Life at the Center: You have forgotten we are all magicians. Vol 40, Nov 2016

“You have forgotten that you are magicians.” – Debbie Rosas, co-creator of Nia

The vast majority of Americans woke up this morning to a world of our own creation which we did not expect to wake up to – no matter what our hopes or fears might have been about the election. We find ourselves on a path to a different future.

I therefore need to give you this foreword to the letter I was already intending to send you:

As magicians, we create what did not exist before. We conjure up our reality in our interior vision, breathe into it our life force, our will, and shazam…. what we want appears.

What we want, what we will. We have just demonstrated that we can will a new reality into existence. Collectively, we are magicians.

Lesser magicians have blurrier vision, weaker will; more potent magicians have a more focused vision of what they want to exist, stronger will to achieve it.

The effect of our magic stems from the smallness or largeness of our view of the good. Fear creates a narrow, crimped view, like putting blinders on a horse so that it can only see what is directly in front.
A fuller, more expanded perspective allows us to see the larger whole, to take more factors into consideration.

Three points to keep in mind about our creations:

  • We can always expand our view. When we do that, we make room for more beneficent magic. Sometimes we need to suffer a bit to be able to look at our creation from others’ perspectives; if suffering comes, let us use it to more wisely use our magical abilities.
  • Our collective creation consists of myriad individual creations. While we are affected by and contribute to the collective creation, we remain continuously responsible for our individual creations.
  • Magic is ALWAYS possible. We create it moment by moment. And there are more forces operating in the universe than we can recognize.

This week is dedicated in our Still & Moving Center almanac to the Path of Kwan Yin, the goddess known throughout Asia for her compassion, mercy and wisdom. Such beings renounce personal salvation, remain outside Heaven’s gates, so to speak, to help the ascent of all other beings in the universe. Whether considered bodhisattvas or angels, Christ-like beings are always present, waiting to be invited into our midst, waiting to help breathe life into our beneficent visions.

I’ve heard that people in positions of great power, who hold even a small amount of openness to the welfare of all, can become – unknowingly, perhaps to themselves – agents of larger forces of beneficence. That is especially true when there is a collective will for the greater good. And that is the American Dream for a freer, happier world.

Whatever we may think of our newest creation, let’s work some good magic.

Here’s the original letter I composed for you last week before momentous events called forth the foreword:

I create my life is by only doing what I want to do. Really. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t do it. I may grumble, but if I am doing something, it’s because I’m choosing it. I may not like some aspects of my life, or recognize how or why certain things are happening, and yet I’m still choosing how I deal with it.

You know what? We All Do What We Want to Do. I’m just coming to realize that.

Talking isn’t doing. Sometimes we talk dreamily about what we wish for. Unless we SEE it and take steps to make that wish a reality, there is no will power bringing our wish into existence. Wishing is different from voting. People in a democracy who vote are more active agents of their own future than those who don’t.

We’ve all met people who are enormously dissatisfied with their job, their marriage or their country. It’s tricky to recognize that we are actually choosing that job, that relationship, every day, every hour, every second we spend in it. We seldom step back and look at all the alternatives that we are actually – if unconsciously – rejecting to stay where we are. We might throw up our hands and say, “Well, if I quit this job, I won’t find another one, and then I won’t be able to pay the rent.” Maybe… but that’s still an option. “If I don’t stay in this relationship, I won’t have a someone to love me.” Maybe… still a choice. Some people even decide to quit their country – or not.

Whenever I hear myself saying that I HAVE TO do something, I catch myself. No, I don’t HAVE TO do anything. Even a person forced into slavery – such as Epictetus, a Greek slave who famously became a respected Stoic philosopher – can choose. Epictetus taught that even though external events might be beyond our control, we still direct our own actions, words and thoughts.

It’s in recognizing our choices that our magic power resides.

Cliff and I watched our long-time employee Brian Mahnken balloon up to a tremendous weight as a young man and struggle with many consequences of that heaviness. What he WANTED, though, was to be a normal weight. Even though he recognized the tendencies coming from his addictive family, he saw his weight as ultimately being a choice. It took many years of dietary wrestling, plus two surgeries, to get himself to a weight that satisfied him. Lonely here on the island, Brian set out with his new, handsome self to find a wife. He carefully crafted on the dating websites exactly what he was looking for in a life partner, as well as the kind of husband he intended to be. When he and Terry discovered each other, Brian got not just a wife, but her whole extended family! Then – try as they might – they couldn’t conceive the children they wanted, so they found a way to adopt a beautiful little girl, Gracelyn, and even managed to be present in the delivery room when she was born. This man sculpts his life events with his will.

What about our ‘negative’ realities? Do we create those? Yes, especially when we don’t realize that we are the authors of our own life’s book. Have you ever tried without success to make someone else happy?  Discontented people tend feel that they were given an inadequate role in the book of life. No one else can MAKE us happy. And truly, no one else is responsible for our unhappiness. We are exactly as happy as we want to be. Whenever the blame game happens, it’s because we do not recognize our own power to carve our own today and tomorrow.

Remember in Mary Poppins when the chimney sweep Bert makes delightful chalk drawings on the sidewalk, and then he, Mary, and the children all jump into the gorgeously colorful land he has drawn? We create our picture of reality, and then we jump into our own chalk drawing.

If we see ourselves as downtrodden and beleaguered, and lo and behold, we can hardly make it through our grey, miserable day. If we see ourselves as capable of self-transformation, amazing things are possible.

Young the surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a tiger shark, went out surfing again 3 weeks later. She just didn’t stop doing what she wanted. She re-framed a seemingly terrible incident: “I’ve had the chance to embrace more people with one arm than I ever would with two,” and “I’m a reminder for young girls that you can do it if you set your mind to it.”

Even a magician cannot change the laws of the universe. We live in a cause-and-effect universe, and our choices – both personal and collective – have outcomes. However, we can still choose our attitude, and our future choices. When Bethany chose to surf in waters shared by sharks, she took her chances. She couldn’t stop the shark when it suddenly took her arm, and she couldn’t grow it back. But she was heroic and noble in response to her loss. Isn’t it intriguing that she chose to go back out, knowing it could happen again? There’s such a defiance in the human spirit that refuses to be constrained by externals. I love it.

See the video below to glimpse the more inclusive world vision of a 14-year-old slam poet who has chosen her own response to the life-damaging fashion industry rather than merely remaining a benumbed teenage mall shopper. Her vision is the beginning of the magic of re-creation.

We are all magicians, creating and recreating our lives, moment by moment.

PS  Reply to tell me how YOU create magic, and about how you choose to respond to what our collective magic has created.

Renée Tillotson, Director, founded Still & Moving Center for teaching mindful movement arts from around the globe. She is inspired by the Joy and moving meditation she experiences in the practice of Nia, and by the lifelong learning shared at the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, California. She intends that Still & Moving Center always be filled with laughter and friendship!

Celebrating Magnificence

Kara Zahl

Hawaiian LMT & yoga teacher

After more than a year of battling red tape, Kara has emerged the victorious Hawaiian LMT: Licensed Massage Therapist! Ta Da!

Originally licensed in California, Kara has been practicing bodywork for 14 years. She’s been a student of the healing power of touch since her childhood. Kara is trained in Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Pre-natal Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Cranial Sacral Therapy, and various other bodywork practices. She weaves these modalities together to create a therapeutic session that caters to the particluar needs of the client in the moment.

Kara also draws from her yoga practice, bringing the power of the breath and often suggesting yoga postures that can help whatever physical issues are present. Kara feels blessed to be of service through helping people feel better in their bodies, and we feel blessed having such a caring positive force teaching yoga and now giving bodywork at Still & Moving Center.

Jennifer Loftus

Nia Brown Belt Teacher on Maui

Several years ago, Jennifer tragically lost her husband to a rogue wave – while she sat on the beach watching – within a month of finally moving to their dream home: Maui. Jennifer is a living example of healthy emotional survival, healing and recovery from a devastating event.

Jennifer credits Nia and her close friendship with Nia trainer Winalee Zeeb for helping to effectively move forward with her life, Nia’s motto being  “Through movement we find health”. She also maintains her career as a vocal coach. Appropriately, “Move Sing Heal” is the name of her business.

In her quiet strength, Jennifer is a real hero of mine.

From Jennifer Loftus: 

“I am the Producer of my own Life Story”

I am the producer, director, playwright and leading actor in my own life story. I choose my other leading actors and supporting cast wisely and with intention. Some may come into my story and stay until the end. Others may enter for a short time and then make an exit, or I will exit that storyline.

As the playwright, I choose what to write next when my plot shifts dramatically and unexpectedly, and I choose when to shift my own plot allowing for revisions and rewrites.

I take the time to envision my set, my wardrobe, my props, my makeup, my lighting, my music, my sound design, and my choreography …and then I take the action steps necessary to create my design.

As the leading actor in my own play, I don’t get stuck in the same roles…I allow and encourage myself to try new roles on for size when I have outgrown the former role, or when it’s simply time for a change.

I ask myself if I like the current act I am in, and if not, what elements can I change? Perhaps I take an intermission to re-write, re-design or re-cast. And then I ask myself…

What will my next act be?

March 4, 2014

Recipe for Health

Fusion Antipasto
Contributed by Ed Soon

Hard-boiled egg, sliced
Mayonnaise seasoned to taste with good curry powder, garnishing the egg
Avocado, mashed with lime juice & salt
Pomegranate seeds
Canned artichoke hearts
Black olives
Pomelo (or any other citrus) thinly sliced, membrane removed
Honey, drizzled on top
Salt & Pepper

Arrange all ingredients neatly on a platter. Present as a self-serve appetizer plate.

Healthy Life Tip

Establish a 90 second rule for yourself
Contributed by Marta Czajkowska

Can you imagine JOY at your center and as a natural state of being, moment to moment? It is possible! You can divert negative thought trains.

The rule goes like this: give yourself 90 seconds to be upset, then release it. Limit the time you spend on suffering or self-pity. Anger, frustration, disappointment, fear or any other negative emotion has a limited lifespan: 90 seconds, to be exact.

Lately I have been very successful at looking at a bright side. It’s taken some time to implement a this rule as a deliberately chosen habit. The tip comes from Anthony Robbins, famous life success coach, dedicated to helping people achieve their dreams.

It’s just not worth spending any extra energy on feeling bad. I realized through practicing this exercise that happiness is like a muscle. You have to train it to grow it.

Things don’t always go our way, and that is part of life. I’m ready to encounter difficulties. I just don’t let them influence me for more than 90 seconds. I now simply appreciate what unfolds after that.

So next time something upsetting happens, you can vent, cry or scream for exactly 90 seconds. Then smile, throw your arms in the air, punch your chest with pride, then let go and carry on,  unencumbered. Exercising this rule may feel fake and awkward in the beginning, but the more you fake it, the more you become it. At first, your 90 seconds of upsetness may take a few days. With practice you can decrease the time you feel miserable.

Why put yourself through it, really? Let the rule, rule!

Video Fav
Our Relationship to Fast Fashion

It takes clear vision of what IS to begin to create what COULD BE

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