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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A Road To Success

Success is a conscious creation. It comes, when we align with the universal laws on a personal level. It may seem like a co incidence, but it is actually a process of directly aligning with the flow of life. 

It is your own endeavor that will attract you, and connect you to your personal energy field, with the infinite realm of possibilities available to you. Your own self mastery will create a major shift in your consciousness, open newer pathways for you, and open your life to newer and higher truths leading to success. 
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Receive Generosity

Do you accept the gift?

The Practice:
Receive generosity.

Why?

Life gives to each one of us in so many ways.

For starters, there’s the bounty of the senses – including chocolate chip cookies, jasmine, sunsets, wind singing through pine trees, and just getting your back scratched.

What does life give you?

Consider the kindness of friends and family, made more tangible during a holiday season, but of course continuing throughout the year.

Or the giving of the people whose hard work is bound up in a single cup of coffee. Or all those people in days past who figured out how to make a stone ax – or a fire, edible grain, loom, vaccine, or computer. Or wrote plays and novels, made art or music. Developed mathematics and science, paths of psychological growth, and profound spiritual practices. A few people whose names you know, and tens of thousands – millions, really – whom you will never know: each day their contributions feed, clothe, transport, entertain, inspire, and heal us.

Consider the giving of the natural world, the sound of rain, sweep of sky and stars, and majesty of mountains. How does nature feed you?

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6 Tips for Staying in the Present Moment

Far too often, people are stuck waiting for future happiness rather than staying in the present moment and enjoying the moment they find themselves in.

The problem is that life doesn’t last forever, and one day these people are going to look back and realize they spent their whole lives looking forward to the future rather than enjoying the moments they were given.

If you would like to make the most of the present and enjoy every minute you are given to its fullest, consider following these tips.

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My Hope For You

"We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon." -Franklin D. Roosevelt


I've Been Thinking...

I can’t believe that I have been around long enough to have now lived through two historic impeachment proceedings. I even covered one as a journalist! 

I’ve also lived through the time when a career in politics was once considered the most noblest of callings. I grew up in a family that thought holding public office was the greatest thing you could do to honor your family and your country.

It was right up there with becoming a priest or a nun. How the world has changed, as has our view of those careers. (OK, well maybe not becoming a nun. Being a nun is still right up there in a class by itself, in my mind. That’s in large part because I was educated by the nuns and am still in awe of the work they do in our cities and neighborhoods. But I digress...)

What happened this week in front of our very eyes will now be studied, taught, and debated for weeks, months, and years to come. I’m not sure it will make any real difference to those who support this president, nor to those who oppose him, other than to maybe make both sides dig their heels in even further.

My kids asked me Wednesday night, “If he’s not thrown out of office, then what was the point of all this?”

I know many people are asking the same thing.  

I told them the point is that our system worked and that the President was held accountable, regardless of what he thought.

I told them that when we make mistakes in life be it in our families, our jobs, or in our politics, we can each be held accountable in a myriad of ways. Sometimes we may get fired. Sometimes we may get a time out. Sometimes we apologize and all is forgiven. Every instance is unique, as is this national moment of reckoning.

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Be Grateful, Surrender, and Share Hope This Holiday

This is the week I loved when I was little, then over time as life took its turns it became the one I dreaded most, and then changed again into something I was grateful for and looked forward to. (My husband, the holiday elf, is the direct cause of that.) The holidays, in my case Christmas, (you might celebrate one of the other 29 other holidays across the 7 major religions that take place in this season) took on new meaning, like the story in motion reflected in all life. The corridors of time echo for all of us as we are all meaning makers. We assign meaning to periods of time, events, and the stories that accompany them. In many ways this season, certainly for some of us, houses the influence of many ghosts. Maybe you feel this too, the presence of the past, overlapping the now and pointing to what could be in the future. It’s probably why the movie A Christmas Carol was and still is so popular. This is a universal experience. 

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Twelve Good Things 2019

Each year I use an issue of the Just One Thing newsletter to offer Twelve Good Things that I think are really wonderful and worth your attention.

May you and those you love and in fact the whole wide world be truly well, truly happy, and truly at peace.

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The Power of Gratitude

THANK YOU.

Perhaps two of the most potent words you could say.

As powerful as any mantra, prayer, poem, affirmation, or chant.

If all you did was say a heartfelt  “Thank you” each moment of your life to everyone you met, miracles would occur.

“Thank you” melts hearts. Let’s people feel loved and appreciated. End wars. Start new friendships. Create smiles.

The more you give thanks, the more you will have to give thanks about in your life. It’s been said that “What you think about expands”.  I like to say, “What you thank about expands.”

It is easy to say “Thank you” to those you like and are kind to you. But what about those that upset you and aren’t so nice. They give you the gift of the opportunity to practice your prayers and live your spirituality for real.

It is easy to say “Thank you” to those that give you what you want, when you want it. But what about those that don’t. They give you the opportunity to find out what you really need, what most serves your highest path and to be who you really are.

It is easy to say “Thank you” to those that love you. But what about those that have broken your heart and betrayed you. They give you the opportunity to forgive, keep your heart open, and practice unconditional loving.

The more you can thank those people and situations that challenge you, acknowledging that they served you in your growth of becoming more of who you really are, then you are free.

What you cannot thank has you, owns you, and controls you. What you cannot thank, you give power to.

When you can truly thank the person or situation, then you liberate yourself from bondage of the story, situation itself, and step into a new level of freedom. You step outside of the prison of the situation into the freedom of BEING.

Gandhi dared to live Thank you.

Jesus dared to live Thank you.

Mandela dared to live Thank you.

Martin Luther King Jr dared to live Thank you.

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Finding Your Way to Gratitude

Although Thanksgiving Day has become a time for turkey and football, its true purpose lingers, often as a wistful hope that one could be truly thankful. You cannot conjure up thanks if you are focused on the world’s troubles and a constant stream of bad news. So how is true gratitude found? 

As writer and teacher Dana Arcuri has said, “The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you can live fully in the present.”. Psychologically, research has shown that practicing gratitude measurably improves your well-being and on the physical side, your heart health.

 Gratitude begins when we change our relationship with life from an attitude of rejecting and defending to one of acceptance and appreciation. We all need reminding about a truth expressed by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

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How To Stop Overthinking And Find Your Peace

“Control is the master addiction and trying to control the things that you cannot control only leads to a sense of powerlessness and helplessness.”

Modern life is hectic. We often feel pulled in several directions at the same time and end up feeling overwhelmed and unable to find peace in the chaos of our life. Listen to this episode to learn how to achieve deep, internal peace that will allow you to stay calm in the center of any storm.

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A Gratitude Ritual

Have you ever noticed that the more you focus on being grateful, the more you have to be grateful for?

It’s true. The more we practice counting our blessings, the more blessings we will find to count.

And that is one of the beautiful things about gratitude. It builds on itself. All we have to do is be mindful of practicing that “attitude of gratitude” by focusing on looking for what’s right, since gratitude happens naturally when we stay in the presence of the many gifts in our lives.

So, if you want to have a heartfelt Thanksgiving, as well as the power to turn a moment of ordinary into extraordinary, then I encourage you to take time to go within, connect with your blessings and gifts, and practice cultivating gratitude.

Use the beautiful Gratitude Ritual that Debbie Ford created years ago, which I have included below, to support you in opening your heart and filling it with love and appreciation.  

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
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Count It All Joy

In the spirit of gratitude, let’s talk about what joy brings to our individual lives. So joy huh… Fun fact…did you know that joy can be both a noun and a verb? Which means it is both a tangible thing and an action. Think about that for a minute. It is something you can have and be! Joy is defined as a source of cause of delight. Or to experience great pleasure of delight. Ask yourself, how do I experience joy? For me, one of the things that bring me joy is the laughter of children. I am the great aunt to 12 amazing little souls. And when I hear them laugh, it feels like my heart sings in union and it makes me smile and giggle. Have you ever heard someone laugh and the joy in their laughter makes you all ooey-gooey good. When was the last time you experienced that feeling?

What if I told you that that is your natural state of being and you living your best life in all the authentic bliss is your birthright and is how you are designed to live? Do you believe that?

We often think because we have experienced heartbreak, loss, or even bouts of depression or loneliness that we aren’t entitled to the joy that is naturally ours. Joy is your birthright! It is the natural essence of who you are.

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A Gratitude List: The Power of Gratitude as a Daily Practice

 Let’s do an attitude of gratitude challenge for the last part of the year! 

I’ll start! I’ll share a personal list that includes people, books who have inspired me and helped me grow, etc. I’m gonna share mine with you for 2019! Then YOU share yours!

Then every day until the end of the year, begin your day hand on heart tuning into Gratitude—the essence of it and all it means to you!

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Everything Is A Gift - Say Thank You! With Your Breath

EVERYTHING IS A GIFT. Simply breathe and know it is true. Allow every breath to be filled with appreciation for life. What more do you need? Everything in life is enough.

We only need to appreciate what we HAVE. There is no reason to wonder why we have it. You donot need to decide what is worthy of gratitude. Everything is worthy of gratitude. We are not made happy because of anything, we are made grateful by everything.

We only need to appreciate what we have, to have enough. When you know all you have, you can’t stop yourself from being grateful. Let every breath say, Thank You! for everything!

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How to Move Out of Your Ego Wounded Self

If you sometimes get stuck in your wounded self and can’t see how to get back into your loving adult, here are some ideas that may help you.

Sometimes, when we get stuck in our wounded self, it is hard to wind our way out of it. I’ve noticed what I do when I’m happy and my frequency is high, as opposed to when my frequency feels low.

It is helpful to me to keep a list of ways I’ve learned move myself from closed to open.

 

Here are some of the ways I’ve found work for me…

The subtlety of these choices is that I need to be consciously doing these things because it is loving for me to do them, rather than as a form of control. It’s possible for your wounded self to choose these same behaviors as a way to avoid responsibility for your feelings and avoid learning from your pain. When that is the intent, then these choices will not raise your frequency, which means you will not move out of your wounded self. So please be honest with yourself!

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Sitting with God

I don’t believe luck randomly offers people a place in our life.  There is a deeper connection involved when a moment, lesson or even message needs to be shared.  There is a supreme force of power, love and light that brings us together.  We join this energy of infinite possibilities on a journey that brings light and love to the surface. 

This morning, after hiking I created an office space outside.  The sun had warmed the Earth a perfect temperature.  The birds were singing and some of my favorite music was playing.   It was one of those moments that reminded me of how perfect life can be.  My intent was to catch up on emails and begin my blog.  My heart was wide open.

I was thinking about yesterday, an artist confided in me how her art reveals secrets of what is going on in her life.  Each peace shares a connection to what her heart is experiencing at the time of creation.  In the past decade she experienced a divorce, followed by a diagnosis of a serious health threat.  She also had children to raise. It was this powerful need for strength and purpose that brought healing and passion into her art. Finally she is ready to release some of the pieces created in her darkest time.  They have served their purpose.  The healing is complete.  She is now painting over the original art, and sharing a different story for people to connect with.

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Ringo and a Lesson in Grief

I was raised with cows, horses, goats, dogs and a couple other species of animals.  These creatures and our very large garden, taught me at a young age, about the time and energy involved in animal and garden care.  I love plants, but choose to not commit the time to growing them.  For many years that’s how I viewed animals.  I love animals. I even eat a plant based diet because of my spiritual beliefs that acknowledges the sanctity of animals.  Still I didn’t have the time needed to properly care for an animal.

When my children were no longer babies I finally decided I had the energy and resources required to care for a family dog.  This is after years of our oldest child asking for a puppy.

My husband was shocked when my stance of no, no, never..  changed to, “ lets get a poodle.”

That is how Ringo came into our lives.  We bought him from someone out of state.  She claimed her poodles had service dog dispositions.  Ringo was born in December and he came to us in April.  We picked him up at the airport in the evening.  When we opened the crate he was all legs.  He looked more like a young horse then a dog.  He quickly became part of our life.  For the first few years our oldest was the person that slept with and helped care for him.

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See What’s Likable

What’s to like?

The Practice:
See what’s likable.

Why?

Liking feels good, plus it encourages us to approach and engage the world rather than withdraw from it.

Your brain continually tracks whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. In essence, is it a carrot, a stick, or safely ignored? Naturally, we like – we enjoy – what’s pleasant, dislike what’s unpleasant, and wish what’s neutral would get pleasant pronto.

Natural opioids – pleasure molecules – are released when you see things you like; on the other hand, disliking things can activate the neural networks of pain. Liking things feels good, so we approach them; disliking things feels bad, so we avoid them.

We are hardwired to like some things, like the sweetness of sugar, and dislike other things, like shivering from cold. But most situations are in the middle and formed of many parts. Consequently, our response to them – liking or disliking – depends a lot on what we pay attention to and on our own perspective.

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Healing the Dis-ease of Entitlement

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the concept of entitlement -- that feeling so many of us have that we are owed something, that we have rights or deserve something to be the way we think it should be. Think of the times you have thought or had someone say to you:

  • I deserve to be treated a certain way, given certain things, or taken care of in a particular manner, because I am your child, parent, or friend.”
  • You owe me because I was there for you.”
  • The Universe should reward or repay me because I am a ‘good person.’”

 

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Whose Shoulders Do You Stand On?

"The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence... who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins." — Joan Chittister

I've Been Thinking...

The other day, my daughter Christina watched the documentary “RBG” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and said she couldn’t believe how much this one woman has done in her lifetime on behalf of other women. She said it got her thinking about all the other women who have done so much, yet whose stories we know so little about.

“It’s crazy that so many women my age don’t know about all of the barriers they’ve broken for us,” Christina said. “We don’t know enough about what these women have accomplished, or about what they’re still doing to instigate change.”

Amen, I thought. Amen to acknowledging all that has been done before us, and all that’s still being done. Amen to taking a moment to acknowledge all the women whose shoulders we stand on. 

Christina’s words came to mind this Tuesday when I learned that veteran journalist Cokie Roberts had passed away due to breast cancer complications. I gasped when I heard the news.

Like me, Cokie was a child of politics who found her calling in journalism. When I was starting out, Cokie, Barbara Walters, Linda Ellerbee, and Nancy Dickerson were among the women who were out there working hard so that women like myself could succeed.

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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.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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