They’re Threatening Our Freedom, What Now?

A sense of freedom has always been one of my most passionate pursuits. As a young adult, I  wrapped myself in the bondage of fears, insecurities, and doubts. My lifelong journey has been colored by my deep desire to find inner freedom as well as the freedom to express, create, and contribute. My journey took many curves, but it still continues to flower.

It pains me to hear that there are frequent on-going battles of freedom occurring all around the world. Within the past two years, millions of people in areas such as the Middle East and Africa have died trying to escape the oppression in their homeland and also to have a sense of dignity and a chance at a free life.

To my great concern, it seems like the fight for freedom has activated in our own country and society. We are experiencing extremely defensive and divisive ways of approaching policy regarding freedom by our own government. Each one of us needs to deeply take to heart what we are standing for and how we are fulfilling the vision that this country was founded on; which is freedom and equality to all people.

Watching the migrants struggle for a life of basic freedom makes me think of the struggle to survive as both a Jew and an Israeli. Knowing that struggle moves me to identify with all people fighting for their basic right to live dignified and expressive lives. This is not something I take for granted. I leave you with the words of the Dalai Lama, a true guide in these turbulent times.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document adopted by the United Nations in 1948 as a result of the experience of the Second World War. The declaration affirms that all human beings have the right to freedom from want and freedom from fear. These human rights are inclusive, interdependent and universal.

Whether we are concerned with suffering born of poverty, with denial of freedom, with armed conflict, or with a reckless attitude to the natural environment everywhere, we should not view these events in isolation. Eventually their repercussions are felt by all of us. We, therefore, need effective international action to address these global issues from the perspective of the oneness of humanity, and from a profound understanding of the deeply interconnected nature of today’s world.

Providing for equality under law, the declaration states that everyone is entitled to equal rights and freedoms without discrimination of any kind. Peace and freedom cannot be ensured as long as fundamental human rights are violated. Similarly, there cannot be peace and stability as long as there is oppression and suppression. It is unfair to seek one’s own interests at the cost of other people’s rights. Truth cannot shine if we fail to accept truth or consider it illegal to tell the truth. Where will the idea of truth and reality be if we push the truth and facts under the carpet and allow illegal actions to triumph?

Tenzin Gyatso, H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama

Please remember that humanity is a sacred and special thing. Cultivate your lives for yourself and others.

-Nomi

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Passions and Pleasures

All of us possess three important gifts that inspire our lives. These three gifts are handed to us by the Great Creative Source as an offering of unconditional love. The first gift is the ability to love and be loved. Even when we are having a tough time loving or receiving love, we are, deep down inside, capable of it, and are actually moving toward love. It is part of our innate nature. The second gift is the ability to feel connected to the whole, the great expression called life. We feel this connection through nature, culture, art, community, spiritual experience, a sense of unity, and the simple enjoyments of our daily lives. The third gift is our ability to create and express. We are all endowed with this ability; some of us make it a vocation, and all of us use it in one way or another.

On one of my blogs before the new year (see link at the end), I had suggested some steps for planning a successful 2017. I hope that you found the structure that I offered to be helpful. When we think of what truly gets manifested and achieved in our lives, we come to see that passions and pleasures are on the top of the list. So lets flesh out our passions and pleasures for this year. Since these generate a sense of excitement that fills us with energy, shooting us forward. Lets ride on their wave to our destination.

Live each day as a creative process. Commit to enjoyment and make choices that open you up to the magical in your daily moments.

I personally have a complete Vision Map of all my choices, commitments, and actions. I apply these to each one of the seven Gates of Power (r). I help everyone I work with create a Vision Map for themselves. We do not neglect to have two important lists added to our Vision Map. What am I talking about? I am talking about the list of passions and the list of pleasures.

I encourage you to make these two lists yourself. It is as nourishing to the heart as the thought of a great meal or a fun happening. The following lists give you an example of items or possibilities that could be on your lists.

Passions
People that I love and the heartfelt communication/events/adventures I want to share with them
Sharing my gifts with others
Creative projects
Plans for trips and adventures
Creating exuberant health and wellbeing
Enjoying moments of mediation and peace
Art, music, culture

Pleasures
Physical activities you enjoy
New foods
Great new books, music, movies
Laughing and chatting with friends
Nature
Games and silliness
Sex and affection

Please don’t deprive yourself from making these lists and treating yourself to doing at lease one thing from each one of the lists. You will end up reaching goals in a natural and pleasurable way. What is more important in this life than enjoying the three gifts? Love, connection, and creativity.

(View the last blog here)

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A Renewed You

A new year is a wake-up call infused with a sweet invitation from destiny to take the next step up. Ideally, we should have the habit of examining our lives weekly, asking the questions: What works, what doesn’t, why, and what is needed?  But most of us are not as diligent.

The New Year will flash a sign of “Stop and Think” in front of our eyes and whisper: “The clock of time keeps ticking away silently; you will not be here, in this version of yourself, forever.  It is time to take stock of your life and yourself.”

I invite you to take a minute and list your victories, personal and professional, a few great moments, and some great insights/revelations that you collected this year.  These are the gems you received from the passing year.

Now, going for the next level of growth ask yourself: “What area of my life is clearly out of balance and needs more attention right now?”

  • Is it your family?
  • Your creative projects?
  • Your health?
  • Your spiritual evolution?
  • Your emotional freedom?
  • Your finances?

Write down your answer on a sheet of paper.  This is the item highest on your priority list.  The one you are most passionate about.  The second question to ask yourself is: “How committed am I to creating a new level of possibilities in this area?” If your commitment is wavering, the third question is: “Why, what’s standing in the way?”

Here are the two important elements to create results.

One: strong emotional commitment is the key to manifestation. Actualized desires spring from our inner being. “As within, so without”: if you want love, you need to be love.  If you want health, you need to envision health, etc.

Two: to achieve growth and balance in the area of your life that you chose, you need to nurture your whole being.  All aspects of our lives are closely connected.  Your state of being is the soil in which all dreams grow and blossom, and you are the gardener.  Make sure you provide a fertile soil for your inner being if you want your dreams and wishes to come true.

Our inner being expresses itself through seven channels.  I call these channels The Seven Gates of Power®. When all seven channels are open unblocked, expressive, and energized, and when they work together in harmony, you are whole, powerful, and expressive.  You then enter into a state of being that supports the manifestation of your visions and desires.

Imagine yourself as a flower with seven petals.  All petals have to be nourished and open for the flower to fully express its beauty.  In the same way, all of your Gates need to be nourished, cleared and energized in order for your inner light to shine.

The Seven Gates of our being are:

  • The Gate of The Body (also includes all physical structures of life, home, care and finances)
  • The Gate of Emotions
  • The Gate of Dialogue (relationships with yourself and others)
  • The Gate of Creative Expression (adventure, playful and creative projects)
  • The Gate of Life Path (your life’s purpose and direction)
  • The Gate of Silence (prayer and meditation)
  • The Gate of Knowledge (learning)

If you neglect any one of these Gates, you compromise your inner balance.  All the Gates are connected and work together in synergy.

 Here are some tips for creating wholeness in preparation for the New Year:

  1. Take an honest look at each one of the Gates and ask yourself what you need to strengthen and cultivate in this area of your life.
  2. Match the area of life you chose as a priority with the right Gate.
  3. Make three clear commitments relating to each Gate.  For example, the Gate of the Body: How do you intend to strengthen your body in this coming year?  Nutrition?   Exercise?   Rest?   Grooming?  Or, the Gate of Emotion: How can you create greater emotional freedom and connect with feelings you are avoiding?  Express your feelings more, better, differently?   Learn to understand or accept certain emotions?

Once you finish going through this process and you have made three commitments under each Gate, you are ready to chart your plan for renewal and empowerment.

I suggest that you create a colorful chart with seven columns and three commitments under each column.  Now that you are clear about your commitments, it is time for practice.  You will need to consult your chart on a daily basis to create small steps leading to the accomplishment of your commitments.

If you are making a bold move out of your comfort zone, and I hope you do, be prepared to encounter fears, self doubts, and resistance.  This is the natural process of growing.  There are always breakdowns, small and large, before breakthroughs.  Keep working consistently through these.

This is a sacred labor of self-love; the rewards of your efforts will deepen your understanding of yourself and your ability to nurture and empower that self.  It is your creative gift to yourself for the New Year.

I wish you a year of health, joy, and renewal.

Nomi

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I am of the Earth

In one of the quiet nights when the world was deep asleep, I was wide awake. A slow string of memories was moving through the sky of my mind like tear loaded clouds. Somehow all the lonely, orphan like moments of my past, came in to say hello (or maybe to say goodbye?). Memories of times I felt bone-deep lonely and soul-filled sad. I was young then and did not realize yet, how loved, protected, and guided I truly was. I was sitting all chilled in the midst of enveloping warmth, hopeless while in the arms of bliss.

“You are of the Earth,” I said to my soul, “like a tree, a fish, a bird, or a rock. How can you be a part of the earth and be orphaned? A piece of grass is always at home. A fish knows it is part of the ocean. It is time to know,” I said to my soul. “It’s time for the sadness to say goodbye to its old music and discover a new melody, time to find the peaceful trust in the embracing warmth.” “Yes,” said my soul, “Let’s do it!” “Ok,” I said, “How about getting some sleep?”

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Passion for Integrity: Lessons From My Cleaning Lady

My cleaning lady Joslyn is an amazing example of passion for integrity. She gets into all the seen and unseen crevasses of the house. Nothing escapes her scrutinizing eye. She is a stand for absolute cleanliness. Why am I writing about that? Because I believe that no matter what you do, you can do it with a passion for excellence and a sense of integrity. So many of us don’t. When how you do things matters to you, it means that you matter to you, others matter to you, and your projects matter.

I look at Joslyn when she works. She is totally in the moment. Very present and most of the time, singing something or another in a very untrained voice that is full of light hearted peace. She is an example of mindfulness and respect for her work. I am sure she did not read any books about mindfulness or integrity. She did not attend any workshops. She is just fully engaged and takes pride in her job and the subtle healing magic of clean.

A clean house breathes differently. A clean house lets you relax and be. It is a space for clarity and peace. To me, Joslyn’s work is house therapy. If each of us did what we do with thorough dedication and love, the world would slowly heal and life would come to be what it wants to be, a flow of creative exchanges.

  • Nomi
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Creating Magic

I went to see the movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Needless to say, the child in me is fascinated by fantastic creatures and imaginary worlds. I could revel in these for hours, I love moving from on reality to another, mixing and matching the seen and unseen…

What really stayed with me after the movie, when I shook off the special visual and sound effects (which were a bit much to my taste), was the truth that we all possess magic powers and the ability to see and feel the magic within life. It is when we repress that ability or allow others to repress it in us, that we become destructive to ourselves and others. 

The magical power to create reality is our birthright and gift. It is what allows us to express and share with others. We can say, it is our spiritual air. Most of us, myself included, grow up forced to repress our true power and expression for the sake of being accepted, loved, or safe. Many die with their inner music never fully sung. Others like myself, spend a chunk of life claiming back our magical powers. 

Most of the time, the repression of our power goes unrecognized. We are so used to it, that it feels natural. So how do we know if we’re operating from our power? Good question. Ask yourself, “Am I living life like it is a field of endless possibilities? Do I feel like I can manifest a vision that springs from a heart passion into reality?” Openness to possibilities and a deep trust in our ability to manifest our desires is the state of mind where magic lives. 

We need to recognize how we’re in the way of our own magical powers. Fears, insecurities, distrust, self doubt, etc all are in the way. What are you doing to clear your path to true power? 

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Election Night Torture

The other night was a sleepless night for many. Turning in our beds or sofas, we were waiting with baited breath for the verdict. Who was going to impact for lives for the next four years? We have been disillusioned, grossly watching the two leaders act in ways that, to me, are totally unacceptable. Different style of unacceptable acts, but unsettling nonetheless. What is that telling us about the state of being of our nation? Our leaders are an expression of us and in turn, they influence our state of affairs and the social political fabric of the country.

We chose a president who has expressed negative opinions about women, Mexicans, Muslims, other leaders, sexual orientation, and so on. Now, he speaks about unity, a word that has been used as a token bribe by both leaders. “Unity and peace are not the norm”, said a friend. Yes, they’re not. They take tremendous honesty, integrity, real caring, and spiritual maturity to even touch the hem of this garment. It takes daily work and commitment. What are our leaders really committed to other than their personal ambition? I wish I knew??? I would love to be able to look into the heart of that commitment behind the words, the posturing, and the political maneuvering.

I am, and I know we all are, longing for a leader that truly cares about people. All people, all different kinds of people. Where is that person? Will we see a tinge of that in the next year??

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Beginners Guide to an Ease of Being

I was watching my breath in one of my meditations, enjoying the soothing rhythm of taking in, holding, and letting go. When I don’t get tight, by passing thoughts that interfere, if I stay present and surrender to the flow, I ride the wave. A feeling of ease and freedom washes over me.
So much of our life is wasted on resisting the natural flow. We live in “trying” to be this or that, “trying” to be good, perfect, beautiful, loved, clever, better, best… “trying” to control our feelings, our reactions  our expressions, other people, other things, endless efforts of “trying”. All of the “trying” is a major interference with the flow. What flow? The flow of our breath, our energy, our feelings, our life force. Not a very smart thing to do, but being anxious and insecure, we are “trying” to make ourselves safe in this very unsafe, unhappy way.
It took me years to convince myself to give up the effort and enjoy the rhythm of life. The grand rhythm we see, feel, and actually live, when we let ourselves, moves through three phases. Creating, maintaining, and dissolving  just like our breath does. Taking in, which is filling up with new breath, pausing to enjoy it and letting it go. Nature in it’s wisdom, creates anew, maintains, and then dissolves to create again and so on.
We’re right now, in the dissolved part of the cycle. All the leaves are dying, nature is letting go, to clear the plate for creating anew. I remind myself daily to live in a state of constant allowing. Allowing things and people to be what they are. Allowing myself to be. Allowing life to be. This does not mean, not influencing transformation or creating beauty and goodness. It just means doing it from a place of ease of being. A much more effective, organic, and authentic inner source. Find out what helps you to let go of the anxious and insecure effort so you can find your ease of being.
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5 Qualities of a True Leader

For the last many months, we have been the audience to the uninspiring banter of our two presidential candidates. We all discussed the issues, we got angry, we debated among ourselves, at times we got hopeful, and at other times we despaired. I must admit that I felt discouraged and at times disgusted by the lack of true leadership conduct exhibited, particularly by Donald trump. It prompted me to think about the qualities of a true leader and the two words that came to mind were “servant” and “leader”. Here’s a little story I came across that highlights the point.

“Several centuries ago, during the Revolutionary War, a group of soldiers were trying to move a heavy piece of lumber that was blocking the road. As hard as they tried, over and over again, they couldn’t seem to move it from the ground. Their corporal stood nearby giving them direction and probably graciously allowing them a brief period of rest. He may have even sought their input on “how” to best move the huge piece of wood. But after their repeated efforts, his patience was wearing thin. 

Another more senior army officer came along on horseback and observed their efforts. After a moment, he suggested that the corporal help his men. The corporal responded with a tinge of offense in his voice, “Me? Why, I’m a corporal sir!”

The senior officer dismounted his horse and stepped over to the men. He positioned himself alongside them, and gave the order to “heave”. All of a sudden, the timber moved into the position where they needed it, no longer blocking the pathway.

He then turned to the corporal and told him, “The next time you have a piece of timber for your men to move, just call the commander-in-chief.” The officer was George Washington.

Washington’s behavior modeled servant leadership. He led by example. He didn’t merely direct others, or solicit their input. He demonstrated his willingness to serve and support them. And as a result the soldiers felt his tangible encouragement of their work; and he understood the challenges of their roles.”

To be a servant leader means aligning the passion in your heart, the vision in your head, and the actions of your hands. Qualities of a true leader include:

  1. Deep care and passion expressed in your contribution to your community.
  2. Knowledge of your purpose and capabilities.
  3. Taking full responsibility for your vision.
  4. Doing what you do best and delegating to others according to their skills and abilities.
  5. Evaluating daily whether you are proceeding in alignment with your mission.

Each one of us is a servant leader in our own life, we serve the people, the projects, and the missions we are involved in and we lead our life according to our vision for it with a sense of passion and responsibility. I feel that, these qualities are the minimum we should ask from the leaders of our country.

-Nomi

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Am I Going To Be Here The Next Moment?

It might be that I aged, slowed down, and sobered up, or it might be that I am finally clear, washed off all the mind, heart mud and can finally be here in this experience called life. The bitter sweetness of it is penetrating, almost daggering, and softly embracing all at once.

I was sitting with a friend who is struggling with cancer. The struggle stripped all his walls, masks, and hiding tunnels. He is more alive now than ever, even while in a frail and withering body. Another friend struggling with cancer looked at me across the table with a soft and glowing smile lighting her face, a beautiful face that wrinkled overnight. She surrendered to love and support and learned to take in love; sickness takes us there…

Then, there are the shootings or the bombs. One moment someone you love is there, the next, they’re gone. The moments are screaming their preciousness and I am feeling their pulse as if for the first time.

Life and death mixed inseparable– what is there to be, to do, to have? Just experience one moment after another. Stay open, touch, feel, see, accept. We can keep creating from the heart, give and receive and just enjoy the gift of being alive. In one fleeting moment, it can all change.

-Nomi

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