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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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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How To Deal 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.”

Relationships with parents can be challenging. Whether you have an amazing relationship or a difficult relationship with your parents, there are a few things to consider if you want to transform your relationship. In this episode, I’ll share some deep thoughts and possibly a different perspective that will help you live a life that is more joyful and meaningful for you and your relationship with your parents.

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Tending to the ‘Inner Garden’

When we moved to our home in Colorado 13 years ago, my wife Stephanie and I decided to plant a vegetable garden.


This season we’re growing arugula, cucumbers, peas, radishes, tomatoes, and mint.

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What About Love?

“How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?”
—Jonathan Larson

Your mind can’t comprehend it, and your heart can’t absorb it: Sudden death—and the fear, pain, and anger that accompany it. Yet another African American man, George Floyd, murdered by a white police officer. Hundreds of thousands of lives cut short by a virulent worldwide virus. In the U.S. and internationally, thousands protest in the streets against years and years of racism, violence, and injustice. As COVID-19 circles the globe, people lose relatives and friends, their jobs and homes; immigrants are again targeted and blamed. Grief. Anger. Is this how life is going to be from now on? It is unless we make the conscious choice to change it. It is until we see our neighbors as ourselves.

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Ways to Strengthen Marriages & Partnerships during COVID-19

Due to the pandemic, couples are finding they have more time together. Working from home, a lack of late-night meetings, a reduction in travel – all of these combined have meant more time to connect with our significant others. People who are intentional to use this time wisely are shutting off their television at night and working to create greater intimacy with their partner. Meaningful conversation, working together on projects around the house, making meals together, playing games, and having intimate romantic connection are all ways to use this time to benefit your relationship.

When children are involved there’s a secondary layer of stress added. Couples need to remember that this is a time of great stress, and that their (and their partner’s) reaction to everything is likely to be heightened.

It is not uncommon for relationships to struggle under the strain of the pandemic, the economy, general stress of life, knowing how and when to reengage in society safely, loss of jobs, homeschooling and more. However, I believe there are ways to keep relationships strong and healthy during these times. Rather than simply survive this crisis, I advise couples to use this as an opportunity to grow in deeper connection with each other.

Here are 6 tips to strengthen relationships with significant others:

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Terrapin

I saw myself swimming in a river of deep blues and greens. The shape of the water reminded me of a swimming spot in my childhood. There was a sense of freedom and anticipation surrounding me. Every moment felt familiar.

I began to notice an energy that was coming from outside my vision. This new energy allowed a connection to memories of the previous life. Eternity began to swirl through my mind. The change brought a calm that surrounded me. While loosely observing my thoughts of creation, I felt a strong presence. My vision quietly revealed who was sharing this moment with me. We communicated without words.

I began to swim to the beautiful creature that was sharing such kindness and wisdom. I reached out and touched a giant terrapin. His shell looked like it was made of earth. The message to me was one of love and patience. I rested my forehead on his cheek. Through this touch, I was able to feel our entire world and so much more. I was shown how humanity is being guided deeper through the universe’s passage to eternal wisdom. I understood I had to wait and be patient. There will be many of us discovering our true connection. We will find each other, but first we must understand our personal power. Only then can we patiently have space for others.

I knew without a doubt that the ancient creature was a teacher for the whole of humanity. The message was clear. All animals, humans, and Mother Earth are connected through the energy that flows through our souls. We are all one, we are all equal.

The wise one encouraged me to trust my instincts and recognize that healing can occur even in darkness and confusion. Instinctively, I knew the turtle was returning to a place on earth that needed his wisdom and love. Higher power comes in all forms, males, females, rocks, plants, or animals.

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Hug the Monkey

Longing for love?

The Practice:
Hug the monkey.

Why?

To simplify a complex process spanning 600 million years, your brain developed in ways that are loosely related to three major stages of vertebrate evolution:

  • Reptile – Brainstem, focused on avoiding harms
  • Mammal – Subcortex, focused on approaching rewards
  • Primate/human – Neocortex, focused on attaching to “us”

Since the brain is integrated, avoiding, approaching, and attaching are accomplished by its parts working together. Nonetheless, each of these functions is particularly served and shaped by the region of the brain that first evolved to handle it.

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How To Deal With Disagreements with Those You Love

“When you don't let your loving be dependent on the agreement of the viewpoint, you're free to keep loving"

Experiencing disagreements with those that we love is a natural part of being human. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone, but it can be a deep source of pain, especially with those you love. In this episode, I explore the possibility of seeing a new perspective, where even if you both have a different viewpoint, they can still come from the best intentions.

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Have you found the missing Peace?

Anxiety...uncertainty... unease

When you experience these emotions, you are not in the high frequency state of peace.

Those feelings are indicators that you have unconscious programs – beliefs, ideas and stories – that need to be corrected.

Is there some aspect of your life that you’re not at peace with?


Have you ever wondered what’s preventing you from living in the high frequency of peace?

The core low frequency blocker to peace is unforgiveness. 

Until you activate your soul’s superpower of forgiveness you have set yourself up for anxiety and a whole range of diseases and physical and mental challenges. A Harvard study showed that holding a grudge can kill you.

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True, fascinating story of the origin of Love Letter From God

Before I tell you an extraordinary story, read this:

Love Letter from God

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone — to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God says:

“No, not until you are satisfied and fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone. I love you, my child, and until you discover that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with Me — exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing — one that you can’t imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you. Just keep experiencing that satisfaction knowing that I AM. Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you . . . You must wait.

Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things others have gotten or that I’ve given to them. Don’t look at the things you think you want. You just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you’ll miss what I want to show you.

And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any would ever dream. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even this very minute to have both of you ready at the same time. Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and with the life I have prepared for you, you won’t be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me…and this is perfect love.

And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love, I want you to see in flesh a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with Myself.

Know that I love you utterly, I am God. Believe it and be satisfied.

Love,

God

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Three Wishes For The World

“We all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing." -Louisa May Alcott

I've Been Thinking...

The other day, I went on one of my “walk and talks.” These are socially distant walks that I take in the late afternoon, either alone or with friends who also like to walk, talk, dream, ponder, and wonder about life. 

I often walk with my friend Simon, an optimist and an astute student of leadership. 

The other day, we were walking and talking about Simon’s online courses (you can learn more here and follow him on Instagram, too) and his upcoming podcast, when we came upon two other guys we both know. We stopped to chit chat, and just as we were about to leave, one of the guys said: “I’d like to ask you both a question. What are your three wishes for our country and the world right now? They don’t have to be achievable, but what are they?” 

“Wow!” I thought to myself. I figured he was just going to ask which restaurants had good takeout service or something, but hey, okay. I knew I’d need a few minutes to think about how to answer. 

Simon’s three wishes popped out immediately.

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How To Set Your Boundaries and Honor Your Needs

...... Setting your boundaries with people in your life is never an easy task.

However, in order to do so, you must know who you are and what your needs are.

In my new video, I share some simple ideas that will help you honor yourself and your needs more authentically.


How do you set your boundaries with loved ones?

How do you honor your needs and also set your boundaries while honoring your relationships with others?

In this video, I discuss how to set boundaries with the people you live with so everyone's needs can be met. With everyone on lockdown, this has become more important than ever. You want to use this time to get closer to loved ones, not farther away.

Wabi Sabi Quarantine

Wabi Sabi is the ancient Japanese aesthetic of seeking to discover beauty and perfection in imperfection. It seeks to find the beauty in things that are old, worn, imperfect or impermanent.

When we are in a situation beyond our control, and are finding ourselves highly annoyed or frustrated with someone’s behavior, that is the time to practice Wabi Sabi Love: this is about having a shift in perception and making up a new and empowering story about whatever you are perceiving as broken, wrong, or just not right.

For those of us that are stressed out, frustrated or are experiencing extreme cabin fever from the quarantine, finding the beauty and perfection in the imperfection can be a challenge.

I could make a long list of all the things I don’t like about being quarantined, but now that we are in week seven, I think for me, the good things are beginning to outweigh the bad.

By digging deep into my spiritual toolkit I have been practicing things I’ve often talked about but never really had to deal with….like turning fear into love and transforming judgement into compassion. The latter being the most difficult.

As I have watched many people filling social media with wild conspiracy theories, I find myself pinging back and forth between outrage and wanting to fix them.

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Shaking is Meant for Shifting

For me and many of the people I’ve spoken to who are part of the stay-at-home population, it feels like one day is rolling right into the next with not that much changing in any given 24-hour period.

Of course, if we’re working from home or home-schooling our children or are caregivers for our loved ones, the details of each day are numerous and ever-changing.

But it’s the general tone of the day that I’m speaking about... 

I’m wondering about that question mark that’s hanging over the planet.

What is this shaking up of the world as we know it ushering in? 

What will our personal and collective lives look like in a few months…

And in a few years?

Though there have been a few other pandemics over the last hundred years or so, never before have we experienced the repercussions of a pandemic like the one enfolding the whole of the planet today. 

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What It Means To Be Emotionally Strong

There is a vast difference between the pseudo-strength of controlling behavior and the actual strength of loving behavior.

“My father was a very strong man. It was his way or the highway.”
“My mother is a very strong person. She is the matriarch of the family and controls everyone. I never see her cry.”

These descriptions of strength do not fall under my definition of ‘strong.’

Strength and Weakness

Strength is reaching a place in your growth where you have the courage to feel and lovingly manage your painful core feelings of sorrow, loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others—rather than avoiding them with various addictions and controlling behavior.

Weakness is when you are too afraid to feel and learn from your feelings, so you avoid them with substance and process addictions, and with controlling behavior toward others to get them to take responsibility for your feelings. Given these definitions, the above statements made by my clients about their parents are describing weakness, not strength.

Strong people are able to cry—to be moved by things and to cry as a way to release the energy of that strong emotion. Unfortunately, many people were programmed as children to not cry, since their parents didn’t know how to handle painful feelings – their own and their children’s. Many people were even teased, at home or at school, for crying, further programming them to avoid tears.

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The Miracle Of The Coronavirus – Part 1

Creating authentic power requires distinguishing love from fear in yourself and choosing love no matter what is happening inside you or what is happening outside. Our evolution now requires us to create authentic power. The coronavirus is teaching us how to do that. The reality of the coronavirus is often lost in the fear of it (including denial). The reality of the coronavirus is that no one is immune to it, and it is extremely contagious. The mortality rate of the coronavirus is much lower than small pox or bubonic plague, yet it is a deadly threat. That reality demands that we bring our fears into our awareness so that we can choose responsibly between our fears on the one hand and love on the other. This is important because not only your health depends upon your choices, but also the health of others.

In other words, the coronavirus is the perfect teacher of responsibility. The coronavirus is contagious days before its symptoms appear in you. You do not know when you become infected! During that time you can infect others without knowing it and without them knowing it (because they do not know when they become infected, either), and they can (will) very quickly infect others and on and on and on and on. These are the things that make the coronavirus very dangerous. It is extremely contagious, everyone can unknowingly infect anyone else, and it can kill you. In other words, if you mindlessly endanger yourself, you mindlessly endanger others. If others recklessly endanger themselves, they recklessly endanger you. To echo Lakota wisdom, the health of one is the health of all, and the illness of one is the illness of all.

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Hold Your Beliefs Light-ly

Beliefs are tricky, especially in times of uncertainty. They can be a source of inspiration or a heavy chain around your neck. They can uplift you into possibility or weigh you down, keeping you from open-hearted expansion. Historically, beliefs have been the cause of cycles of planetary polarization: renaissances and wars, connection and separation, coming together and tearing apart, hope and despair. Humans have yet to reach the evolutionary tipping point of being present in experience without filters of any kind. Maybe now is the time to let go and see everything as light, including ourselves and our beliefs.

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Are You Making Someone Your Higher Power?

Do you believe that in a good relationship, it is your partner’s job to make you feel loved and worthy?

Jerrod, in his late 30s, consulted with me because he was feeling frantic about his relationship. He and Leslie had fallen deeply in love just over a year ago, but now the relationship was falling apart.

Jerrod

“Leslie and I are very attracted to each other and really enjoy each other’s company. But something happens after we’ve been together over a weekend. We have a great time and then during the week I’m miserable for a few days. After a few days, I feel okay again, and then we get together and it starts all over. I don’t want our relationship to end, but I can’t stand what happens after we are together. Maybe we are not supposed to be together.”

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Love the World

Are we really so separate?

The Practice:
Love the world.

Why?

To simplify and summarize, our brain has three primary motivational systems – Avoiding harms, Approaching rewards, and Attaching to “us” – that draw on many neural networks to accomplish their goals. 

Lately, I’ve started to realize that a fourth fundamental human motivational system could be emerging as well.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors depended upon their habitats for food and shelter. Today, over 7 billion of us are pressing hard up against the limits of Lifeboat Earth. To survive and to flourish, cultural and perhaps biological evolution are calling us to love the world.

The world is near to hand in the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the weather and climate in which you spend your days. And then in widening circles, the world extends out to include complex webs of life and the physical characteristics of the land, the sea, and the sky.

When you love the world, you both appreciate it and care for it. Each of these actions makes you feel good, plus they help you preserve and improve everything you depend on for your health, livelihood, security, pleasure, and community.

During most of the last several million years, our human and hominid ancestors did not have much capacity for harming the world. Nor did they have much understanding of their effects on the whole planet.

But now, humanity has great power for good and ill. And we have inescapable knowledge (no matter how much some try to deny it) of what we are doing to our own home. As the earth heats up, as many species go extinct, and as resources such as fresh water decline, it is critically important that a fourth major motivation guide our thoughts, words, and above all, deeds:

Love the world.

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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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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