10/11/2012

smiling project day 11

Still smiling away over here ;) I took these photos on two different mornings during teacher training last weekend right after my morning mantra and meditation practice. That tends to be one of the sweetest times of my day. I usually feel so calm and at peace afterwards and it has been nice to document that. It is also a good reminder throughout the day that I have access to the peace of mind and engaged heart that I cultivate each morning. One of the fruits from all of this practice is the mindfulness it brings during the rest of my day. As many of my favorite teachers have said over the years, at any point we can always come home. Come home to our breath and our awareness of the present moment.

I must say being all smiley in Los Angeles isn’t that difficult. I am so happy here. Even today when it’s dark and rainy (shhh don’t tell Portland) I have no reason to not be excited to be in this crazy place building a business, a new community, eating delicious organic food, I have countless reasons to love my life and share my smile with whom ever crosses my path.

Last night I went to service at Agape International Spiritual Center to hear my friend sing in the choir and to receive the evenings spiritual teachings from Reverend Michael Beckwith. To say I was floored by his presence and words and spirit would not do the experience justice. He is truly a visionary and it was incredibly inspring and uplifting watching him do his thing. The first time I went to Agape for a Wednesday night service I was skeptical. I’ve seen the movie The Secret and didn’t think too highly of it. Thank god neither service was anything like what my experience of the movie was.

Reverend Beckwith talked a lot about looking within and letting our true nature, love, beauty, joy, abundance, shine out. This resonated for me on a deep level. He spoke about how we can operate from a lower level which is based in fear and all the stories we have about ourselves or we can operate from a higher level of consciousness which is really living an inspired life. Everything we think manifests in our behaviors and actions thus our entire lives are created by what is in our minds. Believing in these concepts whole heartedly it has become even more important for me to continue smiling as much as possible each day.

I’ve never been one to believe in the power of positive thinking as a method for living a happy life. There is something in that idea for sure but I am action oriented, more of an act-as-if type of person. Often my head will tell me why I shouldn’t do certain things (the fears/the stories/that lower level┬áconsciousness stuff) and saying affirmations to myself all day that are the positive opposite of whatever I am not doing doesn’t usually cut it. I have to take a deep breath and walk through the fear – then and only then do I get the relief – from taking the risk. Continuing to take these risks over time helps me to build a new belief system based on love, joy, abundance which to be honest is still somewhat scary.

What if all my prayers were answered? What if the cosmos was conspiring for my greatest good? What if I really am connected to everything and everyone and all the planets and stars and galaxies? And I know all of this to be true and yet it still frightens me at times, mostly because it means that I am the one that is responsible for my life. Me. And all the little ways I continue to sabotage myself are one by one falling away or coming into the light to show me more of the work that I need to do…..okay major digression over here. Sorry ;)

So smiling, yes, acting as if. Whenever I practice this, smiling even if I don’t feel like it, I change. Maybe not that second, but usually shortly there after. And if I can get myself laughing it’s even better. Whom ever said laughter is the best medicine was on to something. Like I mentioned before, smiling is powerful, and if you don’t believe me, do some research and check out this interesting video (aren’t TED talks awesome?!).

Ok. I am going to clean up around the house and try to get in bed early again. I’ve pretty much been in bed by 9:30-10 every night this week. I’m loving myself on lots of sleep.

xoa

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