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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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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156 Hits

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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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Easy as Gravity

Easyasgravity-Pixaby Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Easy as Gravity
While every love we know is unique
and has its own history, every chance
to care traces back to the same
enduring love that lives below
all names.


The way the branches on this
towering oak trace back to its
enduring trunk.
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86 Hits

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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266 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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302 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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830 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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715 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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878 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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247 Hits

Middle Earth

IMG_1523-1200x900

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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325 Hits

A Gratitude Ritual

Blog-112619-KK
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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867 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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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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300 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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947 Hits