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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Relax Needless Fear Around Others

anxietyandfear

Does it feel safe with other people?

The Practice:
Relax needless fear around others.

Why?

We all know this fear. You step into a meeting with people you know and still there could be a watchfulness, a restraint, a certain carefulness in how you speak that comes more from subtle anxiety than reasonable prudence. Perhaps someone disagrees with you in this meeting – and you feel uneasy, off balance, unprotected; maybe later you worry what others thought about how you responded to the disagreement: Was I too irritated and pushy? Do they think I’m defensive? What should I do next time? When you get home, let’s say your teenage son is quiet and prickly as usual. You want to tell him that the chilly distance between you feels awful, and you want to open your heart to him . . . but it feels awkward, you’re afraid of making things worse, and when you spoke from the heart while growing up it did not go well and the fears reaching back into your childhood shadow and strengthen your fears today, so you say nothing, again. (I have had to deal with this myself.)

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129 Hits

The Power of Your Words

word power

Are you aware of how much power your words have? Think about that the next time you’re sending a quick text or posting something on Facebook or Instagram. Keep in mind that words can inspire, heal and transform. They can be as gentle as a hug and have a positive effect on others. But on the flip side, words can be as sharp as a knife and can cut down someone’s else’s spirit. They can also be hurtful, especially when directed at yourself.

If people are constantly talking about gloom and hardship, then it’s most likely that their lives are a reflection of what they’re saying. It can be draining to be in their company. You come away feeling exhausted, because inadvertently, they’re sapping your precious energy.

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To Live In The Now, Start From The Ground Up

mirror-reflection-of-a-womans-face-studio-shot-picture-id1298959886

One hears a lot about the power of now and the value of living in the present.  To achieve this state of awareness requires a major change in everyday life. This much is clear, but producing such change is confusing and frustrating. When people seek personal change in their lives, they often don’t get very far. Even in this day when online advice is bewilderingly abundant and self-improvement books are at our fingertips, change eludes us. One way to remedy this is to start from the ground up. Normally, we feel compelled to start where we are right now, and that’s a tremendous problem.

No matter how different people are, each of us woke up this morning to the same situation. We are constantly involved in thinking, feeling, and doing. No one starts this activity afresh. Instead, we are heavily invested in habits, beliefs, opinions, hopes, dreams, and fears collected from the past. So our thinking, feeling, and doing is entangled with the past even when we want something new, better, fresh, and different.

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Live In The Light

MariaShriver.164323 “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” —Amelia Earhart

I've Been Thinking...


I heard from a lot of people about my essay last Sunday. Many of you wrote me to share the lies you have told yourselves over the years and how, like me, you are ready to release them and move forward. Bravo to you.

Several friends wrote to tell me that my column was so deep that they had to read it several times. That made me happy. Others told me they gave it to friends, adult children, and partners to talk about, which was great to hear as well. But it was my friend Tom's response that made me stop and smile the most. His was so unique that I figured I would share it with you this morning. 

Tom is a beautiful writer. He’s also a deep thinker and a spiritual teacher. Now, he wouldn’t say he’s a spiritual teacher; he would say he’s a student. But good students are also good teachers, and that’s what Tom is to me. He always generously shares what he’s learned along his path to the open field.

Here is what he wrote to me:

Maria! I have completed my exercise in finding a lie in my head and questioning it and laughing at it. My lie came to me minutes after I sent you my last email, and I burst out laughing as soon as I said it. It is… I need to keep getting better. 

I want to find and punish the sadistic and tyrannical bastar* that put that lie in my head, because it invited me into a life of subtle self-loathing!

I thought of it many times yesterday and today, and laughed each time. But I didn’t really get into loud laughter until this morning when I made it the subject of my practice of asking myself Byron Katie’s four questions of self-inquiry:

Is it true?

Can I absolutely know it’s true?

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Is Shutting Others Out the Only Way to Stay Safe from Toxic People?

relationship-difficulties-picture-id697981832

It is absolutely true that there are certain types of people who are toxic to your quality of life.

They may have abusive tendencies, dark cynical outlooks or they could be self-destructive.

Our minds are always trying to judge, and our hearts discern whether or not certain people are good for us.

The residual trauma of being abused or mistreated by another creates the need to strictly enforce the condemning of unhealthy people in our lives. The extreme of this will cause imbalance and the accumulation of residual karma.

The act of condemning a person even for a good reason, is a fear based egoic mechanism that reinforces fear and anger. A person will feel constantly on edge or anxious during that time of judgment.

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175 Hits

How To Start Your Spiritual Journey In The New Year!

spiritualjourney

Does a “spiritual journey” sometimes feel like something only special people with magical access or a whole lotta time, money and emotional space get to do, or even think about?

I remember feeling like that at times in my life, especially when I hit bottom from alcoholism 35 years ago (yup, just turned 35 years clean and sober a week ago!)

Around that same time, my parents had just literally lost everything – their house, whatever money they had saved – and I felt like we were all drowning. I honestly thought any kind of spiritual connection for me was irreparably broken and whatever God there was operating in my life, was following me around with a fly swatter. 

But this, too, was part of my journey. I was being called to surrender to Spirit, to learn the dance steps, and to follow along.

And so, let me assure you that no matter what is going on in your life, however you may have been let down, whatever temporary outer conditions may have you believing you shouldn’t or can’t or don’t deserve access, that you 100 percent HAVE your own spiritual journey. Hello! In fact, you’re already on one right now! 

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213 Hits

Let the New Year ring in with feelings of Peace, Joy and Tranquility

happy-new-year-2021
A new day, a new way of life, this is just as things have been for many months now. It is time that humanity took " a leap of faith" into the future.
 
Lifetimes seemed to have passed since the onset of the Pandemic situation.  Many people seem to have catapulted their lives completely.  It has been rather intriguing to watch the whole world coming together for a common cause.  In a way, forgetting their differences of caste,  color or creed,  just moving into a common space of "action".  It also makes us think that,  after all,  we are Beings  who could Globally come together for causes, for the betterment of humanity at large.  

Of course there has been suffering,  in long terms , of mental,  emotional and physical issues,  yet is up-to the individual to decide how he needs to cope with it. 

As the energies on the planet go through a change,  there has also been time for people on an individual level, to go through their own intrinsic change. 

People have been facing a huge challenge in terms of their own inherent self. Looking within,  and coming to terms with their own reality,  has been a great revelation for a lot of mankind. So armed with this new level of awareness, I think it is time, for all of us to look at life from a completely new perspective. 
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253 Hits

Let’s Talk About JOY

Joy

Spirit has been talking to me about reminding people about their joy. So … let’s talk about JOY.

First off, in whatever time frame you are reading this … Have you at this point today, laughed yet? Laughed. Have you laughed yet today? Have you done something today that has gotten you excited, made you kind of giddy, have a big smile on your face, and feel joyful from the inside out?

How many of you know, feel, recognize, understand that you need more of that? You need more laughter. You need more joy. You need more play. You need more fun … that you desire happiness, light-heartedness, connectedness.

Do you recognize that? Even if you’ve had it, do you invite more joy, more play, more fun into your life?

It is the highest expression of love there is.

I want you to think about the ways we were taught to express love and the way that you experienced joy as a child. You might not have been allowed to have joy. A lot of people didn’t.

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342 Hits

What Happened To Emotional Intelligence?

Woman_emotional When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

For many younger people, the COVID virus outbreak will bring their first experience of fear and anxiety as a pervasive mood. Anxiety is difficult for everyone, but in the larger scheme, we need to ask: What happened to emotional intelligence? The phrase became popular for a while, but that was almost a generation ago. Right now, emotional intelligence seems to be forgotten, or to put it another way, it is unknown to most people.

Social forces can drive you to feeling anxious; politics stokes anger; personal threats to your well-being can lead to worry and depression. But none of these forces has a positive effect in giving you tools to ward off anxiety, anger, and depression.  Raising your emotional IQ is something each person must confront on their own. Let’s focus on anxiety, which the current crisis has stoked more than any other negative emotion (although anger over politics runs a close second).

I believe that freeing yourself from fear and anxiety is possible. More than that, you can learn how to be free of fear long after the COVID crisis has passed.

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412 Hits

What to Do If You Are Alone for the Holidays

finger-art-of-lonely-woman-is-crying

Being alone for the holidays is a major challenge for many people, and this is especially true during the pandemic. For many people, holidays  conjure images of family, of warmth and the sharing of special time. Loneliness can be overwhelming when you have no one with whom to share holiday time, or you can’t get together.

Most people know that the point of the holidays – and what makes them so special – is not about what you get, but what you give. The joy of the holiday season is about the love you share. Our hearts get filled to the brim with love when we give and share love – way more than when we get love.

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Racism Is False Identity

in-it-together-picture-
When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

America is said to be on the verge of a racial reckoning, a prospect that fills people with either hope or rage, depending on their politics. The far right encourages white supremacy while hotly denying that they are racists. Fully justified protest after police shootings of black men are seen in some quarters as the breakdown of law and order, which gets used as propaganda, again behind the shield of “I’m not a racist.” But the issue runs deeper than politics, and so does the possibility of healing.

The human race seems to move slowly out of the shadow of racism. Racism is entangled with the greatest forces that have shaped the fate of every people: war, empire, colonialism, and nationalism.  At various points all of these have been put in a positive light. Even now, when few would extol the virtues of empire or colonialism, the grip of nationalism remains strong.

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How to Say “No” More and Focus on What Actually Matters

woman-obscured-by-adhesive-notes-holds-out-message-saying-no-picture-id181049594 “No” as a Tool for Success

Have you ever felt like everyone around you wants a piece of you? Learning how to say “no” to these people will allow you time to focus on yourself, and your own priorities.

That’s why today I want you to make the commitment to saying “no” more often – and I will teach you how to easily and effectively communicate this to those around you.

We’ve All Been There

Suppose your kids want you to drive them everywhere or they want to borrow the car, screwing up your own plans for the day.

Or your coworkers want your help on projects that aren’t really your responsibility.

Maybe your boss wants you to work overtime to finish a report you could have completed days ago if he had just given you the information you needed when you needed it.

Your sister asks you to take her kids for the weekend. Your mother wants you to come over and take her shopping.

It feels like you never get a moment to yourself to focus on what YOU want to do!

So how do you combat all the demands on your time and energy? Especially when it’s so easy for people to reach you at any time, no matter where you are, by phone, text, instant messaging, facetime, email, social media, or video chat?

It’s simple: you learn how to say “no.”

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Love At The Deepest Level

love-at-deepest-level Returning to Peace

You are a blessing on this Earth. You are a miracle. You as you are right now, regardless of how you have lived your life, are loved completely and totally by God. You, in the moment, are complete.

The reason why you have struggled to access that state of being on a consistent basis is because you, in some way shape or form, have been led to believe that you, as you are, isn’t enough. 

I want you to remember the truth we see and experience is love at the deepest level. This whole play, the whole thing, the people you speak to, the people that you don’t speak to, the people that are in the background, the people that are in the foreground, every life experience, every circumstance in every situation is love. That means that in this moment, YOU ARE LOVED! It’s time to engage in every activity with a smile on your face and with love in your heart. The individual who can do that is free of the illusion. 

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1077 Hits

Transmuting Fear

sun-shining-over-the-earth-from-space-picture-id1152439371 Love is the only answer.

You’ve heard that before. Love is the only answer. It is the answer.

So today what we’re really going to talk about is love. Fear is the focus so many people have had lately … it is the fear of _____  … and then just fill in the blank of whatever the fear has been.

But what I want to talk about is Love.

Yes, the energy of the world is swirling in the fear, and the anger, and the overwhelm, and the lack of knowing what to choose, and what to do, and what not to do, and the judgment, and the criticism.

Have you seen any of that at all, by chance?

The reality of it is that, yes, there are a lot of people that are in that place … and that is a really unhealthy place to be because it just perpetuates the negativity. It just perpetuates the fear. It just perpetuates the anger, the judgment, the criticism. And what we know about judgment and criticism and anger and pain and hate, and all those things, is that if you are projecting it outward, there’s something inward. There’s something that you are avoiding, don’t like, are angry with, are judgmental, or critical of within yourself. And we look to other people and we put the blame on them. It isn’t always the same thing, but there’s a lot of projecting that’s happening.

And now more than ever we need to re-visit what we are DOING to shift that.

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412 Hits

How To Deal With Haters

How To Deal With Haters How To Deal With Haters
You will always have some haters. In fact, I believe if you have some haters, you're probably doing something great.” — Kute Blackson


You will always have haters in your life, your haters are people who gossip about you, talk negatively about you, hate on you for some reason. You will always have some haters in your life. It’s inevitable. It’s life. In this episode, I share a simple practice and ideas to learn how to deal with other people's hatred towards you. If you really want to be free, you must make peace with yourself and know you will not be able to please everyone. No matter what you do, you will have people who do not like you and will talk about you. Listen to this important episode and learn how to be at peace within yourself, so that you can be freer in the world.

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366 Hits

Sometimes It's About The Questions, Not The Answers!

empty-swing-at-the-park-picture-id1213877125 Sometimes It's About The Questions, Not The Answers!

It is so natural to want concrete answers in life. Back when I was making my living doing private readings, that’s what most people came to me for: Directions, guidance, and ANSWERS. “Will so-and-so ask me to marry him? How will this business deal work out? When is my kid/mom/uncle/partner ever gonna straighten out their life??, When is he coming back?”

Boy, do I understand. Especially with so much uncertainty these days, everyone wants to know: “When will coronavirus get under control? Should I quit my job? Is my relationship with so-and-so gonna last when we can’t see each other?”

As humans, we have a natural desire for certainty. But that desire often handcuffs us, keeping us locked into a single way of seeing the world. There is so much more that Spirit has in store for us, but we can’t see it because we are so tied to our reality. 

That’s why before we can talk about getting answers, we have to talk about asking the right questions. 

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535 Hits

Do your actions inspire others?

dreaming-of-flying-picture-id936435326 Do your actions inspire others?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more; you are a leader.” 

—John Quincy Adams, America’s sixth president and author of the Monroe Doctrine 


America was founded on the willingness of everyday people to stand up for what they believe and inspire others to do the same. It is the single, most breathtaking aspect of humanity that, in times of great turmoil and strife, simple individuals step up and become something awesome to behold—they become expressions of the Divine.

It is in this convergence of spiritual people becoming active and active people becoming spiritual that the hope of humanity now rests.

If you want to See the Change, Be the Change.

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Meeting Racism, Homophobia and Close-Mindedness With Love and Compassion

our-style-is-influenced-by-our-upbringing-picture-id1179747953 Meeting Racism, Homophobia and Close-Mindedness With Love and Compassion

Hate, negativity, close-mindedness — none of this is new. Being heavily tattooed with big holes in my earlobes, a skateboarder and a fan of punk/hardcore music since my teenage years has left me all too familiar with judgmental people, especially growing up in a small town before these things started to become somewhat socially acceptable.

Disapproving looks, comments under the breath, or, in some cases, blatantly to my face, have been commonplace throughout my life and have led me time and again to contemplate why people feel the need, or, that they have the right to cast judgments and write someone off based solely on outer appearances or personal lifestyle choices.

There’s really no simple answer. Each person is a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances that has led them to become the person that they are today. One thing I’ve learned about myself however, and my own judgments (because yes, I too am human and have no shortage of them), is that they’re almost always rooted in fear.

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Share The Calm, Dampen The Panic

calmlandsape Share The Calm, Dampen The Panic

In order to combat the Fear Virus and negativity that can be so prevalent, I’ve been making it a practice to think about positive aspects of our current situation. Not to downplay the very real struggles that people are having, but in order to put myself in a space where I can bring my best to those around me. 

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how we’re now using tools like technology in new ways. I just read this article in Wired magazine about this very thing. The global challenges we’re all facing have forced us out of “life as ordinary” and made us find new ways of being, including new ways of communing. 

And that’s exactly what the founders of the Internet had envisioned: The idealism that we could use this extraordinary tool for positive social connection, for support, for enhancing each other’s lives. Isn’t that so much better than just using it to have political flame wars on Twitter? (Don’t get me started on Twitter…!) More and more of us are now using these tools to build something positive, something helpful, something uplifting. 

This time has also helped me personally evaluate the role I want technology to play in my life. I can’t just say, “I’m not going to go online.” It’s an essential part of our lives, especially right now. While we can’t spend all day online — that’s just not healthy! — we can be very intentional about what we choose to allow into our environment. For instance, I have no tolerance now for negativity. None. My goal is to create a collective community where everyone feels safe and supported, and that is positive and meaningful. 

That doesn’t mean we don’t make space for people who are hurting and are scared. You are so welcome here. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug. I want you to know that you are not alone. 

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417 Hits

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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