Sunday, July 29, 2007

Living The Laws of Spirit

Living an authentic life is very possible. However, how many can truly say they are? If you want to successfully achieve a state of being that is centered, joy-filled, focused, deliberate, honest, natural and wise, you first have to understand that there is more to you then just flesh and blood. The truth is just like the human body is made up of many parts, so is the unseen part of you. Each playing a significant role in your well-being. Each are powerful, however, all must work together for you to have an enlightened life experience. Just like an athlete can focus on each muscle group to create the body they desire, so can we build on each area of our Spirit to illuminate our true selves. The same principles apply for strengthening your Spirit as they do for keeping physically fit--it takes willingness, dedication and practice. The following offers a guideline to understanding the nature and power of our Spirit. You may want to keep a copy handy as a reminder of what you need to focus on for the day or the week. (I know I need to work on all of them!)

The Laws of Spirit
From the book by Dan Millman

THE LAW OF BALANCE: Finding the Middle Way
If gravity is the glue that holds the universe together, balance is the key that unlocks its secrets. Balance applies to our body, mind, and emotions, tall levels of our being. It reminds us that anything we do, we can overdo and underdo, and that if the pendulum of our lives or habits swings too far to one side, it will inevitably swing to the other.

THE LAW OF CHOICES: Reclaiming Our Power
We are both burdened and blessed by the great responsibility of free will---the power of choice. Our future is determined, in large part, by the choices we make now. We cannot always control our circumstances, but we can and do choose our response to whatever arises. Reclaiming the power of choice, we find the courage to live fully in the world.

THE LAW OF PROCESS: Taking Life Step-by-Step
Process transforms any journey into a serious of small steps, taken one by one, to reach any goal. Process transcends time, teaches patience, rests on a solid foundation of careful preparation, and embodies trust in our unfolding potential

THE LAW OF PRESENCE: Living in the Moment
Time is a paradox, stretching between a “past” and “future” that have no reality except in our own minds. The idea of time is a convention of thought and language, a social agreement. Here is the deeper truth: We have only this moment.

THE LAW OF COMPASSION: Awakening Our Humanity
The universe does not judge us; it only provides consequences and lessons and opportunities to balance and learn through the law of cause and effect. Compassion is the recognition that we are doing the best we can within the limits of our current beliefs and capabilities.

THE LAW OF FAITH: Trusting in Spirit
Faith is our direct link to universal wisdom, reminding us that we know more than we have heard or read or studied—that we have only to look, listen, and trust the love and wisdom of the Universal Spirit working through us all.

THE LAW OF EXPECTATION: Expanding Our Reality
Energy follows thought; we move toward, but not beyond, what we can imagine. What we assume, expect, or believe creates and colors our experience. By expanding our deepest beliefs about what is possible, we change our experience of life.

Integrity means living and acting in alignment with spiritual law and with our highest vision, despite impulses to the contrary. From the heart of integrity, we recognize, accept, and express our authentic interior reality, inspiring others not with words, but by our example.

THE LAW OF ACTION: Moving Into Life
No matter what we feel or know, no matter what our potential gifts or talents, only action brings them to life. Many of us understand concepts such as commitment, courage, and love, but we truly know only when we can do. Doing leads to understanding, and action turns knowledge to wisdom.

THE LAW OF CYCLES: Dancing to Nature’s Song
The world of nature moves to rhythms, patterns, and cycles—the passing of the seasons, the movement of the stars, the ebb and flow of the tides. The seasons do not push one another; neither do clouds race the wind across the sky. All things happen in their own good time—rising and falling and rising and falling and rising like ocean waves, in the circles of time.

THE LAW OF SURRENDER: Embracing a Higher Will
Surrender means accepting this moment, this body, and this life with open arms. Surrender involves getting out of our own way and living in accord with a higher will, expressed as the wisdom of the heart. Far more than passive acceptance, surrender uses every challenge as a means of spiritual growth and expanded awareness.

THE LAW OF UNITY: Remembering Our Connection

We appear on Earth as separate beings with diverse destinies; but as each separate raindrop is a part of the sea, so are we each part of the Ocean of Awareness, the Body of God. Find love and inner peace deep within the highest truth that we are one Family. Leave behind the baggage of fear, envy, and resentment; fly aloft on wings of understanding, to enter the boundless Land of Compassion.

Maggie Kalas

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Change is Possible

“An atom that is ready to rearrange itself in a particular way and give off light of a particular frequency can in fact be provoked into doing so by the arrival in its vicinity of another particle of light of the same frequency.” --Albert Einstein

We are energy. We are light particles. We are atoms. When we give clear intent to change, we activate a signal that transmits to every single cell in our bodies as well as to every particle in the universe. And although we may not see it right away, an immediate change takes place. This is where the universal laws come into play. Your clear signal (your intent to change) attracts like frequencies. It is what makes your physical reality come to pass.

We are continually transforming ourselves, whether we are consciously or unconsciously doing it. We, like the universe, are forever expanding and contracting. We are vibration, always transmitting a frequency. Just like Einstein’s theory, when we are ready to make a change, just the mere thought of it sets off a series of events. As we give focus to anything, we begin to resonate with it. We become a magnet to it and it shows up in either our inner world or outer world depending upon the request.

For example, let’s say you decide to change the car you drive. You begin to bring your focus on all the automobiles that pass you by. You notice them in the parking lot, while on the highway and even on television ads. Then your desire for a particular car becomes clear. Perhaps it is a BMW, like the 3x I recently leased. Suddenly, every where you look you see BMWs. Soon after you see more and more of the particular model you like. You consider cost and financing. But most of all you want to test drive it. You experience how good it feels when you sit in it; even enjoy the smell of the new leather. You thrill at the sensation of the drive. Your attention to this car is more intense than any other time you think about a car. If you maintain this clear focus, without any resistance, you soon find yourself driving out of the dealership with the car of your dreams. And then, to your surprise, everybody and their uncle seems to be driving around in your style car.

Okay, the car seems too superficial. So let’s say you decide to change your attitude from pessimist to optimist. You only want to see the glass half full or even completely full. Your attention becomes drawn to see only the good in people, places and situations. As you do so, the universe rearranges itself just for you. You now find that the people you run into begin to be of that same mind. Good things keep showing up for you. Your decision to have an optimistic attitude now reveals opportunities that weren't there before. It is not that the outside world has actually changed for you. It is that you have transformed yourself to match the part of the world that you have chosen to see. Your vibration rearranged itself, emitting a different frequency which receives a matching signal that shifts your reality.

Change is always possible. What appears impossible is only your distorted view from a place of resistance. Once you allow yourself to align with the change, the change happens. What is the key? It takes pure intent…and unwavering faith in the process.

"As we become what we desire, what we desire becomes us."

Maggie Kalas, MagJOY Blog, AttitudeLIFT

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Finding balance - at work, home and play

"If gravity is the glue that holds the universe together, balance is the key that unlocks its secrets. Balance applies to our body, mind, and emotions, to all levels of our being. It reminds us that anything we do, we can overdo or underdo, and that if the pendulum of our lives or habits swings too far to one side, it will inevitably swing to the other"

-- from The Laws of Spirit by Dan Milman

I just returned from a girl's road trip to The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. A wonderful getaway from the daily stresses of life to an unknown territory with new faces and new places to explore. We did just that and it was fun. But I am the first to admit that vacations are usually more taxing than relaxing. Our desire to take a break from our overload of responsibilities at home and work, quickly takes the shape of over-eating, drinking and partying and under resting. It is like we are trying to make up for all the days we did not get to do the things we wanted to do during our everyday lives. Then vacation comes and we cram it all in, leaving us even more drained than before we left.

As a meditator, I can appreciate the concept of balance. You do recognize the difference in your stress level when you deliberately stop to just "be" for a while. Even taking 10-20 minutes every morning in the hotel room to just sit and mediate, helped me counter the previous nights heightened euphoria. Actually, incorporating meditation everyday into your routine can significantly reduce stress and fatigue. A great meditation rule of thumb to try is: 10-10-10. Ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes in the afternoon and 10 minutes before bed.

Try it for a week. I guarantee you will begin to notice a change. You will feel more rested, more alert, more calm. In other words, balanced.

And if you keep it up, the next time you take a vacation, you might even feel refreshed when you get home!

P.S. That's me in the picture seeking tranquility at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

P.S.S. I hightly recommend visiting Cleveland, known as the New American City!

Maggie Kalas, MagsJOY Blog

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Shedding Light on Business Leaders

A really good article came my way today that I want to share with you.

It is written by Kenny Moore, co-author of The CEO and the Monk, who has more than 20 years experience with managing change, developing leaders and healing the corporate community. I like his style and have decided to add his Blog site to my "Achieve Your Success" links.

Take a moment to read the following article at his site:

"Choosing Business Leaders with Integrity"
By Kenny Moore
I also invite you to check out my comments below, share this Blog with others and post your own comments.

Greetings, Kenny the Monk –

Your article about integrity was right on the money! Though categorized under business, your core message is totally spiritual. With immoral conduct running rampant in the business world today, it does seem to be a challenge to discern the character and integrity of those at the helm of industry. It demonstrates that there is a blatant disregard to spiritual values and truths.

Your five check points certainly stream right to the heart of what matters. It reminds me of the book, "
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. Corporate America must have dozed off in that class because it lacks most of points that Flughum makes. I share here a few that speak for themselves:

. Play fair
. Don't hit people.
. Clean up your own mess
. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody
. When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

Unfortunately, what is prevalent instead is an “it’s all about me” attitude, except when something is wrong; then the blame is on everyone else.

Your guidelines for gauging executive credibility come down to this: Common courtesy (to all people). You either have it, or you don’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if a CEO, who talks down to a waiter or his employees, ultimately treats his family and friends the same way.

In Emmet Fox’s “The Sermon on the Mount”, chapter 6, first verse, he illuminates a powerful law for all humanity: Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. He declares that if any average man understood and believed these words to be true, they would immediately revolutionize their life; turn their everyday conduct inside out.

This is a wake up call to not only the corporate world…but to society in general!

In light,
Maggie Kalas


I further comment that this is merely an observation, not a judgment. There are many good high-level professionals out there, like Kenny expresses about Robert Catell, CEO of Keyspan. His article and my thoughts support a mutual goal to bring integrity and trust back to the workplace. The success of a person is not measured by his position in life, but more by his character and integrity.

P.S. Thank you, Jim Ryan, for sharing this article with me.

by Bessie Stanley
(erroneously attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Mindfulness and Meditation

Breaking the Chain of Pain

In contemplation of the human experience, one might find that we are like hamsters stuck on the wheel of life. Everyday people all over the world practice suffering in some form—physically, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually. Some feeling damned from birth. We keep hoping for an ideal lifestyle, a better way of being, only to find ourselves back to square one--unhappy. It is not a conscious behavior; it is unconscious, a vicious cycle that has been a part of our existence from the beginning of mankind. In our constant quest for finding something outside of ourselves to fulfill an empty void inside, we get caught up in the illusion of what is and then we perpetuate a chain of pain. Our hope for happiness turns to despair in a blink of an eye as soon as circumstances darken or attention is brought to our unfulfilled desires.

After reading about the life of Buddha in Deepak Chopra’s new book of the same name, I was fascinated by this one man’s innate desire to figure out the truth; and his courage to find it. I had only known of the master we call Buddha, the enlightened one. The truth is he was a confused man, a fearful human like the rest of us. He had a dysfunctional family, unanswered questions and challenges at every turn. His life represented perhaps the worst of any. Yet, it also revealed that we have the power to change, moment by moment.

Our suffering, just like our pleasures, is like names on a voter’s ballot. You get to choose the one you want. You can even choose a neutral party; the one that is detached from either result. In his quest to stamp out suffering, Buddha discovered it was not only impossible, but more importantly, it was unnecessary. Each play a significant role in our growth. When we release ourselves from attachment to both our pain and pleasure, we can experience life from its purest state. He called it nirvana. No more blindly running on the wheel of life. No more expectations. No more worries. No more fear. No more illusions. In our detachment to everything, we find we want for nothing. Only our infinite self remains.

Not only has our human existence been chasing a phantom life, we have also been asleep at the wheel, clueless to what is really happening. We are ego driven. In other words, we are on autopilot. In denial, we dupe ourselves daily; blaming others for our troubles, convincing ourselves that our unhappiness is the result of some outside source. We are totally ignorant to our own self sabotage.

This naive state reminds me of the plea Jesus made from the cross, literally for those who were to murder him, but metaphorically to all of humanity. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He was fully awake and knew that all of humanity was sleepwalking; having no clue as to our own light, which really is what connects us all.

How do we escape the trap? How do we snap out of the daze and open our eyes to our fullest potential? Buddha says it is through the ongoing practice of mindfulness and meditation. By bringing stillness to the mind, we spontaneously break the chain of pain. We are illuminated by the peace and joy that already exist in us. And, with this new perspective, we will see that everything else was only a shadow of the truth.

Awakening is a decision. It involves making changes; some big and some small. Some will challenge you, all will enlighten you. Every journey is different, unique as every human. Success is not in the destination, it is in your unique journey. No right or wrong; just the unfolding of awareness.

So where do you begin? Start by spending 10 minutes twice a day just sitting with your eyes closed and breathing. Notice your thoughts. Notice you emotions. Begin to notice life from a place of stillness. Then let me know what you are noticing.

As you embark, remember what Buddha told his disciples,

“Just do your best.”

Maggie Kalas, RM, ATP
AttitudeLift, Take Your Potential to the Next Level

Monday, July 2, 2007

Close Encounters of the Hugging Kind

Another story of synchronicity.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of being at the Book Expo America at the Javits Center in New York City. As one of the largest trade shows in the book publishing business, it was a little overwhelming considering there were over 3,000 vendor booths with more than 35,000 attendees passing through over three days. As someone who has attended many types of trade shows, I thought it was one of the best. The overall vibe was uplifting, and every person we engaged with was friendly and willing to be of service.

My associate, Jim Ryan, who is an author and motivational speaker from Long Island, was featured as one of the authors at their ongoing book signing area. His objective that weekend was to learn as much as he could about traditional publishing, marketing, distribution, sales as well as pitch his book, Simple Happiness: 52 Easy Ways to Lighten Up, to librarians and anyone else who might show an interest. He even did a live BEA Podcast sharing his motivation for writing the book.

The weekend flowed easily from the train ride to our booth to the great people we met to even some unexpected encounters. Synchronicity clearly unfolded, showing us that the universe was working with us or better yet--we were working with the universe. No worries. We had intended an attitude of openness to the unknown and we gratefully received whatever came our way.

Within all the masses, we managed to create a long list of wonderful connections and opportunities. One particular incident stands out and is worth sharing here.

While walking down a steamy 11th Avenue the Friday night after the BEA, Jim and I, hot from the heat and lugging heavy bags, spotted this curiously dapper man crossing the street. He was dressed in khaki slacks, a crisp white man-tailor shirt, and a matching vest with a large pink flower coming out of the breast pocket. Atop of his head was a classic brim hat that gave the impression he was from another era. He was toting a large trunk behind him. As he and his female companion approached us, I could not help but comment to him on how refreshed he looked compared to the rest of us dripping with sweat. He looked like it was 8 o’clock in the morning instead of 5:45 in the evening. He smiled and said, “That’s just the way I indented it to be!”

Since we were all walking in the same direction, Jim took up a conversation with him. It turns out that he was also an author and motivator of sorts who just came from Javits. As they chatted ahead of me now, I could see the back of the truck, which had large chalkboard that said, “Free Hugs Today.” By then the woman with him was walking beside me so we began to converse with one another. She shared some interesting things about the well-dressed fellow who was offering hugs.

Martin Neufeld is his name and he is a public hugger, a.k.a., the Hugger Busker. Neufeld, an actor out of work, decided to turn lemons into lemonade. After street performing was not getting the response he had hoped, his sister had suggested that he write on a sign that he has lost his courage. So he did just that. He sat on his suitcase in total stillness, like a living statue, next to a sign that proclaimed he had lost his courage.

What Martin experienced after that was like an epiphany. To his surprise, people resonated with his display of poignant motionlessness. It was a beginning to a soulful journey of observing and experiencing human kindness through the loving gesture of a hug. His quest to be an entertainer was magically transformed into an inspirator, affecting people’s lives around the world in a profound way. In his book,
Hugger Life: A Practical Guide to Artful Hugging, Martin Neufeld offers a simple, yet easy approach to finding happiness through simply giving and receiving of hugs.

It was certainly no coincidence for Jim Ryan, a.k.a. The Happiness Man, to cross paths with the Hugger Busker. The universe aligned two ordinary men, who share a mirrored destiny--to be teachers of the heart. They both unexpectedly found simple solutions to help awaken human consciousness. And from two separate parts of the world they came together briefly to reinforce the power of their kindred spirits.

I smiled and knew we were in the right place at the right time when I asked the lovely Canadian lady what she did and how she came to know Neufeld. With a slight French accent, she quietly replied, “I am a Reiki Master and teacher of meditation. I am a friend who believes in his mission.”

A perfect God wink! That is exactly who I am to Jim Ryan!

(Check out Squire Rushnell’s book, When God Winks: How The Power of Coincidence Guide Your Life)

The human experience seems isolated and complex. Yet, it is all an illusion. When we dispel the outside world and embrace the truth within, we begin to awaken to the subtle weave of light that connects us all.

Perhaps enlightenment can be attained through the simple act of hugging.

Buddha—means to be awake. But that’s another story.

Maggie Kalas, RM, ATP
AttitudeLift, Take Your Potential to the Next Level