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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The Hero’s Journey We All Need to Take

The world is undergoing a troubling, yet essential transformation. On the outside, it appears we’re on the brink of collapse: environmental degradation is rampant, war is preached as an inevitable part of life, and COVID-19 makes us wonder if things are changed forever. Yet on the inside, many of us are awakening to the idea of a more meaningful life. Many of us are embarking or thinking about embarking on a personal hero’s journey. 

The idea of the hero’s journey comes down to us from comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. You’ve probably seen Joseph Campbell quotes circulating the web. For example, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls,” is very recognizable, especially the “follow your bliss” part.

In many of Joseph Campbell books, including The Power of Myth, The Hero’s Journey (an autobiographical work on Campbell), The Hero With a Thousand Faces, and Myths to Live By, he explores what’s referred to as the monomyth. The monomyth cycle includes a hero’s call to adventure and eventual pilgrimage into the unknown where he or she returns with boons to bestow upon humanity. 

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Why You Should Follow Your Heart

You’ve read the books, done the seminars, completed the workshops, and have had experiences, even if they were momentary. But, at some point, you have to fully go all in on what you believe and what you know. You are an independent unit of divine expression in this world and it’s all about you complying with the wisdom and knowledge that resides at the level of your own heart. 

The more that people demonstrate the courage to follow their hearts, the more the end result is happiness! It’s amazing how there’s that correlation between following your heart and being happy – doing what you love doing, and being happy, having the courage to pursue your passion, and being happy. It is incredible how over and over and over again, I am hearing, witnessing, and experiencing people who have the courage to break free of the norm and live fully from their hearts. 

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10 Signs the Universe is Guiding You to a Better Life

A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends experienced a significant life challenge.  As Martha shared her story, she emphasized there were many warnings of impending change.  This is not uncommon.  How often do you recognize when the Universe is guiding you?

When we listen, we are led to a better life.

When we don’t listen,  life often becomes more difficult.

One of the gifts we have in this life is to choose,  and if needed, choose again.  The combination of being aware of universal guidance while actively using free will,  can help  manifest a very rewarding life.

What happens when we overlook or ignore the enlightenment of the Universe?  My personal experience is this, the transformations are more difficult and suddenly life altering.

There was a time in my life that I was doing too much of the wrong thing.  My focus was not on my life calling.  I was given many signs that I needed to slow down and turn inward. I ignored the guidance,  until my physical body was depleted.  I had no choice but to stop everything and rediscover my connection with all that is.

It didn’t take long to get back on track.   Happily my entire life was transformed.  I can’t help but think, It would have been easier if I had not fallen off the rails in the first place.

The Universe shares messages and guides us every moment, of everyday.  This means our entire life is a reflection of the conversation with All That Is. Some of the communication styles are gentle reminders and some of the guidance is powerful.

Do you actively look for the Universe’s signs of guidance?  Remember,  direction might be in your entire life or just one or two areas.

Here are ten subtle, and not so subtle ways, the is Universe helping you discover an easier and more abundant life.

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Creating a New Pattern of Joy & Happiness

It is essential to empower yourself. The past few months have perhaps eroded a lot of people's sense of joy and happiness, as they have been denied the  see and touch feel of the human connect.

For self growth, connection is very important. To feel alive and joyous, every human likes the feel of a level of connecting with another. That's why it has been said "Man is a social animal" he needs interaction for self growth and happiness.

These past few months have tested everyone's patience and have actually led to a new level of thought. Yet another way of perceiving the situation is that, many of the people turned inwards into a journey of self discovery, which in turn leads to self growth.

But despite a high level of awareness and a raised level of consciousness, lots of mankind was forced by their own negative self thinking pattern, to get into a depression. One negative thought led to another, until a spiralling effect was created.
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Stretching Yourself

Commitment is a stretch when you commit to something new, something constructive and healthy, and stick to it, such as commitment to your integrity. How do you stay in integrity without being insensitive? How can you be sensitive to others and stay in it?

There are degrees of commitment, and each new degree is a stretch. It is as though we are individuals who are practicing yoga. As we stretch we become more limber, but we are always at the edge of what we can do. Individuals who come into the Authentic Power Learning Community may think that they are committed to creating authentic power and feel that they are committed, and yet as they begin to experience the depth of the transformation that occurs within themselves as they develop emotional awareness and apply responsible choice, they discover that they are indeed required to commit yet again.

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Having the Courage to Be Who You Really Are

I have a question for you that just might unlock a secret and set your life on fire. 

Where do you hide your juice and authenticity? Where does your “self-image” thwart your self-expression?

I’ll put it another way. Do you sometimes “position” yourself to look/act the way you’re “supposed to”? I have news for you: The part of yourself you’re trying to deny-- is the dynamite that has all the power.

I muscled through my days as a corporate lawyer, hiding my poet and my mystic—even from myself. I remember those years as I listen to a coaching client sigh: “I’m a vampire. The real me only comes out at night when I play music.” But for me, there came a day when I wasn’t okay being the walking dead anymore. I had to breathe. I left my law firm—and I also left my identity. And I wrote my first book, This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love the manifesto of freeing myself that I needed to read.

You would think that was the end of hiding myself. But it’s not true. 

It turns out that growing is a continuous process of moving into the parts of ourselves we both love-- and fear.

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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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Why We Need The Divine Feminine.

With the decline of organized religion and a decades-old drop in church attendance, people have largely made their spiritual life into something private and personal. The rise of meditation and yoga attests to this. But it is hard to fix your sight on a spiritual goal if you don’t believe in heaven from the Western perspective or enlightenment from the Eastern.

Looking around at the tone of modern life, I think an important goal is worth seizing on: the divine feminine. Being scientific, rational, and technical, secular society seems to have less time for values that Carl Jung would have included in the feminine archetype, that religions cast as goddesses or a motherly figure like the Virgin Mary, and which most of us identify with our mothers growing up.

But at a deeper level, the divine feminine represents certain values that human beings have long cherished.  Half of human nature is represented by the feminine in both sexes, as reflected in the qualities of the ancient Greek and Roman goddesses.

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5 Ways to Craft New Year’s Resolutions That Work

Now that 2020 is in the record books, we may be eyeing our New Year’s Resolutions from a widely different perspective. As we venture into the first few months of 2021, we could ditch the typical resolutions in favor of even more life-enhancing ideas.

Year after year, studies show, we gravitate toward the same resolutions — weight loss, eating better, and general self-improvement goals. There’s nothing wrong with that, but by mid-February, about 80% of us have dropped our New Year’s Resolutions by the wayside.

That doesn’t have to be the case. We have an opportunity to make and keep meaningful resolutions that are in harmony with what we really want to create in our lives. Here are five ways to win at whatever resolutions you choose:

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Who Are You Becoming?

The past year has changed most of us on both visible and invisible ways.

For many, the people and things we most value, have come into sharper focus while we let go of people and ways of being that no longer nourish or serve us.

I know for me, and several of my friends, we are asking ourselves:

“Who am I now?”

Last year my friend Chip Conley taught me a new word, liminal, which is appropriate for these times.

With its origin in Latin, “liminal” literally means “on the threshold.”

Certainly, we are all on the threshold of a new life.

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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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How To Get The Other Side To Yes

Watching mainstream coverage of the Biden inauguration, you couldn’t miss the much-repeated call for uniting a divided nation. The commentary was quite approving; no one seemed to disagree with the theme or the need. But if you turned to right-wing media, the notion of uniting the country was derided as a ploy and scorned as bad faith. This indicates that gulf that lies between vision and outcome.

It is much better to have a vision than not, because a vision makes your intentions clear and keeps the goal in sight. A vision that is destined to fail, however, has no real use. Bringing the country together isn’t different from bringing a wounded relationship together. The needed skills are psychological. The right-wing has taken advantage of this fact for decades, as many commentators have noted, by tapping into grievances. But stoking people’s complaints, grudges, fears, and fantasies of revenge is a negative vision. As recent events have shown, the people you manipulate this way eventually leads to bad faith and eruptions of a violent, chaotic kind.

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Give Up Your “Hopium” and Get into Action

So… we are now officially three weeks into a New Year – how’s it going so far?

Are you making progress on fulfilling your heart’s desire or did you get sidetracked?

Here’s a few super easy things to do that will keep you on track:

1. Write it down! Make it simple: “Before the end of 2021 I commit to myself to accomplish (or substitute be, do, or have ) _____________________.”

2. I commit to doing ___ things each day towards accomplishing this.
(I find that doing 5 little things every day is doable and works best for me)

3. I promise to enroll someone to be my accountability partner (research shows if you do this you have a 90% better chance of being successful!)

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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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How to Reject Rejection

“No” doesn’t have to be the end of the story. You can learn how to reject rejection, and look at it as an opportunity to progress forward and even excel at the very thing you were rejected for.

Today I want to talk to you about how to reject rejection—and how to use it to launch yourself even closer to your goals.

Rejection Does Not Mean Failure

If I were a betting man, I’d wager that you don’t like being rejected. Of course not, it’s not a good feeling. Who among us looks forward to being told our idea wasn’t good enough, that we didn’t quite measure up to the task, or we ourselves are somehow flawed?

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: After the War

How can I be a bridge
to help you cross what
you need to cross?

This is finally all I aspire to.
To reach across the divide
because I have been so divided.

To pick up what is broken
because I have done the breaking.

To ask for guidance because I
too have been so stubborn.
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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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One Soul At A Time

I've Been Thinking...

Over the last week, I wrote this essay several different times in several different ways. None of them felt quite right.

One essay felt too angry. Another felt too pollyannaish. One felt simplistic at a time when the world feels anything but. I’ve felt so many different emotions lately that it’s been hard to know what to think. At times I’ve felt like I’m living on an upside-down emotional rollercoaster as I watch the news unfold.

Then along came my youngest son who asked me to step away from the news and watch the new Pixar movie Soul with him. He and I watch all the Pixar films together. I even used to take him out of school to go to the theater when one came out, so of course I said sure. 

In hindsight, it felt like it was exactly the film I needed to see this week as I watched Americans debate the heart and soul of our country, while also preparing to inaugurate a man who ran on a platform to repair the soul of our nation.

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Five Fantasies That Keep Us Apart

When a society is deeply divided, a paradox is in force. On the one hand, people cry out for unity, while on the other hand, they keep on doing the very things that incite division. We are seeing this paradox grow stronger year by year in politics, but at bottom what we’re facing is a broken relationship. Society is a huge bundle of relationships, nothing more.

To stop being trapped in a paradox, you need a little practical psychology. The first step when a relationship falters, if you consider the situation psychologically, is to stop doing more of what didn’t work in the first place. The same holds true in a divided society.

As long as both sides engage in futile behavior, ending the divide between them isn’t going to happen. At a certain point a futile tactic turns into a fantasy. Here I’d define fantasy as a belief that runs contrary to reality. If you confront the realities of a situation but continue to ignore them, you are indulging in a fantasy.

Here are five fantasies that surround us right now. I’ll couch them in terms of a broken relationship.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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