February 2010

Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher
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Hello and welcome to the February 2010 issue of Horizons Magazine. The other evening I was finishing up work and turned on the tv to see what was showing. Since it was after midnight, I turned to the Showtime channels so I wouldn't have to mute commercials every 11 minutes. I often watch entire shows with the sound muted. For work, I have to hear so much that I like a break from sound as often as I can get it. On my personal time, I am vigilant over what I allow to come into my consciousness. That's why I always look at the preview guide, to see what's coming up and see if it's something I want to watch. I'm not into violent movies or gore. I don't even care for tear jerker sentimentalism. I like suspenseful stories and funny movies, although I'm not into slapstick comedies. It's not just that I'm not into the emotional roller coaster rides many movies take you on, it's that the less of that input I get, the better I am at my job. Period.

For a few days, I'd seen American Psycho 2 on the lineup and of course avoided it. Then I saw it starred Mila Kunis and William Shatner and watched it because I like the two of them. It was funny and suspenseful and I was glad I watched it - although I would not have, just based on the name or the description of the story. Nothing said it was a comedy but it clearly was. You can't always trust those movie descriptions (or reviews), can you?

So the other night I see there's a movie coming on and it sounds watchable, so I turn it on. I can't recall the name of it. I missed the beginning with the title and movie credits, but caught it from the first scene. The preview guide listed it as about a woman trying to find her identity. So as the movie unfolds, that's what I'm looking for. And nothing is making any sense. There doesn't seem to be a central female character 1/3 of the way into the movie and it's just about narcissistic men who make bad decisions. I checked the preview guide again. Then it dawned on me that they are simply listing one movie yet showing another.

So, armed with this new information, I tried to backtrack and remember what all the characters were doing so I could catch up with the rest of the movie. But it's not so easy since I started out watching it with one idea in mind of what I was watching. Armed with inaccurate information, I couldn't make sense of what was in front of me, since it didn't match what I'd been told to watch for. And watching what I was told to watch for preventing me from seeing what was really unfolding before me.

I thought how often do I do that in real life? In thinking the movie was about something else, I was trying to make the wrong pieces fit. How often have I encountered situations that someone had told me would be a certain way, and found the pieces did not fit? Then I try to figure it all out based on a faulty premise. Like being brought up in only one religion, or seeing the world through the eyes the popular media would have you look at it: as a scary place full of fearful cataclysmic events, with terrorists lurking everywhere.
That's not a movie I want to star in. I don't have to and you don't either. We can take in the information others give us but we don't have to rely on it to tell us what to experience.

We can stay awake and aware in each moment and determine for ourselves what is unfolding before us. At any point it seems we're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, we can drop the info we've been given and try another puzzle piece. We can try as many puzzle pieces as it takes until it makes sense. We can listen to as many other perspectives as it takes until we find our own fit. We can entertain as many notions as it takes until life begins to make sense for us. This is how we take charge of what movie we are starring in.

Albert Einstein said, "The most important question facing humanity is, 'Is the universe a friendly place?' This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves. For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly - and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.


"If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially 'playing dice with the universe', then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning.

"But if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe. Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives."

My experience is that the world is as friendly a place as I believe it to be. My experience is it's a wondrously friendly place, always waiting to delight me. That's the movie I'm starring in. How about you? What movie are you starring in?

As a Journalist, How Do I Spin My Stories and Why?
Why Do I Choose to Focus on What's Right In the World?

Everyone has their own agenda for how they want the world around them to work. The media knows the best way to get people to think and act a particular way is to proclaim publicly that people already think and act that way. Have you noticed that?

The media is smart. They know if they can draw enough attention to a particular thoughtform, that thoughtform becomes strengthened and takes on a life of its own. What this amounts to is self fulfilling prophecy. The weatherman talks about gloomy skies and rain and we all get bummed out and attract more gloomy skies. The news anchor talks about everyone pulling out of the stock market, so everyone starts pulling out of the stock market. Someone publicly proclaims a certain ethnic group as terrorists and� you get my drift.

When people hear it and see it often enough in print, they begin to believe it's true. An amazing number of voters believe that what they see in the media is accurate. And that's what they count on, "they" being the big dollar wielding buyers of advertising, who have their own agenda of what they want you to believe. And they always want you to believe you need what they are trying to sell you, whether it's a product or a politician.

I've learned to stay away from the news. As a journalist, I recognize the hype. Journalists, by definition, put information in their own words and make it creative in their own way so it will draw attention. Personally, my attention is never drawn to doom and gloom. My attention is drawn by the most hopeful "what if?" My attention is drawn by demonstrations of unwavering faith in the face of adversity. If, as a journalist, it is my choice as to what I wish to draw the reader's attention to, then this is it:

What I'd like is for everyone to realize you are a soul encased within a body, a body which is your vehicle to use for this lifetime, This means keep the vehicle running efficiently. You'll save on repair costs and get a longer run.

A soul encased within a body also means you have control of the mind, and it is yours to use and command. Your mind operates outside the physical brain and survives it after physical death of the body.

What I'd like is for everyone to realize is keeping the vehicle running efficiently also applies to keeping your mind active with interests, goals and curiosities. You bored? Unmotivated? Do something about it.

What I'd like is for everyone to realize they participate in creating the reality they experience. This means you. You create and attract into your own experience. Not that of your mother or your father or your ex or your mate or your children or your coworkers. Just you. Stop wasting energy thinking about what's going on with them and begin to delve deeply into getting your own act together. They will then miraculously also fall into place.

What I'd like is for everyone to realize is that no matter what is going on with anyone around you, you can have a different experience.

No matter what the media says is happening to the economy, you can have a different experience.

What I'd like is for everyone to realize is that if you simply keep your attention focused on what is going RIGHT in the world, in your community, in your neighborhood, in your home, you will bring more of that to light and you will help it increase and grow.

This is what is meant by participating in creating the reality you experience. Look for the positive aspects, think the more hopeful thoughts, daydream the most fanciful, fun "what if" best case scenarios. Don't worry about what anyone else is thinking or doing.

I spin my stories this way because it's the way I have learned to see the world, and how I see the world and respond to it determines my experience. I put this spin on my words because it makes people hopeful, it gives them a glimpse of what can be, it gives them a respite from their constant bombardment with everything that's wrong with the world. I want to give them another view, from standing in my shoes, of how the world can look and how life can be.

And how about you? What spin do you put on the things you talk about with friends? That the world is a friendly, loving place or that we should all be shivering in our boots waiting for the axe to fall? How do you spin your stories? What are YOU trying to convince everyone in YOUR world of?

Enjoy our offering this month. Hari Om.
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