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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Blogs

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: After Many Years

yellow-phalaenopsis-orchid-picture-id507116932 Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: After Many Years

After forty years, my oldest friend, Robert, took my hand and said, “I didn’t give you one thing you didn’t already have when we met. I just warmed it open with love and truth until you opened like a flower, blossoming into yourself.” This is what friendship does.

 

A Question to Walk With: Describe a friend who has loved you the way the sun loves flowers and trees. What is the greatest gift this friend has given you. Once you’ve reflected on this, tell them.

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149 Hits

Let's Get Loving

letsgetloving Let's Get Loving

“I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you." -Paul Coelho

I've Been Thinking...

My first love was the horse pictured below. Her name was Miss Buck, and I loved her with all my heart. 

Just a few weeks ago, my brother sent me this picture—one I’d never seen before. When I saw it, I was reminded of what love feels like and looks like. Love feels safe. Love feels secure. It feels restful. It feels like home.

 


Do you know what love feels like to you? Several years ago a friend asked me that very question. I distinctly remember pausing, as I was quite sure no one had ever asked me that question before. It moved me and rattled me all at the same time.

Love is like that, isn’t it? It stirs up so many emotions. It can take you to the highest place imaginable, and then break you into tiny pieces. Your heart can be full one minute, and empty the next. You can be so hopeful when you are in love, and yet so full of despair when you feel unlovable.

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250 Hits

Beloved

heartlove Beloved

I write from observation, not imagination. Most of my writing is one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings.

You can click here to read about my writing process.

How does it feel to be with a precious Beloved companion? No matter how far away, how close can you feel to someone near to your heart?

My words are only a reflection of the song my heart sings.
I delight in the beauty of love recognized.

One line is often all I need to capture an idea.

“THAT WHICH YOU ADORE, DOES NOT NEED TO BE CHANGED.” Will Hale 5-24-14

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258 Hits

How To Speak Your TRUTH To Those You Love

difficultconversation How To Speak Your TRUTH To Those You Love

There are certain moments in life when you know that you need to have a difficult conversation and share a deeper truth.

Difficult conversations require more of you. They require that you dig within yourself and access a part of you that might have been dormant.

It’s not always easy sharing the truth of how you really feel with another. But it’s essential if you are to grow, be fulfilled and have real relationships.

Honest communication frees you and frees the other. When you withhold, it creates a blockage in your relationship and deeper intimacy is blocked.

We often hold back having difficult conversations because we are afraid of how others will respond and the resulting conflict.

Or we are afraid to cause harm to someone we love.

Or we fear the end of our relationship.

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865 Hits

‘Tis The Season For Receiving

hands-giving-gift-closeup-picture-id1074536676 ‘Tis The Season For Receiving

There is no doubt about it. December is the time of year that is synonymous with giving. Whether it is to family, friends, co-workers, charitable organizations, or the people who make our lives better, we all have our lists and are checking them twice!

Most of us love to give – and when we do so, we feel good about ourselves, abundant, and alive.

But what about receiving? Most people feel very uncomfortable about receiving.

Whether it is a gift, an act of kindness, help from others, or even a compliment, we have a difficult time receiving.

For many, our awkwardness around receiving started at an early age. We were brought up hearing messages like, "Tis better to give than to receive" or "Give more than you get." We decided, consciously or unconsciously, that people who receive are greedy, selfish, weak, or needy – and since we didn't want to be any of those things, we made receiving wrong. When I first looked at my inability to receive, I realized that I had a belief that if I received something from someone, then I would owe them something in return. For me, being beholden to anyone was a loss of control and a very scary place, so receiving became taboo.




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321 Hits

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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352 Hits

See Beings, Not Bodies

group-of-cheerful-indian-rural-girls-picture-id117003112 See Beings, Not Bodies

What happens when you look at someone?

The Practice:
See beings, not bodies.

Why?

When we encounter someone, usually the mind automatically slots the person into a category: older, younger, your friend Tom, the kid next door, etc. Watch this happen in your own mind as you meet or talk with a co-worker, salesclerk, or family member.

In effect, the mind summarizes and simplifies tons of details into a single thing – a human thing to be sure, but one with an umbrella label that makes it easy to know how to act. For example: “Oh, that’s my boss (or mother-in-law, or boyfriend, or traffic cop, or waiter) . . . and now I know what to do. Good.”

This labeling process is fast, efficient, and gets to the essentials. As our ancestors evolved, rapid sorting of friend or foe was very useful. For example, if you’re a mouse, as soon as you smell something in the “cat” category, that’s all you need to know: freeze or run like crazy!

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313 Hits

How To Get Others To Love You

key-to-your-heart-picture-id143920130 How To Get Others To Love You
How do you get people to like you?

How do you get people to love you?

How do you get people to validate you? 

The more time and energy you spend trying to get other people to love you, focusing your energy on being a certain way in order to get love, only causes you suffering. 

Realize, you don't have the power to make other people love you. 

The more time you spend to make people love you, the more disempowered you'll become and you will suffer. 

Watch Kute Blackson as he shares the keys to get other people to love you:
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  425 Hits
425 Hits

It’s a Beautiful Day to Help Each Other Heal

mr.rogers It’s a Beautiful Day to Help Each Other Heal

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

I've Been Thinking...

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that if you remain open and awake to what’s happening around you, then life will offer you an endless parade of lessons.

Lessons can come in the form of experiences. They can come in the form of encounters and individuals. And, they can come in the form of something we see up close, or witness at a distance. (They certainly come when you watch something historic happen, like the impeachment hearings.)

Not all lessons are pleasant, but they all can serve you in some way. That’s why it’s up to you to make sense of them, find meaning in them, and ultimately grow from them.

Life is our greatest teacher, but every once in a while, a really great person comes along that imparts lessons on our collective humanity. Mr. Rogers was one such teacher.

I find it amazing that he is still “alive,” even so many years after his death. I also find it important to reflect on the fact that so many of us are longing for his guidance, wisdom, and gentle tone to help us navigate the here and now.

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946 Hits

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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367 Hits

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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321 Hits

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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292 Hits

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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318 Hits

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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288 Hits

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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245 Hits

Soulmates passing by: Why do we meet people who are not meant to stay in our life?

friendship Soulmates passing by: Why do we meet people who are not meant to stay in our life?

Parents don’t always stay. Neither do friends. Certainly not romantic partners. Then there’s fleeting acquaintances and passing strangers that, for brief but meaningful moments, make an impact on us. Some relationships—in all forms, on this planet in any given lifetime—are not meant to last. While this could be taken as negative and, sometimes, even painful, if we look at it differently, we will see the gifts these people came to bring.

When my parents split up when I was very young, my father made nothing but brief cameo appearances in my life. My mother had to move somewhere far to get a job to provide for me so I was left under the care of my grandmother. I didn’t live with her until I was 13 years old. My estranged brother didn’t come into our life until I was around 20.

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336 Hits

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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392 Hits

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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267 Hits

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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267 Hits

Choose To Love

chooselove Choose To Love

What does your heart say?

The Practice:
Choose to Love

Why?

Many years ago, I was in a significant relationship in which the other person started doing things that surprised and hurt me. I’ll preserve the privacy here so I won’t be concrete, but it was pretty intense. After going through the first wave of reactions – What?! How could you? Are you kidding me?! – I settled down a bit. I had a choice.

This relationship was important to me, and I could see that a lot of what was going through the mind over there was really about the other person and not about me. I began to realize that the freest, strongest, and most self-respecting thing that I could do was both to tell the person that we were on very thin ice . . . and to choose to love meanwhile.

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418 Hits