I mentioned in one of last week’s post that Rancho la Puerta‘s presenters were all in some way focused on enhancing creativity and living fulfilling, authentic lives. If you were to put the theme for the week in Oprah’s terms, it would be “Live Your Best Life.” All of the presenters were fabulous, including one Christine Arylo. The title on Christine’s business card is “Inspirational Catalyst.” I love that! And that’s exactly what she is (in addition to her sub-titles of author, life coach and motivational speaker). There are several reasons why I clicked with Christine right away:
- She is exactly my age. Witnessing someone my own age creating and living the life she wants right here, right now (not to mention being a published author) is very inspiring indeed.
- In her own words, she is a “reformed achievement junkie.” A former Type A corporate executive who jumped off the ladder altogether to live a different kind of life. Sounds a lot like me.
- She’s quirky, funny, self-deprecating and fully admits that she is still very much a work in progress. She is not “there” yet, so it is easier for me to imagine myself taking the journey alongside her and being able to learn from her headstart.
Throughout the week, she proposed several very doable practices designed to help us create more harmony in our lives. I glommed on to one she mentioned almost in passing, which is to make a list of 108 dreams that you have for yourself. 108 is said to be the most spiritually significant number in the universe. There is a great deal of information on the mathematics of this here, but in short, it’s the number of beads on both a Tibetan mala and the Catholic rosary, the number of names for the Buddha, and even the number of stitches on a baseball (who knew?). Christine said making lists of 108 can be very powerful. Upon returning, I discovered lots more on 108, such as American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron’s book Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion. I believe she suggests making a list of 108 reasons why you love yourself. Sounds hard!
But making a list of 108 dreams? Sounds easy! Turns out, not so much. We are so conditioned to think in practical terms that when something comes to the surface that seems impossible, we immediately crush it like a bug. I got stuck at number 25 and then had to start letting loose and letting go. The more you write down, the more that come. They can be personal dreams, dreams for people you love, dreams for the world – anything goes. Also, they don’t all have to be “huge” dreams. If you really want to have dinner with Johnny Depp (just by way of example…), you can put that on the list even if it follows a dream about no child going hungry. Finally, being a “rule follower,” I asked Christine if you could change them later or as you go along. You can. It’s not like there’s a genie in the bottle who will only consider a set and finite 108. (Thank goodness, because I’d like to backfill the list after my dinner with Johnny) 🙂
I still have a long way to go to 108, but something amazing has already happened. Those of you who know me well know that my spiritual journey was first launched years ago when I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I have subsequently read many of his books, participated in his web sessions on A New Earth with Oprah, and think about his teachings almost daily. I have a copy of Stillness Speaks by my bedside that I sometimes flip through right before bed. As I worked on my dream list on the plane ride home from the Ranch, it seemed only natural to include “studying with Eckhart Tolle in person.” Call that Dream #29.
The very next day, I got an email with (I kid you not) this subject line: “Be with Eckhart Live”
*cue Star Trek music here*
It couldn’t be that easy, right? Wrong. It was that easy. Eckhart is doing a live recording in Vancouver at the end of August. I’m free that weekend. We have the air miles for the flight. Vancouver is not that far to travel to from Denver. The tickets were reasonably priced. I bought them. I will study with Eckhart in person!
In the immortal words of Popeye, “Well blow me down!”
One down, 107 to go!Spirituality, Travel · Tags: Rancho la Puerta, Spirituality, Travel