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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A Vision of Egoic Proportion

I woke up at 2:00 AM with a flashlight and pen and started writing.

A Vision of Egoic Proportion

My ego is part of who I am.
It does not need to be resisted.

Everything goes with me everywhere, all the time.

“The ultimate illusion is an individual self.” Panache Desai – Call to Calm, May 19, 2020

The term “ego” is often misunderstood. A multitude of ideas and concepts revolve around ego.
One simple definition is, “The part of your identity that you consider your self.”

I avoided the word “You” for many years. It is often the word of choice to project blame and guilt. Today I realized “You” is singular, like “I” There is no plural for You or I. The quantity of You and I are one. Plural forms are used when there is more of the same thing.

This may be common knowledge to someone familiar with grammar. It struck me as a glaring flash of the obvious. I delight in observation and discovery. Experience is a rich form of learning.

Everything goes with you everywhere, all the time.

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6 Steps To Find Hope In A Hairball!

I’ve been struggling with what to say as of late because there is so much going on in the world. Often, I feel like I’m trapped in a giant hairball of my personal emotions and the swirling assaulting energy of the collective I tune into as an empath. 

I wonder if it’s the same for you? Do you feel it? Does it help galvanize your desire to be part of the wave of change and social healing that is calling us awake? 

Maybe it moved. Too much, too little, rapid relentless movement and frozen all at the same time, stuck in that hairball that is now rolling down a giant hill like a wild tumbleweed gathering the best and worst of everything in its path. Maybe mine might get caught in a hole so I can get centered. 

Nope. Not gonna happen. The center has to be found on the fly, and on the roll. Dizzying to look at, but all of it is meaningful. 

I have been zeroing in on one particular thread in the ball though…that one is hope. I hold on, albeit not too tightly, lest its fragile fraying slender form snaps in my grasp. I close my ego’s eyes and allow my soul to guide me into the heart of it, where it will never break, where it’s woken up like a string in a harp, already reverberating in the key of F — the sound that wakes the energy of the heart. 

I find listening to the prompts of the heart reduces fear and anxiety swiftly. It also brings in a deep reminder of our humanity and our inherent connectivity to a Higher Power that ushers in a true sense of conscience. It’s the heart that knows the grace of stepping in and standing up. 

So, I am going to share with you some tips on what has worked for me. What I am doing now so I can show up daily without getting lost, with the hopes that it might give you some of your own ideas of what might work for you. 

 

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Nature’s Identity Crisis and Ours

By Zach Bush MD, Paul J. Mills, PhD, Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD, Michelle A. Williams, ScD  and Deepak Chopra™ MD

As our nation dives into sorrow and outrage over another merciless killing of a black man without cause, we must take the opportunity to transform a deep mindset. To achieve this, we will have to collectively shake off deep patterns of subconscious and conscious beliefs and experiences. The frequency of these instances of wrongful deaths and centuries of racially motivated abuses throughout the world creates hopelessness in our minds.  For all of the rhetoric and grandstanding of our politicians and special interest groups, we do not see fundamental change happening. This hopelessness breeds violence, resignation, isolation, paranoia, and of course more fear.

Whatever the current crises happen to be—right now it is COVID, racial injustice, police brutality, and street demonstrations—a familiar pattern has been nearly impossible to break. The crisis generates a public outcry, humanitarians face off against reactionaries, and once the worst of the crisis simmers down, things go back to normal. The great hope now, however, is that “normal” will finally be seen for its distorted abnormality.


In our view, this abnormality runs deeper than a pandemic or heart-rending injustice and inequality. A much-needed shift cannot take place until humankind passes through an identity crisis. How we see ourselves is presently through a distorted lens, and our illusions extend to the very basis of Nature herself. Human activity has despoiled Nature without conscience because humans, at our core, feel that this is our right as the planet’s superior life form. The contradiction here is that a truly superior life form would respect all of life, seeing the wonder and fragility of the miracle known as biodiversity.

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The Right Place to Make a New Beginning

If we try to make a new beginning, motivated by an attempt to no longer be where (or what) we once were, we do start out, but not from what is new. On the contrary, we begin our search, and then reach our conclusions as to what we must come to possess to affect this newness, from within the confines of what has been our own past experience.  

In other words, we set out to start a new life for ourselves from a place within us already known and rejected! Can you begin to see the implications of making such a mistake as it concerns knowing the correct “starting” place for making a new beginning? 

Under the conditions just described, we cannot start anything over except the very life we hope to escape! We begin our journey in the wrong place because we have yet to realize that the content of our “new” future to come, however sweetly dreamed, is secretly an unconscious extension of our own unwanted past. 

Unseen, but nevertheless active in our psychology, we carry within us a virtual string of “nots” by which we bind ourselves to our old life! And if we would be free to start life over, we must understand this spiritual truth: what we resist, persists -- and this includes our own past! 

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10 Tips for Overcoming Procrastination and Improving Motivation

Are you having trouble overcoming procrastination? Is there something in your life that you have been putting off?

Perhaps you’ve been “planning”, but not actually doing anything to start that big project you want to do.

Whether it’s the small project of decluttering your office or your life-long dream of starting your own business, we all need to find a way to jumpstart out motivation once in a while.

So today, I want to share with you 10 tips you can use for overcoming procrastination with any project you want to accomplish.

Create An Action Plan for Getting Where You Want to Be 
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1. Commit to the Decision

The first thing you have to do is to make a decision to overcome procrastination and achieve your goal.

The word decision comes from the Latin word “decidere”, which means to cut off all other options, including the option of not doing it. 

Once you have this level of commitment to your goal, you will feel more emotionally attached to its success – like a promise to yourself.

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Vote

What difference do we make?

The Practice:
Vote.

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You Are Enough – Flexibility

Life will always challenge you in order to bring you from rigidity to flexibility, from control to allowing.

When you relate to life too rigidly, the first hardship that blows in your direction will leave you flat. It is for that reason that the most powerful, life-­giving posture you can take is one of inner flexibility.

When you are rooted in the Essential Self, when you have trust that everything is unfolding in divine order, the need to force the circumstances of your life into a predetermined outcome, like a square peg into a round hole, simply evaporates.

Rigidity and grasping for control are not in alignment with the unrelenting flow of life, which is always moving toward expansion and evolution. Life will always challenge your preconceived notions about how things should be. This challenge is part of your evolution. When life sees rigidity, it only wants to flow, gracefully and smoothly. When life sees you grasping for control, it only wants you to be in a stream of receiving and allowing.

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United we stand; divided we are merely a distraction

United we stand; divided we are merely a distraction  ~ Temple Hayes

I find it interesting that when this quote first came to me a few years ago I thought of it relative to organizations, communities, societies or families. As time went on, I realized this statement is most significant when it comes to my life experiences as a gay person.

United I stand, divided I am merely a distraction.

I was divided as a teenager when I realized that I was much more drawn to women rather than men. I had feelings for a young woman a little older than me yet the church said I was going to hell. My grandmother actually mourned when I was almost 14 that she would not see me in heaven. Here I was without even a driver’s permit and my grandmother is telling her former favorite granddaughter that she would not see me in heaven. A part of me died a little and felt divided.

The deeper truth of the matter was when I was 10 years old, my mother was accused of having an affair. We lived in a small southern town and to this day, I still do not know if it was true or an accusation. What is true is in the 60’s the South was just like they featured  in the famous film ‘Prince of Tides’. We put things under a rug and don’t look back. We don’t talk about anything that makes us uncomfortable. We medicated before we meditated. We have so many untold secrets and some of the secrets keep us up at night.  When this accusation happened involving my mom, I was sent up North to be with family and my mom was sent to a mental hospital and was gone for a long time. They used those barbaric shock treatments on her and she was never the same. She returned with very little of her memory in place and has experienced physical difficulties due to those methods. We never spoke of these events again. I certainly tried to but no one would engage. 

Needless to say, when my father walked in on me at 13 ½  and my teenager more than a friend lover, my parents took me to the Mental Health Clinic. My father was not going to have a homosexual daughter. ( we didn’t really use the word gay then) That day was a defining moment in my life for I was not going to be sent away to some hospital and put in a straight jacket. However, I can clearly see now that I did get a straight jacket placed upon me metaphorically speaking and I would wear it unconsciously for many years. 

I was forbidden to ever see my teenager more than a friend first love again and I went from being the family favorite to the one who had whispers around her name. The hurt of abandonment and betrayal was often unbearable. I found a new way, I drank the feelings away and became a full blown alcoholic for the next 15 years. 

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How do we deal with the Fear, Anger, Judgment, and Pain that is all around us?

That is the question that people are asking me?  Well, for most people, they are doing what they’ve always done … and that is why the fear, anger, judgment, and pain just continues to manifest in our lives, in our world.

If nothing changes, nothing changes.

In this time of unprecedented fear, the way we have learned to manage or “deal” with our feelings is obviously not working. We MUST do something different. This is my response to how we do it differently.

I hope you will take a few minutes to look within and listen to what Spirit has to say to you after you watch this short video.

I love you my friend


Click Here for the Video

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4 Keys To Starting Over On The Path To Inner Success

When we first set off on the road to self-discovery, we’re optimistic and excited about this inner adventure. We’re confident that we’ll plant our flag atop the inner mountain, and that whatever presently limits us will soon be a relic of the past. But then we get a dose of reality. Talk about tough sledding! Rather than becoming noticeably better, it can feel as if we’re actually getting worse; like one step up the mountain, two steps sliding back. The bad habit we would break looms larger; frustration mounts; despair sets in; and soon we’re thinking about throwing in the towel.

But things are not what they seem, which is why those of us who aspire to reach and realize our own highest possibilities must gain new self-knowledge, beginning with the following: we have not gotten worse! On the contrary, what’s actually happened is that our effort to be free has made us more aware of our captive condition.

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We Are Here To Be The Difference

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

I've Been Thinking...

Wow, what a week. The death of George Floyd has thrown this country into a tailspin. Protests, looting, curfews—a nation erupting before our very eyes on live television.

As I watched, my heart sank. My mind went back and forth between what was happening last night and the video, still raw, of George Floyd pinned to the street with a knee to his neck, pleading for his life with the words, “I can’t breathe.” My heart sank as I learned from news reports that he called out for his mother in his final moments.

And then, the protests. I felt the outrage and the anger pour out of Americans everywhere who are rightly furious that this kind of injustice seems to know no end. This story is yet another startling reminder that we all really aren’t in the same boat. We don’t all walk down the street or through the park and get the same reactions from one another, not to mention from law enforcement.

So here we are. Headed not just into summer, but in so many ways, into the great unknown. Most stay-at-home orders have been lifted or eased. Businesses are trying to reopen, but many of the ones that did ended up being looted this weekend.  Social distancing and mask rules are in effect, but let’s face it, they will be challenging to enforce. Just look at the pictures from this past Memorial Day weekend. In fact, it seems that in just a few short days, the pandemic has become secondary news.

How both of these stories play out moving forward will come down to all of us. Without clear federal guidelines, we are all left to our own devices. My health and safety will be dependent on your actions, and yours will be dependent on mine. In this country where independence and freedom are prized values, it will be interesting to see if there is, in fact, a common good and a higher purpose that we can all coalesce around.

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A New World Needs a New Worldview

It is very rare that human beings have a chance to rethink our place in Nature. The modern world is the fruit of a worldview that has placed Homo sapiens reigning supreme over all other life forms.  This worldview seems only right and proper to the vast majority of people. In the course of just a few weeks, however, over seven billion people’s lives changed for the worse.  Economies were halted, global transportation and supply chains were shut down to a crawl, and hundreds of millions of jobs were lost. More money has been lost globally than in any other moment in history. Amid the shock and panic, the catastrophe of COVID-19 has prompted some radical rethinking. Can a new and better world emerge? Not unless our worldview changes, because in many ways the virus isn’t a mindless primitive life form ravaging us, “the most superior life form on the planet”. Nor did Nature strike back to punish us. Something deeper is going on. To see what it is, we need to consider a worldview based not on humans-as-supreme, but on life-as-supreme.

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The Divine is Here Now so Let us ‘Serve Life First’

I hope and trust that you and your family are safe and feeling comfortable. All of us in Humanity’s Team are here for you and with you during this challenging time. 

As we enter the third month of the global pandemic, people have many questions on their minds about health, finances, safety, and, in general, what the re-opening of the world will look like.

None of us have answers to those kinds of questions. But as the old saying goes, time will tell.

This question, though—the one I’m hearing being asked with both sincerity and anger—is one I believe I do have an answer to… “Where is God in all of this?”  

Some are saying that since we don’t want anything to do with God in our schools, at work, and in public discourse, God has retreated.

I heard one version of that sentiment that goes like this (and please forgive the overuse of the male pronoun)…  

He, being a gentleman, has deserted us and left us to our own devices. If we don’t want anything to do with God, He says “fine” and departs our life. We are now left alone to fend for ourselves during the pandemic. 

How does that sit with you?

I believe the idea that God has left us is the furthest thing from the truth. 

I believe the Divine is very present now and is speaking to each of us who are willing to hear.  

I believe the Divine actually has always been present sharing messages of love, hope, and possibility but we’ve mostly been too busy to really hear Her/His messages.  

Now, as many of us find ourselves less busy and more available, there is an opening where we can take time for silence and really listen for and hear the Divine speaking to us.  

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Mind as Keyhole

Beneath the cloud,
everything is grey.

Above the cloud,
everything is light.

Calling the cloud
unfair is being a victim.

Trying to conquer
the cloud is being a hero.

Calling the cloud a cloud
is the beginning of peace.


A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, discuss a time when seeing things other than how they are led to your feeling like a victim or wanting to be a hero.

This excerpt is from my new book in progress, Returning to Where I’ve Never Been.

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Discover the Secrets of Manifestation

We are co-creators with God, so we have the ability to manifest what we want. However, as we all know, this is often easier said than done. We manifest only what we surrender.     ~Martha Beck, 

Certainly it is essential to visualize what we want, along with our excitement about it. Certainly it is essential to take consistent loving action toward manifesting our vision. But then what?

What does Martha Beck’s statement, “We manifest only what we surrender” mean?

To me, it means that, while I need to have goals, if I attach my joy or worth to achieving the goal, I am limiting my ability to manifest. The reason is that when I attach my worth or joy to getting what I want, I am in my wounded self, and the frequency of my wounded self is too low to manifest. I manifest when I let go of attachment and surrender the outcome to spirit, which is NOT something my wounded self wants to do!

My wounded self, by definition, is the part of me that wants control. Since surrender is the opposite of control, the last thing my wounded self wants is to surrender. If I go unconscious and allow my wounded self to be in charge of my intent, I’m actually creating the very powerlessness that my wounded self wants to avoid, and which is certainly not in our highest good during these challenging times.

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Staying In Alignment When The World Seems Crazy

This morning, I felt it. 

All of it… the tears, the grief, the sense of how REAL this all is. If you are the same — feeling the darkness and the fear, I want to send you a huge virtual hug right now. You are not alone! 

And while the hug may help, the REAL path out of the pit is to stay focused on the solutions. We want (and need) solutions-based ways and protocols that keep us close to our higher power, and help us hold onto a positive vision. 

We need to hold space for a true vision, one that isn’t set on “This will be all over on XYZ date, and THEN I’ll feel better.” Instead, we have to make room for the unknown. We don’t know WHEN everything will be over, or when (if ever) things will go back to “normal.” When we do that, we set ourselves up for failure because there’s no way to know when things will be over, or what the new “normal” will look like. That can cause even more stress. 

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Let's Celebrate One Another

“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

I've Been Thinking...


Memorial Day weekend, the so-called “official start of the summer.” It’s also the weekend when we are supposed to focus on those who have given their lives for our country. This year, both have taken on new meaning.

It’s hard to “celebrate” the start of summer when millions are still struggling with a new normal and practicing social distancing. So many of us are walking around masked. Millions are desperately struggling to put food on the table, pay rent, or afford diapers for their kids—all in this “most powerful and greatest nation on Earth.”

 

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Existence and the Virus: A Healing Solution

The COVID crisis is being fought on two fronts, medical and economic, but most people are suffering psychologically. The word “existential” rarely comes up in normal everyday life, but the crisis has created all the symptoms of existential dread: a sense of futility, anxiety about the human condition, and a deep fear of death. This comes as a shocking occurrence, and if there is such a thing as existential healing, now is the time for it.

Questions about existence baffle people, and there seems to be no reason to confront them until the last moment. One of the reasons that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s 1969 book, On Death and Dying, was seized upon by millions is that she drew a map of grief that showed dying patients that the inevitability of death wasn’t terrifying in the end. The five stages of grief outlined by Kübler-Ross—denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance—coincides with what is seen in hospice care. The prospect of death for most people leads to acceptance.

But there is a sixth stage of grieving that applies right now: meaning. The most fortunate patients go beyond acceptance to see that their lives had purpose, that existence is meaningful, and therefore that death lost its final power, which is fear and dread. This is the healing that I think should be embraced now. The actual deaths caused by COVID-19 are outnumbered by the cases of fear and dread being experienced on a mass scale. One way or another, we have all entered the grieving process.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Liminality

The phrase “the Unbearable Lightness of Being” was introduced as the title of a 1984 novel by Milan Kundera. (It also became a movie). It uses Friedrich Nietzsche’s doctrine of the Eternal Return to illustrate Lightness.

The idea of “eternal return,” explains that our universe and our existence, has occurred an infinite number of times in the past, and is cyclical and will continue to occur forever.

This is a heady, intellectual concept, but I’ve been thinking about it lately in terms of how to make sense of the earth (and soul) shattering times we are currently in.

Last year I discovered a new word, liminal, which is also appropriate for these times.

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Feed the Mouse

Got cheese?

The Practice:
Feed the mouse.

Why?

To simplify a complex process spanning 600 million years, your brain developed in ways that are loosely related to the three major stages of vertebrate evolution:

  • Reptile – Brainstem, focused on avoiding harms
  • Mammal – Subcortex, focused on approaching rewards
  • Primate – Neocortex, focused on attaching to “us”

Since the brain is integrated, avoiding, approaching, and attaching are accomplished by its parts working together. Nonetheless, each of these functions is particularly served and shaped by the region of the brain that first evolved to handle it.

In this three-part series, the previous JOT – pet the lizard – was about how to soothe and calm yourself. This affects your brain as a whole, including its most ancient structures and the management of perhaps the first emotion of all: fear. This JOT continues the series by focusing on how to help you feel rewarded, satisfied, and fulfilled – in a word,  fed – which also engages your brain as a whole, with a particular focus on its subcortical regions that emerged mainly during the mammalian stage of evolution.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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