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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There's No Time Like Now

greif There's No Time Like Now

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure...You don't capitulate to it. You embrace it."  -Kobe Bryant

I've Been Thinking...

I was having lunch with my cousin this past Sunday when my daughter Katherine called to tell me the news about Kobe Bryant.

At first, I had trouble processing what she was saying because she was talking so fast and was so overwhelmed by the news she was sharing. You see, we are a Lakers family. That means Kobe Bryant was a king in our house. Both of my boys grew up with him and are Lakers fanatics. In fact, my son Christopher lived and breathed Kobe his entire life. His room is decorated in pictures of him, and he waited hours to get a ticket in the nosebleed section to his last game, during which he cried and cried and cried.

For Christopher’s 21st birthday, I got him a signed picture from Kobe – it’s his most valuable possession. I had met Kobe several times over the years and he was always incredibly kind, generous, and gracious to me. In fact, just a few months ago I asked him to contribute to The Sunday Paper and he said yes immediately. What I respected about Kobe wasn’t just that he was an extraordinary athlete, but that he was a man who admitted his flaws, embraced his struggles, and spoke openly about his faith and his desire to be a better man. I particularly admired his devotion to his family. The way he embraced fatherhood, husbandhood, and familyhood I believe will be a big part of his enduring legacy.

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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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191 Hits

We Are Loving Awareness

RamDassNoAttribution01-730x400 We Are Loving Awareness
“Now just imagine that you, as spirit or awareness, have contained yourself in an incarnation, or contained it in a conceptual model of who you are and in a storyline. And then at some point, you dissolve out of that, you break out of that, and there is this incredible release quality.” – Ram Dass 


There is joyousness. Our beloved Baba has left his body, and he is no longer in pain. He has been released from this storyline.  

There is sadness. We no longer get the warm embrace of his loving awareness in the human form. The feeling I got when our eyes locked was that of pure liquid love. It was too much for me most of the time, I almost always wound up looking away before he did. But I will miss it dearly. I will miss him dearly.

When I heard the news last night, I immediately had to sit and meditate. As I settled into my first round of “Ram, Ram, Ram,” I felt tears streaking down my face. A thought popped right up into my head, “Well, I didn’t think I’d be this sad.” I thought I was ready for this; I’m sure many of us thought we were. 

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267 Hits

Twelve Good Things 2019

goodthings Twelve Good Things 2019

Each year I use an issue of the Just One Thing newsletter to offer Twelve Good Things that I think are really wonderful and worth your attention.

May you and those you love and in fact the whole wide world be truly well, truly happy, and truly at peace.

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768 Hits

The Perfect Gift You Can Bring Is Your Heart

dinner The Perfect Gift You Can Bring Is Your Heart
"At this table, everyone is welcome. At this table, everyone is seen. At this table, everybody matters. No one falls between." -Idina Menzel


I've Been Thinking...

Everyone I’ve spoken to this week has told me how overwhelmed they feel. They are, of course, talking about the holiday season and not the impeachment hearings (which would overwhelm even a constitutional scholar).

To each of them, I said: “Believe me, I get it.”

I tend to feel overwhelmed at this time of year, too, which is why I’m going to share a personal story this morning that I hope might ease what you’re feeling and carrying with you right now. It might just reveal that the perfect holiday gift is closer than we realize…

So, there I was early Monday morning in the TODAY show makeup room, chatting away with Laura and Mary (two talented hair and makeup magicians), when a text popped up on my phone.

It was short. Three words to be precise. “This is you!” it said. It was accompanied by something to download, but no surprise, I couldn’t figure out how to download it, so I just went on gabbing.

Then Hoda burst into the room.

“Did you hear the song I sent you?!” she squealed with delight.

After I explained that I couldn’t download It, she insisted that I stop everything and listen right then and there. “It is you!” she repeated.

Hoda pulled up Idina Menzel’s new Christmas song, "At This Table,” and as it played, my eyes welled with tears, and goosebumps formed on my arms.

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621 Hits

How To Love Your Body [Special Video]

bodylove How To Love Your Body [Special Video]

Your body is beautiful just because you have a body.

No other reason needed.

It is a living work of art. A masterpiece and magical expression of the Divine.

But how often do we really appreciate and love our bodies?

We have been conditioned and brainwashed by the media to believe that “You are not enough as you are”.

This is a lie.

This creates so much shame, judgment, non-acceptance of our naturalness. We end up hating our bodies, disconnecting from it’s innate intelligence, and comparing ourselves to others.

We base our self-worth on being the perfect shape, weight, or size.

You are worthy and lovable just because you ARE.

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808 Hits

Finding Your Way to Gratitude

findinggratitude Finding Your Way to Gratitude

Although Thanksgiving Day has become a time for turkey and football, its true purpose lingers, often as a wistful hope that one could be truly thankful. You cannot conjure up thanks if you are focused on the world’s troubles and a constant stream of bad news. So how is true gratitude found? 

As writer and teacher Dana Arcuri has said, “The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you can live fully in the present.”. Psychologically, research has shown that practicing gratitude measurably improves your well-being and on the physical side, your heart health.

 Gratitude begins when we change our relationship with life from an attitude of rejecting and defending to one of acceptance and appreciation. We all need reminding about a truth expressed by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

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206 Hits

Middle Earth

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In Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien used the term Middle-earth to describe the land where his stories took place. Situated somewhere between angelic and demonic realms, the inhabitants struggled to hold to the light. Sometimes I feel that is where we live now. Opposing forces are mobilized on all sides. All around are compelling reasons to believe that “evil” is on the rise and that “good” people are increasingly victimized by those in power. Yet holding to the light within darkness means we cannot succumb to what the prevailing belief systems would have us accept as truth. We may live in Middle Earth now, but it is just a way-station on the way to the New Earth. The challenge and balancing act is to accept and live in the present moment while also embodying a new vision for the future.

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297 Hits

A Gratitude Ritual

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Have you ever noticed that the more you focus on being grateful, the more you have to be grateful for?

It’s true. The more we practice counting our blessings, the more blessings we will find to count.

And that is one of the beautiful things about gratitude. It builds on itself. All we have to do is be mindful of practicing that “attitude of gratitude” by focusing on looking for what’s right, since gratitude happens naturally when we stay in the presence of the many gifts in our lives.

So, if you want to have a heartfelt Thanksgiving, as well as the power to turn a moment of ordinary into extraordinary, then I encourage you to take time to go within, connect with your blessings and gifts, and practice cultivating gratitude.

Use the beautiful Gratitude Ritual that Debbie Ford created years ago, which I have included below, to support you in opening your heart and filling it with love and appreciation.  

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
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780 Hits

Count It All Joy

alljoy Count It All Joy

In the spirit of gratitude, let’s talk about what joy brings to our individual lives. So joy huh… Fun fact…did you know that joy can be both a noun and a verb? Which means it is both a tangible thing and an action. Think about that for a minute. It is something you can have and be! Joy is defined as a source of cause of delight. Or to experience great pleasure of delight. Ask yourself, how do I experience joy? For me, one of the things that bring me joy is the laughter of children. I am the great aunt to 12 amazing little souls. And when I hear them laugh, it feels like my heart sings in union and it makes me smile and giggle. Have you ever heard someone laugh and the joy in their laughter makes you all ooey-gooey good. When was the last time you experienced that feeling?

What if I told you that that is your natural state of being and you living your best life in all the authentic bliss is your birthright and is how you are designed to live? Do you believe that?

We often think because we have experienced heartbreak, loss, or even bouts of depression or loneliness that we aren’t entitled to the joy that is naturally ours. Joy is your birthright! It is the natural essence of who you are.

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470 Hits

Everything Is A Gift - Say Thank You! With Your Breath

christmas-baby-and-present-picture-id88477335_20191121-130259_1 Everything Is A Gift - Say Thank You! With Your Breath

EVERYTHING IS A GIFT. Simply breathe and know it is true. Allow every breath to be filled with appreciation for life. What more do you need? Everything in life is enough.

We only need to appreciate what we HAVE. There is no reason to wonder why we have it. You donot need to decide what is worthy of gratitude. Everything is worthy of gratitude. We are not made happy because of anything, we are made grateful by everything.

We only need to appreciate what we have, to have enough. When you know all you have, you can’t stop yourself from being grateful. Let every breath say, Thank You! for everything!

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How to Move Out of Your Ego Wounded Self

How to Move Out of Your Ego Wounded Self How to Move Out of Your Ego Wounded Self

If you sometimes get stuck in your wounded self and can’t see how to get back into your loving adult, here are some ideas that may help you.

Sometimes, when we get stuck in our wounded self, it is hard to wind our way out of it. I’ve noticed what I do when I’m happy and my frequency is high, as opposed to when my frequency feels low.

It is helpful to me to keep a list of ways I’ve learned move myself from closed to open.

 

Here are some of the ways I’ve found work for me…

The subtlety of these choices is that I need to be consciously doing these things because it is loving for me to do them, rather than as a form of control. It’s possible for your wounded self to choose these same behaviors as a way to avoid responsibility for your feelings and avoid learning from your pain. When that is the intent, then these choices will not raise your frequency, which means you will not move out of your wounded self. So please be honest with yourself!

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283 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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897 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
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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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303 Hits

3 Keys to Activating The Flow of Money and Abundance in Your Life

abundance 3 Keys to Activating The Flow of Money and Abundance in Your Life
“Abundance starts with remembering who you are. When you remember who you are, you start tapping into that inexhaustible stream of energy that is life. At that level, there is no scarcity.”

Abundance is not about what you have but about your attitude and feelings towards what you have. Abundance is not really about money because real abundance is a state of being. Listen to this insightful episode to learn how to shift your vibration in a way that attracts more abundance in all aspects of your life and the key practice to get out of scarcity.


Some Questions I Ask:

  • What do your relationships and life reflect about yourself?
  • What is your relationship with abundance?
  • How do you feel about yourself ?
  • Can you celebrate everything that you are and are not?
  • How often do you thank your body?
  • What pain, problems or challenges can you solve for humanity?
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323 Hits

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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351 Hits

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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227 Hits

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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409 Hits

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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253 Hits