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In the Midst of Crisis - Gratitude for a Divine Spirit

"Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet" —Thich Nhat Hanh.

"No matter what,whether it turns out okay in the end or not, you carry the Divine within you. You are Enough, not because of the things you do but because of who you are fundamentally. Intrinsically. Always and without exception. Take a breath or two to allow yourself to Know this." - Anonymous

The world has changed almost overnight. We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic crisis that has not happened for one hundred years. Like many, I am in shock with this.  It's like living inside of a science fiction movie except that it is real, and unreal at the same time. By the time this month is over it will have become a living nightmare for millions, even billions of people on this planet.  I was just about to publish a book on gratitude and inspiration, and while putting on the finishing touches last month the COVID-19 virus started spreading. It was not easy to stay inspired.

I stopped writing.

Then something started happening with many of us.
We are all in this together - globally. We are all affected by the virus crisis directly or indirectly. In spite of the challenge of this we started to post inspiring messages on Facebook, shared humor, YouTube videos, and support related content. My inspiration came back, and after the initial shock of this wore off (or maybe it  hasn't completely), I started to write again.

I recently wrote several blog posts in this Inspirational Blog and the titles and links for those are below.

I felt compelled to write about this virus crisis and why inspiration and gratitude are more important now as we are self-quarantined in isolation, and have time to reflect on our life, the world, what we are grateful for, and how to be inspired if possible in the midst this worldwide crisis.  Who can write about gratitude and inspiration without mentioning a Divine Spirit? The following is included in the introduction to a new book (that I plan to publish soon).
Gratitude for a Divine Spirit?

If you are not an atheist, then you have some level of faith in a higher power or Divine Spirit, whether through a religion or a spiritual practice.
We are all on a spiritual journey and have different experiences and insights into life.  Our depth of faith is being tested at this time. Is it like an iceberg where only the surface is seen and experienced? Or does it include the full depth, much larger than the surface, beneath the dark waters of the soul?
My relationship with the Divine Spirit is more than intellectual. It is personal and private unless I choose to share anything about it. 

Yet when we read about faith or reference to our relationship to God or a Divine Spirit we might experience some resistance. No worries - I'm not preaching from a religious perspective, but a spiritual one that transcends all religions.

I need to "walk my talk". I need to live the ideas and attitudes and own my relationship with the Divine Spirit. Yes, I have a lot of inspiration, and yet I also am aware of the moments that I forget my connection, my deeper being, or my inspiration. Being more conscious of the moments, the possibilities, the inspiration, and loving life is an ongoing journey and one in which I have deep gratitude.
 A conscious life is an ongoing invitation to be aware of the Divine Spirit within and to choose how we are conscious of it in any given moment. At some point, it becomes second nature, and we feel love, gratitude, inspiration, peace, and compassion towards all humanity more often. We "Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with our feet" (—Thich Nhat Hanh). We sing a song of celebration in our hearts. We live the true meaning of "namaste" which means that the Divinity within us acknowledges the Divinty in others.

Yet with this 100 year pandemic it's easy to forget our connection and get thrown off balance. The deepest core of our faith is being tested, and the heart of humanity may be breaking. 

Since the theme of the book (to be published) is inspiration and gratitude it naturally involves our relationship with a Divine Spirit. This book is inclusive, and the experience and inner knowing of the reality of this is a thread woven throughout each chapter. 

If you are going to invest your time and energy in reading this book (which I expect to publish soon), or any book, it should serve its purpose in entertaining you or inspiring you or helping you to live a deeper and more fulfilling life, even if you are already living life with passion and inspiration. With all of the resources provided by various books, seminars, retreats, and other self-help products and services out there, the most powerful and effective one is free. 

The Divine Spirit is always with us, available for making us aware of subtle thoughts, intuition, and guidance. We really do not need any more self-help from outside of us. The Divine Spirit is the ultimate self-help guru within us.

That said, it is always a celebration to experience various ideas and inspiration with others in a community, a class, a seminar, retreat, or workshop. Since this is not available with social distancing, we are alone more now, and yet the Divine Spirit is with us. I need to remind myself of this as there are so many other things drawing my attention. Music, art, movies, books, writing, and games to name a few. 

Meditation is also there for us to enjoy without any seminar fees or travel time needed. We can choose daily or even on a moment-by-moment" basis to celebrate the presence of the Divine Spirit within. It can be a part of our journey and our life of inspiration and gratitude. Knowing that, sometimes it is hard to be committed to it as a spiritual practice. I had an epiphany when I realized that my excuse of “not having enough time in the day” to meditate was my own choice. I realized that “who is the one that is deciding that I do not have enough time in the day?”. After that meditation has been a regular daily practice for years. If we did not have enough time before, perhaps we do now with the stay-at-home new lifestyle.

In these times meditation can be helpful. Sometimes my meditations are not deep at all, but crowded with thoughts about the virus crisis, and a range of other ideas, feelings, and concerns. Usually these will fade away after five minutes or so, and my mind settles down and goes deeper.

Even if the mind does not settle down for ten, or even twenty minutes, meditation is a way to release these thoughts and feelings, and to reflect on life and whatever we need to in order to provide more peace and calm in our lives.

Our inspiration and gratitude are directly connected to our relationship with the Divine Spirit, and all of its manifestations in our life. In any given moment, what thoughts are we choosing to have? How are we choosing to respond to certain thoughts that we didn't seem to choose but come rushing at us or sprouting within us?
The most powerful thing in my life that I am grateful for and inspired by daily is the reality of the Divine Spirit within me and within the universe. I try to be open to all possibilities of experience and understanding of this without putting my faith or beliefs into a box. If I can live in the question while still celebrating whatever insights and wisdom and knowledge that have been revealed to me, then I can live my life more openly, more deeply, and allow the Divine Spirit within to guide me and reveal secrets and mysteries that sometimes cannot be described in words. 

A Mystical Experience

I am grateful for a profound mystical experience that I had in my life. It was not the first which set me on a spiritual journey and which is described later in the book. Yet it is one that keeps my perspective on the transcendent aspect of life in check, and the memory of it is embedded in my heart with deep gratitude.  

It happened in the middle of the night and was a moment of eternity. I had been on my own self-imposed retreat in Laguna Beach, California, and over a weekend, I was in silence, in prayer and meditation, and listening to sacred music and chants. While sleeping, suddenly my eyes were opened, yet still physically closed. I was immersed in a brilliant, white light, so full of love, peace, and subtle power. It was a living light, the divine light of God. The experience was beyond words or description even though I use certain words to describe it. There were no thoughts during the experience, as I was one with this living light that was the same light of my own soul. I do not know how long it lasted since it was timeless. I only remembered it the next morning. Although I have had a few mystical experiences along the way, nothing came close to this one. I know deep in my soul, mind, and heart that there is a transcendent, divine living light that is pure consciousness, that exists beyond belief.

This was the Living Light of the Divine Spirit-God. I know that this Divine living light is present within us and at the foundation of creation everywhere. It is beyond our conscious awareness and scientific measurement. Yet even if not aware of it we can have deep gratitude that this is a reality of life, and closer to our hearts than we may know.

In this tragic time of the virus crisis, I know that the Divine Spirit is with me. Even though I am not remembering this every minute of the day, the more the merrier. It helps sustain me and especially in meditation I can celebrate the connection.

If you read this blog post and any of it resonates with you, then consider this quote by an anonymous writer. It is one of my favorites and especially at this time we need to recognize the tribe(s) that we are connected with and both give and receive support from these connections during this time.

A favorite anonymous quote :

"Be around the light bringers,
the magic makers,
the game changers,
They challenge you,

break you open,
uplift and expand you,
They don't let you play small with your life.
These heartbeats are your people.
These people are your tribe. "

During this crisis we need to consider the possibility of living our own life as magic makers, world shifters, and game shakers. We need to raise our own consciousness to embrace life with this level of creative response. By our example we can challenge others, even "break them open" to be inspired to uplift and motivate others. We can't play small with our life anymore. Every day is a new challenge to make a difference in some way, to help others even from a distance. This is the invitation of a conscious tribe that is coming alive to a whole new level of vision, healing, transformation, and change. We might need to hibernate for a while before this starts happening in our life, or we may be empowered now. When we seek Divine guidance we will know what to do and when to do it.

And if it is our time to move to the other side, there is plenty of work to be done there also with tribes unknown and yet to be revealed. We do not need to have a fear of death as death is an illusion on the soul level. If you believe that the soul goes on then life goes on with it. At this time it is a possibility that a million souls or more will move on to the other side from this pandemic. It is a earth shattering tragedy if this happens on one level. On another, their souls will live on in new tribes and spiritual communities. Those that are left behind will be empowered to heal and rebuild again.

And gratitude for the Divine Spirit may continue even more on both sides. 

 (the Divine Spirit in me greets the Divine Spirit in you) 
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It Was Just an Afternoon Meditation ...

yet it felt so good to stop everything and allow twenty + minutes for stillness, peace, and reflection.

I must have needed it after waking up several times last night and not getting right back to sleep. 

I went deep. 

There were no thoughts about the viral crisis, or much of anything after 5 minutes or so. 

I might have fallen asleep, as I do not remember being alert as usual during a part of the meditation. That is okay. Whatever happens is allowed me to go deep and I could tell when I came out that it was more than just relaxing casually. It was a very deep relaxation. I went beyond my normal twenty minutes or so. I did not even track the time beyond that.

With all of this crisis going on, peace of mind is a possibility, and it seemed like just the right thing to do. 

I have a regular morning meditation, and enjoy starting the every day with twenty plus minutes. Adding an afternoon meditation occasionally has motivated me to also make it a daily routine. Meditation twice a day.

Sometimes things happen in our life that we know are just the right fit at the right time.

It was just an afternoon meditation.

for more about meditation >  "Why Meditation is Amazing"

The Covid-19 Crisis - Is the Heart of Humanity Breaking?

“The hardest thing you can do is smile when you are ill, in pain, or depressed. But this no-cost remedy is a necessary first half-step if you are to start on the road to recovery.”
– Allen Klein

It would take something catastrophic on a global scale to affect the hearts and minds of 7.5 billion people in 200 countries.

Something that would cause panic, fear, a dramatic economic reversal with government interventions, and a dramatic change of life as we know it.

That something is here now.

It is normal to feel sad, grieving, stressed, confused, scared, angry, and a full range of emotions during this global crisis.

It is also easy to have some denial that this pandemic of Covid-19 is a global crisis and that we are not affected.
And yet there are many ways to manage it, change it, acknowledge it, process it, and overcome the emotional challenges of a crisis.

A long time ago I heard a short story that described how we choose, consciously or unconsciously, to respond to any situation.

Two people were standing on a busy street corner and across the street a person accidentally stepped out and was struck by a car. One person panicked and started having an emotional meltdown. The other person responded with a clear purpose to call 911 and help with traffic and providing temporary care for the person who was struck. It was the same situation yet completely different responses from two different people.

How we choose to respond to this crisis consciously is a test of how we respond to life. It might be all over the board. One day or moment we are in full control and can handle anything. Then something happens and we get knocked off of our center of strength. We experience an emotion of sadness or fear, or a combination of difficult feelings.

Different generations may experience this differently. Even though we are all in this together, millenials may experience this differently than Genx-ers or baby boomers.

Regardless of your age, it’s important that “everyone understands more than ever that these threats are real,.....To that end, you should take your fears and anxieties seriously, .... “Don’t be shamed into thinking that it’s not okay to feel worried,” he says."
reference: The Psychological Reasons Why Gen X  May be Taking Covid-19 More Seriously

It's not just about us individually. When we see humanity suffering, a global economic emergency, and our families, communities, and countries in the midst of serious challenges, it is enough to break our heart.

It can break the heart of humanity.

Yet the heart of humanity as a whole may not be breaking. We have survived hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis, mass shootings, other pandemics, and global crises before. 

Yet it is almost like this just happened overnight. Within one month the world changed. We are still in shock. Collectively we may are going through a dark night of the soul. It seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

We cannot discount or disregard the pain and anquish that we are feeling along with billions of others in the world.

Our hearts may break but they break open. 

It's in that opening that new opportunities for healing and love and compassion can happen as possibilities.

If the heart of humanity is breaking, then it is also opening to a new collective experience and awareness, a new compassion, and a new world. 

And we might also cry a waterfall of tears.

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Inspiration Helps the Immune System

Imagine swimming in this beautiful natural pool. The sounds of the waterfalls, the smells of the fresh air and flowers, and the energy of the moment. You and a best friend or partner share laughter here. It is one of the memorable experiences of a lifetime. It's only a photo, yet with imagination, it can be more. It might be a source of inspiration. 

There are many reasons to be inspired, and one is to have a stronger mental attitude and physical immune system. When we are planning to self-quarantine to avoid contact with others and be safer from the Covid-19 virus, we can also incorporate different activities into our lifestyle that helps our immune system.

Many of these are already well known in self-help and self-care books and blogs. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness, love, gratitude, and mental affirmations are a few. 

The normal may have been that there is not enough time to do everything that you want in these areas. The new normal is that yes there is time to do these now, or whatever works for you during this crisis. 

"This is a time for humanity, creativity, connection — and yes, even humor.", says Marie Forleo, self-help guru and creative entrepreneur. 

Emotional contagions such as fear, anxiety, and stress can weaken the immune system. 

Emotions such as love, gratitude, and compassion can increase our vibration and keep us focused on a positive mindset amid panic, and a collective grief that has not fully set in yet.

What inspires you? Music? Art? A good book? Laughter? Connection? Whatever inspires you, consider increasing it in your life. Discover new sources of inspiration. I recently discovered a musical group out of Portland, Oregon - Pink Martini. I had heard of them before but never listened to them. Now with Amazon Music Unlimited, I love their music. It's just one example of many that helps to keep me inspired. 

YouTube videos are an excellent way to get inspired. Brene Brown in TedTalks, a Mozart Symphony orchestra performance, Classical guitar, oldie favorite concerts, and nature videos are a few ideas. 

For more ideas, visit my blog post from the end of 2019 - "How to Survive 2020" - This year will rock your gypsy soul. 

Inspiration can help the immune system and much more in life. 

It is time to believe in it, imagine it, create it, receive it, and give it away to others. 

Blessings for a happy and healthy life.
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Corona Virus - Where's the Inspiration ?

How can we avoid fear and try to stay inspired with life? Our "bubble of complacency" has just burst, and the world changed almost overnight.

On December 28, 2019, I published a blog titled "How to Survive 2020". The subtitle was "2020 is Going to Rock Your Gypsy Soul". My basis for thinking that this year was going to be a bit crazy was mainly political. It is an election year, and the country is divided as ever. However, I was also aware of an astrological forecast of a planetary configuration called a "stellium," where two or more planets are "conjunct" or within a few degrees of each other. Although I only hold astrology as possibilities and not carved in stone, what astrologers have been saying for the past few years about the 2020 Capricorn stellium had my attention. Without even going into details with interpretation, I knew that it might be an intense year. The possibilities were there. 

As of March 2020, as I write this, the coronavirus has been declared a pandemic.

"A pandemic is an epidemic of disease that has spread across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or worldwide" - Wikipedia. 

The entire country of Italy is in shutdown and quarantine. China quarantined 60 million people. Airlines and large pubic gatherings have been stopped. And this is just the beginning.

In the U.S., we have suddenly almost stopped everything. Public events and gathering over 50, even 10 are not encouraged. Our lives may have been changed forever as a result of this. We need to keep moving forward, even if it means isolating and enjoying the solitude as a part of the process.

Where is the inspiration in this if any?

 The financial markets have collapsed - showing similar declines as in the 2008 financial crisis. Then they rose 9% in one day after dropping the worst since 1987. Then collapsed again. The Emergency Powers Act was passed which also included a public-private all-out effort to contain or reduce the spread of the COvid-19 virus.

Fears of economic fallout combine with health concerns. Jobs, homes, security, travel, optimism, hope, and any happiness may be tossed out the window. Is the world about to be quarantined, and our peace of mind along with it?

This past week - March 7-14h rocked our gypsy soul. We are only ten weeks into this new year. Fear is a common experience now. 

Yet there are other perspectives besides fear.

Here's what one doctor says on Facebook

"I'm a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I've been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria...there is little I haven't been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared. 

 I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

 What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they "probably don't have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know..." and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess. 

 I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games...that could be kyboshed too. Can you even imagine?

 I'm scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession. 

 But mostly, I'm scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, open-mindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

 Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and "fight for yourself above all else" attitude could prove disastrous. 

 I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let's meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

 Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.

 Our children will thank us for it."


Then there is compassion. Let's not judge others for having fear, or overreacting. Elizabeth Gilbert shares some wisdom on Facebook.


Dear Ones—

 For now, the only thing I have to say about the Coronavirus is this: 

 Let's not judge people too fiercely for how they are reacting to this situation. 

 It may be the case that people are overreacting, or it may be that they are under-reacting.... it's not my place to judge that. I don't have all the answers and I can't see into the future—no more than anybody else can. 

 But I do know that when I add my condemnation to the conversation, it just ratchets up hysteria in a different way—and most of all, it's not kind. 

 If you believe that somebody is overreacting, just try to remember that another word for "overreaction" is "fear". Try to be compassionate, not contemptuous. We don't all share the same fears, but we all know what fear feels like, and it's a terrible sensation. I wouldn't wish fear on anybody, and I know that a lot of people are genuinely afraid right now. 

 I have no way of knowing how many people are going to suffer physically from this virus, but I do know that millions of people are already suffering from it emotionally—and those people need love, not contempt. Those people are my brothers and sisters. Let me never forget my compassion for their anxiety, rather than telling them how they should or should not be feeling.

 And let me also show a strong measure of mercy to the people across the world who are running institutions, schools, governments, and companies right now. Those people are faced with the supremely unenviable task of trying to figure out how to respond to this crisis responsibly. There is no playbook. They will make mistakes. They will overreact; they will under react. They are human beings in an impossible dilemma. I would not wish to be the person faced with such massive, impactful decisions right now. Let me show compassion to them. 

 Let me show compassion to all. 

 And let me never stop asking: "How can I help?""

-ELizabeth Gilbert 


Fear can be also replaced with faith and love. As I am putting the final touches on a book titled Inspiration and Gratitude - a Journey of Loving Life I am challenged by the new normal in the world now. The pandemic that I have never experienced in my life. The economic fallout and the world suddenly changing.

I practice meditation and it is the only time of the day in which I consciously let go and experience a deep peace, sometimes a subtle presence, and a connection with the Divine Spirit. This is where my inspiration comes from - within. Even without a pandemic to cause more fear in our daily life, there is always something to worry about or to keep us off balance. Meditation and prayer are my daily retreats, my daily sanctuary, and my source of inspiration. I recommend it.

In addition to our attitude and replacing fear with faith and love, we need to take precautions and be sensible with the information that we have for prevention.


The world is coming together in an unprecedented way to fight this pandemic. It is a sign of cooperation and affirmation of the potentials of humanity moving forward. Yet this will probably be tested again in one way or another. We need to be prepared with a strong inner inspired faith, a strong immune system, and a sense of love combined with mindfulness.

Be strong.

Have inspiration and faith. Replace fear with love. We are all in this together. We will get through it. Life may not be the same again or for quite a while. Yet the human spirit has amazing resilience.

Blessings and gratitude to all responders, medical staff, and caregivers.

Blessings to all.

Carpe diem.

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