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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: "Beyond Human--Claiming the Power and Magic of your limitless self"

I wrote an editorial review of the book "Beyond Human--Claiming the Power and Magic of your limitless self" by Jaden Rose Phoenix, because I believe that the concepts and insights in this book would be great for martial artists. This book goes beyond run-of-the-mill "self help" books (and I've read a lot of books in the genre), allows the reader an opportunity to feel comfortable in moving the veil of human Ego aside, and take a deep look inside.

Want to move beyond fear, self doubt, and other roadblocks that prevent you from attaining goals? Then is MindBodySpirit book is a wonderful place to learn ways to "get out of your head" and into personal successes.

Don't worry, reading this book won't make people think you're weird or a spacy "woo-woo" New Ager. This fear is what prevents many from reading books like this..... however, Jaden takes the jargon, mystery and "guru mythos" out of it, and explains techniques to make positive shifts away from our control-freak-expectation oriented brain barriers. In my opinion, many of us (if not all of us) program our own thought patterns into belief systems, and hold so tightly onto these patterns that sometimes we work too hard to fulfill our self-made feels good to be "right", doesn't it? But sometimes we want to be "right" all the time and we'll fight tooth and nail to prove ourselves right. Jaden's techniques help guide people out of this self-programming and Ego feeding, and onto success. As Jaden points out... "fear is simply an illusion".

Many of our stumbling blocks to success are based on fear. We've all probably seen the saying: "Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real", right? Well, many people, when they hear this, become motivated to move beyond fear, however they will ignore the fear in a vain attempt at courage.....but this doesn't solve the issues as to WHY you fear situations, people, or things. Nor does it address HOW to move beyond it.  Jaden's book moves you through finding your way through fear, and to a "point of Power".

Its a quick read, entertaining, and the exercises Jaden presents are easy...with no experience in meditation or any other "consciousness practices" required. Give it a look!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Middle age: Crisis or celebration? For me, a celebration!

I'll be turning 45 this month. Yes, not often do women give away their age, but I'm okay with it. :)

What exactly is the "mid-life crisis" that people so often speak of? Is it where people ask themselves "Am I where I hoped I would be?", "Well damn it, I should be at *this* goal but I'm not, now what?". Is it a realization that we're not as nimble as when we were 20?

Whatever it is, I don't see middle age as a crisis. I see it as a celebration, for me at least. Each year is a celebration, because I wasn't even supposed to be here, actually.....

I was born prematurely, at 6 months. Being that technology for premature baby care in hospitals was still very new at the time, I had to be airlifted from the small hospital in the outskirts of Seattle where I was born, to University Hospital in greater Seattle, where their new wing for premature births had just opened, with all the latest medical technology of mid 1960's. The doctors whisked me away from my mother after I was born, trying to keep my tiny lungs from collapsing and to keep my heart beating. According to Mom, I started to come out breech, then the doctor tried to turn me around, then my foot kicked out (hmmm, sign to be a martial artist?), but they finally turned me around. I did not cry at birth, and my appearance made the doctors realize they'd better do something quick. My Mom says that I fit in the palm of the doctor's hand. Wow, hard for me to imagine!

After being airlifted to University Hospital, I was kept in intensive care for 3 months in an incubator, hooked up to breathing tubes and lines stuck into my arms. According to my Mom, several other preemies were in the same room in other incubators...another 6 month old, and a couple 7 month olds. They passed away a few days later. My parents started to freak out....they didn't even name me yet, because they weren't sure if I was going to make it either. My Mom remembers... "When I would see you with all those tubes sticking out, I would always feel faint!" A small hole in my heart was something that the doctors debated about operating on, being cautious as they didn't know if I'd survive the operation. But apparently, the hole closed up on its own and I started to breathe on my own.

After staying in the hospital till "full term", Mom and Dad finally got to take me home. There's a picture my Mom has of my homecoming, and I still ask my Mom to this day "Wow, that was me? I was soooo tiny!" I definitely wasn't the same size as most newborns when they come home.

What's funny, is that I was told by friends that I "change" as the days come nearer to each birthday. Sometimes this "change" might be "spaciness", sometimes incredible changes in temperament, sometimes even changes in "energy". I used to scoff at it, convinced it was all in their heads. But, oddly, as I think back, I remember many occasions *after* my birthday where out of the blue I'd "hear" odd noises like muffled voices, doors opening and closing..."feel" odd sensations like being picked up, hands on me, being cold (even in the middle of summer!), the feeling of being short of breath....and sometimes, I'll pick up the distictive odors of iodine, alcohol, and "new carpet" out of the blue (I still don't understand the new carpet smell!) ! Some have theorized that somehow I "remember" some parts of my months in the hospital, but I honestly don't remember anything specific! Would these changes in temperament and odd sensations be a result of my body "remembering" the trauma?

My Mom has always said "There's a reason why you lived through that, even though those other older babies-bless their souls-did not". To this day I still wonder what the reason is, but I'm guessing the path I've chosen to take has led to me several things: Sharing with others, following my passions, experiencing the many lessons of Love, Happiness, even Anger (and other less than savory emotions), and feeling joy for even the littlest of things. If this is what being "alive" is, and if this is the reason I'm here, then I hope for at least another 45 years.