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Turning The Tables on Turkey Day Trauma & Trepidation

thanksgiving Turning The Tables on Turkey Day Trauma & Trepidation

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? 

What happened to Fall?

Although the song says "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays," the fact is that most of us experience a sense of dread as we envision our upcoming holiday gatherings and being around our family.

Feelings of resistance, anxiety, and resignation start to bubble up as we anticipate the drama and dis-ease that will undoubtedly accompany the candied yams and pumpkin pie. As we contemplate the upcoming holiday, our minds naturally drift back to Thanksgivings past and any hope of warm and fuzzy feelings turn cold as we think about our family dynamic and the scenarios that consistently cause trauma and trepidation at our Thanksgiving table. Situations like: 

  • How do I once again try to explain to my family why I have to bring my own food since I eat vegan or gluten-free? 
  • What can I do to appease my parents and in-laws, who are all divorced but expect us to show up and make their Thanksgiving meal the most significant one? 
  • How should I handle it this year when, at the last minute, my sister-in-law once again decides to invite four more people to dinner? 
  • What do I do when Uncle Bob inevitably brings up politics?
  • How do I not get pissed off at my family when they stay glued to the television as I do all of the work in the kitchen?

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Marry Your Conscience

Marry Your Conscience Marry Your Conscience

Have you heard about the studies that say we are a reflection of the five people that we spend the most time with? That’s right! We become most like the people we most like!

When you look around your life, who or what do you see?

Are there people who inspire you? Are willing to be straight with you? Hold your greatest dreams and visions?

Or are there people who are more apt to choose harmony over truth, even when it comes to situations that are not in our highest?

Years ago, I attended a ceremony in which Jay Leno, the comedian, was being honored. Accepting the award and thanking all of the people who supported him in his career, he of course singled-out his wife. In speaking about her and the success of their long-term marriage, Leno said:

"Marry your conscience. Marry the one who makes you want to be a better person."



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What we become when obstacles are removed for us

angrygirl What we become when obstacles are removed for us

What’s standing in your way right now? A relationship that’s no longer working but you don’t dare to end? Parents who won’t support your dream to become a musician because they want you to be lawyer? Your fear of being judged so you don’t show who you really are and live behind a mask your whole life? Whatever is getting in the way between you and whatever it is you’re trying to be or do, you’re probably wishing that you could will it away or that someone would take it away for you.

Life is not always smooth sailing, as we all know. Throughout our lives, we encounter obstacles—both external and internal—that prevent us from getting what we want or where we need to be. They invoke all sorts of emotional reaction from us. Sometimes, we feel annoyed. Sometimes, we get angry. And sometimes, we become afraid. But never do we feel glad about them. We often see them as unwanted roadblocks that delay our journey and bring us inconvenience and unnecessary suffering. But do we ever ask ourselves why they are even there? If we don’t deal with obstacles, what would we become?

Chicken or jerk?

One of my friends is raising an only child. She and her husband are very protective and they do everything to make life easy for their son to the extent that when the boy was 10 years old, he didn’t even know how to eat a meal with a fork and a knife. One time, we were having lunch and she got a phone call from him. Her son was 14 at that time. He was at the train station and asked if her mother could pick him up and take him home. So, we had to quickly end our lovely meal.

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Bursting the Super Woman / Super Mom Bubble

whoops-i-stained-myself-mommy-picture-id1063651740 Bursting the Super Woman / Super Mom Bubble

Wake up. Work out. Make breakfast (for everyone). Drive the kids to school. Drive yourself to work. Take the kids to all their activities. Bring them home. Make sure they’re doing their homework. Make dinner (for everyone). Be a mom. Be a friend. Be a daughter. Be a lover. Go to bed. Repeat.

Okay, so maybe not everything on this list applies to you personally, but I’m sure there are some others that are unique to you that you could swap in – and then some. As women, we are often expected to do ALL. THE. THINGS. And let’s be honest: our families, coworkers, and others learn to expect this from us because we are so darn good at making it look like we really can do it all! The reality, though, is that with so many balls in the air, something is going to drop. 

When something does inevitably drop, what’s your reaction going to be? And perhaps even more importantly, how are you going to react on a daily basis to the juggling act you’ve got going on?

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51 Hits

Wabi Sabi Love

floating-candles-in-a-zen-environment-picture-id185116314 Wabi Sabi Love

Some say the hardest part of life is dealing with the other humans.

Unlike most cats and dogs, people behavior is often not predictable. (or sometimes too predictable and that can also be maddening!)

Figuring out how to manage my feelings and judgements about people, and myself, has been a long-time mission and when I discovered Wabi Sabi, that made a big difference (most of the time).

The ancient Japanese practice of Wabi Sabi is about finding the beauty and perfection in imperfection… in all things old, worn, imperfect, and impermanent, from broken pottery to driftwood and beyond.

In my world, I expanded it to be Wabi Sabi Love, to find the beauty and perfection in behavior and things that make us crazy.

It’s essentially about finding the gold in the dark.

Shifting your perception.

Changing your story.

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Addiction to Story-telling

storytelling Addiction to Story Telling
Being able to tell great stories, and being addicted to story-telling, are two very different things.

I was at a social gathering speaking with Robyn, a woman I had just met. At first, it sounded like she was a very interesting person and a good storyteller, but after a few minutes I noticed that we were not speaking WITH each other – she was speaking AT me.

I also noticed that I was unable to connect with her, and I started to feel very bored. Being used to noticing and acknowledging my feelings, I thanked my inner child for the information she was giving me – my boredom – which was telling me that Robyn was likely addicted to story telling.

Robyn was using story telling as a form of control to capture my attention and drain my energy. She was counting on the fact that she thought I would be too polite to walk away in the middle of her story. She was wrong about my being too polite!

I do try to be polite, but

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Belonging to Each Other

lovingeachother Belonging to Each Other

Mother Teresa writes that if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. These three talks explore the causes for severed belonging, and pathways to deepening the felt sense of belonging to our own body, heart and spirit, and to all beings. Together the talks offer a natural and powerful progression of loving kindness or metta reflections, that when practiced regularly can open us to the peace, joy and freedom of trusting our mutual belonging.

Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree, with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.” ― D.H. Lawrence
divider
The essence of loving kindness is this openhearted quality of friendliness. It’s sacred. It’s precious. As Mother Teresa described it, when we sense that belonging that comes with friendship, we really touch peace.

We close in that spirit to sense in your own heart the intention to befriend the life that’s within you. And take a moment to hold the life within you with the quality of care. Feel in your own words your prayer to befriend this life – to love yourself into healing.

Widening our attention to sense those in our lives – those close in, those that we don’t know, all beings – to sense that intention to discover our belonging to all of life everywhere. And in that discovery to know the joy and peace and freedom of being awake and alive. ~ Tara

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Love Shared Thru Art

polly-art-thru-1024x520 Love Shared Thru Art

A few months ago, when I traveled from Alaska to Arizona I loaded into my car what I wanted for my new living and creative space. It wasn’t much; some clothes, a few pieces of art and some family pictures.  I also grabbed a couple of old race photos. I chose what inspired me or reminded me of our life with younger children. I knew the house, we would eventually decorate in Arizona, had a much different vibration than the house in Alaska.  The majority of what filled our walls in Anchorage would remain in Alaska.  

A very large tapestry had been hanging near the back entrance to my husband’s office space.  It was placed where only those that entered thru a private door, might have a moment to notice it’s uniqueness.  This piece is about six feet tall and three feet wide. It was hand woven with brilliant hues of purples, golds, browns, greens, blues and reds. A sheep, winged animal and goat is the collective theme. These creatures were created by wide strands of yarn beautifully woven together. It reminds me of a far away place, from long ago.  It felt almost too big for the wall. Over time I noticed something magical hiding in this art. When the time was right, it would come to life.  

As we began to plan our move, we discussed what might work in Arizona.  This particular piece had been grabbing my attention. I often paused by the door, admiring the colors and shapes.  Sometimes I could feel the pull of ancient wisdom, love and even healing touching my heart. I could even feel smoky fires from a very long time ago. With my husband’s blessing the woven art was taken down and slowly, over land and sea made the journey to a new home.  

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The MOST Important Love RULE

The MOST Important Love RULE The MOST Important Love RULE

Many of us were taught the “Golden Rule” as kids:

“Do unto others as you would like to be done unto.”

This works well most of the time EXCEPT when it comes to love.

With your soulmate you want to practice the Platinum Rule:

“Do unto them as they would like to be done unto.”

“This requires that you understand their “love language.”

If they prefer “words of affirmation” or “touch” over “gifts” or they prefer “acts of service” over “quality time” give them that.

With the Golden rule we tend to give our partners what we want, thinking that the things that make us feel loved are the same for them.

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Try a Softer Tone

Softer tone Try a Softer Tone

How do you talk to people?

The Practice:
Try a softer tone.

Why?

Linguists like Deborah Tannen have pointed out that most communications have three elements:

  • Explicit content – “There is no milk in the refrigerator.”
  • Emotional subtext – Could be irritation, blame, accusation
  • Implicit statement about the nature of the relationship – Could be one person gets to criticize and boss around someone else

Many studies have found that the second and third elements – which I define in general as tone – usually have the greatest impact on how an interaction turns out. Since a relationship is built from interactions, the accumulating weight of the tone you use has big effects.

In particular, because of the “negativity bias” of the brain – which is like Velcro for uncomfortable experiences but Teflon for pleasant ones – a repeatedly critical, snarky, disappointed, worried, or reproachful tone can really rock a relationship; for example, John and Julie Gottman’s work has shown that it typically takes several positive interactions to make up for a single negative one.

How?

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Creating Heart-Level Connections & Community

heart Creating Heart-Level Connections & Community

“What are some of the ways you honor yourself?” 

This isn’t me asking you that question. This came out of the mouth of a young woman, smiling broadly after taking an order for breakfast at a cafe in San Diego that has become my most favorite restaurant in the world (and I am a foodie so this is a BIG statement!

I’m here now hosting the first weekend of my DreamQuest Mastermind—a seven-month small group intensive I offer once a year. When my team picked me up from the airport Anna and Jenn had already been there and had been raving about it so we all decided to go straight there, our car was laden to the brim with bags and boxes, me suitably jetlagged ready to experience something new. 

I had just been immersed in the airport lounge experience of multiple TV screens reminding everyone how, why and who they shouldn’t feel good or safe about and continuing the propaganda of division and distrust, the droning conditioning we’re constantly being subjected to. Headlines confirming fear, lack, and hatred sprinkled with just enough hope to keep us hungry. Maybe today something good? Nope, but almost. Keep watching!

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The real beauty of allowing kids to blossom as they are

kids The real beauty of allowing kids to blossom as they are

When I saw this picture on Instagram, my heart just sang with joy. The caption read, “This is the morning Amma popped down the stairs and said: ‘Look! I’m Abby on the top and mommy on the bottom!’” Amma is the youngest child of Glennon Doyle, author of New York Times bestseller Love Warrior and married to two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion Abby Wambach. She was given the freedom to be herself by allowing her to wear whatever she wants. While that might seem too simplistic or even trivial for many, this is a type of empowerment that helps a child grow up to be confident, self-assured and secure.

My soul was celebrating upon seeing this little girl who is allowed to be herself, respected for what she wants and honored for all that she is. Speaking from my own childhood experience, not many children are blessed with this kind of upbringing. Having been raised in a strict Asian culture, the message that was drilled into my head was, “You’re the child, I’m the parent. You don’t have any say on anything. You just obey and do as you’re told.” This includes something as “simple” as dressing up.

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How can we find balance on the path of love?

couplesunset How can we find balance on the path of love?

This is the path of love. The path of the heart. Like all paths, it is fraught with pitfalls and traps, and most of our emotions are either in the service of our minds or our frightening things that overwhelm us and make us afraid so we protect ourselves from them.

So we come through life a little bit like hungry ghosts. We are beings that have huge needs for love, but seemingly it’s like we have some kind of amoeba that doesn’t allow us to digest our food. So, though we get love, it goes through us and then we need love all over again. This conception is so deep within all of us that we’ve built an entire reality around it, and we think that’s the way it is; that everybody needs love and that if you don’t get it you are deprived, and that the more of it the better, and you need it every day from everything. In that sense it’s like an achievement; you see people that are achievers. The minute they achieve something it becomes irrelevant, and their awareness turns to the next achievement because they are addicted to the practice, not to the goal.

The predicament with loving is the power of the addiction of the practice of loving somebody; of getting so caught in the relationship that you can’t ever arrive at the essence of dwelling in love.

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Sometimes it’s Hard to be a Loving Adult

lovingadult Sometimes it’s Hard to be a Loving Adult
When do you find it especially hard to show up for yourself as a loving adult?

All of us are, at times, challenged in being a loving adult.

Most of the time I can be a loving adult just by deciding to be. But there are times when I find it extremely difficult, and that’s when I need someone to step in and help me. For me, it’s when I’m exhausted due to not having slept well for a number of nights, or when I’m sick – which fortunately is rare for me. At these times, I just can’t get my frequency high enough to connect with my guidance, and without my guidance, I’m lost. I feel like I’m trying to navigate life with a blindfold on.

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5 Ways to Vibrant Love

vibrantlove 5 Ways to Vibrant Love

This week I am very excited to introduce you to my friend Shayne Traviss, who is an author, student of life, producer and founder of VividLife.me (And Oprah follows him on Twitter!) I’ve asked him to guest blog and share some of his wisdom about love with you. This for both singles and couples. Enjoy!

Are you on an endless search for ‘the love of your life’? Signed up to dating sites, apps… but every night you end up alone, walking the stairs with a cup of tea, snuggling in bed watching other people’s love stories on Netflix, wondering, ‘When will my prince(ess) arrive?’ You’ve been waiting for this fairy tale to come to true your entire life thanks to the conditioning of story books and Disney movies. When the whole time the love of your life, the prince(cess) has been right under your nose. You’ve just been looking outside for what’s already within.

Within each of us is both the inherent truth that we are what we’ve been looking for, and the wisdom to attract what we desire. We have to only stop the outward search long enough to listen to our inner guidance.

The secret to finding love, is to be love, like attracts like, love attracts love. So if you’re not vibrating love; still healing from a relationship, low self worth, holding onto anger, unforgiveness,… you need to start right there. With what the great Sufi poet Rumi so eloquently described in this quote:

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

You won’t find love (true love), until you’re vibrating love and to KEEP LOVE, you also must vibrate love.

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Purpose of Political Turmoil: Your Time to Lead with Love

loveprotestsign Purpose of Political Turmoil: Your Time to Lead with Love

When it comes to the often polarizing political and cultural turmoil taking place around the world on a daily basis, there’s one thing on which we can all agree: the constant upheaval and stress can cause our heads to spin, our blood pressure to rise, and leave us fearing for the future. This constant stir and stress, however, can also be our greatest gift.

Turmoil, of any kind, is medicine for the tribe and our own spiritual and personal evolution.

Friction as Fuel for Growth
Right now, we are up against a maturing of our own spiritual awareness. Every person, as well as every country, has to go through this maturing process that comes from friction in the external world. Our time is now.
When high frequency energy meets low frequency energy, friction occurs. In our lives, that translates to spirit energy meeting up with physical matter. Inside the human experience, friction looks like not getting along, not being able to speak the truth or any kind of conflict or turmoil. It is through friction here in the third dimension, whether it be political or domestic, that we learn who we are and can awaken to our deepest truth.

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Be Friendly

befriendly Be Friendly

Friend or Foe?

The Practice:
Be friendly.

Why?

Friendliness is a down-to-earth approach to others that is welcoming and positive.

Think about a time when someone was friendly to you – maybe drawing you into a gathering, saying hello on the sidewalk, or smiling from across the room. How did that make you feel? Probably more included, comfortable, and at ease; safer; more open and warm-hearted.

When you are friendly to others, you offer them these same benefits. Plus you get rewarded yourself. Being friendly feels confident and happy, with a positive take on other people, moving toward the world instead of backing away from it. And it encourages others to be less guarded or reactive with you, since you’re answering the ancient question from millions of years of evolution – friend or foe? – with an open hand and heart.

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See the Person Behind the Eyes

behindeyes See the Person Behind the Eyes

Who is behind the mask?

The Practice:
See the person behind the eyes.

Why?

Most of us wear a kind of mask, a persona that hides our deepest thoughts and feelings, and presents a polished, controlled face to the world.

To be sure, a persona is a good thing to have. For example, meetings at work, holidays with the in-laws, or a first date are usually not the best time to spill your guts. Just because you’re selective about what you reveal to the world does not mean you’re insincere; phoniness is only when we lie about what’s really going on inside.

Much of the time, we interact mask-to-mask with other people. There’s a place for that. But remember times when someone saw through your mask to the real you, the person back behind your eyes. If you’re like me, those times were both unnerving and wonderful.

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What Makes You Feel Most Connected With Others?

relationships What Makes You Feel Most Connected With Others?
What makes you feel connected with or disconnected from the important people in your life?


Connection with the people who are important to us is a vital need for everyone. Our brains are hard-wired to share love and connection with others. Many of us know that infants and children need a loving connection with their parents to thrive, and that many emotional problems result when this connection is not available.

Through practicing Inner Bonding, we learn how important it is to connect with ourselves and with our spiritual guidance. We learn that it is difficult to connect with another on an emotional level when we are not connected with our own feelings, and it is difficult to be open and vulnerable when we are not connected with the strength and love of our guidance.

Each of us experience connection differently, and for a relationship to thrive, we need to understand what connection means to each of us.

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How To Transform Your Relationship With Your Parents

relationshiptransformation How To Transform Your Relationship With Your Parents

Your parents may not be perfect human beings, as they too are souls on this journey of life and are here to learn lessons like you.

But what if you have the perfect parents for your soul’s growth and evolution in this lifetime?

Relationships with parents can be some of the most challenging and difficult to navigate.

Ask yourself: What are the lessons that your soul is seeking to learn with them?

They give birth to you, raise you, and impact so much of who you become.

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