Journeys of the Spirit® July 2010 Newsletter
What’s new – reinventing ourselves is! It’s time to look at the aspects of our lives that are not working and make a commitment to taking chances – getting out the the self-imposed boxes we have created for ourselves. When our economy is difficult it’s easy to see what strategies are not working – what is extraneous falls away. That goes for both work and personal relationships. This month’s article is: Leaning Into Life – 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!
As for journeys – as you can see we have so many special opportunities for you to get away AND reevaluate your life. When folks are stressed they often opt for a beachy or “fun” vacation – but honestly this is the perfect time to take a spiritual journey and look at the causes of the problems in your life. For sure even if you chill on your vacation the issues that were causing your stress in the first place will still be there waiting for you – unless you have the clarity to change them!
TIME TO SIGN UP FOR: Sedona, Havasupai Falls, Monterey, 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 survey. I SO appreciate your help! Thank you!! Travel Survey!
REGISTRATION IS NOW!
HAVASUPAI FALLS GRAND CANYON: Living Fearlessly – September 8-13th, 2010
On this adventure you descend into one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, into the heart of the Grand Canyon at Havasu Canyon, where we will hike and explore this incredible landscape, swimming in travertine pools of turquoise blue, enjoying the evenings at our comfortable permanent camp searching for stars, having great meals and sharing our experiences during our adventure.
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!
SEDONA SPIRITUAL RETREAT: Embracing At-one-ment – September 16-21st, 2010
Join us for a magical and introspective spiritual retreat to the red rock country of Sedona, Arizona. On the autumn equinox, day and night are of equal length reminding us that we too must honor the light and darkness within. It’s time for forgiving ourselves and bringing our regrets, sorrows, and resentments (our darkness) into the light so we can live our lives from a place of wholeness and love.
Healthy breakfasts at Briar Path Inn can be enjoyed by the fireside in the lodge, or on a tray at your cottage, or best of all, creekside! As part of this retreat we will engage in a fire ceremony, multiple ceremonies in beautiful locations, and a therapeutic healing massage. Shanti Gilbert is co-teaching with me on this journey. 2010 trip cost is: see the website for details! Details for Sedona here!
NEXT FREE TELECLASS!
Canceled for July! Sorry!
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 (Tampa Bay) (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.
LEANING INTO LIFE
I’ve never considered myself the bravest human. However, a number of years ago I decided it was time to engage in all the activities that I felt afraid of, no matter how frightened I felt. Back in the day I had a horrific fear of heights and so the idea of skiing was aberrant – considering you have to go up a mountain to be able to ski down it. I approached this task like most things in life back then – with focused determination (back then I saw everything as if it was a medical residency program to be overcome rather than life to be experienced).
So I went to my local sports store in Florida and took basic skiing lessons on a moving carpeted hill (that’s right). After a few weeks I could stop, turn, and do all the basics. When I arrived in Aspen, my friend (very questionable indeed) told me he’d take me up the easy hill before my first ski lesson. I protested vehemently stating that a moving carpet is nothing like the beginners run in Aspen. But he dragged me onto the ski lift and we started to go up, up, up – you get the picture.
Somehow I managed to get off that lift, face down in the snow mind you – and was confronted with my deadly fear of heights not knowing how I was going to get down the mountain. I was shaking – not from cold, but from the distinct possibility of broken bones and mutilating pain.
My friend gave me one piece of advice. He said, “Sheri if you do anything, even if you snowplow the whole way down, make sure you lean forward as you descend. It seems counter-intuitive, like you should be leaning back away from what you fear, but I promise if you keep leaning forward you’ll make it to the bottom.”
As I cursed the very ground he skied on, I leaned forward and made my way down the mountain. Interestingly, I only fell 3 times – and each of those times was because I let my fear get in the way and leaned back. So what’s the point of this story? No matter what you’re afraid of in life, consider that your fear is only the result of a fear-based thought-form. You have the choice of either believing yourself or not and taking action in the face of adversity.
When we lean into life we are engaging fully, we are 100% present in the moment. If we lean back due to fear – our skis will slide out from under us and we’ll end up on our butts! Life works the same way. Shy away from what you fear and you’ll receive the kind of outcome that will confirm the very fears you already have. In other words, if I chose to lean back while skiing I would have proved to myself that I couldn’t do it. That is exactly the outcome my ego-mind was trying to create. It didn’t want to give up command to my fearless divine heart! It would rather have me living a boring, limited life of fear.
The bottom line is that a warrior leans into life. No matter how many fear-based thoughts you have, or how much fear you feel in your body as a result of those thoughts – the only way to transcend that fear is through action with clarity – rather than non-awareness. If I can get over my immobilizing fear of heights you can get over what ails you too. The solution is simple no matter how counter-intuitive your mind would have you believe it is. Show up for life, lean into to every experience you have, be fully present and don’t believe any of the things your mind proposes to you, no matter how frightened you feel. See your mind’s strategies and don’t play into the actions that will confirm those fears. I’ll look forward to seeing you at the bottom of the mountain!
RECOMMENDED BOOK OF THE MONTH
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey
On the morning of December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain. A neuroanatomist by profession, she observed her own mind completely deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life, all within the space of four brief hours. As the damaged left side of her brain – the rational, grounded, detail and time-oriented side – swung in and out of function, Taylor alternated between two distinct and opposite realities: the euphoric nirvana of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace; and the logical, sequential left brain.
In My Stroke of Insight, Taylor shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery, and the sense of omniscient understanding she gained from this unusual and inspiring voyage out of the abyss of a wounded brain. Today Taylor is convinced that the stroke was the best thing that could have happened to her. It has taught her that the feeling of nirvana is never more than a mere thought away. By stepping to the right of our left brains, we can all uncover the feelings of well-being and peace that are so often sidelined by our own brain chatter. And please do watch her video on Ted.com – amazing! Pick up a copy today: My Stroke of Insight
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 The Women’s Kingdom. One of the world’s last remaining matriarchal societies, known as Mosuo or The Women’s Kingdom, in remote southwest China near the Tibetan border. With their own language and a religion involving the worship of the “mother guardian goddess,” the Mosuo women choose their mates, run their families, control the distribution of wealth and do most of the physically demanding work in the field. Unlike most societies in the world, the Mosuo don’t marry. For the past 1,000 years they have practiced “walking marriage.”
Quite simply, the Mosuo man walks into the room of a woman at night, and if they are invited to stay, they then leave at daybreak. If the couple falls in love, they stay together as long as the woman would like. And if it ends, it is without drama (wow what a concept!). The full-length feature this month is Play the Game, a delightful romantic comedy starring Andy Griffith!
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. 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~
SEDONA RETREAT: Embracing At-one-ment
Trip Leaders: Sheri Rosenthal & Shanti Gilbert
September 16-21st, 2010
HAVASUPAI FALLS – Grand Canyon: Living Fearlessly
Trip Leader: Sheri Rosenthal
September 8-13th, 2010
THE MONTEREY PENINSULA: A Spiritual Photography Workshop
Trip Leader: Catherine Just
Sept 29-Oct 3rd, 2010
~BOLD OCTOBER EXPEDITIONS~
PERU & MACHU PICCHU: Andean Mysteries
Trip Leaders: Carol Rydell & Romulo Castilla
Oct. 21-31th, 2010
DAY OF THE DEAD, Oaxaca Mexico: A Celebration of Life!
Trip Leaders: Sheri Rosenthal & HeatherAsh Amara
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 2011 – Details coming soon!
ISRAEL: Liberating the Divine Mystic Within
Trip Leaders: Paul Rademacher & Sheri Rosenthal
March 2011 – Details coming soon!
~MARVELOUS MAY EXCURSIONS~
SACRED BRITAIN: A Women’s Journey to Avalon
Trip Leaders: Madeleine Marentette & Sheri Rosenthal
Britain: May 11th-20th, 2011 and extension to Rosslyn: May 20th-23rd, 2011
WHAT I LOVE – LOVE – LOVE THIS MONTH!
Take a moment to watch this video!
As founder and publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Michael Shermer has exposed fallacies behind intelligent design, 9/11 conspiracies, the low-carb craze, alien sightings and other popular beliefs and paranoias. But it’s not about debunking for debunking’s sake. Shermer defends the notion that we can understand our world better only by matching good theory with good science.
Shermer’s work offers cognitive context for our often misguided beliefs: In the absence of sound science, incomplete information can powerfully combine with the power of suggestion (helping us hear Satanic lyrics when “Stairway to Heaven” plays backwards, for example). In fact, a common thread that runs through beliefs of all sorts, he says, is our tendency to convince ourselves: We overvalue the shreds of evidence that support our preferred outcome, and ignore the facts we aren’t looking for. This is critical because if we understand the way our mind works, we can make another choice – that is to see what is, not what we want to see. We can stop assigning meaning to the what is just to make ourselves feel safe or to make ourselves feel good because we “understand.”
Words of Wisdom for the Heart
“Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers.”
~ Peter Matthiessen