Mantra Maven Blog

One of my guilty pleasures this summer is OWN's new show Finding Sarah. If by chance you haven't heard about it, I'll give you a synopsis. The show is a "docu-series" following Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and former wife of Britain's Prince Andrew as she embarks on a journey with the help of Oprah's favorites, Dr. Phil, Martha Beck and Suze Orman. Together with their support, she battles to find the self-worth that has eluded her most of her life.  It's touching and surprising to see how candid she is about some of her past mistakes, notably the scandal last year where she was accused of selling access to the royals and her regrets over a failed marriage.

Last week's, episode was particularly tv-ishly triumphant. After months of training, Fergie and her trainer take a 26 mile trek through Canada's arctic wilderness to Yellowknife, the site of her honeymoon more than 20 years ago. Although Fergie might have feared for her life, we as viewers did not. The fact that a camera was there for filming and half-way through the hike, her trainer called a doctor who snow-mobiled over to check Fergie's frost bite and give the okay for her to continue gave it away. But suspense aside, she completed the trip at age 51, and she gets mad kudos for that!

One very sweet visual in the episode shows Fergie alone on the plane on her way to Canada to begin her hike. You can tell she is a little nervous and a little doubting of her ability to complete what she has agreed to do. And on her arm is a bracelet with the word "BELIEVE" written in all caps. I think this perfectly sums up the way many of us feel at the beginning of a journey--not  knowing how but believing in our ability to eventually get there somehow....which of course, Fergie did. This was just a reminder for me that whatever your personal goal may be, for bloody sake, don't stop believing.

Many blessings,
Tiffany

I picked up the November issue of O Magazine over the weekend. As usual, whenever I have the time to sit down and read O, I start with "What I Know For Sure," the last column in every issue. It's my favorite. In the column, Oprah writes about a theme and relates it to her own experiences.  This month's article was about finding your true calling. Now, stay with me because this part gets a little tricky.....in the article, Oprah quotes Mark Nepo, author of "Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have," as he quotes Mechthild of Magdeburg, a 13th century mystic who wrote, "A fish cannot drown in water. A bird does not fall in air. Each creature God made must live in its own true nature." Although these words were written more than 700 years ago, I think they are very prophetic for today. Mechthild is calling on us to recognize and live our own true nature. Even her use of the word "nature" itself is subtle yet compelling. We all know you can't fight Mother Nature. If it's "nature" calling, you have no choice but to pay attention.  But what if you don't know your true nature? What if it's been taught, ridiculed or ignored out of you? I've always envied those people who at age two knew they wanted to be a doctor/teacher/mother....people whose talents and inclinations pointed to a neatly wrapped profession or role in life. Or those who had a teacher/parent/coach who recognized a special talent in them that they failed to see in themselves who then guided them through the ups and downs along a path to unbelievable success. I mean, isn't this the theme of every inspirational, tearjerker in theaters these days? Well, what the heck about the rest of us? What about our callings? Through some work, I've been lucky to find mine, which you can read more about in a previous blog entry. But figuratively speaking, what of the sparrow who lives everyday in a sea of trout who longs to feel the wind beneath her wings or the salmon raised by starlings who knows something is amiss but has never seen the ocean. This is when it gets serious. We would never ask a lion to become a vegetarian or a butterfly to lay an egg. It goes against nature, and it's just not gonna happen, folks. But we often ask this of ourselves on a continual basis. For those of you who know your callings, Goddess bless you. For those of you who don't, get happenin'! I believe THIS is the real purpose of each of our lives. Find what feels as natural to you as breathing....then do it all the time. So I ask you, is your nature calling?

Many blessings,
Tiffany

For the last several months, like many of you, I have been shocked by the fall from grace of spiritual guru James Arthur Ray.  What the heck happened? Just a few years ago, he was taking the world by storm as a contributor to the new thought DVD phenomenon known as the "The Secret." He was even on Oprah for goodness sake. And now, he's been arrested for manslaughter because of the deaths of three individuals who attended one of his sweat lodges.   ABC's Nightline has been following the James Arthur Ray case closely, interviewing family members of the deceased and his former employees. There are always three sides to a story—his, yours and the truth. But his response or lack there of immediately following the deaths is not making him look so good. So again I go back to my original question, what happened?!?  All I know is that I found him to be sincere in "The Secret." But when he showed up on Oprah, something had changed. I can't put my finger on it but his teeth were just a little too white. Maybe ego got the best of him. Maybe he started believing his own hype. Maybe we're we all just fooled by this former salesman from the beginning. Maybe he has been wrongly accused.  The truth will come out. It always does. Until then, I will be waiting.

Many blessings,
Tiffany

I'm a big fan of Oprah's Soul Series. During her Soul Series, she interviews an individual who has left a mark on her in regards to spirituality. In a recent episode, she interviewed Wayne Dyer about his latest book about reflections of the Tao in his most recent book, Change for Thoughts, Change your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao. The book is made up of his personal reflections on the Tao Te Ching, a book of Chinese philosopy written by Lao-tzu more than 2,500 years ago. During the discussion, Oprah and Wayne briefly discussed the upcoming election season. Oprah mentioned how great it would be to have "Tao centered leadership" in our country. Wayne felt it was on it's way. I really had to sit down to think about that. During this election season, we've heard so much about candidates and their perceived accomplishments, spouses, past votes, affiliations, educational backgrounds, family lineage, etc. Wouldn't it be interesting to factor in their consciousness to lead as well? What type of impact might that have on the direction of our country? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Many blessings,
Tiffany

Like many you, I've read Ekart Tolle's A New Earth. In fact, I've read it twice, eagerly highlighting with yellow marker as I went along. Although I am not an avid Oprah book club reader, when she first suggested the book, I decided to give it a try. I had read Tolle's previous book, The Power of Now, and I was open to hearing what else he had to say. Again, like many of you, A New Earth was an epiphany for me. I always realized there was something a little off with the way many individuals (not necessarily excluding myself) were so driven by the future, past and all things external. This book gave me a name to use to describe it--the ego. It also gave me a solution--focus on the "now." It's been about four months since in finished my second reading of the book. The epiphany has faded. Putting Tolle's words into action has been challenging. Living in the "now" is really hard! There's always something from the future or past that seems to creep into my thoughts. But I'm not giving up. And I do have my moments--when I'm walking home, and I see the wind in the trees and the birds flying in the blue sky speckled with white clouds. I am so there and peaceful in those moments. I can even let them go when I reach my front door.

Many blessings,
Tiffany