Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's Your Story?

"Friends can help each other.
A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself-
and especially to feel. 
Or, not feel. 
Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. 
That's what real love amounts to-
letting a person be what he really is." 

- Jim Morrison, songwriter

HeLLo dEaR OneS,
hOpe this message finds you amazing . . . or not. Let me rephrase that: hOpe this message finds you wherever you are.
Caught up with one of my besties today and it turns out we both had kind of a rough week (yay! it's Friday!). I'm so glad I have a friend who I can be totally honest with, and who stil thinks I'm amazing, even if things aren't all wOnDerFuL! Anyway, as we were catching up on the phone & exchanging stories about the messed up stuff that had happened to us and how dreAdFul it is, after all (well, not really, but I'll explain . . .). As I listened and talked and we regurgitate the details, it ALL began to sound very fAmiLiar.
Now, I've known my friend for almost 10 years now, and more recently she has become one of my closest chums. And what I realized today, was that we have been telling the same stories (different specific content, but basically the same story line--) OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER & . . . (you get the point).
And, in the middle of the conversation we had kind of an AHA moment (enter parade with trumpets blaring, etc.), that our experiences and stories are 100% about US (not about the other people or circumstances we were complaining about). My friend curiously said that the only thing we can change about our stories is US! I think what she meant is that these same stories will keep showing up until we can react differently to people and situations that trigger us, set boundaries with with the same people and situations, and then let go of the story and focus on taking care of oUrSelves and living in our own personal integrity. 
After all,
life is one big
I suppose that means if I change myself, 
I will change what I see in the mirror.
Hmmn . . . . . 
Personally, my story is getting pretty boring to me, and I'm not so sure telling it anymore is making my relationships any better, ar any more deep and lasting (although my friends and family have, in fact, been pretty patient...thanks aLL! I promise I've been working on dropping it!).
So, how do we drop our story from the past and live in the present moment? And, at the same time, step forward into the possibilities for our future?

Once upon a time, . . . Once upon a time, . . . THE END! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

LaUghTer is (well) fUnnY!

hEy tHeRe!
. . . about the name funfreeMe--today, let's focus on FUN. . . today . . . (and for the rest of our lives!)!
Most people who know me, (especially kids in my classes), know how rAnDoM and wEiRd I can be . . . 
. . . cuz basically, I lOvE to laugh and have fun!
Life is short. So, I believe we should have as much fun as possible, and laugh long and hard LoTs!@#$#!
For example, I like to randomly dance and skip in the hallways at my school just cuz' I can (and I hug my students, too . . . shhh don't tell!). Here's an insane video of me doing the ugly dance that was sent to my blog a couple of weeks ago. Thanks a lot! (I think . . .):
mS. cUrRy doInG tHe UgLy dAnCe!!!
LOL (x 3) @!#!
Don't you love laughing, especially when you can't stop? 

Laughter can be contagious, and it goes viral in a group! 
It aLsO feels good and is awesomely Go(o)d for you!
. . . today, I challenge you to laugh and laugh until your belly hurts! I laugh until I cry almost eVeRyDay... and just so you know, I also cry-cry almost everyday---years of sadness pouring the yucky stuff out. It's okay; I am gathering my tribe. We are where we're supposed to be . . . always. Thank you, Go(o)d.

Go(0)d times!

;) dana

p.p.S. Leave me a comment and tell me what makes you laugh your butt off!

Monday, November 19, 2012

moVinG fRoM mY hEaD 2 mY hEarT . . . (coNt'd)

Monday, November 19, 2012

The voice of our Heart, the feeling our heart shows us will never lie. . . . And the mind is so tricky that we think that we were following our heart, but we were actually following an impulse of the mind. When we truly follow our hearts, we know when we can move forward . . .

The wisdom of all of the ages is right below our nose and yet we search the entire world to try to find it. . . . The journey is not outward. The journey is within to the source of Life within you. And this source is not your head, but your heart – the part of your body that literally keeps you going all day.

In the end, you don’t need religion or a guru to get there. Everything external is a signpost guiding you back to the center of your own being. And when we get this, we step into a realization and a power center that is both calming and terrifying. 

We must begin to listen. And then we must begin to be the humble servant of our own heart. And allow it to guide us into the scary unknown where all the magic we know is possible exists.
~  Mastin Kipp, THE DAILY LOVE

dEar fUnFrEEpEEps!

I've been writing for the past few days about how I have come to know that it's my heart, not my head, that holds my truth. Problem is, I get stuck in my head often, and have a tough time turning off my brain.

I have done lots of stuff to try to "find myself" my entire life. I've had counselors, mentors, I've written in my journal, prayed, meditated, done yoga, gone to self-help seminars, healers, energy workers, retreats, and 12-step meetings, . . . I've run and exercised like a freak, overworked, and read countless books to try to learn about self-knowledge. Sounds pretty stupid on the page. . . perhaps I could have started with my-self? ya know, for self-knowledge? OMG am I a (beautiful) peace of work.

Don't get me wrong--this stuff has taught me so much, and my journey has been amazing (and tough sometimes . . .). However, (and I didn't really gotten this in my forties, btw!), just like Mastin writes above, "In the end, you don’t need religion or a guru to get there. Everything external is a signpost guiding you back to the center of your own being. And when we get this, we step into a realization and a power center that is both calming and terrifying"-- so I'm led back to my heart, and to my SELF. This is "both calming and terrifying"--because while it's a big relief, it's also big responsibility. 

It means that I finally have to get to know me, Dana, and live my truth . . . from the INSIDE:OUT, which is also called "self-referral" by Deepak Chopra. It means that living in "object referral"-- from the OUTSIDE:IN is no longer working. It also means stepping out of being a victim (small d-dana) and stepping into the most POWERFUL version of me (capital D-Dana).

(Here) wEeeEeEeEeEeeeeeEeeEeeEeee (go)!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

moVinG fRoM mY hEaD 2 mY hEarT . . .

mOvIng oUt of mY hEad anD iNtO mY hEarT
November 18, 2012

hEy gO(o)d pEopLe! 
Thought I'd share with you today an exchange between one of my mentor's, Mastin, and me. Here's what he wrote in his blog last week, followed by what I wrote back to him.

They say that the longest journey we will take is not anywhere "out there" but within.
And this journey is the journey from the
HEAD to the HEART.
The thinking mind to the feeling wisdom.

This is our journey.  . . . The mind is a genius creation. 
Our logic is powerful. But wisdom is stronger than logic.
And wisdom is something that can be felt in the heart
and then attempted to be described by the mind.

All art, music, poetry and sacred words
are nudges from the heart as articulated by the mind.
And not the other way around.
So what does the journey from the head to the heart feel like?

~Mastin Kipp, THE DAILY LOVE

Hey Mastin! 

It's Dana. I love your blog today (I'll link to it for sure from my blog for sure . . .). I've spent a great deal of time and energy be-L(e)IV(E)-ing my thoughts--especially the crappy, critical, controlling & perfectionistic voice in my head! This behavior of being in my head has prevented me from being present, and my attempts to control or quiet the voice in my head through my various goofy coping behaviors have left me exhausted. It never occurred to me until a few years ago that I didn't have to listen to the voice in my head--that my authentic voice and stirrings must come from my heart.

I've realized in my recovery and in my life--that my journey has always been to find the path from my head to my heart. I still live much of the time in my head, but I'm working on it through conscious breathing, Kundalini yoga, being out in nature, and meditation.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend shared with me that when I'm stuck  in my head I can visualize a ladder going from my head to my heart, and literally climb down the ladder--rung by rung--to occupy my heart. Then, I can curl up in the pure white crystal energy of my heart, holding a warm gold nugget in the palms of my hands--and simply rest . . . and listen . . . and breathe.

Sounds comfy, huh?
Take care and mucho quiero!
How do you move from your head to your heart of hearts? Leave me a comment and let me know!

From the safety of my heart,

p.s. check out the link below to catch a snapshot of one three of my favorite mentors who will all appear--together! 

This EPIC episode will air today at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN; Oprah will have conversations with Gabrielle Bernstein, Mastin Kipp, and Marie Forleo--the “new breed of spiritual thought leaders.”

Saturday, November 17, 2012

tHe UniVerSe taP, tAp, tApPing on mY sHouLdeR . . .

tHerE iS eNouGh sUn fOr EvErYonE!
DeaR oNes!
Here is the amazing and delicious reminder I received from the Universe the other day--as I read these statements (in black), here are the intuitive messages that were whispered to  me (those are in pink, of course. . .)
The Top 10 things about time and space, Dana Lynne,
that most people seem to forget...

10. You chose to be here and you knew what you were doing. So everything in my life is purposeful and I chose the events, circumstances, and relationships, too. Everything happens for a reason and there aren't any coincidences.  And, there must be a divine purpose for my existence on the planet at this time. Whew!
9. There are no "tests" and you're not being judged. Oh, so I can relax and stop worrying that there's always a right answer? Maybe my harshest judge is myself and I need to learn how to be more loving to me--Dana! p.s. If I do feel judged, it might be a projection of mine, and if another person judges me, it's not about me?
8. Everyone's doing their best, with what they know. That "everyone"includes me and others--so I can quit judging others (oops) and myself--but which also doesn't let me off the hook to stop behaviors that no longer serve me.
7. You already have whatever you're looking for. Reminds me to practice gratitude on a daily basis. I am so so blessed! I have everything I need.
6. You are of the Divine, pure God, and so is everyone else. We all lead a holy existence . . . see pink part on #1 for more info!
5. Religion needs spirituality; spirituality does not need religion. Not sure about this one . . . if you have any ideas, leave me a comment! Might mean that spirituality is broader than religion? But I think much sacred practice comes from the rich traditions of many religions.
4. You're naturally inclined to succeed - at everything you do. Reminds me of Chopra's law of least resistance--when I am in the flow of life and accepting what IS, I can choose actions to support my intentions and give attention to my heart's desires.
3. You happen to life, life does not happen to you. I am a co-creator--not a victim. I choose to be empowered not a victim of circumstance . . . I can choose my reaction to lIfE! 
2. Order, healing, and love belie every moment of chaos, pain, and fear. Everything happens for a reason, and learning is the key--otherwise I'll get the same lesson presented over and over . . . thanks, Universe!
1. Following your heart is the best way to help others. I might have more peace & be better informed in life when I follow my gUt and my hEaRt rather than listen to the craziness that happens in my liTTle mOnKey-mInD. When I follow my heart, I can align my choices with my authentic, higher SeLf--be truer to myself and share my gifts with the world. This is the best way for my to serve others, which is the most important reason I am here (See #1). I am here for a reason, and only I can serve my higher purpose (my dharma).

The truth shall set you free,

The Universe
© ®

Pretty amazing, huh? By the way, check out the link below to catch a snapshot of one three of my favorite mentors who will all appear--together! (Coincidence? YeAh, right . . .)--on Oprahs' SuperSoulSunday show--all together! I've been mentoring with Mastin for about a year now, I am taking Marie's "Hot and Happy B-School" (business school) course, and I have followed Gabi's vlog and read her books. Should be amazing!

This EPIC episode will air on Sunday, November 18 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN; Oprah will have conversations with Gabrielle Bernstein, Mastin Kipp, and Marie Forleo--the “new breed of spiritual thought leaders.” 

Lots of loVe and hUggeRs,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

wE R 1 . . .

No dIfFerenCes1.
So I was thinking today how sometimes we think we are sooooooo special and different (and BETTER) than other people in our lives. Like, here's how it sounds...
  • I am So much nicer...
  • I am So much smarter...
  • I am SOo much cuter...
  • I am SoO much skinnier...
  • I am SoO much more cool...
  • I am SOo much more aware...
  • I am So better at SpOrts!
  • I am So much richer...
  • I am So much bLaH BlAh BlAAAHhhh...
What if, we are all the SaMe! and we are all exactly where we are supposed to be?
Do you think you could hoNor the Fact thAt the people in YouR liFe are SpeCiAL and okAy where theY r? And could you love them because they are people just like you?

The above is an awesome crazy video that shows that We R OnE. ANimals totally get stuff that huMaNs don't. It's true... (see previous DOG:BLOGs).
This made me cry out of HapPiNeSs!

Meow, and licK!!
Night, night!

Be Love(d) y'all! It's the only way!

;) dana

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

dHarMa 101 part II . . .

hEy FFPs---
I was writing the other day that I have been getting a sense of something large in the past few months. I think it may have something to do with my blog, or spiritual work, or my pUrPosE but IT hasn't quite revealed itself to me yet.

I told one of my mentors that I wasn't ready for IT, and he told me that I can start anyway--that IT would unfold as a result of my starting the process. He also reminded me that we are never really ready, anyway, so I might as well just take a leap of faith and trUsT that the UniVeRse will lead and support me (like I was writing about yesterday . . .)

I do know that whatever IT is, it has to be in synch with my dharMa (purpose in life), aligned with my sPiRiT, and of sErVicE for the benefit of others--- as Deepak Chopra writes in his Seven Laws of Spiritual Success:

"Everyone has a purpose in life . . . 
a unique gift or special talent to give to others.
And when we blend this unique talent with service to others,
we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit,
which is the ultimate goal of all goals."

I 'fessed up the other day on my blog that the feeling of being nudged toward something different than teaching has been a bit sCAR(E)y--not only 'cuz I'm not sure what it is, but also because knowing WHAT THE DEAL IS, is always comforting. . . no surprises, right?

Stepping into something different is kind of freaky, since many of us have gotten the message along the way that CHANGE IS SCAR(e)Y. On the other hand, why would life present us (you know, as in pReSent, like a gIfT?) with opportunities if we weren't supposed to at least pay attention?

So--here's what might be trying to get my attention--btw, I'm not going to quit my amazing and fabulous teaching job; I just want to make sure I'm listening to the whisperings of the Universe in case there is more to my dHarMa:
  • creating a business around the content of my blog (if you have any ideas, please leave me a comment 'cuz I'm really not sure of the shape of this one!)
  • writing a book or an e-book
  • becoming a consultant or a speaker
  • studying to become a kundalini yoga teacher--for kidS and grOwN uPs!
  • teaching at a university
  • creating & teaching coursework about creative, empowered living and offering it on 
  • vLoGGing
Weird, even writing these ideas down and sharing them is kind of sPooKy! -- but part of me sharing what has been tapping me on the shoulder for the past year or so makes me accountable.

yO, yoU! anything been TAP, TAP, TAP, TAPPING on your shoulder lately? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Lots of LovE!

Monday, November 5, 2012

reMeMbEriNg (funfree)Me . . .

gOoD mOrninG (or dAy) aLL!

So, as I was reading my blog from yesterday (I usually do that before I begin to write each bLiGGeTy-bLoG), I was remembering how I began bLogGing, and how everything happened pretty easily . . . like it was the right time and the Universe came together to support me. And--super interesting but absolutely no coincidence--the perfect teachers appeared for me at the perfect times! (and they always have, yo . . . I just didn't know . . .)

And, I realize that everything I have ever been through . . . my childhood experiences, my upbringing, my education, all of my (beautiful and diFFicULt) relationships, AND my general hArdShIpS and gO(o)dShIpS . . . have perfectly prepared me for what I need to dO RIGHT NOW . . . not that I necessarily know what that is yet, but I'll know when the time is right . . . rIghT?

What I do know is that when I am writing I am in kind of a fLoW(ering!) state of mind, and time drifts away and I am totally present . . . like, in the moment, totally engaged with was I am doing. So it's really amazing, and I feel so lucky.

Anyway, what I was going to say is that when I was reading my post from yesterday, & I wrote that I was scared--and guess what? When I looked at the word, I noticed the word CARE is in sCAREd.

I used to run away from things when I was scared--like a flight reaction--not even a choice, actually. I know I've grOWn Up a bit, cuz' I now notice the fact that I'm scared and don't necessarily run like a freak in the other direction! At least I notice, pause, and then maybe walk away, or face whatever I'm scared of, or still run lie a freak in the other direction . . . but at least I pause now and choose how I want to react (most of the time).

And, I suppose that CARE is in sCAREd for a reason--I'm thinking that when we face our fears, the Universe comes in and CAREs for us throughout the process. In other words, we are TOTALLY supported in all the lessons and fears we face--even if we don't always see it or realize it.

Footprints in the Sand 
Mary Stevenson 

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
"Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"
The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you."

Over the past few years, I have faced some of my biggest and most painful fears, and it's been pretty damn tough sometimes . . . but I will tell you this: in the facing of these fears, I found within me a quiet strength I had no idea I possessed, and I got stronger. If I hadn't had the courage to face these fears, I wouldn't have known how strong I am . . . and knowing I am strong has helped me face the next stuff that shows up in my life.

So what fear have you faced, and how did you come out on the other side? LEave me a comment and let me know!

Lots of sCAREd,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

dHarMa 101 . . .

"Everyone has a purpose in life . . . 
a unique gift or special talent to give to others.
And when we blend this unique talent with service to others,
we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit,
which is the ultimate goal of all goals."

Deepak ChopraSeven Laws of Spiritual Success

hEy tHeRe yaLL(s)--

So, I've been writing about dharma . . . I guess it's been on my mind lately, like it's tapping me on the shoulder trying to get my attention. I do believe that's how the Universe works, sometimes. And really, some of us need to get repeated messages before we actually GeT iT!
hEy tHeRe DaNa!
LiStEn uP!
(to your SpIriT, your hEaRt) . . . 
And, it's TOTES true that I for sure have been working in my dharma when I teach 8th grade English. I mean, my students get how much I love my job, and they also know that I get that my job is much much bigger than teaching 8th grade English in a middle school.
To be honest, I've known for a long time that my job is bigger than teaching English . . . like, as in, being a role model for kids, and being present for them in other ways (like, if adults aren't around for them, emotionally, physically, or psychologically), watching over them, socially, at school, and helping them learn how to be students--also, sometimes, just listening and checking in with my kidlets on a daily basis, during the week when I see them.

AnD (here it comes . . .), my caLL has gotten bigger, starting last year.

BACKSTORY: In all honesty, I have been a bit checked out at work in the past 3 years while I was going through a divorce and in transition with my family and my LIFE. Last year, I was coming out of the fog, work-wise, and I had the opportunity of having a student teacher--so, I had some time and space outside of my classroom. 
During the same time, I was working with one of my mentor's who is an amazing spiritual blogger: Mastin Kipp, from The Daily Love, and I got interested in the idea of blogging. It reminded me of journaling, actually.
When away for a weekend at my best friend's cabin, he showed me Blogger and how it works--and I wrote my first blog in about 30 minutes. It's like I was totally ready to write and put myself out there, and the right teacher appeared at the perfect moment. It was so easy and natural!
Later, he also came up with the name of my blog (and company): funfreeMe, and showed me how and where to set up an LLC. Anyway, since then, I've had a tickling of something greater. MUCH GREATER. aNd it has sCareD me.

I think I'll end there, there's more to the sCarY story! I actually need more time to think about it.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

dHarMa: "pUrPosE iN LiFe . . ."

HeLLo tHere--

Happy weekend to you! Hope you are still in your jammies . . . I totally am! If you read my blog yesterday, I wrote about how the gift of being a teacher found me in my twenties. Do you know people who absolutely love their jobs? They may be working and connecting with their dharma! Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means, "purpose in life."

What if, since you were born, you were encouraged to find your spirit, express your unique gifts in the world, and use those very same talents to serve others? What if someone told you that you were born with a unique gift that only YOU can express in this world . . . and that if you express this with an attitude of service, you will be abundant, and you will never experience want. That's what happens when our calling (job) is in alignment with our spirit; that's why people leave corporate America (and the big bucks!) to find something more meaning-FULL!

Sometimes, I hear folks complain about their employment (btw, I don't mean those who are IrKed once in a while . . . I am talking about people who chronically complain--like, over and over, about their miSeRabLe eXisTenCe at work), I wonder usually one of two things:
  • Why aren't they doing something that they absolutely love that gives them energy?
  • or, Why don't they change their attitude and like their job and stop feeding the cycle of yuckiness that probably creates their misery in the first place? I mean, just cuz' we don't love something doesn't mean we have to be uncomfortable, right? We bring our attitude to absolutely everything we experience.
Anyway, as  I write this, I know that loads of folks have to work to support their families--me, too! I would rather do something I love to support my family . . . that actually doesn't feel like work . . . teaching feels like that to me.

I know this might sound all spiritual hiPPie-diPPie, but my experience is that when I focus on MAKING MONEY, I am pretty lost. When I focus on serving others, I feel much better, and the Universe gives back 2 mE a miLLion Fold!

Deepak Chopra, in his Seven Laws of Spiritual Success describes The Law of "Dharma" or purpose life in this way:  "Everyone has a purpose in life . . . a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals."

HOw does your job fulfill your dharma? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Love ya! (ReaLLy!)