New video of Tom Best

I found an audio file on my iPhone this morning from April 17, 2011, that I didn’t know I had. What a sweet and unexpected joy it was to hear the voice of Tom Best leading a group of evolutionary NLPers on a hucha-clearing breath work journey, so much sweeter since Tom died the following April. (At least I think it’s been a little over two years since he passed.)

Enjoy this journey of lightening up the heavy events in your life!

New car door magnet for my business!


Inspired by my wonderful Ashiatsu and Ashi-Thai teacher Jeni Spring, who advertises on her scooter and has a thriving practice, I’ve decided to explore whether advertising on my vehicle will bring me more customers, as I go about my business around town. I just designed and ordered the car door magnet shown above.

I like the personal touch — people can see it and come up and talk (in parking lots), and also call, text, or check me out online — and book an appointment if they like what they see. (If I’m driving, I don’t text back until I can pull over, to be safe.)

Since I drive around anyway, I might as well leverage that to gain customers. 

And when business is as busy as I want it, I can take the magnet off. Sweet. 

Mr. Rogers and 5 random acts of kindness for each person who died

This has been quoted on Facebook about how to help young children who encounter scary things in the news:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. ~ Fred Rogers

Here’s a link to the whole web page from which the quote came.

This is part of why I don’t own a television:

The way that news is presented on television can be quite confusing for a young child. The same video segment may be shown over and over again through the day, as if each showing was a different event. Someone who has died turns up alive and then dies again and again. Children often become very anxious since they don’t understand much about videotape replays, closeups, and camera angles. Any televised danger seems close to home to them because the tragic scenes are taking place on the TV set in their own living room. Children can’t tell the difference between what’s close and what’s far away, what’s real and what’s pretend, or what’s new and what’s re-run.

It’s not just children who become very anxious. Your consciousness is taking it in. Even though I’ve been an adult for a long time, and I’ve been conditioned about what “reality” is, watching the events of 9-11 really brought it home to me: the way “the news” televises tragedies is traumatizing. So many replays, so much repetition to get all “the facts” right, so much effort to keep people glued to their sets, feeling horrified and helpless, while taking in those images and words over and over again.

Turn off the news. Go for a walk. Pray and take care of yourself and your family. And look for solutions.

One Facebook friend (Ginger Webb, whom I’ve never met but whose fabulous herbal products I buy and recommend) proposed doing five random acts of kindness for each person who died.

I like that. I so wish that our government would enact gun control laws and make treatment for PTSD free and accessible for everyone. We do not need to be as highly armed as we are, and we’re not doing a very good job keeping guns out of the hands of the emotionally disturbed.

It will take time and effort for that to happen, and it may not, judging by the past. This time could be different, though. Please let your voice be heard.

Meanwhile, put some good into the world. You never know how stressed or hurting someone might really be, and how meaningful your unexpected kindness could be.

From Brain Pickings: Maira Kalman on identity, happiness, and existence

The awesome website/newsletter Brain Pickings features a video, with quotes and illustrations below, of the fabulous artist/writer Maira Kalman.

Maira Kalman on identity, happiness, and existence

How do you know who you are? There are many parts to who you are, so there isn’t one static place. And then, the other part of that is that things keep changing.

In this house…we do love

Sharing an image I saw on Elephant Journal. I dedicate this to all my families—past, present, future, blood-related, my ohana, the communities and tribes I belong to, including the animal members. (Waylon Lewis’ family is his dog.)

And, okay, so maybe I’d substitute laughter for loud and my grace may a silent gratitude, but the rest of it stands. What would you add or subtract?

It’s available (in slightly different form) as a vinyl wall sticker decal here on Etsy.

in this house...we do love

The 12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening


The 12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening

Making the rounds on Facebook, worth sharing here.

Color, culture, and language: be warned, this is weird and fascinating!

The crayola-fication of the world: How we gave colors names, and it messed with our brains (part I) | Empirical Zeal.

The NLPer/cultural anthropology nerd in me was fascinated by this article, which looks at the names for colors among various cultures. In NLP, we say “the map is not the territory,” meaning we live through our maps of the world, not so much through the actual world, and language is a huge part of our maps.

Did you know that some cultures have only two words for colors, words that mean light and dark? All light and warm colors—white, reds, yellows, oranges, pinks—are called by the word meaning light, and all dark, shadowy, cool colors—blues, greens, browns, black—are called by the word meaning dark.

The Japanese language did not distinguish between blue and green until the 20th century, and only did so with American influence. (English recognizes 11 colors. It’s a colorful language.)

In studying words for colors across multiple cultures, researchers came up with algorithms for determining exactly where a color fits in with the shades in a color group. (Remember the 64-crayon box that had yellow-green and green yellow? Barely distinguishable, but one was slightly more yellowish and the other was slightly more greenish.)

The blog, Empirical Zeal, that published this publishes posts from several sources and all posts are written using primary sources. (Unlike my blog, obviously. I’m not a scientist, but I can appreciate science sometimes, and I really just like to share some of the amazing stuff I find out there on the inter webs. I think maybe “humanist” is a good description for my angle.)

The spectrum has no natural boundaries, it would seem, and the perception of color is not universal. Languages also change over time, and many have followed the same route. Since most languages have two to 11 names for colors, scientists have determined that the first two color terms will be light and dark, or white and black. The third will be red, and the next will be either green or yellow. Once both those distinctions come into use, green splits into two, and you now have blue. (The Japanese word for blue green is midori. Author’s note: Thanks to Tim for correcting me on this.)

The research done on native speakers of 110 different languages using 400 color tiles was called the World Color Survey. Further research used algorithms to distinguish color groups. The algorithms were fairly predictive of how actual cultures grouped shades.

The picture that’s emerging is that colors aren’t quite random slices of the visual pie. They’re somewhat basic categories that humans from different cultures gravitate towards, and must have to do with how the biology of how we see the world. In other words, rainbows have seams. We can distill a rainbow into its basic visual ingredients, and a handful of colors come out.

If you get to the end of this, click the link for Part Two, about how naming colors messes with our brains!

Tom gets an idea

Just wanted to share with you something that a dear friend of Tom Best’s created. It’s called “Tom Gets an Idea.” David Moerbe is the artist.

The rainbow-bridge, huayruro seeds, the long body, and the nagual: a tribute to Tom Best

Part of Monday’s reading from The American Book of the Dead by E.J. Gold, which I’m reading for my teacher Tom Best, who died this past week, is this:

If my attention is concentrated and clear, I will merge into the heart of the beloved, in a halo of light called the rainbow-bridge, and attain completion in the region known as Endowed-with-Glory.

The heart of the beloved here refers to an unveiled vision of reality. The clear light and the region known as Endowed-with-Glory are metaphors for the sea of the nagual, to my mind.

So much love, and such clear attention. He is still teaching me.

For the past few days, all the readings (and there are readings for 49 days after death) have mentioned the “rainbow bridge” or the “rainbow light.” When I realized that, I got GUS (god-universe-spirit) bumps because of the following story:

For many years, at the end of many of his trainings and workshops, Tom gave out “rainbow seeds” to his students. They are actually the seeds of the huayruro plant, from Peru. They are beautiful hard seeds of shiny red with a black spot. They are believed to bring powerful good luck and are often strung into necklaces and otherwise made into jewelry.

Tom’s instructions were to give these rainbow seeds away, and to give them to either a person or a place that signified excellence or devastation. In other words, a person or place of exceptional excellence, or a person or place in need of healing. (I am hearing his voice speak these words so clearly as I type, as I often do these days.)

I’ve dropped rainbow seeds in areas that have been ugly or devastated, and in spots so beautiful they took my breath away, and I’ve also given them to many people, for one or the other reason. I have also received one, which I mixed in with the others, and I don’t know which one it is now! I will give them all away.

I actually gave one to Tom once, when he was telling my master practitioner class about losing his beloved dog Dakota (whom I met when I first met Tom in the late 1990s), openly weeping as he spoke, sharing his sudden loss with us–and modeling how to let our emotions flow through us.

Tom gave these seeds out at numerous trainings every year all around the world, and the people he gave them to have also distributed them to people and places they’ve encountered. Tom called this “building rainbow bridges.”

We recipients now connect to each other on this planet, through him, the healed and the in-need-of-healing, the beautiful and devastated (because don’t we all–and this planet–have potential for both, and isn’t such a state always fluid?), and this bridge lives on even though he has transcended his earthly life, continuing its transformation in us. It’s almost as if he foresaw this happening.

Now that is wisdom, living through the long body. What a master.

Tom, you have been building rainbow bridges for years before passing. I realize I am doing these readings mostly for me (and with Bobbi Best when she is able to join me), because I don’t think you need my help at all in this transition.

My emotional body finds it hard to say goodbye, although I moved some heavy grief hucha up and out at ecstatic dance on Sunday. My spirit body feels Tom’s presence within and around me.

You were my teacher and also the teaching in how you lived your life. Mahalo for showing me that. You know how to move into the nagual. Love, just love, love, love, Tom.

(Thanks to my friend from Maui, Erich Wolf, for posting the photo of the huayruro seed above, to Istok Pavlovic, Catharine Stuart Lord, and Nikola Jovanovic for the photos and posters of Tom and his words of wisdom and how to save high-resolution versions, and to Luzia Helena Wittman for sharing the photo of the footprints in the sand–taken by Tom of his own footprints in Portugal–on the Facebook group The Grace of Tom Best. Mahalo, my friends.)

For more about Tom, I wrote a later post that you might also like to read: When the teacher is the teaching: Tom Best.

Yoga lineages chart again

In light of William J. Broad’s (and the New York Times‘) recent false assertions that yoga began as a practice of Tantric sex cults, I present again my original post sharing the awesome Alison Hinks’ graphic showing the development of yoga over time, with its philosophical roots.

The link didn’t translate on the reblog; her graphic is here: An overly brief and incomplete history of yoga. Enjoy learning about the broad influences on yoga.

The Well: bodymindheartspirit

Came across this awesome graphic this morning that shows the development of yoga over time. Bravo to Alison Hinks for creating it!

If you’ve ever wondered about the many different types of yoga and where they came from, this chart shows them very nicely.

Almost all my yoga experience has been in the Krishnamacharya lineage through Iyengar, although I have taken a class in Sivananda yoga in the Bahamas and took classes for a couple of years from a teacher whose background was in Integral yoga.

One omission I see is Shiva Rea. I understand she has studied with Krishnamacharya’s son and associates Desikachar, Mohan, and Ramaswami. (Maybe it was too difficult to show that!)

I’m unfamiliar with Babu Bhagwan Das, who is shown to have influenced Krishnamacharya. I haven’t encountered that name in my readings about Krishnamacharya. When I googled it, I got links to Bhagwan Das, the follower…

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