A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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How to Pack for Travel Bliss: A Guide to Worry-Free Travel Through Packing Versatile Essentials.

That’s it. You’ve finally booked that relaxing vacation and now it’s just a week away. The question of what to pack makes you a bit nervous and you’re wondering what to do. How will you pack for the possible weather changes and all the activities you may want to do when you’re there? What if you pack too much and you’re lugging around all these extra items? Fear not, this article will teach you what to do to achieve that feeling of bliss before you even arrive at your destination. 

Yes, you can travel with just a carry-on. This requires a little extra planning but it can be a true luxury if you’re traveling to more than one destination. A sturdy and comfortable backpack isn’t just for jumping from hostel to hostel. It is easier on your back and often has more space than a typical carry on suitcase. There are lots of second-hand options that will serve just as well as getting a brand new one. This all depends on where you want to allocate your travel budget. Find a thin, small day bag to use when you’re out exploring during the day so you can leave that backpack where ever you’re staying.

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Welcome Faces

What do their faces say to you?

The Practice:
Welcome faces.

Why?

As our ancestors evolved over millions of years in small bands, continually interacting and working with each other, it was vitally important to communicate in hundreds of ways each day. They shared information about external "carrots" and "sticks," and about their internal experience (e.g., intentions, sexual interest, inclination toward aggression) through gestures, vocalizations - and facial expressions. Much as we developed uniquely complex language, we also evolved the most expressive face in the entire animal kingdom.

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Stress Relievers for the introvert

Am I shy of being myself or am I wary of projecting who I am truly from within?

Is social acceptance such a huge issue with me that it makes me wear a mask all the time?

Keeping up appearances does inevitably take a toll on us. These are questions we need to constantly keep asking ourselves. There are answers we are constantly seeking. We need to first and foremost accept our ourselves, if we are seeking true happiness. We need to not be embarrassed about feeling differently from the crowd.

SOCIAL CONFORMITY

We normally just remain in an agreeable mode, just going along with the tide.
We can sense an inner sense of rebellion but we tend to quieten that voice as a sense of social conformity exists at a very high level within us.

ASSERTIVENESS

This can actually be explained as an ability to express oneself, to not allow our inner selves to be inhibited. To be appropriately open and honest. To project one's own persona objectively.

This feeling also comes to us with an increased feeling of self awareness, due to honest self acceptance.
To some people assertiveness comes naturally, but with some, those who are more shy and inhibited, it can be a learned skill.

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How Much Courage Does It Take to Live Your Dreams? (Plus: Coconut Fudgy Oat Squares recipe)

I asked my Facebook community when in their life they’d been the most courageous. I was delighted and overwhelmed by the response this question elicited. What was surprising to me was that with the exception of just a few who wrote about physical feats, most people described pushing through emotional challenges, such as walking away from bad relationships, letting go of people and places, or jumping into the unknown to follow one’s heart. For many, it seems, this is far scarier and more rewarding than any other act of bravery.

A couple people turned the question around and asked me when I’d been the most courageous. As it turns out, I’m much better at asking questions than I am at answering them, which is probably a skill I cultivated as a schoolteacher. I was stumped. When had I been the most courageous?

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December – The Month of Saying “Yes!”

There is no doubt about it. December is the time of year that is synonymous with giving. Whether it is 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 lavish gift, an act of kindness, generosity from a friend, 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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Why You Need A Personal Bouncer

We all know the importance of clearing clutter from our home, office, closets, garage, etc. to create more ease, flow, and success in our lives… but what you probably don’t know is that it’s critical to clear another kind of clutter: People.


We need to clear out the emotionally draining, toxic, judgmental, crazy-making, and/or even boring, uninspiring people from our lives.

 

Who’s In Your Room is a new book from my dear friends, both powerhouse personal growth leaders, Stewart Emery and Ivan Misner.
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Appreciation & Gratitude

Appreciation & Gratitude

What is the difference? This is something I have thought about many times … is there a difference between gratitude and appreciation and, if so, what is it?

It has been something that has always stuck with me … this feeling that they are so similar, yet different. As I tuned in and asked Spirit for guidance, I understood what the difference was for me. I FEEL appreciation more than I do gratitude. I am sure, because I am clairsentient (a feeler), that it makes it different for me than for someone who is Clairvoyant (a seer) or Clairaudient (a hearer). I always knew appreciation “felt” different … deeper to me, but I wasn’t sure why.

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The Spirit of the Season

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

And so it begins…

The holiday madness. The holiday rush. Everywhere you look, you see ads for this and that. Must buys. Must haves. Must gets.

I, for one, find it all to be overwhelming. That’s why this holiday season, I’ve decided that I want to try and stay present and focused on what the holiday spirit really means to me.

For me, the holiday season is about joy. It’s about my faith. It’s about generosity of spirit (not generosity of my wallet). It’s about kindness to my fellow human beings.

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Hold Desires Lightly

Be aware of wanting inside your own mind.

What do you want?

The Practice:
Hold desires lightly.

Why?

Getting caught up in wanting — wanting both to get what's pleasant and to avoid what's unpleasant — is a major source of suffering and harm for oneself and others.

First, a lot of what we want to get comes with a big price tag — such as that second cupcake, constant stimulation via TV and websites, lashing out in anger, intoxication, over-working, or manipulating others to get approval or love. On a larger scale, the consumer-based lifestyle widespread in Western nations leads them to eat up — often literally — a huge portion of the world's resources.

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How to Celebrate with Peace

My son and I touched down in Anchorage at 3:30 in the morning. I was relieved to see the streets clear of snow; it was an easy drive home. I was looking forward to the feeling of being settled. At home, I lit some candles, exhaled and experienced peace.  

The last few days I had noticed some feelings of stress. The holiday season had arrived. Thanksgiving was just a few days away. I could also feel the pressure of every day matters. I had emails, appointments and family obligations that had piled up over the last week. 

This historically has been a personal struggle of mine. Is it possible to stay connected to peace during the holiday season? This is the time of year that is often depicted as magical. It can be amazingly wonderful; but it can also difficult to stay connected to the most important aspect; love and peace.

The next morning before I started my meditation I recognized how much I enjoy our home. It is filled with good feelings. The energy from our prayers and meditations fill my favorite rooms. The mountains are visible thru the windows. The trees behind me share the energy of protection. I easily slipped into a deep meditation.

My awareness shifted. I was greeted by love, a version of each of us.  The veil evaporated. Everything fell away except the feelings of love, peace and protection. I was home again. There are no limitations of time, size, or quantity.  It is simply recognizing heart and soul. This is where our true self is. 

I say simply... because it is with the gentle shift of awareness that we all fall into peace.

My morning meditation reminded me of my personal need to bring the holiday season back to my heart, my center. It is here that I am able to bring love into my actions that create each day. 


To experience the holidays with joy; I keep my energy focused on my heart. I keep it simple. When I begin to feel scattered or spread too thin, I bring my awareness back to my heart. This is where I need to be, to pull the magic into my holiday experience.  

4 Tips to Help You Accept & Embrace Change

Whether you perceive it or not, everything is constantly changing – the environment, the weather, the economy, technology, society, culture, your friends and family, your body, everything. And the better able you are to embrace change in what is happening in your world, the easier it will be for you to live your best life.

“Change is the only constant in life.” – Heraclitus


For some people, the idea of constant and never-ending change is terrifying, because change often involves risk and loss – possibly of something big, like your house, your job, your money, your friends, your family, or just the loss of whatever is comfortable and familiar.

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This is The Moment: GAME ON!

Anyone who has ever played on or followed a sports team knows THE MOMENT. That crucial moment when the team is down, the clock is running out, and it looks like the game is over. At that moment, a team with character rallies. The players tell themselves: “Its game on, not game over!” They cheer each other on. They gather energy. They inspire themselves to win.

We are facing such a moment in national and international crises. It’s easy to convince ourselves, “there are just too many problems; they’re way too big.” We can persuade ourselves to give up by citing the many physical crises – the fires, floods, wars, famines, hurricanes. We can see people divided by attitudes toward race, religion, politics, climate change, immigration . . . and throw up our hands. In the US, we can cite the horrifically vitriolic mid-term elections. Every country has scapegoats to offer.

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Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: The Power of Coming Together

“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” — Barbara De Angelis

The other day, I woke up to a text from my friend Matthew DiGirolamo.

Matthew and I worked together for many years. He’s a bright and creative writer and thinker, so I pay attention when he sends me a message.

Matthew said: “I think we should create an ‘Inner Peace Corps.’ Our world is in a mental and emotional health crisis and I feel like we need a corps of therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, spiritual teachers, meditation coaches, etc. to be organized in a massive and coordinated volunteer effort. In times of tragedy and grief, they can help people process their pain, trauma, grief, and stress, and help them connect to their core emotions in a healthy way.”

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Gratitude for the Worst Things I’ve Ever Experienced

“ Life is messy, tragic, terrifying, but also unbelievably breathtaking. There are deep gifts hidden in the most demanding challenges that life throws at us. In a time of crisis, gratitude is the key to opening your heart and unlocking the magic contained in these truly profound gifts.” - Jan Desai

In the ring stands a boxer. He is clearly exhausted. In the early rounds of the match, he was a fighter. Then, there was a hope of winning. That hope now seems long gone. Now, the boxer is simply trying to survive. Cut and bleeding, he attempts to defend himself. Taking one body blow after another, he endures the punishment, waiting for the sound of the bell.

Does life sometimes leave you feeling like this boxer? Are you dazed and exhausted, struggling to navigate your way through whatever challenge or crisis you are facing? Do the overwhelming negative emotions that you are experiencing feel like crushing blows? Are you barely enduring, waiting for some relief, believing that you may never find your footing again? If so...come sit next to me!

Life can seem like a brutal and overwhelming opponent. Believe me, I know this feeling firsthand. One doesn’t make it into their sixth decade without experiencing a multitude of potential knock-outs. Death. Divorce. Illness. Infertility. Depression. Addiction. Really, any kind of loss is like an unexpected sucker-punch. You don’t see it coming and, when it hits, you are overwhelmed by the crushing unfairness that sends you reeling into the darkness.

How I Made it Through My Toughest Fights

Let me share my toughest fights with you. Let me be completely transparent about how I’ve felt during these insurmountable times. Let me show you how I’ve made it through to the other side. My prayer is that, in doing so, you will no longer feel completely alone. In fact, I hope you recognize my words as those of a dear friend who is reaching out a hand in recognition, comfort, love and inspiration.

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Is the World Over-Whelming You?

Is the world around us getting to be too much to handle? You only have to watch television or read the many feeds on social media to see that there's so much going on around the world. Extreme weather conditions, drama in politics, people losing their lives from many different reasons, homes being destroyed by fires or nature taking a turn for the worse. It seems to be getting too much to take in and for some, people are scared and nervous.

When this happens, I always advise people to pull away from the news and social media, at least for a while. By doing so, you're not pretending there's nothing happening, or choosing to ignore it! What you're actually doing by pulling back is: you’re remembering who and what you are and acknowledging that you're made of soul energy. You're a soul that comes with a body ... not a body that comes with a soul. You are a soul first, and stronger than you could ever imagine! And yes! One person can make a difference!

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There Is No "Real" Universe. Now What?

More than six decades after Einstein's death in 1955, his prestige is enormous and worrisome. It is enormous because relativity remains tremendously important and to this day, both the special and the general theories of relativity remain valid. It is worrisome because Einstein harbored a deep skepticism about quantum mechanics, even though quantum mechanics has been validated time after time experimentally and despite the fact that Einstein himself was one of the founders, receiving the Nobel Prize for the quantum photoelectric effect. The embarrassing fact is that quantum mechanics, which explains the behavior of the smallest level of Nature, cannot be reconciled with general relativity, which explains the behavior of the universe at the largest level. They are both right but not merged yet.

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Welcome Fragility

Be mindful of both actual and potential fragility in yourself and others.

Could it crack?

The Practice:
Welcome fragility.

Why?

The truth of anything is like a mosaic with many tiles, many parts.

One part of the truth of things is that they are robust and enduring, whether it's El Capitan in Yosemite or the love of a child for her mother and father.

Another part of the truth is that things bruise, tear, erode, disperse, or end—fundamentally, they're fragile. Speaking of El Capitan, I knew of someone climbing it who had just placed anchors above a long horizontal crack when the sheet of granite he was standing on broke off to fall like a thousand-ton pancake to the valley floor below (he lived, clutching his anchors). Love and other feelings often change in a family. Bodies get ill, age, and die. Milk spills, glasses break, people mistreat you, good feelings fade. One's sense of calm or worth is easily disturbed. Wars start and then end badly. Planets heat up and hurricanes flood cities. Earthquakes cause tidal waves and damage nuclear reactors.

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How To Deal With Stress and Find Peace ( Video )

Have you ever felt so stressed out and overwhelmed?

Perhaps you were dealing with so many things, handling so many responsibilities, or facing an important deadline.

The feeling of overwhelm happens in these situations:

  • You place your attention in the future and experience the stress of what might possibly happen, in the present.
  • You project into the future and create a negative future fantasy about what might go wrong but hasn’t yet.
  • You think of everything that you need to do all at once, and it’s overwhelming.
  • You focus on all the things that are not in your control.
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Tips to Embrace Mercury Retrograde

Yup, it is that time again! By now, you have probably heard someone say … “Oh, It’s Mercury retrograde”.

Mercury Retrograde is about to begin and many people are beginning to “feel” the energy shifts … possibly without even knowing it … as it moves in. Now, I’m not an expert in Mercury Retrograde … nor am I an astrologer. I’m a psychic medium and someone who is sensitive to energy … just like you. I notice when the energy shifts … especially the strong shifts. As I tune into the energy (and look at the calendar) I usually discover that Mercury is retrograde … and I take a breath, look up how long it will be in retrograde … and then plan to move forward at a slower pace … knowing that it always has something to teach me. Not that I always love this … but, I can either hit my head against the wall, pushing and forcing OR go with the flow of Mercury in retrograde … and embrace its teachings. Which do you choose?

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Mystic Spinning of Threads

I wonder where you are tonight.

Each of you. You who I lived with

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind