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 Gift Of This Time

When you re-emerge into the world, post Covid-19, you will get to choose how you will participate, what you contribute your energy towards, and how you choose to live.  

Thanks to the blessing and gift of this time, many of you have undergone a deep and profound immersion into presence, and living in the present moment, you are able to meet every challenge, every obstacle and every single facet of crisis with peace. This allows you to respond, instead of react. 

Living in the present moment allows you to engage in whatever is unfolding, secure in the knowledge that the highest and best is the only outcome. Instead of going to every worst-case scenario, anchor yourself in peace and presence. 

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The End of Feeling Lame, And The Beginning of Endless Progress

I don’t know about you but I’ve often felt like I must be doing it wrong—missing the secret ingredient to life. But that’s so over now. I’ve seen through the veil. I’m rocking out to a new hymn. It’s a shift in focus I’m going to share with you:

Screw “doing it wrong.” I’m doing things. I’m making wacky, inevitable progress.

I’ve put wobble girl in the closet. I’ve muzzled Ms. Perfection who would like to ask a few more questions throughout the next decade, get it right, before ever getting it wrong.  But I’m showing up to the party now.  I’m wearing a tiara or a tent, but I’m going forward. I didn’t get the memo. I may never get the memo. Maybe I haven’t life-hacked a thing. Maybe I don’t even really know what life-hacking means.

But here’s what I do know. I’m showing up. I’m going to be that zombie in a bad B movie. I’m going to keep getting up again.  Because life will eventually bow to those who do the legwork. I am not wasting one more stupid minute on wondering why I always do it wrong, do it wrong, do it wrong. Here’s my new religion, one that has me singing halleluiah to a wide-eyed, stumbling part of myself:

 I am doing it. I am doing it. I am doing it.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection - Leaning In

I’ve sat in hundreds of cafés, watching lives pass by, each eager to meet someone, each desperate to get away. I’ve stared into hundreds of photographs, each a window to another patch of time and space, where beautiful souls were falling down and getting up. Still, I can’t quite grasp how many of us there are and how each of us is a world unto ourselves. Right now, in this café on Fourth Ave., an older woman in a sweater is wheeling a small, lonely suitcase toward the door. While across the street, a young Hispanic man is delivering cleaning supplies to a Vietnamese restaurant. He’s almost dancing. And there are twenty-five others around me, each wanting a pain to stop, each wanting some moment of love to linger. Now the jittery woman next to me tosses her hair and wobbles on her heels, heading back into the stream. Once outside, she passes an Asian man in argument, his arms folded. We are so easily hurt as we bounce along the pavement spilling our expectations. The young couple in the corner looks tired and tender as they lean into each other in silence. When this open, I can see into the hearts of others. Now a grandfather dotes over his granddaughter, running his fingers through her month-old hair. I hear everyone’s dreams and disappointments which, next to each other, reveal a depth I can’t live without. If it weren’t for gravity pulling on us, I’d swear this is Heaven.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a favorite café you have visited. Why is it your favorite? What have you learned from going there? What makes you want to return?

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My Summer Reading List

August 9th was Book Lovers Day, which I missed because I wanted to write about the loss of my friend Doug. This week, I wanted to share some books I have read that have impacted me this year both non-fiction and fiction. 

I read about 30 new books a year (for real!) and a couple of years ago I made a commitment to read more books by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color) authors. I mean, the way to really understand any subject is to become educated. I think we can also learn not only from non-fiction factual books, but also books that teach us about other people through fictional stories that can capture the emotions and experiences of people specifically from marginalized and oppressed communities. Stories can help create greater empathy, care, and understanding and I know we need more of that especially during these difficult days that are so painfully strife with division and hatred. Reading also requires discernment, which is why I read a lot from different perspectives. 

So, I know you may think my bedside table is piled high with paranormal romances (which I love) and books on quantum physics (guilty pleasure—yep I am weird) BUT there’s more to my summer reading than lovestruck vampires (though I do make time for those. Hey, it’s summer!). I am constantly looking for ways to increase my understanding of how I can help heal the injustice that some of our brothers and sisters face on a daily basis. 

Here are my top ten books I’ve been reading to gain a better understanding of the issues and what I can do to help create a more equitable world for all of us. Oh, and by the way, I’m sharing this with you from my heart. Nothing is perfect—this is a process. I’m learning more every day, because for me, this is a lifetime commitment. Not just a trending topic. 

I am starting with five non-fiction books then five fiction books. Some will be surprising! 

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One Light, Many Reflections – The Sun Does Not Apologize

I write one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings. My Page poems are a combination of sketch pad and journal.

The history and method of my writing process can be found in my article How I Wrote Three Thousand Pages Without Trying

'

    "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

    “Simplicity, carried to an extreme, becomes elegance.” Jon Franklin

I like to limit my writings to one page with one idea, but my favorite achievement is to distill short meaningful sayings. I have selected a few quotes from my 2014 volumes for you to savor here. Try having three or four breaths between reading each quote to contemplate and expand the meaning to yourself.

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Let’s Turn the Tables on Me

You know me … I always love to talk to people and learn interesting things about them. So, I thought it would be fun in this blog post to turn the tables and share some things about me that you just might not know about me. Here ya go:

Many people say my name fits me perfectly.

Strangers will stop to tell me how bright and “sunny” I am. It always makes them smile even bigger when I tell them my name. However,  I haven’t always been as optimistic and positive as I am now. I actually was a pretty pessimistic, low-vibe teenager & young adult. I had to really work on my negative mindset and lack-based mentality… and all that it was attracting to me. It was excruciating at times to show up differently, but it paid off. Now, the opposite is true. It is so painful in those moments when negativity and fear creep in… and I care too much about how I feel now to let them stay, let alone take over. I have learned to pivot quite quickly!

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The Spread of 'Stranger Than We Can Think'

As we go about everyday life, we are embedded in a mystery no one has ever solved. The mystery was voiced by one of the most brilliant quantum pioneers, Werner Heisenberg: “Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.” (There are variants of the quote that use “reality” for “universe,” and the remark has also been attributed to other famous scientists, but the gist is always the same.)

If we take this remark seriously, it turns out to be truer today than it was in 1900 when the quantum revolution began and the revolutionary new theory of quantum mechanics was put together. How can reality be stranger than we could possibly think? Look at the framework of your life. You pick up your morning coffee, and instantly you are acting in space and time. Your perception of the cup in your hand depends upon the five senses as communicated through the brain. You can think about anything you fancy as you sip your coffee.

These might not seem so mysterious, but there is one mystery after another nested inside everyday experience. Science can reach no consensus on the following:

• Where did time come from?
• Why do properties of physical objects have their origin in invisible waves of probability of observation?
• Where does a thought come from?
• How did matter transform into mind?
• Is consciousness solely a human trait or is it everywhere in the universe?

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Let It Go

When is it “time to fold ‘em?”

The Practice:
Let it go.

Why?

Most people, me included, are holding onto at least one thing way past its expiration date.

It could be a belief, perhaps that your hair is falling out and you are ugly and unlovable as a result, that you can’t say what you really feel in an intimate relationship, or that you must lose ten pounds to be attractive. It could be a desire, such as wishing someone would treat you better, pushing to make a project be successful, yearning for a certain kind of partner, or wanting to cure an illness. It could be a feeling, like a fear, grudge, resentment, longtime grief, or sense of low worth. It could be a behavior, like such as jogging with aging knees, playing video games, or buying clothes. It could be something you insist others do, such as make their beds, drive a certain way when you’re in the car, or meet particular goals at work.

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How to Heal Your Inner Child

Once you learn how to heal your inner child, you can begin to overcome your deepest blocks and finally show up as your best self.

Your inner child is the part of you that was formed by the experiences you had in your childhood and that has a powerful influence on how you show up in the world as an adult. If you find yourself engaging in self-destructive behavior or sabotaging yourself with negative self-talk, or reacting too impulsively to situations with anger, frustration, jealousy or fear, that is almost certainly a function of your wounded inner child acting out in anger or pain.

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Stop the Suffering Cycles

Wow the last few months have been a ride, huh? We’ve had so many things occur and so many random things come up in the last few months.Through all of it,  I think it’s super important for all of us to pay attention to the signs we’re receiving in our lives. 


What are the signs saying?

Whether you follow astrological charts or not, (though I don’t personally follow them closely,  I’ve known enough to know) there are signs all around us pushing us towards destinations, and one of the things we need to realize is this: whenever we see a sign, we need to pay attention to it. It’s there for a reason.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection - INTERIOR PSALM

The wind, skirting the dock, lifts a

veil and I feel a sudden relief. I watch

the endless variations of wave and think,

what will be will be. I have arrived beyond

yes and no. Now the loss of what is familiar

and the fear of what might come are torn.

Now my deeper eyes appear with nothing

between them and the world. The wind

buffs my soul and I slip beneath my name.

A lone duck lands, its bottomless eye con-

veying some message beyond words. I call

the duck closer by the mere authenticity

of my being. Now the duck glides toward

me, swimming imperceptibly, its efforts

below unseen on the surface. As it nears,

I admit that I am as alone as that bird,

gliding on a vast and changing sea,

yet at one with the Universe.
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Shine On Behalf Of The Divine

I’m still coming down off the gratitude cloud from last weekend’s OraclePalooza Virtual, and equally swimming in the searing truth of my best friend Doug’s crossing over the rainbow bridge a few short weeks ago. The entire weekend I was in two places as I stepped into one of many “firsts” without him. Being my wingman and emcee at OraclePalooza was the thing he loved best. It was strange to be without him although it was an important new beginning and I felt his spirit the entire time. 

I miss the brave, real, loving human though. In the flesh with me backstage eating gluten-free snacks and giggling about how lucky we were to do what we did, and him crying reminding me that not everyone’s stuff was for me to take on. God, I love that man. What a pair we were. 

Doug was with me for 16 deep meaningful and fun years of friendship, but what made it special is that we shared a mission. Those kinds of friends are gifts from the Divine.

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One Light, Many Reflections – Tree Collection 

I write one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings. My Page poems are a combination of sketch pad and journal.

The history and method of my writing process can be found in my article How I Wrote Three Thousand Pages Without Trying

It can feel unsettling to let go of concerns for punctuation, sentence structure and the rules of grammar but it is a natural part of my writing style to allow ideas to flow. The samples shared here are the original raw versions.

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How to Manifest with Magic of the Moon

One evening after dinner, I was half-listening to a conversation between my husband and one of our daughters. They had been discussing her higher education and long term goals. Chloe happily responded to a question about her life after college, “I don’t know, I am still manifesting.”  My attention was grabbed.  I love how she is empowered by her awareness of co-creating life with the universe. I also love that she left room for the unknown; that’s where the magic resides.

During this same time frame, one of my clients materialized three things on her wish list.  After months of attention, they landed in her lap all at once.  Lilith had been working on a transition out of her current career in marketing.  She also had been seeking a cause that her husband would join her in.  Last she wanted to reestablish her connection with old college friends.  Lilith finally received a new job offer, but with some twists.  She would need to make some lifestyle changes and other big decisions impacting her family.  Her husband supported her, and they began to create a new life together.  She also reached out to her college friends.  They helped formulate a long term plan.  Lilith’s manifestations did not come neatly wrapped with a big red bow.  She had to unravel the stressful pieces before she could declare her gratitude.

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The millions of men and women who are showing up every day

Stephanie and I recently enjoyed a week in the Colorado Rockies with Dylan, Sophie, and their friends. I knew this was going to be a relaxing few days away from the normal (and wonderful) busyness of the Humanity’s Team workday and that we’d have a great time being together hiking and riding bikes, sharing meals, conversation, and laughter.

What I didn’t expect to happen was that within the deep relaxation of the physical body and mental mind, my heart exploded open in gratitude for what’s come to be known as the front-line workers of the 2020 pandemic and also those who knowingly or unknowingly are helping to raise the consciousness of humanity, including George Floyd and John Lewis, who recently yielded their physical form.

Here in the United States, and all over the planet, people are taking a stand for what they believe in. They are raising their voices and bodies in the demand for justice, equality, and kindness. 

(To make sure that I communicate my strong belief in inclusiveness to you as well as I’m able, I want also to say that I believe those who respond to the protests are also standing for what they believe in. After all, who of us is called to judge the Divine unfolding?)

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Making Room For Surprises & Miracles

There once was a woman who saw on TV that her neighborhood was about to be flooded and the officials said everyone should evacuate.

She believed that God would save her, and she ignored the warning.

Then a city worker knocked on her door and told her to leave for higher ground and she said no, “God will save me.”

Then the floods came, and she had to run up to the second floor to stay dry.

A boat soon came to her second story window to rescue her and she said no, “God will save me.”

The water then filled the third floor and she ended up on the roof of her home.

A helicopter came and she said no, “God will save me.”

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Singing in the Face of Days

dhikr in Islam, japam in Sanskrit, witness in English:  the repetition of a name or face of God.


In the air that lets a leaf fall slowly.

In the mud that swallows every blade.

In the bridge that creaks but will not break.

In the fence that fails.

In the secret maps that lead us nowhere.

In the questions that sprout from our mistakes.

In the suffering that makes us give more.

In those slain for no reason.

In those spared for no reason who keep naming the slain.

In how the mind stops spinning its web in light.

In how truth like rain makes tender hearts swell.

In how arms spread like wings when dropping all they carry.

In how petting the dog keeps us from leaving.

In the smoothing of a stone by a thousand waves.

In the smoothing of our ego by the slap of time.

In the drops of blood covered by snow.

In the stories of kindness finally praised.

In how we keep dying without dying.

In how we keep losing without losing.

In how we live in spite of everything. Like

hungry fish parting the water of our days.

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How to Surrender to Flow

Whether you feel "in the flow" right now or not, in this video Dr. Sue explains there's a flow that's always happening in your life and how you can surrender to it. When it comes to being in "the flow," sometimes you're connected to it, and sometimes you're not and it all depends on whether you're identified as the mind, or if you've surrendered to the true, Soulful Self that you are.

One Light, Many Reflections – River Highlights

I began a private daily writing exercise in 1996 and never stopped. I have written over three thousand pages.

I write one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings. My Page poems are a combination of sketch pad and journal.

The history and method of my writing process can be found in my article How I Wrote Three Thousand Pages Without Trying 

It can feel unsettling to let go of concerns for punctuation, sentence structure and the rules of grammar but it is a natural part of my writing style to allow ideas to flow. The samples shared here are the original raw versions.

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Have A Day

"Sometimes the longest journey we make is the sixteen inches from our heads to our hearts."

-Elena Avila

I've Been Thinking...

On Thursday I woke up to an earthquake. My first thoughts were, “You’ve got to be kidding me! This on top of everything else? What is up with this year?!”

I looked at my phone and my kids had texted asking, “Mommy, are you awake? Did you feel that? What’s our plan?” Thankfully, we were all OK, but I thought the same thing. What is our plan?

Plans and 2020 just don’t seem to be on the same page, do they? Earlier this week, I posted a quote on social media that addressed people’s sadness and gave them permission not to feel pressured to have a "good day," but to simply "have a day"... free of plans, to do's, and expectations. I said it’s OK not to expect to have a "good day." It’s also OK not to be great, or even OK. After all, we are living in unprecedented times, right? 

The overwhelming response to the quote took me aback. It made me realize yet again that so many of us need a break and some relief, even if it’s simply being told you don’t have to have a great day and that you are allowed to simply “have a day.”

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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