Weekend Inspiration: Joyous Dancing From DRC and Singer Fally Ipupa

Well, maybe not Fally himself. 🙂

Let me start with the inspiration…

Yes, the sensual movements are inspiring.  The music is cool, relaxing yet invigorating.  Eloko Oyo is a beautifully melded piece of the traditional and the ultra-modern from Fally Ipupa’s latest album (released in July 2017) Tokooos.

Yet, what inspired me most was the question of where did the original inspiration come from?

The lyrics (translated to English here) are simple but they shield the source of inspiration…

Here it is

The time has come, here it is

The thing that’s worth more than diamond, here it is

It has bought cars, here it is

It has bought plots, here it is

Wonderful places and abroad, all credits to this thing

What’s that thing eh music

What’s that thing eh music

I love it about us

Fally Ipupua 2017

Fally Ipupua

My mind wonders if this dance originated as a traditional Congolese dance for fertility, or reproductive health/healing.  I wonder if this is a dance to remove blockages in the pathways of joy (which if blocked can lead to ill health and reduced reproductive capacity).  I wonder.

Yes, the sensual gyrations are mesmerizing to watch but with most traditional dances, there is a purpose, a function that the dance serves.  I wonder what this one is.

Whether I find out, or not, I will say that it inspires me to find the spring of joy within my being and coax it out to play…a lot.

What is life for if you don’t experience joy each and every day?

 

 

Thank you, Pam Grout…

Reading Pam Grout’s Thank & Grow Rich while eating my breakfast smoothie bowl.  I’ve been reading it for the past week, or so.  On and off.  Reading.  Taking it in.  Pausing to reflect.  Picking it up, going back a chapter, or two, and re-reading.

As the title implies, the focus of the book is to be grateful to increase your own ‘capital’.  Grout has a very different portfolio that she suggests we review, and hopefully adopt, as our own.  What sort of capital could she be referring to — a self-help guru?!!?@**?!

Glad you asked.

Pam has 5 different types of capital for us to consider.  I’ve taken a stab at summarizing my understanding of each one.  They are:

  1. Alchemic Capital – the capital of change; of evolution.  We should be in a different place in our lives/in our thinking/in our behaviors than we were 10 years ago.
  2. Spiritual Capital – the capital that creates beautiful art, that has inspiring conversations; that contemplates meaning; that strives to be in service to other people.  Most important, follow your joy/bliss to connect with this part of ourselves.
  3. Creative Capital – to bring new things to light in the Universe.  To birth new ideas/movies/plays/inventions.  It’s the thing you’d want to do if you never heard of the word money.  Follow your (internal) beeps; the ‘Divine Buzz’ (your internal GPS) and feel the chills and excitement.  That’s how you access and know it’s your creative capital.
  4. Social Capital – Friends.  People to have beautiful food with; to have meaningful conversations with; to have fun with.  If we’re not having fun, what’s the point??
  5. Adventure Capital – Step into an unfamiliar place; shake things up.  Try a new dish.  Say ‘yes’ to something you normally say ‘No’ to.  (And, maybe say NO to something you normally say YES to.)

Pam wants us to assess where we are in each of the above areas because a full life has all of the 5 types of capital working well and vigorously in a person’s life.  She suggests we take an initial personal earnings report and using a scale from 1 (poor) to 10 (awesome), note how we’re doing with each type of capital.

Then, after 30 days (and following her simple AA 2.0 system), take another assessment of our personal earnings report.

The AA 2.0 system?  Okay, it’s 2 steps, and 2 steps only.

A. Before getting out of bed each and every morning say, “Something amazingly awesome is going to happen” to you today.  Or, change it up and say something magical will happen.

B. Become an investigator on the lookout for ‘all the beauty and largesse in the world’.  In essence, instead of figuring out what could go wrong — do the opposite.  Observe and take note of what’s going right.

Simple.  Easy.  Almost ridiculous.  However, the shift in perception and viewpoint is wonderful.

I’m still reading.  Still reflecting but I like what I’ve reading.  A lot.

Thank and Grow Rich_Grout_cvr

 

Weekend Inspiration Making It All Come Together

There are times when we are so soundly asleep that LIFE must attempt to shake us from our reverie with repeated shocks.  So, imagine a taser touching your skin every, say, 15 seconds.  Yeah.  Life does that.  Maybe not every 15 seconds, but you get the general idea.

You could say America is on this particular wake-up protocol with what is happening with our government.  I daresay, we dread/look forward to the shocking entertaining headlines that we know we will be accosted with as we collectively sip our favorite morning brew.

However, what is the solution?  We cannot just simply wait out the shit storm and hope for the best.  We must each do something meaningful to us that will contribute a small piece of change.

If we all do some small thing, in our own lives, &/or in our social circles, with the intention of making a positive change in the world’s energy (and therefore, the world), something will SHIFT.

There are so many studies about the power of the mind to heal, to save lives, to lift cars off of children.  We are powerful beings yet we give our power over to reading and the virtual version of rubbernecking.  Even sending positive thoughts (and emails) to those in power (senators, congressmen, assemblymen, sigh, and yes, to HIM — Hell, tweet him!), we will share our collective thoughts with those who need to know what we think, feel and want for our country.

WE can make it all come together by being resolute in ourselves and making sure we come from a place of wanting solutions for the vast majority of Americans.

We all live here.  We play here.  We work and love here on this soil that is the U.S. of A.

LOVE-LETTER-TO-US-Hands-painted-as-american-flag-620-bigstock35647790

We love it here (that’s why we really stay!).  We may not want to admit it out loud but we’re proud to be Americans.  Maybe not so much right this second in time but we can get that pride back by conscientious collective action.

Wishing for other people to be our top guy is not going to help us.  It actually does more harm since the person in control may…ahem…take offense. 🙂

Let’s all reign in our fears/anxieties/pain/anguish and do what is needed most — look to find ways to communicate.

No one will know what you think unless you tell them.

Ta-ta for now,

Rochelle

Deepak and Oprah are Meditating with Us

It’s so cool when these two mega-stars in their respective fields come together to do these 21-day meditations for all who wish to participate.  And the best part?  It’s totally 100% free.

So, not only are you getting two of the most respected names in the industry working with you virtually in this guided meditation over the course of 3 weeks.  You’re also getting a quality meditation in just about 20 minutes!  Efficient, effective and enlivening!

The current meditation series began last Monday, 7/17 and you can get more details here: https://chopracentermeditation.com/.

The theme for this meditation series is Desire & Destiny. I started on the 17th and the focus is all about uncovering/re-discovering who you are by pulling away the negative behaviors that can harm our success.  This is done via the meditations themselves, as well as 4 questions in the Daily Journal (available on the site).  There’s even an app which makes it easier to meditate even if you’re on the move, and traveling from state to state.  Or, country to island.

deepak oprah desire and destiny_July 2017

There are affirmations in Sanskrit that Deepak gives the translations.  There’s beautiful music in the background that helps you to relax and flow into the meditative experience.  There’s Oprah (!) on hand to introduce the topic, give a short anecdote and then she turns it over to Deepak.

I’ve done one of these 21-day meditation cycles in the past and have really wonderful experiencese with them.  The key is to form a habit and continue to meditate.  It has been said many times that if you do a thing 21 days in a row, it becomes a habit.

Why should we meditate?  Main reason?  To reduce stress!  Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself via the Huffington Post:

8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life

Ta-ta for now,

Rochelle

 

Angels Still With Me

For the last few days, I’ve been contemplating the existence of angels.  Today I’m not sure what happened but I think I have a sweet little (human) angel here in my home with me.

In the process of picking up my daughter from school one of the other parents seemed distressed.  I noticed tears beginning to flow.  My heart went out to them.  I asked if I could help.  As way leads to way, I was walking home with an unscheduled ‘sleepover’ play date.

How it all happened is very odd and hazy to me.  It was sort of like I wasn’t there, but I know I was.  I felt, again, that feeling of rightness as well as all-rightness.

We’re winding down and heading to bed.  It was a rough evening due to many tears and cries for “Mommy.”  But, we sang karaoke-style and danced to some music to shake those blues away.  We all feel pretty darn great right now.

So, it’s off to bed we go with grins and big thanks to the real angels that made this all happen.

One last thing, one the way home a purple Jeep was barreling down the street.  It roared off making sure everyone knew it was there.  What’s so important about a purple Jeep?  Oh, that goes back to a Pam Grout experiment from E-Squared.  Pam believes that we can ask for the good things and receive them but we must believe.  So, to begin building our belief she asks us to ask to see something out of the ordinary to know that we are being ‘heard’ by whatever is out there making the earth stay on its axis and the sun to come up each day.  And yeah, you guessed it.  I asked to see a TRUE purple car back in January 2015.  I had to go to Cuba that summer before I saw my first real purple car — a 50’s Chevy!

And, today I saw TWO purple vehicles today alone.

Angel-Of-Peace-angels-10952900-426-414

Here’s a final thought for us from Susan Gregg‘s page:

Angels around us, angels beside us, angels within us.
Angels are watching over you when times are good or stressed.
Their wings wrap gently around you,
Whispering you are loved and blessed. ~ Angel Blessing

EcoConsciousness Today And For All Tomorrows

EcoConsciousness.  That looks like it’s spelled incorrectly.  What is it anyway?  It’s being aware of our own personal actions and how those actions either help keep the world clean, or not.

I stopped and thought about my actions on any given day.  For the most part, I feel that I am doing a decent job of picking up after myself and putting things in a garbage receptacle.  [Why is that important?  Because whatever we don’t put into a garbage can, and usually do, end up in the sewers and is washed out into sea.  There, our garbage can strangle sea creatures to death.  Or worse, animals such as turtles eat soft plastic (like bags) thinking it’s fish and starve to death as more and more plastic takes up space in their bodies.)]

However, that’s not even scratching the surface.  There are people who pick up after other people to ensure that waste does not go out to sea.  Then, there are those who go a bit further and in addition to picking up waste strive to put LESS WASTE into the system by using less packaged products in their everyday life.

YOU: What…huh?  Come again?

There are people who have as their goal a zero waste lifestyle.  Meaning, they do their best to have nothing to throw in the trash bin.  They use reusable containers.  They carry reusable bags with them to the grocery store.  They find Bulk Food stores where they bring their own containers with them to fill with whatever they need.

A few who are extremely passionate about getting our environment cleaner go an extra step and go  dumpster diving.  Yep.  They go into trash dumpsters to see what they find that can be reclaimed and utilized.  freegan.info‘s dumpster directory page details that some locations are ‘weirdly competitive’.  This is very extreme, in my mind, but if one is passionate about saving the planet (one dumpster at a time??) I cannot be mad.  Less waste means more space for other things, ahem — new people — in the future.

Zero waste is truly a thing.  There’s a movement out there and Bea Johnson is one of the thought leaders in this space.  The picture (from Bea’s website) below shows her family’s waste for the entire year of 2016.

Family-annual-waste-for-2016-photo-credit-Cristovão@Exposed-Image-1200x800

My brain cannot fathom how an entire family can have so little waste!  Clearly this is a passion for Bea and a very noble one.  I know it will take some time for me to wrap my brain around the changes in thought this lifestyle requires.  Well, at least a major shift in consciousness.

Of course, we’ll talk more about this later.  In the meantime, what do you think about ecoconsciousness?  What is your current level of comfort in regards to how much of your household’s waste goes to your sanitation department each year?

Weekend Inspiration: Angels in the Outfield

Angel in the sky

Do you remember the classic Disney movie starring Danny Glover and Tony Danza Angels in the Outfield?  A movie about a little boy who wants his family to be together again.  But, his father tells him that is as likely as the Angels (a baseball team) winning the pennant.  And real angels are put on the task to make that most long-shot of wins happen.

Twenty-three years ago, the world was a little softer.  A bit kinder.  More open.  A movie like this could be written, produced, filmed, distributed and watched.  Today?  <shrug>  It better have a vamp in it.  Or better yet, a zombie-vamp.

We live in a time where predictability, consistency, reliability, and entertainment are priorities.  We want what we want right now.  We want it exactly the way we had it the last time and if you can give it to us at a better price than last time even better.  And, heaven forbid, we don’t get what we want, or it’s a schoosh late?  Forget it!  Our fingers are off clicking to find TNBT.  (Yeah, we can’t even bother to write out full words either…)

Who the heck has time for something as ephemeral and nonsensical as angels?  Angels are for little children, people not wrapped too tight, pagans, religious extremists, and/or New Agers.  Am I right?

No, I’m not.

I’m no angel buff.  I did not grow up hearing about this, or that angel, or saint, or anything like that.  I grew up a regular old Baptist.  I heard about angels in bible class.  You heard mention of one here and there.  And who doesn’t remember Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb and Defending Your Life?  Angels, in a very background sort of way, permeate our lives.  We can’t forget Angels in America, recently run in the UK in the British National Theater, no less.

But in our own personal lives, on average, how many of us think about actual angels in the traditional sort of manner?  Where they watch over us, keep us safe and help us out of things we’d rather not muddle into.  I personally did not think of angels in that way since I was a young child saying my prayers on bent knees before bed.

Yet, one morning while I was walking towards the train, my heart felt heavy,  I took a deep breath and forced levity into my heart and mind.  I made myself repeat an affirmation that always fills me with lightness.  Yet, it didn’t work that morning.  For some reason, I happened to look up into the sky.  Above me I felt/saw/experienced an overwhelming feeling of love, happiness…radiance.  It seemed as if there was — an angel in the sky watching over me that morning.

On a tiny island not even attached to mainland USA, in a neighborhood that was still too sleepy to notice, I had a wonderful feeling of alright-ness.  Sure, not a word but it’s a most wonderful feeling.

So while you may not see what I saw in the picture above.  I know what I felt.  It felt real and true.  You could say that my recent health challenge could have precipitated my, err, atypical aerial visitation.  You could say that I was in desperate need of my morning coffee.  Or, like me, you could say…

Wow.