Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Have a Choice

Even if you cannot control what happens to you, you are ultimately in charge of how you choose to respond. ~ Unknown

This is so simple yet true. We may not be in control of what happens to us and the world around us, but we definitely have the ability to choose how we respond. I know for me this is not always easy to remember (I'm a stubborn Aquarian after all ;). Yet, I am beginning to see that as I allow what comes to come and I choose to respond in peaceful, joyful and loving ways, it always turns out for the better.

Have you ever noticed:
What you resist persists!

Well this is very true in the choices we make. If we choose to be irritated, frustrated, angry or otherwise then that irritation, frustration and anger persists. I often come across people who say yeah, but you are special Pilar, somehow things work that way for you. I am no more special than any one else. We are all amazing gifts on this planet, it is just that we must see ourselves as such for our lives to unfold and manifest that way.

Last year, I took a BIG RISK in creating some major changes in my life. For my first project out of the gate, I fell flat on my face. I had a choice to retreat into despair and disappointment or the choice to see this as an opportunity, a lesson, to learn from and get back up and continue moving forward. Needless to say, I chose the latter and my life is so much better as a result.

What are the choices you are making? How can you turn any negative outcome into a positive opportunity? How can you take this 'out of control' world we live in and choose to make it a better place? Try it today and see how the gifts and magic begin to unfold!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Know Thy Self

If you knew who you were you would not self destruct. ~ Fidel Rodriguez

This weekend I was at an event to bring young people together with musicians to create a CD about Oneness and to speak out against racism, sexism and other -isms. The day was quite powerful and was put on by the LA Human Relation Commission, the Oneness Foundation and Divine Forces Radio (

Fidel Rodriguez, from the LA Human Relations Commission and Divine Forces Radio, stood up and spoke about knowing who we are and where we come from. With that came the quote above. It was so true and powerful, it sent chills down my spine. For so long in my life, I did not know who I was and the result was constant self sabotage. As a child, I grew up to bicultural parents (Italian and American) and while it was a beautiful mix, it resulted in a lot of confusion for me, until I was ready to face it and accept who I am. Though I was born American, I never felt at home here as my values always seemed to be more in alignment with Italian and European values. Yet, when I traveled to Italy, I was clearly not Italian, I was the little loved American with the funny accent, because I wasn't able (and still am not ;) to roll my "R's." To add further to my own confusion, I grew up in a Jewish community and really all I wanted was to fit in and be like others. And while I was welcomed into the community - going to synagogue, seders and other Jewish events, I still was not Jewish. It left me confused and conflicted, but the funny thing was, it wasn't until more recently that I realized that it was the source of so much of my inner conflict.

My forms of self destruction were too many to list. They came in forms of my own direct doing and then indirectly in the forms of many different illnesses over many years. It was not until I started to truly look myself in the mirror and deeply explore who I was that I began to feel relief and inner peace. It has been a long journey, but it is really worth it. It is worth the suffering, pain and self destruction of so many years, to be finally in a place of self awareness and TRUTH. That is the key: that we live our TRUTH, speak our TRUTH and be our TRUTH. It is that plain and simple.

How are you living your truth? Do you find yourself living out of alignment and if so, in which ways are you self-destructing? How can you get on a path of living your TRUTH so as to alleviate your inner conflicts? What if you could live a more authentic and true life? Find the ways in which you can do so and start today! You may begin to find that the real you is pretty amazing and cool after all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Youth Stand for Hope

Keep true to the dreams of thy youth. ~ Friedrich von Schiller

Saturday was an incredible day! I spent the day with about 50 young people, ages 14-18, as they worked with amazing musicians, songwriters and producers to create songs about oneness. These young people truly were inspirational as together in one day they wrote lyrics, created music, recorded AND performed the 16 songs they created!

Their music was about peace, oneness and hope. The experience was truly one of beauty and inspiration! These young people showed that they really get what matters. I laughed and cried throughout the day, all the while feeling my heart just radiating with love, acceptance and joy. Our youth stand for hope, there is no doubt about it. They are conscious, creative, loving and they believe that anything is possible. This day, put on by the LA Human Relation Commission's Zero Hour project (, demonstrated that if we engage our young people and ask them to help steer us in the right direction that we might actually begin to find the solutions to many of the problems our generation and those before us have created.

One song asked how can we change the world if we don't change ourselves first? Another reiterated that peace starts inside. The young people varied from ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds, yet they joined together with one message of hope and unity. As I walked from room to room and listened to these young people, my heart felt truly full and open. One girl, upon hearing her song fully recorded, just kept saying, I can't believe it, it is a dream come true.

It truly was a miracle watching these young people grow and bust through their fears and limitations throughout the day. For many this was a dream come true and their dreams became a reality. It reminded me and inspired me to keep on dreaming and breaking through my own self imposed limitations to continue living my dreams every day.

My spirit felt full leaving, knowing that we truly are in good hands with today's youth. I was also reminded that anything is possible and if we follow our dreams and keep on reaching for them, indeed they really can come true. If you ever feel afraid of going for it or find yourself stuck, go spend a day with young people and be reminded of all that is possible. Go for it - live your dreams and believe!

Friday, April 24, 2009

No is the First Step to YES!

A few months ago a friend of mine shared that expression with me and it was truly perfect for where I was in my life and continues to serve me well today. I am learning that we get a lot of NO's in our life - especially when we commit ourselves to taking BIG risks and going for our dreams. Along the way, we are told NO a lot! Part of this I think is the universe's way of checking in with us to see, "Do you really want this? Are you truly committed to it? And how bad do you want it?" So there are little tests and obstacles along the way!

The interesting thing is that the NO's are what make us stronger. The no's are just obstacles getting in our way to help us grow, so that when we get to the bigger and bigger steps in our goals and dreams, we are truly prepared. It is nature's way of sharpening our knives and honing our skills. If we know this, when we get a NO, we can turn it around and use it to our advantage - into a YES!

I feel like I have been getting a lot more NO's lately...and what I am starting to realize is it means I am getting much much closer to more YES's! I am getting more and more ready every day and so my tools are being sharpened. I am being prepared for the big things to come and I need to be ready.

A few months ago, I spoke with a successful artist. I asked him how he made it so far in his journey and was successful with his art - no easy task! He just looked at me and said that he never let NO stop him. Those words have helped me a lot in the past few months as I have stretched myself far beyond the limits of what I believed I was capable of and what I thought was truly possible. When you begin to see NO as the first step to YES, the whole world and universe opens up in to ONE BIG YES, where truly anything is possible!

Try it out in baby steps, increments, if you must. The next NO you get turn it into a YES and see yourself taking one BIG step up towards your dreams, where there truly are no limits!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

After the Dark Comes Light

You can shine a light and dispel darkness, but you cannot shine "dark" and dispel light. ~ JJ Dewey

I went to an event last night called, Share Your Beauty. The theme of the event was that we all can share our beauty more to be more authentically ourselves, happier and overcome difficult times. There were inspirational speakers and healers, conscious musicians and authors, and media. When I was interviewed, I was asked about the current economic situation and how it is a hard time for people and what words of wisdom would I have to share with others to get through it.

I took a deep breath. Throughout my life, I have known darkness well and have always found the light. That is what I said. Take a deep breath and remember the mantra, "after the dark comes light." I know it well and repeated it often in times of darkness. But I always found the light, even in the darkest times. The reason is that I chose the light and chose to continue moving towards the light.

Don't get me wrong, there were moments in which I got stuck, muddled, in darkness, victimhood, fear, anger and depression. But I always remembered that I could choose light and that it might not come on my own timeframe (as nothing ever seems to), but it would always eventually come if I continued to stay focused on the light and remind myself and tell myself that this darkness too shall pass.

If you are in dark times, remember that focusing on the darkness, staying committed to the darkness, choosing the darkness will keep you there. Find a way, to always remember the light and commit to the light. Even if it takes longer than you think and more darkness than you think you can stand, stay committed to the light - the longer and darker the darkness, the stronger and brighter the light will be when it finally does come!

When a light is turned on in the darkness, the darkness is no more. Darkness cannot extinguish light, but light can cause darkness to immediately disappear. ~ JJ Dewey

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hooray for Earth Day!

Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values.... ~Charles A. Lindbergh

As I woke up this morning, I remembered it was Earth Day! As I found the quote above, I thought about what I am doing today and how much more every day I am beginning to know myself - it is a conscious and intentional journey. I make it a priority to regularly walk the beach and feel the earth to remind myself of who I am and why I am here.

I also began to think about the implications of Earth Day and what it means for our generation and those to come. There is a lot of damage being done. It will require each of us doing our part - big or small - to undo the damage to our planet. For those of us without children, what is the legacy you want to leave behind on this earth? For those with children, think about how your actions today will impact their lives and the lives of their children and future generations.

I regularly get to experience how active the younger generations are around issues of taking care of our planet and reversing the damage our generation and the generations before us have committed on this earth. The Millenial generation is the most socially and environmentally active and conscious generation. I have heard it said, "Millenials are making it happen!" Let's hope so. But it is going to take more than just one generation to create the change necessary to put our planet back on track.

What can you do today? More importantly, what can you commit to doing every day to make a difference for our planet and create a better world for tomorrow? Dupont took a step to be a part of the solution by putting over 6,300 computers and monitors in sleep or standby mode when not in use and has seen significant monetary savings and reduction in energy use! What if we all commit to doing one more thing every day to contribute to the solution, rather than the problem! Commit to something small and make it a habit! Let us all be contributors to "making it happen," with the Millenials, so we can leave them and future generations an earth they can continue to call home.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Handful of Patience

A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. ~Dutch Proverb

When I found this quote, I had to laugh out loud (lol, for those of you used to texting)! Leave it to the Dutch to have such a proverb - so wise and true, and of course funny too! As I thought about what I wanted to write about today it was patience and how my never ending journey seems to be about patience.

You see, I am an Aquarius, and no, we are not known for our patience. We see things way ahead of time, patterns and opportunities, often that others don't see for a long time or ever. And we think that it must happen NOW!

Please note: I said "think." You see, our brain, our mind, while an amazing tool, can also be an incredible impediment - it can really stand in the way of so much of our happiness. I have seen this a lot lately when I am in the flow of life and trusting that things are happening as they should, often times my mind will jump in and start saying things like, "What are you waiting for? You are being lazy! Don't wait around for something to happen, make it happen!" It is amazing how quick it is to jump into, ok, so you planted some seeds now get moving.

What we often forget to realize is that there is a gestation period and while we may want to speed that up or hurry things...that is not in nature's plan - for fruits, vegetables and otherwise as well as for us humans!

If you are beginning to get a little impatient, with how things around you aren't happening fast enough, or with your own growth, take a deep breath, do your part and then practice a little patience and trust that things will reveal themselves as they are meant to and enjoy the journey!

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew. ~ St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unconditionally Loved & Unconditional Loving

The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well. ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

As I woke up this morning, I started thinking about what it means to love and love unconditionally. So often love comes with strings attached and conditions. If you are good, I will love you. If you behave, I will love you. If you get good grades, I will love you. If you are successful, I will love you. Messages like these are everywhere. The reality is that the person who loves most likely really does love unconditionally, yet they have been taught to give and withhold love on conditions and so the pattern gets repeated.

I recently had the amazing experience of unconditional love at its purest and it forever changed me. I have had issues my whole life with love and the security of love, or lack of it (what they call abandonment issues). As I sat with two of my friends, I poured my heart out and my fears. They offered themselves in a way I had never experienced. "Whatever you need, we are here for you," they offered. They told me I could ask for whatever I needed. My response plain and simple was, "I don't know how. I have never been allowed to just ask and then definitely have never gotten the love and support I needed." They offered it unconditionally and told me that whatever I needed, they would be here. It was like in that moment something shifted in my body, my bones and even my cells that rewired my brain and opened my heart. It felt like it healed a lifetime of hurt.

As I thought about the experience, I realized that part of it, was that I had finally started to love myself unconditionally and as a result, I could be open to that kind of love from others. I realized, that is truly the key. As we love ourselves unconditionally, we may be open to receiving and accepting unconditional love from others. How do you, or may you begin to, love yourself unconditionally? As you do, you may begin to find the same unconditional love going out to others! Enjoy, open your heart and love fully, unconditionally!

The only love worthy of a name is unconditional. ~ John Powell

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dream BIG!

Once you discover your dream, the next thing you may feel is that you are inadequate for the task. Good... it's a big enough dream. ~ Unknown

Dream BIG - there really is no other way! I have been told for much of my life that I dream too big and I need to be careful or I could be very disappointed. See, now here's the trick I am learning - Dreaming BIG does not mean have high just means dream BIG. So what's the difference, you may ask?

Well, let's put it this way. If you dream big and set high expectations, you definitely might be disappointed when the journey to your dreams does not look like you expected it to. So set your dreams BIG - if your knees aren't shaking or stomach isn't turning, it isn't big enough - and then let go of what it looks like, do your part and have patience along the journey, but stay committed. Then you haven't set any limits for what is possible and how BIG your dreams may be, but then you are allowing them to show up as they are meant to. There really is a nuance here as I am learning.

Often in the past, I have dreamt really BIG and then somewhere in thinking about my dreams, I got overwhelmed and thought, what am I kidding, who am I to want this and I have walked away from my dreams, after planting the seeds but before the harvest. So remember to plant the seeds with your dream in mind and then let go, tend to the garden, do your part and keep coming back to check on things so you are ready for harvest when the time comes.

So many times I am afraid and think to myself, I must be crazy, this dream is WAY TOO BIG for ME...and when I walk away from that I am making that decision to squish my dreams. Many of us have even stopped dreaming - we have numbed out into a place of complacency and comfort - and when asked what do we dream about, we can't even answer.

Spend some time thinking about it and reviving your dreams and then take one little step every day towards it. You might be surprised how quickly things unfold, if you make that commitment, walk confidently forward in that commitment and tend to the garden regularly...then you may actually begin to see the fruits of your labor appearing in ways you never could have imagined, nor dreamed of - even bigger and better!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Power of Commitment

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
~ William Hutchinson Murray

I was recently sent this quote by a friend - wow, how powerful and true! I have only just recently begun to truly experience the power of commitment. At other times in my life, I thought I was committed to things, but now looking back, I always seemed to commit about 95% - always leaving an exit or escape route. For me today is different. I have finally committed 100% to a path and am now beginning to experience this Providence. Things that I never imagined possible are beginning to happen. I was once told that when you let go of the HOW and just commit to the what and the journey, you will be amazed at what all might appear and how incredible the journey.

This has been my experience lately. It is very different than in the past, when I would set a goal and then think about all of the possible ways in which I could get there. This time, I am allowing it all to unfold on its own. As I do, I have let go of figuring out the how as I would have normally done and as a result things beyond my wildest imagination are appearing - so many times better that I could have ever possibly imagined on my own. It is quite a ride - strange some days, scary others - but a really beautiful and magical journey to experience.

Give it a try. Find what you love and commit to it. It takes courage and boldness, but it is worth it. Once you let go - think of it as a roller coaster ride - put your hands in the air, smile and laugh, scream a little if you need to, but have a blast and remember, this is your life - so enjoy the ride and watch the magic unfold!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Rebirth and Resurrection a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown. ~Author unknown

While I am not a religious person, I very much appreciate spirituality and finding our common path, despite the divergence of religion. This weekend I realized I really didn't know what Easter really symbolized. So I asked around and looked it up. Funny thing is, just about every religion has some sort of spiritual ceremony this time of year to celebrate the coming of spring and "rebirth" or resurrection. In Christian religion, it symbolizes the resurrection of Christ three days after his crucifixion. Easter is also linked on the calendar to Jewish Passover. For pagans, it is tied to the spring equinox and the fertility of the crops. For Sikhs, the holiday is Vaisakhi and is tied to the beginning of the harvest season and the birth of the Sikhs. So many cultures and religions celebrate this spiritual time.

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. ~Robert Flatt

I like the idea of this being a time of resurrection, of a rebirth of sorts. That is what it feels like for me. Every year, I grow and change a little bit more. This year feels particularly transformative as I make choices every day to live a life of peace, love and joy rather than choosing drama, suffering and fear. Today I spent the day doing Kundalini yoga and attending the Vaisakhi festival in downtown Los Angeles. It was a sea of colors and beautiful, bright shining and smiling faces. It was a reminder of our uniqueness and of our collective oneness at the same time. For me the "re" in rebirth and resurrection is the key - "re" meaning again. That is for me, it is a time to rediscover the parts of me that I thought I had lost and show up more fully and authentically as me every day and in every new moment.

With the resurrection and rebirth, comes new life, new energy, new love, new joy and renewed faith that anything is truly possible. No matter what the circumstances, this is a time for your rebirth...what do you want to tap into and pull out from within? What do you want to re-discover about yourself? Find the time to resurrect one part of you that you thought you might have lost. What new opportunity awaits you - find it and go for it! Enjoy the spring and this amazing time of rebirth and rediscover yourself and all your gifts and share them with the world!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Plant Seeds In Your Own Garden First

Have you ever been on an airplane and the flight attendants tell you that in case of an emergency, put your mask on first and then help others with their masks? The analogy is a beautiful one. That is, often times it may be our tendency to help others first. This may be particularly true with our family members, children or other loved ones. But what good would it be if we try to help others get their masks on and we lose our breaths and go unconscious, then who will we really be helping? Yet, how often do we do this?

The perfect man of old looked after himself first before looking to help others. ~ Chuang Tzu

A similar analogy I recently heard from a friend was plant your seeds in your own garden first. It really hit me. I have spent so much of my life planting my seeds in other people's gardens so they can flourish and thrive and yet, have forgotten to plant seeds in my own garden. Often times after sharing all my gifts and my seeds, I come home exhausted thinking to myself, “where did all the time go and my energy and when am I going to have time to plant seeds in my own garden?” How often does this happen to you?

If you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best…to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long term perspective. ~The Dalai Lama

What if you started today and each day by taking care of and giving to yourself first? Imagine how ready you would be to then share your gifts with the world. Imagine what a different world we would live in if we all found the time to do this. Start today and watch in wonder as the magic unfolds.

Take care of yourself – you never know when the world will need you. ~ Rabbi Hillel

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passover: "Removing the Puffiness from our Souls"

Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most commonly observed Jewish holidays, with over 80% of Jews (and many more non-Jews, or honorary Jews, like me ;) attending a seder. The primary observance of Passover is related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. As it translates to modern day, it is celebrated by removing the leaven from the home, as the Jews didn't have time to let their bread rise as they were in a hurry to leave Egypt. Symbolically, it represents a way of removing the "puffiness" - or the arrogance and pride, from our souls.

What beautiful symbolism and what an amazing time for us all to release some of our own "puffiness" and restore some simplicity and humility. I grew up in a Jewish community, and while Passover is not one of the more holy of holidays, it is one of the most observed and for me, one of the most special. It reminds me of my friends and their families who would welcome me in to join in their Passover seder's and sing the songs, eat the wildly different foods and share in their community. For me Judiasm has never been a religion, it has been a community and a culture.

For a long time I was very anti religious for many of which is the arrogance and ego that we sometimes see in religion that has often been the cause of major religious strifes and upheavals as our differences not our similarities are often the source that separates us. But what if we could remove some of this "puffiness" in our souls and begin to see each other's religions in a healthy and supportive way. Each is a path to self love, unconditional love and accepting and seeing the best in ourselves and ourselves in others. For me they are all paths to clear out our souls to our higher selves.

How might you remove a little "puffiness" from your soul as your move forward in your life and begin to see yourself and others in a higher light? Often, in times of economic difficulties, we tend to live in fear and ego, but what if we could reach out and accept and love others for their differences and similarities and be open to receiving that same love and support from others.

Giving Liberates the Soul of the Giver

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. ~ Maya Angelou

Today I woke up thinking about giving. I went to bed thinking about giving as I had gone to a kundalini yoga class and was reminded that when we give we receive. What is even more amazing, is that when we give, we receive many times fold what we gave in the first place. It is totally counterintuitive. Especially during times when things are tight, we think, I'll give when I can. But what if it was the exact opposite? What if we gave when things were tight and it helped more to flow in?

The quote by Maya Angelou truly is powerful for me. Giving not only liberates the soul, it helps us ascend to our greater selves. After working in giving for many years, I have seen so many people's lives transformed. Yes, the receivers are always grateful and benefit. But it is the givers within which I have seen the most change. After a day of volunteering, I have watched first time volunteers cry with joy at the experience and the knowingness of what they have contributed but also at what they have received as a direct result of giving. It is a beautiful cycle and flow. You can not give without receiving and you can not receive without giving.

Enjoy the day! OneGiving is coming soon...make sure to sign up for our updates so you know when we launch our global e-giving community.
in peace and gratitude, ;) pilar

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Find Your Passion and Commit to It

Over the last month, I have begun to experience a significant shift in my life, in which every day I am beginning to experience magic, mystery and grace unveil itself regularly in my life. I realized that there are two key ingredients that have shaped my experience:
passion and commitment.

When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.~ Unknown

I have finally hit a place in my life in which I am totally passionate again about what I am doing. Every time I talk about the things I am doing, I light up with joy, energy, radiance and passion! I feel so alive and excited about life. I am starting to feel like I felt when I was a little girl and I would find something I loved and get so excited that I would light up a room. Except now I am in my thirties and I am finding things in my day to day that have the same effect on me. What lights you up and gets you so giddy with joy that you find yourself laughing out loud sometimes, at nothing, and yet at everything? When was the last time you felt this way? How long has it been since you have felt so passionate about something, that you are willing to do anything and everything to make it happen?

There is nothing to be feared or questioned, if you commit the eventuality is guaranteed. ~ Guru Singh

Now here's the kicker - if you find your passion - commit to it 100%! Don't leave yourself a chicken exit or an escape route - just dive in fully with all your heart, discipline and soul and watch as the magic of it unfolds. You may hit obstacles or have fears about reaching what you have committed to, but use them to drive you forward and to know you are on the right path. If you do not experience push back, it means you are not moving forward.

I recently just fully committed to my dreams and passions in my life and I am amazed more and more every day at how things have begun to unfold. Some days I hit obstacles - many are just my own fears, calling me and asking me if I really want this and if I am really committed. But on so many other days, I am amazed at how many doors have begun to open up. Some days I do less and more comes to me - the right people, at the right times. While I have moments of fear and doubt, I don't let those deflect me from my dreams and my vision. I use them as markers along the road to remind me that I am on the right path. What are you committed to? What are you hear to do on this planet and what are you waiting for to do it? Take that leap...find your passion and fully commit to it and as you do, watch a world of magic and mystery unfold before you that is more magnificent than you could even begin to imagine.

Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the "right stuff" to turn our dreams into reality.~ James Womack
NOTE: This article came from my latest e-gifts newsletter...if you want to sign up for my newsletters, enter your email address on our website...thanks ;) Pilar