Inspiring authentic transformation in people for a kinder, more compassionate world.


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We Have Forgotten

It is a foggy day today, September 11, 2014.

As I sit at one my favorite cafés writing, I honestly am asking myself how much more can be written about this tragic day. I feel as if I am reiterating the same old sentiment: “never forget.” With all of the articles, eBooks, blogs and conspiracy theories floating around the internet about 9/11, how can anyone forget what happened that day? And, what about the families of those who died on that day? Do they really need to be reminded again and again what happened everywhere they turn? Today, thirteen years later, I am writing yet another blog for everyone to read online about September 11th.  The truth is we do forget. We have forgotten how wounded we are.

September 11, 2001

Like many people, I remember that day like it was yesterday. In complete, numbing shock I changed channels on the television only to come to the same horrific rehashing of the two planes flying into the towers and the buildings tumbling to the ground. I had a friend who I knew worked in Tower One. I could not help but think of her as I watched in disbelief (I found out the next day she made it outside before the building fell).  As a brand new mother, I wondered what kind of world my child would inherit. It seemed like the attainment of peace worldwide, much less in my own backyard, was now almost impossible.

Robert Maynard Hutchins, American philosopher and perennialist, wrote:

“The goal toward which all history tends is peace, not peace through the medium of war, not peace through a process of universal intimidation, not peace through a program of mutual impoverishment, not peace by any means that leaves the world too weak or too frightened to go on fighting, but peace pure and simple based on that [will to peace] which has animated the overwhelming majority of mankind through countless ages. This will to peace does not arise out of a cowardly desire to preserve one’s life and property, but out of conviction that the [fullest development of the highest powers of men] can be achieved only in a world of peace.”

peace

The events of September 11, 2001 (as well as other horrific events that occur worldwide) – however planned and executed – demonstrated the state of consciousness of the perpetrators. Did they have a “will to peace” as Hutchins mentions? They were as far from a consciousness of peace as one can get. There are probably many arguments one could surmise to explain why anyone would commit this type of mass murder, but one thing I do know is this: we cannot “undo” what happened that tragic day. What we can do now is move forward. We can move forward in creating the world we truly want to live in – a world of cooperation, respect and compassion. Let this short blog inspire you to rise above by acknowledging what is within you first. Heal your wounded parts, for life or death begins there. It is these wounded parts that contribute towards living in fear of others, that separate, that cause us to believe there is an enemy “out there,” that fall prey to racism and control, and that spew out fear onto the world. It is the wounded part of us that plans a “9/11.” Let’s heal and transform the world into a place where the events of September 11th are unheard of. Let’s do it for our children. Let’s do it for humankind.

As I contemplate that day forever etched in my mind, I cannot help but hope for a better, freer, and more compassionately conscious world. So, on this foggy, September 11th in the Rockies, as I sit with others around me whom I do not know but who share flesh and blood and the desire to live free, happy, and creatively with me, I will say, as has been said over and over again: never forget.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso


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June Book Review: The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness by Gary Zukav and Linda Francis

June Book Review, Linda Francis

“Your emotions will tell you what your soul wants to know.” – Linda Francis

Published in 2001, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness by successful authors Gary Zukav and Linda Francis, is still a wealth of knowledge that will inspire you to look at your emotions as undeniable aides in your growth and healing. Gary and Linda explain how our understanding of our emotions as they relate to the body’s seven emotional centers (also known as the seven chakras) gives us power to live authentically and joyfully. In this book, Zukav and Francis explain how emotional awareness can enhance, change and redirect our daily lives.

June 2014, Book Review

I happened to stumble upon this treasure one day when I was briefly browsing books in a used book store. It was not my intention to purchase a book that day, but my intuition told me buy The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness. I recently discovered it in my collection of reading material and decided to delve into it. I was pleasantly surprised by how informative and easy it was to read and assimilate. I like to write or underline concepts in books, and I found myself underlining a lot in this one! Most importantly, I humbly realized where I need to improve and change to live more authentically.

The first part of the book specifically explains the relationship our emotions have with our energy patterns, what emotions are and how we gain power and authenticity in our lives by acknowledging them as they are. The second part of this book demonstrates how we run away from feeling our emotions through addictions and escape mechanisms. The book summarizes how we are able to live joyfully when we learn to live in love and not in fear.

June Book Review, Gary Zukav

A bit about the authors, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis:

Gary Zukav is the best-selling author of The Seat of the Soul and has written other books, including The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. Gary is a Harvard Graduate with a degree in International Relations, a World Business Academy Fellow, on the advisory board of the Human Kindness Foundation, is an inspirational teacher and writer, and much more.

Linda Francis, along with Gary Zukav, is founder of Genesis: The Foundation for the Universal Human, an organization whose mission is to assist people across the world to create meaning, creativity, purpose, health, joy and love, which, in their view, is authentic power, the alignment of personality with the soul. Linda has been in the healing profession for three decades as a registered nurse and a doctor of Chiropractic. She now teaches the Authentic Power Program with Gary Zukav. Both Gary and Linda can be reached at www.zukav.com

A copy of The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness can be purchased from www.zukav.com.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso

 


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The Unexpected Gap

It is autumn. It is a time that signifies the end of something, the beginning of something else, and the “in between.” It is a time when the old life withers and new life eventually emerges. It is a time of change.

So many of us are truly afraid of change, but change is something we cannot avoid. It is part of life no matter what. It is the relinquishing of the old, the bringing about of the new, and the eventual merging of the soul with both. It is the beginning of new life. It is normal. This is life. It is what life does; it seeks to express itself through us, and it seeks to express itself by the big C word: CHANGE.

The moment we see, feel, or intuit change coming is sometimes the moment of panic.  At this moment, we are at the crest of new life, the moment of unclear action. We cannot see the future, we want to remain in the present (how we want it to be), but life demands of us to move on to the “new,” no matter what that “new” might be. It is at this time that we are in what I call the Unexpected Gap. The universe is always and intently changing without resistance and moving forward. Our role is to go with it. However, we all resist change to one extent or another depending on what we believe change means. Some of us view change as something incredibly awful, and we resist it with all our strength.  Others embrace change and welcome it as the life-giving and healing source it can be in our lives. Some of us acknowledge change but continue to deny that it is happening, so we continue to live in the old season. We don’t accept it and remain stagnate. For some of us, it takes a lifetime to embrace change.

When I was an active teenager decades ago, abrupt change was cast on me as I ventured home one day and found my mother in a stroke-induced coma. Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. Nothing. It was not expected. It was not even anywhere on my radar (or anyone else’s). CHANGE (very painful change, I might add) was thrust upon me like a brick thrown at my face. It was the worst disaster that hit my family from out of nowhere.

The emotions I felt back then were so intense and confusing. I could not even ponder how I was going to get through the rest of my life without my mother. I felt angry at God and did not understand why this was happening; I felt incredible sadness (Mom was only forty-six); I was confused; I felt guilty because I had gotten in a stupid fight with my mother that morning before she dropped flat-faced on the bathroom floor, and I was not able to say goodbye to her; I wanted answers but they did not come. It took two weeks for my mom to eventually die. Within those two weeks, I was in my “unexpected gap.” My life would never be the same again.

I am not alone. We all have our “unexpected gaps.” As I have learned, that space, that moment, that time between the old and the new, that unforeseen, painful, elusive gap (of whatever length of time) is the point where the release of the present meets the manifestation of the new; it is the point of no return. It is also the point at which, if not heeded and embraced, we remain stuck. It is our autumn.

Decades after the death of my mother, I finally understand what that unexpected gap wanted from me. I know why I felt the feelings I felt, too. I discovered that it is my responsibility, no matter how arduous, to see, feel, and embrace the change that comes within my gap. I know now that I felt angry and confused back then because I was afraid of “the unexpected gap:” I wanted to trust only that which was familiar and wanted to remain there. I felt sad because I did not and could not see or embrace my life without Mom; I felt guilty because I had chosen to argue with my mother that unforgettable morning instead of telling her I loved her. I lacked faith in what was to come, in the personal growth that was to occur, in the process of life.  I did not accept that Mom’s passing (for whatever mysterious reasons) was my gap.

Can anyone truly explain why anyone dies at a specific time or why things happen the way they do? The answer will always remain elusive, but I do know this: autumn comes every year whether we are prepared or not. Unexpected change will come. And, that “gap” we all experience in one form or another is a chance for release, growth and the eventual emerging of change and of new life.

Heed the gap.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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The Turning Point

It’s funny how memories come to mind. At one moment, we are thinking about one thing and in the next split second, we are taken back to the not-so-wonderful past.  This happened to me yesterday as I was driving. I passed by a familiar restaurant and memories flooded my mind. What is particularly funny is that I had driven past this restaurant probably dozens of times this year alone, but it was yesterday’s drive that spurred the memories.

Five years ago.

It was five years ago today that my fourteen year marriage ended, legally. After the judge declared the marriage “dissolved,” I remember my ex-husband stating, “Well, that was that.” I thought to myself, “That IS that; it’s over. Finally OVER.”  As we walked out of that emotionless, cold courtroom, it was apparent that now we both had to “move on.” There were to be so many changes ahead for me. And, even though I was the one who instigated the breakup of a very troubled marriage, at that moment, I knew another level of healing (and suffering) had just commenced for me. I wish I could write that I was brave through all of it, that I handled every crying session, every sad day, every angry moment with dignity and grace, but that is not true. I would love to say that every thought I had back then as I was healing was inspired by love, peace, joy and ultimate good (for myself and for everyone involved) but they were not. I would love to say that it was an easy road to travel, but it was not. My days and healing time were a mix of almost complete bliss and sometimes utter despair.

On one particularly sad day five years ago, I ventured into the same restaurant that I drove by yesterday to order some take-out food. As I was ready to pay for my meal, the clerk gazed at me, and with a Spanish accent, said, “It’s okay; you don’t pay – my gift to you.”  I remember the look of bewilderment on his face as he slowly and compassionately mouthed these words to me, and quite frankly, I was shocked not only by the generosity of this man but by the way he looked at me. I can only surmise that the look of astonishment on his face was because my spirit and my appearance must have looked and felt like I had just been hit by a truck running amuck. This kind gesture from this man was perhaps something he did regularly, but his actions touched me and snapped me into reality! That moment was my turning point. It was the moment when I said to myself, “It is time.” It was time to stop wallowing; it was time to start trusting, to release my pain, to forgive, to allow goodness to come to my life. It was time to allow my spirit within that was squelched by all the years of an abusive marriage to now live.  It was time to let go and let God flow. It was time.

From that moment forward, as each day passed, I became closer and closer to discovering who I really was and what truly made my spirit come alive. I allowed healing to take place by allowing the tears to flow, by choosing to forgive, by letting go of the anger, and by embracing the changes (all good) that would come. I learned to love myself holistically – emotionally, physically and spiritually. I learned to be brave. I learned to let go of fear. I learned to step out in faith.  I learned to make decisions that were in line with who I was and what I wanted in my life. I would eventually forget the man at the restaurant – the catalyst that begun my journey into complete healing. As days turned to months, and the months turned to years, I was to discover all the beauty and healing that life has to offer!  I learned that all things can be changed and healed with hope and courage.

Perhaps yesterday’s drive was a sober reminder of what I experienced years ago for the sole purpose of reminding me of how incredible the journey of life truly is when we allow healing to take place. It was a reminder to never fear change but to embrace all its gifts. Whenever I am tempted to lose hope, I look back to five years ago. Whenever, I think about giving up on myself, I think about what happened five years ago. Whenever, I am tempted to think that I can’t, I remember how far I have come. Whenever I falsely think, “Give it up, Vilma; you can’t do it,” I think about that moment in that restaurant.

What is the turning point in your life? Everyone has one (or two). Have you allowed healing to take place in your life, or are you still wrapped up in fear, anger, pain and self-inflicted misery? Why not point yourself towards the ever-present love that, if you allow it, will change you from the inside out and propel you into the confident, healthy and vibrant person you are meant to be?  The choice is yours. Choose to turn and point yourself in the direction of abundant life.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso


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What is Abuse?

Abuse is all about control.

Abuse is something that happens when one person believes they have power over another and exercises that power. Abuse is not only physical. It can be psychological, spiritual, verbal, emotional, financial and sexual for starters. Domestic violence is a result of the abusive mindset and the behaviors associated with that belief. According to The Women’s Crises and Family Outreach Center (TWCFOC), an organization that is dedicated to ending domestic violence in the lives of all people and empowering those victims of abuse, “domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another. Assault, battering, and domestic violence are crimes.”

How do you know if you are being abused or have been abused? Here are some examples of abuse:

  • If you have been coerced or manipulated into doing something you did not want to do, you have been emotionally abused.
  • If you are afraid of your partner and feel like you have to “walk on eggshells” to not anger them, you have experienced psychological abuse.
  • If you have been pushed into a corner, you have been physically abused.
  • If you have been called a name, you have been verbally abused.
  • If you have been held against your will or made to do anything because of your partner’s religious beliefs, you have been abused.
  • If your significant other has punched you in the face, you have been physically abused.
  • If you were forced to have sex without your consent, you have been sexually abused.
  • If you are in an intimate relationship where you are not “allowed” to have or spend money, you are in a financially abusive relationship.
  • If you have been made to feel that if you do not do something or give something you will “pay,” you have been psychologically abused.
  • If you feel deflated, always tired, confused, depressed, scared to make a decision for yourself, or feel like you are losing your mind, you might be in an abusive relationship.
  • If you think you are being abused in any way, you probably are.

If you are experiencing at least three or more of the above examples of abuse, chances are high that you are in an abusive relationship or situation. You are not alone!

Please contact the Women’s Crisis and Family Outreach Center for confidential and compassionate assistance. There is no charge to speak to a counselor, and they are open 24 hours, 7 days per week.

1-888-247-7472.

 There is only one YOU. Get help before it is too late! 

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2013, Vilma Reynoso

Peace not Violence


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Reflections on Violence and Guns

Yesterday was the start of a new week after the needless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Sandy Hook, CT, on Dec 14, 2012. I dropped off my child at school yesterday morning and was saddened to see a police car and two officers with their guns standing outside the school in place of the principal who usually greets the children as they arrive at school. I have to admit I was a bit relieved to know that if someone were to start shooting, the police would most likely stop it before it got out of control, and my child’s life might be spared. However, the reality of this situation flattened my spirit, and I felt a profound sadness because of the state of our world. Why so much violence?

When I was in middle school, all I worried about was what I was going to eat for lunch that day, what boy would or would not like me, or if I was going to be chosen on the better team for kickball. Possible bullies at school and getting in trouble at home was all we feared. I was a happy-go-lucky child who looked forward to guitar lessons, girl scouts and cheerleading after school; I knew all my classmates. If one were to go missing, we all would feel the loss. Now kids have to worry about being shot and killed at school, a place where they should feel safe. What child would not be afraid to go to school this day in age? How does a child feel when they see policemen in their full uniforms – guns included – standing in front of their school waiting to take aim and shoot, if needed?

As I thought about this for a moment, I asked myself who really should hold the guns. On the one hand, I was thankful the police were there with ammunition (for obvious reasons). However, on the other hand, it was a sad and frightening thought that put fear into my heart – the fear of what might happen. Forty or so years ago, this “fear” did not exist as it does today. We have created a society based on fear. We are afraid to take a stand. We are afraid of losing our jobs. We are afraid of going broke. We fear illness, loss and death. We are afraid to walk outside our front doors.  We would rather stay inside our homes and surf online than walk to the neighbor’s house and introduce ourselves. We are afraid to feel our pain, so we fantasize, take drugs, eat in excess, and create chaos for ourselves by becoming addicted to substances, alcohol, recreational drugs and pills. We submerse ourselves in our I-phones, I-pads, I-pods, other electronic gadgets, the internet and TV. We have become numb and despondent, uncaring and cold, distant and confused, anxious and rude, lifeless and robotic, and disconnected. And now, we are even more afraid: we are so fearful that we clutch onto our guns (and rights) tighter. When will it end? What will it take to change our present reality? Why are we so afraid?

“Put more restrictions on the purchase of guns,” they say. More restrictions will make it harder to obtain guns, but will it stop the criminals from confiscating and using them?  I understand wanting to protect ourselves and our loved ones, but I cannot see any other way to protect myself from an attack unless I am always on alert with my gun. How am I to live always waiting for the impending “attack?” How is that freedom? It is not. It is living in chains and in anxiety each moment.

What about protection from tyranny? Yes, we need to have the right to own guns, just in case of an impending governmental or other assault. But, how many guns do we need to own and hide away? How many is enough?

Our world is filled with relentless greed. The hearts of the people who run institutions, corporations and governments these days are fueled by greed, whose driving force is fear. The dollar and bottom line is more important than the person. This cold attitude creates fear – fear to lose our jobs, fear of going broke, and fear of pursuing what we really desire. We lose our authenticity and we embrace someone we are not. We have lost our humanity. It is time to change the world and stop the downward spiral of fear to love and peace.

More guns will not ultimately solve the root of the problem causing the violence. Imagine, for a moment, a society where everyone owns and carries guns. Would you feel safe knowing that at any moment anyone at anytime can start a shoot out because someone else cut them off in traffic, for example? Would you feel safe walking out your front door then? A society with guns only perpetuates more fear of each other and makes it easier to kill.  It will further divide us, separate us, further alienate us, and further drive us to despair and loneliness. Nothing good can come from more guns in more hands.

I often dream about a world without the violence. Many tell me that it is impossible to have a world where something like Sandy Hook shootings only happen once in a blue moon or very, very rarely. Why is it impossible? It will take a change of consciousness; it will take a shift in focus, a collective arming of love, a collective new level of acceptance of all human beings without regards to social strata, religion, politics, sexual preference, gender and color. It will take a mass healing starting from each and every heart and spreading to every system we have in place that is not working or failing. We need to ask, “What’s in it for US?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” It will take responsibility. It will take each person choosing to live at peace at every moment. Not all of us will agree on everything – that is not possible – but I can safely say that every human being longs for safety and freedom, which I believe are our rights. The real fight is the fight for peace, not the fight for more weapons.

What can we do to change the consciousness and spirit of fear in this country and worldwide? It starts with each one of us. It starts with peace and love in your heart; it starts with releasing the fear; it starts with letting go and embracing love and peace in each moment. It starts with treating each other with respect, love, and embracing our differences instead of being threatened by them. We are at a crucial time of change in history because the fear and resulting violence in this world is at an all-time, disturbing high. Let’s switch the pendulum to love. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” said Mahatma Gandhi, who freed an entire nation without ever resorting to violence. It starts with you.

My heart and love go out to each and every person affected by the tragedy that just occurred. I cannot fathom the horror from that day. However, the answer, I believe, is not to arm more people with guns. The answer is not more violence. The answer is less violence; it is a shift in belief and action to one of unity, compassion, acceptance, cooperation, love and freedom regardless of differing beliefs and lifestyles. It is time to move forward without more violence. It is time to conquer fear with love, not with more guns.

Peace.

Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

Copyright, 2012, Vilma Reynoso