Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Guest Post from Jorge Candelaria: The Power of Conscious Emotion


The Power of Conscious Emotion

by Jorge Candelaria

Some people want to improve their lives, but they don’t want to do anything differently. They are addicted to their way of being.  To improve one’s life and make the difference on the planet requires trying different ways of being.  Sometimes it requires challenge and sacrifice, but sometimes it’s just about enjoying the journey.

It has been six years since I started my journey to know myself.  I had no idea at that time where I was going to end up, and that allowed me the freedom to have new experiences and to be different, From my heart I knew that there had to be something more out there because nothing that I was doing was fulfilling me.

Some parts of the journey have felt like a struggle, and in other parts I am reaping the fruit of my efforts.  The first step in my journey was exploring discipline, and I experienced how powerful it was. I learned the influence of discipline on my feelings and emotions, and I started to understand my environment at a deeper level. I also became aware of other people’s behavior around me and the influence of our thoughts and our choices on each other and each other’s behavior.  

I fell in love with discipline, meditation, and spiritual exercises, that allows me to be in the present moment and get me closer and closer to have a quiet mind. I started practicing self-observation and objectivity with my thought; this process allowed me to discover all the baggage that I needed to change or get rid of.  At some points I was face-to-face with anger, self-pity, and sorrow.  Sometimes I reacted, blamed, and complained, blending all of those emotions. In those moments I realized the effect of discipline and commitment in the process of spiritual development, in being able to see how I was actually creating my reality. I also observed past patterns of thinking, including coping mechanisms I used to hide myself in, using unproductive habits like overworking or excessive internet use when things got tough.  Then instead I started developing ways that I could be in those challenging emotions, experiencing them. I observed myself in the present moment, observed how I was creating the experience.  I could then see if the feeling was habitual, an addictive behavior that was that an unconscious reaction to the experience. In that process, I learned that I had so many wounds that I needed to heal, like blaming other for triggering a negative emotion.  I realized it was something that I learned at home when I was little. Through this process I began to discover and trace how I developed my personality, and how I became who I am.

I also started to observe the usefulness of discipline to consciously create in my life. This is  something that I have always enjoyed.  I see the benefits of discipline in creating a business and focusing on one direction without the hassle of the standard ways of marketing, just maintaining the positive and direct thoughts of serving and loving what I do.  

The objectivity and mindfulness I have developed has helped me stay conscious in my work.  The unconscious habit that I catch myself in is thinking that just working harder is going to help me to solve a problem in the business, in my life or in being ‘productive.’ I think I am going to fill some emptiness. In those moments I now stop and look for what I am avoiding, what problem or what emotion I need to face.

In the journey of breaking my addictive behavior, I have found that the most important thing is to experience a deeper understanding of love. I am looking to receive all new people in my life into my heart, to experience divine friendship. Also, just as importantly, I look to experience and practice self love.

Follow-Up on Pride

Verdict on pride: neutral.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” — Oscar Wilde

Pride came up last night at a party.  A person had recently come back from a trip and told me about how proud the people there were of their heritage.  The word stabbed at me as they crossed their ears. And I noticed. . . there was even a sense of pride in the way he talked about their “pride”!

But I  believe in the value of moderation.  Pride in accomplishments builds confidence, builds self-esteem.  I know from personal experience that not enough pride — an overemphasis of and misunderstanding of humility — can lead to depression and self-hatred.  Yet. . .too much pride can lead to isolationism. It can mean an over-emphasis on the qualities of an individual, group, or organization over the qualities and potential of others.

Whereas love of the self is necessary, love of one to the detriment of others is the seed of misunderstandings, fighting, and even war.

I will no longer completely reject pride . . . nor will I absolutely condone it!

Much love any many blessings. ❤

Support Local!


I used to be afraid of “business.”  It was the great unknown.  My dad was a nurse, my mom was a librarian.  Some of my aunts and uncles were in “business,” but I didn’t really know much about it.  Then, I became a teacher, so it was still off of my radar.  I’d heard of the local “Chamber of Commerce,” and I vaguely wondered what it was.

Now I own two small businesses, and my fiancee is a network marketer.  Most of our household products come from his business, and more and more of our new friends we’ve met through networking.   Recent purchases and gifts have come from small business owners, and many of my coaching clients are involved in new business endeavors.

Many individuals are embracing the life of an entrepreneur.  Though it’s often quite the roller coaster ride, many enjoy the thrill and appreciate the flexibility in hours and income.  Some are grateful to spend more time with their families. Many are finally following their dreams.

In a society that has moved away from “Mom and Pop” and toward “super” markets and conglomerates, “small” is making a comeback. “Small Business Saturday,” is a great example, started in 2010 as a response to big business’s “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

Most of you have friends and family with their own businesses, and many things you buy at “big-box” stores can also come from small businesses.  In this season of gifts and gratitude, please remember the entrepreneurs.  (Why turn a gift for one into a gift for TWO?)

Much love, many blessings. ❤

On Perspective, Finding the Gold, and “Ms. Self-Righteous” and “Disgust”

Perspective and “Ms. Self-Righteous”

My dharma has been coming up quite a bit in the last week (or at least I’m more aware of it now).  The old dharma, that is.  My dharma report says I need to evolve my dharma.  I notice my dharma these days when I get all riled up over something that I disagree with or that I want to control.  Yesterday it came up with Brian.  That’s when I became aware of another aspect of myself: “Ms. Self-Righteous.”  I think she’s twin sisters with “Ms. Manipulator.”  When I want to control something, they team up.

Basically, what I’m talking about is when I get a particular perspective and the blinders go on.  This one thing is right, and this other thing is wrong, and I want the other person to see this or fix this — or in general, I just want to control this.

Last weekend on the car ride back from our National Teacher’s Weekend I found myself in a situation that I hadn’t expected, and I had a pretty confident opinion about how I thought things should go.  I presented a compromise,  but I secretly hoped that the others involved would see the light and go along with my original plan.  Nope.  They took the compromise with no problem.  This was a shock to me because sometimes the manipulation worked with Brian.

So, when I spoke with Brian yesterday and he called me out on my self-righteous tone, I was shocked into awareness and began to reflect on last week and some of my other experiences.  I realized that I have an attachment to my way of thinking, my way of seeing things, and I feel frustrated and helpless when I can’t get my way.  This is not what I want.

New plan: go with the flow. Allow for different perspectives.  Expand the possibilities.  Invite experiences.  Also, I would like to see learning as more of a game, as an exploration.  I would like to experiment with life with clear intentions and observe how things unfold.  And then at the end of the day, gather all the clay, rework it, and see what enfolds.

Finding the Gold

We’ve got to take the “good” that we can out of every learning experience.  One of my classmates commented on a presentation he’d heard and how one thing the presenter said in the beginning caused him to shut down and not pay any attention to the rest of the presentation.  I was amused by this because I had listened to the exact same presentation and had felt it had blown my mind and expanded my awareness in at least 5 different ways!  Our metaphysics teacher explained that we need to “find the gold” in any experience, in any person — in anything!  If we want to find something valuable — we will!  If we expect to find something awful, we will.  (And we’ll miss out on the good stuff!)  Our teacher then began to talk about famous “good” people and how even they were not perfect.  (But they still did some pretty awesome things!)  Look for the gold; look for the good.  Every moment has treasure and meaning.  We can be grateful for this.  All we need are open eyes and an open heart.

This morning I found myself judging a situation again.  I was suddenly aware of the processes of my mind and how I was quickly concluding with “disgust” (another aspect of myself) and a certainty in my opinion.  I then paused and recognized something greater than my opinion — a desire to connect with someone and be a support for him in a situation that could be for his highest good.  And I recognized a few ways I modify the situation for myself to make it moderately pleasant for me.

We cannot change anyone.  We can only change ourselves.  Sometimes we can’t change a situation, but we can change how we look at it.  We can find the gold. . .  and then let it go.

Many blessings of love and joy to all of you. ❤


What is the ego? What is my ego? I’m not entirely sure. I know that I am not the ego. I’ve been thinking about my past lives a lot. I’ve gotten two past life readings and one crossing, and my personality seems to be different in each lifetime. At least – my life paths are different. I wonder – how can all of those people from all those lives be the same person, be the same soul? So, I’d imagine that my ego changes. If I do not take my ego with me, my ego must be that difference. My ego changes from lifetime to lifetime. So, again, I am not the ego.

Then, everything that is not the I Am, everything that is not the soul is the ego. Anything that is left is the conscious mind and the ego. The conscious mind and the ego work together. So, anything that is related to my conscious level existence is related to the ego. My identity in this lifetime is connected to the ego, all of my forms of outer expression. All of the layers that I have added to myself. All of my conscious mind motivations are the ego. Much of the physical life is connected to the ego.

The ego is motivation. The ego requires direction. The stronger the will, the more one can work in harmony with the ego. As my teacher has explained, the ego can be like a well-trained pit bull — intimidating in its strength and size but always obedient to the master (the mind). A wayward ego is untrained, prone to drama and chaos. It runs with an undirected imagination and can either play it safe or run amuck, like a crazy puppy, leaving destruction and chaos in its wake.

How can I work with the ego? I train the ego to surrender.   I train the ego to release attachments. The ego must accept its mortality and internalize the concept of sacrifice. If I am to live for the good of all concerned, the ego must come with me (and stay just behind me).


Images courtesy of saphatthachat and Witthaya Phonsawat at



Belated Saturday

I am finding time management to be a challenge, and it doesn’t get easier.  I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I like struggling with time management.  Maybe it has become y status quo.

I just wanted to post something for Saturday, so here’s what I’ve got:

  • King Corn is a documentary worth seeing — but prepared to be depressed
  • My family and Brian make the best smoothies
  • I need to take a look at constructive criticism, to study it, actually.  It seems to be important and to keep popping up for me (in teaching and beyond).
  • I’m excited about the growth of the Bolingbrook School of Metaphysics community.
  • I had a badly needed heart-to-heart with Brian yesterday, in which I was reminded how much vulnerability (revealing your True Self) draws people closer together and is very sexy!
  • I can’t stop time — yet.
  • A bird was on my windshield.  I don’t know where it came from.  I was driving on the highway, and suddenly I was like: “Huh.  Something is on my windshield.  Did I leave with this on my car?   Is it like a big pile of leaves?  Let me run the windshield wipers. . . . Argh!  It’s a bird!  And it’s alive!”    I drove along for a while (on the highway), not sure what to do.  Finally, I pulled off on the shoulder to figure things out.  Unfortunately, I had a huge skirt on that I had to work with, as I climbed over the passenger side of the car to avoid being mowed down by traffic.  I slowly approached the bird and moved the windshield wiper away. Then I tried to shoo it.  (Didn’t work.)  It was able to move a bit and looked like its feet were fine, but it wouldn’t move from the car.  I didn’t want to mess with the wings.  I slowly moved my hand by its head.  No response.  (Brian said maybe the bird was in shock.  I would be, too!) So, then I slowly scooped it up as if it were a baby chick, and put it down on the grass by the road.  I left it standing there quietly, as I climbed back into my car and drove off.

I feel like there was some definite significance to this last one.  I had just left the school in a funk, frustrated and depressed with my continuing battle with time (which my classmate told me is the problem — don’t “struggle!”  Don’t “force!”)  So, I’m feeling despondent, and I get a big bird in my windshield.  If this were a dream, it would be something about spiritual thoughts being thrown into my field of awareness, or even at my physical body.  I think maybe this is about faith.  I need to carry on, and I need to have faith.


Summary Sunday: Softball, Positive Thinking, Random English Guy, Time Off, and a Return to Teaching


After 25 years or so of softball, I recently gave it a rest.  It’s a great sport, but I wasn’t thrilled with the weekly commitment, and I was beating up my body.  I do still sub every-so-often..  Last Friday I subbed for the first time in a year, and I really enjoyed myself.  I caught the one fly ball that made it out to me in right field, backed up the first basewoman on an over-throw, and — through some visualization practice — made contact or walked every time I came up to bat.  Not only that, but Brian’s team is awesome.  Really friendly, fun people who were solid on the field with great hitting potential.  And I was pleased that I’m still in decent shape and could remember everybody’s name: Brian, Teresa, Kevin, Lani, Carl, Val, Crystal, Mark, and Jeremy!  (Yay for metaphysics exercises!)

Positive Thinking

Sometimes when I’d head out on the field the fears would get a hold of me.  What would I do if the ball came to me?  What if I missed it?  Made a mistake?  This time I noticed it coming on and simply told myself: “That’s not productive thinking.  I have no use for that.”

I also took a look at my words this week and worked on 2 resolutions: 1. Eliminate criticisms of others.  2. Eliminate criticisms of movies.  Part of my metaphysics lesson this week included speaking negatively about myself out loud any time I was tempted to speak ill of others.  I had to catch myself more than I’d like, but I’ve seen an improvement.  I’ve also been uneasy with how I tend to critique movies down to a pulp.  After a nasty reaction to the latest Superman movie, I decided I would give the negativity a rest and speak only positives tidbits about the next one I watched.  My test happened to be the latest X-Men movie, which Brian assured me would have absolutely nothing wrong with it.  I thought that was a funny joke, but amazingly, I ended up agreeing with him.

Random English Guy

I love those random experiences that make you muse and wonder and brighten your day.  Today I stopped at a park during a break between two tutoring sessions.  As I made my way to a bench with my Artist’s Way notebook in tow, I passed a young gentleman in workout gear, resting with his bike under a canopied picnic area.  He seemed like he may have been glancing at me, but I didn’t think much of it.  I made a phonecall and then started writing.

Soon after he came over and asked if I had the time, and I checked my watch.  He thanked me and turned back to his bike, and I returned to my writing.  But then I thought: it seems odd that he would just ask me the time.  Most people have a phone or something on them.  I felt the urge to speak to him.

“How far are you going today?” I called out to him.  And that’s how I learned that he didn’t really know how far he’d gone, just that he’d gone a lap around today and yesterday and also that he’d biked quite a few miles on a stationary bike at the gym yesterday, too.  He was staying with a friend who’d been a schoolmate back in England and who was now a workout fanatic.  The purpose of his trip was to get out of England for a while because it was raining all of the time, and he said that can really get to you mentally. (Made me feel better about our own messed-up weather.)  He told me that it was never this hot in England and that 22 degrees (C) was generally his limit for working out outdoors.  (I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t sure how to do the conversion to Fahrenheit and was therefore lacking a frame of reference and could only smile and nod.)  He’s been trying to exercise more and get his body in shape because he was in a motorcycle racing accident last year — where he miraculously only tore up some muscle — and he’d lost weight and then really started to gain, and he didn’t want to get fat.  He was impressed that I tutored Spanish and asked if I knew any other languages and what languages I’d like to learn, and he told me a story about a time he’d been riding in France and hadn’t realized he’s crossed over the border into Spain and had proceeded to speak a bit of French to a confused Spanish gas station attendant.  (What little French he knew came from his ex-girlfriend.)  Also, he wasn’t sure what type of bees were flying under the canopy and if they stung or not.  (I couldn’t help him identify them, but I was pretty sure they stung.)  We finished by wished each other a lovely day, and I wished him a good trip back.

Time Off

I’m sure you can understand that having time off can seem a blessing and a curse.  Yesterday my two tutoring students cancelled, so I got another surprise day off.  (I usually work a full 7-day work week.)  I went nuts — I was writing like crazy, took a look at my collages, sat out in the fresh air, caught up on correspondence — and I don’t honestly remember what else I did — but it was pure bliss . . .  until I had to go back to work today.  I had a decent work day today, but it’s just really nice to have a day to feel free to do whatever.  Working on that. . .

A Return to Teaching

After 10 years in the classroom, I threw in the towel.  I like kids, I like learning, and I liked the subjects, but I just did not like classroom teaching.  I’d tried — but I was done.  So, when I became a metaphysics student and learned about the potential to teach, I said “No way!”  I had just quit that path;  I was not getting back on that road.  But as sometimes happens, my stubborn mind opened up a little.  I realized I was actually still teaching, even if not in name.  I was a tutor, I was teaching people through my writing, and I had begun unconsciously teaching people about metaphysics.  So, I went from hating the idea, to being lukewarm about it, to looking forward to having a class.  Next week I will be taking over a class and teaching a student, and in the summer I will be starting a new metaphysics classes.  Who woulda thunk it?  The teacher is back!

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