A short radio excerpt:
As I take a little time to reflect,
I give you all my peace and respect.
I’m feeling pretty good. From this year I think I picked up a better sense of balance. Balance between trying my hardest, and making sure to stick with my greatest values: one of which is to enjoy myself. So, a balance between self-enjoyment, and trying my hardest. While knowing that the well-being of loved ones is top priority, while also keeping in mind well-being of the world.
I also realized that I love teaching. Maybe I will focus on that, instead of trying to get a more high-paying job that requires work which I struggle to enjoy or find meaning with.
When I think of what the world needs, it probably boils down to compassion.
Things just keep ticking, huh?
Keep the faith. Keeping a good mentality makes a huge difference.
I need your help for me to grow, get better. I need you to show me the energy of knowing that we are all equal in value.
I made a short video as part of the application process to speak at SXSW Edu, which is a yearly conference on education in Austin, Texas.
Here is the video. Enjoy!!!
I am honored to have been asked to give a presentation to a class of working professional master’s students. The theme is: being healthy. These are the general notes I put together for the presentation.
What are your values?
- In other words, what are your priorities?
- We can only maintain a few priorities at the very top
- Find your values, and stick to that
- You are being who you want to be
- Self-discovery takes a lifetime
What happens when you live your values?
- You feel good about yourself
- You feel more meaning and fulfillment
- You forgive yourself and others more
- You are more willing to do the hard work
- You channel more positive energy
- You help the world
A more healthier you is a more healthier world
- We are all connected; we are all One; we are all part of the same whole
- When you hurt yourself you hurt others, and vice versa
- When you are doing the best for yourself, you are doing the best for others
- Your state of being impacts everyone, everywhere, every single moment, near and far
- The Present is a gift, that’s why they call it the Present
- Honor your gift of being here
- How do you honor it?
- By living fully. Live the moment as deeply as possible
- The moment is a miracle
- You have to be aware of yourself, of your mind, of your emotions
- Emotion regulation; equanimity – healthily manage your emotions
- Being aware of your thoughts allows you to stop negative thinking in the moment
- Positive thinking leads to healthy life and positive results
- How do we increase mindfulness?
- One way is meditation….
Meditation and breathing
- It’s all about the breath
- Always focus on your breath
- Slow breath in
- Just as slow, breathe out
- Breathe into the bottom of your stomach (the diaphragm)
- Diaphragm breathing is calming
- Chest breathing is for fight-or-flight
- Feel the breath fill every part of your body. Be physically present
- Do not judge your thoughts, let them go
- Always come back to the breath
- There are many types of meditation. This is based on the zen way (zazen)
Benefits of meditation
- Eventually adds pauses between thoughts
- More present
- More centered. Accessing answers that are inside of you
- Observing the thoughts, instead of identifying with them
- You are not your mind
- When you can “catch” yourself thinking, you can better direct your thoughts
The practice of meditation
- Meditation is a practice, not a perfect
- Commit to 2 minutes every single day!
- Practicing every day creates geometric growth like compounding interest in a retirement savings
- Good talk therapy is a fantastic compliment to meditation
- Meditation and therapy will illuminate each other
General wellness tips
- Keep your connections with loved ones strong.
- This helps to give you meaning
- Meditate every day, for at least 2 minutes. Every single day
- If there is something in your life that you know needs a change, make the change.
- This has a ripple effect on other parts of your life
- Show Life that you have the courage and commitment for growth and Life will respond to you with rewards and more opportunities
- Turn off all screens at least 1 hour before going to bed
- Do NOT look at your cell phone in the middle of the night
- Do not look at the cell phone when first waking up
- Use blue-light blocking lenses
- Reduces eye strain
- Detach from social media
- Give yourself breaks from external stimuli
- Your subconscious needs space and time to process things
- Balance mind, body and spirit
- They each affect the other
- Get out into nature
- Nature is a fantastic teacher of wisdom
- Consider allowing things to happen, instead of forcing them happen
- Don’t burn out! You are no good to anyone if you burn out.
- Burnout often is permanent. Once you burn out you may be completely done with this industry
- Maintain health and balance. You cannot continue a sprint indefinitely. You must go at a pace you can keep.
- Have compassion for yourself and others. This reduces the chance of burnout
- Learn your sleep cycles
- Start the day in calmness
- Start and end the day by thinking about what you are grateful for.
- Keep a journal and / or a dream journal
- Journaling helps you understand your subconscious
- Replace whatever you are drinking with water
- Don’t skip meals
- Eat your last meal early, so there is time to digest before going to bed
- You will feel lighter in the morning
- Chew completely. Your stomach doesn’t have teeth
- Eat in peace. Eating is a spiritual practice.
- Treat people like humans.
Been feeling lonely the last few weeks/month. But I think I am doing the right thing overall. And I am really proud that I am going through this without depending on numbing effects. And I am grateful for my wholesome thinking and feeling, in general, these days.
So, when you are sacrificing, but doing the best you can, or so, then take solace in that you are doing everything you can, as best as you know how. That is something to be PROUD of. Not pride as in an egotistical detachment from the world and others, but proud as in honorable, and inherently spiritual…work towards/with/for the whole.
Our health is connected to our neighbor’s health.
I heard this statement somewhere on the radio, some days ago.
It’s a reminder that we are all connected.
“Patience, understanding, and helping each other is the best thing we can do at this time” –Z, the landlord
(Darrell Scott is the father of Rachel from “Rachel’s Challenge”)
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
“For a growing number of physicists, the fine-tuning problem can be solved only by accepting that the entire cosmos is a single, continuous entity, working in seamless harmony like the human body. Everyone accepts that individual cells in the heart, liver, brain and so on are linked to the activity of the entire body. If you look at a cell in isolation, its relationship to the whole is lost. All you see are chemical reactions swirling in, out, and through the cell. What you cannot see is that these reactions do two things simultaneously: at the local level they keep the individual cell alive, while a t the holistic level they keep the entire body alive.”
Deepak Chopra – You are the Universe
I recently heard Deepak Chopra and Anoop Kumar both speak their opinion that “God” is the same as the infinite, which is the same as consciousness.
I found this idea interesting – here are some quotes:
“…What we call Life, really doesnt have an opposite. The opposite of birth is death, and the opposite of death is birth. But Life doesnt have an opposite.” – Anoop Kumar
“Consciousness is primary, and what we call ‘matter’ is an experience in our consciousness. Now if consciousness is primary, it’s also infinite….Not only is consciousness infinite, but the infinite has always been the ultimate description of what we call God. The more common notions, the more familiar notions, they are aspects of God. So there is infinite, but then we talk about infinite wisdom, infinite compassion, infinite mercy, infinite understanding, these are aspects of infinite. And this infinite shows up, not only in religion, but it shows up in mathematics, and philosophy, as different aspects, different approaches. Each of these is a unique perspective, and therefore each has unique data, to contribute about something that’s beyond all concepts. The more we evolve, the more we see the infinite underlying nature of all things. Call it religious, call it spiritual, call it secular, or simply the practical experience of knowing ourselves and eachother more deeply.” – Anoop Kumar
“Consciousness, or God, is all-knows, all modes of knowing, and all experiences known. Consciousness is invisible. Why? Because it has no form. But without consciousness there is no experience of that which we call visible. Consciousness is beyond perception. Why again? Because it’s formless, it’s boundless. You cannot imagine consciousness, you cant imagine God because if you imagine God it’s not God. The infinite cannot be imagined. But without consciousness there is no imagination.” – Deepak Chopra
The quotes above are from this debate on NPR.
This is a clip of world-renowned physicist Brian Cox, speaking about how the particles of the universe are interconnected.
The first guest ever on the Spark the Flame podcast, my mom! Zoraida Diaz, with over 20 years experience in professional counseling. Psychotherapist, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol + Substance Abuse Counselor). Absolute overall wonderful incredible person, full of grit for Life and the Spirit, and my personal hero.
Was having issues with the audio, so couldnt include an intro and outro this time. But will try to have it working for next time. Enjoy!
The cleaner your motives, the safer you are.
Another way to say it is:
To clear up your dangers, clean up your motives.
Act with good intention towards Life and its inhabitants, and Life will reciprocate towards you.
Things are fine for you when you feel fine for you. They may come out of nowhere, and shock you, but if you hold the “this is fine”, “it is going to be ok” feeling constant, things reorder themselves to be fine for you.
If your perspective is at a general high/up/optimistic constant, Life will appear magical, because things are reordered in ways that appear crazy, to meet you on your perspective. Throughout the low times, your high perspective continues to carry you through, until Life comes seemingly out of nowhere again to meet your high perspective with a beautiful gracious blessed set of events.
Keep your perspective high, your optimism, and you invite the perception and experience of a charmed Life.
The aim is to publish the first edition of SparkTheFlame in paperback in 2015. Currently it’s shaping to be a small book of about 40 pages.
Here will be published the first few sections, which comprise much of the book. Enjoy!
This Is Your Life
- Your Life has been entrusted to you. You have a sacred duty to your Life.
- Your Life depends on you to live and thrive, to shine the world with its true expression.
- You are the only custodian, the sole guardian of your Life. You can place this sacred responsibility in the hands of another, but that is your choice to make. If you do this, choose your surrogate wisely.
- It is up to you to create your Life. It is your responsibility, your duty, your blessing.
- Life is yours to enjoy if you please. Happiness is your choice, and when it occurs, it occurs Now.
- If your Life is not going the direction you want, you must make changes and steer in a different direction. You are the one to do it.
- If you believe, you will receive the help you need. It may come in unexpected space and time, but it will show.
- Everyone has the right to direct their own Life.
- Doing what you feel and know is best in your heart, even if painful to yourself or others, will assure positive return.
- We are all learning. We are all students. Always give yourself room for mistakes, they help us grow.
- Anything and Everything can be part of your good story, with good endings.
- Love is a journey. Happiness, success, health, wealth…they are not destinations. They are all journeys. They all begin Now, and accompany you on the path.
Using The Brain
- Every thought, word, action, and feeling you experience changes the physical shape of your brain and influences your behavioral inclinations. This physical altering of your brain is called neuroplasticity.
- The more you repeat any thought, word, action, or feeling, the more likely you are to do it again. Each time you do so carves a deeper etching into your brain and being.
- To create a habit of something, practice it. To break a habit, practice the opposite. Practice who you want to be, and your brain will transform accordingly, following your lead and instruction to become the person of your ideal.
- The brain works very mysteriously. It connects with Life to produce situations and circumstances that represent, reflect, and reinforce the person who you are right Now.
- Deliberately continue the experience “I am blessed,” and your mind will produce surrounding conditions and personal perspective to confirm this.
- Your choice and your gift is to custom-tailor your brain to create a world dear to your heart.
- Everything in the universe is connected and part of a Whole.
- Everything you do affects everything else. Your thoughts, feelings, actions and words reach the world, touching and affecting everything everywhere.
- For something to be truly done in your betterment, you must aim for the betterment of all.
- When you help someone else, you help yourself.
- It is sacred to fill yourself with positivity. This reflects back onto the world.
- We are like waves of the ocean. Connected to everything in the ocean, through the ocean, but also having distinctive shape and form. The wave may crash and meld back into the larger ocean, but it can take shape and form again, all the while remaining ever connected and part of the all-encompassing ocean.
- All contains All. Every portion of this universe contains the whole universe. All information in this universe is everywhere at the same time. All things have equal inherent value.
- The outside world is a reflection of your inside world. To create change on the outside, make change on the inside.
My production, where is it going?
My effort represents personal production towards existence with every moment.
If I have high production and it is steered always good energy, your effort of direction, toward the good, gains you reward and padding of good vibration. Even if your current feelings mismatch.
Add gratefulness and humility so you keep the desire for good
The situation can change. Anything can happen right now. You never know.
Think positive, pull positive, and the likelihood of things changing for the positive increases