Community (Kula) 🌎

As Mother Teresa stated, “The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” Our intention this week is to invite more interconnectedness and community (“kula” in Sanskrit) into our lives — expanding our circle — while staying rooted, grounded, and balanced. Yoga Sutra lll.24 (maitryadisu balani) describes that the cultivation of friendliness creates inner strength. Experiencing healthy compassion and lovingkindness toward ourselves and others strengthens our interconnectedness and sense of overall well-being.

Where and with whom in your life can you experience more interconnectedness, community (kula), friendliness, lovingkindness, and compassion?

Let’s learn some lessons about community and interconnectedness from nature. Visualize a flock of geese flying overhead in a “V” formation.

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the difficult tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, and resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep going!
Lesson: We need to make sure our “honking” is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement, which is to listen to one’s own heart or core values, and to listen to the core values of others, is the quality of “honking” we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation of geese and try to catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.

Who is in your “V” formation?

(The original version of Lessons from Geese was written by Dr. Robert McNeish in 1972.)

Visualize the neighborhood in which you live. Do you know the names of five of your neighbors? Do you know much about them? Let’s aim to go from stranger status to acquaintances to building relationships — community — kula — connection — all with friendliness, compassion, and lovingkindness. “You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:39 TPT

How do we build community and interconnectedness? 🌎
✭ Look for opportunities, be intentional — go the extra mile and take a risk!
✭ Eliminate personal “time suckers”— prioritize your time to create more availability in your day.
✭ Be willing to be interrupted, oftentimes these are Divine appointments and you and others will be blessed!
✭ Stay in a “V” formation — don’t fly solo!

Rise Up song lyrics by Andra Day

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to it’s feet
And move mountains
Bring it to it’s feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh oh
We’ll rise

I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you oh oh oh oh oh

“It’s funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope.” ~ Steve Maraboli

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Inhale the BEST, Exhale the Stress!

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8oz to 20oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed–incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses…don’t carry them long…remember to put the glass down!  Source: Science is Madness

When we slow down and pay attention to how we are experiencing our lives, we are more likely to make wise decisions and act from a centered and calm place. When our intentions arise from such a place, we create less stress and more harmony in our lives and the lives of those around us.

What is a stress or worry you can let go of today? Through observation and awareness we learn to be more calmly responsive and less emotionally reactive.

“Pour out all your worries and stress upon Him and leave them there, for He always tenderly cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7 TPT


How do you deal with stress & strong emotions? How do you discharge the energy? There are 3 general ways…
1. Numbing: alcohol/drugs, food, sex, shopping, gambling, technology/screen time, anything excessive
2. Lashing Out: expressions of anger, aggression…physically, emotionally, verbally…especially to those we love & trust the most
3. Lashing In: negative internal dialogue, self pity or blame, depression/anxiety…Anxiety is owning a crisis before it arrives & focuses on the improbable. Do not worry about your life.

What’s your “go-to” emotional release?
Honestly listen to the story you are telling yourself.
Receive it without blaming, shaming or judging.
Let it filter through the soft gaze of awareness & grace.
Change can only come through observation & awareness.

What are some healthy stress management techniques that work for you?
Choose one or two that come to mind and incorporate them into your life this week. Remember to put the glass down!

~ Let’s turn our pain & sadness into compassion.

~ Our anger & aggression into motivation; aggression is often stuck energy wanting to move forward.

~ Our anxiety & worry into healthy concern which focuses on the probable and produces positive action.

~ And turn our apathy & unfocused thinking into passion & purpose.


Burn the Rope: by Danna Faulds

Burn the rope of
past conditioning,
or slice right
through, awareness
like a blade that
cannot be stopped
by any obstacle.
Without the history
of who you’ve
been, what is the
essence of your
soul’s expression?
When you allow
the moment to
offer up its perfect
response, what is
the free and true
experience of you?

What Do You See In The Mirror?

We are all mirrors for each other. The qualities we see in the people around us are directly related to the traits that exist in us. We attract individuals into our lives that mirror who we are. Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them. Simply put, when you look at others, you will likely see what exists in you. When you see beauty, divinity, sweetness, or light in the soul of another, you are seeing the goodness that resides in your soul. When you see traits in others that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance, or hatred, you may be seeing reflected back at you those parts of yourself that you have disowned or do not like. Because we are all mirrors for each other, looking at the people in your life can tell you a lot about yourself. It is easy to see the traits you do not like in others. It is much more difficult to realize that you possess those same traits. Often, the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of others are closely linked to our unconscious and unresolved issues. When you come into contact with someone you admire, search your soul for similarly admirable traits. Likewise, when you meet someone exhibiting traits that you dislike, accept that you are looking at your reflection. Looking at yourself through your perception of others can be a humbling and eye-opening experience. You can also cultivate in yourself the traits and behaviors that you do like. Be loving and respectful to all people, and you will attract individuals that will love and respect you back. Nurture compassion and empathy and let the goodness you see in others be your mirror. ~ Madisyn Taylor

This week’s intention challenges us to see more beauty in the mirror—in ourselves and in others–receiving and reflecting unconditional love, encouragement, and acceptance. ❤️

When we’re in a good mood, we shine like the sun. But if we find ourselves in the presence of a person, or people, in a grumpy mood, it can feel like a dark cloud approaching to dim our radiance and block our positive way of seeing the world. We can remind ourselves that clouds pass, while the sun and stars continue to shine above. Like a lighthouse, we can continue to shine through the darkness, offering our light to help others find their way back to their own. We can send them a silent prayer of peace or a sympathetic smile. If they need understanding, we can empathize without reinforcing the negativity they may be experiencing by directing their attention someplace more positive. ~ Madisyn Taylor

★ You impact the energy of any space, and influence the people around you.

★ When you experience a negative thought or emotion towards yourself, or another—and we all have them—take a deeper look inside and notice what arises. “That’s interesting. What’s that all about?!”

★ Always make a point to impart a positive word and a cheery smile. Know something good is going to happen!

★ Be less judgey and more lovey.

Breath Meditation:

Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth a few times. Now continue a smooth, steady breath in and out through the nose, and direct your attention to the area between the heart and the belly.

As you inhale, visualize receiving unconditional love, encouragement, and acceptance. As you exhale, visualize giving it all away with gratitude…UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, ENCOURAGEMENT, ACCEPTANCE.

Exhaling is the most relaxing phase of breathing, so take twice as long to exhale as to inhale. We are blessed when we give away unconditional love, encouragement, and acceptance to others.

Continue to sink into your breath rhythm. Feel it rejuvenating every cell, bringing life to your body, mind, and spirit.

The mind is calmed in the cradle of the heart. ❤️

“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness there is, as well as how much space.” ~ Pema Chodron

“It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.” ~ Rumi

May we receive and reflect more beauty as we gracefully gaze into our mirrors.

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I Love You, Mom ❤️

My beautiful Mom entered the gates of Heaven on May 2, 2018. Please enjoy her full obituary HERE. 🙏🏻


My journal entries have been soaked in tears, yet comfort and peace fills my heart. ❤️

Here is my entry from May 3, 2018 — the day after my Mom’s passing.

“Her presence was with me last night — energetically blanketing me — stroking my hair and telling me she was with Jesus. Thank you God for this sweet assurance! Your Grace runs deep.”

Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 TPT

I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty. ~ Philippians 4:13 TPT

The tears I continue to cry are dried by the breath of love. I love you, Mom. ❤️

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