SSi

January 26, 2012
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Comments Off on Laughing is spiritual

Laughing is spiritual

L is for  learn to listen, let go, love, laugh, live
This morning The Soul Salon listeners were treated to another show in the Abc’s of Better Living Series with Denise Taylor. Denise gives her time, live each Thursday morning at 9AM EST, to share the next insightful letter in the series. Today’s letter is L (show embedded above) and as we shared in Denise’s thoughts on L–the importance of laughter was shared. We all know how good it feels to laugh and we also know how hard it is to muster laughter when we may be feeling low.  For those times, we shared on the program how it is helpful to have an external source, like a comedian, to begin to lift us from that heavy dense place we may be in.

So today, give a listen to The Soul Salon episode embedded above and listen as Denise share the letter L of the ABC’s of Better Living and enjoy the segments below from one of my favorite comedians, Mitch Hedberg and Denise’s Brett Leake.

January 12, 2012
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Comments Off on Cyndi Dale with Rena Reese on The Soul Salon Radio Show: A special 3-part series on developing your intuition

Cyndi Dale with Rena Reese on The Soul Salon Radio Show: A special 3-part series on developing your intuition

Perhaps you have always been aware of your sixth sense and now you are ready to safely and wisely learn to use it.  If yes, here is a calendar alert.  Set your reminder to listen to Cyndi Dale on The Soul Salon on January 17 when she joins Rena for the first of a three part series about Intuition.  If you cannot catch it live you can return to hear the archive 24/7 or download the free podcast on Itunes of the segment (after it airs of course).

Cyndi is a renowned author, speaker, and intuitive consultant as well as the author of many best-selling books and she has graciously agreed to offer this series in support of those interested in both exploring and developing their intuition and psychic senses.

This series is based on her latest book The Intuition Guidebook: How to safely and wisely use your sixth sense and it is suggested that listeners pick up a copy of this rich resource since there is far more information packed in the book than can be presented over the course of the series.

What you can expect:

Program #1 Living in 2 worlds, Understanding your sensitivities, Psychic Boundaries, Why do you receive the info you do?

Program #2 Preparing to be intuitive, Discernment (following the path to safe travel), Defining your gift order

Program #3 Putting Psychic Gifts to practice, Kinesthetic psychic sensitive, Verbal psychic sensitive, Visual psychic sensitive, From psychic sensitivity to spiritual vocation–Unfolding your destiny.

Tuning in to this series will have you learning from one of the most special intuition experts of our time.  Remember to set your reminder to listen.

January 11, 2012
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Comments Off on Awed Daily

Awed Daily

On a typical Monday our three children will get up  before the sun. The sun will lift into the sky as the kids sit around the granite counter in our kitchen eating eggs and bagels before heading to their classes at the high school.

While this scenario may sound mundane, each is actually quite profound.  The Divine law in place that guarantees– to the minute—the time the sun will rise each morning, is awe inspiring.  Yet, we are rarely a witness to or awed by a sunrise.

The notion that the polished colorful rock which now serves as our family’s kitchen countertop was long buried below the earth’s surface for millions of years, is awe inspiring. Yet we are rarely awed by a granite countertop.

Each of our children began life as a single cell. The Divine intelligence that told that cell to divide and then divide again and again also infused them with gifts, talents and intelligence.  Now those teenagers are learning to drive, are thinking about their future and developing into young adults. Yet, we are rarely awed by teens.

The eggs that provided those teenagers with their first meal of the day have long been debated as to whether they came first, or the chicken required to produce them.  That magnificent egg is awe inspiring, but rarely gets a passing thought before being boiled poached or fried.

Familiarity with the awesome components of life can dull our sense of awe.  This familiarity can mute the remarkable nature of that which we experience regularly.  As defined, awe is a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. Perhaps we take for granted and do not offer respect to that which has become commonplace in our lives.

I recall feeling a sense of complete awe as I stood at the top of Mount Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii.  The feeling came from the view, the landscape that resembled the surface of Mars and the massive nature the mountain.  There I was on this teeny island out in the Pacific Ocean, on top Mount Haleakala nearly 10,000 feet high—so high in fact that little grows at this altitude.

But do we have to reach the top of a mountain to be awed?

Awe requires conscious recognition. That consciousness is what defines our human experience.  Awe requires that we notice all that is around us and how terrifically unlikely any of it is to exist—and to see how everything is a masterpiece.  It has been said that once you can find awe when looking upon anything, you can find awe in absolutely everything.  You see, while it is easy to find awe in the tremendous science and courage that put Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on the Apollo mission which landed men on the moon, how about the not so obvious awe-inspiring parts of life?

Consider the water in your gym-bottle or the water that you added to your coffee maker this morning.  The world has been given not one new drop of water since its beginning.  The same water we enjoy today for cooking, bathing, and drinking and that make up every cell of our body, has been around since the birth of our planet.  That same water we use daily, hydrated the dinosaurs, flowed down the Nile River for the Ancient Egyptians, rained down upon the builders of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece thousands of years ago, and carved out the Grand Canyon. When was the last time you looked at a simple glass of recycled water through that awe-inspiring lens?

Reasons to be truly awed are all around us. If we look with wonder we are guaranteed to feel that reverential respect that the dictionary mentions in defining the word awe.  While the word “awesome” is a popular term used to acknowledge something terrific, it has minimized the purest sense of the word.  To a child, “awesome” may refer to a new family minivan with DVD players built into the headrests or in getting a trucker on the highway to honk his horn.  Perhaps a brand new sheet of bubble wrap would be even more “awesome”.

An adult may exclaim “awesome” after hitting a string of green lights when in a rush or after realizing he or she is on the jumbo screen at a professional sporting event… and that is a start.

Today I ask you to consider the nature of a dandelion, a rock, a bug or the full moon.  I encourage you to appreciate the moment after lightning and before thunder, as well as any other Divine law that gives order to our universe.  For example, we know that our planet takes exactly 365 and ¼ days to make its yearly trip around the sun. This accounts for the extra day we are gifted with every four years when we celebrate a leap year.  The earth makes this journey around the sun– hurtling through space– at about 67,000 mph.  Still, with this sort of speed, every Equinox, Solstice, high and low time arrives right on time. Now that is truly awesome.

So when is the last time you truly felt awed?  If it has been a while, this likely does not mean that there is nothing awesome in your life, only that you are not paying close enough attention.  Look for small things that you come across that are infinitely significant, like an acorn. Listen to the actual sound that silence makes. Find beauty in things not often thought of as beautiful like a spider web or a white dandelion puff.  Look for and create reasons to be awed.  And then consciously acknowledge it. I guarantee it is what you will feel when you decide to grow a bell pepper or watermelon plant from a tiny single seed.

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company, which offers coaching, consulting, web-design, publishing support, and fundraising opportunities for individuals and groups.  She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com on the web, on Facebook and on Twitter @TheSoulSalon.

January 10, 2012
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Comments Off on What is your addiction?

What is your addiction?

I was recently talking with a woman about addiction–specifically gambling.  We spoke more about the other four well-known addictions: alcohol, drugs, sex and food.  She went on to say that she did not have an addictive personality and there was nothing that she was addicted to.   I know from my work with people that EVERYONE has an area in life that addictive behaviors manifest or have the potential to manifest.  I know people who work very hard to mange their food addiction or offset it with exercise.  There are lots of people who are alcoholics who only regard themselves as “social drinkers” or as someone who just drinks every night to  relax from a long day.  From smokers to nail-biters, addictions seem to be part of our human experience. But more than the food, drugs, alcohol and sex addictions there is another category of stealthy addictions that seem to  not be as heavy–but can be just as destructive as the infamous five I just named.

It is possible that many people do not regard this group of addictions as addictions at all–but they generate patterns of action or behaviors from us and also impact what we think of ourselves and how we fit into this world.  What are these lesser known addictions?  Caroline Myss names an interesting group of “subtle addictions” in the description of a workshop she gave this summer.  Those included: Power, glamour, fantasy literature, attention, money, shopping, negativity, propaganda, complaining, relationship crises and a computer social life. I would even add exercise to this list.

Did one of these point to you?

Where the conscious mind may quickly answer “No,” your spirit knows differently.  Sit quietly with this list and think of the work you do. Do you love it?  If you don’t, why are you still doing it? Think of how you spend your spare time.  Do you spend hours gaming–watching negative news–shopping?  Do you have a repeating daily regret? One that you swear each night you’ll do better with tomorrow, only to disappoint yourself day after day?  Is there a relationship that you know is toxic for you, but you maintain it for what it affords you?  Maybe security, connection, status, money, or social status? Do you dive into the weekly tabloids to get info (contrived or fact) on so called famous people?

This kind of life-review is what creates epiphanies that put you mindfully in the driver’s seat in life.  These epiphanies help you to ask why you do the things you do—-and call on you to empower yourself to name it and address it.  I am not an addiction counselor and I am fully aware of my personal sink-holes.  I get better everyday at stepping around them too.  These strategic side-steps happened when I asked these questions that I’ve put to you in this post, of myself.

So the question is not “Do you have an addiction?” The question is “What addiction do you have?” It may not be as severe that of, say, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan or Amy Winehouse whom we lost in 2011, but it is worth asking. Why? Your happy place lies on the other side of this question.

All the best!

Rena M. Reese

Founder, Soul Salon International

January 9, 2012
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Comments Off on The case for goal setting: Lost people drive slower

The case for goal setting: Lost people drive slower

This is the time of year that feels freshest for many of us.  It is bigger than any Monday morning and bigger than our birthdays when it comes to fresh starts and committing (or recommitting) to something important to us. Each year my husband and I write our yearly goals in a special book we designated for this task.  We ask our three kids (now all in high school) to do the same.  It is really affirming to look back to previous years to see what we held as important–or challenging.  We love to look back and see that there was a time that one of our kids, as a second grader, made it a priority to learn the 8 times tables.  Goals give your boat a sail and you literally pick up speed as you head to your desired destination when you commit your goals to paper-and READ them daily.

Think of this…

When you are on the highway and are unsure of where  you are or how soon your anticipated exit will approach what do you do?  If you are like many people you will stay in the far right lane and probably see (and feel) lots of cars zipping past you.  There is a tentativeness to your driving one that will not only get you to your destination slower, but takes some of the joy from your trip.  You are probably missing something beautiful around you because you are focused on the signs, the GPS or whatever else that is helping you navigate effectively.

But how about this?  How is your highway driving when you know exactly where you’re headed?  You are probably a  lot more likely to pop over to the left “fast” lane and to set your cruise control.  This not only gets you to your desired location quicker, but more efficiently too. This analogy perfectly mirrors life!  One you are clear on where you are going you are focused on your desired outcome. You can then better conspire with God to get there!

This is why goal setting really matters to those of us on a quest to live our most full, happiest lives.  This practice of setting goals is more than just saying I want to experience more, be more and have more—it is also about I want to give more.  When you are successful, happy and using your talents to reach your goals, you are probably lifting up a lot of other people too. I ask you to not just go through the motions, waiting for a yearly 1-week vacation to experience more, be  more and have more in life when you can do it daily!

Grab a pen and paper and divide it into six sections. Title each section to match your primary areas of focus. Some examples are:

  • physical health/fitness
  • primary relationships
  • contributions
  • financial goals
  • personal development
  • home/environment

After you have done this, list between one and three things you would like to accomplish in each. So one of the categories above may look like this:

  • personal development
  1. I will read 25 books this year.
  2. I will attend two weekend workshops at The Mindfulness Center  to learn to meditate
  3. I will commit to working with a life coach for 12 weeks to help me hone my vision for my own business.

See how each goal is specific?  Instead of I will read more this year (not measurable when it comes to be December 31) these goal is specific.  People who are conscious and serious about living full on, will stop and do this exercise and designate a sacred space to record them and mark off their attainment.  Those who are content to have this year look like last year likely will not have even read this far in this post.  You deserve more in life than you enjoyed last year.  You deserve a beautiful home environment, healthy relationships, financial stability and abundance, a career you love and a life that is regret free.  Would you be willing to put a pen to paper right now in the interest of those things?

Let me know how I can help.

All the best,

Rena M. Reese

Founder, Soul Salon International

 

December 19, 2011
by admin
Comments Off on Julie Whitt’s lasting legacy

Julie Whitt’s lasting legacy

“I think my story lit a spark in people and I want to keep the flame alive if I’m not here to do it myself. The way I see it, I can’t lose. Surviving this transplant means a whole new life for me. Dying from this transplant means a whole new life for me. I’ve never been so at peace with something. This is my time to shine, so whether that light shines on Earth or in Heaven, may God’s will be done.”Julie Whitt, 1969-2005

Today marks 6 years since Julie passed away after her double lung transplant.  I remember learning that her story may have taken another, more positive end than it did, if she had been given a new heart too.  I remember learning that the lung transplant had gone well, but it was just that her heart, after numerous radiation treatments, was weaker than originally thought.

This point is not the point though.

Julie has touched thousands of people both in life and in her death as well.  She inspired people, supported them, held them accountable, challenged what we thought was impossible and made us believe in a new “possible”.  She was fearless in life (or so it seemed) and she was fearless as she faced her transplant surgery.  Her loving, soft energy was juxtaposed with her strong, tell-it-like-it-is persona.  She was pretty special.

So each year since 2008, SSI gives an award to an exceptional human being in her honor.  The most recent winner was Clara Showalter of Austin, Texas.  This is one of the many ways in which this down-to-earth woman from Marion Virginia is being remembered. Julie’s legacy is  still churning out an impact for people all over the planet.  She would be really thrilled to know that her message is still being carried forward through myriad channels.

If you woke up today, new and exciting good stuff is possible for you.  If you are healing from a health challenge, a return to vibrancy is possible for you. If you’re making what feels like an uphill climb, hang on… you are near the summit and will soon be able to coast.  Believing in something better is step one to moving through your personal, “What is” to what can be.  Even if things are pretty darn wonderful, continue to look towards greater joy for yourself and more importantly, seek to play a greater role in creating joy and possibility for another.

This time of year people are immersed in the holidays–and for some it is not all pomegranate martinis and gingerbread houses.  For some, the holidays are a gut-wrenching time.  If you can, consider right now reaching out to someone you know who may be having a hard time this holiday. Let them know they are on your mind–send a card, an email or see them in person and give them a hug. Not only will your own worldly concerns be muted for a while, you could end up making an important connection at a critical time–one that make a positive difference in the life of someone who is struggling in some way.

Watch the Julie Whitt Tribute Video and see for yourself why Julie Whitt’s legacy is so powerful–and so so lasting.  Thank you to Steve Yu for producing it and to Stephanie Workman for hosting it on The Torch Website.

We miss you Julie and remember both what you taught us and what you showed us was possible.

Rena M. Reese

Founder, Soul Salon International

December 16, 2011
by admin
Comments Off on Christmas in the 21st century

Christmas in the 21st century

It’s that time of year again, Christmas.  Filled with the some of the richest traditions, spiritually uplifting music and special connections  of the entire year, the holidays are fabulous.  This is the one month of year when, for some organizations, more is gifted to the needy than all other months combined.  We think of parties, shopping, shipping, calories, budgets and decorations.  All of this feeds the energy of the season–the hustle and bustle–which it seems, has become synonymous with Christmas.

Yesterday a cashier asked me, “So are you ready for Christmas?”

It got me thinking that, like many, I had muted the reason we celebrate Christmas.  Can you imagine having a birthday party for a child you know–and have everyone who attends the party bring a gift for everyone who has been invited.  Then have everyone open their gifts, eat and party and then go home–never having acknowledged the child having the birthday? 

Of course not– we just wouldn’t do this to a child.  It is their day!  It was this child’s birthday that we came together to celebrate in the first place.

I know you see where I am going with this…

So, find your special way to remember the reason you are haiving the party on December 25th.

All the best!

Rena M. Reese

Founder, Soul Salon International

December 15, 2011
by admin
Comments Off on Identify your Intention: The ABC’s of Better Living Series

Identify your Intention: The ABC’s of Better Living Series

The 26 week series continues…

Today Denise Taylor joined me once again on The Soul Salon Radio Show to continue with the ABC’s of Better Living Series as we talked about the letter I.  Identify your Intention is this week’s letter in Denise’s divinely inspired list.  Catch the archive right here on the radio player and start the new year living intentionally with a daily practice using an Intention Journal.

All the best!
Rena M. Reese
Founder, Soul Salon International

December 11, 2011
by admin
Comments Off on Inspiring Awe in your Life!

Inspiring Awe in your Life!

(I took this photo at a high school soccer game in the fall of 2011 and was stunned by the beauty of this sunset.  I was also stunned that the people sitting around me did not actually SEE the gorgeous sky until I commented out loud how gorgeous it was.  Here was this magnificent beauty right in front of us–and it was not apparent.)

 

Each weekday our three children get up before the sun. As the sun finally lifts into the sky our kids sit around the granite counter in our kitchen, eating eggs and bagels before heading to their classes at the high school.  While this scenario may sound mundane, each one of these events is actually quite profound.  The Divine law in place that guarantees– to the minute—the time the sun will rise each morning, is awe inspiring.  Yet, we are rarely awed by a sunrise–and often sleep though them.

The notion that the polished colorful rock which now serves as our family’s kitchen countertop was long buried below the earth’s surface for millions of years, is awe inspiring. Yet we are rarely awed by a granite countertop.

Each of our children began life as a single cell. The Divine intelligence that told that cell to divide and then divide again and again also infused them with gifts, talents and intelligence.  Now those teenagers are learning to drive, are thinking about their future and developing into young adults. Yet, we are rarely awed by teens.

The eggs that provided those teenagers with their first meal of the day have long been debated as to whether they came first, or the chicken required to produce them.  That magnificent egg is awe inspiring, but rarely gets a passing thought before being boiled poached or fried.

Familiarity with the awesome components of life can dull our sense of awe.  This familiarity can mute the remarkable nature of that which we experience regularly.  As defined, awe is a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. Perhaps we take for granted and do not offer respect to that which has become commonplace in our lives.

I recall feeling a sense of complete awe as I stood at the top of Mount Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii.  The feeling came from the view, the landscape that resembled the surface of Mars and the massive nature the mountain.  There I was on this teeny island out in the Pacific Ocean, on top Mount Haleakala nearly 10,000 feet high—so high in fact that little grows at this altitude.

But do we have to reach the top of a mountain to be awed?

Awe requires conscious recognition. That consciousness is what defines our human experience.  Awe requires that we notice all that is around us and how terrifically unlikely any of it is to exist—and to see how everything is a masterpiece.  It has been said that once you can find awe when looking upon anything, you can find awe in absolutely everything.  You see, while it is easy to find awe in the tremendous science and courage that put Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on the Apollo mission which landed men on the moon, how about the not so obvious awe-inspiring parts of life?

Consider the water in your gym-bottle or the water that you added to your coffee maker this morning.  The world has been given not one new drop of water since its beginning.  The same water we enjoy today for cooking, bathing, and drinking and that make up every cell of our body, has been around since the birth of our planet.  That same water we use daily, hydrated the dinosaurs, flowed down the Nile River for the Ancient Egyptians, rained down upon the builders of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece thousands of years ago, and carved out the Grand Canyon. When was the last time you looked at a simple glass of recycled water through that awe-inspiring lens?

Reasons to be truly awed are all around us. If we look with wonder we are guaranteed to feel that reverential respect that the dictionary mentions in defining the word awe.  While the word “awesome” is a popular term used to acknowledge something terrific, it has minimized the purest sense of the word.  To a child, “awesome” may refer to a new family minivan with DVD players built into the headrests or in getting a trucker on the highway to honk his horn.  Perhaps a brand new sheet of bubble wrap would be even more “awesome”.

An adult may exclaim “awesome” after hitting a string of green lights when in a rush or after realizing he or she is on the jumbo screen at a professional sporting event… and that is a start.

Today I ask you to consider the nature of a dandelion, a rock, a bug or the full moon.  I encourage you to appreciate the moment after lightning and before thunder, as well as any other Divine law that gives order to our universe.  For example, we know that our planet takes exactly 365 and ¼ days to make its yearly trip around the sun. This accounts for the extra day we are gifted with every four years when we celebrate a leap year.  The earth makes this journey around the sun– hurtling through space– at about 67,000 mph.  Still, with this sort of speed, every Equinox, Solstice, high and low time arrives right on time. Now that is truly awesome.

So when is the last time you truly felt awed?  If it has been a while, this likely does not mean that there is nothing awesome in your life, only that you are not paying close enough attention.  Look for small things that you come across that are infinitely significant, like an acorn. Listen to the actual sound that silence makes. Find beauty in things not often thought of as beautiful like a spider web or a white dandelion puff.  Look for and create reasons to be awed.  And then consciously acknowledge it. I guarantee it is what you will feel when you decide to grow a bell pepper or watermelon plant from a tiny single seed.

Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company, which offers coaching, consulting, web-design, publishing support, and fundraising opportunities for individuals and groups.  She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com on the web, on Facebook and on Twitter @TheSoulSalon.

September 13, 2011
by admin
Comments Off on John Ahkwari: A Personal Story of Triumph

John Ahkwari: A Personal Story of Triumph

African Marathon runner John Stephen Ahkwari of Tanzanian had the great honor of representing his country in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. It seems from accounts, that around the mile 18 marker, the grueling run was impacting his balance and Ahkwari stumbled to the ground and seriously bloodied his leg and knee. It seemed clear to those around him, the spectators, that this man should not keep running the race, but Ahkwari would not have any part of giving up. He kept running and walking…. but moving forward. The race’s winner was declared less than an hour after his fall, but he kept running… walking… moving forward…
And then, nearly 2 hours after his fall and about an hour after the first runner crossed the finish line– Ahkwari would have his moment of completion. Could he have known that what began as an unceremonious entrance into the Olympic stadium would inspire and lift the hearts of so many?

From the dark of night, off the streets of Mexico, into the blasting white lights of the stadium, Ahkwari made his entrance– alternating a spirited jog to a walk-run. The thousands of spectators that were speckled among the stadium seats there to watch an entirely different Olympic event, took notice of this gentleman making his final stretch to the finish line. One lone competitor, competing not against the other countries that began the race with him, but the race for his dignity, character or the pride of his country. THESE are the things John Stephen Ahkwari valued most and they were his strength as he ran the final leg with his bandages and wounds.

So the crowd who needed a moment to noodle through what was going on since the marathon had LONG finished–realized that this man was the caboose was to the marathon train…

Imagine the moments that followed…. the applause began…. and got louder as he made his way around the track. People began to stand and holler words of encouragement and the applause heightened to a full burst. Crossing the finish line was not an act of ego, it was an act of pride–honoring what John Stephen Ahkwari valued most.

The most powerful part of this story is in its closing. After he received medical care and the questions of his run were asked, many asked why he kept running. Why did forge forward even in such tremendous pain that surely all would understand his not completing the marathon?

His response, quite simply, was this… “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.”

Watch John Ahkwari’s story of courage

You can do so much when you connect to your values. Even when things seem hard or impossible, the power of values seems to boost the odds. Living a values based life is a great way to do the impossible, to inspire, and to have a great deal of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Watch this and see the powerful driving force that comes from acting from values.

All the best!

Rena M. Reese
Founder, Soul Salon International