In her recent Emmy acceptance speech for acting, Alex Borstein told the story of her grandmother, who courageously stepped out of a death line in a Nazi concentration camp and thus survived. So, she advises, “Step out of line, ladies, step out of line.” All around the world, women, often young women, are doing just that. Their strong voices and brave actions are inspiring others as they stand up, speak out, and “step out of line.”
Greta Thunberg started alone, sitting in front of the Swedish parliament every week, striking to call attention to the dire emergency of climate change. One year later, in September 2019, millions of people around the world joined this passionate and articulate 16-year-old woman in a global climate strike, protesting destruction of the environment. She is the latest in a long line of dedicated environmental activists.
More than 20 years ago, Julia Butterfly Hill also started alone. In 1997, at the age of 23, she began living in an old-growth redwood tree to protest the logging of these forests in California. She endured two years of attempts to break her resolve, including helicopter harassment. In the end, the tree was saved, and Julia has continued her activism, co-founding groups to work for social change. Greta appears to be carrying her legacy forward.
Finding your inner guidance is about learning to trust your gut feeling. But connecting to that signal can be a little tricky because we are bombarded with internal and external information all day every day.
I love to sail, and trying to find the right direction (or signal) on open waters I use a nautical map. If you’ve never seen one before, the map is covered with lines of information going every different direction. Ultimately, when you learn to interpret the lines and focus on the important ones, they will guide you to where you want to go. This is similar to tapping into your inner guidance. You can use meditation, journaling, reflection, or dream work to create your map of inner knowing to direct you on your life’s journey.
I followed my inner guidance in writing my books. I never planned on being an author. I was a finance major in college, so writing books wasn’t on my radar. But my intuition started tugging at me. I knew that I needed to write a book about people’s relationship with money and how their emotions affect it. I was nervous, but I trusted my intuition. It lead me to write and publish The Emotion Behind Money. Later, when I was drawn to write Awaken Your Wealth, my inner knowing directed me to create a step-by-step process to guide people toward improving their finances and every aspect of their lives. I have been humbled by the positive response and numerous comments about how my advice is helping people to financially heal themselves.
I’m not a baseball fan, but for a couple years I had the honor of living next door to an MVP Cubs player in Chicago. So, one afternoon I joined his family to attend my first ever Cubs game. Mind you, I’ve lived in Chicago, all combined for over twenty years, which tells you how much I am not a baseball guy.
I went to the game for two reasons. First, of course to see my neighbor play, but secondly and secretly firstly, I wanted to see the tens of thousands of people who are passionately, unapologetically Cubs fans in action. I wanted to see what this was all about for them, and why they stay devoted whether the Cubs make it to the playoffs or land in last place.
Let me tell you ... the fans did not disappoint. There were almost 40,000 people dressed in Cubs gear, carrying banners, balloons, and homemade signs. Many painted their faces and some their chests with their favorite players name and/or number. OMG - it was amazing. Honestly, I didn’t feel what they were feeling but what they were feeling was undeniable. It was out-and-out passion!
WHY BEING A KNOW-IT-ALL PREVENTS MIRACLES, AND WHY DNA TESTS DON’T TELL THE WHOLE STORY
This week I learned an important lesson that pertains to this timely topic. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve been following a lot of my personal story as I’ve shared more than usual in the past few months. We’ve had a lot of requests for me to share more, so here goes. To bring you up to speed, if you didn’t read the one about me and getting my DNA test done, you would have learned that my DNA test shocked me because it appeared that the lack of a certain Ashkenazi marker meant my mom wasn’t actually Jewish. Or, so I concluded. I mean DNA doesn’t lie, right?
Although I was raised Christian, my mom dropped a doozy of a surprise on us when our family lost everything and after a few cocktails told me we were actually Jewish, (or she was) which meant that from now on we were, which was very confusing. After a whole lifetime of hiding secrets of what happened to her in WW2, although we did get snippets, she decided to finally tell us all of it. Apparently, her father was separated from her mom when the Nazis began their racist campaign in Germany and had escaped from Berlin to Paris. He joined the resistance movement and came back to rescue my mom one day to take her back to France with him. Her mom had been killed by a bomb and she had been adopted by a family who worked for her grandfather. Unfortunately, the rescue went wrong and he was picked up by the SS at their door and was sent to the death camps and killed in Dachau. I had dreams about the Holocaust when I was little and saw in detail things that happened in the camps. It all made sense when she told me 20 years later the truth of what I saw.
It was, and is, stunning to me that she felt she had to defend herself for sitting next to someone who she considers a friend, but who happens to have different political opinions. I mean, let’s all pause and let that sink in for a moment.
Two people watching a football game. Two people enjoying themselves and their friendship. Two people being kind to each other. That makes people mad?
Nothing in the creation myths told in ancient cultures match our current model of creation for strangeness and improbability. We tend to smile indulgently at those old myths, although the average person probably hasn’t gone very far past the Book of Genesis, if they are religious, or a vague sense of the big bang as a kind of cosmic dynamite explosion. Like our ancestors, we have wrapped creation in a story. The difference is supposed to be that our story, backed by modern physics, is rational, scientific, and therefore on the money.
The problem is that the current creation story doesn’t match reality, having long ago drifted beyond anything conceivable, provable, or accessible. I talk at length about this in my new bookMetahuman, where I propose something quite radical: The cosmos is a construct of the human mind, a backdrop for the virtual reality we have all bought into. The purpose of the book is to get the reader to wake up to the “real” reality, but this cannot happen if you accept without question that the physical universe is the foundation of everything that exists.
“To live here is to know God, to live here is to understand the power of Nature, to live here is to celebrate life.”—Panache Desai
Like a quartz crystal sparkling in the sun, Florida has many facets. Last year, in late June 2018, my partner Anne and I moved here from Boston. As we drove south along the eastern seaboard, we felt ourselves dropping past identities and memories along the way. By the time we reached Florida, we were living lighter, not anticipating or looking back, but justbeing,living fully in the present moment. It was a heightened state of awareness, and it carried us seamlessly to the edge of new beginnings and unexpected experiences in an entirely different place.
Wherever I go, I’m blessed to climb with others into the interior we all share. And after a weekend with a group of kind souls, working to listen to each other without judgment but with care, after we’ve journeyed together honestly, we’re closer than when we came together and what that closeness opens is palpable.
Are you… Sick of feeling stuck? Tired of talking about change that never seems to happen? Frustrated with feeling like you are never enough?
Week after week I hear stories from people who just can't seem to get out of their own way. They are still talking about the same twenty pounds, caught in the same cash crisis, trying to find their passion, and searching for their soulmate. Although their excuses and rationalizations about why nothing is changing in their lives have evolved and become more elaborate, their actual life circumstances have not! Many desperately try to convince themselves that at some point something will happen that will serve as the catalyst for real change. Yet underneath their wishful thinking lies a sense of sadness, resignation, frustration, and fear. Unfortunately, they have lost trust in themselves and the benevolence of the Universe. They have forgotten what Glinda said to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, "You had the power all along."
More than fifteen years ago, Brian and I traveled through South India with Deepak Chopra and a dozen friends.
One of the highlights of our journey was to experience a “palm leaf reading” also known as a Nadi reading, where a priest and an interpreter found our life history written in ancient Tamil, on a palm leaf.
These forecasts were created thousands of years ago by a Sage and include everything from your name, your life history with extraordinary details, your past life info that impacts your karma in this life (for instance I didn’t have kids in this life because in my last life I was a healer and performed illegal abortions!).
You also discover what is predicted for all the years you have left on the earth including how, when, and where you will die . (Learning that part is optional!)
Deepak had experienced a Nadi reading the year before he took us and he was blown away by the process and the accuracy. One small tidbit from his reading was that learned the name his mother was born with, a family secret he never knew that turned out to be true! He was also given additional life direction he had not previously considered and put that into action and was very pleased with the results.
"The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door...” – Derek Walcott
I've Been Thinking...
“What’s the gutsiest thing you’ve ever done?”
That was the question posed to Hillary Clinton on “Good Morning America” last week as she and her daughter, Chelsea, were interviewed about their new book,The Book of Gutsy Women.
“I think the gutsiest thing I've ever done — well, personally, make the decision to stay in my marriage,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Publicly, politically, run for president. And keep going. Just get up every day and keep going.”
Her answer seemed to surprise her daughter, who said: “Oh, goodness, I think I'm so overwhelmed by my mother's answer that I'm a bit out of words.”
When the same question was posed to Chelsea, she talked about her decision to become a mother of three — a gutsy move for sure.
Have you ever felt a stirring inside for something more in your life? Many of us look at life with a view that holds some ups, some downs and lots of in between. The highs are filled with satisfaction and success. You easily connect to these high vibration experiences. The lows might be filled with frustration, grief or sadness; but again it has your attention. It’s the in-between when your mind begins to touch the unsettled. This gets people craving a little more zest, love and maybe adventure. The channel between the highs and lows can stir unanswered emotions and feelings. Eventually thoughts begin to bubble up. These feelings and emotions are a call for action. If the call is acted on, you often find your life purpose. If the emotions are ignored, you might feel unsure of your life. Possibly you feel stuck, until you get the courage to sort out this energy.
These unanswered emotions and thoughts often hint at your life path that has yet to be discovered. This is an opportunity to create a life where you experience love in all areas of your life. You freely give and receive love. Life becomes a steady flow of connection to all.
Einstein wasn’t the first person to state one of the basic facts of life when he said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” But most people attempt, time and again, to think at the level of the problem rather than finding the level of the solution. They continue to do what wasn’t working in the first place. They repeat the same actions expecting that this will lead to different results, when it almost never does.
In a new book, Metahuman, I confront this dilemma head on, starting with the notion that repeating the same futile action is endemic to our way of life. The vast majority of people are trapped inside routine, habits, old conditioning, secondhand beliefs, and the like. They repeat the past without being able to free themselves of the most painful memories. They are afraid of new, unknown things even though every creative idea or solution to a problem comes out of the new and unknown.
The whole complex of old thinking and habits burdens each of us in different ways, from stale relationships and boring jobs to ingrained prejudice and xenophobic nationalism. The rhythm of “same old, same old” beats incessantly, and yet somehow solutions are found, creativity flourishes, new ideas emerge, and “Aha!” moments occur unexpectedly.
Big money in Silicon Valley has been spent by corporations like Google, whose life blood is creativity and innovation, to unlock the secret of creative people and how they think. In their 2017 book Stealing Fire authors Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal describe various attempts to turn creativity into a skill set, all of which essentially failed. It turned out that creativity is a state of consciousness, not a skill.
We’ve probably all heard this story. President John F. Kennedy visited NASA in 1962 and came across a janitor holding a mop. He came up to the man and asked him what he did for NASA, to which the janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”
When I first heard this story many years ago, it was at a corporate seminar. With such a profound message, everyone around me seemed to beam with pride as they realized their part in the unified purpose of the company for which we worked. But the odd duck that I am felt differently. Is this all I am worth? Is this all I could ever be? It seemed all superficial and meaningless to be working for something that only cares about growing in the name of profit. While everyone else in that room were inspired, I was dispirited and disheartened. I wanted to be part of something that truly matters.
Fast forward a few years later and I saw the meaning of the janitor’s statement in a different light—in a much deeper, more profound, more meaningful light. We are all connected like the strands of an intricately beautiful web—but how and why? My mind grappled for a way to understand and appreciate my place in the universal picture of life. Where do I exactly fit in all of this? And how does following my own path matter in this connectedness?
As the weather changes, so does the mood. With our changing moods, our stress levels also go through a change. I want to address stress from a different aspect today. Lets talk of stress you can handle, from an objective self perception. You need to learn to be confident about yourself, its only then that we can comfortably say that all kinds of stress situations will be on the run.
This is perhaps , the most important thing, for one's own mental and emotional well being. We can safely say, it is for one's health. Broadly defined, we can say that Self Confidence means, that quality, which can help you become successful in your own personal and professional life.
It is the most challenging and most imperative quality, for any human being. Having an adequate quantity of self confidence means that you can "Seize the Day".
Perhaps God is an infinite secret hiding in the open waiting for each of us to slow enough to receive the unseeable. By doing so, we become conduits of Spirit that continually reunify the Whole. This is how life forms begin: energy moves through particles bringing them together, but it is the openness of the particle that enables the life chain to assemble. And what is the heart but the most transparent particle of being known to humankind?
As the legendary dancer, Martha Graham says in a letter to Agnes de Mille, “Our one innate task, even when unconscious or unwilling, is to keep the channel open.” It is out of such transparency that we are renewed while creating things of value. Such openness requires two things: the risk to be, to slow to the pace of creation where all things join; and secondly, the courage not just to let what comes up through, but to sing it through. It takes courage to give voice what we experience, the way a coyote howls; not just out of hunger, but out of a visceral joy at being a part of the infinite secret revealed. In this way, we’re angels wrapped in skin and fur, racing through thick after thicket because we sense what can’t be seen all around us.
They say the ice caps are melting, the earth is heating up and the world economies are cooling down. Maybe some part of you is frightened by the unprecedented fluctuations. But another part of you, a light gobbling super freak, is clapping its eternal hands in joy. These are the times we came for. This is what we trained for.We’re in times of the greatest changes, to help us makeourgreatest changes.
It’s evolution’s love song to itself. It’s the necessary forest fire to clear out dead wood and encourage new growth, a stronger strain, to flourish. Where doyouwant to grow right now? Where is the sap rising in you? It’s time to follow your gut and become a change agent, one who can affect the course of humanity, by changing whoyou think you are, and what you think is possible. The times are ready for you now.
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.’”
We all go through those moments when we feel like giving up.
Life can be challenging at times.
Perhaps you feel like you should be further along in life or facing repeatedly failures in the pursuit of your dream and feeling like your goals aren’t manifesting quickly enough.
Remember that anything worthwhile takes patience, perseverance, and effort.
If it was easy everyone would be doing it. On the path of greatness everyone is invited, but only a rare few have the courage and dedication to stay the full course and put in the consistent work it takes.
“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” – Maya Angelou
I've Been Thinking...
This week, I found myself sitting in my New York City hotel room trying to gather my thoughts as I reflected on the wide range of emotions that I’ve felt over the last few days. I found myself thinking about how I’ve felt inspired, ignited and encouraged as I’ve witnessed so many different women take my breath away.
Sunday night at the Emmy’s, award-winning actress Alex Borstein used heracceptance speechto speak about her grandmother, who barely survived the Holocaust. Borstein said that her grandmother dared to “step out of line," even though she was at risk of being shot. In doing so, her grandmother saved her life, and ultimately created a life that allowed for Borstein and her children to be here today.
“So, step out of line, ladies,” Borstein said as she clutched her Emmy. “Step out of line.”
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