DR. MARGARET PAUL is a bestselling author, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows (including Oprah). Her book titles include Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You, Heal...
DR. MARGARET PAUL is a bestselling author, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows (including Oprah). Her book titles include Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding" and the recently released Diet For Divine Connection and The Inner Bonding Workbook. Margaret has successfully worked with thousands around the world and taught classes and seminars for over 50 years.
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How Important is Your Integrity to You?

How Important is Your Integrity to You? - Dr. Margaret Paul

Integrity:

  • being reliable and trustworthy with your word - doing what you say you are going to do
  • being honest, telling the truth about yourself
  • not doing anything you would not want announced publicly
  • walking your talk - adhering to the moral principles and standards that you profess are important to you
  • being accountable for your actions and taking responsibility for your feelings

Ray consulted with me because his ten-year marriage was running into severe difficulties. He was deeply in love with his wife and was terrified of losing her, yet the outlook was not bright with the way things had been going.

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What Do You Believe Makes You Feel Happy and Safe?

What Do You Believe Makes You Feel Happy and Safe?

We have all been brought up to believe that different externals are responsible for our happiness and safety. I was raised to believe that happiness and safety came from being in a relationship, from having good things happen, and from having control over the good things happening. My parents were not into things like houses, cars, or toys, so I never learned to connect my happiness with things. But lots of people do.

For example, Allen connects his happiness to people, things, and outcomes. As a result, he is constantly pulling on others for attention and approval. He is addicted to buying things and his garage is cluttered with his toys. And he can't be happy until he "finds the perfect job," and "makes more money." Because he connects his happiness and safety to all these externals, he is always trying to have control over getting what he wants. Trying to have control keeps him from being in the moment, which is where real happiness and safety exists.
 

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Choosing our Intent is the Essence of Our Free Will

Choosing our Intent is the Essence of Our Free Will

We are beings of free will. We can choose to allow our ego wounded self to guide us, or we can choose to allow our higher guidance to guide us. An important aspect of the spiritual path is the path of healing the wounded self, so that we are able to release our ego will to our higher will.

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Are You Missing Out on What Life Is All About?

Are You Missing Out on What Life Is All About? - Dr. Margaret Paul
"Love is life... And if you miss love, you miss life." - Leo Buscaglia, author

Take a moment to think about Leo Buscaglia's quote. Have you ever thought about love this way – that you actually miss living your life if love isn't what your life is about?

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Discerning Between Love and Manipulation

Discerning Between Love and Manipulation - Margaret Paul

"Everyone loved my mother and thought she was a saint, but I never felt good around her, and I never felt loved by her. There must have been something wrong with me," stated Pauline in our first session together.

While Pauline's mother's actions appeared to outsiders to be loving, energetically there was no love. The actions that appeared to be loving were really manipulations geared to control how others saw her. Her "giving" was designed to get attention and approval, rather than coming from an open, caring heart.

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The Two Different Kinds of Painful Emotions

The Two Different Kinds of Painful Emotions - Dr. Margaret Paul

People I work with often ask me to explain the difference between wounded feelings and core feelings – the existential painful feelings caused by others and by life.

One way of understanding this is that our core painful feelings - loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief, sorrow, helplessness over others, and fear of real and present danger - all reflect external reality.

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The Importance of Happiness in a Challenging World

The Importance of Happiness in a Challenging World - Dr. Margaret Paul
Do you have any idea how important your happiness and joy are to the healing of our planet?

I love this analogy of how much influence each of us has on the consciousness of our planet:

Imagine a beautiful clear pool of water. Imagine that every time someone is negative, mean, or harmful to themselves or others, a drop of black water is dropped into the clear beautiful pool. With enough people whose energy is dark, it doesn't take too long before that clear pool starts to get darker and murky.

Now imagine that every time someone is kind and caring with themselves and others, and every time someone is joyful, a drop of crystal-clear water is dropped in the pool. With enough happy, kind, and caring people, the water begins to clear. 

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How Willing Are You to Learn to Love Yourself?

How Willing Are You to Learn to Love Yourself?

"The world is filled with willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them."
 ~Robert Frost

Take a moment to think about this quote by Robert Frost. Which are you? How much work are you willing to put into learning to love yourself and taking responsibility for your feelings? Or are you only willing to watch others do their inner work, hoping they will change in the way you want them to?

'Willingness.' This word is a major part of Step One of Inner Bonding. In order to move through the Steps, we need to be willing to feel our pain rather than avoid it. We need to be willing to discover what we might be doing – what we are telling ourselves and how we are treating ourselves – that may be causing our pain. We need to be willing to feel the very painful core feelings of life – the loneliness, heartbreak, grief, and helplessness over others and over life events - that occur when others are unloving, or when we experience loss of a loved one or loss of financial security, or when we witness people hurting other people.

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How Important is it to You to Love?

How Important is it to You to Love? - Dr. Margaret Paul

"Being deeply loved by someone
Gives you strength,
While loving someone deeply
Gives you courage."
  ~Lao Tzu

There is nothing so wonderful in life as deeply loving and feeling deeply loved. We receive much strength and support in feeling deeply loved, and it takes much courage to love deeply.

This is, perhaps, the most vulnerable experience in life. To love deeply and receive another's deep love means that your heart is completely open – open to both love and loss.
 

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"How Can I Manage Overwhelm?"

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Most of us lead very busy lives and it is easy to become overwhelmed with all we need to do. In addition, about 15% to 20% of us are born with highly sensitive nervous systems that are far more reactive to having a lot to do than the general population. Since I have a very highly sensitive nervous system, I understand how easily some of us can become overwhelmed by the demands of life. I have learned some powerful tools for managing overwhelm that I will share with you as I answer the following questions about overwhelm.

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Are You Ridiculed for Your Spiritual Beliefs?

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Are you in a relationship with someone who judges you for your spiritual beliefs?

I work with many people whose spiritual connection is very important to them, but who are in a relationship with a partner who ridicules them, or whose family ridicules them. My client, Shelly, ask me: “I'm in a relationship with a man who is very kind and loving but does not have any form of faith, and he regularly ridicules religion. I am not religious, but I do have spiritual beliefs which he describes as ‘fanciful’. I don’t feel close and connected with him, or respected by him when he judges me, so I no longer share my beliefs with him. But why does he ridicule me? And how should I respond to this?”
 

It's my experience that when someone judges another for their spiritual beliefs, it's because on some level they feel threatened by them.

People who don't open to having a personal experience of Spirit are often afraid of being duped or controlled. They feel safe when they are in their head rather than in their heart, and they may feel afraid of being used or taken advantage of if they move into their heart. When such a person takes a one-up position, like Shelley's partner who is judging her spiritual beliefs as 'fanciful,' it's often because they are afraid of losing control over the other person. Perhaps Shelley's partner fears that if she follows her own guidance, he may lose control over her.

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Are You Unrealistically Hoping Your Partner Will Change?

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Is there someone in your life whom you love and whom you keep hoping will change if you love them enough?

One of the main reasons people stay too long in a relationship is that they unrealistically hope that, miraculously, their partner will change. This is the situation Marisa describes:

"I've been investing my entire heart in a narcissistic man over the past ten months. During this time, I've had the life sucked out of me - I've not been tending to myself and instead have abandoned myself to try to make him feel better in the hopes he'll change, care for and respect me right back. Deeply depressed of late he refuses to seek psychiatric or therapeutic help. I couldn't stand by watching him drown and finally two weeks ago said he should call me when he finds outside help and is feeling better. It's been so relaxing not to be insulted, criticized or bullied or be walking on eggs constantly. I miss him even so and am shocked and hurt that I've not heard from him to date. I accept that I was so busy rescuing him that I abandoned myself in doing so. If he contacts me, I'd like to try putting myself first. I’m probably kidding myself, but should I even contemplate giving him another chance? A narcissist is never wrong and is always right as you know. I'm miserable in the meantime."

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The Best New Year Gift Ever

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Many of us grew up feeling very alone. When our feelings were not accepted and attended to with caring, understanding, and compassion, we might have felt deeply abandoned and perhaps terrified at the level of aloneness we felt within. If you were abused physically, sexually, or emotionally, or you were neglected, then this aloneness was overwhelming and you had to find ways to numb this pain, which is how the wounded self was developed.

Today, this deep aloneness and fear can get triggered in our relationships. This triggering is common in dysfunctional relationship systems such as the one between Janice and Marcus.

Janice, an only child, had a mother who suffered from borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental disorder where the person is often blaming, threatening, and rageful. Janice’s mother took her rage out on Janice, and when she would cry, her mother would ridicule her. Janice’s father was an alcoholic who sometimes beat her and her mother. There was never a time growing up when Janice felt safe. She had developed a deep fear of rejection. 

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Sharing Holiday Love - Even If You Are Alone!

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Are you single, newly divorced, and without family around you? Are you dreading being alone for the holidays? Your holiday can be joyous and fulfilling!

Being alone is a challenge for many people. This challenge may loom especially large during the holidays if you are single or newly divorced and without family around you. Holidays are a time to share love, and many people end up feeling depressed when they do not have people around with whom to show their love. If you are in this situation, what can you do to make the holidays joyous rather than depressing?

The key phrase here is SHARE LOVE.

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Holidays: Fraught or Fun?

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What comes to mind when you think about the holidays?

Do you groan, feeling burdened by all you have to do? Do you dread going shopping for gifts or cleaning up after Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or other holiday celebrations?

Or, do you feel a sense of fun, delight, and joy in the celebrating and in the giving and receiving?

Which part of you is in charge of the holidays - your judgmental, ego wounded self or your spiritually connected loving adult?

Think for a moment about the little child in you - the child who may have loved the holidays. What delighted you about Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or other holiday celebrations? Most kids are really excited about receiving gifts, but many children also feel equally excited about giving gifts. Did you enjoy decorating your house?

Or, were the holidays a sad time, a time of heartbreak due to not having enough money? Or a time of loneliness due to the loss of a loved one? Were they a time of stress in your family? Was there abuse around holiday times?

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Addiction to Getting Others To Change

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If you find yourself often focused on healing others or hoping you can get others to change, it is likely that you don't think of this as an addiction. I define an addiction as anything we do to avoid taking responsibility for our own feelings. When you are focused on getting others to change, or hoping others will change, is this a way for you to avoid taking loving care of yourself? Are you trying to fix others and get them to change so that you don't have to learn to take responsibility for your own feelings?

Judy finds herself caught in this addiction:

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Actions of Love

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Many people suffer daily from anxiety, depression, stress, guilt, shame, anger and inadequacy. Taking loving actions can heal this.


Myrna, 38 and a successful physician, sought my help because she often felt inadequate. While she really valued herself as a doctor, she did not value herself in her important relationships with friends and family. In addition, she said she wanted to be in a loving relationship but she took no actions to meet available men.

In the course of our work together, it became apparent that Myrna rarely took loving action on her own behalf with her friends and family. For example, Jessica, one of Myrna's friends, would often get angry and blame Myrna when Myrna was not available for dinner with Jessica. Myrna would feel guilty and responsible for Jessica's feelings and meet her for dinner even when she was exhausted from work. Myrna would feel drained after these dinners and depressed for a few days after, never realizing it was because she had abandoned herself.

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A Challenging Journey: From Mind Focus to Body Focus

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Do you spend most of your time focused in your mind or your body? Are you staying in your mind as a way to avoid responsibility for your feelings?

"Breathe into your body and notice what you are feeling," I said to Bryan in our second phone session. "What are you feeling?"

"I feel bad and uncomfortable. I don't like focusing in my body."

"Where do you focus most of the time?"

"In my mind. I think about work all day and then the rest of the time I daydream or think of other things."

"So you do all you can to stay in your head and out of your body - right?"

"Right. It doesn't feel good in my body."

"Bryan, imagine that you always ignore your little daughter, and then when you finally do give her some attention, you find that she is upset with you for ignoring her all the time - and then you ignore her more because you don't want to know that she is upset with you for ignoring her so much."

"I would never do that with my daughter."

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"Is My Need For Attention Reasonable or Needy?"

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Have you ever wondered if your desire to share time with a partner is coming from need or neediness?

Sometimes it's a challenge to know what are reasonable relationship needs and when we are being needy.

Klarese is asking this important question:

"I am currently dating a wonderful person who I care about greatly. A challenge for me is his job is very demanding leaving us little time to spend together. I am aware my childhood triggers of abandonment are being tickled, however, I am having a difficult time figuring out if I am being reasonable or unreasonable with my need for attention. How do I discriminate between my codependent 'needs' and my true need to love and be loved while living my own fulfilled life?"

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5 Ways You Can Think You Are on a Spiritual Path, But Not Be

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"...The form our faith takes is less important than the love it imparts....The bedrock of spirituality is to learn about love."
--Judith Orloff, M.D. Second Sight, p. 166-167



The spiritual path is a path of love. There are many people who claim to be devoted to a spiritual path, yet love seems not to be a part of their path. What are they doing that they claim is spiritual if learning about loving themselves and others is not their highest priority?

  1. Some people attempt to use religion and prayer as a form of control - hoping to have control over getting what they want if they pray "right," or believe the "right" thing. Often, they are very judgmental toward others who don't believe as they do, which certainly has nothing to do with love.
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Weekday Personal Support

Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.

Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM.  Access early to hear Panache's monologue -  around 8:30 AM.