Wednesday, April 30, 2008

THE WRITE REWARD for (me!) sandra, ttgp

here's the deal.. for every drawer or closet section or counter top i clean... i'm gonna let myself write a little somethin'

today, i finally went through the avalanche of papers & misc stuff overflowing in my wicker-basket organizer thingie in the kitchen -what a relief!

catherine would be proud. she's my ultra organized, on top of everything friend, who in fact gave me the wicker organizer in the first place, to help me along..

and last night we had dinner together at baker's square in livemore where a big sign hangs on the outside of the restaurant that reads TUESDAYS: KIDS EAT FREE

we love that price. -and i'm not sure catherine and her two adorable children will want to dine with me and my two adorable children again, because.. well, i'm not the greatest role model when it comes to nutrition..

i think chocolate chip pancakes for dinner is perfectly fine -don't you? anyway.. we had a good visit.. and when someone else is making the food and cleaning the dishes, you won't hear any complaints from me

but i couldn't help but complain some too when catherine noticed the price on our check was kinda high..

only two out of the four kids actually ATE FOR FREE... and EAT FREE, does not mean DRINK FREE.. so there was a charge for the two milks (that would be for catherine's children) and two sodas (which go lovely with the chocolate pancakes i ordered for my children)

anyway.. short story shorter.. my kids didn't eat free because i didn't eat at all (having something to do with my 4 o'clock hunger attack and enchilada) -so- the real deal at baker's square is this:

with every one full over-priced adult meal, two kids eat (but do not drink!) for free.

"but it doesn't say that anywhere," catherine said to the manager, "it's not on the sign.. it's not anywhere on the menu," she continued, "how can you do that? the sign says kids eat free on tuesdays.. that's it.. not IF you buy an adult meal..."

and you're going to love this... the manager leaned in towards catherine and i, and she said,

"i'm not supposed to say this, but that's how we take advantage of our customers."

and i've been giggling ever sense.. but i don't think you'll see catherine at any bakers square restaurants for a long time..

AND since i'm bloggin' 'bout catherine.. mine as well add in and share that catherine is the first recipient of the new and now annual


if you've never heard of it, it's because i just made it up, -the lucky, lucky you award is to be bestowed on friends by friends when something like this happens -'cuz check this out:

it was february, 2008, 9:30ish in the early morning, coffee beans n' bistro, pleasanton

and four of us mom friends were meeting for coffee to celebrate february birthdays

AND because we were celebrating.. we each made that special extra effort before going out in public and took showers, and put on make-up, and accesorized and everything

and i don't think i'll be hurting anyone's feelings to point out that out of all of us.. catherine was lookin' especially hot and gorgeous and all around beautiful



now let's all count on a fingerless hand just how often that happens...

"cheers! to you my lucky, lucky friend! the God's are with you!"

-and now...

bottom drawer in the kitchen: attack.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

IN A WORD (in a panic) IN A WORD (in a panic)

-k-, so -as if to balance things out, despite a lower more managable anxiety level in the days prior to appearing on the show, my anxieties peaked up to like a 32 (that's on a scale of 1-10), in the hours, then moments before cameras were rolling. and, due to technical issues behind the scenes, our segment was postponed a bit, so -lucky me- i got to sit with these feelings for even longer. i felt nauseous. my heart raced. nauseous. nauseous. nauseous. then my brain starts yelling at me


and it really is confusing isn't it.. because sometimes -as seen on oprah- fear is a gift. it means get the hell out while you can.

and there was violet -beautiful violet- and so i knew that when i ran out the door, a) kathy and jim would still have a guest and i wouldn't be ruining the show, and b) kathy and jim are friends of mine and would one day forgive me

and i wrestled with these thoughts and feelings from about 8:45am - through getting ready - through showing up - kind of in the background/on hold during conversations in the lobby and on the set - peaking in the write before, when the mic was handed to me - all the way until jim and kathy opened the show and introduced us

and once the conversation got started everything was okay.

so i've locked it in my head: -ignore that fear!- i've rather given up on the idea i can make it go away, but i can function through it. past it. and make it to the other side.

the other side. -the other side is pure heaven-

and on the upside of this experience, i loved meeting violet, who it turns out, is the daughter-in-law of my friend and neighbor. -seeing susan- friend from the poetry/prose festival who was there for the "few more words" commentary segment that concludes the show, and always, always, love seeing jim ott and kathy cordova, and then also enjoyed meeting sarah jane, who was there to showcase her children's book: hope's garden, -was quite inspired by her background stories, and thrilled to add this success story and book to our inscribed book collection -this one for my son jack.

all n' all a wonderful day.

i'm wanting to move on to the next book, next author, next lessons, but can't leave a new earth without addressing one more area of great interest to me:

this comes from the companion guide printed out on specifically this from tolle:

outflow determines inflow (pg 191)

in full: chapter 7/ question 5: -whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world (pg 190). this week, try the following and see how it changes your daily interactions, relationships, and life itself: whatever you think people are withholding from you-praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on-give it to them. you don't have it? just act as if you had it, and it will come... you cannot receive what you don't give. outflow determines inflow.

it is my experience that this statement, this philosopny is not true across the board, but is true sometimes -you must weigh, evaluate on a person to person, circumstance to circumstance


sometimes you give love, understanding, patience, praise.. etc, and you receive those things in return.

sometimes you give love, understanding, patience, praise, benefit of the doubt, etc, and you get walked on, abused and taken advantage of

i like the idea of love/patience, kindness, etc. serving as our default settings -our first way of behaving, responding to people and situations, but we need to override that setting based on outcome, based on the personality, characteristics, behaviors of the other person

often i see the victims in abusive relationships further victimized by trying to adopt this philosophy: trying even harder to be nice, generous, giving, kind, loving to someone who clearly only abuses, controls and undermines the giver with great selfishness. -when you give with love, and get abuse/control/selfishness in return, i say


and secondly, and of grave importance to me: this idea of outflow determining inflow.

if there is one HUGE SWEEPING neglected area in the lives of the people i observe around me (self included)

one area of greatest blindness and unconsciousness in my given population; it is this: how much


i think most people have no idea how impactful, how influencial, how significantly their daily INFLOW effects and determines their OUTFLOW

i suggest an inventory: a look into every single little thing your eyes, your senses, your brain intakes on a day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute basis

every show you watch, every thing hanging on your walls, every person you encounter, every book and/or magazine you see/read, every billboard you pass, every radio commercial/program you hear.. every wall.. the inside of every cupboard.. the words in every conversation.. the things that fill your room, your bathroom, your office,.. on and on..

i say, ...if you are unhappy.. if you are unhappy, unhealthy, stuck in any way.. take a long, serious look, an inventory of the INPUT in your life -your individual INPUT-

and by changing our INPUT -this can automatically change our OUTPUT-

changing the magazines you read, the programs you listen to , the amount and type of television, changing your environment, circle of friends if necessary, changing the color on your walls, the foods and beverages you digest, the art/pictures in your office.. changing as much as you can to SERVE you, lift you, guide you, elevate and educate and nuture you

for each and everything you observe ask this: does this lift me? bother me? neutral? -does this person, thing, or object increase my self-esteem or lower it? neutral?

i see great power -have experienced great power and healing- -have observed great power and healing in others- who pay attention to the INPUT of their daily lives.. and adjust it to bring them joy, happiness, self-esteem, confidence, peace, love

i feel i cannot put enough emphasis on this knowledge i have gained: how much i know our INFLOW determines our OUTFLOW... -and then the reciprocal relationship between the two.

once again, the book blink by malcolm gladwell comes to mind.

okay then, ready to move on...

thank you cards to jim ott, kathy cordova

Monday, April 21, 2008

IN A WORD or several paragraphs.. by (me!) sandra, ttgp

i'm grateful i've been re-invited as a guest on in a word to discuss the book, a new earth, awakening to your life's purpose by eckhart tolle, with hosts kathy cordova, jim ott, and fellow guest violet.

and i feel compelled to report my personal progress: if i were to graph out my anxiety level prior to my first guest appearance on in a word, to discuss blogging -some two years ago i believe.. and we were to use a scale 0-10. 0=no anxiety 10=near paralysis/phobic

then prior to that first appearance i would rank myself around 25.

the second time, which was to group discuss the book, eat, pray, love; perhaps a 20.

the third time, which i volunteered for -which was to read a 90 second commentary i had written myself regarding the joys of blogging, and included my first experience with a teleprompter: not so bad.

and this time, which will be filmed tomorrow morning, i think i might actually be around a 10!

that is big progress for someone like me. i realize the reduction in my level of anxiety will not necessarily equate with an experience of success during the participation, but i'll take what i can get

i'll repeat what has helped and worked in the past: i've read and am re-reading the book; taking notes along the way..

i'm ignoring the bundle of thoughts that ALWAYS intrude when i'm trying to break out of my comfort zone. i do always panic some.. i do always quite seriously consider canceling..

i let those thoughts come and go, just the same way i let dark/negative thoughts come and go which i know are tied to my female hormone cycle and not necessarily tied to reality.

i always pray for the courage, strength to follow-through. i pray for the lightness of heart, grace humor and perspective required to forgive myself immediately for any bloopers, short-comings, mistakes, stutters, errors, total blanks, etc.

and i can report progress in those areas, but confidence still eludes me.

eludes but does not stop me.

the one consistent thing to help me in this situation -and to help me with just about any and every life situation is to write. -hence this post-

my concern once again, is not in having not enough to say; but too much. we will discuss this book, four people, in approx a 15 minute conversation (friendly conversation.. friendly conversation... friendly conversation...)

the same book which is being discussed over 13 weeks and 8 workbook chapters on

this requires very definite honing/thought-organzing skills. i have my own notes, and for purposes of easing my anxiety through preparedness -a short list of potential questions i requested from kathy

my experience is that i talk better/clearer about a topic if i've written about it first. -here we go:

what does the title mean? for me the title is one of great hope; a new earth. a clear vision that each enlightened human being contributes to the awakening of love and peace for the entire earth -global enlightenment- which is the only path toward world peace. we cannot achieve world peace with only a portion of the population awake, while other portions are stuck. the unstuck need to reach out and help the others.. everyone matters; no geographic boundaries

it is not "a new america" we are after. not a new "hollywood" -not a new africa-

not a new political system or new religion. the goal is write in the title: a new earth

i like the subtitle also: awakening to your life's purpose. to life's purpose. life's. when you slow down enough to quiet the mind and evaluate.. meditate.. you realize life -life itself- has a purpose for you. often life's purpose is in conflict with your ego's purpose.. your families assigned purpose for you; life's purpose may in fact be in conflict with your religion's purpose, your employers purpose.. culturally assigned purposes... on and on.

in my observations, i am grateful to see how often life's purpose wins -against all odds-

this gives me hope.

why did i decide to read this book? i believe inspiration is as important to the soul as water is to the body -we each need several servings a day. as a result i am always on the lookout for material related to personal growth.. enlightenment... world peace. as an admirer of oprah.. (who also introduced me to martha beck, and who shares my love and respect for Dr Maya Angelou) her endorsement of this work factored in and greatly influenced my purchase of this particular book -plus i was very excited to see the internet used for a such a noble and positive and exciting purpose -her global -FREE- her free, global online workshop with herself and the author and everyone from around the world invited to participate; very exciting!

(although i opted out of the online class after initial technical problems w/podcast -still reading and completing the workbook i printed from online)

was i already on the path to spiritual awakening? -big yes!- i've been on the path for several years now.. mostly in a steady walk.. occasional leap.. few slips and falls..

but i remember well times in my life i was very stuck. very stuck. paralyzed by fears, manipulated by the judgements of others.. full of self loathing..

the ongoing diet of spiritual books, teachings, classes, etc. has paid off dramatically. i am 80% (on average) healed.. 80% of the time at complete peace -enjoying happiness, health, well being, wonderful friendships, family relationships, creativity, new experiences.. very optimistic, with a fragile open heart

i am no longer paralyzed by fears, and rarely allow other people's harsh/negative judgements to alter my behavior or decisions

i recognize and bounce back from set-backs more quickly. i feel almost ready for what i view as my personal next step: embracing confidence and handling success. -this is much more challenging than some might imagine

most powerful passages? three stand-outs for me: pg 41: life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. how do you know this is experience you need? because this is the experience you are having at this moment.

pg 62: non-reaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only for going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego.

pg 268: we could say that the totality -life - wants the sapling to become a tree, but the sapling doesn't see itself as separate from life and so wants nothing for itself. it is one with what life wants. that's why it isn't worried or stressed.

( i think discovering your authentic nature, and living accordingly.. even when that nature is in conflict with family/religious/cultural/corporate/etc dictates or expectations -is to be at one with what life wants.. and in so doing a great peace is known; love. God. God as life and love; all the same. - that feeling that the planets have aligned...)

pg 295: the modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm.

what didn't resonate?: pg 201: ego as defined simply this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment. (?). -my experience/observation is that there is healthy and unhealthy aspects of the ego. it is on purpose, a part of each human being.. i see ego as both functional and dysfunctional -not exclusively dysfunctional- but as sometimes immature.. unevolved.. sometimes highjacked by alcohol or drugs, prolonged abuse by others..

false beliefs attached between accomplishment and self-worth..

(without page/passage reference...but) also, see a healthy life, enlightened conscious, as inclusive and respectful of past, present and hope for the future.. living in the "now" for me, means simply to be fully present in whatever i am doing at a given time -without preoccupations of worry, guilt, anger, fear or any negative thing robbing me from my current experience -which is potentially creating a valuable memory, and/or teaching a lesson and/or providng access to hope and inspiration for the future

other books i would recommend: anything by martha beck, maya angelou, wayne dyer, kahlil gibran, elizabeth gilbert's eat, pray, love.. martin luther king, blink.. let go, let miracles happen (wink here to kathy cordova -her book, and the variety of inspirational stories inside, a big help...) the list is too long really.. christiane northrup -huge help!-


returning tonight to answer more potential questions.. will be present with my children and their homework for now ")