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Transforming Through Tough Times

Cultural Poison to the West – Panacea to the East

By Vaishâli, author of “You Are What You Love®” and “Wisdom Rising”

When the Eastern systems of self-healing examine health and balance, they offer a very different paradigm than our more familiar Western point of view. The differences are most noticeable and significant when it comes to understanding the nature of the individual life and the life of the collective. For example, from the Eastern perspective, there will never be one single pill, diet, exercise or lifestyle that will cure what ails all people. Every person is a microcosmic Universe unto his or her self. Each person is unique and must be understood, examined and healed separately from the rest of humanity.

Apply eastern philosophy to your life as a whole

This philosophy is not just limited to the comprehensive understanding of an individual’s physical wellbeing. It applies to every aspect of a person’s life. What is experientially, emotionally and perceptually toxic to one person could be liberating to another. There is not one accepted standard that will equally measure every nuance of every person’s life. The “average person” does not exist in Eastern philosophy. Each person, each case, is unique. . . a completely separate reality unto her or his self. So it is when it comes to career development and the turmoil in our present job market. The media has dominated the intellectual landscape with reports of dire changes, catastrophic employment shifts and unsustainable economic losses.

“How will I ever find a job when millions of people are out of work? My world situation is dire, catastrophic and unsustainable. Hey, where have I heard that before?”  Just because CNN is selling economic fear across the board doesn’t mean you have to buy it. You have free will. And, that may not be your universe.

One man’s troubles can be another’s transformation

While the need to live within one’s means is not disputed, what is debilitating in one person’s reality may actually be liberating and powerfully transformative in another’s.

Shaking up the status quo is an opportunity to make different choices, to take another career path. Just because Fox News tells you everyone is losing their jobs does not mean you have the whole story. Human evolution allows old, tired and outdated methods of expansion to die out. If life has offered you a new set of circumstances, it is nature’s way of saying, “You are ready to grow in a new direction; there is nothing left for you in the old way; move on.”

Focus on breakthrough by taking and making the most of this fortuitous event rather than being paralyzed by breakdown from lamenting the loss of what you have grown beyond.

Your neighbors lost their jobs and are in crisis. Does that mean there is a career crisis in your world? You are a universe unto yourself. That employment setback may be your neighbors’ next biggest opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and what is important to them. It does not mean you need to bookmark Monster.com or other online headhunters, or spend sleepless nights worrying about your job security. There is not one developmental-driving reality that visits all people simultaneously.

The names of fear

Crisis, dire, catastrophic, impossible are all different names for fear. From a bigger picture perspective, what is presently occurring is a global fear epidemic spreading locally. Not by germ or bacteria but rather by worldview. The outer world conditions again reflect the inner world conditions.What that means is just because some people get the flu, doesn’t mean everyone on the planet is sick or even going to get sick. When you refuse to accept change when it appears in your microcosmic universe, you have not only opened the door to suffering, but also personally invited it in, offered it drinks and comfortable place to stay.

Embrace change, because it will never just go away

The details of life on Earth will always be changing; that is the nature of this impermanent world. Nothing here stays for long. Everything on the planet has a shelf life. What were the only consistent career choices a hundred years ago versus today’s world, aside from undertaking, tax collecting and prostitution? There are none. The job you thought was a safe and secure employment two years ago may not even exist today. Even the pace of change has gained speed and momentum. The more we as a global community advance, the faster these changes will take place.

Deal with the details, but don’t sweat them

Eastern spiritual philosophies point out the shortcomings to an inherent basic human desire: control. We attempt to control every detail of the outer world and hold it in a fixed place, until we have everything right where we want it to be.

We all desire to create a comfortable external reality and then maintain that position forever. We want to solve a problem once in our lives and then never have to revisit it again. We want to find a job once then never have to deal with job or career transitions again. We invest in a position of some kind and expect it to pay us dividends the rest of our lives. What this leads to is an escalated experience of personal suffering due to the inescapable reality that life is constantly in a state of flux, change and motion, forever vulnerable and subject to the permeable forces of life on Earth.

You are no different than your 401K! Just as the macrocosmic universe is ever-growing, expanding and changing, so it is with your microcosmic universe. Things will orbit, eclipse and even from time to time collide with your world. That is what it means to be human and a universe unto yourself.At our finest, we are designed to be flexible, resilient, open to change and sensitive to growth potential. The paradox of the human experience is that we are built for rapid and sudden adaptation, but we want everything perfectly organized and in its place, and we want it to all stay that way, or else!Just because we are created to go with the mutable flow does not make us immune to primitive responses such as rigidity, fearfulness, inflexibility and unreasonable stubbornness. Just because we have achieved a specific quality of livelihood doesn’t mean there will not be an opportunity to upgrade and evolve to the next level. Just because some people are screaming the sky is falling doesn’t mean your name is Chicken Little. The Western concept that there is only one reality, and that it is a ubiquitous truth that is merely an illusion. Technology and how we relate to reality is changing so rapidly, how could we possibly imagine that job descriptions and positions would not change at the same rate to accommodate these new, more effective variations?

Build a new you

When job loss is at an all time high, it is an invitation to reinvent ourselves, our skills and talents, and to dare to explore the dreams and potentials that have lived outside of our previous comfort zone, our occupationally-challenged box.

Imagine what the world would be like if computers were suppressed because they were going to displace millions of people’s jobs. Steve Jobs of Apple wouldn’t have a job or a company. I guess that would make him just Steve, or Steve Jobless. For every loss, we, as unlimited Spiritual beings, have both the power and potential to invent a new wheel, create another source of fire, mine previously unexplored inner forms of gold. After all, this planet was constructed so that we could realize and unfold the evolution of our souls.

While living in an environment that was manifested solely for the purpose of our awakening to the reality of our unlimited true nature, words like loss, failure, useless and unwanted really need to be redefined.

What also requires redefining are ideas like success, valuable and a willingness to experience the present moment as an opportunity to move forward.  Here are some alternative definitions:

Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey. – Author Unknown

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

We have come here to learn and grow. Should we discover along the way that what we have been doing is no longer working for us, that we must find a more life enhancing way to relate to our problems and life challenges, then we have not failed. We have matured. We have found ourselves in a position where we must require more from ourselves and demand greater accountability from those who have applied for the jobs of public servants.

If you do not like the direction things are taking, do not behave like a child or let people get away with irresponsible, greedy behavior. You are not powerless or a victim . . . unless you want that in your Universe.Nations and global communities have always benefited from a population that was open to learning a better way to respond to outdated ways of relating to the infrastructure of life. If this were not true there would be no civil rights movement, the wall in Berlin would still be standing and there would be no United Nations.

The only thing we have to fear . . .

Don’t let fear control and dictate the limits of your life. When life presents an opportunity disguised as a setback, reach around the illusion and seize the day. And if you are one of the people sitting back waiting on the government for assistance, I offer you what Groucho Marx would tell you: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

Vaishali is the author of Wisdom Rising (Purple Haze Press 2008) and You Are What You Love (Purple Haze Press 2006). She is also national health & wellness speaker, radio host on KTLK 1150am 11-noon Sundays (greater LA) & KEST (SF). Vaishali  is a certified practitioner of Chinese Medicine and East Indian Ayurveda medicine. Vaishali is a faculty member of The Omega institute and The Kripalu Center.

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Heaven Can’t Wait, Or How I Earned My Wings In The Mile High Club

By Vaishâli, author of You Are What You Love® and Wisdom Rising

When you are a Spiritual teacher, you know intellectually that no one ever dies, so you show up for life fearlessly. The body may give out, but the Spiritual identity, the essence of a person, cannot, will not ever cease to exist. It is timeless and immortal.  As the human embodiment of Divine Love, I cannot create any learning experience I do not need. Anything that touches my life here on Earth appears for one reason only… it facilitates my growth and expansion. Therefore I can release any regrets, unburden any sense of remorse, and just get down to the business of getting the most out of this lifetime.

All of this works great in theory, but the hard part has always been the practical application.  How can I be sure that this enlightened wisdom is a knowing that extends beyond merely an intellectual storing of data? How can I be sure I have completely embodied this truth, taking it beyond the gray matter of the brain? How can anybody, for that matter, be sure they are not mentally deluding themselves with intellectual visions of self-imagined Spiritual grandeur? Right relationship with one’s Divinity must be lived, not just an action isolated to collecting frontal lobe facts and information. Even a bookshelf can accumulate vast cannons of factoids, none of which, however, extend beyond the shelf they reside on and permeate into the whole of real life.

Little did I know when I boarded a plane for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my boyfriend, Elliot, and his business partner, Stephen and wife, Kristin, that I would find myself entering a Spiritual Twilight Zone. I was soon to find myself in a first class seat to an unscheduled destination, an inner place of naked honesty, independent of what my brain knew to be true, before continuing on to our final destination in Mexico.

The flight started out routine enough. After a beverage, the flight attendants passed around a lunch of turkey sandwiches and potato salad. Elliot and I both laughed when he joked that he hoped that the Pilot and Copilot where not eating the potato salad –  every bad airplane film he had ever seen always ended up with the cockpit crew dying of food poisoning from eating the potato salad, leaving no one to fly the plane. We continued to joke that it would certainly be a cruel death if it turned out this was in fact our last meal… and we didn’t touch the potato salad.

The flight was smooth, not a bit of turbulence and the bright blue sky seemed to promise that a trip to sunny, warm Mexico was just the ticket for a cold January vacation. After the lunch plates had been collected, and we had just passed out of US air space, the unthinkable happened. It started out simple enough.  The Chief Purser got on the intercom and asked if there was a doctor on the plane. Nothing too unsettling. After all people get sick on planes all the time.

As fate would have it there were four doctors onboard, including a heart specialist.  Elliot and I were in the third row, so we had a clear view as the Purser opened the door to the flight deck and the line of doctors entered the cockpit. Next the Purser asked if anyone onboard knew how to fly a plane.  Elliot and I looked at each other, and Elliot said, attempting to lighten the moment, “That’s not good.  I guess the crew really did eat the potato salad.  I’ve already seen this movie! I wasn’t thrilled about the ending either.”

Planes are cramped quarters at best, and the most surface area to lay a person out was in the first class galley. Elliot and I watched the doctors pull the Captain out and lay him on the floor, as a flight attendant ran past us with the onboard defibrillator. We watched the Copilot move over into the Captain’s seat as the doctors worked intensely on the Captain’s immobile, prone body.

As this was going on, the four private pilots on the plane, including Elliot’s business partner, Stephen, had gotten together to see who was best prepared to copilot a 757, not an easy transition from the small propeller models these pilots traditionally flew. It turned out Stephen was the man.  We watched him walk nervously by us, stepping over the Captain’s apparently lifeless body to enter the flight deck. As the minutes clicked away we felt the plane bank hard to the left, returning us back into US airspace. The Purser announced that we would be making an emergence landing at the McAllen Airport.

After about five to ten minutes I felt a profound energetic shift. It was a feeling of freedom and great expansiveness. I turned to Elliot and asked, “Did you feel that?” “Feel what?” he answered. “The Captain… he just died… I felt him leave. It was actually quite beautiful, very peaceful and loving.” The doctors continued to work on the Captain for the remainder of the thirty minute flight back to Texas, although it was clear the man was gone. The Purser then asked if there were any nurses on board. And again, as fate would have it there were four nurses, who rushed up to be of assistance.

It was a long thirty minute flight back to McAllen. The Captain had just died right in front of our eyes, and now the next challenge was the actually landing. McAllen Airport is not designed to land a commercial jet of this size. We were going to be pulling a big dog in on a short leash. People around us were understandably upset. No one panicked or screamed or made a scene.  I could hear some people behind me quietly sobbing and praying. It was hard to tell if the emotion was for the dead Captain, or the anxiety about a potentially tricky landing, or a combination of the two.

Elliot and I had been talking about how accidents are usually the result of a variety of unexpected elements that come together. We knew the Copilot-turned-Pilot was perfectly capable of landing the plane by himself.  With the computers on planes these days, the planes actually land themselves under normal circumstances. But these were not normal circumstances. It was not hard to imagine that the Copilot might be just a tad distracted by the fact that his co-worker had just suffered a massive coronary and suddenly slumped over the controls, dying right before his eyes. We were now going to attempt an emergency landing on a runway not long enough to accommodate our plane.

Elliot suddenly turned to me and asked, “Are you okay with all this?” “Yeah,” I said, “I’m surprised how totally and completely relaxed and calm I am. You and I know we can’t die, so I’m okay. If it turns out that we just move on to the next phase of our existence without a body, instead of vacationing on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, I won’t feel cheated. I suspect that God has a lot more work to get out of my butt, so I feel confident that everything will be just fine. But let’s just suppose for a minute that I am over-estimating my importance in God’s plan and that it really is time to punch the ticket and return home… I’m really good with that. You know,” I told Elliot very sincerely, “I’m really grateful we are on this plane and getting this ‘keep it real’ experience, because it is showing us that we have fully integrated what we know Spiritually. We live it. It is not just a superficial, intellectual condition.  The truth, we know, is embodied and it is comforting and strengthening, and yes, liberating, experientially being able to claim this was well worth the price of admission.”  Elliot remarked, “I knew we shouldn’t have prepaid for the rooms!”

The mind can have a nasty habit of lying to us. If I had been telling myself that I was at peace with the unfolding events, yet at the same time noticed I was white-knuckling it, or on the verge of tears like those around me, I would have known the mind was not telling the entire truth. But the body was not tense or stressed in any way. The physical and emotional feedback all confirmed full disclosure. My emotional body was keeping it real. The well-practiced habit of identifying with my Divinity as pure love was officially senior to my fear of any physical mortality.  This experience was bringing me the validation that real mastery had taken place, that my relationship with the truth had in fact set me free. Here I was on the same plane as everyone else, yet I was not having the same experience as everyone else. Knowing that I cannot die was and remains more real than whatever the world can throw at me.

I have a motto: if the wisdom you have is not pulling your butt out of the fire, then it is meaningless. If the inner guidance that you operate from is not empowering your movement through life, it is nature’s way of saying, “Let it go.” The good news is that it is never too late to make a liberating upgrade. You will know you have embodied the truth, because it will set you free. And you will know if you are investing in illusion, because it will not set you free. No one is immune to life’s many firestorms.  They have a way of finding you, inviting you to keep it real.  Every experience in our lives occurs because it offers us vital wisdom that serves us.

This plane trip gave me the opportunity to claim the knowledge that I needed to know, in an arena I could not fake: that my relationship with my immortality was real and not just mental masturbation.

The touchdown and landing went smoothly – executed with textbook precision. Instead of the usual landing where the plane slowly taxies up to the Jetway, our plane came screaming up to the gate, finally coming to a complete stop right in front of the building. The passengers exploded in applause and shouts of relief and gratitude.

We remained at McAllen Airport another five hours or so, as local and federal officials examined the plane and took statements from the crew. The crew, by the way, could not have handled the situation better. They were all the picture of professionalism. The heart specialist, who treated the fatally ill Pilot, told us he learned that this was the dead man’s first day as a full Captain. He had just been promoted. Since no one can create a learning experience they do not need, this man Spiritually required the experience of being made Captain before his life’s mission was complete. No one can go before their time. As it turned out, the flight attendant with the defibrillator had recently lost her son. I am sure this event was especially emotional for her, but she handled herself so well, no one without prior knowledge of her life would have been able to tell. In situations like these there is also a tangible post 911 maturity – we know how to focus ourselves and work together for a greater purpose.

At the airport, Stephen and his wife were sitting at the bar, she was getting a well deserved drink, when I asked him if it was exciting, as a private pilot, to have had the opportunity to land a 757? “Oh, yeah, sure, real exciting,” Stephen said sarcastically as Kristin squeezed a lime into her beer. “First I have to step over a dead guy to get in the cockpit, now suddenly I have over two hundred lives on my hands I didn’t five minutes before, and I’m at the controls of a commercial jet instead of my Cessna. Real exciting.  Just how I wanted to start my vacation!” Stephen said to make matters even more stressful, the cloud cover was so low, he could not see the ground until an instant before the plane actually touched down.  Stephen went on to explain that the planes voice activated computer system was announcing the landing time. It started with a minute, thirty seconds till touch down, Stephen could not see the ground at this point. Then one minute to touchdown, still no ground visibility. Finally when the computer announced thirty seconds till touchdown, and still no sight of the runway, Stephen turned to the new Pilot and said, “The computer’s joking, right?”  I can only imagine what was going through the Pilot’s mind when he had to explain, “No, Stephen, the computer doesn’t make jokes. We are sitting two stories high, not five feet off the ground like in your plane.” Elliot pointing out the upside to whole drama remarked, “But Stephen, this will look really good on your résumé.” Everyone laughed.

During the many hours we all spent sitting around the McAllen Airport waiting to continue our journey to Mexico, we all had time to process the event.  Many people were concerned about the Captain’s family, and what they would be going through. I heard several women talking about how terrible the Captain’s death was. Being a Spiritual teacher, I felt I could offer more helpful insight on the subject, so I offered a different point of view. “I know it is always shocking and unexpected when someone just drops dead in front of you, especially when it is the Captain of the plane you’re on, but let’s really examine this. All of us will die some day. It is not of matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when’. This man died doing what I presume he really loved. He did not suffer long. He got immediate medical attention so his family does not have to wonder, if this had happened at home, and if the ambulance had gotten there sooner might he have lived? As a matter of fact he could only have gotten faster medical treatment if this happened in the emergency room of a hospital. He did not have a heart attack on the freeway on the way to work, possible killing other people. He crossed over surrounded by over two hundred people who were wishing him well and praying for him and his family. I only hope that when my time comes, I manage to exit as graciously as he did. After all, we were on our way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He was already half way to Heaven.  And how many people can say when they crossed over they were still in a body for the first 30,000 feet of their ascension to the other side?”

About Vaishali:

As on Oprah & Friends XM, Vaishali is the author of Wisdom Rising (Purple Haze Press 2008) and You Are What You Love (Purple Haze Press 2006). She is also national health & wellness speaker, radio host on KTLK 1150am 11-noon Sundays (greater Los Angeles) and KEST (San Francisco). Vaishali  is a certified practitioner of Chinese Medicine and East Indian Ayurveda medicine. Vaishali  is a faculty member of The Omega institute and The Kripalu Center. Her articles have been published in over a hundred publications worldwide. Visit www.purplev.com or email press@purplev.com

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How Spiritually Healthy Are You?

By Vaishali

Today we have many sophisticated diagnostic tools available to help us determine our bone density, the iron content of our blood, and even the functional capacity of our internal organs.  We even have tests to measure our depression, our tendency toward bi-polararity, or ADD.  However, our level of Spiritual health is rarely, if ever, examined.

Since we are all Spiritual creatures having an “embodied” experience, it would make tremendous sense not to overlook what is the permanent and eternal aspect of our true nature.  After all, our emotional and physiological health really falls under the umbrella of our Spiritual health. So how does one go about a Spiritual self-examination to determine the vitality of our God Consciousness?

There are actually three tests we can perform to discern the level of our Spiritual health, or the health of anyone else for that matter. Surprised?  Don’t be.  We all came to the Earth to engage in what Socrates called the great “know thyself” quest, and to know thyself consciously as a Spiritual being is the best that quest gets!

The first thing we want to examine is our perception. The results depend on how honest we are willing to be about our internal dialogue: what we tell ourselves about our relationship with Divine love, and our value, power and worth.  As the great Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 -1772) used to say, “You do not have love…you are love.”  Love is not a possession.  Love is not separate from who and what you are.  Love is not earned; it is embodied. There are no issue hurtles that determine if we are finally deserving and worthy enough to be loved.  Deserving and worthy have never been an issue, unless we make it an issue with what we do with our perception.

Although we have a body, we are awareness. We do not have awareness, we are it. Furthermore, our awareness is our Divinity.  It is the part of us that is eternal and unchanging.  Our awareness is the part of us that feels it never ages.  Therefore, whatever we give our attention to is what we infuse with our God energy. How healthy you are Spiritually depends completely on:

  1. How much attention you give to the Truth about your Divinity
  2. How much separation you make from the tyranny of your own ego, and the lies it fabricates out of ignorance and the need for self-preservation.

How much of the time do you practice owning your Divinity and giving your attention to Heavenly things such as good faith in life and love, and respecting yourself as a force of love?  Do you see yourself as reaching enlightenment the fastest most efficient way you can, to the exclusion of all other stories? If you do, this will also to tell you the Spiritual health of your free will.  Each of us decides where we go with our attention.  Divine Love and Wisdom saw fit to give each person sovereignty over his/her own mind. So how much of your attention you freely surrender back to Prime Source, will tell you the health of your free will, or what Swedenborg called your ‘Ruling Love’.

The second litmus test for Spiritual health is the relationship test.  How healthy are your relationships? Remember honesty counts! Every person on the planet is God consciousness.  We do not have it, we are it.  Since all of us are an expression of God consciousness, how we treat other people is how we treat God.  You can take all the vitamins you want, eat healthy, fresh foods, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, sleep eight hours nightly, but if you go through your day criticizing yourself and others, finding fault and blame in yourself and others, intimidating, disrespecting or bullying others, gossiping from a mean spirited heart, or withholding help and compassion from others, then you are deeply Spiritually unhealthy.  Disenfranchising God consciousness is a Spiritual illness, and the primary symptom of this malady is unhappiness.

Conversely, someone like Christopher Reeves can be in a wheelchair, neurologically damaged beyond repair, yet, still be incredibly Spiritually healthy, because of the quality of his love and generosity of Spirit. The great love teacher, Jesus, encouraged everyone to be Spiritually healthy when he asked us to love our enemies and treat others as we would want to be treated.  Because we are all connected by Prime Source, what we do to another, we have done to God. There is simply no getting around this as a determinate of how Spiritually healthy we are.

This brings us to our last test; our last self-examinational procedure. God Consciousness is very, very creative.  God created the Heavens and the Earth.  God creates something from nothing.  We are here on Earth to create enlightenment from ignorance. Healthy God consciousness is creative.  When we are Spiritually healthy we are creating a new response to old issues, and growing beyond them.  Unhealthy God consciousness recreates the old issues: the limited suffering over and over again, without breaking the cycle, without expanding beyond the grasp of unhappiness.

Take a step back and objectively look at your life.  How often are you recreating your old issues? You know the old, outdated sources of suffering you love so much to indulge in: worrying, telling yourself you’ll never be happy or truly loved, building a monument with your awareness to how there is never going to be enough time, love, money or opportunity. How often do you reach for the worry drug of choice and justify the addiction? How often do you defend your existence as rejected, alone and miserable? Giving your attention to these issues consistently produces results that guarantee your unhappiness, yet you still you find yourself drinking from this cup.

If you practice being creative, you are strengthening your Spiritual health.  All of us have mastery over anything only after practice.  If you practice being creative, simply for the sake of being creative, you are practicing aligning yourself with the intelligence you need to create enlightenment and you will have the skill when you need it, because you have practiced cultivating it.

Like any other form of health, we come to the Earth to practice right relationship with it. Spiritual health can always been improved with loving attention.  The good news is there are no insurance premiums, no gym fees to pay, no restrictive diets, and no personality tests to fail.  Spiritual health is every being’s birthright. All we have to do is claim it, live it, share it, and shine on!


© Vaishali 2008 Excerpt from “Wisdom Rising” (Purple Haze Press 2008)

Vaishali is the author and host of “You Are What You Love” on K-TLK 1150am live Saturdays 5-6pm PST in Southern California, web-cast on www.purplev.com Vaishali has appeared on national radio and TV including Oprah & Friends Radio. Visit www.purplev.com or email press@purplev.com

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