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


2 Comments

3 Simple Ways to Set Your Heart on Fire and Why it Matters

I love coffee shops! I love what I see and find in them: people conversing, reading, writing, sharing, laughing, creating, enjoying, loafing around, and day dreaming. We need more of this in this very troubled world, don’t we? Yesterday, in one of my favorite hometown coffee shops, I experienced three things that touched my heart, and frankly, made my day! After having experienced these three things, I realized how important it is for all of us to experience them. Why? Because a heart on fire makes for a much-needed, kinder and more compassionate world! So, without further ado, here they are:

Make eye contact with people. Making eye contact makes the other person feel important and acknowledged. It tells them that they matter, that their presence is important. We all want to know and feel that we matter to others, even to strangers.

As I was entering and exiting the coffee shop today, several people made eye contact with me. It was simple and non-invasive. It was as if they told me, “Hey, good to know you are alive; we are both here, at this coffee shop, doing our own thing, and that is okay.” It was a simple nod that made me feel like I was acknowledged and that I mattered.

Give someone you don’t know a compliment. When we compliment someone, it is more about us than about the other person. It is giving without expectation, and when we do that, we always benefit. You know the old saying, “It is better to give than to receive?” Well, not to sound cliché, but it is true: when we give, we feel something good, and that “good” is what this world desperately needs.

After time well spent at the coffee shop, I decided to get something to eat at a nearby restaurant. As I was walking to my table, a woman very unexpectedly complimented my outfit. I have to admit that I was thrown for a loop! I thanked her and smiled. Her kind gesture put a smile in my heart, not only on my face. I felt acknowledged and that I mattered.

Tell someone what they mean to you. Everyone wants to know that they mean something to others. If you know someone who has positively affected your life in one way or another (even in a small manner), please tell them! We all want to know that what we do for others makes a difference to them. When we make a difference to someone else, we feel complete – we feel that our purpose on this planet is fulfilled. Telling someone they made a difference to us is simple. You can send an email, a note, a text, or make a phone call. What is important is that you let them know how pleased you are with them.

Today, during my time at the coffee shop, a friend emailed me to tell me I had made a significant difference in her life. I was a bit shocked to hear this because I had no idea! I was so happy that she had taken the time to tell me because it made me feel like I mattered and lit up my heart.

If everyone would do these three things every day, our world would be changed almost instantaneously! Just imagine it. There would be no time for bouts of anger, unrelenting fear, despair, racism gone wild, injustice, oppression of all kinds, tyranny, and unnecessary wars. The world would be transformed! We would all feel like we mattered, we would all feel acknowledged, and we would never doubt our worth and purpose in each other’s lives. Planet Earth would see a beautiful transformation starting with each person.

So, if you are like me and love to hang out at the coffee house, try these three things and observe how much better you feel.  Heck, even if you are not like me and hate coffee shops, try these things wherever you are! Set your heart and someone else’s heart on fire. Do it because you matter and it matters.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being


Leave a comment

What I Learned About Life From My Two Cats; Yes, From My Two Cats

Two Cats

I have two awesome cats. It’s not what you think.

Yes, I love them both; one is a beautiful Somali-type and the other is a gorgeous grey and white mix. Both are humorous, sensitive, affectionate, loving, fantastic, and I love them both equally. They have similar, laid-back personalities, but there is one part of the day (every day) that demonstrates clearly to me their innate differences: meal time! They are fed at the exact same time, but my grey and white guy, let’s call him “Tentative One,” thinks long and hard before he eats. He is hungry, and sometimes maybe famished, but he will ALWAYS wait and not eat immediately. My other cat, the “Little Lion,” a name she inherited since she looks just like miniature lion, immediately runs to her plate and gobbles up her food! She does not hesitate for one second. She knows it is coming and jumps at the chance to eat her portion.

So what is the big deal, you might ask? Well, the problem is that when Tentative is too tentative, Little Lion eats his share as well, and he is left with nothing to eat! Many times, I have to make sure she does not eat his food in addition to hers, and I have to nudge Tentative One to eat before she gets to his. Some of the time, he appreciates the nudging, and other times, he remains indifferent. I would say once or twice a week, Little Lion eats his food! Why does this happen consistently? Why doesn’t Tentative One learn that if he is tentative, he will miss out?

Like a cat waiting for his or her daily meals, the universe presents us with gifts every day. Some of us are hesitant to take what is presented while others jump at the chance. Why do we do this? All of us are guilty at being hesitant or of being too rash at times. While noticing the differences between my two cats, I realized that they still manage to get along with each other. There is a lot that we can learn from animals (at least from cats). When the universe presents something, we need to take it in faith. And, if we hesitate, someone else will snatch it – whatever it is. How many opportunities have I missed because I was the “tentative one?” Or, on the other hand, how many opportunities did I snatch too quickly and got burned because of my rash choices because I acted like Little Lion? It is easier said than done sometimes, but I prefer to be on the receiving end. Ideally, we should know when to jump and when it is best to think before diving in. However, I believe many times we think too much before taking action. I prefer to be like my Little Lion. She anticipates, she waits, she never begs, she does not fear, and when she sees it coming, she runs after it!

Now, I want to be crystal clear: I am not advocating stepping over anyone’s toes to get what you want or using any form of abuse to obtain your desires. I am simply advocating for all of us to learn a simple lesson: anticipate good things, know you will get them eventually, wait for them, and when they are presented, grab them. Many of us wait and then do not accept what is coming to us because we question whether we deserve it, or we think too long and hard about whether we should take it -whatever “it” is; and then, like Tentative One, we lose that opportunity that we desired and would have propelled our lives into a new, more exciting direction. Little Lion is courageous and she is the example we need to follow.

So today, let me encourage you to embrace your “little lion.” She is the part of you waiting to snatch that desire you have when it becomes available. Look around. Opportunities are everywhere. Make that commitment today to seize what comes to you so you can create the life you would love. Believe it. Seek it. Wait for it. And, finally, go for it.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings from One Creative Being 


2 Comments

August Book Review: Creativity: Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Creativity. We all have it, and we all want to relish in it. But how?

Creativity, Mihaly CsikszentmihalyiMihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s groundbreaking book, Creativity: Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention, is considered an exemplary work (and I agree) in the study of creative expression. Csikszentmihalyi interviewed almost a hundred creative people in every field and synthesized his findings in this book. He also brings thirty years of research on the subject of creativity. Professor Csikszentmihalyi explains the creative process, the creative personality, and what it means to work creatively in the first part of his book. He then summarizes his findings from his interviews of very successful creative people, followed by a thorough explanation of what he renders the domains of creativity: the word, life, future and culture and how to enhance your own personal creative energy.

Although it has been almost twenty years since the publishing of this writing, this masterpiece stands alone as the bedrock of how people experience creativity and live in what the author calls, “flow”- the experience of spending hours or days where you lose track of time, forgetting to eat or sleep, feeling like there is no other place you would rather be, being “in the zone,” feeling completely immersed in your creative endeavor, experiencing creative bliss and feeling an instinctive calling to keep working on your project. Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi presents the author’s nine, necessary component states of achieving flow. He also explains that in order to achieve a state of optimal flow, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the creator.

For a long time, I believed I did not possess creativity. However, I thankfully discovered that I, as well as all of us, have an abundance of it! We are all creators to one extent or another. You might be a person who thinks you are not creative, but you truly are. Every day, you make decisions that require the use of your given and inerrant, abundantly supplied creativity. Deciding to shower a certain way as opposed to another is being creative; decorating your bedroom is using your creative mind; designing a spreadsheet, delivering a speech, sewing a dress, knitting a scarf, building a skyscraper, re-arranging your pantry, cooking, using a programming language, making jewelry, writing music, designing the underground structure of an emerging neighborhood, organizing the applications on your cell phone, and blogging is being creative. And, the list goes on. Every time you imagine and then take action, you are creating. Having had to read this book in college years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I possessed some of the characteristics of highly creative and successful people that are described in this book, and you do too! Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi will show you what creative people are like, how the creative process works, and what conditions encourage or discourage the generation of original ideas. I recommend this book to those interested in the study of creative expression or those who want to understand or nourish their own creative lives.

Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

A bit about the author, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi has written several other books or publications in addition to Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. His most recent work centers around the study of intrinsic motivation and how it contributes to overall success of the individual. Born in Hungary in 1934, he was affected by the Second World War in ways that deeply influenced his life and later work. During his childhood, he was put in an Italian prison. Experiencing the horrible loss of family and friends due to the war and subsequently becoming “lost in flow” playing chess when he could were the catalysts that inspired his future work in the area of individual flow and optimal human experience.

To purchase Flow and The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, visit: Goodreads.

To learn more about the author, visit: The Pursuit of Happiness.

“But it is impossible to enjoy a tennis game, a book, or a conversation unless attention is fully concentrated on the activity.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Visit my blog about creativity: DesignsbyVilms.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings From One Creative Being


Leave a comment

May Book Review: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

The first recognition of beauty was one of the most significant events in the evolution of human consciousness.” – Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

After stepping out of my reading comfort zone and immersing myself in New York Times best-selling author, Eckhart Tolle’s, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, I was pleasantly surprised to put it mildly. The book pretty much left me speechless. I have to admit that when I first picked up this piece of writing, I was very skeptical. I believed that it was something that I could not relate to or have the patience to read because, although I am very spiritual, I am also very analytical, and I believed that a book like this from a spiritual healer like Eckhart Tolle would be something I would find without substantial substance. I was wrong.

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, thoroughly and convincingly explains how our current ego-based state of consciousness functions and how it contributes to pain, misery and violence in the world. He demonstrates how to live in pure joy in the present moment, and illustrates how most people live in the past or the future, thus missing out on true life now. He shows how thought and emotion can be hindrances to true joy and happiness. Tolle describes addiction (all known forms in addition to others he believes are problematic) and how most of us are living in reaction to life and not in response to life. He then covers how to break free from this behavior; he reveals how we are pure consciousness, how to live in pure truth and what the “new earth” is about. This book is well written, intriguing, illuminating, uplifting, very rich, easy to read, and is one of those books you cannot only read ONCE. It is a life-changer and a must read!

I highly recommend A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle to anyone who is looking for an answer to life’s BIG questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? Where did we come from? What are we made of? Although not exclusive, Tolle’s book attempts to answer all of these questions with very thought-provoking answers.

A bit about the author, Eckhart Tolle:

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Eckhart is a spiritual teacher and author who was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty nine, a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Later, he began to work in London with individuals and small groups as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Eckhart Tolle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Power of Now, and is also author of Stillness Speaks and other books. He lives in Vancouver, Canada, when he is not traveling sharing his message of profound truth and hope. To learn more about Eckhart, visit: EckhartTolle.com.

To purchase A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle, visit: EckhartTolleTV.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings From One Creative Being


2 Comments

Four Ways to Experience Authentic Living

Vilma Reynoso, Town of Parker

I am thankful that I live near a beautiful and serene walking path in my part of the world. I have walked this path many times, and today, a windy and semi-cloudy day, I realized something.

Very recently, there used to be a wooded area around a bend and after a bridge that I found serene. It was covered with all kinds of vegetation, plants and trees. Beautiful and sometimes breathtaking, it was part of our path until the town leadership decided to remove the plants and trees and remake the area to something more practical. At first, I scoffed at this decision. I did not want it be changed. I loved it the way it was with the old trees and swamp-like essence. I enjoyed seeing it every time I walked, ran or rode on the path because it was familiar. It was comforting. It was good.

Today, as I was taking a morning stroll in the area, I realized its beauty and I acknowledged that it was more than just “a practical redo.” I now am able to sit on a man-made rock formation and meditate or relax (even sleep). I am able to hear the stream of water (And I love the sound of running water!). I can appreciate the fact that now it will be nearly impossible for this area to flood because of how they redid it. And, it is progress. It is not so scary anymore. I have embraced it. It is good.

Life is about accepting the new, not ignoring it or constantly attempting to keep it as is. Life is not about control, but it is about change and growth. Growth does not come without change. This I knew deep inside, but today, the gentle breeze, cloudy sky, and the relaxing sound of the water flowing in the new and improved nearby stream reminded me of this.

Allowing and accepting change in our lives will bring about authenticity and growth. And allowing ourselves to be authentic allows us to ultimately be the most content. It is this place we all want to reach: our bliss. I was reminded of four ways in which we can attain authentic bliss today:

  • Do something you have always been terrified of doing. You will realize that the fear was only an illusion. It was in your head. Once you do whatever it is you are afraid to do, you will have destroyed those thoughts and the next time is not so scary. Most of the time, what you fear is not something in the present, but something that was part of your past and now tied up in your present imagination. I have recently done something I was terrified of doing. I am now not afraid of it anymore and realize there was no reason for me to have been afraid. You can do it!
  • Do something you love but for whatever reason stopped doing. Have you stopped golfing or swimming? Did you stop traveling or eliminated a hobby you enjoyed from your life because you now have too many “responsibilities?” If this is the case, get back into it! Once you restart this activity or hobby, you will feel authentically alive again. I am making a commitment now to restart something I love that I had given up.
  • Get reunited with someone with whom you have lost contact. Many times we lose contact with those we care about because of many reasons. Is there someone you would love to have in your life again on any level? If the answer is yes, then you need to contact that person and take a step. Once you reunite with this person, you will have opened up more authenticity in your life. You will feel more alive, more bliss. I have done this recently, and I am happy that I did.
  • Get moving and learn or do something you have never done before. Trying a new activity, a new hobby or a new adventure makes us come alive. Leave the “I can’t” thoughts behind and just do it. This new experience will enrich you, take you away from your current rut, and help you see past your preconceived ideas. You might even discover an entire new direction in life! I am making a commitment to try something new this summer.

The above four ways to experience authenticity will inspire and allow you to live from your most raw and loving self. Living authentically inspires and enhances our peace and our joy and helps us connect more deeply to each other and to our planet. And, like a new, man-made stream, life is experienced with embracing the new, moving past our fears, and accepting what is. The new stream in town is perfect. I have embraced it. You can, too.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, vilmareynoso.com, Inspiration for Abundant Living for all Beings From One Creative Being 

Earthships


Leave a comment

April Book Review: A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential by Michael E. Reynolds

Earthships, WizardsThere is a magical, enchanting and beautiful plot of land on this planet that has inspired many to change their lives and follow their dreams. This spot is about 20 miles west of Taos, New Mexico, and is the inspiration for one man, Michael E. Reynolds, who is on course to change the world. An ahead-of-his-time visionary and entrepreneur, architect, author, environmentalist and inspirational warrior, Reynolds is nothing less than brilliant. His book, A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential, is written to explain his method of thinking behind his revolutionary “Earthship,” a beautiful, fully sustainable structure made mostly from garbage (cans, tires, bottles, and dirt for starters) and recycled materials for off-the-grid living.

Do not let the title fool you! A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential is a unique text in that it covers the author’s history and personal story and his thoughts and views on world ecology, architecture, spirituality and physics. It also includes Reynolds’ poetry throughout. This book is very engaging and thorough. The author shares many diagrams to explain his concepts and also pictures of his Earthship structures in New Mexico from the simple to the more complex. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a more sustainable way to live, those who are environmentally conscious or those interested in radically changing society for the better.

Part one explains the author’s state of mind, the human condition and the basic way of thinking required for humans to reach their innate potential. In part two and three of this book, Michael Reynolds presents the “wizard Information”(essentially, divine or innate wisdom that can only be attained with a proper and open state of mind) along with a real and practical way of applying it in our lives. He then explains the wisdom gained that enabled him to begin his architectural work and then expand it, and the type of thinking required to manifest such a reality. Thus, this book is about finding and moving toward our human potential and learning to work with and not against planet Earth. In his own words, “the way to ride the energy to its full potential is to know the nature of the energy, so that it doesn’t control or harm us, and to also realize we cannot control it. We are talking about an alignment or a union, or a merging with energy. This is the way of the wizard. Control is the way of the ego.”

I had the pleasure of touring some Earthships recently on a trip I took to New Mexico. I also had the opportunity to not only view the Earthships, but also to spend a few nights in two different, beautiful ones! It was an experience I will never forget, and one of my goals now is to eventually live in an Earthship myself. Below, are some photographs from my visit:

Earthships

Earthships

Earthships

A bit about the author, Michael E. Reynolds:

Mike Reynolds, Earthships

Michael Reynolds is a world famous architect who has spent the last forty plus years evolving the concept of “ home.” His vision is for the home to care for its inhabitants and not vice versa. With this logical goal in mind, he set out to design, build, refine and master the Earthship, which is now an affordable reality and can be built easily.  Designed with concepts that any person can adopt, these self-sustaining buildings can provide housing for all people on any place on the planet. To learn more about Michael E. Reynolds and his Earthships, visit: Earthship.com or GarbageWarrior.com. To purchase a copy of A Coming of Wizards: A Manual of Human Potential, visit: Earthship.com.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.

 


Leave a comment

Like Nature, We Are

Nature. It is what it is.

I have to apologize if you think this blog is about the physical or biological building blocks of our natural world. It is not. It is, however, about what we can learn from nature.

Snow in the Rockies

As scientific and rational human beings in the twenty first century, there is a lot we do know about how nature works physically, but we lack in the philosophical understanding of why it does what it does. There is much more to study and ponder. Sometimes, the best we can do is experience without having to explain. Nature is observable but not completely explainable, magnificent and fearless, majestic and mutable, beautiful and courageous, unapologetic and focused. Nature is all of these things, and it is a poignant reminder of what just is.

I eloped almost two weeks ago and was headed for my honeymoon when nature “happened.” Due to forecasted rain and snow, we had to alter our plans and postpone our adventure. Instead, I found myself walking among nature during a snow storm and snapped the photographs above and below. As I strolled, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this familiar but very pleasant winter scene. I realized that human beings and nature are similar: both are majestic, innately beautiful, transitional, transforming and there. Nature is. We are. As I strolled and immersed myself in this breathtaking part of the planet, I was reminded of something we all are guilty of forgetting: we ARE first and foremost. We ARE before we are wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, employees, managers, tax payers, experts, professionals, writers, coaches or any other label we might give ourselves or is given to us. We ARE, and it is okay to just BE. We often feel obligated to live up to the expectations placed upon us based on the roles we are assigned or the labels we are given. If we do not take the time to realize that we are more than these labels, we will forget the essence of who we are. As human beings, we are mysterious and somewhat unexplainable; we are magnificently and beautifully created, breathing, living beings; and, we just are. Like nature being itself or like a snow storm dumping precipitation on the trees and landscape, causing the creek to freeze and displaying its marvelous beauty and essence, we are.

Nature comes out to play. It IS and does not apologize for itself, and we should not either. It knows who it is and what it needs to do. When is the last time you showed up to play? When is the last time you brought all of you to the table and not just part of you? How long has it been since you have showed up to just be YOU? When is the last time you got yourself out of bed in the morning and, like nature, made no excuses for who you ARE? When is the last time you stopped living your “label” and lived YOU? I invite you to take a look at your closest natural scene (no matter where you are on this planet), and decide if it is YOU who is coming out to play every day.

Snow in the Rockies

Standing in the snow storm and watching the flakes fall into the trees, the rocks, and the freezing water, I was reminded about my true essence, our true essence. We all need to live passionately, purposefully, and without excuse for who we are without all the labels. It is only then that we are able to truly shine no matter what the season.

© 2015, Vilma Reynoso, www.vilmareynoso.comInspiration for Creative Health. Abundant Life.