This conviction motivates my way of being in the world: We have the power as human beings, to choose, create, shape our own lives. We are not victims
Aloha, <<First Name>>
Letter from the Director
This conviction motivates my way of being in the world: We have the power, as human beings, to choose, create, shape our own lives. We are not victims.
Don’t get me wrong: there are things in our lives we can do absolutely nothing about. Exhibit A: Cell phone text of a nuclear missile heading our way. Real or unreal as that threat might be, for most of us, all we had was our power to choose a response. And that’s a HUGE choice.
Like lots of people I know, our family stayed fairly calm, made rational decisions and plans on how to reunite should the missile actually strike and we all survived. That’s not to say that we didn’t feel the gravity of the situation - I definitely noticed my heart racing once the false alarm was called off. Our kids came over with the baby, and we were all relieved and glad to be safely in our loved ones’ company. And we went on with life. No big blame game… Let’s just say we weren’t the ones sending death threats to the government employee who pushed the alarm button by mistake!
If we had fallen to pieces, or succumbed to wild, panicked reactions, we would have been letting an external event break into our internal environment where our peace of mind and heart reside. In the 9 second video clip I saw of a father sheltering his young girl by helping her into a manhole, he seemed to maintain a calm demeanor and came up with what I thought was a pretty ingenious protective strategy on the spur of the moment. It not a matter of what we do on the outside that makes us choosing responders or hysterical reactionaries - it’s what going on inside that counts. That man seemed to retain his clarity in the moment.
I think of Gandhi chanting the name of God as he was felled by an assassin’s bullet. This heroic human being had trained himself in nonviolent action, speech and thought for most of his 78 years. Of course, without all that training, we don’t really know how we might have spent our last moments if we had gone up in a nuclear mushroom. Would we manage to keep a peaceful vision in our mind’s eye, a song of love in our hearts? I don’t know, but I was pleased at how well we held it together in the face of a dire threat, as did many others I know.
I’m aware of living in an internal world inside an external world. Imagine something like a living spacesuit that has its own internal environment controls, coordinated by my mind/heart/will. That’s what I envision myself living in. The health of my spacesuit depends on me. What do I need to do to keep my spacesuit resilient, pliant and unpoppable?
Whenever I shine out from my spacesuit, extending joy and friendship through its living surface, my suit becomes stronger, lighter, and more elastic. Its boundaries extend further out, able to emit and receive light and warmth. Love is the most powerful sustainer of a healthy spacesuit.
On the other hand, whenever I go into anger bursts or blame fests, pity parties or fear freezes, I’m weakening my suit from the inside. Blaming myself about doing so makes it even worse. It’s as if I’ve created a dark, sticky cloud around myself that just lets in more bad stuff. Indulging in this kind of personal drama is like setting off fireworks inside my own spacesuit: not a good idea. I find that I even succumb to sickness much more easily after these little episodes. And - unsurprisingly - nobody wants to be around me!
So I need to be make peace with myself inside my suit and turn the light back on. When I do that, I feel more loveable.
To a certain extent, I can impact my external world by means of the choices I make from within my internal world. When I’m balanced, strong and clear, I have the chance to positively impact someone I can touch outside. I can lend support, advice, a quietly listening ear; I can lead a crusade, build a business designed to help others, extend love to those around me. Each of those things could make a difference to someone’s life.
Or maybe I won’t make the difference I hope. Although I can take actions, I cannot control the results of those actions. I can’t live others’ lives, can’t make their choices, for them. (Thank heavens! That’s their kuleana!) In any case, my internal life earns the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve made the effort and, hopefully, learned for the future how to be more effective. As long as I’m not attached to certain results happening from my actions, I can keep my happiness level fairly even-keeled, my spacesuit more vibrant and springy.
So do I want my spacesuit to bounce or collapse? It’s up to me.
It’s always up to each of us to choose.
Resting in stillness and moving in Joy with you in this new year,
And you, dear reader?
Just hit reply - I always love hearing from you.
Magnificence in our Ohana
Lani Kwon -
Life Coach Who Walks Her Talk!
Lani, a life coach and our steadfast Golden Circle Member, has been taking herself to a whole new level. She is not just an inspirational speaker and writer. Lani walks her talk! She just completed her 200 hour Hatha Yoga teacher training at Still & Moving Center with Claudia Castor - Yay! - all the while continuing her Nia Mentorship. Next, she’s sign up for Melt training in NYC, and two more Nia trainings this year: in California and here at Still & Moving. click here to keep reading....
Happiness U Alice Inoue, Chief Happiness Officer
Happiness U is a one-of-a-kind educational establishment, with the mission is to teach that which we did not learn in a traditional classroom about how to live a heart-centered, meaning-filled life. Founder and Chief Happiness Officer, Alice Inoue helps both companies and individuals develop positive mindsets in order to live more inspired in both their professional and private lives. She and many other practitioners of positivity offer classes both online and at their SALT location in Honolulu. click here to keep reading....
Healthy Life Tip
Use affirmations to get where you truly want to go. Contributed by Alice Inoue
Every thought you have directly impacts your experience of life. We think we see the world through our eyes but in fact, we see the world through our thoughts. When we use the power of our mind to affirm and focus on the direction we truly want to go, we alter our internal world, which in turn makes us see our external world differently. Here are 3 of my favorite affirmations that you can use to nurture the seeds of positive thoughts... click here to keep reading....
A Word to the Wise Human Beings on the Testing Ground
A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but a human being is ultimately self-determining. What we become - within the limits of endowment and environment - we have made out of ourselves. In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Human beings have both potentialities within themselves; which one is actualized depends on decisions, not on conditions.
Viktor E. Frankl
Austrian neurologist & psychiatrist, Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, and author of "Man's Search for Meaning"
Video Fave Boundin'
About the Author
Renée Tillotson, Director, founded Still & Moving Center for teaching mindful movement arts from around the globe. She is inspired by the Joy and moving meditation she experiences in the practice of Nia, and by the lifelong learning shared at the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, California. She intends that Still & Moving Center always be filled with laughter and friendship!