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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I Need You And You Need Me

"Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things. Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things." -Lao Tzu

I've Been Thinking...

I was catching up with a friend by phone the other day when she said to me: “I need you more than ever right now.”

“Same here!” I replied, without skipping a beat.
 
The truth is, we all need each other more than ever right now. We need each other in so many ways, both big and small. We need to rely on one another. Lean on one another. Trust one another. Be compassionate, understanding, and patient with one another. We need to basically focus on being there for one another the best we can.
 
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about just how tied we are to one another. This historic moment is showing us how interconnected we are. It is showing us how we all have similar needs. And yet, as we live through this big, collective moment together, we are also going through it in very individual ways.

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What Does “You Are Enough” Mean?

“You are enough.”

That short phrase is one of the most powerful I can think of. So powerful that I used it as the title of my new book. Yet, I wonder if you’ve ever really thought about what it means to simply…be enough. 

Society places a great deal of importance on outward success – success in the form of possessions, a big bank balance, perfect relationships, glowing, radiant health, and a secure, high-paying job. Yet, even those that have outwardly achieved immense levels of success still feel as if there is something missing from their lives. They feel as if they ARE their possessions. Their profession is their identity. They depend on their bank balance for validation. 

These feelings of emptiness, dissatisfaction, and sadness occur because those external things can never take the place of your authentic self. In fact, all of the external trappings of success are actually examples of what “you are enough” does NOT mean.

You are far more than your external accomplishments, my dear friends. But from the moment you were born, you have been conditioned to be a unit of production. You’ve been separated from your emotions, been told that you’re too sensitive, that you shouldn’t become angry, that you have no reason to be sad. Your humanity has been denied and you learned that your worth is based on what you can provide. “Work hard!” they said and all will be well. In following that advice, your emotions were disregarded, and you were, essentially, mechanized.

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Follow Your Heart

"The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are." -Rumi

I've Been Thinking...

The other morning, I was sitting on my porch drinking a cup of coffee when all of a sudden, a feeling swept over me. It was one that took me by surprise. I closed my eyes so I could sit with it for a while and really feel it. Then I decided to describe the feeling out loud so I would always remember it.

“I’m doing great,” I said to myself looking around to no one in particular. “I’m actually happy. I’m content. Life is peaceful, life is good.”
 

“Holy moly!” I thought as I sat there smiling. “I’m happy, I’m good.” I could feel myself smile.



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A Theory of Love

A few years ago I came upon the letter below that was supposedly authored by Albert Einstein written to his daughter Liesel about love. I have since discovered that Einstein did not write this and the original author is still unknown. That said, when I re-read it again, I was still moved by the wisdom, poetry, and truth it contains and thought you might enjoy it as well.

“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.

I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us.

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Just Because

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." -Lao Tzu

I've Been Thinking...

I was sitting in my office the other day when my daughter Christina walked in and asked me what I was up to.


I told her I was thinking about everything that had happened this week and how I felt about it all. I sat there thinking about how I felt attending Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial service with my son Christopher on Monday. I thought about how I felt on Tuesday as I watched another round of the Democratic debates. (I ended up watching alone because everyone else got up and left, saying “I’ve had it!”) I thought about how I felt about Ash Wednesday, the concept of Lent, and Pope Francis’ challenge for us all to give up “trolling,” or insulting others on social media. I thought about the Coronavirus and the fear, panic, and suffering it's wreaking around the world.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Easy as Gravity

While every love we know is unique
and has its own history, every chance
to care traces back to the same
enduring love that lives below
all names.


The way the branches on this
towering oak trace back to its
enduring trunk.
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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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We Are Loving Awareness

“Now just imagine that you, as spirit or awareness, have contained yourself in an incarnation, or contained it in a conceptual model of who you are and in a storyline. And then at some point, you dissolve out of that, you break out of that, and there is this incredible release quality.” – Ram Dass 


There is joyousness. Our beloved Baba has left his body, and he is no longer in pain. He has been released from this storyline.  

There is sadness. We no longer get the warm embrace of his loving awareness in the human form. The feeling I got when our eyes locked was that of pure liquid love. It was too much for me most of the time, I almost always wound up looking away before he did. But I will miss it dearly. I will miss him dearly.

When I heard the news last night, I immediately had to sit and meditate. As I settled into my first round of “Ram, Ram, Ram,” I felt tears streaking down my face. A thought popped right up into my head, “Well, I didn’t think I’d be this sad.” I thought I was ready for this; I’m sure many of us thought we were. 

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The Perfect Gift You Can Bring Is Your Heart

"At this table, everyone is welcome. At this table, everyone is seen. At this table, everybody matters. No one falls between." -Idina Menzel


I've Been Thinking...

Everyone I’ve spoken to this week has told me how overwhelmed they feel. They are, of course, talking about the holiday season and not the impeachment hearings (which would overwhelm even a constitutional scholar).

To each of them, I said: “Believe me, I get it.”

I tend to feel overwhelmed at this time of year, too, which is why I’m going to share a personal story this morning that I hope might ease what you’re feeling and carrying with you right now. It might just reveal that the perfect holiday gift is closer than we realize…

So, there I was early Monday morning in the TODAY show makeup room, chatting away with Laura and Mary (two talented hair and makeup magicians), when a text popped up on my phone.

It was short. Three words to be precise. “This is you!” it said. It was accompanied by something to download, but no surprise, I couldn’t figure out how to download it, so I just went on gabbing.

Then Hoda burst into the room.

“Did you hear the song I sent you?!” she squealed with delight.

After I explained that I couldn’t download It, she insisted that I stop everything and listen right then and there. “It is you!” she repeated.

Hoda pulled up Idina Menzel’s new Christmas song, "At This Table,” and as it played, my eyes welled with tears, and goosebumps formed on my arms.

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How To Love Your Body [Special Video]

Your body is beautiful just because you have a body.

No other reason needed.

It is a living work of art. A masterpiece and magical expression of the Divine.

But how often do we really appreciate and love our bodies?

We have been conditioned and brainwashed by the media to believe that “You are not enough as you are”.

This is a lie.

This creates so much shame, judgment, non-acceptance of our naturalness. We end up hating our bodies, disconnecting from it’s innate intelligence, and comparing ourselves to others.

We base our self-worth on being the perfect shape, weight, or size.

You are worthy and lovable just because you ARE.

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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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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
divider
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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What Happens When You Protect Your Values

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”  — Thurgood Marshall

After my daughter watched the documentary Finding Neverland the other night, she wrote me a note that landed deep in my soul.

She said, “Thank you for such a wonderful childhood. Thank you for loving me. And, perhaps most importantly, thank you for always protecting me.”

I sat and stared at those last two words.

Protecting my children has always been a huge deal to me. I know it is for most parents. It’s our job to keep our children safe. It’s our job to be on guard against people or situations that might seem appealing, but are actually dangerous. It’s our job to build resilient children who can pave their own way and stand on their own two feet.

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about the role of “the protector.” I’ve thought about how, when I was young and naive, I thought it was a man’s job to protect. Now as a seasoned protector myself, I no longer hold onto that childish view.

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Three Core Capacities in Loving Fully

This talk looks at three ways of awakening our hearts—seeing goodness, feeling appreciation as a bodily experience, and expressing our care. We are then guided in developing each of these capacities by focusing our attention on someone we care about, with whom we’d like to experience our full potential for loving.  

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There is a cure for loneliness. And it’s….

YES, you guessed it - LOVE is the cure for loneliness.

There is so much loneliness in our world today.  Not only within our lives but on a global level, loneliness is fueled by fear, hatred and mis-trust.

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Accentuate the Positive, My Mother's Gift

A song written and recorded in 1944 that was popular with my parents’ generation had the refrain: “Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.” Those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II often developed one of two responses to life: fear or hope, or perhaps a mix of both. You can see hope in songs like this one. And I definitely saw it in my mother when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. Without fail, she always looked for the positive in any situation, person, or event. If someone behaved in an unpleasant manner, my mother’s response was inevitably, “She means well.” And then she would find something nice to say about the person.

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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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Point of Contact

Shift your body, shift your mind and shift your heart to make room for a new point of contact. Create space for God’s love to land. Allow the miracles to flow sweetly to you, through you and all around you. 

 
My husband and I were standing next to the large raft that would be carrying us through the rapids of the White Salmon River. Our Guide, Mike was instructing us on how to achieve the most powerful Point of Contact between the oar and the river. I was immediately reminded of my thoughts during a hike the previous day. 

 
On the hike, I paused long enough to fully absorb the message I was receiving. We need to shift our thoughts and behaviors enough to create a space for God’s love to land. Space was created on the dirt path. God arrived, I listened.
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Honor Those You Love. Start Today

As I stood in the back of my church on Palm Sunday, I found myself thinking a lot. Actually, I came into church already thinking, as I had just spent an afternoon with a friend who was struggling with cancer.

A year ago, my friend was the picture of health—laughing, debating issues of the day, and planning her future like the rest of us. She is my age, and like my friend Nancy whom I wrote about last week, there is no future left to dream about for her, either. So instead, we reminisced about the past.

The past made us laugh. It was filled with adventures and possibilities. Dreams and opportunities. I called her on my way home and said, “Thank you for today. There’s nothing like an old friendship.” “So true,” she replied.

They say that youth is wasted on the young. So is our health. So, whether you’re young or old, I encourage you to value your friendships. Value your health. (I hope you’ll register and join me in June for Move for Minds 2018.) Value the moments you have now to let someone know that you care about them.

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7 Steps to have MORE LOVE in your life in 2018

Love is quite simply the most precious possession in existence. And my mission is to share the best insights I know to bring more love into each of your lives. Today, I want to share the most powerful way to create MORE LOVE in your life in 2018.


This beautiful insight comes from my dear friend Ken Page’s game-changing best seller Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy.


If you want more love in 2018, try this life-changing exercise from Ken:


Think about all the people you know, from your nearest and dearest to people you may not have thought about for years. And just ask yourself these three questions:

  • Who truly loves me?
  • Who sees and treasures me for who I really am?
  • Whom do I trust to have my best interests at heart?


Each of the people you picked is gold. They are your personal dream-team in life. The very wisest path to love is to nurture these relationships – by doing three things:


Practice giving more to each one of these precious people.


Practice asking for more from each of them as well (yes, it’s true, asking for more is an act of intimacy!)


And most of all: enjoy them. This last suggestion is perhaps the greatest act of life wisdom that I know.


Follow these 3 steps and watch 2018 blossom into the most love-filled year of your life.


In Deeper Dating, Ken teaches “micro-meditations;” small practices that take less than three minutes, but have the power to enrich your entire intimacy journey. This micro-meditation can be your foundation for a love-filled 2018.


Micro-Meditation: The Love that’s Already Yours

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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