Tapping into Cosmic Consciousness

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“It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea; I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.” ~Dr. Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk slept with a spiral bound notebook and pen next to his bed each night so that when he was awakened by his intuition in the middle of the night he was prepared for his “night writing.” He called it an altered state of consciousness—a twilight state of half sleep and half consciousness—when he began transcribing messages from what he described as the “life force” or “cosmic consciousness”…what some call God. Salk also called it “the voice of evolution” speaking through him.

I believe we all have the ability to tap into this cosmic consciousness. But for most of us, it takes practice. One way I like to practice is by posing a question to cosmic consciousness in writing. Then I’ll ask, “What would you have me know about this?” I write everything and anything that comes through my hand—and I mean everything. For example, the very first time I did this about five years ago, and the answers started streaming through me, I asked, “Is this information coming from you, or am I making it up?” The response that came through my pen was, “What does it matter? Is the information valuable?” It was valuable…and hard to argue with the answer!

What are your experiences with intuition? How do you practice?

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 4/2011

We Are Not Alone

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“To most of you, your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barking dog and a high fence around him. Now you can’t be a stranger to any guy that’s on your own team. So tear down the fence that separates you. Tear down your fence, and you’ll tear down a lot of hates and prejudices. Tear down all the fences in the country, and you’ll really have teamwork.” ~John Doe

These captivating words are from a speech delivered by the character John Doe, portrayed by Gary Cooper in the 1941 Frank Capra film “Meet John Doe.” The film might be 70 years old, but the words are just as relevant today as they were back then. The message is that it’s possible for us to realize and manifest our greater potential as individuals, as communities, as countries, as a people inhabiting this little green and blue planet we call Home. We are not alone.

If being on the planet were a team sport, what one play would you make? What will you do today to reach out to your neighbor? Do you even know your neighbors’ names?

(If you’d like to see the entire movie, click here: Meet John Doe)

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 4/2011

Smiling is Good Medicine

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“Smile. It’s the second best thing you can do with your lips.” ~Author Unknown

Okay, I’m going to give your mind a few seconds to wander where I know it naturally will after reading that quotation…

Now, back to the business at hand:  Smiling!  I highly recommend it because it’s good for you!

Here are just three great reasons to smile:

  1. It can give more pleasure than chocolate or money. According to The British Dental Health Foundation, a smile has the same effect as eating 2,000 chocolate bars or receiving $25,000 in cash—but without the calories or tax ramifications! Yes, there is actual research that measured brain and heart activity in volunteers as they were being shown pictures of smiling people, and while being given money and chocolate that proves this. (Of course, as you would expect, the BDHF strongly urges people to keep their smiles and teeth looking good for the best results!) The bottom line is that smiling can make you feel better because it releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. They’re the “feel good” hormones.
  2. Smiling is the hallmark of optimistic people. Research shows that optimists have more robust immune systems than pessimists. Christopher Peterson, Ph.D, a professor at the University of Michigan, says, “We have found that optimistic people are healthier. Their biological makeup is different.” In fact, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry bears this out: It says elderly optimistic people are 55 percent less likely to die from all causes than the most pessimistic people.
  3. Smiling makes you more attractive. Want conclusive evidence? Look in the mirror as you smile!

If you’re feeling down in the mouth, upturn the corners of your mouth! It can truly make a difference.

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 4/2011

Risky Business

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“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” ~Ray Bradbury

I think Mr. Bradbury is referring to what I call “survival mechanism” when he speaks of intellect in this way. You might also think of it as your “gremlin” or IBSC—Itty Bitty Sh-tty Committee. You know: It’s the voice in your head (the one that right now is asking, “What voice?”) that tells you that you can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t…and shouts disparagingly, “Who do you think you are?!” That voice. It’s the part of you that wants to keep you safe and your life small. Unfortunately, life—one way or another—is inherently risky business, if you want to live a life of purpose, joy and love.

So what cliff will you jump off today and build your wings on the way down? Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically—unless you are properly outfitted with a parachute or hang glider or some other appropriate equipment! I do not want you or your mother calling me and asking why I suggested you jump off a cliff!

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 4/2011

The Beauty and Power of Struggle

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“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~Maya Angelou, who turns 83 today

How true is that?! So often we forget that beautiful butterflies started out as fat, furry caterpillars that had to go through a long, arduous and gooey process in order to transform. You may have heard the story of the man who saw a butterfly struggling to get out of its chrysalis. Concerned that the butterfly would not escape on its own, the man made it easier by cutting open the cocoon a little. As the story goes, the butterfly—with withered wings—crawled out easily then. The man was in for a surprise: He waited for the butterfly to spread its wings and fly away, but it did not. Without the struggle to free itself from its cocoon, the butterfly lost the opportunity to pump vital fluid from its body into its wings.

The struggles in life are often what make us beautiful and strong, and hold the greatest gifts for us. Where are you not allowing your process or not appreciating the different phases of your development? How might you be hampering the natural unfolding of someone around you?

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 4/2011

Adorkability

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“When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So, what the hell—leap!” ~Cynthia Heimel

How might your fear of failure or rejection be like a straightjacket—actually preventing you from creating the results you want? Or…is it that you’re concerned about what others might think of you if you say or do something that’s less than perfect? So what if you aren’t perfect?

Here’s the secret: Everyone feels that way from time to time. They’re just not telling you. Everyone feels like a dork every now and then; some of us, more frequently! Are you willing to be “adorkable”? Chances are good that people will love you for it and you’ll be giving them the freedom to be adorkable, too—and you just might surprise yourself and create something brilliant in the process!

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 4/2011

The Peace of Forgiveness

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“As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.” ~Isabelle Holland

This can be a tough one. Is there someone you’ve been holding a grudge against? Someone you’ve simply been unwilling to forgive? Consider that you might be the only one suffering as a result of that. I tell my clients that to hold anger and animosity against another is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It usually doesn’t turn out that way.

For just a moment, think about the offending person. What feelings arise in you? They are likely all negative—that’s the poison. Now check in with your body. What do you notice about where those negative feelings are stored? How are they impacting you physically through tension or heaviness? Next, take an inventory of your thoughts. What shows up? Likely more poison.

So this is a choice point. You can choose to forgive. It is possible to forgive, even if you don’t forget. I’m not suggesting that it’s necessarily easy or done quickly—especially if the hurt is recent. I’m also not suggesting that forgiveness necessarily means a reconciliation, although that can result. And forgiveness doesn’t mean that you condone the behavior that hurt in the first place. What you’re after is a sense of peace and understanding…and that is my wish for you.

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 3/2011

Body Language of the Soul

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“Body symptoms present information of which we’re unconscious. They are one of the languages the soul uses to get across to us something about itself…. We can trust the body to bring us into alignment, and we can trust the soul to speak to us through the body.” ~Gregg Levoy

Stop for a moment and check in with your body. What sensations do you experience? Are your shoulders or tummy tight? Or does your body have the sensation of humming? Get curious about what you feel, whether it’s pleasure or pain. If your soul is speaking through your body, what is it saying? Will you do what it asks?

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 3/2011

Problem as Opportunity

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“A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at a proper distance and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet and it can be seen in its true setting, just one more tiny bump on the pathway of life.”  ~Celia Luce

It really is a matter of perspective, isn’t it? Consider a problem you’ve been having that seems huge. Here are a couple of ways to get a different perspective: 1) Pretend it’s not your problem, but someone else’s–perhaps someone you don’t know well so that you don’t get mired in emotionality. What would you advise this person to do in that situation? Or 2) Look at what else is possible. Ask yourself: What is the gift in this situation? How is this problem an opportunity?

Ultimately, how you experience the events, people and circumstances of your life is a matter of choice.

Please share your thoughts, insights and questions below. Your participation provides wisdom that all can benefit from. Thank you!

Denise Yamada © 3/2011

Wear Your Joy

“Taking joy in life is a woman’s best cosmetic.” ~Rosalind Russell

Male OR female: Take a look in the mirror. Is joy written on your face? If yes, congratulations–you look mahvelous! If no, what is standing between you and joy?

Denise Yamada © 3/2011