing the Emotions of the Past
(feeling gratitude and appreciation is easier after this meditation)
Bring your hands up to the level of the heart, with the tips of the thumbs touching, and the fingers touching the corresponding fingers on the other hand. (The palms are NOT touching, there is space between the palms). The fingertips point upwards.
Look at the tip of your nose, and take 4 breaths per minute. Inhale for 5 seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. (15 seconds per complete breath)
Continue for 11 minutes (or as long as it takes to feel the stress leave you).
This is a wonderful “relationship” meditation, whether the stress you’re clearing from a relationship is from the present or the past.
We now offer gift certificates that can be applied to any Total Human or Earth-Heart program. You name the amount – and no expiration date. We will mail the certificate to the gift recipient, or mail it to you and you can give it to them personally. A great holiday gift idea!
Speaking of gifts, we are currently putting together an Affiliate Shopping Page as a link from our store. Just click on any of the businesses listed on that page, and a percentage of every purchase that originates from our link will be sent to us to help fund ourScholarship Program. 100% of the commissions we make will be used for scholarships, and the best part is, it won’t cost you a penny extra! Just bookmark our page and start all of your online shopping from there. You’ll earn some good karma doing your personal or holiday shopping this year. You’ll change some lives. Here’s the link. AFIILIATE SHOPPING. We have many businesses already listed, and about 100 more in the process of going up. They include major stores such as Home Depot, Amazon.com, Macy’s, Toys R Us, The Sharper Image, NetFlix, GAIAM, Orbitz, Apple itunes, Overstock.com, GNC, Camping World, Eastern Mountain Sports, the NFL and NBA Shops, Gardener’s Supply Co., Reebok Store, Sears, Verizon Wireless, Eddie Bauer, Pet Smart, Shop.com, Bose, Linen Source, Autoanything.com, and much, much more! Bookmark it right now, and check back often for new additions. THANK YOU for your help in funding scholarships.
Click on the underlined links below to read about a particular class, or go to Earth-Heart Programs or The Total Human™ Programs to read about other classes not listed here, and Student Comments to read comments from past participants.
We have opened two additional weeks in October for Personal Intensives:
Sun Oct 15 – Fri Oct 20
Mon Oct 23 – Sat Oct 28
These will be the last Intensives available until Feb 2007.
Your Wild Creative Soul: Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow (yes, I’m talking to you) has been scheduled for the weekend of March 23-25, 2007 at the Holy Spirit Retreat Center in Encino, CA (Los Angeles area). The men and women who came last year surprised themselves with what they created. Don’t assume this weekend is not for you.
Registration has already begun for next spring’s Women’s Retreat. ! We’re back in Sedona at Angel Valley Retreat Center by popular demand, April 18-22, 2007. If you’ve been wanting to come in the past, don’t wait – this location fills quickly. Two $500 scholarships are available for this program. And I am planning to run a new Advanced Women’s Retreat next fall 2007 (not offered every year) for women who have attended the Women’s Retreat, and who would like to go deeper into this life-altering work.
Check our websites soon for the rest of the 2007 class line-ups. Call if you aren’t already on the mailing list and would like one of our new brochures (310) 967-1336.
Our dear friend Brant Morgan has just come out with his latest book that we highly recommend, “Vision Walk: Asking Questions, Getting Answers, Shifting Consciousness,” with a foreword by don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. Brandt is an internationally known teacher of heart wisdom traditions. A Toltec Mentor trained by don Miguel Ruiz, he is also co-author of four books with Tom Brown, Jr. (The Tracker) on wilderness survival and nature awareness skills. For a sample chapter, or to order an autographed copy, go to Brandt’s website at http://www.brandtmorgan.com/.
Our friend Virginia Gordon has just launched a new website selling t-shirts based on the chakras. http://www.vandrose.com Virginia and her husband Tom have changed a number of lives through their generosity to our scholarship program, so we are thrilled to be able to support this new venture. Please note that a portion of all sales from her website benefits the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
WORLDWIDE “WEB OF LIFE”
We want to support organizations out there who are working for the uplifting of humanity. If you know of websites that are doing really good work in the world, email them to us for possible inclusion in a future newsletter. We’d like to help get the word out.
Renewable Choice believes the answer is wind power. We have a clean renewable source of energy, right in our own backyard. As a leading national provider, they ensure that the benefits of this exciting new resource are available in all 50 states. Renewable Choice uses renewable energy credits to provide wind power to their customers. They provide a mix of credits from wind farms across the country. The U.S Navy, The U.S Air Force, Whole Foods Market, Harvard University, FedEx Kinkos, and the Dept of Energy are just a few of the organizations already buying renewable energy credits.
The Foundation creates a future of hope for children and families worldwide by eradicating pediatric AIDS, providing care and treatment to people with HIV/AIDS, and accelerating the discovery of new treatments for other serious and life-threatening pediatric illnesses.
This is a beautiful little flash film if you haven’t seen it. Enjoy!
Do you have a local establishment (like a health food store, or yoga center, or community center, your workplace, etc) where brochures can be displayed? Please let us know and we’ll be happy to send you some. We always greatly appreciate efforts to help us get this work out in the world in an ever-growing way.
Many blessings to you all,
Allyson and Malcolm