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: Inside Why

Violins are falling

from the sky. As they

tumble, the wind releases

deep music. This is how

love sounds to itself. This

is what it’s like to love

you. It’s a music that

can’t always be heard.

It makes me pour you

tea.
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3 Simple Ways To Incorporate Meditation In A Hectic Work Environment

During my 35+ year professional career, I have worked in both large and small office settings, at home and on-the-road as a frequent business traveler. I’ve been fortunate that during this time I have also been an active meditator, and have seen firsthand how meditation can be employed during our workday to ease the stress and strain of our jobs, provide clarity and perspective, and altogether make our workplace safer and more comfortable.

As things begin to transition back to normalcy post-COVID, many of us will re-enter our more traditional workplace settings. This could mean anything from being back in crowded offices, to re-engaging in business travel, or even finding ourselves at business lunches, conferences, and work-related social events.

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End the Rush to Nowhere

When we rush, we are not at peace. We don't see the world as it is; we only see whatever it is that doesn’t line up with what we have determined is “the way things ought to be.” Instead of being an inwardly centered person, our full attention is outwardly directed. 

Such an anxious state could not exist without our false belief that who we are, our well-being, is connected to something happening exterior to ourselves. This mistaken idea is driving us, compelling us to get the situation resolved, the person fixed right now, because then we will be back in a peaceful place.

If we are truthful about our life experience though, it is obvious that as long as we believe we have something to lose because of our identification with any temporary exterior condition or circumstance, we remain subject to every outer condition.

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Adjusting To The New Normal

Many of us are going through a super level of metamorphosis, trying to adjust to the new normal, that has become a way of life for us now. 

Slowly and steadily as the truth of our existing situation is settling in within us we are silently settling within. It is actually a subtle shift. We are learning to accept now the new normal we are living in. Over the years, the human mind has learned to be malleable in order to succeed. It knows how to adjust to its ever-changing circumstances and environment, so that it could be in a more productive phase constantly. 

NEW INFORMATION MEANS NEW BELIEFS
Slowly as we assimilate all the new information we have been provided with, we have been working on changing our own belief system, so that we can be at an amicable level of adjustment to the world around us.This is the only way we actually have of being viably productive, as we need to feel comfortable in all levels of functioning in society,  in order to feel like winners. We are winners if we are allowing a channelized flow of our energy in the right direction. 
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Confessions Of A Former Busy Addict

“You are the sky. Everything else — it's just the weather.”  —Pema Chödrön


I've Been Thinking...

“Busy is back,” the news blared. “Mask mandates are over. Airports are jammed.

Planes are packed. Billionaires are going to space. People are partying like it’s the ‘20s.”

Wow. As I heard all that this week, I could feel my anxiety rise.

Then the next story blared, “Vaccination rates are plummeting. People are stressed about returning to work. Some are refusing to even return at all.”

“We are,” the anchor said, “in uncharted territory.”

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How To Be Secure Instead Of Vulnerable

In these difficult times the issue of vulnerability needs to be addressed directly, because so many people feel powerless and anxious, and the social trends that undermine personal power only seem to grow stronger.  It’s crucial to find a way to secure in your day-to-day life.

Let’s clarify what being secure isn’t. It isn’t achieving a confident self-image and suppressing what you feel inside.  Also, security isn’t something that can be created through externals like money, status, possessions, or any other material surrogate. There are countless people sitting in the lap of luxury who feel even more insecure than the average person. Overcoming vulnerability happens “in here,” where you relate to yourself.

Now we can address the five things that actually do create security as a personal quality in everyday life.

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How to Find Your Purpose in Life

When I was in college, I began to find my purpose in life. I was actually a Chinese history major, but in my senior year, I took an elective course for an “easy A” called Social Relations 10.

In that class, we talked about our feelings and got to know each other on a deeper level than anyone I had ever talked to in college. I realized I loved human behavior — how people interact with each other, how they set goals, what human psychology is all about. I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Over the next several years, one opportunity led to another, and I discovered that my true purpose in life was inspiring and empowering people to live their highest vision in the context of love and joy.

Since then, my whole life has been developed around that purpose. Once I was clear with that, I could align every single behavior and goal with my purpose.

So today I want to talk to you about one of the most important, yet challenging things you must do: how to find your purpose in life.

Determine What’s Keeping You From Finding Your Passion

One of the biggest challenges we face is figuring out exactly what we want to do with our lives.

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If a Mountain Is a Deity . . .

Now that I’d been vaccinated, I was back at my favorite bar. With disinterest, I glanced up at the game that was playing on the large TV suspended above the bar’s mirror. Through the long mirror I saw that there were a few people scattered around at the tables, but the bar was empty. 

My phone buzzed. I looked down at the message that had just arrived. It was a quotation from David Suzuki, the Canadian scientist, television commentator, and author who’s famous for his skills at helping audiences understand scientific and environmental issues. 

"The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological kin, not resources. . . we will treat each other with greater respect. Thus, is the challenge, to look at the world from a different perspective."

I glanced back up, meeting my gaze in the mirror. The image that stared back at me raised his mug. “Here’s to looking at the world with new eyes, new perceptions.” He smiled. It was my oldest friend— Juan.

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Clarity and Sharing

What you share is not as important as why you share it. For example, sharing with the intention to impress people with your generosity, intelligence, or good nature is not the same as sharing with the intention to support another with no strings attached, or sharing because sharing with love is healing and natural to us, or consciously sharing with love your presence with others. Your intention for sharing determines the consequences of your sharing and your experiences of sharing.

Clarity allows you to identify your intentions, distinguish among them, and to understand their effects. When you share to change someone so that you will feel better about yourself or safe, you strive to manipulate and control. You pursue external power. This creates painful and destructive consequences. When you share to contribute to Life without thought of self-benefit, or share from your heart without second agendas that benefit you first and others second, or share the compassion, wisdom, and love that you were born to share, your frequency increases, you shine brighter, and your choices contribute constructively to the collective consciousness.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Great Waters

In the beginning, I thought I was

going somewhere. I thought we all

were. But falling in while trying to cross,

I finally understood, the journey is to follow

the river. All the rivers, especially the ones

no one can see. The soul is a fish whose

home is in those rivers. So I can take you

across, if you want. But the secret is to go

everywhere by going nowhere. And I will

be here when you fall in. Which is not

a failure but an awakening.



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How to Stay Calm in Stressful Situations

Back in the late 1800s, there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day, his son left a gate open and his three horses ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. 

“Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horses returned, bringing with them 40 other wild horses. “How wonderful!” the neighbors exclaimed. 

“Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” said the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “This is terrible news,” they said.

“Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the farmer’s son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated for his good luck. “Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” said the farmer.

The moral of this story is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate — only time will reveal what a situation will bring into your life.

When life throws you a curve ball, whether it appears to be “good” or “bad”, the wiser move is to stay as calm as possible. To help you do this, here are three simple tips for you to follow whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation.

How to Stay Calm in the Presence of Stress and Chaos

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You're Worth It

It’s time to raise our energetic, financial vibration!!! I want you all right now to download the song, “I’m Worth It” by Djsleazy and listen to it often. I realize you may not be a pop music fan, but my 3 year old daughter this week, MaryKate, is walking around the house blasting this song, wiggling her little hips dancing and singing “I’m worth it. Yeah, I’m worth it.” I understand this song could have a couple messages, but the fact that my 3 year old is internalizing that she is “Worth It” will go for miles during her lifetime.

Many of us have life experiences that have helped us feel like we are not worth it. We’ve created habits that don’t necessarily put us farther down our path to our soul work on this earth. Financially speaking, this comes about in various ways. We spend more than our income, we carry credit card debt and we keep choosing car loans over and over again. All things that deplete our energy and suck the life out of us as opposed to feed us more uplifting, positive energy. Then on top of that we pump ourselves up with Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts large coffees cream and sugar please, that keep us it the bad habit cycle of distracting ourselves to what’s really going on in our lives.

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One Thing Modern Medicine Got Wrong: The Human Body

A strange fact that nobody seems to act upon is this: The body you see in the mirror isn’t your real body. The image you see is of a solid physical object, stable and fixed like a table or chair. But in reality your body is fluid, constantly changing, filled with numerous spaces, and the host of trillions of bacteria. All of this is more you than the you see in the mirror.

The old saying, “What you see is what you get” doesn’t fit our bodies. Consider the billions of cells that die and are replaced every day. They are like the bricks in a house that vanish while building remains intact. If you accept this as the truth, modern medicine is challenged at the core, because medical students are taught to treat the body they see. You might even say that in most cases they are taught to treat only the body they see.

The model taught in medical school is common to all the sciences. It is known as naïve realism. What makes it naïve is the assumption that the world delivered by the five senses, but especially the visible world of objects, is enough to describe reality. In other words, “What you see is what you get.” Develop the most powerful microscope you can imagine, and you will see what Nature is all about.

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KAHLIL GIBRAN: Good And Evil

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters. You are good when you are one with yourself. Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil. For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom. You are good when you strive to give of yourself. Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself. For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast. Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.” For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root. You are good when you are fully awake in your speech, Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose. And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue. You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps. Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping. Even those who limp go not backward.
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The Birds!

“This kind of spring day, with the beautiful myriads of colorful sprites just arrived from tropical shores, has to be one of the greatest gifts on Earth.”—Kenn Kaufman

Inevitably, people ask me why I moved from Florida back to Massachusetts after only two and a half years. I answer a little differently each time, usually something about missing friends/family and the change of seasons. However, as spring begins to flower in New England, there is one answer that rises to the top: the birds! Meaning the spring bird migration that brings thousands of birds from Central and South America northward through Massachusetts. And right down the street from me to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, which is heaven on Earth for birdwatchers from April to June, especially the first three weeks in May. With the exception of the last two years, this is where I could be found early in the morning to mid-afternoon on most spring days over the past 30 years.

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How to Fail Forward

When you encounter a setback in life, how do you react?

Do you complain about it or succumb to frustration and anger and allow it to derail your progress?

Do you see it as a sign from the universe to quit or use it as an excuse to give up on your goals?

Or do you treat it like the valuable learning opportunity it is?

Today I’d like to teach you how to “fail forward” in life and transform every failure you experience into a powerful launchpad that catapults you even closer to your dreams.

The Truth About Failure

See, this is the thing about failures.

All our lives, we’ve been told that they’re bad and something to avoid or be ashamed of.

The idea of failure has been built up to be so catastrophically terrible that most people choose not to take any risks at all, rather than risk even a small chance of failure.

And that is a huge problem — because if you don’t take risks, you can’t grow as a person.

You see, growth only happens when you leave your comfort zone. It requires you to venture into unknown territory and try something different. That’s how we learn the new skills and knowledge we need to become the kind of person who is capable of taking our lives to the next level.

Growth requires risk. And if you’re so scared of failure that you refuse to take risks, then you’ll always remain right where you are.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Care Unto Care

In 1689 in Japan, a kind farmer gave the lost poet Basho a horse that knew the way. And in 1910 when Ted Shawn was paralyzed, before he knew he was a dancer, a dear friend left crutches just out of reach and breakfast on the table. And in 1938 in Paris, Django Reinhardt’s brother left a guitar at the foot of his hospital bed because he knew the badly burned genius would no longer be able to play the banjo. And when Claude Monet at 82 was suffering from double cataracts, he somehow knew to keep painting what he saw, which led him to retrieve his masterful “Waterlilies.” Even leafcutter ants in Costa Rica will carry another ant for miles.

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Manifesting Your Best Summer Ever

After the more than a year of lockdown and the global nightmare we’ve all experienced, it’s time we dive into a summer of fun and celebration.

You deserve it.

Your family deserves it.

And, like all successful manifesting, we must begin with a clear vision of what our heart’s desire is.

Begin by thinking about all the things that represent summer to you: Activities, Food, Special events, things to see and do.

Since we don’t have any major vacations to Tuscany or Bali planned,

I desire my Summer 2021 to be a daily celebration of love, life, and lots of fun and I’m declaring that my Summer begins TODAY.

In no particular order, here’s what is on my list:

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Life Lessons from a Turtle

Sometimes when I’m out for a walk in the woods with Koda, I see a box turtle trudging forward through the leaves. Don’t you love turtles?

I was always taught that if you see any turtles in the middle of the road, you should try to stop and put them on the side of the road where they’re headed. You must also pick them up carefully and try not to handle them too much. You can use a t-shirt or towel to lift and move them away from the traffic.

As I watched this turtle during my walk, I thought about how connected we are to these amazing creatures and how many lessons they can teach us. Here are a few that came to mind.

  1. Slow down and live in the present moment. Turtles are never in a hurry and take their time to get where they’re going. They remind us not to rush, but to appreciate all of the beauty and blessings that surround us.
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Water Your Fruit Tree

What would bear lots of fruit?

The Practice:
Water your fruit tree.

Why?

My wife and kids tease me that the title of this practice is corny – and it is. Still, I like it. If you don’t nourish the things that nourish you, they wither away like a plant in dry stony ground.

Looking to the year ahead for you – a year that can begin whenever you want – what’s one key thing that will bear lots of fruit for you if you take care of it?

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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