Category Archives: Listening

Creativity for Peace Program- Prepare to Be Amazed!

Image by: Creativity for Peace Israeli May Freed, Creativity for Peace Director Dottie Indyke, Palestinian Jwana Ghaleb
Image by: Creativity for Peace
Israeli May Freed, Creativity for Peace Director Dottie Indyke, Palestinian Jwana Ghaleb

I don’t know if you have this radio program available to you, but if you don’t- you should check it out online!  One of my favorite things to listen to, be inspired by, and just plain “cry” to is Peace Talks Radio.  Weeks ago as I was driving to work, they were featuring one of my most loved programs on this planet- Creativity for Peace.  “What is this savvy, amazing, peace instilling program that you speak of,” you may ask?


“Creativity for Peace includes a camp experience in the high desert of New Mexico for adolescent girls from all sides in the Middle East conflict.   At the annual camp, the girls speak their minds and hearts about their own suffering due to the hostilities.  Despite being taught to see the other as the enemy, they learn to get along and even be friends.  More importantly perhaps, they learn important lessons in conflict resolution.”

I am a huge proponent of teaching people to listen- deeply listen- to resolve conflict and create healing in their hearts from traumatic or abusive situations.  This program to me represents everything that can be accomplished in our world if we understand that words much of the time are just expressions of emotional release, and many times once they are expressed without  judgment or reacting, healing can take place for both parties.  Incorporating deep listening practices into your daily routine can be life changing- especially with those people that really know how to “yank your chain.”

This particular episode that I was listening to had two young girls, Palestinian Jwana Ghaleb and Israeli Jew May Freed, who have attended the camp and continue to work with it to help other girls resolve their inner conflicts due to the outer conflict of their cultural society, particularly between Palestinians and Israeli Jews.  Their stories will drive you to great heart opening experiences, and give you the opportunity to see where you may need some healing yourself.

To listen, CLICK HERE.

I Shall Not Hate- Dr. AbuelaishA long time ago, I heard an interview by a Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, MD, MPH, where he talked about the anguish he experienced in losing 3 of his daughters and a niece due to an Israeli shell that hit his home in Gaza.  Dr. Abuelaish served as a doctor in Israel, and had dedicated his life to serving those that many would call his enemies.  In response to his experience, he wrote a book called “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey”.  What was amazing about his interview to me, besides how incredible his spirit is to have dedicated his life to peace after an experience that could have perpetuated hate and conflict, was learning that one of his daughters that died in the bombing had actually attended Creativity for Peace, here in New Mexico.

My inspiration today lives in all of those that see beyond their own inner conflict and anger, and reach out to the world to heal rather than perpetuate the ego’s delusion of separation.  Deep Listening is a practice that can be instilled in all of us- and if our children learned it at a young age, I feel we could change the world.  To me, it is a meditative exercise that connects us to the hearts of one another, rather than our mind which is full of belief systems and a desire to be argumentative.  I hope that you have time to listen to this radio show today, or check out Dr. Abuelaish’s book– or just think about someone that you might be angry with, and see them with compassion for their ignorance that may have caused you pain- or have compassion for yourself, which is so hard and difficult to do for many of us.

Give yourself a hug, by giving someone else a hug.  Happy Friday!

The Great Perception Divide

The Great Perception Divide
By: Jessica Burnham

In this world of soulful genius
I live to embrace my cosmic light
My light continues, fire and ice
Through the world’s gaze into my eyes
I see willfulness and constant denial
Yet I love them both just the same
Because all I see is me, all I see is God
Twinkling, Enraged, moving into awareness.

While talking about his connection with other people’s view points or perceptions, Eckhart Tolle said in an interview recently “There is nothing I can add to it by interpreting it.” He mentioned that this also included judging or labeling what he was hearing or seeing. He described it as being ‘not identified with thought.” I’ve spent a lot of time lately dwelling in this point, meditating on it and bringing it to my own constant awareness. I have found it to be quite prophetic in such a subtle way.

If we really think about it, most of our conversations with people include our constant interpretation through our own filter, of what they are saying. One person says, I feel this way, and then we respond about how we feel about it based on our own experience. We have perceptions communicating with perceptions most of the time. I am learning through my coaching work with Debbie Ford that we are part of a program that we have developed through our past emotional experiences, and this program keeps running over and over again through our minds until we finally understand- I no longer have to be controlled by this program any longer by the grace of spirit. This program will continue to exist, and I cannot delete it, but I can become aware of the way I allow it to control me and where it happens in my life, over and over again.

What would life be like if we were not ‘identified’ by thought? What would life be like if we were not identified with anything- just simply an observer giving what we could to this world as part of its oneness? Knowing regularly that everything we give to ourselves is also given to all? This includes negative feedback that we give ourselves, not just the love! Every time we judge ourselves or feel shameful about ourselves we are also doing the same to everyone unconsciously. Because of this, the mirror will show up, it has an appointment and you made it through your action of feeling like you are not good enough, or shameful, or ridiculous- insert your own word here. When you feel a certain way about yourself, it’s going to show up- and usually you won’t like it. And who would??

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been working with Debbie Ford in a coaching program. I recently participated in an intensive weekend where we covered this work on an amazing level. In the deep, provocative process I and many other people were participating in, we explored our inner world through many exercises guided by Debbie to reflect on this point regarding the collective consciousness. I think the culmination of everything came down to these points for me: Compassion yields the experience of one. That the world alone, broken down, actually says ‘al-one’. And, the only love we really need to know is the love of all that we are, because there is nothing else.

Developing compassion usually comes from our own experiences or reflection. Compassion is defined as: “deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it” on Awareness of a kind of suffering usually comes from going within and saying to ours selves, where or when have I ever felt that way in my life or been in that situation so I can relate and feel love for their predicament? Many just skip that process and automatically go into their perceptions or judgments. Living a constant state of compassion can prove to be difficult when we are enveloped in the stuff of our wounded ego or story- which we usually are, as I am learning about myself! But developing compassion can prove to be an amazing way to develop forgiveness for the past with someone, and open you up to new levels of awareness.

Our points of view will always exist. They are a part of the minds way of reasoning with the world around it and relating. But what is ironic, is the mind usually uses its points of view to separate us from one another, not to bring an understanding of how we are one with each other. In finding the humility that exists in the human experience, I am finally being led into understanding that what is most important in this life is being able to listen and love completely the beautiful spirits that constantly come into our lives- even for just a moment. And in this appreciation, I can sit in awareness and see the real beauty and diversity of what it is to be a part of this vast spirit we have so many words for in so many languages. I challenge everyone to try and just sit and listen. Candice O’Denver describes this process as watching other’s view points (as well as your own) float by you like the clouds in the sky. Because that is all they are.

Let’s heal this great divide we call separation, and see how much we are really alike- instead of how much we are really different. Because the love I feel when I look into your eyes is truly my present freedom. And I honor you for sitting here and listening to my point of view. Namaste.

Breadcrumbs into Awakening

Breadcrumbs into Awakening
By: Jessica Burnham

When I first began working from a deeper spiritual viewpoint in my life, I decided to read Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now.” I was on vacation at the beach, and so I had all day, every day, to sit there and really focus on being in the present moment. What I realize I was doing now, looking back, was sitting in awareness. Then, I began to meditate consciously for the first time. I was sitting on the beach, going into my meditation, and all of a sudden I was flying over the ocean with wild abandon and these huge deep raspberry colored flowers were bursting open at me. It was so beautiful, vivid. Sure, it was just as much a part of the maya as is my every day world and perceptions- but it was still such a life changing experience.

Most of our life is like this. The majority of it is suffering. But every so often we have a glimpse of awakening deeply into our metaphorical selves, all that we can become and experience- and it changes everything. Sometimes we meet people, and what seems like a short, simple conversation may change our life forever. We are offered so many window opportunities where the world shines before us in the most creative way. And hopefully we are at a place where we can say- that is what I am! This is divinity. We can call it so many things- and continue to make it some ‘thing’. But no matter what, those experiences lead us like breadcrumbs into the hall of awakening.

Little by little the seams unravel into our awakening. When things begin to unravel, they can feel like quite a shake up. Life feels like it is falling apart- and literally it is. But it is being readjusted as well, and our life becomes something new all over again. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Without change, there is no growth.” Change can be a pretty shocking experience at times. It will bring up things that we didn’t know existed- new mountains, rivers of lava that have been buried deep within our hearts for lives. But eventually it settles, and our new specs are adjusted- our sight changes, along with every one around us.

There is a conscious feeling that stimulates our movement. Like a subtle breeze on a beautiful summer day- the grass rustles and makes music, the leaves dance within the trees and change the way sunlight is captured through our looking glass. And if we are silent enough, we can feel that subtle movement as well. Its subtle vibration will stimulate new movement within. It does not always have to be an earthquake. It does not always have to be some big dramatic thing. Our hearts beat quietly within every day that we exist in this body. Yet with a stethoscope, the heart sounds like a deep drum providing music for those that feel restless. Listening is an action that takes initiative. You must choose to listen.
Listening will lead the way into remembrance.

Remembering what truly is. This is our journey. How often do you remember those life changing experiences that turn up the volume of your light ten fold? Or, how often do you remember those life changing experiences that are devastating? Why are we taught to always reflect on the ‘good times’ rather than all of it? Isn’t ‘all of it’ what truly makes life a journey? How can there be a journey without the muck that held us in place until we were able to take the gift of awareness and illuminate the experience? That precious muck is what gives us the gift of compassion. When we look around us and practice feeling compassion whenever we are in action, the world blooms into a different place. What a gift- the muck of life and its connection to the little glimpses of our deepest inner beauty. Thank you for accepting the muck as it is, and seeing beyond it through the preciously staged night lights of your deep, inner wisdom.