It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Gold of Suffering

The apple blossoms behind Susan’s studio are opening and the weeping cherry is turning pink. And today, we have coffee on the deck, our faces in the sun. Everything is so peaceful and full of quiet that we can, for the moment, forget that the Earth is draped in a pandemic. Still, all things are true and all things are happening at once. As I breathe in the early light, someone is taking their last breath. As I wrestle with a jolt of fear, a couple is making love for the first time. As a thousand things are falling apart, another thousand are coming together. This ebb and flow on a cosmic scale is what keeps the Universe going. It feels inevitable that the more I can’t go anywhere, the more my heart travels everywhere—across the globe, then back and forth through history.

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Mankind Is Waiting For The Chance to Change

This is one of my favorite passages in “Flow: The Beginning Is Upon Us” by Jessica Keats.

On The Unknown:  

— The thing about the unknown is that it is unknown. We have no reference for it and there is no way to conceptualize it. When we are headed towards it our minds begin to find logical explanations for it or against it. Our minds envision where we are going and why we are going and then our minds begin to find all the reasons why we shouldn’t go. We get stuck in the reasons we shouldn’t go as these bring up more and more questions and reasons. All of this is a result of our beliefs and patterns of rejection and fear. We reject what we fear so we make up many reasons to fear this unknown possibility.

Many people call the process of moving into the unknown a “breakdown to breakthrough” or “wading through the muck”, but it feels like this only because of our beliefs, fears and stories resisting the natural process of change.

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9 Ways to Unleash Your Joy (Even During Turbulent Times)

Today is a good day to be happy. No matter what is happening in the world (or your own personal world), joy is your protection and purpose right now. 

Joy is one of the highest vibrations we can experience on Planet Earth. Fear is one of the lowest vibrations. During these turbulent times, fear is trying with all its might to seduce us into believing we must worry, fret, and stress over the current conditions in our world.

“How can I not stress?” you might wonder. Yes, the world as we know it appears to be crumbling in complete chaos. But do you know what is really happening underneath the surface? Fear is being shaken out. Hidden deception, corruption, and inequalities are coming into the light, so they will no longer be tolerated. Truth is rising to the surface. Underneath all the chaos, positive change is awakening like the sun rising and shining upon the entire earth.

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How Pain Is Your Teacher

"What if pain was actually a portal into the possibility of something more authentic?”

What if your pain was simply a message? Are you willing to hear the message? In this week’s episode, I talk about a powerful concept that can shift your life completely, how pain is your teacher. By accepting what is happening in the moment and understanding the pain you’re feeling, you can find the real gift. Listen to this episode and learn how pain can help you understand yourself even more deeply, live more authentically, and access more joy and fulfillment in your life.

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Miracles: Creating Our Own Magic

Miracles happen all the time, you have to allow them to happen. Life is a series of thought and action. Miracles occur when we start relating to the power of our subconscious mind.

It is our own thinking patterns that are responsible for creating our destiny. Habitual thinking is responsible for creating the patterns, combined with imagery and visualization, for impacting our subconscious in such a way, that life turns to magic.

MIRACLE WORKING POWER
This is the power that will guide you towards the road to freedom, happiness and peace of mind. It will lift you from the throes of confusion, melancholia and depressive thoughts.
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Can We Ever Heal From Childhood Abuse?

If you had an abusive childhood, will you always suffer from it? This is the question that Andrea asked me about:

“I had a terrifying childhood. I have had counseling, motion light therapy, and been hypnotized, and they have done wonders for me, yet I still long for completion in my mind over these things. My question is – is there ever an end to your struggle in dealing with such things?”

 

The answer is Yes, You Can Heal, But There are Challenges…

Major healing occurs when you practice Inner Bonding and learn to give yourself the love you didn’t receive as a child. You need to learn to be the loving inner parent that your inner child needs. This is what will create the inner safety and self-worth that are necessary for healing.

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Healing The Fear Virus With Compassion!

When the whole Coronavirus stuff started to go down earlier this year, I noticed how another virus was spreading even faster than COVID: The fear virus. Fear was taking root and spreading around the globe faster than the speed of light. 

Fear is contagious. And it’s easy to make it the enemy. But fear shouldn’t be viewed as the enemy itself.

In fact, I believe that when we make choices out of fear, we’re making choices to protect ourselves and those we love. It comes from a desire for self-preservation. Fear can be important. We need some level of an alarm system to keep us out of harm’s way. 

Fear brings a message with it. 

We can’t ignore it — because ignoring it simply buries the emotions. We can’t bypass it — because we have a lot of collective trauma that needs to be addressed and healed. I invite you to see fear as a valuable piece of information. Throw out the concept that you shouldn’t feel fear. At its core, fear is actually friendly. Fear wants to protect us, and is a biologically-rooted system that’s working on our behalf 24/7 to warn us of possible threats to our life. It’s trying to keep us safe and alive. 

But we also don’t want to give in to it or give it more power than it warrants.  

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Shed Healing Light on Pain from the Past

Sometimes we can feel discouraged because our past efforts have never prevailed over what challenges us, so why try now? Or perhaps we are disheartened because one of our main hopes for happiness suddenly proves itself to be hopeless. Maybe we get downcast in the day because our body, or our mind, is no longer capable of doing what it once could in younger years, and all we see on the horizon are more limitations.

The point is -- when it comes to these dispiriting states -- it makes no difference what they say is the cause of their punishing presence within us. The truth is that these dark states find the cause they need to inhabit us right from within the content of our own past experience! What does this mean?

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How To Forgive When You Feel Hurt

How do you forgive and what do you do if you've been hurt and you really want revenge?

You know folks in life as human beings. We have all been hurt at some point and many times you may have loved big and gave your heart and soul to friends, family and relationships. 

You’ve pulled your resources, your energy, your time, your trust. Nothing hurts more than loving someone, trusting someone and giving them everything, and maybe they didn’t appreciate you. Maybe they didn’t honor you. Maybe they betrayed you. 

As human beings, this human experience and relationships can be difficult and challenging in moments. They’re never easy and can be complicated.

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Making the Effort to Grow Beyond Despair

When you know in your heart that you must keep going but your feet just aren’t getting the message, self-understanding can open and carry you through doors that self-insistence cannot. The key to leaving behind our self-created and self-limited world is found in our willingness to keep going, even when it “feels” like something bad is happening to us or that we’re going “nowhere fast.” The idea of quitting or turning back is the unfortunate option that occurs only when we have an incomplete understanding of any given situation. This is where higher self-knowledge becomes so important for our real inner progress. 

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Shine The Light Of Your Own Awareness

Your life is showing you where you are conscious, or it’s showing you where you are unconscious. It’s showing you where you are still in fear, and running programs and circuits that are fear-based, based in survival, or your life is showing you where you are in love and being able to meet life as presence. 

Life is very binary. This whole life thing, in the experience of this whole life, isn’t really that complicated at all. The key is to recognize that life is showing you who you are and who you are not. The key is being willing to shine the light of your own awareness on yourself. When you turn the lens of your awareness on yourself, you are beginning your journey of empowerment. As long as you continue to blame people, places, situations, circumstances and things for your internal state of being, you are a victim.    

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Confronting an Abusive Parent

A woman wrote, asking:

“I am trying to connect with my family of origin. I’ve been working on my recovery for a bit over a year (ACA & Coda steps). I’d like to have a healthy relationship, with boundaries, of course, with my untreated family. But I can’t seem to have a relationship with my mother yet as I’m still processing my feelings from her abuse. I also feel that I need to confront her (when ready) to let her know my truth instead of ‘pretending’ that things are fine between us. This has been a DIFFICULT journey for me that affected my life. Though I know my mother can’t give me what I would like, I wonder if confronting her eventually would help ME with my relationship with her. I know some people don’t agree with confronting. I’m torn about this. I want to eventually have forgiveness for my mother, but I’m not there yet.”

 

The question you need to ask yourself is, “What do I hope to gain by confronting my a abusive mother or father?”

Here are some possible answers:

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Healing the Lack of Loving Holding and Touch

Were you deprived of comforting holding as a child? I was. I was held by my mother, but the energy of her touch was so needy and engulfing that I hated being held or touched by her.

Babies and toddlers especially need warm, tender, caring, comforting holding and touch to know they are loved and to help them learn to regulate their feelings. Without this loving physical nurturing, they feel deeply rejected and abandoned.

How can we heal this yearning for the nurturing loving touch that we might have missed out on?

Brandon asks:

“When I try to get in touch with my anger, the thought comes up “my mother.” I think I didn’t get touched, cuddled, and caressed as a child. Here I get stuck! I draw a blank. I don’t know what the next step of the Inner Bonding process is.”

There are two ways to heal the lack of touch – with another person, and within yourself.

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Transform Ill Will

Do you bear a grudge?

The Practice:
Transform Ill Will.

Why?

Goodwill and ill will are about intention: the will is for good or ill. These intentions are expressed through action and inaction, word and deed, and-especially-thoughts. How do you feel when you sense another person taking potshots at you in her mind? What does it feel like to take potshots of your own? Ill will plays a lot of mini-movies in the simulator, those little grumbling stories about other people. Remember: while the movie is running, your neurons are wiring together.

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You CAN Heal The Wounds of Abusive Parenting

“There are clear links between an individual’s psychological coping strategies and his or her physiological coping strategies. Both are established in infancy and toddlerhood and tend to persist through life.” –Sue Gerhardt, “Why Love Matters,” p. 77

Sue Gerhardt paints quite a bleak picture of our chances of being whole and happy if we didn’t receive the love we needed as infants and toddlers. At the end of her excellent book, ‘Why Love Matters,’ she does say that people can heal with extensive and expensive psychotherapy. But what if you can’t afford expensive psychotherapy?

She states in her well-researched book that part of the brain – the part of the prefrontal cortex that is responsible for being able to manage and regulate very painful feelings – does not get developed when we have parents who were unable to lovingly regulate our feelings for us as infants and toddlers. Can this part of the brain develop in adulthood?

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The Secret to Letting Go of Every Fear

Are you afraid of some condition in your life? Here's a life-transforming secret: that seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful. This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear. 

It is only within this special kind of inner-relationship that there is real safety, because now you are interacting with fear in an entirely new way. You are no longer letting it dictate to you how to act or what to do. Instead, you are aware of the fear. You are learning to quietly observe and study it. And, each day, as you discover something new about the strange and shaky nature of your own fearful reactions, they begin to lose their power over you.

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Stand up to Bullies

Do you see a bully?

The Practice:
Stand up to bullies.

Why?

Humans are profoundly social. Woven through the tapestry of our relationships are several major threads. One of these is power. The only question is, do we use it for good or ill?

The abuse of power can be called many things, including intimidation, fraud, discrimination, and tyranny. I’ll use a term that’s down-to-earth: bullying.

Bullies are unfortunately common. Throughout history and right now today, from homes and schoolyards to the halls of power, they create a vast amount of human suffering. What can we do?

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Does Another’s Wounded Self Trigger Your Wounded Self?

Jenna was angry that she kept getting triggered into her wounded self when her husband, Seth, was in his wounded self.

“I work hard with my Inner Bonding process to get into a centered and connected place. I’ll be doing great and then out of nowhere Seth blames me for something and it all goes out the window. I get so upset at him for blaming me and then I feel off center and down for days. Maybe I shouldn’t be with him? Maybe my guidance is telling me that I’d be better off without him so I can stay in a good space?”

“No Jenna, that’s not what your guidance is telling you. While it’s hard for you to see this right now, Seth is providing you with a wonderful opportunity to learn to stay centered and connected, even in the face of his wounded self. Can you imagine being able to do this? Can you imagine how good you would feel to not disconnect from yourself just because he is disconnected?”

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The Power of Despair

I have selected a few quotes related to The Power of Despair from my One Light, Many Reflections collection. Savor each idea by having three or four breaths between reading each quote to contemplate and expand the meaning to yourself.

“If you are curious how to find pure love, I recommend going to a place within yourself that is so despairing all you want to do is die and then find something you are willing to live for.” Will Hale 12-8-14

“It is easy to die for what you believe in but it takes real courage to live for what you love.” Will Hale 5-24-14

“The emotions of grief come in two tones, the agony of loss and the joy of gratitude, both come from love.” Will Hale 12-15-12

“You can’t really kill yourself, because the part you can kill is not yourself.” Will Hale 12-28-14

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Transforming Your Relationship with Anxiety

Strong anxiety frequently triggers fight-flight-freeze, our survival brain’s strategy for dealing with threats. This can become a trance that dominates our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and deepest experience of who we are.

This talk explores how we get caught in this reactive trance, and ways of calming anxiety and radically shifting our way of relating to the experience of threat. The gift is discovering an inner freedom in the midst of life, and the capacity to respond to what arises with love-in-action.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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