Storytime! – Discover How To Be the Hero of your Everyday Stories

IMG_4104 Artwork, Kiki Hall

Spun pink gold~ Aha moments,  “Charting your own course isn’t just more necessary than ever before. It’s also much easier — and much more fun.” When Pink was a guest adviser on The Voice, season 10, she shared an Aha zen moment; she said, “clench your butt cheeks” to hit the high notes.  Sounds true, Pink is on point, when we clench our butt or pelvic floor muscles aka a root lock we’re activating our miracle diamond of mindfulness to unleash our brilliant performer.  Our miracle diamond-mindful posture tool embraces and uplifts us on point. This adds supercharged breath supporting power.  Pink  (more bad ass quotes)

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My Aha zen moment to switch my user name from @zenmommie to @mindfulposture was inspired by re-defining my purpose. In 2009  I was working with the Schofield family and Jani called me zen mommie. She experienced me sharing zen tools to help her and the family find their quiet center during the inevitable daily storms.  Read more and check out Oprah’s interview re. Jani’s mental illness, her story has had vast media coverage. (Jani and Oprah in Photo)

Now, my passion is spreading the word about The Miracle Diamond, A Mindful Posture Tool. The Miracle Diamond effortlessly helps us align our posture and breath with mindful awareness. When these 2 come together (posture and breath), we can glide into the zen eye of the storm.  Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind says, “The state of mind that exists when you sit in the right posture is, itself, enlightenment.” My pure intention is simply to clarify how being mindful of posture is the essence of zen.  We can all benefit  from learning how to stand tall, light, and firm from the inside out. Once we make gravity our friend, we can experience levity (lightness of being) effortlessly.

 In the words of Gary Zukav, author of Seat of the Soul, “The most that we can do is comment on the movement, the thought and the form, but those comments are of great value if they can help people to ~learn to move gracefully, to think clearly, to form ~like artists ~the matter of their lives.” 

Legendary ballet choreographer (American Ballet Theatre) Antony Tudor, president of my family Zen Institute in Manhattan, NYC, drew the best out of his dancers.  He intuitively knew the inner dancer’s mantra, “when the body lifts, the mind shifts, and the spirit soars.” Now, this mantra is yours too.  Activate it by wearing your mindful posture tool, (the miracle diamond) to maintain feeling embraced and uplifted on point.

And, experience a sip of zen green tea to taste a little everyday wisdom, “only the still pool reflects the stars.”

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“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.”

Howard Schultz – Starbucks CEO.

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“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “Everyone has a soul story. And there’s something to be learned from every experience.”  It’s a documentary in and of itself to share how long it took us (from winter 2014  to summer 2016) to get this blog written. We’re all in this struggle of life together, and perhaps sharing these innovative tools will ignite your “we got this” creative spirit to begin seeing yourself as the hero of your own story.  Having a zen perspective is looking at things differently, so we can start to make sense of what we’re going through. Instead of labeling a situation as a misfortune we can see it as a learning experience in the moment, and neutralize it with appreciation. Did you know that new ideas inspire creativity?  Gary Zukav, author of  The Seat Of The Soul, says, “The universe backs the part of you that is of clearest intention.” Turning knowledge into action steps, requires a game plan (strategy) and roots of blisscipline (self discipline, self love and self respect) to manifest your vision. 

 

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Why not start now, to feel that what you want is coming into manifestation. Watch how children often stay magnetized to their wishes until their dream is realized. The one thing children need is our ongoing support and encouragement. Without support, the seed lies dormant until it receives nourishment. The best conditions for your ideas to bloom is to feel grounded, nourishing roots of self love to love others.  And grateful, spreading your wings to celebrate seen and unseen gorgeous blessings on the way.

 Check out Lululemon’s Manifesto to get the conversation started so you feel inspired, and rewired, to start your own inner fire.

Our manifesto is one way we share our culture with the community. It’s an evolving collection of bold thoughts that allow for some real conversations to take place. Get to know our manifesto and learn more about what  lights our fire.”

Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment. Lululemon

“The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”Nobel Prize Winning Chemist, Linus Pauling 

Food for Thought: If you find one idea here that resonates that’s fabulous. Just being willing to learn to see the world in a new light plants new seeds.   You are always free to make your own choices. This is key, in the words of Bruce Lee, “absorb what is useful,” use it, make it work for you. Consider being an artist of life, and this is a brilliant buffet of creative ideas to inspire your creative genius. Take what you need, to water the seeds of intention. We’re serving your spirit in bite-size pieces. You are welcome 24/7 to come back to the FunZen Bakery again, and again, and again, for more soul treats. I hope you Zenjoy!

“Creativity is just connecting things.” Steve Jobs 

 

So here goes, FunZen girls took our time to make sure that this blog gets across the message we want it to- the message that you can be the author and hero of your own story. To show you how, Grace and I are sharing some of our own real-life examples of how we use FunZen tools in our day to day lives to share what helps us can help others.  I’m motivated by Steve Jobs words, “I like making tools  that are useful to people.”  In the spirit of nurturing your soul, and serving your human spirit we want to build an online community or Ohana (family in Hawaiian) one person at a time, where no one is forgotten or left behind.  Learning mindfulness with a beginner’s mind creates possibilities to be our best doing one thing at a time to spread hope, deepen faith,  practice self love, self trust, and  remember love is sustainable.

 Warrior Within Strategy: We have both an anxious worrier and an enlightened warrior living inside of our heads.  To apply our spiritual strategy of  shifting from a worrier to a warrior on the spot, we simply need to remember that the warrior is decisive with intention to get to the heart of the matter and be part of the solution, not stuck in problem.  S-he has a zen or spiritual perspective and practices a Tibetan compassion practice (tonglen) that en-courage-s us to BREATHE and smile at fear (and watch it disappear) to activate enough self love to have compassionate clarity for ourselves and others.

Enlightened author, Pema Chodrun, elucidates the practice of Tonglen brilliantly in her articles, books, and seminars. As Kristin Neff, author of Self Compassion makes clear,”self compassion is a more effective motivator than self criticism…love allows us to feel confident and secure (in part by pumping up our oxytocin) while fear makes us insecure and jittery (sending our amygdala into overdrive and flooding our systems with cortisol)” stress hormones. The enlightened warrior chooses to be  mindful, non judgmental and responsive, to stay “present centered” with difficult emotions like our first reaction- anger, annoyance, anxiety, and impatience.  

By staying centered s-he gradually transforms these emotions into self acceptance, empathy, forgiveness, by using the magic wand gratitude, to activate magical control follows mindful awareness. The moment we say “I choose” self compassion we are taking control of our mind. Zen or meditation training can be seen as the art of mental self control or self discipline.  The sweet fruit of our spirit is self control. (Galatians 5:22-23) 

    

Each moment is a zen secFullSizeRender (18)ond to recognize that according to Audrey Hepburn, “impossible means i’m-possible.” Here’s  a short, sweet, and to the point Zen tool  to mindfully walk your talk;  marrying deep breathing with your intention or any illuminating idea or quote will center you in the here and now. For example, using the simple is powerful  message from Audrey Hepburn’s quote; Inhale, ~ I’m ~ Exhale slowly ~ Possible ~w/ purpose, positivity and peace.~

Search Inside Yourself Leadership Insights:  “Listening is magic: it turns a person from an object outside, opaque or dimply threatening, into an intimate experience, and therefore into a friend. In this way, listening softens and transforms the listener…It turns out that sustainable happiness is achievable by simply bringing attention to one’s breath. Life is funny. At least my life is.” Chade Meng Tan

Search Inside Yourself Leadership qualities to nurture, “Attention training, Self knowledge, Self mastery, Creating useful mental habits.

 

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Mindfulness: To remember or check in.  Centering Charm, press zen button: Breathe out ahhh or whoosh to mentally start over, instantly reset.  Now, close your eyes or lower eyelids, smile at fear (and watch it disappearFocus on Breathing in white light  slowly and deeply to your core or  quiet center,  pixie pause,  reaching stillness,  Long breath out ~Ahhh~zen pause, relaxing all over, radiating white light from your center, dissolving pain, calming  the anxious mind to help you quiet the zen monkey mind chatter to stay focused, clear, present centered, repeat throughout the day to be strong  all day long.

Zen heart note: Pressing our zen button, right below our navel is an instant stabilizer to help us reach the zen eye of stillness in the storm. It works like a mantra, to re-focus when we need it most, in the spinning tea cup moments   What we’re really doing by reaching stillness is releasing any ego static to clear the soul channel. Inspired author, Dr. Wayne Dyer, says there are three things that clog our soul: “negativity, judgment and imbalance,” such as regrets, anxiety, shame, blame, guilt. When we accept and feel the dark feelings we can heal them, and return to our original nature (authenticity), and nurture ourselves by detaching from them and letting them go.

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“If you concentrate on breathing and posture, the attitude of mind automatically comes right and wisdom is manifested spontaneously” Taisen Deshimaru, Roshi -Zen Master

 

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 Anxiety to Serenity Now: Andrew Weil M.D., reminds us “Breathing is the master key to self healing.”  Don’t wait to exhale! to breathe is to feel, when negative or positive emotions arise, feel  the feelings that arise and let them go, release them. This rut buster tool is what our warrior within uses to detach from unhelpful thoughts without getting stuck in habitual reactions.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Feelings come and go…Conscious breathing is my anchor.” The gift that we receive is learning to value what we feel.  Trusting our vibes or gut awakens what Ralph Waldo Emerson calls our “creative genius” or intuition.

 

Brene Brown’s quote, “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we numb the positive emotions.”  Brene Brown

Zen heart notes: This too shall pass: “Emotions are like passing storms, and you have to remind yourself that it won’t rain forever.

You just have to sit down and watch it pour outside and then peek your head out when it looks dry.” Amy Poehler

 

Martial Arts Legend, Sensei Benny Urquidez, and his beloved student, Ukidokan warrior, Sensei Nadine Champion remind us that it takes up to 10 seconds of courage to shift from a worrier to a warrior, in the moment, on the spot with internal training.

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 Author, Coach, Cheryl Richardson, shares the samurai secret to being “present centered” with a short, sweet, and to the point guideline to help us elevate our potential to keep calm (pause) to weather any storm. 

  Cheryl Richardson says, “If you learn to be still with yourself, you’ll be able to make better choices.” 

Success is a Choice: “Preparation and research are two keys of staying away from stressful moments…It’s all about preparing to face pressure…you’re confident in your strategy (plan of action) and ability to handle whatever is thrown in your path. ” Rick Pitino

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Zen heart note: other words that imply still or stillness are, calm, pause, peaceful, quiet, wait.

Out of stress free simplicity find clarity: Create Outer order and Inner calm: “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra

Reaching  Success Through Stillness,  “In short, a calm mind is a creative mind. And a creative mind is going to bring a lot of success into your life.”  Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH)

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In the words of Michael Beckwith, “Surrender, is the stance of the spiritual warrior.” We have a choice each moment.  Every upset is a set-up for our higher self to teach our lower self a life b-lesson for our comeback. Who will we feed or listen to? our  inner worrier’s voice of fear and anxiety who says, f.orget  e.verything  a.nd  r.un  or the heart’s voice of  love and courage  that whispers to the warrior, breathe in self-love and breathe out gratitude to activate Susan Jeffers famous quote, “feel the fear and do it anyway,”  f.ace e.verything  a.nd r.ise, hence, “No mud. No lotus.” Thich Nhat Hanh

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I love how author, Glennon Doyle Melton,  of  Carry On, Warrior,  and Love Warrior, A Memoir, makes the brilliant point that  “We can do hard things…Just do The Next Right Thing, one thing at a time. That’ll take you all the way Home.”  

“My courage will come from knowing I can handle whatever I encounter there – because I was designed by my creator to not only survive pain and love but also to become whole inside it. I was born to do this. I am a Warrior.” Love Warrior, A Memoir


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Enlightened Warrior Bruce Lee says “Simplicity is the key to brilliance” and “Knowing is not enough, we must APPLY. Willing is not enough, we must DO.”

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Grace: As a high school senior and voice-over actress, my life often got very overwhelming. On any given day, I could have hours of homework and auditions to go to. With all of the pressures of my life swirling around me, it was easy to become anxious and stressed out. However, with my tools of FunZen, I know how to handle this. Between taking AP Classes, keeping up with my acting career, and making time for social activities, sometimes I got very stressed out. What I did when that happens though, is I took a mental (or literal, depending on the situation) step back and took some deep breaths. This allows the chaotic blizzard of thoughts to settle, and me to focus on one thing at a time and get everything done. Once the scene of my snow globe was calm, I was able to perform all of my tasks without feeling frantic or overwhelmed. FunZen allows me to move through rough patches with ease, letting stillness simplify the landscape of my busy life. Luckily, I have graduated high school now, and the scenery of my life is off to another big shift: enrolling in college. While I have the challenge of dealing with a whole slew of new challenges, I look forward knowing that I have what it takes to handle whatever comes ahead. To compare this lesson to one of our A-Z Life Lessons, I would say that I really work on V for Volcano. My goal is to master controlling my emotions before they control me.

 

Of course, these tools mean a lot to me and I believe that every single person could benefit from the FunZen tools that my mom has shared with me. Unfortunately, many people aren’t very interested in learning how to become centered and mindful. Living without people to share these tools with isn’t fun. That is why I look forward to meeting new people with open minds who I can reach out to in this next phase of my life. However, I know that just by living my practice, I can set an example and rub off on the people around me, and that’s a great place to start. Having this perspective/attitude on what I have just described is a great example of choosing to be the hero of my story, not moping, and still being my best. I hope that when every one reads this, they can look at their own life, share their everyday stories of how they get through the storms, or challenging moments, and see how they can be the hero of it- moving forward.

Check out Grace’s  blog “Thanks-Living” sharing her life as a college freshman. 

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EmpowHER Lounge w/ the FunZen Girls “If you get, give. If you learn, teach”. Maya Angelou

Photo on the right, Kung Fu Panda premiere, Grace  on red carpet with Angelina Jolie


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Evelyn and Shaniece

 

 Recently I was watching “Livin Lozada” on OWN and noted Evelyn Lozada, asking her gorgeous daughter Shaniece why she had so many Buddhas in her living space, buddhaful Shaniece replied “trying to bring the peace in“. When I heard that, I recalled how my life looked in the mid nineties, teaching a few A-list celebrities mentioned in my author  page. That is exactly what they appeared to want to get from me, more peace, harmony, and clarity. I walked away from teaching and wrote a book titled, “Mental Fitness”, I borrowed the title from the Dalai Lama’s description of Zen training.  My book teaches people the inner mechanics of finding the warrior within themselves to wear their black belt for the soul with diginity to establish  a clear mind and a peaceful heart. I am beyond words grateful for my endorsement from author and spiritual life coach, Iyanla Vanzant, which to this day encourages me with  her loving wise comment, “Mental Fitness…teaches us how to use what we have, in order to achieve more of what we want.”  By the way, Evelyn’s spiritual Life Coach is Iyanla on the show Fix My Life on OWN, which makes sharing my experience of integration a full circle for me.  

My life lesson was making the connection that for the last 18 years, I haven’t worked steadily with A-list clients like I did before my most important role, mom. Celebrities are often prepared with a focused skill-set to deepen the zen habit of  blisscipline, (self discipline=self love and self respect) to succeed in getting what they want. Most of my students in the last few years have struggled with the word discipline and establishing a ritual for themselves. Therefore the opportunity to consistently “go within or go without” a mindful practice to empower themselves to relieve stress, and bring out the best version of themselves has been challenging. Now, I’m sharing  my “rage to sage” wisdom medicine that helps me activate, “grace under pressure makes miracle diamonds”. You, too, can learn to activate your miracle diamond-mindful posture tool to get on point and experience feeling embraced and uplifted. The inner dancer mantra, “when the body lifts, the mind shifts, and the spirit soars” brings us back into balance to reset, and gain perspective.  When things fall apart we live our art with wholehearted ARTitude to practice turning frustration into fascination with embracing the self discovery process. In order to establish a mindful practice, my first book Mental Fitness provides the brilliant basics to help you. You will learn to “empty our cup” so learning with a zen mindset called the beginner’s mind is possible.  I’m grateful beyond words for Head Coach, Phil Jackson’s support of Mental Fitness, he ordered a bunch of copies when he was coaching the L. A. Lakers. Mental Fitness activates this quote from Phil Jackson, “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” (check out new autographed copies of Mental Fitness  now available  for 11.00 funzen books, Amazon)

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 My Aha blessing,  is recognizing that people start where they are to welcome peace into their lives. And, many may never commit to sit and meditate, yet they still can benefit from planting seeds and learning to see things differently. Here’s a nice zen illustration of how a little of something is still very valuable.  In Zen, the diamond represents wisdom and hidden potential. Most precious things when broken lose their value.  However when a diamond is cut into little pieces, each part is still valuable. This brilliant idea can help us to not sweat the small stuff as we aim to establish an everyday mindful practice in tiny heartful steps.  On those days when we cannot do more of what matters to us, like connect with people we care about, read more, or finding some quiet time, we can still find shelter in the storm. Simply taking a few mindful breaths wearing your miracle diamond-mindful  posture tool affirms, “change your posture, change your life.” In yoga, the word for posture is asana and means to be present practice being more present in the moment still has tremendous value. After all, a diamond is a girls best friend. 

As Oprah says, “I want you to open your heart and see the world in a different way. I promise this will change your life for the better.” The heart of Buddha’s teachings are training the mind to nurture the seeds of enlightenment inside of you. For example, here’s a few zen touchstones to help you return to your quiet center: zen breathing,  a walk, my favorite is a whoosh of lavender light rain-aroma therapy, a book, music, yoga, dancing. or anything that is your pocket of peace and clarity. Zen reminds us that when the student is ready the teacher appears, note that the teacher can be seen as the situation or reality. 

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 In the words of voice-over star, Tara Strong, who is the voice of Hello Kitty when she actually speaks. “When you discover how to tame those nerves, please let me know!!” read more

Me too, I want to know what helps you tame the ego to get through a challenging moment, finding the missing peace instead of going to pieces.  We’re all in this together learning to embrace the discovery process, sharing our experiences which can be enlightening and beneficial to someone else in a stormy situation. 

Here’s an aww comment from a friendly cashier at Walgreens, who shared with me that she loves Sailor Moon. She said that after checking out the funzen bakery blog, “Sailor Moon Sharing Secrets Regarding Her Superhero Journey“, she started using Sailor Moon’s battle cry “Moon, Cosmic, Power” to keep calm, strong and feel courageous during emotional storms. Just hearing those kinds of soul stories from everyday people and reading books like, “I’m Hosting as Fast as I Can!  Zen and the Art of Staying Sane in Hollywood, by author, Tom Bergeron, Host of Dancing with the Stars, waters the seed to get this blog out there. Check out, new blog, Moments of Zen w/ DWTS Host, Tom Bergeron. Be sure to listen up our short video, Musings on Meditation at Starbucks.

Tom generously shares  his “on the go” Zen Tune-up to stay centered anywhere,  “Be. Here. Now.  Don’t forget to breathe.  When all else fails grabs a clown nose.”  

 See the Light: “Accept and acknowledge your own brilliance. Stop waiting for others to tell you hogreat you are! Believe it for yourself. “- Check out my story on how Iyanla Vanzant helped me unleash my brilliance.  Photo: Flex Iyanla and Shanice on OWN #FlexandShanice

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“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it. Celebrities  know that no matter how close you are to the top, we could all use a little reminder of our worth. The key to real success and happiness is first learn to love yourself.” @MadameNoire

 

From Iyanla asking?  Who are you? Evelyn, ‘that’s what i’m trying to figure out…to  I am here to serve.”

The way itself creates the warrior. We are all peaceful warriors in training, and every life is a hero’s journey.”  Dan Millman

“When you have a warrior mentality, an attitude of faith, knowing that you’ve been equipped and empowered, all the forces of darkness cannot stop you.” Joel Osteen

Zen heart note: A slice of heavenly Peace, “Peace, It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

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Life learned lesson: Looking back to Spring 2008, Grace, myself, and a few writers had been cultivating the mindful seed called “FunZen”as a show idea. We were waiting to hear what the next step was going to be. In the Fall, a Disney executive producer who originally asked me to share “FunZen”, informed me that our project was cancelled due to budget cuts.  My heart sank, and the lovely British expression from Winston Churchill “Keep calm and Carry on” helped me feel more buoyant, and became my personal mantra. For me, this experience aligns with the letter M for Monster in our A-Z Life Lessons. I had to face my fear of failing, refuse to give up, and continue to pursue sharing FunZen even though one opportunity fell through. Now, with new eyes, I am beyond words grateful for how everything worked out. I’ve needed time to get clear on how to communicate the living art of zen  from A to Zen made fun sized  with teaching the funzen kid in everyone with inner parenting through mindfulness. 

OM Blessings from Marc Allen’s 
This is the greatest secret of all:
Loving and serving yourself and others is the key
to fulfillment, happiness, and inner peace.

Being born into a famous zen lineage makes zen a bit more intuitive and experiential  for me and still a fun challenge to clarify putting the enlightened practice into words. I’m curious, and enjoy creating new variations like, “keep calm to sparkle, shine, and glow with the flow” wearing your miracle diamond of mindfulness. The Miracle Diamond Posture Tool helps you get and stay on point  to feel, embraced, uplifted, and inspired to choose at your pace of grace to activate your worrier-monster to warrior of light shining through those dark stormy moments. This is just one of many ways to be an example of hope and an architect of change, because nothing changes until we do. Check out Maria Shriver’s 10 inspiring ways to be an architect of change. In the words of zen scholar, D.T. Suzuki, “The Zen genius sleeps in every one of us and demands an awakening ” We are all honor students to each other discovering how to tap into our creative spirit, and the Latin root for genius also means spirit. I am honored to nurture creativity, clarify application, and teach, go within or go without- spiritual awakening. 

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 “Be brave about it…Be the hero of your own story but most importantly, BEGIN!” Elizabeth Gilbert

Every life is a hero’s journey.”  Dan Millman

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Three’s the magic number.  Here’s 3 heart steps to write your own I am the hero of  my everyday stories.  

And don’t forget to add plenty of  kokoro, heart <3′ 

Every story has a Beginning, Middle, End, including a Conflict and a Resolution.

 1) Ask yourself the question: What is my life lesson? How can I see this differently?

Ask your soul essence who doesn’t judge, how do I want to feel right now?

Find your seawind breath rhythm Ahhh to have inner harmony: “If you can’t find your rhythm, you can’t find your soul.”  Tony Vacca, percussionist

 “I want my integrity to feel like the Hope Diamond…Feelings are magnetic.”~Danielle La Porte

 2) Go within for the life lesson or go without the aha-blessing or insight.

3) Celebrate where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you’re going.

  Now, for spiritual dessert, choose a letter from our  A to Z – (zen of life made fun-sized) to shift from your Worrier to Warrior, fear to love, gloom to bloom from the inside out.

Fortune Cookie delicious quotable: It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” e.e. cummings

TakeawayBeing the hero of our own story helps us choose to polish our diamond of courage to be brilliant, beautiful and bold.  

 

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Let’s get bejeweled with, bestselling author, songwriter, poet, @Jewel 

Go to her wesbite Never Broken and learn to make happiness a habit. Order her book, Never BrokenI read it, loved it, Jewel deepened my root of what it means to be a samurai cowgirl. She brilliantly reminds us, “change is for the warrior.”

 “Take who you  are and work with what you’ve  got. That’s empowerment.”

“Forgiveness is the needle that knows how to mend.”

“Change is for the warrior.”

“You have to know what you want to ever be able to have it.”

“An artist’s most valuable asset is individuality.”

more brilliant quotes from jewel -never broken

 

 

For more inspiration and insight, find out how my grounded, grateful, and gorgeous student, Melissa started her journey to pivot  from a worrier to a warrior to be the hero of her own story… read more  Follow @zenmommanature  on  Twitter~

A Daily Fix of FunZen: Awaken your inner Disney spirit with more self love through laughterdisney LOL love yourself LOL.

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Photo:  EmpowHER Lounge w/ the FunZen Girls: gorgeous mom,  Jill, and warriorette,  Elle the beautiful artist, illustrator, for both books, (lower right), The art of YOU! girls just wanna have fun, (center) including Starbucks moments w/ my bestie, cheerleader for the soul,@heidischooler (upper right).

FullSizeRender (22)“In a sea of self-help word play and abstract concepts , it’s a pleasure to find Mental Fitness, Michiko Rolek’s mind-body manual covering practical basics of breath and attention to help us stay centered and grounded in a challenged world.”-Dan Millman

Home Sweet Home from Mental Fitness pg. 79

Want more food for your soul? check out setting goals w/ soul ~ @DanielleLaPorte and Marie Forleo

K  is Key- Our Golden Key is gratitude to unlock secret treasures and joy. What we focus on grows…when we’re truly grateful we attract more to be thankful for.  With the healing power of gratitude, our mind becomes still like water, our hearts open so we can hear angel messages of love, and guidance from our souls.  An attitude of gratitude miraculously brings us altitude. A woman Zen Master named Sono taught only one thing for enlightenment.  She advised everyone who came to her to adopt an  affirmation or prayer of gratitude to be said often throughout the day, under all conditions, no matter what the situation was. The affirmation was, “Thank you for everything. I have no complaint whatsoever.” read more

Sonia Choquette, author of The Answer is SimpleLove Yourself, Live Your Spirit says, “Being GRATEFUL is a highly self-loving choice.”

Ten FunZen Girl Power Rules

  1. This is the most important rule. Do it right and the others will follow. Author, Publisher, Louise Hay, reminds us that the 1st rule for loving yourself is to drop kick the inner critic, “STOP ALL CRITICISM, when we criticize ourselves (beat ourselves up) our changes are negative, when we approve ourselves (build ourselves up) our changes are positive.” Right now, let’s grab a mindful minute and affirm,  I am Grateful like a deeply rooted tree, Grounded in loving my lower body centered, and stress free, so my roots of self love and honesty are nourished. I celebrate my spirit with Gorgeous moment to moments, spreading my wings of light (wisdom and compassion) taking flight. 

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“The world will be saved by the Western woman.” Dalai Lama

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 I got excited when I saw the Forbes (Dec. 2015) cover quote stating, “Melinda Gates is betting billions on The best idea in the world-

The solution to poverty is investing in women and girls.” She also says, “And so I thought, ‘If I’m the one, then I just need to do it. I have to have courage and not worry.’’

 I saw an opportunity to give back and serve by sharing what the FunZen Girls have been up to.

“When you get women in roles of leadership, we make things happen… A woman with a voice by definition is a a5b7cf36ebc88314e6a746cb9ea5adc9strong woman.” Melinda Gates

 

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“What’s the most pressing issue of our time.” asks Gates Why Bill and Melinda Gates think time and energy are global superpowers.

 @successmagazine,“”Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”” — Tina Fey

Be part of the Solution, Maximize Time:

Tame worry-hurry monster and maximize time. “Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment. Multitasking divides your attention and leads to confusion and weakened focus. When you focus on just one thing at a time, without rushing or procrastinating, you cultivate a sense of timeless awareness that creates feelings of calm and well-being.” Deepak Chopra Do one thing at a time, give it your laser focus. This is the key to excellence and living in the here and now. Connecting the D.o  O.ne T.hing at a time dots. To keep your energy flowing with cat like agility,shake out any tension like a cat or dog to recenter. Stay relaxed, alert, and breathe,  drink pure water, take short breaks, soften your focus by opening up your attention, look at the sky, and absorb through your senses, this is a thought free state by pausing at the very end of the exhalation ahhhh, the in breath is spotaneous. Keep a playful approach.  

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More Life giving Energy:

The function of the body is to collect energy from the ground up, like a tree.  And, Judith Orloff  M.D. author of Positive Energy says, “breathing activates positive energy, it’s a lifeline to your center, to the earth.” For starters, to get more energy now, BREATHE! Drink more water to help transport oxygen to your muscles.  #SuperPowerforgood

Takeaway: Simplify to F.irst L.ove Y.ourself, Being your own bestie with your 3Gs Grounded, Grateful, and Gorgeous, means having both feet on the ground so after reading this you can go out in the world and deal with facing the music, or reality, feeling embraced and uplifted by wearing your miracle diamond of mindfulness, mindful posture tool. It involves being empowHERed to make new connections between your heart’s desire and intention in action. Simply put, use your zen tools to Smile to activate mastery, Breathe for zenergized calm, Go slowly and remember when we slow down we speed up our spiritual energy. 

Be centered, stretched, strong and stress free like a deeply rooted wisdom tree, In the words of  Evan Cooper,”A spiritual girl in a material world!” author of  Um, Like Om A Girl Goddess’s Guide to Yoga, truly a Funzen girls favorite book and highly recommended for homeschoolers.

 Zentrepreneur Creative Tip,  from rapper, innovator, inventor, artist, Will. I .Am, He says, “Palm trees is what we need to be…When that wind (change) comes, I bend. I’m a fu**#*kin palm tree. There’s not supposed to be palm trees in California, just like there’s not supposed to be a rapper in tech. But we’re here, and we weather the storm.”

A smile makes you master of yourself. – Thich Nhat Hanh

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Bonus Gift to Give Yourself that keeps Giving:  author, motivational speaker, Rob Bell says, “That breath you just took is a gift.”  The moment is a gift called the precious present moment, the past is history, and the future is a mystery. Gifts are meant to be enJOYed! ZenJoy the moment to moments.128leds-led-strings-light-heart-shape-with

Imagine, each breath is a sparking light on a string of fairy twinkle lights, to activate or keep our spiritual battery recharged, mindfully return to the breath which is our anchor to live in the precious present. We will forget and drift into the past and future, that’s why the opposite of forgetfulness is mindfulness. We got this, zenJOY the moment.

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“Be in the Present,  Focus on what is right now…Learn form the Past…Do things differently in the present. Plan for the Future, take action in the Present.” Spencer Johnson, M.D.

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 FunZen Girls Pointer: In the words of John Wooden, “Success is peace of mind in knowing you did your best.” A calm mind has emotional control, and can weather any storm. The best control is self control, which is the power of your spirit. (mentioned top of this blog)

Zen heart note <3: The Taoist expression by Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” is the best starting point. This actually means that all great things start small.  Every step we take is just as important as the first one, i.e. which breath that you draw is unimportant? For your journey of a thousand miles, this blog you are reading now is the first step of Being the hero of your everyday story. Every step matters because your journey is a sum of all your steps; none of them are unimportant.

“Don’t judge me” is what the funzen girls say to themselves and others when they lose and find their way back to center in the storm during the course of the day. When we can encourage and empowHER ourselves to help ourselves, then we can really be there for each other without the ego’s resistance. Revisit Ho opono pono, Grace’s favorite, and Don’t sweat the small stuff earlier in this blog to handle resistance when it arises. It is only when we’re at a higher level that we can’t lift others. We don’t need to change anyone, just adjust or change our own perspective.

Here’s a fresh idea that hit me last night after I posted this blog…how does it sound to start your own Neverending soul story log or journal? The outpouring of creative ideas here are like floetry for you to pick up and use at your pace of grace–it’s not a race. Your soul knows what you need, so only take what speaks to you in the moment, and come back for more later since it’s a virtual buffet. 😉

 

FunZen Girls love to talk and listen up: “Talking to you (funzen girl) is enlightening and fun.” Noelle Feldman

 

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Your skill mastery comes with exposure, drill, and reinforcement. Simply put, write the quotes and ideas down, say them out loud to yourself and to others, and sense absorbing them like you’re digesting food for your soul. Basically, personalize them and make them your own. And remember, pour your kokoro-heart into it. These whole-brain learning tips will help you to accelerate learning the material. And, sharing the tools with your friends and families in everyday real life situations activates your skill mastery.

Here’s an example of sharing creative ideas with someone on social media or even better in person. Hey, what do you think of these great quotes from Michelangelo,  “I saw the angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free…and  ‘I’m still learning. ‘Ancora Imparo.’ ” Michelangelo spoke these words (Ancora Imparo) when he was  78 years  old. Follow up with discussion, sharing comments, idea sparks, or my favorite having a coffee or tea- 1 on 1 chat it up in person.

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FunZen Blackbelt ARTitude: Hello Kitty has earned her Black Belt, she was designed with the zen element of calmness (emotional control under pressure) and loving kindness towards herself and others. She appears to not have a mouth because she speaks and smiles from her heart. As mentioned below, In Japanese, the word for black belt is “Shodan.” In translation, this means “first step.” Now, I have learned enough to really begin learning and seeing more clearly.  Learning to shift from a worrier to a warrior is the first step to being part of the solution. We Got This! Every breath is another step on our neverending soul story journey.

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” If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.” from the song Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson, written by Siedah Garrett

                 The Magic Mirror- Imagery Exercise                      

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I recall hearing an amazing conversation on a Brave Heart radio talk show hosted by Ellie Drake, between my friend and author, Gary Quinn, and brilliant songwriter and artist, Siedah Garrett. What stayed with me is when Gary asked Siedah, what was the fire that got you there, when you wrote the song “Man in the Mirror”?  Siedah said, “I had something to say, and I felt nobody else was saying what I felt needed to be said…” I had an Aha moment when I heard her response. It reminds me of the  Zen saying, “When the student is ready the teacher appears.” Just hearing Siedah say she followed her heart and penned  the song “Man in the Mirror”, ignited my life lesson to focus and bravely finish this blog that Grace and I started in 2014 to launch “The Worrier and the Warrior, A FunZen Kid life lesson.

The Magic Mirror- Imagery Exercise illuminates the message of the books, be the light of change by choosing to momentarily reflect, to make the shift  from a worrier to a warrior.

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 Here’s an example of drawing deep meaning from one of Wayne Dyer’s quotables, and deciding to activate it, “We  are Divine enough to ask, and we are important enough to receive.” I boldly tweeted Caleb Melby, author of “The Zen of Steve Jobs” and asked him for a comment for our book, when he graciously said Yes, I rejoiced.  “Some children’s books get a bad rap for being narrowly moralistic. You won’t find that in Michiko and Grace Rolek’s work. Their books are uniquely enigmatic… More than anything, they inspire budding minds to think in ways that will free them from many of life’s dark and angst-ridden trenches. These are lifelong books that reveal more with each read – and there’s plenty for parents to glean, too.”  Caleb Melby,  Author of “The Zen of Steve Jobs”

We got this, Ask for what you want:  “You create your opportunities by asking for them.” Shakti Gawain

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I’m delighted to share my lifelong student, bestie, soul angel, author, of upcoming Happy Soul Machel Shull‘s  words which  ignite our souls and awaken our inner rock star. Machel is an example of, “Be the hero of your own story.” In her books she provides tools like the miracle diamond-mindful posture tool, to encourage us to empower ourselves. Don’t miss her interview with rock star violinist, Lindsey Stirling pg. 213  “My hope with writing LIVE LOVE SOUL is inspiring the reader to develop more self love each day by cultivating little moments just for their soul. At the end of the day, if your husband leaves you, the boyfriend never materializes or when the kids go off to college, what do you have left? You. Life has ups and downs. What will be the constant? YOU. So I hope after the reader finishes the book, I helped them discover ways to enjoy their own company with self exploration, exercises and digging up their own shiny gifts just waiting to be discovered.”

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FunZen Find: From the fun and entertaining movie, Central Intelligence, Calvin Joyner, played by Kevin Hart mentions “Be the hero of your own story.” Bob Stone, played by Dwayne Johnson answers, “In life, the most important thing you can BE is YOUrself.”  Yes, and seeing Dwayne @TheRock tweet an Aha zen moment,  “be yourself”,

🙂 “check our ego at the dego-at-the-dooroor” is the BEST.

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Yes it’s a big philosophy I have. Lord knows it ain’t easy😉, but we gotta do our best to check our ego at the door.

 

Takeaway: There is a FunZen Kid inside of everyone.  Simply put,  the original movie  “The Karate Kid” released in 1984 shares pivotal life lessons like emotional resilience, e.g. Life in will knock you down, we can choose to be a worrier or get back up and be a warrior. I like to say, “The Karate Kid meets The FunZen Kid,” reminding us to honor the secret to training for excellence is found in the zen element or spiritual side of the martial arts. For example, “Wax on, Wax off,” Meditation is a form of mental martial arts: Joan Borysenko says… If we resist thoughts, they will overpower us.  But if we just step lightly out of their way, letting them come and go like birds flying overhead, we can use their energy to further focus our minds. read more

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Another example is  Chuck Norris, who has spent a lifetime studying the martial arts, earning several black belts and world championships shares in his book, The Secret Power Within, Zen Solutions to Real Problems, Zen-the core philosophy behind the martial arts, shows us how  Zen can be applicable to everyday situations, from the conference room to the living room. For example, actor, Robert Downey Jr., honors Wing Chun inside and outside of the dojo, a place of enlightenment, “Wing Chun teaches you what to concentrate on, whether you’re here or out in the world dealing with problems.”

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Empty your Cup; In Japanese, the word for black belt is “Shodan,” in translation, this means “first step” and implies the zen mind, beginner’s mind.  Now, I have learned enough to really begin learning and seeing more clearly.  Learning to shift from a worrier to a warrior is the first step to being part of the solution, and having a black belt for your soul.  Never stop learning.  Simply put, ‘It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” John Wooden

“Zen is most easily understood as a common-sense approach to all things.” Philip Toshio Sudo

Seriously Funny Lady, Tina Fey, nails it. “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards…Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.”

 

Say Yes to Bless Up!  The Yes Frequency: Master a Positive Belief System and Achieve Mindfulness , YES is a magic word… Repeat YES! Get yourself in a comfortable, uncluttered, quiet place, and for three minutes, just say YES, over and over: YES, YES, YES… Just by repeating this word, you will feel a gentle uplifting of your spirit.”  Gary Quinn

Often all we need is enough hope to take our next wholehearted step, and someone to actually  listen to us to make sense of the situation were in to get through the storm.  The zen mind, beginner’s mind, has the curiosity to recapture the child-like ability to learn, and be a life-long learner.  I see teaching the FunZen kid in everyone with inner parenting through mindfulness, a sacred journey from the head to the heart.  The best part is sharing our soul stories, which makes  each one of us a hero of our own story or adventure.   Lori Deschene , Founder of Tiny Buddha (her online community), is a brilliant example of participants sharing their experiences and insights to help themselves and others. I received her amaZEN book, Tiny Buddha’s  365 Tiny Love Challenges, as a gift  from Harper Collins; my  beloved student, female executive, and  friend, D. Locklear,  knew I would love it.  Lori’s wholehearted down to earth approach truly keeps us blissfully connected, “Start giving and receiving more love.” I call each “love challenge” my daily  fun-zen tune-up.

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The Zen Koan…Ruth Fuller Sasaki (my great grandmother) Koans are stories, questions, statements,  that cannot be answered by the ego or normal rational thinking.  Photo: My great grandparents, Ruth and Sokei-an Sasaki

 

 

 

Everyday FunZen is our super soul Sunday each and everyday, moment by moment. We rejoice in our choice to be the voice wearing our miracle diamond of mindfulness to soul shine brilliantly, beautifully, and boldly, from within to simplify and fly, f.irst l.ove y.ourself.  In translation, the words of luminaries, @LouiseHay, and  @IyanlaVanzant, (who I am honored to have endorse our work) are, ” Let’s breathe and simplify our lives in a joyful way by using what you have (inner wisdom) to get more of what you want. What a blessing.” Ti amo, Beato (Be blessed) Grazie

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 Namaste in action!  “the supreme sweetness that dwells within my own heart and soul honors and acknowledges  that same divine light  that exists within you; we are one.

Seane Corn

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We hope that you use these practical zen tools and mindful practices to re-examine your day to day stories and re-frame them so that you, too, can become the hero of your own everyday stories and adventures.  Take a moment to celebrate your spirit of a beginner’s zen mind that intuitively knows you never stop learning. Take what you need to water the seeds of spiritual awakening on your soulful journey. Everyone and every little thing around you is your teacher, or zen coach to master the inner game. Author, Timothy Gallwey, of the classic, The Inner Game of Tennis says, “It is the moment by moment effort to let go and to stay centered in the here and now action which offers the real winning and losing, and this game never ends.” 

 Absorb and use what is useful and own it as you play with these ideas of being a human in training, awakening your inner artist, athlete, and author of  your life. Entertaining the idea “art is life” is how we can live our practice of thinking differently about our real life experiences. So when we hear the worrier voice in our head saying “all the pressure is getting to me, that’s where our warrior within activates the intention to be a little more self-loving vs. self critical which drains our spirit and ~ pixie pauses~ so we can choose to take the next step towards being the energy we want to attract. Remember: the spiritual law of attraction states, “Be what you want to attract.”  If you want resilience, be resilient. If you want kindness, be kind. If you want love, be loving. Our ultimate control is self control and the key to freedom is recognizing that everything is a choice. We’re all in this struggle called life together. Thank goodness zen gives us tools to do it alone so we can recognize our inherent oneness. My great grandpa Sokei-an Sasaki Roshi, says, “In love, you and I are one.”

I savor this full circle life lesson, from author’s Chungliang Al Huang, Dr. Jerry Lynch, of Thinking Body, Dancing Mind, “I’m not so concerned about how they respond to our material, as long as they are exposed to it. Then they can make their own choices.”

I’m on the same music page of these heartfelt words from Barry Jenkins, Moonlight, movie director, “all I ever say is please, tell a friend, tell a friend, tell a friend,” Jenkins said. “Much love.” 

Together, We got this, Let’s Be the light of change we wish to see. Straight from my zen heart, (kokoro) Thank you for your support.

Please share, tell a friend.  14 <3 #urloved