Healthy Boundaries

We often create boundaries because we believe that we have something to hide, something to keep safe. In so doing, we create all kinds of walls around us, both figurative and literal, keeping others out. While simultaneously, we yearn for human connection: love. We look to the sky, telling ourselves that to meet beings from other planets would be the most significant event humans could experience. While here at home, we continue to keep secrets, to hide/ isolate and protect ourselves from each other. What to do?

Find Your "Spot"
In her book "Dance", Oriah Mountain Dreamer recalls a dance class she partici- pated in, where each participant was assigned a  "spot" on the floor. This was their "home base". They could breath only while on this spot, not while out on the floor, dancing. They could return to this place whenever they chose. When participants left their spot, they held their breath and danced.  Initially, people were hesitant to go far from their spot. But, as they relaxed into the reassurance that their spot was always available, they moved further away, taking progressively longer periods on the floor.

I liken this to how we are in our relationships. We tell ourselves that we first need to be and feel safe. We want to determine if the people in our lives meet our requirements for safety. In other words, that we feel comfortable and not threatened in their presence. Once this is established, we gradually reveal aspects of ourselves/our lives, to see how they will  react. If they are accepting, compassionate, and supportive, we continue to reveal ourselves. To  the degree that they show us acceptance and compassion, is to the degree that we allow ourselves to relax/open up in their presence. We then trust/hope that they'll continue to be accepting of these aspects of ourselves.

The Illusion of "Trust"
What do we mean when we say that we "trust" someone? Through our experiences with them, they have exhibited behaviors that meet our definition of "trustworthy". As long as they continue to behave within our definition, we'll "trust" them: we will feel relaxed/ safe with them. The catch here is that when we look for a person to behave as they have in the past, we compare their present behavior to their past behavior. When we have expectations on anyone's behavior, we're sure to be disappointed!

In truth, there's no trusting other people; just degrees of comfort with ourselves in their presence. Take this "trust" expectation off of them and recognize what aspect of yourself you are uncomfortable with, in their presence. The degree one is comfortable in the presence of another, is the degree one trusts their own ability to stay connected to their "spot", while in anothers company. Their "spot" being the feeling of peace generated by a comfort with the Life within us and around us.

The Healthiest Boundaries
In my time with Swami Muktananda, I had the profound honor of witnessing his capacity to remain completely in his "spot" at all times, with anyone. Because of this, he welcomed all people. Because of this, he had quite the motley crew in his inner circle. It wasn't just the "good" people, or the people who were on their best behavior. There were people hungry for power, fame, and money. There were people who were mean, aggressive, and deceitful. This was quite a wake up for me, as I had always prided myself on being a "good boy". I thought that attempting to wear a halo all the time would bring me closer to him and God.

Another teacher, Oriel, taught that within each of us is the potential for every human expression: from the Christ Consciousness (Unconditional Love) to the Hitler (hatred/ condemnation). In my earlier life, I allowed myself to feel and express only smiles and happiness. With the support of this teacher, I saw how I was denying an essential part of myself. I had tried to hide/deny/avoid my anger, grief and shame thinking that these were "dark/ low/bad" expressions of myself, only to learn that these are integral aspects of my humanity. It's not that there are aspects of myself that are bad. It's how I express them that can be either destructive or freeing.

I recognize that this entire spectrum is available within me. This is quite freeing.
To the extent that I am comfortable with this spectrum within myself, am I comfortable with it in others.

"I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it."
~ The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Just Say "No"
Having healthy boundaries is the ability to recognize what you don't want and express it. Simply said, the ability to say "no". But we often don't, for fear of rejection: what others might think, say, and do about/ to us.

We behave in ways that we think others will approve of...
*because we are yearning for acknowledgement/ approval/ acceptance...
*because we're afraid/believe that they will reject/ abandon/ even abuse us...
*because we believe/ fear that they will validate our thoughts/ beliefs that we are unlovable & unworthy.
These thoughts and beliefs dampen our natural ability to express healthy boundaries: to just say "no".

Abandoning Ourselves
Sometimes we say "no", but then if things don't go our way, we throw in the towel. We then say "yes", when we don't feel it. Sometimes we hope that others will just "read" us and know what we don't want. In fact, we even become passive aggressive when they don't!
I've heard it said that with children (as with adults), we may have to repeat ourselves 10,000 times, to get a point across. Of course, this is an exaggeration. The point is that when we are comfortable with the world in and around us, we advocate for ourselves, we speak what is true for us. This won't change just because the response we got wasn't what we wanted.
To not take personally what others think, say, and do about us is one of the biggest steps we can take to be free.

"I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul."
~The Invitation, Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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, 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 won't 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's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  ~ Marianne Williamson

The Gift Of Drought

I've heard much talk regarding the devastating 
possibilities of a water shortage. In drought years, we lose crops, wildlife, forests...even our homes and lives. In this article, I look at how all our perceptions of drought are based on our own misguided approaches to stewarding the land. I will also share ideas that can help reduce this potential harm. To make the changes necessary, we need to recognize how seriously wasteful we are in our use of water.

We are so removed from the intimate relationship that life on this planet has with water, that we are increasingly inefficient in its use. Approximately 25% of the water used in the U.S. is used for garden irrigation. In the summer, the amount of water used outdoors by a household can exceed the amount used for all other purposes in the entire year. Many people believe that beautiful gardens and lawns require extensive watering, fertilization and pesticide application. As a landscaper for 30 years, I recognize that a beautiful garden can be had using as little as 4% of what we use today, while reducing pollu- tion, and protecting the environment. By installing drought tolerant gardens, 90% of this water could be saved for more personal needs.

Home Use
In our homes, we dump the valuable water from the sink, shower, washing machine, dishwasher, and the toilet. Using grey-water systems, we can send the water from the sink, the shower, and the laundry to the garden. This could cut  our water consumption by as much as 75%! Additionally, an average of 25% of the water used in the house goes to toilet flushing. This wasteful approach can be replaced with some age-old technologies, while saving big money and better stewarding our environment.

Today's sewer systems overflow, causing beach closures, the spread of illness and other environmental contamination, even in places that actually have sewage treatment. Fortunately, we don't need costly sewage plants or septic systems to render human waste into a harmless substance that, instead of being a problem, is a solution to problems of water shortages, water pollution, and reliance on chemical fertilizers. Instead of wasting precious resources, we can make rich humus and fertilizer from feces and urine!

Composting and dry toilets use natural processes to turn human excreta into a valuable soil amendment. They typically use little to no water. Collecting urine is a key step in recycling human nutrients. Urine contains most of the nitro- gen, phosphorus and potassium we release. These nutrients are the major components of chemical fertilizers, and urine is an amazing plant fertilizer!

 Rainwater Catchment Systems
*Rainwater systems provide a source of water where needed. 
*The systems are owner operated and managed.
*They provide an essential reserve in times of emergency and/or breakdown of public water supply systems.  
*They are built to meet any requirements. Poor house- holds start with a small tank and add when affordable.
*They improve the engineering of building foundations, when cisterns are built as part of the substructure. 
*Rainwater may be superior to groundwater or surface waters, that have been subjected to pollution.  
*Construction and maintenance are not labor-intensive.

Golf Courses
There are approximately 16,000 courses in the United States — about half the total in all the world.  The average American course uses 312,000 gallons per day. In Palm Springs, where 57 golf courses challenge the desert, each course requires a million gallons a day! That is, each course, each day in Palm Springs, consumes as much water as an American family of 4 uses in 4 years!

If golf course water came from recycled water sources, Americans could reclaim enough water to serve 55.5 million Americans! If you add in the water saved through the previous suggestions, 277.3 million Americans would be served! Water is definitely not in short supply. It's how we use it.

The Big Picture....
A Catalyst For Change
The possibility of drought brings people together. An article in Scientific American states "Human beings are fundamentally social animals and it is the protective nature of our social relationships that has allowed our species to thrive. Decades of research shows that social connection is a fundamental human need linked to both psychological and physical health, including a stronger immune system, faster recovery from disease, and even longevity".
The balance of our planets' air, water, and soil has been trashed. Fortunately, we are returning to being the stewards of our planet. As we align in this focus, greater creativity is being released. As we move seemingly closer to the "precipice" of environmental destruction. we are stepping out of our fear and isolation, into Love. The call to return to our Oneness has never been louder and our aligning in Oneness has never been faster.

We Are Realizing Our Dreams
In the "big picture", our bodies (even this planet) are transitory. This will all cease to be. The fact that we are One in Consciousness is eternal. I believe that we are here to return to that awareness. We have chosen to use this "play field" of Earth to come Home.   Welcome Home.

For Valentine's Day: Ready to LOVE Bigger Than Ever?

In this article, I explore ways we can open to and express Love


We enter relationships for innumerable reasons. Most often, it's with the intention of getting certain needs met. Some of these are being understood, being accepted, receiving compassion, and companionship. To best get these needs met, with each person you are in relationship, I suggest you first ask yourself:
1) what do you want from that person?
2) what do you feel with this person?
3) what do you want to feel more of with them?
Once you have discerned what you want in relationship to them, turn that desire into an offering to them: a gift, if you will. Extend to them the very actions that may give them the experience you are wanting.  Because in the end, whatever need(s) you are attempting to get met, you'll do so by "giving unto others what you want to receive from them".

Whenever you meet someone (anyone), I encourage you to ask yourself one simple and easy to remember question; "Have I built a bridge to this person?"  In other words, "Have I walked in their "shoes?". "Do I have compassion and empathy for them?". "Have I applied the Golden Rule?"  As we apply this approach to relationship (all relationships), we create a "bridge". This bridge can be built from you to all people. The more bridges we create, the more we get our needs met, the fewer expectations we place on others, the less conflict we experience.  Eventually, creating bridges  becomes our natural approach to all relationships.

I encourage you to take this ideal to all of life. Animals and plants, vehicles, buildings, everything. As we create "bridges" to everyone and everything in our life, we see the Sacred manifest, as a continual stream of Beauty. We see the Hand of God weaving Itself through each moment.
The term "Namaste" expresses this. meaning  "The Light within me sees and honors the Light within you".
It's been said that there are two basic choices in life: to love or fear. We choose love because it feels better. We may fall back into fear, but as we keep choosing love, our "love muscles" strengthen to the point that we no longer choose fear. At this point, we experience the 'choiceless choice' to Love.


Traditionally, we have held that intimacy is an experience between 2 people. The sweetness of connection. The giving and receiving of touch, of loving words and sentiments. Seeing deeply into The being of another. Indeed, this is exquisite! Yet, we spend much of our lives in search of that person (or people) we believe can "give" us that experience. The great irony (and the great redemption) is that the sweetness we identify as the experience one "gets" in a loving relationship is completely available within us, in every moment!

I like to think of true intimacy as "In-to-me-you-see". To the extent that we allow ourselves to be "seen" is the extent to which we feel intimacy. It's an inside job. As we become comfortable with ourselves (our past, our addictions, our secrets), we have less to hide. With less hiding, we have less desire to find someone else to show us love. We are now loving ourselves.

To the extent that you no longer hide (your inner world is no longer hidden from your outer world), do you experience intimacy, moment to moment. Call it Freedom. The freedom to Be exactly who you are, at every level of your Being. A great spiritual teacher of mine Swami Muktananda, said "When every thought, word, and action are aligned, one experiences True Freedom."  That's Intimacy!

Recently, my son Elijah (precocious as he is) said "Isn't the word 'intimacy' "In to me I see"?  Haazzaa!!!! Out of the mouth of babes!  (OK, so he's 15 years old and almost as tall as me. But you know, he'll always be me baby)

Unconditional Love 

Muktananda was once asked "What would you do if I shot you right now"?  His reply: "I'd die loving you".
How can we open to unconditional Love?
I invite you into an exercise that will give you an immediate opportunity. Give yourself 10 minutes.
Imagine the person with whom you are presently experiencing the greatest conflict. See them standing in front of you. What do you feel? Don't push these feelings away, don't dwell on them. Allow them. Do this now.

I now invite you to recognize how this person is presently the greatest "Angel" in your life. Just by being in relation to them, you are aware of the area in your being where you are experiencing the most suffering. This is likely the area in your life where you are presently offering the least love. And if love is what you want, you can now bring love to the darkest place in your life. Right now. Are you ready? If so, continue...

Imagine centered in your heart, a brilliant colored light. Let this be the 'Light of your inner Love'. Breath in this Light and let it fill you. Send a steady stream of this Light to the heart of this person. See them receive it. See them fill with joy, gratitude, and peace. See this Light fill their chest, traveling out their arms, down their legs, and up into their heads. See them rejuvenated by this Cosmic Light, as though they are receiving the most enlivening Nutrition. See Joy fill their being. See them feel Inspired, Creative, and Loving. Do this now.

Now see in their heart, a brilliant, colored Light of Love. See a steady stream of Light and Love extend from their heart to yours. Allow yourself to receive it fully. Let it fill you as they have just been filled.  Do this now.

Envision a flow of Light and Love from your heart to theirs and from their heart to yours. Feel the gratitude for having loved. For having chosen the single most important aspect of life.  Do this now.

This Valentine's Day (and every day), my wish for you is that you choose Love. May this 25 minute video inspire you.
If this link doesn't take you to the site, paste it into your URL.

Financial Concern

Are you worried about "keeping afloat"?  About how on Earth you're going to pay all those bills?
In this blog, I want to share with you my road to financial freedom. It may not be what you think.
In fact,  I invite you to allow for the possibility that you have been defeating your very desire of providing wealth and goods in abundant measure.

Review Your Definition  Of Prosperity

I want to start with what I think exemplifies this: the accumulation of stuff. Have you heard the quote "Possession is nine tenths of the law"? This is an expression from a system that I suggest, more often than not, gives more rights to those who "own" stuff, than those who don't. I suggest it's time we question our assumptions regarding possession/ownership.

When you are sad, bored, depressed, do you go shopping?  It may be the "American way". But is it yours?
When I'm sad or depressed, rather than looking at what I can acquire to give me a temporary lift, I look to see what I can get rid of. Inevitably, I find something that I'm ready to let go of. And when I do, "voila"! I feel more relaxed, peaceful, and inspired. When I let go of something, physical, mental, and emotional "space" are cleared. It's as though by letting go of a thing, I now have literally, more of me! "Less is more".
  Whenever you feel the desire to get something, I encourage you to slow this immediate reaction to run off and buy, buy, buy. Take time and inquire within as to whether you really want this. What is motivating your desire? Is it the fear that if you don't get that thing, (even food and clothes) that you'll suffer?

Deafened by the voice of desire
You are unaware The Beloved
Lives in the core of your heart.
Stop the noise and you will hear
His Voice in the silence. ~ Rumi

If you resonate with this at all, why not try a shopping "fast". Stop this process in it's tracks and only move when inspiration moves you. Only then. And when you are inspired, listen and follow the inspiration precisely as it moves you, kinda like Gepetto pulling Pinnochio's strings. Don't run off to the store. Let the inspiration take shape in you. Let it fill you with the joy of anticipation of newness, fun, and the knowing that this Inspiration (or Intuition) is guiding you, and in It's Time and while this is happening, you will discover that this thing will come into your life in perfect time.

We don't have to do a thing based on survival fears, or the resignation of "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go".  Allowing Inspiration to guide us is very FUN. We align with the "Infinite Knower", that consciousness that "knows" us way better than we know ourselves and that has in store for us a life that is more joyous than we can imagine in our wildest fantasies.
To have this, we need patience and trust. We don't need to run around collecting our nuts and saving them for those rainy days. When there is a need, no matter how big or small, Life provides the perfect solution. PERFECT.

Experiencing Real Wealth

Some years ago, I awoke one morning with an inspiration for recumbent bikes. I let this inspiration fuel me and guide me. One "door" after another magically opened. Synchronicity was afoot! As I "walked through these doors", an entire body of knowledge opened to me. I learned about a vehicle that is superior to any form of transportation on the planet!
As I proceeded along this road, everyone I spoke to who owned a recumbent LOVED IT!  I finally found the design that most fit my life style. Although, 80% of the recumbents in the world are in Europe, this one was designed and manufactured in Santa Rosa Ca.!  The means to have this bike came easily. This awesome bike is now my main source of transportation. In fact, I sold my truck 6 years ago! This has been a joyous "ride" ever since. I believe this has also made huge, positive impact on the environment. Just riding this awesome vehicle, people always smile. I smile, knowing that they are being exposed to a significant contribution to living in greater harmony, joy, and peace.

This story is just a snapshot of life. This Inspiration is always available to us and in every aspect of our lives, and in every moment. I invite you to switch your thinking from "how can I get___(fill in the blank: anything, money, sex, lodging, you name it)" to "how am I inspired right now?" The more you ask this question, the more inspiration you'll feel and the more you'll find yourself on a Magical Mystery Tour, filled with every experience you want, but better than you can possibly imagine.

Turning "Possession" On It's Head

Reflecting upon the ideals and technologies I believe can make the greatest contribution  to the health and wealth of humanity (while realigning us with our role as stewards of life on Earth), I came up with the following:

Hemp; the most versatile plant known, that feeds the soil, requires no chemicals, and little water.
Organics; pure, chemical-free, healthy, sustainable food and environment.
Bikes: the most efficient transportation, both healthful and zero carbon emitting.
Localizing: recirculate wealth into your community,while potentially drastically cutting air pollution.
Sharing: ensuring all people have basic provisions for life, while giving people dignity and  reducing crime
Veganism: the greatest single producer of Co2 is the production of meat. Honor animals.
Simplifying: reduce impact on the Earth and your psyche. Value life as it is.

Of these, I believe "sharing" is the most important. All the rest are an outgrowth of an attitude of sharing.  When we share everything, even the richest 1% will have more wealth than they do now! Everything will be available to them. Check out this amazing organization, that has outlined in great detail, regarding just how we can make this shift.  The Venus Project:


Imagine there is no Heaven, it's easy if you try.
No hell below us, above us only sky.
Imagine all the people living for today.
Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people sharing all the world.
You, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you will join us and the world will live as one.
 ~ John Lennon

What To Do

Each time a desire (for anything or anyone) arises, be aware of what you're experiencing. Are you anxious, bored, or desperate? If you are experiencing anything other than Inspiration, ask yourself  "Do I really want this?" Take a deep breath and listen internally for an answer. When you quiet your mind, you'll be aware of the answer to this question. It's always available. Until now, it has just been clouded with other thoughts that you have been trained to listen to first.  Eventually, you'll be able to discriminate between fear-based thoughts and inspiration-based thoughts by the joy and deep peace accompanying them.  Listen to those thoughts and enjoy the ever increasing Abundance Of Life.

My wish for you is not to "have a great/ awesome day",  or to acquire great wealth, or fame, or that your body be rock hard, with all the curves just so.
My wish for you is that you "have enough"...  that you "be enough".    Peace.