project be bold

Igniting the Divine Spark of the Heart By Musician and Songwriter Devirose

By  Devirose

Ever since I can remember, I have been acutely aware of the suffering in the world, both that which is part of the fabric of life such as illness, death, and natural occurrences, and that which we create on our own through the perpetuation of our harmful beliefs and actions toward ourselves and others. It troubled me a great deal, and I often felt overwhelmed by it. I couldn’t make sense of it. At the same time, I recognized that many people deny this aspect of life. I felt quite isolated in my recognition of, and depth of feeling about, the painful aspects of being alive. This combination of factors became the impetus for my commitment to spiritual practice as well as my interest in psychotherapy. I began a very serious meditation practice as well as a great deal of inner work to clear my own harmful patterns.

I later learned that this is referred to as the “gate of suffering” in Buddhist practice--that the acute awareness of the painful aspects of life becomes the entry point into questioning conventional notions of attaining happiness through the acquisition of material possessions and pleasant experiences. That in fact this “gate” or doorway leads to the recognition that suffering is universal, that no one escapes it, and that it links us together as a human family. My response to this truth, as it is for many who recognize it deeply, has been to dedicate my life to learning how to respond to all beings with wisdom and love. This is quite a practice! I have also found that by facing suffering directly, it is transformed. The Heart can grow in its ability to love, and we can come to recognize the workings of Love all around us.

This commitment to using my life to grow in consciousness and living from the Heart has been the underlying force behind the various activities/roles that I have explored. Seeing the suffering in myself and others prompted me to undertake rigorous training in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis so as to help others transform harmful patterns that were blocking their authentic life force and ability to express themselves fully. As I continued on in my meditation practice, I was offered the opportunity to teach, and to use this role to help others to turn toward their own pain with compassion, and, eventually, to see that it is possible to use our limited time here to follow the promptings of the Heart, to grow in our capacity for love and wisdom.

Listening to my Heart’s intention to grow also prompted me to explore the Yogic tradition. I completed a Yoga Teacher Training and seriously undertook the practice of Bhakti Yoga, or the Yoga of Devotion. Bhakti Yoga has taught me, and continues to teach me, how to open to life with gratitude, to recognize that the life force which created everything is large beyond my comprehension, to pay homage to its grandeur and to the energy which caused all that is to come into being. It is a softening practice that asks us to not habitually demand what we want from life, but to surrender and to listen deeply to what life is asking of us! By giving up control of how I think things should be (which often causes a lot of suffering when things don’t turn out according to plan), I have been taken to wonderful places that I never would have expected. And this leads me right to my music!

I never set out to be a singer, or to write songs, but instead wanted to learn to how open my heart to life by singing and chanting. Through this process, I eventually met a man who I thought was going to teach me some well known yoga chants, but instead suggested that I write my own music. Having never been trained as a musician, at first I thought this a preposterous suggestion (!) but eventually I settled into it, and it felt completely right.

I have been singing and writing songs for almost ten years now. I began by using ancient yogic mantras in Sanskrit with my original music. Eventually, I was asked to lead evenings of chanting where groups of people come together and use chant as a heart-opening practice. Continuing to sing, write, and lead others in this practice, has been a great blessing for me and has brought me much joy! Without this as an agenda, I came to meet professional musicians, composers, and singers who were writing songs outside of a spiritual/chant based tradition. Being exposed to them, exposed me to the art of song-writing, and has birthed a whole new aspect of my music.

My journey has been to wake up by transforming the inner suffering, to ignite the Divine spark of the Heart, to fan the flame of this inner fire of love. This is a universal spiritual journey, not owned by any one group, but is the potential of everyone. And so, my songs are now outside of any particular spiritual tradition, they are songs that speak to the Divine spark of Love that lives within us all. At its core, my music continues to convey the same intention that I set as my life’s work many years ago. How do we use our time here wisely? Can the suffering in the world be responded to with Love? How do we evolve in our consciousness to see the Largeness of Life with gratitude, to wake up to its mystery, and the miracle that there is anything here at all? How do we pay homage to that Force that created us and everything that we see, a Force that is wise and loving beyond our comprehension? And how do we recognize that it is this Force that is the guiding Force of our own Heart, whispering to us, and prompting us to follow Love as a path.

Visit Devirose's Website at and friend her on Facebook.

20 Things to Be Thankful For That Don't Revolve Around Cash

Have you found yourself cash deficient and losing sight of the beauty that the world has to offer? Whatever you do, don't allow your fears and frustrations to get the best of you. Allow for what is working and beautiful in your life to offer you strength and courage. In an effort to help us remember the many free things in life that we can be thankful for, here are 20 things to be thankful for:

  1. The art of conversation
  2. A forever friend
  3. A stranger's nod and smile
  4. The love of a child
  5. The touch of a loved one
  6. A listening ear
  7. Legs on which to walk
  8. Eyes with which to see
  9. Hands which can build and touch
  10. Words of wisdom
  11. The ability to be kind and help
  12. Tummy tickling laughter
  13. The sun shinning in the sky
  14. The moon illuminating our nights
  15. The blue sea
  16. Prayer and meditation
  17. A good ole' jog in the park
  18. Sleep for a weary mind
  19. Grace and forgiveness
  20. Hope
And new beginnings too...All will be OK...but we must first be thankful for the things that are working and the things that are true to the heart.
Feel free to add to the list above! Look forward to your ideas...
-Jen Engevik
Project BE Bold

Jen Engevik's Bold Speech for 5 Steps to Boldness

The following is a speech developed by Jen Engevik and Anette Ericsson on the concept of boldness. It outlines 5 Steps to Bold Living that can be applied to your and anyone's life. Pass it on!


First Step to Boldness

After studying some of the world's boldest men, women and children, it has become more and more obvious to me that

Galileo in Court - Sharing HIs Truth

they seem to share five traits. I'll be sharing them at the TED Conference in Irvine today via video. In an effort to give you a sneak peak, I'll provide you the first of the five that I"ll be sharing:

1. They listen to the truth within. Plato instructed humanity to "know thyself." He discovered that when we fail to examine our selves, it is rather impossible to have a purpose in this world.

A couple examples include:

Galileo - He just couldn't resist standing up and shouting to the world that the earth rotates around the sun...because it was the truth! The government and church taught the opposite and were worried that if the world learned the truth there would be a revolution. They tried to silence Galileo, yet he didn't quit. They took him to court...he still didn't quit. They then sentenced him to house arrest until his death. He chose to put his life on the line for future generations. His perseverance was driven by truth...and oodles of gotta love it!

Rosa Parks - She stood up for her truth...that she was just as valuable as a white person. In defiance of a ridiculous law, she refused to sit at the back of the bus with the other black men and women. Her actions played a major role in changing history forever!

Knowing thyself appears to mean...

- understanding what makes you tick
- fully examining your beliefs and testing them against reality
- daring not to follow the pack and thinking for yourself
- not being threatened by those you don't understand and listening to their stories
-  knowledge of your body and how you can maintain true health & balance

Those who fail to know their truths...or are just too fearful to acknowledge them tend to be quite unfocused, unhappy, frustrated, frustrating, and dreamless.

I can't help but wonder if this is why so many of us are miserable and depressed in this world. So many of us fail to really look inside, buck the system, and do our part in changing/improving the world.

If you find yourself doubting about taking a bit of time to get to know who you really are.  Ask yourself..."if I could do anything in this world...what would I do?" And then think hard...what within inspires you to desire your dream? Such knowledge is a perfect starting point!

I'll be a part of the Ted Conference today...check it out from 11-4...the live stream will be at

Thank you for reading!

- Jen Engevik
Project BE Bold


10 Bold Words to Meditate on Today

1. Love...keep the heart pumping and ever your partner, your child, your mother & father, and even strangers some love today.

2. Forgive...let go of offers the perfect opportunity to create new, positive brain waves.

3. Now...have you noticed all of the beauty surrounding you at this very moment? The magic lies in the moment...that's why we had so much fun when we were kids.

4. Trees...thank goodness for green leaves to create more oxygen for us to breathe. How about being a tree huger for the day...or climbing up one for fun.

5. Path...choose the path that your gut tells you to take. It may be scary and temporarily painful, but at least it beats stagnancy.

6. Hand...this world wouldn't be what it is today without our hands. "I can change the world...with my own two hands...with my own...with my own two hands" - Ben Harper

7. Eyes...dare not to take for granted that you have eyes with which to experience the world. Open them up a bit more, and you'll be amazed at what you can experience.

8. Listen...the more we listen, the more we learn. It's not always easy to stay silent and give time for another being to express himself/herself, but it's the most loving thing we can do. Practice makes perfect...let's keep trying to be better listeners.

9. Quiet...minds need time to breathe. Let's dare to find a nice place where there are no distractions and just be. Clarity and great ideas grow in moments of peace...and quiet.

10.'s OK to daydream a bit and let the mind take flight. How else was the science of flight conceived?...or the iPhone developed?...or the pyramids designed? Why do we not have daydreaming classes in school? Don't be one of those people who tell your children not to daydream...or that their imagination will lead them to ruin. Join in the fun!

Those who are out there making things happen in the world often have a hard time sleeping at night...their imaginations run wild as they dream up their next creation.  Have you bought into the idea that they own some special dreaming license? At birth we were all given the same one...why not use it?

- Jen Engevik

My Lesson on Goal Revising and Self-Forgiveness

After spending nearly three months in Sweden, I am back in the US of A. While I am happy to be back and enjoying the bright sunny California days, I have to admit I went through a bit of an adjustment period. In one way, being in my home here was new and fresh and in another way it felt as though I had never left. Travel is strange in that way. You plan, pack, get on a plane and fly half way around the world - experience amazing moments. Time flies. Then the next thing you know you are back where you came from... jet lagged and a bit disoriented.

Prior to leaving Sweden, I had promised myself that I would run each and every day for 21 days as part of an experiment. And OK...I'm am going to say it just as it is...I failed. I haven't run each and every day. For days I've put off admitting this because maybe I'm a bit ashamed.

In the process of trying to run for 21 days straight, I have to admit that I really don't like running. LOL! There I said it!!! I've run a day here and there and then have gone on long bike rides and swam. Today I rode with a friend from Irvine to the backbay of Newport - the other day I swam for 20 minutes - the day before that I cycled 25 miles - the next day I ran 2 miles.  And I've learned something about myself in the process. I enjoy variety. I know, I know...I'm a slacker surrounding my 21 day experiment.

But...I'm thinking it's OK for goal revision and forgiveness. I can change my goal to 21 days of exercise in its various forms. I can forgive myself for failure. It took me days to write this post because of my guilt. As I've contemplated my inability to force myself to run for 21 days straight, I realized how easy it is for us not to forgive ourselves for past failures. We become angry with ourselves - we become stagnant -we look at ourselves as weak. And then there is our support system who may chuckle at our constant goal setting efforts and very little follow through.

I'm thinking I need to look at what I was trying to accomplish - the big picture. My goal really at the core is to get in shape and to grow better habits. I need to realize that there are many ways to get there. Goal revision is acceptable and maybe healthier than I know. I have to own who I am and then try to build a framework that makes sense for me. I need to analyze myself and learn to set goals that make my soul come alive. For instance, my self-analysis includes the fact that I love lots of colors - all type of people - surprises - new experiences. So it may be that my goal setting needs to include variety?

My 21 day project will be revised to 30 minute of exercise per day - running will be a part of it, but so will a lot of other activities I love.

I'm wondering how I can apply this lesson to other areas of my life? Maybe I haven't finished a book to be published because I'm in need of a bit of variety...try writing from new a wider variety of authors that inspire me before sitting down to write...make my home chores more fun and in a different order each time...

Writing this post is moving me beyond my shame based train of thought. I am OK even though I'm not perfect. I hope whoever reads this gives him or herself a break to. Moving to new levels cooking requires that we forgive ourselves and move on.

- Jen Engevik

5 Ways to Gain Instant Freedom

1. Chuck your cell phone in the river! can at least pretend you are throwing it in the river for an hour, 5 hours, a day or more. Have you ever felt an energy drain when going back and forth between looking at your smartphone and enjoying a dinner, a movie, exercise or other activity? Research has shown that by taking your focus away from one activity and throwing it into the other fragments the mind and causes unneeded stress/frustration.

2. Delegate responsibility & simplify. Your story may be..."I do everything around here and no one helps. No one understands or wants to make my life easier. Sob...gasp...sob...gasp." Take a moment to look in the mirror and be real with yourself. Some of us create our own stress. We make things much harder than they need to be. We do and do and do, wishing that somebody will see how hard we work and all that we accomplish. It is only when we stand up and say "I need help!!!", set new rules and recreate our systems that we can gain relief. You may want to journal about why you may be taking on so much and not asking for help more often....or demanding it for that matter. Is it possible that in some way you gain worth by piling so much on your shoulders?

3. Do something out of character. It is easy to get caught in daily patterns that make you feel as though you are living groundhog day. You get up, you eat, you work, you fix dinner, you watch a bit of TV or read and go to bed. And you do everything within a certain set of parameters. You wear the right things, you act the way everyone expects you to act, and that's that.

I dare you to do something to shock everyone. If you are afraid of heights, join a rock climbing club or go sky diving. If you are normally the silent wallflower, start a blog and share your deepest thoughts and opinions with the world or speak up! If you usually go to work wearing a drab suit, throw on something racy and see what happens. If you go through life each day without much energy and walk down the street looking at your feet, try your best to look up and try your best to create energy. See how differently people react to you!

The moral of the story is -- sometimes we get locked into a particular category and we begin to feel like we've lost our authenticity...or that we are required to play a particular role. When we mix it up a bit, we can't help but feel a bit free!

4. Do something you loved to do as a kid. Drop all responsibility for a few hours or a day and go do something that you loved to do in your younger days. We gain energy when we renew our wonder and connect with the child within. Don't be afraid to act silly. Ride your bike without holding onto the handle bars, do a cannon ball into the pool, take a trip to Disneyland and sing It's a Small World at the top of your lungs, climb a tree, finger paint, build a fort, go fishing...visit your childhood home and neighborhood.

5. Take a last minute trip. Traveling has the power to help us reset our lives and free our souls! You can jump into your car and drive a few towns away, find a last minute vacation deal online, throw a tent in your trunk and seek out a great campground, etc.

In the case that you have kids, how about secretly packing things up and then announcing out of the blue that you are all going on a weekend getaway. Drop everything you are doing and just go!  Or if you and your spouse need a getaway, make last minute plans with the grandparents or a babysitter you trust and set out for an adventure. You may fear leaving the kids behind, but they will be OK once they get settled.


These are only a handful of ideas...there are many more ways to gain freedom! Would love to hear your ideas...comment below to share!

Whatever we do in life -- we must constantly evaluate our actions and recognize that we are the creators of our realities and experiences!

- Jen Engevik

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