Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The River of Light

Both Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo left a trail of unfinished art greater than anyone else in modern history. Still, they are regarded as two of the most talented artists who ever lived. They are extraordinary examples of how the journey of expression is more important than the final product.

William Blake is another inspiring example. Toward the end of his life, Blake endeavored to illustrate Dante’s Divine Comedy, the medieval epic poem that follows Dante’s transformative journey through Hell and Purgatory into Paradise. Blake created 102 watercolors, planning to engrave them all, but he only had time to begin seven.

More than his immense effort to create art, Blake’s innate devotion was to immerse himself deeply in the thickest currents of life. Though he couldn’t finish engraving his illustrations, I imagine that, at some point, the life-force Blake was so devoted to began engraving him. What more can any of us ask for but to be created by the very thing we feel compelled to create? This is where the holy work of effort leads, regardless of its trail.

Continue reading

The 6 Keys to Changing Your Life, Shifting Your Karma and Getting Into The Flow

“We are always facing the consequences of our own actions. It’s the actions that you take now that will go forward to sculpt your future.”

We have all experienced periods of great turmoil in life. Times when we feel powerless and nothing seems to go right. During these challenging times, it is easy to give into victimhood. Listen to this episode to learn how to take responsibility for your current situation, reclaim your power and shift your karma.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Do you feel powerless, like a victim in the face of a challenging situation?
  • Where and how did you take actions that co-created the challenging situation you are in now?
  • What is the reason you are going through this experience and what is your soul seeking to learn?
  • What does your life right now show you about the seeds you have planted in your past?
  • What different actions will you take in your life, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes?
Continue reading

Let Go of the Little Things in Life

We all know what it is like to be held captive of the little things in life — those petty concerns and small desires that steal their way into how we look at our lives and pit us against anyone or anything seen as trying to take away our anticipated desire. Here is a short list of these little troublemakers that often make big trouble for us whenever we mistake them for being our friends:

• Unrealistic expectations that others should treat us only as we imagine they should

• Strong attachments to even the smallest and strangest of our possessions

• Pressing convictions that no one else sees things as clearly as we do

• Nagging resentments from relationships past and present

• Perfect certainty that no one is permitted to interrupt our pleasures

How can we say for sure that these conditions are little more than big nothings in the scheme of things? We have all been through those telltale moments in our lives when, due to a crisis of some kind beyond our control, we are momentarily able to see where we had lost sight of what was really worthwhile.

Continue reading

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Thread

Thirty-four years ago, in my mid-thirties, I was working hard at becoming a good poet, when I was thrust into my journey with cancer. The torque of that experience pulled me from all my goals and routines and aspirations. I was left in the raw, uncertain simplicity of being alive and trying, by any means possible, to stay alive. I had few native gifts to help me through. The one closest to my heart was the aliveness of expression that lived below my want to be a poet. And so, I began to journal daily about my deepest fears, feelings, pains, and dreams, about the prospects of living and dying. I didn’t think of it as “writing” or as “material.” More, I was climbing the rope of honest expression, day by day, into tomorrow. It became a muscular and tender, honest space in which I began to access my own inner healing. This was my first in-depth experience of writing as a spiritual practice.

Continue reading

Don’t Fall for the BS about this!

There is an axiom that’s been circulating in the personal development world for years now that says we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with (attributed to Jim Rohn and others).

And I say its Bull Sh$t. (and some have a $100k a year program to make sure you meet and circulate with the “right” folks)

It’s a good way to make people paranoid.

Don’t believe that the 5 people you spend the most time with — even if they are broke, sick, negative or failing in life — that you too will soon be like them.

The purveyors of this madness claim these traits are “contagious” and if you really want to be successful you need to be hanging out with wealthy, super healthy, skinny, very successful folks. (If this were true my retirement account would be off the charts)

There is even a new “study” out that claims if you are hanging out with obese people, chances are 48% you too will become obese.

Continue reading

Break Through the Illusion of Limitation

Whenever we suffer over what we aren't able to do, create, or work through, where is our attention in these moments? It's riveted on our own thought-produced reality that's telling us we're stuck! Maybe you can recognize some of these heavy-hearted inner voices that come with being victimized by such dark thoughts. In one-way or another, they say...

"I'll never get out of this mess."

"It's too late!"

"I'm too set in my ways to change."

"This is hopeless."

Now on the surface of things, these all-too-familiar whispers of defeat -- that speak to us with our own voice -- seem genuinely concerned with our unwanted condition. But a deeper look tells a much different story. These troubled thoughts are part of an unseen "conspiracy of limitation" taking place in our own consciousness! Follow the next four ideas to their stunning conclusion. They prove that self-illumination and self-liberation are one and the same power.

Continue reading

Stay Right When You’re Wronged

There’s been mistreatment or injustice – now what?

The Practice:
Stay right when you’re wronged.

Why?

It’s easy to treat people well when they treat you well. The real test is when they treat you badly. (Much of what I say here applies to concerns about injustice or mistreatment that threatens or happens to others, from someone bullying a child to an oppressive government, but I will focus on the personal level.)

Think of times you’ve been truly wronged, in small ways or big ones. Maybe someone stole something, turned others against you, broke an agreement, cheated on you, or spoke unfairly or abusively.

When things like these happen, I feel mad, hurt, startled, wounded, sad. Naturally it arises to want to strike back and punish, get others to agree with me, and make a case against the other person in my own mind.

Continue reading

The Best Way to Change Your Life: Getting Unstuck

There are lots of reasons to consider the human mind is unfathomable, beginning with simple evidence like the thousands of psychology books on the market and the years of training required to become a licensed psychiatrist. But it is possible to create huge changes in how your mind is working, here and now, that do not require in-depth knowledge.

 

Instead, all that is needed is the habit of watching yourself.  Life is about action and reaction. Very complex and tangled influences may be at work—and almost certainly are—but they mostly remain undercover. What we experience is action and reaction, which leads to each person’s unique pattern of behaving.

 

Looking at your behavior on the scale of months and years, or even days and weeks, is impossible, because everyone has thousands of thoughts that lead to thousands of actions and reactions. But it is very different, and much easier, to simply look at what happens next. If you look at your next reaction to anything—an incident at work, a phone call, your child running in with a scraped knee—the same thing happens next: you do something based on the past.

 

You possess a backlog, a virtual library, of memories that imprinted how you acted and reacted. Some people are more predictable than others in how they act and react—a frontline soldier confronts very limited options compared with a philosopher. But everyone consults a library of set responses when the next thing happens.

Continue reading

The Art Of Changing Perspective

The overarching theme coming this week, and the energy in the weekly reading, revolves around the art of changing perspective while being compassionate with ourselves and allowing for the space we need to look at our limiting beliefs. In a time of transformation – global and personal it’s so important not to fall prey to the “omg there is so much more healing to do!” voice, and take account of how far you have actually come. If you’ve been even slightly awake and on track with your quest for a more practical spiritual life, you will have learned a lot along the way. Now is not the time to get stuck in the mire of more work to do. It’s not about effort anyway. 

It’s about perception and perspective. 

I am always incredibly grateful that my mission is being a small part of the Big Shift and offering people a way to gain inspired insight so that we can all learn to see ourselves in a new light. 

Continue reading

Take Charge of Your Life

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk our own path.” — Buddhaint Teresa of Calcutta

The other day, I had a conversation with a friend of mine that gave me goosebumps.

She is someone who, by all accounts, is super successful. On the outside, she looks like she has everything going in her favor, but on the inside, she has been struggling to add some order, simplicity and sanity into her life.

When you have a lot going on—when your life is charging full-speed ahead—it’s often hard to step back and figure out what you can drop, if anything. It’s tough to even think about dropping something when everything appears so great to everyone else on the outside.

My friend told me that she knew in her heart that she wanted to make a change to her life, but that she she was nervous about speaking up and actually going after it. For her, this involved having a conversation with her boss about shifting how she worked.

Continue reading

Are Your Opinions Holding You Back?

Do you consider your beliefs sacrosanct? Do you hang onto them at all costs, even at the loss of friendships or family ties? Historically, beliefs and opinions have split entire countries and started wars on this planet. People cling to them as if to a life raft in a sea of uncertainty and tumultuous change. We often are so identified with our beliefs that we can’t imagine life without them, exactly as they were first formed. Yet our minds are always in flux, whether we’re fully aware of it or not. Life on Earth is never just one thing, one set of rules for being human. And never more so than at this time of planetary transformation and human evolution.

If we step back from identification with our physical forms, it’s possible to see them as merely costumes we wear for this lifetime. Our thoughts and opinions are part of that costume. If we totally identify with our physicality and thoughts, we are frequently stopped from moving forward in our lives by how our minds view change. On the other hand, if we come to realize we are part of something much greater—universal consciousness—this awareness gives a wider perspective and ultimately greater freedom in our lives.

Continue reading

The Power of Patience

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 repeated 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.

Greatness takes time.

And your patience will be rewarded.

Continue reading

Full Moon Energy

Between a partial lunar eclipse, a Full Moon in Capricorn, and Mercury having turned retrograde, this is a week full of profound and powerful energy! (And it’s my birthday this week too, yay!!)

Last week we talked about the importance of forgiveness, and now that we’ve had a week to practice forgiving ourselves and others, it’s the perfect time to do some personal inventory and take a deeper look at some of the ancestral patterns that may still be plaguing us. This is a week where we need to look to the past and see what we can clean up, whether that’s negative thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. Then, from that clean space, we can make ourselves ready to create our intentions for how we want to move forward in the New Moon cycle in a couple of weeks. 

In the Weekly Oracle Card Guidance and Lesson, I pulled a couple of extra cards from my Enchanted Map deck that reminded us about the value of setting intentions. When we have a deliberate intention, we can discover anything can be made manifest in the outer world to reflect that intention.

Continue reading

How to Be Right Even When the World Seems Wrong

A Question-and-Answer Session With Guy Finley

Question: One of our neighbors has done something to their property that is proving to be an immense problem for us and seems very unfair. I want to let go of the circumstance, and yet I feel as though I mustn't just allow this individual to dominate the atmosphere of the very place I call home. I don't really want to fight with his person, but don't know what else to do.

Answer: Sometimes one has to fight for what is right. Sometimes there is no other way to meet any injustice the moment brings than with the intention of setting it right. The task though (and the trick!) is to take whatever actions are necessary without allowing negativity to seep into oneself. Hatred, resentment, judging the character of the opposition -- all of these states and thoughts -- are not only useless, but spiritually destructive. We must do the best we can with what we understand is the right and true way to proceed. If we won't allow ourselves to be inflamed -- meaning stay watchful, instead of blindly willful -- we will exit any trial a truer person… whether or not we "win" the desired outcome.

In the end there is only one real struggle, and that is between what is dark, unconscious, and downward trending, with what is light, aware, and ascending. Choose wisely and you cannot lose.

Continue reading

Giving “Wholeness” a Higher Meaning

Thanks to its positive connotations, “wholeness” has become a buzz word in areas of life as diverse as holistic medicine, whole-foods nutrition, and the human potential movement, which aims to create a whole person rather than a separate, fragmented one. What these various applications have in common is that wholeness is a choice—and there the problem lies.

If you are talking about whole foods versus processed foods, wholeness is certainly a choice, and the same can be said for holistic as opposed to mainstream medicine with its reliance on drugs and surgery. But speaking about a whole person is somehow different. If you consider the issue a bit deeper, becoming a whole person is involved in the most fundamental questions about what it means to be human.

The nature of human consciousness is such that we can take any viewpoint we want towards our own existence. This goes beyond being an optimist or pessimist, beyond positive thinking. Or even psychology. At the most basic level, each of us decides how to relate to reality itself. In the modern era society teaches us to relate to reality through scientific, rational, logical means. Nature, including human nature, is thus quantified, measured, mined for data, and arranged through rational explanations.

From such a perspective, the human mind must be the product of the brain, following the basic logic that brain activity can be measured and quantified. This fact seems so obvious that neuroscience claims to be the prime, perhaps the only, way to explain the mind. Yet this claim runs afoul of the entire subjective world, which obviously exists—everyone is aware of sensations, visual images, sounds, thoughts, flashes of memory, etc., which occur “in here.” This entire realm of human existence cannot be turned into data or quantified. (For some background, you might want to consult the most recent post, “Why Math Is Leading Us Deeper into Illusion.”)

Continue reading

3 Keys To Making Powerful Decisions

Life is filled with decisions.

The decisions you made yesterday got you to where you are today.

The decisions you make today will create your future tomorrow.

With your decisions, you have a power to sculpt your destiny.

Yet given the increased choices we have in our high tech age, making decisions on one level has become easier. You can now do it with the touch of a button. But on the other hand, it can be more difficult, since we have so many more options to choose from.

Have you ever had to make an important decision and felt unsure, confused, or even felt paralyzed?

The fear of making the wrong decision, the fear of missing out, or what other people will think can majorly affect your ability to decide authentically.

Continue reading

Three Ways To Embrace Your Imperfect Perfection

Have your past trials and tribulations left you feeling broken or less than worthy? Do mistakes you’ve made keep haunting you, flooding you with the feeling that you’re never going to be “good enough”? My friends, we are all broken in some way. We are all imperfect. But in that imperfection lies our innate uniqueness. In that brokenness, we find our strength. In our imperfection…lies our divine perfection.

  1. Look Past the Mirror – All to often, our definition of ourselves is limited to the physical. However, when we define ourselves by our bodies, we reject what’s most important – our hearts and our souls. Who we are and what gives us our true strength, goes far beyond what we see in the mirror. Our essential selves are, always have been, and always will be connected to the Divine. Each of us has infinite potential because each of us, in a very real sense, are a part of infinity.
Continue reading

Are You Having Fun Yet?

Happy Summer! The season of relaxation, vacations, warm weather, and FUN! But after teaching hundreds of programs and working with thousands of people, I know that the reality is most people have a hard time having fun!   We have a hard time putting their to-do lists down, kicking back, and prioritizing our need to just have fun.   And when it comes to comparing our level of satisfaction as well as the time and effort we put into having fun, especially when compared to other areas of their life, having fun generally ranks last on the list.

Can you relate?

So, even though we are all so quick to say “Have Fun!” and it feels like it should be a relatively easy task to do, then why is it so damn difficult for so many of us to just…have fun? What is it that gets in our way? And, what can we do to increase our capacity to enjoy?

Continue reading

5 Ways To Seek Out Support

In my years as a vibrational catalyst for others, I’ve seen so many people come and go, many of them never quite fulfilling the role they were meant to fill in this life. I’ve also witnessed as others soared to levels of happiness, peace, and success they never could have imagined. I’ve been inspired by the success I’m able to be a part of, and I know that one of the reasons for this success is the support I was able to give these dear clients.

We all need support. No one can live their life in a vacuum. Finding the right kind of people to surround yourself with, though, can be challenging. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult, if you’re willing to do a bit of work to find the right tribe.

Continue reading

What Is Here

One of the key wisdoms I’ve come to know in my life is to always appreciate what is here, rather than search for (and lament) what is not. If you hold the latter focus, you will always find something missing. If you hold the former, the world will open up around you in miraculous ways. Some people call this a gratitude practice, and that’s a good name for it. Life on Earth is so rich with experiential treasures, so much to be grateful for.

In every moment, there is a surplus of wonder in your life. The air you breathe, the sky above you, your friends and family, all of them precious beyond words. Yet, not every person, event, experience, or detail in life is always within your perceptual field. You can have one particular experience today and an entirely different one tomorrow, each of them seemingly separate. If you expand your awareness, however, both experiences are connected.

We live on a planet of polarities, and we are learning to navigate it, to find balance and harmony within that world. The middle path is one that is inclusive of everything within each moment. You don’t get lost in opposites, which can lend itself to only experiencing loss. Instead, you see everything around you as part of a greater network of meaning and connection in the universe. There is no absence, only presence.

Continue reading

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