Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Haiku Diary: Week 2



my friend is turning into Snow White
little bluebirds and fawns and butterflies
flock to her



I was falling asleep, almost gone
when a hummingbird flew into my 3rd eye
stopped there, buzzing wildly


10 
my friend doesn't "have" cancer,
she is "dealing with it," and that, she says,
changes her inside


11 
up early, fog close and personal
so gray, so chill, so still, you don't know
it's summer


12 
he studies tai chi and sees his movement
happening without muscles, his body
just energy flowing


13 
merging with my workshops as I create them
feeling the ebb and flow, the details of sequence
so I can release the outcome 


14
I watered the garden deeply
and in the late low sun, the dirt is black
there is a puffy green joy


photo copyright by Penney Peirce

July 20-Aug 1: Penney Teaches in Baltimore

Here's one more reminder about my program in Baltimore, JOURNEY INTO TRANSPARENCY, which consists of private sessions and 4 workshops. 

Jul 20-Aug 1Private In-Depth Intuitive Counseling Sessions (90 or 45 minutes)
-- Ellicott City (Pamela Sabatiuk 410/203-2256)
-- Parkville (Cheryl Oed 410/668-4773)
-- breathe books (Susan Weis 410/ 235-7323) 45 min only
Fri Jul 23: Evening Group, An Intuitive Look at Future Trends7-9pm, Ellicott City, $30. Call Pam, 410/203-2256
Sat Jul 24: Workshop, An Inner Journey into Number Frequencies, at breathe books, 11am-1:30pm, $45, 410/235-7323, 810 W 36th St, Hampden, Baltimore
Wed Jul 28: Evening Group, Exploring Non-Ordinary Powers7-9pm, Ellicott City, $30, Call Pam, 410/203-2256
Sun Aug 1: 1-Day Content-Rich Energy Intensive, JOURNEY INTO TRANSPARENCY: A Daylong Workgroup Dedicated to Clearing the Clogs, 9:30am-4:30pm, Sherwood Farms, Cromwell Valley Park, Towson area, $120. Call Pam 410/203-2256

Hope to see you!!
Penney

Frequency Training at Omega THIS WEEKEND!


For any of you last minute folks, just a reminder that I will be at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY July 16-18, teaching an intensive on my book, Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration. Download the flyer at: www.penneypeirce.com/pdfs/PeirceOmega.pdf


Contact Omega directly at 845-266-4444.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

My friend Susie in Australia forwarded me this interesting interview by Natasha Mitchell with psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist, author of The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. You can read the transcript at the "All in the Mind" website, or listen to it by visiting the link, but here are some excerpts I found thought-provoking. I have edited for brevity.

Natasha Mitchell: You suggest that we, and these are your words, 'occupy an increasingly fragmented, decontextualised world marked by unwarranted optimism mixed with the feeling of emptiness.' This is a dark conception of the world -- what prompted you to turn to the brain for an explanation when others might instead turn to social and economic shifts?

Iain McGilchrist: It's more trying to suggest that there are two broad takes on the world if you like, and that in what I learned about differences between the hemispheres suggests that these actually underwrite two competing ways of being in the world and thinking about the world, only one of which we seem capable of entertaining these days.

Natasha Mitchell: And that's the left hemisphere view. But for you the brain has very much played a role in creating the world we occupy. It doesn't just experience the world, it generates it.

Iain McGilchrist: That's right, that my idea is that the world is something that isn't exactly given before we experience it but also isn't just something our brains or minds make up. It's a coming together of whatever it is outside of us with our minds. And that in the process of the two meetings there is a sort of what I call between-ness which brings things into being. And depending on which mode of attention we bring to bear on the world, a different sort of world will come into being.

The right hemisphere sees a great deal but in order to refine it and to make sense of it in certain ways to be able to use what it understands of the world and to be able to manipulate the world, it needs to delegate the job of simplifying it and turning it into a usable form to another part of the brain. And if that brain, if that part of the brain was actually attending to it in the same way as the other part, they wouldn't be able to achieve this double act, if you like.

The way that metaphor (of the master and emissary) works in the modern world is that the right hemisphere, from all that we know of neuroscience, conceives the world in a certain sort of way which is primary and we mustn't lose sight of it. But the left hemisphere has a narrow, decontextualised and theoretically based model of the world which is self consistent and is therefore quite powerful. And it becomes more important in the modern world, it seems to have taken over, there seems to be a process whereby its vision has become the only vision and the vision that would be possible through the right hemisphere has been undercut and excluded.

There are a number of reasons why that might happen. The first is, as I say in the book, I call the left hemisphere the Berlusconi of the brain because it controls the media, it's the one with which we do all our talking and arguing. But also it's fascinating in looking at the way in which the two hemispheres mutually inhibit one another across the corpus callosum, the band of tissue at the base of the brain through which they're connected. And the function of the corpus callosum is to convey information but very largely to inhibit the other hemisphere from acting when one of them is active. So there's a constant reciprocal interaction between them. But the fascinating thing is that the left hemisphere is better able to inhibit the right than the right is to inhibit the left.

Natasha Mitchell: Right, so it is in a sense dominant.

Iain McGilchrist: It's dominant in that way, even though in terms of the importance of what it can tell us it's secondary. The other thing is the left hemisphere is a system, as I say, is self consistent in a simplified way. So it can delude itself that it knows everything, whereas I see the right hemisphere as seeing things that lie beyond what we ourselves can see. So it is all the time as it were grasping or trying to grasp, reaching out towards something that is beyond us.

Natasha Mitchell: Let's come to the contemporary world, because you think it's come about through what you describe as the unopposed action of a dysfunctional left hemisphere, that in effect we've entered a phase in cultural history where the left hemisphere has all the cards and looks set to win the game. Is that more than a metaphor in your mind?

Iain McGilchrist: Yes, I think it is more than a metaphor in that it's at least my very real conception and concern about the way our culture in the west is heading and I think it's shared by a lot of people; which is that it is a rationalistic rather than reasoned or reasonable and mechanistic model of who we are and of the world that we inhabit, which is based on a relationship of exploitation (the left hemisphere is there to help us use and manipulate the world) and has come to displace a sense of ourselves as in connection with the world and playing an important reciprocal role with one another and with the planet on which we live. So I think it has a very real meaning for where we are heading now, both in terms of the increasing abstraction bureaucratisation and technicalising of our lives and the sort of paranoia in which we can't trust one another anymore and have to monitor absolutely everything, versus you know a richer and more inter-connected sort of vision of the world.

And one of the fascinating things is that if you look at what happens to people when they have a stroke in the right hemisphere, a very, very usual phenomenon is that people underestimate or even deny the extent of their disability. As I say in the book the left hemisphere is an eternal optimist, it constantly believes in itself to a degree which is unsound, and that means in terms of the patient that they may deny that they've got a paralysis altogether. There's a nice little bit of research looking at people who -- again you can isolate the right or left hemisphere experimentally and ask questions -- and when people estimate themselves with their right hemisphere they are more realistic about themselves. When they estimate themselves with the left hemisphere they give an unrealistically optimistic assessment of their own skills and abilities compared with what other people would say of them.

Natasha Mitchell: If we think about the two hemispheres of the brain, I mean they've been heavily popularised: left brain/right brain. You suggest that they've been hijacked by management, trainers and advertising copy writers and I would add probably new age aficionados as well.

Iain McGilchirst: Indeed, the idea was that the brain was like a machine that carried out certain functions, and because there were two hemispheres there was twice as much computing power as it were, but we would compartmentalise things. So there was a story that language was in the left hemisphere, reason was in the left hemisphere and something like creativity and emotion were in the right hemisphere. That's a complete and utter....misconception of things. Every single brain function is carried out by both hemispheres. Reason and emotion and imagination depend on the coming together of what both hemispheres contribute.

I think attention is a very interesting thing, it just sounds like another function of the brain. But in fact attention is a remarkable thing, it's the nature of attention determines what it is we find, and equally what we find determines the appropriate kind of attention to pay to it so it's a reciprocal process.

Natasha Mitchell: Your case here is that the left and right hemisphere attend to the world very differently so ultimately they construct a different world.

Iain McGilchrist: Yes, well we do know from lesion studies from every kind of neuropsychological information that the left hemisphere tends to adopt a narrowly focused attention which does bring into focus a very, very small part of the world. And we need that in order to be able to grasp things, the left hemisphere is not for no reason the hemisphere that controls for most of us the right hand with which we grasp things and the bits of language which make things precise -- whereby we say we grasp something.

So it's about that precision. And in birds and in animals the left hemisphere focuses on prey or on something that is there to be eaten, and the right hemisphere at the same time is keeping a sort of broad open attention for predators. And we know also that animals and birds use their right hemisphere for social interaction, not just of course with foes but also with kin, with con-specifics. So one of them is a sort of uncommitted and relational mode in which one is looking at the world in a broad sense for whatever it may contain.

Natasha Mitchell: You saw the romantic era as a great blossoming of the right hemisphere, but the Industrial Revolution to the present day for you represents a major shift leftward in the brain, and of course we're not saying politically here, we're saying hemispherically in the brain.

Iain McGilchrist: Yes, that's right. I mean one of the striking things about the Industrial Revolution is that for the first time we were able to put into the outside world artefacts which conform very much to the way the left hemisphere sees the world -- simple solids that are regular, repeated, not individual in the way that things that are made by hand are. And to transform the environment it was a sudden and obvious move forward in our ability to control our environment and to project outwards onto it the world as conceived inwardly by the left hemisphere. That's gone on into the 20th century but the interesting thing is that one might think of the Industrial Revolution and scientific materialism which emerged in the 19th century and is still with us at least in the biological sciences although I would say that physics has long moved on from that vision of the world to one that's closer to what both hemispheres see. But that movement is often seen as in opposition to modernist and postmodernist culture. I argue in the book that in fact that's not the case and that modernism and postmodernism are in fact also symptomatic of a shift towards the left hemisphere's conception of the world.

Natasha Mitchell: Which is interesting because I guess the postmodernist view would be that everything exists within a context and that perhaps there is no absolute truth and in a sense I would have thought that contextual framing of the world is more right hemisphere if your argument is to hold?

Iain McGilchrist: Well of course I agree that things are contextual and there's no absolute truth but unfortunately in postmodernism this often comes to mean there is no truth at all. There is nothing out there actually beyond the sort of paintings on the wall of the inside of our mind. And that seems to be very much more like what the left hemisphere sees, and in fact the products of the art of modernism and postmodernism bear striking resemblances to what the world looks like to people whose right hemisphere is not working very well. That was something that was first pointed out indirectly by a marvellous book by Louis Sass, an American psychologist who wrote a book called Madness and Modernism in which he draws extensive parallels between the phenomena of modernism and postmodernism and of schizophrenia. Deficits of the right hemisphere present a world in which the literal triumphs over the metaphorical, things taken out of context triumph over their meaning in a context, particularly a social context, and the sense of connectedness to others -- empathy and so forth is lacking and the world appears to be a heap of fragments and one can see that in the sometimes wonderful but bizarre and exotic artistic productions of people with schizophrenia.

Natasha Mitchell: You, Iain, do lament the loss of our relationship to beauty, to body, to spirit and art. Is that to blame on the left hemisphere as well?

Iain McGilchrist: Well again because its approach is largely reductionist, I think yes, it doesn't really have the capacity to understand what it's not able to see.

Natasha Mitchell: Clearly beauty, the body, the spirit, art, emotion aren't purely the domains of the right hemisphere?

Iain McGilchrist: They certainly aren't and both are contributed to by both hemispheres absolutely. But at the moment what I think is that a rather reductionist version of what they might be is evident not just in science but in our popular culture and indeed is expressed in the kind of art that is created nowadays too. So I think a lot of the power of art to alert us to things beyond ourselves, yes, what is known as the transcendent I think that has been lost. There's a sort of ironising undercutting of the power of beauty, the power of art, the power of the spirit; don't want to sound evangelical here, but these things are important and need to be mentioned. You know a lot of very great scientists have always said that these things are an important part of what science acknowledges and pays tribute to. So, you know, I'm hopeful that the synthesis that I consider would be fruitful can be re-established. At the moment things seem to be very skewed.

One Voice in Many: Quest for Spirit

I wrote my first manuscript when I was a neophyte on the spiritual path, probably about 1980, and called it One Voice in Many. I have just found it again, surprisingly, in a beat-up file folder among records of long-ago classes I taught. It was typed on an old portable Olivetti typewriter, before the day of computers! Wow! What a surprise to meet myself again as I was perceiving the world back then. Some of it is naive, but some is quite fresh and simple. So I've decided to put bits of it here and short quotes on Twitter.

"We are like each other in at least one respect: each of us, in our own way, is on a quest for spirit—the experience of completion and wholeness. In some, the quest is a conscious endeavor. In others, it is a quiet way of life, a subliminal search for that quality of grace that satisfies so well. I believe that all people yearn for something better and more beautiful, wiser and more loving, than we mortals in our present state manage to be. We want to know at a deep and still place why we are here, what life is for, and we want to feel our lives are not lived in vain. No matter how hopeless and cynical we may become at times, or how insane the world situation grows, every one of us retains a spark of hope and idealism tucked away in some secret corner of our heart.

"These sparks of spirit are like tiny seeds of love and truth, eternal lights that never go out. They burn in the center of the heart and when we're ready for revelation and love, they grow. It's important to know and have faith that though the mind forgets this quite often, the heart always remembers its precious gift.

"We frequently look to children as our teachers because these are the people among us who live in the utmost simplicity, closest to love and truth. Their primary concern is with the miraculous, with things of spirit, and they have the most direct and open curiosity about the workings of nature. Where does God live? Why is the sky blue? Why do people laugh? If we, like the children, follow our sense of wonder, we will fan our sparks and our light will grow.

"But even if we forget to be wondrous, our light will find its way out. To each of our lives come moments of vague dissatisfaction, often focused by frustrating or inharmonious events—even by accidents or disasters. We stop to contemplate, guided by an aching longing, a pervading knowledge of a deep-down incompletion that can't be remedied by person or thing. Even periods of depression can be nature's way of redirecting our attention to the inner need for spiritual nourishment. The recognition of this need is the revelation that starts us on what is often called "The Path," the conscious quest to regain memory of our original state."

copyright by Penney Peirce 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Six Ways to Eat a Potato Chip: The Journey to Self-Regulation

This is part 1 of an article by John Yeager on the Positive Psychology News Daily website. I like this idea of focusing on a psychology that deals with health and functionality rather than treating abnormalities.

Strengths come from translating our values into behavior. While the science of positive psychology is relatively new, the strengths we act on are not. Focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses is also nothing new. It is founded in the timeless and enduring virtues that the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, spoke and wrote of nearly 2400 years ago. He claimed that a major purpose in life was to experience happiness through living a virtuous life. One way is to experience “excellence of activity.” When you know how to do something well and act on it, it can bring pleasure, engagement, and meaning. The more things you know how to do well, the more avenues you will have for enjoyment and flourishing. 

Developing strengths requires time and experience. The strengths we talk of are predicated on six virtues, including the four cardinal virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. Aristotle claimed that a virtue or strength is developed through action: “Brave people became brave by doing brave things.” He said there were six states of character development: brutishness, self-indulgence, weakness of will or caving into temptation, strength of will or mastering temptation, character excellence, and heroic excellence.

According to this model, all humans are born brutish in nature, crying for food and attention, then moving through the other stages, hopefully leading to character excellence. Because of the eventual consequences of acting brutishly, most people learn that this behavior is not acceptable to others. Therefore, most people move up the “food chain” and eventually develop a sense of self-indulgence, a trait that is more common in young people and occasionally seen in adults. Those who act self-indulgently yield to their desires and are excessive and self-gratifying.
 
Self-indulgent people who have come to realize that this action doesn’t serve the good of others have taken a large step in the development of their characters. However, they may still be weak of will and succumb to temptation. Even though they still can’t change their behavior, they intellectually know how they should behave.
 
After struggling with temptation, a person may develop strength of will. Although a person may still have a desire to act in a certain way, he or she is no longer controlled by the impulse because, through experience, the behavior is known to be hurtful to self and others. The impulse may still be present, but the person chooses to act differently and is therefore in control.
 
A virtuous state of character is acquired through diligent ritual and rehearsal until the person eventually doesn’t feel the desire as much. Moderation or character excellence differs from mastering temptation in that it is built on accumulated practice from reflections on experiences and artful narratives. It also involves balanced and precise thought about short and long-term consequences, as well as clear goals, aspirations, hopes, and dreams. This person performs right actions as a matter of habit. The highest possible character state is called heroic excellence, displayed in acts of great courage or self-sacrifice that go above and beyond the call of duty.
 
Six Ways to Eat a Potato Chip
Boston University School of Education professor Steven Tigner uses a narrative, “Six Ways to Eat a Potato Chip,” to help people understand the stages of character development. The lessons of the story about developing self-regulation can be applied in any environment. Here is my retelling of the story.
 
Note: You can substitute any behavior instead of the chips – sexuality and relationships, stress, drug-taking, nutrition, or fitness behavior. The “chips” are just a vehicle for understanding the process of self-regulation.
 
Take 1 – Brutishness. I bring a bag of chips into class as a prop. First, I grab a handful of chips and start stuffing them into my mouth, with the same grace seen when my dog is given the dinner plate to clean off. The audience is at first taken aback by my behavior and clearly understand that it is pretty disgusting.

Take 2 – Self-indulgence. As I start eating the chips with a purpose, and savoring each delectable morsel, I start making the “yum” sound to the point of having a serious relationship with the chip. Don’t even think that I might share; the chips are for me, not you!
 
Take 3 – Weakness of Will. After a while I realize that I have had enough and begin to the put the bag down. My hand and arm begin to shake uncontrollably as I am trying not to cave into temptation, but my will isn’t strong enough. Ultimately another handful of chips goes into my mouth. When I then try to put the chips down, my hand goes back into the bag. I make a face because I am unhappy about my choice, but that is not enough to change.
 
Take 4 – Strength of Will. I eat from the bag again, and decide I have eaten enough. This is no easy task, as my hand and arm shake, but I eventually return the bag to the pantry. My will takes over, and knowing I shouldn’t eat any more, I act. Although I am exhausted from the struggle to master temptation, I am successful in the effort to self-regulate.
 
Take 5 – Character Excellence. I eat a moderate number of chips and put them down. I feel no desire to eat more, and I am not emotionally drawn to to the potato chip bag.
 
Take 6 – Heroic Excellence. No such thing as an heroic eating of chips. Have an apple instead!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Skype Interview with Penney and Lilou!

I just did a new skype video interview with Lilou Mace, about what's happening today, 2012, how to get through these fragmented and chaotic times, and what sorts of things may be coming. Enjoy!



Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Haiku Diary for July - Week 1


I've decided to write a haiku diary, one haiku a day (not exactly perfectly aligned to haiku rules), as a sort of creativity and mindfulness practice. Here's the first week:

1
hollyhocks arch o'er the walk
tall and strong in hot summer sun
so fuschia! come!

2
alone, I wash a dark load
I pick the ripe strawberries, eat some
a hummingbird hovers

3
the path around Deer Island
is half hot, half cool, half green, half gold
the hawk makes a circle

4
the fireworks fizzled in the fog
the cold wind brought us together
we cut into a watermelon

5
I read, I meet words and numbers
I merge with pictures patterns ideas answers
then resurface, hungry

6
one day in the sun and the dirt is dry
the vegetable garden sends a tiny sound
of open mouths, ready

7
a young man in a farm town
loyal to family and far from spiritual peers,
is paralyzed yet poised to leave


 Artwork: Wishing Tree, by Ken Bushe

Design e2: Let Us Honor Good Design Thinking!!


This is especially meaningful after BP's selfish, greedy way of meeting their own needs at the expense of everyone and everything else's. Here is part of the transcript of PBS's Design e2, Season 1: Episode 6, "Deeper Shades of Green," where Brad Pitt interviews architect William McDonough. I particularly liked this segment, though all the episodes are clean, well-conceived, simple, and remind us that good design's function is always about positive transformation. It contributes as much to our earth shifting up in vibration as spiritual teachings do.

BRAD PITT: 
So if everything is connected, can we transform the world through ecologically intelligent design? To Architect William McDonough, we must not only embrace new philosophies, but also innovative business strategies to re-shape the world economy. His co-authored book, Cradle to Cradle, looks at how goods and services can generate not only economic value, but also ecological and social value.
 
WILLIAM MCDONOUGH: 
The problem with recycling as we conventionally practice it, or characterize it, is that in most cases it's really what we've characterized as "down cycling." The materials are losing their quality as they go through the system. We're calling for what we call "up cycling." So it's either true recycling or even getting the product better. A bottle for example — take a look at this bottle. This is polyester terepthalate. It contains antimony, which is a toxic heavy metal which is a result of catalytic reaction. This is idiotic, because I don't need antimony in this bottle and it's a beautiful material and can be infinitely reused but right now this will go off and become a park bench. It won't be reused as this, plus it's got this slightly toxic material. It doesn't affect you drinking the water but it does affect the whole system. The system is contaminated by a carcinogen, which is just bad design. It's totally unnecessary.

 
In order to be a living thing, you have to have growth, you have to have free energy from sunlight, and you have to have an open system of chemicals operating for the benefit of the organism and its reproduction. So what Dr. Michael Braungart and I are looking at with Cradle to Cradle, is the idea that human artifice could follow the laws of life itself. And we would need growth, free energy from sunlight and an open system of chemicals that are safe and healthy.

 
WILLIAM MCDONOUGH:
 So the real question becomes When do we find ourselves in kinship with the natural world? When do we find ourselves as part of the natural world? And that's why Cradle to Cradle is so important. In nature, nature's not efficient, it's effective. So a cherry tree in the spring is not very efficient. Thousands of blossoms so you can get one tree to reproduce? It's not that interesting as far as efficiency goes but it's magnificently effective. So we're looking at both human technology in terms of our comfort and our ability to thrive as a species, but also how would we integrate that into the natural world without destroying it? That's a fundamental question that we haven't asked as a species. We become part of the human resource of the natural world instead of simply seeing nature as natural resources of the human one.

 
Well Cradle to Cradle is a simple, commonsensical approach which says things either go back to soil safely and forever or back to industry safely and forever. So we design products that were gonna end up in the dirt like a paper plate. Why not design that with a little nitrogen in it so that when you throw it away the farmers want it? If we look at the products like cars or computers, those are things that wanna go back to being cars and computers so right now they become toxic waste. Why couldn't they go back into closed cycles? We see this happening as a small part of something really huge that's pretty much out of control.

 
BRAD PITT: 
Design today must reflect a new spirit. By employing the intelligence of natural systems, we can create industry, buildings, even regional plans that see nature and commerce not as mutually exclusive, but mutually co-existing.

 
WILLIAM MCDONOUGH: The first industrial revolution was an aggregation of a lot of individual acts based on specific opportunity. It wasn't designed as a whole system. And now that we've seen the result of the whole system, of the first industrial revolution, based on brute force, and the use of fossil fuels, we should stop, take a breath, or try to anyway, and say, wait a minute, you know was this designed, was it our intention to release mercury? Was it our intention to cause climate change? Was it our intention you know, to pollute the oceans? I mean there's six times as much plastic as plankton in the Pacific gyre, north of Hawaii right now. I mean did we intend that to happen? You know so the first industrial revolution was not designed. So when we call for industrial re-evolution, what we're looking at is to look at the whole system and say if we could design a whole system of industry, how would we power it, how would we make things, how would we act? And that way we can have a vision toward which we can move a new industrial revolution. We're not asking everyone to become an expert at everything. We're asking everyone to understand that they can use the benefit of other people's expertise so that they don't become monolithic. Whereas what we're looking for is the best and the brightest coming together in multi-disciplinary teams.

 
BRAD PITT:
 Implementing these ideas we can design products that are continually recyclable and transform our current industrial system of "take, make, and waste". Done intelligently, we would see, as consumption increased, so would the health of the planet.

 
WILLIAM MCDONOUGH:
 Well it's all really common sense. I mean every time we talk to children, they go "Well, obviously!" So the children get this immediately. It's the entrenched practitioners that have difficultly imagining doing something different. How do we love all the children, of all species for all time? That's the fundamental question. And can my design do that? Is it about love of all children of all species for all time? Not just our children, not just our species and not just now. I consider myself just cosmic dust. You know over 2 billion years we've aggregated into this form and in the next 2 billion years we'll de-aggregate into dust again so it's really a question of the game. Which game are you playing? And for me the game is a game that's optimistic and hopeful, because I don't want to play a pessimistic and a game of destitution. So I have to wake up every morning and be optimistic. I'm a designer.


You can watch the first 2 seasons of Design e2 on hulu.com.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

THE NINE INSIGHTS from The Celestine Prophecy

I occasionally like to review these principles set forth in The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield, as they are simply-stated, sound, basic ideas that help us move through the transformation process. With attention spans as short as they are now, it's nice to remember classic wisdom!
1

We're discovering we live in a deeply mysterious world full of sudden coincidences and synchronistic encounters that seem destined.

2

As more of us awaken to this mystery, we will create a completely new worldview, redefining the universe as energetic and sacred.

3

We will discover that everything around us, all matter, consists of and stems from a divine energy that we are beginning to see and understand.

4

From this perspective, we can see that humans have always felt insecure and disconnected from this sacred source and have tried to take energy by dominating each other. This struggle is responsible for all human conflict.

5

The only solution is to cultivate a personal reconnection with the divine, a mystical transformation that fills us with unlimited energy and love, expands our perception of beauty, and lifts us into a higher self awareness.

6

In this awareness we can release our own pattern of controlling and discover a specific truth, a mission we are here to share, that helps evolve humanity toward a new level of reality.

7

In pursuit of this mission we can discover an inner intuition that shows us where to go and what to do, and if we make only positive interpretations, brings a flow of coincidences that opens the doors for our mission to unfold.

8

When enough of us enter this evolutionary flow, always giving energy to the higher self of everyone we meet, we will build a new culture in which our bodies evolve to ever higher levels of energy and perception.

9

In this way, we can participate in the coming journey of evolution, from the big bang to life's ultimate goal: to energize our bodies, generation by generation, until we walk into a heaven we can finally see.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

August 1 Baltimore Workshop: JOURNEY INTO TRANSPARENCY!


JOURNEY INTO TRANSPARENCY!
A Daylong Workgroup 
Dedicated to Clearing the Clogs

with Penney Peirce 


Stay positive without willfulness. 
Clear the last bits of low-vibration residue. 
Tap your imagination for a vision of your destiny.


Sunday Aug 1, 9:30am-4:30pm • $120
Sherwood Farms, Cromwell Valley Park, Towson, MD area


This year, particularly, is very intense energetically—many of us are “frequency-sorting,” deciding who we want to be, who we want as friends and colleagues, and what we want our life to feel like. We’re letting go of old, ineffective habits and toxic people. We’re chafing at realities that feel too limiting. You've probably been working to clear yourself of low vibrations, contractions, and fear—to stabilize your home frequency at a calm, positive, and creative level. Many of us are now hitting "the bottom of the bucket," the last residues of old thinking, habits, and behaviors. Sometimes it's hard to clear these last bits without help from others.


As the clutter of old habits and other people's ideas clears, we naturally feel the true experience of our most-real self. We naturally see what we most want to do, and how everything we've done so far fits together into a bigger picture that makes perfect sense. We are able to easily step into and live our destiny. There is a certain process that empowers this transformational shift, and in this workgroup, we will work with each phase of that process. You will go home with useful techniques you can continue to use on your own, and with an experience of clarity and Self you can measure  future experiences against.


In this content-rich workgroup you’ll learn to:
• keep your vibration high when the world seems so slow, feel your “home frequency,” and free yourself from negative or low vibrations
• identify and release ideas that don't belong to you, outdated vows, survival decisions made by your babymind, and emotional sludge
• use the present moment, the heart, and unified field to dissolve pain
• call on the collective to help you finish clearing yourself
• let go of associations, meanings, and attachments that slow your awareness needlessly 
• recognize the experience of a transparent self
• visit your Imaginal Realm to play with visions of what's possible for you and how quickly you can have it


Register with Pam Sabatiuk, 410/203-2256.

Calling All Voices: Four Questions to Reveal the Message Written in Your Soul

This lovely piece comes from my friend Gail Larsen, who teaches workshops on transformational speaking. Thought I'd pass it along since it is so well-written. Also, I love the idea of telling a new story to ourselves and others. How much of your self-talk is based on old thinking and negative, low-frequency ideas?

We are entering a time of shocking transformation. Life as we are living it is not sustainable and many are looking for a better story. The story that is pushing to emerge cannot be for the benefit of a few who have—so far—managed to insulate themselves from the harshness and apprehension that so many live with each day. The new story must be for the good of all life. We need only to look at the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico to recognize our inextricable connectedness with the natural world and to bring home the truth of Chief Seattle’s legendary words: “We did not weave the web of life. We are only a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.”

The fourth principle of Transformational Speaking states, “You can’t figure it all out, you can’t make anything happen, and you can’t make anyone do anything. Every one of us holds a different strand of the web of life, and we each must heed our own call.” Today I am asking you to heed your own call. With much of life as we’ve known it in breakdown and chaos, it is easy to become numb, overwhelmed, and continue our old conversations about all that is not working. Yet if each of us claims the strand of the web that is ours to tend and to mend, and ask others to do the same, we can individually and collectively begin a new conversation and live our way into the new story that is calling for our greatness.

We are all here at this time for a reason that is written deep within our souls and it is time to find and live our true callings. The questions we are asking in our national and global dialogue keep us stuck in an old paradigm of right/wrong, win/lose. The issues are complex and while we flail around looking for answers, I propose new questions. Here are four to support you in claiming your purpose and activating a new story:

1. What delights you and brings you alive?

When you experience the vibration of joy in your very being, you’re on track to identifying your place of greatest contribution as well as attracting those who will join you. The poet David Whyte in his exquisite poem Sweet Darkness reminds us: "You must remember one thing. The world was made to be free in. Give up all other worlds except the one to which you belong. Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you." You can no longer play small, although I am reminded of Mother Teresa who reminded us we can do small things with great love. I call that playing big.

2.  What breaks your heart?

Rumi said, "Break my heart, oh break it again, so I can love even more again." Or if you prefer a more contemporary philosopher, try Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” What pain are you avoiding? We must be willing to feel our heartbreak and pain. Each time we avoid our descent into the well of grief, we lose a part of our voice. By allowing ourselves the healing of this natural process, our hearts can be broken open and our purpose revealed.

3.  What does healing look like?

The pain will push us until the vision pulls. In Proverbs we are told, “When there is no vision, the people perish.” To change the world, it is time to tell a better story. What is the inspiring new story you will tell to show us the way to a vision of what is possible?

4.  What one life-affirming action will you do beautifully and consistently, with love?

Rather than being hypnotized into a wait-and-see stupor, what will you commit to doing right now that supports the healing you envision? Singer Holly Near, in her triumphant song Planet Called Home, sings of presence in these times in a way that expands my idea of how we may be called to serve. Her inspiring words suggest your calling may come, for example, from your own hero’s journey with illness. Perhaps your way of contributing is through the courage you demonstrate to others as you live with uncertainty.

Fabulous creatures sent from the power
Souls that have come with a purpose in mind
To do one little thing that will alter the outcome
And maybe together we can do it in time.

Whatever act you choose to do consistently and beautifully, with love, bring to the forefront the question asked by the Iroquois grandmothers. Does this support life? These revered elders viewed life as the entire interconnected web, and their decisions were based on what would serve seven future generations.

© 2010 Gail Larsen

Monday, July 5, 2010

There are Yang and Yin Paths to Enlightenment

An excerpt from Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration, by Penney Peirce, Chapter 10, p.241


"I've long had an understanding about achieving spiritual growth that differs from the major religions of the world. Perhaps I'm aware of this because the Intuition Age is bringing a new balance between yang-masculine and yin-feminine energy and awareness. Historically, I think the world has held an unquestioned view of spiritual growth that is based largely on men's experience of how it works for their physiological makeup and brain chemistry. I think women have a different experience of the process. I don't say this out of any sort of feminism or divisiveness, but because I sense a more comprehensive view is opening to us, and acknowledging how women's bodies and brains understand the universe and enlightenment will help round out a bigger picture for everyone. By combining the yang and yin views, we can find a unified way where all people, no matter their sex, can attain the highest levels of awareness. 


In a nutshell, because men's brains have fewer connecting fibers between the left and right hemispheres, they tend to perceive the world in an either-or, one-side-of-the-brain-at-a-time sort of way, which gives them natural skills with analysis and compartmentalization. Right-brain intuition is a mode they often must intentionally activate. Therefore, it makes sense that men naturally understand the Divine through separation; their path is to be in the world and not of it. Men's self-realization is typically based on abstinence from physical "temptations," contemplation and study, structured physical ceremony, surrender of personal will to a teacher, and monastic isolation. With Zen, for instance, all things of the world are treated neutrally, as "nothing special/everything special." Heaven or the Pure Land is a goal that is "up and out," beyond this world. 


Women, on the other hand, have many connecting fibers between the two sides of the brain, giving them the ability to perceive in a both-and way, where separation from others and the world, and even between thought, emotion, and spirit, is inherently difficult. Women thrive on relationship, conversation, nurturing, merging, feeling, and intuition. It makes sense that women's path to enlightenment is "down and into" the world, through matter, into everything human. Women tend to know the worlds, both physical and nonphysical, as part of their body. They are about being the world. Life is about tending and care-taking, since it's all too easy to feel another's pain. For women, enlightenment isn't a separate goal; it's a place where they come from, deep down. 


In the Intuition Age, it seems to me that humanity as a whole is finally bringing its unique kind of perception into full bloom. As human beings we have a special potential because we're endowed with conscious sensitivity and free will — we can develop our capacity to feel to the nth degree until it turns into the enlightened emotions of empathy and compassion, and we can feel our way right into a merger with our Source. Because feeling and sensitivity are body-related, our perception of the invisible realms can be more real and personal. That means we can complete our "evolutionary experiment" of being self-realized individuals by consciously experiencing ourselves as mini-holograms, or microcosms, of the Divine.


With sensitivity, you relate to, then include, then integrate everything in the world, much as you eat food. As your experiences digest, you receive the divine food value in it all. As you take in both light and dark, each new part teaches and expands you, becoming part of the diamond light in your personal field. Knowledge becomes personal, complexity simplifies, dissonance harmonizes, and you experience kinship with all forms of life. Differing world views merge to form a larger truth. Eventually you become so inclusive, you let go of defining yourself. The Divine becomes you and you become it. You know your highest identity by receiving everything; you're holy in all your humanness. 


Both the yang way and the yin way to enlightenment work, but there is one path that works equally well for all people, and that is the path of the Heart. Where brains and hormones may differ, all our hearts function the same way. Being open-hearted and heart-centered means you're in your home frequency which lets you know via feeling, yet brings insights that are clear and wise. Your heart is like a doorway to oneness."


copyright by Penney Peirce