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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Setting The Trap: Dating Strategies Used By Narcissists

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There are many myths and misunderstandings around being in relationships with narcissists. One of the most common myths is that somehow people should be able to recognize a narcissist by simply checking off a few boxes on a handy dating checklist.

In reality, the behavior of a narcissist during the initial stages of a dating relationship is a carefully crafted façade. He or she does not use abusive language or ghost you on the first, second, or even the twentieth date. They do not try to manipulate in overt ways, but they do use subtle and often seemingly innocent behaviors to test the waters to determine the flexibility or the presence of boundaries.

Unfortunately, potential dating partners who have a history of emotional or physical abuse, abandonment, or dysfunctional families often lack boundaries. They fall into the trap of allowing the narcissist to begin to get his way, even over small things, which eventually lead to highly toxic behaviors that will become more significant as the relationship unfolds.

To help understand the trap the narcissist sets during the initial dating phase, let’s take a closer look at the strategies the narcissist employs. Based on your response, you may see more than one strategy in play, or the strategies may change over time.

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Leader vs. Manager: Know the Difference & Be Successful

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Are you a manager… or are you a leader? An organization needs both types of people to be successful. 

Leaders are visionary, big picture thinkers with the passion and charisma to inspire others to help them bring their vision to life.

Managers have analytic minds and organizational skills required to keep everything running smoothly and ensure that their team has what they need to succeed.  

When it comes to leaders vs. managers, oftentimes, people are both. 

The best managers tend to have great leadership skills and are able to empower and inspire their team to aim higher, dream bigger, and strive to get better results.

And many great leaders, having climbed the rungs of management to get where they are now, still have an innate sense of how to manage resources, and implement processes to ensure everything runs smoothly and that people have what they need to do their best work. 

You don’t have to be a great leader to be an effective manager – but it certainly helps, especially if you dream of making a bigger impact on the world and on the lives of other people. 

I want to help you develop your leadership skills and grow your understanding of how leadership and management compare and differ from each other. That’s why I’ve written this article! 

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The Potential Problem In Choosing Partners – 7 Signs you are living in a relationship fantasy

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As a general rule, when we meet someone new that we find attractive, we tend to see their best possible traits first. These are often the traits we find comfortable and familiar, and that allows us to associate the individual with other positive people in our lives.

However, there are also times when we meet someone that has some of the traits we find appealing, but also some traits that may not be all that positive. In some cases, we may meet someone that is a complete opposite of our past positive relationships. However, we see a glimpse of what we think may be possible for that individual.

In all of these situations, to a greater or lesser extent, we are looking beyond what we are actually seeing to looking at the potential for the person. We dismiss the “bad boy” exterior and rationalize that some tender loving care and empathy is all that is needed to turn that person into the perfect partner. We are willing to look past the reality to the potential, with the associated thought that we are the missing link in bringing that full potential to light.

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The Protective Personality: Don’t Take it Personally

personality

There are more than seven billion people living on this planet which means more than seven billion personalities, opinions and ways of seeing the world. With so many diverse and varying ideologies and socio-cultural milieus, someone is bound to act in a way, or say something that upsets another.

The question is: Do we always have to take everything so personally? If not, how do we make what seems personal, impersonal?

Ego: Why We Take Things Personally
From the time we are young, usually before we’re even ten years old, situations or moments in life occur where we feel unsafe or insecure, or someone says something that makes us feel unlovable. When this happens, we begin to develop a second self, or a false self. That false self is often the “ego,” which I like to call the “protective personality” because no one likes to have an ego, but people don’t seem to mind having a “protective personality.”

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How To Be Secure Instead Of Vulnerable

secure

In these difficult times the issue of vulnerability needs to be addressed directly, because so many people feel powerless and anxious, and the social trends that undermine personal power only seem to grow stronger.  It’s crucial to find a way to secure in your day-to-day life.

Let’s clarify what being secure isn’t. It isn’t achieving a confident self-image and suppressing what you feel inside.  Also, security isn’t something that can be created through externals like money, status, possessions, or any other material surrogate. There are countless people sitting in the lap of luxury who feel even more insecure than the average person. Overcoming vulnerability happens “in here,” where you relate to yourself.

Now we can address the five things that actually do create security as a personal quality in everyday life.

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Evolving Out Into The Infinite

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I feel like we don’t acknowledge what it takes to truly make an impact in the world. And sometimes that’s the people around you, as much as this is an individual journey. This is a journey of awakening and a journey of evolving into who we are, the people around you are necessary as well, because God put them there. And, sometimes it takes a huge amount of vulnerability to realize that actually you wouldn’t do as well without those individuals.

And it’s not that you’re codependent, but it’s just that at some point you have to appreciate who played a part in getting you to where you are, how people contributed the time, how they put in the love, and how they put in the loyalty that they displayed.

I’ve been in this place of reflecting on how much of a role my wife Jan has played in me being who I am today and how, I don’t know who I would be in the absence of her presence in my life. 

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Relax Needless Fear Around Others

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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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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

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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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431 Hits

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?

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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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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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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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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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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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What to Do If You Are Alone for the Holidays

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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

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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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1193 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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