Friday, December 5, 2008

Strangers May Cheer You Up, Study Says

How happy you are may depend on how happy your friends’ friends’ friends are, even if you don’t know them at all.

And a cheery next-door neighbor has more effect on your happiness than your spouse’s mood.

So says a new study that followed a large group of people for 20 years — happiness is more contagious than previously thought.“Your happiness depends not just on your choices and actions, but also on the choices and actions of people you don’t even know who are one, two and three degrees removed from you,” said Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis

Contagious Happiness





Thursday, December 4, 2008


"I can't suddenly tell you
all the things I should tell you --
pardon me, friend, you'll understand
that though you don't hear a word
I never burst into tears or dozed off,
but I am with you without ever seeing you,
time out of mind, till the end. ... "

For Everybody
Pablo Neruda

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Light


Radiant is the sun. And the sun is in your heart always.
Focus on the inner sun. Imagine the bright globe of light in the center of your chest. Feel it’s healing energies filling your body and radiating right out into your aura. This is a new day. A new beginning. A new chapter in the book of your life. Call on the light within to inspire, uplift, energize and cleanse.
Use this affirmation before each meal today for better digestion of physical and emotional food today:
My heart is filled with love, my mind is inspired and my body is energized.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Magic Ingredient


Life is busy. And we work hard to get where we need to go. In all of the activity and bustle we forget the magic ingredient, the elixir of Life, the key to the kingdom – Love. Take a moment and see your heart as a vessel, a vessel made of golden living matter. Visualize a tiny bright sun dwelling within your golden heart. See the sun grow and expand, it’s ray’s creating a pleasant feeling of warmth in your chest. See these rays expanding further, through your chest and body and beyond, filling your aura and the room in which you sit. Know that the light of your heart is Love. You are this very instant filled with Love. You radiate love. Love embraces and encompasses you and everyone with whom you interact today.
Affirmation:
Love fills me; love inspires me; love comforts and heals me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

balance


Walking through the day I practice balance in all things. First, I walk thoughtfully and balance myself on my two feet. As I engage in exchanges with others I balance myself inwardly, responding with a kind word, or when that's not possible, no word at all. As I sit down to eat, I keep a balanced plate, choosing a variety of fresh nourishing foods. Finally I keep the balance by giving myself the sleep hours I need to feel energized and clear minded.
photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio

www.revstef.com

Monday, November 17, 2008

ease on down the road


Row gently down the stream today. Let the chaos around you happen, don't try to stop it. Allow yourself to live with ease today. When pressures arise, acknowledge them, and then release them. Choose to focus on one thing at a time. Choose to live fully, one moment at a time. There will be time for every task, every hello and goodbye.

photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio

Friday, November 14, 2008

order

photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio
Order is good. Out of chaos, creation emerged, and natural law was present in the fiber of creation. Natural laws exist not only in the physical world, but also in all worlds, visible and invisible. We're taught these laws, but think of them as nice sayings: as you sow, so shall you reap; give to receive; as above, so below. These laws of Spirit enable me to see order in my world, even when there seems to be chaos. God is good. God is order. Today I seek to find the order in the chaos, the patterns in seemingly random happenings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

notions

photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio
I've got a notion about the day, a preconcieved notion, based on the full schedule I'm facing. Yes that preconceived notion is that it's going to be a long day and I'm going to get very tired. It makes me tired just thinking about the many tasks, places and people that will be filling the day!

Right now I'm turning that notion around. Right now I'm creating a new notion by opening my mind and heart to infinite possibility. As I travel through this day I see the humor in people and circumstances around me. And humor infuses lightness and joy into each experience, each interaction. As I travel through this day I am open to seeing the good in each circumstance and person. I see myself arriving at the end of the day feeling full, at peace and ready for gentle rest.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Life

photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio
I am one of many cells in the larger body called humanity. I can contribute powerfully positive energy to the larger body, or do the reverse. My choice. Today I choose to add to the health of the larger body by consciously aligning myself with the One life. Beginning within I set the stage for a healthy connection with the world around me and with all aspects of my self and so life flows, grows and flourishes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

infinite possibilities


photo by Frances Pelzman Liscio
Premise: the universe is infinite, therefore the possibilities for growth, discovery, experience and accomplishment are infinite.

Wow, that sounds a bit overwhelming… infinite possibilities. The truth is the degree to which we open up to the One Life determines the degree to which we become infinite. To what degree can I open to the One Life?

And how can I open up to infinite possibilities when I’m sitting in the middle of real responsibilities and challenges that draw me away from meditation upon the Infinite and into focusing on specifics in this moment? Well, I do need to take care of business. Handling responsibilities while remaining aware of the Infinite is a balancing act.

One of the fastest ways to open up to the infinite is through practicing gratitude. In this moment I stop and take a deep breath and let it go. Next deep breath I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude. I’m grateful for life in all its manifestations within and around me. I grow my awareness through a simple exercise. I focus on deep appreciation for five specific things in my world.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Self-care

photo by frances pelzman liscio
Self-care is the focus of the day. No, I'm not going to a spa! Going about my daily work, my goal is to be mindful of several ways in which I can nuture myself within the context of work and everyday living. Focus on self-nurturing inclines me to be gentle and supportive with myself. A gentle touch is one that temporarily sets aside willfulness and creates space for listening. The more gently I handle myself, the more gently I can interact with others.

Talking about hurts, difficult situations and disappointments helps one feel loved and appreciated. Staying focused on the positive is powerful. But if we are filled with sorrow, regret, disappointment and pain, then discharging that pain is primary. After this important work is done, we can move on to share the positive experiences and hopes and dreams.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

renewal

photo by frances pelzman liscio
It's a new day. And today we have a new President elect. I'm exhausted from following the long campaign. And the exhaustion is a combination of relief and emotion fully spent.

Today the road of possibilities stretches open far and wide. This is a time to dream and dream big, a time to consider well the potentials in the road ahead. I believe there is a way that our actions individually can positively impact our collective good. One of the biggest challenges is to get specific. I invite you to join me in writing down a list of goals for the coming four years. By using this time frame, I'm not implying political action, so much as seeking to create a context of meaning for individual actions within a larger cycle. It's not good enough to make my own world better. The challenge rises up to share, to add my energies to social and/or community healing.

So take a few minutes today to join me in meditating on change. Allow yourself to dream of new paths and dare to dream of following through on old ideas laying fallow. And if you are not feeling inspired, know that focused intention is a prelude to accomplishment, and gently guide yourself to your dream.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

hope


Hope was on the faces of my fellow citizens as they left the voting booths this morning. A half hour wait at 7AM made this an unusually large voter turn out in my local polling place. There was a sense of communion present, as crowds gathered and shared in a ritual that unites us, even as our votes might divide.

I take hope into myself, meditate upon it and return to the realization that every day holds the promise of a new beginning. Every moment can hold hope, if I choose it. Hope springs out of my mind and heart, when I align my thoughts with possibility.

photo by Frances Pelzman Liscio

Monday, November 3, 2008

fear comes up

photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio
(Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. – Random House unabridged dictionary)

I experience fear as that queasy feeling in the pit of the stomach. It both upsets and activates.

Fear is after all the emotional manifestation of adrenaline, which is released into the system in times of stress or perceived threat. Perception that something in the world around me is a threat lies at the root of anxiety. Lack of conscious response to anxiety, that is to say feeling it and saying to myself I feel anxious, supports growth of anxiety. The antidote is a return to the light.

Then when I feel anxious I can reference my source. Remember who I AM and where I come from. I am a child of Light. I am a child of the One Life within which I live and move and have my being. And everything and everyone around me is part of this One Life. Today I consciously make the choice to remember who I AM. I AM a creative force, co-creator with God. What I think repeatedly, begins to manifest within and around me. Today I remember that everything and everyone around me is part of the great creation. Within this knowledge, I am safe, I am cared for. I can express positive energy. I can benefit myself and those around me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcome

*photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio

Welcome to you and to me (!), into this space, a place to ruminate and channel inspired thoughts. By starting this blog, I'm committing to daily postings of inspired thoughts and ruminations that may provide me and you some insight and food for thought.

“Begin within” means dipping inside myself to channel inspired thoughts. Begin within is also a call to look inside when confronted with difficult circumstances, to reflect first, then react.

And so I begin on this Sunday, November 2, 2008, two days before our presidential election. Everyone I've spoken with in the past month has felt a sense of dread associated with this election. People are afraid that if one candidate wins, not theirs, the country will go to pieces. Both camps are feeling this. Now, as we're nearing the finish line, fear seems to be multiplying daily. What specifically are people afraid of? Depends on which side of the political fence you're sitting on. My intention in making this post is not to analyze the election or promote a particular candidate or party, but rather to encourage self reflection.

Fear based anything delivers us straight to proverbial hell. We've got to move beyond fear! I believe that at this intense moment in our cultural experience we are in spiritual crisis. We are living in a culture that has promoted fear, envy, greed and worship of material wealth. We're experiencing a profound lack of moral, ethical and spiritual input and focus. Its time to focus on what we need, not so much on a tangible level, but on the intangible areas of kindness, love, sharing, generosity and genuine connection with others. Yes, we do need spiritual focus because we are more than our bodies. We are spiritual beings. Some of us have based actions on these spiritual qualities and are doing good work. But not enough of us are seeding our social groups with moral and ethical ideas and actions. Focusing on the good within me and you leads to growing that good. We are creatures of habit, and what we do, we tend to do more of. And we also imitate what we see around us. As we see, so we do. I call upon you to begin within. Focus on and express

I end this post with a call to set your intention, before the election results are in, to what you want to accomplish in the coming four years. First, how do you want your community to change over the coming four years? Lets not wait for someone to fix things for us. Lets use this time of uncertainty as a call to create the changes we want to see in our community. What will you be doing in 20012? Were do you want to be four years from now? Jot down a few notes for yourself. The process can be most enlightening, and often leads to committing to a plan of action that produces tangible results.

A note about the photo: Frances Pelzman Liscio dear friend and mega talented photographer captured this grasshopper on a sunflower growing in my front garden. The grasshopper stayed for weeks, chomping his way through leaves on three sunflowers. She became a sort of mascot. I looked for her everyday, and smiled when I saw her hiding under the leaves in a heavy rain, or out on top of the flower, warming in the morning sun. One day when Fran was visiting with camera in hand, she captured this little creature and the warmth of the golden light that radiated from the flowers.