Today Gia and Karen talk about productivity for creative people and finding a balance between the left and right brains! Above (on the show notes page at http://www.itsjustlifepodcast.com) is an actual photo of Karen’s desk taken right after recording this episode – see what I mean about the whirlwind? (You’ll have to listen to find out!)
Karen shares that she will be on her way to Iceland and France just a few days after recording this podcast. Since they have pre-recorded a few episodes, by the time you hear this she will be on her way back home and she’ll talk about her trip on the next episode.
Gia starts with Something Positive: the story of a police officer who saved a life by preventing a man from jumping off a bridge. He talked gently and calmly with the man about football in order to gain his trust and get him to climb back down from the railing. Remember that for every story of hatred we hear there are probably thousands of quiet stories of heroism and love. Look for the love wherever you go!
Karen introduces the topic today by describing her own issues as a “messy creative” – see the proof of that in the photo above. Gia, however, has always been super-organized and efficient so she has struggled a bit more in the past with allowing space for creativity to enter. They each talk about their own solutions to their opposite problems:
schedule time each day for creativity – consistency pays off
the Pomodoro Technique – do focused, intense work for a period of 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break for something fun or nurturing
keep a planner or to-do list to help remember what needs to be done but not to dictate a rigid schedule
relax into the flow of creative ideas – they will come when they are meant to
creativity can flourish in the midst of messiness
accept your creative output as it is without judgement
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron helps explain how the inner critic operates and what to do about it
Parkinson’s Law: work expands to fill the time allotted
In this episode Gia begins by sharing Something Positive: a program in an elementary school in Baltimore that teaches children breath work and meditation instead of sending them to detention. They send a misbehaving child to a “Mindful Moment” room for reflection and some calming meditation. This program has yielded very positive results for the school – well done!
Next Gia and Karen talk about how to regain trust after you’ve been betrayed by another person or by life itself. It’s important to learn some recovery skills so that betrayals don’t cause us to spiral down into victimhood or fear. The conversation includes:
betrayal is a normal part of life – everyone is just human, trying to do the best they can
ultimately our trust should be in ourselves and our own Divinity rather than in people or things outside of ourselves
if we truly trust ourselves and our higher power then we don’t need anyone else in our lives to be totally trustworthy
betrayal can cause us to contract in fear and make ourselves small for self-protection if we don’t learn how to cope with it
even if we’ve healed the past we have to be open to betrayal happening again – have equanimity and compassion for others who are just being human
be able to take the Galaxy view and recognize that life has no guarantees and offers us many different opportunities to learn our lessons
betrayal is one of the biggest lessons we each must learn – so accept from the outset that life is going to bring this experience
we can allow others to be who they are when we place our trust within – we don’t require others to be perfect for us
we can become bitter if we expect our God to always prevent “bad” things from happening to us – this is a misunderstanding of what life is all about
Tips for regaining trust:
turn to prayer and meditation when you feel hurt or betrayed
accept your feelings rather than judging them
trace your own life journey and recognize all of the unexpected things that have happened, both surprises and disappointments; look for patterns in the ups and downs and recognize how life is teaching you certain lessons
consider that your current betrayals may be pointing you toward old wounds that still need to be healed
focus on loving yourself even more, especially when you feel fear
know that you have the power to take care of yourself and to make the highest choices for yourself
Remember: It’s Just Life! with all its crazy ups and downs – the more your emotions rise to the surface the faster you are growing and evolving! Be a Spirit Warrior and a Change Pioneer – join our community and help us forge new territory in life!
In this episode Gia shares Something Positive: the story of blind runners in the Men’s 100m race in the Paralympics. Each runner runs with a guide at his side who helps him stay in his lane and guides him to the finish line. The relationship involves maximum trust and vulnerability on the part of the blind runner and humility and selflessness for the guide. Truly inspiring!
Next they discuss the importance of being authentic and vulnerable and the fact that it takes true strength to be open and real. While our society favors strength and discourages vulnerability it is crucial for our spiritual development that we learn to be authentic. Other ideas covered include:
We fear vulnerability if we aren’t sure we are worthy of love
Vulnerability is actually a relationship with yourself because only you know your hidden depths
Fear of being vulnerable is actually fear of seeing yourself
No one judges us as harshly as we judge ourselves
We use our experiences to validate our fears and look for proof in others that our fears are real
Gia describes a practice to help you make your highest choice rather than acting from fear (see blog below)
Self-referring vs. self-reflecting
What we really long for is our own Soul’s wisdom rather than validation from another person
God is in everything, even in every emotion you experience, so it is safe to be who you are in every moment
Your journal is the perfect place to be completely you and practice being vulnerable
Gia shares the “22 Pushup Challenge” to raise awareness for the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day. This campaign is to get people to offer more support and create more programs for veterans who are suffering from PTSD. Connect with Gia on Facebook if you would like to participate in the challenge (see the link below.)
In this episode Gia and Karen discuss the challenge of listening for and following Divine guidance. You’ll hear their own stories of learning how to hear guidance when it comes. They talk about:
the definition of guidance
how guidance often comes as small nudges rather than earth-shattering revelations
how to distinguish soul guidance from the worries of the mind
Tips for hearing your guidance:
recognize that guidance has a peaceful, soothing energy
true guidance brings clarity and a sense of inner knowing
directions are simple
keep an open and curious mind when receiving guidance
let go of attachments to the outcome and trust the guidance you have been given
This episode begins with a discussion of what’s going on professionally for Gia and Karen:
Gia will be playing music for a Grief Workshop on Sunday September 11, 2016 in Encinitas, CA; find out more at www.soulofyoga.com; she will also be playing for a Full Moon Painting Workshop on September 16th at the Lazy Hummingbird in Ocean Beach.
Karen’s new ebook The Tao of Death is on sale this weekend on Amazon.com at this linkand the print version will be available next week; she is currently putting together Death Expo a 4-day online interview series about end-of-life issues, November 10-13, 2016. Find out more at eoluniversity.com.
Something Positive is the story of a young man who traveled to Panama for one month with only the clothes on his back and his passport. He found people everywhere willing to help him out with food, shelter, work, transportation, and photography. He wants to tell everyone that the world is a friendly place!
Today’s discussion covers:
why some newly-awakened spiritual seekers can feel guilty when they first become aware of the suffering in the rest of the world
some people wonder how there can be a benevolent God when there is so much pain in the world
how higher consciousness (Galaxy view) can transcend the polarity of this world
why you should not compare your path with others
that you can still have abundant joy and love even in the midst of suffering
why you should face the world with open eyes and heart, without fear, and bring as much love as possible
if you focus on light and love you will find it wherever you go
God is in everything – there is no place that is without God
the “Sunrise Practice”: watch the sun rise every morning and recognize that you are surrounded by light and love, always!
Today Gia shares her current personal situation in which life is “on pause” due to her roommate’s hospitalization after a bike accident. This unexpected event is the stimulus for a great conversation about the opportunities available when life’s tragic occurrences force us to take time out from our day-to-day busy schedules. The discussion includes:
why times of crisis are opportunities for transformation
reminders that we are not really in control over most of life – we are passengers, not the drivers of our “life vehicles”
how hospitals are sacred spaces
the process of healing from a conscious perspective: mind vs soul
the importance of being still and waiting to see what’s next
respond to every crisis with love, not fear
see the blessing in “the pause”
embrace whatever happens in your life
As always, we are here to share with you our own personal journeys through life’s ups and downs so that you will know that you are not alone and YOU ARE LOVED!
Take good care of yourself, spread love wherever you go, and remember that It’s Just Life!
Today Gia and Karen start off with Something Positive: the story of a dog who “adopted” an ultra-marathoner by running alongside him during an event in China.
Then they talk about the experience of having unexpected obstacles show up when following clear guidance. They offer their own best tips for coping with these sudden “stop signs” on the path of progress:
reframe the situation – see it as a need for better timing or an opportunity to learn more
let go of attachments to the outcome of your guidance
learn to trust the wisdom of the Universe
be curious about life’s mysteries
have patience and let life unfold with its own timing
journal about obstacles and the feelings that are arising
choose a totem as a daily reminder of your Divine guidance
don’t take the obstacles personally
Karen shares this quote by Rumi:
A new moon teaches gradualness and deliberation and how one gives birth to oneself slowly. Patience with small details makes perfect a large work, like the universe. What nine months of attention does for an embryo forty early mornings will do for your gradually growing wholeness.
We love, love, love you and are so glad you are joining us on this journey. Sending you positive energy to help you get through all your obstacles! Be sure to send us your comments and leave reviews on iTunes at this link.
Today Gia and Karen discuss the universal tendency to compare ourselves to others. There will always be someone who accomplishes more than us, has more wealth, better luck, or less suffering – or it least it seems that way. They share their own struggles with comparisons and how they are still working to overcome that tendency. You’ll hear about:
how the ego seeks rewards for accomplishments and clings to expectations (which is a set-up for disappointment)
we are each on our own path and get the lessons we need in life
other people become mirrors for us, helping us see where we need to love ourselves more
we need to appreciate what this life offers us instead of wishing for something different
the Galaxy view helps us see the perfection in everything
the keys to overcoming the pain of comparison are love and trust: love yourself more and trust that Universe is giving you exactly what you need
Today Gia and Karen talk about the fickleness and frustration of the creative process and share their own stories of awakening the muse within. You’ll learn how Gia manages creativity as a songwriter and how Karen finally found her voice as an author. The conversation includes:
how the creative impulse can feel uncomfortable at times
that creativity shows up best when we are relaxed
what happens when the mind takes over the creative process
why some projects are meant to go unfinished
the benefits of meditation to get the mind out of the way