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Healing the Dis-ease of Entitlement

entitlement Healing the Dis-ease of Entitlement

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the concept of entitlement -- that feeling so many of us have that we are owed something, that we have rights or deserve something to be the way we think it should be. Think of the times you have thought or had someone say to you:

  • I deserve to be treated a certain way, given certain things, or taken care of in a particular manner, because I am your child, parent, or friend.”
  • You owe me because I was there for you.”
  • The Universe should reward or repay me because I am a ‘good person.’”

 

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Whose Shoulders Do You Stand On?

WhoseShouldersDo-You-Stand-ON Whose Shoulders Do You Stand On?

"The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence... who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins." — Joan Chittister

I've Been Thinking...

The other day, my daughter Christina watched the documentary “RBG” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and said she couldn’t believe how much this one woman has done in her lifetime on behalf of other women. She said it got her thinking about all the other women who have done so much, yet whose stories we know so little about.

“It’s crazy that so many women my age don’t know about all of the barriers they’ve broken for us,” Christina said. “We don’t know enough about what these women have accomplished, or about what they’re still doing to instigate change.”

Amen, I thought. Amen to acknowledging all that has been done before us, and all that’s still being done. Amen to taking a moment to acknowledge all the women whose shoulders we stand on. 

Christina’s words came to mind this Tuesday when I learned that veteran journalist Cokie Roberts had passed away due to breast cancer complications. I gasped when I heard the news.

Like me, Cokie was a child of politics who found her calling in journalism. When I was starting out, Cokie, Barbara Walters, Linda Ellerbee, and Nancy Dickerson were among the women who were out there working hard so that women like myself could succeed.

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Rewriting Your Own Narrative

rewritingyourownnarrative Rewriting Your Own Narrative

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” – Deepak Chopra


Dear Friend, 

How are you? I hope that you were able to take some time away this summer to rest, reflect, and recharge.

My August break abruptly began with a death in my family. It was sudden and heartbreaking, and it stopped everyone and everything in its tracks.

As I flew back to LA after the funeral that was held for my cousin’s 22-year-old-daughter, I thought a lot about the fragility of life. I thought about the suddenness of death, and how it upends us in different ways.

When I got home, I looked at my calendar and, for the first time all year, it was clear. I breathed into the emptiness and didn’t allow it to make me feel empty, invisible, or irrelevant.

Before my August break, people asked me, “Maria, aren’t you worried about losing your momentum on social media, with your Sunday Paper, and with NBC?”

“Yes and no,” I replied. “I’m sure I’ll lose some momentum, but I’m certain that what I’ll gain in return will be more meaningful and more profound.”

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How to Retrain Your Brain For Positivity (Even When It Feels Like Everything In Your Life Is Going Wrong)

taking-in-the-morning-picture-id485348458 How to Retrain Your Brain For Positivity (Even When It Feels Like Everything In Your Life Is Going Wrong)

Maybe you lose your job or your romantic partner leaves you…

Or you injure yourself, a family member falls ill, someone breaks into your car or your new boss turns out to be a total jerk. 

And when you turn on the TV to escape from it all, the news is full of horrible and disturbing stories about a world in seemingly never-ending crisis! 

But it’s important to remember that you have the power to change your experience at any moment. And that’s because it’s your thoughts that create your own reality.

And I mean that very literally…

The things you choose to focus on determines how you perceive the world – AND the experiences you have as a result.

If you focus only on the negative things in your world, the world can seem like a terrible place.

But when you focus on the positive things in your world, you see that the world is actually full of love and kindness and beauty and inspiring people doing incredible things. 

Here are 5 powerful tips on how to retrain your brain for positivity, so you can maintain an optimistic, inspired, motivated outlook – no matter what is happening in your life or the world around you.

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Thank your way out of your funk

happiness1 Thank your way out of your funk

Sitting on the couch, I felt it coming. It was late at night and the world was fast asleep. It was slowly making its way to me and I started to feel terrified. “What do I do now?” I asked, addressing no one in particular. And then, it begins: “I can’t do this. I don’t have what it takes!” I was starting to feel overwhelmed and if I didn’t get hold of it, it would lead me down a deep hole the way Alice did when she followed the rabbit.

This is just one version of a very real, very human process of going downhill emotionally. I’ve been through many different types of it countless of times before and I doubt it will ever stop happening. The difference is, this time around, I got it under control. I got myself out of it fast—through gratitude.

It’s in the genes! But…

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2 Secrets to Peace, Joy and Keeping Your Frequency High

compassionandgratitude 2 Secrets to Peace, Joy and Keeping Your Frequency High

A high frequency is necessary to feel love and joy, and to manifest your dreams. Learn two secrets to keeping your frequency high.

I have discovered that there are two choices I can make that, together, invariably put me into a high frequency and bring me inner peace and joy. While either of these choices are always beneficial, together they are incredibly powerful!

Gratitude

We all know how important gratitude is, but the problem is that often we express our gratitude in a fairly rote manner. The kind of gratitude I’m referring to is moment-by-moment gratitude for every big and little thing, and the overriding gratitude that we are never alone – that spirit is always here for us.

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Open Yourself to Humor & Gratitude

happy Open Yourself to Humor & Gratitude

Some days can be tough. During the times that are most trying, it’s difficult to let go of worry, anxiety, frustration and sadness. To a certain extent, we train ourselves to keep our feelings of upset flowing. We replay endless loops of negative thoughts that keep us anchored to our problems. I know how difficult it is to look on the bright side, especially if you’re in debt or have other financial fears.


But that’s exactly when you need to keep yourself open yourself to humor and gratitude. Allowing in more positive feelings can shift your outlook and help you to make decisions in alignment with where you want to go, instead of staying stuck where you are.



Laugh more!

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You Are Blessed

blessed-picture-id157308009 You Are Blessed

When you meditate do you know that if you focus on gratitude everything in your life changes for the better? Today, my brain was on the fried and crunchy side. I was feeling a lot of resistance to a situation that is turning out to be different than I wanted and so was feeling frustrated. To top it off I left my blog to the last minute. I’m not always “on” when it’s time to write a blog and so I needed help and fast. I know this works 1000% so I meditated, tuned into Spirit, held my heart for 10 minutes, and allowed gratitude to permeate my whole body, breathing deeply. Then I knew I should choose an Oracle Card from my Oracle Card deck “Wisdom of the Oracle” for a message. I would write about it if it felt right. 

Every time you approach an Oracle for wisdom and guidance you automatically tune into synchronicity and the flow of what’s most needed to be in coherence with Spirit, and in alignment with the highest good. So I prayed for what I needed to write in this blog and asked for a subject to focus on for “the highest good” for everyone who reads this, then I shuffled and chose a card.

You know, even though I was called to bring this Oracle Card deck to life even I forget sometimes how uncanny it is when you ask the question, “What overarching message do we need to know to live our best lives now?” And then get a powerful answer.

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248 Hits

Ram Dass’ Experience of the Sixties

praying-for-world-peace-picture-id171347375 Ram Dass’ Experience of the Sixties

There was a major shift that occurred in the 60’s, the shift from what you call absolute reality; thinking that what you saw and what your thinking mind thought it understood was only one kind of reality. And there was another experience of reality. William James, of course, had said that many years before, if you remember his quote,

“Our normal waking consciousness is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different. We might spend our entire life without knowing of their existence, but apply the requisite stimulus and there they are in their completeness”.

It’s interesting that William James said that when he was a professor at Harvard. I was thrown out of William James Hall for doing what he said.

Up until the 60’s, the primary spiritual containers were the organized religions of this culture. They were primarily the holders of the ethical constraints of the culture. They motivated people to behave ethically through fear and through internalized superego. The primary mediator between you and God was the priest, so there was a priest class. What the 60’s did through psychedelics, initially, was blow that whole system apart. Because it made the relationship to God a direct experience, once again of the individual. Of course the Quakers have had that, and had a long history of it as did other traditions. But in terms of mainstream, this was a new concept coming into the culture, which was spiritual and not formally religious.

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Returning Home

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What does “home” mean to you? A place? A group of people? A memory? Or is it a feeling deep inside that touches your heart and soul? All of these perhaps. Our own life experiences define what home means to each of us. I grew up in Illinois, later lived in California, and then settled in Massachusetts for more than 30 years. Massachusetts is where I met my life partner, Anne, and where we were married. I’ve always loved both coasts, but I didn’t realize how much the Northeast had become home for me until I moved away and then returned for a visit.

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274 Hits

What a Beautiful Life

beautifullife What a Beautiful Life

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” — Maya Angelou

My friend Clay wrote me the other day to tell me about a book he’s reading. It’s called Seven Ages of Paris, and in it, the French writer Colette is quoted as having said the following just before she died in 1954:

“What a beautiful life I’ve had. It’s a pity I didn’t notice it sooner.”

That quote landed on me like a thud. I hope you’ll stop and absorb it, too. Make a silent vow to not be Colette, like I did.

Now, to be honest, I’ve been in Colette’s heels before. When I was younger, I was constantly running through life as I juggled work, my children, my parents and all the other obligations coming my way. My to-do list was pages’ long, and it was all of my own making. I wasn’t noticing anything along the way because I was just trying to get everything done and start all over again.

Thank God I came to my senses.

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Allow your vision to pull you forth along your path

believe-in-yourself-picture-id1058017648 Allow your vision to pull you forth along your path

Oftentimes individuals perceive Life and the happenings it contains to be strokes of luck, chance, and haphazardness. They perceive Life to be happening to them, beyond their control. This, of course is never so, as there is only Divine order in the cosmos. The sacred laws are always operating pulling us toward the vision that we, either consciously or unconsciously have set for ourselves and our lives. Toward that which we either consciously or unconsciously have placed ourselves in vibrational alignment with.

Life is a beautiful adventure


Life is nothing but a journey. An adventure. And a magical adventure at that. What this means is that Life is always on the move. Always changing.

The evolutionary impulse that penetrates and permeates the cosmos sees to this. In other words everything is in motion, from the old to the new.
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Enjoy The Good That Lasts

rustic-fence-picture-id1050368386 Enjoy The Good That Lasts

What doesn’t rust?

The Practice:
Enjoy the good that lasts.

Why?

So many things change. Leaves fall, friends move away, children leave home. My dad died a year ago, and my mom about ten years before that. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting older (darn, there is no fooling the mirror).

The world changes, too. Evolving technologies alter jobs and lives. Elections happen and different people take charge. New restaurants open while others close.

Experience itself is always changing, right at the front edge of now. So are the neural substrates of this moment’s experience, fleeting coalitions of millions of synapses coming into being even as they disperse, while the molecular structures of individual synapses themselves are dynamically constructing and deconstructing in the blink of an eye.

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What Is Here

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One of the key wisdoms I’ve come to know in my life is to always appreciate what is here, rather than search for (and lament) what is not. If you hold the latter focus, you will always find something missing. If you hold the former, the world will open up around you in miraculous ways. Some people call this a gratitude practice, and that’s a good name for it. Life on Earth is so rich with experiential treasures, so much to be grateful for.

In every moment, there is a surplus of wonder in your life. The air you breathe, the sky above you, your friends and family, all of them precious beyond words. Yet, not every person, event, experience, or detail in life is always within your perceptual field. You can have one particular experience today and an entirely different one tomorrow, each of them seemingly separate. If you expand your awareness, however, both experiences are connected.

We live on a planet of polarities, and we are learning to navigate it, to find balance and harmony within that world. The middle path is one that is inclusive of everything within each moment. You don’t get lost in opposites, which can lend itself to only experiencing loss. Instead, you see everything around you as part of a greater network of meaning and connection in the universe. There is no absence, only presence.

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Antidote to Anger? Mindfulness.

woman-writing-dreams-in-diary-picture-id1135542281 Antidote to Anger? Mindfulness.

Everyone struggles with anger at some point in their lives. From lingering frustrations to outright rage, it’s easy to feel helpless when anger strikes and, too often, people end up speaking or behaving in ways they later find regrettable. However, there are tools we can use to lessen our experience of anger and live more peacefully.

In my classes, I teach that below anger there is usually a softer emotion – one that’s more vulnerable – and the anger rises up to protect it. I discovered my own anger while discussing an issue in my life during a recent therapy session, and underneath that anger was fear.

Identifying my anger and looking deeper allowed me to recognize this fear – a primal fear – and it brought me to tears, which was great! I’m not a big crier, and crying is such a wonderful stress reliever – so it felt good to let it out. From there, I was able to consider what I could do next to help myself heal.

There is a Buddhist saying that goes: “We make our own hell by wishing things were different than they are.” There are many things in life that we can’t control, and my anger was over one of these things in my own life. My solution? I decided it was time to renew my gratitude practice.

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Remember the Important Things

reflecting Remember the Important Things

In every life, reminders arrive about what's really key.

What matters most to you?

The Practice:
Remember the important things.

Why?

In every life, reminders arrive about what's really important.

I’ve received some myself, as I’m sure you have, too. Perhaps it was news of a potentially serious health problem, the death of a loved one, or an accident that could have turned fatal. These are uncomfortably concrete messages that sooner or later something will catch up with each one of us.

When I’m pierced with one of these reminders, it’s like there are three layers in my mind. The top layer is focused on problem-solving. Beneath that is what seems like a furry little animal that’s upset and wants to curl up and be hugged. The bottom layer feels accepting, peaceful, and grateful.

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Four Ways To Find The Silver Lining

dreamy-hippie-girl-gives-thanks-picture-id970864210 Four Ways To Find The Silver Lining

While everyone knows you should be practicing gratitude on a daily basis, it can be difficult when times are tough. But it is during these challenging times that you most need to see the silver lining. This is a learned skill, and one that becomes much easier when you’re able to recognize the point where you’re at a crossroads. You can go left, and continue down the rabbit hole of negativity, perpetuating the energy that is surrounding your struggle, or you can go right, and break that cycle of negativity by consciously looking for the good that you know is there.

Here are four ways to discover the silver lining in any situation:

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What Happens When You Protect Your Values

group-of-girls-with-down-syndrome-on-cheerleading-squad-picture-id639844526 What Happens When You Protect Your Values

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”  — Thurgood Marshall

After my daughter watched the documentary Finding Neverland the other night, she wrote me a note that landed deep in my soul.

She said, “Thank you for such a wonderful childhood. Thank you for loving me. And, perhaps most importantly, thank you for always protecting me.”

I sat and stared at those last two words.

Protecting my children has always been a huge deal to me. I know it is for most parents. It’s our job to keep our children safe. It’s our job to be on guard against people or situations that might seem appealing, but are actually dangerous. It’s our job to build resilient children who can pave their own way and stand on their own two feet.

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about the role of “the protector.” I’ve thought about how, when I was young and naive, I thought it was a man’s job to protect. Now as a seasoned protector myself, I no longer hold onto that childish view.

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Our Tears Are Just Rain

©barbara-sinclair-our-tears-are-just-rain Our Tears Are Just Rain

Wow. Is it really true? I haven’t written a word here on this site for one whole year.

1-11-2018. One year ago today. Well, I cannot, will not let 1-11-19 pass without writing. The magic of this day revealed itself to me four years ago. You can read about it here if you’d like.

And so I honor it by putting my fingers back on the keys. Because a message from beyond is a treasure not to be ignored.

When The Voice talks, I listen and do my best to honor it.

I wish I could report that my book “Pink is Everything!” is humming along but it came to a screeching halt months ago.

I think I need more Pink balloons floating on my ceiling.

2018 was rough. It forced me to dig deep, uncovering old uncomfortable truths and wounds. I cycled through joy and sorrow and even anger, an emotion that doesn’t visit me often but maybe is buried so deeply I don’t even know it’s there.

After a few months of riding this wave, I checked in with my astrology-minded friend who took a look at my chart and remarked: “Barbara, if I didn’t know you better, I’d worry you were going to jump off a bridge.”

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The Window of Gratitude

gratitude_compassrose The Window of Gratitude
Everything out your window has the potential to be an epiphany, demonstrating the miracle in the mundane. What you see depends on your attitude and the gratitude you have for the the truth of life in all of its imperfect beauty.

Will you do something for me? Go look out your window. It's okay, I' ll wait.

It doesn’t matter where you’re located. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night. Go to that window and look out. . .don’t glance. Even if it’s a view that you’ve seen hundreds of times before, take the time to slowly drink in everything that you see. Don’t filter the results or categorize them. Simply look with open eyes.

What will you see? It depends. You might see a neighbor walking their dog or the push and pull of traffic on a street or even just the bricks of the building next door. What you are seeing, in some sense, doesn’t really matter. It’s how you are seeing that makes all the difference. When you look out with eyes that are truly open, what you will see is life - real life, raw life, life in its purest form, replete with possibilities.

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