It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Best-selling Letting Go author Guy Finley's encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. His ideas cut straight to the heart of our most important personal and social issues: relationships, success, addiction, stress, peace, happiness, freedom and lead the way to a higher life. Finley is the acclaimed...

Best-selling Letting Go author Guy Finley's encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. His ideas cut straight to the heart of our most important personal and social issues: relationships, success, addiction, stress, peace, happiness, freedom and lead the way to a higher life. Finley is the acclaimed author of The Secret of Letting Go and more than 30 other books and audio programs that have sold over a million copies in 16 languages worldwide.


In addition, he has presented over 4,000 unique self-realization seminars to thousands of grateful students throughout North America and Europe over the past 20 years and has been a guest on over 400 television and radio shows, including national appearances on ABC,NBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, Wisdom Network, and many others. His syndicated weekly radio program is aired on several international networks including Healthylife Radio Network, WorldTalkRadio Network, and Contact Talk Radio International. Finley is Director of Life of Learning Foundation, the renowned non-profit Center for Self-study in Merlin, Oregon, and his popular Key Lesson e-mails are read each week by 400,000 subscribers in 142 countries.


His work is widely endorsed by doctors, business professionals, celebrities, and religious leaders of all denominations. In addition to his writing and appearance schedule, Guy presents four inner-life classes each week at Life of Learning Foundation headquarters in Merlin, Oregon. These classes are ongoing and open to the public. For more information about Guy Finley, and his life-changing work, visit guyfinley.org or http://relationshipmagicbook.com.


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The First Step in Releasing Negativity

wave The First Step in Releasing Negativity

When things don’t go the way we want them to, our tendency is to turn negative on the spot. It’s as if something in us throws a switch and, the next moment -- like being caught in the surge of a tidal wave -- resistance carries us away. But this unconscious resistance to reality never shows itself for what it is; it can’t, or the show would be over! After all, who sides with something that is perpetually against life?
 

Resistance is the unseen father of all lingering negative states. It derives its power to trick us into embracing its painful presence by a kind of misdirection. It hides behind a host of associated images that always appear with it -- certain thoughts and feelings that promise either to protect us or to provide us with plans to escape our situation. But we must learn to see that the true nature of anything -- whether a newly opened leaf or a fearful thought or feeling -- is inseparable from what it serves. So, regardless of how it may appear, any disquieting state in us that “says” it wants to lead us away from a fear is leading us toward one instead.

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A Revolution of One

beautiful-red-poppy-picture-id535849937 A Revolution of One

There are some things we should all know -- without having to think about it: humanity is headed in the wrong direction. Everyone knows this except for those who believe they can benefit from tearing their own ship apart -- while it's still at sea -- in order to sell its pieces at a profit.

But, much as in the timeless story of "The Emperor's Clothes," where no one would speak the truth of their ruler's nakedness for fear of losing the King's favor, so we continue to deceive ourselves. We hope for a happy ending that never comes...because undetected self-deception never ends. How can it when the only thing we change about ourselves are images that have already proven powerless to change anything? And so it is that blame has become the balm of our suffering. Yet, rather than healing these wounds in our psyche, such fault-finding only makes them worse, and the cycle of pain deepens in the darkness of ourselves. Let's be clear:

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Three False Beliefs That Poison Our Relationships

Three False Beliefs That Poison Our Relationships Three False Beliefs That Poison Our Relationships

Here is a list of three false beliefs that betray our hearts and poison our relationships. The more aware we can become of these long-conditioned false beliefs and how they compromise our ability to have fulfilling relationships, the more freedom we will win from them:


False belief # 1: Our value as a person is determined by how others see us.

If we believe our individual worth depends on how others see us, we live with the fear of being judged by them, where trying to win their approval causes us to compromise ourselves again and again. People sense this kind of weakness in us, causing them to resist us, which in turn, makes us feel even “needier.” The cycle deepens, things get worse. Here’s the solution. Seeing its truth sets us free: we are not in this world to “win” what we believe we must to feel “good” about ourselves, but rather to realize that who we are – our True Self – is already whole, happy, and complete.

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Two Steps to a New Relationship With Your Partner and Yourself

Two Steps to a New Relationship With Your Partner and Yourself Two Steps to a New Relationship With Your Partner and Yourself

In the largely autobiographical film “Peaceful Warrior,” loosely based on the book Way of the Peaceful Warrior by author Dan Millman, we meet a mysterious old man, a delightful character by the name of Socrates who operates a run-down gas station. The story line revolves around the relationship that Socrates develops with Dan. As the plot develops, and Dan learns to trust the old man, Socrates takes him through a series of powerful experiences and challenging life lessons all designed to achieve a single end: to help Dan realize and then release himself from a set of largely self-imposed limitations carried over from his past. At an inflection point in one of their dialoguesto help strengthen the point he wanted to make of a particular lessonSocrates tells Dan:

The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

This idea seems simple enough to understand and, at one level, it is. But hidden within it is also a secret instruction that, once revealed, will help us see the way out of any and all old patterns we may be reliving with our partner. Study the following insight closely; read and reread it as needed until some of its higher understanding reaches the part of yourself able to employ its power.

At the outset of feeling any disagreement about to beginwhether we’re about to go on the offensive, or find ourselves on our heels, feeling defensivewe must have enough awareness of ourselves to realize this very simple truth: in that same moment there is only one of two things that can be causing this conflict. Either an unseen part of us has acted to start this conflict, or some unconscious part of us has been stirred into opposing a similar characteristic in our partner. As long as we remain unaware of this “starting gun” that sets us racing to win the argument, we’ll continue to see everything about the moment from one side only: our side. But here’s the truth, as well as the explanation for why no one can ever win such a race:

Both of these actions—whether an unseen part of us steps up to initiate the pattern, or steps back to resist an equally unwitting action instigated by our partner—are a part of the overall pattern. In other words, the real reason this negative pattern keeps being resurrected is that, over and over again, we identify with one side or the other of these opposing forces. Take away either one of these two sides and well, you’ve heard the old expression: “what if they gave a war, and no one came?” This is why as soon as we catch the smallest hint of impatience, a mounting frustration, or any sense of resentment gathering steam we must actdecisivelyas outlined here in the following two steps.

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Dismiss These 3 False Beliefs About Your Partner That Drag You Both Down

man-and-woman-holding-hands-picture-id1075564988 Dismiss These 3 False Beliefs About Your Partner That Drag You Both Down

Inside all of us is a confusion of ideas and expectations that have been built up over the years through our experiences, books we’ve read, movies we’ve seen, opinions of people who seemed to be “in the know,” and endless other sources.
 

Much of this “information” is distorted, irrelevant, or just plain wrong. Nevertheless, these are the ideas that precede us into any situation, coloring what we see, and making us compare and judge reality against the picture in our minds.

 
These false beliefs shape the world we experience so that old pains and problems are reseeded into every new moment; their unseen influence is one of the reasons why we find ourselves so often re-living certain unwanted experiences over and over again. We may blame some outside condition for our discontent, but the fact is most of what troubles us about life, does so because we “believe” it’s not supposed to be like that!

 
All of this is particularly true when it comes to our human relationships. Our relationships with others, especially with our partner in life, are fraught with expectations, need, and false beliefs.

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10 Ways to Escape the Painful World of Self-Judgment

selfdoubt 10 Ways to Escape the Painful World of Self-Judgment

It would seem – given the speed and ease with which most of us judge others (including ourselves) ­– that there’s something natural, even good about it. After all, just about every time our eyes alight on someone or something, we judge it as good or bad, all based on how it stacks up against some inner ideal we have of how things should be.

Why is she wearing that? He’s so clueless. OMG: I look terrible today. The inner comments never stop, and often come out in complaints we express to others. But we don’t see them as complaints. To us they are nothing less than our intelligent observations of life around us.

We also don’t see how this endless stream of judgments hurts us. When we impose a negative view on things and people based on the past conditioning we bring to the moment, we can’t experience life directly, or see the good it may be offering. We can’t see the beauty in what we’ve summarily cast away.

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Rediscover the Power Of Love

rediscoverlove Rediscover the Power Of Love

The reality is that each and all of our relationships stir in us a host of strong feelings that, prior to their being awakened in us, we had no idea lay sleeping in our consciousness. These emotions range from deep delight to darkly disturbing, but to strengthen the point: whatever someone awakens in us is... our feeling. Which brings us to the next three important points. The more you’re able to see how they are secretly connected, the stronger will become your connection to a new order of love that can’t be shattered by any storm.

  1. Everyone in our life has a definite role to play in how we experience ourselves each moment; that’s their part, as much as it is ours to play a similar role in their life. However, they are not responsible for our negative reaction to what we see in ourselves when we’re in their company.
  2. On the other hand (and this isn’t to say that we’re to excuse others for their misguided treatment of us) but it’s not our job to make anyone else see where he or she is “wrong.” Which leads us to the last of the three points.
  3. If our wish is to discover a new and higher kind of love – the only one that can empower us to transcend our differences with our partner –then we must begin to see our old excuses for finding fault with him or her as...faulty!
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The Invisible Law Behind All Loving Relationships

relationships The Invisible Law Behind All Loving Relationships

Imagine that you and your partner have gone out for the evening with another couple, or perhaps with a small group of close friends. Maybe you’re at an intimate bar, a dance place, or just out somewhere to dine.

The atmosphere and conversation are light; people are smiling, perhaps warmed by a glass of wine or two. A few hours pass, the time grows late, and the waiter – maybe hoping to start clearing the table – comes over with the check. He’s not sure who to hand it to, and so he stands there, feeling somewhat awkward.

For a moment, no one really wants to acknowledge that he’s there. Most of the party looks in every direction but his, knowing that accidental eye contact might be interpreted by him as accepting responsibility for the bill. We’ve all been “there” in these moments...and unless our bank account is so flush that we don’t care about the extra cost, and want to pay for the party, it’s a slightly uncomfortable experience.

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The Power to Never Again Feel Powerless

The Power to Never Again Feel Powerless The Power to Never Again Feel Powerless

When expectations get dashed, we don't see new possibilities unfolding; all we see is the way things should have gone. We don't see what is with all of its positive possibilities; instead we see only the negative . . . what is not. We feel powerless because we've become the captive of a mind resisting itself, an involuntary prisoner of a mind struggling to escape its own negative images. There is nothing but powerlessness in this resistance because by law whatever we resist . . . persists! 



The only way to liberate ourselves from the confines of this unconscious relationship is to develop a new awareness of what it costs us to remain in its captivity. We must ask, what kind of "power" is it to resent any moment for unfolding as it does, to wish it didn't happen? Does it change the moment in any positive way? No, it does not. Does our pain prove that our position is right? To the contrary: the more we don't want the moment, the more we lend credibility to that moment as being overpowering. This false perception then strengthens our negative sense of self, as someone being overpowered by it. 

 

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Practice the Pause that Spiritually Strengthens

practicepause Practice the Pause that Spiritually Strengthens

The next time you feel yourself starting to become frustrated, angry or scared, do your best to confirm this vital insight: Negative emotions cannot exist without having something to blame for their punishing presence.

The clearer for yourself you can make this spiritual fact -- about the dualistic nature of spiritual weakness -- the better prepared you'll be to take your next step toward higher spiritual strength. Your discovery leads you to this totally new action. Whatever it takes, don't express that surfacing irritation by naming or blaming anything outside of you as being its cause.

Even if you have to remove yourself physically from the developing situation, then do it. Find some way to temporarily isolate yourself -- along with your smoldering emotional state. Please note: Isolate yourself along with your agitation.

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Welcome Truth's Light and Make Everything Right for You

Welcome Truth's Light and Make Everything Right for You Welcome Truth's Light and Make Everything Right for You

Have you ever seen rage in yourself? Generally, we don't want to see certain states within us because we've been conditioned to think of them as being morally "wrong" for us. We don't understand that these dark states are part of an interior world that can be changed when the light of awareness is shined upon them.
 

What happens when we see things about ourselves that we don't want to see?

In order to avoid looking at itself, the mind will seize on the rage it has seen, and it will try to explain it. It will take the initial darkness, the negative energy, and because it seems to be basically out of control, the mind will try to make of it something that it can deal with. When we live from a nature that does not want to see its "self," then there's no chance that this level of self, this nature, can ever change. When we hide from ourselves the way we feel, the only thing that we're accomplishing is the assurance that these feelings will return again... only more of them! It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: we condemn and doom ourselves by being afraid of the darkness in us. We have one thing to do with our own states, and that is to see them as they are, to catch the part of us that's afraid of being what we've just seen, and to stop trying to hide anything anymore... because we're on this earth to learn.

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The Three Wishes of Every Spiritual Aspirant

snowangelThe Three Wishes of Every Spiritual Aspirant The Three Wishes of Every Spiritual Aspirant

Principal to all that we study is an immutable, interior law: As goes my attention, so comes my experience. What I give myself to, I get. If I give myself to something low, I get low. If I give myself to something beautiful, I get beauty. If I give myself to the Divine, I get the Divine. This law is what we must keep in mind as we gradually look at the idea of what it is that we really want from life. Not: What do I want when I get up and I see the news and I get all stirred up, or what do I want when I look at the markets and I get all worried about that, or what do I want because something has stimulated me… but what do I want when I see that all that has stimulated me has left me with nothing?" That’s a significant difference. 

What is it that I really want? A big part of a person's work --for probably many years -- is just the gradual realization of how (like the Prodigal Son) they have wandered off and squandered their resources -- meaning their time and their attention -- which is all that we really have of our own. Then it starts to get a lot simpler to give voice to a truth seeker’s three real wishes.

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Everything Depends on What You Want from Life

What-You-Want-from-Life Everything Depends on What You Want from Life

Our lives are living opportunities to explore the celestial stuff of consciousness from which we are created. We can either choose to substantiate this relationship with reality through the "process" of paying attention to its invitation, or we can refuse it.

 

The first (and highly recommended) action places us upon the guest list of God’s life. 

The latter choice, our failure to be awake and attend to the moment at hand, leads to nothing but more involvement with nothing. So the right choice is always to choose in favor of Real Life! That's what our studies together are all about: learning to discern Truth when it knocks at our door. And practicing what we know strengthens our relationship with Truth. For instance, much as in the same way we must learn to give our attention to these impulses of consciousness appearing in the stream of our self, so we must learn to be awake to the garbage that bubbles up from the bottom of this stream that also calls for our attention. When a depressive state begins to press in, we can work to wake up and remember that a depressing thought embraced crushes the one who embraces it. We learn this lesson by loving something Higher.

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Step Out of the Flood of Negative Thoughts and Feelings

can-not-take-it-anymore-picture-id493575076 Step Out of the Flood of Negative Thoughts and Feelings

There's a very old saying…. maybe it's not popular anymore, and only older people know itIf you lay down with dogs, you'll get up with fleasBut you don't have to belong to the era from out of which that sagacity comes to get the gist of it.

If you lay down with dogs, you're going to get up with fleas. Why are you going to get up with fleas if you lay down with dogs? Because dogs and fleas generally go together.

We look at life, and then let something inside of us direct us to lay down (take a nap) with those negative states. We embrace them. We cuddle up with that sense of anger or frustration or fear.Who's at fault if I get up with fleas? Who's at fault if I'm negative? Is it the dog's fault? Is the dog responsible for the fleas that are on me? 


You may say, "No, I hate these negative states that I'm in!But your hatred of a negative state is the same as you laying down with the dog and picking up the fleas.

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Stop Singing the Notes of Discord

christmas-music-picture-id1065626360 Stop Singing the Notes of Discord

We are all notes. We are all the notes of the kingdom. Each of us is able to resonate with things we would never dream could produce either such a soothing or scary resonance in us. What should be evident in this fact is that when the "sound," or manifestation, of someone else sets us off and sends us into a fit, it is not their vibration that vexes us and makes us a "victim." What really disturbs us is the internal vibrations of a few of our own unknown strings as they sound off (within us) in a natural sympathetic response to the dominating tones of the moment.

Our recurring resistance to these undesired moments, to such people and conditions as create in us this discord we mistakenly blame on them, keeps us from learning how to utilize these relationships in order to realize their true purpose for us. For instance, say there is someone at work who tends to irritate us. Our usual approach is to avoid this person, as our errant thinking tells us that being out of sight is out of mind. The only thing is, as we have all come to experience, we cannot escape the sound of our self; so if it isn't that person we dodge at work, surely someone else will come along and strike a similar chord, "making" us hear those same sorry sounds of self again.

What is the answer? To realize deeply, personally, that we cannot outrun any one of these sounds of ourselves anymore than a piano can move out from under the strings by which it plays; and, as an integral part of this new self-understanding, that we need not, must not, resist some unpleasant note of our own, or that of someone else. These notes, whatever their tone, do not define us unless we make the mistake of identifying with their sounding. The false sense of self that each such sound produces within us is just that: a temporary self that is, itself, little more than a passing effect of the blending of these sounding notes.

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4 Steps to Walk Away the “Winner” of Any Argument

arguementpeace 4 Steps to Walk Away the “Winner” of Any Argument

A fight between two people (lovers, spouses, family members) is a kind of psychological battle often filled with personal attacks, accusations, and dredging up past mistakes. When both parties are exhausted, or one grudgingly concedes, the fight ends—for the moment. But nothing has changed; resentment has just gone underground until it’s dug up again, and hostilities soon resume.

But it needn’t be this way. There’s a little known “magic” that can stop any fight in the moment and helps prevent the next one from getting starting. It’s the result of what we can call “relationship jiu-jitsu.”

Jiu-jitsu is an ancient Japanese martial art based in “the art of yielding.” The combatants use special “moves” to turn an opponent’s energy back on them. But here, I’m using the term psychologically, where the opponent isn’t a person you’re fighting. The true “opponent” to be overcome is a negative, lower level of consciousness in each of you that blames the other for the punishing pattern you’re both caught up in.

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Set Your Sights on Self-Liberation

freedom-picture-id175947174 Set Your Sights on Self-Liberation

In our inner work to awaken and realize ourselves, we must begin where we begin, and put away any other concerns about where that beginning is. It’s enough just to make a start, wherever that may be. What difference does it make at what point you enter into a great river? Sooner or later, all of its waters reach and pour into the sea.

Never let discouragement have the final word, and one day there will be nothing left to discuss. Besides, you can have just as many new beginnings as you’re willing to leave behind all of your ideas about yourself. Nothing in this world, or in any other, can stop you from discovering your original, free being. This has always been your destiny, as Walt Whitman confirms: “The central urge in every atom, to return to its divine source and origin.”

Following are 10 secret ways higher self-studies help you succeed in life:

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New Rules to Rise Above Whatever is in Your Way

feeling-carefree-at-the-sea-picture-id1031937404 New Rules to Rise Above Whatever is in Your Way

Do you ever feel that you don't have the spiritual strength to face the difficulties in your path through life? Here’s a small story meant to act as a reminder and an encouragement:

Rebecca had decided that her best chance of getting hired by a company doing geological survey work in the Alaskan wilderness was to earn a private license to fly twin-engine planes. A few days later she began taking lessons from a wise old bush pilot, highly respected throughout the region for his cool and collected ways of dealing with the worst possible situations.

After the mandatory ground schooling, at which she excelled, and during her fourth lesson in the sky, the flight instructor gave her what she thought was a special treat: Taking his hands off the yoke, he turned the flight controls over to her. There she was, just as she had dreamed, sitting tall in the co-pilot’s seat with the flight stick firmly in her hands.

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Start Attracting Positive Life Results

bravo-on-your-business-accomplishment-picture-id658494798 Start Attracting Positive Life Results

If we can see how positive inner states lead to positive life experiences, then we can also see that negative inner states must attract negative results. Shedding light on this dark cycle will help us bring an end to it as a source of self-compromise.

Suppose someone walks into your office and drops the bomb that your company has unannounced plans to lay off several employees, and that no one knows who these unfortunates are going to be. Without higher principles to meet this unexpected moment, the fear would surely take control of you and the moment. In no time, you would be the victim of your own self-compromising plans for revenge on an insensitive company, or some such enemy.

Of course, at first glance, feeling scared and getting angry in an event like this seems like it makes sense. But a closer look clearly shows how it betrays. We can't have fear without anxiety. Anxiety can't exist without unconsciously comparing what we hoped would happen, to our new fears that it won't. And connected to this spreading fear our expectations won't be realized is our growing resentment of the situation, or person, we blame for wiping out our hoped-for happiness. So bitterness spreads. And as it does, it whispers to us that since we've already lost our future, why should we do anything more, for anyone, in the present? Now defiance has the reins, and in no time, self-righteous anger courses through our veins.

It's impossible to have one sad or sour state without another. But there's still much for us to see. Negativity, like all forms of thought, is actually physical in nature. All things physical, all forms of matter, have mass. And any mass in motion has momentum. Now, with these facts in mind, let's go back into our illustrative story and see what the momentum of this negative state has to ultimately attract.

So now the boss walks into your office -- or you see him at lunch -- and he asks you to do some extra work. But with the feeling of being betrayed still fresh in your heart, you can't help but meet him and his request with a full-blown negative state. The impression you make on him is indelible. Later on, at a time unknown to you, this same superior starts to review who he's going to keep on and who to let go. And he chooses to release you. Why? Because among other items weighted in his decision process, he recalls your barely masked aggression and obvious resistance to his request.

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Let Go of Anxiety and Regain Your Freedom

freedomof-lettinggo Let Go of Anxiety and Regain Your Freedom

When life falls apart, or threatens to come unglued, it seems almost natural to carry around some desperate, stressed, or depressed emotional state. But why cling to something that makes us ache? The answer is surprising, but evident, once we’re aware of what’s actually taking place within us.

Negative states tell us that we must feel as we do.

In some strange and unseen way, the weight of a dark worry serves as proof that we have “no option” other than to buckle beneath it . . . to fall down, feel betrayed, or prepare for a fight.

Real life can no more act to pull us down than the rising sun can burden the spring flowers that wait to bathe in its nourishing light.

No event, in itself, is the cause of the fear we feel in the moment of its appearance. William Shakespeare, whose insights into the workings of the human mind still remain treasures in spite of passing time, validates this important finding: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

The same wisdom holds true when it comes to the moments that make up our lives: we meet in events nothing more or less than the wealth of possibilities they present before us.

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