Love Someone

What can you do when there’s nothing you can do?

The Practice: 
Love Someone.

Why?

Sometimes something happens. Perhaps your sweet old cat takes a turn for the worse, or there’s a money problem, or your son waves goodbye as he gets on a plane to start college on the other side of the country. Sometimes it’s on a larger scale: maybe there’s been an election and you’re grappling with its consequences (see my last post on this topic: Take Heart.

Or you might be dealing with something ongoing, like a dead-end job (or no job at all), life after divorce, chronic pain, or a teenager who won’t talk to you.

Whatever it is, at first it’s normal to feel rattled, frozen, or unclear about what to do. After awhile, you do what you can to change things for the better. But often there’s not much you can actually change, and sometimes nothing at all.

Still, there is always one thing you can do, no matter what.

You can always find someone to love.

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Spring Cleaning Your Heart (and Home)

The last few days I have been on fire with Spring cleaning. Suddenly, I am filled with energy and motivation to clear out clutter, clean up old messes, wipe down the baseboards, throw out and give away things that aren’t needed… and it feels great.

As part of your Spring Cleaning to enhance your love life, my friend and Feng Shui expert Shawne Mitchell suggests enlivening the Marriage and Relationship section of your home.

To figure out where this is, stand in your front door (facing into your home) and locate the far right corner of the house (or of your bedroom) and this is it!

Not only does this section represent all love relationships, on a spiritual level it also represents your relationship to yourself.
To enliven this space, add artwork that depicts love and romance, or add pairs of things such as two lovebirds, or swans or any animals that mate, like dolphins.

Include fresh flowers, candles, and crystals (you can hang them from the ceiling on red or pink ribbons.)

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Making Sense of Life’s Uncertainties

The truth is, sometimes you don’t know what to think because nothing seems to make sense. Nothing that you thought to be true is. Everything you believed to be, isn’t. It all just feels fluid, unsteady, confusing and scary.

For me — for a variety of reasons — that’s how I’m feeling right now. But, what my life has taught me is that these moments pass and that the best way to get through them is to actually live through them and breathe each step of the way.

Breathe. Breathe in and breathe out. I’ve learned that when one feels unsteady, it’s best to try and visualize a wave. See the confusion, the fear, the sorrow, and the grief as a wave that comes in and out and, slowly, it will give way to a calm sea.

No doubt, the calm doesn’t come as quickly as you would like, but it will come with time. For me, knowing this to be true is what makes the unknowing in life more bearable.

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How To Deal With Other People’s Negative Opinions (Video)

You have no control of what other people think about you.

The only control that you have is over yourself, and how you respond.

You responsibility is not to make others happy but to be yourself fully.

People’s opinions of you reflect more about themselves than about you. So don’t take it personally. Just because they judge you a certain way, or have a negative opinion of you, doesn’t mean it’s true.

It’s just their opinion. It’s their perception, and perception is not reality.




Our perception is a projection based on our current level of consciousness which is determined by our conditioning and experiences.

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Love What’s Real

What do a healthy relationship, family, organization, or country have in common?

What can you count on?

The Practice:
Love what’s real.

Why?

Because this practice could seem so abstract or so obvious that it’s not worth doing, I am going to take longer than usual to explain why it’s so important.

As I grew up, my family and schools felt like very shaky ground. I didn’t understand why my parents and many kids reacted the ways they did, with anger or plain weirdness that was unrelated to what was actually happening. It felt shaky inside me, too, and I sure didn’t understand my own feelings and reactions. Outside and inside both felt twirly, up in the air, unnerving.

So I looked for solid ground. I tried to see and understand what was really true. The orange groves and hills around our home were natural and comforting, and I spent a lot of time there. I started reading science fiction and loved an orderly universe in which you could figure out why the spaceship was falling and save it.

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Honor Those You Love. Start Today

As I stood in the back of my church on Palm Sunday, I found myself thinking a lot. Actually, I came into church already thinking, as I had just spent an afternoon with a friend who was struggling with cancer.

A year ago, my friend was the picture of health—laughing, debating issues of the day, and planning her future like the rest of us. She is my age, and like my friend Nancy whom I wrote about last week, there is no future left to dream about for her, either. So instead, we reminisced about the past.

The past made us laugh. It was filled with adventures and possibilities. Dreams and opportunities. I called her on my way home and said, “Thank you for today. There’s nothing like an old friendship.” “So true,” she replied.

They say that youth is wasted on the young. So is our health. So, whether you’re young or old, I encourage you to value your friendships. Value your health. (I hope you’ll register and join me in June for Move for Minds 2018.) Value the moments you have now to let someone know that you care about them.

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Living Kindness

We learn kindness and patience step by step, sometimes in the receiving, sometimes in the giving. And sometimes, even more powerfully, in the shadow experience: through thoughtlessness or impatience, our own or someone else’s. Hurt by hurt, mistake by mistake, we walk forward into the swirl of human emotion and interrelationship. We learn about pain by being hurt as well as by hurting another. Someone else’s anger or offhand remark can cut to the quick. But to see pain in a loved one’s eyes from our own unthinking or harsh words is to know the other side of pain. It can break your heart, but in the breaking is the opening­—to compassion, to kindness.

When I look back honestly on my own life, I see moments that have taught me, painfully, to be more compassionate and aware. In the years before my mother’s death, she began to have challenges with both her eyesight (cataracts) and memory. I felt tremendous responsibility and fear around making sure she was okay. Once, after a doctor’s appointment, I was asking her questions about what had transpired (What did he say? Did you ask him about ____?). She couldn’t think fast enough to answer me and finally burst into tears. Abruptly I realized I had to slow down and just listen patiently instead of question her. I could see the pain in her eyes at not being able to answer me quickly. It stopped me in my tracks, and I hugged her. What did the answers matter when my mother’s ease of mind was at stake?

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Dreams Really DO Come True

I love weddings!!! And, I especially love weddings that we get to officiate.

Being surrounded by a loving bride and groom (and all of their friends and family) in a beautiful setting filled with magic, music, flowers, fun and fabulous food is the perfect recipe for joy.

This past weekend, Brian and I had the honor of officiating the wedding of our friends Ann and Dennis (both in their 60’s).

We met Ann a little more than two years ago when she joined us in Bali for our Manifest Your Greatest Unmet Dream transformational journey to focus on her desire to meet her soulmate.

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Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry wouldn’t exist if only parents knew how to handle children better.


A whole lot of us carry the burden of sibling rivalry.  No matter how old we get, we still suffer from the effects of ‘Mom and Dad always loved you more’. Much of our adult behaviour is coloured by this aspect which seems to colour our relationships with our siblings. 

 

Coping with sibling rivalry could be very stressful, we all seem to face it somewhere and sometime in our lives. It actually needs to be dealt with in childhood so that it doesn’t surface in our relationships in adulthood.  If left undealt it creates major family disputes and unpleasantness in the closest of relationships leading to immense stress.

 

Accept your reality


You as an adult can cope with your issues if in your childhood you were taught how to manage your sibling relationships consciously. Relate to your own inner self. Try and be a good parent to your kids.

Today I will discuss how to handle sibling rivalry in children so that we consciously raise stress-free children who will further turn into well adjusted humans with comparatively low level of stress in a new zone of living.

 

Parenting consciously


This is most essential.  If parents are consciously monitoring their kids and making an effort in consistently bonding them in a mutually loving relationship, it creates great harmony.

 

Causes of conflict


Most of the time it is the competition for the favour of the parents who need to understand that comparing two kids is the worst possible way of creating a love culture. Never ever promote competition between children.  In this way they learn to resent each other.

 

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Compassion – Part 2 of Present Heart: The Universal Expressions of Love (video)

Part 2: Compassion – the tender resonance of heart – awakens as we allow ourselves to be touched by our shared vulnerability.

This series reflects on four primary expressions of an awake, wise heart: lovingkindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. In each talk we explore the habitual patterning that blocks our full realization of these innate capacities, and the understandings and practices that nurture their unfolding.

From the talk:

When you witness vulnerability, really feel it in you – let yourself be touched – and when the tenderness comes, when the real visceral tenderness comes, feel it for 15 seconds, 20 seconds, and let yourself marinate in the feeling of tenderness.

As we begin to get more tender and to look and to respond, it’s contagious to people around us. They get touched and then they act that way more. Just the way there’s limbic contagion when people are angry or upset, there’s compassion contagion.

“Just Like You”
(Inspired by the Dalai Lama)
Walk gently on this earth with purposeful steps
You share this space with seven billion human beings
And countless other precious life forms
Just like you
They all want to be happy
Just like you
They all need love
We’re not going to survive unless we walk
Gently on this earth together,
Until we touch something in others that 
Feels just like the shards of our own pain,
The fluttering warmth of our own joy,
Until we sew their wounds into our hearts
And seal it with our own skin
~ Anon

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Lovingkindness – Part 1 of Present Heart: The Universal Expressions of Love (video)

Part 1: Lovingkindness – We awaken our natural lovingkindness by learning to attend to and take in the goodness of this life.

This series reflects on four primary expressions of an awake, wise heart: lovingkindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. In each talk we explore the habitual patterning that blocks our full realization of these innate capacities, and the understandings and practices that nurture their unfolding.

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When Love Comes Later (Finding Love Later in Life)

I am admittedly a late bloomer when it comes to the traditional idea of partnering and Love having met my soulmate when I was 44 (the husband kind). But to be honest I would not have accepted the possibility of that in my earlier years, say my 20s and 30’s.


When I was 20 a 44 year-old woman was, in my eyes (please forgive that young me!) old and en route to drying up. I had no idea I would be at the beginning of the best years of my life (which I am loving even more NOW) at 44, nor did I understand the work I had to do to truly be alive and ready to be a good partner.  


I used my outer life experience as a way to measure my worth which was determined by whether I was partnered or not. You may not identify with this but I had a real drive to meet THE ONE since I was a teenager. The ONE was going to make everything all better! But that was only part of it. Being rescued by a prince was part of the Cinderella fairy tale I bought into but the truth is I had a lot of love to give, I just had a distorted and dysfunctional map of Love to follow.


Without going into the details of my experimentations in the Love department before my 40’s I’m going to stick to the topic of discovering a later love and what that could mean.


No matter how much I said I wanted to have a family and settle down, I attracted lovers who could not offer that to me. In fact, the more unavailable, inappropriate and just plain wrong they were the better. I could never see that at the time, preferring to label myself a victim of my sad despairing romantic failures (I could sing you quite the sob story!).


Deep down I knew I couldn’t have kids which was confirmed in my late 30’s so that normal “let’s meet fall in love and start a family!”  was not to be anyway and the men I was attracted to were hard-wired for betrayal anyway.

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Einstein’s Theory of LOVE!

I am super excited to share with you something my amazing soulmate, Brian, turned me on to: A letter Albert Einstein sent to his daughter about love.

“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.


I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.


There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.

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The Winds of Love: Taking Refuge in Conscious Relationship

 

Years ago, in Arizona, scientists embarked on an experiment to learn how to replicate the Earth’s ecosystems in a closed ecological system. In the Biosphere experiment, a huge glass dome was constructed with everything needed to sustain life within the structure. The scientists lived inside the Bio-dome for two years and, for a number of reasons, the experiment didn’t work out very well. But one of the main reasons was that the trees wouldn’t grow to maturity. As it turned out, when designing the Bio-dome, the scientists didn’t account for the absence of wind. What they learned was, that without enough wind to develop their heartwood, trees cannot grow.

In the same way, we need the winds of the relational field to grow and wake up our hearts. Whether we are enjoying a gentle breeze, or riding out the high winds of a hurricane, we need it all in order to discover our full potential for loving. There are two powerful ways that the winds of relationship can awaken us—sharing our vulnerability and seeing the good in each other.

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When Soulmates Bring You to Your Knees

Continuing the theme of exploring relationships this month I’ll ask this question. Do you remember a time when you thought you met “THE ONE” and felt so strongly that you had met your soulmate, only to see this special relationship go up in flames, and you on your knees sobbing and confused?

This can apply to best friendships too not just romantic relationships. I’ve befriended a few people I was convinced would be my friend for life only to see it all unravel and disintegrate in a short time. Perhaps this may have happened to you too?

The truth is these are soulmates of a different kind, harbingers of true healing and what I like to call Shadow teachers. Through these powerful connections we get to see how our unprocessed wound-patterns still can cause us to be in denial when we choose to follow through on our attractions.

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The Secret Key To All Relationships (Video)

You are free when you realize that you don’t have the power to MAKE another person change.


You suffer when you spend your time trying to control the lives of those around you to be what you want them to be.


People don’t change unless they really want to change. You only have the power to share your perspective, wisdom, and invite them to consider a different way of doing things.


When someone changes simply to make you happy, rest assured, it doesn’t last.

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Be a Love Philanthropist

My dear friend Marci Shimoff taught me the phrase Love Philanthropist, and every time I say it, it makes me smile.


Just as I’ve learned that tithing not only makes me feel good and does good for others, it also brings me more abundance.


Being a Love Philanthropist brings more love.


There are so many ways to share your love with the world:


Close your eyes and send love and blessings to your nearest and dearest (including your pets).


Send love notes (do it today!) via email or text or snail mail.


Smile and compliment strangers and beam love from your eyes to theirs.


There is a line in A Course in Miracles that says:

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What Makes You Feel Loved?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been mesmerized by love stories. Love stories in books. (Hello, “Wuthering Heights.”) Love stories on the big screen. (“The Sound of Music,” “Notting Hill,” “Love Actually”… I won’t tell you how many times I’ve watched these films again and again.) Love stories in the news. (I read the New York Times’ Modern Love column religiously each Sunday.) Yes, I love love stories. I’ve even been known to burst into tears when an elderly couple tells me their love story. Stories like these inspire me. They give me hope. They bring me joy.

Many years ago, a friend asked me, “Maria, what makes you feel loved?” The question stopped me cold in my tracks. I was quiet for a bit because the truth was, I wasn’t entirely sure how to answer the question. But today, I know exactly what makes me feel loved. I feel loved when I feel seen. I feel loved when I feel heard. I feel loved when I feel safe, secure and understood. I feel loved when my children hug me or take a walk with me. I feel loved when I arrive to lunch with a friend and see that they’ve ordered me something that they know I like.
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Love and the Law of Attraction

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day, and How to Manifest a Partner 101


It’s the week of the Valentine’s holiday here in North America and since we’ve traditionally been so heavily pushed to pay attention to it, it’s always been the week, (when I still did one on one consultations) where every single client who wanted to be in partnership would focus on the question “ How can I attract my soul mate or the impossible question- When will I meet my soulmate?” This is the week where Love and the Law of Attraction dance together. It’s also the week where many of us have memories that make the subject come alive and not always pleasant.


So in celebration and honor of all the aspects of the SuperBowl of Love – February 14th- here we go!


I wonder how you felt about this but, when I was little I loved going to school on Valentine’s Day because we had an important task- to spend the morning immersed in creating evidence of LOVE and devotion on paper hearts which would then be delivered to everyone in the class in the afternoon. I was taught it was a day to value love in all forms and one to give and receive declarations of love. No one was left out and sometimes you’d get a nice message from a kid you’d previously ignored. Even the snooty mean girls might share their chocolate spontaneously. It was, for the most part, a moment of sharing LOVE that transcended our separation.


To this day I love the smell of construction paper and glue because it reminds me of the excitement and joy of making special cards for my family and my classmates and even my dog too. While, I don’t remember that I was taught the historical meaning of the day I do remember that February 14th was supposed to be like Christmas- a very special day. Until I became a teenager and it got weird.

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3 keys to make this Valentine’s Day your last one single (one may shock you)

My dear friend and love expert, Dr. Lara Fernandez, has graciously agreed to share three soulmate manifesting tips for you today:


1. Stop thinking you have all the answers.


If you are over 30, single and really don’t want to be, and have been trying for years to find love, then there’s still some more you need to learn about yourself, about men (or women), and relationships. Be willing to have what the Buddhists call a “beginner’s mind” and embrace the journey to your soulmate as a learning process.


People who are know-it-alls are NOT attractive to a healthy relationship… they either end up pushing a good person away or attracting a man who is insecure. Stay humble (yet balanced with a gentle confidence) in your pursuit of your dream life.


Become what I call a “Student of Love.” Commit to continued learning and growing in this area of love and relationships. This learning will serve you not only in finding your Mr. Right… but KEEPING him and maintaining a happy, healthy, thriving relationship for years to come.


2. Be kind to yourself.

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