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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An Invitation To More Love

I’ve had to go through some pretty interesting things on a personal level in order to be who I am today. Experiences I would never have actually consciously created, things that on an egoic level I would have never signed up for. But all of these things and experiences are actually everything that I needed in order to fully wake up to be who I am today. 

I’ve discovered through the course of my own personal journey, that the acceptance of what is happening, no matter what that may be in the moment, provides me a sense of relief. And, as much as it’s provided me a sense of relief, it is providing an ever-expanding global community a sense of relief. 

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You are Totally Loveable (Just the way you are)

The 8th anniversary of my sister Debbie’s passing was a few days ago.

I was going through some recordings we did together and found a “feelingization” on falling in love with yourself that is just gorgeous.

Below is the essence of the process and you can also access the audio here.

Place your attention on the area around your heart, and take a deep breath into the deepest part of yourself, as you hold the intention of falling in love with yourself: knowing that you are worthy, loving, and wholly unique.

See yourself seated on a beautiful velvet loveseat in the center of your own heart…. a cozy and comfortable love seat…. now look off to your left and you are going to see an image of you…. it’s an image of your most loveable self: the part of you that radiates joy and hope: the part of you that knows you are special and unique and that there is nobody like you in the world.

What does that aspect of you look like? Maybe you’ll see an image of yourself at age 2, or 3, or 15 or 22. It’s you radiating love. Your eyes are lit up, you are irresistible. Now just invite that aspect of yourself to come and sit beside you on the loveseat as you continue to breathe deeply.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Kinship

If you don’t know,

then ask the moon in the sky.

Yuanwu



Trying to prove that all things

are connected is like piling up

snow in a silver bowl.

As soon as you bring it inside,

what you’ve gathered will vanish.

For truth like the ocean is hard

to see once in it.

I can only say that the things that

matter are always there like stars

in the daytime.

Kindness sleeps in our heart

the way flowers are compressed

in their seed.

Everything is waiting for the right

moment to break ground.

I am always here for you.

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What is Love Anyway?

Did you know that in the Persian language there are 80 words for love?

In Sanskrit there are 96 words and in Greek there are 7.

Sadly, in English we only have 1 word for love.

Thus, it isn’t surprising that love means different things to just about everyone.

Love is one of those things that when you see it or feel it, you just know it.

And like food, air, and water, I believe love is essential to life.

Today I am sharing with you three very short takes on love that I think sum up some of the many ways love shows up.

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Rest In Love

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”  — Maya Angelou

I've Been Thinking...

 

Did hearing " Happy Valentine's Day"  make you smile, or did it make you weep? Were you looking forward to the day, or were you mad that you aren’t where you want to be when it comes to love? If your answer is the latter, let’s take a walk (not a real one, of course, although I’d love that). Let’s take a moment to simply connect and be. 

After all, that’s what love is really all about. It's about being wholly yourself with another human and feeling loved for who you are. It’s not about a fancy dinner, a piece of jewelry, flowers, sex, or chocolates. Don’t get me wrong, those things are great, but they don’t define love on their own.

Love is deep. It’s varied. It’s complex and yet also simple. It’s romantic but also platonic. It can fill your heart up, and it can break it into a thousand little pieces. 

I’ve learned a lot about love over the years—what it is and isn’t—and much of what I’ve learned has come from a painful place. That said, it’s all helped me get to a more loving space in my life. 

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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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How To Speak Your Truth With Love

We have all lied to ourselves and others at some point in our lives, about who we are, what we think, what we have done.

Deep down our fear is, “If you really know who I am or what I have done, then you won’t love me.”

We are afraid of losing love or losing the life that we have. Living in fear is not freedom.

The truth will set you free and open you to receiving all the bigger blessings that life has in store for you.

It requires real courage. It requires the willingness to not compromise your heart, even if it means being alone.

It’s true that in the process of speaking your truth, you may lose people, relationships may end, old structures might crumble.

Know that you are clearing the space to be open to what is right for you.

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Mindfulness for a Happier Relationship

Love relationships are one of the most beautiful and complex experiences we can have in this human life. They can bring joy and ignite passion, and they can also challenge us to face ourselves and get clear about who we really want to be.

One tool that is nothing less than indispensable throughout the journey of love is mindfulness. It can help us create more peace and love in our partnerships, as well as more calm and balance within ourselves. Whether you and your partner are just starting out and want to connect more deeply or you’ve been together for years and want to rekindle that connection, call on mindfulness to support your relationship goals. You’ll be glad you did!

5 Mindful Tips to Support Your Partnership

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Self-Worth: A Reflection of Self-Love or Self-Abandonment

A woman asked me the following question:

“Why am I worthy at all? Saying I am a divine being does not answer to the underlying issue of self-worth in physical world reality. My daughter did something she is very ashamed of and has been suffering from low self-worth. I have had a hard time explaining why what she does is not who she is.”

 

There are a number of things that are important to understand about self-worth.

The daughter is suffering primarily because she is harshly judging herself for whatever it is she did. Instead, she needs to forgive herself, learn from her mistake, and be compassionate toward herself for being human and making mistakes – which all humans do.

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Oracle Card Spreads For Love And Relationships!

One of the most common areas people seek guidance from the Oracle is regarding love and romantic relationships. And no wonder! The sacred mysteries of love invite us into an exploration of what it means to be a spiritual being in a physical body. It is one of the ways we are able to fully experience our humanity. It can make us feel vulnerable and empowered, ecstatic and despairing. And of course, any topic that is so full of strong emotions will be one we want to know more about! 

Your Divine Path to Love

For many people, the mere mention of romantic love makes them roll their eyes and reach for the nearest pint of ice cream. They’ve been there, done that, and have the battle scars to prove it. After a few times of showing the soft underbelly of your inner self to another, only to have them mishandle your heart. Ouch!

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Dismiss the Dark States that Steal Happiness

Wishing to be free, without taking action toward our intention, is meaningless; we must employ the truths we uncover, or we will never realize the possibil­ity of their true power, which is to help us walk away from what has been wrecking us. But with this new understanding in mind we must also realize that the truth that sets us free is not for hire; it does not so much “work” for us as it is our silent partner, producing the new life we long for. This means several things. 

First, we must be receptive to truth’s instruction in the Now; only conscious awareness of our aching can lead us to what authentically answers it, ending it. But secondly, we must -- ourselves -- be true in the same moment to what we know is the truth of that moment. We must do the truth we know. We must refuse, no matter what the seeming cost in the moment, to take part in any conversation with those parts of us that have proven themselves, time and time again, to compromise us.

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“Us” All “Thems”

Who’s outside your circle?

The Practice:
“Us” All “Thems”

Why?

By “us” all “thems,” I mean finding common ground with every person – especially those you fear or are angry with or who are simply very different from you. These days this practice is more important than ever.

For most of the past 300,000 years, our human ancestors lived in small bands of about 50 people in which they survived by being good at caring about and cooperating with people inside the band – with “us” – while also being good at fearing and aggressing upon people outside their band: “them.” And for 2 million years before that, our hominid ancestors lived and evolved under similar pressures.

That’s a long long time. And during the last 10,000 years, as agriculture produced food surpluses that enabled larger groups, this same tribalistic pattern has repeated at bigger scales. While there are heartening examples of people extending themselves for strangers, most of us are vulnerable to the ancient drumbeats of grievance and vengeance – now amplified to a thunder by modern technologies like social media.

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Do you know that the deeper version of who we are has a vibrational signature? 

Pause a moment, ask the following… 

  • Are you living life as the Soulful Self or as a personality that’s compartmentalised itself with labels? 
  • Are you doing the respectable, responsible thing? 
  • Are you living a label based on somebody else’s “good idea” for you? A good idea you’re not even sure you desire to do or be.

Now check inside.

What does it mean to define ourselves and how we go about doing that? 

Do you ever wonder, “Who am I?” Or question, “How have I decided to present myself to the world?” 

Perhaps the definitions, conscious or unconscious, of who we think we are—our “types” or labels—might be running our life.

You might identify and define yourself consciously as: I’m a mother or father, a student, a doctor, an employee, a spiritual person, or a physically-strong and athletic person. Maybe it’s subconscious labels such as… I’m insecure or not enough. I’m supposed to be different than I am. I’m a logical or smart person. 

No matter the label we choose, they are all limiting boxes.

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Forgiveness For Yourself: A Ritual For Practicing Compassion and Love!

In February, our attention is often pulled to thoughts of love and romance, including heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, candlelit dinners, and dozens of roses from a partner who adores us. But while romantic relationships can make our hearts beat a wild tango (and are a delightful facet of our human existence!) here’s what I know to be true: 

You can only love another to the extent you love yourself. 

And self-love is rooted in self-forgiveness. Generosity of the heart, reverence, respect, and empathy for all living things bring you profound power to live a life of happiness and contentment. And that includes generosity, empathy, and compassion for yourself! 

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5 Ways to Escape the Painful World of Self-Judgment

It would seem – given the speed and ease with which most of us judge others and ourselves­– that there’s something natural, even good about it. After all, just about every time our eyes alight on someone or something, we judge it as good or bad, all based on how it stacks up against some inner ideal we have of how things should be. 

Why is she wearing that? He’s so clueless. OMG: I look terrible today. The inner comments never stop, and often come out in complaints we express to others. But we don’t see them as complaints. To us they are nothing less than our intelligent observations of life around us.

We also don’t see how this endless stream of judgments hurts us. When we impose a negative view on things and people based on the past conditioning we bring to the moment, we can’t experience life directly, or see the good it may be offering. We can’t see the beauty in what we’ve summarily cast away. 

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The Secret to Any Successful Relationship

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.

They must not only want to change but must be committed to it. They also must be open to your help. We sometimes try to change people that are not asking for help and end up trying to control them to fit our ideal.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Unseen Force of Spirit

As the unseen wind moves from the azalea to the young willow, the unseen force of Spirit moves from you to me and on to those yet born. Still, the azalea doesn’t become the willow, even though they root in the same soil. In just this way, you stay you and I stay me, though we are informed by each other, just by virtue of how Spirit moves through all things. Under the circus of appearance, all forms are knit into a barely perceptible weave of being that spans from the stars to the endless drip in the darkest caves. And though the star never touches the cave, the light and dark inform each other. We carry their essence. As I carry you, though we have never met. I carry the dream you are about to wake in. And you feel my sadness as a sudden cloud blocking the light. We arc in a dynamic elegance that no one orchestrates, though no one can come alive without feeling its pull.

A Question to Walk With: Tell the story of a time when you felt the wind of life move through someone you care for. What did this look like? And how did this affect the person you care for?

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Is Shutting Others Out the Only Way to Stay Safe from Toxic People?

It is absolutely true that there are certain types of people who are toxic to your quality of life.

They may have abusive tendencies, dark cynical outlooks or they could be self-destructive.

Our minds are always trying to judge, and our hearts discern whether or not certain people are good for us.

The residual trauma of being abused or mistreated by another creates the need to strictly enforce the condemning of unhealthy people in our lives. The extreme of this will cause imbalance and the accumulation of residual karma.

The act of condemning a person even for a good reason, is a fear based egoic mechanism that reinforces fear and anger. A person will feel constantly on edge or anxious during that time of judgment.

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Make Love’s Higher Purpose Come Alive in Every Relationship

The universe is set up to help us grow into our higher selves, and relationships are the “vessel” of that journeyDifficult relationships show us both the need to grow beyond our present level of understanding, and deliver the vital self-revelations that make growth possible.

Of course, we love to be shown qualities within us that are positive. But Love often shows us what is un-loving within us, such as anger, impatience, and selfishness. To understand this is to realize that even in the darkest moment of some unwanted revelation, we are never without Love; it is always there, even if it is momentarily obscured by our negative reaction to what we’ve been shown about ourselvesThese revelations are a gift from Love to help us become the truly loving individuals we want, and are meant, to be.

Love’s Power of Revelation

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Your Peace Is All Peace

Sometimes there is not a word for what I want to describe. I have made up many words for my own use like, Thrival, Beditation and Heartfulness.

Expansion and contraction tend to be considered opposites. From my experience there is something other than contraction I call INSPANSION.

Expansion is often an increase of growing wider and larger.
Contraction is generally considered a decrease, restriction or withdrawal.

Just like how we can have an expanded awareness usually related to the mind, we can also have an inspanded awareness with our heart.

INSPANSION is inward growth, going deeper inside, coming more into yourself. Inspansion is manifest oneness.

Inspansion is not a limitation like contraction. It is complete and all inclusive acceptance.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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