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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Let Us Not Forget the Healing Power of Touch

With the recent #metoo and #timesup movements, I’ve been thinking a lot about touch.


The focus lately, of course, has been on the wrong kind of touch.


The kind that makes us feel shame and fear and anger.


Used, violated, helpless, traumatized.


Powerless.


The uninvited kind.


The kind that crossed a line.


The kind that has put women on guard, time and time again, and made them leery of being touched.


The kind that destroys a healthy relationship with touch.


A world full of women are walking around with PTSD of one level or another from being touched inappropriately.


And yes, many men, as well.


Say what you will about social media, but it has helped birth a movement which is determined to change this story of power and disrespect.


But today I want to say good things about touch.


How it heals.


How it’s a basic human need.


How living without it can make us emotionally and physically sick.


I learned a great deal about touch when I studied Ayurveda.

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Empowering Bad Behavior - #TimesUp Now!

Happy New Year! I have been thinking a lot about this first newsletter of 2018. In a perfect world, I might be using this post to share with you some profound, uplifting, spiritual experience that I had ringing in the New Year and setting the tone for the upcoming year, but the fact is I cannot. I rang in the New Year experiencing emotions that ranged from horrified, shocked, and speechless to feeling victimized.

I was at what I thought was going to be a sweet get-together which quickly got hijacked by the bad behavior of a 40-year old woman who, in a nutshell, was committed to proving that she was right and everyone around her was wrong because they were not adhering to her demands and doing and acting as she wanted them to. Although I've only known this woman for a relatively short time, from what I have seen, this woman's bad behavior had nothing to do with New Year's Eve. It has been on display since the day I met her and from what I have heard from people closest to her, it has always been ever-present in her life – igniting toxicity, trauma, and trouble where ever she goes and with whomever she is with.

Yet, just as troubling as this woman's consistent bad behavior has been the reaction of everyone around her. Not wanting to have to "take on her stuff," they let her stuff dictate and infect every move, moment, and mood. That was until New Year's. Seeing the horror, hurt and humiliation reflected in the eyes of people like myself and others who were bystanders as we watched the events of the evening unfold, the people closest to this woman could no longer ignore the proverbial elephant in the living room. It was painfully obvious that the air and joy was being sucked out of the room and that their tendency to choose "harmony" over truth had landed them in hell and empowered bad behavior as well as a negative, venomous presence in the space. 

Interestingly, if I have seen any theme so far in 2018, it has been very much in keeping with the one I just described. I have already received numerous calls and messages from people who can no longer tolerate accepting or enduring the bad or inappropriate behavior of others to rule the roost, be it their children, spouses, co-workers, employers, or friends. They've had it with living in denial, turning a blind eye, trying to make it better, or being blinded by their own wishful thinking. The cost of living in an environment of constant judgment, righteousness, and pessimism has not only brought them down, but also been downright depleting. 

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How To Let Go of Negativity and Be Happy

Negative thinking is a prison that leads to a limited life.

The more you focus on the negative, the more you give power to what you don’t want.

The more you give power to what you don’t want, the more what you don’t want will manifest in your life.

How you view a situation, person or place will determine your reality. Your reality is created by how you see it.

If you are not conscious, your mind will rob you of happiness and cause you suffering.

Negative thinking serves nothing other than to keep you from being open to possibilities and keeps you small.

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Spiritual Growth and Sexual Abuse

A new kind of power – authentic power – is replacing the old kind of power – external power. Authentic power is the ability to distinguish love from fear within yourself and choose love no matter what is happening inside you or what is happening outside you. External power is the ability to manipulate and control.

From the perspective of external power villains are powerful and victims are powerless. From the perspective of authentic power, the callous lust of one who abuses others to satisfy his (or her) destructive desires and the rage of those who are abused are both experiences of powerlessness. There is no power in abuse or revenge.

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Discovering the Divine Gift and Abandonment Isolation

For many people who are experiencing rapid spiritual growth, isolation may be a necessary part of the learning curve. One reason for this is that the cellular pain comes to the surface it is hard even for those who are consciously aware not to project it to those around them.  Another reason for the isolation is that company can distract us from facing what we need to so we can move on.

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The Power of the Moment

The other day, I was sitting at lunch with my kids as they started to discuss the Texas shooting and started to wonder why the news had moved on from this story so quickly.


My son said, “Wow, that Texas story was wild. Why aren’t more people talking about that? Isn’t it weird that it just came and went?”


I thought about that. Stories used to stop us all cold in our tracks. Now, they just seem to come and go. Moments that used to bring a collective sense of grief—a collective sense of oneness—now seem to come and go without landing.

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How The Divorce Diet Became The Integrity Advantage

As you may know, this past week, my first book, The Integrity Advantage, was released. It was a pinnacle moment filled with a smorgasbord of emotions. It quickly turned into a somewhat surreal experience watching this baby being birthed out into the world, seeing people holding the book in their hands, and knowing that they would soon be reading my words.


Many people have asked me why I committed to this concept of integrity as a way of life a few years ago. I was recently invited to write a guest blog addressing what motivated me to write this book and what I hoped the reader would get out of it. Since it was my own pain and chaos of living out of integrity that brought me to living and realizing the advantage of living an integrity-guided life, I thought I would share the blog here. 

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Anger: Responding, Not Reacting

Anger is natural, intelligent and necessary for surviving and flourishing. Yet when we are hooked by anger, it causes great personal and collective suffering. This talk explores how to transform patterns of reactivity by bringing a mindful and compassionate attention to the unmet needs that underlie angry reactivity. When we learn how to pause and connect honestly with our inner experience, we are then able to respond to others from our full intelligence and heart.


“Getting angry with another person is like throwing hot coals with bare hands: both people get burned.”  Buddha

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Stop Covering Your Butt!

Last Saturday when I was taking a bootcamp class at my gym, I noticed this adorable twenty-something standing next to me. Although I have seen her before, I have never talked to her. Truth is, she generally works out every morning at 6 AM, whereas I stumble in at 7 AM. I have in the past overheard some of her conversations. They generally revolve around what she is eating and her asking advice from others since she is "starving herself and not losing any more weight." Having been in that situation for a huge portion of my life, I have had tremendous empathy for her. Although part of me wanted to jump right in and save her, I could hear my three daughters (who are also in their twenties) in my head saying, "Mom, don't be scary!" So beyond complimenting her whenever I could and was appropriate, I kept my scary-self quiet.

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Let's take a look at what happens inside a woman who has been through trauma...

If you've been following the news, a flood of women speaking out on harassment, abuse and rape are making their presence known.


And as a woman who has experienced it,
 
I wanted to offer some thoughts on how we can move through this with grace and really make a shift.


I also wanted to give a little insight into the mental and emotional gymnastics that a woman might go through as she tries to rationalize and accept what has happened.

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Does Everything Really Happen for a Reason?

When we are going through a difficult period in our lives, or are dealing with a crisis, it can feel like our lives are over. I’m sure that these last few months have felt very challenging for you, as they have for me, with the hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and, the most recent, the shooting in Vegas! During these challenging times, many well-meaning people will say things like “well, everything happens for a reason,” or “behind every gray cloud, there’s a silver lining.” Oftentimes, it is these types of statements that make us want to scream at the top of our lungs, “you just don’t understand, nothing will ever be the same” or “leave me alone … you have no idea.”


When we are in the midst of such periods, these age-old sayings can be difficult to hear, and even more difficult to believe. I get it. I have been the one to say it … and the one to scream … all at different times.


But, what if it were true? What if everything really does happen for a reason? What if we lived from a perspective that every experience that we have in life is designed to be an opportunity for growth, expansion, awareness, and dare it be said … for Love?


Most of us have, at some point in our lives, been lucky enough to have had some rough patches; but, experiences that, when looked back upon, can be seen with appreciation. Others have lived through downright catastrophes – where there seems to be no good reason whatsoever. Broken hearts, financial ruin, abuse or even the death of a loved one can leave us with more questions than answers. The why’s of it all, no doubt, cause pain, sadness, anger, illness and depression. We all see these challenges differently. For some, the pain is so devastating that they can’t get out of bed; while others can take what happened, and turn that energy into motivation. Why such different responses in similar circumstances?

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How To Stop Worrying and Have Faith

Worry is a waste of time.


It changes nothing.


Most of the things you are worrying about now, you won’t remember in a few years.


Stop focusing on the small stuff that you won’t even remember a week from now, and certainly not on your death bed.


Life gives you no refunds for the time you spent worrying.


What you focus on expands, so focus on what is truly important and meaningful to you. Decide to constantly feed what is beautiful about yourself and your life rather than what isn’t.


The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your attention. And this is your choice.


By trying to furiously control life, you often end up controlled by it.

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Shiva, Irma…and Faith

Shiva is the power of destruction, dissolution, or transformation in our lives. Nothing entirely new and innovative can be created without this strong, and often unsettling, force that turns the tables on the status quo, normality, and habituation. Without Shiva, our lives would be dull and uneventful—one long Groundhog Day, playing the same scene over and over again. Yet the word destruction strikes fear in our hearts; we freeze at the very thought of losing what is dear to us. Of losing everything.

Hurricanes like Irma, Maria, and Harvey embody this extreme aspect of Shiva. Monumental raging winds and rising water completely obliterate the old, often leaving thousands homeless and grieving the deaths of friends and family. In the aftermath, something new is eventually created, but loss of home and loss of life are not easily assimilated or accepted. Those affected may experience emotional trauma as well as financial burdens. These human crises break our hearts. How do we face life at times like these?

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How does your reaction to change affect your life experience?

At this moment, you and I are living in an information age. We are living through shifts in the meta-structures of the game that are very profound. We haven’t even begun to grow into it.

Our mythology is so based on our previous ages and consciousness, that we haven’t even understood it yet. I mean, we’re just beginning the dance of understanding what it means when we have a collective unconsciousness, when we have information moving at the rate it is. We’re still getting overloaded trying to collect it. But it’s obvious – you can’t collect it.

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At the corner of fear and forgiveness

Many have memories of fun-filled afternoons, family vacations, weekends loaded with laughter and wise knowledge being passed from an idealized parent.

 

What about the others?

 

The children who shy away from light because they are strangely comforted by the darkness.

 

How about all of the once innocent children, now struggling adults, who hide inside the shadows that dance along with their lives.

 

Not every childhood memory is warmly filled. Many are chilled with ice as sharp as knives. Pain that swallows them alive.

 

What about them?

 

Those that get denied and pushed aside. The ones that we choose not to see because it makes us uncomfortable or forces us to face our own darkness.

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4 Ways to Change Your Thoughts

Globally we are at this moment of diagnosis on the planet. We are standing in front of the doctor and they are telling us we are entering the sixth mass extinction. The shock of this has the potential to have humanity dig deeper than imagined and write a completely new program, unleashing a rapid healing response across the globe.

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“R.D. says we are not our bodies. Amen.”

For some years in California, a young man came to my lectures in a bed, brought in a bed. He was a quadriplegic. He could not speak. He was about twenty-eight years old. He was like this (laying back on a slant). His attendant could hold his hand over an alphabet board and there was just enough capacity to point at letters. That was the way he spoke. Each time he came, I went over to him and hugged him, and then I would wait while he spelled out some words. I felt in myself how reactive I was to the immensity of his deprivation state.

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Transforming Suffering Into Grace

When you look back at your own life, you see that with the suffering you went through, you would have avoided it each time if you possibly could, yet when you look at the depths of your character now, and the fact that you’re sitting here doing this work, you see it’s all a product of those experiences.

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Discovering the Gold: Remembering Our True Nature by Cultivating Mindfulness and Compassion

I remember when I was on a book tour for Radical Acceptance, one of the places I stopped was the Buddhist university, Naropa, and they had a big poster with a big picture of me and, underneath the photo, the caption was: Something is wrong with me.

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3 Steps To End Victimhood And Co-dependency

You are a sovereign being. You are the only governing authority when it comes to your life. The moment you choose to let go of blaming others is the moment you take possession of the key to your own shackles.


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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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