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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Clean Our Light

Light

Dr. Bertice Berry, an incredible award winning author tells a story of when she was 12 until graduating from high school, she cleaned houses to make money. One time an elderly lady told her, “Bertice you got to clean the light.” She asked her, “what do you mean?” And the lady told her “you must clean the main light. Look around the light in the entrance way. Nobody ever gets up high and cleans the main chandelier.” She got the ladder after she was told this and cleaned the main light in the entrance way. Later in  the day the man of the house entered and said “WHOA, this house has never been cleaned so good. Take care of this girl and pay her extra.”

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Inside the Pandemic

joshua-earl
Now that we can’t touch, I am awash

with all the ways that touch sustains us:

like an electricity from one heart to another

or the ancient rush of water down a falls into

the basin of a village. I’m thinking of how you

wiped my brow in the hospital and the time

you stroked a fallen bird, its beak aquiver,

and the time your mother held your face,

saying, “I saw how loving you are the day

you were born.” Or the moment I caught

a stranger in the parking lot as her groceries

splattered, her cart wobbling away. Earlier,

it was Grandma hoisting me to my feet in

her Brooklyn alley and the hands of my

father guiding mine as he taught me to

use a chisel. Now I’m seeing Whitman

as a medic in the Civil War wrapping a

bandage around a corporal’s chest. And

now I close my eyes to send my touch

like a Shaman across the dreamscape,

hoping it will reach you.

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50 Things I’ve Learned in My 50 Years of Life

birthday-cake

Life passes by slow and fast. We have both good and bad times. Happy and sad experiences. We walk through life and experience joy and loss, as well as happiness and death. There is contrast through it all. As I arrive at my 50th time around the sun, I took the time to sit with SOME of what I have learned. These are in no particular order and are certainly not all I have learned. I am sure I have forgotten some BIGGIES, but it’s a good start; and more importantly, on my birthday day, it is a good reminder to me of this amazing life I have been blessed to experience and all that I have journeyed through … on both sides of the contrast.

Enjoy ~ Sunny Dawn Johnston

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What If You Knew When You Were Going To Die?

life-success
What if you knew when you were going to die?

Everyone will die so it's important to accept your mortality. It doesn't have to be a negative thing.

You must embrace the inevitable so you can move forward with haste knowing you don't have time to waste, you don't have time to wait.

The time is now to give your gifts to the world.
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The Benefits of Nurturing Your Soul For a Life of Impact

forthesoul

Often at this time of year, people spend some time reflecting and feeling into the direction they’d like their lives to go, and efforts they’d like to take to get there.

Some people set goals to accomplish things or experience something on their bucket list, while others set goals to change habits that aren’t serving them.

Often people focus their goals on things they think will make them happier or healthier, like losing the quarantine fifteen and eating healthy, or exercising to stay, or become, physically fit.  

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Are You Perpetuating a Controlling Relationship System?

control

For example, Sadie found herself in the same interaction over and over with her husband, Benjamin. The interaction would go something like this:

Most of us in relationships have an easy time seeing how the other person is being controlling, and a very hard time seeing it in ourselves. We also generally don’t recognize that any time we are trying to control, we are creating an energy loop that perpetuates the dysfunctional relationship system.

Benjamin, in a judgmental voice: “You never seem to want to cuddle or make love anymore. What’s wrong with you?”

Sadie, in a kind voice: “Benjamin, are you aware of how often you criticize me? Don’t you see what you are doing that is causing problems in our relationship?”

Benjamin: “I’m fine. I’m not the problem. Maybe you need some hormones or something. You’re the one with the problem.”

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Open Your Heart and Share Your Light with the World

light There is no need to hide anymore

For many, this is the Season of Light, a time of joy and celebration, a season for appreciation and giving.

For my family, Christmas can’t come soon enough and we’ve already begun sitting together in the evenings, taking turns choosing our favorite holiday songs to sing. I especially love “Silent Night.”

One of my teammates celebrated Diwali with her family the middle of last month, and another is beginning to prepare for the eight days of Chanukkah, her family’s traditional festival of lights.

Another member of our team is a student and teacher of A Course in Miracles which says, “Each of us is the light of the world, and by joining our minds in this light we proclaim the Kingdom of God together and as one.” (ACIM, T-6.II.13:5)

Looking at light more secularly, in just a few short weeks, the days here in my part of the world will grow longer, giving us more daylight to enjoy nature walks and other daytime activities.

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Mark Nepos' Weekly Reflection: Not Great But True

*Photo Credit: KS Kyung

I began as all young artists do—working toward some imagined greatness that might reveal itself in time, if I could stay devoted enough to my craft. But along the way, I was humbled to be more uplifted by what was true rather than what was great, by what was heartfelt rather than what was intricate. It kept me close to my own experience, which when entered honestly began to reveal the common ground of all experience and all time.

From there, I risked more by entering the poems than by writing them, not sure where they might go, and found myself touched and changed by showing up in my life so completely. Well, that’s not very different than being changed by loving another, is it? Now in the second half of life, I am devoted to being in that holy space where the conversation of aliveness exists. It’s not about the words but the poetry of life that is revealed and enlivened by our honest engagement.

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Your Part In The Global Symphony!

globalmusic

The other day, I came across the most moving video that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s called the Virtual Choir from Eric Whitacre, and the premise is simple: One man pulls together over 17,000 separate voices from 129 different countries in one single piece of music. 

When I heard the voices blending, melding, lifting each other up in song and harmony, I couldn’t hold the tears back. “This is how it’s supposed to be!” I said to myself. “This is what Life is all about.”

Here’s their Virtual Choir 6:


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The Most Important Questions To Ask A Psychic (According To A Psychic And Intuitive Healer)

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A strong, beautiful, and educated woman was sitting across me; we were surrounded by cactus, Buddha, and sunshine. Even in the serene setting, she was crying, grieving, and feeling overwhelmed. Life had reached a point of no return. The greatest transformation of her personal journey had begun and she was unsure how to proceed. She had scheduled an appointment with me to discuss the most intimate details of her life, including her marriage. The stress and pain outweighed the love; it was time for a change. This client came prepared with the most important question to ask a psychic. How can I get my life back on track?

She was committed to her wellness. It was time for her to unravel from a toxic and unsatisfying partnership. The difficulty was not just ending the relationship, but also dissolving the image of successful same-sex marriage. They had stayed together far too long because of what other people thought. Clearly, there was work to do but this woman had the strength and courage to ask for some guidance.

Get clear about why you want to talk to a psychic

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Twenty Quick and Simple Ways to Get Unstuck

relaxed-girl-with-cat-enjoying-good-music-at-home-picture-id1137032009 Things I do to get unstuck

Writing my most recent book Healing Trauma with Yoga forced me to get stuck and unstuck. A project that has not only consumed a lot of time, but obviously forced me to deal with a lot of my own issues around my own personal life experience and trauma. We all have ways that we distract ourselves, some healthier than others. Even with awareness, we can still participate in unhealthy behaviors. Here are some of the things I do to get unstuck that might also help you.

  1. Mantras on YouTube going constantly in the background at my home—sound waves permeate your walls, your space, and you. Hav­ing mantras playing is calming and clears the space, infusing positive energy. I play the Bhagavad Gita a few times a week, and mantras almost every day and sometimes even while I sleep.
  2. A long walk with my dog or a trip to the dog park to just enjoy dog joy. There is an unbridled joy that animals bring. They exist in the now, don’t get distracted by social media, and are very present and alert. The act of caring for a pet that gives unconditional love will bring immense joy (especially if you rescued the animal). I love walk­ing with Bentley and taking him to play as it forces me to be present.

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The Most Precious Freedom Is Inner Freedom

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

There’s a spiritual concept that seems to create a good deal of confusion. It goes by the name of freedom or liberation, both terms referring not to political freedom but inner freedom. The reason that “freedom” has a spiritual meaning is that a state of total freedom is possible. The confusion arises because at first glance we already feel free inside, most of the time, at least. Our thoughts and feelings are our own. We can be persuaded or coerced to change our minds, but in the end we decide for ourselves.

In reality most people experience only a taste of inner freedom. They exist in a state of limitation that is far removed from total freedom. I discuss the desirability of total freedom in my new book, Total Meditation, and I’d like to offer a preview here.

We cannot be free inside if some experiences frighten or distress us. We shut out and deny them, and as a result many if not most experiences get edited, censored, forgotten, and pushed aside in favor of a narrow band of experience that feels safe. Limited freedom is based on what you can reasonably expect from life. Total freedom begins by looking on life as a field of infinite possibilities. It takes some persuasion to make total freedom seem like more than a pipe dream, however. Is it even desirable to feel totally open, unbounded, and free of boundaries to keep us safe?

A key issue here is spontaneity. Spontaneity is without rules, which seems like a recipe for anarchy. Rule enforcement is the surest way to keep people in line, or so the rule enforcers believe. Consider the extreme example of applying to the bank for a personal loan in China. If you want a loan there, you can use your smartphone, and online lending agencies check you out electronically, using data stored in the cloud. An applicant gets accepted or rejected for a loan in one-tenth of a second, after the lending agency has checked out 5,000 (!) personal factors, including how firmly your hand moved when you filled out your application and how low you let your phone battery get before recharging it.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: I Promise You

Photo Credit: John Fowler I Promise You
I was in a circle of those who
climbed from the sea of trouble
onto the shore of a day like today.
We were tired, aglow, broken.

Out of a sudden silence
a young woman stood and sang
You’ve Got a Friend. When I heard,
You just call out my name and
I’ll be there…” I saw you all.

No vow has meant more to me.
Yet there was the time I couldn’t
get there. And the time I was afraid
to come for some dark reason too
familiar for me to understand.

I am sorry for the wounds my
absence has caused.

We try like birds awakened by
a tone of light to fly into each
other’s need. And always
wind throws us off.
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Course Correction From The Universe!

Course Correction From The Universe! Can we find the lesson or meaning in the tough times?

Think back to the last time you had your heart set on something — a job that’s perfect for you, a new apartment in the building you’ve had your eye on, the Caribbean cruise you’ve been planning for months — only to see it evaporate in front of your eyes. Someone else (with less experience) gets the job. The apartment sells before you can even make a phone call. Your trip gets canceled because of bad weather. 

No matter how “zen” you might consider yourself, it can be hard to not feel disappointed and let down when your dream bubble is burst into one big cloud of “WTF?!”

But have you ever then found out later that your sidetrack actually led you to something better — or at least helped you avoid a nasty situation? The new company ends up going bankrupt… you found a better apartment a month later at a lower price… the refund for your canceled trip gave you a cushion in your bank account that you ended up needing for car repairs. 

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How To Stop Wasting Time Fearing Your Purpose

How To Stop Wasting Time Fearing Your Purpose How To Stop Wasting Time Fearing Your Purpose

It is not uncommon for people to be scared of their purpose. They think about the problems that would come their way. They believe they would not be able to overcome the challenges. This overthinking leads to wasting a lot of time and demotivation. Quite often, people waste their time trying to find a purpose that would seem good enough. They are terrified of the idea they would spend their lives feeling useless, not achieving anything significant.

It is common to experience such fears. When you find a purpose in life, you are weighed down with expectations that can leave you crippled. So what should you do when you have a goal but don't have the courage to work towards it? How should you ensure that you don't waste any more time and get down to business?

Fighting the sense of panic and fear

The first thing you need to realize is that overthinking is your worst enemy. You keep judging your abilities and pulling yourself down, and this increases the fear in you. Therefore, if you want to stop wasting time and not feel scared of your purpose, you need to gain control of your thoughts.

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The End of Time...

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“Who wants to live forever?
Who dares to love forever?”
—Brian May

In the Western world, time tells us when we are born and when we die. Based on calculated averages, we know approximately how long we’ll live. We go through our lives with a clock ticking away in the background, measuring out the years we have lived and those we have left. This “knowledge” influences everything we say or do, every decision we make. In fact, it permeates our entire culture: education, employment, medicine, insurance, religion, marriage, law, property. Our lives are shaped by time’s constraints. Yet physicists tell us that time and space are human inventions, a way to quantify something that is unquantifiable.

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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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Love and Order

blm Love and Order

“To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try." – Rosa Parks

I've Been Thinking...

It was just a few short weeks ago that I wrote that I didn’t think we were going back to “normal.

At the time, it had dawned on me that the pandemic had uprooted us in ways big and small and that those yearning to go back to the way things used to be were in for a surprise. I had no idea how uprooted we were about to get.

This past week, millions watched as America’s streets and cities erupted across the nation. Huge peaceful protests called for an end to police brutality and for overdue systemic change. For a moment, the message seemed to get drowned out by images of violence and looting, which left people deeply shocked and shaken. Elected officials called in the National Guard and imposed mandatory curfews. Meanwhile, citizens in these cities stepped in to clean up the mess. More importantly, though, citizens stepped up to show us the opportunity and the importance of this historic moment.

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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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What's Really Essential?

essential What's Really Essential?
"The measure of a country's greatness is its ability to retain compassion in a time of crisis." -Thurgood Marshall


I've Been Thinking...

The other day, I found myself thinking and reflecting on life as I took an evening walk through my neighborhood.

“When this is all over, what will I remember?” I pondered to myself. “What thoughts and images will be seared into my brain? Who will I be when I am no longer told to stay at home?”

Will I go back to the same schedule I had before? Will my work and voice in The Sunday Paper be needed now more than ever, or not at all? Will my work at NBC News be the same, or will it change now that every show has been cut back? Will I go back to being on a plane all the time, rushing from coast to coast?

 

Will my work at The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement survive in a post-pandemic world? Will people still want to fund research into women’s brains when millions of Americans are struggling to eat and pay their rents or mortgages? Will people want to be educated about brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention when one of their most pressing concerns is protecting themselves from the coronavirus? I wonder. 

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