For Your Family: Foster Expansion

If you have family, when is the last time you sat down to have a frank discussion about finances, your money, and what you value?

So many times families fail to have these conversations and the result is a group of people living in a dream world.  They conjure up fantasies about going on extravagant vacations but have no real financial stability to support those fantasies.  Instead of explaining that Disney World is not in our price range, we pull out the credit cards or go get new ones and make it happen.  We operate as though the money to pay for it will just materialize out of thin air.  In my world, that only happens for bankers.  They are the only ones creating money out of thin air.  For our families, most of us are working jobs and trading our time for money.  

Having those frank discussions about finances, money and what you value are what’s needed to get to the place where you can go on the vacation without tying a debt noose around your neck and jeopardizing your family’s ability to function.  Who said you have to take extravagant vacations every year?  Where did that idea come from?  Could it be television programming?  Internet travel deals?  Sit down and talk about the real costs of taking trips.  Make a list and be certain everyone understands how long it would take to generate the money for such a trip.  Maybe it’s a year.  Maybe it’s five years!  Does your family even have $1,000 in the bank for emergencies like a car breaking down?  Are you doing anything to get yourself off the hamster wheel of corporate production?  Can you live beyond each paycheck?

The topic of this blog is about fostering expansion.  One of the ways we expand and grow is by facing the reality of our situations in life and by making decisions and taking actions that deal with What Is.  Then we can make a way for what is desired.  So many people got caught up in ‘The Secret,’ but one of the key ideas left out of that phenomenon was the simple fact that you must take right action.  Yes, everything is created first in mind, using your powerful imagination and intuition but you must take right action to make any of those ideas a reality.  There are no short cuts in life.  They just seem that way at the time.  Later you realize the full price that must be paid.  The credit card bills do come due.

Expanding your mind by looking at what truly is in your world can be quite liberating.  It may also feel like sitting on a razor blade as Tibetan guru Chogyam Trunkpa described it.  But that experience of dealing with what is right in your face gives you a chance to just be with what is and acknowledge it.  Then if it’s not what you want, insight can come as to how you might change it.  If you don’t face it head on, you never have this opportunity to open up and see what there is to see, feel what there is to feel and know what there is to know.  None of that is possible until you sit on that razor.

A stay-cation can be a lot of fun and it’s definitely cheaper.  Maybe you can’t even afford a stay-cation.  What is possible for your family?  What could you do together that would foster family ties?  Maybe it’s a tank of gas to go visit a long distant relative.  Maybe it’s having everybody over for Sunday brunch and dinner with games.

Give your family a gift of expansion as we move into these wonderful summer months in North America.  Show them you really care for their wellbeing by having a frank discussion about what you value and how that relates to your money and finances.  No one can have true wellness and graceful aging if you’re saddled with debilitating debt and the worry and dis ease that comes with it.

For more on wellness and graceful aging, come visit me at JaniceWoody.com and here’s to your Lifetime Health!

Budding Opportunities – Birth of the Warrior

I am giving birth to the warrior now in Level 2 Shambhala.  How profound that I would be birthing the warrior on Mother’s Day weekend.

 My first experience giving birth lead to the emergence of a truly magnificent soul named Changa Bavu Mukasa.  His name means iron-like force and he emerged as just that.  I will always remember how he arrived, with a long introduction and much fanfare.  My water broke at 7 months and as I sat in the hospital for another 7 days waiting for his arrival, I wondered who is this person.  He came down the birth canal with an attitude and when they laid him on the table beside me, he looked up at his father and me with a look of “oh, so you’re the ones I got!”  

Thus proceeded the journey of a warrior into listening and hearing.  We all had our hearing faculties at the time.  Little did we know what was to come.  Changa lost most of his hearing over a year later due to meningitis.  It was fitting that the logo for his namesake CHANGA is an African Zulu warrior.  When we gave birth to CHANGA (Collective Housing and New Growth Alternatives) we had no idea what would happen or where it would lead us.  We just wanted to promote deaf-friendly housing.  It gave birth to a whole movement that others are promoting now and bringing forth new living spaces that serve the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing.  Thank you Changa for inspiring the creation of this grand idea in our lives.  We weren’t the first to attempt it, but in the age of the Internet, we were probably the first to give it more light.

The warrior is being born anew in me this weekend.  It signals a movement into a new realm of healing, growth and transformation.  There is much to be healed through working with contentment, joy, fearlessness and wisdom.  I salute all those on the path with me.  It takes great courage to birth the warrior.  Having to sit with all that arises, acknowledging and accepting.  No fighting is required.  Non-resistance is a key tool of the warrior.  Realizing that all that comes up to challenge you is for you, for your growth, for your healing.  The warrior knows that whatever is needed in every situation is contained within it.  There is no need to bring the moving van, just an open set of eyes and ears, an open heart.

 In some Native American tribes, the young brave went off on a spirit quest to sit with whatever arose, acknowledging and accepting.  He faced his fears and moved through them.  I learned that fearlessness is not about the absence of fear.  It’s facing fear and moving beyond it.  We can’t have fearlessness without fear.  Just as there’s always a little nugget of sadness in all our joy.  Birthing of a warrior is what’s required of an individual.  Birthing of a warrior is what’s required of a people to survive and thrive.

 May you be happy.  May you be free from suffering.  May you be at peace.  May you be brave and give birth to a warrior.  As always, please like this and share it with your friends.  Come sit with me at JaniceWoody.com for more on wellness and graceful aging.  Here’s to your Lifetime Health!

 

Have you considered cleaning up your diet?

Well, well, well.  It’s that time of year when we think about cleaning up our act when it comes to diet and exercise.  This an area calling for mindfulness and awareness.  There is so much information out here on the web and hearsay from friends of friends.  Sometimes it can be very confusing when you’re trying to figure out what to eat to stay healthy or to regain your health and strength.

I have always been a proponent of following your own intuition and listening to your body.  Notice how you feel after eating certain foods.  This is the simple way to determine what’s right for you and your metabolism.  And your metabolism can change over time.  So don’t be surprised if you can eat a lot of wheat products now but weeks from now you find that a gluten free diet works better for you.

I also like to incorporate more raw foods in the diet.  Here’s a great video talking about how you might do this.  Enjoy!