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Jesica Hanley Vega

Sing Your Song

Month

September 2014

5 Steps On The Path To Peace

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Beach grass with dew.

1) In the October, 2014 issue of “O”  The Oprah Magazine, Paulo Coelho says: If you think small, your world will be small. If you think big, your world will be big*.

The smallest things seem big to me. When I was a child, I believed that if everyone slowed down and saw things as I saw them, there would be peace. Which is why I wanted to be a filmmaker. I wanted to show my world to people and have them experience life in all its perfection and glory.  If we took this world into our hearts, I believed, there would be no war.

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Fallen feather.

2) A heart is like a flower… It can be very brave, but it can easily be hurt.

As a young adult, I began to believe this desire meant there was something wrong with me: that I was naive and idealistic, that I was not cut out for the “real world.”

I was brave for a while but, as I grew older,  it seemed impossible that my vision of peace would be realized and I forgot my dream. My world grew small and I felt hurt.

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Purple Centaurea Nigra.

3) There is a Zen proverb that says, basically, if you want something, step aside and let this thing come to you.

And yet, once my heart was broken, it could be re-opened to the beauty that had captivated me when I was young. When I reconnected with the natural world, I reconnected with the vision of peace I had once known. Inside me was an inner child who said: Hey, do you remember that dream?

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Reflecting pool in an old tree stump.

4) A Personal Legend is the reason you are here…It is the only thing that gives you enthusiasm.

The only thing that gives me enthusiasm is the experience I have when I pay close attention to the world and my mind gives way to my heart. This experience is available to all people but it’s too often forgotten.

In Paulo Coelho’s terms, it is my Legend to live this principle: to demonstrate that peace is within reach at all times, within all people and between all divisions if we can slow down, listen and connect – with each other and the world around us.

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White clover.

5) If you are honest enough, God will guide you. Even if you take some wrong steps along the way, God will recognize that you have a pure heart and put you back on track. 

I have taken many wrong steps along the way but I am still on the journey. My resolve is tested daily. I’m not the proof but I AM the experiment and I live for peace not only as if my life depends on it, but as if yours does.

*All italicized statements from the Paulo Coelho interview in the October, 2014 issue of “O” magazine.

10 Qualities of A Game-Changer – Does This Sound Like You?

Mother Teresa — 'I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.'
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples – Mother Teresa

As someone who resonates deeply with the archetype of The Warrior, I am constantly on a Quest to define my purpose and improve my work.

Recently, in order to expand my reach and deepen my understanding of what’s possible for my work, I begin a training with The Pachamama Alliance.

In reading their document entitled “Ten Qualities Of A Game Changer” I’ve discovered that a key purpose of my work has always been to assist people in uncovering the Game Changer within.

I’ve often been asked – and wondered – WHO are my clients? What defines them as a tribe? and What are they seeking? The answer has never been economic, professional or even temperamental. The answer, I see now, has been that my clients are Game Changers or people who feel the stirring of the Game Changer within.

Here are the “Ten Qualities Of A Game Changer.”

Now ask yourself: Does this sound like you? Or the person you are called to be? 

  1. You understand that all life is connected. You see the human family, in all its diversity, as an integral component in the whole of the web of creation, and are committed to building a society that reflects and reveres the sacred and interconnected nature of all life.
  2. You stand for a sustainable, just and fulfilling future. You stand for and act from an informed vision that a sustainable, just and fulfilling future for all beings is urgent, possible and essential.
  3. You recognize that the universe is friendly. You recognize that the universe is friendly and that the evolutionary force that put the stars in motion is moving through us and is a dynamic, self-organizing process whose grace and guidance we can trust.
  4. You realize that we are called to be evolutionary activists. You realize that the human role and responsibility now is an evolutionary activist, intentionally engaging with the momentum of evolution to shape the future as it is being brought into being.
  5. You inquire deeply. You understand that the collective transformation of our society requires a completely new definition of what is possible in being human, and requires that we inquire deeply into questions such as: “Who am I, really?” and, “What is my relationship the the whole?”
  6. You recognize systems of power and privilege. You recognize that the social injustice and environmental exploitation in our world are not the “natural order of things,” but rather, are the outcome of intentionally-designed systems of power and privilege. These systems and structures resist change, and lead to further injustice, violence and suffering.
  7. You put forth a new story. You are able to discern the cultural stories that perpetuate inequity and concentrate power and privelege, and you live from and share new stories that create the paradigm for a just and sustainable future.
  8. You are no longer “food” for the system. Your actions and interactions move in the direction of undoing – rather than being complicit with  – systems and structures that perpetuate an unjust, unsustainable, unfulfilled world.
  9. You take action that strikes at the root. You seek to engage in effective personal and collective actions that strike at the root causes of the global crises, and you involve others in taking those actions.
  10. You are part of a global movement. You experience being an integral member of a vast and growing evolutionary movement toward reconciliation and wholeness.

 

5 Things To Remember On A Friday Afternoon

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Breathe. Breathe Again. Step Outside. Love Yourself. Be Still.

Breathe. There are few activities or circumstances that cannot be improved with a deep breath. Whether you call it Prana, Chi or Oxygen – taking a deep breath can alter the experience of your world in mere moments.

Breathe again. When I’m under intense stress – whether it’s due to external circumstances or the habitual insanity of my monkey mind – it can be hard to breathe. I’m often astonished by how difficult it can be to get some air into my lungs. When this happens, just keep trying. There’s no time you need to breathe more than when you can’t breather. It just may take a few attempts. And the effort you put into it will certainly distract you from whatever else was bothering you at the moment.

Step outside. I love sitting at my desk. Almost everything I need is within arms reach and it’s a wonderful place to spend the day. But even when I’m having a great day, it blows my mind how much greater it gets when I step outside. Whether I’m taking out the garbage, picking up my child from school or looking at the sky, it lifts my spirits to smell fresh air, see vivid colors and hear natural sounds all around me.

Love Yourself. Countless books have been written about the importance of loving oneself, and yet it remains a challenge for many. After all, what does it really mean? Is it standing in front of a mirror saying “I’m smart enough, I’m good enough and, darn it, people like me”? Not necessarily. It can be as simple as taking a moment to appreciate that you have a heart and it’s beating. It can be as simple as feeling a pain and sending it care rather than cursing the displeasure it brings.  It can mean treating yourself kindly, giving yourself a break, drinking water or taking a nap. It can mean something different at every different moment, and the only way you’ll know is to ask “How can I love myself right now?”

Be Still. For a moment. Just stop. Everything is going really well and it’s going to be all right.

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