Deep Cover and Spiritual Practice

deep coverFellow Germantown Friends alum Henry Bean co-wrote and co- produced a riveting film noir “Deep Cover.” Released in 1992, it remains one of my favorite thrillers. Laurence Fishburn’s character poses as a drug dealer in order to fulfill an inner mission. Will the dark world into which he must descend seduce him? Will be become the sociopath he pretends to be?This is a moral question we all face as we navigate earthly life. How to be in the world and deal with a world which seems to value power, control and money far more than basic human decency, and yet retain hope, kindness, compassion and happiness? How to avoid fear in challenges, arrogance in success, or  disheartenment by encounters with the conscienceless?

c Kanta Bosniak

c Kanta Bosniak

For me, it’s spiritual practices. Daily meditation and prayer, dance and singing, weekly guided meditation, and frequent walks in nature. Some of the state-shifting activities I mentioned in my book “Abundance Triggers.” The more I’m tempted to slack off, the more I know I need it and the more I appreciate the difference when I get my bliss back.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”- Romans 12:12

“Perform all your actions with your mind concentrated on the Divine, renouncing attachment and looking upon success and failure with an equal eye. Spirituality creates equanimity.” -The Bhagavad Gita

images: “Deep Cover” promo 1992
“Madonna with Gold Frame” 11 X 14 print, available in my Etsy store. https://www.etsy.com/listing/158114220/11-x-14-print-madonna-with-gold-frame?ref=shop_home_active_4 See More

Roadtrip Dilemmas: Deaths, Rememberings & Renewal

heart & cross

you answered detail

At some point in our lives, we go through at an experience that seems to threaten our comfortable existence. Some sort of shakeup to the life as we know it. It may be a loss. Or a profound change. Or a health challenge. For any of us, it happens many times over the course of a lifetime. For all of us, it happens at least twice. Once when we come into form, and again when we return to spirit. We all get to forget where we com…e from and we all get to remember it. What dies, in the end (and every time we remember to correctly identify) is attachment to form, the attempt to control, and the belief in separation, all of which fuel fear and drama. What lives is freedom, beauty, love, and peace.

We stand, at each of these times, at a kind of crossroad. Which voice will we choose to guide us? Ego, which demeans us, or Love, which gives us strength and courage? May we choose the wisdom of the heart, over and over, for it will always lead us home.

Easter Blessings,

Kanta

images: “Heart and Cross” by Kanta Bosniak, acrylic on wood
detail from “You Answered Me and Made Me Bold” by Kanta Bosniak. Mixed media, acrylic on canvas, mixed fiber and found objects.

Brain Science and Native American Wisdom

 

native american cpupleFrom Native American wisdom: “The Elders say the men should look at women in a sacred way. The men should never put women down or shame them in any way. When we have problems, we should seek their counsel. We should share with them openly. A woman has intuitive thought. She has access to another system of knowledge that few men develop. She can help us understand. We must treat her in a good way.”

They were right. Most women, all but 17% are better able to access empathy (that legendary women’s intuition) and use language to connect, rather than command. These same skills that help women excel at mothering help them in group dynamics, teamwork and inclusive leadership, which lead through motivation, identification of and utilization of employees’ skills and abilities. These are important skills for a world in which peace and sustainability are possible.

In healthy society, as well as in individual life, we need to balance analytical thinking and intuitive thinking for the best and brightest solutions. I find it hopeful that so many of the young people I meet get this. There is a beautiful respect these young couples have for one another and for each others’ gifts. They communicate. They live and make decisions as a team. And even though one may be more on the intuitive side, and one more about logic, both of them are whole and more global thinkers than the caricatures of the grounded guy and the airy fairy girl. I’m guessing that as we continue to evolve, the figures may show an increase in balanced thinkers: men and women who can intuit, empathize, parallel park, and solve the h** out of a math problem.

-Kanta Bosniak

image: Native North American couple, Situwuka and Katkwachsnea 1912

Link to article on male and female brains: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/articles/empathising_systemising.shtml

Overcoming Unhealthy Fear

Tandava -Shiva_as_the_Lord_of_Dance_LACMA_edit

c Kanta Bosniak  on Etsy @ https://www.etsy.com/listing/185130899/11-x-14-print-bob-marley?ref=shop_home_active_14

c Kanta Bosniak
Purchase on Etsy @ https://www.etsy.com/listing/185130899/11-x-14-print-bob-marley?ref=shop_home_active_14

When I was researching Bob Marley to do his portrait, I found it very interesting that he and his band played late at night in the graveyard to overcome their fear of performing. They figured, if they could perform for possibly scary spirits, then they could perform fearlessly for any audience, anywhere. In some yogic traditions, men perform the Kapalika Sadhana practices of meditation and the spiritual dance Tandava late at night in the cemetery, to overcome fear. Not the fear of performing (which some fear more than death), but the fear of death itself.

There is healthy and productive fear, which helps us quickly remove ourselves from harm’s way or gives us the energy to stand up to conflict, if we must. And then there is unhealthy fear, which springs from limiting beliefs about ourselves, our world, and our Divine Source. We don’t have to dance in the graveyard to exorcise these mental “demons.” But metaphorically, we all do, in our own way, by overcoming that which we fear and finding our way to peace and confidence. In working with clients, and in my books, as well as in my own life, I like use both an inner and outer model of releasing outgrown limiting beliefs, envisioning forward movement, and then taking action steps. May we all become courageous, and live our most vibrant lives!

Blessings,

Kanta

image: Shiva, as he dances Tandava
11 X 14 “Bob Marley” portrait print, available in Roanoke Virginia at Ripple Roanoke, 112 Market St SE, Roanoke, 24011 (540) 492-9878 and in my Etsy store  https://www.etsy.com/listing/185130899/11-x-14-print-bob-marley?ref=shop_home_active_14

Weight Loss for Women: A Heroine’s Journey into Love

c Kanta Bosniak

c Kanta Bosniak

It’s not just about the pounds. Certainly, a sensible diet and exercise are important. But what determines whether someone carries her wish into reality? What sticks with her as she makes her daily choices? What makes successful change possible, practical, and real?

Paradoxically, it’s about the imperceptibles that may not seem “real” but are at the heart of anything that is, in fact real. There is no real perfect size, “as seen on TV” or in the pages of Vogue. Whether they approve or disapprove, other people’s opinions a are not reality. It’s what we think about ourselves that determines our lives, our actions, and what is real for us.

Weight loss is about thought, imagination and the willingness to accept and celebrate Love. Finding the love inside, instead of in another bowl or plate of whatever. Weight loss is a spiritual journey. And it is in this realm that outcomes are determined. Every woman brings carries her own story, imagines her own own limits, desires her own liberation.

In our culture, all beings share Oneness. Call it the truth of who we are. Spiritual bliss. We also share a common misconception of wrongness, belief in separation and lack, insufficiency, and the definite lack of the bliss we all desire! Insufficiency-a feeling that “I am not enough” or “it is never enough” is a false belief that’s gotta go.

In weight loss coaching and guided imagery, I help my clients connect at a very deep level with the essential truth of the spiritual nature, their sufficiency, their beauty, their feminine power and strength, their highest motivations, their successful selves. I help them find the spiritual warrioress who perseveres and triumphs in creating a new way of engaging with the mystery of life and living in her own skin in a way that celebrates the beauty that shines from within.

Kanta

Weight Loss Coaching and Guided Imagery
local and global via phone and Skype

image: 11X 14 art print available in my Etsy Store
https://www.etsy.com/listing/158730472/11-x-14-print-blue-madonna-with-teal?ref=shop_home_active_9

To Your Health: Raise a Mug of Dark Cocoa!

Kanta with cups and mugs

I have long recommended dark chocolate to my weight loss clients (in small amounts of course) because it’s so satisfying and is a good alternative to cake, candy or other sweets. We all know about the antioxidant factor. But there’s more! Below, you’ll find very specific and helpful info that I just read about this morning, thanks to a FB friend who posted it. Good info here, as well as links to more. Click the link at the end, following my cocoa recipe.


My extremely satisfying, filling, low calorie and lowfat go-to is a mug of cocoa made with:
dark chocolate powder- a heaping teaspoon
boiling water (fill mug to 2/3)
lowfat milk (fill the rest of the way)
a bit of stevia
a few shakes or organic cinnamon

image: Me with some of my paintings of cups and mugs. Acrylic on wood, collection of the Blackwater Loft, Floyd VA, Photo by Patricia Robin Woodruff

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm

Things I Learned From Surviving Cancer

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Things I Learned From Surviving Cancer

Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy, after which my body became painfully stiff. This spring is my first since chemo that my body feels flexible again. I feel like I have been released from a kind of prison. Physically lighter and more energetic. I am gratefully closing a chapter and beginning a new one.

Here are some of the things I learned:

Forgive yourself every mistake you ever made. None of that matters now.

Life is precious. Enjoy every moment!

Losing your hair does not mean losing your beauty. Beauty comes from inside.

Style comes from inside too. It’s what happens when your creative mind expresses itself with your body and face as the canvas. Play!

Only do what is fun and/or productive.

Only spend time with people who love you, accept you, and make you laugh.

Eat healthy food.

Get plenty of rest, fresh air and sunshine.

Never take cr** from anyone, including yourself.

The Healing Power of Chocolate cannot be denied.

Shoes should be sexy AND comfortable.

For peace, happiness,and health, you MUST express your gifts

Family, family, family. When you ask yourself “Why a I doing this?” you will always have an answer.

Resources on Amazon and Audible (see also Guided Imagery page on this website)

Surviving Cancer: A Sacred Journey for Women Guided Imagery by Kanta Bosniak Link: http://amzn.com/B00FJ01S6G

Surviving Cancer, a Sacred Journey: Guided Imagery for Men by Kanta Bosniak Link: http://amzn.com/B00A8LTFLQ

Coffee with a Ghost Writer

coffee mug altar 2

Coffee with a Ghost Writer

The word “Becoming” is very meaningful to me as it is the word I chose to describe the process of life change that I realized I had discovered really works. I first articulated it in my book “Surviving Cancer and Other Tough Stuff.”

This was the result of coming through the experience inside my feeling self it as well as observing it from a more detached perspective, as if from the outside, documenting it and journalling about it. What was I doing that was making such an awful experience bearable and even meaningful? Self-teachable and self-learningful? What was I teaching myself? How was this like previous successes in navigating life changes?

Later, I knew I had come up with something useful to readers and received lots of feedback to confirm this, and presented some related workshops at places like Unity churches. But cancer is such a scary word. Most people who DON”T have cancer are not going to pick up a book with the c word in the title. So I extracted the essence of the Becoming Process and created an illustrated pocket guide (“The Becoming Process: A New Paradigm for Life Change”).

Later, I applied the concept in a book about weight loss (“Lose Weight in Alpha State: Weight Loss as a Joyous Spiritual Journey). I still use it in writing and coaching, not because it is a strict form that I worship or expect other people to worship. But because it’s practical. It works and it’s alive within me as an archetypal process. As I’ve been taking a fresh look at it lately, when the word “becoming” showed up in a friend’s post about a letter, it got my attention. Especially so, because I so resonate in my beliefs, life and writings with these words: “You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.” That is what “becoming” means to me.

Here’s the whole letter to a high school class written by one of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut:

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals [sic]. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!
Kurt Vonnegutt

Thank you, Mr. Vonnegutt! Your books inspired and excited me, made me laugh and think, and encouraged me to be my wryest, weirdest, and most spiritual artist self. I know you were a coffee drinker, because I remember those “I’m a coffee achiever” ads. When you showed up in one, I thought you must be having a really fun time cashing those whopping checks! Hilarious; and way to go! So, for this and a multitude of reasons, I hoist my mug of dark roast to you. And if perchance you feel inspired to whisper cosmic jokes and whimsical notions in my ear, I want you to know, I’m listening.

Your friend across the imaginary veil,

Kanta Bosniak

Big Apple Bacon Busts a Move

Big Apple Bacon Busts a Move

Sometimes you know it’s time to make a move. What once seemed like summit has become a boring plateau. Meh City. In my book, “The Becoming Process,” I describe this stage as “Contemplation.” Your good is calling you out of lethargy and resistance. When you break out, it’s as if you’ve got jet fuel in your veins and good things start happening. One day, a 17 year old kid named Kevin Bacon walked into my ex’s classroom at the end of the school day to meet a friend. My husband chatted with him for a moment. “There’s nothing for me here in Philadelphia ,” he told Murray. “I’m going to New York,” And so, he left to pursue a career in theater.

Maybe it’s not about moving geographically. Maybe it’s picking up the phone or putting down the doughnut. Whatever that move may be, may you fly above the clouds of fear and self-doubt and do that thing that is yours to do.

Want coaching support for that move? Call me. That’s what I do.

I love this mellow, upbeat tune, “Above the Clouds,” performed by The Bacon Brothers and Daryl Hall http://youtu.be/JfzUBhDcUng

A Bagful of Teaching Tales

I’d like to share two Facebook posts with you.

Yesterday: Oh, yeah. I lead a wild and wicked life. Tomorrow I’m meeting a friend at SBUX to score Disney cartoon videos for my grandson;-)

And today:

I’m sitting in Starbucks with a brown paper bag filled with some of the most beautiful stories ever created. Some of them, I watched as a little girl. Some of them I watched with my son when he was little.

Now, I get to pass them to my grandson. I love stories because they are such a powerful way to pass down cross cultural legacies of myth and meaning. Metaphors and metaphysics live in stories and invite us in to be nourished and loved. I have been a student of teaching stories all my life and a teaching storyteller for all of my adult life. [as a coach, author, minister, writer of creative visualization journeys, and facilitator of guided meditation]. But this is different. It’s generational in a personal sense.

And though they are stories packaged in plastic that are made to go in a mechanical object that will tell the story through a screen, they’re still the same basic tales we’ve been passing down since we sat around campfires that teach us about courage and honor and how things really work.

Author’s Note: For more about teaching tales and the power of story, read Chapter 3 of my book, “Abundance Triggers.”