MOZI Your Way to Mindfulness - Ch 1


Nature never loses its muchness. A tree is always a tree, tall and rooted. A bird always sings its perfect song. Animals don’t pretend to be something they aren’t, unless you’ve trained your dog to play dead for a treat. So, one of my favorite things to do is go out into nature and meditate to the sounds of birds and wind blowing through the trees as a reminder of what it means to be authentic, natural and true. One day, I found a majestic oak in an off-leash wooded dog park and sat with my back up against the tree and my legs out long. I hadn’t been there more than ten minutes when a family strolled by with three dogs. Their rather bouncy and happy Great Dane (this dog was HUGE) bounded right up to me and sat down next to me. He put his extra large nose right up to my cheek. I squeezed my eyes shut in preparation for a slobbery tongue, but he just gently touched my cheekbone with his soft black nose. Then in one bounce, he leapt over my legs and sat down on my other side. He repeated his gesture on my other cheek. When his family whistled, he bounced away, only to return within a couple seconds to jump over my legs several times. They whistled again, and he bounced away, only to return a third time! The extra-large dog leapt over me several times, bringing smiles and giggles out from places inside me that I didn’t know I had. He was honest, authentic, joyful, and fully present in life. He hopped and leaped and bounded through the woods with full zest for life. In just a few moments, he showed me what muchness looks and feels like. When his family rounded a bend several yards up the path they called him, “Mozi, come!” It occurred to me that his name, Mozi, was a shortened acronym for "More Zest" (Mo’ Zee), and I knew that this Great Dane and his passion for life was a sort of mascot for my work. The word “mosey” means to wander freely, enjoying the journey without concern for the destination. Mozi the Great Dane was enjoying the journey of his life with great zest, living fully in the moment, unabashedly expressing his boisterous and playful authenticity to everyone he met. My hope is that this book and the system of exercises provided within it can help you remember you own muchness and experience moments of moseying through your own life with zest and authenticity as Mozi did that day under the great oak tree. I invite you to mosey your way through this book, enjoying the process of the journey without focus on any destination, living fully in the moments of remembering your MUCHNESS. The MOZI EXPERIENCE is a systematic Body-Mind-Spirit educational program designed to teach a simple and applicable practice for remembering your muchness. Chapter One Remember Your Muchness "You used to be much more 'muchier.' You've lost your muchness." ~The Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's film Alice in Wonderland Everything, absolutely every single thing about you is perfect. The decisions you make, the body you wear, the mis-steps you take, the beauty you shine, the scars you bear, the successes you live, the wounds you endure, the good deeds you offer, the messes you create, and the character you express are all PERFECT. However, in this ever-changing and chaotic world, it is easy to forget the precious gem that is inside you. People, circumstances, challenges, limitations, and frustrations are constantly trying to make you be something that you aren’t. Sadly, in this world, it’s so easy to lose your muchness. Muchness – one’s most natural state of brilliance, radiance, beauty, strength, confidence and authentic greatness. I Dreamed a Dream On April 11, 2009, Susan Boyle, a frumpy woman from a small cluster of villages in Scotland, found her muchness on the stage of the popular talent show Britain’s Got Talent and shared it with the world in a very big way. With a cheeky attitude, the 47-year-old woman shook her hips at the judges and proclaimed she wanted to be as big a singer as Elaine Paige. Judge Simon Cowell flashed his trademark eye-roll prematurely because before she had finished the opening phrase of I Dreamed a Dream from the classic musical Les Misérables, Boyle received a standing ovation. Upon completion of her performance she started to strut offstage before even hearing the judges’ feedback. After being coaxed back to center stage, Boyle heard Judge Amanda Holden confess that she thought the entire audience was against Boyle, but that listening was a complete privilege. Judge Piers Morgan gave the biggest “yes” he had ever given in the history of the show. When Simon Cowell called her a tiger and said she could go back to the village with her head held high with three yeses, she threw her arms up in the air, stomped her feet on the ground, and pranced offstage. An international sensation had been born. Nine days later, the video of Susan Boyle’s performance had gone viral on YouTube. By 2013 she had sold over 19 million albums. Susan Boyle’s fame proves that the world not only recognizes, but also rewards those who find and express their muchness. What made Susan Boyle’s performance demand a standing ovation and earn the greatest “YES” of the show’s history? Some might argue that it was her talent, and others might say it was her unique character that seemingly didn’t match her powerhouse mezzo-soprano voice. But arguably, Susan Boyle isn’t any different than you or me. In fact, she faces challenges beyond what many of us could imagine. A childhood diagnosis of brain damage was revised in 2013 to Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum. Despite her challenges in social settings, Boyle is the subject of a feel-good inspirational story that proves anyone can find and express their muchness. So what exactly did she do or have in her expression of herself that made everyone who watched stand up and take notice? The answer lies in her shaking hips and proud strut, her confidence and choice of song, her stomping feet and upraised arms. When Boyle strutted onto stage and shook her hips at the judges, she asserted a confidence and ease in her state of being. Her spunk coupled with the lyrics of the song I Dreamed a Dream indicated a mental state of passion and a belief in herself and her dream that spilled over into the audience. Upon receiving the news that she received three resounding yeses, she stomped her feet on the ground and raised her arms high, making herself not only bigger and taller, but more grounded and solid, almost as if she were symbolically stepping into her muchness. Body + Mind + Spirit = MUCHNESS Boyle’s performance was an example of ideal body/mind/spirit alignment. While she held her body in proud posture, she kept a mental attitude of confidence and even sang lyrics to a song that supported her mental intention. The third element of the equation, spirit, lies in her skill as a vocalist to breathe fully. The word spirit comes from the Latin root word spiritus, which means “breath.” As a vocal singer, Boyle had practiced and mastered her ability to breathe fully, and expressed her breath, her spirit, through her singing. An analysis of her Britain’s Got Talent performance reveals that Susan Boyle’s body posture, mental attitude, and spirit breath is the perfect integration of body/mind/spirit. The result was obvious: MUCHNESS. Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream performance is only one of many examples of people living and expressing their muchness. Other examples might include: Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, or Steve Jobs’ Stanford University Commencement Speech. Lesser known examples can be found in the stories of everyday people. On the show Undercover Boss hard-working people do their seemingly unpleasant jobs with muchness. In 2009, the father of a precocious toddler named Jessica posted a video of his daughter shouting affirmations of muchness to herself in the bathroom mirror, and the video went viral. Soul Pancake, a website (www.soulpancake.com) that makes and posts various feel-good videos, posted a video of complete strangers in a ball pit on the street talking about life’s big questions, and deep connections and sharing of muchness resulted. Muchness is everywhere, including right inside yourself. You just need to open your eyes to it. The word muchness was common during Shakespearean times. It means “the quality or state of being great.” Identifying those who live and share their muchness is easy. They evoke standing ovations when they speak. They make you smile. They inspire others to want to take action and believe in the seemingly impossible. They give you a warm feeling in your heart and a fiery passion in your belly. They seem happier than the average individual. Like Susan Boyle, these individuals hold an aura of muchness. BUY THE BOOK The Looking Glass Can Susan Boyle look in the mirror and see her muchness aura? What exactly does that aura of muchness look like? It is hard to define as it holds a sort of elusive “you know it when you see it” energy. A psychic who has practiced reading auras as colors and lights that surround people may be able to define the aura of muchness more specifically. However, how is it that those of us who cannot see colors and energies, auras, can instantly recognize when someone is fully standing (or sitting) in their muchness? Why is it that we can believe that we all have the ability to access our own muchness, as well as the ability to see the muchness in others even when they aren’t showing it fully, but we can’t see or access this muchness consistently in ourselves? Why do children seem to spout their muchness more naturally, and the older we get, the more our muchness hides like a cat under the bed? Why can we occasionally access our muchness in random moments, but other times it seems to be locked behind the tiny door at the bottom of Wonderland’s rabbit hole? What can we do to consciously evoke our muchness on a consistent basis? Forgetting that when I was ten years old I had tucked my own muchness safely away in the sock drawer of my psyche with the tights I never wanted to wear because they were too itchy, I’ve spent the better part of thirty years asking these questions in an effort to find my muchness again. I have always wondered why, like the lion and the tin man and the scarecrow of The Wizard of Oz, we search for the courage and the heart and the brain that we have inside ourselves all along. I’m guilty of it myself. I was teased as a child for wearing the wrong brand of jeans, for needing thick glasses, for being the poorest kid in a wealthy suburban community. I was even hassled for being too smart and breaking the grading curve in math class. I learned to be ashamed of my four eyes and my poor fashion sense while I pretended to not know the answer when the teacher called on me. As I grew older, I learned that everyone, absolutely everyone, has stories of hiding their muchness like I did and often still do. My desire to answer these elusive questions about muchness has led me to go about my life sporting a rather stylish pair of rose colored glasses that help me to look underneath the wounds and scars of the people I meet and see the precious gem underneath that just requires a little spit shine. As a result, I have this gift (which sometimes feels like a curse) to see the muchness of every single person I meet. I can relate to Kermit the Frog who adores his Miss Piggy for her ambition and passion to defend what she loves despite her irrational temper tantrums and fits of jealousy and insecurity. I feel his pain when he sings It’s Not Easy Being Green, yet I find his greenness rather beautiful. While some might say that my ability to see colors and lights around people is a psychic gift, the truth is that I have just spent the better part of thirty years practicing and developing a keen sense of observation. I pay attention to body language, especially as a result of my work as a yoga instructor. As a writer, I am acutely aware of and intrigued by figurative language, word choice, tone, and mood. For the last several years I have made a career as a spiritual coach. I sit with people one-on-one as they tell me their stories. I get to meet the most fascinating people (absolutely everyone in this world is fascinating) and help them discover, or rather, remember the shiny brightness inside them that I observe through these ever so subtle cues. I watch their body language, take note of their facial expressions, and listen carefully for cues in their tone of voice and diction. I am so lucky! On a daily basis, I get to show these radiant people their muchness in the reflection of my rose colored glasses. I dream a dream of one day providing everyone I meet with a looking glass of their very own that they can use to remind themselves of their muchness. The MOZI METHOD is that looking glass. It is a step by step series of exercises, a methodical system of body/mind/spirit practices that you can incorporate into your everyday life to remind you in just a matter of seconds, in the moment, of your muchness and help you to behave and express yourself as your TRUE SELF in any scenario, situation or circumstance. Like anything, through consistent practice, your body can develop the muscle memory of body/mind/spirit integration so that living your muchness and expressing your true self becomes more automatic. Body - Posture I first discovered the power of body movement and language over my moods and emotions when I suffered clinical depression in my early twenties. I felt like my muchness had been taken hostage by a big ugly demon that lived deep inside a black hole that had consumed my heart. In an effort to get off the anti-depressants, which produced side effects that were almost worse than the depression itself, I began a rigorous workout regimen. I was able to wean myself off the drugs through an addiction to cardio-kickboxing, weight-training, and step aerobics. I literally beat my depression demon into submission every day, and I needed to be in peak physical form to do so. While I was extremely strong, I was not calm. I kept my depression demon knocked out, but my muchness (which I have since learned requires a balance of strength and calm) stayed hidden inside the folds my boxing glove wraps. While I was no longer depressed, I wasn’t exactly happy. My kickboxing ferocity intimidated even my own muchness. Then, one day my weight training coach suggested I try yoga, and everything changed. With each posture, I felt both strong and calm. I left the class feeling true happiness, and I tasted the delicious flavor of muchness that I hadn’t experienced since childhood. My keen sense of observation noticed that the students in the class exhibited a greater expression of their muchness during the practice. I traded in my boxing gloves and dumbbells for a yoga mat and embarked on an intensive study of muchness. Since the human body is the vehicle through which we all experience life, I figured that muchness is rooted in using the body as it was designed to be used, to its greatest efficiency. Yoga helped me to find that mechanical efficiency. While weight lifting and kickboxing were exercises