6 Things I Hope for My Granddaughter, My ‘Jelly Bean’

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
6 Things I Hope for My Granddaughter, My ‘Jelly Bean’
So I come out of my heart procedure with some daunting news. I need to go in for yet another Angiogram and likely stent insertion — more heart trouble, more bad news about my upside down heart that evidently doesn’t work all that well. Seems my open-heart surgery three years ago was not a resounding success. At least this time, it’s stents and not cracking my chest open.

So my son and daughter-in-law decide to inform my granddaughter (I have always called her “Jelly Bean”) and my grandson (whom I call “Smoothy”) — five and three-years-old, respectively — about what’s happening to Grandpa… at least an explanation in five and three-year-old language. They listened attentively, with eyes glued and ears perked to the somber, but hopeful message about Grandpa’s upcoming surgery.

At the end, Jelly Bean raises her hand — like she’s in school — and asks the profound question. The one adults wouldn’t think of, but five-year-old-brilliance can’t avoid. The timely, strategic bottom line thought that would only emerge in the swift, endearing mind of a young lady of her age:

“Does this mean Grandpa will be able to hear better?”

Kids come up with the darndest things. And they always make sense. She knew Grandpa had a problem and why not conclude that it surely must be connected to the fact that he always says to me, “What?” “What’s that? — Didn’t hear it all.” Frankly, as I get older, my hearing is descending downward and likely pointing to the next fun chapter of my life: the hearing aid chapter.

And I think she was saying, “Grandpa, I hope you listen to me better.” Five-year-olds don’t come right out and tell you they long to be listened to, to be loved unconditionally, to be heard, amidst the din of adult conversation and adult priorities. She loves her grandpa and wants him to listen to her with all his might and strength.

So I chuckled at her remark; yet it made me think long and hard about hearing. Not the kind that comes between the ears. But the more important kind — that answers the question of how well I really hear in life to the things that are important. How well I hear my dear Jelly Bean and my dear Smoothy. Hearing isn’t always about sound and vibrations. It really does have more to do with the heart.


I love when my Jelly Bean comes to visit. She creates the finest parties serving tea, complete with water that must come from the best tea leaves, contained in miniature tea cups surrounded by, I think, the tastiest crumpets, perfect muffins and conversations refined and most captivating. She fills the room with her laughter, that I love to hear, and her gorgeous smile makes me realize what life is all about.

I watch her with delight. And when I do, my hopes leap forward like I’m in a race to see what she will say next, and I start thinking about the woman she’ll become.

For you, my Jelly Bean, are made of the finest sugar. You show up in all kinds of colors and flavors that warm my heart and soul. One smile and I’m taken in — taken in like only a grandpa can experience. But it’s because you are so special. All bias set aside of course. I know no one would argue with me.

And so there are six things I hope for my dear Jelly Bean:

1. You never stop serving tea. But sharing tea must always be with someone who deeply loves and appreciates you — never because you’re just supposed to.

2. And surely find a mate who serves you too. Not with just tea, but with the greatest love and affection.

3. Marry someone who listens well. Never settle for anything less. Learn first about his heart and make sure he’s someone you can lean into, who can hear your voice.

4. Marry your soul mate. The one who wants to share life with you. The man who sits down to enjoy your smiles, your laughter and all the special ways you bring light to those around you. The man who will love you, even if you burn the crumpets or spill the tea all over the ground.

5. Never lose your imagination. Live by it. Find a life partner that shares your dreams and works with you to make them happen.

6. Always know how special you are. Never forget that. You’re unique and a joy. A real joy to those who know you. A complete joy to your grandpa.

Thank you dear Jelly Bean for reminding me of what matters. You will always matter more to me than you can know. What you have to say and the things I get to watch you do bring joy to my life. I’m truly blessed to be your grandpa.

And know this…

…I hear you Jelly Bean.

I hear you.

Hidden Truths: Going Beyond Common-Sense Reality (Part 2)
By Deepak Chopra, MD, Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., and Subhash Kak, Ph.D.

Although everyone as a practical matter accepts “reality as given” — the world presented by the five senses — that common-sense version of the world was radically undermined over a century ago with the advent of relativity and quantum theory. Equally dramatically, results from neuroscience show that mind creates representations of reality as in the phantom limb phenomenon. The trail from this ongoing revolution leads to current theories about a conscious universe, one that displays all the attributes of mind. In other words, mind precedes matter. The first post in this series introduced this concept, which if true would revolutionize everyday life. Reality itself, as explored by cutting-edge theories in physics, cosmology, and neuroscience, is giving us hints that we should look at the world through fresh eyes.

Some of the most intriguing thinking about the universe can be gathered under two rubrics: veiled non-locality and cosmic censorship. Veiled non-locality describes how the universe — and the human brain — disguises its wholeness in order to produce specific (i.e., local) events. This filtering process allows for specific observations and thoughts in a classical world of everyday experience, while keeping quantum and general relativistic processes out of sight. Cosmic censorship, on the other hand, describes the inability of distant observers to directly observe the center of a black hole, or “naked singularity.” The center of the black hole is presumed to be the same as the quantum vacuum, which exhibits no behavior of matter or energy. This gives us a zero point — invisible, intangible, unlocatable in spacetime — that is the origin of the visible cosmos.

Between them, these two hypotheses remove a substantial amount of prejudice and unsupported belief. There is no longer a need to defend crude materialism in terms of subatomic “building blocks” as the basis for reality. Reductionism is the foundation of any “bottom up” model, and the base of the pyramid, like it or not, isn’t solid things or even stuff. At bottom the universe is emergent from the quantum vacuum, a “nothing” that contains the potential not just for our universe but for multiple, perhaps even infinite universes. Decades ago the noted physicist John Archibald wheeler of Princeton declared that all of physics is based on the quantum vacuum, and time has borne him out.

At the same time, an opening has been made for a “top down” interpretation of the universe based on a single holistic foundation, from which individual events spring. But what should the foundational principle be? If the materialistic monism is to survive, everything must be derived from the quantum vacuum. Cosmic censorship and veiled non-locality provide a prop for materialism, because it can be taken as axiomatic that some aspects of reality will never be observable; this removes the onus for finding data that support the emergence of consciousness. In brief, the materialistic position becomes “We have found all the data that can be found, and from our findings the conjecture that mind arose from matter is as reliable as it can be. The rest is hidden, not from any flaw in our position but due to the nature of things.”

The idealist monism can claim stronger support, however. Its great obstacle, as we mentioned, is to describe how mind creates matter. At its basis, any creative agency must be overarching and separate from its creation (otherwise, one is left with the self-contradiction of asking who made the creator). Cosmic censorship can be interpreted as an invisible creative agency that organizes reality but permits human observers only a glimpse of it, just enough to fit the limited mechanics of the human brain. With veiled non-locality, one can point to something beyond spacetime, and this something gives rise to everything local in the cosmos — from the Bing Bang to neutrinos, from a single hydrogen atom to DNA — without revealing itself. The theological dictum that God’s ways are not justified to man now has its scientific correlate. The whole doesn’t have to justify itself to the parts.

If both styles of monism are supported by these new hypotheses, we are obliged to settle on which is right. This age-old contest is no longer the same. The balance has discernibly shifted in favor of idealism, but since that’s an outmoded term, let’s call it consciousness-based reality. More than a century after Planck, Heisenberg, and Schrödinger had their insights, physicists have begun to take consciousness seriously again. If a demand for parsimony matters, it is simpler and more elegant to derive matter form mind than vice versa.

In the next post we’ll build a bridge from scientific thinking to everyday life. If, as we believe, reality has been hinting at a conscious universe, the same hints should be detectable at the human level. The cosmic mind should have impacts on the brain, as indeed it does.

(To be cont.)

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 75 books with twenty-two New York Times bestsellers including Super Brain. For more interesting articles visit deepakchopra.com

Menas C. Kafatos is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University. He is a quantum physicist, cosmologist, climate change researcher and works extensively on consciousness and the above fields. His doctoral thesis advisor was noted M.I.T. professor Philip Morrison who studied under J. Robert Oppenheimer. Kafatos’ studies involved quantum physicists Hans Bethe, Victor Weisskopf and cosmologist Thomas Gold. He is co-author with Deepak Chopra of the forthcoming book, Who Made God and Other Cosmic Riddles. (Harmony)

Subhash Kak, Ph.D., Regents Professor of Computer Science, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

‘I Realized I Don’t Have to Believe My Thoughts’
Our mindfulness practice is not about vanquishing our thoughts. It’s about becoming aware of the process of thinking so that we are not in a trance — lost inside our thoughts. That’s the big difference. To train in becoming mindful of thoughts can help us to notice when your mind is actively thinking, either using the label “thinking, thinking,” or identifying the kind of thought — “worrying, worrying,” “planning, planning.” Then, becoming interested in what’s really happening right here. Coming home to the sensations in your body, your breath, the sounds around you, the life of the moment.

As our mindfulness practice deepens we become more aware of our thoughts. This offers us the opportunity to assess them and notice that much of the time our thoughts are not really serving us.  Many thoughts are driven by fear and lock us into insecurity. During our residential meditation retreats, one of the biggest breakthroughs people share with us is:

“I realized I don’t have to believe my thoughts.”

Training in mindfulness allows our minds to have a choice. At the moment in which you pause and realize that these thoughts are not really serving me, you have the option to come back to presence. This process of choosing becomes more powerful as you realize how thoughts can create suffering and separation. They create an “us” and a “them.” They create judgment and end up making us feel bad about ourselves.

In those moments when you’re lost in thought, what if you could pause and say, “OK, it is just a thought.” That is revolutionary.  That can change your life! 

Now, the key is that we approach this with a gentleness and kindness. Each time we recognize thinking and come back into the present moment with gentleness and kindness, we are planting a seed of mindfulness.  We are creating a new habit — a new way of being in the world.  We quiet down the incessant buzz of thoughts in our mind. We take refuge in what is true — the aliveness and tenderness and mystery of the present moment — rather than in the story line of our thoughts. 

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.
— Wu Men

© Tara Brach
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Imagine Living in a World Where Size Does Not Matter

Imagine for a moment that you lived in a world where body size did not matter. What would a day be like in this new and fab world?

Let’s imagine in this new and fab world it is your lunch hour and you decided to have a scrumptious treat — you went to your favorite clothing shop to buy some new clothes. You stepped into a closet like structure and you used a computer screen to select the style of clothing you wanted, and then your body was scanned, a little bell, sounded off, and a hanger with the style clothing you wanted was lowered in front of you. You took your clothing selection off the hanger and it was a perfect fit for your body! There were no sizes, nothing that could label or identify you by a number. Each style fit just right because of the amazing technology of the body scan, and for once you did not have to deal with the fact that, even when you had accepted the size of your body in the past, every different brand of clothing actually sized their clothing differently, so there had never been consistency as to the size labels.

Feeling so satisfied with just how easy and fun buying a new outfit was, you went to buy yourself a cup of coffee at Starbucks and although you saw the menu listed calories for each food choice, you took this in as merely informative, as opposed to some test of wills between you and the devil, whom was tempting you with high-calorie goodies. Instead, as you glanced at the menu you asked yourself, “Am I hungry or do I just want coffee?” The answer to your question was “I just want coffee and I am not hungry.” However, you realize that although you allow your true physical hunger to guide you as when to eat, it is 1:00 p.m. and you were having so much fun clothing shopping that you forgot to eat something. You realize that your body does need food to function, and you do not want to starve yourself. Why would you? Starving is unheard of in this new and fab world!

You then ask yourself, “What should I eat to give my body energy?” You opt for a banana, because you are not hungry, have no real craving, but need to give your body some nourishment. You are comfortable with your choice of having only a banana because when you do get hungry later you know you are going to satisfy a craving at Salvatore’s Kitchen Sink Pizza Palace, where Sal will put anything you want on your pizza except for the kitchen sink, and you are going to have a salad and a slice. As your latte is being prepared you notice a chocolate chip cookie that looks yummy, and you ask the server to pack it in a bag for you, because that just might be desert later, if you are hungry and feel for it.

As your latte is still being made, because even in our new and fab world where body size does not matter it still feels like forever when you are waiting for your Starbucks order, you see someone who looks familiar. It is someone that you think you went to high school with, and then you realize it is, her, your nemesis, the one who always got the guy that you liked, who always scored at least one point or more higher than you on the test, and you think maybe if I look away she will not notice me noticing her.

No such luck, she’s smiling and walking right up to you. You know she is going to annoy the hell out of you, that is for sure, but in our new fab world where size does not matter, you are not worried you are going to look fat or fatter than the last time you saw her. You take in her general appearance, but you are not sizing up her body, because really the size of her body has nothing to do with you. She needs to be comfortable in her own skin and you need to be comfortable in your own skin. Neither of you, talk about weight or size. She is just as annoying as you remembered, but it has to do with the size of her personality not the size of her body. After she leaves, you feel no different about your own body one way or the other, because in our new fab world you would not even consider comparing body sizes. Body size comparisons are considered ludicrous!

After all, each of us has different genetics, life experiences, reactions to stress and different levels of stress eating — which is so much less in our new and fab world, because half of the emotional eating and starving we used to do had to do with trying to meet societal standards concerning body size, as well as our own unrealistic expectations as to what our body size should be — as well as different cultural beliefs and traditions about food.

Your Starbuck’s latte is finally ready and you sip it as you carry your shopping bags to a table and you sit down to think about your after-work plans. You and your guy are going swimming at the local YMCA tonight, because you love the way your body feels as you move through the water. You estimate you may be swimming for 45 minutes, but there are no hard-and-fast time requirements, because you let your body guide you as to how strong it feels today and how much you are going to push yourself. You laugh out loud, as you think to yourself how ironic it is, that now that you live in a world where body size does not matter, you just love exercise for the sake of moving your body releasing stress, and feeling physically strong, as well as the fact that your guy looks very sexy in his swim trunks.

During this day, you never overeat, because you know that food is always available to you, and you can eat according to your true physical hunger and stop when you are full. As a result of this there is none of the following: no “one-last-chance eating,” because you are always afraid you are going to miss out on your one last opportunity to eat a food you love; no “guilt eating,” where you gorge yourself on more food than you are hungry for, because you feel guilty about the yummy chocolate cookie you just ate — because you know that you can have just one or several and you have not blown any diet, because there are no new diets!

So you need not gorge yourself with a box of cookies because you feel guilty about the one or several you had. No “out-of-control cravings” driving you to binge, because now when you have a craving you satisfy it when reasonably possible, and it subsides, as opposed to when you used to eat “healthy” foods to hold off the craving, and end up gorging on fat-free, lite, no-sugar foods — until you gave in to your craving for a chocolate-chip cookie, and ended up eating a box of them. In the end, you realized that you ate 10 times as much as you would have eaten if you would have just satisfied your craving with one or several chocolate-chip cookies.

Doesn’t this world sound beautiful, to live in a zip code where matters of body size are not weighing us down? Dare we even dream of such a Nirvana? Yes, every one of us can choose this world for ourselves, every one of us can choose to make peace with the size of our bodies. We can choose to live our lives as I just described in the new fab world where size does not matter. Unfortunately, at first it is not as easy as described here, because although you, I and some others may be choosing to create a life where size does not matter, not everyone is. But if we so choose to move towards living a life where size does not matter (which does not mean we are going to sit around eating bon bons, in fact, it means we are going to make healthier choices for ourselves from a place of self-acceptance and self-love and through having a sane relationship with food) the rewards make the challenges so worth it!

Most importantly, as our focus on the size of our bodies decreases, the focus on the size of our lives will increase. Have a large-sized day and a large-sized life!

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