I read a story this morning that was written in 2005, about a lost and traumatized baby hippo in Kenya, who “adopted” a tortoise to be his mother. An elderly male, the tortoise is said to be a century old.
“They sleep and eat together, and have become inseparable” says the director of the nature preserve.
As if that’s not moving enough, I am tearful after learning further that this baby had survived a tsunami-ravaged river that swept him into the Indian Ocean where tides eventually washed him ashore. Dehydrated but hanging on, rescuers found him on the beach (and brought him to the nature preserve).
For me, this story tugs at the strings.
And when I step back, I find it interesting that both tragedy and miracle are (now in my heart) here in this story—two seemingly opposing forces. And a third force, inspiration, is here as well.
So, is inspiration born of tragedy and miracle? Is inspiration the baby hippo of the married couple, Tragedy & Miracle Kenya?
If you are like me, your favorite stories are about true-life people overcoming adversity.
Why do those stories appeal? Because there’s something truly amazing and life affirming and heart-filling about knowing that others have faced what seemed like insurmountable obstacles, and not only survived but found deeper meaning in life.
It’s hardly ever easy to recognize the worth of something tragic while in the middle of it. No tsunami, loss, or pain feels like it’s going to lead to something positive.
Read the rest of… Lisa Miller: Unusual Inspiration
Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old healing system founded in ancient India, is derived from the Sanskrit words ayusmeaning life, and veda meaning wisdom. Ayurveda, the wisdom of life, offers a time-tested guide for a life of happiness, vitality, love and purpose.
From the Ayurvedic perspective, human beings are not viewed as mere thinking physical machines, but rather as fields of intelligence in dynamic exchange with the energy and information of the environment. Health is a state of vibrant balance in which all the layers of one’s life are integrated—the physical, the psychological, the spiritual.
In this system, the great elements of the universe, the mahabutas, are reflected in our own physical bodies and psychological make-up. The element of fire, tejas, in particular, plays a vital role here as it is the very force that enables proper digestion, integration of nutrients, emotions, ideas and experiences.
Based on the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health course, I’ll be teaching a free class at the Festival of Faiths in Louisville, KY this Sunday, November 18, from 11:30am-1:00pm.
Come and learn about your own mind/body constitution and discover how to help your tejas burn as brightly as it is designed. This session will be interactive and experiential including lecture, discussion, pranayama (breathing techniques), and meditation.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”-Mahatma Gandhi
Hmmm. I used to think of a million reasons about why I couldn’t be happy until later including but not limited to: losing 10 lbs, finishing that project, finishing this course, earning more money, losing 14 lbs, leaving this job, switching lanes, leaving that job, switching cities, losing 6 lbs, leaving this gathering, switching vitamins, when my husband stops snoring, taking a vacation,
taking a vacation from my family, taking a vacation from my thoughts, leaving this vacation and going home, losing 24 lbs, buying that thing I NEED, eating a pizza….
So there was a lot of getting somewhere else in order to be happy, it was never right now but rather, a destination in the future.
But what happens is that later, when we finally get “there”, we’re still not actually there because there can’t be a here and now for the later thinker, later will ALWAYS be later and somewhere else.
So what did I do?
FOUND A WAY. FOUND A WAY. FOUND A WAY. I had to find a way to be happy in myselfness, even if only for some brief, genuine, constructive (“constructive” does NOT include the deceptive lie of colored sugar and artery clogging fat found in cake and other processed desserts, and bacon) minutes throughout the day.
Read the rest of… Lisa Miller: Perspective & Happiness
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
— Mark Twain
“The best part about being my age is in knowing how my life worked out.”
— Scott Adams
I’m particularly drawn to this last quote. It has me thinking about life as a story, experiences filling the pages of each chapter, and chapters are all made complete by both insignificant and significant details.
As I think about this, I see that we can’t possibly know the relevance of an experience until many experiences later when they’ve all been assembled and integrated into the story line.
But even having been the one to have lived my own experiences doesn’t automatically make me well versed in the symbolism and meaning therein.
Could I lead a high school or college English seminar on the symbolism of love, addiction, family, grief, bliss, and all the living that has been the great work of my life so far? Hmmm.
Hell, yes. I force my teen daughters to take this class almost every day. (I’m sure they’d say “hell” was a good way to begin this paragraph.) But they are allowed to audit because I am a kind and righteous mother.
But perspective isn’t immediate—it tends to be quite a little journey down that road of whatever experience and accompanying emotional stuff it features—it has to be that way, the panoramic view requires distance and space. And similarly, the plot doesn’t make sense when you read only chapter 18.
As a Women’s Mind/Body Health Specialist, I’ve learned that several ingredients contribute to a dazzling recipe for optimum health, happiness, and balance. Each of us feel nourished by a different combination of those ingredients in the form of practices, or lifestyle habits, that nourish our bodies, spiritual core, our emotions and intellect. This custom-tailored medley is the unique prescription for vitality and wellness, for each of us.
It’s this multi-faceted approach to health and happiness that serves as the foundation for all of the women’s workshops and retreats I lead. They are designed to be explorative and educational, lighthearted, deeply relaxing, soulful gatherings for women that deepen intuitive abilities and foster personal transformation. And I have found that the support and laughter from these women’s circles is profoundly healing in itself!
While it’s true that Science reassures us that the human brain (and some decision making) isn’t mature until age 25, we’re not talking about the average citizen here. We’re discussing the past hate crime behavior of a person running for president of the United Sates of America.
The character of such a person can not, should not, be questionable. Character is developed over time, and, we’re discussing a hate crime.
For me, this is not about a lack of understanding/forgiveness for mistakes (Goodness knows I believe wholly and holy, that mistake making is essential for the growth of the human soul), but this is about choosing from a pool of leaders who have demonstrated, over a lifetime, qualities of honor and strong internal moral compass. We are not running low on a supply of those.
Should he be forgiven? If he is truly repentant from the heart and soul, yes! Should we consider instead OTHER candidates who don’t have hate crime backgrounds (for current and future races), yes! Should our standards and expectations come from a realm of excellence, yes!
One who runs and takes on office at this level should feel that personal honor is everything. And we should expect this. Who we are personally is who we are publicly, and vise versa.
Looking at the big picture here is key. Is this someone who demonstrates a genuine embracing of diversity?
We can elect leaders for whom this isn’t questionable. Our standards will set the standard.
By Lisa Miller, on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM ET
Sunday, Dec. 4th: The Mind Body Studio, 517 Southland Dr, Lexington
Saturday Jan. 7th: The Om Place, 815 Quisenberry Ln, Winchester
Join this fantastic circle of women for a day of gentle yoga, chakra meditation, understanding your aura, Nia dance, writing, and Ayurveda, as we reconnect with the inner Goddess that resides in each of us.
The Women’s-Circle Retreats are a light-hearted, profoundly insightful, replenishing, time-out from stress. Here, in the company of other fantastic women, we remember how to tap into pure calm from deep within, and to carry that as wisdom and balance into our daily lives.
This will be a day of laughter, movement, play, and stillness, in the company of others who share a similar desire to feel great and to
live from a place of happiness!
To reserve your space in the class, mail a check for $70, include your name, phone & e-mail, to Lisa Miller, C/O The Cntr for Wellness Therapies 2040 Regency Rd, suite A, Lexington, KY 40503
Questions? Lisa Miller, RYT/ Chopra Center for Wellbeing Instructor:
“I am what they call me, a pirate, she mused. And several other things too, for have I not lived many lives in one? And known more than one man… her lips curled into a smile, remembering. I’ve taken what I wanted, but I’ve also done the best I could for those who depended on me. Some call me an ally and some think me a traitor because they do not understand that.”
I devoured all of those 792 pages about the legendary Grace O’Malley this summer, because I needed to find my inner lady pirate.
Did it help?
Dr. Deepak, founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, says that the need for archetypal role models are key in uncovering one’s hidden potential. Because archetypes offer profound wisdom across the ages, they typically represent strength and endurance in the face of struggle; define character traits in which we long to aspire; and they demonstrate the potential to live with a little more oomph.
A lot more oomph.
While I’m very happy in my marriage and don’t need more than one man (one is great, thanks), I was (am) exploring what it means to be, what my beloved female mentor, Rosalyn Bruyere, calls a “Goddess”, and what my young adult girlfriends call, “kick-ass.”
And Grace O’Malley (Grania, in Ireland) delivers. She was a big specimen of female apparently–tall and strong with big thick hair, trousers, a hearty laugh and an appetite to match.
She learned to swim in order to avoid drowning at the hands of obnoxious village boys, and she learned to sail the world at the knee of her sea faring father. With work to be done on every expedition, she pulled her weight, literally, with hands raw and bloody along side every single sailor on every single voyage.
And years later, on her own ship when fire broke out on deck and relentless flames threatened to take her ship along with the lives of her crew, she beat back the firey rage over and over again with the only thing available in close proximity, her jerkin.
That’s old timey talk for “shirt off her backside.” Errr, frontside. So basically waist-up naked, she saved 40 men serving under her. That doesn’t sound right.
OR maybe it does.
Read the rest of… Lisa Miller — Sisters: Empower Your Inner Pirate
By Jonathan Miller, on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM ET
Louisville’s reputation outside Kentucky rests, in part, on baseball bats, fried chicken, Muhammad Ali, and a horse race, but now one must add the Festival of Faiths to that list.
There’s never been more of a cynical curmedgon than David Hawpe, the former editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. So his glowing endorsement of this week’s upcoming 16th annual celebration of the Festival of Faiths is something for all to take notice.
This year’s event — entitled Sacred Air: Breath of Life — takes place from November 2nd – 7th, and it reaffirms our commitment to come together as many faiths, united in our mutual respect for each other, so that we can engage in common action on behalf of our community.
The chair of the festivities, Christy Brown, is one of Kentucky’s greatest treasures. Recently widowed from her extraordinary husband Owsley Brown II (whom I briefly eulogized here), Christy has shared her heart, soul, and considerable talents transforming the Festival of Faiths into an internationally-celebrated event.
Both the Mrs. RP and I are proud to take part in the festivities.
Lisa has helped organize a full day of Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation exercise. A wide range of movement and breathing exercises will be available, suitable to every level from beginner to proficient, and appropriate for families as well as individuals. Classes will be offered continually throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. For details, click here.
I will be joining a panel on Friday afternoon, from 3:00-4:30 PM in the Tavern Room at the Henry Clay at 604 South Third Street in Louisville. At this session, participants will be developing a Statement of Belief for the festival, in order to leave the week with a powerful call to action. The goal of the session is to come up with evidence of actions and steps to present to churches, synagogues, mosques, religious organizations, and other leadership bodies.
Read the rest of… The RP: Join Me at The Festival of Faiths