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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Relationship Role Modeling from the Obamas

Sixteen years ago Barack and Michelle Obama’s marriage was about to crumble.

Michelle told her mother she wasn’t sure their marriage would survive.

Barack told his grandmother that Michelle’s constant nagging was driving him crazy.

They were drowning in debt from the Ivy League law school loans.

Michelle was the major breadwinner with her high profile, corporate job and two young girls to care for and she felt fat, unseen and unheard.

With Barack’s busy travel schedule, they barely had any family time. And she was tired of picking up after him.

One morning Michelle woke up at 5am. Barack was gently snoring next to her. All she could think about was getting out of bed and going to the gym….it had been months! Part of her resisted going….the girls would soon be up and would need to fed….but the other part of her thought, Barack’s a smart guy, he’ll figure out how to feed them.

Once she arrived at the gym she got on the stairmaster and quickly had a Wabi Sabi epiphany.

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Dealing with Fear of Commitment in Love

To love fully in relationships is a vulnerable thing. To commit in relationship is equally vulnerable too.

You can’t control what happens in love or with the other person. It requires that you open your heart and risk.

To commit in love can be scary sometimes.

Many of us fear the commitment that comes with loving someone. Realize, that your only commitment is to yourself. When you honor your truth, honor yourself every moment, you are "committing" to them.

You can know that you always have yourself whether that person stays or goes.

You must commit to the process of loving in and of itself. All forms change. So whether the person stays or leaves your life, you stay in love.

You continue loving yourself.

You never stop loving yourself.

Shine On Behalf Of The Divine

I’m still coming down off the gratitude cloud from last weekend’s OraclePalooza Virtual, and equally swimming in the searing truth of my best friend Doug’s crossing over the rainbow bridge a few short weeks ago. The entire weekend I was in two places as I stepped into one of many “firsts” without him. Being my wingman and emcee at OraclePalooza was the thing he loved best. It was strange to be without him although it was an important new beginning and I felt his spirit the entire time. 

I miss the brave, real, loving human though. In the flesh with me backstage eating gluten-free snacks and giggling about how lucky we were to do what we did, and him crying reminding me that not everyone’s stuff was for me to take on. God, I love that man. What a pair we were. 

Doug was with me for 16 deep meaningful and fun years of friendship, but what made it special is that we shared a mission. Those kinds of friends are gifts from the Divine.

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Realize Timeless Love

We have all been hurt, left with a heart wounded by others who seem to go on just fine without us. In moments of such loss, our emptiness doesn’t stay empty for long; we are soon filled with anger, guilt, regret, or grief. These dark thoughts and feelings usually accomplish two things at once. At their onset, they bind us to a negative certainty that we will never again love or trust, but that’s not the worst of it. They also blind us so that the real purpose behind our pain goes unseen; as such, we miss the following lesson. Hidden within it is the power to transform our tears into a new kind of triumph over sorrow:

It isn’t love that has hurt us. 

Once our inner eyes are open and we can read the story between the lines secreted away in our suffering, we’re able to see one spiritual wonder after another. For instance, we realize that real love can’t hurt us any more than the light from a lamp can turn a room dark. We understand without taking thought that the nature of light is to reveal, not conceal. It’s clear: love heals; its celestial purpose is to integrate all that it embraces and all who choose to embrace it. 

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Realize the Real Purpose of Relationship

How many men or women do you know that when a fight has begun – or even in the middle of one – they suddenly see and agree that to blame the other person for the state that they are in is a lie? How long would a fight go on between any two human beings if one of those individuals awakened sufficiently enough to see that the pattern of fighting with another person to prove that I’m right is in fact the proof that I’m in the wrong?  

Our experience has shown us that the fighting continues because we are not learning from the relationship. Instead we are burning over what someone or other has implied that we are or that we are not doing and therefore we are at fault. We are never at fault in our relationships until at last the fighting becomes so egregious that we can’t hide the truth from ourselves anymore. And by the time we reach that point with other human beings, we have most often ruined whatever little love had brought us together in the first place.  

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Can You Keep On Loving?

If you believe that love is humanity’s greatest hope and clearest path to a more compassionate inclusive planet, how are you feeling right now? When people seem to be hating one another with greater intensity. When rage and violent outbursts are becoming more common. Those who wear masks vs. those who refuse to; those who believe Black Lives Matter vs. those who deny it. Science vs. religion, Democrats vs. Republicans, health and safety vs. economic “recovery.” Individuals of different races, ages, nationalities, and belief systems fighting over statues and guns and face coverings. Where does unconditional love and kindness come into play in the midst of all this? Can we love our neighbor if our neighbor hates us?

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Covid-19 Virus – Note of Encouragement

It has been scary, upsetting, inconvenient, and disruptive all at once for so many of us. Thank goodness we humans have one another for support and friendship through it all. That is such a gift. We are in this together and together we will get through this as well.

Let us first send extra prayers to all people around the world who may be struggling with a coronavirus infection itself. We are so sorry that you must face this challenge. We ask the Holy Mother Father God and Loving Light of the Universe to surround you, above, below, front, back, side-to-side, and rain healing vibrations upon you without ceasing until you are fully restored to excellent health.

Let us also pray for all our scientists, health care workers, and support people who are working tirelessly to save others. We send our deepest gratitude and support for your devotion, courage, persistence, and generous love for humanity. We, your fellow humans, pray daily for your inspiration, safety, and health, as well as that of your family, and people whom you live with. Thank you for being our heroes. We owe a debt of gratitude to you that simply cannot be fully expressed.

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And The Answer Is . . .

"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always."  -Unknown

I've Been Thinking...


One of my favorite quotes speaks to the importance of being kind to everyone, since everyone is fighting some kind of battle whether we know it or not.


I thought a lot about that this week because it felt like every conversation I had with others was about some personal struggle. One of my oldest and closest friends quietly told me that she finally called her doctor and asked for medication to help manage her depression, anxiety, and insomnia, which have gotten the best of her during this lockdown. Another friend told me that he was relieved to finally attend a small in-person AA meeting. In that gathering, he said several people spoke about the increased rate of suicide during lockdown and how challenging it’s been for all of them to stay sober during this isolating time.


Another friend spoke to me this week about the exact same thing and asked me why the media isn’t covering the devastating mental health toll of Covid-19. The impact of unemployment. The loss of health care. The rise in suicide, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The loss of human connection.


“Maria these are Covid collateral stories,” my friend said to me. “You must shine a light on all of this.”

“Agreed,” I said.


So, here are some stats I want to shine a light on: A new study from Everytown for Gun Safety finds that the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 could cause about 20 more lives lost per day by suicide, this year alone. According to Census Bureau data, a third of Americans are feeling severe anxiety right now and a quarter of Americans are showing signs of depression. And a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of 56% of adults. Think about those sobering statistics.

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See Good Intentions

What do others want?

The Practice:
See good intentions.

Why?

Hustling through an airport, I stopped to buy some water. At the shop’s refrigerator, a man was bent over, loading bottles into it. I reached past him and pulled out one he’d put in. He looked up, stopped working, got a bottle from another shelf, and held it out to me, saying “This one is cold.” I said thanks and took the one he offered.

He didn’t know me and would never see me again. His job was stocking, not customer service. He was busy and looked tired. But he took the time to register that I’d gotten a warm bottle, and he cared enough to shift gears and get me a cold one. He wished me well.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Labor Day

I was drowning in a dream

when the storm cleared and I was

lifted to the surface. I woke to find

your hand on my heart. You’ve

always had the power to calm

what you touch. Like the baby

bluebird you held last summer.
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The Secret Key To End Suffering In All Relationships

Relationships are one of the most common sources of suffering. It can cause such joy but also confusion and pain. We often approach relationships as if our partner is someone that we own. "You're mine." We go into a relationship thinking they will solve all our problems and fill the void.

Don't place your worth on another person. Don't depend on them to have self-value. You should feel completely secure with or without them. Your partner doesn't belong to you. You serve each other and help each other fulfill their purpose but your happiness shouldn't depend on them. Love cannot exist when manipulation is present. Trying to control another person is not love.

When you can truly love the other person and yourself without conditions, you will end suffering in relationships.

John Lennon Got It All Wrong

Don’t get me wrong, I love John Lennon and I love the Beatles, but their song “All You Need is Love,” a lovely sentiment to be sure, is also far from the truth.

The wild and wonderful state of “being in love” is natures greatest trick to get us to keep the species going, but it’s no predictor of a long term, happy, satisfying relationship.

We need more than just love to make love work.

I like to call being in love “the socially acceptable form of insanity.”

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Feeling LONELY and feeling ALONE

Feeling LONELY and feeling ALONE.

Any of you felt either of those?

The conversation that I wanted to have today is around the difference between being alone and being lonely.

Being alone means that you are solitary. You are by yourself. You are isolated, you are in a solitary space. There are no people around you. 

Being lonely is a feeling of sadness or abandonment or disconnectedness.

Sometimes people use a word that does not really fit what they are trying to describe.

Alone is being by yourself.

Lonely is a feeling that you have.

You can be lonely and be at a big party. You can feel lonely when you are with somebody that you love. My point is that loneliness is the feeling and being alone is the physical-ness of being solitary.

However, you are never actually alone.

We all have angels and we all have guides that are always with us. So, we are never actually alone.

So, if you are struggling with loneliness, that is something that is a feeling versus when you are feeling alone.

And I just want to make sure you understand that distinction.

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Are You An Energy Vampire Or With An Energy Vampire?

Another phrase for ‘squid’ is ‘energy vampire.’ 
“Squid is my word for people who seem to be missing their backbones but possess myriad sucking tentacles of emotional need.” 
 —Martha Beck

When your intent is to get love, rather than to be loving to yourself and share your love with others, you are a ‘squid.’ When you are not in the moment-by-moment process of learning what is loving to yourself, and taking loving action for yourself, you are abandoning yourself and creating an empty hole within. This empty hole needs love, and you will try to get it from others in any way you can.

The Neediness Creates An Energy Pull

Others might not be fully conscious of the energy pull from you, but they will generally back off nevertheless – as your pull unconsciously feels yucky to them. Of course, you might find someone who is such a caretaker that they stay and let themselves be drained by you, but you need to know that people who allow themselves to be drained and used by you have strings attached to what they give. They have a huge expectation – expecting you to love them and fill their emptiness as well. Both of you will inevitably be very disappointed.

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You Can Be The MVP

“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get." –Tim Russert

I've Been Thinking...

Just a few months ago, I was sitting at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service in LA listening to one speaker after the other talk about Bryant’s role as a “girl dad.” My eyes welled up with tears as I listened to them reflect on how his embrace of that moniker had affected how they viewed their own daughters and roles as fathers. In the weeks after the service, it seemed like everywhere I turned, men were proudly owning that title. 

I couldn’t help but reflect on my father at that time. He, too, was a “girl dad,” but when I was growing up, being a “girl dad” wasn’t a thing.

I grew up as the only girl surrounded by brothers, and the message I often got was to be like a boy. Be as tough as a boy. Be as competitive as a boy. Be as athletic as a boy. Be as competent as a boy. The "in thing" was to be a "boy dad." 

Even though I went to an all-girls school, dads weren’t applauded the way they are today for showing up and being present in their daughters’ lives. I say this not to bemoan or complain, but to celebrate this moment and to illustrate how much things can change in one person’s lifetime. I know we have a long way to go before parenting roles are equal, but I think it’s an awesome thing for men to be encouraged in their fathering—not just for their own kids, but for so many others in need of fathers as well.

Studies show dads who are present in their child’s life make a difference. Engaged fathers produce more confident daughters. Evolved, kind fathers show their sons a new way forward. Loving, nurturing, encouraging fathers show their daughters what manhood can look like, and what to expect in a man if she chooses to be with one.

Today, I am in awe when I see fathers pushing strollers, dancing with their daughters or doing their hair, standing with their sons while they cry and telling them it’s ok. I am moved when they proudly tell others that they took paternity leave or stand up and fight for it for others. I’m so happy that we have come to this place.

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The NEW RULES of Dating

Covid 19 and the murder of George Floyd have changed our world forever.

Not just in North America but around the globe. Billions of people are experiencing these shared traumas. We literally are all in this together.

No one knows when (or if) it will be safe again to sit shoulder to shoulder at a Broadway play or a concert or attend sporting events that once had as many as 70,000 crazed fans cheering on their favorite football, baseball, hockey or soccer teams.

What we do know is that life goes on and we will find ways to adapt to a new normal.

For those of you who are single, and have been quarantined alone, wishing you had a soulmate, life partner, best friend, lover and safe place to land person to share it with, I have some good news: it’s never been easier to manifest your soulmate than right now.

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What can YOU do?

In these challenging, expanding, painful and hopeful times, what can YOU do?


If you are feeling the fear, the sadness, the pain, not knowing what to do, how to show up, what to say or not say … I hear you.

When I went within and asked Spirit to guide me … when I asked Love what it would say, this is what I received.  This is my message to me … and I thought it might be of service to you too.

Ask yourself this question:  “What Would LOVE Say/Do?”

  1. Be the Change you wish to see – no excuses. Embody it! Whatever that change is, be it.
  2. Look within your own thoughts, mind, and heart. Observe your judgments, fears, and anger. Dig into why and where they came from and do what YOU need to do to release and heal them. Get educated, own your errors, step up and help.
  3. Create Connection, Unity and Oneness. Separation and division are the absence of connection. We as Human Beings are all connected. We are one and we need to stand together and BE ONE! What hurts another, hurts the whole.
  4. Focus on the actions as despicable, unacceptable, and deplorable; not the person. We each must consider our own past behaviors and know that they don’t define who we are today. This is the same for everyone else. Give some grace and know that we, as a human race, can do better.
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How To Heal Your Relationship With Difficult Parents

Your parents may not be perfect human beings, as they too are souls on this journey of life and are here to learn lessons like you.

But what if you have the perfect parents for your soul’s growth and evolution in this lifetime?

Relationships with parents can be some of the most challenging and difficult to navigate.

Ask yourself: What are the lessons that your soul is seeking to learn with them?

They give birth to you, raise you, and impact so much of who you become.

They simply did the best that they knew how to do at that time of their lives, even though it may not have been what you wanted.

It’s highly unlikely they woke up each day thinking about how they could cause you the most suffering. Likely, they were in pain themselves.

Hurt people tend to hurt other people, and the cycle continues.

You can break the cycle and take your power back.

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You Don’t Really Know Someone Until You Have Conflict

Do you sometimes wonder if you really know the person you are dating?

People often ask me how they can know whether or not someone they are dating is really an open and caring person.

“He seems open and caring, but how can I know? My last guy seemed really open until we started living together and then he was always angry. I don’t want that to happen again,” said Kiera in a phone session.

“Have you and your boyfriend had significant conflict yet?”

“No, we’ve only been dating for two months.”

“Two months is generally not long enough to know whether or not someone is open and caring. And you can’t really know until you have a conflict and you see how he responds. You need to know if he uses anger, withdrawal, resistance, arguing, explaining, defending, compliance and so on. And, if he does these protective things, how long does it last? Some people get immediately closed, but then in half an hour or so they open and are ready to learn and resolve. Others can stay closed for days, weeks or even longer. Of course, it’s ideal when someone is immediately able to stay open to learning in conflict, but most people haven’t done the inner work to be able to do this. However, if they open sooner rather than later, then things can be worked out. But if they want to sweep things under the rug and act like nothing happened, or stay distant until you apologize, this isn’t good news.”

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Dating In The Time Of Coronavirus

Dating is an integral part of socialization for single adults of all ages. The sudden escalation and impact of coronavirus around the world have created a challenge for those who are just starting in a relationship or those who perhaps have finally made the decision to start dating again.

There are some very important issues to consider with the very real presence of the coronavirus. Experts in public health and epidemiology recommend social distancing is a key factor in not only preventing contact with the virus but also in limiting the spread of the virus throughout the population.

Social distancing is particularly crucial for those in high-risk groups or individuals living with or working with people in high-risk groups. The high-risk groups identified currently include those over 65 years of age, anyone living in a nursing home, people with chronic health issues, those immunocompromised from cancer treatments, organ transplants or other diseases, and those with pre-existing health issues related to lung disease, heart conditions, diabetes, or chronic types of illnesses.

Family members of these individuals or those who provide healthcare or daily care services for these groups need to be especially careful. The general public also has to be very aware of how their interactions with each other increase the risk of the high-risk groups being exposed to one or more people carrying the virus.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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