Focus on Love.

Last night my husband David and I sat in a packed room at our local library listening to a talk by Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute.

The headline in our paper this morning read, “Expert sees difficulties in coping with climate change.”

This headline did not capture my experience of the talk.

Almost everyone sees difficulties in dealing with climate change.  Having worked for decades to educate people about climate change and other environmental challenges, Heinberg is well aware of the difficulties we face.

But what I brought home from the talk was an invigorated sense of engaged hope.

In his talk and in his many books and free publications (link below) Heinberg does not focus primarily on dire predictions but on how we can create change at personal, local and systemic levels.

His closing comments, in response to a question, were about love.

He emphasized that the more we connect with our love of this precious earth the more we are able to take positive action.

He suggested that when we cultivate deep gratitude for this amazing planet - this planet so perfectly suited to sustain human life - we are mobilized to work with nature rather than to destroy it.

Connect with our love for the earth and for its inhabitants.
Let that love inspire us into right action.

This is the message I brought home and carried into my night’s dreaming. This morning I woke feeling deeply aligned with the power of love as our most vital transformational tool, for personal and for planetary change.

Earlier yesterday I read similar guidance from the Dali Lama, “Focus on love.”

This came from the newsletter of John Perkins, founder of Change the Dream, author and visionary, writing of his meeting with the Dali Lama.

“During that meeting, someone asked if he had any regrets about leaving Tibet.
 
‘Regrets?’ The Dalai Lama smiled. ‘Regrets are foolish, a waste of time.’
He paused. ‘Don’t bother with regrets. Learn from life and go on living, meditating, and taking appropriate actions.’ The smile broadened. ‘Focus on love.’
 

Focus on love.

Each one of us deals with personal challenges. Collectively we face enormous environmental and social justice issues.

It is easy to feel fearful and overwhelmed.  

It is easy to regret or resent decisions that may have led us into these difficult situations.

Regret, overwhelm, resentment and fear zap your energy, your creativity and your resilience.

Focusing on love opens you to inspiration and creative solutions and connects you to your deepest, most authentic inner power.

Focus on love.

What do you love? Let yourself open in appreciation of that.

What change would you love to help create in the world?

What shifts for you when you face personal or planetary challenges with your focus on love?

I’m eager to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

Links:
Richard Heinberg: Post Carbon Institute: www.postcarbon.org.
John Perkins: www.Johnperkins.org
DreamChange: https://www.dreamchange.org

 

Three Easy Ways to Amplify Your Healing Power of Pleasure

Does self care sometimes feel like one more thing you need to add to your to-do list?

Do you feel guilty or worried because you aren’t eating and exercising the way you “should”?
 

Maybe what you really need is more pleasure.

THREE EASY WAYS TO AMPLIFY YOUR HEALING POWER OF PLEASURE

One of the most healing and transformational things you can do for your body, soul and relationships is simply to enjoy more pleasure.

Tune into your body’s natural need for healthy pleasure and it will guide you toward vibrant health and happiness.

Here are three simple ways to get started on that:
 

1. Do more of what makes you feel good.

Being in nature, walking and dancing help me feel more alive, happy and at home in my skin. These are deep medicine for me.

When I do these regularly, even for a few minutes, I feel better, make better choices, get more done in less time and am more peaceful and creative.

What are some of the simple things that make you feel alive and vibrant and more fully yourself?

    •    Ask yourself with kind curiosity how can you integrate more of these simple things you love into your daily routine.
    •    Pick at least one you will commit to doing today.
    •    Imagine the next three days and envision yourself doing one -or more- of the things you love every day, even for a few minutes.

2. Add more pleasure to what you are already doing.

Get in the habit of asking yourself a simple question as you go through your day: “How could I open to more pleasure … right now?”

How can you turn up your pleasure dial even while doing “mundane” activities and while accomplishing the tasks that need to get done?

A few things that I love that may help turn up your pleasure dial:
    •    Come home to your senses. Pleasure comes through your eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue and inner sensing.
    •    Appreciate with all your senses the beauty and wonder of what is right around you.
    •    Play music you love.
    •    Walk outside and drink in the air and light.  
    •    Take regular breaks to stretch, breathe and wiggle.
    •    Let your eyes rest by looking out the window.
    •    Keep beautiful photos, posters or paintings close to where you work. Studies show that images of water in nature are particularly relaxing and healing.

3. Pleasure Breathing.

This is one of my favorite ways to turn up the pleasure dial even in boring or tough times.

Rumi wrote: “There is a way of breathing that's a shame and a suffocation and there's another way of expiring, a love breath, that lets you open infinitely.”

We all have experienced both of these ways of breathing. The love breath feels so much better!

Become kindly aware of your breath and notice if you are tightening around it, perhaps from tension, or shame, or anxiety… or just by habit.  
Soften your shoulders, your eyes, your jaw, your belly.
Feel the natural pleasure of letting go of tension.
With each breath in: feel the movement of the breath bringing in love and pleasure.
With each breath out: Let tension melt away and feel love and pleasure flow all through your body.  

Soften your body around your breath,  tune into the natural pleasure of easeful breathing and even boring or challenging situations become more pleasurable.

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below.

Which of these things are you going to try?

What other ways do you use to activate the healing power of pleasure?

When you do more of what you love, what changes in your life?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read more on the Power of Pleasure:

BookLove: The Pleasure Prescription by Paul Pearsall

Can a Pleasure-Deficit Make You Sick?

Five Great Reasons to Listen to Your Body