A Healthy Heart

Video

This video is beautiful, funny and heartfelt. What makes a healthy heart? A healthy heart is not just about what you eat, which tends to the physical heart, but it is also about tending to our “greater” heart. A heart filled with kindness, compassion, love, forgiveness, peace, joy, unity, passion… these are the “greater” omegas, heart healthy “foods” to serve and nurture ourselves with every moment of everyday. Run, bike, hike, swim, walk, paddle; be food conscious and make wise choices for your heart and body; live, love, laugh and practice kindness. Now how great would the hearts of this world be in body, mind and spirit if we served ourselves and others “greater” servings daily.

Love the voices, thoughts and hearts of these children. May they stay in their beautiful innocence and kindness all their days; the future of our world will be bright and true.

Beads of Summer

 

ImageIt is midsummer, azure blue skies, singing birds.  These two things alone bring such delight into my day. I revel in the feel of them, the pure bliss of their presence. The Allman Brothers sing “…you’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day…” oh the love love.

 One gorgeous sunny day connects with every delicious sunny day I have ever known, like beautiful beads on a long strand of life. Some have little birds on them, others flowers or bugs, and some cool crystal water with watermelon colored rims. A sweet bead holds the heart of summer love and another the graceful waves of green grasses waving in cooling breezes. Bead after bead, multi-colored millefiori, a thousand flowers, faceted and plain, bold and soft, prismatic and opaque, to play through my fingers as mala beads with their mantra of scent and sound. They wrap and drape whispering their stories, reminders of continuity and returns.
 To cherish; to treat and hold as dear; to prize, treasure; to nurture. And as such I cherish these days, these beads of summer and hold them dear; prized, treasures of golden booty, aquamarine lined. And I nurture them with thanks and gratitude in simple appreciation for their bounty rich patina, bead strands layered in color and texture. Sing to these days, harmonize with the birds, flutter as butterflies, adorn in the colors of the summer rose or a field of wildflowers. Don the diamonds of morning dew glistening upon the web of Grandmother Spider, good weavings to herald the days. Feel the sun upon your skin and hair; sweet kisses to make young the love of the mighty heart. Dance fairy light; rompin’ rowdy; move, move your feet upon the grass, sand, earth, clay… but stir it up, gather beads and string them high and low.  Gather them as a storyteller; let them burst upon summers tongue and tease the palate for more… more. Nurture up, big, deep and wide. Nurture the summer within and without with delicious light and bright. Hold them cherished; beautiful bountiful beads of lush summery goodness.

Summer Solstice 2013

ImageHappy  Summer  Solstice!

Started out the early morning on the back patio surrounded by beautiful flowers and fruit trees with a nice dose of yogic stretching and chanting. The sprinkles started before the mats went down, nice and gentle and of course kicked in to a steady rain. It was perfect even though eventually we had to throw in the towel (or grab the towel) and move indoors. Aromatic yogi tea and cool summer rain is an enticing combo. The morning now sits quiet under a gray sky, the land wet and watered. Birds are beginning to sing and it is time for breakfast.

I am thankful for the length of days, long light in the sky and the rich sun energy. I am thankful for the sounds of the day, the scents and textures, the human-ness through which I experience their tangible qualities.  I am thankful for chant music and the beauty of sound current which transcends and elevates. I am thankful for yoga and breath, through which the disciplines of my life are engaged over and over and limitations are challenged and overcome. It doesn’t matter whether I am happy in a day, sad or otherwise, I have the day. I have the day, to make of it what I choose. It is a gift of life. Have a day filled with whatever you choose, from the first full breath of morning to last settled breath taking you into sleep. My your day bring life.

Losing My Religion for Equality…by Jimmy Carter

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices – as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy – and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place – and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence – than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

OBSERVER

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media

Via: Women’s Press

My Muse & Me ~ A Feminine Expression

My dear friend Guru Kirn Kaur from New Mexico, took up her brush and has been lost to this passion since brush stroke and painted merged on canvas. An innately creative woman, this expression has awakened the creative muse within her in a way she has not experienced before and she is in LOVE!
Shiloh Sophia McCloud is an amazing artist and teaches workshops guiding women into a place of expression which is deeply moving, healing and expressive. The art created is rich and overflowing with beautifully invoking and evoking images from the soul, deeply healing the feminine in us all.
Guru Kirn mentioned that many of the pieces in the video were created by women who had never painted before. What amazing potential we all have sitting within the well of our creativity.
Take time to sit back and be present with the parade of feminine images presented through this video. The music is beautiful and the artwork stunning. A meditative break in the midst of your day. Enjoy.

Sheila Kelley & The New Wave of The Sacred Feminine ~ A Ted Talk

A woman I know was invited by Sheila Kelley, founder of S Factor to come and take a complimentary S Factor class. She fell in love with S Factor and immediately enrolled. She called me in tears saying the classes touched and moved something deep inside of her so profoundly she could not let it go. That a profound healing of her femininity and sexuality was unfolding moment by moment. When I last saw her I noticed not only how toned her body was but how confident she felt about herself, how she moved with a freedom and beauty and a smile on her face. I did not once hear her ask me “do I look okay in this, do you think I look fat, I hate this or that part of my body”. Her self-deprecation was just not there. She talked with love and enthusiasm about her love for S Factor and how thankful she is everyday that this came to her, that she gets to dance this beautiful body story, discover her “erotic creature” and play on the pole. With not once ounce of self-consciousness or embarrassment she offered to show me some of her dance. It was amazing and so beyond gorgeous. I am so pleased for her, for her ability to take the healing of her own sensual/sexual being in hand and own who she is.
I was recently sent this video of Sheila Kelley’s Ted Talk. Wow!! There is so much I could say here but Sheila says it all… and so passionately. Take time to watch, and pass it on.
 

Divine Mother ~ A Mothers Blessing

Divine Mother ~ A Mothers Blessing, Part III of the Divine Feminine Sacred Goddess Series.

Creating these videos are a time consuming labor of love, often taking months to gather and sort through images, including only those which truly express the particular energy I want to have resonate from the piece in alignment with the Sacred. The music is Mothers Blessing from Liberation’s Door by Snatam Kaur. It is very beautiful and invokes a heart essence of love and more love.