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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Making the Season of Peace Really Matter

seasonofpeace Making the Season of Peace Really Matter

A world ceaselessly in a state of unrest seems to mock this time of year as a season of peace. Most people are simply grateful that unrest hasn’t touched their lives, and hope fades for the victims of war and strife who will probably never enjoy peace except during brief truces. The link between holidays and holy days may be fragile in these times, but you can be a unit of peace consciousness starting now.

This  happens at the level of intention and attention.

First, intention. Holidays are about gatherings, first of family but also of events that embrace community and nation. It's therefore easy to feel, on the negative side, that you have little or no control over what's happening around you. Swept up in holiday rituals that are simply a given, surrounded by squabbling family members and old tensions, you can easily be overwhelmed.

The way out is by centering yourself and being clear, first on the inside, what you intend your holiday season to be.  A helpful exercise is to sit quietly with eyes closed and say to yourself, I want joy. I want peace. I want grace and love. As you say each phrase, pause and feel joy, peace, love, and grace as  the silence of your Being. Joy, peace, love and grace are your essential nature. It doesn't matter how you settle into this  feeling/knowing. Putting your attention on your heart is often helpful, or seeing a soft light in that region.

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Are you looking for peace in an uncertain world?

peacedoves Are you looking for peace in an uncertain world?

Did you know that forgiveness, peace, love and joy are inextricably linked?

It is only when we’ve experienced true inner peace that we understand there is another world that exists beyond the ego mind’s comprehension.

It’s an awesome world of wonder and the bliss of pure love. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Imagine waking up tomorrow morning… your to do list is full… family is on the way…

The demands of life just keep coming…

and you…

you are completely at peace.

How good would that feel?

As we enter the holiday season, peace is often the gift we most desire. 

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Choosing Joy to De-Condition Our Negativity Bias

young-woman-enjoys-snowy-winter-picture-id1172741222 What You Practice Grows Stronger

Some years back, I was talking with a woman in our community. She was a breast cancer survivor and she told me about a conversation that she had with a friend who also was a survivor. Her friend asked her, “What would it feel like for you to think that something good might happen, rather than something bad?” Her response was, “Totally weird and uncomfortable. “Good,” her friend said. “Try it now.”

From an evolutionary perspective, it really makes sense that we feel uncomfortable when we envision positive things coming our way. Our brains are designed to scan for trouble and fixate on what might go wrong in any given situation. This is described as the negativity bias and it one of our hard wired survival strategies. Of course, it is a very good strategy for avoiding real danger. But, in the absence of a true threat, it limits our capacity for enjoying, and celebrating our moments. We have such a short time on planet earth. When the negativity bias rules, we get very loyal to our anxiety, mistrust and vigilance. We cannot inhabit the fullness of our lives.

In happiness research, a common denominator among those who are deemed “happy” is a sense that they are actually choosing to be happy. They believe that happiness is possible and there is a willingness to turn towards it. Catholic mystic and writer Henri Nouwen writes:

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and then keep choosing it every day.”[1]

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The Paradox of Planning for the Future

futureclock The Paradox of Planning for the Future

When you initially arrive into a new situation, the optimum strategy for dealing with that situation is to quiet down and hear the totality of what’s going on around you. To hear all of the variables and how they are all working together, just in a quiet intuitive way, out of which will come an optimum action. That is, the more fully you are present in that moment of decision making, the more you can expect an optimum response. Optimum in the sense of it being in the deepest harmony on the most planes of reality.


The best practice for being fully present at that moment of choice is to practice being present in this moment.

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A Simple Skill to Amplify Mindfulness in a Heartbeat

Feeling-Heartbeat-1024x52_20191127-140545_1 Feeling Your Heartbeat

Heartfulness is the companion, not the opposite of Mindfulness. Awareness is the result and cause of this beloved union.

“In all Asian languages the word for mind and the word for heart are the same word, so in English when you hear the word mindfulness, if you are not hearing the word heartfulness, you are not understanding it fully.” Jon Kabat Zinn - internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society.

Amazing things happen when you begin with the awareness of your breath in Mindfulness and add awareness of our heartbeat in Heartfulness. The synchronized rhythm of your heart beat, breath and mental focus can greatly amplify the experience of harmony and balance in your daily life.

This heartful state of being supports a lifestyle of energetic buoyancy, where life can flow with more harmony, calm, ease, intuition, confidence, safety, concentration, aliveness, gratitude and generosity. As Heartfulness becomes an effortless habit, you will experience increased relaxed confidence and more effective results in your daily activities.

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Set Your Sights on Self-Liberation

freedom-picture-id175947174 Set Your Sights on Self-Liberation

In our inner work to awaken and realize ourselves, we must begin where we begin, and put away any other concerns about where that beginning is. It’s enough just to make a start, wherever that may be. What difference does it make at what point you enter into a great river? Sooner or later, all of its waters reach and pour into the sea.

Never let discouragement have the final word, and one day there will be nothing left to discuss. Besides, you can have just as many new beginnings as you’re willing to leave behind all of your ideas about yourself. Nothing in this world, or in any other, can stop you from discovering your original, free being. This has always been your destiny, as Walt Whitman confirms: “The central urge in every atom, to return to its divine source and origin.”

Following are 10 secret ways higher self-studies help you succeed in life:

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Doorways

Doorways Doorways

Everything in our life is here, because at some point, we walked thru a doorway and summoned  the experience.  I will share an example of this; outside my window there are rabbits and an occasional red cardinal eating pieces of lettuce and carrots.  Earlier in the day I put the produce out knowing it would attract some animals.  My thoughts and actions created the enjoyable encounter.  I also credit thoughts and behavior for the not so sweet manifestations.

What ever shows up in our life, we play a significant role in how and why it has appeared.   Our mind creates the door frame and our response leads us through the passage that holds our experiences.  The power of our mind is responsible for building everything physical and non physical on our journey.   Imagination holds the potential for everything.

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Middle Earth

IMG_1523-1200x900

In Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien used the term Middle-earth to describe the land where his stories took place. Situated somewhere between angelic and demonic realms, the inhabitants struggled to hold to the light. Sometimes I feel that is where we live now. Opposing forces are mobilized on all sides. All around are compelling reasons to believe that “evil” is on the rise and that “good” people are increasingly victimized by those in power. Yet holding to the light within darkness means we cannot succumb to what the prevailing belief systems would have us accept as truth. We may live in Middle Earth now, but it is just a way-station on the way to the New Earth. The challenge and balancing act is to accept and live in the present moment while also embodying a new vision for the future.

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A Gratitude Ritual

Blog-112619-KK
Have you ever noticed that the more you focus on being grateful, the more you have to be grateful for?

It’s true. The more we practice counting our blessings, the more blessings we will find to count.

And that is one of the beautiful things about gratitude. It builds on itself. All we have to do is be mindful of practicing that “attitude of gratitude” by focusing on looking for what’s right, since gratitude happens naturally when we stay in the presence of the many gifts in our lives.

So, if you want to have a heartfelt Thanksgiving, as well as the power to turn a moment of ordinary into extraordinary, then I encourage you to take time to go within, connect with your blessings and gifts, and practice cultivating gratitude.

Use the beautiful Gratitude Ritual that Debbie Ford created years ago, which I have included below, to support you in opening your heart and filling it with love and appreciation.  

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
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Ram Dass – Here and Now – Generosity

generosity Ram Dass – Here and Now – Generosity

Ram Dass sits down for a conversation with Raghu Markus around generosity and sharing the gifts of spiritual life.

Show Notes

What About Generosity? (Opening) – Ram Dass and Raghu look at the delightful consequences of generosity. They talk about the methods and modalities that allow us to cultivate and share our generosity with others.

“Generosity, generous with love; generous with compassion.” – Ram Dass

Our Motivations (11:00) – When Ram Dass returned home from India, his goal was to share as many of the teachings he was exposed to in the East. He and Raghu discuss the motivation behind doing all that work. They look at the motivations of ego and attachment that are behind some of our expressions of generosity.

Maharaj-ji’s Gifts (19:20) – Our hosts reflect on the most important gifts that Maharaj-ji gave to his devotees and have filtered through to the younger generations across the globe.

Living from the Heart (27:20) – Ram Dass talks about the traps of spiritual materialism and ways we can prevent turning the gifts of spiritual practice into more decoration for our ego. We look at the refuge of the loving witness. He and Raghu discuss the shift in perspective about himself and the universe that Ram Dass’s stroke provided.

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Do You Have a Psychically Sensitive Child?

creativechild Do You Have a Psychically Sensitive Child?

I’ve become fascinated by the ever-increasing number of children who are displaying amazing psychic abilities. I’ve noticed over the past few years how many more questions I’m getting at my lectures, during my radio show and on my Facebook page about psychically sensitive children.

Young intuitive children see the world and people as they truly are. They show their sensitivity in such simple ways. For example, if your child encounters someone new and it appears as though they don’t like that person, then I’d suggest that first and foremost, you take a moment to listen to your child.

Your child is probably able to see clairvoyantly, or they’re feeling the colors emanating from the person’s aura. They could also be picking up the energy of the person, and they interpret it as a something they’re not comfortable with. The important thing is that you’re totally supportive and you talk to your child about what they’re feeling.

How can these abilities or spiritual gifts be understood and developed? Rather than look to your child for answers, we must first look within at our attitudes, thoughts, and feelings. Parents and teachers have to realize that being intuitive or psychic is normal. There are too many misconceptions.

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Saying “Yes” to Our Life - A Short Talk and Meditation

opentolife Saying “Yes” to Our Life - A Short Talk and Meditation

Our habitual ways of avoiding pain keep us from experiencing intimacy with our inner life and with each other. This short talk and guided meditation offers instruction in saying “yes” to the life we encounter. As we release resistance, we discover the creativity, wisdom and love that express our truest nature (a reflection from the archives).

Listen to the full talk: Saying “Yes” – Meeting Your Edge and Softening.

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The Butterfly Effect

butterflyeffect The Butterfly Effect

The art of becoming is accomplished through an act of rebirth. As you continue to evolve as a spiritual creation that is constantly seeking growth and a heightened sense of awareness, the ability to navigate the process of rebirth becomes vitally essential.

I am so grateful to discuss rebirth and how the evolution of a butterfly’s journey from caterpillar to cocoon to gaining its wings to flying can provide important key aspects to our own journey as we manifest the life we want to live! I want to start with a quote from the great Maya Angelou…It reads,

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”


Let’s think about that for a minute. How do you feel about this statement? Can anybody relate? You know you are destined to soar yet you have been just crawling along not realizing nor expressing your full potential. Don’t get me wrong…the caterpillar stage is fine and is important. And I don’t want to negate the importance of the caterpillar experience. You can have joy here. You can have success, happiness, abundance, and love. I am sure if you ask the caterpillar, they are happy moving along eating leaves. I mean what do caterpillars eat anyway? I mean I don’t even know... but and it’s a huge BUT…if you are longing for more or you know there is a greater something that is seeking to be born, in your heart of hearts, you know you have more to give this world then it’s time to be brave and enter into your cocoon phase. You willing enter because you know it’s time. You begin to trust in the magic of rebirth. Maybe you have even had visions of flying and landing on flowers. You can even see what colors your wings are. Have you had that experience? You know where you been, you know where you are right now, and you have seen the vision for the future. The vision is in 3-D Pixar color and it’s clear. You want it. I often say…I want that.


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6 Mindfulness Practices from Around the World

6 Mindfulness Practices from Around the World 6 Mindfulness Practices from Around the World
Many cultures around the world have deep traditions of mindfulness practices. Learn how mindfulness is practiced all around the world.

If you look at any culture throughout history, you’ll find that their traditions include some form of meditation or mindfulness practice.

Christians and Muslims pray. Catholics recite rosaries. Buddhists meditate. People in India practice yoga. Native Americans perform sweat lodges…

…and so on.

So why do so many different societies evolve some sort of practice dedicated to helping people clear their minds, and access deeper levels of awareness and consciousness?

It’s because the wisest people in every culture understand the same profound truth: that the quality of our thoughts create the quality of our reality.

So if you want to experience a more peaceful, joyful and fulfilling reality, you must learn to raise your consciousness and access a higher level of thoughts.

But not all mindfulness practices are tied to religion or take the form of prayer or meditation.

Today I’d like to share some of the other interesting ways people around the world cultivate mindfulness to maximize their happiness and fulfillment in life.

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Finding Balance Between Mind and Heart on the Path to Liberation

flowerbuddha Finding Balance Between Mind and Heart on the Path to Liberation

There are many tools that all serve the process of awakening or liberation, and when you listen inward you can feel – or situations present themselves to show you that your energies are out of whack, or that your heart is too closed off.

Your mind can be full of high wisdom, but that’s in your head. There are times when I listen to somebody, and I can hear with my body. I hear in a certain way in which I’ll feel pressure in my head, or I’ll feel tightness in my chest.


There are two theories about how you do this: One is that you go for broke with whatever you do. For example, if you focus on quieting the mind, and the mind gets quiet enough, at the latest stages the heart will automatically aline and the energies will aline. The first strategy is to find your method and just keep doing it, and wait for the others to all fall into place behind it. There will be tremendous imbalance until very late in the game. The other is where you keep correcting the inner process along the way. I don’t really know that one is better than the other – you have to intuit which way to go.

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Finding Faith When You’re Freaking Out: You Couldn’t Be More Loved

keepingfaith Finding Faith When You’re Freaking Out: You Couldn’t Be More Loved

When it comes to creating the work you love, it's all about learning to cultivate faith. I'd say having faith in your journey is more important than brushing your teeth. Then again, I do much of my work on the phone. "But how do I have faith when things don't work out?" my clients ask. "Where does Spirit go, when I'm freaking out?" I have a gazillion answers. But this month I want to tell you about a miracle I had years ago. I'm hoping it will nourish you and help you become the unstoppable agent of love that you are meant to be.

Years ago, I facilitated a workshop at a women's retreat held at an eco-resort in the breathtaking Mayan Riviera, in Mexico. I remember the moment I arrived. I stared at this remote beach of glittering aqua blue water and untouched white sand. I began to cry. The beauty stung me. It rattled me and stilled me. My travel sweat evaporated. I felt naked and robed at the same time, emptied and filled. And most of all, I felt very, very loved. I felt loved in that moment, loved in the past, and loved for all time—because that’s the nature of real love.

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It’s Pruning Time!

prunning It’s Pruning Time!

Our minds and lives are just like a garden. A good gardener understands that pruning is vital to the overall health and vitality of the garden and must be done on a regular and consistent basis. When you prune the weeds or old unproductive soil, it gives room for your flowers to flourish.

As we spiritually mature, we must be willing to prune old habits, old ideas of who we think we are or were, and any weeds or outdated information that no longer serve the new idea or the emerging version of ourselves. Each breath presents a new possibility.

There is a Divine Intelligence in nature that cannot be denied. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I am often in awe of the trees and now they simply release their leaves. There’s no effort or unwillingness to surrender. You know I strive to be like the tree.

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The Still Small Voice Within

prayer-and-celebrations-picture-id179606149 The Still Small Voice Within

In this dharma talk from 1975, Ram Dass speaks of the still small voice within that serves as a constant reminder of our true nature and relationship with God.

Ram Dass reflects on the fire of the Living Spirit that exists inside each of us. A flame that becomes suppressed to just an ember by our time in the world. Ram Dass examines how that ember acts as a still small voice within that reminds us of our true nature and our relationship with God.

“Though we have lived our life totally involved in the world, we know that we are of the spirit. As you go towards God, you learn about yourself. When you return from God, you learn about the world. But when you are in the world you know not of the world. You cannot see the forest for the trees.” – Ram Dass

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The Prospering Potential of Tuning Into Your Higher Power

prayer The Prospering Potential of Tuning Into Your Higher Power

HOW TO PRAY FOR REAL AND STOP BARGAINING

Before I knew a better way to communicate with the Divine, I used to pray a lot. I always believed in a power greater than me. I just thought that Power was following me around with a fly swatter. 

I mentioned last week that I saw the world as ensouled, like I do today, every animal with a spirit, every blade of grass, rock or worm. So why did my prayers hardly ever work? I was serious about prayer! My prayers were so strong and so meaningful and so so so powerful!

Prayers are powerful and mine should work.

Not really, today looking back I know my prayers were totally lame, if you really want to know the truth.

And, here’s why. 

My prayers were bargaining prayers—prayers of pleading spectacles of need and serious purveyors of lack. 

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Do Numbers Keep Showing Up in Your Life?

numbers-picture-id185224486 Do Numbers Keep Showing Up in Your Life?

Numbers play a key role in our lives, in the world, in science and technology. When you think of it, everything in the Universe revolves around numbers. From the rotation of the earth and the planets in our Universe, our calendars, to the way we keep time, everything is based on numbers.

Do numbers keep showing up in your life? This could be how your loved ones on the Other-Side are trying to get your attention.

Oftentimes, your loved ones who have passed on will attempt to communicate with you through numbers. Have you noticed any number or series of numbers that appear repeatedly in your life? It could be on your digital clock, license plate, bills, telephone numbers, or those synchronistic moments when you find you have the same birthday as someone you’ve just met. Many people will see the exact time of the passing of a loved one repeatedly appearing in their lives.

Numbers play a big part in my work, both on and offstage. For a while, I frequently used to see the number 149. No matter what order they were in, these three numbers kept popping up in my life. I searched my memory banks and scrambled the numbers in every possible combination. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it meant. No one I knew had passed at that specific time, nor did any birthdates make sense. So I figured they were given to me to play the lottery. Well, sadly, that didn’t work either!

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