Your sensuality can bring peace to the world.

I’m pretty sure you’d love to be a part of the solution, bringing more peace, love, and acceptance to the world.

You know you can’t give what you don’t have, but how do you find peace inside you during these troubled times?

Meditation is one of the proven ways to experience more peace, acceptance, and compassion, so you could start there.

  • But what if you don’t have 20 extra minutes each day to chant and breathe and be calm
  • What if you’re already meditating regularly and still feel anxious at times?

By using the sensuality of your body as your guide, you can find the peace within you and share it with the world wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. This will help ease you into meditation if you don’t already practice. It will extend your experience throughout the day if you are already practicing.

Meditation is simply the practice of focusing your mind on an anchor. When you do that your mind stops jumping between the future and the past. You land in the present moment and can access the peace that is always inside you. The more specific the anchor is, the greater your focus will be.

So why not let your anchor for meditation be the sensations in your mouth every time you eat?

Your mouth is a dark moist cave of pleasurable potential. Eating is a sensuous act. By focusing your attention on

By focusing your attention on the flavors arousing your tastebuds and the juices filling your cheeks, every bite can draw you into the pleasure of that very moment.

When you are truly present in the moment as a living experience rather than a lofty concept, you touch the still peace that is always inside you, even during turmoil.  When you access that peace you experience a calm joy as well as compassion and acceptance for yourself and others.

Keep it simple and make it doable.

If you’ll give your full attention to just one bite of every meal, you’ll fill your day with sensuous, meditative moments.  The moments of presence will link together until more and more of your days are experienced in this simple state of peace.

When your thoughts and actions come from that state you are a beacon of peace and love in the world.

All of us rush through meals at some time, barely paying attention to this sacred act. If you’ll pay attention to just one bite, you’ll alter your relationship with time and fill yourself up with nourishment.

Here’s a guided eating meditation from my book The Power of Pleasure.

 

Thanks to Elizabeth Grojean for knowing how to enjoy a peach, and to Cheryl Himmelstein for capturing the moment.

Everything You Do is Selfish

Everything you do is Selfish.

The sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.

I don’t mean you’re some terrible a**hole, only thinking about yourself.

I’d bet money that you’re a good person, hard working, and you do lots for others. But even the things you do “for others” come from a selfish motivation – you want to feel good.

We’re all hard-wired for pleasure. It doesn’t mean we’re hedonists, but we all want to feel good.

Whether it’s conscious or unconscious, you do things because doing them makes you feel better than not doing them.

You care for your aging parents, help a struggling co-worker, feed your crying baby in the middle of the night, or pick up trash on the street that you didn’t toss, because doing those things make you feel better than not doing them.

Right now you may rolling your eyes and giving me a big fat “Ya but… there are things I have to do, I can’t avoid them, and I wouldn’t choose them. I’ve got obligations.”

Let me say it again: You’re doing all of them for selfish reasons. And the sooner you accept that the happier you’ll be.

You visit your grumpy aunt Bessie out of a sense of obligation. There’s no fun in it for you. You do it for her.
Really: Visiting her frees you of guilt, and right now that feels better than doing something else.

Even though you’re busy, you volunteer at hospice care, regularly. People think you must be a saint.
Reality check: The honesty, intimacy and quiet you experience in that time touches you deeply and feeds your soul.

You’re staying in a loveless marriage, sacrificing your own happiness, for the sake of your kids.
Truth is: Right now you’re choosing to keep things stable for your kids, because that feels better to you than uprooting them.

Your self is the center of everything you do.

Having said that, I’d like to contradict myself right now:

There actually are times of total selflessness. Those times when you’re so absorbed in what you’re doing that you lose your sense of being a separate individual. You become one with life.

It’s the composer who merges with the music as it pours out of her. The dancer who becomes the dance – is being danced – as his movements create the dance. It’s the hockey player who loses himself in the game, and becomes so attuned to the puck that he’s always where the puck is going. It’s the meditator who completely dissolves and becomes the whole universe.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this state Flow. Mystics call it the Awakened State.

You’ve probably experienced this state of selflessness at times in your life. It’s freeing to lose your sense of self. It’s enlivening to merge with the energy of life. But how many of us live in that state?

Mostly we all live as if we’re separate, experiencing life from inside ourselves. And in that state everything we do is selfish.

If you’re willing to accept that, you can bring peace to everything you do. Here’s how:

  1. See everything you do as Your Choice.

  2. If you feel like you have to do something you don’t want to do, find the real reason you’re doing it. It may be several steps removed from what you’re doing now. It may be buried deep under some resistance or boredom. You’ll find your motivation down there.

  3. Listen to your language and change it to match your desire. If you say “I have to…”, switch it out for “I want to…”, “I’m going to…” or “I choose to…” Language matters. How you talk to yourself can change the way you feel.

“I have to do the dishes” becomes “I want to do the dishes”. In that moment you may not feel that you want to, but underneath your resistance, you can feel your desire to wake up to a clean kitchen. So you choose to do the dishes, because you want that more than you want to wake to a mess in the morning.

 

The simplest practice to have more compassion, love and joy in your life.

Recently a friend sent me an album with a song on it that she had sung for me. It’s a beautiful song called The Face of God. The chorus goes:

You are the face of God
I hold you in my heart,
You are a part of me
You are the face of God…

You are the face of love
I hold you in my heart
You are my family
You are the face of God…

It’s easy when listening to this song, to think of this friend and feel the love I have for her. My mind also wanders to others I cherish. I feel the profound truth of these lyrics as loved ones come to mind. All the people I love are the face of God to me.

One day I was playing this song during my morning yoga and I thought if anyone is the face of God then everyone is the face of God. That’s obvious I know, but it occurred to me that I don’t act always like that. I wondered what would happen if I did.

It doesn’t mean I have to enjoy everyone’s company or agree with what they do, but if I would see every single person, and every single being as the face of God it would rock my world. So I tried it and it did. I experienced more compassion, love and joy each and every time.

The rodent that is eating my garden is the face of God, (teaching me non-attachment). The crazy talking bearded homeless woman is the face of God, (opening my heart). The gardener who welcomes a cup of water on a hot day, (connects me with my own simple humanity)

It’s a no-brainer to see the face of God in the people you love, and easy to see the face of God in people who look, think and act like you, and even if you don’t know them – kind, generous, smart people look an awful lot like the face of God too.

Where it gets interesting is when you see the face of God in the woman who cuts you off in traffic and then gives you the finger, the politician who stands for everything you despise, or the ex-boyfriend who dumped you and seems to be unduly delighted with his supermodel girlfriend. This isn’t a practice of seeing what gifts or lessons these people have for you. It’s not a practice of questioning why this person has come into your life. It’s much simpler than that.

The whole practice is this:

Just for today,

To every person you see,

Say this in your mind: “You are the Face of God”.

Notice how you feel when you say it. With some people it will elevate your love. Other times it will trigger an impulse of compassion and generosity. Then there are times when the absurdity will make you laugh.

This is not in any way meant to be an emotional bypass. If someone triggers some sadness or anger in you to bubble up then for the love of bacon let your emotions flow. Don’t aim them at the person, but do give your emotions the release they need. Then once you’ve let it out, see the face of that person and just say in your mind “You are the Face of God”. See what happens.

You may not have time for a lot of spiritual practice in your life. But you’ve definitely got time for this.

After you’ve tried it I’d love to hear your experience in the comment section below. If you don’t like the results I offer a money back guarantee.

Love Debra
PS. You are the face of God. Feel it. Be it.
And please share this with someone who is the face of God to you.

Let The Music Move You.

Music moves me. It makes me want to get up and dance. Even if you don’t feel the urge to shake your groove thing when your favourite song comes on, the music is still moving you – literally.

Sound is vibration traveling as a wave. When this wave hits your eardrum you vibrate. This is how you hear. The characteristics of the vibration influence the way your body functions.

Music can irritate you, making you feel anxious and restless. Or it can soothe you, lower your blood pressure, regulate stress hormones, and make you feel calm. It can revive you, boost your immune system, increase your productivity, and improve your memory. It can soften your defenses, helping you release emotions that you’ve been holding deep inside. It can sharpen your focus and fuel your confidence.

Your thoughts, emotions and actions happen because the neurons in your brain are communicating, and sound waves affect your brain waves. So music impacts how you think, feel and act. 

Your heartbeat responds to the frequency, tempo and volume of sounds, speeding up or slowing down to match the rhythm that it feels.

So if you want to get yourself into a desired state – try music. It will move you whether you notice it or not.

  • If you are tired and sluggish try a hit of music instead of caffeine.
  • Play music while you’re working for greater focus, creativity, productivity ~ and that hit of dopamine it releases in your brain.
  • If you are feeling stuck in your life play something you’d usually never choose. Let new and different music surprise you right out of your rut.
  • Need some courage? Choose an anthem to pump you up for that pivotal moment.
  • Use it as a meditation. Focus all your attention on birds singing outside your window or a beautiful piece of music of your choice. Every time your thoughts wander, just bring your attention back to the music. Feel it wash over you and through you.
  • Listen to the music of life. At times you may feel bombarded by noise. Cities are loud. Rather than resist it, try to hear the music in it all – the low drum of machinery, the soprano of children’s laughter, the horn section on the highway.
  • Make your own. One of the best ways to vibrate with music is to sing, chant, hum or play an instrument. Don’t worry about being good enough. Do it for the good vibes you’ll create.

This weekend I was part of a sound healing experience. I didn’t even know it was going to happen. I was just checking out an alternative church. Then Guy Douglas started playing a gong.  After that he played Tibetan bowls and other beautiful instruments unknown to me. With eyes closed I focused on the sounds, and could feel the powerful vibrations wash through me.  The cells in my body were resonating with nuances of the sounds, making me feel more alive. The nausea I’d had all morning softly dissolved. I was experiencing the healing power of music. I was altered by it.

Coincidentally I had set aside time later that day to write about the practice of listening for Pleasure As a Spiritual Path. I hadn’t been able to get into the groove of that particular practice for some time. But after this amazing experience of sound, the words just flowed right out. Whatever was blocked in me had been shaken loose and I was free to write. And I have the music to thank.

photo by Cheryl Kaufman