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Find Your Ground

find your ground Find Your Ground

What can you do when you’re shaken?

The Practice:
Find your ground.

Why?

I’ve been to New Zealand, and really respect and like it. There’s a Maori term – turangawaewae, “a place to stand” – that I’ve come back to many times.

I’m sure I don’t know the full meaning of the word in its cultural context. But at a basic level, it’s clear that we all need a place to stand. A physical place to be sure – hearth and home, land and sea, a bed to curl up in – but also psychological or spiritual places, such as feeling loved, a calm clear center inside, knowledge of the facts, compassion and ethics, and realistic plans.

This is our ground, the place we rest in and move out from . . . even under the best of circumstances. And when you’re shaken by events at any scale – from changes in your health to changes in your country or world (here’s a recent post you may find relevant: Take Heart) – then it’s especially important to find and hold your ground.

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How To Overcome Procrastination And Own Your Power

man-in-shirt-and-tie-blows-kids-bubles-picture-id663549090 How To Overcome Procrastination And Own Your Power
“The more you handle the small steps impeccably, the more the Universe will entrust you with the big rewards.”

Putting things off for later is something we have all done. We often postpone unpleasant or challenging tasks until we have no choice, or worse yet, we never start. Procrastination can cost us years of our lives and endless regrets down the line. Listen to this episode to learn why we procrastinate and how to get over it, today.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • What have you been putting off and what is it costing you?
  • If you can’t handle the small stuff, how will you handle the big stuff?
  • What is it time for you to do?
  • What is life calling you to express?
  • What have you been avoiding?

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • 3 reasons we procrastinate and how to overcome them.
  • The correlation between consistency and success.
  • How getting clarity on your motives for doing what you do will help you stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Why drama is not a sustainable way of achieving success.
  • 5 keys to avoid procrastinating.
  • The one main reason to stop putting things off for tomorrow.
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Are You Tied to a Financial Lead Balloon?

passenger-airplane-flying-above-clouds-during-sunset-picture-id155439315 Are You Tied to a Financial Lead Balloon?

A dear friend of mine, Susan, said to me, “Julie, I sold my house and I bought my freedom!” We are taught to believe that buying a house is the American Dream, and for many of us, it may very well be.  But, if you face the monthly stress of a home mortgage you can’t really afford, you’re holding the string of a financial lead balloon. Financial lead balloons are items we purchase that look good on the outside, but in reality, they weigh us down and rob us of our personal and financial freedom.

Why do we make these choices? Because there is always Emotion Behind Money. What we do is driven by how we feel, both consciously and unconsciously. When we open ourselves to these emotions and take control, we can heal our financial past and move toward building real wealth. If you aren’t where you want to be, financially, personally, or otherwise, you need to forgive yourself for where you’re at. When you forgive yourself, you create space for the new to come in. And, when the new comes in, it will often surprise the heck out of you!

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254 Hits

It Takes Courage to Want More

courage It Takes Courage to Want More

I wrote this letter to the part of myself that dared to listen to her pain more than her need for stability. That part helped me write my first book This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love and discover my best life.

Years ago, I sat in front of the Pacific Ocean, and considered taking my life. I didn’t see another choice. I was an honors graduate of Harvard Law School on partnership track at a corporate law firm. I couldn’t bear my day-evening-weekend job, even with its ostentatious paycheck. I couldn’t figure out any other options with my frantic analytical mind. I had no glistening faith or trust in myself, the Universe, or even the tooth fairy, back then.

You build that faith, when you leap--- not before.

So, I screamed and cried in my journal. I let out one desperate wail near sunset. And I made the choices that gave birth to a life I couldn’t imagine. This letter is to her with my love and gratitude…

You wanted an impossible life. You wanted freedom. You wanted to rip off your lawyer clothes and identity and walk for miles on beaches-- on a Tuesday, a weekday. You didn’t even really know what you wanted.

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Manifest a New Future by Revisiting the Stories of the Past

familyhistory Manifest a New Future by Revisiting the Stories of the Past

This week’s reading brought two goddesses together that inspired me to talk about how the stories of the past inform what we manifest in the future. I was going to wait a bit but when the Greek goddess of memory and the past and the Norse goddess of the future showed up in the reading side by side, they revealed to me that perhaps the time to share is now.

I took a DNA test that rocked my world. Forgive me in advance for not giving you the full details just yet as I have some more digging to do and intimate conversations to have with family first. Suffice to say that my results were not what I expected and has led me to question so much. I’m still digesting and integrating the information. But here is the gist of it.

The core elements of the story that defined my mother’s life, her deepest fears, traumas, guilt and identity and consequently what has defined my identity and the story I’ve come to believe, tell, and act from is something very different than what she believed and I was told. I know that sentence is a mouthful. But if what I have discovered is the real truth than much of the story that has defined me is not a true story.

Have you ever considered or even questioned your history? I am doing that right now and it’s astounding to consider that many of our choices may be based on false information.

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179 Hits

Happy Money and LOVE

lovemoney Happy Money and LOVE

You may already know this…. the #1 source of conflict in marriages and the biggest cause of divorce is money.

Why?

According to my dear friend, Ken Honda, author of Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Ken is a bestselling author (over 7 million books sold around the world!) who has spent years helping the people of Japan heal their relationships with money and become more abundant and peaceful.

Why is money such a big issue in relationships?

According to Ken it’s as if you & your beloved grew up in different countries when it comes to how to handle money.

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183 Hits

There’s No Place Like Home

homeless-senior-male-sleeping-rough-in-subway-tunnel-picture-id954097972 There’s No Place Like Home

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” — Maya Angelou

It was early evening when it happened.

I was walking back to my car after a boxing session (yup, I box!), when I turned the corner and encountered a homeless man lying face-up on the sidewalk. He was motionless. Quiet. Had little sign of life. I wasn’t sure what to do or how to help him. So instead, I just kept walking with my head down.

A moment later, a thought flashed through my mind. “Did I really just walk past a man lying on the ground and keep going?”

I got into my car and felt a deep sense of shame.

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170 Hits

Take Yourself to a Higher, Happier Life Level

serenemountain Take Yourself to a Higher, Happier Life Level

Human beings are a unique creation in the cosmic scheme of things. Unlike the untold billions of other life forms teaming on the Earth -- whose nature is an open and shut case -- human nature is not fixed. What does this mean to you? Only everything!

The tiger, the horse, and the bird
must express their nature. They have no real choice. And even though they may be free to choose which part of the jungle, or open range, in which they want to feed and roam, these animals have no choice as to the kind of world in which they must dwell.

The tiger can't choose to live above the jungle floor any more than a shark can decide to soar through blue skies. The tiger, horse, bird, and shark must live
where they do because of what they are. Try to see this deeply.

The tiger's nature determines its life. And that life is
a part of the jungle floor. They are inseparable. The tiger's nature and its life level is one thing. The tiger's life level determines the world it must inhabit. Its nature and life level are as fixed as its stripes.

But your nature is not fixed. This is spiritual fact. And now you must turn this powerful fact into your discovery and personal experience.

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348 Hits

Everyday Immortality

everydaymortality Everyday Immortality

Questions of life and death, including the existence of life after death, seem to resist any firm conclusion. Most people tell pollsters that they believe in God, the soul, and the afterlife, but for all practical purposes we live in a secular society. The reassurances of organized religion no longer persuade millions of modern people, while on the other hand, there is a sharp rise in skepticism, doubt, and atheism.

Living as if we are mortal is the choice most people now make—for practical purposes, they live as if nothing existed before birth and nothing is likely to exist after death. Yet there is another choice rarely discussed, which one might call practical immortality. It rests upon a simple but life-changing decision anyone can make, the decision to identify with consciousness.

Right now everyone’s allegiance is split. We identify with our bodies some of the time and with our minds the rest of the time. If you run a marathon, go to the doctor for a checkup, feel attracted to someone else physically, or drag through the day for lack of sleep, you are identifying with your body. When you feel sad, have a bright idea, or argue about politics, you identify with your mind.

These may seem like obvious things, but it is due to split allegiances that death poses so much fear. If you think that life ends when the physical body ends, the prospect is rarely pleasant, and no matter how much spiritual literature you read, a mental conviction that physical death isn’t the end won’t resolve your fear. Everyone seems to agree that nothing can be known about the existence of the afterlife until we get there—or not.

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4 Differences Between Bosses & Leaders (Which are You?)

bossesandleaders 4 Differences Between Bosses & Leaders (Which are You?)
Consider this question: Are you a boss or are you a leader? Understanding the differences between bosses vs. leaders will help you become a better manager, business owner, teacher, trainer, coach, parent, even a better spouse. 

To start off, when I say “boss,” I’m talking about the kind of manager whose leadership strategies are all about command and control.

Bosses want to be seen as the dominant force in the office and business and tend to “manage” their employees through intimidation and fear.

They have a very “top-down” way of doing things and think it’s more important to be in control of their team rather than to establish trust and inspiration.

Often, a boss’s management style is very rigid. There’s no nuance, no ability to see different sides of an issue.

The boss declares, “I’m in charge” and “I’ve decided this” and “I expect that” – without encouraging any input from their team. It’s the boss’s way or the highway.

Of course, big decisions need to be made all the time in business, and being decisive is necessary and important.

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120 Hits

The Poulnabrone Dolmen and the Mystery of Portal Tombs

poulnabrone-dolmen-the-burren-county-clare-ireland-picture-id133617331 The Poulnabrone Dolmen and the Mystery of Portal Tombs

Poulnabrone dolmen is an example of a portal dolmen or portal tomb, not to be confused with passage tombs such as Newgrange! Dolmens are found in Ireland and throughout the world and are generally characterized as a single-chamber megalithic tomb, often consisting of three or more upright stones (megaliths) supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table). (1)


Poulnabrone dolmen on the Burren plateau in Ireland is a classic example of a portal tomb. Photo: Sacred Earth Journeys participant David Chasis

What is a dolmen?

Dolmens are thought to have been ancient tombs or burial markers and also served as places for ritual and worship although their exact purpose and significance is still debated by scholars and researchers. There are dolmen sites throughout Europe and Asia, including the dolmen Er Roc’h Feutet (Roch-Feutet) in Carnac, France, the Monte Bubbonia in Sicily, several in Gochang, South Korea and in Kerala, India.

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185 Hits

The Details Change

couple-arguing-on-a-bench-in-the-park-picture-id472151005 The Details Change

Strolling in summer down Bleecker near Broadway, we pass a young Hispanic couple sitting on the curb. They begin to argue. He blurts out, “How can you say that?” She looks hurt. They start squabbling in Spanish. We laugh at them and at ourselves. It’s the same argument since the beginning of time skipping between us. The details change. The language evolves. We long to be close, then bump into each other, and tumble through life the best we can. How to stay close without losing who we are? How not to run away or retreat into isolation when misunderstood? How to stay connected and tethered to the truth that outlasts all argument? The next morning, I land on a bench in Union Square where the homeless sleep in the sun this time of year. A damaged man in a T-shirt is walking in circles, talking on a cell phone, though there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the other end. A young woman who’s listening to music is watching him too. We catch each other’s eye, not sure if we should get involved. But that’s the mask we all need to put down, the one that keeps us at a distance. For we’re already involved. The question is how?

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236 Hits

3 Ways To Be Here Now

beherenow 3 Ways To Be Here Now

We all spend far too much time “in our heads”. Imagine the freedom that comes with learning to quiet the incessant chatter of yesterday and tomorrow, and just live calmly with today – the here and now.

You can truly learn to be present in any situation. As a matter of fact, it can help you with many of your day to day stresses. The reason for this is because so much of our stress lies in NOT being present in the moment.

The power of the present is enormous and endless. So, too, is the power that being in the present has to change the focus of our lives from worry and regret to gratitude and love! And being present in the moment is so much simpler than you may have been led to believe.

Here are three of the techniques that I use daily to help me harness the power of the present:

1) Learn to Savor Your Life– What do you think of when you think of savoring something? To savor is to slow down, sensually observe, and enjoy each moment. At first, try savoring a bite of your favorite food. As you take the bite off your spoon or fork, smell it’s wonderful aroma. Allow the flavors to linger on your tongue. Notice how it feels in your mouth. This is in deep contrast to how we tend to eat quickly, barely even noticing what it is we’re consuming, isn’t it? You can learn to savor just about anything, or any experience, and it is one of the most powerful ways to be present.
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576 Hits

Strategies for Mindful Living

mindfulness-picture-id1025938216 Strategies for Mindful Living
Getting rid of stress is imperative, and we spoke of this in my earlier blog, as to how living consciously in the present moment, we could actually manage to eliminate stress. We call this Mindfulness. 

In simple and lucid words we could say that, any activity that you perform, where you stay fully present, and very well rooted in the "here" and "now" along with a completely non judgemental attitude, can be called Mindfulness. 
 
How to get there and start practicing and living in this state of mindfulness, is of course the crucial answer. As I had mentioned earlier, there are various strategies which we can adapt to this very vital and extreme state of relaxation,  but I am going to concentrate here today on what we will call Mindfulness meditation. 

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Undoing the Doing

IMG_0601-1200x900

“In between the old and the new is an empty space.”
—Charles Eisenstein

Popular advice would tell you that when you feel stuck, lost, or unmotivated, then do something, anything, to get out of it, to move yourself forward. I have found that the exact opposite is true: If you don’t feel moved to act, then don’t. Allow for the pregnant pause in which something new can be born. Take a deep breath and relax into the present moment. The rest will take care of itself.

Doing is the backbone of American culture. Most of us live lives filled with activities, surrounded by voices that urge us to do even more. Working 24/7 is a badge of honor. “I’m so busy” is the daily mantra repeated by countless individuals. We often find ourselves caught up in a whirlwind of work and social activity that leaves us drained and exhausted. Motivational coaches enthusiastically tell us we can achieve fulfillment by becoming the entrepreneurs of our own lives. Success and empowerment await us if we just make that extra effort. Such promises distract us from our own inner truth.

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Is Someone Else Carrying the Keys to Your Happiness?

cute-small-keyholder-dog-looking-back-picture-id514633375 Is Someone Else Carrying the Keys to Your Happiness?

Hi Dear One,

The most critical variable in whether or not we experience happiness is not our external circumstances but our internal state — our state of mind.Is someone else carrying the keys to your happiness?

Think about that for a moment…

Our state of mind determines our emotions, which in turn determines whether we respond creatively to external conditions or whether we react in the same old, less than optimal, habitual patterns.

What does that mean?

It means that when you master the art of living in a high frequency state, it becomes harder for others to push your buttons.

You become neutral and stop taking offense to things that would normally drive you crazy and make you react negatively.

As a result… you feel better… happier… more at peace.

As energetic beings we are constantly vibrating at various frequencies.

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369 Hits

Is it time to Scare Yourself?

handwriting-hand-writes-with-a-pen-in-a-notebook-picture-id910204808 Is it time to Scare Yourself?

I am in the midst of a new project, something I’ve never attempted before, and I’ve been keeping a journal of the process. I promise to share all about it at that right time but for today here’s what I want you to know.

Over the weekend I read my journal and I had forgotten how absolutely terrified I was when I began it.

My first journal entry revealed that I was sick with nerves and severe anxiety as I began this project. I was filled with self-doubt and fear of failing. At one point I felt like I would pass out just thinking about the enormity of what I was committing to while having thoughts such as:

“Who am I to attempt this?”

‘”I don’t know how to do this.”

“I’m not smart enough to do this.”

“No one will ever be interested in this project.”

“I’ll end up looking like such as loser for attempting this.”

These and many other negative thoughts consumed my monkey mind, initially.

But, I didn’t let it stop me.

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280 Hits

It’s Time to Have Some Fun

havingfun It’s Time to Have Some Fun

“Have fun is my message. Be silly. You’re allowed to be silly. There’s nothing wrong with it.” — Jimmy Fallon

A few days ago, a friend said to me, “Maria, you have got to start going out more! You have got to start having more fun!”

Her words landed like a thud because I knew she was right. I love my work, but for the most part, it’s pretty serious stuff. I’ve also noticed that if you’re not careful, your life can end up drowning in all sorts of seriousness as you get older.

So, I decided to take my friend’s advice to heart and make fun my goal for this summer. I know fun can seem kind of trivial when the world feels like it’s falling apart, but it’s actually an important tool that we can use to recharge. It’s also an ingredient to a life with purpose and the optimism we need to keep moving forward.

At my dinner table this week, I asked my daughter Christina and her friend Claire (both who are lots of fun) about the role of fun in their lives. Christina said it’s important to have friends who can make you laugh at just about anything. Claire said she enjoys going out, dancing, and talking to all kinds of different people.

Now, I don’t go out dancing, but I do have a monthly poker night at my house that’s pretty fun. I also go to New York once a month for The Today Show, and when I’m there I try to hang out with my cousins and friends who make me laugh. And when I’m back home, I also hang out with my kids a bunch, which I always find to be great fun.

My point is that my life isn’t short on joy, but I still know that I could do a better job of getting out of my house and consciously adding more fun into my life.

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The Secret to A Miracle Mindset – Three Steps to Love Life

yoga-pose-picture-id475855444 The Secret to A Miracle Mindset – Three Steps to Love Life

This morning I woke up and meditated, hand on heart, waiting for that click that I know will turn on my miracle mindset. Sometimes that’s not the case and I don’t wake up loving my life. When that happens it’s a call to action! I need to make a change-clean house, start again. And, once I get back in the zone of wonder, to keep the “love engine” oiled and running I need to redo those steps again and again.

So how do you get to that miracle mindset? Where do you start, how do you get there and what do you change when you’re not really sure?

Sometimes the change is internal, about perspective and perception, sometimes it’s environmental, about the state of your surroundings and its effect on you, and other times it’s about the act of dropping resistance and surrendering to what is to be liberated from judgment so your heart can open wide. I know when I’m in love with my life I’m automatically aligned with a miracle mindset and then anything becomes possible.

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The 3 Most Important Things To Making More Money

plant-growing-from-a-bunch-of-dollar-cent-coins-picture-id495389864 The 3 Most Important Things To Making More Money

The FIRST step to making more money is an inner mindset shift.

A decision.

In order to make more money, you must decide to get in the game. Part of getting in the game is choosing to have more money in your life. I have seen many folks on the spiritual path who haven’t made this decision, deciding that money is not so important, and thus struggle in this area.

Money is an important facilitator for life experiences. In order to build temples, hospitals, schools, you need money.

In order to feed the homeless, provide clean water, or simply pay the rent requires money. There’s only so much prayer you can give to your landlord to cover your rent! There’s only so much prayer you can feed a starving child in Africa.

I believe that those people with awakened consciousness will only use the money they have in more impactful ways. So make the decision and use money as a blessing.

SECONDLY, being rich is not simply a matter of how much money you have in your bank account. But how you feel about yourself, and how you feel about what you have.

Being rich is being connected to who you really are. As you connect to the real you, you realize that what you really are is infinite and priceless. You can have all the material possessions in the world, but if you don’t have YOU, then you are poor.

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