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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Terrapin

praying-on-the-rock-picture-id148773973 Terrapin

I saw myself swimming in a river of deep blues and greens. The shape of the water reminded me of a swimming spot in my childhood. There was a sense of freedom and anticipation surrounding me. Every moment felt familiar.

I began to notice an energy that was coming from outside my vision. This new energy allowed a connection to memories of the previous life. Eternity began to swirl through my mind. The change brought a calm that surrounded me. While loosely observing my thoughts of creation, I felt a strong presence. My vision quietly revealed who was sharing this moment with me. We communicated without words.

I began to swim to the beautiful creature that was sharing such kindness and wisdom. I reached out and touched a giant terrapin. His shell looked like it was made of earth. The message to me was one of love and patience. I rested my forehead on his cheek. Through this touch, I was able to feel our entire world and so much more. I was shown how humanity is being guided deeper through the universe’s passage to eternal wisdom. I understood I had to wait and be patient. There will be many of us discovering our true connection. We will find each other, but first we must understand our personal power. Only then can we patiently have space for others.

I knew without a doubt that the ancient creature was a teacher for the whole of humanity. The message was clear. All animals, humans, and Mother Earth are connected through the energy that flows through our souls. We are all one, we are all equal.

The wise one encouraged me to trust my instincts and recognize that healing can occur even in darkness and confusion. Instinctively, I knew the turtle was returning to a place on earth that needed his wisdom and love. Higher power comes in all forms, males, females, rocks, plants, or animals.

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How to Use Mindfulness to Improve your Emotional Wellbeing

finding-my-balance-picture-id1187361257 How to Use Mindfulness to Improve your Emotional Wellbeing

Are you full of worry, anxiety and stress due to uncertainty, causing your emotional wellbeing to suffer? Resulting in your health deteriorating from a lack of sleep, poor diet, no exercise and being emotionally exhausted. An easy solution to this is mindfulness to improve your emotional wellbeing, replenish energy and help you relax.

Mindfulness and meditation are terms thrown around lightly.

However, they are powerful activities you can easily integrate into your daily routine. Research has shown numerous benefits of mindfulness and meditation which makes them great tools to take advantage of right now. Additionally, the mind-body connection is very powerful and putting the work into your mind can improve all areas of your health.

With global closures and lockdowns, the usual solutions to your stress and anxiety may not be available. Therefore, activities that you can implement right now and easily are important to improve your emotional wellbeing and health.


What is Emotional Wellbeing and Why do You Need it?

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Three Wishes For The World

lucky-charm-magic-fourleaf-clover-picture-id1191635117 Three Wishes For The World
“We all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing." -Louisa May Alcott

I've Been Thinking...

The other day, I went on one of my “walk and talks.” These are socially distant walks that I take in the late afternoon, either alone or with friends who also like to walk, talk, dream, ponder, and wonder about life. 

I often walk with my friend Simon, an optimist and an astute student of leadership. 

The other day, we were walking and talking about Simon’s online courses (you can learn more here and follow him on Instagram, too) and his upcoming podcast, when we came upon two other guys we both know. We stopped to chit chat, and just as we were about to leave, one of the guys said: “I’d like to ask you both a question. What are your three wishes for our country and the world right now? They don’t have to be achievable, but what are they?” 

“Wow!” I thought to myself. I figured he was just going to ask which restaurants had good takeout service or something, but hey, okay. I knew I’d need a few minutes to think about how to answer. 

Simon’s three wishes popped out immediately.

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Shaking is Meant for Shifting

concerned-healthcare-worker-looking-through-a-window-picture-id1215311167 Shaking is Meant for Shifting

For me and many of the people I’ve spoken to who are part of the stay-at-home population, it feels like one day is rolling right into the next with not that much changing in any given 24-hour period.

Of course, if we’re working from home or home-schooling our children or are caregivers for our loved ones, the details of each day are numerous and ever-changing.

But it’s the general tone of the day that I’m speaking about... 

I’m wondering about that question mark that’s hanging over the planet.

What is this shaking up of the world as we know it ushering in? 

What will our personal and collective lives look like in a few months…

And in a few years?

Though there have been a few other pandemics over the last hundred years or so, never before have we experienced the repercussions of a pandemic like the one enfolding the whole of the planet today. 

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Each Day, an Anniversary

eachDay-_-Shutterstock Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Each Day, an Anniversary
With each passing year,
the climb turns into a drift:
turn of phrase, turn of pot,
spot of sun, touch of dog.


After all this way,
we wake in what we wanted,
like a painting we used to drive
to see in which we now live.


Like swimmers who tire into
ease, we are, on good days,
cradled by the deep.


Thankfully, we have crawled
into the O of ordinary
and found beauty.


We walk our dog, following
the streets that warm in the sun,
share a glass of water, and watch
the cherry blossom bend, one
more year, toward something
no one can see.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a simple detail that carries the essence of a significant relationship in your life. What does this detail represent? Honor this detail by talking about it and its significance to the person it involves.

This excerpt is from my book of poems in progress, Elsewhere.

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Fasten Your Seatbelt, It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

we-gonna-have-fun-at-amusement-park-picture-id1136911352 Fasten Your Seatbelt, It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

Bette Davis spoke this classic line in the film All About Eve, and it’s certainly apropos for the world we are currently in.

Unless you are in deep denial, the fact is that the rug has been pulled out from under all of us and it’s going to be bumpy for quite some time.

As we adjust to being in a collective dark night of the soul, we are individually figuring out how wrap our heads around the fact that right now there are no real answers: no one can say when/if the virus will end; when/ if certainty and stability will return; or if life as we once knew it will return.

Whether you are suffering through this process or are doing great with it (or bouncing between happiness and misery), most of us are now learning to adapt to “being with not knowing.”

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The Miracle Of The Coronavirus – Part 1

young-woman-holding-a-globe-with-a-face-mask-on-it-heart-shape-is-on-picture-id1216427738 The Miracle Of The Coronavirus – Part 1

Creating authentic power requires distinguishing love from fear in yourself and choosing love no matter what is happening inside you or what is happening outside. Our evolution now requires us to create authentic power. The coronavirus is teaching us how to do that. The reality of the coronavirus is often lost in the fear of it (including denial). The reality of the coronavirus is that no one is immune to it, and it is extremely contagious. The mortality rate of the coronavirus is much lower than small pox or bubonic plague, yet it is a deadly threat. That reality demands that we bring our fears into our awareness so that we can choose responsibly between our fears on the one hand and love on the other. This is important because not only your health depends upon your choices, but also the health of others.

In other words, the coronavirus is the perfect teacher of responsibility. The coronavirus is contagious days before its symptoms appear in you. You do not know when you become infected! During that time you can infect others without knowing it and without them knowing it (because they do not know when they become infected, either), and they can (will) very quickly infect others and on and on and on and on. These are the things that make the coronavirus very dangerous. It is extremely contagious, everyone can unknowingly infect anyone else, and it can kill you. In other words, if you mindlessly endanger yourself, you mindlessly endanger others. If others recklessly endanger themselves, they recklessly endanger you. To echo Lakota wisdom, the health of one is the health of all, and the illness of one is the illness of all.

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7 Ways To Make Room For Good

contemplative-meditation-picture-id452698079 7 Ways To Make Room For Good

Times are tough for a lot of people right now. I get that’s an understatement but I am fortunate to be able to continue to serve and keep my business doors open so I feel I am in a position of privilege and can help people, and so I am, in any way I can.  The other day, I felt moved to send money to an old friend whom I know is out of work right now, just as a gift. We’ve known each other for years and had attended a woman’s group together when I lived in the US full time. She posted on Facebook that this happened to her. So my spidey senses went ding ding and I sent it.

When she received it, she called me and said, “Oh, Colette I can’t believe you did this.  Thank you, but I really can’t accept this. I’m good. I just know Spirit is going to look after me. I am really tuning in to manifesting something.” 

I paused and thoughtfully said, “Well, how did you think that was gonna happen? Maybe Spirit just told me to send you cash because you’re not working. You’re a single mom with small kids and no job! That is pretty darn good manifesting!”

All she could say was, “…Oh!”

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Make The Offering

maketheoffering Make The Offering

What could you offer?

The Practice:
Make the offering.

Why?

One of the strangest and most meaningful experiences of my life occurred when I went through Rolfing (ten brilliant sessions of deep-tissue bodywork) in my early 20’s. The fifth session works on the stomach area, and I was anticipating (= dreading) the release of buried sadness. Instead, there was a dam burst of love, which poured out of me during the session and afterward. I realized it was love, not sadness, that I had bottled up in childhood – and what I now needed to give and express.

We can hold back our contributions to the world, including love, just as much as we can muzzle or repress sorrow or anger. But contribution needs to flow; it stagnates and gets stinky if it doesn’t. Thwarted contribution is the source of much unhappiness. For example, the wound of loneliness and heartache is about not having others to give to as much as not having others to get from. And one of the major issues with adolescence in technological cultures is that there are few opportunities for teenagers to make a real difference, to matter and feel a sense of earned worth.

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How To Love Your Body

woman-dances-at-sunrise-in-the-mountains-picture-id942893092 How To Love Your Body

The healthier and more vibrant your body is, the more you can express yourself through it and live your dream.”

We often live with the pressure of having a ‘perfect’ body according to the standard created by the media and society as a whole. As a result, this can often lead to shame, self-rejection and even hatred of our body. Listen to this important episode to learn how to love your body and honor this amazing vehicle of your soul.

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Coronavirus – The Heart of the Matter

heart-shape-on-the-beach-picture-id1161657351 Coronavirus – The Heart of the Matter

All my life I have gone to the heart of the matter. When I graduated from college, I volunteered to fly fighters because I felt that was the heart of the Air Force. My eye sight prevented me, so I joined the Infantry because I felt that was the heart of the Army. Then I became a Green Beret officer because I felt that was the heart of the heart of the Army. When I wrote about quantum physics, I reached for the heart of this new discipline so I could write a book about it without scientific jargon and give non-scientists like me a clear and understandable explanation of it. That book won The American Book Award for Science, I believe, because it did exactly that.

I have come to see the heart of everything that we do and experience, individually and as a species, as consciousness. Our consciousness. My consciousness. Changing anything in the world, including myself, requires changing consciousness. The only place I can change consciousness is in myself.

Now I come to the coronavirus. Like everything I see around me, I see the coronavirus as symbolic. It has a lesson to teach me, and in my opinion, it has a lesson to teach us. The coronavirus is real in that it kills, the world economy is crippled, hundreds of millions have no work or shelter or comforting hand to hold theirs when they are ill. The most difficult is yet to come in economically undeveloped countries and collectives.

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Love the World

saveearth Love the World

Are we really so separate?

The Practice:
Love the world.

Why?

To simplify and summarize, our brain has three primary motivational systems – Avoiding harms, Approaching rewards, and Attaching to “us” – that draw on many neural networks to accomplish their goals. 

Lately, I’ve started to realize that a fourth fundamental human motivational system could be emerging as well.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors depended upon their habitats for food and shelter. Today, over 7 billion of us are pressing hard up against the limits of Lifeboat Earth. To survive and to flourish, cultural and perhaps biological evolution are calling us to love the world.

The world is near to hand in the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the weather and climate in which you spend your days. And then in widening circles, the world extends out to include complex webs of life and the physical characteristics of the land, the sea, and the sky.

When you love the world, you both appreciate it and care for it. Each of these actions makes you feel good, plus they help you preserve and improve everything you depend on for your health, livelihood, security, pleasure, and community.

During most of the last several million years, our human and hominid ancestors did not have much capacity for harming the world. Nor did they have much understanding of their effects on the whole planet.

But now, humanity has great power for good and ill. And we have inescapable knowledge (no matter how much some try to deny it) of what we are doing to our own home. As the earth heats up, as many species go extinct, and as resources such as fresh water decline, it is critically important that a fourth major motivation guide our thoughts, words, and above all, deeds:

Love the world.

What's Really Essential?

essential What's Really Essential?
"The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in a time of crisis." -Thurgood Marshall


I've Been Thinking...

The other day, I found myself thinking and reflecting on life as I took an evening walk through my neighborhood.

“When this is all over, what will I remember?” I pondered to myself. “What thoughts and images will be seared into my brain? Who will I be when I am no longer told to stay at home?”

Will I go back to the same schedule I had before? Will my work and voice in The Sunday Paper be needed now more than ever, or not at all? Will my work at NBC News be the same, or will it change now that every show has been cut back? Will I go back to being on a plane all the time, rushing from coast to coast?

 

Will my work at The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement survive in a post-pandemic world? Will people still want to fund research into women’s brains when millions of Americans are struggling to eat and pay their rents or mortgages? Will people want to be educated about brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention when one of their most pressing concerns is protecting themselves from the coronavirus? I wonder. 

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Peace from Gratitude

IMG_2198-1200x900small Peace from Gratitude

Charles Dickens described the French Revolution as “the best of times” and the “worst of times.” We could use similar words to describe our world now. There is chaos, conflict, death, and destruction on the one hand, and love, compassion, and the birth of a new more aware consciousness on the other. We who are alive at this time are bridges between the old and the new, Heaven and Earth, humanity and divinity. To hold all that within us requires great courage as well as deep inner peace. How do we achieve that?

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I Need You And You Need Me

ineedyyou I Need You And You Need Me
"Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things. Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things." -Lao Tzu

I've Been Thinking...

I was catching up with a friend by phone the other day when she said to me: “I need you more than ever right now.”

“Same here!” I replied, without skipping a beat.
 
The truth is, we all need each other more than ever right now. We need each other in so many ways, both big and small. We need to rely on one another. Lean on one another. Trust one another. Be compassionate, understanding, and patient with one another. We need to basically focus on being there for one another the best we can.
 
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about just how tied we are to one another. This historic moment is showing us how interconnected we are. It is showing us how we all have similar needs. And yet, as we live through this big, collective moment together, we are also going through it in very individual ways.

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What Does “You Are Enough” Mean?

happy-woman-with-straw-hut-on-beach-picture-id538332160 What Does “You Are Enough” Mean?

“You are enough.”

That short phrase is one of the most powerful I can think of. So powerful that I used it as the title of my new book. Yet, I wonder if you’ve ever really thought about what it means to simply…be enough. 

Society places a great deal of importance on outward success – success in the form of possessions, a big bank balance, perfect relationships, glowing, radiant health, and a secure, high-paying job. Yet, even those that have outwardly achieved immense levels of success still feel as if there is something missing from their lives. They feel as if they ARE their possessions. Their profession is their identity. They depend on their bank balance for validation. 

These feelings of emptiness, dissatisfaction, and sadness occur because those external things can never take the place of your authentic self. In fact, all of the external trappings of success are actually examples of what “you are enough” does NOT mean.

You are far more than your external accomplishments, my dear friends. But from the moment you were born, you have been conditioned to be a unit of production. You’ve been separated from your emotions, been told that you’re too sensitive, that you shouldn’t become angry, that you have no reason to be sad. Your humanity has been denied and you learned that your worth is based on what you can provide. “Work hard!” they said and all will be well. In following that advice, your emotions were disregarded, and you were, essentially, mechanized.

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5 Self-Love Tips to Improve Self-Esteem

free-and-happy-woman-raises-arms-against-the-sunset-sky-harmony-and-picture-id1131849259 5 Self-Love Tips to Improve Self-Esteem

The longest, deepest, most important love affair you’ll ever experience is the one you have with yourself and that’s why improving your self-esteem is so important.

However for most of us, the idea of “loving ourselves” seems kind of selfish or egotistical.

We think it’s better for us to direct our love outward rather than inward.

But when we are kind to ourselves through simple practices like positive self-talk, we can gradually make improvements to our self-image that add up to a monumental change.

So, today I want to share five simple, yet effective strategies you can implement to improve your self-esteem.

1. Practice Gratitude

I can’t overstate how powerful this is.

When you make the effort to recognize everything you have to be grateful for, you will find more and more things to be grateful for – including your own abilities and accomplishments.

And when you take stock of everything that is actually going RIGHT in your life, that negative voice in your head won’t be as loud. That’s why I encourage everyone to keep a gratitude journal.

At the end of the day, take the time to write down each thing, no matter how small it seems, that you were thankful for during your day. This makes good days even better and is also a beautiful way to remind yourself how good your life really is.

Also, be sure to pay your gratitude forward. When you feel grateful for the people in your life and the things they have done for you, let them know about it.

Tell them that you see and appreciate what they do for you and for others. This allows you to pass that positive energy on to them and boost their self-esteem as well.

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Follow Your Heart

followyourheart Follow Your Heart

"The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are." -Rumi

I've Been Thinking...

The other morning, I was sitting on my porch drinking a cup of coffee when all of a sudden, a feeling swept over me. It was one that took me by surprise. I closed my eyes so I could sit with it for a while and really feel it. Then I decided to describe the feeling out loud so I would always remember it.

“I’m doing great,” I said to myself looking around to no one in particular. “I’m actually happy. I’m content. Life is peaceful, life is good.”
 

“Holy moly!” I thought as I sat there smiling. “I’m happy, I’m good.” I could feel myself smile.



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A Theory of Love

love-in-the-air-picture-id620384420 A Theory of Love

A few years ago I came upon the letter below that was supposedly authored by Albert Einstein written to his daughter Liesel about love. I have since discovered that Einstein did not write this and the original author is still unknown. That said, when I re-read it again, I was still moved by the wisdom, poetry, and truth it contains and thought you might enjoy it as well.

“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.

I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us.

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Just Because

silhouette-of-woman-hand-her-dog-at-sunset-picture-id1136820853 Just Because
"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." -Lao Tzu

I've Been Thinking...

I was sitting in my office the other day when my daughter Christina walked in and asked me what I was up to.


I told her I was thinking about everything that had happened this week and how I felt about it all. I sat there thinking about how I felt attending Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial service with my son Christopher on Monday. I thought about how I felt on Tuesday as I watched another round of the Democratic debates. (I ended up watching alone because everyone else got up and left, saying “I’ve had it!”) I thought about how I felt about Ash Wednesday, the concept of Lent, and Pope Francis’ challenge for us all to give up “trolling,” or insulting others on social media. I thought about the Coronavirus and the fear, panic, and suffering it's wreaking around the world.

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