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 the Movie of Your Life a Blockbuster Hit?

This approach to life…it might not be a regular conversation at your family dinner table…

The view I’m referring to is, what you experience is what you want to experience, because you live inside of a movie You create.

You are a Creator. You write and produce your movie, the one that you call life. You cast yourself in the starring role. You agreed to the supporting cast in your movie, too.

You’re here, in this movie, waking yourself up to a version of you that you did not know existed. Perhaps a version of You you did not know was possible.

We project the movie we’ve written onto a movie screen. Instead of sitting down to watch the movie from our theater seat, we forget it’s a movie and get caught up in the story.

We, in our “splatted” state, step into the movie and think it’s real life. We think our experiences are happening to us. We forget that things are happening for us. We think other people are doing things that are hard for us to deal with.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: It Only Gets More Real

In the way that erosion makes every face in nature more elemental, everything we go through only makes us more real. Once we give up our masks and excuses, we are humbled to accept the tenderness of having nothing between us and this thing we call life. It is this fragile, resilient state that lets us breathe more deeply, that lets us hear what love has to say, that lets us experience Oneness over the idea of Oneness. The more real we become, the more we experience love over the dream of love. Until Love and Oneness emanate in the coffee steaming as I wait for my wife to come out of the shower while our dog is belly up, her tail wagging at the supreme joy of absolutely nothing. It is then that I admit that I am hopelessly simple, gratefully simple, eager for the moment at hand to stay unadorned and free of veils. There is no five-year plan or bucket list or dream of living in another country. There is only breathing in the country of this moment where everything touches everything else. And though tomorrow, I will drift or fall away from this bareness of being, I remain devoted to all the things, pleasant and harsh, that help me return.

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How to Integrate Cosmic Ordering into Your Business

What Is Cosmic Ordering?

The person who introduced me to cosmic ordering was Ellen Watts. Ellen explains that essentially, cosmic ordering is asking the Universe for what you want – and it arrives. It’s not something she has created all by herself either; rather, it’s been around forever. You’ll even find cosmic ordering in the Bible, where it is referred to as ‘miracles.’

Ellen shared with me her cosmic ordering technique, which is to say: “What I really want is X” and finish by saying “For the good of all concerned.” Ellen stresses that it is very important to finish each cosmic order with that final sentence as it ensures that no one should ever lose out in order for you to gain. This is very important to her when she places her orders, especially orders relating to money, as she doesn’t want anyone to die in order to leave money to her.

It is important to remember that you must never wish for anything bad on someone else as that is just a way to create bad karma for yourself. In fact, orders asking for something bad to happen to someone else will never be delivered. Cosmic orders are about you – specifically what you want for yourself – and are therefore delivered to you. It’s similar to when you go to a restaurant and place an order for your food. You order what you want to eat for yourself (pizza with a side order of chips) – not anyone else.

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The Work Of Our Lives

“You only are free when you realize you belong no place—you belong every place—no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”
—Maya Angelou

I've Been Thinking...

Good morning. Good day. Good evening. No matter what time you read this essay, my hope is that you find yourself in a good place to take it in.

I know that’s not an easy ask for most of us, especially now. I know there are so many things that go into feeling “good" or even just "good enough.” I know that for me, it’s hard to feel good if something feels off in my life. It’s especially hard if something is off with someone I love, or if anyone in my family or friend group is upset or struggling. After all, relationships are so important to our overall well-being and to our sense of self, our sense of community, and our sense of belonging. 

But this week, it wasn’t my personal relationships that brought me down or left me feeling off-kilter. It was the images in my news feed. It was the image of the U.S. Capitol police officer's family. It was the image of Alex Toledo, a 13-year-old boy, with his hands up as he was gunned down by Chicago police that left me aghast. It was the scenes in the courtroom and on the streets of Minneapolis. It was a white man aggressively confronting a Black man in his neighborhood, telling him he didn’t belong and to get the hell out. It was the news of eight people gunned down in Indianapolis.

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Four Steps to Making a Fresh Start in Life

Many of us have done drastic things trying to make a fresh start in life. But no matter what we do, nothing seems to change. Outer conditions may be different, but inside we're still the same. If changing things outside doesn’t make a difference, where does a genuine fresh start begin?

The answer lies in four connected steps:


Step One: Learn What Prevents Us From Making a Fresh Start 

Our plans to make a fresh start have not delivered the new life we’d envisioned. So the first fact we need to understand – that runs completely contrary to our usual ideas of starting over – is that we can't plan to do it.

If I plan a new start, that means I've envisioned a new position, power, or possession by which I will enjoy a sense of newness. The problem is, everything I imagine doing or becoming is a variation of past experiences and dreams. And clearly, nothing I pull from my past can bring a fresh start. It’s just a reconfiguration of an old idea that didn’t work the first time around. Our image of what it means to be a new human being is a product of our past, and it is what keeps us from making a real fresh start.

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Your Unique Happiness Quotient

Happiness is what we all chase, although differently. This is also because everyone experiences happiness differently. It is actually the gauge of man's feelings living within his personal environment
 
Feelings, some people seem to realize, are highly overrated. And yet, what is man, if he is not going by his own feelings. Chasing happiness and joy, is basically chasing your own inherent feelings.

WHAT KIND OF FEELING IS HAPPINESS
Katherine Mansfield has described it as the most rapturous moment, like the glowing sun. We all chase some sensations, but these sensations only come to us when we least expect them. 

POSITIVE FEELINGS
It is the belief of most people, that we could find happiness, if only we knew where to look for it. It is a state of Self understanding.
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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Inside the Pandemic

Now that we can’t touch, I am awash

with all the ways that touch sustains us:

like an electricity from one heart to another

or the ancient rush of water down a falls into

the basin of a village. I’m thinking of how you

wiped my brow in the hospital and the time

you stroked a fallen bird, its beak aquiver,

and the time your mother held your face,

saying, “I saw how loving you are the day

you were born.” Or the moment I caught

a stranger in the parking lot as her groceries

splattered, her cart wobbling away. Earlier,

it was Grandma hoisting me to my feet in

her Brooklyn alley and the hands of my

father guiding mine as he taught me to

use a chisel. Now I’m seeing Whitman

as a medic in the Civil War wrapping a

bandage around a corporal’s chest. And

now I close my eyes to send my touch

like a Shaman across the dreamscape,

hoping it will reach you.

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Life…It’s About Building Circuitry

“This is who you are and this is what you’re doing…” I say that often so that you’ll start to remember the truth—that you are a cosmic being. 

My question for you is, how often do you remember that you are a truly cosmic being?

What I mean by that is, you’re made of the universe—you are universal energy. We, each of us, are the unified field of energy packed into a body. There are no exceptions.

We are this Soulful Self coming into a funnel, into a channel, into a body, and expressing out into the world. And our job here is to remember that’s what is really going on.

Pause a moment and ask yourself, “How many times, a day, a week, a year…do I remember, I AM a Cosmic Being that’s having an experience here on earth?” Rather than a human being thinking I’m seeking a spiritual experience. 

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Stay The Course

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
—Audre Lorde

I've Been Thinking...

This week, The Open Field will publish its second book. It’s called The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self by my friend Martha Beck.

I’m beyond excited and beyond humbled to be the home base for Martha’s newest offering. As I told her and my brother Timothy (who wrote The Call to Unite), if you had told me a year ago, two years, or five years ago that The Open Field would be publishing books (with Viking/Penguin) that truly matter with purpose and intention, and that the first two offerings would be from two writers and thinkers who I love and admire, I would have said that it was an impossible dream.

I tell this to you today in case you, too, have a dream that feels impossible. I tell this to you today to inspire you forward, to encourage you to stay the course, to believe in God’s timing, and to assure you that dreams can, in fact, come true.

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It’s Time Reality Got a Makeover

Reality, that most important concept about everything that exists, has gotten out of kilter, and yet very few people have noticed or are paying attention. The problem goes deep into the heart of things, however, so deep that future generations may look back and wonder why this generation didn’t wake up. The reason isn’t mysterious, actually. Modern secular society is based on materialism.

Materialism is a worldview based on physical objects as the stuff of creation. Worldview is a big concept that most people don’t bother to think about. As long as technology keeps progressing on all fronts, materialism seems workable. The only problem is that reality can’t be squeezed into a materialist framework. Materialism, it turns out, is just a plausible story, not a viable way to explain the world around us and certainly not the world “in here” where the mind operates.

Just last week physicists at Fermilab in Illinois announced that an obscure elementary particle, the muon, doesn’t behave the way it was supposed to. As a result, the standard model by which the universe is explained may totter. How can something infinitesimally tiny rock the cosmos? It didn’t. The muon rocked the story about reality we’ve been telling ourselves.

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Keys to Being A Powerful Sales Goddess That Others Want to Mirror

All good leaders must lead by example, that is a given. Being a powerful woman in Sales and Leadership is no different - you MUST walk your talk. Through actions which are aligned with what you say, you become a Goddess who others want to follow, mirror and do business with. When leaders say one thing but do another they erode trust, a critical element of effective leadership and successful sales. Remember behaviors speak louder than words. When trust is allowed to build, a leader will always have a supportive team, ongoing loyal clients and friends who are there to cheer her on.

Here are the keys to being a Powerful Sales Goddess:

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The Key To Living Passionately And Joyfully

Happiness is man's ultimate quest. Whatever the endeavours he undertakes, all seem to gear him towards the path to happiness. It is only conscious survival instinct towards a certain goal, that keeps us going towards happiness.

CHASING OUR FEELINGS
Mankind spends most of his life chasing feelings.It is always felt by scientists and philosophers, that we need to make a conscious disciplined effort towards creating happiness. On the other hand , a simple hearted ordinary person may feel that, just watching a sunrise or sunset, could give him that sense of happiness, which people are seeking through complicated methods.

ORIGIN OF UNHAPPINESS
The longing for happiness only sets in when we feel any of these three emotions i.e. anger, fear or depression. Psycologists down the ages have been looking into the causes of these emotions and feelings, and they have been advising people on how to deal with them, whether it's through counselling, or medication. There is an entire industry dependent on the happiness quotient.
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5 Ways to Ease Stress with Mindfulness

Each April, we acknowledge Stress Awareness Month as an opportunity to reflect on the stress we experience, and the tools we can use to ease it from our lives. One of the simplest, most effective, and most accessible stress reducers at our disposal is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is present moment awareness, without judgment. You might notice sadness, anger, or grief arising, and mindfulness allows you a little distance to feel the feelings. Then, you may choose to focus your attention somewhere else in order to ground yourself in a more wholesome state so that you feel less suffering and more ease. You can direct this mindful awareness toward anything! The key is that you are choosing what to focus your mind on, rather than allowing unbridled thoughts and emotions to take over and dominate your attention.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Dropping The Scale

Like everyone, I was taught that justice is blind, then given a scale to weigh and measure everything. Then, I was told on the sly that everyone peeks and puts their finger on the scale. And years later, after tumbling through the labyrinth of almost dying and waking up, I chanced upon the words of a man who lived fifteen hundred years ago who said that the urge in us to save a child from falling in a well is what makes us human. This was the Chinese philosopher Mencius and he used this image to define the notion of Ren. It makes me think of my first dog, Saba, who as pup in the snow for the first time fell into an iced pond. My heart pounded and without any conscious choice, I was in that pond lifting her back into life as she was sinking. It makes me think of my oldest friend, Robert. When I came to after having a cancerous rib removed, he was over me with a washcloth on my head. It makes me think of St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal where two hundred years ago a janitor was revealed as a healer. There is now a wall of crutches from all those he lifted back into life. It makes me think of the ancient shamans who somehow believed that to lay hands on the ill with an open heart would draw the toxins from their bodies and their minds. It makes me think of Jesus telling the wealthy merchant to drop his scale and enter Heaven now. The truth is that, like so many of us, I have been burdened by the hell of weighing, when Heaven waits in the things that matter that can’t be weighed. In truth, I owe everything to those who have saved my life and yours, dropping everything to pull us from the fire.

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The Incredible Power Of A Decision: The Devastating News

After four weeks of lying flat on my back in traction with a broken neck, no mobility or feeling in both my arms and one of my legs, I got a visit from the ‘expert doctors’.

At 20 years old I was told that I wasn’t responding to any of the treatments and I was going to be paralyzed for the rest of my life.

The rest of my life!” rang in my head over and over and over. With a tsunami twirling in my stomach, my heart pounding out of my chest I immediately blurted out; “I don’t think so doc, that’s not my plan!”

I don’t remember much after that because my inner chatter went ballistic, overflowing with worst case scenarios. My mind had dropped a movie screen right down in front of me so I could watch the story of my life as a quadriplegic.

As I watched in horror, I saw my mom spoon feeding me, brushing my teeth, shaving my face, combing my hair, wiping my butt and dressing me. Being chauffeured everywhere I needed to go, never to ride a bike, a motorcycle or drive my car again. Thinking if I was lucky enough to have a wife, I would never be able to wrap my arms around her or be able to hold our baby in my arms.

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3 Lessons from Creating Inspired Work and the Life of My Dreams

Are your ideas crippling your chances? An inspired life has different parameters and party favors. Throw away everything you think you know. Because this is Float Your Boat University. It’s a different curriculum for a different way of life. 

I want to give you a tangible example of how thinking differently will help you create differently . Here are 3 lessons from creating/leading a writing group I called “Freewriting Fridays” for twenty years. Read on, if you want to grow your dream career/business, empower your relationships, or get out of your head and be led-- by the wild mojo that makes things happen. 

  1. The Sweeter Plan: Everything Has Its Own Form:
To create an inspired life, I couldn’t force things—which, as it turns out, is a bit of a bummer for a control freak.

But there is already an innate expression or form that exists. When I first began my writing group, I met 5 people who wanted to write. We tossed around times. “I can only do Friday mornings,” said Ralph. The rest of us paused. We could do that. And Freewriting Fridays was born. Ralph came once. But Freewriting Fridays continued at the same very unusual time for more than twenty years—and attracted the souls who were meant to be there.

There’s always something that wants to happen in a situation. Try discovering it instead of fighting it. This is organic creation.

Today, I see this with the talks and events I do on the road. Each trip has its own signature. I look for the gifts, treasure hunting instead of collecting disappointments or brooding over what’s not happening. Believe me, the mind is born to rummage. So, I rummage for promise instead of pain.

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How to Handle Emotional Triggers (Especially the Ones You Thought You Already Worked Through)

I personally know how frustrating it is to feel as though you’ve fully worked through something, processed a trigger, and handled your emotions… only for you to get triggered again later. This is something I’ve been dealing with a lot this last year and talking with many people about. Why is it that we do all this work, only to be surprised by a triggering event later on?

It’s so frustrating when this happens, especially if you’re anything like me and you want to think through things and not feel through them. Sometimes it’s not natural to feel, so when you’ve put in all this emotional work, it can be pretty discouraging to realize there’s more work to be done. 

But why is there more work necessary? How do we get that work done? Why do triggers keep happening? Don’t throw in the towel. We’re going to dig into this aspect of handling emotional triggers right now.

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Are You Ready to Discover Your Soul Purpose?

  • Do you have moments when you feel disconnected from your true purpose?
  • Do you sometimes wonder exactly what your purpose in life is all about?

We’ve all had that nagging feeling when you know it’s time to make a change and take a new direction in your life. You may have a vague sense of what your true path might look like. But if you have no clue at all, that’s okay. Just follow your intuition.

As young children, we tend to express our true nature and are easily drawn to what we feel is intrinsically right for us. But as we grow up, life circumstances and expectations of well-meaning loved ones and society as a whole steer us to what is considered more practical and acceptable. No wonder we feel such a sense of disconnection and start questioning our life direction!

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The One Karmic Lesson We All Face On the Road To A More Peaceful Life

This week I had an experience that made me think about my triggers and personal life story.  I believe that ultimately we all face one karmic lesson, that if mastered, helps us live a peaceful life.

I was out on the trails with my very energetic pup.  It was early morning and cloudy.  We almost had the entire preserve to ourselves.  My companion lets me know when bobcats, bunnies, or other wildlife are near.   On this particular morning we heard some coyotes off in the distance.  My dog paused and looked in the direction of his cousin’s song.

After the howls and yipping, our world returned to calm.

Before long, the tranquility was shattered by a very large, off leash dog baying loudly as it chased a coyote across the desert floor.   The coyote was running for it’s life.

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How To Find Your Purpose

What is my purpose in life?

I get asked this question all the time at my live events and during interviews.

There’s often a myth that your life purpose is something that you need to figure out and find up front. That unless you are crystal clear you can’t live it.

But what if you didn’t need to know everything about your life’s purpose in order to begin?

Often when we focus so much on trying figure out all the details of our life purpose we can end up waiting and holding back our gifts.

If you want to live your purpose then stop waiting.

Simply begin by going in the direction that moves you most deeply.

Take a step.

When you take a step, each step will reveal to you the next step. In a sense your purpose will find you in the process.

You don’t need to know the entire map of where you are going to get to where you are meant to be.

You may not be able to see all the steps on the journey from where you are today. It’s OK.

But you do need to start.

Trust that you will be guided every step of the way.

So if you aren’t sure which direction to go in or what your life’s purpose is, begin by asking yourself these 4 questions:

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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