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Mindfully Eating Animals (the Other 99 Percent)

Monk with Broom

There is a place in the world where Jain monks carry a broom to sweep the ground ahead of them and avoid stepping on insects. I love this mental image I learned as a child, and think of it often when I’m in nature.

Sometimes I wish I were this mindful in all life, but in truth I’m more of a realist, and not the most compassionate person on earth. I’ve been working on that last bit for a while, but my approach is to have as much integrity as possible, while understanding that we are human, we screw up, and it’s OK to enjoy life and let loose sometimes. The trouble with this approach is you can easily get a little too loose. When in Rome becomes when in life, and things quickly devolve from there…

I believe this happened to me over the past year and half of living and traveling in Latin America. Of course I ate meat. A lot of meat. I didn’t ask where it came from, or if it was from “happy cows.” There’s not a lot of food choices when you’re traveling in the north part of Peru, for instance. Vegetarian options are pretty much: Cheese sandwich, potatoes, potato chips, rice, corn and/or salad (which by the way is lettuce and tomatoes with a piece of lemon if you’re lucky).

The questions I find myself asking now, are…

Faced again with an abundance of eating options in Northern Europe, is it possible to mindfully eat an animal raised and killed for the intention of eating?
Is it morally acceptable to eat animals?
What, if any, conditions must be present for me to eat a piece of an animal?
Is it OK to eat some animals raised and killed for eating, and some not?

I know that it’s possible to mindfully eat an animal. I just don’t know if it’s possible to claim to be a mindful and conscious person of integrity, and still eat an animal that’s been raised and killed for the purposes of human consumption. Especially if that animal has been raised and killed in a factory. Continue Reading →

16 Luminaries Reveal Their Favorite Practices for Awakening Flow and Doing Amazing Work

10,000 footsteps - one path - tortuga bay

10,000 footsteps, one path… Yours — Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

This is the kind of work I live to share — bold and beautiful and life-changing words from people I love. These are everyday heroes — luminaries who are changing the world with each step. Riding Butterflies, Walking in Beautyresonating from a place of Original Mind.

For my 100th blog post here at Fierce Wisdom, I decided to do something epic. I emailed more than 30 people I respect and admire, and asked them two questions:

1. When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

2. What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

I wanted to hear straight from the source, and create a resource for you to come for inspiration. I gave them a very short deadline, and the results were surprising even to me! 16 brilliant souls responded with the stripped down Truth I’m sharing here. Fully brilliant and luminous wisdom that cuts straight to the heart… Fierce Wisdom you can take home and put to use use right away.

I also wanted to mark another small victory: The launch of the new Fire of Love Experience, a program that was birthed from my journey in search of a life of real meaning — a life in alignment with the fire of my spirit.

There is no greater power we have than that of our spirits, awakened and in Full Flow of this miraculous existence.

So, take a dip through this marvelously extravagant 7,223 word article. Bookmark it, share it, and link to it to come back for more inspiration when you need a push to wake up and dance with the fire of your heart…

The survival of our civilization demands it. 

psst…it’s all part of the Edge Flow collaborative ebook project!

This summer January 2015! I’m releasing a special collaborative ebook project that includes all these contributors (plus a few who couldn’t make my short deadline). It’s called Edge Flow: Pushing the Boundaries of Creative Flow for Personal and Global Transformation (working title).

The book also includes contributions by these wonderful change-making luminaries:

Chase Night, Crystal Street, Danielle LaPorte, Dyana Valentine, Don Miguel Ruiz, Douglas Rushkoff, Dusti Arab, Ev Bogue, Gwen Bell, Jan Stewart, Julien Smith, Leo Babauta, Lex Garey, Mags Nichols, Marianne Elliott, Marjory Mejia, Mikki Willis, Neil Pasricha and Raam Dev.

I started this project a while back, but wasn’t ready to step up to the exposure it would bring. It’s a fine line for Introverted Expressionists like myself (INFP) — you may understand why if you’re on a similar personality spectrum. Now it’s finally time.

There is no better time for us to step up into the truth of who we are, and claim the life we envision for ourselves and our collective future!

Don’t let your spirit get frozen in tedium and self-denial. Seize this moment awake!

Every day, every moment.

In love and solidarity,

Satya

Here they are then: 16 Luminaries sharing what inspires them most, and their one greatest practice for awakening creative flow and doing their greatest work…

 


Amy Martin

Amy R. MartinAmy lives in a mountain paradise with an intentional community and a gaggle of goats.  Sustainability is her learning curve, self-employment is her discipline, and most of the time her answer is “play!” Playwithamy.com

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

There are those sparkly moments of such vital aliveness, and this is a great question because it encourages the tracking of what leads up to such aliveness.  There are different versions of this aliveness too.  There is one when I’m on stage singing, showing off, and a seemingly different one when I’m quietly sitting with a grove of cedars.  The vibrant flow is more noticeable to me just after a blockage of some sort has been cleared.  It reminds me of the Chinese symbol for crisis, which includes a tremendous outflow of opportunity.
 
What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

This is always changing.  Taking time each day for creative output feels balancing for me, whether it is singing or making art or just doodling rudimentary shapes.  I’m also the type of person that can forget she has a body that needs feeding, sleep, and relaxing of the shoulders.  Frequently checking in on how relaxed my body is and learning to be relaxed in every action is the biggest thing I’m learning right now, in regards to the necessary energetic maintenance that goes into supporting my best work.  Because if I can really relax through everything, it’s easier to tap into that special flow state, from which comes all sorts of goodies including play!  And then my stamina is better, too.


 Carrie Hensley

Carrie HensleyCarrie integrates yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and humor to help her students and clients recognize past conditioning that keep them stuck in limited beliefs, let go of what no longer serves them, and help them reconnect to their inner most authentic Self. Carrie is a Founding Member of the Fire of Love Experience, and has a wonderfully kind and generous heart! Carriehensley.com

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

I am most alive when I am connecting heart to heart. I am most awake connecting others to the truth of who they are. This comes in many forms: this flows through the women’s circles I hold when a woman tastes her worth for the first time; this sparks a remembrance and gratitude among my senior yoga students (ages 75-97 years of age) as we chant “It Had to Be You” & “Unforgettable” in class; this is felt while holding space for my disappointed teenage son who is learning to pick himself up; this is offered while sharing a vulnerable and personal experience of my own, in hopes, that another teenage girl will not take her own life. While service takes on many forms, the end result is always the same- to make a difference in the life of another.

When I drop out of mind and sink deep into feeling space, I trust the gentle nudges of my intuition. I trust life’s unfolding, no longer obsessing about the end result. I remember that it is not about me. It is in this space that I truly come alive, connecting to the innermost authentic part of Self.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work?

Yoga is my salvation, my saving grace. Yoga is the one practice that peels back the layers of judgment, criticism, and doubt to expose the innate perfection and beauty that exists within. Yoga invites me to surrender the continuous stream of thought by melting awareness into the sensations and feelings of my body. It is through the gift of yoga that I am able to observe the many ways I continue to grasp, cling, resist, and struggle. Yoga reveals the many places I hold myself back and, at the same time, gently encourages me to be open and vulnerable. It has been the one practice that continues to whittle away my defenses. It is through yoga that I have witnessed the most beautiful expressions of compassion, understanding, truth, peace, and love. It is to through yoga that I come home to Self.


Cate Stillman

Cate StillmanCate Stillman teaches and coaches yoga students and teachers around the world to refine their lifestyle and make a bigger, positive impact in the health of their communities with hands-on, do-it-yourself vibrant health education. She teaches a practical, cutting-edge approach to Ayurveda for those ready to commit to their health evolution at YogaHealer.com

 

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

Almost all of the time. When I don’t I change my routines – early to bed, early to rise and more meditation. Otherwise, creative energy flow is my constant companion. I make a practice of sourcing my actions from a larger perspective.

 
What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?
 

The one practice is remembrance. Those of us who have exposed ourselves to deep teachings and practiced the practices that blow up the limitation paradigm of the separate self have such an opportunity to show up, create and connect. When I feel the urge to get something done sometimes I get taken over by the push of the disconnected egoic pattern. I pause. I dissolve. I connect to the joy of being and let the action come through – sensing the work being brought forth by the people, and the other beings (animals, plants, planet) that want the effect of the work. Then it’s just a happening in time – and not work. I don’t even know what work is anymore.

 


Chris Badgett

Chris BadgettChris Badgett believes a conscious approach to parenting and entrepreneurship can heal and change our lives, families, and the world. He helps support the work of conscious companies and entrepreneurs over at iEnvision Media, and is building an online community for entrepreneurial conscious parents at UnconventialParents.com 

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

I have 2 kids under 3. Like most parents with young kids I feel the pressure of getting everything done to take care of another human being and do what I have to do to provide for my family. This energy can be overwhelming at times, but I’ve found another energy in the presence of my children that transcends this frenetic state. It’s available on demand, but to really sit with it, the practice requires mindfulness and discipline.

When I’m with my kids I try and let go of all the stress and relax into their presence with an empty mind. It’s extraordinary to witness a human being in a more uncultured or low cultured state. This is beautiful by itself, and then I start to feel that raw love that defies description. Going deeper still, I can feel the connection of our lineage and the spiritual connection between all things expressing itself in the human form.

In this state, sitting with my children, there is a deep well of motivation, inspiration, and intuition. I literally “feel the love” which is grounding, healing, and empowering. 

I find this state easiest to access when breaking routine and in some way, experiencing natural beauty together from a simple shared experience in the vegetable garden or on a camping trip in the wilderness.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

Letting go of compromise has been big for me. I used to compromise too much. The practice I’ll share with you is how I start my day and run decisions through what I call the compromise filter.

I’ve noticed I do my best work when I gut check my decisions to see if I’m veering away from my values to please others.  I also try and take care that I’m not moving away from a focused state in order to get everything done.

A place that needs special attention is exploring where you’re over compromising on your priorities and going through life in a reactive state while letting the important things, like family, slip.

When you start your day, take a pause, take a deep breath and mentally ground yourself in a state of no compromise with your values, your attention, and your priorities. Repeat this filtering practice as you move to new investments of time throughout your day.

Many of us, myself included, are on a journey of transformation towards our life’s greatest work, which is a process. So go easy on yourself as you discover where you’re over compromising and develop a filtering practice to hold your ground and embody your truth.


Courtney Carver

Courtney CarverCourtney Carver is a simplicity author and speaker dedicated to helping people focus on what matters most in life and business. Read more at courtneycarver.com

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?
 

I believe that you have to let go to let in, so the best way for me to encourage creative flow is to take a walk, or get on my yoga mat and turn away from my creative work. It is then that the ideas rush in.

I often carry a pen, journal and camera with me to capture ideas, but it’s when I am without those things that the ideas really take hold. Sometimes I have to rush home or borrow pen and paper to jot them down.

 
What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?
 

Slowly creating a meaningful morning routine was essential for me to do my best work consistently. Instead of waking up, checking email and doing everyone else’s most important work first, I feed myself first. Meditation, yoga, walking and writing are all part of my morning routine. Spending that time allows me to be more intentional about doing the things that really matter all day long.

On days that I skip my morning routine because I wake up late, or have obligations early in the morning, I am a little more distracted and don’t have the same clarity I do after practicing. I used to think that was selfish to take that time in the morning until I realized that I could be much more giving and attentive by taking a few minutes every morning for my practice.


Drew Jacob

Drew JacobDrew is a journeyman priest who left his temple, his home and his friends to meet the gods. He travels by his own body power only, and is currently biking and paddling to South America. He shares his adventure at rogue priest.

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

When my mind is right.

All creative flow requires awareness, attention to your art, the presence of mind to actually create and not give in to distraction. That is what I mean by a mind that is right.

We have a say in when that happens. For me, first I make sure my body is right. If I have enough sleep and my need for food is sated, I will let creativity flow.

The heart also has needs. I sing to the gods, I make offerings at the shrine, I serve at the Vodou temple every week. These practices help me know myself and my mind and be ready to quiet myself and let it flow when it’s time.

No one knows for sure if there are gods but we do know we can dance. If you don’t have a spiritual practice, dance.

 
What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

Adventure is my practice. By adventure I mean: seeking out challenge, forcing myself out of my boundaries, exposing myself to the wind and the rain, surviving by the strength of my body and the warmth of the friends I meet along the way.

We are evolved to wonder what is beyond the next hill. We are not evolved to live in one place our whole lives. When we live in one place, the mind becomes stagnant. When we cross the face of the earth we become saints and sinners, prophets and muses.

Cross the face of the earth. Walk in the hot sun. Shiver in the rain. The world is both good and bad; devour both sides and you will find genius.


Dyana Valentine

Dyana ValentineDyana Valentine is not for the faint of heart. She’s spent 13+ years teaching leaders to listen to themselves and complete seemingly impossible projects, and she serves up straight-from-the-hip advice in online magazines and columns all over the ‘net. She’s been a great friend and advisor in my work, and a very Special Guest on the Fire of Love Experience, waking us all up with her straight up Truth! Dyanavalentine.com

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

Sometimes it’s a when, and sometimes it’s a where, right…? So, definitely when I’m near any ocean, I almost always feel super creative. Also, when I see people performing live — it can be music, it can be acting, it can be comedy, or it can be contortionists…there’s some kind of vicarious turn on that happens that makes me want to play creatively in those environments! It’s just super stimulating and I get really turned on.

Another time is RIGHT when I wake up. When I wake up, I feel all things are possible — I can most easily access my best ideas. So I’ve been planting questions and curiosities for myself and for my clients, for the last two years, and it’s been absolutely a goldmine, it’s wonderful.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing amazing work in the world, and do you have any recommendations for that?

I would have to say, hands down: Clean and luxurious sheets, and black-out curtains in my bedroom….

Having a really open bedroom or sleeping space, unencumbered by technology, in the form you like it — if it’s windows open or closed, sunshine or dark, whatever it is. If you can create a sanctuary for your subconscious, and also for your organs and your brain to do what they need to do during sleep, I believe that helps you be more available to your waking creativity. So much of our learning happens in sleeptime! I would like to stand up as the advocate for super clean sleeping space and time. I think that would be a great gift for human creativity.


Emilie Wapnick

Emilie WapnickEmilie Wapnick works with multipotentialites to help them build lives and businesses around all of their interests. Her work has been featured in The Financial Times and Lifehacker. She is the author of Renaissance Business and the troublemaker behind Puttylike.com.

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

I feel most creative in the morning. My mornings are sort of like my sacred time.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

I have a number of rituals around my work in the morning. I try to wake up and immediately spend some time thinking about all the wonderful people in my life, the gifts I’ve been given like my intelligence and ability to focus, and all of the experiences that I’ve been fortunate enough to have. This gratitude practice is best combined with a little physical activity, like walking a dog or jogging through a park. But giving gratitude gets you into an open state, which is very conducive to creativity.


Fabian Kruse

Fabian KruseFabian Kruse writes about personal sovereignty, (un)productivity and the challenges of living an interesting life. He is the author of Beyond Rules and Productive Anywhere. You can find his blog at http://friendlyanarchist.com

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

When I embrace the paradoxes of modern existence.

Our society, our world and our life overall isn’t as clear-cut as we sometimes wish – and that can be a challenging experience. But if we open up to the paradoxes, our energy is free to flow: I can feel most alive when I take a 6-hour hike through the forest – or through the buzzing streets of Berlin Kreuzberg. My energy flows when I sit in silence under the trees and observe the sunset – or when I join a group of strangers for cheap beers and karaoke. I can get creative when I pause, meditate and observe – or when I jump, sing and dance.

Sometimes, we are worried to see how the internet is scattering our brains, tearing our thoughts apart, breaking them into pieces. But maybe this is just our modus operandi: Limitless, cutty, easy to distract – but definitely not easy to fool! We can learn to absorb all that inspiration – and let our creative powers transform it into a vibrant and dizzying gem of original heart-work. Work that will enchant the places and people who get in touch with it, at the twinkling of an eye.

In our world, we can learn about physics, rocket engines and escape velocity, while at the same time being students of Mother Earth, the elders and the spirit beings. All this stuff is right around us, and all of it is meaningful in its own way. The opportunity to live in these interesting times is what makes me feel most alive.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

Another paradox: My practice is losing my wind – and taking a deep breath.

When we get challenged at work, in can be like swimming in a violent windstorm. The waves grow higher and higher and we don’t feel in control anymore. And that’s because, most probably, we’re not: The muse wants to take over, but fearful resistance is trying to stop us.

Maybe we need to stop thinking that being out of control is a bad thing. I have a hypothesis that, in order to give our best, losing control might be necessary. And as (figuratively) breathtaking as it can be, maybe we need to go through this dark windstorm in order to do our greatest work.

But if the storm gets too harsh and the waves grow too high, I don’t despair. Instead, I just focus on my breathing. I welcome the fear, breathe it in, send it to my belly – and transform it into relaxed confidence. When I do this, things calm down immediately, no matter the circumstances. And I’m able to get back to work, laser-focused and fearless.

Give it a try. The next time you’re overwhelmed, just breathe consciously. When you do that, you will suddenly find yourself in the equivalent of a quiet mountain lake in the Alps. Fresh water gently caressing your skin. The summer sun shining behind a peak in the distance.

Remember that windstorm? You’re still in the same lake. But you’re in charge now.


Jennifer Louden

Jen LoudenJen Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with The Woman’s Comfort Book. She’s the author of 5 additional books on well-being including The Life Organizer, inspiring more than a million women in 9 languages. Jen believes self-love + world-love = wholeness for all. She’s devoted to being. JenniferLouden.com 

Jen is also one of our very Special Guests in the new Fire of Love Experience!

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?
 
Ah, what a great question. Thank you Satya for the chance to reflect on this. So many times, so many moments throughout my day, are creative and awake to spirit, and I am gifted with grace. Anytime outside, even a walk to our mailbox. Anytime loving my beloved Bob, my head against his chest. Anytime with my girl Lilly, especially goofing together, dancing in the kitchen when she is home. Anytime engrossed in great stories or even a single word. Reading Rumi. Talking to Sid in the hardware store yesterday about his life. It’s all creative flow!

But also times of struggle are alive and awake moments for me when I feel creative energy flow. When I fight to make an idea clear, to stay connected to beloved Bob when I want to scream, “You suck!!!” and anytime Old Man Shame threatens with his hoary stories of “Hide yourself away girl, you will never be good enough.” These are moments of aliveness, too IF I STAY AWAKE.

I believe – and sometimes I know – that creative flow is always present. It is only my stubborn attraction to struggle that obscures it. The “me” who wants to get things done – dopamine anybody? – leaves flow. Flow doesn’t leave me.

And flow shows up the way it does, not the way I want it to. When our server is attacked by the bot meanies or my mom, who has Alzheimer’s, calls me repeatedly in the middle of my creative time, I can respond to these events as blocks to the flow or as the flow itself. The choice is always mine. Dammit.
 

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?
 
Deciding there is no great work only what I am choosing or not choosing to do.
Any practice of awareness being aware of itself.  I am that I am.
Any way I can wake up to my never ceasing wonderfully inventive narrative mind and gently say, “Oh there you are, spinning your big stories. You are so adorable. Now, let’s all relax.”
Mantras help – traditional mantras like “So hum” but also my own like “Choosing is my art” and “Relax.”
Any time I can laugh at my endless patterns of busy bee doing and creative self-doubt.  I gave myself the nickname Jenny Be for a reason!

I love this quote from Ramana Maharshi,  “When your real, effortless, joyful nature is realized, it will not be inconsistent with the ordinary activities of life.”   Just being ordinary is my biggest practice these days.


Joy Holland

Joy HollandJoy Holland is an Intuitive Empath, Energy and Clarity Facilitator who share the gift of presence to magnify your inner brilliance.  Joy is the founder of FacetsofJoy.com – a community where exploration is encouraged and heart whispers are affirmed and supported. 

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

Joy is a soul smile; effervescence of heart whispers, pure gratitude for the gift of the moment.

I embrace full creative expression with ease, delight, and spirit, when I am in the state of being joy. Being joy engages my mind in learning, processing and exploring while my heart feels into the depth and range of the present moment. I am fully alive and awake, in all ways; my mind occupied, my senses delighted, my heart whispers soaring.

When I choose to center into love and move with whole-body integration, I am choosing to open to, and be, infinite possibility. A connection with Divine, independent of external circumstances, that exists in my heart, and effortlessly overflows as I create with, and connect from, this overflowing feel of abundance and possibility.

I feel most alive and awake while in this state of joy, available each moment I choose to open my heart to celebrate the gift of now and to receive that love and joy back into my being.

In this state of joy, each action is a a creation of spirit, with love and gratitude. If fear exists, it is simply a sign I have moved into new space, an invitation to breathe it all in fully, deeply, allowing that gratitude to be the natural current that moves me.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

The source of this joy is the awareness of connected-ness with All. I tap into this source when I practice a living namaste as I celebrate the gift of each moment. I see, feel, and honor the spirit in All, and I receive that fully into my being as I move through World.

The overall structure for this living namaste is a practice of presence, with love and gratitude. The specifics of the practice differ daily, attuned to the space I choose to be in.

I am able to readily access this depth of presence by simply breathing in love, holding the breath gently and allowing love to transform to gratitude, and breathing it back out.

The gist of this practice: Simply stop where you are, take one full, deep breath as you think of something that you love, as you are, where you are. As you feel that love, your breath is sending it to every cell, physically filling your being with loveIn that moment, you are pure love.

As you hold the breath, gently, apply gratitude for that which you love. (As in ‘thank you for the experience/placement of …..that I love’). Then, exhale,sending that gratitude to world. You have not only shifted your internal energy, you have raised the vibration of the space you are in, with the application of love and gratitude.

Centering in such a simple way is something a person can do each moment they choose, regardless of external.

The peace and freedom that is so elusive to many, is easily felt within this practice; for when one knows there is nothing one ‘has to’ do, acquire, build, one can simply enjoy the experience of experimenting with creative expression, with love and gratitude.

Much peace and abundant love,
Joy


Sandra Pawula

Sandra PawulaSandra Pawula is a writer, editor, and inner explorer.  She writes about finding true happiness and freedom at Always Well Within.

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

For me, creative energy simply flows unexpectedly.  When it flows, I don’t hesitate to follow the energy wherever I might be.  That means stopping to let words and ideas spill out on paper.  I know that stream of creativity will disappear if I don’t capture it immediately.  Providing a container for whatever emerges also clears the space of my mind allowing for more creativity to spill forth.

A surge of creative energy often appears on waking just before mind is sucked into conceptuality. And, sometimes during meditation when mind is more open, spacious, and clear. But it can actually be triggered any time or any place.

In fact, life stimulates my creative flow.  For example, once I was driving down a busy street, slowing for a red light, and observed a one-legged man wheel-charing across the street. This stirred my heart, my mind, and my creativity.  The stimulus for creativity is everywhere when you are present in the moment with your senses wide open.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

I believe my mind is an unending creative flow.  My task is to make space to tap into it. The single practice that supports me the most is the willingness to pause, seize the moment, listen, and download.  Not just once, but multiple times as an idea percolates, matures, and speaks to me in different moments.  This requires letting go of over-thinking, indulging in worry, or grasping onto an outcome, which all block imagination and originality.

At the same time, I aspire not to take my capacity to create too seriously.  Whatever arises is just the magical display of the mind/spirit, impermanent and ever-changing.  I know whatever I create will dissolve, sooner or later, which adds a touch of humor and spaciousness to the process.


Sarah J. Bray

Sarah BraySarah J. Bray is a designer, developer, and online marketing strategist who helps entrepreneurs build nations around meaningful work at a small nation. She likes toast, enthusiasm, and good books, preferably at the same time.

Sarah is also one of our very Special Guests in the new Fire of Love Experience!

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

When I’m alone outside on a blanket in the warm sun, with my notebooks and my index cards and my Staedtler pens, drinking blood orange soda through a straw. :)

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, ad do you have any recommendations for that?

Right now, I have more creative projects going on than at any other time in my life. I’m writing a book, I’m creating an eight-week course for the Tour de Bliss, I’m doing a weekly email series called Nation-Building Tuesdays, I’m creating a fiction series in a few different media formats, and I have several nation-building clients. (Oh yes, and I’m the primary educator for each of my 3 kids). Some might question my judgment in taking all of that on, but all of my projects support each other, and I’m strongly committed to each of them.

Normally, I follow a system I created for myself called the 90-minute workday. It’s worked well for me for several years, and I’ll go back to it when things calm down. But lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m inching along on each of my many projects, rather than making meaningful progress. That led to my decision to have someone else manage my day for me.

Having someone else manage my day has led to some of the most productive weeks of my life. It’s ironic, because I thrive in complete freedom and autonomy, but I still need structure to free myself from constantly assessing and re-assessing how to spend my time (which is stressful!). Also, I tend to be a demanding boss to myself. My manager (who also turns out to be my husband John) is much kinder to me than I am.

To get started, John gave me a stack of index cards and had me write down each project that I was committed to. Then he had me write down how much happiness it brings me, how much financial compensation it was (or would be) providing, how much time it would take to finish, and how many people were waiting on me for it. Every day, he gives me a break-down of which projects I need to work on and the amount of time I need to spend on each one.

Having someone else manage my day allows me to focus on the process, rather than the outcome. Now I get to go outside on my blanket in the warm sun and fill up notebooks, rather than control the universe.


Sarah Kathleen Peck

Sarah PeckSarah is a writer, designer and storyteller. She writes about psychology and motivation at www.itstartswith.com  and about cities and urbanization at www.landscapeurbanism.com. In her free time, you’ll find her dancing, swimming, or doing handstands.

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

I feel alive when I’m moving. Dance, handstands, swimming, walking, or floating in the water—I know I’m alive. My best ideas are born out of moving through the world, not sitting adjacent to it. I try to walk at least 4 miles a day and spend an hour or so moving my body in familiar and new patterns.

If I’ve spent enough time in the day moving (an hour or two is enough to change the rhythm of the next several hours), the next place I feel calm and wonderful is when I’m creating something, taking the time to articulate ideas and thoughts in some shape or form. Even if it’s frustrating, challenging, or takes a series of days and weeks to hone in on the idea, the habit and practice of coming back to my ideas and shaping them is intensely gratifying. Through this routine, I often (although not always) find myself sinking into an idea or article or topic, and emerging hours later, realizing that the day has disappeared, it’s dark outside and I’m suddenly very hungry and I need to stand up and use the bathroom. Those moments—when four hours disappear into an idea frame—while tiring and leave me ready for bed by the day’s end—are a joy.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

For a long time, swimming was my escape into the quiet place with my mind, where I could wrestle and ponder and dance with ideas uninterrupted. I’ve been told I have a fiery and expansive philosopher’s soul, so the joy of having my body wrapped up in a larger physical container—a giant body of water—is a relief to my soul. It reminds me where I start and end, and gives me a shelter from which to turn inward and meditate.

The rhythm of swimming is very methodical and lyrical. It requires a binary, back-and-forth action from both sides of my body, pulling in synchronicity with my arms, each one layered in front of the other. I count my breathing as a force of habit, and breathe every two or four strokes. The focused breathing, incredible sensory stimulation of water and elevated heart rate creates a highly meditative, contemplative state of flow.

I don’t go into the water professing to gain any understanding or knowledge; there’s never a road map of what I must think about or the problems I ought to solve. Instead, it’s my solitude and escape, and often by not thinking directly about an idea, solutions will present themselves to me, dancing across my consciousness when I least expect them. I listen and watch the surface of my mind, and it becomes magic.

Often the best things I can do for my creative fuel is take an hour to wander outside, to swim in the ocean, to be with myself, or slow the mental stimulation while increasing my physical movement. Movement is so critical to awakening our minds and thoughts; it’s dangerous (and depressing) to sit behind a desk for far too long. Our human bodies are one of the greatest designs in the world—and they are designed to move!


Srinivas Rao

Srinivas RaoSrinivas Rao is the host and co-founder of BlogcastFM, where he’s interviewed more than 300 successful and nationally known business owners, bloggers, online entrepreneurs, and published authors (myself included!). He’s also the author of The Skool of Life, where he writes about things you should have learned in school but never did.

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

It’s when I’m in the ocean.  There’s something about being in the water and experiencing this feeling that you’re almost flying that lets your mind do it’s best thinking. The ocean has been one of my greatest teachers. I learn every single day I’m int the water and as a result I’m more creative.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

It’s no secret to anybody who talks to me for about 5 seconds that i’m an avid surfer. It kind of dictates my life. I schedule everything around being able to surf. It’s the fuel for my creative fire. I think the key is finding an activity that makes you really present. You have to find something that forces you to live in the moment and shuts off the mental chatter. The voice in your head is actually capable of losing its power, but it only happens in true presence. Once you find it, you’ll see that your greatest work often emerges when you’re not even thinking about it.


T. Thorn Coyle

Thorn CoyleT. Thorn Coyle is a magic worker. Author, activist, mentor, teacher, mystic, and world traveler, she roots body and soul by the San Francisco Bay. www.thorncoyle.com

When do you feel most alive and awake to the creative energy flow of your spirit?

I feel alive while teaching, when the room is electric with desire, with questions, answers, and the pure presence of everyone there. This aliveness translates itself into my best writing, as well.

I feel it with clients when all of a sudden, heart and soul align and they feel their possibility. The space around them alters and they emanate a different light.

Another time I touch creative flow is when meditating in public. A long time advocate of social justice, I seek greater to align our shared society with love. Whether serving in a soup kitchen, standing with the families of young black men murdered by police, working with Occupy, or agitating for water rights for poor people in Bolivia, I seek connection. I breathe for everyone present, attempting to widen the expanse of my heart, holding everything, and feeling held in return.

At the height of the war with Iraq, friends and I were meditating in front of the San Francisco Federal Building. My heart was really open that day. Feet stopped nearby. Suddenly, I felt breath on my neck and a voice in my ear said, “Please pray for my son. He is in prison and we are meeting with the DA today.” I bowed, went back to breathing, and she hurried on. The moment was so simple, yet felt profound, my sense of universal connection grounded itself with this one worried parent.

Really, that encapsulates all the other experiences I describe. I feel awake when something grows still inside. I align and am present. My heart opens. Spirit is.

Creativity flows from that space of deep connection. Sometimes we call this love.

What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and do you have any recommendations for that?

Sitting in self observation has been my single greatest teacher. It has built the foundation upon which all my other practices stand. I still sit daily. There is another key support I’ve distilled down through many years of practice: To maintain awareness of center and circumference.

Our center of gravity ideally rests a few inches above the pelvic bowl. For some of us, it creeps all the way up past our navel. Still others orient around their hearts. I encourage all my clients and students to take a breath and invite their center to gently sink down toward the pelvis. The heart oriented among us can then link those centers. The head oriented among us can link head, and heart and core.

Then we breathe into that center and become aware of the space around us. Where is the edge of our energy? If it feels really broad and diffuse, we can gently call it in. If it feels constricted and close, we exhale and allow it to expand.

Breathe into center. Exhale. Attention drops. Breathe into center, exhale out, filling the space around us with breath. Center and circumference. We are now ready to be in relationship with the world. We can return to this all day, every day. Over time, it will allow greater presence and clarity, orienting us away from confusion, anxiety or greed and toward our divine work, the thing only we can offer to the world.

 


 

In closing, a third question presses hard upon my mind… Why does it really matter that we hear the call of our spirits, and seek to live in alignment with that truth?

Perhaps you might add your thoughts to this thread: What single practice supports you the most energetically in doing your greatest work, and why does it matter? 

Don’t be shy — I’d love to hear about it in the comments I opened just for this post, if you’d like to share below…

On Tuesday May 7th: A beautiful group of Soul-Fire Walkers will embark on the new Fire of Love Experience — an epic voyage of ECSTATIC, AWAKENED, CREATIVE FLOW. This is your invitation to join us for the journey of a lifetime. Check out the good-ness + my five key steps to awakening the fire of your soul here:

An Epic Journey of Awakening Flow & Rediscovering the Magic of Your Soul’s Calling…

~ xo

Reflecting On A Month of Life and Work in South America (The ‘Space-Bubbles of Light’ post)

Space-Bubbles - Cajamarca Road
As I write these words I’m sitting on a bus headed out of Chiclayo, Peru. I joke that it’s the greatest city you’ve never heard of, but there is something remarkable about this little pocket of the world, humming as it is with the lives of a million people. I came here in search of something I’ve been seeking out since arriving in Peru one month ago: A sense of being where I am meant to be, and feeling truly alive — a place where I can thrive in doing my life’s work, and create a sense of peace and centeredness in the midst of a crazy busy life.  Continue Reading →

A Wish

A Wish

A wish for you… Love.

All the love that’s in the world.

All the world in love.

 

~xo
Satya

(image credit)

 

The Winter Solstice of 2012 ~ a time to remember

Center of the milky way

The center of our galaxy, by Jerry Lodriguss (more info)

 

The 2012 winter solstice holds a special significance as a marking point for these great times of change we’re living in. Ancient Mayan astronomers set the 21st of December, 2012, as the day in which their calendar would reset to Year Zero, predicting with accuracy the galactic alignment of the sun and earth with the actual center of our galaxy in this era.*

Prophecies from the ancients have pointed to this time as the end of a massive cycle, the closing of the old world and the start of a new age — the end of the great Kali Yuga, the start of the Age of Aquarius, the end of time as we know it….

There have been so many conflicting theories around the significance of this alignment — from apocalyptic catastrophe, to the resetting of our cosmic clock and the ushering in of a new age. Whether you believe that time is resetting along with the Mayan Long Count calendar, and a new cosmic energy is streaming to our planet through a cosmic portal, or you see it from a more metaphorical perspective, there is something very real and significant about this time.

Continue Reading →

Toss the resolutions this year: How bad do you want it?

Danielle LaPorte - You Are Worthy of Your Desires

There’s a thought from old spiritual traditions and belief systems that desire is bad — the cause of endless cycles of suffering, karma and greed. 

Greed destroys, but desire is not greed. Desire is the engine of life. If the Buddha did not desire freedom, would he have attained enlightenment?

In a call today with the wonderfully brilliant Danielle LaPorte we discussed her new project, The Desire Map. It was a special guest call for the Fire of Love Community, and it left me with the resonance of something magical — the feeling of my life mission and path opening up effortlessly, as I was pulled into the strength of my core desire to fulfill that calling.

There’s a fountain of abundant flow in that surrender and awakening to the core desire.

Continue Reading →

Reflections on The Human Condition (From 50 Remarkable People)

In my recent ‘ck-1′ Fierce Wisdom survey the first question was, “What inspires you most in this life?” (Yes, an ambitious conversation opener.) Amazingly, 50 remarkable people (email insiders) agreed to respond to an additional 20+ questions with deep reflection.

What really moved me was the sense of real humanness in the responses — the shared experience of suffering, hope, honesty and elation — it was powerful and moving to read. And since the responses were only open to the participants, I resolved to share a selection of these publicly.

So here are some of my favorite responses from a group of truly remarkable people — each response tugging at a heart-string of recognition; each person a visionary and world changer in his or her own way. The connecting thread I see between us all is an uncommon level of self reflection, true honesty and striving for something greater than what appears at the surface level of our shared existence.

Here goes: What is your greatest inspiration in life? Continue Reading →

Turning Great Ideas Into Good Income Online (For Conscious Folks Only)

Ohhh gorgeous thing…
When you gonna get up there and sing?
When you gonna get up there and take your place on stage?
‘Cause a talent is a terrible thing to waste…
~ The Audreys

On Stage
{via}

Here’s a fact you don’t hear spoken too often: Hardly anyone attempting to make a living online with conscious integrity actually accomplishes this. Yes, you might be able to squeeze a few hundred bucks out here or there easy enough, but I’m talking serious online income from your heart’s calling — enough to quit your “real” job and travel comfortably around the world if you wanted to…without selling your soul.

That’s not to say you can’t do it. Many people have — like many of these folks — just that it takes a lot of ingenuity, hustle and talent, and a good dash of luck. (It helps if you have a fat wad of cash or credit to throw in too, but that’s not a necessity — I started at less than zero myself.)

You see a lot of these people sharing their secrets and teaching how they’ve done it, and so often their stuff doesn’t really resonate because few of them actually think and see the world the way we do (“we” being conscious, intuitive, creative people who resonate with Fierce Wisdom).

So — what is it we want really? The world, basically:

The money and autonomy to do pretty much whatever we want, whenever we want to…

I’ve had this dream for a long time — as long as I can remember — and maybe you have too.

I’ll share a little about my own story and struggles with living the dream too, but let’s first go over some meat and potatoes:

A. 3 Key Ingredients;

B. The One Big Thing you can’t do without;

C. The Secret Sauce part (hint: it’s yours and yours alone).

Note: This article is fairly long at about 3,000 words, but pay close attention to the ‘Rules of Thumb’ at the end of each section, and share/link to it so you remember to come back and re-read it — you’ll want to do this if you’re at all serious and it resonates with you… :)

The 3 Keys: Ingenuity, Hustle & Talent

Continue Reading →

Riding Butterflies: 25 Insights on the Art of Extraordinary Creativity {Quotable Wisdom}

“Ride the Butterflies” by Marty Whitmore, commissioned for Jonathan Fields’ “Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance”

 

Creating extraordinary work takes great sweat and tears and inspiration. Sometimes it just takes letting go and going deeper — deeper into the heart of your spirit; what your spirit cries out for, your inner muse calls you to create.

Creating extraordinary art demands overcoming the resistance — learning, as Jonathan Fields wrote in his new book, “to harness and ride rather than hunt and kill the butterflies that live in the gut of every person who strives to create something extraordinary from nothing.”

Harnessing this flow is at the heart of all great work — and truly extraordinary creative expression has the very real power to change the world.

Here are 25 insights from exceptional creators on the art of great work…

Continue Reading →