The Miracle of Everyday Joy

Maybe you’ve been there. You’re determined to try and gain (or regain) a greater measure of insight and enlightenment in your life - the kind of enlightenment that can lead to real joy and significant satisfaction. So you make the decision to begin a spiritual practice - meditation, prayer, journaling, or even simple reflection.

The setting for the first day of your new practice can vary. You may be in a low-lit room or you could be outside in the sunshine. Maybe you’re alone or surrounded by others with a similar goal. No matter where you are, it can feel like you’re a warrior on the day of battle. You sit and you wait for this momentous beginning to occur, for enlightenment, insight, and truth to wash over you.


However, there’s a good chance that all of this is occurring at the beginning or the end of a long day. As you sit there, your mind, which didn’t get the memo regarding your new practice, starts to spit up all the things that are on your to-do list. Or...all the things that you failed to cross off that list.

Stop it! Concentrate!

You take a deep breath and begin again, trying to clear your monkey mind. But it swings wildly, throwing crazy disjointed thoughts through your awareness like the never-ending news ticker at the bottom of a CNN news report. Red wine. Yes, full-bodied delicious red wine. You think about how nice it would be to have glass of wine and slip into a warm bath. Isn’t the new episode of “The Crown” on tonight?

Stop this! Cut this crap out! Get serious!

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How to Believe in Yourself & Change Your Life in the Process

Learning how to believe in yourself will open up endless possibilities in your life. At times you may find this difficult to do. The truth is that we’ve been conditioned throughout our lives to doubt ourselves. We must retrain ourselves to get rid of our fears and self-doubt in order to build self-esteem and self-confidence.

Everything you have in your life is a result of your belief in yourself and the belief that it’s possible. Here are the four most important steps to learning how to believe in yourself. Practice them and you’ll be amazed at the results:

  • Believe it’s possible. Believe that you can do it regardless of what anyone says or where you are in life.
  • Visualize it. Think about exactly what your life would look like if you had already achieved your dream.
  • Act as if. Always act in a way that is consistent with where you want to go.
  • Take action towards your goals. Do not let fear stop you, nothing happens in life until you take action.


Let’s take a look at each of these steps...

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Every doormat says Welcome

The other day I was responding to a private group on live video. Out of my mouth to the person that I was sharing her story, came this response: “Every doormat says welcome”. Oops.. Right out it came.. but, it was necessary. I have used this term before. Actually I have shared it many times… but this time… when I said it, the people listening really heard it. It touched them to the depth of their soul.

One person said… “WOW, that was a BIG dose of reality.” Yes, it is. If you are a doormat in your life, maybe it is time to put this new doormat out now. What do you think?

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Symphony Of Peace Prayers

Peace + Prayer + Someone Else’s Country provided me a powerful experience that continues to shape me today. It happened two years ago in Japan at the base of Mt. Fuji. Twelve thousand (12,000!) people come every year to celebrate peace and pray for peace regardless of weather. Every country’s flag is brought to the center of a natural outdoor stage with Mt. Fuji in the background, and all the people pray for peace for the country of their choice and also for the optimal potential of that country to manifest. Everyone is given a laminated plastic flag of their choosing to use during the ceremony. When the flag of their country is brought out, they hold the image over their heads. It was wonderful to see the colors of so many countries held up again and again throughout the ceremony. I wanted to hold up all of them.

Linda and I returned the next year, and I had the same surprising, wonderful experience. I had expected to celebrate my own country’s flag and pray for the peace and potential of my own country, but I had not expected to be thrilled by praying for every country’s flag! They were all so important to me, so rich and so full of promise and potential. The sea of colors in front of us filled me with awe and wonder – at the uniqueness of us, the beauty of us, and the love of us. We were all “us.” I knew that in my thoughts and in my heart, but I felt it and I saw it those days.


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Try Letting Go with a God Box..

Where are you spending most of your time—the past, present, or the future?

If you primarily focus on your past or your future, you become a ghost in your present. Living in the NOW is where your real power is. In fact, your brightest future and most peaceful past both hinge on your ability to stay in the present, where you’re connected to your intuition and the Divine.

We live in an age of distraction, future planning, and ruminating about the past. So many of us get caught in a cycle of beating ourselves up about the past or longing for something in the future. When we do quiet the buzzing in our minds, we often encounter media discussions about our economic future or some sort of scrutiny about a government decision from 10 years ago. Even the metaphysical community is wrapped up with what’s going to happen in the future. As a culture, we’re almost allergic to the present!

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The Life Force of One

I find myself in Bed 3 (of a 4 bed room) in hospital.


Soon enough the girl in Bed 1 is healed and discharged. The hospital is crowded, and within the hour the bed has been prepped and a new patient shows up.


He is 60, about 5 foot 7, gray hair, a bit plump. I don’t really notice him as he comes in, but when he is under the covers and his vital signs and blood samples have been taken I can see him.


I know him. From the streets.


I have a very fine apartment in a derelict area. It is now quickly being gentrified but a handful of bug infested residential hotels still set the neighbourhood tone. We’re in the poorest urban postal code in the nation. Our neighbourhood is still the gathering space for the poor, a 5 block stretch of the people living in the underbelly of our society, flooding the sidewalks. Don’t get the idea this is a slum – in our country we don’t really have slums.


It’s in this context that I’ve seen, and come to know, Ronnie.

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The 6 Keys To Finding Your Life’s Purpose (Video)

What if you didn’t need to know everything about your life’s purpose in order to begin living it?

There’s often a myth that your life purpose is something that you need to figure out and find up front. That unless you are crystal clear, you can’t live it.

Often when we focus so much on trying to figure out all the details of our life purpose, we can end up waiting and holding back our gifts.

If you want to live your purpose then stop waiting.

Simply begin.

Go in the direction that moves you most deeply. Take a step. When you take a step, each step will reveal to you the next step.

You don’t need to know the entire map of where you are going to get to where you are meant to be. Your purpose will be revealed to you in the process of living.

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See the Big Picture


The tree or the forest?

The Practice:

See the big picture.

Why?

I once went to the movies when it was raining and brought my umbrella. Arriving early, I sat down on a bench to read, then headed to the theater. Suddenly I heard, “Uh, mister!”—and turned to see a teenage boy with a friendly smile running toward me with my umbrella. He didn’t know me but went out of his way to help a stranger.

As a small frog in a huge pond, I once gave a talk at the World GovernmentSummit in Dubai, and had a similar experience. Political news can sometimes be alarming. Yes, whatever is truly bad is truly bad. But meanwhile, what I saw in Dubai was a thousand or so people, each one representing thousands if not millions of others in the United Nations, nonprofits, government agencies, media, religious organizations, and businesses that are working hard to nudge our world to a better place.

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Planting The Seeds For Your Financial Success

Springtime brings out the gardener in all of us. Driving by a packed Home Depot parking lot this week it made me wonder if people are putting as much energy into planting and nurturing their “financial gardens”.

With the state of the economy today, it is my hope that we all take a look at our financial buckets: Long Term, Mid Term, and Short Term savings. This is the perfect time to make sure that these buckets are positioned correctly and are aligned with what your dreams, desires, and goals are.

Make sure to set Financial Intentions along with those goals. If your money is not providing you with what you want in your life, you need to change the energy surrounding it, and intentions will help to shift that energy. You can set an intentions like...

”My long term bucket is in place to make sure I can retire at age 55″.


“I’ve got my short term bucket in place so my family and I can take that trip to Disney in a year”.


“I choose to increase my cash flow monthly.”

Don’t worry about how grand or specific your intention setting is. As you build your confidence by setting your intentions, and begin witnessing the desired results, you will move up to the next level.

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How can you have plans and goals while remaining in the present?

There was one question I was asked by someone who was shy, because I think maybe she thought it was too simple of a question to ask, but I think it’s one worth noting, which is, “How do you have plans and goals and still stay in the present?”

I may be overly simple-minded about this kind of stuff, but on the short term, I have my date book. Somebody calls up and they say, “Would you do something next November?” and I’ll look in my book, and there’s either space or there isn’t, and then I’ll listen to their voice, and listen to my economics, and listen to the world, and listen to where I would imagine I would be next November. What state of mind would I be next November? Would I really want to do it when that came? And then I either say yes or no. If I say yes, I put it in the book, if I say no, I don’t.

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Sunny side up

Self criticism could be ruining your peace of mind, learn to change tracks...


Why can’t I do anything right....is one question we ask ourselves so many times. Many of us have this self critical habit. We are too harsh on ourselves and this itself can lead to a huge stress. We need to stop this inner critic from sabotaging our happiness constantly.


Though many times we like to believe that this little voice inside is helpful as it keeps us motivated, but many times it works the other way round. It can be very damaging to our psyche. Not only is the inner critic creating emotional damage, it is also taking toll on one’s physical self. Emotional issues create stress. They suppress the immune system thereby leading to many physical problems.


The inner critic

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Life Is Complicated, Life Is Simple

We humans like to think life can be reduced to a list of tips or suggestions that will keep everything controllable and running smoothly. Social media and marketing promote this illusion with articles and ads that proclaim the “top ten” ways to health, wealth, love, or eternal youth. The truth is that life is not manageable. Relationships can be challenging, checkbooks may not balance, and the most carefully thought-out plans fall through. Is this the end of the world, reason for despair? Absolutely not. If life were predictable and reducible to easy steps for across-the-board success, it would be boring, and we would not grow and evolve.
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Get Motivated By Learning the Importance of Taking Action

“What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” - John Ruskin 

When you take action, not only do additional resources come your way, but you get feedback that helps you adjust your course and refine your approach.

In my seminars, I conduct a very illustrative exercise. I hold up a $100 bill and ask participants if any of them would like to have it.  I stand in front of the room, and wait until they “get it.” 

Usually, after several seconds, someone jumps out of their seat and rushes forward to pluck the $100 bill out of my hand. I then tell the rest of the audience that they, too, could have been the one to get the money if only they had taken action.


The Importance of Taking Action

The truth is, while most of us know a lot about earning money, making things happen and bringing about change in the world, only a surprising few get to have all the abundance, glory and satisfaction this world has to offer—simply because they are the select few who consistently take action.

Taking action is the one thing that separates the winners from the non-winners…the haves from the have-nots…and the high achievers from the everyday people.

Perhaps you’ve already seen someone create a big win in their life, only to grumble to yourself, I could have done that. Or perhaps you’ve watched as a co-worker launched a new project that included your ideas—only to conclude that you stood by while they took action.

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How To Tune Into Your Intuitive Powers

Intuition is a natural part of all of us. As multi-sensory beings, we all have it although our cultural conditioning represses it. It’s commonly ( although inaccurately) known as the sixth sense and extends beyond your five physical senses to a larger awareness that spans both space and time. But here is the deal. It’s really the first sense not the 6th. Because we are first consciousness, then we take on a body. As immortal spiritual beings having a temporary human experience it is our first essential and primary ability – to sense the invisible world from where we came.  

For the past few hundred years western culture has long honored logic and intellect as the most valuable way to experience the world. We’ve been taught to be suspicious of anything that defies this narrow paradigm. We tend to love facts and figures and distrust what we can’t prove through linear thinking. Yet, intuition is one of your most powerful senses it’s just that no one teaches us what it is or how to support it in school. Wouldn’t that be amazing?  Of course, I know I’m kind of biased as an intuitive! But, even many of the world’s most successful people—including Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and physicist Albert Einstein, —have said that they wouldn’t be where they are today without following their intuitive hunches. Every new discovery is made with the power of the intuitive hunch.

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In the Neighborhood?


In the neighborhood?

The Practice:


Love your neighbor.

Why?

This practice might sound extreme or pushy, and I want to tell you what I mean by it.

Everyone has lots of neighbors, and they come in many shapes and sizes. Obviously the people living across the street are neighbors, but in some sense so are the people you live with. Friends, relatives, co-workers, all the people you know are neighbors. So are the people at the market or walking past on the street. Other living things are neighbors as well, such as cats and dogs, birds and bees, ants on the kitchen counter, and plants and trees.

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How To Make Best Friends With Your Words

"Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble."
-Yehuda Berg

 
I’m going to ask you to do something for me. Something that may seem a little unorthodox, but I promise, there’s a method to my madness.
 
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and say either out loud or to yourself, “Wow you look really good today!”
 
Check in with how you feel, as well as your reflection and make a mental note of what you see and feel.
 
Now take a deep breath.  
 
Then count to three and say either out loud or to yourself,  “Wow you look like crap today!” Check in with how you feel and what you see and again, make a mental note of what you see and feel.
 
What did you notice?
Did your energy rise or drop?
Did you stand up straighter or did you shrink?
Did you get emotional?
Did your itty-bitty shitty committee (your internal naysayer) come out in full force?
 
I remember years ago doing a very similar exercise except I was encouraged to stare deeply into my own eyes and repeat, “I love you, Pam. I really, really love you!”  
 
The first time I did it, I cried like a baby. 
 
I’d become so used to saying all sorts of crappy things to myself (about myself) that saying something nice was a shock to my system. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t an easy exercise to do every day, twice a day, for 21 days.
 
I’ll be honest, I don’t even recall if I lasted the full 21 days.  I’ll say this however, that little exercise helped me to fully understand just how powerful words are.
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3 Essential Steps to Greater Happiness

I WANT.”

Five simple letters. Two words. Yet, there are probably no other two words in the English language that cause such powerful suffering.

The pull of wanting is immensely strong. Like an emotional black hole, it can drag you away from the light of grace and into the darkness of need. You become detached from the present moment. Instead of experiencing the joy, meaning, and peace that is your natural state, you endlessly orbit the bottomless pit of want, a thrall to an emptiness that can never be filled.


In short, these two tiny words equal pain and frustration. Let me show you how:

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When Is It OK to Lie?

I’ve been thinking about honesty and lying lately… a lot!

It began several weeks ago while I was listening to Dr. Laura on the radio.

A male caller was sharing that he had recently had a one night stand while on a business trip and he was feeling a huge amount of regret and remorse and was asking Dr. Laura if he should confess to his wife of 10 years with whom he had 3 young children.

He said he loved his wife and his kids and he would never cheat again.

Dr. Laura’s advice took me by surprise.

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Tether Your Camel: Trust

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” ―Maya Angelou


Trust


Trust can be a variety of things.


The dictionary lists “belief in the reliability” of someone or something. What that does not reveal is that there are many applications of trust: it starts in babies in intrinsic trust of parents or caregivers, perhaps even more when they hit object permanence. From whatever child level you pick, at some point you are a trusting, or not trusting, person.


You can trust a merchant – or not. You can trust your friends, although in varying degrees. You must trust your primary relationship, or it will die. You can trust your political leaders – or not. You can trust your faith to always come through for you – or not.


In how many movies have you heard the line, “You’re gonna have to trust somebody”?


“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ---Ernest Hemingway


The difficulty with Trust is that when we’re doing it in any important way, it makes us vulnerable and fragile. A breach of trust can be devastating.


You are the only one in charge of your trust and how and when you offer it.

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Conversations Around My Kitchen Table

My kitchen table is always a busy place. (Not as busy as newsrooms or the White House were this week, but pretty busy nonetheless.)

I love family, I love food, and I love to invite people into my home to sit with me at my table. Oftentimes, I invite friends of mine or people I’ve met through my kids. Other times, I invite people who friends have suggested I meet because they’re doing something interesting in the world. I invite people who have different perspectives on different issues. People who think differently than me politically. People of different races. People of different faith backgrounds. I’ve even been known to cold-call someone I’ve read about and invite them to join me at my table.

It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from those who join me. I learn how little I really know. I learn how vast the world is. I learn how wide-open people’s hearts are. How much suffering there is. How many creative and inspiring ideas are out there bubbling in people’s minds.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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