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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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Kinship

If you don’t know,

then ask the moon in the sky.

Yuanwu



Trying to prove that all things

are connected is like piling up

snow in a silver bowl.

As soon as you bring it inside,

what you’ve gathered will vanish.

For truth like the ocean is hard

to see once in it.

I can only say that the things that

matter are always there like stars

in the daytime.

Kindness sleeps in our heart

the way flowers are compressed

in their seed.

Everything is waiting for the right

moment to break ground.

I am always here for you.

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What is Love Anyway?

Did you know that in the Persian language there are 80 words for love?

In Sanskrit there are 96 words and in Greek there are 7.

Sadly, in English we only have 1 word for love.

Thus, it isn’t surprising that love means different things to just about everyone.

Love is one of those things that when you see it or feel it, you just know it.

And like food, air, and water, I believe love is essential to life.

Today I am sharing with you three very short takes on love that I think sum up some of the many ways love shows up.

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Rest In Love

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”  — Maya Angelou

I've Been Thinking...

 

Did hearing " Happy Valentine's Day"  make you smile, or did it make you weep? Were you looking forward to the day, or were you mad that you aren’t where you want to be when it comes to love? If your answer is the latter, let’s take a walk (not a real one, of course, although I’d love that). Let’s take a moment to simply connect and be. 

After all, that’s what love is really all about. It's about being wholly yourself with another human and feeling loved for who you are. It’s not about a fancy dinner, a piece of jewelry, flowers, sex, or chocolates. Don’t get me wrong, those things are great, but they don’t define love on their own.

Love is deep. It’s varied. It’s complex and yet also simple. It’s romantic but also platonic. It can fill your heart up, and it can break it into a thousand little pieces. 

I’ve learned a lot about love over the years—what it is and isn’t—and much of what I’ve learned has come from a painful place. That said, it’s all helped me get to a more loving space in my life. 

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Love Someone

What can you do when there’s nothing you can do?

The Practice:
Love Someone.
Why?

Sometimes something happens. Perhaps your sweet old cat takes a turn for the worse, or there’s a money problem, or your son waves goodbye as he gets on a plane to start college on the other side of the country. Sometimes it’s on a larger scale: maybe there’s been an election and you’re grappling with its consequences (see my last post on this topic: Take Heart).

Or you might be dealing with something ongoing, like a dead-end job (or no job at all), life after divorce, chronic pain, or a teenager who won’t talk to you.

Whatever it is, at first, it’s normal to feel rattled, frozen, or unclear about what to do. After awhile, you do what you can to change things for the better. But often there’s not much you can actually change and sometimes nothing at all.

Still, there is always one thing you can do, no matter what.

You can always find someone to love.

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How To Speak Your Truth With Love

We have all lied to ourselves and others at some point in our lives, about who we are, what we think, what we have done.

Deep down our fear is, “If you really know who I am or what I have done, then you won’t love me.”

We are afraid of losing love or losing the life that we have. Living in fear is not freedom.

The truth will set you free and open you to receiving all the bigger blessings that life has in store for you.

It requires real courage. It requires the willingness to not compromise your heart, even if it means being alone.

It’s true that in the process of speaking your truth, you may lose people, relationships may end, old structures might crumble.

Know that you are clearing the space to be open to what is right for you.

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Mindfulness for a Happier Relationship

Love relationships are one of the most beautiful and complex experiences we can have in this human life. They can bring joy and ignite passion, and they can also challenge us to face ourselves and get clear about who we really want to be.

One tool that is nothing less than indispensable throughout the journey of love is mindfulness. It can help us create more peace and love in our partnerships, as well as more calm and balance within ourselves. Whether you and your partner are just starting out and want to connect more deeply or you’ve been together for years and want to rekindle that connection, call on mindfulness to support your relationship goals. You’ll be glad you did!

5 Mindful Tips to Support Your Partnership

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Oracle Card Spreads For Love And Relationships!

One of the most common areas people seek guidance from the Oracle is regarding love and romantic relationships. And no wonder! The sacred mysteries of love invite us into an exploration of what it means to be a spiritual being in a physical body. It is one of the ways we are able to fully experience our humanity. It can make us feel vulnerable and empowered, ecstatic and despairing. And of course, any topic that is so full of strong emotions will be one we want to know more about! 

Your Divine Path to Love

For many people, the mere mention of romantic love makes them roll their eyes and reach for the nearest pint of ice cream. They’ve been there, done that, and have the battle scars to prove it. After a few times of showing the soft underbelly of your inner self to another, only to have them mishandle your heart. Ouch!

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“Us” All “Thems”

Who’s outside your circle?

The Practice:
“Us” All “Thems”

Why?

By “us” all “thems,” I mean finding common ground with every person – especially those you fear or are angry with or who are simply very different from you. These days this practice is more important than ever.

For most of the past 300,000 years, our human ancestors lived in small bands of about 50 people in which they survived by being good at caring about and cooperating with people inside the band – with “us” – while also being good at fearing and aggressing upon people outside their band: “them.” And for 2 million years before that, our hominid ancestors lived and evolved under similar pressures.

That’s a long long time. And during the last 10,000 years, as agriculture produced food surpluses that enabled larger groups, this same tribalistic pattern has repeated at bigger scales. While there are heartening examples of people extending themselves for strangers, most of us are vulnerable to the ancient drumbeats of grievance and vengeance – now amplified to a thunder by modern technologies like social media.

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The Secret to Any Successful Relationship

You are free when you realize that you don’t have the power to MAKE another person change.

You suffer when you spend your time trying to control the lives of those around you to be what you want them to be.

People don’t change unless they really want to change. You only have the power to share your perspective, wisdom, and invite them to consider a different way of doing things.

When someone changes simply to make you happy, rest assured, it doesn’t last.

They must not only want to change but must be committed to it. They also must be open to your help. We sometimes try to change people that are not asking for help and end up trying to control them to fit our ideal.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Unseen Force of Spirit

As the unseen wind moves from the azalea to the young willow, the unseen force of Spirit moves from you to me and on to those yet born. Still, the azalea doesn’t become the willow, even though they root in the same soil. In just this way, you stay you and I stay me, though we are informed by each other, just by virtue of how Spirit moves through all things. Under the circus of appearance, all forms are knit into a barely perceptible weave of being that spans from the stars to the endless drip in the darkest caves. And though the star never touches the cave, the light and dark inform each other. We carry their essence. As I carry you, though we have never met. I carry the dream you are about to wake in. And you feel my sadness as a sudden cloud blocking the light. We arc in a dynamic elegance that no one orchestrates, though no one can come alive without feeling its pull.

A Question to Walk With: Tell the story of a time when you felt the wind of life move through someone you care for. What did this look like? And how did this affect the person you care for?

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Is Shutting Others Out the Only Way to Stay Safe from Toxic People?

It is absolutely true that there are certain types of people who are toxic to your quality of life.

They may have abusive tendencies, dark cynical outlooks or they could be self-destructive.

Our minds are always trying to judge, and our hearts discern whether or not certain people are good for us.

The residual trauma of being abused or mistreated by another creates the need to strictly enforce the condemning of unhealthy people in our lives. The extreme of this will cause imbalance and the accumulation of residual karma.

The act of condemning a person even for a good reason, is a fear based egoic mechanism that reinforces fear and anger. A person will feel constantly on edge or anxious during that time of judgment.

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Make Love’s Higher Purpose Come Alive in Every Relationship

The universe is set up to help us grow into our higher selves, and relationships are the “vessel” of that journeyDifficult relationships show us both the need to grow beyond our present level of understanding, and deliver the vital self-revelations that make growth possible.

Of course, we love to be shown qualities within us that are positive. But Love often shows us what is un-loving within us, such as anger, impatience, and selfishness. To understand this is to realize that even in the darkest moment of some unwanted revelation, we are never without Love; it is always there, even if it is momentarily obscured by our negative reaction to what we’ve been shown about ourselvesThese revelations are a gift from Love to help us become the truly loving individuals we want, and are meant, to be.

Love’s Power of Revelation

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The Power of Asking For Help

When we are pursuing our dreams and goals, we must ask for help! Nobody has ever achieved their goals by themselves.

Why are we afraid to ask for help?

It is often because we are too proud or we see it as a sign of weakness. It is the opposite. Asking for help shows strength. When you ask for help you give that person the gift to give you service. You're helping them too.

Feathers Aren’t What Make You Fly

We don’t control
The reflections in a mirror
Only our interpretations

We live best
With birds of a feather

Be with
The ones with
Joy
The ones with peace
The ones in harmony

Not the flock
Who have plucked
All their feathers
To prove they are not worthy
of flying

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Three Secret Ways To Start Your Live Out Fresh

Here are three new and true beginnings you can start with today that will put you in the right place for leaving old self-defeating choices behind you for good.

 

  1. Each time you find yourself face to face with some overbearing man or woman who in some way intimidates you, dare to make this new and true beginning: act toward that person in exactly the way you want to act, and: not in the way you think he or she expects you to.

 

Within the guidelines of being kind and true, speak to that person as though you are completely free to say what you feel, for you are. What any individual may think about what you have to say is not your concern. So let this false concern go.

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Loving and Losing: The Best Gift of All

Did I miss something?” asked Martha, her hand raised in the Hollywood Squares of my Zoom mindfulness class.

“What do you mean?” I inquired.

Well, we were having this relaxing and lovely meditation experience and now we are all of a sudden talking about death and dying, so I want to know… did I miss something?”

Wow. I looked at the faces of the human beings that have grown so close these last nine months as I listened to Martha’s question and imagined fear, maybe even anger arising in her. Although I had compassion for her discomfort, I had no problem answering her by saying, “Yes, actually. You missed loving connected presence. You missed the fact that we are here to support each other for whatever comes up.”

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How To Be With Your Loved Ones Right Now

Are you missing family and friends? Have you lost loved ones close to your heart?

There is a simple Heartful way to feel connected with everyone I love.

While developing the HARMONY REFRESH, I discovered a profound attribute of hearts to connect with love.

A Harmony Refresh of feeling your heartbeat, being aware of your breath and relaxing into calm are the first three skills of the Seven Skills of Harmony. Click here for more info.

My father passed away over 40 years ago. I still miss him but a few years ago I realized, grief is not about getting over loss, it is honoring the love that is eternally shared in our Source.

It’s easy to think an attachment to the past maintains a connection to love. Longing for someone you love whether in or out of a body comes in two tones of emotion, the agony of loss and the joy of gratitude, both come from love.

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Are You Perpetuating a Controlling Relationship System?

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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Don’t Rain On The Parade

Why do we have cheerleaders?

The Practice:
Don’t rain on the parade.

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?

If a family member or friend responds in a neutral or positive way, even if they also raise some practical questions, you likely feel good, supported, energized. But if that same person were to lead with a mainly negative response, focusing on problems, constraints, and risks – no matter how valid they are – you’d probably feel at least a little deflated, and maybe misunderstood, put down, or obstructed. Take a moment to reflect on how this may have happened to you, as a child or an adult.

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How To Raise Conscious and Happy Kids

Your children are gifts from the Universe.

As parents, you have the most important job in the world. You have the profound privilege to impact and guide another soul.

The goal isn’t to make them into the image that you think they should be. But to provide the space and environment for them to become their most authentic selves.

Remember that your children are souls and have their own lessons that they need to learn in this lifetime. You don’t determine their lessons, but you do get to love them unconditionally regardless of what they may go through and prepare them to be able to face life challenges.

Loving your children unconditionally is the greatest gift you can give them. When they don’t have to be what they think you want, they are free to be themselves.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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