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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Is There a Better Way to Be Happy?

History is filled with powerful forces that change the face of the Earth, and right now we are experiencing one, an explosion of a new coronavirus that has upended daily life. Forecasts of a changing world are in the air once the pandemic is over, but no one really knows what the reset will be, if there is going to be one.

I think the best reset would be over happiness. There is an unquenchable drive for humans to seek happiness, but this means very different things at different times. A day laborer hauling stone to build a cathedral in the Middle Ages was happy, even inspired, by backbreaking physical work that never changed and ended with the breakdown of the body.

That way of being happy is unimaginable to modern people. In developed societies, our formula for happiness generally involves the following: physical comfort, ample leisure, scientific medicine, higher education, endless distractions through entertainment and social media, and a steady supply of consumer goods. In the developing world these values are dominant, not as what people already have but what they aspire to have.

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The Body

Today, Spirit guided me to talk about the body. The body. I know, you all have one, right? You all have a body, so that’s a good sign. And what I want to talk about is, what story you’re attached to. Do you have a story that you tell about your body?

It could be anything. Back in the day, my story was I’m overweight. I’m never going to be thin. I always am sick. Nobody’s ever gonna love me in this body. I used to talk how big my legs were or how much of a struggle it was to lose weight or just in general, just how fat I was.

So my story was that I couldn’t lose weight. My story was that I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t strong. I wasn’t attractive. That was my story.

Now, your story could be, I always get sick. Your story could be, I struggle with disease. Your story could be my body never does what I want it to do. It’s not strong enough. I’m too fat, too skinny, too tall, too small, too whatever it is.

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What Moves Your Life?

"Having abandoned the flimsy fantasy of certainty, I decided to wander."
—Kameelah Janan Rasheed


I've Been Thinking...

So many people I speak to lately tell me they feel like wanderers. They say they feel like their lives aren’t moving in one particular direction. Some say they feel like they are in transition, while others say everything feels up in the air for them. Some say they finally feel open to things they never were before. I’ve heard some version of this message from people at all stages of life, no matter the age.

To them I say, “Same here.” I, too, have abandoned the fantasy of certitude. 

COVID-19 has robbed everyone of certainty. I was certain that my government would take care of COVID quickly and effectively. I was certain that it would distribute vaccines in an efficient manner. I was certain that there would be people to help me navigate my way forward in this mess. Nothing has been like I thought it would be. That’s why letting go of the fantasy—letting go of what I thought was true—is the best way forward. It’s the truth of where we find ourselves.

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Words Matter

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." —Helen Keller

I've Been Thinking...

I love words. I love how certain words make me feel. I love how they can be strung together to create stories and images. I love how certain words remind me of special people in my life and how they make me feel.

My takeaway from Wednesday’s presidential inauguration was this: Words matter. Tone matters. Temperament matters. Excellence shines. Manners never go out of style. Hope is there even when you can’t see it. And, no matter how old you are, a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” can bring you to tears.

It’s worth pausing to realize that history isn’t just stuffed in old books. It’s unfolding before our very eyes. It’s revealing itself in real time and in real ways. Thank God I’m alive because I’ve felt so lost the last few years and now I feel like I’m found. That’s how I felt Thursday morning after America began her new chapter.

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Take Heart

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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If You Want to See Change in the World, Do This!

Around the world today, millions if not billions of individuals are being consumed by negativity. The world and our relationship to the cosmos always run through cycles of increased or decreased activity. Right now we are in a cycle of increased activity where many people are stirred up. In such stirring there exists the possibility of increased conflict, but also of increased consciousness – although it is conflict that seems more prevalent.  

Negativity is a consuming energy that seems to create life, but actually drains it. It promises to create something new to escape the pain of it, when all it does is create increasing conflict where the pain is enhanced. At some point an aspirant must realize, “I just can't be like that anymore, but I don't know how to stop! I look out at the world and all its problems and ask, ‘What am I supposed to do??’ ” 

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A Simple Formula for a Joyful Life

I remember the exact place I discovered my FORMULA FOR LIFE.

I was walking across a small wooded field near my house when I stopped and noticed how I felt peaceful and calm but not particularly happy. As I contemplated the feeling, I became grateful for the experience of being peaceful. This expanded into overflowing joy.

From that day, over twenty years ago, this simple formula has been a guiding principle in my life.

PEACE + GRATITUDE = JOY

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Allow your stress to recede and happiness take over.

As we are galloping into the new year, with newer apprehensions this time, we are also motivated by newer desires and newer goals to achieve. 
 
This period of the Pandemic has been a very trying  and challenging time for most people. For the majority of us, it has been a time of deep introspection and coming to conclusions about life, goals, challenges, and achievements. It was as though time had stopped. That seemed this way because there was a forced sense of staying at home, spending more time with the family, and coming to terms with a lot of unreal realities. 

MENTAL HOUSE CLEANING
On these days of Staying at home, there was time for everyone to look within and be objective about their ownselves. Filtering the why's and wherefore's was quite a scenario.  
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Happy New Year

Hi dear friend…..

I wanted to to take a few moments and wish you and your loved ones my love and prayers.

2020 was indeed a challenging year for us all. However, you are still standing! All the challenges that you faced simply prepared you for living your purpose ahead.

I wanted to personally thank you for all your support during this past year.

Whether you have been following my work for many years or are just finding about it now, I am deeply grateful for your being a part of it growing around the world, as well as sharing it with your friends and family.

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How to Leave Fear and Stress Behind in 2020

Let’s be honest: the season we’re living through right now in this pandemic is scary and stressful for all of us. The more I keep watching, the more I keep seeing so many of us hitting places where we’re experiencing strong, sometimes confusing emotions—about our money, our jobs, or our lives in general.

Everything is a bit up in the air still, leading us to face a lot of stress and fear. Believe it or not, that’s why I think it’s so important to keep talking about building our wealth from the inside out, and not the outside in, so we can insulate ourselves against the chaos of what happens in the world and leave our fear and stress far behind us.

This is what I mean…

How to Build Your Life From the Inside Out

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Finding Holiday Joy Despite the Pandemic

Across America, people are wondering what the holidays will be like as pandemic-related restrictions on traveling and gathering drag on. Mental health experts worry about how adults and children will cope when normal ways of celebrating are curtailed.

About two-thirds of American parents are worried about the pandemic impacting the mental health of their children, according to a recent survey from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

The holidays are already a time when many people struggle to feel happy and joyful amid the festivities going on around them. This year many families and individuals are coping with feelings of grief after losing a loved one to the pandemic or other causes.

It’s always hard to face the first holiday without a beloved family member or friend. It will be even more challenging this year as many people choose to stay home and gather only with those in their households, especially for those who live alone.

Even during the best of times, the holidays can be stressful and disruptive to your body, your emotions, and your routines. So how can we manage feelings of stress, isolation, and loneliness this year during holidays marred by a global crisis?

This year, it’s more important than ever to take steps to guard your emotional, mental, and physical health. Here are a few ideas to help make your holidays joyful in spite of the pandemic:

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Farewell to Florida

As our last weeks in Florida go by, I find myself looking with fresh eyes at the natural world right outside our door, just like I did when we first arrived here. When you know you are moving (and who knows when you will return), everything takes on a special light, a different vibration. Habit falls away and you see every detail with delight and appreciation. A group of ten white ibises with long curved orange beaks walks slowly past our lanai. A palm warbler on the window ledge looks around curiously, bobbing its tail. A giant swallowtail butterfly, the largest in the U.S., serenely floats by and lands on a bush next to the trail where I am walking. A zebra longwing butterfly flutters in the air nearby. So many amazing creatures so close and clearly visible. None of them native to Massachusetts. These are once-in-a-lifetime moments, I say to myself; savor them.

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One Day

Even in darkness it is possible to create light and encourage compassion.” ―Elie Wiesel

I've Been Thinking...

The other day, I was listening to the news and was struck that I kept hearing the phrase “on day one" over and over.

“On day one,” the pundits said, “the Biden/Harris team will be ready to go.” “They are picking people who will be ready on day one.” “On day one, these people will know exactly what to do.”

That, of course, got me thinking. Hmm, is that really true? Do I really want someone to make big decisions on day one? Do I want someone to walk in the door and tell me, “Listen, here’s how it’s going to go. Here’s what’s going to change. This is what you need to know and do.” Or do I want someone to walk in on day one, sit down, gather people around, and start the hard work of listening and rebuilding trust?

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You Never Know

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough." —Meister Eckhart


I've Been Thinking...

How are you doing?

Let’s pause together this morning. Let's put our hands over our hearts, close our eyes, and breathe. Was the holiday a lot? Was it not enough? Did people come? Are they leaving now? Did you travel? Was it stressful? Did you Zoom? Was it weird? Was it surprisingly okay? Was it all of the above and more?

Whatever it was, it’s behind you. You are here. We are here together. Let’s hold space for one another. The so-called holiday season is upon us and we are going to need each other. We are going to need each other to be kind. We are going to need each other to be understanding because things are going to be different.

I know you might be saying to yourself, “Here we go with different again. I don’t want any more different. I miss things the way they were.” I get it. I feel you. I understand. But as I wrote last week, we have to focus on the way things are now and the way they will be. You have to take care of yourself and prepare yourself.

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Being Grateful for Yourself, Your Unusual Life, and Your Courage—A Thanksgiving Power Practice

(This has become my annual Thanksgiving message, so you may have read this before, but please read it now, because I want you to celebrate yourself!)

Some of you may be celebrating this Thanksgiving with hugs, easy conversation, turkey, and pumpkin pie. Yet some of you may feel stranded, like the marble that rolled away from the group, stuck with the dust bunnies in outer space or abandoned under the buffet. And some of you may feel stranded in broad daylight, surrounded by people, feeling invisible, or worse yet, as visible and mangled as a car wreck.

 

For many, the holidays can bring up discomfort.

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Beauty Needs No Explanation 

Beauty
Doesn’t need
An explanation

It is unnecessary
To describe
What is plainly seen

Beauty requires
No proof
Or evaluation

Judging what is genuine
As good or bad
Right or wrong
More or less
Is wasted attention

One’s attention
Could be on
The Beauty
Instead

Beauty does not need
To be interpreted to be validated

Beauty
Doesn’t explain
It just is what it is

Everything in creation is beautiful.

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How To Practice Gratitude By Journaling!

I know, I know… you’ve heard everyone from Oprah to Gwyneth sing the praises of practicing gratitude and the importance of creating a gratitude journal. 

But do these kinds of trendy approaches really work? You bet your sweet mystical pirate booty they do!

You know I love my “woo,” but I also want to ground everything in the practical. If it ain’t working, I ain’t wasting my time on it… which is why I can say with complete confidence that gratitude journaling is one of the most beneficial habits you can develop if you want more blessings, more magic, and more miracles in your life. 

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Still Standing

"The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us." —James E. Faust


I've Been Thinking...

I awoke at dawn on Friday. The early morning, like my home, was dark and quiet.

I looked out my kitchen window as I brewed my coffee. I always look at the same tree in my backyard whenever I’m feeling off balance or out of sorts. It has been an inspiration for me as long as I’ve lived in my home.

When there were wildfires in California earlier this fall, I looked out at my tree in what felt like slow motion. Several of its beautiful branches came crashing to the ground. I was told it was just too hot outside and that the branches buckled under the weight of the heat. I held my breath as I watched them fall. I thought the entire tree might fall before my very eyes. I was already mentally preparing for what I would do without it.

I tell this story because, in some way, I think many of us are holding our breath right now waiting for something to fall. We are preparing for things to keep changing, or to live without something we love.

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I Am a Lighthouse

As we are less than a week away from celebrating Thanksgiving Day in the US …. I am reminded to find  the moments of appreciation all around us, big and little. Join me in reaching for the feeling of gratitude my friend. We can do this!

We’re shining our lights. We’re being lighthouses for the highest, greatest, good. That’s been my prayer the entire time we have walked this journey we are all in collectively. It is still my prayer today … nothing has changed: the highest, greatest, good for all.

Can we get there together? That is the goal. That’s what so many people want, regardless of where you stand in the midst of all the current changes. We don’t go back. We move forward … and you have to choose and decide where you’re going to put your attention and your energy.

And if you are truly going to be a peacemaker, if you are truly focused on peace in this world, then you have to have it inside of you.

You cannot have regret. You cannot have anger. You cannot have judgment. You cannot have condemnation. You cannot have ignorance towards others. You cannot have comparison.

That doesn’t live with peace.

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Lean Into Good On First Waking

What do you think about when you first wake up?

The Practice:
Lean into good on first waking.

Why?

Waking up is like the sun rising. At first it’s mostly dark, as glimmers of consciousness begin to light the shadows. Emerging into full wakefulness, the fogs and veils dissolve and the whole plain of your mind comes into view. It’s quiet: a restedness in the body, sleepy still, not yet much internal verbal chatter. There’s an intimacy with yourself, abiding as the core of your be-ing.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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