Sunday, February 21, 2010

365 Lessons-Lesson 47: Awaken your Intuition


My husband, Seong Yoon Lee, is a believer. What does that mean exactly? He believes in what he is doing so much that he is willing to make very bold statements. Sometimes his statements scare me. When we were living in South Korea, he used to say things like, "Quit your English teaching job and teach yoga full-time to Koreans." This was his suggestion to me when I was at the end of my rope with my teaching gig in Korea. I just looked at him with wide eyes and an opened mouth. All I could think of was How will I do that? Well, I did it. I quit my job, got my yoga teacher's license in Colorado and started teaching yoga to agile Koreans while trying to speak Korean. I'm sure I chopped up the language a bit, but it went quite well. For those of you who have just arrived at this blog, my husband used to be a Buddhist monk. After we married, he left the monastery and opened his own yoga school. This was not an easy leap and it's one I am writing about in my book Lessons from the Monk I Married.

Flash forward to 2009, my husband hasn't stopped making these bold statements. Sometime during the past year he said, "I'm going to teach yoga at Microsoft." Guess what he's doing? During the same year he said, "I'm going to open my own yoga school." Now this one I couldn't believe. I mean, we didn't have any money for this..how would it be possible? It's expensive to rent business space, how would we pay for everything? I couldn't wrap my head around it. When I asked him directly how this would be possible, he answered, "I have no idea, I don't think, I feel it."

In early December, I went to a 10-day silent meditation course. When I came back, Seong Yoon had a business partner who wanted to invest his time, energy and money into opening a business with Seong Yoon because he too believes it will be a great success. I thought jokingly, "It's contagious, more and more people are becoming believers." They will open Yoon's Yoga Bliss near Seattle on February 26th. When you are around this kind of energy, you can't help but start to believe in your own inner feelings or intuition.

I asked my husband just now, "What does intuition mean?" and he said, "Message from inside." Most of the time our insides are so jumbled, it's hard to hear anything clearly. Meditation has helped me immensely in tuning in to what I am meant to do.

I have spent periods of 20, 30 and 45 days in silent meditation. All of this time was not wasted; it was training me to hear myself from the inside out. Unknowingly, I have also come to trust my intuition. It takes training to hear what your inside has to say.

My inside is telling me to connect with as many people as possible and share with them the fact that everyone has this possibility of hearing themselves. Meditate, feel your breath, practice yoga, take a walk, get out of your head..all of these are helpful. The most helpful thing I can pass along is to live moment to moment because living in the moment is where you will find your answers. If your mind is racing to the future or falling back to things that happened in the past, you will miss what your intuition wants to tell you. You will miss now and if you keep missing now you will miss your life.

In the evening before my husband and I go to bed, we like to read to each other. I always grab a random book from the stack by our bed and say to my husband, "What page?" The other night he said, "Page 76." Whenever he tells me a page, I say, "You always say that page." He starts to laugh, he knows this isn't true and that I'm playing with him. Then, he lies flat on his back with a peaceful look on his face and closes his eyes. I start to read the page to him.

Page 76 from Awakening Intuition by Frances E. Vaughan had these interesting things to share about intuition:

Perhaps you have had the experience of struggling with a problem or a decision until you were sick of it, and then deciding to forget it for a while. Very often the solution pops into your head when you least expect it. When you stop trying to make something happen, intuition is allowed to operate.

I believe that when you set good intentions which are helpful to you and others and you release those intentions into the universe, without being attached to them or attached to the results, good things will happen. It's the law of nature. The key is to be opened and remain in this moment. I know this to be true as I have seen unbelievable things happen with my own eyes which have caused me to become a "believer" too.

Reposted from my blog Lessons from the Monk I Married

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

So do you observe Lent?
Do you even know what Lent means?
....
Yeah.
Me neither... sorta.

I know it is the time to repent. (right?)

Plus Ash Wed. - what's it all about?
It is the time where you go to church and get ashes in the shape of a cross on the top of your forehead.
It is a little saddening that I have NO IDEA what the specific reason is for Ash Wednesday and I have been raised in a Catholic family for the past 23 1/2 years. --- Yeah my whole life.

So one day I had asked my dad something about religion and it was about four months from my graduation (around Sept. 2009). He just looked at me gave me a pat on the head and said: "Just focus on nursing right now then we'll talk about religion." as he walked away chuckling. Apparently I had made a really weird (and funny?) comment that made no sense. humph.

It is a little sad - I believe - that my own dad even thinks I'm horrible at religion. But I have not been to church in so long that I am more likely to make bad assumptions about religion talk. haha

So the couple of things I do know about Lent are that it is the time of repenting, you have to give up something you love for 40 days, and on Fridays you cannot should not cannot eat any meat - only FISH.
Yum. haha

So I will be doing just that.
I am giving up: white bread. no croissants. no baguettes. no white rolls. (yep. i love it that much that I am giving it up for Lent.)

And I hope to make some more yummy fish dishes for those Fridays.

So. Are you observing Lent?
Can you educate me more on this?
Let me know.

Thanks!
Sofia

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Listen To My First Mind

I know better. When I follow my first mind, I never go wrong. When I deviate, nothing good can come of it.

I recently got my eyebrows waxed, and the nice lady asked about waxing my lip. At first I said no. She was persistant, and I gave in. I know, my first mind is always the way to go, but noooooo.

Read the full story, and see the picture of my swollen lip!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Flame within us all....The Olympics come to Canada!

WOW!!! I have to be honest, I did not know that I would feel this way about the Olympics. Living here you see all the political controversy that an event like this brings to your community. There has been times when I have felt unsure about the benefits that the Olympics would bring.

Like many localities we have issues and problems that need attention and finances...but with the planning of the Olympics for the last 10 years those issues have seemed to take a back seat.

Things like education, medical services, affordable housing for the homeless, as well as housing for the mentally ill.

I want to take this moment to share just a few examples I know of that spurred my unsure nature about this time....

Last summer this province saw a heat wave like no other, and with a lot of our forests being destroyed by the pine beetle it was dry and primed for some ferocious forest fires. Due to the up coming Olympics, funding had been cut for firefighting relief this past summer. So we were ill-equipped to fight the massive extend of forest fires that roared through our interior. You may remember in an earlier post I mentioned my girlfriend’s brother who was found at work with fatal stab wounds. It was determined that they had been self afflicted and though he experienced a miraculous recovery from his wounds there was not a much needed bed open for him in the Psyche Ward and he is now on a waiting list and has been sent home. The beds are full due to the “street clean up” of the mentally ill that live there, on our streets, because of lack of proper housing for them.

When our Olympic bid was accepted there was a promise of an increase in housing for the lower income population to get them off the streets and into homes...what is going on every night, is the police are going around at night, to the popular homeless hangout sites, picking up these people in paddy wagons and housing them in the jails at night.

There is always two side to every coin...I don’t share this other side with you to be a downer or to taint the Olympics themselves....I share to show the honesty of where I live and to shine a light on why I was unsure about this event to begin with.

(for pictures click on The Flame )


As usual, it was my youngest child who brought me into his light...sharing the warmth of his flame.

This past Monday morning The Olympic Flame was to pass through our town on the way to Vancouver. (we live in a suburb of Vancouver) So with all the Olympic charge at school The Scientist was primed to get up early early early to see The Olympic Torch; early being 6:30 am...ceremony beginning at 6:00am. Fortunately for us we live but a mere 15 minute walk from the down town core, so leaving the sleeping Rock Star behind we left home at 5:50am by foot, to head up to the Olympic Torch Ceremonies...and the beginning of my own flame melting my chilly attitude towards The Olympics.

There was a bigger than expected turn out...over 8,000 turned out this early dark winter morning to be a part of this once in a life time event. There was hot chocolate and coffee supplied by The Salvation Army, local dancers preformed, local leaders spoke....but most of all I felt the community and the unity that an event like this brings...beyond all the hidden agendas of those “in power”and the corporate monster that seems to linger everywhere....I felt the unity of the people, and I breathed it in and it was good.

An exciting morning for The Scientist who was fortunate enough to get his picture taken with our National 5 time Olympic medalist of boxing, along with the torch....he and I also took part in the torch relay, and he got his picture taken with Sally Anne, The Salvation Army mascot.


So that was the start of my Olympic journey...and I have to admit when that torch came into the Memorial Peace Park Square I had tears in my eyes...the feeling was undeniable...and in that moment I felt the hearts of all those around me, connected and one. I recognized it is in these moments that our hearts open to one another... I remember thinking God must be smiling...so much disunity in our world, here was a moment along with all the moments that came fore this one and the ones that were to follow. I was happy to be part of it.


Then came the opening day...well if you watched the opening ceremonies you would have seen a beautiful expression of Canadian life West Coast style. It was a visually stunning program featuring some of our favourite singers and musicians. Our aboriginal culture was prominently featured which was so amazing. Even the terrible event of a death to the young Luger from the country of Georgia was handled with class and honour.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/7227952/Winter-Olympics-2010-Nodar-Kumaritashvilis-death-overshadows-opening-ceremony.html


Watching the games this weekend and hearing the stories of these athletes and the countries represented it is a refreshing break from the usual stories of war and unrest that plague our media today. And though I recognize that the problems still remain I am clear of the two sided coin that is part of our reality....a life that is rarely one sided.


We all have a flame within us, do we use it to warm or do we use it to burn...that is our God-given choice.


Today I am proud to be a Canadian...proud of the beauty I live in and the diversity of my people. We are a different sort up here in the West Coast...sometimes looked upon as complacent or too laid back...but it is part of our land scape, part of our history that brings us to that being. Living in amongst the Northern Rain Forests, beside the powerful Pacific Ocean and in the shadows of the magnificent West Coast Mountains our life scape is rugged and beautiful. We are tree huggers and loggers living side by side...*smile*....the irony of it all.


Our hope is to head into the city and take part in some of the free events going on...again something a week ago I was not interested in doing...mmm how the tune has changed. I will leave you with this promo video of my province...my home....a home in which I experience the amazing power of a creative God.



What is it that stirs the flame in you?

Love and Light

...enjoy the show...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwSCHRQCIBY&feature=player_embedded


Saturday, February 6, 2010

letter to my little "wiggles"

Today we found out you are a little girl. I am so happy as I have always wanted a daughter.


I look forward to and imagine looking through your eyes at a brand new world. A world full of wonder... colors, shapes, and smells... unlike the world I know of troubles, hurt, and betrayal. I know that I will never be able to protect you from these things, but how refreshing it will be to experience it all with you, watching you take it all in anew.

You'll flutter your little lashes as the wind touches your face, gaze wide-eyed as you look up at the stars for the first time, and squeal in delight at the fluffy white kitty that lives in the backyard. Our little dog Tina will be your best friend. She'll be just your size, perfect for your many adventures in the grass, and she'll fit in your doll clothes so you can dress her up pretty.

You will be my angel. I will teach you everything I can. I will be here for you to talk to, to confide in, and to cry with. I will always be there for you, in whatever capacity you need... and even when you don't. We will share sleepovers and tea parties, and dress up time. You'll prance around in my pretty shoes when they're still much too big for you, and have free reign to fill my purses with all of your little goodies. I'll be a rock for you to stand on, and have magic kisses to make your boo boo's all better. My life will be but to make yours better.

You will be a Daddy's girl, there is no question about that. If it is in any way possible, he is more excited about you than even I am. Like me, he frequently sheds tears of happiness at thoughts of you, and our future together. You will love your Daddy. He is a wonderful man, a man who will always look after you and protect you, and a man you will someday compare other men to. He will be your safe place, and with him you will never feel scared. He is my love, my best friend, and my soul mate. You are everything good about us as individuals, as well as a living piece of our undying love for each other.

But you will be you. You will have your own likes and dislikes. You will have your own opinions. You will make your own mistakes. You will find your own way. Your whimsical heart will want what it wants.... and you won't be able to help that. I believe you will be a person to love to everyone you meet. And we will love you and support you always.

My sweet angel, I am holding you and protecting you inside until you are ready for this world, and when you are, you will be welcomed with all the love in our hearts.

Love,
Mommy

http://rachaelscarrma.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

365 Lessons-Lesson 33: Pay Attention, The Signs are Right in Front of You

My friend, Rosedanie Cadet, hadn't been back to her country, Haiti, in 36 years. In December, she sat at my dining room table and told me that she was going back. She had planned to return to Japan, where she once lived, but didn't receive her visa in time. Since she had the time, she decided she would like to return to her country to help her people. This was before the earthquake.

She left in December with a non-profit organization called Answered Prayers. She was selected to act as the translator of this program which would travel to an orphanage in Haiti in order to bring supplies to the children and help with building projects. She asked me if I knew of anyone who had any baby items. I don't have children, so I immediately contacted my sister and best friend who both provided Rosedanie with a few boxes of items.

Before Rosedanie left for Haiti, a friend mentioned that she should have a psychic reading to find out why she felt a strong need to return. The psychic told her that her grandmother, who died before Rosdanie ever had a chance to meet her, was waiting for her return. Even though they had never met, Rosedanie felt her grandmother was with her and that she had work to do in Haiti.

A week or so after Rosedanie returned from Haiti, after helping out with the orphanage, the earthquake hit. Rosedanie made it back just in time. Many of her family members were missing and it took some time to find them, but all of them are safe.

While most would be frightened to return to a country that was just destroyed by an earthquake, Rosedanie took it as a sign that she was meant to return. She had a strong sense that her grandmother was there helping her in spirit. She contacted Partner's in Health and Mercy Corps to let them know about a project she had been planning for some time. They let her know that she could make a donation, but they wouldn't accept her project.

Rosedanie has been a cook and garderner on Orcas Island, WA for several years. Rosedanie believes that if people in rural areas learn proper farming techniques and have a proper facility to store food, they will learn to be self sufficient and not need to rely on the heavy aid of other countries. If jobs are created in the rural areas through farming, people will be more apt to stay there and there won't be as much of a need to go to the city to find work.

She decided to form her own organization called The Noramise Project, named after her grandmother. She feels this is her calling. Helping the people of Haiti during this earthquake is a wonderful thing. But helping the people to become self sufficient for life is something that will last for many generations to come. Here's a video of Rosedanie talking about her project:

video

Answered Prayers, the organization she traveled with in December when she went to help out in the orphanage, has decided to link her project to their site. You can make specific donations to the Noramise Project by going to answeredprayers2.org. Make sure to specify that you would like your donation to go to that project. You can also visit noramise.org to find out more specifics on this project.

Rosedanie and I have been good friends for some time now. When I see what she has done in such a short amount of time with her project, I am utterly amazed. After the earthquake, she has participated in two benefit dinners for Haiti. Some of those proceeds will go to her project. She has also managed to mobilize volunteers in Haiti to help with farming. She has gotten a church in the rural city of Limbe, where she is from, to donate land for her food processing plant. Two articles have been published on Orcas Island, WA talking about her project. Momentum for what she is doing is coming from all directions. People are saying, "What can I do?"

I asked her if she finds this amazing. She said, "I am just a conduit. I am like a hub. My main role is to be the connecting person. I am receiving messages of what I need to do and what actions I need to take and I'm taking them." This sense of selfless service in my friend is so amazing. She has put all her needs and cares aside and is doing this for the people of her country.

More than that, all of this seems to be coming through my friend. Not even she knows where it all will lead, she is just taking things as they come.

Rosedanie stopped by my house again today and told me of this project. I knew I had to write a post here. I felt it was a sign to me that she was sitting in front of me at my dining room table once again. If she had stayed a little longer in Haiti, I might have lost my friend.

Pay attention, the signs are right in front of you. If this project speaks to you, I urge you to get involved by either donating or going to Haiti to volunteer your time. My dear friend has reminded me that sharing whatever gifts we have with others on this planet is the reason why we are here.