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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Allowing Life To Become A Blissful Adventure

Stress like all other things in life is truly controlled by universal laws of attraction. Of course it is our own belief system, that puts them into motion. As you put your self in harmony with the universal laws, you will actually feel the shift in your own energy. Consciousness and awareness also shift.  Most important of course is the shift in your own experience. 

CHANGE OF PERCEPTION

As you change your perception to a happier zone, you actually shift your personal energy. The bottom line of successful manifestation is the intention to create Joy in your life.  Life is then a blissful adventure. The process of continuously flowing energies,  creates a domino effect in terms of manifestation.  Being happier shifts your energy. This also moves what you attract in life. This goes to prove that ongoing manifestation is a result of our desire to create ongoing happiness. 

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF

Question yourself, are you peaceful, joyous and happy by your own personal standards. Take a while to contemplate on your answer.  Be honest about it,  as your success hinges on your own answers. 
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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Drop of Ocean

The drop of ocean teaches us about integrity and faith because, no matter how churned up it is, it never loses its transparency or its ability to go clear. As transparency and clarity are intrinsic to the true nature of water, integrity and faith are intrinsic to our true nature. Regardless of how churned up we are, restoring our transparency will enliven our integrity, and restoring our clarity will enliven our faith.

As one drop of the sea contains the entire ocean, each human being contains all of humanity. When churned up and full of trouble, we are disconnected from this living heritage and things always feel worse than they are. When transparent and clear, we reflect and reveal all of humanity and are able to draw strength from the living heritage we are a part of. This is why we need to discover and inhabit a personal practice of transparency and clarity that will return us to our true nature by restoring our integrity and faith.

All the spiritual traditions offer rituals and practices, including all forms of meditation, in order to support us in our ongoing task of returning to our true nature when the roughness of living challenges our assumptions. How do we personalize these practices? How do we create our own? What is your own history of being churned up? What are the ways by which you have restored your own transparency and clarity? Who and what helps you return to your true nature?

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Surprised By Simplicity 

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Albert Einstein

"The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply." Kahlil Gibran

“Be Here Now” This classic three word title from Ram Dass is brilliant simplicity.

Aha! moments spark meaningful insights.

Truth is simple.

There are no new truths but there are always new perspectives.

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The Incredible Vanishing Universe (And How to Bring It Back)

Looking up at the night sky reveals an uncountable richness of stars and galaxies, which gets augmented billions of times over through telescope images from deep space. The cosmos looks to be in no danger of disappearing, but this is just a comforting illusion.

Starting in 1933, with the first intimation that dark matter existed—an idea discarded at the time, waiting another 35 years to resurface—the visible universe has been so undermined by dark matter and energy that it now ranks in size about the same as the cherry atop an ice cream sundae. By current estimates dark matter accounts for 27% of the universe, dark energy for 68%, and everything else in the observable universe a mere 5%.

You might see the situation as a kind of “tip of the iceberg,” with the bulk of the berg hidden underwater, but the reality is more baffling.  No one knows how the hidden bulk of the universe relates to the visible tip. It isn’t even credible yet that “matter” and “energy” are the right words for it.

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Relax, You’ve Arrived

Are we there yet?

The Practice
Relax, you’ve arrived.

Why?

We spend so much of our time trying to get somewhere.

Part of this comes from our biological nature. To survive, animals – including us – have to be goal-directed, leaning into the future.

It’s certainly healthy to pursue wholesome aims, like paying the rent on time, raising children well, healing old pain, or improving education.

But it’s also important to see how this focus on the future – on endless striving, on getting the next task done, on climbing the next mountain – can get confused and stressful.

It’s confused because the brain:

  • Overestimates both the pleasure of future gains and the pain of future losses. (This evolved to motivate our ancient ancestors to chase carrots hard and really dodge sticks.)
  • Makes the future seem like a real thing when in fact it doesn’t actually exist and never will. There is only now, forever and always.
  • Overlooks or minimizes the alrightness of this moment – including the many things already resolved or accomplished – in order to keep you looking for the next threat or opportunity. (For more on how the brain makes us stressed and fearful, see Buddha’s Brain.)
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Three Pelicans Circling

Last week, on my morning walk, three brown pelicans flew overhead, high in the sky, as I tilted my head up to watch them. Slowly they turned in perfect unison and began to circle above me, directly above me. They circled three times, large sweeping circles of which I was the epicenter below them. Then they turned back the way they had originally come and flew off into the distance. As I watched them leave, my spirits uplifted by their brief aerial presence, I thought, “Why did they fly here, circle three times, and then return? Was my presence somehow connected to theirs?”

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Stop Fighting

When humbled, we finally stop fighting—

against life, against the tide of time, against

the avalanche of disappointment, if we can

outwait the stubbornness of our dreams. For

every storm, no matter how fierce, dissipates

itself. The question is how much damage

it does while wearing itself out. Eventually,

once broken open, once our soft center

spits out its pearl, we try to put all that

we’ve damaged back together. And no

one tells us that the storm hurts itself.

It guts its own center. Even the surf

crashes into itself. All this to say, I’m

sorry for the path of my storm. I know

some things can’t be put back together,

and we have to live with what we’ve done.

In time, the hardest nut will crack and

wonder why it took so long to lean into

love. But now that we’re here, I don’t know

what to say, other than, please, stay close

for the time we have. Like flowers, we

spend long hours underground, in the

dark, all for these few moments of

blossom that we never thought

would come.
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The Secret to More Energy: Using Your Unused Gifts

I talked to a woman who had been very gifted in music, but who hadn’t pursued it as an adult. “I am afraid of failing,” she said, but as we talked further, she admitted in the quiet tones of held back truth, that she felt like a failure now. She felt tired and angry, out of sorts with her life. I don’t blame her.

It takes more effort to create a life you don’t want than to create the life you crave.

An unused gift is a keg of dynamite. It’s dangerous. It leaks out and begins to poison you. It haunts your cells with a hoarse song, “use me or die, use me or die.” Your gifts are powerful energy sources. It takes so much energy to hold back life. It hurts to choose smallness. It hurts to let yourself down in secret ways, muffling the cries that no one else hears. It hurts to resist the evolutionary instinct within you to grow, express, go beyond survival and thrive, and stake your one true place upon this planet.

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What Are You Waiting For?

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.”
Dale Carnegie, 1888-1955

Right now, take a breath and go inside. Is there something you are waiting for, to be happy? Are you putting off living until something magical happens? How often have you heard yourself say, “I’ll play, or create, or rest, or spend time with loved ones or take that vacation – when everything gets done.” Does everything ever get done?

Early one morning, as I was driving to the airport on my way to New York for an Intensive, a spectacular sunrise took my breath away. “How fortunate am I,” I thought, “that I get to drive to the airport basking in this incredible display of God’s art. How fortunate am I that I get to breathe in the fresh crisp air of fall.” It was one of those moments that filled my heart and soul with peace and joy and gratitude.

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There's No Time Like Now

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure...You don't capitulate to it. You embrace it."  -Kobe Bryant

I've Been Thinking...

I was having lunch with my cousin this past Sunday when my daughter Katherine called to tell me the news about Kobe Bryant.

At first, I had trouble processing what she was saying because she was talking so fast and was so overwhelmed by the news she was sharing. You see, we are a Lakers family. That means Kobe Bryant was a king in our house. Both of my boys grew up with him and are Lakers fanatics. In fact, my son Christopher lived and breathed Kobe his entire life. His room is decorated in pictures of him, and he waited hours to get a ticket in the nosebleed section to his last game, during which he cried and cried and cried.

For Christopher’s 21st birthday, I got him a signed picture from Kobe – it’s his most valuable possession. I had met Kobe several times over the years and he was always incredibly kind, generous, and gracious to me. In fact, just a few months ago I asked him to contribute to The Sunday Paper and he said yes immediately. What I respected about Kobe wasn’t just that he was an extraordinary athlete, but that he was a man who admitted his flaws, embraced his struggles, and spoke openly about his faith and his desire to be a better man. I particularly admired his devotion to his family. The way he embraced fatherhood, husbandhood, and familyhood I believe will be a big part of his enduring legacy.

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How to Attract Wealth with Positive Affirmations

Financial success starts in the mind and there are incredibly simple affirmations that can help you attract wealth.

If you have a good attitude about money – if you like thinking about it, and reading about it, and learning how to manage it effectively – you will find it easy to accumulate enough wealth to lead a very comfortable life.

But if you have negative ideas around money – it’s hard to make, you’ll never have enough of it, and you don’t like checking your bank account because you’re afraid of what it’s going to tell you – guess what?

You’re going to find it very difficult to make, save, and manage your money.

And you’ll probably never get to a place where you are entirely free from financial worry.

The good news is that there are simple and actionable affirmations that you can do every day to help you change your perspective of money and attract wealth.

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Techniques To Create And Build A Joyful Life

We all know and understand that belief is the thought in your mind. If you strongly, and with full faith believe in something you can make it happen. Do not believe in things that harm or hurt.  Believe in the power of the sub conscious to heal, inspire, strengthen and prosper. 

BELIEVE AND IT WILL HAPPEN

Lots of people feel frustrated when their desires are not met. If you are dwelling on obstacles, delays and difficulties,  then that is what you will be attracting. Your subconscious mind responds to your desires. You will be blocking your own good by attracting negative thoughts. Desire to do things in a positive way. 
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Stop waiting for “Someday”

Kobe Bryant’s untimely death on Sunday (he was only 41!) came as a shock to his fans around the world.
Kobe Bryant

It’s so hard for me to wrap my head around how one moment you are living and seconds later it’s game over.

Real life is unpredictable and this tragedy is a reminder for me to use my limited time on Earth to experience the people, places, and things that most appeal to me and to use my creativity and skills to add a little magic and healing to the planet.

What is on your bucket list and do you have a plan to make it happen?

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Simple Habits to Manifest Change

I am always pretty much in sync with everyone else by the end of January still considering change and transformation as a bit of a sport I might actually win. Yes, I have learned how to make change into a game since I am not always successful in avoiding the pitfalls of the myriad threads of old storylines to prove my essential unworthiness. You know what I mean, 3 weeks of pure bliss on a new food plan and anti-aging Goop-approved weirdness, then face plant without noticeable cause into a giant vat of cream cake. Who me? Not I!! 

You might identify with being sick and tired of being sick and tired, or raring to go and get a brand new you, or realizing nothing is actually broken, you just aren’t where you want to be… yet. This brings up the “mindful of remaining in the moment and being with what is” existential dilemma. 

Oh, what a hairball!  

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Making Space

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
-Mother Teresa

I've Been Thinking...

At the start of this year, I found myself going on an organization tear quite unlike any I’d been on before. I felt an urge to clean up and clear out. To streamline and simplify. To bring order to all areas of my life.

The feeling came from a place deep within, and it felt different than it ever had before. (Yes, I’ve organized before.) When I told a friend, she said, “Maria, that makes perfect sense. You are trying to make room and space in your life for something new.”
 

“Aha!” I said to myself. “That’s it. That feels right.”

It felt like my desire was about something bigger than simply organizing. It felt like it was about getting grounded and balanced. Clearing out my physical space allows me to pave way for clearing out my emotional space. It helps me see what’s right in front of me so that I can ask myself, “What do I really want in my life? What can I remove, so that I can I make room?"

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One of My Most Emotional Cases

Today, I want to talk to you about place memory. It’s the ability to pick up vibrations and detailed information, whether it’s seen, felt or heard, of a past event. The more traumatic the event—the stronger the impression.

The easiest way to describe it, it's is as if someone took a snapshot in time, and etched it in the atmosphere of the actual environment or the fabric of the building where the event took place.

Fortunately, most people don’t have such finely tuned psychic antennae to be able to tap into such memories. Otherwise, we’d all be walking around looking shocked and miserable every time we go near a disaster site. On a lesser scale, many people may walk into a room and feel an argument that just took place, or pick up on the atmosphere in a room that doesn’t feel right. We’ve all experienced this sometime in our lives.

In my case, I have the ability to go way beyond this feeling. My ability can literally be stretched over the canvas of time. It really doesn’t matter if it was yesterday, last week, or even hundreds of years ago. Scenes play out in my mind as I slip back in time, and often the clarity and detail is like an old movie that’s been digitally restored. I feel as if I’m actually there.

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The Divine Feminine and the Power to Change the World

The time has come to think about women’s power and not just women’s rights. When the New York Times editorial board recently split over which Democratic presidential candidate to endorse, the debate was over two women, and eventually both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar were selected. This is a sign of our collective exhaustion with a president who expresses the most extreme and worst aspects of masculine behavior. The best hope for turning the tide is said to be the suburban women’s vote, which already showed its power in the 2018 mid-term elections.  
 

But something much deeper is going on. Masculine behavior has run its course as the model for power. The arms race, world wars, civil conflicts, and an insane buildup of atomic bombs symbolize masculine aggression reaching some kind of apex that is also a dead end.  The urge to fight and to turn competitors into enemies, nations into armed fortresses, and everyone into winners and losers won’t save a planet that needs emergency medicine.

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How to Make Sure You Actually Follow Through with Your Goals

In the past, I’ve talked about the power of persistence and what it takes to follow through on your goals. If you have the willpower and drive to pursue your goals NO MATTER WHAT, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

I’d like to take that one step further by teaching you how to develop the kind of relentless persistence — so you’re able to follow through on any goal you desire.

The good news about willpower is, it’s not some inherent skill you’re born with — it’s something you learn and develop. It’s like a muscle — exercise it regularly and it grows stronger and stronger.

So how do you flex that muscle in a way that gets results and helps you achieve your goals?

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Creating A Conscious Balance

Stress is actually the answer to all our fears and phobias. Once we learn to understand and conquer these fears, stress is definitely on the run to elimination. We have to realize that we have a Higher Self which is actually responsible for all the decisions in our lives. This vibrates at a higher frequency than our Physical Self.  It helps us to access all the information from the Universe. Creating a conscious balance between these two selves is what will give us the true answer. 

CONNECTION
The balance you create with your Higher Self and your Physical Self is what helps you to access all the information, power and resources you need, to create a joyous and happy space within. Working towards creating this balance, is what is inherently essential. 
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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Lately

Death has been with me, getting my attention, saying nothing. So this morning, in a hotel in New York, I take a long shower, hoping the hot, anonymous stream might wash the aches from my heart and the fear from my mind. Yet once rinsed of my memory and worry, death takes off its mask and it is only life trying to get my attention one more time. But I insist, I have never taken any of this for granted. And now, from the inside, I can see the story of the Universe in the homeless man’s eye, and the kindness of time in the sun off the thunderstorm puddle, which will evaporate by noon. Like me. Like you. Now life appears as a small bird drinking from the puddle. So that’s it. All our efforts come down to one life offering itself as a drink to another before we evaporate into everything else. It makes me sad to think that you and I will vanish. But the way this works is elegant: the expending of one life till it is seamlessly absorbed in the next. And so, this morning, these thoughts hardly seem my own.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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