The Power Of Embracing Opposites

Picture of two faces

“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy._When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’ But I say unto you, they are inseparable.” —Kahlil Gibran

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how embracing one side of a spectrum invaluably deepens our understanding and often our appreciation of the other. The catalyst of this contemplation was something I experienced a few weekends ago. Over the course of two days, I was in the company of a loved one preparing to leave his body, followed by that of a newborn arriving into the world.

In addition to witnessing these two, vastly varying phases of life, I observed a full spectrum of my own emotion—sorrow and joy, fear and comfort, denial and acceptance. While my sorrow certainly deepened my gratitude for experiencing joy, my joy only deepened my appreciation of my overall ability to feel.

Likewise, I witnessed my beloved friend, Eric, who passed away a week and a half after my visit; find such balance between reason and passion. Eric was like an uncle to me. Throughout his nine-year battle with bladder cancer, he experienced a great deal of pain, but he did not allow himself to suffer mentally. He put up an enormous fight against the cancer with his body and worked ceaselessly to harness and better understand his mind. In addition to self-study and meditation, Eric and his wonderful wife used music as an outlet to channel their emotions (he was an amazing guitarist, who taught me so much). Continue reading

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The recession has hit everybody really hard…

Miniature Golf
The recession has hit everybody really hard…

My neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

A stripper was injured when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.

McDonald’s is selling quarter-ouncer burgers.

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.

When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.

A truckload of Americans were caught sneaking into Mexico.

A picture has been degraded and is now only worth a 200 words.

And, finally….

If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

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Dance with the Mayapuris!

If the journey of yoga corresponds to the journey out of the ego, then this journey also entails an upsurge of creativity and joy. In this wonderful video you will see how both creativity and joy combine to create this matrix of music, dance, and melody.

You can find out more about The Mayapuris here. Kirtans are devotional singing and dancing and are done in the tradition of Bhakti Yoga. The Mridangam that the Mayapuris play is a very ancient Indian instrument. Lord Shiva, the first yogi, is said to have danced to the beat of Mridangam. This is the beat, that even today is supposed to energizes the Universe.

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The Test Of Three

Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you either hear or are about to repeat a rumor.

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

Wait a moment, Socrates replied. “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Test of Three.”


“That’s right, Socrates continued. Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to test what you’re going to say.” Continue reading

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Call It What It Is

Christine Schaefer

Christine Schaefer

Last week I realized that I went to pursue my nursing degree far too soon. I went back slowly…..class by class with a two-week old baby and two toddlers, while my husband was a mere shadow in our lives due to his hectic work schedule. WHAT WAS I THINKING? The good news? I graduated with a degree, but not in nursing. The bad news? That time was fraught with chronic, needless anxiety that I had heaped on my plate. This timing mistake (yes, mistake because I should have known better but charged ahead anyway), was one that I learned a great lesson from, once I was open enough to receive it.

I have learned numerous lessons from my many mistakes, and am happy to cop to having made them. I still may never comprehend why people refuse to admit that they make mistakes, or try to gloss over their gaffes with play on words. In fact, when I look back, I can percolate a commonality in all of my decision hiccups and they are as follows…

1. Ego – Ahhhh EGO….we have all (well those of us who are self-aware) taken a spin on the dance floor with Sir or Madam Ego! Ego is always the driving force behind ANY inability to believe that one has the capability to make a mistake. Call em what you want…‘lessons, my path, my destiny, fate’, what have you. The fact remains that you blew it, no matter how big or how small, and that is OK. When you erase the accountability from your screw ups, you also incinerate the lesson. Continue reading

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