Desert Moon Rising

Life Coaching & Conscious Living

August 26, 2013
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Without the Kindness of Others, Where Would You Be?

Without the Kindness of Others, Where Would You Be?

Without the Kindness of Others, Where Would You Be?

Although I am not certain that the drive to be a “self made man/woman” is inherently American, I do know it is a strong and pervasive desire in our culture only, it is a desire based on false notions and an over exaggeration of our own self worth, not a desire or achievement based in reality.

I was raised, as many of my readers were, during a time of great expansion. Expansion in industry, thought/mind psychology, individuality, creativity and technology. It was strongly expected and instilled in us, at least from my personal experience and observation, that the only way to “go it” was alone. It was suggested (through excellent marketing techniques) that we: break away from the pack; make something of ourselves; be ALL we can be; discover our individuality; leave no stone unturned; strike it rich; and to be as independent as possible while doing so. In other words, it was our destiny and our duty to become a self-made man/woman! This was a tall order but times were different then and there was great hope and endless opportunity. We even believed it! We bought the party-line. People did discover their individuality. They also discovered countless needs and wants and desires that needed filling. Needs, wants and desires that helped them to express their newfound individuality of course, and, all this filling of people’s needs, wants and desires is what made up the primary GDP of my generation and that of the last 45 years…. that of the Service Industry!

Imagine for just a moment if you will a time when eating out 2-4 times a week was not the norm. Imagine a time when the only occasion a family would eat out would be on Christmas Eve or Easter brunch. Imagine never having a mani/pedi in your entire lifetime (to this day, my mom still never has.) Imagine not “needing” massages, facials, and shopping sprees on a weekly or monthly basis just to keep you sane. Imagine not having two cars (or six depending on the number of people in your household.) Imagine having only two or three dresses to choose from, not 20. Imagine not having your daily $4 cafe latte. Consider all the services that you use and rely on in order to make your life “better,” the ones you have grown to expect and also take for granted, and then consider all the people in this Country who have spent their lives in service to this great “need,” and also all those that have made a business out of filling these countless desires (cafes, nail salons, retail chains, restaurants, resort chains, etc.)…….do that, and you will understand what my generation was all about.

And yes, many people did strike it rich while servicing this endless need of the American public and many continue to do so today only, I assure you nobody ever did it alone. This was the one misnomer that could never be actualized as a part of the “self made man” equation because no matter how you slice it, unless you produced, bought and sold your own goods, somebody else was ALWAYS a piece of the puzzle. And, even if you did produce, buy and sell your own goods to yourself, the money to do so had to come from somewhere.

We often walk and talk with such pride about how “I” accomplished this or that, or how “so-and-so” rose above their obstacles to “make something of themselves,” which is all very impressive but again, nobody ever gets there (wherever that is) on their own.

No achievement is ever made without the help and kindness of others.

Without our parents who fed and clothed us, and our teachers who worked hard at educating us, and our friends who helped to shape our character, and the people who believed in us and gave us our first job, and the mentors who believed in us when no one else did, and the people who grow our food, and the people who distribute our food to the stores who sell us our food, and the people who built our roads, and the scientists who invented and perfected electricity, and the computer nerds who invented and perfected (still in progress) technology, and the people who buy the goods we make or the services we provide, and the people who make us laugh, and the people who’s shoulder we cry on, and the people who care for us when we grow old or sick or assist us in our death, where exactly would we be?

Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever looked at your life in this way? In actuality, without the help and kindness of others, we would not survive.

So, next time you’re feeling accomplished or proud or perhaps when you’ve had a great stroke of success, take a moment to think of everyone who helped you along your way, and rather than selfishly taking all the credit, spread some of that love around. On second thought, why wait? Spread some of that love and appreciation around right now…….for all that you have, for all that you’ve gained, for all that you are right now…

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”    ——Lao Tzu 

Practicing Kindness is Easier Than You Think.



August 7, 2013
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on The Lily – a poem by Mary Oliver

The Lily – a poem by Mary Oliver

The Lily – a poem by Mary Oliver

Night after night
enters the face
of the lily

which, lightly,
closes its five walls
around itself,
and its purse

of honey,
and its fragrance,
and is content
to stand there

in the garden,
not quite sleeping,
and, maybe,
saying in lily language

some small words
we can’t hear
even when there is no wind

its lips
are so secret,
its tongue
is so hidden–

or, maybe,
it says nothing at all
but just stands there
with the patience

of vegetables
and saints
until the whole earth has turned around
and the silver moon

becomes the golden sun–
as the lily absolutely knew it would,
which is itself, isn’t it,
the perfect prayer?

The Lily

August 6, 2013
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Becoming Exceptional

Becoming Exceptional

Becoming Exceptional

Most of us have encountered people in our lives that truly inspire us. Whether it was a favorite aunt while growing up, a teacher, a colleague or a friend, there are just some people who manage to do things differently from the norm and certainly differently from us. These people seem to have something others don’t — a faith, a method, a secret of sorts that somehow has eluded the majority and due to their ability to navigate what appears to you and me to be an ordinary world in an extraordinary way, we are inspired!

These people are exceptional and they are the ones we love to be around the most. We feel awake and alive in their presence. We feel anything is possible. We feel nothing is so big or worrisome that it can’t be overcome. We feel seen. We feel safe. We feel confident. We even feel that maybe, one day, we could become exceptional too! The presence and essence of these people is so big and powerful and reassuring that we feel “all is right with the world,” if even just for this moment. And that’s sometimes about as long as it lasts — for however long we’re in their presence.

Eventually, we have to return home to what we know. To our tried and true methods of dealing with the icky-ness of everyday life – our patterns, our roadblocks, our dysfunction, our attachments, and our unmeetable expectations. Or perhaps we have to navigate these same uninspiring qualities in the people around us, the people we deal with on a daily basis, knowing all along there is a better way but not knowing just yet how to access it. And so we slip quickly from the pillar of becoming exceptional to the backwaters of being normal.

Fortunately for us however, simply being a witness to exception (knowing what it’s like and that it actually exists) plants the seed of possibility within ourselves. And, because of this awareness, we will never again be the same. I can’t help but to ponder (and I’m guessing the same is for you) what is it about these people that makes them so? What are the qualities of an exceptional person and how do we become one ourselves?

After great contemplation, I’ve hand-picked a few common attributes I’ve found in the people that inspire me the most. I feel that by practicing with these qualities in our own lives, it will lead us closer to becoming the exceptional person we’ve always wanted to become and at one point, were absolutely certain we could be!

They are: Love, Compassion, Generosity, Inexhaustible faith, the Fostering of others, Patience, Positivity, Humor and Gratitude.

Love – this attribute crosses all boundaries. Love of life, people, nature. Love of self and others. Love of one’s work. Sense of purpose, fulfillment, respect. In awe of life!

Compassion – this is a sincere wish for others to be happy. Within this wish is a heartfelt sadness when people you know are suffering. Compassion is felt without regard to your own needs. It is selfless. From the tiniest most helpless creature to even your enemy — compassion encompasses all beings everywhere. It is one’s true wish for the betterment of humanity.

Generosity – giving freely and selflessly for the benefit of others. Giving because it makes others happy. Giving without any agenda. Giving of time, resources, knowledge and wisdom. Deep understanding of the principal, “it is greater to give than receive.”

Inexhaustible faith – knowing that life, and its inner-workings, is much bigger than just you and me. Faith in the magnificence of existence. Seeing the bigger picture and leaning into it. Bad things happen to exceptional people, but they see them for what they are –mere incidences on the journey of life. Faith in the fact that one day everything will make sense — but, until then, one should just keep going.

Fostering others – giving of your time, resources, knowledge and wisdom to help others along their way. Knowing that “it takes a village” to make life harmonious and having the willingness, dedication, heart and commitment to help cultivate the good qualities and traits of others.

Patience – knowing that the Universe has its own timing and being in concert with that. Acceptance. Non-resistance to that which is not going your way. Inventive. Trusting.

Positivity – understanding the cycles of life and choosing to see possibility. Understanding how intention and perception work. Familiarity with the dark side of things but choosing to see the bright side of most circumstances and conditions. Not digging your head in the sand but knowing how to “turn lemons into lemonade.”

Humor – life needs rejoicing, laughter, lightness. Humor eases the difficulties and helps us to not take ourselves so seriously. Humor lightens the burden of our unmeetable expectations. Liberation from trying to hold-on.

Gratitude – deep and sacred thanks for the opportunities before us. The opportunity to learn, to laugh, to love, to share, to grow and to overcome. The opportunity to stand in awe and wonder of the beauty on this earth. The miracle of our own breath is enough to be grateful for in itself!

There is a saying about becoming rich and it goes like this: “If you want to become rich, surround yourself with rich people” but I say, “If you want to be surrounded with exceptional people, you must strive to become exceptional yourself!”

Most exceptional people don’t think of themselves as such. They simply do the best they can everyday, to be the best person they can be.

By using these very mindful principles you too will be on your way to becoming exceptional!

Becoming Exceptional


July 16, 2013
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Creating a “Comfort Ritual” for Times of Change

Creating a “Comfort Ritual” for Times of Change

Creating a “Comfort Ritual” for Times of Change

Change – has been the focus of my past few blog posts and this one follows suit. Of all the things we can do to help ourselves successfully navigate change, creating a “Comfort Ritual” is high on the list. We know change is coming! Sometimes we prompt the change and sometimes change is thrust upon us but, regardless of how or why we’re changing, having a safety zone of your own making can help you move through change with greater awareness and ease.

A comfort ritual of your own making will give you a place to go regardless of what’s going on in your life. During times of deep sadness, confusion or even overwhelming joy, having a ritual where you can check in with yourself, feel deep love from universal sources and connection to your true nature, will help you to feel more in control and to make better life supporting decisions. Decisions from a place of trust rather than fear.

In creating this ritual, it’s a good idea to practice it on a regular basis so when you are in a state of Great-Big-Deep-Change going to this place becomes automatic… in,”where else would you possible go?” As with anything, the more we practice and reap the positive benefits, the more we’re likely to reach for this resource when we need it most.

Creating a Comfort Ritual:

1) Find a place where you can be all alone. A place that you can call “yours” and where everyone else knows it is off-limits to them, except for maybe your cat. This doesn’t have to be an entire room or even indoors, just somewhere you can go where you can count on being alone. This could be a small altar in one room of the house, in a barn or garage, under a grove of trees, at the beach, a secret garden, etc.. Somewhere that naturally makes you feel safe and at ease. Maybe even your car or the bathroom, it’s totally up to you.

2) Collect relics. In this place, or in your pocket or purse, have things that bring you comfort, hope and joy. A photo of a loved one, a God or Deity, a strand of mala beads or a worry stone, a birds feather, a favorite rock, a found treasure……anything really that connects you to nature and the deeper part of yourself. I tend to use objects from nature because they are simple and pure, uncomplicated in the ways of the mind, but you can choose whatever works for you….maybe something you’ve made or a precious gift a friend has given you. It’s entirely your choice. You can hold this item in your hand, hold it to your heart, count the beads on the mala, examine the nature of it, consider how it came to you, the meaning of it, etc…whatever brings you comfort and takes your mind off your incessant worrying.

3) Sit. Walk. Dance….move or not, your choice. For some people, sitting in meditation offers the best opportunity for quiet reflection and to restore a jangled nervous system. It helps people feel more grounded and connected to the earth. A certain stability that is hard to come by when life is topsy turvy. But for others, and depending on their energy needs, sitting is the last thing they want to do…perhaps what they need is to dance! Dancing lets us move all that stuck energy out of our body. It clears our chakras and our mind. By moving about freely, by letting go of control in our bodies, we gain new perspective and can breathe deep clean air into our weary lungs. Still others’ might want to walk and walk and walk. It’s your ritual… what feels right and supportive for you.

4) Write. Writing is another way of getting all this stuck energy out of our bodies and especially, our of our mind! Write down your fears, your concerns, your anger and your hurt. Write your dreams and aspirations for what you want to cultivate when that next door opens. Write as if no-one will ever read it (because they won’t) and/or as if you are writing to a special “wish granter” that you know for sure can hear your words. Just write! Uncensored, unfiltered, unedited, just get it out. This is so detoxifying it’s amazing!

5) Ask. Ask for the help you need. Ask yourself for what you most need at this time. Maybe it’s to remain calm. Maybe it’s to be more tender or less critical. Maybe it’s to remind yourself of just how resourceful you really are. This is a wonderful opportunity to build intimacy and honesty with yourself…….and also, to listen. Ask for help also from the Universe. Let it know what you need. Ask for guidance. Ask for it to remover your fear, worry or sorrow. Just ask……..and then, let it happen! Let it work. Lean into the possibility without resistance. You have to lean on someone or something….right?

6) Practice Graditude. Give Thanks. Of all the uncertain things going on at this time in your life, I am certain there are things you can find to be grateful for! A roof over your head? A paying job? Clean water. Unlimited, organic food supply? A hot shower? A loving pet? Friends? In times of change we tend to be so focused on our physical and mental discomfort we forget all the many, many blessings staring us right in the face. Be mindful. These are the pillars that support you day in and day out without which, your life would really change! What are you grateful for? Shout it out! Sometimes this act alone renders all of our worries insignificant. You’ll see.

7) Think of others. Often, when we think of the suffering of others, our suffering or worries or concerns, seem insignificant in comparison. So much of humanity suffers in unimaginable ways. Just pick up a newspaper or go online. It won’t take but a minute to realize e there is great suffering happening in the world at large. Famine, disease, violence, intolerance, hatred……now what was that you were so worried about?

8) Practice often. As mentioned earlier, regular practice makes perfect. And although perfection is not a concern here, being able to know what to do in times of crisis, is. How will you take care of yourself when you need it most? What supportive habits have you created that you can rely on again and again? This should be one of them!

Give yourself the best possible chance to move through change as if it’s a natural part of your existence……because it is. Creating a “comfort ritual”will help.


July 10, 2013
by Pam Bell
Comments Off on Big Change/Small Steps: Managing Change in the Physical Body

Big Change/Small Steps: Managing Change in the Physical Body

Big Change/Small Steps: Managing Change in the Physical Body

Where do you “wear” change in your physical body? Where do you carry it and how does it show up in relation to the physical world?

This is the third and final segment in a series of articles on Change. The first was about change on a universal level. The second was about change on a more personal and practical level. This third segment deals with change and how it relates to our physical body. About how it can sneak in and take us by surprise, and then of course what to do about it.

Change is pervasive. It is everywhere we look, hidden in places we can’t see and often shows up when we aren’t even looking. Some things you can point to, put your finger on and say, “Ah ha!” but beyond the obvious, change all too often lurks in the dark alleyways of our existence and wreaks havoc on our mental, spiritual and physical selves.

On the surface we can usually comprehend the changes that are going on around us even if we don’t agree with them. But what do we do, or even know, about the change that’s going on inside of us as a result of the change on the outside? Every cause has an affect and if you are dealing with some BIG changes in your life – or even small ones that eat away at you – you can pretty much bet those changes are having an affect deep beneath the surface.These are the changes most people can’t see or tend to ignore until it is unfortunately far too late.

These are the changes that cause stress related illnesses and chronic disease. The changes that when left unchecked, make us a short tempered and bolder that we ought to be. The ones that build beneath the surface and show up as road rage and spontaneous acts of violence we later regret. Most of us have experienced this at one time or another and know this feeling of being “out-of-control,” is not where we want to be!

Change in all forms, good and bad, lives in our physical body. If it is good change, or if we are managing change well by taking good care of ourselves, the signs might be that we are peaceful, trusting and good natured – a sea of calm amidst a world of chaos. If however we are not managing change well, not acknowledging and processing the change in a healthy way, we are at great risk of diminishing our health, vitality, creativity and sense of self. At risk of diminishing our resourcefulness, our opportunities, our relationships and everything that’s important to us that makes our life worth living!

The number one thing you can do in the midst of BIG, uncomfortable change is to take care of your mental, physical and spiritual well being. This above all else should be your top priority. Get outside. Move your body. Be physical. Sweat. Work out harder than normal. Talk. Admit you’re stressed. (It’s not a dirty secret.) If needed, get professional help. Get massages, acupuncture, do yoga, do whatever! But don’t let the BIG, bad change (or the fear of it) take up residency in your physical body.

The number two thing you can do is to be of service to others. To move beyond your fear and realize how many people are in greater need than you. By sharing your skills and talents with others you will maintain a sense of purpose and self confidence which will strengthen your ability to move through change more effectively.

Other important things you can do to navigate change more easily are: Learn something new. Stay engaged with the things that bring you joy. Take time for meaningful conversation and relationships. Write. Do the things you always longed to do when you were too busy and had no time to create. See this time as an opportunity to grow, to know yourself more deeply, to gain appreciation for all that you have. In fact, practice gratitude as if your life depended on it. Keep at the forefront of your mind the fact that this time too shall pass. Remember that everything changes and soon the struggle in which you find yourself, the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that surround you, will all be gone.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” —Anais Nin

Change is Natural