A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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Accepting What You Can’t Control, Controlling What You Can

young-couple-having-disscusion-at-home-picture-id950156398 Accepting What You Can’t Control, Controlling What You Can
Coming to grips with what you can and can’t control opens the door to true emotional freedom and personal power.

I frequently receive questions about what to do in situations where someone is behaving in an unloving way, or a way that’s painful for them. For example:

  • My co-worker never answers emails, making it very hard for me to do my work, as I need his input.
  • My wife never wants to make love.
  • People often ask me intrusive questions that I don’t want to answer.
  • My husband is often late and never calls to let me know he is going to be late for dinner.
  • My friend got together with a bunch of our friends for lunch and didn’t invite me.
  • My parents are forever criticizing me.
  • I often feel invaded and demanded of by family and friends.
  • My husband sits at the table when we go out to dinner absorbed with his phone instead of talking with me.
  • My children are disrespectful toward me.
  • My wife has a male friend whom she talks with all the time and sometimes meets for lunch, even though I’ve told her I’m uncomfortable with their relationship.
  • My wife often wants to talk about what I’m doing wrong.

Two Healthy Choices in Conflict

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How To Stop Caring What Other People Think About You

group-of-hands-with-pointing-finger-picture-id174850257 How To Stop Caring What Other People Think About You

You have no control of what other people think about you.

The only control that you have is over yourself, and how you respond.

Your responsibility is not to make others happy but to be yourself fully.

People’s opinions of you reflect more about themselves than about you. So don’t take it personally. Just because they judge you a certain way, or have a negative opinion of you, doesn’t mean it’s true.

It’s just their opinion. It’s their perception, and perception is not reality.

Our perception is a projection based on our current level of consciousness which is determined by our conditioning and experiences.

So make peace with who you are, and who you aren’t. The more you love and accept yourself, the less you will seek it from others.

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570 Hits

Be A LOVE Plusser (here’s how!)

loveplusser Be A LOVE Plusser (here’s how!)

I recently attended a creativity workshop taught by famed artist and animator, Dave Zoboski (link to www.TheAlchemyofCreativity.com ). He spent decades working as a Senior Animator at Disney, Sony and Warner Brothers.

We all were given colored pencils and a sketchpad while Dave’s model posed for us.  Most of us didn’t have any real artistic ability in this field, but we were encouraged to have fun and go for it.

After several minutes of sketching, he told us to stop and to put our pad on our chair and to move three seats to our left and then pick up the pad on that chair and begin sketching on someone else drawing.   The assignment was to see how we could improve upon what they had already begun.

Dave explained that in the animation field, the culture is such that you never criticize another artists’ work, but rather you become a “plusser” for them …someone who adds to and improves the work they have done so far.

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76 Hits

What Does Love Feel Like?

man-and-dog-in-the-park-picture-id934108632 What Does Love Feel Like?

Let's start with why have a spirit in the body? Why not be the spirit?

If you're just a spirit, what does chocolate taste like? It takes energy to make visual pictures, to make sound, to taste. So when you get into the suit you can see, smell, touch, taste, feel. Back to what does love feel like?

I can have a conscious idea as a spirit. Love is nice. But what does love feel like? Well, get into a body and release dopamine. Oh, that's what love feels like. The body converts our reality into sensation so that we can experience physical things. But you also have choices of where you want to go and what you want to do. It's not just the feelings going in and going back to Source, it's the Source with information of what to do coming into the body like a two-way street.

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What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship

girls-kissing-a-boy-picture-id958547342 What To Do If Your Partner Wants An Open Relationship

“Real love gives freedom, and in freedom there is always choice. The choice to do or not to do.”

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What to do if you are in love with someone, but they want to have an open relationship?
  • Is acting out all of your desires really freedom? What is real freedom?
  • If you can’t have a relationship with one person, how are you going to have a relationship with 2 people?
  • How being spiritually evolved is monogamy?
  • What does loving unconditionally really mean?
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445 Hits

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: All This has Yet to Happen

friends by Helena Lopes All This has Yet to Happen

When my twentieth book was published, we had a party in our backyard. It was such a milestone. My wife, Susan, surprised me that day by having the incomparable folk singer, May Erlewine, play with her quartet. I was dumbfounded to see her in our driveway. As May played, her voice threaded through our histories and I could feel the weave of stories that have brought us all together. After her first set, I offered a reading, one piece from each of my books. I have read all over the world and, honestly, I’m never nervous, but reading in our backyard to our dearest friends, I was. As I took in all those loving faces, my heart swelled and I realized that what so touches me about May and her music, beneath all her gifts, is that when I first saw her play, she reminded me that I am alive and that the moment we are in has yet to happen. And standing before my friends, I said as much, adding, “I feel this with each of you. Every time we’re together, no matter the distance or time in between, I am reminded that I am alive and that all this has yet to happen. In this way, each of you holds up my heart. In this way, each of you opens my heart. In truth, anyone or anything that reminds us that we are alive and that this has yet to happen is a friend.” I could feel all these beautiful beings with their gifts and burdens, mirrored and softened by each other’s company. Insight often appears in the loving presence of others. It had happened again. Standing with friends on this raft of an afternoon after years of rowing downstream together, I could see that friendship is my religion, the constant practice of love in the world.

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103 Hits

5 Ways You Can Think You Are on a Spiritual Path, But Not Be

innerbonding 5 Ways You Can Think You Are on a Spiritual Path, But Not Be

"...The form our faith takes is less important than the love it imparts....The bedrock of spirituality is to learn about love."
--Judith Orloff, M.D. Second Sight, p. 166-167

The spiritual path is a path of love. There are many people who claim to be devoted to a spiritual path, yet love seems not to be a part of their path. What are they doing that they claim is spiritual if learning about loving themselves and others is not their highest priority?

  1. Some people attempt to use religion and prayer as a form of control - hoping to have control over getting what they want if they pray "right," or believe the "right" thing. Often, they are very judgmental toward others who don't believe as they do, which certainly has nothing to do with love.
     
  2. Some people use prayer and meditation as an addiction - a way to "bliss out" and avoid responsibility for their feelings.
     
  3. Some people believe that being "selfless" and just giving to others is the path of love, but without loving themselves and sharing their love from a full place within, they may have an agenda of getting others' love or approval - or getting God's love - attached to their selflessness.
     
  4. Some people get fascinated with things like learning to leave their bodies, or the power of crystals and precious stones, and forget that the important part of the spiritual path is about love.
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178 Hits

Make Loving Yourself A Sacred Ritual

beautiful-young-girl-is-wearing-casual-clothes-having-rest-in-a-with-picture-id910206946 Make Loving Yourself A Sacred Ritual

This week’s goddess that stood out for me in our universal energy forecast is the Greek goddess Demeter. I’m on the ocean right now with medium John Holland for our cruise, and I plan on going to the spa this week and swimming in the ocean when we stop, something I have not done in a while. When I am true to my self-care plan I take regular Himalayan salt baths, meditate, spend very little time on personal social media and do a regular inventory of my thoughts feelings and beliefs. Do you have a special way to self-care? A ritual? Are you faithful to it?

Self-nurturing is so important with my busy schedule, and if I forget, or say yes when I need to say no, I regret it. Here on this beautiful ocean one would think it’s a vacation for me, but it’s work and so I’m also aware of the needs of my students here and why they came. So if I don’t take care of me, I won’t be able to serve at my highest capacity, and I may fall prey to want to rescue someone in pain. Most healers and practitioners of the intuitive arts are driven by Demeter’s energy and that makes us good at what we do, but we need to be careful and self-aware and know where the boundary lies.

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132 Hits

Are You Twins?

IMG_0639-1200x900

My partner/wife Anne and I have been together 36 years, married 5 years. During that time, we have been present to many changes in consciousness about and reactions to LGBTQ people. It is a time of great expansion on this planet. At the moment, it can feel like everything is going backwards, but it’s really just the rising and falling of waves of change. Awareness is definitely continuing to open and flower, even in the most unexpected places.

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137 Hits

“I am good enough, dammit!”

what-a-fantastic-day-it-is-outside-picture-id926197280 Reversing a lifetime of having low self-esteem

My whole life, I had been my worst critic. I was my own judge, jury and executioner. I strove for perfection, sought validation and felt that I have to compete for everything in order to deserve something. This is a result of people — most especially my family— criticizing me, telling me in many different ways how I was not good enough and how I need to be different and do better. Undoing that damage is neither easy nor quick. The solution was both simple and complicated but I am now peeling away the ugly layers that covered up my true self.


Growing up, I was constantly ‘teased’ about my flaws. My skin was too dark. My smile was too gummy. My lower lip was too thick. I was too skinny, too shy, too weak, too clumsy, too slow. There was a never-ending list of things that’s ‘wrong’ with me. And those were mostly from my own family — cousins, uncles and aunts, grandparents, siblings, and my mom. For who I was and whatever I did, I was simply not good enough. I felt like I could never measure up to standards set by those around me.

One of my first memories were of my parents broken up. I don’t remember them being together at all. Before my father died when I was 17, I remember seeing him only twice. I guess, this is where it all started, as a little girl asking, “Why doesn’t he want to see me? Am I not good enough for him?” That feeling of being unwanted by him didn’t leave me until I was about 18. Did I have daddy issues? Perhaps. I’ll leave that to the experts. But I honestly think that this is not the only culprit that eroded my self-worth.

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150 Hits

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: In the Sea of Dream

handsleep Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: In the Sea of Dream

In the middle of the night, your hand was sticking up from under your pillow—so still and open—as when we finally stop reaching and are just beginning to receive. I gently twined my fingers in yours. You were so asleep, and yet you took my hand. That’s how deep we can go. We hold on, even when drifting in the sea of dream. I couldn’t see your face, only your hand. And with no distractions, with no dishes to wash or bills to pay, I was winded by all the things you’ve held and cared for, including me. This was the hand that stroked your mother’s face before she died, the hand that cupped a baby bird till it could fly, the hand that cupped my face when I was so alone in my pain, the hand that learned to give our beloved dog Mira shots to ease her arthritis, the hand that sometimes doesn’t know how to care for itself, the hand that renews itself nonetheless by planting things in the earth. I wanted to place your hand, like a salve, on my heart but didn’t want to wake you. Then your fingers went limp, as if the dream you were falling through was coming to an end. In that moment, I feared this is what it would be like if you were to die in your sleep. I quickly squeezed your palm, and you stirred. I held you and whispered, “Everything’s alright. Go back to sleep.” And you turned over. It was then I put my head on your shoulder, leaning on the mystery of your heart, of my heart, of the one indivisible heart, as thousands have done throughout time.

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98 Hits

What Law & Order Taught Me About Love

chef-cleaning-after-preparing-food-picture-id867679096 What Law & Order Taught Me About Love

One of my favorite TV series of the last 20 years is Law and Order. I avidly watch all of the various versions of the show and often fall asleep to re-runs! I’m always impressed with how the defense attorneys stand up for their unlikable clients, working hard to prove that one is “innocent until proven guilty.”

Recently Brian was admonishing me, for the millionth time, about leaving crumbs on the kitchen counter. This has been going on forever.
I just don’t see crumbs!

He told me (again) how the crumbs attract ants (also an ongoing issue).
My first reaction (as usual) was to get defensive thinking, “it’s just a few ants.” 
But then I thought, what if I had to defend Brian’s reaction and really stand up for him and make a case for why he was right???

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43 Hits

What Happens When You Protect Your Values

group-of-girls-with-down-syndrome-on-cheerleading-squad-picture-id639844526 What Happens When You Protect Your Values

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”  — Thurgood Marshall

After my daughter watched the documentary Finding Neverland the other night, she wrote me a note that landed deep in my soul.

She said, “Thank you for such a wonderful childhood. Thank you for loving me. And, perhaps most importantly, thank you for always protecting me.”

I sat and stared at those last two words.

Protecting my children has always been a huge deal to me. I know it is for most parents. It’s our job to keep our children safe. It’s our job to be on guard against people or situations that might seem appealing, but are actually dangerous. It’s our job to build resilient children who can pave their own way and stand on their own two feet.

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about the role of “the protector.” I’ve thought about how, when I was young and naive, I thought it was a man’s job to protect. Now as a seasoned protector myself, I no longer hold onto that childish view.

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58 Hits

Forget The Shoulda's

Life's stream Forget The Shoulda's

When healthy inclinations become "shouldas," then there is a big problem.

Is it really true?

The Practice: Forget the "shoulda's."

Why?

One time I watched a three-year-old at her birthday party. Her friends were there from preschool, and she received lots of presents. The cake came out, she admired the pink frosting rose at its center, and everyone sang. One of the moms cut pieces and without thinking sliced right through the rose - a disaster for this little girl. "I shoulda had the rose!" she yelled. "I shoulda shoulda SHOULDA had the rose!" Nothing could calm her down, not even pushing the two pieces of cake together to look like a whole rose. Nothing else mattered, not the friends, not the presents, not the day as a whole: she was insistent, something MUST happen. She had, just HAD to get the whole rose.

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This Is What Strong Leadership Looks Like

newzealand-landscape This Is What Strong Leadership Looks Like

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.”  — Simone de Beauvoir

In my time in Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics World Games, I was struck by a few things.

1) How vast the world is and how small we all are in it;

2) How diverse the world is and how little we know about each other’s cultures, religions and customs;

3) How similar we actually are, regardless of the color of our skin or the God to whom we pray; and,

4) How much we all need inspiration and examples of courage and dignity in our lives.

These things have the power to lift us all up. They should give us hope that we can find common ground and that we are each capable of being the inspiration that we seek.

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96 Hits

How to “Spring Clean” & Declutter Your Life

declutter-your-life How to “Spring Clean” & Declutter Your Life

Almost everyone has too much STUFF in their lives. Things we’ve bought but have never used, or things we used to love but haven’t used in years.

Gifts people have given us that we never needed. Old newspapers, magazines, and junk mail. Clothes we no longer wear. Broken, useless stuff that we’ve never gotten around to throwing out.

All of these things mess up our home and our office, disturb our peace of mind, and fill our world with useless clutter.

And that’s just the physical stuff! I’m not even talking about the way we fill our lives with too much “busy-ness” and too many unnecessary distractions that pull us away from the important things we should be focusing on.

So today I’d like to share five powerful spring-cleaning strategies that you can use to declutter your life at all levels, so you have more focus, clarity, space, and freedom to focus on what truly matters most to you.

I’m pretty sure at least one of these strategies is going to surprise you.

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160 Hits

Do Opposites Really Attract?

young-romantic-couple-together-outside-picture-id492074006 Do Opposites Really Attract?

A few years ago I was at a gathering of personal growth experts and leaders. Many have names you would recognize. All would consider themselves “spiritual” people.

At dinner, I was seated next to a very handsome 50-something man who was the boyfriend of one of our members. Let’s call her Julie and call him John. Julie had been a divorcee for nearly two decades, and in spite of her best efforts to find love, wasn’t having any luck. She is a bit of a “perfectionist” and had a lengthy and detailed “must have” list that honestly sounded like the “male version of her.”

I asked John how they met. He lit up and told me they met at a charity Gala where they had randomly been seated next to each other and sparks flew.

I asked him what he loved about being with Jill: He explained he works as an orthopedic surgeon he also volunteers around the world with Doctors Without Borders. He is a really solid, loving guy who grew up in a happy home. When he met Jill he had never meditated, done yoga, or heard of Deepak Chopra or Jack Canfield.

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171 Hits

What is the true meaning of a soul mate?

personal-perspective-of-couple-relaxing-on-hammock-feet-view-picture-id910783248 What is the true meaning of a soul mate?

Question: The problem seems to be that when you are in a relationship, in the beginning everything is happening, but when you marry that person it changes.

I’ve been in several relationships, major relationships, and been married and divorced twice and I’m searching for something special. Something I’ve been told has been called a soul mate. Do you believe in such a relationship or person and what would that mean? How would I know that?

Ram Dass: Got it! Keep looking! I’ll give you the farthest out answer first and then we’ll come back to something that everybody can handle. In the farthest out answer, we have all been around so many times that every one of us has been everything with everybody else. So when I look at you, you and I have been in so many relationships together. It’s just that we don’t remember.

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238 Hits

Start Taking Control of Your Life Today!

Blog-031219-Generic Start Taking Control of Your Life Today!

For as long as I can remember I have been the ultimate overachiever. Starting in elementary school, it was like a badge of honor for me to study longer and harder than any of my classmates. Although my workaholic tendencies produced a lot of achievements and success, they also came with a cost. I can’t tell you the number of invitations I turned down, the time hanging out with friends I missed out on, and the added pressure I imposed on myself.

Have you ever wondered about what your driving force is? 

Have you ever wondered about what keeps you from manifesting and actually experiencing that which you say you want? 

Have you ever wondered about what keeps you from letting go, even when you know something or someone no longer serves your highest vision for your life?

What’s Really Controlling Your Life?

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113 Hits

Dancing with Hope (So Love Can Have More Love)

elegance-at-sunset-picture-id467107475 Dancing with Hope (So Love Can Have More Love)

You are in for a treat today. My friend, Dr. Gary Sayler, has written a game-changing book, Safe To Love Again How to Release the Pain of Past Relationships and Create the Love You Deserve. 

In this book he skillfully illuminates the origins of the blocks to love so many suffer with, whether its around finding love or keeping love. This magnificent work offers practical, healing solutions that will put you on the path to deep and lasting love.  Today. Dr. Sayler has written a special blog for us that shares a big piece of his wisdom:

“If it’s not one stunt, it’s another!” Amy exclaimed in a defeated tone. “Every time I turn around, I’m being ghosted or stood up. What’s up with these guys? Why do I have to meet someone new every two weeks? Since when did two months become a long term relationship?” Then Amy voiced the real heartbreak beneath the tears—“Maybe it’s just better not looking for love . . .” With a heavy sigh, she continued, “I’m just going through the motions when it comes to finding my dream man. I feel empty—like I’ve lost all of my passion. Living for my kids seems to be my only option when it comes to feeling loved.” So how do we find love when hope is gone?

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152 Hits

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