On my recent travels I attended a few yoga conferences. One in the snow-capped mountains of my former home, beautiful Whistler, BC and one in the bustling city of Manhattan, NYC. During this most recent journey I met and came in contact with so many wonderful people along the way. Not just at the conferences, but also in between from the local convenient stores, coffee shops, catching up with old friends in various cities, meeting new people on an air plane, partying at a music festival, while observing nature, and on my yoga mat. It was after I came back to Nicaragua, my home, that I realized more than ever that we live in a world full of lots of people doing positive things. Being courageous. Contributing in some way. I’m comforted by this and these people in my life, these do-gooders! I’m not alone. You're not alone. One universal family.
STOP. (That's for me, not you.) Please keep reading. I must stop what I was going to write about and share something with you before going any further. As you know, I’m always blogging and speaking about this so-called “Universal Family” thing. Well, today I tried to humor myself by Google-ing the word “universal family” and to my surprise nothing came up so I Wikipedia’d it and still nothing! WHAT!?!!?? I, Heidi Parker made up the term Universal Family?! Hell yah! I’m jumping on this boat before that ship sails. Or before some naysayer tells me I didn't make it up. Before I blog about relationships that I’ve recently cultivated or severed due to self-preservation. I feel obligated to explain what the term Universal Family means since I constantly write about it. My apologies as I thought it was a term people were familiar with.
Universal Family (from Heidi-pedia, a free universal-pedia) is a universalist movement founded by Heidi Parker while on her journey of “Eat, Bike, Pray.” Where she ate her way through Italy, biked off all the carbs on a boat and bike trip of the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia and went to Nicaragua for her 200 hr. yoga teacher training certification. Our Universal family is based on unity of all people, places and things. It has no physical roots in the traditional framework of families but is more so the energy and mind thoughts that connects all people and spirits in the world primarily living between the north pole and the south pole, east to west.
History Heidi’s father died while she was in Pula, Croatia. He drowned in a beautiful lake surrounded by tall canyon walls and although she did not know he was drowning, she felt his energy come high above these walls and travel through the universe at the time of his death where she innately felt something was wrong. Out of her normal character she requested to be alone. She left her friend, a tour guide from the boat who was with her touring the Roman Coliseum in Pula to walk alone down along the harbor where she could connect with the mother earth and the ocean. After finding out the tragic news, 11 hours later, this is when she knew for certain that the energy and thoughts-mental vibrations, that we echo or omit into the universe can affect the well-being of each and every one of us.
Universal Family Goals After Heidi’s fathers accidental and tragic death, she set forth the following goals and hoped other members of the Universal family would join her in striving to achieve them:
- To realize and spread the knowledge of unity, positive energy from love, kindness and wisdom.
- To get “involved” when other members of our universal family need help or cannot contribute.
- Let go of biases pertaining to races, religions and governments, let them fall away thus allowing our human hearts to overflow with love and kindness.
- May all hatred caused by perimeters, distinctions and prejudices be rooted out leaving us with limitless boundaries making rooms for our dreams to be realized and manifested into action.
- To generate positive energy between the worlds two opposite poles, North and South. East and West. Close together by the interchange of positive thoughts and ideas.
Beliefs Universal Intelligence, a deep level of consciousness accessible to all living beings. Being aware that our thoughts can generate positive or negative outcomes. The universal intelligence manifests in human consciousness. Putting our dreams into actions. Finding your true path or purpose in life. Your mission:
- First, we have a dream. Acknowledge your dream.
- Envision or imagine your dream through conscious thought. Send out positive mental vibrations into the universe regarding this dream.
- Talk about it. Verbally discuss it with other human beings. Disregard any naysayers that do not give you positive feedback. Drop them like a hot potato!
- Take action. Start making steps toward living out our dream. This in essence is manifestation which generates positive conscious energy, thoughts - mental vibrations to the overall well-being of our universal family.
- The outcome will be fulfilling your dreams leading you to your life’s purpose and mission in life. When we are happy, and content - when we have reached “Santosha,” then we can really contribute by omitting and delivering positivity energy for the overall well-being of our universal family. But it begins with ourselves. (Santosha means happiness in contentment).
Karma Understanding Karma in relation to our universal family. Everyone has heard of Karma and even if you do not believe in the religions of Hinduism or Buddhism, most people practice the idea of Karma. Right and wrong depend on the attitude and situation. Not only upon the act itself. This is what most people do not know or understand of karma. Heidi understands karma to being related to the thoughts of our mind chatter and energy that spins off from that as a huge contributor to Karma. We must always think positive thoughts about ourselves, others and of situations. It really pisses Heidi off when other people throw around the word Karma as if “they will get theirs.” We should never wish any ill will against anyone and use the mis-interpreted idea of Karma to fulfill it. This takes discipline of the mind that can be accomplished through yoga and meditation. “Do without attachment the work you have to do. Surrendering all action, freeing yourself from longing and selfishness, fight-unperturbed by grief.” -Bhagavad-Gita
Everything we do must be in awareness. Conscious direction. Our actions echo back after traveling through the universe. If we omit good positive energy or thoughts - mental vibrations, it will bring a positive outcome. If we echo negative energy or thoughts- mental vibration it will deliver back a negative outcome.
Karma is more than just “doing good” for others. Leave the ego out of this. It comes down to our conscious thoughts and the energy, and mental vibrations we are sending through the universe that can effect the wellness of our universal family as a whole. “if you wish to be happy, think of the happiness of your fellow human beings.” -Hazrat Inayat Khan
Universal Thoughts for the Family System
- There is one family, the human family-our universal family which unites all beings.
- There is one law, the karmic law which governs our conscious thoughts.
- There is one master, ourselves. Not being led by ego but by mastering our mind and conscious thoughts through practice.
- There is one moral principle, the love which springs forth from a willing heart. Kindness and love are the gifts we can give to everyone that costs us nothing.
- There is one path, your path. Following your heart and your dreams. Taking care of yourself first and by making yourself happy you can give more freely to others because your positive mental vibrations will resonate toward the benefit of our universal family as a whole.
- There is one truth, the truth that you will speak that comes from the true knowledge of our being, within and without. Being wise, the essence of our wisdom knowing that at this juncture it is almost nearly impossible to make a difference only being one. But at the very least if we join forces with our universal family we can slowly make change.
Sister and Brotherhood Being an only child, Heidi Parker realized the importance and necessity of sister and brotherhood within the universal family. The concept is as follows:
- From a Human Point of View: Speaking the truth, always. Getting “involved.” Being kind. Being patient. Treating life-like a moving meditation-being thoughtful and peaceful.
- From a Social Point of View: Showing respect and understanding for the beliefs and opinions of others. Remembering, not only your physical neighbors but our universal neighbors. Always send positive mental vibrations and thoughts out to them. Applying the law of karma.
- Respecting Social media such as Facebooking, Twitter and Blogging. Being kind and considerate in our actions. Being respectful to all whom we can touch. Sharing. Educating.
- From a Moral Point of View: Offering all that is expected - didn’t you’re parents say “do onto other’s as you want done onto you?” but more so - offer up everything you can while expecting nothing in return. Heidi Parker's Ecology professor once said, “never expect a free lunch,” but Heidi says, “Always give a free lunch, or make it with love, share it and expect nothing in return.”
- From a Wise Point of View: Being a living example of honesty, love, and harmony. Be good, do good. Or don’t listen to Heidi, listen to that smart little chubby round guy Buddha "What you have become is the result of what you have thought." -Buddha...and something about being the “change you want to see in others.” Basically, think it and then lead by example.
- Mystical Point of View: Letting go of the ego by understanding when the ego arises. Freeing oneself from the illusion of the self. Know your ego and when it flares up. Get to know it.
- From a Spiritual point of view: Believing in something other than yourself. Attuning oneself to the divine spirit of guidance.
- Santosha - means happiness in contentment. Being content with what we have rather than longing for things we don’t have. Accepting what we have. Literally the word means happiness. There are occasions we work hard to get something and when we don’t get it, we become very disappointed. Some people can become seriously depression as a result. Some may even contemplate suicide in extreme cases. We do these things because we do not have the discipline of being content with what we have. We should accept that there is a purpose for everything - yoga calls it karma. The real meaning of santosha is 'to accept what happens.' www.seekingsantoshanicaragua.com
- Yoga - postures and meditation. Yoga means to Yoke or Unite. We must unite with ourselves, control the irrational mind chatter and form a positive union with ourselves and our universal family. We can do this through the practice of yoga. And if you don’t do yoga, what is your yoga? Surfing? Skiing? Connect with nature.
- Respect nature. Mother earth. Recycle. Don’t be wasteful of our earth’s resources. Preserve. Be pro-active.
- Dance like no one is watching. Accept yourself and do what you love.
- No judgment. Refrain from judging others. We ourselves are not perfect. Perfection scares Heidi and although some religions such as Hinduism strive to move past perfection, Heidi likes to acknowledge all the imperfections that make us human.
- Dream. Envision your dream. Verbalize it. Take action to manifest it. And don’t just watch the movie or read the book “The Secret” and think that that’s the way to manifest something. Fat chance! If you don’t apply the “action” you might as well just let your dreams fade away.
- Ignore the naysayers. Those are the people who discourage us from accomplishing our goals. They try to throw a stick in your wheel spoke. They secretly, in others ways, try to take you down. Serving only to extinguish your hopes and dreams. Oh, they pretend to be supportive by saying the words like “I’m here to support you in your dreams and goals,” but then they do nothing to help advance them besides blow smoke up your ass. Most times we are clouded by the residual smoke that they blew leaving us dazed and confused. We don’t see past the smoke cloud of falsities into their true mis-intentions. Ignore these people! In oneness, send them peace and love through the universal family system in hopes they will follow your lead by feeling the love and peace from afar.
- Cultivate relationships worthy of your time and energy. Do not judge others but review who you spend your time with. Heidi believes we can have all sorts of relationships but she will try to spend the most of her time with people who are mirroring her actions or with people that inspire her or are generating change or leading. Leaders. People whom are also contributing huge amounts of positive energy- thoughts - mental vibration toward our universal family. People who care about a community and contribute to it.
- Enablers. Surround yourself with enablers. You are the average of the 5 people you spend your most time with. Do you want to be like these people?
- Self Preservation. In order to give to our universal family, we must respect and preserve ourselves be eliminating the relationships or people who are not serving us or contributing positivity any longer. Do not be a naysayer to others. Don’t deny yourself of the life you should live.
I’d like to leave you with this quote by John Eliot: “History shows us that the people who end up changing the world – the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries – are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses.”
THANK YOU’S!!!! A few people currently in my life that I want to acknowledge. They are an inspiration. They are the people I have spent a lot of time with or hope to spend more time with. Remember, we are the average of the 5 people we spend our most time with.
Julia McCabe, my guru and yoga teacher that certified me. She shined the light that led to my new path and I stayed true to it and followed it. Read my testimonial about Julia on her site. http://www.juliamccabe.com/yoga-testimonials.html
Will Blunderfield, an amazing Yogi on his own path in search of freedom through courage. Another guru who said the initial words that inspired me and filled me with courage to live out my dreams starting with my Eat.Bike.Pray mission. http://www.willblunderfield.com/Will_Blunderfield_Yoga_%26_Music/The_Official_Will_Blunderfield_Site.html
Karim Ladki owner and founder of 9Lives Adventures. Adventures for the disabled. A hard worker. An inspiration. http://www.9livesadventures.com Read the blog I wrote about 9 Lives. http://seekingsantosha.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/one-life-or-9lives-9lives-adventures-relationships-worth-cultivating/
Robert Sapolsky. My friend Daniel introduced me to a riveting talk on Ted Talks by Robert Sapolsky that helped me to realize that I MUST continue down my current path. My Moral Imperative: “The less forgivable the act, the more it must be forgiven. The less lovable a person is the more you must find the means to love them. Being educated and wise you realize it’s impossible for one person to make a difference but that just means the more you must. Being educated and wise makes us privileged to be sitting here at this juncture. No one else is better to sustain a contradiction like this and use it as a moral imperative.”- Robert Sapolsky
Bo Fox, Project Manager of Project Woo. A wave of optimism making changes in the small town of Gigante, Nicaragua. My new friend and awesome surfer! An inspiration. http://www.projectwoo.org/
Rex Calderon, founder of Happy Waves and his lovely girlfriend Anne De Zeeu who helped bring it to life. I currently volunteer for Happy Waves, a not-for-profit organization teaching children of the Nicaraguan Community to surf.
My yogi friends, some of whom graduated with me under Julia McCabe. They are currently moving down their new path to make a difference. They took what we learned under Julia and had the courage to make a change in their lives and are applying it. Most people after such a hard training resort back to old habits 4-8 weeks but not these yogi’s they continue to move forward! I’m so proud of them.
- Laura Brameld teaching karma yoga to the native american community, Jennie Small is creating change though the empowerment of food toward a plant-based diet initiative. Dan Eby who is out pounding the pavement generating buzz about Nicaragua and Seeking Santosha. Kim Slater who is coming to teach a retreat in Nicaragua who has been involved with much karma work in Africa and organized a yoga-thon to help save the baby sea turtles in Nicaragua. Ashley Carter - we graduated our 200 hr. yoga teacher training together and he continually inspires me to keep on keeping on. He will be joining me in Nicaragua to assist me in the creation of a promo video for Seeking Santosha Nicaragua. Stay tuned. http://www.apokindustries.com/
Some rooted family members:
- My Aunt Debbie for loosing a ton of weight and being so positive each and every day. And for being the one who contacted me on a boat in the middle of the ocean to let me know the bad news my father died. My Cousins Stacy and Laurie for staying true to their beliefs in Christianity and always sending me peace, light and love from a far.
Lailanie - aka "Lotus Child" - my graphic & web designer, a former roommate and colleague and universal family member. She brought my vision to life through her design. www.seekingsantoshanicaragua.com
My father for giving me my sick sense of humor and always believing in me.
The friends who have always been there to support me, not just on moving day! The true friends that speak the positive truth to you always. They are the wind in your sails, not the naysayers that throw a stick in your wheel. You may not see them often, but when you do, it’s all love! I don’t feel the need to name names, you know who you are.
Now, Go like these pages on Face Book - and think about how you too can contribute positive energy to our universal family. http://www.facebook.com/#!/seekingsantosha http://www.facebook.com/#!/9lives.page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Will-Blunderfield/111639805520343 http://www.facebook.com/pages/APOK-INDUSTRIES/30587281902?ref=ts http://www.facebook.com/seekingsantosha?sk=info#!/pages/Project-WOO/195069189015 http://www.facebook.com/seekingsantosha?sk=info#!/pages/Happy-Waves/172686442784052 http://www.facebook.com/seekingsantosha#!/pages/Find-Your-Seat/113847005360471
Check out our fun Nica videos!