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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Surrender, the Unexpected Key to Your Magnificence

Our desire to belong is a natural one. It is a desire many of us experience when we get stuck in our heads and feel disconnected.

We live in the mental body or the thinking mind, which perceives that something is missing—that we don’t belong. When we drop underneath the story the thinking mind writes, we realize we already belong. In fact, we cannot not belong.

It is our habits and patterns, the ways we perceive life, that keep us from perceiving our true magnificence.

The activity of the conscious mind is typically steeped in protection and performance. It writes stories to fill in the blank because it believes something is “missing.”

The mind attempts to do things like—carve a path for ourself, make sure we belong, or get approval and love. Those things start when we land here on earth, we energetically disperse or as I call it, “splat.” We’re not sure what happened, so we turn our attention externally to figure it out and prepare in case it happens again.

When our senses orient externally, we begin to need the external world to constantly give us feedback like, “Am I okay? Do I belong? Am I approved of? Am I enough?” Because of this misperception, that we need the outside for our sense of “okayness,” we focus “out there” instead of “in here,” to know if we belong. We end up with this giant void inside.

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What Gives You Meaning in Your Life?

When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning. Life is rich and full.
—Gary Zukav



Contributing to the new humanity gives me meaning beyond anything I could have possibly imagined. I write books, give events, and create programs to teach about creating authentic power—aligning the personality with the soul so that we can transform ourselves with our own wills instead of trying to change others.

I am filled with meaning when I am giving a gift to Life. Sometimes when a chapter that I am writing comes to an end, or I reread a chapter that I have written, I cry without being able to stop because I am so grateful to be allowed to write these words and share these thoughts.

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Honoring Your Authentic Self: THE FIFTH ENERGY!

When asked about how he was able to create lifelike, detailed forms from blocks of marble, Michelangelo answered, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”

And so it is with your authentic self. You don’t need to create your personal truth; you simply need to remove everything that is standing in the way of self-expression. And the biggest obstacle is usually fear. 

Rejecting Limits on Your Voice or Your Truth

When your fifth energy, the energy that corresponds to creative self expression, is unbalanced, it’s common to feel that you don’t have a right to express yourself. This lack of harmony can lead to fears about speaking up, for fear you’ll be judged, mocked, censured, or otherwise rejected. 

But we cannot be totally free unless we are committed to telling the absolute truth — to others and to ourselves. And this takes courage! Often, we can be led to believe stories that it is safer to fit in, or that we have to earn our worth before we can speak up. Many people have had to fight to be heard, or maybe you were punished for telling the truth. Maybe you were, like me, taught how to fit in, and that being different was dangerous. 

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How to Get a Raise at Work and Make More Money

Are you making the kind of money you want to be making in your current job? Chances are, your answer is no. But when you know how to get a raise, everything can change.

If you feel like you should be making more — but don’t want to have to apply for new positions at different companies and start all over somewhere else — getting a raise can be the answer.

Today I’d like to share my top tips on how to make more money where you are right now and propel your career in the direction you want to go. 

Add More Value

My first tip is to create and add more value to the company. 

What can you do to help the company make or save more money? How can your efforts help to boost the organization’s results or reputation, or fulfill the company’s mission or objectives? What can you do to make your manager’s or coworkers’ lives easier? 

Look for needs that aren’t being met — either within the organization or your clients’ or customers’ needs — and meet those needs to add more value wherever possible. That’s the first, and biggest step you can take to make yourself more deserving of a higher paycheck. 

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A Whole New Normal

“Love can only be found where we are. Love is 'nearer than near.' Are you looking for the Holy One? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours."
 —Kabir


I've Been Thinking...

Happy Passover! Happy Palm Sunday! I hope you are smiling wherever you are!

This morning, I am smiling as I look ahead to Holy Week. I am looking forward to it because it feels like an opportunity to reset. Regardless of your religion, this is a moment for everyone to reflect and renew. Both feel more important now than ever. 

The other day, I read a quote from Prince Harry that stayed with me all week long. Writing about his mother’s death and how it affected him as a child, he said: “I didn’t want to believe or accept it, and it left a huge hole inside of me.”

Prince Harry wrote those words in a foreword to a new picture book aimed at helping children cope with losing a loved one to COVID-19. His words resonated with me deeply because grief has left a huge hole inside of me, too. It’s a hole that I’ve tried to fill up over the years with going, doing, and accomplishing things. I’ve always been hoping to get ahead of grief so that I didn’t have to deal with it.

Grief is like that. It’s there, and you want to deal with it, but you know you have to carry on so you try to push past it.

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Too Blessed to be Stressed?

Did you know that if you spell stressed backwards the word is dessert? Do you remember when you were a child all that mattered was the fun parts and all the chores and grown up stuff could be saved to last? As a matter of fact we had such a look of dread written all over our faces when we were asked to come in from playing with our friends or we had to wait before we could play. So how did we get to be so important that we do not create the time to still play in our lives. Is the issue that we are more important? What if I told you I believe the issue is we have become non-important. We are so unimportant to ourselves that we have made everything and everyone more significant than we are and we have forgotten the value and necessity of desserts. Often in our society today, too many people are doing things and staying busy without fulfillment and joy. Too many people are on automatic pilot without consciously choosing to participate with decisions which are necessary in order to have a life in which in college we would have written home about. We have forgotten that we are here to enjoy our journey and savor each and every day.

We all know the mantra there is good stress and bad stress and what a brilliant way of making another reason as to why we have forgotten to enjoy our lives. Regardless of whether it is good stress or bad stress…it’s still stress and it accelerates the head chatter, the bad eating habits, the lack of sleep and all the other elements which go with stress. We can intellectualize stress and explain what type it is yet our body still feels it and doesn’t understand why we are so out of balance with it. 

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50 Things I’ve Learned in My 50 Years of Life

Life passes by slow and fast. We have both good and bad times. Happy and sad experiences. We walk through life and experience joy and loss, as well as happiness and death. There is contrast through it all. As I arrive at my 50th time around the sun, I took the time to sit with SOME of what I have learned. These are in no particular order and are certainly not all I have learned. I am sure I have forgotten some BIGGIES, but it’s a good start; and more importantly, on my birthday day, it is a good reminder to me of this amazing life I have been blessed to experience and all that I have journeyed through … on both sides of the contrast.

Enjoy ~ Sunny Dawn Johnston

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Killing Buddha (it’s a good thing)

Did you know that the personal growth world has a dark side? And that not all the superstars of this world walk their talk?

I have spent more than 30 years attending personal growth workshops, working closely with the teachers of it, and have been in a rare birdseye place to observe what goes on. 90% of my experiences with the teachers and their teachings were very positive but I saw some things… out of control diva behavior, falling on the floor sloppy drunk, profound arrogance, and I’ve read about male yoga teachers taking sexual advantage of their students, etc.

I’ve learned that it’s true, we teach what we need to learn most, and that most of us interested in personal growth deliberately come to it in search of healing, which is why the teachers are teaching it in the first place. They had a core wound, found a solution, and now want to share it with the world. So, we don’t always want to be too quick to judge them (unless their behavior is abhorrent or criminal) and make room for their imperfect humanness.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Resilience

Somehow, when I face what is mine to face and empty myself of all that is agitating me, I go clear like a lake after a storm. It is then that I can see through to the bottom of what is me, only to see that I share that bottom with all other beings. When I face my heartache and reach its bottom, there is the bottom of all heartache which is both comforting and renewing.

In this brave and tender way, resilience is accepting strength from everything that is not us. When being ourselves to the bottom of our personality, we trip into the well of all personality. When giving all our care to what is before us, we trip into the well of all love. When diving through the depth that some call soul, we swim in the depth of being. Once opened that deeply, summoning and marshalling what is dormant in us to face the situation at hand empowers our fortitude.

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Poignancy and Gratitude

When you are in your teens and 20s, life seems to extend into the future like an endless expanse of potential experiences. You can’t imagine not having the opportunity to visit places you love again or see friends and family regularly. As you grow older and encounter both loss and change, life takes on a quality of uncertainty, sweetness tinged with sorrow. A favorite uncle or a parent dies, friends move away, you yourself may move multiple times. The tapestry of life is always shifting, and we too shift with the changes. At a certain point, you may realize that the years ahead are possibly fewer than those behind. It may awaken a deep sense of appreciation for every moment you are given. This is how our lives teach us gratitude. Yet now, at this time on the planet, that lesson is coming up in unexpected ways.

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A Reservoir of unlimited power

Once we realize that only we are responsible for our own happiness, our world changes. We stop playing the blame game. We know and understand that we have the power to overcome our weakness, and fetch for ourselves, a true and genuine state of happiness. 

Many situations come in our lives, which take us to this unimaginably delightful level of happiness, yet no matter how marvellous the experiences are, they never last. They are transitory.
We need to create happiness on a conscious level and there are various ways of training our minds to do it.
 
TRUST THE HIGHER POWER
When you trust in the power and the wisdom of your sub conscious to guide you, and direct your ways, you become calm and relaxed. You radiate peace and joy and become, a conduit of happiness.
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Your Precious Marble Day

“If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun."
 —Katharine Hepburn


I've Been Thinking...

Happy Spring, friends! How are you doing today? How are you feeling with all the talk about getting back to so-called normal?

Are you feeling good? Are you relieved? Are you anxious? Or are you just not having any of it? No matter how you feel, I understand. It’s a lot to take in and process. I don’t know about you, but to me, it feels like we were just talking about double masking. Now planes are filled to the max again, restaurants and gyms are reopening. And, depending on where you live, people can (and are) walking around totally unmasked!

It’s enough to give even the calmest among us post-pandemic anxiety, so breathe. That’s where you and your voice come in. That’s where our first story in the Views Above the Noise section below will really help you move forward.

Over the past few days, I’ve spoken to people from all walks of life—different age groups, different states, people on the frontlines of the pandemic, and also those who have lost their jobs—and I’ve got to say, not one person has said, “I’m going back to the way things were.” They all say, “I want to move forward, but I want to move forward differently. I want to live with more intention.” Every one of them has had a different experience, but all of them have been impacted by the pandemic and have felt the need to take stock of their life and reset. Many aren't sure what the new normal is, but they feel blessed to still be here, and they want to move forward with a new focus, a new mindset, and a new sense of purpose and intention. Me too.

That brings me to two conversations I had this week that I think will help us all do exactly that. One was about having accountability partners in your life, and the other was about a jar of marbles (yup, a jar of marbles). Both got me thinking.

My first conversation was one about where you turn for advice. My friend asked me this: Do you have at least five people to whom you can turn for sound advice? Do you have people who will tell you the truth, who will call you out when the situation warrants it, and who will keep you moving forward? 

As my friend and I discussed this, they then told me to “take those five people and smoosh them together. Then you will have you!” 

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How AI Could Set Us Free

Various scientific fields over the course of history have hoped to master Nature for the benefit of humankind. At the top of the heap right now is artificial intelligence (AI), which has allied itself with the technology of robotics. Between them AI and robotics are having a sizable impact on the work force as more and more jobs get automated. Advocates of AI are both supremely optimistic and nervous. Both relate to the possibility of a super-intelligent machine that would far surpass human intelligence.

If you are an optimist, this so-called Singularity, as the hypothetical machine is called, would become self-improving. Its software would become free of human constraints, and in a “runaway reaction,” it would keep improving its knowledge and the technology that knowledge creates. The result would be a revolution in human civilization—or its demise. The worriers are nervous that the Singularity could initiate global war on its own, or perhaps turn on us as its inferior and deal us some other kind of fatal blow, for the good of life on Earth.

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The 2-Step Visioning Formula That Saved My Life

There’s a simple formula that can make all the difference between feeling energized, thrilled to start your day, fulfilling your purpose in life… or waking up feeling lost, dreading your day, and drained.

It allows you to live your purpose and experience life fully, instead of missing out on life, going through the motions — almost feeling like a passenger in your own life.

This practice is so simple, that I was able to apply it when I was 18 years old, in an intensive care unit, confined to a hospital bed… with no prior training or experience.

And it is so powerful, that it actually saved my life.

When you incorporate this formula into your routine, it will help you break free from the chains of old habits and patterns that keep you living a life you don’t fully love.

It allows you to escape the hamster wheel of old results — unlocking the full potential that lies within you, to achieve anything you would love.

This formula is the key to finding fulfillment, purpose and creating a life you would love living.

But before I go into the details, let me share with you the story of how I learned this powerful formula for the very first time…

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Wake Up and Work at Living in Presence

Part of our essential need to be at peace is to know that we are in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing, and to know it in such a fashion that nothing can come along and convince us that we are not.

Have you ever thought to yourself "I'm doing the right thing at the right time," and someone said, "No, you're not," and then everything fell apart? 

To work at living in Presence, we need only bring our attention back into ourselves, quietly knowing we are aware of all that we are, and all that’s going on around us at the same time. 

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The Gift of Failure

When things don’t go according to plan or work out how you intended, it can be a huge disappointment and let down, especially when you have invested so much time, energy, and money.

It’s easy to judge yourself as a failure and beat yourself up harshly. But this serves nothing.

When you try so hard and your dreams don’t happen, it’s easy to question yourself and even want to give up on the dream itself.

But what if there was no such thing as “failure”? 

Consider that every experience is feedback to you from the universe and every moment is an opportunity to learn something more about yourself.

Failure is simply an interpretation of reality based on your current level of consciousness.

So – What if things not working out were really a gift from the universe designed to take you deeper into yourself, forcing you to question, reflect, and let go of anything not in alignment with your highest?

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Blessing of the Ordinary

In a moment of exhaustion, my mind was too tired to keep weaving its web and my heart was too tired to keep the world at bay. In that sudden stillness, I realized that, as a patch of water when still will reveal the bottom of a lake, the blessing of the ordinary is that any moment met with stillness will reveal the whole of life that resides under everything. This is the power of presence. When fully present, we can see through all trouble and turbulence. Through meditation, we can breathe our way back into presence. Through love, we are softened back into presence.

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A Year of Turmoil and Transformation

One year ago, we went into lockdown.

Covid -19. The Corona virus. A global pandemic. Holy shit!

They said lockdown would probably only last three to four weeks, possibly six.

We were told to wash our hands, wear a mask, social distance so we could “flatten the curve.”

What happened next doesn’t need to be repeated here.

We’ve all been through our own personal trauma.

For the first few months the loss of freedom to come and go and do as I please, including making future plans, had me cycling through the five stages of grief at a rapid pace.

Although I felt physically “bulletproof,” I worried about getting and passing along the virus to my husband or mother, both with underlying conditions.

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The Call to Unite

“What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.”
 —Edward Kennedy

 

I've Been Thinking...

This week, there was a lot to think about. There was a lot to talk about, a lot to feel, and a lot to reflect upon as we approach the one-year anniversary of lockdown.

Can you believe that one year has passed? Can you believe that more than 500,000 people have lost their lives to a disease that few of us had even heard of a year ago? Can you believe how much has changed? 

I think it’s fair to say that none of us are the same people we were before Covid shut down our worlds. Lives have been lost and/or dramatically altered. Jobs have disappeared, identities have been reimagined, and priorities have shifted dramatically. It’s as if we are all looking at our lives through new eyes.

What do you see today when you look out? What do you feel about your life and your future? Have you found a silver lining? Does being asked to look for one tick you off? Did you love your life before and hate it now, or is it the other way around? Did Covid force you to stop? Have you had to dig your way up and out? Are you taken aback at where you have found yourself? Do you feel uncertain and alone when you look forward?

I don't know about you, but very little in my life feels the same as it did one year ago. I don't look at the world the same way, nor do I look at my life the same way. And I know I'm not alone. That’s why I’m grateful that the new book The Call to Unite: Voices of Hope and Awakening by my brother Tim Shriver and my friend Tom Rosshirt is coming out this Tuesday. It's the first from my new publishing imprint The Open Field! Yippee! Hooray! 

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The Brain Needs Reinventing—Here’s How

We’re living in a golden age for brain research, which could revolutionize how we think, feel, and behave.  Thanks to advanced brain scans like the fMRI, brain activity can be localized and even the most precise activity pinpointed. For example, researchers can spot the minuscule area in the visual cortex that, when damaged, prevents a person from recognizing faces, including his own.

Now the goal of neuroscience is to map the brain’s 100 billion cells and perhaps a quadrillion connections down to the tiniest detail. But what will we use the map for? One obvious area is medicine. The more we know about what goes wrong in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, the closer we get to a cure.  But the highest good would be to reinvent the brain.

“Reinvent” isn’t an exaggeration. Ten thousand years ago Homo sapiens had evolved the same genetic array that modern people inherit, which includes the same brain structure. But in the intervening millennia since then, there arose reading, writing, advanced art and music, mathematics, and science.  Each advance required a new relationship between mind and body.

Human beings reinvent the brain as we go along, day by day. You are doing it right now. In short, the brain is a verb, not a noun. It is reshaped by thoughts, memories, desire, and experience.

If genes and a fixed structure of brain cells told the whole story, it would remain a total mystery why a cave dweller after the last Ice Age should have just the right complement of neurons to discover gravity or write a symphony. Now we realize that the human brain is far from fixed, at any level. New brain cells are being formed throughout life; trillions of connections between neurons are developed; and the genetic activity inside each neuron is dynamic, responding to every experience and every stimulus from the outside world.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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