I have a dear friend I met at work 7-8 years ago. Having worked 11, 12… 13 hour days together, we have fierce mutual respect, and many fun memories to giggle about. Years later, we have something else in common: we often gasp at the same wonders.
For my birthday, it was quite natural for her to join me in writing lyrics late into the night. We cackled, guffawed, and “oohed” and “ahhhed”. We sang, and cackled some more. For her birthday, I joined her in a full-day meditation retreat at the East Bay Meditation Center: “Dream, Believe, and Soar”. Spring Washam was our guide. Her gentle spirit and solid intentions are apparent at first introduction, and reinforced through a day of conscious story-telling, progress-crafting, and meditating. She speaks with clarity and generously offers effervescent joy for life. The experience made me feel like it was my birthday again. What an energizing day!
The retreat began with a focus on joyful moments in childhood, moved into exploration of fear in the early afternoon, and honed in on dreams, visions, and leap-taking in the late afternoon. Meditations were interspersed amongst writing exercises and group discussions. As I read through what I’d written during the retreat, I decided to share my vision via Biocadence. I encourage everyone to take 20 minutes to write your own visions for the future! The New Year is such a great time to set intentions, and craft images for what can be.
My space is sparse, clean and crisp. I have given many belongings away. Those that I’ve kept have a purpose and a place.
My first thoughts upon waking are self-affirming, life-welcoming, and optimistic. I have nutrients, hydration, and my practice of conscious-lifestyle-design.
I am always planning a trip abroad, to explore and write about distinct cultures and how they relate to behavioral change, sustainability, and global conflict.
Biocadence has many platforms for community, lifestyle design, and quality-of-life brainstorming, related to over-consumption recovery.
I write in the morning, exercise, meditate, then clean, cook, network, and play in the afternoon.
I have a child. My efforts include constant consideration of alleviating my husband’s workload, such that he can know our child well.
I have boundaries. I am as safe as is possible in human form. I understand that I do not need to tolerate unnecessary pain, to prove that I’ve earned the reward of life. I offer love and compassion to all, in my understanding of our inter-connectedness.
I have fears, sure, as I am human. I explore my fears, and define their sources. I know what and who I’m afraid of, allowing me to manage risk, and progress without paralysis-inducing traffic jams of mind/body.
I do not only survive. I survive and I thrive. I honor the map that has guided me to relief and wisdom. I share my map openly, to help other survivors write their own maps.
My journey is never finished; the mystery of my future fuels me to continue with curiosity, awe and wonder. I am homesick… oh, such a sweet response to being human. It drives me to do everything I can to make human existence more like heavenly existence.
Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day! Squeeze hugs and happy visions from,
Annie at Biocadence
- How Meditation Leads to increase Psychic Ability (bayintegratedmarketing.wordpress.com)
- Should Buddhist Meditation Make You Happy? (theatlantic.com)
- Retreating into Meditation (theatlantic.com)
- Letting Life Live Through Us. (elephantjournal.com)
- Sadhguru: Meditation: The End of Suffering from Huff Post (karahpino.me)
- Interview with Meditation & Spirituality Teacher Spring Washam (indybay.org)
Embracing the Fulcrum: Reconciling My Belief in The Law of Attraction with My Sustainable Living Transition
The Law of Attraction.
Manifestation of thoughts into reality.
The notion that our thoughts create our reality was introduced to me as a kid. My father often said, “Annie, you get to choose to be happy. The way you see your life- it’s all your choice, and your making.” He would chuckle a bit, lower his chin, stuff his hands into his pockets, and repeatedly poke the toe of his tennis shoe into the dirt. I was encouraged by his faith, yet unsure about precisely what he meant. I wanted to respond, “How does one go about doing this? How does one get from choosing happiness, to being happy?” While I was frustrated by my inability to articulate this question, I vividly remember marveling at the wondrous quality of the principal my father was teaching me.
Life experience and reading have filled the gap. I’ve lived in optimism when things are going well and enertia pulls me into a turbine of positivity. This is relatively easy. I’ve lived in optimism during rough times, and observed how my experience and my circumstances are impacted by my thoughts. This is work… what I call happiness-making. Books such as The Secret, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and You Can Heal Your Life have assisted me in understanding how the practice of positive thinking can impact the success of every type of endeavor.
As a recovering over-consumer, there are many hurdles that I must joyfully identify and leap over. I’ve repeatedly noticed the dissonance between two philosophies that hold a special place in my adventures:
- A belief in abundance. There is enough for everyone, and we all have something extraordinary to offer this planet. We deserve to have what we want. When we understand the abundance that the universe offers, we will reap its rewards. Go get it.
- Less is a good thing. Less of everything. Less reproduction. Less energy. Less consumption. Peak oil is coming. Learning to consume less will help our planet and future generations. Consuming less, wanting less and needing less can benefit quality of life by opening paths to simple joy.
How do I reconcile the point of tension between these two seemingly opposing schools of thought?
Author of You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay writes: “There is an inexhaustible supply in the Universe. […] Be grateful for what you do have, and you will find that it increases. […] Our own belief in lack and limitation is the only thing that is limiting us.” When I read this, I hear truth. When I practice this, I observe results. What we focus on grows, positive or negative. For me, this is not a theory. Having seen it in action (in both directions), I believe it wholeheartedly. Why then, do I focus so much energy, resources, and time on reversing my overly consumptive habits? If the universe is inexhaustible and the source of abundance awaits our beckoning, why would I advocate taming consumption… limiting luxury? Why don’t I state my positive hopes for humanity, share them with conviction and repetition, and expect that the law of attraction will deliver them to me… deliver a solution to peak oil… deliver food to the hungry… revitalize life in the soil?
In The Power of Less, Leo Babauta illustrates the productivity, power, and beauty that can be found in focusing on less. By simplifying, funneling down our focus, and eliminating clutter of the mind, home, and office, our quality of life and work will flourish. Babauta writes, “The solution lies in setting limits to how much we consume and do. It lies in making the most of our time by focusing on the most important things, instead of everything.” Simplifying my life, “owning” fewer belongings, and consuming consciously has made an enormous impact on my quality of life. I find more joy, not less. I experience more luxury in simplicity, as my consumptive choices envelop more meaning.
In order to maintain endurance in my sustainable living transition, I think of the global hunger epidemic, increasingly frequent high-impact weather events, peak oil, and the rarity of truly live soil. While these are cataclysmic motivators for change-making, I’ve learned that they cannot be my focus. My focus must be positive, my belief must be in (and of) abundance. Asked about her experience with the law of attraction, Oprah Winfrey says: “The law of attraction is just one law. There are many laws working in the world. […] There are other factors going on, so it’s not everything, but you really can change your own reality based on the way you think.” (Source: Oprah Uses The Law of Attraction aka “The Secret”)
My thoughts and motives must be focused on positivity. And, I cannot ignore the global consequences of over-consumption. These forces are potent enough, independent of the other, to command all of my mind-space and energy. Choosing to hold the two together requires discipline and vigilance. With one hand, palm up, I elevate the glowing hope of possibility. With the other, I direct focus, simplification, strategy, and active solution-making. In one body, the two seemingly opposing principals reside together, their polarity only serving to strengthen the core. When I achieve balance, it feels effortless. When I try to grasp the harmony, own it, put it in my pocket for safe-keeping, it escapes me.
“We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move. We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. We hammer wood for a house, but is is the inner space that makes it livable. We work with being, but non-being is what we use.” (Source: Tao Te Ching)
I meditate, focusing on the simple delight of my breath and my pumping blood. I remember how magical these gifts are. I am always tickled by the recollection that these bodily functions feel incredible! Only when I strip away outside stimulus and allow myself to just be, do I fully remember how euphoric being can be. In those precious moments I do not want and do not need. My breath and my pumping blood are more than enough to fill me, and I am content. I celebrate the gift of life, as I understand the enormity of the gift. I recollect the extent of our interconnectedness. In these moments, I remember that abundance is found in simplicity, that luxury is achieved in the harmony that vibrates through the cadence of discovery and progress.
Writing by Annie Tichenor, Founder of Biocadence.
Louise Hay, “You Can Heal Your Life”. Hay House, Inc., 1999.
Leo Babauta, “The Power of Less”. Hyperion, 2009.
Lao-tzu, “Tao Te Ching”. Trans. Stephen Mitchell. Harper & Row, 1988.
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