Is Your Spiritual Platform Heart Centered, Intellectual or Dogmatic?

Is Your Spiritual Platform Heart Centered, Intellectual or Dogmatic?

There are many different types of spirituality. When working with my clients, I mostly see people that are either heart centered, dogmatic, intellectual or a combination of these types of practices. Is one belief system better than another?

Have you ever wondered if your spiritual platform is heart centered, intellectual or dogmatic?

As I started to write this blog, I had an idea of how I would share the different types of spirituality, and then I received a phone call. A client contacted me to say she needed to reschedule our next appointment because she had been in an accident.

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Heart-Healthy Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Heart-Healthy Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Having a nutritious plant-based diet is critical for your health. It helps lower your cholesterol, preventing the risk of heart disease and stroke. So, here are seven heart-healthy foods to incorporate into your diet.

1. Add in Some Whole Grains

Grains are the perfect source of fiber. They help improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of stroke and diabetes. Grains also include plenty of B vitamins, iron and magnesium. These vitamins are essential in ensuring your body's cells function correctly.

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How to Listen to Your Intuition and Follow Your Inner Wisdom

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By: Jennifer Joy Jiménez

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

I adore that Steve Jobs quote because it says something so true about intuition.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Staying Awake

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Staying Awake

I don’t support the notion that some people are awake and others are not. Everyone is capable of great love, kindness, and insight. Everyone has eyelids. Some of us open our eyes and some of us, for various reasons, live with our eyes shut. Likewise, some of us live with an open mind and an open heart and some of us, for various reasons, live with our mind and heart shut.

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Choose To Love

Choose Love - Rick Hanson PhD

What does your heart say?

The Practice:
Choose to Love

Why?

Many years ago, I was in a significant relationship in which the other person started doing things that surprised and hurt me. I’ll preserve the privacy here so I won’t be concrete, but it was pretty intense. After going through the first wave of reactions – What?! How could you? Are you kidding me?! – I settled down a bit. I had a choice.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Being Vulnerable

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Even if it takes years, it is important to heal the wounded places, so we can recover the full use of our heart. For the parts of our heart that are left wounded and unresolved remain preoccupied and not available for us to use in living. If unprocessed, the wounded places become dark and hard. Being vulnerable allows us to recover our heart, because being vulnerable and tender allows our wounds to soften and heal.

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Is Your Heart Closed off to Love?

bradleynelsen9.4 8 Questions to Help Determine If You Have a Heart-Wall

Do you or someone you know have trouble giving or receiving love, trusting others, or forming deep and satisfying relationships? These are signs of a widely prevalent but little understood condition known as a Heart-Wall®.

When you experience a traumatic childhood, a bad breakup, a divorce, the death of a partner, abuse, severe injury, or any dreadful event, the emotional pain of the experience can cause you to feel defensive and to wall off your heart. A Heart-Wall may prevent you from giving and receiving love, block you from trusting others and forming new relationships, and leave you feeling perpetually lonely and isolated.

Heart-Walls are made up of the energy of Trapped Emotions from difficult experiences. Most people have multiple unresolved and unprocessed emotions that lay trapped one over another, all covering their heart creating a Heart-Wall. Trapped Emotions such as these are commonly referred to as emotional baggage.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Garden in Our Heart

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I believe there is a garden in our heart where some part of everyone we’ve ever loved takes root. And no matter what happens in the world of circumstance, we continue to love them in that interior garden. We may lose someone to death, betrayal, mistrust, or cowardice. We may find that we fail each other, or discover that, love each other as we might, being together is toxic. Or we may be torn apart by world events—wars, injustice, or natural disasters. Yet we never stop loving them, not a one. And so, they live in the garden in our heart, waiting for us to visit them in our dreams and to summon their better angels in the still moments that we earn.

Recognizing this inner garden has changed how I react to the pangs of loss. When I miss someone who has turned hurtful or cruel, it doesn’t mean I need to resurrect the relationship. That I still love them doesn’t mean I have to undo my resolve and find a way to see them. More deeply, feeling my love for those who are absent means I need to go inward and spend time harvesting the lessons of how we came to love each other and how we came to hurt each other. Feeling their presence doesn’t mean I need to go back, but rather that I need to go forward, allowing the love I feel to evolve beyond the trials of our actual relationship.

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How to Overcome and Even Celebrate, When the Twisties Come into Your Life

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This blog is written for those of us that have ever felt misalignment between our heart, soul, mind and body. There are times in our life, usually just before a big shift of awareness, where life doesn’t flow as easily. Some part of our inner communication system is blocked. The pressure builds and builds, all of a sudden, we have the twisties, life balance is compromised. Keep reading and discover how to not only overcome, but also celebrate the twisties.

This week I asked people on Instagram what they would like to read about in my blog. My favorite answer was Simone Biles’ case of the twisties.

Honestly, I think we should have a National Simone Day. She just took the first step in normalizing self-care, and pausing when life feels out of control, or in other words when we have the twisties.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: In Those Moments

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Sometimes, after she falls and before

she gets up, she takes a deep breath.

And in those moments, she stares

briefly into the Center of Things.

It calms her. For in those moments,

she drinks from something older than

her life. Other times, the same thing

happens when reading a passage from

a book that opens her heart. Or when

hearing that lift in a song that makes

her think of looking at the stars as

a little girl. She never knows how to

speak of these openings. It’s as if

the still point of her life rests on

the bottom of all trouble like a

weighted pearl. And an invisible

string ties it to her heart. And

every once in a while, the pearl

of life tugs at her heart, forcing

her to fall and remember that

there is nowhere to go.



A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, describe your own firsthand experience of how being stopped opened you to more than just your life.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Thinking She was Lost

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She was standing in the aisle as the train bumped along the Hudson. She was looking in her bag, as if she’d lost something important. She just meant to check that it was still there, like when she reached for her wallet the other day, just to make sure she didn’t leave it on the counter in the drugstore. Or like reaching for that small photo of her son who was now gone. Is it there? How could she go on without it? The more she looked, the more desperate she became, as if she couldn’t find her heart. Where did she leave it? She began to search her mind for when she last took her heart out. Did she leave it on the table at the restaurant when the young couple reminded her of her first love? Or did she leave it at her son’s funereal? Did it fall into his grave at the cemetery? She had to find it or she couldn’t go on. I began to ache for her, saying to myself, “Keep looking. It has to be there. You can’t lose something like that.” But then, I slouched, remembering the times I’d lost my heart and how awful the weeks before I found it. She began to cry and pull at her bag, as if it had betrayed her. My heart began to pound. Things started to spill from her bag onto the floor. I moved closer, thinking, Now that I’m in this, I have enough heart for two. I touched her arm. And the extra heart she’d given me by being so real in her fear of loss in the middle of a train—I gave it back by holding up her bag which was falling. She gasped for air, as if waking from a dream of drowning, and put her hand to her chest. It had been there all along.

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Electricity of Touch

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Kennedy shares with us the electricity of touch, that which we knew even before the heart begins to beat. We came from the heart - our energetic heart. Listen as she tells the story of two twin baby girls and the electricity of touch.  
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You are Totally Loveable (Just the way you are)

Totally Lovable

The 8th anniversary of my sister Debbie’s passing was a few days ago.

I was going through some recordings we did together and found a “feelingization” on falling in love with yourself that is just gorgeous.

Below is the essence of the process and you can also access the audio here.

Place your attention on the area around your heart, and take a deep breath into the deepest part of yourself, as you hold the intention of falling in love with yourself: knowing that you are worthy, loving, and wholly unique.

See yourself seated on a beautiful velvet loveseat in the center of your own heart…. a cozy and comfortable love seat…. now look off to your left and you are going to see an image of you…. it’s an image of your most loveable self: the part of you that radiates joy and hope: the part of you that knows you are special and unique and that there is nobody like you in the world.

What does that aspect of you look like? Maybe you’ll see an image of yourself at age 2, or 3, or 15 or 22. It’s you radiating love. Your eyes are lit up, you are irresistible. Now just invite that aspect of yourself to come and sit beside you on the loveseat as you continue to breathe deeply.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Two Forms of Compassion

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What is compassion but drifting in the immensity of life with an open heart? We bump into and pass by so many torn and budding lives along the way. Some are like us, many are not—on the surface, but under it all, we remain the same ounce of spirit carried in skin and bone. One of our jobs, then, is to learn how to relate to the cascade of others that rise and fall around us. The practice of compassion is how we learn that we are each other. And the practice of expression is how the heart knows itself.

Early on in life, there is an initiation into the practice of compassion through the commonality of our experience with others. If I have suffered and healed from a broken heart, then when I witness your heart breaking, I can easily identify with what you’re going through. If you’ve lost your job and come into my life when I’m laid off, we can easily meet in our common struggle through adversity. If I’ve felt betrayed by a friend or loved one and I’m with you when you are betrayed, we can quickly form a bond that will help each other through. This sort of compassion, based on our common experience, is an ongoing apprenticeship that never ends.

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Heart Memory

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I once read about an injured hawk that was rescued and taken to a raptor rehabilitation center. The hawk, after recovering from its injuries, was driven back to the location where it had been found, many miles away. At a certain point in the trip, the hawk suddenly became more alert. It lifted its head and looked around sharply; it moved its wings with anticipation. It sensed in the deepest part of its being that its home was near. Such behavior can’t be logically explained by science because it has to do with the things we know without physical evidence to prove it. Awareness beyond the five senses. Author Rupert Sheldrake called it “morphic resonance” in explaining how a dog would know its human companion, a hundred miles away, had started to return home. We living beings, animal or human, feel presence and remember home from great distances. Our heart has an intelligence even deeper and wider than the brain’s.

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Why You Should Follow Your Heart

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You’ve read the books, done the seminars, completed the workshops, and have had experiences, even if they were momentary. But, at some point, you have to fully go all in on what you believe and what you know. You are an independent unit of divine expression in this world and it’s all about you complying with the wisdom and knowledge that resides at the level of your own heart. 

The more that people demonstrate the courage to follow their hearts, the more the end result is happiness! It’s amazing how there’s that correlation between following your heart and being happy – doing what you love doing, and being happy, having the courage to pursue your passion, and being happy. It is incredible how over and over and over again, I am hearing, witnessing, and experiencing people who have the courage to break free of the norm and live fully from their hearts. 

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Take Heart

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What do you do when the bottom falls out?

The Practice:
Take heart.

Why?

It takes heart to live in even ordinary times.

By “taking heart,” I mean several related things:

  • Sensing your heart and chest
  • Finding encouragement in what is good both around you and inside you
  • Resting in your own warmth, compassion, and kindness; resting in the caring for you from others; love flowing in and love flowing out
  • Being courageous, whole-hearted and strong-hearted – going forward wisely, even when anxious, knowing your own truth and, as you can, speaking it

When you take heart, you’re more able to deal with challenges like aging, illness, trauma, or conflicts with others. You’re also more able to take advantage of opportunities with confidence and grit.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: One More Time

Wilfried-Santer Fragrance of peace

Every day, we are challenged to love what we’re given as much as what we want. We don’t have to like the things we’re given, but we need to find a way to accept them. And love is the surest way to deepen our acceptance. And so, we must stay devoted to getting up one more time than we fall down. To waking up one more time than we fall asleep. To being sensitive one more time than we are blunt and cumbersome. To listen one more time than we speak. To hold one more time than we drop what we’re holding. To aspire to be clear one more time than we are confused. To open one more than we close. And to lean into life one more time than we are pushed away. We may not always land in the open, but when we do, the tenderness we find is the earned fragrance of peace.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Living a Making

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When finding my way as a young man, I came home from college to have a classic argument with my father. Over dinner the first night, I declared to him with excitement that I was a poet. I hadn’t yet written anything but knew it was true. He was incredulous and frustrated and loudly asked, “How are you going to make a living?” I’m not sure where it came from in me, but I looked at him and said, “I’m going to live a making.” I confess that I’ve spent much of my life learning what that means. And it is living a making for so many years that has led me to the place of true meeting that waits under all our struggles.

I have learned that making a living is how we survive, but living a making is how we thrive. We need the strength and resilience to do both.

There is always a tension between surviving and thriving, and between making a living and living a making. Part of the journey of individuation is withstanding the tension of both until they work hand in hand.

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You And Your Brain: Upgrading The Relationship

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" When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Although the marvels of the brain as an organ have been wondered at for decades, there’s a risk that science will make us feel like brain puppets. Neuroscience runs this risk by assuming, without any proof, that our brains think, feel, perceive the world, and make choices. In reality the brain is an instrument at the service of the mind. We cannot live without it, just as we cannot live without a heart, but by promoting the brain into a thinking machine (an M.I.T. professor who championed Artificial Intelligence dubbed the brain “a computer made of meat”), we demote ourselves.

You are much more in charge of your biology than you think. Your experiences constantly change your brain. Much of the time we fail to pay attention to how we relate to the brain, but no relationship is more important. One thing the human brain does, in fact, share with computers: It is programmable. We primarily use this fact the wrong way around. Instead of programming our brains to be open, creative, alert, and quiet, we program it to carry out a hundred short cuts.

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