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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What's In Your Way?

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There was a battle ship out in the waters, and the captain was out on the bridge and observed that he could see lights and there was another ship in the distance, so he said to the signalman “Please send the message that you need to change your course by 20 degrees.” And so they got a reply back immediately, “you change your course by 20 degrees”. So then the captain said to the signalman again, “You tell whoever that they are to move the course... It's a directive by 20 degrees.” And the message came back, “you move by 20 degrees.” Finally, the Captain said, “You tell them that we are a battleship and to move their course by 20 degrees.” And the message came back, “we are a Lighthouse.”

A lighthouse. Immovable. Unshakable. 

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154 Hits

Breathing Peace, Breathing Hope

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A lot of people have felt they couldn’t breathe.”—Van Jones

Last November, when a new President and Vice President were elected in the U.S., many of us cried tears of relief. We felt we could breathe again, even if just for a moment. Not that the huge problems that face this country had been solved, but lighter, more compassionate voices were speaking at the national level. Possibility was appearing once again, where impossibility had ruled. Hope was arising within us, and the distant dream of a peaceful resolution of divisions seemed somehow closer. Now, in the wake of last week’s violent break-in at the Capitol building in Washington, it is even more important to hold onto that dream and to move forward in peace.

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170 Hits

Repairing our Hearts – Healing with the RAIN of Compassion

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Living in a fear-based society fuels the trance of separation and unworthiness. This talk explores how we can bring an engaged compassionate presence to the suffering of this trance—in our inner work, and more broadly, in healing our culture (from the 2020 IMCW 7-day Silent New Year Retreat).

I must have been incredibly simple or drunk or insane to sneak in to my own house and steal money, to climb over the fence and take my own vegetables.  But no more.  I’ve gotten free of that ignorant fist that was pinching and twisting my secret self.

The universe and the light of the stars come through me.  I am the crescent moon put up over the gate to the festival.

Rumi
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131 Hits

The One New Year's Resolution I Hope You Make...And Keep

2021 This one New Year’s resolution can change your life, heal your relationships, create health and well being, and heal our planet.

One of the most important aspects of Inner Bonding is opening to a compassionate intention to learn. I think a lot about love and compassion. Compassion is often more than people think it is.

Compassion does include the standard definition: the ability to feel empathy with another or others who are suffering, to be moved by the suffering and to want to help alleviate it.

 

But compassion is so much more…

It’s my experience that like love, we don’t generate it within ourselves; we open to it. Compassion, like love, peace, joy, grace and true wisdom, are gifts of spirit that we experience when we are open to learning about loving ourselves and others. These gifts are what the universe is. Compassion is a bright, light, loving energy that deeply connects you with yourself, others, animals and the planet.

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165 Hits

Beauty Needs No Explanation 

beauty_will Beauty Needs No Explanation

Beauty
Doesn’t need
An explanation

It is unnecessary
To describe
What is plainly seen

Beauty requires
No proof
Or evaluation

Judging what is genuine
As good or bad
Right or wrong
More or less
Is wasted attention

One’s attention
Could be on
The Beauty
Instead

Beauty does not need
To be interpreted to be validated

Beauty
Doesn’t explain
It just is what it is

Everything in creation is beautiful.

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141 Hits

Kids Have Plenty To Say

group-of-smiling-preschool-students-picture-id1168223108 Kids Have Plenty To Say

As a full-time kid’s musician since 1990, I have the blessing of being with thousands of kids every year.

Kids have never said to me directly
“Teach me something”

But they ALWAYS
Have something urgent
To tell me

Maybe one of the best methods of teaching
Is listening

Acknowledging
What kids have to say.
Seeing them
and their ideas as valuable
Interesting
and inspired

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219 Hits

The Most Precious Possession 

IMG_5664-_20201007-215134_1 The Most Precious Possession

I had just finished a music performance at a preschool in Minneapolis. The children were playing on the playground while I was loading my car. Lucy who is barely three was standing by the chain link fence with her hand reaching out to me. As I walked over to her, she gently said, “Here, this is for you.” “You can take it home.”

What else could I say except “Thank You!” Doing my best to echo the sweet sincerity that the tiny white pebble from the playground was given.

The object had no intrinsic value, but the gift was priceless.
Kings cannot possess riches as precious as the generosity of Lucy’s pebble.

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225 Hits

I don’t care how spiritual you are

family-praying-picture-id498709225 Let’s be kind, and humble

Do you want to know what makes me swoon?

Beautiful, insightful, profound writing.

I recently discovered this essay on Facebook, written by Taylor Rose Godfrey and have gotten her permission to share it with all of you. She really dives deep into the heart of true spirituality.

“I don’t care how spiritual you are. How long you can melt in the sweat lodge. How many peyote journeys that have blown your mind, or how well you can hold crow pose. Honestly. I don’t. I don’t care what planets fall in what houses on your birth chart, how many crystals you have or how vegan your diet is.

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1246 Hits

The Power of Despair

iStock-1091233350 “What I am cannot hurt me.” Will Hale

I have selected a few quotes related to The Power of Despair from my One Light, Many Reflections collection. Savor each idea by having three or four breaths between reading each quote to contemplate and expand the meaning to yourself.

“If you are curious how to find pure love, I recommend going to a place within yourself that is so despairing all you want to do is die and then find something you are willing to live for.” Will Hale 12-8-14

“It is easy to die for what you believe in but it takes real courage to live for what you love.” Will Hale 5-24-14

“The emotions of grief come in two tones, the agony of loss and the joy of gratitude, both come from love.” Will Hale 12-15-12

“You can’t really kill yourself, because the part you can kill is not yourself.” Will Hale 12-28-14

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356 Hits

Caretakers of Consciousness

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We have a responsibility, those of us born on Earth at this key transitional moment in the planet’s history. A powerful and sacred responsibility. And that is to hold the dream of a harmonious world and a loving human species in our hearts at all times and to act accordingly: with love, with kindness. To keep our minds clear of fearful thought forms and influences, which are becoming more and more prevalent and strident now. Conspiracy theories of all kinds are beginning to dominate social media, and hatred of “other” is growing. Divisiveness is encroaching on compassion in the human experience. When we separate off into smaller and smaller groups, suspicious of one another, we are falling further and further away from our purpose in being here.

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324 Hits

Sitting Shiva for America

woman-yoga-sitting-lotus-position-with-shiva-goddess-figure-picture-id672950304 Sitting Shiva for America

I woke up this morning feeling a sense of great loss, loss for so many things…the loss of civility in our country, the loss of life from Covid, and cancer, and guns, and innocent black men and women being killed, innocent protesters being gunned down, the violence in our streets.

The seemingly impossible divide between left and right.

The loss of stability and security.

The loss of freedom to hug our friends, and so much more.

Later, when I looked at my Facebook feed I found more loss.

Friends mourning the loss of loved ones, beloved pets, careers that were once promising that have disappeared.

Grief. Mourning. Fear. Uncertainty.

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381 Hits

Can You Keep On Loving?

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If you believe that love is humanity’s greatest hope and clearest path to a more compassionate inclusive planet, how are you feeling right now? When people seem to be hating one another with greater intensity. When rage and violent outbursts are becoming more common. Those who wear masks vs. those who refuse to; those who believe Black Lives Matter vs. those who deny it. Science vs. religion, Democrats vs. Republicans, health and safety vs. economic “recovery.” Individuals of different races, ages, nationalities, and belief systems fighting over statues and guns and face coverings. Where does unconditional love and kindness come into play in the midst of all this? Can we love our neighbor if our neighbor hates us?

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350 Hits

Meeting Racism, Homophobia and Close-Mindedness With Love and Compassion

our-style-is-influenced-by-our-upbringing-picture-id1179747953 Meeting Racism, Homophobia and Close-Mindedness With Love and Compassion

Hate, negativity, close-mindedness — none of this is new. Being heavily tattooed with big holes in my earlobes, a skateboarder and a fan of punk/hardcore music since my teenage years has left me all too familiar with judgmental people, especially growing up in a small town before these things started to become somewhat socially acceptable.

Disapproving looks, comments under the breath, or, in some cases, blatantly to my face, have been commonplace throughout my life and have led me time and again to contemplate why people feel the need, or, that they have the right to cast judgments and write someone off based solely on outer appearances or personal lifestyle choices.

There’s really no simple answer. Each person is a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances that has led them to become the person that they are today. One thing I’ve learned about myself however, and my own judgments (because yes, I too am human and have no shortage of them), is that they’re almost always rooted in fear.

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381 Hits

Why Did This Happen?

shop-window-broken-picture-id1219212444 Why Did This Happen?

Why did this happen? Why did that happen?

Why is it still happening?

Why do I feel this way?

Why does anyone do anything?


I have an answer to the question, WHY?

Why?

Because I chose an answer for myself.

A foundation to my answer is,

EVERY INTENTION IS FOR GOOD

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433 Hits

Broken Open and Broken

daffodil-narcissus-picture-id482437547 Broken Open and Broken

It is impossible to know why some of us are broken open while some of us are just broken. If we knew how to invoke the difference, we could change the course of history. Even within one life, we can experience transformative moments of being broken open and, at other times, we just suffer being broken. More than staying in the unanswerable tangle of why some of us grow while some of us stay stuck, it is more important to move from one to the other. When broken open, we grow. When just broken, we endure. And the crucial calling of all relationship is to inhabit what we learn from being broken open to help us endure those times when we are just broken. Essential to the practice of compassion is that, when broken open, we find a way to help those who are broken, and to be humble enough when broken to ask for the help of those who are broken open. In this ongoing way, the light of kindness fills the hole of every pain. We must resist the trial of fairness and the comparison of suffering and devote ourselves to completing each other as we tumble through time.

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386 Hits

The Life of Christ is Now

holifest The Life of Christ is Now

There is one way, and one way only, that any of us will ever know the real meaning behind the life of Christ, and that is... to share in his death. And by this, I do not mean symbolically, or by any other allegory. If our wish is to know the truth behind his seemingly incomprehensible, incomparable act of self-sacrifice -- and the rebirth that crowns this surrender -- there's but one thing to do: we must stop thinking about it... and get down to the business of actually dying to our own lower nature.

Spending one's time wondering why this god-man agreed to lay down his life for the sake of the immortal Self that he embodied... is like hoping to be healed by a medicine that you give someone else to take for you.
 

Let me be clear: it doesn't matter what we say we believe in, or otherwise profess to be true. Belief alone amounts to nothing. To paraphrase and enhance a timeless idea: faith without acts is not only fruitless, but along with being the dangerous root of fanaticism, it is one of the dark seeds from out of which grows the evil of religious intolerance. Comparing the value of our ideals to those of others is not what it means to act truly, anymore than the act of judging someone proves the worthiness of the judge.

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855 Hits

How to Successfully Persevere Through A Crisis

happy-boy-drawing-heart-at-home-hope-concept-covid19-crisis-picture-id1219061012 How to Successfully Persevere Through A Crisis

These are unprecedented times that we are all living through. There is fear and uncertainty so heavy in the air, you can certainly feel it and even almost taste it. We are all having this very real and shared experience of what it means to live as one people under the Sun. There's a shared sense of oneness because we are all in this together. It does not matter what creed, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation that you are, we are all managing, dealing and surviving this pandemic together.

This pandemic is shifting the way of life for all of us. And am I getting tired of sheltering in place? Absolutely… Anybody else? Is it frustrating? Absolutely…Are you tired of being patient and sheltering in place? YES! Trust and believe that even before all of this…I was not the most patient person and practicing patience is not one of my strong qualities. Yet, somehow, we must keep trusting. We must keep being patient, we must continue to persevere and move confidently forward.

And as I started meditating on what this time means in our lives, Divine Inspiration revealed that we all need a message grounded in how to have patience, how to persevere through difficulties, and how to have unshakable faith in God’s Promises during a season of frustration.

They say patience is truly a virtue and patience in God’s Timing is much different than the patience that we put on ourselves. I grew up believing that the Bible is our story. This Holy book like many Holy books can be used as our blueprint on how we navigate and govern our lives. It contains many stories of overcoming and can give us hope on how we not only survive but thrive through this thing that we call life.

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610 Hits

A New Perspective - Life without hope may be our best chance for peace

feather-and-sunset-picture-id524172236 A New Perspective - Life without hope may be our best chance for peace

Are you, like John Mayer sings, “waiting on the world to change?” Or are you trying, as Gandhi advised to “be the change that you wish to see in the world?” Maybe, like too many of us you’re humming that old Dusty Springfield song, “just wishing and hoping and thinking and praying. Planning and dreaming …”In her poem “Hope” is the Thing with Feathers, Emily Dickinson’s creates a metaphor of hope through a little bird “that perches in the soul” and “never stops—at all.” It’s always there inside. It never asks for anything and it never takes flight. It never reacts or participates. That’s the thing about hope. It just hangs out with us, especially during dark nights. Although hope offers encouragement, it rarely mobilizes our energy or our actions.

Woody Allen parodied this metaphor in his book Without Feathers, about his neurotic sense of hopelessness especially in regard to God and death. It’s funny. It’s counter intuitive and it made me wonder is the opposite of hope really despair? Or is it participation?

As a young girl growing up in the heart of the Bible belt, hope was affiliated with the concept of victim. “I hope that God will hear me.” It actually lowered expectations and consciousness because hope became something that was always delayed or put on the shelf. It was about waiting for the knight in shining armor or some magical evangelical leader to be the change. In my early life experience, it taught me to give my power away. It put the responsibility on someone else—to live a life in the fading light of day.

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1110 Hits

Living Peace, Allowing Grief

peacelily Living Peace, Allowing Grief
Yesterday just before sunrise I was overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, grief, and mourning. Tears streamed down my face. The unfathomable loss of life around the world from the coronavirus hit me like an avalanche. The number of cases is continuing to rise here in Florida and throughout the U.S. My thoughts turned to Boston friends who had died of cancer in the last year and the trip home to Massachusetts in May that Anne and I had to cancel. My own and the world’s sorrow and pain rushed through my body in waves as I wept. Gradually, after a time, it subsided, tear by tear, and I sat quietly in the half-darkness, breathing in the silence. The sky began to lighten. Then, as if in answer to my heart’s call for comfort, a mockingbird began to sing its morning song, a medley of every possible birdcall it had ever heard. My heart lifted, as it always does when I hear a mockingbird.
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499 Hits

Look Out for One Another

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There is so much fear ricocheting around the globe now. Fear of the deadly coronavirus and fear of disease and dying. Basically, fear of survival. This survival-based fear is embedded deep in our cellular memory as a species on this planet; it is a powerful force affecting everyone. Our collective consciousness holds the emotional residue of every event—wars, famine, pandemics, natural and man-made disasters, etc.—and all that is coming up to be released so that we can reach a new planetary balance. Mostly we aren’t aware of the rebalancing yet, but it is happening. As the virus spreads, we feel both present and cumulative fear, as well as other strong emotions like sadness, anger, or panic.

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524 Hits