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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pray for Me...

This morning, I was sketching out my day when my Michael arrived and said "Aren't you going to watch the Pope?"  I hadn't intended to, but I wanted to spend a little time with my very busy husband so I sat to watch the Pope speak to Congress.  I tuned in and out until the Pope went outside to wave at a crowd.  Speaking in his native Spanish, he said "Pray for me" and asked those who did not believe or could not pray to send him good wishes.

I've always liked this Pope for his economic justice advocacy, but after hearing him ask regular people to pray for him I opened my heart to Pope Francis. I still disagree with him on significant issues,but his humility dissolved my self-righteousness.  When he asked me to pray for him, he made himself vulnerable-- not perfect, all-seeing or impervious.  Like me, he needs prayer.  He's in a little boat making big waves, and sometimes we all lose direction.

Watching the Pope and discussing this with Michael afterward made me late for an event featuring acclaimed playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.  

I almost skipped it, but something told me to just go. As I walked into a warm college gym, Suzan-Lori was demonstrating what she called Radical Inclusion. With her arms stretched open so wide that they were behind her a bit, she demonstrated that radical  inclusion requires opening the heart to the point of some discomfort.  Radical inclusion means stretching to see some of ourselves in those we don't like or with whom we profoundly disagree.  Then a student asked what do you do when you are low or stop believing in your dream.  Without skipping a beat, Sister-Girl said "Pray."  She suggested something short such as "God, gosh (or whoever), help!"  That exchange also took me into my heart.  It's like Suzan-Lori was saying take your sad, hurt, fearful self into your heart.  You will find help.

I approached Suzan-Lori after her talk and told her that minutes earlier the pope had asked a for prayer, and she hugged me. 

Whether you believe in a Higher Power, God, Goddess or divinity; whether you like or dislike this Pope; you can allow someone into your strong beautiful heart and "pray" for them or send them "good wishes."  When we allow others into our hearts, we are called into our hearts, and I believe it is from the heart that we can transform anything.  

Please tune in to my new weekly radio show "On a Mission to Heal the Planet."  It's live on Tuesdays at 2pm EST.  I will feature an interview with Suzan Lori Parks and other Oneness Warriors.  Sign up if you'd like to subscribe to this blog or get the link for the weekly radio show.

Peace and love,

Thank you for reading On a Mission to Heal the Planet.  Our mission is to nurture and expand the Tribe of the Heart, individuals who stand for Oneness and Take Action to heal the world, their families, and themselves.  Stay in touch! Peace and Love, Amanda

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Getting What You Want ... and then Some!

This guest post is by my sister-friend Jojopah.  We recently reconnected through the 30 Day Meditation Challenge.  Here Jojopah writes about how we manifest both the shadow and the light of the thing or relationships for which we yearn.  If you're wondering why you're not getting what you want, read on... 


I began my own conscious practice of manifesting in 1994 after reading Deepak Chopra’s, Creating Affluence. My manifestation apprenticeship focused on money (of course) and a man. Once I successfully brought forth what I desired and believed necessary, I learned the real truth about manifestation.

Manifestation is revelation.  In other words, whatever shows up from your “ask, believe, receive” will reveal to you what you truly and deeply believe about yourself. The money I manifested was never enough so I learned about my deeply rooted scarcity mentality. The man I manifested was not in love with me, although I convinced myself that he was. From that, I learned about my co-dependent

Once I understood that manifestation would expose my shadow as well as my
light, I decided to set an unbreakable rule for myself in order to experience a higher state of outcomes from my manifesting:

Only make requests from the Universe when you are connected to your Soul, not when you are in fear.   Focus on non-physical things such as joy, happiness, growth, love and fulfillment.

Attempting to figure out the exact form or timing of your request is truly a waste of time and energy. Higher manifestation requires flexibility, faith, and patient endurance.  You may have to experience three or more outcomes from your original request before you remove all of the blocks to what is in alignment with your light, and not your shadow.  In order for your manifestations to support the truth of who you are you must throw out the clock—the timing your ego dictates, and trust in the right timing of the Universe.  By honoring the healing and growth gifts of the conscious manifestation practice, you will never be disappointed.

Jojopahmaria Nsoroma is a fire shaman and wisdom keeper of ancient indigenous teachings from West Africa and Native America.  She uses rituals, retreats, workshops, seminars and public speaking, both live and through weekly internet radio broadcasts, Wisdom Walk, to spread her spiritual wisdom around the nation and the globe.  Jojopah is in the processing of writing her first book, Wisdom Walk: Ancient Wisdom for Transforming Pain.

Thank you for reading On a Mission to Heal the Planet.  Our mission is to nurture and expand the Tribe of the Heart, individuals who stand for Oneness and Take Action to heal the world, their families, and themselves.  Stay in touch! Peace and Love, Amanda

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Confessions of an Authentic

Nicole is a Life coach, but she could be anyone who is walking the line between spiritual and realistic.  Don't we all have an inner voice that doubts and criticizes and generally gets tired of seeing possibility?  Well, let's stop pretending and accept what Nicole calls the "snarky" one.

Abundance Factor..Let’s Get Real

I have a confession, it feels like I am always confessing something. I love being a coach, I love exploring the deeper meanings of life, and I believe that the Universe will show up for me when I ask it to. I see it happen over and over again.
But dang some days I am not feeling the whole “coaching guru” thing. I want to just get real, to be snarky and positive at the same time. I want to be “woo woo” and “yeah right” at the same time. Does that make sense?
I have a dogged belief in myself! I also completely feel at all times that failure is just around the corner. I believe in Success and Failure. I believe you can be Enlightened and Sarcastic at the same time. I believe in abundance but that you have to show people in a real way how to reach for it, not just “tell” them that they should believe in it.
This is what I know, you have to get down and dirty and reveal all of the nasty stuff hanging out in your subconscious and release it before you can truly receive abundance. If we do not feel worthy we will not allow or receive any of the good stuff.
It is an ongoing journey to be authentic, to embrace the dark and the light of ourselves as valid. It is a worthwhile journey. I promise. So I give myself permission to be a snarky guru, a success and failure at the same time, giving and selfish, because we are both. There is a gift in both. We can embrace our shadow and partner with it for an amazing life.
I will never be a Pollyanna Coach! I will always be real, and will never ask you to do anything I have not done myself. I know that some days we are just trying to have an uninterrupted cup of coffee and that in itself would feel like Nirvana.  Here’s to us and to the journey!

Nicole Lewis-Keeber is a Psychotherapist and a Certified Tapping Into Wealth Life Coach.  She helps clients clear their blocks barriers and limiting beliefs, so that they can earn more money, fire their " Inner Critic" and become more successful in all areas of their life. Nicole teaches clients to use many mind body techniques including " Tapping" to help them manage, stress anxiety and doubt. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Meditation and Dummies

(Mostly at no charge)

I've heard lots of reasons why people don't meditate, including from myself.  One biggie is:  I don't know how.  Well, this list puts that one to bed!

The following are suggested as openings.  Shout out to my Self-Compassion instructor Lesley Huff who shared many in her Self-Compassion class.  This stuff is mostly free, but it can’t hurt to support your community by purchasing upgrades or attending live events.  Take what you like and leave the rest!  Stay in touch! –Dr. Amanda Kemp

Smart Phone Apps
Insight Timer: Has guided meditations, a timer if you just want to do your own thing and even a reminder to meditate among other things.  I use the free version all the time!

Mindfulness Training App: I haven’t tried this app, but it has a lot of the leading meditation teachers.   It was also highly rated online.  Tell me what you think!

Quickie overview to Meditation (2 minutes)  I loved this straight talking funny description of meditation.  The bottom line meditation is not hard or expensive and if somebody says otherwise, they’re looking for a fight!

Laugh:  Okay, this is not a meditation tool, but it is a great way to let go and prepare for or complete your meditation.  Hey, maybe it’s great prep before you speak with your ex or a trying teen.  Not that I know anything about the aforementioned.

Hip Hop Artist JusTme Mindful Breathing and Listening:  I love being guided by an African American twenty-something who “keeps it real.” 

Inspiring Video about a group of middle school kids learning and loving mindfulness.  Features JusTme and excerpts from the mindful dance.

Samurai and the Fly:  Animated lesson in not resisting what comes up when you meditate.  Hint: What you resist persists!

Kristen Neff:  I haven’t tried Kristen’s meditations yet, but we did the Affectionate Breathing in my Mindful Self-Compassion class.  Let peace begin with me!  Try one of her guided meditations and let me know your recommendation.

Tara Brach:  I LOVE this woman’s teachings.  She doesn’t do short guided meditation as stand alones, but at the end of talks she always takes you through a meditation.

Tara Brach leads weekly classes in Bethesda, MD and weekend retreats all over.  I’m going to attend something with her this fall but not sure which yet! 

Lesley Huff is based in Lancaster, PA and leads a two Self-Compassion Workshops that meet weekly over an 8-week period.  I completed her Level I class and will do Level 2 later this month.

Thank you for reading On a Mission to Heal the Planet.  Our mission is to nurture and expand the Tribe of the Heart, individuals who stand for Oneness and Take Action to heal the world, their families, and themselves.  Stay in touch! Peace and Love, Amanda

#WeAreHere for All of Us. No Exceptions!

I love Alicia Keyes song "We are here."  I have a penchant for visionaries and in this song she sings the impossible:  "We are here for all of us...that's why we are here."

My soul loves the challenge in this song.  We are here for each other whether we are Syrians detained in Hungary or a teenager locked in solitary confinement on Rikers Island.  We are here for all of us.  None of us gets left out.  As I sing along, I know the truth of her statement, but the tears well up because the gap between that truth and this reality seems infinite.

Are we really here for all of us?  How about the folks doing Rebel Runs in Lancaster County to support the Confederate flag?  How about the people who kill children in Gaza or Nigeria?

Am I here for all of us?  Am I here for the police who arrested and knocked African American tennis player James Blake to the ground even though he repeatedly told them who he was?  Am I here for the clerk in Alabama who does not want to marry same sex couples?

I know these folks aren't here for me, but in the face of this reality, Alicia still sings:

We are here...
We are here for all of us
We are here for all of us
That's why we're here.

How do I pray for the dominating and overpowering?  Based on my early childhood experience of domestic violence, I automatically feel for the underdog.  If it's David and Goliath, I'll side with David every time.

Yet Alicia's song invites us to another order of logic, another paradigm, the paradigm of Oneness.

When I'm feeling grateful and safe, this paradigm of Oneness seems obvious and superior to Separation.  However, when I'm angry and feeling abandoned, Alicia's invitation doesn't even occur to me.  I'm automatically in Separation.

Because I'm human, I've got to cultivate the capacity to see and hear and ACT from the space of "We are here for all of us."  It does not come naturally.  My brain's default is threat and defense; judgement and separation.  To cultivate Alicia's song requires practice and forgiveness.

Here are 2 ways we can cultivate Oneness:

1.  Practice Mindful Meditation:
Meditation is just practicing bringing all of you into the present moment.  "We are here" refers to accepting all of you:  your mind, body and heart/spirt.  When you practice being present with your self, you are practicing Oneness and expanding your capacity for holding.  In a previous blog, I listed a bunch of Meditation Resources.

2.  Hold Space for Transformation
I once heard Transformation Leader Niyonu Spann describe holding space as being in a consciousness of active unconditional acceptance, a space of prayer...

When I hold space, I adopt a mindset akin to the Sufi poet Rumi beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing.  I listen with lovingkindness to all parties and parts of me.  For me, this means that I participate in a Black Lives Matter March and I cultivate a feeling of lovingkindness even to those who defend the systematic degradation of Black people.  Holding space is a wide embrace of the possibility of transformation of the situation and the players inside it.

Let me know your thoughts and experiences.  Please.

We are in this together.  All of us!
Peace and love,

Monday, September 7, 2015

How to Get Your Self Together Now

Mindfulness is being here and now without judgement.  Your mind, your heart and your body are all in the same place.
--JusTme, Hip Hop Artist and Mindfulness Teacher

When I heard hip hop artist JusTme say that I felt myself well up.  How often is my heart in one place, my mind in another and my body completely offline?

Right before I sat down to write this blog, I said goodbye to my husband, but my mind was on the blog.  My heart was probably with him; I have no memory of what my body was doing.  By splitting my self, I lost something precious.  I lost me.  And, I lost the chance to really feel him, his care for me.

It wasn't until I did some mindful breathing and listening with JusTme that I realized how juicy and sweet bringing my mind, heart and body together is.

How many times a day do you lose yourself?  How often do you feel neglected and spent at the end of the day because you've been separating heart, mind and body?

When I go around multi-tasking and disconnecting from my body or my heart, I find myself thinking like a victim:  Nobody's helping me.  I'm alone.   Nobody's going to do this except me.

If you're mad at everyone and doing things without knowing why or if they are important, you may have left your heart or you body.   Are you avoiding feeling sad or abandoned?

When my body goes offline, I'm more likely to catastrophize about the bills, my son's health, global warming, attacks on black life, etc.  Then, I'm nervous, afraid and uncreative.   When I'm separating from my heart and body; my mind on its own is just too negative and defensive.

Does this sound familiar?

Here's what you can you do to bring the mind, body and heart into the same place and same time: 

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes to breathe mindfully and kind-fully.  Inhale gently through the nose and exhale through the mouth quietly.  Just focus the mind on the breath.  When you become aware of thoughts, just focus back on the breath.  What's important is that you do this without judgement of how good or bad you are.  
  • Throughout the day:  Feel your feet on the ground; when you drink, feel the liquid in your mouth and throat; periodically check in with your heart and belly and ask how they are feeling.
  • Look for a course or weekly group activity that will help you to sustain your practices.  Most of us do better in community than we do alone!
Will you join me in one or all of these ways of getting yourself together?

Peace and love!
Dr. Amanda Kemp