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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Empty the Cup

cup-of-black-tea-served-with-biscuits-picture-id1070717858 Empty the Cup

Are you full to the rim?

The Practice:
Empty the cup.

Why?

Once upon a time, a scholar came to visit a saint. After the scholar had been orating and propounding for a while, the saint proposed some tea. She slowly filled the scholar’s cup: gradually the tea rose to the very brim and began spilling over onto the table, yet she kept pouring and pouring. The scholar burst out: “Stop! You can’t add anything to something that’s already full!” The saint set down the teapot and replied, “Exactly.”

Whether it’s the blankness of a canvas to an artist, the silence between the notes in music, bare dirt for a new garden, the not-knowing openness of a scientist exploring new hypotheses, an unused shelf in a closet or cupboard, or some open time in your schedule, you need space to act effectively, dance with your partners, and have room around your emotional reactions.

Yet most of us, me included, tend to stuff as much as possible into whatever room is available – room in closets, schedules, budgets, relationships, and even the mind itself.

Personally, my own mind is often filled with themes of work: details of tasks to do, problems to avert, opportunities to capture keep swelling up again into awareness to capture my attention. For a friend of mine, the wallpaper of her own mind, as she puts it, is rumination about her health problems.

Remember the cup: its value is in the space, the emptiness, it holds.

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In Praise of Those Who Are Wondrously Stumbling

young-woman-with-hat-at-forest-picture-id628517478 In Praise of Those Who Are Wondrously Stumbling

The comedian George Carlin once said, “The caterpillar does all the work and the butterfly gets all the publicity.” I am fan of caterpillars, those who are dissolving their own skins to become who they are meant to be. We who continue to grow, perpetually enter the goop of change, or butterfly soup. It’s incomplete. It wouldn’t look good on a photo shoot.

As you move along your path, you may feel angry, held back, sad, unseen, or empty. It takes so much courage to be developing or undoing or daring. Yet please don’t let the in-between space convince you that you lack anything. Being in transition doesn’t mean you’re broken. It means you’re breaking away from the old, an identity, maybe a set of assumptions or an understanding or a world that no longer fits you.

It’s easy to sit on the sidelines in the lounge chair of life and be a spectator, or a critic of those who are facing their lives head-on. But I’m a sucker for those of us who are daring to make something of this time on earth. Real life is always taking place in the middle of things, not just in the polished perfection of an illusion of the end goal. How you live in the middle really is the quality of your life.

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How to Win the Lottery

happy-woman-jumping-and-enjoying-life-at-sunset-in-mountains-picture-id931873664 How to Win the Lottery

I have always thought it is fun to take part in a game of chance.  I purchase raffle tickets and enter other contests. I feel pretty lucky in life, so why not. During the early weeks of pandemic life, like many other people, I purchased a weekly lottery ticket. At that time my only outing was driving to a pool for our son to swim. On our way home, we would look at the lottery numbers on a huge sign. It was updated weekly, sharing how much money was still available. We always noticed when there had been a big payout. My son and I would entertain ourselves, talking about winning the lottery. What would we do with a big cash prize?

In truth, our everyday life probably wouldn’t change much.  I would buy new windows, doors, and a snake fence for our aging home.  I would invest some money in my business.  Mostly, it is fun to think about what animal sanctuaries, environmental and humanitarian groups I would donate to. It feels good to run all the possibilities of contributing through my mind. The thrill of making a sizable difference is very fun to explore.

A winning lottery ticket is symbolic of living a life of freedom, no restrictions.  It is a creative way to think about what you want most in your life. Buying the ticket and daydreaming of a win, helps you visualize unlimited finances, and removes restrictions. Imagining what you will do with your winnings, brings true abundance one step closer to your reality.  This process can land you a winning lottery ticket; more importantly, it can help you discover your ability to manifest your greatest desires.

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Enjoy Now

young-woman-running-against-morning-sun-picture-id1182436440 Enjoy Now

When are you?

The Practice:
Enjoy now.

Why?

There’s a profound and miraculous mystery right under our noses: this instant of now has no duration at all, yet somehow it contains all the causes from the past that are creating the future. Everything arising to become this moment vanishes beneath our feet as the next moment wells up. Since it’s always now, now is eternal.

The nature of now is not New Age or esoteric. It is plain to see. It is apparent both in the material universe and in our own experiencing. Simply recognizing the nature of now can fill you with wonder, gratitude, and perhaps a sense of something sacred.

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How to Reestablish Your Knowing

How to Reestablish Your Knowing How to Reestablish Your Knowing

Today I want to give you three tips on how you can reestablish your “knowing,” which is what’s going on in your heart and body, and not just your head. It’s time to fully choose happiness. Choose health. Choose an end to distractions. Seek these things out.

I hope you’re ready!

3 Tips for Reestablishing Your Knowing

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Embracing Change With Intention

Embracing Change With Intention Embracing Change With Intention

As we move towards the end of June, there is so much going on in our hearts, our minds, our world, and the heavens. Yes, Mercury is in retrograde, but that’s not all! This week we’ve also experienced a solar eclipse, a new moon, and the summer solstice… on top of everything that’s been happening in our day-to-day lives. So if you’re feeling a bit… unsettled… that’s natural! It’s all part of the divine chaos that has entered our global consciousness and the beginning of the Aquarian age. 

It feels abrupt because it is. This is a full-on paradigm shift, and although it’s been coming for a while it feels like a giant whomp on our collective and individual noggins. We’re going through momentous change, internally and externally, and it’s critical to give ourselves space and time to adapt. There is still more awesome change to come, and we need to allow ourselves recovery time so we’re ready to do our part whatever that may be. 

I see a huge opportunity in front of us. Yes, it can seem daunting.  Yes, it can seem overwhelming. But this is what is in front of us, today. We’re all being invited at this time in human history to address things that challenge us to our core like the fall out from how we handle the global pandemic, what to do and how to change systemic racism. On top of this we have seismic shifts in the economic system and the health care system and the education system, all the things that have been revealed as not working as well as we need them to. 

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“The Highest Good” In Times Of Chaos

united-we-stand-picture-id172945925 “The Highest Good” In Times Of Chaos

You’ve probably heard me talk about staying in alignment “with the highest good.” There are some misconceptions about what I mean when I talk about “highest good.”

First, naturally, we tend to think of “the highest good” as what’s our personal highest good. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, I’m talking about what’s best for everyone collectively. And that means it’s not just about ME, it’s about WE. 

The good news there, though, is that it isn’t all self-sacrifice, throwing yourself on the pyre for the good of humankind. Nope, no martyrs need apply! Because YOU are part of the collective “we,” so when you’re contributing to the good of all, we’re contributing to our good, too. 

The other thing that can confuse people is that what’s in our highest good isn’t all sunshine and rainbow unicorn poop. Sometimes it is! It’s fairy dust and angel wings and tinkling bells, and happy signs from the universe that are unmistakable. But a lot of the time, though, it’s the shadowy side of things that we want to ignore, hide from, resist or refuse that needs to be illuminated for the good of all. So this is why I always say – Love, Light and SHADOW!! 

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Imagine The World You Want To Live In

cute-little-girl-standing-in-the-rain-and-holding-a-poster-with-a-picture-id1247205349 Imagine The World You Want To Live In
It is not the critic who counts...The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena." Theodore Roosevelt

I've Been Thinking...

The other night, I was wide-awake for hours in the darkness of my bedroom. It was that time deep in the night when it’s so quiet that you can hear the creak in the floors and the sound of your own breath.

I laid in my bed thinking about the last few years and what a rollercoaster they have been. I thought back to the 2016 election night, when I sat downstairs in my family room glued to the TV, stunned as the results rolled in. Then, my mind jumped to the Women’s March, to the #MeToo Movement, to headlines about the Catholic Church. My mind flashed in rapid succession to school shootings. Marches for gun reform and climate change. Images of chaos at the borders. Russia. The impeachment trial. All the President's Men and their cries of “fake news.” The pandemic. Unemployment. The murder of George Floyd and the protests that have followed calling for police reform and to recognize that Black lives matter. And on Friday, the senseless death of Rayshard Brooks by a police officer in Atlanta.

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Overcoming Limitations and Living a Life of Possibility

beautiful-sunset-cloudscape-picture-id175489837 Overcoming Limitations and Living a Life of Possibility

You may have noticed that the Universe seems to be demanding a lot of us right now. 

It’s demanding that we stay patient, and brave, and that we be far more careful than we’ve ever had to be in our lives. 

It hasn’t been easy to meet those demands, and it continues to be a challenge. 

Even with stay at home orders relaxing in most countries around the world, there’s still great concern that Covid cases could begin to rise again if we don’t maintain our social distancing measures. 

On the other hand, it’s also coming to light that the lack of physical contact and face-to-face, in-person interaction with others for all these months has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of many people, and depression is fast on the rise worldwide, across the full spectrum of age groups, from grade-school children to those in their 80s and 90s.

We simply aren’t wired to be apart like this. 

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Creating a Legacy of Peace

give-the-world-your-peace-picture-id1171021471 Creating a Legacy of Peace

Just when it looked like life might hold some semblance of normalcy, news of murder and powerful protests are being flashed around. Anger and grief have given us an opportunity to reconsider our life choices. We could say this is a time like no other, but that is not completely true. We have been living with pandemics, racism, sexism, wars, and other assaults to our wellness. What is different this time around?

Earth is at a perfect angle or a tipping point that allows light to reach our deepest wounds.  Most of us have had a devastating awareness of our world’s pain. Trauma from all the past years is being relived. Our heartbreak is real.

In the past several years, we have witnessed a growing number of voices calling our attention to the causalities of indifference, fear, and ignorance. We have groups that speak out for the rights of animals. Others stand up against racism and sexism. People have been stepping up and taking action for the collective all over the world. At the same time, we have groups desperately holding onto a world that lives in a state of crisis. They want to control the water, breath, and lives of others. This has created a knot of tension and anger on earth. Outrage and violence have reached capacity.

We are being guided to dismantle the untruths and free ourselves from the affliction of fearful thoughts. Our lesson is to learn; compassion has no boundaries.

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You Are Enough – Conscious at Thirty-Three Thousand Feet

You Are Enough – Conscious at Thirty-Three Thousand Feet You Are Enough – Conscious at Thirty-Three Thousand Feet
Life is always playing out in the highest way for all involved to learn and expand into who they are meant to be.

Everything you experience serves a purpose. It feels so difficult because it is so personal, so hurtful. But you have the power to transform your relationship to it.

How do you accept trauma, rejection, and abandonment as part of your evolution? It’s helpful, in a difficult situation, to see not just the negative—­but both the negative and the positive. Most people compartmental experiences as either good or bad, but doing so only creates rigid boundaries that further limit us. Perceived negative life experiences create positive attributes in you that would not have been present otherwise. Life experiences shape you, but do not have to define you.

Yes, sometimes people get stuck in repetitive traumatic loops, but for most, suffering becomes an entry point for compassion and serves to redirect people toward love. There is grace in this—­and grace always allows for expansion, if you are open to it.

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Living From the Inside Out

portrait-of-adult-woman-meditating-in-fog-picture-id1196873459 Living From the Inside Out

We’re living in a very curious season of life right now. I’m watching as yet another time period passes where the markets are going a little crazy, there’s no toilet paper in the stores, and all the pasta has disappeared from the shelves of my local Whole Foods.

This is scary and stressful for many of us. As I’m watching, I see how a lot of us are really hitting a place where we’re experiencing some strong emotions behind our money. Stress. Fear. Uncertainty. It has everything to do with what’s going on with the coronavirus right now. Our finances are really up in the air to an extent, and that’s causing a lot of fear based emotions.

But we don’t have to live like this.

What Is Living From the Inside Out

Now, I’m not going to talk to you about tons of detailed financial stuff, how it’s impacting your bank account and the markets, or the likelihood of a recession. What I am here to say, however, is this: We need to start living our lives from the inside out, and we need to start living that way right now.

We have to move on from this place of looking at things from outside ourselves and start seeing from what’s inside ourselves if we want to proceed in a happy, balanced, wealthy way.

This is what I mean…

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6 Steps To Find Hope In A Hairball!

am-a-mess-picture-id1132528393 6 Steps To Find Hope In A Hairball!

I’ve been struggling with what to say as of late because there is so much going on in the world. Often, I feel like I’m trapped in a giant hairball of my personal emotions and the swirling assaulting energy of the collective I tune into as an empath. 

I wonder if it’s the same for you? Do you feel it? Does it help galvanize your desire to be part of the wave of change and social healing that is calling us awake? 

Maybe it moved. Too much, too little, rapid relentless movement and frozen all at the same time, stuck in that hairball that is now rolling down a giant hill like a wild tumbleweed gathering the best and worst of everything in its path. Maybe mine might get caught in a hole so I can get centered. 

Nope. Not gonna happen. The center has to be found on the fly, and on the roll. Dizzying to look at, but all of it is meaningful. 

I have been zeroing in on one particular thread in the ball though…that one is hope. I hold on, albeit not too tightly, lest its fragile fraying slender form snaps in my grasp. I close my ego’s eyes and allow my soul to guide me into the heart of it, where it will never break, where it’s woken up like a string in a harp, already reverberating in the key of F — the sound that wakes the energy of the heart. 

I find listening to the prompts of the heart reduces fear and anxiety swiftly. It also brings in a deep reminder of our humanity and our inherent connectivity to a Higher Power that ushers in a true sense of conscience. It’s the heart that knows the grace of stepping in and standing up. 

So, I am going to share with you some tips on what has worked for me. What I am doing now so I can show up daily without getting lost, with the hopes that it might give you some of your own ideas of what might work for you. 

 

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The Right Place to Make a New Beginning

traveler-with-backpack-walking-forward-picture-id491297950 The Right Place to Make a New Beginning

If we try to make a new beginning, motivated by an attempt to no longer be where (or what) we once were, we do start out, but not from what is new. On the contrary, we begin our search, and then reach our conclusions as to what we must come to possess to affect this newness, from within the confines of what has been our own past experience.  

In other words, we set out to start a new life for ourselves from a place within us already known and rejected! Can you begin to see the implications of making such a mistake as it concerns knowing the correct “starting” place for making a new beginning? 

Under the conditions just described, we cannot start anything over except the very life we hope to escape! We begin our journey in the wrong place because we have yet to realize that the content of our “new” future to come, however sweetly dreamed, is secretly an unconscious extension of our own unwanted past. 

Unseen, but nevertheless active in our psychology, we carry within us a virtual string of “nots” by which we bind ourselves to our old life! And if we would be free to start life over, we must understand this spiritual truth: what we resist, persists -- and this includes our own past! 

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10 Tips for Overcoming Procrastination and Improving Motivation

using-a-tablet-picture-id622809570 10 Tips for Overcoming Procrastination and Improving Motivation

Are you having trouble overcoming procrastination? Is there something in your life that you have been putting off?

Perhaps you’ve been “planning”, but not actually doing anything to start that big project you want to do.

Whether it’s the small project of decluttering your office or your life-long dream of starting your own business, we all need to find a way to jumpstart out motivation once in a while.

So today, I want to share with you 10 tips you can use for overcoming procrastination with any project you want to accomplish.

Create An Action Plan for Getting Where You Want to Be 
Order The Success Principles Workbook Today!

1. Commit to the Decision

The first thing you have to do is to make a decision to overcome procrastination and achieve your goal.

The word decision comes from the Latin word “decidere”, which means to cut off all other options, including the option of not doing it. 

Once you have this level of commitment to your goal, you will feel more emotionally attached to its success – like a promise to yourself.

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You Are Enough – Flexibility

iStock-185421707 You Are Enough – Flexibility

Life will always challenge you in order to bring you from rigidity to flexibility, from control to allowing.

When you relate to life too rigidly, the first hardship that blows in your direction will leave you flat. It is for that reason that the most powerful, life-­giving posture you can take is one of inner flexibility.

When you are rooted in the Essential Self, when you have trust that everything is unfolding in divine order, the need to force the circumstances of your life into a predetermined outcome, like a square peg into a round hole, simply evaporates.

Rigidity and grasping for control are not in alignment with the unrelenting flow of life, which is always moving toward expansion and evolution. Life will always challenge your preconceived notions about how things should be. This challenge is part of your evolution. When life sees rigidity, it only wants to flow, gracefully and smoothly. When life sees you grasping for control, it only wants you to be in a stream of receiving and allowing.

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United we stand; divided we are merely a distraction

young-female-couple-hugging-with-rainbow-scarf-at-the-pride-event-picture-id1155237469 United we stand; divided we are merely a distraction
United we stand; divided we are merely a distraction  ~ Temple Hayes

I find it interesting that when this quote first came to me a few years ago I thought of it relative to organizations, communities, societies or families. As time went on, I realized this statement is most significant when it comes to my life experiences as a gay person.

United I stand, divided I am merely a distraction.

I was divided as a teenager when I realized that I was much more drawn to women rather than men. I had feelings for a young woman a little older than me yet the church said I was going to hell. My grandmother actually mourned when I was almost 14 that she would not see me in heaven. Here I was without even a driver’s permit and my grandmother is telling her former favorite granddaughter that she would not see me in heaven. A part of me died a little and felt divided.

The deeper truth of the matter was when I was 10 years old, my mother was accused of having an affair. We lived in a small southern town and to this day, I still do not know if it was true or an accusation. What is true is in the 60’s the South was just like they featured  in the famous film ‘Prince of Tides’. We put things under a rug and don’t look back. We don’t talk about anything that makes us uncomfortable. We medicated before we meditated. We have so many untold secrets and some of the secrets keep us up at night.  When this accusation happened involving my mom, I was sent up North to be with family and my mom was sent to a mental hospital and was gone for a long time. They used those barbaric shock treatments on her and she was never the same. She returned with very little of her memory in place and has experienced physical difficulties due to those methods. We never spoke of these events again. I certainly tried to but no one would engage. 

Needless to say, when my father walked in on me at 13 ½  and my teenager more than a friend lover, my parents took me to the Mental Health Clinic. My father was not going to have a homosexual daughter. ( we didn’t really use the word gay then) That day was a defining moment in my life for I was not going to be sent away to some hospital and put in a straight jacket. However, I can clearly see now that I did get a straight jacket placed upon me metaphorically speaking and I would wear it unconsciously for many years. 

I was forbidden to ever see my teenager more than a friend first love again and I went from being the family favorite to the one who had whispers around her name. The hurt of abandonment and betrayal was often unbearable. I found a new way, I drank the feelings away and became a full blown alcoholic for the next 15 years. 

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4 Keys To Starting Over On The Path To Inner Success

young-woman-stands-on-rock-outcrop-and-looks-out-to-sea-picture-id1204226444 4 Keys To Starting Over On The Path To Inner Success

When we first set off on the road to self-discovery, we’re optimistic and excited about this inner adventure. We’re confident that we’ll plant our flag atop the inner mountain, and that whatever presently limits us will soon be a relic of the past. But then we get a dose of reality. Talk about tough sledding! Rather than becoming noticeably better, it can feel as if we’re actually getting worse; like one step up the mountain, two steps sliding back. The bad habit we would break looms larger; frustration mounts; despair sets in; and soon we’re thinking about throwing in the towel.

But things are not what they seem, which is why those of us who aspire to reach and realize our own highest possibilities must gain new self-knowledge, beginning with the following: we have not gotten worse! On the contrary, what’s actually happened is that our effort to be free has made us more aware of our captive condition.

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The Divine is Here Now so Let us ‘Serve Life First’

make-this-world-a-brighter-place-picture-id888343166 The Divine is Here Now so Let us ‘Serve Life First’

I hope and trust that you and your family are safe and feeling comfortable. All of us in Humanity’s Team are here for you and with you during this challenging time. 

As we enter the third month of the global pandemic, people have many questions on their minds about health, finances, safety, and, in general, what the re-opening of the world will look like.

None of us have answers to those kinds of questions. But as the old saying goes, time will tell.

This question, though—the one I’m hearing being asked with both sincerity and anger—is one I believe I do have an answer to… “Where is God in all of this?”  

Some are saying that since we don’t want anything to do with God in our schools, at work, and in public discourse, God has retreated.

I heard one version of that sentiment that goes like this (and please forgive the overuse of the male pronoun)…  

He, being a gentleman, has deserted us and left us to our own devices. If we don’t want anything to do with God, He says “fine” and departs our life. We are now left alone to fend for ourselves during the pandemic. 

How does that sit with you?

I believe the idea that God has left us is the furthest thing from the truth. 

I believe the Divine is very present now and is speaking to each of us who are willing to hear.  

I believe the Divine actually has always been present sharing messages of love, hope, and possibility but we’ve mostly been too busy to really hear Her/His messages.  

Now, as many of us find ourselves less busy and more available, there is an opening where we can take time for silence and really listen for and hear the Divine speaking to us.  

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Mind as Keyhole

dramatic-sunset-picture-id182179126 Mind as Keyhole
Beneath the cloud,
everything is grey.

Above the cloud,
everything is light.

Calling the cloud
unfair is being a victim.

Trying to conquer
the cloud is being a hero.

Calling the cloud a cloud
is the beginning of peace.


A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, discuss a time when seeing things other than how they are led to your feeling like a victim or wanting to be a hero.

This excerpt is from my new book in progress, Returning to Where I’ve Never Been.

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