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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Lessons from "A Course In Miracles"

Lesson 1 in A Course In Miracles states; Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.

For me the power of this lesson is to begin to acknowledge that without my own perception of things I cannot make something have meaning for me. I know that in the grand scheme of life none of us are separate from each-other, but that being said I still have formulated my own ideas of my world around me. So when I look at the chair in my bedroom for example, at first glance it reminds me of my Mom because it was hers, and if I ponder just that thought long enough it evokes many memories. Once I am on the trail of memories my mind can go into a painful grief filled roller coaster because my Momma just passed away. The chair now has meaning, memories, and grief attached to it all because I gave it that power. I can keep going on with the items that fill my bedroom, my house and so on, and soon I am just filled with emotions of every kind, which then starts to affect my physical body.

Staying in an emotional state of mind erodes my health and wellness. If I cannot get a handle on how I emotionally react to everything in my Universe I can spiral into a bad place physically, which actually is exactly what I have done. This lesson allowed me to see how I have a learned belief and behavior to emotionally react to my surroundings. My life has been revolving around my things, and I really saw how it worked when I started to watch a show on cable called "Hoarders". The people on this show who hoard cannot throw garbage away because of all the applied meaning they have assigned to each piece. I was enraged at these people, I wanted to go in to their homes tie them up and gag them and start throwing all the crap they stored in the garbage! What occurred to me was that none of us are separate from each-other, so I had to look at why I was emotionally reacting to these people on the t.v.

I am not a hoarder I am a neat freak but look at the similarity in this, where the hoarder was applying importance to the things they were collecting I am applying importance to the neatness of my coffee table. If the professional organizer was trying to talk to the hoarder about throwing away a broken hanger and the hoarder was flipping out, I saw where I flip out when someone disturbs the way I have an arrangement set up on a shelf. The hoarder and I have placed meaning to the items in our life, and it passes on to the location of the items, the condition and so on. Now this is not just about stuff, it isn't just me and the hoarder, upon closer inspection I see the addict the same whether it is street drugs or prescription, food, alcohol, sex, or whatever the addiction may be. No person on the planet is above addiction either so we are all affected to what we apply meaning to, and whether this meaning triggers an emotional response or not.

Picture a room big enough to hold 100 people and all their things, addictions, or anything that they have given meaning to, is all there together. Now all of the stuff is mixed up and the 100 people are sitting in chairs lined up against the wall across the room from the stuff. Since the stuff is all mixed up it is hard to spot what belongs to the individual. I sat imagining this for a bit, none of the other people's stuff gave me emotional reactions and soon my stuff just became a part of a pile. My stuff was gone but not like loss more like ambiguity, the emotional meaning of my stuff if any at that point was vague. Without the meaning, the addiction, and my stuff I am still here and still me, I saw I had not morphed into a different being, I had not died. By saying that the chair, the painting, the computer in my room for example means nothing does not devaluate the items it just allows me to hold on to the power that I given away when I assigned a meaning.

Written By Dawn, Wellness Educator

Picture by Vincent VanGogh

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Mother...

My Mother a Yellow Rose
My Mother a Pretty Nose

Cigarettes and Lighter in her Pocket
I hide the Ashtrays under the Couch

Her hands are like mine except she has Red Fingernails
I hear her call out for me hollering Cissy, Cissy, Cissssyyyy!
I yell back WHAT!

Spaceship watchers under the stars
On our backs like parked Cars

Singing by the Piano
My Mother bangs on the keys
Only she sounds like her
I heard it on the recording I don't know where

My Mother bittersweet full of life
Spewing Heat

My Mother everybody's Darling
I can't find her in the Crowd
I will always Protect her once I find her

My Mother moving always Moving
Pretty Houses left behind ugly ones still to find
Our bodies we drag along

My Mother a crazy life
I am scared the mirror a portrait of My Mother
Why be afraid it is a compliment little girl

My Mother oh so very sick
Whatever shall I do I can't Protect her
She is Dying I am afraid I will forget her

My Mother's last breathe ragged and long
Early in the morning after a Dream
Momma you're really Gone

Now I am standing on my tip toes on the top of the World
I can't see her where are her Hands
I can't hear her calling me

I don't know life without Her
I will have to live on my own

Written by Dawn, Wellness Educator

Conscious Observing...

"Becoming more observant of what goes on "inside" and using it to change my perception of the "outside" has opened up the possibilities in my life. Things I never knew I could do or see I can, and time moves much slower and at a pace where I have the ability to observe and choose instead of react and regret."
~Betsy Chasse~ (From "What The Bleep")

From one perspective our society appears progressive, considering cars, airplanes, and technology just to name a few "improvements," but actually society is digressing as far as consciousness is concerned. We are actually teaching ourselves to be less observant and more reactive. The faster we move and the more we put on our "plates" to do, the less consciously focused we are. How can we actually participate in our consciousness when we spend our time not using it?

Consciousness requires observation and observation requires contemplation.

When I was a single mother I got up early every weekday prepared myself and my children, took care of the animals, and picked up the house before leaving at 7 a.m. to go to work after dropping the kids off at school. After work I had my college classes, the kids were involved in activities like scouts and dance, and I cooked our meals too. Once the kids were in bed homework was put away, I would unwind with some t.v. or a book and could not keep my
eyes open past 9 p.m.. The weekends were reserved for cleaning the house, laundry, errands and entertaining the kids. This kind of lifestyle I am talking about is very normal with a huge population of America's single parent and dual parent homes. What I am talking about here is not limited to families, single people who are working, and maybe going to school, have an active social life and a place to live are running on the same type of hamster wheel.

Some would say they are happy living a fast paced life they make a lot of money, enjoy popularity, travel and have lots of toys. Now lets think about this for a moment, there is nothing wrong with toys and money and looking good, unless that is all there is. Our individual worth is evolving into how much we can do at any given moment, it's how much we can cram into a bio or resume' of ourselves, it's our title. Our society does not for the most part, acknowledge a conscious observer, and in most religions throughout history conscious observers were branded as heretics. A conscious observer thinks for themselves rather than allowing a "dummying down" affect that occurs in society's herds of Sheeple. We are dependent on grocery stores, restaurants, jobs, cars, and theme parks in order to live.

To spend our day in observation, creatively allowing simple inspiration to guide us is so foreign that we laugh, call it lazy, unproductive and useless. Without conscious living where are we headed? How long will this form of society sustain us? Consciousness can be shut out by a materialistic and physically reactive existence, unless we decide to live on purpose.

Like taking an anti-depressant to deal with depression we are ignoring our consciousness and stuffing it down. When the depressed person goes off the anti-depressant all of the feelings that were kept hidden rear up at once and can't help being faced.

Just imagine removing the tools we have adopted to mask our consciousness and see what rears up to greet us ~ Thought, Connection, Universal Awareness ~ Hmm the concept is intriguing and inviting don't you think?

"We are not simply bystanders on a cosmic stage; we are shapers and creators living in a participating Universe."
~Niels Bohr~ (Colleague of Albert Einstein)

Written by Dawn, Wellness Educator

Top Photo Courtesy of
Space photo courtesy of

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Art of a Moment...

Art is what the world is about, there is nothing that can be perceived by the senses that is not Art, including ourselves... ~Dawn~

We all know what we think Art is, in fact what usually comes to mind a Painting, a Sculpture a Drawing? What about us, what about our Bodies, our Mannerisms, our Quirks can we humans be a form of art?

We have likenesses and similarities but thankfully we are not the same, yet our society seems to be moving in the direction of homogeneously influencing us into one form. I love the movie "Robots" an animated flick showing the robots happy with their parts just the way they are until a new Robot comes along to tell them they are not good enough without shiny new parts. I can speak from experience about this issue as a sufferer of eating disorders born from a very poor self image. I spent the first half of my life chasing the perfect figure of myself in order to
fit in to the societal view of beauty so that I could make a success of who I am.

At 44 years of age overweight, less then healthy, and staring straight at the second half of my life, it occurred to me that I was going to have to genuinely look at my life, at myself and find a new perspective to survive on. I had to stand in the bathroom mirror and look at my body for what it is right now, not ignore it and pretend that when I am thin I could actually look at myself in the mirror. Living in the moment, or as John Lennon said "Life is what your Living when your busy making plans" means we must embrace what is here now.

The picture of cellulite on my butt and thighs with a thick middle waist mirrored the images of menopausal woman I saw in the museum.

In fact I started paying attention to my body and my face as a unique morphing sculpture when viewed from my childhood to now. The Art is here in my image while I am aging and changing, still similar to other woman, my exact mole placement, wrinkle depth and softness from years of hormonal change is all my own.

The Art is not limited to my body I starting paying more attention to everything, the way I make my coffee, how I walk up and down the stairs, my routine when I shower and get ready for the day, it is all a form of the Art that is me. I watched others too, like the way my Sister lights her cigarette and holds it between her fingers while nimbly picking her fingernail polish off, or how my Dad sets up his coffee and donut on his walker with a paper-towel underneath like a placemat. I thought about a statement someone told me one time concerning a job, "everybody is replaceable" but think about it are they, sure maybe a whole bunch of us could answer a multiple line phone system, but we all do it our own unique way. Don't people who are apparently different from the "norm" hold your attention? And still doesn't a woman who is so plastic you can see her surgery lines make you stare too? We are Art, every move we make, sound, smell, and look is a Kaleidoscope, that with each turn a new appearance.

This revelation of the Art that is life allows me to take so much burden off myself. Instead of me thinking I have to be thin, have money, and a marriage before I am happy I can relax and just be in the moment for what it is. My disclaimer is that I am far from perfect at this perspective but practice makes somewhere close to almost perfect you know. I mean Awareness shows me how to cope and then knowledge gives me a lifeline to keep from drowning in the superficial seepage of our culture and society that I thought I was supposed to emulate. Somewhere at some point along the way from birth, ideas and beliefs mess with our minds and convince us that we have to be worthy to be happy. When experiencing Art do we judge it according to our past, yes we do, can we view the same piece differently after several years of living, yes we can. I am sure my way of seeing myself as Art has to evolve as I do, but what a Beautiful Light way to approach life going forward, I have an uplifted idea of what waking up tomorrow will be.
Written by Dawn, Wellness Educator

Goddess Art "Sacred Remembering" by "Arachne" (Karen Fredrickson)
Robot Photo Courtesy of Blend Stock Photos

Salmon Recipe of the day...

When you have left over Salmon do you just crumble it over a salad or
heat it up in the microwave? Why not make it into something special!

Recipe for Salmon Patties:

2 Cups of cooked or canned salmon (if using canned try wild caught salmon it is better, and use the juice when mixing) if you are using fresh not in a can salmon add an extra tablespoon of Mayonnaise...

Chop fine in a food processor the following;
Fresh Dill and Flat Leaf Parsley, Celery, Green or Red Bell Pepper and Onion, and Garlic (I use about a 1/4 cup of each of the fresh herbs and veggies, except the garlic I use about 3 cloves)

Squeeze the juice of a whole Lemon into the mixture

Add 2 fresh organic Eggs

Add a 1/4 cup of Mayonaise (remember add a little more if the salmon is not canned)

Season with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Paprika, and dried Herbs and seasonings that you like with your fish...

Use a whole sleeve of Saltine Crackers crushed, or be creative using a sleeve of Ritz, Townhouse or any of your favorite crackers, even cheese crackers are good in this recipe, you can also use Bread Crumbs just make sure you have the equivalent to a whole sleeve of crushed crackers.

Mix all the ingredients together until you have a nice wet (not to dry) dough like mixture...

Next heat your skillet up and add a nice pat of Butter and a tablespoon of Olive Oil, once the Butter is melted and the pan is coated, make individual patties about the size of your hand or about the size you make your hamburger patties and lay them in the skillet to cook for aprox. 7 minutes or so on each side until they are browned to perfection...

Lay out your cooked Patties on a paper towel to soak up any excess grease...

Serve your Salmon Patties with fresh Corn on the Cob, Pickled Beets, Cottage Cheese, Fresh Green Salad, and Baked Seasoned Potato wedges, I am also including a recipe below for a good Tartar Sauce...

Tartar Sauce:

2 Tablespoons of Dill Pickle Relish
1 Tablespoon of dried Minced Onions
1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise

Mix this up ahead of time to give the Minced Onions time to soften, increase any of the ingredients to taste and creaminess...
You can use sweet relish and Miracle Whip if you like sweet tartar sauce...

Written by Dawn, Wellness Educator

The System of Beliefs...

Did you know you could free your old worn out belief system by changing your mind?

“In oneself lies the whole world, and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand.”

~J. Krishnamurti~

Keeping in mind the awareness that our beliefs arrive from the events and experiences of our past shows that the past is important. I like the way J.J. Hurtak puts it, “when history is not studied it tends to repeat itself.” I view my own current system of beliefs balancing between the memories of my past and my expectations for the future, similar to walking a tightrope,

when I release my fixation from long ago or let go of what lies ahead, I can land in the safety net of the here and now.

Is there really sickness and sadness without the concept of sickness and sadness? Can we retrain our minds to acknowledge the old beliefs and become aware of our true desires in order to initiate a shift in perception?

Esther Hicks says, “a belief is only a thought I keep telling myself,” which prompted me to wonder what the beliefs are I have about myself? Are my views about my life based on my inner knowledge of my true self, or an amalgamation containing the fear of what others think, along with my ego, and my past. Have you ever thought about your own belief system, what are you telling yourself, where do your beliefs come from? Are your beliefs from long-ago dictating your present?

There is a marked difference between our true selves, and who we think we are based on family, culture, societal views, what the media dictates and our life experiences. Hicks adds, “If a belief is only a thought you keep telling yourself then why not tell yourself a thought you don’t believe long enough that you do believe it.” We can actually change our beliefs to make us feel good. When I see my reflection do I like what I see or do I wish for something different? My desire is to alter my perception long enough to appreciate the reflection shining back at me, and I will continuously be happy to look in the mirror. I am learning to relax in the knowledge that by freeing the past beliefs the future is set free as well.

Written By Dawn, Wellness Educator

I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences.

I am not the content of my life.

I am life.

I am the space in which all things happen.

I am consciousness.

I am the Now.


~Eckhart Tolle~


The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra

Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

Photos courtesy of photobucket

Friday, February 26, 2010

Beet Recipe for today...

I went to the Downtown Phoenix Farmer's Market and purchased a beautiful bunch of beets along with some ginger infused honey and came up with the following recipe:

~Take the beets remove the tops and peel the outside tough layer off like peeling a potato...
~Next after washing the beets cut them into bite size pieces and place in about 1 1/2 cups of fresh water...
~Then add a tsp. of Sea Salt, 2 tsp.s of Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 Tablespoons of the ginger infused honey...
~Simmer the beets until tender, I have let the beets cook down until I could mash them and the juice is slightly thickened, about 3-4 hours...

The beets are delicious and can be served hot with butter, or cold as a side dish!
Written by Dawn, Wellness Educator