Does Your Face Say “Ho Ho Ho,” or “Bah Humbug?”

Time to FACE the Holidays!

By Michelle Butt

time-to-face-the-holidaysThe holidays are coming. Have you ever noticed how some people are so excited and happy as Christmas approaches, anticipating all of the family get-togethers and socializing? And then there are those who complain about the holidays, dreading all the family get-togethers and socializing.

Well, this year, take a look at the faces of these people and I can almost guarantee you’ll see a pattern. The hostess of the big Christmas dinner will most likely have a round face with full cheeks and perhaps a mouth with full lips. This face shape tells us about someone who loves to be around family and friends. She is the nurturer of the family. She is generous and giving and makes sure that everyone is always well fed, both in goodies and in spirit. Going to her house always feels like going home to a warm, inviting environment.

Think about the face of Santa. Isn’t he the ultimate example of the spirit of Christmas, the most generous man of the holidays? Santa just oozes warmth and generosity with his round, full cheeks and rosy red lips.

Then there is the person who hangs back from the rest at the holiday gatherings; the one who keeps to herself and wants to leave early; who often seems just overwhelmed by all the fuss. If you look at her face, I bet you’ll see fine bone structure, a striking nose and perhaps high arched eyebrow, strong cheekbones with concave lower cheeks. This person doesn’t hate other people per se; she is just very sensitive to the energy around her. All of the emotion and excitement hit her like a wave of energy and it can be very hard for her to adjust. She can literally feel the buzz in the air in her skin and it can be very uncomfortable. So she will hang back until she can acclimatize and unconsciously put up her energetic wall. Then she can enjoy the festivities along with everyone else.

Think about the face of Scrooge. Scrooge was depicted as thin with a fine, bony nose, and sunken cheeks, isolating himself from the world. Yet, once he acclimatized to the energy of those around him (with the help of some celestial spirits), he loved Christmas and enjoyed himself at Christmas dinner!

Then there is the face of the man whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. Have you ever thought about what Jesus’ face says? Well, the face of Jesus that is depicted in all of the churches and artwork around the world, however subtly different has one main theme that is undeniable. Jesus has the face of a Leader. His beard and strong jaw show someone whose mission in life is to be an agent of change and growth. He is the gentle guide who leads with compassion, and strength. The prominence of his chin in most depictions show a man who has the tenacity of will to stand and face fearlessly what others would have run from.

Enjoy all the faces in your holiday experiences this year. I wish you joy and happiness, but most of all love during this magical time.

Original Post on Om Times

Put the Thanks Back in Thanksgiving

In the United States, fall marks a trifecta of holidays that snowball, picking up speed as they carry us,—often chaotically—from October through the New Year. The party starts with the distinctly non-religious (some would say pagan) celebration of Halloween; progresses to the spiritually inclusive embracing of gratitude that is Thanksgiving; and culminates in various religious observances ranging from Christmas to Hanukkah to Kwanza. Sadly, long before we reach Thanksgiving Day, we are already being bombarded with commercial messages regarding the season to come, and a true sense of gratitude gets lost in the shuffle.

So how do we avoid succumbing to this all-pervasive seasonal commercialism? Here are some ideas for putting the thanks back in your family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year:

GIVE THANKS

It sounds obvious. Too simple. But to cultivate a sense of gratitude, we must actually take time at our meal to give thanks. A pre-meal blessing is a good start, but why not take it a step further and have everyone around your Thanksgiving table share a blessing they are particularly grateful for this year? If your crowd needs some prompting, pass a basket filled with slips of paper that ask each person to recall either a friend, a family member, a place, an opportunity, a trip, a meal, a relationship, etc. that has brought them joy during the past year. This little nudge may get the gratitude ball rolling, and before you know it your gathering will be filled with the real spirit of Thanksgiving.

ONE HOLIDAY AT A TIME

Don’t short circuit the attitude of gratitude you cultivate on Thanksgiving Day by diving into preparations for the next holiday right away. Give yourself some breathing room. Be mindful about moving from one holiday to the next and about creating space between the two. Holiday magic is lost if we are in perpetual celebratory mode from October through the New Year. The deeper significance of each commemoration is sublimated if they are dragged out and run together. So instead of obsessing about what picture to put on your Christmas card the minute the turkey leftovers are in the fridge, try staying in the Thanksgiving spirit at least through the entire day. A post-meal walk with family and friends is a great way to revel in the beautiful fall weather and work off some of that delicious meal you all enjoyed.

BOYCOTT BLACK FRIDAY

And when you wake up the next morning, commit to boycotting Black Friday. One concrete way to establish a boundary between Thanksgiving and your next holiday celebration (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.) is to eschew this retail-centric tradition. That’s right. No matter how tempting the sales. How amazing the deals. Make a pact with yourself (and family and friends if they are on a similar path) to stay home the day after Thanksgiving. Remember those blessings you talked about around the table the day before. Build a fire. Play board games. Watch football. Do anything but turn your spiritual celebration into a material quest.

Too often we feel swept up by forces outside ourselves during this busy time of your. Our head is filled with more “must do” items than will fit on a one-page to-do list. In reality, there is very little that we must do to make this season special for ourselves, our friends and our family. By focusing on keeping things simple and taking it slow, we can return to our Thanksgiving roots, established by Native Americans and colonists, of coming together, sharing what we have and giving thanks.

By Monette Chilson READ ORIGINAL POST on Om Times

The Virus Question

Going the DistanceOften I look around while driving to the office at other people in the rush hour traffic. Some are sitting in their cars talking on cell phones or texting, surfing the net. Others are tapping their fingers on the steering wheel listening to music or just find themselves a tad irritated with the daily grind of another work day and the traffic that comes with it.

Whatever each person is physically doing does not matter nearly as much as the energy that they are doing it with or the look upon their face. So many people are scowling and look totally captured in stressful thought. Worried about a business deal, a proposal or presentation. Will they arrive to work on time or will they be reprimanded for being late, regardless of the fact that there was a 5 car pileup that morning. They sip their coffee or energy drinks as they slinky themselves along the freeway lanes in anguish that yet it is another day where they feel that time would be better spent watching a dead flower grow. Comfort comes in their titles and pay checks. In these they can point and say “I am important.” Never acknowledging their true selves but instead the labels that life has given them.

It does not end at work either. This same dull drum carries into the home front. Into the marriages and intimate relationships that we all value so much. We walk in the doors of our cozy homes, our children playing video games, doing homework, watching TV or off on a date with someone, our spouses tired from a long day of duties themselves. We try to not bring our work home so that we can have quality focused time with the people that we love the dearest. Yet often we are feeling pressure to finish some detail of something and find ourselves distant and un-present with our families. If we are single then we work until the wee hours of the morning on a project wishing that when we turn around we would see this incredible creature that can see us for us and loves us unconditionally lying in bed waiting for our body to curl up next to theirs.

Difficult ChoicesIn the end of our lives if we are not careful to listen to our hearts and souls quiet music that they guide us with, we may find ourselves
bewildered, unfulfilled and full of regrets. One NEVER regrets living more! One
does not regret experiencing more or making love more. One regrets lost
opportunities. Caving to fear and to social boundaries.  One regrets smothering the voice of spirit when the Virus Question is posed at different points of life. The questions that rise up from the depths our souls and cause us to feel butterflies or upset stomachs, nervousness and fear or excitement, these are the questions
that are presented from soul to the logical mind for a reason. The reason comes
back to truly embracing life. Living the experience of life that we were
designed to live.

So what is the “Virus Question” and why is it a virus?

Breaking the Structure

It all comes down to railroad tracks. If you go to the train station today or Google on line, you will learn that the distance between railway tracks is ALWAYS 143.5 centimeters, or 4 feet 8 and half inches. Why is it this measurement?

A: When the first train carriages were built they used the same tools that had been used to build horse-drawn carriages. So why that distance between the wheels and the carriages?

A: Because that was the width of the old roads along which the carriages had to travel. But who decided the width of the roads anyway?

And here is where we do a tad bit of time travel or time warping, quantum jumping, etc. etc. We have to plunge ourselves back into the distant era where soldiers wore short white dresses, had strong sexy backs and legs, and carried upon their heads beautifully designed protective shields (picture Russell Crow or Brad Pitt ladies). A time where Cesar was the ruler of the whole world and Rome was at its center.

The Romans were the great road builders who decided to make
the roads that width. But why?

A: Because their war chariots were pulled by two horses, and
when placed side by side, the horses they used at the time took up 143.5
centimeters.

So think of this when you look at today’s railroad tracks.
The tracks that our state-of-the-art high speed trains use were determined by
the Romans over 2000 years ago.

When ships came to the great America’s to settle the lands
and in time the English settlers decided that they needed to build a railway
that could cover the United States, it did not occur to them to change the
width and so it stayed that way and is that way still today. The effect of the
distance between the tracks determined by the Romans even had a significant
impact on the building of our space shuttles. American engineers thought that
the fuel tanks should be wider, but the tanks were being built in Utah and had
to be transported by train to the Space Center in Florida, and the tunnels
could not take anything wider. So they had to accept the measurement that the
Romans had decided was the ideal.

Now you may find this tale very interesting or be wondering
what the hell I am even talking about it for, and you most certainly are
wondering how the Romans road building has any effect on our marriages and
relationships at all or on any part of our personal lives, since most of us do
not personally use the train system unless we live in a major city center or
have a job with the railroad.

It has everything to do with marriage and relationships.
Especially those that are supposed to be “love-relationships.”

Somewhere along the line someone in our world history stood
up to the plate and said, “When two people get married, they must stay frozen
in time. They must stay like that for the rest of their lives. Till death do
they part. You will move along side by side like two railroad tracks, keeping always
that same distance apart. Even if sometimes one of you needs to be a little
farther away or a little closer, that is against the rules. “

Rules: Be sensible. Think of the future. Think of the
children.

Masking the WildYou can’t change; you must be like two railway tracks that remain the same distance apart all the way from their point of departure to their destination. The rules don’t allow for love to change, or to grow at the start and diminish halfway through, it is too dangerous. And so, after the enthusiasm of the first few years, they maintain the same distance, the same solidity, and the same functional nature. Your purpose is to allow the train bearing the survival of the species to head off into the future: your children will only be happy if you stay just as you were – 143.5 centimeters apart. If you’re not happy with something that never changes, think of them, think of the children you brought into this world.

Think of the neighbors. Show them that you’re happy, eat roast
beef on Sundays, watch television, and help the community. Think of society.
Dress in such a way that everyone knows you’re in perfect harmony. Never glance to the side, someone might be watching you, and that could bring temptation; it could mean divorce, crisis, depression.

Smile in all the photos. Put the photos in the living room, so that everyone can see them. Cut the grass, practice a sport, — oh, yes, you must practice a sport in order to stay frozen in time. But when sports are not enough, have plastic surgery. But NEVER forget that these rules were established long ago and MUST be respected. Who established the rules? That does not matter. DO NOT question them, because they will always apply, even if you don’t agree with them. (adapted from The Zahir by Paulo Coelho)

These factious rules that the majority of our society abides
by are not designed to handle the up roaring of the “Virus Question” though.

At some point in life we may stop and look in the mirror, see
a glimmer of the person we use to be and the dream we once had and find
ourselves looking over our shoulder at the view of this white picket fence life
asking: Why am I unhappy?

Our governments, our religions, our bosses, our friends,
neighbors and families do not want us asking this question. Because it carries
with it the virus that will destroy everything. It means we want to find out
what makes us happy. If we find the courage to ask it and to look ourselves in
the eyes and feel our hearts answer, we will discover most likely that what
makes us happy is different from what we are living now, then we must either
change once and for all or stay as we are, feeling even more unhappy because we
know.

Two WorldsThe glimmer of that life that we long to live. The adventures we long to explore, the passions we long to full fill and the love we long to fully open up to can all be acquired within a moment’s thought if we are
willing to hear the call of the soul and charge forth like a couragous Roman soldier facing his enemy on the field. In the same thought we can crush our own hopes and dreams, our passion and take our love away that wants to be harvested and shared unconditionally by smothering it in a wool sack like dirty laundry. Not fit for the rules of the life that we are living. After all the rules ALWAYS apply and they were established long ago by who knows who. It does not matter. All that matters is that we realize that we must do what is civilized and within the boundaries of the box that we reside.

You will never experience true ecstasy or your true self, let along the openness and full union in love with another if you are not willing to break the rules.

It is not until you walk through the shadows of darkness and
fear no evil, when you know that your inner light and strength will guide and
comfort you, that all the fear and shackling of society through the embracing
of mediocrity will do nothing but cause the chaos, the divorce, the depression
and gloom that we all try to hide from that you can actually realize this:

“When I have nothing  more to lose, I will be given everything. When
I cease to be who I am, I will find myself. When I experience humiliation and
keep walking, I will understand that I am ALWAYS free to choose my destiny.”

The question of “why am I unhappy?” may carry with it the
virus of change, but better to be taken over by such an illness and be healed
from a life of quiet desperation then to believe we are not sick and die of a
cancer that is eating up our nations and our world from the inside out.

You are free. You are free to choose your destiny. You are
free to choose life, love and the pursuit of happiness. You are free to be
happy and you are free to investigate why you are not.

Over Taken

As Dante wrote in The Divine Comedy, “The day that man allows
true love to appear, those things which are well made will fall into confusion
and will overturn everything we believe to be right and true. “

“The world will become real when man learns how to love;
until then we will live in the belief that we know what love is, but we will
always lack the courage to confront it as it truly is.

Love is an untamed force. It is a rule breaker. When we try
and control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us.
When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused. This
force is on earth to make us happy, to bring us closer to God and to our
communities, to ourselves. Yet the way we love now brings us an hour of anxiety
for every minute of peace.” – Paulo Coelho

We must transform our love into the love that the creator
intended it to be. Open and unconditional. All embracing, with not prison bars,
no rules of proper educate, and no attachments of expectations.

Free Spirit

Enjoy the romantic love that flourishes your environment at the start of a new relationship. But open yourself to the realization that all this flutter and rose tinted glasses is only a taste of the love that dwells inside of your very being. It is not a magic spell, it is not a manifestation from the one you are feeling all warm and cuddling about. It is YOU opening to ecstasy. “Ecstasy is the final stage of intimacy with yourself… It is a shift in perception in which direct contact with spirit is made.” (Deepak Chopra) Through the integration of our bodies, minds, hearts and souls we can fully realize that we are not only the great challous of this love, but we are also the sweet nectar that fills it. We are not singular, we are plural. We are all part of the Christ-consciousness matrix that is awakening to Divine Love. And once we awaken we will redesign our railways, perhaps we will even come to the conclusion that stiff metal tracks are not even required to get us to our life destinations. Instead we may invest in parachutes so that we can fully be embraced by the heart throbbing experience called Life.