Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bodhi Tree Book Review











Title: Mental Fitness: Complete Workouts For Body, Mind, and Soul
Author: Michiko J. Rolek



Mental Fitness: Complete Workouts for Body, Mind, and Soul by Michiko J. Rolek
(95 pp.)

We are used to training our bodies by jogging, exercising, etc., but can we also train our minds? Yes, says Michiko Rolek, the great-granddaughter of the first Zen master to make his home in America. By doing so, we can discover a greater ability to deal with life's challenges, along with greater enjoyment and peace of mind. This delightful, attractively designed book presents a series of exercises to promote "mental fitness." The process beings with breathing, "the rainbow bridge that connects our thinking minds to our feeling bodies" which is also the key to such disciplines as martial arts and Zen. Proper breathing strengthens "ch'i," the life energy crucial for health and well-being.

Rolek explains how to balance our posture to eliminate imbalance, stress, and strain; and discusses the art of concentration—the "one-pointed," laser-like focus as well as more fluid states of awareness, which eliminate the emotional and mental drain caused by our restless "monkey mind."

With concentration, we can enter the peak moment, or "zone" experienced by musicians, dancers and athletes and see how "our place of power is always in the present." Finally, she introduces us to relaxation, "the lost art of doing nothing--just simply being," and meditation, the inner stillness that leads us home to our true selves.

This book is a gift, showing a step by step way to master the art of living. It also makes a wonderful gift, since it opens the doors to "inner work" in an understandable way. Quotations from thinkers, both ancient and modern provide extra inspiration. --JC

“She has made some important matters wonderfully clear, and every page is informed by a sweet concern for the well-being of the reader.”
--Leonard Cohen

 Check out: www.funzenbakery.com ~Serving your spirit with food for thought, virtual sips of tea, spiritual espresso tips, and soul treats
Amazon, Order Mental Fitness, 11.00
 (scroll down to Funzen books for your autographed copy)
@mimilshull (student) in picture




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." 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."






Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ending the Struggle of Hiding My Light by Grace

My Mom and I at a Regina Spektor Concert at the Greek Theatre

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do." - Marianne Williamson

Recently, I had a reflective moment and out of a meditation, I realized that I was shrinking so other people wouldn't feel insecure around me. With my mom's help, I interrupted that pattern, to find the light switch and stop hiding my light. Well, I'm still working on it. I'm sharing this blog to start the conversation so you guys can start sharing your light as well, and I'd love to hear from like-minded people. The cool thing is when I used my mindful tools of being non-judgmental and kind to my mind, I booked two dream jobs in one week. The centering charm that helped me was to breathe, be still, listen, and trust myself. In the words of Iyanla Vanzant, "I did the work." 


Holding myself back for other people sounds stupid. Why would I do that? You think you're being selfless, because you don't want to shine so other people are jealous or confused or judgmental.  It's not fair to yourself, but we do it because we think it's helping others or it's "nice." I did it when I was around other people who I'm more advanced than in certain areas. It's not even intentional sometimes; being around other people who are trying to reach your level can just rub off on you and you can start acting more like them. It's easy to feel insecure or self-conscious when you're standing out, but standing out because you're being yourself is being in a good kind of spotlight. Hiding your own light to fit in with others is not a substitute.

If I were to stage an intervention with someone holding themselves back just to be at the same level as their peers I would tell them to take a step back and evaluate why they're holding themselves back, and if its worth it. I'll save them some time and tell them…it's not.  I would tell someone else doing that, that if the other people wouldn't love and support you shining and being your best that they're not worth being around. You have to let your own light shine, because if you're not letting your own light shine, you're hurting yourself. You're not reaching your full potential. If you're not being your best, you're not being yourself. If you're not being yourself for the sake of someone else's approval, you deserve better company.


The way to help yourself shine is to follow your bliss. To me, following my bliss is all about  connecting to the spirit of pure joy inside of me (and everyone.) It's about being totally in the moment and being fully engaged with whatever is going on. Whether you're reading, dancing, singing, or just talking to a friend, you're being the hero of your story. It's even as simple as taking a deep breath. Besides, without breath there is no singing, no energy to move, and no life.

It's also good to have peers around you that uplift you. Not having peers that I can talk to or relate to about FunZen is difficult at times because you can't pass ideas back and forth about it and grow mentally and spiritually. I don't just interrupt my friends while we're hanging out to do a one breath meditation with me, but it'd be nice having friends with whom I could practice my FunZen with.  When you feel like you can't talk to people about things, you can feel isolated. I don't let that get to me though, it's just the way things are. It's hard not sharing FunZen with people, because it's such  wonderful thing that should be shared with everyone, but some people just aren't ready or open to hear about it. It's something you can't really force, similar to the expression "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Sometimes, you just lead by example of mindfulness and being centered. Hey, by the way, here's my first blog, where I share how FunZen click to read helps me on a daily basis, so far, I haven't talked about it with friends. Overall though,  I love my friends, and I also love making more, but  I don't hold myself back for them any longer.

Would love to hear from you. Any comments welcome. 
Ti Amo,

Grace OX



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Girls Just Wanna Focus, Flow, and Have Fun!

LOL with the FunZen Girls (Grace and I)


Steve Jobs eloquently said: "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying 'no' to 1,000 things.  Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains." Tibetan scholar, Robert Thurman noted that Steve Jobs intuitively knew "that simplicity is a zen idea." ☞ read more

      
      "The greatest enemy we have is discouragement."   Arianna Huffington

Welcome to part 3 of the Cupcake Warriorettes blog theme of simply: "staying cool under performance pressure." Before we jump in, I honestly struggled with writing this last blog. Recently I slipped into a whirlwind of constant busyness and felt caught up in the daily rounds of life, including computer glitches, non-stop telecoaching, and taking my daughter Grace (15 years of age) to more auditions and rehearsals than she's had in a while. Just because I effortlessly know how to meditate and practice momfulness doesn't mean that I don't deal with the daily rollercoaster of ups and downs. The only difference is that I choose to make art and practice "mindful  breathing" when things are falling apart. Centering our spinning tea cup mind in our everyday lives can empower us to experience "Let's be zen, I am zen"; (a mantra I heard whispered from a teenage friend of Grace's when she was nervous about performing, and I also heard Hayden Panettiere repeat "I am zen" to re-focus on her television show, Nashville). I was thrilled to watch the self supporting power of this mantra "I am zen" help these ladies to move into the eye of the storm. 
FunZen is how Grace describes making concentration fun to focus, and flow to  find her "sweet spot". What has helped her can also empower anyone curious about tapping into their joyful way of play to stay out of their way.  How we deal with the success stress of so much on our plate, yet still handling those inevitable emotional storms of frustration and rejection with divine redirection is possible for you too. Having the right approach, magic mood tools, and application is key. With this blog, you have access to courageously "Keep Calm and Sparkle On" confidently in the hustle and bustle of today's  frantic pace. Remember, we got this, we're all in this together, and the best control is self control or effortless command of our body soul instrument.  





Season 6, Cupcake Champions: ~Pixar- Brave.Jane-Marie Kane and asst. her Mom, Michele Kenno (in pic)  Cake Dreams, A Little Taste of Heaven website, 
❤ iPhone pic  ☞read more...

 FunZen Girls quotable - "To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone 
and a funnybone." Reba McEntire 






                                                                      "Follow your heart, Taste the Bliss" 
                             Stephanie Sparkles 

Season 6, Stephanie Sparkles (pic) and assistant Orion ~Vegan Bake-Off:  How I did it: Stephanie Sparkles, Founder of Bliss Cakes: See Marie Shriver's, Architects of Change, Resourcerer Tools and Tips:  ☞read more... 


As mentioned in the last 2 blogs, I asked both Cupcake Wars winners: Stephanie Sparkles, and Jane-Marie Kane, for an interview with a few emails and phone chats. Stephanie strongly supported the idea of empowering our kids and parents to dream big and follow their hearts to taste bliss. What I noted and was inspired to share in this blog with loving non judgmental observation, is how overwhelmed and time pressured Stephanie sounded over the phone. However, I dutifully respect (Brava) both of these ladies commitment to the goals they've set and accomplished for themselves. I wholeheartedly believe that we can not only work hard and smart, but have ARTitude by keeping the art in smART, so we remain balanced with our foundation- roots of love and discipline yet lighthearted with wings of compassion and creativity.   
The worrier to warrior approach for me was staying zencouraged instead of discouraged with so many unmet promises by both Stephanie and Jane-Marie, promising "I'll call you back, or email you to set up our interview." No matter what, I re-focused on the soul-ution, not the problem, reminding myself that this situation is happening for me, through me, not to me like a victim. 
Being non-resistant helped me creatively handle the situation assertively by coming up with my spiritual law clause which simply honors our freedom of choice. I expressed this clause idea to a baker at Jane Marie's, Cake Dreams, who picked up the phone when I called back for my interview with Jane Marie. Our interview was cancelled at the very last minute. I calmly expressed, "we have a choice or free will  to say 'No' without feeling guilty, and say 'YES' to more time to focus on what matters to us." My conversation ended harmoniously with the baker, who seemed to have an Aha moment.  The "freedom of choice" clause inspiration was borrowed from the book title by Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch, "How to Say No without Feeling Guilty and Yes...", it was introduced in the first blog 'Cupcake Warriorettes' of this short series. At the time, repeating that book title sent an empowering message to my nervous system to activate pivoting from a worrier to warrior on the spot. 
 Remember, happiness neutralizes guilt, which means, everyday, randomly take a little sweet relief soul time to love yourself up by; taking a mindful breath, gingerly taking a sip of tea, drinking some delicious coffee, gazing at the sky, a flower, stars, and smiling for no reason. These simple acts zenergize our mind-body connection and polish our miracle diamond of mindfulness.


Consider this, shifting from a worrier to warrior in the present moment doesn't take more time, it's a decision you make and a choice you take to feel energized by your purpose. Just BEing Still, Smiling, and catching a Gratitude Breath wave changes your chemistry, gives you more energy, and helps you face the music and find your balance on pointe in the dance of life. Why? The diaphragmatic breathing releases self-healing endorphins which organically supports you to keep calm and carry onward. I urge you to take more sips of water (magic elixer)  throughout the day to stay hydrated and mentally focused. 
A mind calm like water, can weather any storm.


Aha Candy: With a little help from my awesome friends in the Twitterversity here's a feast of creative ideas to feed your spirit, nourish your soul and quiet your mind. By the way, "aha candy" gives you clarity not cavities, take as much as you like on your sweet spot escapade.








Jenuine's Superstar Soul Technique: To Shine Brilliantly at an audition 
or showcase yourself in any way: 
Take a moment to breathe deep and think of these things: The Universe arranged you to be in the position that you are in and you owe your success to no one person but to the Universe itself. When you speak your truth by performing, lead with your gratitude for the experience. Don't focus on the outcome. Focus on the moment. Stars shine in the moment. Visualize yourself as a brilliant star a million times brighter than our sun, Scrunch all that vibrant Light and Love into your physical body. As you perform, knowing that it is too big to not emanate out. 

Know that the star that you are, is radiating in every direction and saturating everyone around you and beyond, with your fabulous presence. @JenuineHealing ☞☞☞ visit her website.

Jen's Healing Tip: A hug is a form of Energy Healing. 


Please join us in supporting Jenuine as a guest on Ellen's show. FunZen girls hope to see her sharing her remarkable healing gifts with humanity and animals. Be A Part of the Show ☞ read more.



Carry Jonathon Fields EmpowHERing words reflecting the wisdom of self compassion in your heart's pocket: 
"Be fierce with your time and generous with your heart. ❤ read more...




"There is no friend as loyal as a book."  Ernest Hemingway

Zen and the Art of  Reading Pointer: Press zen button to Whoosh! Stop (in the name of love) Smile, and Breathe to Relax into the Precious Present. Release and clear out any emotional negativity, let it go ahhhh. The magic Ki or Chi breath energy gives you the air power to build your endurance and "I Got This" confidence. Simply practice Being available in the moment, with here and now focus, softly absorb and reflect on what you're reading from a pith quote up to 100 pages or more in a quiet sitting. (consider, art = practice) Perhaps today you only have time to catch a quote or tweet, which takes perhaps 10 seconds, work up to a 1 min. 5 min. 10min or more time. Seconds matter, did you know that there are 1000 milliseconds in one second? That's plenty of be here nowness to savor.

(Take root and keep your head to the sky; press your sit bones downward to feel grounded and gently press upward through your heavenly crown. As you gradually reach stillness, breathing naturally, at your pace of grace, allow the truth of the words to deeply touch you.)

Zenjoy inspiring quotes from my friends, tweethearts, Crissy @crissybayless who loves Eckhart Tolle, and Raven @JRavenHawk who is an earth angel. ❧




"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature." Frank Lloyd Wright




"Once you have made peace with the present moment, see what happens, what you can do or choose to do, or rather, what life does through you. There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One with Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don't live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance." Eckhart Tolle ❧ more quotes click here

My friend, Mariel ❥ @MarielHemingway, may this magical tweet uplift you to Restore Outer Order and Inner Calm:
Simplicity...it is so critical to a less stressful life How do we get there?
MAKE TIME 4 U...MAKE TIME TO BE STILL each day. ❤ ❤ ❤



For more Healthy Living from the Inside Out, Running with Nature author's Mariel and Bobby (Williams), click here to read more. And, Brava, celebrating Mariel's movie  "Running from Crazy"
a new documentary with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, examining Mariel Hemingway's enlightening journey as she seeks greater clarity of her complex family history which includes mental illness, and suicide.








Click Here to order my Clear Your Mind Manual "Mental Fitness" Foreword by Leonard Cohen, endorsed by Louise Hay, Dan Millman, Richard Carlson, Iyanla Vanzant, Penney Peirce, Michael Beckwith, O.C. Smith and may more...

In Loving Appreciation and Lady Bug Hugs ❤ 

FunZen Girls OX Michiko (lil mama) and Grace

Contact (805) 490-2391

Twitter: @zenmommie
Email: mjrolek@aol.com
Grace's website: www.gracerolek.com

Friday, February 22, 2013

How to Say Yes to Others, without Saying No to Yourself



Remembering Debbie Ford; We miss you because we cannot touch you ♡, yet you are touching us Debbie, because love lives forever.

Self-love is the warrior's code. It is the source of her courage and confidence.

Compassionate Warriorette, Best Selling Author, Debbie Ford ♡


Always say “yes” to the present moment... Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you. Eckhart Tolle



In the martial arts, there is only the present moment...we protect our work by not losing our focus...Zen is the core philosophy behind Bushido~the way of the samurai warrior. M.J.Rolek, Mental Fitness, Complete Workouts for Body,Mind, and Soul ❤     





Thank you for being here and visiting the FunZen Bakery, awesome to see you.

Clearly, many of us get overbooked and have a hard time saying NO. Sound true? Why? People I've talked to have expressed that saying no feels like a struggle because of their people pleasing tendencies, unclear priorities, and feeling too overwhelmed to even consider what is being requested. 



Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch wrote this amazing book; "How to Say No without feeling guilty and Say YES to more Time, more Joy, and what matters most to You". This book encourages us to tune into the law of choice, thus turning issues to insights, and How to Say NO without feeling bad.  

In the first part of this compassionate worrier to warrior blog, I mention the single question that we've asked our awesome guests; How do you handle success stress? and performance pressure? 

As promised here are the 2 Shark Tank winners, Mompreneurs, 
Lori Lite, Season 1 and Kierston Hathcock, Season 2. Both of these gorgeous winners are making a positive difference in the world, and complement each other. 

video
Here's a short and bright sound bite of Grace interviewing Lori to find out how 
she handled the pressure of being in the Shark Tank. 


Parent stress expert, Lori Lite of Stress Free Kids magically share books, CD's, and curriculums to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety and anger to feel more blessed and destressed. We love how Lori passionately lives her practice, turning her real life into a work of art with her growing media outlets. http://www.stressfreekids.com/




Mod Mom~Kiersten Hathcock, CEO~Designer, is an ex-marketing executive turned self-taught furniture designer/builder and founder of; The Little LIght Project,  Connecting with Spirit, and helping families connect with children who have passed. Kiersten and I had a few lovely phone conversations to actually set up our interview with Grace joining us. What actually happened is reflected in the words of Woody Allen, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." The soul seed idea of asking just one question about how to handle success stress was being watered as I was starting to see a clear pattern in the lifestyle of the modern mom. The battle cry for help that I kept hearing was "so much to do, and so little time.'"


I have much respect for Kiersten, she truly is a compassionate warriorette, please check out her wholehearted comment and see for yourself.


"I've learned to deal with success stress, which for me is all about spreading myself too thin, but learning to trust my intuition.  If I'm asked to do one too many things that I know will help my business but I also know I will pay for it physically and mentally, I will go with my intuitive feelings that help me gauge what to turn down and what to accept.  I am a big believer that if you're in alignment with what your true soul/self wants, then you don't have to work non-stop to make things happen.  There needs to be a balance and when there is, you can move ahead without becoming overwhelmed and stressed."



Bonus Life B-lesson from famous illustrator, Mary Engelbreit and her President, John Mavrakis. 


My fingers were crossed after a few discussions with John over the phone, I recall him being enthusiastic about my connection with the Zen Master, NBA Coach Phil Jacskon. The idea of M.E. illustrating our worrier to warrior, FunZen project in Spring 2012  felt promising after our chats and emails . When I heard  Mary was overbooked and unable to do the project I was sad, yet grateful for the positive experience of  hearing an example of "Saying No, without feeling guilty".  What beckoned me to make the choice to share my authentic voice about  this experience is what came next... Realizing that Mary  Engelbreit wasn't going to illustrate the FunZen project, I then asked John if Mary could share a comment about the material, and handling success stress. The life changing moment occured when he expressed that Mary  appreciated  our FunZen project but didn't feel "qualified" to make a comment. 

My aha moment of clarity was amplified, when I realized that hearing the words not feeling "qualified" to share a comment inspired me  to make let's get zen teachings or what my daughter calls "FunZen" more clear and accessible. The situation was a calling to use my worrier to warrior tools to breathe, accepting what is, with self compassion.  Now, it's your turn to bloom instead of gloom.  Together (we got this), with the a little help from the FunZen girls, we're  here to encourage you to empower yourself to find little to big ways to bloom where you're planted, celebrating your  power of choice to taste the sweetness of  I Got This.  

Successilicious  Recipe: with all due respect to Mary Engelbreit's quote, "Bloom where you are planted", for the FunZen girls this pith saying means handling performance pressure by courageously choosing to give ourselves 
room to find our groove, shifting from worrier to warrior,  improve instead of gloom. 

Gloom to Bloom in one breath

Stop in the name LOVE! Hold your head like a flower (blooming) on 

a long stem your spine rooted  into the ground. 

(press your feet or sit bones straight 

down and gently press up through your heavenly crown)

(To activate your secret dancer's posture tool the miracle diamond click here.)


S.mile (mouth yoga)

T.ake a breath and focus on the long breath out Ahhhh
O.bserve yourself nonjudgmentally or mindfully
P.roceed with a clear mind, peaceful heart warrior spirit of I Got This Confidence activation. 







 
Aha Tweet Tweets: When @PanacheDesai sent a magical tweet to @zenmommie which appeared out of blue 2/19, his compassion awakened in my heart;  only love rooted in the Divine can help us heal and realign with our authenticity or in his words "soul signature".  From direct experience of his "the guru is you" zen approach,  I sense that he sends a vibration that feels like a  kiss reminding us to follow our bliss. That late night his tweet helped me remember this insight, if you think someone let you down, what made you think they were holding you up.






Watching Panache with Oprah(click) on Super Soul Sunday, I was reminded of my enchanting mindful play sessions with  Jani labeled  "The Schizophrenic Child".
Oprah came to my house on a Sunday in August 2009 to  interview Jani.

Here's the daisy chain link ☞blog, I was encouraged to write about \my unforgettable learning experience.
Zenjoy!

What's Next: My worrier to warrior turnaround experience with "Pixar's Brave"  cupcake warriorette winner Jane Marie, and her mother Michele Kenno.

Introducing tweetheart, friend, Intuitive Healer, @JenuineHealing, her work is similar to Panache in helping people activate their connection to the Divine. She shares her secret recipe for shining brilliantly no matter what. Jen gave me awesome self healing tips for recovery after the storm with the Schofield's
and more girls just wanna focus, flow and have fun surprises...


Click Here to order my Clear Your Mind Manual "Mental Fitness" Foreword by Leonard Cohen, endorsed by Louise Hay, Dan Millman, Iyanla Vanzant, Penny Peirce, Michael Beckwith, O.C. Smith, Richard Carlson and many more...
In Gratitude w/Love and Lady Bug Hugs ❤

FunZen Girls OX
Michiko (lil mama) and Grace
Contact: (805) 490-2391 
Twitter: @Zenmommie 
Email: @mjrolek@aol.com