A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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What Does Unconditional Love Really Mean?

We hear the term unconditional love a lot these days, especially in spiritual circles. But what does it mean exactly? At first glance, it seems to mean loving without conditions. Yes, it is that. Yet it is more than that. As I live my life, I begin to see other levels to it. Something that involves seeing clearly someone’s human vulnerabilities and seeming faults as well as their divinely sweet magnificence–and loving them for all of that. Holding it all in my heart at the same time, seeing it as part of this particular individual’s soul journey. And seeing myself that way too. I’ve found that viewing everything as perfectly lovable in just one other person unlocks the ability to do the same for everyone in my life—and then for everyone on the planet.

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Enter Into Full Partnership With Love

Love often appears at our door as a beggar in disguise. There are countless ancient myths that tell how the gods would show up at the door of someone’s home, appearing to be in dire straits. On the surface of things, they seem to be seeking food and shelter; but, in truth, they’ve come to ask if the ones they have chosen to visit will make room for them in their lives. And, as these stories go, whoever agrees to make this kind of sacrifice – for the sake of their unexpected visitors – is rewarded by them beyond their wildest dreams.

In much the same way, love is always knocking on our door. But it never does so more stridently than when our heart closes itself off to our partner in the name of some unconscious pain that we blame on them.

In unhappy moments like these, not only do we slam the door shut in the face of the one we love but, without ever knowing it, we also deny ourselves the precious, timeless gifts that only love can offer us: a full partnership with all of its powers. These gifts include the unfailing presence of an unconditional compassion for all that it embraces. This level of higher self-understanding can never be pulled into a fight with our partner because it can’t be deceived into identifying with one side or another of some unconscious opposing force.

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Grief and Joy

Last December my family and I spent a week or so, in Arizona. We were looking at someday, possibly buying a house for the Winter months. Seeking the sun and dirt trails, we explored both Sedona and Phoenix. My husband loves Sedona’s seasons and red rocks. I felt pulled by the warmth of the Phoenix area.
 
Searching for hiking near our hotel in Scottsdale, we discovered a little trail head. Walking up the dirt path I heard dogs barking and wondered about the houses. They were mostly concealed by trees.  The trail led us to a junction of several more peaks and valleys. We both love the expansive feeling found in the sun and open land.    
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Cancel These Three Painful Relationship Patterns Before They Get Started

Often when someone feels wronged by their partner they demand “payment” for the pain they feel unjustly inflicted upon them. History proves they will argue until this well-established pattern completes itself, one way or another. At some point, unable to resolve who’s to blame for the pain, one or the other will either storm off to brood over the mistreatment, or decide that “retreat” is the better part of valor and make some kind of peace offering, perhaps an apology. Sad, but true to say, in the long run, neither of these “solutions” makes any real difference. Their suffering passes into the night, but not the unseen reasons for it.

This situation sounds familiar, doesn't it? One event, a single word or critical glance triggers a negative reaction. Then and there we feel our partner has set him or herself against us, and – a moment later – we respond in kind. The feeling of being disrespected or misjudged morphs into a certainty that we’ve been betrayed; pain, not love, becomes our common denominator.


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How to Maintain the Infamous Honeymoon-Period-of-Bliss

The two minds are the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind contains wishes and desires and operates about 5% of the time. That means that 95% of our lives are from the programs, which have been downloaded into the subconscious mind. Most of these programs are negative, disempowering, and self- sabotaging. While our conscious minds are busy thinking during the day, our subconscious programming self-sabotages. We externalize our struggles because we don’t see that we’re sabotaging ourselves; we only recognize that life isn’t working. 

Knowing all of this, how do we achieve ultimate happiness and heaven-on-earth? Stay mindful, stay present (Resource List Here). If you stay in the present moment, the conscious mind is the pilot and your hands are on the wheel.

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The Power of Acceptance

“Accept—then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it … This will miraculously transform your whole life.” — Eckhart Tolle


When my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I heard the words, but it took me several years to accept the realities of the disease.

I’ll never forget one moment when we were sitting outside in his backyard together. It was just a few years after he was diagnosed. There was traffic racing by on a nearby highway, but he thought he heard water flowing.

“Don’t you love the sound of that water?” my father asked me.

I corrected him. “No daddy, that’s traffic.”

He shook his head and insisted that he heard water. I corrected him several times until finally, I accepted his version of reality.

“Wow, Daddy, I hear the water, too,” I said. “It’s so calming.”

He smiled and nodded, relieved that I had met him where he was.

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3 Tips to Transform a Painful Relationship

Pain, regardless of where or how it appears in our relationship, can either remain the seed of a distress destined to flower into a mounting resentment, or we can choose to use this same pain consciously. Then it can be transformed into the seed of something new, true, and beautiful: the birth of a new level of self-understanding – the realization of a higher order of love that can never turn against itself or anyone else.

A student once asked me, “It feels like my partner and I have come to a dead-end in our relationship. I don’t think he’s aware of it, but I sure am. I love him, but...I can’t let go of an old resentment that always rears its ugly head anytime he acts out one particular part of his nature that I just can’t stand.”

Many people have a similar problem. Here are some helpful tips for transcending the pain of relationships.

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How to Reinvent Your Love Life (or How to Break Blocks to Love)

Love is in the air! Can you feel it? I think autumn is the most romantic time of the year. Yes I know it’s spring down under but It’s this time of year for me that turns on my romantic buttons. I know I’ve said this before but I just love all aspects of love. I love being in love and helping people understand and experience more love. I love my awesome husband, I love my job, I love my dogs, my friends, my students, my employees and you know what -my world is brimming with love! I have so much of it to give. And so I do!

It was not always like this. I used to look for love, and determine my worth for how much the outer world would reflect my lovability and value depending on who was there or not there to prove it to me. I thought longing and yearning was love but it wasn’t – it was the focus on the lack of love that was so compelling and “romantic.”

For many years I struggled with this need to be loved and seen as worthy. When I was single, for a long time to me it was a message that I was flawed. I could only see the empty part of the glass. Yet thank goodness I saw the Light.  It was only when I surrendered this fully, and learned to love myself and be a channel for love that I no longer saw myself that way. And paradoxically the more I let go the need to find love, the more of it came to me!

I know that for many people, the mention of love and relationships elicits frustration, regret, anxiety, and a sudden need for chocolate. You want to meet the right person, but things just never seem to pan out. Or, you keep thinking you’ve met “the one” only to discover that he or she is just as commitment phobic or dishonest as “the one” before him/her. It’s the same old story with a new leading love interest, and you wonder what you’re doing wrong.

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Have Trust in Love

Love is like air. It may be hard to see, but it's in you and all around you.

Do you believe in love?

The Practice:
Have trust in love.

Why?

Take a breath right now, and notice how abundant the air is, full of life-giving oxygen offered freely by trees and other green growing things. You can't see air, but it's always available for you.

Love is a lot like the air. It may be hard to see — but it's in you and all around you.

In the press of life — dealing with hassles in personal relationships and being bombarded with news of war and other conflicts — it's easy to lose sight of love, and feel you can't place your faith in it. But in fact, to summarize a comment from Gandhi, daily life is saturated with moments of cooperation and generosity — between complete strangers! Let alone with one's friends and family.

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Why Some People Attract Dysfunctional Relationships

Most of us tend to pick partners who reflect the vision we have of ourselves and our world. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Compatibility and a sense of ease in a relationship come from having similar preferences, ideas, and values about things like money, religion, monogamy, parenting, and even what makes for good sex. The Legacy Project at Cornell University even did a study on this. They interviewed hundreds of people who had been married 40 or 50 years, and even longer. Most agreed that shared values are at the core of a healthy, long-lasting marriage.

But we don’t pick the people we’re with based on values alone.

We also choose people who have similar ideas about what relationships look like and how they should play out. This sounds good but it can also backfire.

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Living Love 24/7—Open the Door to a New Dimension

What would it be like to feel love in every moment, to live your life from that place? Is it possible? I believe it is. In this week’s video blog, I talk about how a new dimension can open up to us when we center our hearts and minds in loving the people and the world around us. When you see possibilities instead of problems, everything begins to unfold in expansive and magical ways.

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Don't Rain On the Dreams of Others

Are you too quick with doubt, limitations, cost analyses, reasons why not?

Why do we have cheerleaders?

The Practice:
Don't rain on others dreams.

Why?

Let's say you've had an interesting idea or moment of inspiration, or thought of a new project, or felt some enthusiasm bubbling up inside you. Your notions are not fully formed and you're not really committed to them yet, but they have promise and you like them and are trying them on for size. Then what?

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LOVE – Monkey See, Monkey Do!

You’ve probably heard the saying “what you put your attention on grows” and this is especially true when it comes to love.  If you desire MORE love in your life, you can it today!

In recent years, science has discovered that our brains are filled with something now known as mirror neurons.  These are a type of brain cell that responds equally when we perform an action and when we witness someone else perform the same action. 

For instance, let’s say you are watching a couple holding hands, snuggling or kissing – whether it’s in person, or on a TV or movie screen, your mirror neurons fire off the same synapses as they would if you yourself were doing the snuggling or kissing!

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The Catalyst of All Creation is Love

In case you were wondering, love really is the answer!

It doesn’t matter what the question is. 

The answer is always love.

Love is a high frequency attribute of the True Self.

Science tells us that love makes us happier, healthier, reduces stress, relieves anxiety and can even help us live longer.

Who wouldn’t want more of that?

The sad reality is that there are millions of wonderful, beautiful people in the world today who don’t feel loved… who don’t experience love at all.

Have you or someone you know ever felt unloved or unlovable?

A life with low levels of love is a life of suffering.

Here’s the good news…

When we are fully connected to our True Self, love is who we are!

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The Purpose of Marriage

According to my late sister Debbie’s favorite holy man, Rabbi Ezagui of Chabad La Jolla, marriage is the highest calling of mankind. He says:

“True love is loving the person for what they love, who they are, for what they stand for. If you go into a marriage loving what you love, not what they love, that is not love. Real love is not finding someone to hold your hand and find common ground with; the institution of marriage is to push you out of your comfort zone, to lift you up above what you need, so that you can provide what you’re needed for,” says Rabbi Ezagui.

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How To Love A Woman [A Letter To Men]

A year ago, I wrote a blog piece that got an amazing response. It’s called, “How To Love A Woman [A Letter To Men]”.

So many people shared how much they were inspired.

Women shared that they were seen and understood. Men shared they were inspired to love women more deeply.

I decided to turn this into a very special video that is sure to inspire you.

This video is quite different and unique. It will touch your heart.

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Try to Understand Others

Painful experiences are more than passing discomforts.

What Are They Feeling?

The Practice: Try to understand others.

Why?

Imagine a world in which people interacted with each other like ants or fish. Imagine a day at work like this, or in your family, aware of the surface behavior of the people around you but oblivious to their inner life while they remain unmoved by your own.

That's a world without empathy.

Empathic breakdowns shake the foundation of a relationship; just recall a time you felt misunderstood – or even worse, a time when the other person couldn’t care less about understanding you. In particular, anyone who is vulnerable (e.g., children, the elderly) has a profound need for empathy, and when it’s a thin soup or missing altogether, that’s very disturbing. In my experience as a therapist, poor empathy is the core problem in most troubled couples or families; without it, nothing good is likely to happen. With it, even the toughest issues can be resolved.

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Take Your Relationships To The Next Level

When a person wants to reach the next level in their life, when they want to understand the truths -- the principles that actually produce in them a new kind of freedom -- they have to know where to look for it.

From micro to macro, you can discover that the whole universe is based on cycles and that these cycles run through our lives, determining our relationships with each other. And yet, there is something -- which we will call Love -- that contains these cycles… and it is right inside of us.

Once we recognize Love's existence and understand where it dwells, we can begin to intuit that we are all connected in an incredible living web through which we are meant to experience ourselves and learn from one another.

Relationship is how Love expresses itself in this universe. Relationship serves to express both the conditions under which we learn as well as those conditions that deliver us to the lessons we have to learn.

The truths that free us actually set up the conditions from which we need to be rescued for the purpose of showing us that the Truth goes before us and has always been there. So that rather than this maze of experiences we don’t understand that we try to solve or overcome, the process changes. Instead of being an externally oriented human being, we begin to become internally oriented. We understand that the order of relationship that exists for the purpose of our life itself waits for us to go to it -- waits for us to understand that the relationship we have to have first and foremost isn’t the one that our mind and feelings tell us we have to have, but that pre-exists inside of us.

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How To Get People To Change [3 Keys]

You can’t change anyone else.

It’s not your job.

The only person that you have control of changing is yourself.

Change yourself first and everything in your life will begin to shift.

Spending your energy trying to change others is a waste of time and only leads to frustration.

Consider this:

Relationships are a mirror.

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Use Every Relationship to Uplift Your Life

The greatest, most abundant resource on planet Earth is also its least understood and utilized. Its unlimited supply is found virtually everywhere, anytime, and under all circumstances, even though few recognize its real value. What is this most precious collective resource? It is our relationships.

Consider these truths: It is within relationships that we grow as individuals in everything valuable, because it is through them that we become stronger and wiser, allowing us to realize a love that transcends our unseen self-limiting self-interests. Yet, even though we may acknowledge the existence of this path to self-perfection, the essential mystery of exactly how to use this endless resource remains obscured.

What do we have to do to change the balance sheet of our lives so that for every measure of impatience and intolerance there may be at least an equivalent sum of compassion and consideration? How do we learn to use our relationships with others to realize a new kind of relationship with ourselves where we are able to discover that who we really are is all we need to be?

Our willingness to work our way through the following twelve special practices -- to strive to use these higher ideals in our relationships with others -- will reward us with the Real Life our hearts longs for.



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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind