Volume One, Issue One August 10, 2002
Home Descriptions of All Classes Quotations Becoming a Teacher What is CLF?
Welcome to the first issue of Conscious Living, our newsletter designed to share our current activities and growth, along with articles and information that we hope will be supportive and encouraging in your efforts to live each moment with more joy and satisfaction.
The Theme of this issue is an exploration of personal change.
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News: Classes Begin!
Several of our classes are now beginning at various locations around the Los Angeles area including South Pasadena, Glendale, Pasadena, North Hollywood and West Los Angeles. For more information on the subject matter of a particular class, click on its Class Title. To get specific details on fees or location for a class or to enroll, click on its Starting Date.
|Changing Your Life Through Visualization and Affirmation||September 3, Tuesday, 7 to 9 p.m.||West Los Angeles|
|Personal Story Telling||September 4, Wednesday, 6 to 7:30 p.m.||North Hollywood|
|Ending the Cycle of Violence||September 4, Wednesday, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.||North Hollywood|
|From Transition to Transformation: Making the Most of Life's Changes||September 6, Friday 6 to 7:30 pm||North Hollywood|
|Beyond Improvisation||September 6, Friday 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.||North Hollywood|
|Practicing the Art of Conscious Musical Performance||September 9, Monday, 6:30 - 8:30 pm||Glendale|
|Recovering From Loss||September 9, Monday, 6 to 8 p.m.||South Pasadena|
|Living in the Now||September 9, Monday, 8 to 10 p.m.||South Pasadena|
|Exploring the Entrepreneurial Experience||September 11, Wednesday 7 to 9 pm||Glendale|
|Exploratory Watercolors for Parent and Child||September 21, Saturday, 8:30 to 10 a.m.||Pasadena|
|Watercolor Play for Adults||September 21, Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.||Pasadena|
|Yes, You Can Draw||September 21, Saturday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.||
|Reclaiming Your Singing Voice||September 27, Friday 6 to 7:30 pm||North Hollywood|
|Making Raw Food a Part of Your Diet||September 28, Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.||Pasadena|
|Nonjudgment: The Power of Loving Acceptance and How It Can Change Your Life||October 5, Saturday, 10 am to 12 Noon||Pasadena|
|Nutrition: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff||November 2, Saturday 1 to 4 p.m.||Pasadena|
|We encourage you to visit our web site to learn more about the Conscious Living Foundation and to peruse the wide variety of other classes that will be beginning soon.||CLF's Classes|
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|Quotations: On Change||.|
All things change, nothing is extinguished.... There is nothing in the whole world which is permanent. Everything flows onward; all things are brought into being with a changing nature; the ages themselves glide by in constant movement.
The great soul is the person who has taken on the task of change. If he or she is able to transcend fear, to act out of courage, the whole of its group will benefit and each one, in his or her own life, will be suddenly more courageous, though they may not see how or why.
If thou canst walk on water
Thou art no better than a straw.
If thou canst fly in the air
Thou art no better than a fly.
Conquer thy heart
That thou mayest become somebody
I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and re-creates. That informing power of spirit is God. And since nothing else that I see merely through the senses can or will persist, He alone is.
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Bible: New Testament, Matthew 18:3
The higher the mountain on which you stand, the less change in the prospect from year to year, from age to age. Above a certain height there is no change.
Henry David Thoreau
... disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future.
Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.
All is change in the world of the senses,
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad
Proverbial wisdom counsels against risk and change. But sitting ducks fare worst of all.
Change has considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better. Obviously, then, one’s character and frame of mind determine how readily he brings about change and how he reacts to change that is imposed on him.
King Whitney Jr.
Personal change, growth, development, identity formation—these tasks that once were thought to belong to childhood and adolescence alone now are recognized as part of adult life as well. Gone is the belief that adulthood is, or ought to be, a time of internal peace and comfort, that growing pains belong only to the young; gone the belief that these are marker events—a job, a mate, a child—through which we will pass into a life of relative ease.
Lillian Breslow Rubin
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A Poem: by Rabindranath Tagore
When I give up the helm I know that the time has come for thee to take it. What there is to do will be instantly done. Vain is this struggle.
Then take away your hands and silently put up with your defeat, my heart, and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still where you are placed.
These my lamps are blown out at every little puff of wind, and trying to light them I forget all else again and again.
But I shall be wise this time and wait in the dark, spreading my mat on the floor; and whenever it is thy pleasure, my lord, come silently and take they seat here.
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|Article: An Inner and Outer Environment for Growth and Change by Bill Simpson|
“Nothing is lost upon a man who is bent upon growth; nothing wasted on one who is always preparing for … life by keeping eyes, mind and heart open to nature, men, books, experience … and what he gathers serves him at unexpected moments in unforeseen ways.”
Hamilton Wright Mabie
Having come to the conclusion that you want your life to be better than it is now, that you want positive change and growth in your life, is a wonderful step forward. However, the next step is figuring out how to actually start and maintain that process of growth and change.
This is the first in a series of articles taken from the class outline for Fundamentals of Conscious Living, one of the ongoing workshops offered by the Conscious Living Foundation.
In this series we will explore a variety of questions related toward the goal of developing a life lived more consciously.
How do we change and grow? What are the requirements that will allow us to genuinely become something new – something that comes closer to our higher aspirations?
We possess internal mechanisms that we use to perceive and understand our life’s experience. Unfortunately, we also possess internal obstructions that distort and confuse our perceptions and understanding.
We have access to techniques and tools that mankind has discovered to aid us in overcoming those obstructions and exploring higher perceptions of the nature of ourselves and the nature of reality. But, somehow, we are still inhibited in our ability to use these tools and techniques to advantage. What do we have to do to in order to complete the circle of thinking about change to actually achieving it?
In many cases, it is our ability to be genuinely involved, rather than to distance ourselves and “observe” the process of our own experience that leads to genuine learning, growth and change. To “have our whole heart in it” as the common phrase says, rather than to be satisfied with a mere intellectual understanding. Bridging that gap is the first issue that we would like to discuss.
There are four initial requirements to be met in order for a personal shift in involvement from an intellectual “understanding” to a personal, experiential “knowing” to take place:
The experiences that we each can potentially have during our daily lives as well as during time shared with others can only have meaning for “you”, if “you” allow them to enter into “you”.
We are all trained to be skeptical and we are not urging you to set aside all reasonableness. We are definitely not asking you to accept on faith what is said in our CLF workshops. However, we are urging you to apply your defenses consciously and by choice rather than reactively and “instinctively”.
The purpose of the Fundamentals Of Conscious Living workshops and CLF generally, is about “you” opening the doors of new awareness and “you” walking through those doors, and “you” applying awareness to what you perceive on the other side of those doors and “you” recognizing the authenticity of those experiences and “you” applying the lessons from those experiences to “your” daily life.
This cannot and will not happen unless you open yourself to the process of change and that will not happen unless you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability will not happen for most of us immediately. It is a process. However, that process begins with a conscious decision to let down the barriers, to let our first reaction be one of a loving embrace rather than a “pushing away”.
One of the prerequisites for vulnerability is:
2. A Safe and Loving Environment:
You are an essential ingredient in creating this prerequisite. The only way we can create and maintain a safe environment during our workshops and classes is if you do everything you can to support that feeling. This is also true in what we bring to all of the environments we share in our daily routines.
Primarily that means, set aside “judging”. That doesn't mean to set aside discrimination and awareness; just set aside for a little while, the need to characterize, compare and make value assessments of everything that everyone else says.
And, (and this is more difficult) everything that you say.
In this context, the opposite of what we mean by “judgment” is “acceptance”.
To the degree that we can turn off that calculating, constantly measuring part of our minds that keeps an updated score on right and wrong, good and bad, intelligent and stupid, insightful and boring and replaces it with continuous, patient, understanding, embracing, loving, encouragement; you will doing your part to support the environment you share with others.
Similarly, you are also creating the best internal environment for your own experience.
However, among all the elements of your participation, the one that is most fundamental to any genuine change in your life is:
3. Your Willingness to Change:
Sometimes it is much easier to say “I want to change” than to really mean it. As soon as we take this concept out of the theoretical and apply it to our own personalities, it generally gets scary pretty quickly.
We have all built up these personality structures that we use to define ourselves. “This is who I am; take it or leave it”. Anytime there is an adjustment in that structure, some part of ourselves will feel uncomfortable.
The degree of uncomfortability that you are willing to experience, has a direct one-to-one relationship with the degree of change that you are willing to experience.
It is not the goal of CLF to change you. It is our goal to give you an opportunity and an environment to allow you to change yourself. Obviously, this will not work unless you genuinely want to change.
William Burroughs said “Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.”
In other words, willingness and desire to change usually comes when we are having painful, mold-shattering experiences.
This pattern of desire to change when things are tough is repeated in the lives of most of the great personalities who have achieved success in their chosen area of life.
Generally, we are only willing to change when we are forced to. Are you ready to change? Do you desire to change? Do you genuinely have to change?
If your answers to those questions is “yes”, then you have come to the right place. The essence of CLF’s workshops is actual, positive, personal change.
The last element that is essential to our success is:
The trust required is not trust in some specific individual or trust in CLF or the other people participating in your class or your life, but rather, our old and faithful friend – “you”.
What does it mean to trust yourself? The source of any insight or realizations that you might experience during our work together will be you. We suggest that you trust and accept that what feelings come to your awareness are right for you at this moment in time.
In the Fundamentals of Conscious Living workshops, as in life, the primary approach that we use is one of shared interaction. We take turns looking within ourselves to find answers to a variety of questions on a variety of subjects relating to personal and spiritual growth.
When those answers come to you, trust them. Trust that the deeper feelings and intuitions that may arise are your truth, at least for the moment, until greater understanding comes.
If we can’t rely on our own personal understanding of the moment, what can we rely on? This, in no way, is obviating the need to rely on Spirit. But, Spirit tends to use instruments, and to be effective as an instrument of Spirit - to do God’s will - requires this same trust.
If, over time, we can come to embrace, accept and trust the thoughts and feelings that are communicated through our own hearts, we will have successfully begun the journey from distancing ourselves from our lives to becoming more directly connected to our experiences, our feelings and our potential for positive change. (To be continued.)
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|Article: Are You Affirming Unconsciously? by Jeff Braucher|
What’s floating beneath the surface of our conscious awareness? Subliminal or subtle thoughts that define who we are: how healthy we are, how successful we are, how happy we are. What are these thoughts telling us about ourselves? What are they telling us we can and can’t do? How many times do we tell ourselves we can’t do something, and are hardly aware of what we’re thinking?
These thoughts are so familiar to us that they go unnoticed, so we often don’t even see how our lives follow the direction of those thoughts. We may wonder why we’re not succeeding or why our health doesn’t improve.
If we become more aware of our thoughts, we might find the answer there. We may discover that our conscious desires don’t match our subconscious desires. We may discover that we are sabotaging our very efforts to improve and grow on all levels.
What can we do once we discover the lack of alignment between what we’re thinking and what we need and desire? We can start to think new thoughts and keep thinking them until they become our habitual thought pattern and eventually create the reality we want.
It does little good to blame others or our environment for what we have or don’t have in life when it’s our thoughts that are largely responsible for how things turn out. And since we are responsible for our own thoughts, we are responsible for what manifests in our lives.
Many of us at the Conscious Living Foundation practice some form of affirmation and visualization. Affirmation and visualization, together or practiced separately, can create the change in our thought patterns that in turn create changes in our condition or circumstances — sometimes within a matter of minutes.
Even if things don’t change as rapidly as we’d like, we have a changed and more empowering consciousness, one that feels in charge and is doing everything within its power to create whatever we want or need. As we wait for conditions to improve, we are buoyed by the strength of our changed consciousness.
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|Article: Where is my Joy? by Bill Simpson|
Some years ago as I was walking down the street from the office where I worked, on my way to lunch, I noticed a man in his late thirties, selling candy, gum and cigarettes from a little table set up at the corner of a major intersection.
As I walked by, I realized that he was sitting in a wheel chair and had only a limited ability to use his hands or to speak.
As I continued to pass his stand, day after day, I started to say hello as I went by, and as time continued to pass, we developed a relationship in which I stopped to talk for a few minutes each day at lunch time.
Initially, my motivation was to do a little good for someone else. However, as I was walking away from one of our discussions, I realized for the first time that I was feeling better than I did before I had walked up to him.
It suddenly dawned on me that I was receiving more than I was giving.
For quite awhile I’ve been involved in a choir that visits convalescent homes on a regular basis, singing for the patients.
When we arrive, ten to fifteen patients are lined up in the television room, all sitting in wheelchairs, usually staring into space, with a gray, deadened look on their faces. As we begin to sing (usually songs from the 30’s and 40’s; songs they remember), the transformation begins: Color returns to their cheeks, soon, their eyes look up at us in recognition and within the blink of an eye they are singing and clapping along with us – smiling and happy.
Before you know it, other patients are moving down the hall toward the music; staff and other visitors are magnetically drawn; all sharing and regenerating the mysterious magic of love. It’s pretty difficult to get through a performance with a dry eye.
The first miracle of our giving is the reawakening of the patients.
But, the second, and perhaps deeper miracle is that the choir, and each individual within it, is also transformed. Our initial sense of love and compassion is transformed into Rejoicing!
Where in the world is that Joy coming from?
I’m not sure. Clearly it has something to do with helping others, but I think there’s more to it than that. There’s something about getting ourselves out of the way.
In those brief moments when I put the man on the corner before myself, what flowed through me filled me with Joy, on the way to bringing him love.
When, through some grace, the choir forgets itself and radiates the love that flows through it, each of us exalts in that same indescribable Joy.
I know that as a parent, in those early days when our children were so tiny I could hold them in the palms of my hands, they were so helpless, and so dependent on us to love and sustain them, that it was impossible to not give them every ounce of our love and caring. And, we were transformed in a way that has not grown stale, but only deepened with the years.
It is becoming clearer to me that the more I let go of my petty concerns and fears and attachments to the outcome of things, the more something wonderful and mysterious works through me to bless myself and others.
There’s Joy hiding out there somewhere – just beyond our self!
I guess the final question is how do we get ourselves out of the way, so the joy can come through?
I learned an affirmation from a great saint that seems to explain one way. It has been worth my effort in learning and repeating it through the years:
“I relax and cast aside all mental burdens,
Allowing God to express through me
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News: Discounts on Classes
In order to encourage new students to attend our classes, we are offering two ways of reducing the cost of your class fees. One method is based on taking more than one class simultaneously. The second is based on your friends joining you in taking one or more of our classes. These two methods and examples of the discounts associated with them are as follows;
|Taking More Than One Class Simultaneously||Total Classes Taken||Total Fee||Discount||Discounted Total Fees|
|Finding Friends To Join Your Classes||Total Friends Who Join||Your Fee||Discount||Your Discounted Fee|
These two types of discounts can be combined, but the maximum discount that can be applied to any one student is 30%.
In order to apply the discount for taking more than one class, the classes must be taken simultaneously. When a class is added, the discount is applied from the date of the new classes first meeting. When a class is completed, the reduced discount is applied to all classes meeting after the date of completion.
In order to apply the discount for finding friends to join your class, they must be attending the same class at the same location and meeting time as you. The discount will be applied beginning the date that your friend starts attending your class. If your friend should not continue to attend, the discount will be reduced on the first class meeting when he or she no longer attends.
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|News: Elaine McBroom Joins CLF Faculty|
The Conscious Living Foundation is proud to announce that Elaine McBroom has joined our faculty. Her first class offering with CLF is entitled "Recovering from Loss". A complete description of that class is available by clicking the class title.
Elaine will be adding several additional classes to our class list over the upcoming weeks. Some of those titles include: "Finding Your Life’s Purpose", "What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?", "Stop Smoking (For The Final Time)", "Depression and Shame, A Way Through and Out!", "Past Life Regression", and "Loving Yourself as You Are: Yes, You Can Do That!" Look for the addition of detailed class descriptions of her classes to our web site in the upcoming weeks.
Elaine is an often sought after Hypnotherapist, counselor and international seminar leader. She has been an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming, the science of excellence) Master Practitioner for over 6 years and is a Hypnotherapist in Residency at Hypnosis Motivation Institute (HMI) in Tarzana, California, the only federally approved hypnosis college in the country. HMI has a one-year training program specifically on hypnotherapy.
She began her spiritual and recovery journey in 1990 at Co-Dependence Anonymous where she discovered that “money isn’t everything” and she is “enough, just as she is”.
She attended and received certification through Mission College’s choice 2-year Chemical Dependency Counseling program and spent six months as a volunteer counselor at Salvation Army’s Rehabilitation Center.
As a founding partner in Success Design International, a NLP training organization, she became certified as a NLP Practitioner and then Master Practitioner.
In addition to 12 years in CoDA after leaving a 15-year relationship, Elaine’s journey has included her own work in grief recovery, therapy, group therapy, psychodrama and family sculpting. Elaine’s commitment to personal and spiritual growth encompasses the personal application of tools and techniques learned in a myriad of workshops and seminars including The Living Course (facing and challenging beliefs and unconscious behaviors that no longer provide useful results), and Rocamora School’s Personal Journey, Transpersonal Journey and Advanced Journey (a four year journey discovering and releasing inner dialogue, stories and patterns that create ineffectual life scripts and learning to stay in the moment with love and an open heart).
As she continues her life adventure, Elaine considers each interaction with another person, whether one-to-one, or in a group, to be a blessing. She believes that we attract exactly those situations we need in order to learn and grow; and that each individual brings a new learning to her life and adds to her understanding of herself through the reflection of who she is in the world.
For Elaine's complete biography, click here.
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|News: Upcoming Glendale Open House, Saturday, August 24th|
The Conscious Living Foundation was created to explore the application of spiritual values and attitudes to our day-to-day practical lives. We do this through supporting the growth and transformation of all who participate within our organization - teachers, students, employees and administrators.
CLF has started to expand as an organization. The most significant changes center around the inclusion of several new teachers and many new study groups, workshops and seminars. Our class list now totals nearly 50 subjects.
We want to support and encourage the sharing that occurs when a teacher genuinely cares about his subject matter and his students. We seek a return to the historic relationship between teacher and student in which they mutually explore their areas of study, authentically supporting each other to greater growth.
The purpose of our open houses is to give you and our teachers a chance to meet each other and to discuss in detail the classes that we are offering. Based on our prior open house experiences, the atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable, informal and fun!
The teachers are a very unique, varied group of individuals who share the common trait of seeking to continue their own personal learning while supporting that same effort in others through example as well as expertise.
On Saturday, August 24th, from 7 to 9 p.m. we are having our next open house in Glendale California. Healthy and tasty refreshments will be served (the homemade oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies tend to disappear first).
For directions, please click here. We look forward to sharing the evening with you.
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Copyright 2002 The Conscious Living Foundation (all rights reserved)