Tag Archives: Gratitude

Bringing our Love-Fear Paradigm to the Table

A Thanksgiving Opportunity

My wife Julia and I were recently driving in Manhattan. While in gridlock traffic, we looked left and noticed a glowing electric sign that was hanging in a window that read, “Right NOW is all there is.” We slowly moved along and a block later, across the street, a painted window read, “Love what you do.”  As we inched forward, we started laughing as we finally noticed the truck in front of us had an insignia, “Trust”, painted on the back.  It was a beautiful synchronous moment, where we realized that our environment was reaching out to us.

We have driven on this street, several times but never saw the signs on either side because we are usually racing to get somewhere. Traffic in SOHO is never predictable and we are often generally concerned about running behind. Yet, the difference this time was, as we drove, we were listening to a book that was aligning us with love and engaging us to be more present.

Fear and love, being the two motivating forces at play in this reality, create a co-existing paradigm, similar to the particle-wave principle of light. Light is both a particle and a wave, depending on how we observe it. Similarly, being in a state of fear or love, shifts our focus and changes our environment.

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In the midst of chaos, we have access to a pervasive calm.  What streams through us, moment to moment, is a love that offers us insights. Love can transcend the fear-based projections which motivate violence and suffering tending to dominate the world.

Both fear and love support us completely. If we are fearful, then the universe provides us with endless reasons to maintain our apprehension. If we are grounded in love, then we are able to recognize or find strength and inspiration, even in the midst of gridlock traffic.

The custom of gathering together for Thanksgiving is an opportunity to demonstrate this Love-Fear paradigm. It is all too familiar to allow dread of awkward interactions to pave the way for passive aggression, political declarations, outbursts of judgement followed by toxic silences.  With a determined intention, we can also decide to be present and align ourselves with love and gratitude. Despite all of our fearful quirks, the love we embody is worth bringing to the table. With that love, we can look past one another’s faults, and the factions we find ourselves in, to strengthen our bonds. It will also help with our digestion.

Whether you are gathered around with family or friends, or find yourself in solitude this week, may love be present. Happy Thanksgiving and a love-filled feast!

The Dolly and the Mailbox

Mar 8 at 11:11 AM

Stream of Light 6-18-14

Laugh at shortcomings, especially where they are predictable. None of us are so isolated as to suffer or celebrate alone. Possibilities remain myriad but this moment is expanding enough to allow a healing for all. Complete what we can, the stream goes on and on without ever finding full expression; for the potential of living is the promise of love’s consistent unfurling.

Mike Robbins and the Power of Authenticity

A few years ago, The Levins* played at the Unity in Berkeley and the speaker that day was   Mike Robbins, who was giving a talk from his new book, “Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.” We really loved what he had to say (The essence of it was, when someone compliments you, say “Thank you” and complete the circuit of gratitude.) Mike has a new book called, “Nothing Changes Until You Do.” and this morning we watched his TED talk about the Power of Authenticity. He says that Authenticity is on the other side of honesty, not just expressing your opinion as fact but being courageous enough to be vulnerable. It is great, you can see how authentic he really is as he talks. At one point he describes an exercise in which you lower the water level on your iceberg to reveal more of your true self by saying: “If you really knew me,” and you say what you are feeling in the moment. As I watched his video, I admit part of me was thinking, “He is so good at this, I could never be this courageous.”

I have been actually going through the daily streams with the intention of publishing them into a book. It scares me because when I think of giving talks, I don’t know that I have the ability to be that resourceful. But that is the point, the stream is always flowing through us. When I think of doing things that have scared me in the past, I realize when I said “Yes” and showed up and was prepared and present, it always has worked out beyond what I could have anticipated.

My favorite moments singing with Julia are not the big “we are here to wow you” moments but our moments of vulnerability when we are being authentic and allowing the people around us to be authentic.

May you be the conduit of your week.

*- The Levins are a harmony-driven acoustic duo dedicated to making the world a happier place.  www.TheLevinsMusic.com