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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Step Into The Cloud

Juggling bricks?

The Practice:
Step into the cloud.

Why?

I had a lightbulb moment recently: I was feeling stressed about all the stuff I had to do (you probably know the feeling). After this went on for a while, I stepped back and kind of watched my mind, and could see that I was thinking of these various tasks as things, like big rocks that were rolling down a hill toward me and which needed to be handled, lifted, moved, fended off, or broken into pebbles. As soon as I dealt with one thing-y boulder, another one was rolling toward me. Shades of Sisyphus.

Seen as brick-like entities, no wonder these tasks felt heavy, oppressive, burdensome. Yuch!

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The Benefits of Nurturing Your Soul For a Life of Impact

Often at this time of year, people spend some time reflecting and feeling into the direction they’d like their lives to go, and efforts they’d like to take to get there.

Some people set goals to accomplish things or experience something on their bucket list, while others set goals to change habits that aren’t serving them.

Often people focus their goals on things they think will make them happier or healthier, like losing the quarantine fifteen and eating healthy, or exercising to stay, or become, physically fit.  

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Wherever We Go

We live between the edge we look out from
and the edge beyond which we can’t see.

 
What we see as real may expand when
we relax or are illumined and shrink when
we are tense or in pain. But always, an edge
to what we know: out there, in here.

 
So the real art is: how to listen where we
are blind, how to sense and relate to all
that lives beyond our awareness.

 
Like a cell in the heart that doesn’t know
it is carried by a body, we float, work hard,
and drift in a sea of life on which we depend.

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Breathing Peace, Breathing Hope

A lot of people have felt they couldn’t breathe.”—Van Jones

Last November, when a new President and Vice President were elected in the U.S., many of us cried tears of relief. We felt we could breathe again, even if just for a moment. Not that the huge problems that face this country had been solved, but lighter, more compassionate voices were speaking at the national level. Possibility was appearing once again, where impossibility had ruled. Hope was arising within us, and the distant dream of a peaceful resolution of divisions seemed somehow closer. Now, in the wake of last week’s violent break-in at the Capitol building in Washington, it is even more important to hold onto that dream and to move forward in peace.

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Learning to Trust Yourself and Your Guidance

Were your parents or caregivers trustworthy? Mine weren’t. I could not trust their love. I could not trust that they had my highest good at heart because they didn’t. They betrayed me over and over in many ways.

When we didn’t grow up with trustworthy parents – parents whose love we could count on and who had our highest good at heart – it’s a challenge to trust God – whatever God is for you. We tend to project our early experiences onto our concept of God and to then believe that our higher power is not supporting our highest good.

In a Facebook post about God and love, someone said, “…love is love. ‘God’ is control.” This attitude is exactly what I’m talking about, and what makes me feel so sad. Obviously, the writer of that statement is projecting her experience of her controlling parents, or others who controlled her, onto her concept of God, and now she has no trust in God.

How do we learn to trust again, when our trust was betrayed over and over?

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Allow your stress to recede and happiness take over.

As we are galloping into the new year, with newer apprehensions this time, we are also motivated by newer desires and newer goals to achieve. 
 
This period of the Pandemic has been a very trying  and challenging time for most people. For the majority of us, it has been a time of deep introspection and coming to conclusions about life, goals, challenges, and achievements. It was as though time had stopped. That seemed this way because there was a forced sense of staying at home, spending more time with the family, and coming to terms with a lot of unreal realities. 

MENTAL HOUSE CLEANING
On these days of Staying at home, there was time for everyone to look within and be objective about their ownselves. Filtering the why's and wherefore's was quite a scenario.  
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Meet Me In The Open Field

"It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." —Sir Edmund Hillary 

I've Been Thinking...


My friends, this first week of the new year took my breath away. I’m sure it took your breath away as well.

I could not believe my eyes as I watched lawless rioters smash windows and fight police as they broke into the U.S. Capitol. I could not believe my eyes as I watched a rioter break into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and sit with his feet up on her desk. The images that came tumbling out of D.C. on Wednesday enraged me. They shocked me, disturbed me, and took me aback.

I was, however, heartened by President-Elect Biden’s comments that this is not who we are. I really believe in my heart that he’s right. What we witnessed on Wednesday is not who we are as a nation. I don’t even believe it represents most of the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump. That said, I do believe Trump is to blame for the outrageous behavior that unfolded. The responsibility sits squarely with him, as well as with those who have used their platforms to incite, to lie, and to cause disruption. Words matter—I can’t stress that enough. Lives were needlessly lost. This was a tragedy and a disgrace.

Thank God his time is almost up. I cannot wait. It cannot come soon enough.

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Growing Seeds of Infinite Potential

"Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, No one can count the apples in a seed."


Contemplating these words inspire me to not underestimate the potential of the coming year. We live in a world of infinite potential. Small actions with a sense of natural timing will grow fruitful results.

GOOD SEED
©1-18-13 Will Hale – Tadpole Parade

A new day dawns tomorrow
Once a seed is planted
It is up to God to make it grow

I have watered, fertilized
and trust the sun will rise

Planted but not forgotten
Left alone but not neglected
The process of life is out of my hands
Surrender is not giving up
It is letting go of control

Like the seed in the ground
It is my time to rest.
The tilling, planting, and praying
Is done
I can trust the spark of creation
To do what love does, Grow

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Coming to Peace with the World Is Coming to Peace with Yourself

No one fails to react when public violence is flagrantly incited, which happened at the Capitol this week. As a political philosophy, or a way of life, disorder doesn’t work. Violence might not be inevitable, but chaos is.

But in the face of chaos, some facts remain constant and stable:

  • Peace is a state of awareness.
  • To advance the cause of peace, you must be at peace.
  • External conflict reflects the inner conflicts of human nature.
  • No dispute is ever settled unless both sides achieve a level of mutual satisfaction.

When politics comes down to rigidly opposing views, all of these facts are being ignored. Nothing gets resolved so that all sides achieve mutual satisfaction, and therefore grudges simmer, awaiting sudden eruptions and the pot boils over.

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Financial Stress: Resetting Our Needs

Covid-19 has offered us the opportunity of a reset. 

Throughout this window of quarantine, self-isolation and lockdown, we have been able to very quickly discern every day what it is we need on a daily basis. Covid has forced us to become conscious around our level of consumption. It has also shown us that we really don’t need most of what we have been consuming at all. 

I would like you to continue the momentum of this reset as we continue to emerge beyond the pandemic, and return to our daily lives. Because the simpler you are, meaning the more you realize your survival is dependent on basic things, the more what you do with your time becomes a choice. It very quickly enables you to get out of a bad trade, which is trading your  time and energy in order to survive. 

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Find Your North Star

Where are you headed?

The Practice:
Find your North Star.

Why?

I did a meditation retreat (at Spirit Rock, wonderful place, including for workshops). One evening as we walked out of the hall after the last sit, I was feeling rattled and discombobulated. (One of the benefits of a retreat – though it can be uncomfortable – is that it stirs up of the sediments of your psyche, which can muddy your mental waters for a while.)

I looked up at the stars shining brightly in the cold clear night, and soon noticed the Big Dipper. My eyes followed its pointing to Polaris, the North Star, and a wave of easing came over me. The star felt steady and reassuring, something you could count on. It connected I think with a young part of me who loved the outdoors and learned to believe that as long as he could locate the North Star, he could find his way out of the tangled woods and back to safety.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Allegro 28

I happened into the cathedral downtown
and heard serious, ancient song in Latin
or Greek. Wonderfully, the words had no
meaning but the weight the voices carried,
the search their eyes revealed.

I was happy to receive no message
so beautifully.

It made me want to whittle new myths
for our children’s children
to lose their way by.

Finding is never as urgent
as needing to look.
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What’s Your WORD for 2021?

This year I don’t plan to make any resolutions.

If I learned anything from 2020 it’s that trying to make plans while in the center of a chaotic cyclone is a set up for disappointment and frustration.

Instead, I am going to make ONE WORD the focal point of my biggest desire for 2021 and that word is CONTENTMENT.

Striving for contentment isn’t a new thing with me, but it is something that I now want to master now.

There were many years when my focus was happiness, but I’ve learned that for me, happiness is not the ultimate goal because happiness is tied to other people, outside circumstances, and unforeseeable experiences.

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Shine forth in glory on the planet

As we step into the New Year with an essential sense of enthusiasm,  we skeptically look behind us at the year gone by.  Even though there are apprehensions galore at how things went by, yet undeniably a new wave of excitement does seem to run through our veins. 

The uplifting sense of warmth and cheer despite the wintry chill of January keeps us smiling with inherent peeps of joy from within us.  

Celebration all over the globe, this year, has had a different meaning. The usual parties and hugs between friends, to celebrate the new level of awakening within us, has had a change in its manner. The year gone by has left us with a fresh perspective on life and it's meaning.  

So many questions to life's mysteries, so many answers of various kinds. 

As always, the onset of the New Year gives us a time for reflection. And this year we can all say in unison from all over the globe that the New Year has dawned with a whole new level of hopes and aspirations. Being positive is now considered a "way of life" not to be ignored. 
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Creating A New Vision For The New Year!

Welcome, 2021!

We have so many hopes pinned on this new year. It will take us a while to process and implement the vast need for social change and healing illuminated in 2020. Maybe in the past we’d say “that’s it” for last year and be quite glad to see it in our rear-view mirror. But this paradigm shift will require us to pause and take a deep respectful breath of hope knowing there is still a lot of patience and work still ahead as we traverse the in between time from what was to what will be.  

The old way is being dismantled and  being cleared away, and even if we’re not 100% where we hoped we’d be, we are still making room for more love, creativity, courage, compassion, hope…and joy. This and that will be true! 

And, if there is one thing I know for sure.

How we consider and integrate the past has a huge impact on how we experience our future. “If we do what we did we’re gonna get what we got!” 

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Happy New Year

Hi dear friend…..

I wanted to to take a few moments and wish you and your loved ones my love and prayers.

2020 was indeed a challenging year for us all. However, you are still standing! All the challenges that you faced simply prepared you for living your purpose ahead.

I wanted to personally thank you for all your support during this past year.

Whether you have been following my work for many years or are just finding about it now, I am deeply grateful for your being a part of it growing around the world, as well as sharing it with your friends and family.

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A Renewed Planet Starts With Food

When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


The way we eat has changed the planet. In this simple idea, which few of us consider when we go to the grocery store, lies immense hope for the future—if we pay attention. On the medical front a large number of people accept the notion, once thought of as a fringe belief, that “you are what you eat.” The decisions you make today about what you eat will have a huge impact in your future health. Food plays a decisive factor in modern lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and all the damaging side effects related to the epidemic of obesity in this country.

The next step in our growing awareness expands on the same idea. The next bite you take adds to the health of planet Earth or pushes it a tiny step toward deterioration. Unconscious eating is bad for the environment. Conscious eating puts the planet on the road to renewal and wellness.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Finding It

How will you ever find peace

unless you yield to love?

Rabia


If you put down what you carry

in case of emergency, you will make

space for what can really help. For

clutching onto failure or success

will only make you sink.

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Counting Down The New Year…The “WOO” Way!!

No matter where you are in the world, one of the most iconic events is counting down New Year’s Eve as the ball drops on Times Square or a series of breathtaking fireworks explode from barges in the Sydney Harbour or Singaporeans dance the last hours of the year away at the Siloso Beach Party. But chances are, for most of the world, New Year’s Eve (like everything else about 2020!) is gonna look a little (okay, a lot!) different. 

Never fear, my friends! 

Pandemic or no, we can count down to the New Year in style. 

Join me for a seven-part “Woo” Year celebration!

SEVEN: 7 Ways to Cleanse Your Space 

Nothing says, “New Year, New Woo” like cleaning out the old to make room for the new. Follow these steps to release energy, let go of the old, and C-L-E-A-N-S-E your physical and energetic space.

C – Crystals. Crystals have been used throughout history as sources of healing. Each crystal has its own energy, and each comes bearing its own message. For clearing, try amber, which can help release karma and heal family patterns; citrine, which is wonderful for letting go of negativity, and fluorite, which is effective for clarity and focus. 

L – Light. With days much shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, some of us have to be intentional about getting our dose of the Sun. When you’re at home, open up those shades and let that natural light in, or go for a walk when the sun is shining( even if you have to bundle up as we do here in Ontario)!

E – Essential Oils. Use essential oils on diffusers! You’ll love the aroma in your home, and high-quality oils can assist in resetting your mood, lifting your energy, and even combatting germs. 

A – Ambient Sounds. The sounds you surround yourself with can help create a sense of calm and wellbeing. Create sounds by ringing a bell, or a crystal singing bowl, or listening to my guided meditations on YouTube! By flooding your environment with positive sound waves, you’ll disturb the stagnant energy.

N – Nice & Neat. Physical clutter is trapped energy. Clear away stacks of papers, wipe down surfaces, and let go of the old. When you clean up, declutter and reorganize, you’ll unleash energy and usher in the new. S – Salt Scrub. While you’re cleaning away the old, don’t forget about detoxifying yourself! This DIY Himalayan Salt Scrub recipe is one of my favorites. Not only does it work wonders on dry, rough skin, it also helps detoxify your body through increased blood flow and exfoliation. You can use it for your hands, feet, and whole body:

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Work Harder or Play More in 2021?

Each new year, many set out goals for what they want to achieve or experience. 2020 has challenged us in all-new ways — both personally and professionally — but our essential need to find balance in work and life still remains. How will you use your time in the year ahead? Will you cling to the need for work more than ever, or will you prioritize play and free time that feeds your spirit? 

As you look ahead to how work and play will factor into your time, it is worth reflecting on how different cultures and time periods have treated this issue. Perhaps you will find your personal key to work-life balance somewhere in the midst.

Work to Live, Live to Work

Europeans like to remind us that they work to live while Americans live to work. They believe their lifestyle of more emphasis on leisure than work is superior to the American way. After all, it is filled with less stress and it’s less materialistic and less dehumanizing. 

With more free time, Europeans feel that they can focus on nurturing their families, building their communities, and cultivating their minds. Frenetic Americans, on the other hand, don’t seem to have much time for such a rich life.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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