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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It’s hard to believe we’re now in our sixth month of quarantine life. Just the notion of this is getting us more antsy and anxious. The new school year has begun and our worries are compounding, whether it’s centered around the safety of our teachers and students heading back into the classrooms or how much longer we have to wait before some normalcy comes back into our lives.

But while your outside world is full of uncertainty, there is one resource you can always rely on, one constant force that will throw you a lifeline and keep you afloat during these chaotic times—your Soul!

Your soul is always connected to a Higher Source. (When I talk about “Source” I mean God, the Universe, or a Higher Consciousness – call it what you will.) This is the power that will move you beyond feeling trapped, constrained, unfulfilled or alone.

I know that many of you are concerned about what’s going on right now in the world and in your own life. Whatever it may be: fear, uncertainty, injustice, intolerance, financial worry, relationship troubles, or health concerns. Maybe you’re feeling like you don’t belong anywhere or you’re losing hope. Maybe you want some answers to the many questions filling your head: What can I do? Why am I here? How do I get out of this mess? It’s important at times like these to remain connected to your soul. When you are connected to your soul – you are linked to a higher power.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Life of Care

As a fire needs wood, the soul needs care to burn strong and bright. And just as it doesn’t matter what kind of wood is given to the fire, the soul doesn’t value one form of care over another. Any act of care will make the soul come alive through us. And since all things are worthy of care and in need of care, any ground of experience we devote ourselves to will brighten our aliveness—in us and between us. Simply and profoundly, as a fire needs wood, the soul needs care to thrive.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a form of care that feeds your soul. What role does this have in your life?

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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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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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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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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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Coronavirus – The Heart of the Matter

All my life I have gone to the heart of the matter. When I graduated from college, I volunteered to fly fighters because I felt that was the heart of the Air Force. My eye sight prevented me, so I joined the Infantry because I felt that was the heart of the Army. Then I became a Green Beret officer because I felt that was the heart of the heart of the Army. When I wrote about quantum physics, I reached for the heart of this new discipline so I could write a book about it without scientific jargon and give non-scientists like me a clear and understandable explanation of it. That book won The American Book Award for Science, I believe, because it did exactly that.

I have come to see the heart of everything that we do and experience, individually and as a species, as consciousness. Our consciousness. My consciousness. Changing anything in the world, including myself, requires changing consciousness. The only place I can change consciousness is in myself.

Now I come to the coronavirus. Like everything I see around me, I see the coronavirus as symbolic. It has a lesson to teach me, and in my opinion, it has a lesson to teach us. The coronavirus is real in that it kills, the world economy is crippled, hundreds of millions have no work or shelter or comforting hand to hold theirs when they are ill. The most difficult is yet to come in economically undeveloped countries and collectives.

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Keys To Freedom In Your Relationships

“Each relationship serves a different function and purpose in your life. Ultimately, every single relationship you are in is for your growth, evolution and learning.”

When we spend our time trying to control the lives of those we love, we’re putting our power, our freedom, our joy, our happiness in the hands of someone else. Listen to this episode as I share the secret to real freedom when it comes to changing other people and how to shift your focus to a more empowering way of thinking. 

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What is the secret to getting other people to change?
  • How is trying to change other people taking your power away?
  • How can I stop controlling other people?
  • Am I ready to receive what others are ready to give me?
  • How can I accept another without judgment?
  • What does this person mirror to me about myself?

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • 3 key questions to ask yourself when you are challenged by someone.
  • A key element to all relationships that will change everything.
  • How to honor and love yourself unconditionally.
  • How communication is a key element to honoring your relationship.
  • How acceptance of another is an important part of your own evolution.
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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: After Many Years

After forty years, my oldest friend, Robert, took my hand and said, “I didn’t give you one thing you didn’t already have when we met. I just warmed it open with love and truth until you opened like a flower, blossoming into yourself.” This is what friendship does.

 

A Question to Walk With: Describe a friend who has loved you the way the sun loves flowers and trees. What is the greatest gift this friend has given you. Once you’ve reflected on this, tell them.

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Let's Get Loving

“I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you." -Paul Coelho

I've Been Thinking...

My first love was the horse pictured below. Her name was Miss Buck, and I loved her with all my heart. 

Just a few weeks ago, my brother sent me this picture—one I’d never seen before. When I saw it, I was reminded of what love feels like and looks like. Love feels safe. Love feels secure. It feels restful. It feels like home.

 


Do you know what love feels like to you? Several years ago a friend asked me that very question. I distinctly remember pausing, as I was quite sure no one had ever asked me that question before. It moved me and rattled me all at the same time.

Love is like that, isn’t it? It stirs up so many emotions. It can take you to the highest place imaginable, and then break you into tiny pieces. Your heart can be full one minute, and empty the next. You can be so hopeful when you are in love, and yet so full of despair when you feel unlovable.

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Beloved

I write from observation, not imagination. Most of my writing is one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings.

You can click here to read about my writing process.

How does it feel to be with a precious Beloved companion? No matter how far away, how close can you feel to someone near to your heart?

My words are only a reflection of the song my heart sings.
I delight in the beauty of love recognized.

One line is often all I need to capture an idea.

“THAT WHICH YOU ADORE, DOES NOT NEED TO BE CHANGED.” Will Hale 5-24-14

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How To Speak Your TRUTH To Those You Love

There are certain moments in life when you know that you need to have a difficult conversation and share a deeper truth.

Difficult conversations require more of you. They require that you dig within yourself and access a part of you that might have been dormant.

It’s not always easy sharing the truth of how you really feel with another. But it’s essential if you are to grow, be fulfilled and have real relationships.

Honest communication frees you and frees the other. When you withhold, it creates a blockage in your relationship and deeper intimacy is blocked.

We often hold back having difficult conversations because we are afraid of how others will respond and the resulting conflict.

Or we are afraid to cause harm to someone we love.

Or we fear the end of our relationship.

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‘Tis The Season For Receiving

There is no doubt about it. December is the time of year that is synonymous with giving. Whether it is to family, friends, co-workers, charitable organizations, or the people who make our lives better, we all have our lists and are checking them twice!

Most of us love to give – and when we do so, we feel good about ourselves, abundant, and alive.

But what about receiving? Most people feel very uncomfortable about receiving.

Whether it is a gift, an act of kindness, help from others, or even a compliment, we have a difficult time receiving.

For many, our awkwardness around receiving started at an early age. We were brought up hearing messages like, "Tis better to give than to receive" or "Give more than you get." We decided, consciously or unconsciously, that people who receive are greedy, selfish, weak, or needy – and since we didn't want to be any of those things, we made receiving wrong. When I first looked at my inability to receive, I realized that I had a belief that if I received something from someone, then I would owe them something in return. For me, being beholden to anyone was a loss of control and a very scary place, so receiving became taboo.




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4 Steps to Walk Away the “Winner” of Any Argument

A fight between two people (lovers, spouses, family members) is a kind of psychological battle often filled with personal attacks, accusations, and dredging up past mistakes. When both parties are exhausted, or one grudgingly concedes, the fight ends—for the moment. But nothing has changed; resentment has just gone underground until it’s dug up again, and hostilities soon resume.

But it needn’t be this way. There’s a little known “magic” that can stop any fight in the moment and helps prevent the next one from getting starting. It’s the result of what we can call “relationship jiu-jitsu.”

Jiu-jitsu is an ancient Japanese martial art based in “the art of yielding.” The combatants use special “moves” to turn an opponent’s energy back on them. But here, I’m using the term psychologically, where the opponent isn’t a person you’re fighting. The true “opponent” to be overcome is a negative, lower level of consciousness in each of you that blames the other for the punishing pattern you’re both caught up in.

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See Beings, Not Bodies

What happens when you look at someone?

The Practice:
See beings, not bodies.

Why?

When we encounter someone, usually the mind automatically slots the person into a category: older, younger, your friend Tom, the kid next door, etc. Watch this happen in your own mind as you meet or talk with a co-worker, salesclerk, or family member.

In effect, the mind summarizes and simplifies tons of details into a single thing – a human thing to be sure, but one with an umbrella label that makes it easy to know how to act. For example: “Oh, that’s my boss (or mother-in-law, or boyfriend, or traffic cop, or waiter) . . . and now I know what to do. Good.”

This labeling process is fast, efficient, and gets to the essentials. As our ancestors evolved, rapid sorting of friend or foe was very useful. For example, if you’re a mouse, as soon as you smell something in the “cat” category, that’s all you need to know: freeze or run like crazy!

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How To Get Others To Love You

How do you get people to like you?

How do you get people to love you?

How do you get people to validate you? 

The more time and energy you spend trying to get other people to love you, focusing your energy on being a certain way in order to get love, only causes you suffering. 

Realize, you don't have the power to make other people love you. 

The more time you spend to make people love you, the more disempowered you'll become and you will suffer. 

Watch Kute Blackson as he shares the keys to get other people to love you:
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It’s a Beautiful Day to Help Each Other Heal

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

I've Been Thinking...

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that if you remain open and awake to what’s happening around you, then life will offer you an endless parade of lessons.

Lessons can come in the form of experiences. They can come in the form of encounters and individuals. And, they can come in the form of something we see up close, or witness at a distance. (They certainly come when you watch something historic happen, like the impeachment hearings.)

Not all lessons are pleasant, but they all can serve you in some way. That’s why it’s up to you to make sense of them, find meaning in them, and ultimately grow from them.

Life is our greatest teacher, but every once in a while, a really great person comes along that imparts lessons on our collective humanity. Mr. Rogers was one such teacher.

I find it amazing that he is still “alive,” even so many years after his death. I also find it important to reflect on the fact that so many of us are longing for his guidance, wisdom, and gentle tone to help us navigate the here and now.

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Marry Your Conscience

Have you heard about the studies that say we are a reflection of the five people that we spend the most time with? That’s right! We become most like the people we most like!

When you look around your life, who or what do you see?

Are there people who inspire you? Are willing to be straight with you? Hold your greatest dreams and visions?

Or are there people who are more apt to choose harmony over truth, even when it comes to situations that are not in our highest?

Years ago, I attended a ceremony in which Jay Leno, the comedian, was being honored. Accepting the award and thanking all of the people who supported him in his career, he of course singled-out his wife. In speaking about her and the success of their long-term marriage, Leno said:

"Marry your conscience. Marry the one who makes you want to be a better person."



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Belonging to Each Other

Mother Teresa writes that if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. These three talks explore the causes for severed belonging, and pathways to deepening the felt sense of belonging to our own body, heart and spirit, and to all beings. Together the talks offer a natural and powerful progression of loving kindness or metta reflections, that when practiced regularly can open us to the peace, joy and freedom of trusting our mutual belonging.

Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree, with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.” ― D.H. Lawrence
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The essence of loving kindness is this openhearted quality of friendliness. It’s sacred. It’s precious. As Mother Teresa described it, when we sense that belonging that comes with friendship, we really touch peace.

We close in that spirit to sense in your own heart the intention to befriend the life that’s within you. And take a moment to hold the life within you with the quality of care. Feel in your own words your prayer to befriend this life – to love yourself into healing.

Widening our attention to sense those in our lives – those close in, those that we don’t know, all beings – to sense that intention to discover our belonging to all of life everywhere. And in that discovery to know the joy and peace and freedom of being awake and alive. ~ Tara

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The MOST Important Love RULE

Many of us were taught the “Golden Rule” as kids:

“Do unto others as you would like to be done unto.”

This works well most of the time EXCEPT when it comes to love.

With your soulmate you want to practice the Platinum Rule:

“Do unto them as they would like to be done unto.”

“This requires that you understand their “love language.”

If they prefer “words of affirmation” or “touch” over “gifts” or they prefer “acts of service” over “quality time” give them that.

With the Golden rule we tend to give our partners what we want, thinking that the things that make us feel loved are the same for them.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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