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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Shine On Behalf Of The Divine

I’m still coming down off the gratitude cloud from last weekend’s OraclePalooza Virtual, and equally swimming in the searing truth of my best friend Doug’s crossing over the rainbow bridge a few short weeks ago. The entire weekend I was in two places as I stepped into one of many “firsts” without him. Being my wingman and emcee at OraclePalooza was the thing he loved best. It was strange to be without him although it was an important new beginning and I felt his spirit the entire time. 

I miss the brave, real, loving human though. In the flesh with me backstage eating gluten-free snacks and giggling about how lucky we were to do what we did, and him crying reminding me that not everyone’s stuff was for me to take on. God, I love that man. What a pair we were. 

Doug was with me for 16 deep meaningful and fun years of friendship, but what made it special is that we shared a mission. Those kinds of friends are gifts from the Divine.

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One Light, Many Reflections – Tree Collection 

I write one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings. My Page poems are a combination of sketch pad and journal.

The history and method of my writing process can be found in my article How I Wrote Three Thousand Pages Without Trying

It can feel unsettling to let go of concerns for punctuation, sentence structure and the rules of grammar but it is a natural part of my writing style to allow ideas to flow. The samples shared here are the original raw versions.

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How to Manifest with Magic of the Moon

One evening after dinner, I was half-listening to a conversation between my husband and one of our daughters. They had been discussing her higher education and long term goals. Chloe happily responded to a question about her life after college, “I don’t know, I am still manifesting.”  My attention was grabbed.  I love how she is empowered by her awareness of co-creating life with the universe. I also love that she left room for the unknown; that’s where the magic resides.

During this same time frame, one of my clients materialized three things on her wish list.  After months of attention, they landed in her lap all at once.  Lilith had been working on a transition out of her current career in marketing.  She also had been seeking a cause that her husband would join her in.  Last she wanted to reestablish her connection with old college friends.  Lilith finally received a new job offer, but with some twists.  She would need to make some lifestyle changes and other big decisions impacting her family.  Her husband supported her, and they began to create a new life together.  She also reached out to her college friends.  They helped formulate a long term plan.  Lilith’s manifestations did not come neatly wrapped with a big red bow.  She had to unravel the stressful pieces before she could declare her gratitude.

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The millions of men and women who are showing up every day

Stephanie and I recently enjoyed a week in the Colorado Rockies with Dylan, Sophie, and their friends. I knew this was going to be a relaxing few days away from the normal (and wonderful) busyness of the Humanity’s Team workday and that we’d have a great time being together hiking and riding bikes, sharing meals, conversation, and laughter.

What I didn’t expect to happen was that within the deep relaxation of the physical body and mental mind, my heart exploded open in gratitude for what’s come to be known as the front-line workers of the 2020 pandemic and also those who knowingly or unknowingly are helping to raise the consciousness of humanity, including George Floyd and John Lewis, who recently yielded their physical form.

Here in the United States, and all over the planet, people are taking a stand for what they believe in. They are raising their voices and bodies in the demand for justice, equality, and kindness. 

(To make sure that I communicate my strong belief in inclusiveness to you as well as I’m able, I want also to say that I believe those who respond to the protests are also standing for what they believe in. After all, who of us is called to judge the Divine unfolding?)

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Making Room For Surprises & Miracles

There once was a woman who saw on TV that her neighborhood was about to be flooded and the officials said everyone should evacuate.

She believed that God would save her, and she ignored the warning.

Then a city worker knocked on her door and told her to leave for higher ground and she said no, “God will save me.”

Then the floods came, and she had to run up to the second floor to stay dry.

A boat soon came to her second story window to rescue her and she said no, “God will save me.”

The water then filled the third floor and she ended up on the roof of her home.

A helicopter came and she said no, “God will save me.”

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Singing in the Face of Days

dhikr in Islam, japam in Sanskrit, witness in English:  the repetition of a name or face of God.


In the air that lets a leaf fall slowly.

In the mud that swallows every blade.

In the bridge that creaks but will not break.

In the fence that fails.

In the secret maps that lead us nowhere.

In the questions that sprout from our mistakes.

In the suffering that makes us give more.

In those slain for no reason.

In those spared for no reason who keep naming the slain.

In how the mind stops spinning its web in light.

In how truth like rain makes tender hearts swell.

In how arms spread like wings when dropping all they carry.

In how petting the dog keeps us from leaving.

In the smoothing of a stone by a thousand waves.

In the smoothing of our ego by the slap of time.

In the drops of blood covered by snow.

In the stories of kindness finally praised.

In how we keep dying without dying.

In how we keep losing without losing.

In how we live in spite of everything. Like

hungry fish parting the water of our days.

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How to Surrender to Flow

Whether you feel "in the flow" right now or not, in this video Dr. Sue explains there's a flow that's always happening in your life and how you can surrender to it. When it comes to being in "the flow," sometimes you're connected to it, and sometimes you're not and it all depends on whether you're identified as the mind, or if you've surrendered to the true, Soulful Self that you are.

One Light, Many Reflections – River Highlights

I began a private daily writing exercise in 1996 and never stopped. I have written over three thousand pages.

I write one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings. My Page poems are a combination of sketch pad and journal.

The history and method of my writing process can be found in my article How I Wrote Three Thousand Pages Without Trying 

It can feel unsettling to let go of concerns for punctuation, sentence structure and the rules of grammar but it is a natural part of my writing style to allow ideas to flow. The samples shared here are the original raw versions.

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Have A Day

"Sometimes the longest journey we make is the sixteen inches from our heads to our hearts."

-Elena Avila

I've Been Thinking...

On Thursday I woke up to an earthquake. My first thoughts were, “You’ve got to be kidding me! This on top of everything else? What is up with this year?!”

I looked at my phone and my kids had texted asking, “Mommy, are you awake? Did you feel that? What’s our plan?” Thankfully, we were all OK, but I thought the same thing. What is our plan?

Plans and 2020 just don’t seem to be on the same page, do they? Earlier this week, I posted a quote on social media that addressed people’s sadness and gave them permission not to feel pressured to have a "good day," but to simply "have a day"... free of plans, to do's, and expectations. I said it’s OK not to expect to have a "good day." It’s also OK not to be great, or even OK. After all, we are living in unprecedented times, right? 

The overwhelming response to the quote took me aback. It made me realize yet again that so many of us need a break and some relief, even if it’s simply being told you don’t have to have a great day and that you are allowed to simply “have a day.”

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The Clash Between Truth And Reality

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

Every person wakes up in the morning to join the struggle between truth and reality. Yet almost no one realizes that this is what they are doing. Life contains struggles—no one disagrees with that sad fact—but what are we struggling against? The answers seem obvious. We struggle to stay healthy, make a living, maintain our relationships, and in general to keep our heads above water.

Where does truth enter into this? Imagine someone sitting in a chair wearing state-of-the-art virtual reality gear. In the simulation bombarding his senses, he is racing in the Indy 500, running away from tigers in the jungle, or walking a tightrope. These are perilous adventures that he is immersed in, where survival itself is at stake. His body will exhibit all the signs of a stress response. But his experience is entirely fake, a construct by clever VR engineers. The truth is that he is sitting still in a chair, perfectly safe and sheltered from struggle.

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The 3 Myths of Happiness

You can be the happiest person you know. In this video, I discuss 3 common myths that people believe about happiness. Stop chasing happiness. The quest actually makes us less happy. We go after things that we think will make us happy, but we are left feeling empty.

We often put happiness out there in the future and we are in a constant state of seeking it so we end up never feeling happy now. The ego has no interest in being happy. The moment it actually finds it, its role is dissolved so it keeps you distant from happiness.

Happiness does not come from what you achieve or get, it is a state of being. You can be happy regardless of what is happening in your life, regardless of what you have or don't have. You must question your definition of success. You must question your definition of happiness.

A Flood of Joy

The more we are able to return to peace on demand, the more we are able to boost our immunity and the more we are able to respond to what’s happening instead of getting lost and stuck in cycles of reactivity, fear, panic and overwhelm. 

Under the current conditions, it’s more important than ever to remember that it’s OK to be happy. It’s OK to smile. Smiling takes no energy or effort, yet when you smile, you recalibrate your entire physiology. You wash away the proclivity to remember pain with a flood of joy.

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Make Good Bargains

Is it worth it?

The Practice:
Make good bargains.

Why?

Life is full of tradeoffs between benefits and costs.

Sometimes, the benefits are worth the costs. For example, the rewards of going for a run – getting out in fresh air, improving health, etc. – are, for me at least, worth the costs of losing half an hour of work time while gaining a pair of achy legs. Similarly, it could well be that: getting a raise is worth the awkwardness of asking for one; teaching a child good lessons is worth the stress of correcting her; and deepening intimacy is worth the vulnerability of saying “I love you.”

But other times, the benefits are not worth the costs. For example, it might feel good to yell at someone who makes you mad – but at a big price, including making you look bad and triggering others to act even worse. There are indeed rewards in that third beer or third cookie – but also significant costs, including how you’ll feel about yourself the next day.

We make a thousand choices a day, each one a bargain in which the brain weighs expected benefits against expected costs. Therefore, it’s important to make good bargains, good choices, in which the real benefits are greater than the real costs.

Unfortunately, your brain lies to you all day long. (And to me and to everyone else.)

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Now That You’re Gone

In my sixty-eighth year, I saw a dancer, middle-aged, outside a café. I was at a conference in California and she was hired to dance at lunch time in the open. I sipped my coffee and watched her for a while. Most of us were busy going to what was next. Something in how she leapt and landed softened me. For she was so thoroughly herself that there was nowhere to go. And I realized that all of us were there to find what she had found.

It’s been a week since I flew home. And I’m up early, having dreamt of the dancer being herself. And before the sun comes up, I realize Mom, now that you’re gone, that this was all you ever wanted—to find a spot in the sun where you could leap out from under the turmoil of your life and be thoroughly yourself.

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How to get shit done!!!

  • How to stop procrastinating
  • How to get the things done
  • How to make choices to honor the promises that you are making to yourself.

We all have goals and we all have dreams. We all have things we want to get done. Even if they’re just little goals, like I want to get the kitchen cleaned up, or, I want to clean up my closet or I want to build a business, or I want to have the happiest relationship I can, or I want to, I want to raise my children to be just kind loving, being whatever our goals are. We all have them, right?

We all have goals, but a lot of times we sacrifice our goals for something else, something that is seemingly in the way or necessary to focus on right now.

And we do not honor the promises that we have made to ourselves. And so, I thought we would talk a little bit about how to get shit done.

That is what I called it, how to get shit done and how to do it in a place that honors you and the promises you are making to yourselves and can still support others. It just means that you do not sacrifice your dreams and your goals and your wants, for everybody else to be happy.

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Goals: Guiding Your Course or Attached to Outcomes

Do you say to yourself, “I will be happy when…”? Discover that you can be joyful right now, even before achieving your goal.


People are often confused when I suggest that they let go of attachment to goals. “Shouldn’t I have goals? Isn’t having goals important?” they ask.

“This knowledge commands us to stay in the present moment, which brings awareness to all that we do… It teaches us to stay focused on the process and use our goals as stars to guide our course. When we make staying focused on the process our real goal, we experience a sense of success in every moment.”  
~”The Practicing Mind” by Thomas M. Sterner

Yes! It’s vital to have goals! How will you know where you want to go if you don’t have goals? However, there is a huge difference between having your worth and happiness attached to the goal, and using your goal to guide your actions.

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Get Back on Your Path of Purpose

In a recent blog, I talked about a powerful technique I learned while studying in England. My tutors taught me how to move away from feeling down and low during challenging times and to “think up” so I could get back on the path of clarity and purpose. If you're feeling anything like me, then as we move through this particularly challenging time with Covid, it's so important to deal with any fears and anxieties, and to start to get back on your path of purpose. So, what better time than right now!

Here's an exercise to help you connect with your higher consciousness. You will even be able to ask questions for a little extra guidance. Let’s begin:

Sit in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes and relax. Now I want you to bring your awareness to the bottom of your feet. Let your breath assist you in transferring the relaxing energy up through the bottom of your feet. Slowly work your way up your calves, your thighs, your abdomen, your chest, your fingers, your hands, your arms, your shoulders, your neck, your face … right to the top of your head.

Now imagine that there’s a big funnel starting to form on top of your head, reaching out into the universe. Think of it as a vortex of energy reaching upward. Let your awareness constantly flow up and out of your head and into this funnel above you. All the information you want can be brought to you.

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There's No Handbook For Life

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love."

-Mother Teresa

I've Been Thinking...

Something interesting happened to me the other day. Just after I had spent the better part of an hour talking about all the things I missed due to the pandemic, I stumbled upon an article talking about all the good things that people felt had happened to them during this time. It reminded me that perspective is everything.
 

The key is being able to hold the yin and yang. If I were writing a handbook for life (and I’m not), it would include a lot that no one told me about. It would talk about how life demands that you be good—really good—at juggling and balancing the paradoxes of life. You must if you want to be a survivor or a happy warrior.

Just when you think, “OK, I’ve got things figured out,” life throws you on the ground. Just when the country reopens and you think, “OK, maybe things are going to get better," the cases surge and the nation experiences its highest numbers to date. Just when you pick yourself up and dust yourself off from one of life’s curveballs, bam! You find yourself on your knees again, learning yet another life lesson.

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Take Yourself to a Higher, Happier Life Level

Human beings are a unique creation in the cosmic scheme of things. Unlike the untold billions of other life forms teaming on the Earth -- whose nature is an open and shut case -- human nature is not fixed. What does this mean to you? Only everything!

The tiger, the horse, and the bird must express their nature. They have no real choice. And even though they may be free to choose which part of the jungle, or open range, in which they want to feed and roam, these animals have no choice as to the kind of world in which they must dwell. 

The tiger can't choose to live above the jungle floor any more than a shark can decide to soar through blue skies. The tiger, horse, bird, and shark must live where they do because of what they are. Try to see this deeply.

The tiger's nature determines its life. And that life is a part of the jungle floor. They are inseparable. The tiger's nature and its life level are one thing. The tiger's life level determines the world it must inhabit. Its nature and life level are as fixed as its stripes.

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Letting Go of the Struggle

Several times when hiking very early, I have heard drumming at sunrise. The powerful sounds shifted over the desert floor in a beautiful and mystical way. The rhythm always found my heart. I could feel traditions and rituals that respect the earth and all that is. These moments became sacred to me. I would pause my stride to honor the energy that was being shared.

Over the next couple of months, I attempted to find out where the sounds of the drum were originating from. I also wanted to know who was gifting us such an amazing start to the day. Last week, I asked the right person. He suggested I climb Piestewa Peak. There was still a mystery as to who did the drumming. The opportunity of seeing the ceremony stayed in my thoughts. While making my plans, I learned a comet might be visible about an hour before sunrise… So my goals included hiking the peak, seeing the comet, experiencing the drum ceremony, and seeing the sunrise. I hadn’t felt this excited and uplifted about an adventure for a while.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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