You Have A Genius…

Elizabeth_Gilbert

This woman faced down a pre-midlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year.

Elizabeth Gilbert is an extremely gifted writer. She also has well-grounded ideas about what “Genius” really  means! She soared into celebrity with her book, Eat, Pray, Love, “fueled by a mix of intelligence, wit and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible”.

The following video will show you her storytelling skills as well as her dedication to honoring the genius within every creative act.

Prepare to be surprised, delighted, and inspired:

Want to listen to Elizabeth read part of Eat, Pray, Love  and answer questions from some of the folks who work at Google?

Spiritual Quote:

“The confirmations of the Spirit are all those powers and gifts which some are born with (and which men sometimes call genius), but for which others have to strive with infinite pains. They come to that man or woman who accepts his life with radiant acquiescence.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 120

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Rainn Wilson, Dwight Schrute, and Spirituality

the_office_and_spiritualityDwight Schrute?

From the hit show The Office?

Giving deep answers to big spiritual questions?

With Oprah?!?

Well… Recently, Rainn Wilson appeared on Oprah’s Soul Series Webcast {Scroll down to “Download Files” for the easiest access!}.

He was definitely not  the character he plays on The Office!

Not the man with a boundless ego who’s always looking for the best way to screw anybody—the man you love to hate…

Here was a thoughtful, intelligent man talking about his spiritual journey and introducing a new web site that targets youth and challenges them to think about and  take action on the Big Spiritual Questions—SoulPancake.

He talks about creative endeavors as Prayer  and the crying need for our Human Family to Unify —to realize that the answer to all the Big Questions  is an awareness of our common Humanity…

Oprah draws him out with her matchless style of down-to-earth yet deeply spiritual questions and gives him a chance to soar on the wings that only a Creative Soul can use to give each of us Hope!

I rate this one as a Must-Watch!!!

Spiritual Quote:

“The mystery of this phenomenon, the cause thereof is this, that mankind has been created from one single origin, has branched off from one family. Thus in reality all mankind represents one family. God has not created any difference. He has created all as one that thus this family might live in perfect happiness and well-being.

“Regarding reciprocity and cooperation: each member of the body politic should live in the utmost comfort and welfare because each individual member of humanity is a member of the body politic and if one member of the members be in distress or be afflicted with some disease all the other members must necessarily suffer. For example, a member of the human organism is the eye. If the eye should be affected that affliction would affect the whole nervous system. Hence, if a member of the body politic becomes afflicted, in reality, from the standpoint of sympathetic connection, all will share that affliction since this (one afflicted) is a member of the group of members, a part of the whole. Is it possible for one member or part to be in distress and the other members to be at ease? It is impossible! Hence God has desired that in the body politic of humanity each one shall enjoy perfect welfare and comfort.

“Although the body politic is one family yet because of lack of harmonious relations some members are comfortable and some in direst misery, some members are satisfied and some are hungry, some members are clothed in most costly garments and some families are in need of food and shelter. Why? Because this family lacks the necessary reciprocity and symmetry. This household is not well arranged. This household is not living under a perfect law. All the laws which are legislated do not ensure happiness. They do not provide comfort.

“Therefore a law must be given to this family by means of which all the members of this family will enjoy equal well-being and happiness.
Is it possible for one member of a family to be subjected to the utmost misery and to abject poverty and for the rest of the family to be comfortable? It is impossible unless those members of the family be senseless, atrophied, inhospitable, unkind. Then they would say, ‘Though these members do belong to our family—let them alone. Let us look after ourselves. Let them die. So long as I am comfortable, I am honored, I am happy—this my brother— let him die. If he be in misery let him remain in misery, so long as I am comfortable. If he is hungry let him remain so; I am satisfied. If he is without clothes, so long as I am clothed, let him remain as he is. If he is shelterless, homeless, so long as I have a home, let him remain in the wilderness’.

“Such utter indifference in the human family is due to lack of control, to lack of a working law, to lack of kindness in its midst. If kindness had been shown to the members of this family surely all the members thereof would have enjoyed comfort and happiness.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Foundations of World Unity

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Transcending the Murmur

Today we have a treat !

Isabella Mori, psychotherapist and owner of the blog, Change Therapy, relates her spiritual insight . . .

~~~~~~~~~

In the late 90’s, early 2000’s, I was working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Canada’s “poorest urban postal code”. I did outreach counselling and worked out of a number of places, one of them First United Church.

First United Church in Vancouver is a mission church – it focuses mostly on providing services to people who are extremely marginalized: morning soup for people who are homeless, foot care for people with disabilities, advocacy for single mothers, health care for survival sex trade workers, etc.

Now at First United Church they had this wonderful morning service. Right in the middle of people sleeping off their hangovers in the pews and drug users finding a moment’s quiet for their overwrought minds, each weekday morning at 8:45, a handful of people would congregate to sing, read a bible verse and reflect and pray together. It was the most beautiful thing – church, I believe, as intended by Jesus.

Almost right from the beginning of me working out of First United, every day I’d be there – usually Wednesday and Friday mornings – I’d make sure to participate in these services. I loved the songs and the little discussions around the readings, mostly from the bible, sometimes from some other religious material.

Towards the end of each service, we’d say the Lord’s Prayer, in different versions. I really enjoyed the Maori version. But when we said the “normal” version – I just didn’t want to say it. I had a real problem with it, particularly when it comes to “… and lead us not into temptation.” What do you mean, lead us not into temptation?? I imagined a God looking down at us thinking, hmmm, this Isabella down there, should I lead her into temptation today? That kind of God didn’t look at all palatable to me, and I wasn’t going to pray to him!

A few months into me participating in these services, the minister who usually led the service came up to me and said, “Listen, I’ve noticed you show up here every Wednesday. I’m going on vacation, it’s summer, most everyone else is on vacation, too – could you lead the service while I’m away?”

I was a bit flabbergasted but being the sport that I am I said, “Ah, sure, I guess.” But then I remembered: “Wait, I can’t do that! Haven’t you noticed how I never say the Lord’s Prayer?”

“No, I haven’t. I thought you liked the Maori Prayer.”

“I love it. But the other one, the usual version … “

“What about it?”

I explained to him my conundrum. (What a blessing, now that I think of it. I felt so comfortable with this guy that I had no problem telling him what I thought of this God who’s toying with me – “Should I lead her into temptation today? Shouldn’t I?”)

What he said next has made a huge difference in my life. Let me paraphrase:

“Isabella, there are many different ways of interpreting this. For example, you could see it as meaning, ‘as I am going down the path of temptation, please help me steer away from it, lead me somewhere else.’

You can do this with anything in the Bible. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to do that. Read the Bible in such a way that it gives you the most benefit. Let the Bible be something that God has written for YOU. Make it your own!”

It was one of those moments where something that I had known intellectually for a long time all of a sudden made sense to me on a very deep, transformative level. It was as if Pastor Bruce had showed me a door that I had passed by for decades. All I needed to do was open it and walk through.

It opened the door for me to go back to and discover Christian texts – the Bible in its many translations, the beautiful words of the 13th-century woman mystic Julian of Norwich, the more contemporary writings by Brother Roger of Taize, to name a few – as well as other spiritual texts that had heretofore not really touched me, most notably 12-step literature.

It changed my life.

Spirituality had always been an important part in my life but after this, I reached a level of commitment and passion that I had always longed for but could never completely feel in my bones. My lifelong interest in Buddhism deepened, I felt free to reclaim my strong Christian roots planted by my deeply religious Lutheran minister grandfather, I gained a deep appreciation of the wisdom of the 12 steps, and the Pagan stirrings that had been with me since the early 80s unfolded into a beautiful, nurturing and creative spiritual practice.

Why am I telling you all this? A while ago, I read some moving words here on Alexander’s blog. They moved me but … I had a bit of a funny reaction to the specific use of language. Thankfully, I had a little conversation with Alexander about that and showed him my own rewrite of the quote. In response he quoted a Baha’i text:

“Reveal then Thyself, O Lord, by Thy merciful utterance and the mystery of Thy divine being, that the holy ecstasy of prayer may fill our souls – a prayer that shall rise above words and letters and transcend the murmur of syllables and sounds – that all things may be merged into nothingness before the revelation of Thy splendor.”
Compilations, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 70

… and that reminded me of my experience with Pastor Bruce.

Yes.

Let’s rise above words and letters and transcend the murmur of syllables and sounds – that all things may be merged into nothingness before the revelation of God’s splendor.

~~~~~~~~~

Isabella Mori is Canada’s blogging psychotherapist and talks about spirituality, psychology, creativity and social justice on her blog Change Therapy.

And, The Winners Are . . .

The winners are…

Everyone who posted a comment about [ what they saw in ] this picture from the post two days ago.

Thing is…

Anyone can do this with any picture I post. Your impressions and feelings are the other half of why I blog…

The winner’s comments below { there’s even a short play down there! }:

https://i0.wp.com/www.thedailypage.com/media/2007/02/08/BoyDogBath.jpg

image credit

9 Comments »


    Laughter is God’s sunshine, with a Gentle impression of Love from a child of innocence in spirit, mind, and body !

    Comment by Catherine — @ 2:09 pm –> | May 28, 2008

    Thank You Love, for being Here Now!I experience God intimately by embracing ALL of life lovingly!

    Comment by Amarendra<!– @ 3:04 pm –> | May 28, 2008

    Thanks for drawing my bath honey. What would I do without you?

    Comment by Alexys Fairfield<!– @ 4:44 pm –> | May 28, 2008

    Unconditional Love.

    Comment by Paul<!– @ 5:49 pm –> | May 28, 2008


    Mmmmm…. nothing like the smell of wet dog.

    Comment by Sophia | May 28, 2008 <!– @ 8:24 pm –> |


    Man’s best friend is his dog; but a dog’s best friend is his kid!

    <!– @ 3:08 am –Comment by Marilyn Higgins | May 29, 2008


    “Don’t tell mom the water’s still running!” or“When are you coming in? The water’s so cool!”
    <!– @ 11:12 am –Comment by Maggie | May 29, 2008

    Nothing like a bubble bath and the company of your best friend to end the night:~)

    Comment by Brandi<!– @ 2:16 pm –> | May 29, 2008


    NOTE: The dog’s leg creeping into the tub (by the boys hand).

    Little boy: “Ooooh, I love you so much.”

    Dog: Wags tail.

    Little boy: Looks around quickly then says, “Hey, come on in the tub. Quick! Mom’s not looking. Ssshhh, don’t splash so much. Gosh you’re BIG, move over! Ooow, your claws are scratching my leg. Move over some more.

    Little boy: Pushes dog away a bit

    Dog: Looks dejected: (

    Little Boy: Looks at dog and says, “Aaaw, that’s okay. We can both fit in here. I’ll make room for you, ’cause you’re my bestest ever friend in the whole world.”

    Dog: Licks boy’s face and wags his tail, splashes water and suds everywhere.

    Little boy: Giggles and wraps his arms around the dog’s neck.

    “Luv in the Tub.”
    You can’t beat it! )

    RainforestRobin
    http://www.nakedineden.com

    <!– @ 3:38 pm –> Comment by rainforestrobin | May 29, 2008

Your Turn . . .

https://i0.wp.com/www.thedailypage.com/media/2007/02/08/BoyDogBath.jpg

image credit

What does that picture “say” to you? Could you write a caption for it? How about a short paragraph explaining what you see happening? What about a short story? Well, it’s your turn !

I did this a month or so ago and it seemed like the right time to try it again.

I hope you’ll take this mild challenge: write a phrase, sentence, paragraph, or story about that picture. Post it in the Comments, and I’ll post all the comments day-after-tomorrow.

I normally post every day but I’ll extend this post’s lead to give you a chance to crank up your creativity !

Innovation

There’s an old psychological technique to help a person free-up their thinking. It’s simple and seems, at first blush, totally silly and useless.

First: Look around you.

Second: Name, out loud, what you see.

Third: Make sure each name is Not what the object is usually called. (ex., looking at a hat, you say elephant.)

The effort to misname things loosens your creativity and promotes innovation.

Here’s a site that has many tools to aid innovation.

In a recent Fortune interview, Larry Page (co-founder of Google), commenting on innovation, said, “My argument is that people aren’t thinking that way.

“Instead, it’s sort of like ‘We are captives of the world, and whatever happens, happens.’ That’s not the case at all. It really matters whether people are working on generating clean energy or improving transportation or making the Internet work better and all those things. And small groups of people can have a really huge impact.”

And, from an article entitled, Relationship Between Disarmament and Development, the critical importance of innovative thinking and action are stressed:

“We witness around us an accelerating two-fold process of disintegration and integration. There is a breakdown of exhausted and inappropriate ideals, of archaic institutions and ideas, of empty customs and beliefs, while at the same time there is a burgeoning of new ideas, fresh discoveries in science, insights into human behavior, innovations in the management of human affairs. These perturbations and crises could give birth to new hope and promise and must be seen as opportunities for greater measures of creative human effort. The real enemies are not other nation-states, but ignorance, prejudice, greed, poverty, and disease. Such adversaries are far more worthy of our human and natural resources.”

Baha’i International Community, 1987 Aug 24, Relationship Between Disarmament and Development