Uncertanity

Human beings have several ‘needs’ beyond food, shelter and clothing. Tony Robbins is an internationally known “Life Coach” who has highlighted a group of human needs, among which are “certainty” and “uncertainty”.   Certainty Feels Good Most of us will readily accept certainty. It feels good to know, for example, that when I get into my vehicle for a two hour journey to the next city, I will arrive at my son’s home safely and harmlessly. Yes, minor or major accidents can happen, but careful planning and vigilant attention on the road will minimize those risks. I have made that trip at least twenty times each year, and I can be certain to get there next week as well. Similarly, when I mix flour into a dough, put it into a loaf-sized pan …

Meme and Uncosciousness

Richard Dawkins in a book titled The Selfish Gene, was looking for a concept that would describe a gene. He succeeded and named it ‘meme’. He saw ‘meme’ as an endless repetition of genes. Now the “Genome Project” identified 95% of genes as ‘Junk Genes”. Chances are that Dawkins, as most other people who observe human interactions, found that 95% of what people say is useless.   We Are Memetic Beings Meme must also have a relationship with the fact that human beings are memetic creatures. We copy each other, both consciously and unconsciously. We are role models for each other. We even copy totally useless modes of behavior. Do we take on each other’s ‘meme’ in the same proportion as our genes have been diagnosed and endlessly repeat what other people say? …

Choosing your partner

This is a Selfie of Ralph and me on our honeymoon in New Zealand climbing a volcano. We look happy, I am 17 weeks pregnant. A week into the trip a month earlier on the Andaman Islands he had told me he basically hates my guts and looks (or that is what I heard). After initial devastation I was ready to hear it and told him spill it all. I actually took notes. It was an ugly time. I wanted to fly home every day, leave him there and get a divorce.   We realized quickly that we needed to get constructive somehow, and had to come up with a solution as how to talk to each other without getting into a fight. Every day after breakfast, one person got to talk, …

Choosing MySelf – A Journey to Know My Needs

I never knew what it meant to choose mySelf. Since childhood, I was so used to pleasing everybody, that I would never think consciously about my own desires and needs. “Consciously” - is an important word.   Of course I had desires and needs -just like everybody else - only I had become an expert in repressing them and putting them off. I remember how proud I was as a child to be able “to stand on my own.” I loved it when people praised me for how “mature” I was for my age, and how proficient I was at almost everything I started. I almost looked forward to talk to everybody about all the wonderful things I had achieved by myself. I wanted to be an easy child for my parents. …

Going Inward-Scanning our Bodies for Sensations

What are body sensations?  Are they useful? I am not taking about our five senses, which connect us to the outside world. I am talking about those body sensations that happen within us.  Being hungry is one of them. We all know what to do about that. But what kind of sensations do we feel when, let’s say, we sense that we are in danger? Or, when we face the unknown? Or when we are in the presence of someone we really like? More to the point, what do we sense from our body when we stop reading or working, and scan the body? Or when a beloved person says something that appears to hurt us? The fact is, that most of us simply don't stop and don’t scan our body for …

Focus Inward to Live an Intentional Life

For many Yogis, the best time to focus inward is in the early morning, when we engage in Sadhana, a daily spiritual practice. It is the core teaching of Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the west. Sadhana has changed my life beyond my wildest dreams. I did not really “dream,” nor did I “make plans” or consciously ask myself: “what my life should look like?” Professionally, I have always been strongly guided by my values, but personally I lacked vision as to how, where and with whom I wanted to live. In the past, life was something that just kind of happened to me. Fast forward many years, I now live intentionally. To do that I need to focus inward on a regular basis during Sadhana. What are …

Why to Still Focus Inward in January

January has rolled around and if you are living on the northern hemisphere like me, you might become a little impatient for the light and energy  to return. I am usually in good spirits from late October, where winter in Switzerland begins, to the end of January, and then my motivation starts to crumble, for I know it will be a good two more months until the first signs of spring become noticeable. So winter is looooong. And for the longest time I have struggled with making the big moves in January. It was a fresh year, I had formed some resolutions, I was inspired: why was it so hard to get into gear? The year has not started yet Well, it is simple: The year does not really "start" before the …

Who Are You and Who Am I?

I love to travel, partly because I discover new facets of myself when I encounter different environments and communities. In Ecuador I feel part of a loving family, in Chile I laugh more, in China I experience an ancient familiarity and reverence, in India my heart spills open with devotion. Travel has helped me realize how much we create one another by how we treat each other. To a certain degree, we become the projection that others have of us, and others become who we make them. The question becomes, who are you and who am I without these projections? Because I do a lot of teaching, people project "teacher" onto me. If I am a teacher, then those who learn from me are students. Are we not all teachers and …

How Am I Blocking Joy?

We block ourselves from experiencing joy when we suppress other emotions, such as anger, fear and sadness. In this short conversation which took place during a Beyond Addiction program, Dr. Gabor Maté invites us to create space to experience our emotions as they are. Allow for whatever is there, accept it, and be curious about it in a compassionate way. Gabor: Welcome to the real world. The world is not out there to support your joy. It’s actually there to sell you stuff so that you can feel you have joy temporarily. A: Distract us. Gabor: Yes, exactly. You know and it’s not there to support the growing part of you. It’s there to exploit the hurt, helpless part of you. So it is natural that it is hard out there. But it …

How Are You Going to Show Up?

  I am not going to live to see the day that the system is going to change fundamentally. I am not. The reason that I am not going to live to see that day is because a certain social system will beget a certain kind of ideology, and that ideology will beget a certain kind of medical system, a certain kind of mental health system, a certain kind of social work system, a certain kind of prison system, and all of that. The system itself generates a certain way of looking at human life that is short of reality. If we lived in a social system that valued human life, would we be destroying the environment? Would we be doing so many things that we do? I'm not trying to be negative. I just want …