Journeys of the Spirit® August 2010 Newsletter
What’s new? Zion National Park Oct 23-27th! I’m so excited to be able to feature an amazing journey from artist Linda Jacobson to Zion in October – leaf-changing time. What a beautiful time to merge deeply with nature and to draw and paint the majesty of one of our most special parks.
No art experience is necessary for either trip – just a desire to express the creative nature of spirit moving through you. You’ll get to meet Linda who will be chatting with me on Sept 15th. Mark those dates on your calendar!
This month’s article is: A False Sense of Security – do let me know what you think by posting your comments below (they won’t show up until approved) and please Tweet us to others!
TIME TO SIGN UP FOR: Havasupai Falls, Zion, Peru and Day of the Dead.
If you’re interested – please contact me ASAP.
Early sign-up for Day of the Dead is critical! Don’t forget!
HELP!!! I want to know where YOU want to go for your next spiritual journey or retreat! Please help me help create the perfect journey for you by taking a moment to answer this TRAVEL SURVEY. Thank you!!
Also, please don’t forget about Ales – he is always ready to help you with your personal travel needs!
REGISTRATION IS NOW! – LAST CALL
HAVASUPAI FALLS GRAND CANYON: Living Fearlessly – September 8-13th, 2010
The focus and intent of our Havasupai Falls retreat with Sheri Rosenthal is to transcend any fears we have about what we can or cannot accomplish in our lives. Cradled within the depths of the Grand Canyon and the heart of the mother earth – she will help us find our peace and clarity. We’ll hike, swim in travertine pools of turquoise blue, meditate, journal and participate in ceremony together.
This journey will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, awe and a true appreciation and love of the grandest places on earth. 2010 trip cost is: $2095.00 USD pp double occ, most meals included. Details for Havasupai Falls here!
REGISTRATION IS NOW!
ZION NATIONAL PARK: Art & Spirit Painting Retreat – October 23-27th, 2010
Unleash your creative spirit amidst the breathtaking beauty of Zion National Park. Through guided visualizations, meditation and dreamwork, shamanic artist Linda Jacobson will help you access your artistic vision. Through personalized individual guidance and group demonstrations of art techniques you’ll learn to express your personal imagery inspired by the extraordinary beauty of the landscape.
In this workshop you will create free flowing spontaneous imagery, draw from nature and develop sketches into finished works. You will learn about color, paint handling and composition through discussions and demonstrations of acrylic, watercolor and pastel techniques. No prior art experience necessary – everyone is welcome, beginning and advanced artists. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, you are welcome to journey with us. The 2010 trip cost is: $995.00 USD per person, double occupancy. Details for Zion here!
NEXT FREE TELECLASS!
August 10th 8:30pm eastern, 5:30 pacific: Join Sheri and Catherine Just as they chat about Spiritual Photography, creating, artistic expression, and who knows what! Catherine is the incredible woman running our Oregon and Monterey Photography workshop retreats – and she’ll have some very interesting information to share! Don’t miss this special dialogue.
DID YOU MISS ONE OF OUR TELECLASSES?
If you missed any of the previous teleclasses you can listen them on the library page of my website.>
NEED SOME CLARITY & A NEW POINT OF VIEW?
Join me in 2010 for a personal intensive! These intensives will take place in my town-home in St Petersburg, Florida (yes, the location has changed!). It’s a lovely place to take time to reflect upon your life and walking on the beach is beautiful and peaceful. You will stay here during your intensive and have full access to the kitchen and your own bedroom. Figure we’ll spend around 3 hours together in the morning and then you’ll do your assignments in the afternoon. Then we’ll catch back up for 1-2 hours in the evening to re-cap. Details here.
LOCAL MEETINGS IN ST PETE, FL RESUMING!
Join us for lively discussion and like-minded community August 3rd & August 17th 7-9:00pm! We work together to create a dream of love and respect in our lives using the Toltec technique of mirroring. In this way we can see ourselves more clearly and confront those beliefs that have been holding us back from creating a dream of loveliness in our lives. Want to join us? Call or email Sheri. The tuition/suggested donation is $10.00.
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A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY
When times get tough the human mind tends to lean towards fear – constantly projecting itself into an uncertain future. To survive this fear, the mind calms and tricks itself into feeling safe – an illusion of control. One of the common ways we do this is by asking endless questions and obtaining information that has absolutely no bearing on creating our dream and is a total waste of our energy, focus, time and personal power.
The need to know is one of the most potent strategies of the ego-mind and while there is a place for acquiring certain information, most of our questions are totally pointless. In our quest for information (rather than wisdom) it doesn’t matter if that information is truth – just having an answer is enough to lull us into a false comfort.
For example, many times I would ask my teacher a question and be satisfied with his answer and accept it as truth. But then an hour later he would say – how do you know if what I told you was truth? Is your mind so easily stupefied? Now that your need to know is satisfied – is all well in the world? Good point – I never saw that behavior in myself! So let’s see if you engage in this type of behavior without awareness. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
Do you constantly ask questions of people that you do not need to know? For example, most of us are in the habit of asking what people do for a living – but beyond that – do you really need to know all kinds of personal information about someone? Is it really your business? In conversation, do you feel that if you do not ask questions the silence will become uncomfortable? Rather than asking inane questions, consider sharing yourself instead, perhaps talking about an experience in life that made your heart sing.
Finding out personal information will not tell you who a person truly is – only what that person believes about themselves. It’s more important when creating connections with people to know who they are, not who they think they are. When you find out what is in their heart you will learn more about how they dream their life than from trying to interrogate them.
Do you ask a million questions about your surroundings when you are out and about? Asking questions about what is this and what is that will never change your life. It’s not necessary to know every detail of the places you visit. Many of us have gotten into the habit of being hyper-vigilant about our surroundings out of survival. In other words, when we were young we may have had difficult homes and we had to gather information to feel safe. A child growing up in an alcoholic home may have developed the habit of watching everything so they could stay out of the line of fire in case things became violent. But we’re not children anymore and we don’t need to know everything about everything in order to feel safe.
Do you constantly need to define everything around you to feel alright about where you are in the moment? We have a habit of naming everything around us, defining our surroundings. For example, we might be with a friend and say – “Look at that person, they look so trashy,” or “That store is awful,” “That décor is old fashioned” – and so on.
Once we have categorized everything around us we feel good and safe – we’ve got everything figured out. But do we? Just because you’ve made a story about everything and judged it according to what you believe doesn’t make it truth nor does it make you safer. It just means that you have created a lie to feel okay.
It’s important to know deeply that the entity asking the questions is not you. You are the limitless expression of spirit that is driving your body. When you connect with the power and glory of that – you no longer need to engage in all those extraneous mental activities to feel safe. Once you know who you are, how can you feel unsafe in a reality that you know you are creating? Only in our ignorance do we feel separate, fearful and victimized by life – because we forget we ARE life. I encourage you to watch yourself and answer these questions honestly, after all – the truth will set you free.
With all my love, Sheri
RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE MONTH
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
In When Things Fall Apart, Buddhist nun Pema Chodron outlines relevant and deceptively profound concepts of Tibetan Buddhism that are germane to our current life issues. Chodron’s book shares useful advice on how Buddhism helps readers to cope with the grim realities of modern life, including fear, despair, rage and the feeling that we are not in control of our lives. The key to all of these terms is accepting that in the final analysis, life is groundless. (You can relate this book to my article above.)
By letting go, we free ourselves to face fear and obstacles and offer ourselves unflinchingly to others. The graceful, conversational tone of Chodron’s writing gives the impression of sitting on a pillow across from her, listening to her everyday examples of Buddhist wisdom. This is one of my favorite books to recommend to students no matter what spiritual tradition they are studying. It is timeless, simple, direct and easy to understand – even if it is more difficult to put into practice! Pick up a copy today: When Things Fall Apart When you purchase a book through Amazon.com a small percentage of your dollars come back to JOTS to support our free teleclass series.
SPIRITUAL CINEMA CIRCLE
If You Love Movies, You Are About to Be Inspired AND Entertained!
When you join Spiritual Cinema Circle you will be making an important contribution to your world. You are encouraging talented, visionary filmmakers to continue in their efforts to add life and meaning to our movies and to raise the consciousness of the world by supporting and experiencing truly nourishing entertainment.
My favorite feature this month is Jack Canfield: Live a Life of Purpose. Did you ever wonder what makes a luminary shine — lighting the path for the rest of us? Get a rare, intimate glimpse into the life of Jack Canfield, the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series. In this first interview in Gaiam’s exclusive biography series, Canfield shares his personal stories of transformation, and his practical wisdom on how to live your life’s “soul” purpose.
One of the interesting shorts this month is: Broken Hill. Tommy McAlpine (Luke Arnold) lives on a rocky, drought-ridden sheep station in the Australian Outback with his tough, taciturn father George (Timothy Hutton), a farmer and high school football coach. Tommy dreams of becoming a classical composer, but his father believes his son’s future is in the family farm. Will George ever hear the same music that Tommy does? Find out!
Great news from our friends at Spiritual Cinema Circle – you can receive this full feature film plus 3 great short films for FREE when you sign up for a trial membership at no charge. ($4.95 US shipping fee applies, $7.95 international). This is the only DVD service dedicated to films about love, compassion and inspiration: one of the many reasons we wanted you to know about them. Cancel your membership at any time ($21.00 per month). Join the Circle today! When you join Spiritual Cinema Circle a small percentage of your dollars come back to JOTS to support our free teleclass series.
~TASTY SEPTEMBER SOJOURNS~
HAVASUPAI FALLS – Grand Canyon: Living Fearlessly
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
September 8-13th, 2010
~BOLD OCTOBER EXPEDITIONS~
PERU & MACHU PICCHU: Andean Mysteries
Trip Leaders: Carol Rydell & Romulo Castilla
Oct. 21-31th, 2010
ZION NATIONAL PARK, Art & Spirit Painting Retreat
Trip Leader: Linda Jacobson
October 23-27th, 2010
DAY OF THE DEAD, Oaxaca Mexico: A Celebration of Life!
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
October 30th-November 7th, 2010
~DELICIOUS DECEMBER JOURNEYS~
TEOTIHUACÁN, MEXICO: Un Viaje de Sanacion
Trip Leader: Millie Muñoz
8 al 13 de diciembre del 2010
BHUTAN: Blessings of the Heart, Meditation & Service
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
December 9-21st, 2010
~REFRESHING FEBRUARY RETREATS~
PATAGONIA ARGENTINA: Communion, Integration & Transcendence
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
Feb 19-26th, 2011
BAJA MEXICO: Majestic Grey Whales – Whale Watching
Trip Leader: Susan Gregg
February 9-14th, 2011
TEPOZTLÁN, MEXICO: Sacred Valley of Magic & Mysticism
Trip Leader: Susan Gregg
February 14-19th, 2011
~SUCCULENT MARCH VOYAGES~
EGYPT: Bridging Levels of Consciousness
Trip Leader: Samvedam Randles
March 3-13th, 2011
CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA: Atmanada Yoga’s Mind Body Spirit Retreat
Trip Leader: Jhon Tamayo
March 5-11th, 2011
ISRAEL: Liberating the Divine Mystic Within
Trip Leaders: Paul Rademacher & Sheri Rosenthal
March 19-29th, 2011
As I’m writing this I’m on a journey with my son and two of his very good friends, who are respectively 8,7 and 10 years old. We’re spending 3 weeks traveling through beautiful California, Nevada and Arizona. Originally we were going to make this a camping trip, but I’m glad we didn’t as I can’t imagine putting up a tent, taking it down, cleaning, and packing every 2 – 3 days!
Instead, I took a chance to see if I could book suites at budget prices – and lo and behold I did! More and more hotels are specializing in offering suites which in the past were very pricey but now seem to be on par with regular room rates. Especially when traveling with children or multiple people in your party, suites are a great option. They give kids space to play and parents room to relax and rejuvenate in preparation for the next day’s adventures.
After the little guys go to sleep in their own room, I get to sit down in “my” space to read and meditate. This private time leaves me energized and ready to create another day filled with love, patience and gratitude – despite having three sometimes wild and loud boys running around me!
It’s much easier to practice non-interference with kids (not telling them what to do or not do every few minutes) when you’re at peace yourself. If you’re interested in creating a journey using suites – let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you!
Blessings, Ales Stuna, Director of Custom Travel
WHAT I LOVE – LOVE – LOVE THIS MONTH!
Take a moment to watch this video!
It seemed for a while that poetry was a thing of the past with people spending so much time watching TV, videos, & on their iPhones, etc. rather than reading. But these little tasty tidbits of videos just make my heart sing for joy!
Classic poems that are so powerful have been resurrected into works of beauty – I hope you enjoy this poem by Rumi which is one of my favorites. (Jalal ad-Din Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet, jurist, theologian and teacher of Sufism.)
Four Season’s unique new Moving Poetry Series is collection of films designed to challenge, provoke and inspire. In RANT, RAVE and RIFF, they have reached back in time and gathered wisdom sayings from great poets and film from great cinematographers and created a complex brew that nourishes the soul as it stimulates the mind. These innovative films hit on a broad spectrum of social, political and spiritual issues while effortlessly cutting across traditional lines of gender, race, religion and ethnicity. Enjoy (Robert Bly is narrating this one)!
Words of Wisdom for the Heart
“Spontaneous, true action happens naturally when there is no “you” checking whether the action conforms to your idea of what is best for you.”
~ Ramesh Balsekar