WAR and PEACE How will we find world peace in the “real world”?

War and World Peace? What do you think?

How will we find world peace in the “real world”?

As far as human history has been recorded, has there ever really been world peace? And yet, the hope for it has never ended. It seems to me that it’s stronger now than ever in my lifetime! I’m curiously wondering if the more we hope for peace…the more violent and divided the world seems to get.

It seems like EVERYONE wants world peace on their OWN terms.
And we’re at war with others who want world peace on terms that don’t align with OUR own personal values and ideals.

It seems war is inescapable. Not only military, but we are exposed to political, religious, personal, business wars and wars between neighbors and families on a daily basis.

We think people who don’t hold our values and ideals are deluded, misinformed, unevolved or malintentioned. They are the problem. We are part of the solution. They are convinced of the mirror image of our story.

So we fight like hell. Or we run and hide…or simply check out. Or often, some combination of strategies…and so it goes.

As I watch the news, or check on facebook, or listen to conversations around me…it seems everyday I see the glorification of this or that person’s or party’s ideal contrasted with the demonization or demoralization of anyone or anything that challenges it.

Corruption and atrocities are ignored, excused or soon-forgotten as long as the perpetrators hold our particular idealistic leanings…and the corruption and atrocities of our enemies are blamed and used to justify our position.

I’ve been observing this and thinking about it for several years now. Only once in a while disclosing my point of view when sincerely asked because the last thing I want to do is engage in the divisiveness.

But these are my thoughts….

I’m convinced from my own experience of conflict…that until we can identify and confront the corruption and war within our own selves, we will never end the corruption or find peace in the world.

If we continue to identify ourselves as victims, rescuers or freedom fighters, we will always identify others as greedy, corrupt or oppressive.

We will fight with everything we’ve got, but we will never really win. We may win a war temporarily, but we will never find peace. We will only continue to feed energy into the closed loop system of war, corruption and violence.

We will remain blind to our own corruption, violence and greed. But our enemies will not. In fact, often that is all they see in us so they will justify every means to defeat us…

Surely if we disengage completely at this point, they will simply wipe us out.

But what If we were to engage the enemy from within. Because let’s face it, if we can’t win this war on the inside, we will never win it on the outside. And if it’s causing a problem on the outside, you can bet there’s something unhealthy about it on the inside.

What if we faced our egos as fiercely as our foes? Can we look inside and find the same qualities we are fighting against?

Can we engage diligently with fierce compassion…rooting out our own personal corruption, greed and ignorance and the injustice we inflict on ourselves and others?

Can we see how we do the same things that irritate us in our enemies?

Ask yourself:

How do I demonize others who disagree with me and attempt to exploit their ignorance or strip away their dignity?

How do I create, contribute to or share inflammatory one-sided propaganda that either manufactures or manipulates the facts, omits important information, or has not been fact-checked…just because it reinforces my point of view or justifies my actions?

How do I deceive myself with similar propaganda to shore up support my own ego?

Really look hard…

What if we cross-examined ourselves thoroughly and found all the enemies within? All the things we are fighting against, they’re all inside on some level. That, you can be sure of!

Then, instead of destroying them, (Because the truth is, we can’t. No matter how hard we try, they are a part of us all as human beings.) what if we sit them down and begin Peace Talks.

One at a time, have a lengthy, sincere and open-hearted conversation with each one. Deception, greed, corruption, hunger, poverty, violence, injustice, oppression, wealth, ignorance…whatever…give them each an in-depth interview.

One by one…Ask what they want, why they exist, what is their purpose. Ask about their relationship with the self. Inquire what is difficult for them, what they need. How have they showed up in ways that were not healthy…and how could they show up in ways that could be beneficial and healthy for the self and for others? What is their purpose?

What could they offer if they were not at war with the self? If they were allowed to mature and manifest their true nature? What is their true highest potential? Invite them to manifest that? What do they offer? What do they bring to the table of Peace?

One by one, the war within can dissolve into peace within the self…then one by one, we begin to find our own path of peace in the world…and one by one, we contribute to awaking peace in those around us in our own powerful, functional, integrated way.

The most powerful way I know to begin these Peace Talks is with the Big Mind Process developed by Genpo Roshi. http://www.bigmind.org/ It is possible to explore these topics mentally by reading a blog, book or article, but change remains much slower (if it happens at all) when only the mind is involved.

When you experience the embodiment that is possible with a skilled facilitator, change and maturity occur more rapidly that you can imagine. If you’ve tried it, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, I promise it will blow your mind!

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If you are interested in exploring this process with me or life-coaching around other issues that you are experiencing difficulty around, or would just like to continue with deeper explorations and to support your personal growth, I’m available!

I work via Skype and Facetime. I’m also available in Buenos Aires, Argentina most of the year and I do travel for intensives.

Inquire by email for specialized packages.

Happy 2015! It’s been a while since I posted…Here’s an update!

2014 was a lifechanger! Not all at once lifechanging, gently almost imperceivably in each moment…but as I look back, I’m amazed all of this happened in one year.

I traveled to Cartagena, Colombia in the spring, sold my house, bought a new rental property, changed management companies. I made significant new friends who have become an important part of my life journey. I took a road trip from Denver to Portland through the beautiful national parks of Colorado and southern Utah…visiting family and helping my youngest daughter Amber move into a new house. I had great time with my sister and another unforgettably meaningful day with my mom!!!

Toward the end of the year, I traveled to Asia for the 1st time, visiting various parts of Thailand (Chang Rai, Chang Mai, Khao Lak and Bankok, returning to Buenos Aires about a week ago. This year, I also became certified in Reiki and in Scuba Diving! I also began the process of becoming an Argentine citizen (dual citizenship).

In the midst of all this activity, I’m really getting the hang of my independence and freedom. I’m maintaining financial sustainability and I’m becoming more adept and comfortable at losing myself and finding my way through the infinite unknown. I’m meditating more…and enjoying quite a bit of quiet time and rest whenever I have the opportunity.

I’m also connecting more socially…but without feeling hectic or rushed. In general, I have an enormous sense of peace, acceptance and well-being, punctuated with interesting moments of every possible human emotion I can imagine, such as vulnerability, wonder, longing, confusion, insecurity, attachment, even a little anxiety…and strangely trust.

I haven’t felt like writing or even thinking too much…so I didn’t. I put myself on a “giving diet”. I only gave (or did) what I really wanted to…and nothing more. I let go of expectations…mine and others. I let myself be just as narcisistic* as I truly am…without apology or regret.

And you know what? Everyone in my life was just fine! Everyone got what they needed. Everyone is thriving. I gave what I wanted to give because I wanted to give it. I did not stretch myself or expect anything in return.

None of my fears about not doing the things I use to do materialized. (Biggest ones were my life would be meaningless and no one would love me.) I stopped worrying so much…And I did things I’ve always wanted to do!

The result: I truly love my life–more than ever! I feel relaxed even when things get surprisingly tense. Meaningful moments arise regularly…and sweet, heartfelt expressions of gratitude take me by surprise because I already feel gratitude myself for having the opportunity to be a part of all this. I feel I make a difference just by being here…being me.

I feel more loved than ever. I feel fucking awesome! There’s no other way to express it! It keeps getting better, easier, sweeter and more fun!

It seems my “giving diet” opened up a whole new realization that I actually have more to give than I thought…and that it flows without effort…without pushing…without even thinking about it. Life is a gift that just flows…we are a part of that…our very nature is to share it. No need to push or pull.

So now I do feel like writing, so I am. I also feel like coaching again, so I am.**

So with this, I enter 2015 with a commitment to gentleness, compassion, great faith, curiousity, fearless truth, connection and intimacy in whatever forms they arrive in.

May 2015 be a year of discovery, awakening, connection, peace and integration! Happy New Year!


*Just to clarify, I wasn’t necesarily an asshole narcisist. I did care when someone was suffering or struggling with a problem, I listened, I cared… but I didn’t rush to fix it for them. I took my time in deciding if anything needed to be done, what I had to offer, how much did I truly desire to give. And then I offered that. I also just stayed present and really listened which was often the only thing needed and the best thing I had to offer.*

** If you are interested in coaching, please send me an email at TangoDenise@gmail.com
**If you are already a client of mine and haven’t connected up this year, please let’s catch up! Please contact me for your FREE 2 Hour 2015 Kick-Start Call!**

Much ❤

The Self-Critic

Sometimes I start feeling bad about myself when I run into someone who doesn’t like me or who rejects me. I start thinking somehow some part of me must be defective or not good enough…or that I must have done something wrong and then I start feeling bad and second guessing everything about myself. And none of this EVER leads to ANYTHING authentic or even helpful…and it never leads to any lasting change or growth!

So why do I still go down that path…even if it’s only for a little while?

I decided to explore this question more deeply using the Big Mind Process I learned from Genpo Roshi. After some contemplation, I decided that the key might be held by the Self-Critic. If you have not experienced the Big Mind process, this might not make any sense to you…but I don’t have enough time to go into a thorough explanation but you can find out more here http://www.bigmind.org and here http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mind

I facilitated myself into the voice of the Self-Critic and what an amazing experience! This habitually overactive part of me was disowned from a very early age and obviously still immature so instead of doing it’s job in a healthy mature way…it pretty much just grabs on to anyone elses criticism or judgement and repeats it all over and over again no matter if it is only fractionally true, another person’s projection, a misunderstanding, or complete bullshit, it doesn’t even have to make sense!

If the Self-Critic is not owned and allowed to do it’s job the way only it can do…all kinds of disfunctional compensations occur…and none of it can compensate for a healthy and fully owned Self-Critic.

So as I inquired further what this part of me had to offer…I realized a wonderful resource that was not at all the nagging, even at times bullying voice that led me into the useless negative thought-and-feeling-paths I mentioned earlier.

The energy of the Self-Critic is calm, aware of EVERYTHING (my strengths and abilities, weaknesses and needs, health, my energy, values, desires, and my dreams). It is detached but compassionate…and aligned with wisdom.

It is always there. It can listen but doesn’t get caught up in the praise, criticism or projections of others. It’s very clear…and very closely aligned with my inner truth.

So I asked my Self-Critic what it thought of me. This part is very personal…but I’m continuing to challenge myself to be more personal and not to hide this part of myself even though it’s uncomfortable.

 The real benefit though is when you discover your own Self-Critic and your relationship with it, and what it has to say.

Here’s some highlights of what my Self-Critic had to say: 

I think she is in the process of making some very important discoveries about her own needs and boundaries, about connections with others, and about following (not forcing) her own natural energy and rhythms. There is alot happening there that needs a certain amount of space.

She is trying to find a balance between being alone and loving herself…and loving and connecting with others without abandoning her own desires and needs in order to maintain connection with others (which is a way of trying to force connection out of fear of being abandoned or rejected…instead of just being with it or following it.

She has been worried she has been being too narcisisstic lately. That there is something else she should be doing for others or that she is not social enough…or that she is too much alone. I would like her to relax and continue finding and following her path and let me be the Self-Critic… And to continue developing her self-awareness.

I want to tell her, “Trust. Don’t rush. Just go forward when it’s time to go forward. Stay in the moment…even as you move forward. There is a time for everything. Wait. Watch. Continue working on your own path step by step as the way opens up.”

I’ll let her know when something needs to change. Right now, this is it. This part of her path is important..and it can’t be rushed or forced.

Okay…I’m relaxing. A fully owned, healthy and mature Self-Critic is now on duty. I’d just like to say to this aspect of myself and of all of us as human beings: Thank you for being a part of me and for natually having this ability and for doing your job sooooo well if only you are welcomed in and aknowedged for your gifts. You are essential!

The One R-rated Key to Living an Authentically Awesome Life … plus 9 more PG-13 Keys.

Just LOVE Bryan Reeves blog! Could not agree more! Had to share!

This Wild Waking Journey

1) Life Begins at F#@k It!

Authenticity and Awesome happen the moment you stop trying to control the world around you … a futile exercise, anyway. So often, we only arrive at this thrilling jumping off point after we’ve exhausted every manipulative strategy imaginable to make the world show up the way we want it to … and it still hasn’t. Why not just accept right now that you’ve never actually controlled the outside world in a meaningful way and surrender to the same force(s) that holds galaxies together and makes hearts beat and creates puppies and oceans and DMT. The most wondrous things in your life probably happened mostly by remarkable circumstance outside your control, anyway. Now, this isn’t about giving yourself permission to do stupid, irresponsible things, or to be lazy. You didn’t come here to hurt people or watch TV for 80 years. No, this…

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Reflections of Friendship and Love

This post may not be entertaining but for me, it’s important. It’s important because the experiences, beliefs and feelings I’m having now are so radically different from those I used to have.

It’s like a whole new world…and yet it’s the same world.

Years and years of questioning and letting go of old beliefs has given me space to experience and explore my world anew and to make my own observations. I just wanted to write some big ones down…For me they are huge! Probably not as huge for many others…but maybe someone.

I am learning that I do not have to be in a structured relationship to love and be loved, or to be safe, protected, and survive in the world. I am always loving in every moment and I’m quite sure that I’m loved by many people all the time…

And I’m in relationship all the time with everyone I meet.

Being single, I’ve also learned and am still learning that I really can take care of myself–well, sort of. (It’s a skill I’m still refining sometimes it gets quite messy at times…but the job does get done eventually.). I love being fully engaged in doing everything I can pull it all together.

And when I need support (and I most certainly do!), I reach out, I ask questions and there are people I can turn too–not one person–but many people. It used to be such a stressful, terrifying thing to admit and to reach out for help…and to be honest, it’s still not so easy…but that is fading and I feel a bit more relaxed. It’s ok to acknowledge my current limitations and ask for what I need.

The people who show up to help me with something I need are pretty awesome–always so gracious and happy about it. I see how it brings joy into both our lives to have this opportunity to give and recieve help.

I don’t feel anymore like a burden on anyone. (I can’t believe this was a feeling I’ve struggled with since early childhood.) Instead of feeling pathetic, useless or somehow guilty…now I feel grateful, secure and light! I think it’s because anyone who chooses to help me is doing so because they want to…and that really is the best help of all!

And giving help is also lighter and more enjoyable…yes–even when things get difficult because I can relax, be fully present and engaged, doing what I can, knowing that if we need reinforcements, we can reach out and someone will be there. We are not alone. And we always feel great after.

Something inside me says, “Yes! This is the way it was supposed to be…this is the way it works!” And now, I get to live it…and share it!

And yet, at the same time, I still sometimes find myself feeling quite alone, longing for a friend who is not there, or aching for something more that still seems just out of reach…

I suppose it’s inevitable that so much fullness and joy would shine a bit of light into the depths of the empty spaces aching to be known.

There is a vast open space still waiting, aching for at least one who has the faith, patience and determination to grope endlessly and tenderly through the thick underbrush, and the wisdom and courage to open his eyes even in the darkness where things can only sensed with the heart and love whatever is there.

It occurs to me, that I also ache for the depths of these spaces…and while it would be lovely to share them with a companion…I need not wait. I am here. Here I am alone…but not lonely.

We truly must love ourself before we can truly love another. It’s becoming clearer and clearer how true this is. I am so grateful for the depths of friendships that I have now and the love I have for them keeps growing.

And the deeper we learn to love ourself, the deeper we can love another. I am grateful for these opportunities to learn to love myself in deeper and deeper ways.

What am I doing?

Salon Canning with Simon Marcelo Tebele

I came to Buenos Aires 8 months ago with a plan to stay one year, stay single, learn as much as I can about myself, immerse myself in my passion for tango and work on my dance… and then decide what to do next with my life.

So far, it’s been the best year of my life.

I’m learning to pace myself and to let things go when my body needs recovery-time. If I do this, it bounces back at it’s own natural pace and I always have enough energy to get the important things done. I have beautiful friendships…and when I need help, it always shows up in some form or another. I don’t worry much anymore. I hardly ever feel pushed or stressed anymore. I feel relaxed, calm, peaceful, content…and loved.

I’ve learned to be mindful of my finances and live within my means…and not to over-extend myself. How good that feels!!!

I’ve learned to question myself and my ideas constantly…and to trust my heart. I’ve learned to rest or sleep when I’m tired, drink when I’m thirsty and eat when I am hungry. I open my heart when I love, take care of business when it needs to be taken care of, and play and dance whenever I am free.

I spend delightful hours with others whenever that’s available…and beautiful hours alone…all by myself! I enjoy both so much I could not imagine having one without the other.

I’ve simply never been happier overall. I miss my family and friends back home, but then, it’s even sweeter when we reunite again.

All in all, this was exactly the right decision for me, although at the time I made it, it seemed a little crazy– seemingly a rather shocking shot in the dark. But I’m learning to trust my “heartfelt crazyness” enough to grope through unknown one step at a time…as the path unfolds in front of me.

This is the best learning of all!
In life–as in tango!

Life, Love, Zen and Tango…as I experience it.