Tag Archives: Mike Dooley

Offline & Off Alcohol … What?!

morningme

Good morning. I’m feeling raw and authentic these days, so why not post a naked face pic? ha ha … So here I am, no make up, early morning cup of joe, my last lingering vice. Five months ago, as some know, my 15-year-old dared me to go off all social media. I did. He did. We are both more productive—although his gaming time has gone up, LOL! I finished my 3rd novel, Between Thoughts of You (link to except on title), and sent it to an agent on Monday. Woohoo!! Fingers crossed! The day after Thanksgiving I gave up alcohol. I did this at the request of a dear friend. It was a good request. Alcohol didn’t serve me. There were too many times when I found myself around drunk friends and the chatter became negative or gossipy. Then there were the mornings after when I would still have to teach hot 105 degree yoga. Ow! Plus, I want to be someone my boys can look up to. Someone who still has fun, still enjoys her life, is healthy, vibrant and joyful—all without alcohol. So far SO GOOD. I don’t miss it at all. I enjoyed my 2nd New Year Eve at a yoga (last year) or meditation event where we all ended up dancing for hours and hours! A dear friend I met in Peru, when I attended Mike Dooley‘s retreat, (yeah, the source of Notes from the Universe and SO much more!) flew in. Beth and I attended Marianne Williamson‘s weekend retreat on forgiveness, miracles, finding your voice, vision, taking calm, yet powerful steps toward peace, etc. It was inspiring! We met people from all over the world and via her livestream folks tuned in from Israel, Syria, Egypt, Palestine—talk about powerful! Here’s a pic, post-midnight, of us dancing with Marianne Williamson, her party-goers and the Agape Choir.

Post midnight dancing @ Marianne William's NYE event!

I adore Marianne, a 65-year-old who looks 40 and whose powerfully strong light is feminine, strong and passionate. (I hope she runs for office again!!) I did The Course in Miracles a few years back and in my first yoga training four years ago, was given one of her quotes:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”

**

It felt natural that I should attend her event, held here in LA instead of her usual New York venue. What I took away that was new, however, I will share with you. Pray for Donald Trump. Pray for all your ‘enemies’ and know that they have a light, a direct link to God, just as much as you do. AND, the only thing that is REAL, is LOVE. So what they are doing to hurt you, doesn’t represent them, their true essence, their higher self they were born intrinsically with (like you) and nothing they did or said that harmed you is REAL. As Einstein said: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

It’s easier to forgive those who hurt me (or who I allowed to hurt me, it is the same) when I think this way. Maybe it will be for you, too? BUT, Marianne warns that talking smack about what they did, or even thinking negatively about what they did and/or ‘who’ they are, will hurt you too—as you enter into the negative illusion that isn’t REAL. LOVE is REAL. LIGHT (GOD LIGHT) is real. And it takes strength to embody both. Letting go of the baggage, forgiving and loving ‘enemies’, ourselves, and then doing something to change our world, takes courage.  I’ll leave you with some of the best quotes by Marianne over the NYE weekend:

“Everyone we meet will either be our crucifier or our savior, depending on what we choose them to be.”

“Get off the cross, we need the wood.”

“The warden, just like the prisoner, can’t leave the jail.”

“You can have a grievance, or you can have joy, you can’t have both.”

“Those who act in a loveless manner (who hurt us) are not being Real. They are love, but have forgotten, or fell asleep. Us attacking them, or criticizing or not forgiving them makes us asleep with them. We must stay awake and forgive.”

“You are reborn in the instant you do NOT bring the past with you.”

“The EGO mind is like a scavenger’s dog, seeking your brother’s guilt. The Loving mind wants to see your brother’s innocence.”

“Forgiveness is a Radical concept. Drop victimhood that the EGO uses against you, against your sense of peace.”

“Jesus said, ‘I don’t have anything you don’t have. I just don’t have anything else.’ Remember to look at your problems, but deny their power over you. Fall in love with positive possibility.”

“Our potential is infinite.”

“The EGO wants suffering. The SPIRIT wants joy.”

“You must have already decided to not be joyous if that is how you feel. Recognize you actively decided wrongly. So choose again. Ask God to help you. HE will listen to your slightest request, your slightest willingness.”

So, I am signing off with one last thought. For me to forgive those who have hurt me in the ‘illusion’, I’ve decided to think of their beautiful light that shined inside of them when they were young children. I see their giggles, their little pudgy hands reaching for their mom’s necks. I imagine the way they must have looked wide-eyed at all who came near and smiled gooey smiles and stared deeply at the strangers with so much love, some had to look away. They still have this innocent light. I love this light. And I forgive them for behaving unlovingly or harmfully toward me because that wasn’t the essence of who they are. I love their essence. God loves their essence. And I love and forgive me for allowing them to hurt me, as I wasn’t protecting myself. Yes, only LOVE is REAl, so anything not loving, must be released with LOVE.

Here’s to Love, Light, Healing & Joy

Laura xo

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War & Peace

PORCH

In my dream last night, I was in a dark alley going to meet a girlfriend at a night club. This nightclub was somewhere in the South. I heard southern drawls. There was even a man in an old run- down house, just down the alley of the nightclub who was painting a broken door on his front porch. I had to walk past him to meet my friend who was likely already inside dancing. The man in overalls said, “Ma’am,” and nodded at me. My friend had put on a fancy sapphire blue suit before heading out. I think she worked in PR. I didn’t want to go, so had reluctantly put on jeans and T-shirt. I recall leaving my boys at her house. She was impatient with me. As I approach the back door and bouncer of this club, I begin to get really nervous. I suddenly need to go back to check on the boys. My friend popped her head out the back door to hurry me inside. I tell her that I forgot my wallet. It wasn’t true. As I walk back past the old man painting his door, my seven-year-old son races screaming up the path from the nightclub, where he had gone looking for me, and he throws himself into my arms. I am now on my knees and he is shaking violently in my arms screaming without sound. All moms know that kind of scream. It’s the one that comes before the pain sets in. The one just after the needle prick at the doctor’s office. The one that says, “What was that?! YOU hurt me!?” It’s the one of shock. The mouth is open, the eyes wide, yet sound can barely make its way out—until it does, violently. I wake when his screams start to explode and can still feel his body shaking so hard that I wonder if he’s having a convulsion. I know it is from terror. Earlier in the dream, as I’m leaving my friend’s  house, which happens to be on a southern beach somewhere. I know this because of the heat lightning and fireflies that don’t exist on the West Coast. William, my 14-year-old, is getting nervous. We hear explosions off in the distance. Like firecrackers. I see a large monster behind a huge surf board. He challenges William. Then another appears. We run down the beach together.

Dreams often trigger me to feel deeply. The story line may be complete nonsense. But the feelings always ring true. Lately I’ve been trying not to feel too much, show too much feeling, keep going. I’ve been intellectualizing. I’ve written two blog posts that I haven’t published. Why? Because I’m intellectualizing how I am, but I’m not truly feeling it, so it rings unauthentic to  me. When I woke this morning I had the sense that I needed to focus on the boys 100% and help them feel safe. I told myself to do the TUT and Abraham-Hicks ‘feel’ your way into manifesting. It requires taking a little over a minute to just FEEL your life as if all your dreams/goals have been achieved. I told myself instead of trying to feel fabulous, which was too far of a stretch right now, I just needed to feel peaceful, serene, trusting, at ease, like a Cheshire cat in the sunshine, and carry myself as if all is well in my Universe, in my life, so my boys feel ok. Yoga always gets me there, but off the mat, I’m not always serene. In three weeks, there have been three deaths within my family and circle, so I thought this dream was forcing me to feel the fear that I’ve been swallowing. I thought the dream was purely a reminder that I need to calmly do what I need to do: work harder, but also be more reassuring to the boys: help them feel safe, take better care of myself, in order to take care of them.

And then I read the news about the nightclub shooting in Orlando last night. My heart sank. So much violence, so much death. The Paris night club shooting affected me strongly too. Terrorists can’t take away our joie de vivre unless we let them. Can there be any peace in war? The war terrorists weld is one of fear. They want us to think that they can strike at any time and at any place. They want us to stay on our couches watching CNN while nibbling nervously on our bag of chips or drinking our vino in an attempt to feel better or swallow our fears, while not really living. Whether you’re afraid of terrorists or your own internal fears that are triggered or born from your past, observe them, feel the fear and see if you can take baby steps away from it. That’s what I’m doing with baby steps every day.

I’ve been to two funerals in two weeks and wanted to go to a 3rd, but it was too far away. Friday’s affected me the most. A young man died in a motorcycle accident. His parents, my friends who run the music department at my son’s Catholic school, are in grief. Yet they are both filled with hope and trust and love. They don’t blame God. What I loved the most about this funeral was the Priest who spoke without notes. He told us all very sternly “to get off the porch.” We were not to feel sorry for this young 22-year-old who died on his motorcycle. He was living life on his own terms. The priest told us to find out who were are and to BE that person. We aren’t to be the person who our parents want us to be, or who the church may seem to imply we are to be and we aren’t supposed to listen to what limiting beliefs others, like mis-guided teachers or family members, may have told us about our abilities. We are to follow our hearts and our intuition. I LOVED this priest. As I had walked into the church before the funeral, a few moms from school said to me: “It just goes to show how important our choices are.” They were implying that this young man was at fault for his death. It made me angry. We don’t know that. But we do know that he lived exactly as he wanted to. He chose to get off the porch. He chose to take risks. He chose to be himself.

‘Be You. No one else can.’ That’s what I tell my boys. Do I really mean it? If they wanted to back pack across Europe or ride a motorcycle would I flip out in fear? Hopefully not. Death isn’t what we should be afraid of. We are eternal. We don’t really die. (But that’s for another post. My friend Mike Dooley’s book is awesome:  The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell YOU.)

If you are still reading this, here’s what I hope you take away: Fear is the opposite of Love. Where fear, control and manipulation reside, love can not. Choose Love. Choose You. Embrace what lights you up and don’t worry about whether it’s good enough or you’re too old. Go to that nightclub. I went to one in Peru and had a blast! Take salsa lessons. Try yoga or surfing or whatever makes you curious. Ride a horse. Finish that novel, painting, or riff on the guitar. Take a risk. Tell someone you love them. What have you got to lose? Is sitting on the porch or the couch watching any better?

Fuck terrorists. Choose Love. Choose You. Let go of fear. Love your life. Take deep breaths, Often. Exercise. Drink water. Take care of yourself. But get off the fucking porch.

Thanks for reading. XO

 

 

 

 

 

Exercises to “Re-Write” Your Life: The Healing Power of Written Reflection

fountain-pen-on-paper

I am a yoga teacher trained in therapeutics. I’ve also been a journalist, editor and writer since I was 18 years old. Lets just say that’s a long time now! I find yoga, especially the ujjayi breath, essential to clear my head. It wipes the junk out, blows away the spider web of tangled thoughts or the distractions holding me back—looping thoughts I may cling to in order to NOT focus. Yoga, the sweat, work out and breath, helps me clear my mind, be more present, less fearful and therefore, better focused to write my books, or write blog posts or magazine articles. I’ve been working at a hospital in Los Angeles for three years now. Not everyone can experience the clearing power of a yoga work out. Some are stuck in chairs or attached to machines. I created a technique that marries deep yogic breathing with writing exercises geared to clear out unconscious stories and looping fears that can hold people back. When I work with cancer support groups, not only do we breathe deeply and do a little chair yoga and meditation—we write. The power of the writing exercises can not be over-stated. It is especially healing for post traumatic stress. I know. As someone who has experienced PTSD from violence and abandonment, I know how serious and debilitating it can be. Those who’ve experienced trauma can’t just ‘get over it.’ And my last article for TUT: “Five Ways You May be Addicted to Your Wounds” struck a chord within therapy circles. I received feedback such as you can’t just ignore trauma or PTSD. I agree. No you can’t. My previous article was written for those who lick their wounds for years after therapy and support group help, in order to garner sympathy, stay stuck, not have to work hard or to try to make others responsible for their own well-being. It wasn’t for the those who have just experienced trauma or who have just recovered memories of trauma. In my experience, finding a good therapist and a support group can be life saving. Yoga, meditation, even just walking weekly with a friend, are also incredibly healing. Take it slow.

The good news is that over time, you can start again. You can re-write your life. Your past doesn’t define you. The way we interpret our life stories is everything. And this lives in our subconscious. These writing exercises are designed for those who may be stuck, such as dating men who continue to cheat. Or for those who experienced trauma years ago, yet never healed, because the spin they put upon the life experience is limiting. If you think you are resilient—you are. If you think you learned a valuable lesson and have moved on—you have. The stories we tell ourselves about our past experiences have a tremendous impact on our future. But often, we aren’t even aware of what we tell ourselves, as it’s subtle. It’s mutted. Sometimes it isn’t even words, so much as knee jerk reactions and attitudes we adopt to skew our world view and lower our vibrations.

So even after years of therapy, and even after an acute awareness of what you have been through and why you do what you do—you may still subconsciously be telling yourself negative stories. Intellectually you may know that you are safe, or that all men don’t hit or cheat, or that you can get another job, or that you are competent, or that you can lose the weight…Yet, subconsciously, you may be telling yourself a stream of fearful thoughts that support a very limited and negative outlook, not allowing you to live your best life. Your anxious thoughts may also be flooding your body with cortisol, the stress hormone that can cause a host of dis-ease. Here are a few examples from my hospital work: someone lost a family member in a car accident 20 years ago and refuses to drive. Ever. She watches news every night. She needs to control everything and everyone in her life. She has such high anxiety that she develops debilitating fear over doing anything new or leaving her house. Her subconscious mind tells her the world can’t be trusted. The world isn’t a safe place. Her health declines. She gains weight. She isolates. She drinks too much coffee. She doesn’t sleep well. Her blood pressure rises. She began to have irregular heart beats. Spots on her skin developed. She developed another cyst. When she started chair yoga (her doctor recommended it and then arranged for transportation), she said her life was over. Our writing exercises reveal her unconscious thought patterns: “It’s scary out there. I’m not safe. People can’t be trusted. I always get sick. I wish I could die.” Once I had her negative thoughts, I created positive affirmations for her to say daily in the mirror and to write daily in her journal that would spin the stories: “I am healthy. I trust the Universe is unfolding exactly as it is meant to. All is well in my life. Joy flows through me with every breath. I love my life. I am safe wherever I go.”

A private yoga client is recovering from the trauma of infidelity. She begins to tell herself “all men cheat.” Every man who she goes out with she becomes extremely suspicious of and begins snooping, reading texts and emails—even when the man has done nothing to merit such snooping. She creates the vibration that attracts another cheating or lying event. Her last boyfriend begins to lie to her about being available for dates and starts seeing a woman at the office. Writing exercises reveal her internal dialogue: “Of course! All men cheat. See? This is what the Universe wants for me. Fucking Universe. Look fat women in my neighborhood are married 20 years, yet I can’t find a good man to date. Others have love, I see it all around me, I’m not lovable. I’m not deserving.” Her mirror & written affirmations: “I am deserving. I love you. I approve of myself and deserve faithful love. I love you, I really love you. I trust the Universe has my back.”

Re-writing your life stories, the spin we put on them, our unconscious beliefs we keep telling ourselves, can be transformational. First, you have to discover what your stories are. From there, you re-spin them. Here are some writing exercises that I give my yoga clients who are going through trauma such as abuse, abandonment, divorce, cancer…I know from my own experience, these are eye-opening and can help you move past the old stories you tell yourself—and into the future you want.

  1. Find a comfortable spot, a couch, bed, favorite chair. Close your eyes. Rest your hands loosely in your lap. Have a pad of paper and pen near by. Take a deep breath through you nose and fill your lungs completely. Try to count to five or six. Hold it at the top for as long as you feel comfortable, and then slowly let it go through your nose, making a slight vibrational sound in the base of your throat. This is ujjayi breath that calms your central nervous system. It make the sound of the ocean in your ears, or like you are trying to fog up a mirror with your mouth closed. Do this breath five times. Yes, five times. Open your eyes, pick up the pen or pencil with your opposite, non-dominant hand. Put it in position on the paper. Ask yourself, ‘What am I scared of?” (Another good one is: I Believe…) Allow yourself to write four to five things (first things that come up), with the hand you do not normally write with.The next day, do the same as above but ask yourself “What Do I need to Bring into my Life?” Then, allow yourself you write with your non-dominate hand four to five things. I do this every year. My last one I put up on my bulletin board. In scratchy big letters are the words: Strength. Determination. Hard Work. Every Day.
  2. Do your five ujjayi breaths. Set your phone alarm to two minutes. Pick up a pen and place it on the paper. Close your eyes. Write without lifting your pen. Just write anything that comes to mind. Let it flow continuously. This is a stream of consciousness exercise where you literally dump out all the “stuff” in your head. This is especially effective for those who can not exercise, or who may be suffering from an illness.I do it with them and it’s amazing what dumps out onto the page. Fears. Daily negative messages. Worries. Triggers. Distractions. Obsessive worries or compulsions. Targets of control. After this exercise, take a long walk if possible, breathing deeply. If walking is out of the questions, breath deeply and take a break, have someone push you in a wheel chair for instance. Upon return, turn the page in your journal and answer the following question: “If I died tomorrow, I would most regret not doing ________.
  3. After doing both of the above exercises, I want you to write mirror and journal affirmations that you WILL DO daily for a month, at a minimum. Forty days is optimal. Write an affirmation that confirms the opposite of your negative belief. If you are afraid you will get sick again, your affirmation is: “All is well. I am healthy. My life is unfolding exactly as it meant to.”
    If you need help identifying affirmations for you, I strongly suggest buying Louise Hay’s classic book: Heal Your Body. Louise Hay also has awesome apps for healing and free affirmations here
    With Love & Light ~ Laura xo

TUT TUT…What’s Next?

PeruI am WOEFULLY behind when it comes to writing in this blog! I have so much fun, anxious and exciting news to share. 🙂 So, I went to Peru. Yup. There’s that! I went with the TUT Notes from the Universe guy Mike Dooley and his amazing brother Andy, a vibration activation master! As well as 60 other folks. It was crazy inspiring. I could write at least 10 blog posts based on our adventures and all the TUT talks we had, connections made, dreams forged…but I’m a little distracted today. ha ha

I’ve been a writing maniac this past week home. I’ve written for TUT.com here. It’s an article that I was working on a few weeks back called: 5 Signs You Are Addicted To Your Wounds. I got inspired to write this based on some observations within cancer support groups at a hospital where I teach writing & yoga, as well as within yoga and various support groups. Within the healing field, it’s common to meet people who are suffering from loss and seeking comfort, spiritual connection and healing. Within this environment, my own issues can also bubble up to the surface. I started reviewing how I dealt with the traumatic loss of my marriage, my mother, my dog, my job all at once. I didn’t deal with it all so well. Today I’m on a path of writing and moving forward. I hope this article can help you—especially if you’re rebounding from injury or loss.

I’m also writing in a focussed way on my 3rd novel entitled Between Thoughts of You. In fact, I aim to have the first draft of this novel completed by mid-May. Fingers crossed! My second novel, Uriel’s Mask, I sent to two amazingly talented agents today. One agent has represented some of my favorite writers like Ann Tyler and Eudora Welty. If I think too much on it, I can get crippled with thoughts like, “Who the Hell do I think I am?!”

And to that, I take a deep yoga breath and let my inner voice reply: “I’m just a writer and an artist who may see things a little differently. My eyes and ears see and hear things that you may not. I am not better than you. But if I take a picture of a tree, I will be more interested in how light dances between the branches at the very top, or where the roots reach and who has sat upon these roots and whether or not the light filtered through the tops of the branches and danced upon their face as they sat on those roots. My photos and my stories may well be different than what yours could be. And with that, I am just a writer with southern roots seeking a break to change the direction of the sails for herself and her two boys.”

I’m off to teach Monday night yoga to some beautiful souls.

Love & Light to you all. <3!

 

Faith, in a Bubble

Bubble-In-The-Sky

Lately I’ve been visualizing a bubble when I meditate. It’s sort of like this one. I imagine it crossing an ocean, like an airplane. I can’t see it. I feel it. It’s on a planned trajectory, a mapped journey, straight toward me, wherever I am. A bit like Glenda’s bubble in the Wizard of Oz, I admit, but within this bubble is all that I want to manifest in my life. My number is 3, and I have just 3 main goals at the moment: to garner a book deal,  to reach others as I expand my yoga & meditation practice, and to attract a healthy love.

I breathe deeply and visualize this bubble floating toward me. I tell myself that just because I can’t see it, or always feel it, the bubble of manifestation is still working. It is still on its way, floating toward me, as long as I believe. And that’s the tricky part. Having faith when there are no signs that something is on its way. Sometimes it feels impossible to do. And what I’m learning is that belief is only part of the process. After taking Mike Dooley’s course, Playing the Matrix, I’ve discovered a major roadblock—the main reason why previous attempts to manifest haven’t been so good. Discovering this roadblock then revealed another one to me. If you are focussing on your intentions and goals in the New Year, maybe these tips will help you too.  Here are my two biggest road blocks to manifesting, which reveal the best ways TO manifest!

First: I have to stop attaching. I attach to details. I don’t just want a book deal, I want a specific agent or a specific publisher. Oh, but what if the Universe has other plans? What if those specific people and companies aren’t the right fit for me? What if my insistence blocks the right agent and the best publisher to flow toward me? I need to get out of my own way. “Let Go and Let God” is a popular phrase. You’ve likely heard it and agree. It’s easier than it sounds to put into practice! When I attach to details, I may just get what I want— and often that’s a bad thing. My Higher Power knows better. Mike Dooley, who I adore as much as Louise Hay (and my good friends know how much I love her!) advises to manifest with big picture goals only. So, I can imagine an agent signing or a publisher signing me, but not a specific person or publisher. Same goes for love, I can’t attach to a specific person or even specific descriptions such as height, hair color, job, etc. as it can block the perfect person, agent, yoga studio, etc. from appearing—and its appearance may not be what I’m expecting. Again, I need to get out of my own way. God knows best who and what is right for me. I can, however, ask for many other big picture items such as abundance, joy, a creative career, health…not specifics. There is so much more to Mike Dooley’s course, I’m such a big fan… everyone should take it! Seriously, my mind lit up like a strand of Christmas tree lights. He is beyond brilliant.

Second: I must face deep-rooted inner programming to persevere.
Just meditating on what I want, doesn’t help the Universe shift and bring it to me. I have to take baby steps. I have to submit more queries to agents and publishers. I have to apply to teach at more yoga studios. I may need to go out on more dates to find Mr. Right too—even if I hate dating. Taking baby steps can be really scary, especially after receiving rejection or bad experiences. Just because I received one rejection from one agent, doesn’t mean a person who said I’d never get published is right. For peat sakes! Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul received 145 rejections before his New York Times best seller was accepted! Who do I think I am?? Well, I’m just someone who received some negativity and lack of support at some point in my life. Maybe you can relate? I have to recognize that the person who belittled me, or called me stupid, or said I’d never make it, was vomiting negativity—it had nothing to do with me. And I’ve accepted that intellectually. I’ve forgiven the few people in my life who were like that. But on a deep level. Maybe even on the subconscious level, these sort of emotionally abusive comments left water marks that reveal themselves in the forms of insecurity or lack of drive to keep trying. I have to recognize that each rejection does not reflect my worth or ability to succeed, and then take a deep breath, surround myself with supportive peps and try again. I’m now writing on my 3rd novel. I’m now working at two yoga studios. I’m now officially going out on several first dates that help me realize exactly what I don’t want! ha ha. 🙂  … But it’s all helping me on my journey!

Baby steps lead to amazing journeys. And sometimes the journeys go to the most surprising places.

So here’s to a New Year filled with baby steps that lead us to where we feel loved, heard, accepted, creative and joyful. And in between those baby steps, I’ll take the time to meditate. Maybe you’ll join me? Lets place our big picture goals and intentions (without attaching to specific details!) inside a bubble. Lets breathe deeply, close our eyes and allow it to float toward us, in God’s time.