Monday, October 26, 2009

Using "The Peaceful Scene"

Creative visualization is a powerful tool. Many theorists in the area of creative visualization assert that by visualizing what you want, your goals, or actions, you are likely to achieve what you are imagining. In fact, a book was recently written on the topic that has had some popularity called The Secret.

However, there are other powerful uses of creative visualization. One that I use a lot is what I term, "the peaceful scene". The peaceful scene is governed by your own emotional reactions to different types of settings. Therefore, for a peaceful scene to be most effective for you, it should be created by you.

I will share my two current ones, though, in the hope that it might help inspire others in building their own peaceful scene. Anyone can borrow any aspect of mine and apply it to their own process. I'd also love to hear about other people's creations so I can build some more for myself! You can never have too many tools in the stress toolbox.

My first one involves the ocean. I imagine myself in a hammock on a beach of soft, white sand, where the water is a translucent blue. I can feel the breeze rocking me and hear the water softly rippling. I drag one of my hands in the water, feeling its coolness run over my fingers. It only takes a few seconds to formulate this scene in my mind and I can stay there for as long as I choose (and without anyone who happnes to be around to know what I am doing.)

My second one has been formed recently. I actually "stole" it from a movie. I should probably thank the cinematographer for the peceaful scene. The movie is "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". I finally got around to seeing it a few weeks ago. The scene is in the forest, in a room seemingly without a ceiling, just walls with a huge window. Two of the main characters are there and the man expresses the desire to be with the female character in this setting, leaving real world complications behind. I imagine myself there at a little round table, sipping warm tea, listening to the rustling of the leaves.

Using existing scenes and adapting them to your emotional perspective is a great strategy. Especailly movies that have wonderful cinematopgrahpy where almost every scene is breathtaking. Not that your pecaeful scene has to be beautiful or breathtaking. The only rule with this strategy is that it works for you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Being More; Doing Less

As I explained in one of my previous posts, my major goal in all my expressions is to bring something beneficial and of worth to the world. In contemplating this idea, (as I tend to overthink everything!), I have often wondered what the best way is to make my contribution.

Many wise people have said that to change the world, you have to start with yourself. This is one of those pieces of truth that is easier said than done. How do we actually change ourselves in a way that benefits the world around us? Conventional wisdom would say "do more" but the real difference comes from "be more", which can actually mean doing less.

What is meant by "be more"? Well, simply put, self-evolution. Being aware of yourself in the moment and how you are "being" in the world. It's having the courage to shine a light into yourself and paying attention to how "who you are" is affecting those around you. Then striving to be more of the big three:

Be more Accepting (of yourself)

Be more Kind (to yourself)

Be more Loving (to yourself)

Ultimately, be more of a living embodiment of your divine self which only you can find and define. One has only to look at the great ones to see the point. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha are all examples of this principle. Their actions were secondary to them being who they were. Their actions were a natural expression of who they were which gave power and genuineness to what they did.

The way to be a better you starts with one basic principle: pay attention to yourself, observe yourself, love yourself. Some ways to do this are:
1. Meditation

2. Daily reminders to yourself to pay attention to yourself and be kind to yourself.

3. Connecting with others who are also on the path to "be more"

4. Ask yourself questions like "who am I?" and "what is my purpose?"

5. Spend some quality time with yourself!

There is a buddhist saying: "You can explore the universe looking for somebody who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and you will not find that person anywhere."
Happy Being to everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan--Not Broken!

I love Amy Tan. She has long been one of my favorite writers. I think I should be up front about that before I dive into a review of her novel Bonesetter's Daughter. Also, it is important to know that I like character driven novels versus novels that are more plot-driven.

Bonesetter's Daughter, and most of Amy Tan's writing, is character-driven. Tan does this type of writing masterfully. This novel is no exception. What Tan does so well in terms of character is give us someone with strengths and weaknesses. There is tragedy and hope residing in the same house, giving the reader the full spectrum of human experience.

As with her other novels, we see a personal journey of the character in dealing with cultural and generational differences. Additionally, there is a seeking for understanding the experiences of those closest to us and trying to understand another human being's journey. This novel is a study of a mother/daughter relationship and the daughter's journey to truly understand her mothers' story.

It is definitely classic Amy Tan. Although I enjoyed the novel, I prefer Kitchen God's Wife. However, if you are an Amy Tan fan like me, you will definitely enjoy this novel. I also highly recommend all of Tan's short stories for the same reasons. On my bookmark scale [from 1 (burn after reading to 10 (I can read this ten more times)], I'll give this novel a 7.5.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Six Words--Thanks for the Prompt!!

I love this idea! My six words for the moment are

Happily holding a blue soft Himalayan

The six word idea comes from