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Integrity in Crisis

Integrity is a word often invoked yet seldom defined.


If you look up its definitions you’ll find predominantly, “having strong moral principles”; the Cambridge Dictionary adds, “that you refuse to change”, worth noting.


It comes from the same Latin word as integrate – specifically, “make one.” This is making all the pieces fit together like cogs in a watch. (You have a digital watch? What way is “clockwise” for you?)


With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.” ---Zig Ziglar


The whole question goes directly to the heart of Character. The more you’re in integrity, the stronger your character. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke of “the content of [your] character…” Indeed it does have content.

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Are We Meant to Push Past Being Stuck?

It is hard to feel stuck and unmotivated. Especially in matters of career and business. Not only are things not progressing but we may also feel like we are letting ourselves down by not taking action.


There is such a thing as being in the flow. This is when we are flooded with inspiration. It flows freely accompanied by the drive to take action. I have found in the past that these experiences come along with bursts of energy. Taking action feels more like a rush or a buzz.


As with many things there is no black-and-white answer to this question. I can only share my experience and hope that it helps someone. I have found that the lull of activity is there for reason. Maybe it's time to take a break or focus on other areas of life.


Pushing against the stagnancy often times leads to poor results. Whatever you come up with during that time is probably not going to be your best work. This, in combination with the lack of productivity can feel very depressing.


I feel that during these times productivity can be found in other areas. Maybe we need to focus on her health or well-being. There's usually some other area of life calling our attention. There could be more information we need before we can move forward in a  successful way.
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What Are You Running Away From?

In my last blog post, I wrote about a situation which has been causing me a lot of heartache and how, despite all of the tools and wisdom that I have as a life coach and teacher of transformation, it has been hard for me to find a sustained sense of peace. I shared how after going to healers, therapists, and doing lots of deep work around my core wounds and projections, I was so grateful to read Debbie Ford’s new book Your Holiness: Discover the Light Within because it reminded me that when I feel cut off at the knees, I need to get down on my knees and ask to be shown. Bottom line, I needed some divine guidance to support me in finding resolution, relief, and a deeper understanding of self.

 

Days after working my way through the book and using prayer as a vehicle to connect and receive, I was running outside and heard the words, “Just be with the hurt.”

 

Stunned and amused, I stopped dead in my tracks. I realized that I had been literally running away from my hurt. In my fixation to figure out and fix my pain, I had avoided really feeling the deep hurt that was being triggered inside of me. I was trying to get to the destination without going on the journey. I’d been trying to bypass the feelings in my heart and resolve my pain in my mind, which, of course, was a strategy I developed long ago and even wrote about in The Integrity Advantage.

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How to Dream a New Story for Your Life

What negative story do you tell other people about yourself over and over? Most of the time when we repeat our “shadow narrative” we aren’t aware of it, we can’t see that the telling of it anchors the memory deeper into the universe, making it a part of your current condition.

Take a minute to really think about this.  Do you see yourself in your story as always being disappointed by people you elevate? Do you tell a story of the world as a place you need to rebel against? Perhaps you tell a story about being a victim of other people’s issues, or maybe you tell one of you overcoming obstacles, always having to do everything yourself. Help never comes. (Sigh) Or maybe you tell a story of being pushed out, isolated by others, so you can continue to live in an illusion of being a victim, and so you can enjoy vicious gossip to vent your unprocessed anger.

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And the Doctor Said, ‘Go Live Your Life…’

A few weeks ago, I went to visit my friend Nancy.


She didn’t ask me to come, I just went. I went because she told me the doctor (actually, multiple doctors) had told her there was nothing left to be done for her. Her cancer — the disease she had long kept at bay — had finally gotten the best of her.


She looked me in the eye and said, “What do you suggest I do?”


I looked at her. Her beautiful eyes locked with mine and I felt as if my heart were on a magnetic wave with hers. “Good question,” I replied.


What does one do when something like cancer gets the best of you? What does one do when there is nothing left to do, but enjoy what’s left? What does one look forward to when there is almost no forward to look towards?


I asked her, “What do you enjoy? What brings you joy?”


“Being with friends,” she said. “Being by the ocean. Letting the sun hit my face.”


“And so,” I said, “Let’s do that…”

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It's Time for Science to Accept Consciousness

Although it takes place outside the headlines, even those that deal with science, a heated debate is occurring about mind and matter. On onside is a camp of so-called physicalists, formerly known as materialists, who hold fast to the assumption that any and all phenomena in nature can be reduced to physical processes and the interaction of objects (atoms, subatomic particles, etc.) --these for the building blocks of the universe. On the other side is no single camp but a mixed assortment of skeptics who hold that at least one natural phenomenon--the human mind--cannot be explained physically.


When one explanation (the physicalist) is supported by the weight of highly successful theories in physics, biology, biochemistry, and neuroscience, and the other side has no accepted theory on its side, the debate seems totally unequal. But in David versus Goliath battles, be careful of rooting for Goliath. The possibility of a science of consciousness, which would involve a thorough explanation of mind and how it relates to matter, can't begin until the obstacles in its path are removed and old accepted assumptions are overturned.


That has already begun, on all fronts. In physics, the essential problem of how something came out of nothing (i.e., the big bang coming out of the quantum vacuum state) stymies cosmologists, while at the microscopic level the same mystery, this time involving subatomic particles emerge from the virtual state, is equally baffling. In biology the prevailing Darwinism cannot explain the quantum leap made, with astonishing rapidity, by Homo sapiens in terms of reasoning, creativity, language, our use of concepts as opposed to instincts, tool-making, and racial characteristics.


We are the offspring of the newest part of the brain, the cerebral cortex, and yet there is no causal connection between its evolution and the primal Darwinian need to survive. This is evident by the survival of a hundred primate species lacking a higher brain, reasoning, tool-making, concepts, etc. Finally, in neuroscience and biochemistry, there is zero connection between nerve cells, and their chemical components, and mind. Unless someone can locate the point in time when molecules learned to think, the current assumption that the brain is doing the thinking has no solid footing.

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What Really is the “Mind” and How Can We Harness the Power of Our Minds?

The priest (swamiji) at our temple used to tell us the story of a magical “Genie” given to human beings by God. This genie is able to do whatever we ask of it, as long it is kept busy all the time. The caution was, if this genie did not have something to do, it would wander off and cause us problems. So it was given a pole to climb up and down like a monkey until the next need for this genie arises. According to swamiji, this genie is our “mind” and the pole is the inhalation and exhalation of breath. To avoid unnecessary problems and troubles, we were advised to focus our mind on the breath when we were not using our minds.


We hear so many words related to the mind such as conscious mind, sub conscious or unconscious mind, narrow mindedness, mindfulness, mastermind, mind blowing, mindless, remind, never mind, absent minded, mind set and peace of mind. What really is the “mind” and how can we use it to our advantage?


According to Vedic scriptures of Hinduism, sat (truth) or the absolute is that which remains true in all periods of time – the past, the present and the future. From standpoint of the absolute, there is no mind. But the mind is not “asat” (false) or totally non-existent either. Therefore, the mind comes under the category of mithya or an illusory entity. According to these scriptures, human beings have five bodies or koshas which goes from gross to subtler forms or from separateness to oneness at different levels.

  1. Physical body which is made of matter and is visible.
  2. Etheric body which is our energy body and can be felt.
  3. Mind body which is made of thoughts and vibrations. This body is very important because it holds your experiences from this and past lives or psychic impressions which creates our belief systems (samskaras). Whatever happens to us constitutes only 3 to 5 % of our experience but the reaction to the event constitutes over 95% of our present experience depending on our past psychic impressions. As we become more conscious and aware we have more control over our projections and are able to respond instead of react.
  4. Causal body which is made of wisdom or consciousness.
  5. Bliss body which is associated with feeling of ultimate peace, joy, love or Samadhi.
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How To Deal With The Death of a Loved One (video)

Losing a loved one is never easy.


On September 27, 2017, my dear mother made her transition from her body.


My mother was the purest soul I’ve met in this lifetime. She was unconditional love beyond human understanding. Her only desire was to serve and do God’s work in all ways.


I was so close to her my entire life, but strangely in her passing even more so. I feel her everywhere now. It’s once she left her body that I understood who she really was now that her loving was no longer limited to a human form.


In the year she knew she was dying, I once asked her if she was afraid. She simply looked at me with unwavering conviction and kindness and said, “Not at all. I am not this body. The soul lives forever. I am ready for whatever God wants for my life.”


In her last months, I realized my mother’s true greatness was in her depth of surrender to the Divine.


My favorite memory (I have so many) was simply holding her in my arms one day, my heart bursting with love, looking her in the eyes, and sharing what a profound privilege it was to incarnate in this lifetime as her son, to have had the opportunity to be loved by her and know a soul as beautiful as her.

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The Eternal Feminine Brings Wholeness

A genuine social upheaval has begun, its theme is the empowerment of women. Old attitudes that have resulted in many kinds of unfairness are being challenged. The long-suppressed outrage of sexual harassment has been exposed to the light of day. No one with a heart and a conscience can do anything but respond with encouragement. It’s about time.

Rising from a position of weakness to become stronger, turning old wounds into a source of healing—these are important changes in anyone’s life. The eternal feminine has been a running thread in human culture for thousands of years, but each generation has to reinterpret it, and at the moment, embedded in a secular society where daily demands and distractions are the rule, envisioning the eternal feminine requires going deeper into our self-awareness.

 


Everyone’s source is pure awareness, which has no gender. When pure awareness manifests into creation, gender isn’t in evidence, either. When you wake up from deep sleep and become aware of your existence, the experience has no labels. The issues of masculine and feminine enter in a social context, defined by your beliefs, attitudes, and mental conditioning. To be a woman is to be a creation of many factors, going far beyond the physiological.

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How Do We Liberate Ourselves from the Power of Others?

Recently I was at a conference, and one of the men at the conference was very powerful, and very preoccupied with power, much like a teenager might be occupied with power, except that he was considerably older.

I experienced this as he was introduced to me and he said, “How ya doing Ram?” I spent time with him and saw that he had decided in his mind that I was irrelevant. Everything I stood for was irrelevant, and I felt my irrelevance in his presence, and I watched that pour through me. I watched myself get caught in it at first, so that I started to crunch up into irrelevance and get slightly deviant. Those are the ways I responded to irrelevancy in his mind about me.

Then I saw my predicament, saved by my meditation bell, and I saw what I was doing. I saw my mind buy his model of myself, and just the noticing of that started to loosen its hold over me. He had brought me into the dimension of power, and found me wanting. He found that I was not powerful enough to be important in his eyes, and I just sat with it, and I felt what it felt like to be irrelevant and somewhat litigious. I just noticed all this, and slowly as I noticed it, and just allowed it. I didn’t push it away, I didn’t make believe that it didn’t exist, I just noticed and allowed it.

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Untangling Ourselves from Parental Approval

This month’s blog post is very personal, and I’ve been quiet about this area of my life because the truth is that I don’t have answers. And, those who know me well, know I love answers. I’ve tried to find them, but I only find more questions. Uncertainty and confusion walk alongside me nearly every day, making me feel very uncomfortable and exposed. But I feel drawn to share some insights I’ve had over the past few months about pleasing people and finding our true selves.

 

My father suffers from dementia, maybe Alzheimer’s. I don’t always get straight answers. I only know what I know based on the quality of the information I’ve been given, but no one can say for sure until after death. All I know for sure is that the man I see today is different than the man I knew yesterday. Tomorrow will be a different day too. Nothing’s certain with dementia. Then again, nothing’s ever been certain with my dad.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Bolivia (And Will Make You Want To Visit!)

Although this landlocked South American nation remains largely undiscovered by western tourists,  Bolivia’s vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and mesmerizing sacred sites make it a must-see destination for travellers looking for life-changing experiences off the beaten path.

Don’t believe us? Here are 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Bolivia (that will spike your desire to visit).

1. Bolivia Is Home To Mesmerizing Pre-Columbian Ruins

While most people think of Peru’s Machu Picchu, when they think of ancient South American ruins, Bolivia is actually home to some of the most important pre-Columbian sites in the Americas.

Among these sites is the incredible ancient city of Tiwanaku. Set under the majestic Cordillera Real mountain range, Tiwanaku was once the political and spiritual capital of the Tiwanaku Empire, which is believed to have dominated the area straddling the border between Bolivia and Peru between 300 BC and 300 AD.

While not much is known about the ancient culture it emanates from, Tiwanaku’s majestic structures are still imbued by an ancient spirituality that is palpable to travellers visiting the site to see its beautifully crafted sculptures, gigantic stone building blocks and the mysterious, megalithic stone arch known as La Puerta del Sol, or The Gate of the Sun.

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4 Steps Toward Creating Your Most Authentic Life – Part Two

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
– Carl Jung

In Part One, I talked about the importance of living authentically and my own struggle to develop a life that was full of joy and meaning. Here, in Part Two, I’m going to share the four practices that I use every day to keep myself on the most genuine of paths.


4 Ways to Begin Living Authentically

1. Connect with your inner voice.

Uncovering your most authentic life will come from deep within yourself. You need to learn to discern that inner voice that often whispers in your ear. It’s a voice that is so very easily drowned out by the noise of the unimportant and the trivial. Too often, this noise is self-created, so that we can ignore what our inner wisdom is trying to tell us. Through a daily practice of silence, you can create a still space that allows the message that this voice carries to resonate throughout your life.

The key is connecting with your inner voice often throughout the day. Get out of bed 15 minutes early and sit in silence. If this feels uncomfortable for you, start with just 3 – 5 minutes. Simply ask your true self to make itself known. Quietly offer that you are willing to be open and grateful for any wisdom and guidance that comes through.

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How to Manifest with Ease in Five Simple Steps

How to Manifest with Ease in Five Simple Steps

1. Believe You Can

Manifesting means “intentionally creating what you want.” The most important thing about manifesting with ease is believing you can. Begin by recognizing and naming things already manifested: things in your life that you love. Acknowledge that you’ve already had successes in your life—you just need to learn to dial it in and be more consistent.

Manifesting with ease is believing you can.

Realize that, when you achieved that thing you love about your life, it all started with a simple desire. Everyone has desires, and everyone has the power to achieve those desires! Whether it was a job or a pair of shoes, at some point there was a desire that led to intention, and that intention led to success. See, you’ve done it before—you can do it again!

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It’s That Time Again…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 it’s teachings. Which do you choose?


What is Mercury Retrograde?

Usually, three or sometimes four times a year, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky for a period of approximately 3 weeks. Technically, planets don’t actually move backwards … they don’t even slow down, but as Mercury passes the earth in its orbit … it appears to slow down, stop (station) and spin backward (retrograde). Of course, it really isn’t moving backward … it’s an optical illusion, since there is forward movement, like speeding by a slow-moving train — as it recedes, it appears to go backward. In astrology, Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology—so all of these areas can feel out of control during these three weeks.

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Activating the Power of the Subconscious Mind

The untapped power of the subconscious mind can lead you to new success in your personal life and business life. Discovering how to turn your thoughts into positive and implementing the law of attraction into your daily life can take you to new heights. In order to fully understand the power of your unconscious mind, you first need to understand the difference between your unconscious and your conscious mind. Your conscious mind is the awareness you have in the current moment.

Your Conscious Mind:

This is your awareness of your surroundings, your current thoughts and emotions, the physical sensations in your body, whether or not you’re hungry, and so on. Your unconscious mind is any information that is below the threshold of your current awareness.

Your Subconscious Mind:

Examples of your subconscious are memories, beliefs, fears and subjective maps of reality. The thing with your unconscious mind is it’s very powerful and can, without your awareness, direct the course of what you do in your life.

Because of this, you must learn to choose our thoughts effectively, because your thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, due to the Law of Attraction, are what are creating your current experience of reality—including your level of success in every area of your life—work, financial, relationships, health, and happiness.

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Take Heart

When you take heart, you're more able to deal with all types of challenges. 

What do you do when the bottom falls out?

The Practice:
Take Heart.

Why?

It takes heart to live in even ordinary times.

By "taking heart," I mean several related things:

  • Sensing your heart and chest
  • Finding encouragement in what is good both around you and inside you
  • Resting in your own warmth, compassion, and kindness; resting in the caring for you from others; love flowing in and love flowing out
  • Being courageous, whole-hearted and strong-hearted—going forward wisely even when anxious, knowing your own truth and as you speak it


When you take heart, you're more able to deal with challenges like aging, illness, trauma, or conflicts with others. You're also more able to take advantage of opportunities with confidence and grit.

Additionally, it takes heart to live in, live with, and live beyond times that are really hard. Your personal hard time might be bad news about your health, the death of a parent, or betrayal by others. Or it could be related to changes in your country and world, and your concerns about their effects on others and yourself; I've written about the importance of finding and facing facts at the level of society (feel free to skip it if you don't want my take on politics).

There are so many examples of honorable people facing great difficulty with dignity, principle, and courage. They did it. We can, too.

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Celebrating Solitude

Even though I’ve been in a couple for 35 years, I love being alone. It’s been a part of my life since childhood. I grew up as an only child on five acres in rural Illinois, where I spent a good portion of my childhood playing outdoors alone (or with my dog) and sitting in trees reading. I don’t ever remember feeling lonely. My parents and I were close, so I was with them a lot too, and I had school friends who came to visit, but at the core of my life was time spent in solitude. It became the peaceful center from which I lived outward into the world. As an adult, I always relied on time alone to come back to myself, away from jobs and social situations. Don’t get me wrong—I loved my friends, but there was a certain point at which I had to step away and be alone. It was like breathing to me.

I have so many memories that involve finding joy in being by myself. One of the most vivid was when I worked for a senator as a student intern in Washington, DC, in college. One lunch hour I wandered around outside the Capitol Building alone and then sat in the sun in a quiet spot where no one else was walking. I can remember having a sudden flash of absolute exhilaration when the thought crossed my mind, “No one else on Earth knows where I am right now.” There was something incredibly exciting about that to a 19-year-old living in a new city, trying out grown-up life on her own. I’ve never forgotten that feeling—of being an alive, independent, free spirit in the world.

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Channeling Excellence

Today, is as good as any other day to decide you are worth the effort to live the best life possible. Now, is as good as any other time, to commit to living a complete life. It only takes the conscious decision to see yourself fully engaging in this life. This means prioritizing everything that allows you to feel the thrill of excellence. 


As usual, I never know exactly what I’m going to write about, I wait for inspiration. This week I put the above message on my word document and moved on. In the back of my mind, I was tossing around Ideas of how I would convey the message, or if it was the right message for this week.


Later, my husband and I went out to dinner. I noticed a tattoo on the server’s wrists. I looked closer. The message read, THIS IS YOUR LIFE. We discussed, THIS VERY MOMENT, being the time to live your dreams. In other words, channel your excellence. I took a picture of the words and recognized confirmation that the message needs to be shared. 
 

The choice is ours to honor our ability to live a life that allows peace, prosperity and wellness. I know this is true. Channeling excellence (God, love) is allowing the pure inspirational energy to saturate and fill up both your body, and mind.
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A Message From Our Ancestors

Visiting ancient sites of the Aboriginal people here in Australia, I am struck by both their deep connection with nature and their fascination with the mysteries of the universe. The cave drawings and glyphs carved into stone cliffs that I have seen tell stories similar to those still told today by my indigenous friends, the Shuar and Achuar of the Amazon, the Kogi of Colombia, and the Maya of Central America.

Throughout the world, we see that ancient peoples had a deep fascination with Orion, Pleiades, and ideas around mysterious visitations from other planets. We also see that they enjoyed rich traditions centered on the spiritual and healing powers of animals and plants.

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Powerful Keynotes

Panache Desai - Break Free, Break Loose, and Live Wild!
Dr. Sue Morter- The Energy Codes®: Awaken Your Spirit, Heal Your Body and Live Your Best Life
Sandra & Daniel Biskind - No Limits: Cracking the Code to a Platinum Life
Guy Finley - Relationship Magic: Love’s Infinite Journey
Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith - The Boldness of Becoming
Rosie Mercado - True Beauty - The Potential in the Broken Pieces
Kute Blackson - Keynote: Living Your Purpose: You Were Born For Greatness
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