A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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There is a cure for loneliness. And it’s….

YES, you guessed it - LOVE is the cure for loneliness.

There is so much loneliness in our world today.  Not only within our lives but on a global level, loneliness is fueled by fear, hatred and mis-trust.

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Be of Help to Others

Do not underestimate the impact of a small deed. 

What can I do?

The Practice:
Be of Help to Others.

Why?

I'm doing a series on my personal top five practices (all tied for first place), and have so far named three: meditate (including mindfulness, self-awareness, and, if you like, prayer), take in the good, and bless (including compassion, generosity, and love).

I saw one way to bless on a trip to Haiti, in the efforts of many dedicated people: be helpful. As you probably know, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with roughly 80 percent unemployment. The national government seemed like a tattered sheet in the wind. A public middle and high school I visited was missing half its schoolbooks as well as the funds for the last two grades. Imagine your own child in such a school . . . and that the $30 it takes to buy the books she needs is a month's wages, as out of reach as the moon.

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3 Beliefs That Men Find Irresistible In a Woman

In this day and age of digital dating and limitless options to meet people, it can feel impossible to stand out from the crowd.

YOU are a unique, amazing individual and when you own this fact and learn how to radiate your best qualities, you are sure to separate yourself from the rest.

Many women don’t realize that it’s not the surface-level things that make a man incredibly attracted to you, but rather the beliefs you possess about life, your attitude about yourself, and the fun, authentic self-confidence that comes from a place of true self-love.

There are three beliefs in particular that men find irresistible and are sure to not only set you apart from other women but will aid you in attracting a genuine, connected relationship.

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Let Love Be Your Answer

Perhaps you’ve read the classic story of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, or hopefully you've had a chance to see one of the film versions made over the last fifty years or so.

Very briefly, it's a powerful story that unfolds in an early 19th century coastal city in France, where love takes its three central characters on a long journey of revelation, and the eventual realization of what matters most in their lives.

The hero, Edmond Dantes, is accused of a murder that he didn't commit, by Fernand, a lifelong friend, who is the one who actually committed the crime. Fernand is so jealous that Edmond has the love of Mercedes, the heroine, that he ensures Edmond is thrown into a hellacious, inescapable prison, and left there to die. But when, after many torturous years in captivity, Edmond manages to escape by a series of almost impossible coincidences, he plots an elaborate scheme of revenge against those who betrayed him.

As the story nears its climactic end, Mercedes, whom Edmond never stopped loving – and who never stopped loving him – sees through his elaborate charade (as the Count of Monte Christo), and learns of his plan to take revenge on Fernand.

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How To Honor and Respect Yourself

Don’t mistake being kind, loving and spiritual for allowing others to walk all over you or treat you with disrespect.

When you know who you really are, a magnificent expression of the Divine, you won’t allow yourself to be treated like anything less.

Focus on your spirit and protect your true essence.

People treat you how you teach them to treat you based on what you accept.

No one can continue to mistreat you unless you allow it. You are responsible for what you accept. Allowing people to treat you with disrespect serves no one.

In life and relationships you get what you settle for.

So what are you settling for?

You can’t control people’s actions, but you can control what you put up with, accept and how you choose to respond.

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Learn This Lesson and Take the Limits Off Your Ability to Love

We’re about to look at the facts we need to release ourselves from any kind of painful relationship pattern before we have to go through it again.

Never mind whatever may be telling you that such a power doesn’t exist. It does, and of this you may be assured: love is not limited to our present view of what it can...or can’t do!

As contradictory as it may seem, our almost inescapable sense of being unable to rise above problem patterns with our partner resides in the last place any of us would ever think to look for it: a false belief that we already understand the true nature of love. A few simple examples will help prove this last point.

If our understanding of love includes the belief that loving someone means agreeing to live with a mounting resentment towards him or her, then what else can happen as a result of that idea other than always coming to another tipping point? A fight ensues, and the pattern starts over.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: My Parents

I was raised like our backyard,

only tended with a sigh

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Do you remember your first date?

When two people go on a first date, they’re behaving in a way that will facilitate their future together. They want to be lovers, to have joy, to offer support and pleasure to their partner, and they want to have fun.

During the courting and honeymoon period, our behaviors primarily come from our conscious minds, putting us on our best behavior. As long as we don’t revert to thinking during this time, we will be operating with our hands on the wheel. Unfortunately, in the world in which we live, there’s so much demand on us that thinking is inevitable. Later in a relationship, downloaded negative programming in the subconscious begins to manifest, and it alters the character of the relationship. The joy dims as each partner compromises in order to accommodate the negative behavior that their partner never revealed during the honeymoon phase. As you start compromising, you ask yourself where your limit lies. In many cases, the compromises are too many and the relationship disintegrates. The more you come from the subconscious, the faster the beautiful honeymoon will vanish. 

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How to Invoke Love’s Divine Magic

Imagine that we’re out to dinner, driving in a car somewhere, or maybe just lying in bed moments before it’s time to turn out the lights. All is well. Everything seems quiet. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, our partner tosses a “grenade” into our lap.


Suddenly, but too late, it’s obvious: we didn't see any of the familiar signs that usually indicate a conflict is about to erupt. Perhaps they say something overtly cruel, or make some passive aggressive comment to remind us where we went wrong earlier that evening, or maybe even five years ago.

Almost instantly, from out of our mouth comes pouring a host of tried and true things we tend to say in similar situations; words with edges to cut, some smooth enough to defuse the situation, others more forceful, and all designed to turn the tide of battle and push our partner back onto their heels.

But then, a shift; something within us remembers that we’ve been where this fight is about to take us at least a hundred times, and that there’s nothing new or good about getting there; just more of the same.

In that same revelation, in fact as a part of its remembrance, we now see what we couldn’t before: we’re about to wade into a “war” with our partner that can’t be won no matter which of us seems to come out on top! And so, given what this new level of higher awareness shows us as being true, there’s the only logical, and ultimately loving action left for us to do: we refuse the call to combat.

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What Does Unconditional Love Really Mean?

We hear the term unconditional love a lot these days, especially in spiritual circles. But what does it mean exactly? At first glance, it seems to mean loving without conditions. Yes, it is that. Yet it is more than that. As I live my life, I begin to see other levels to it. Something that involves seeing clearly someone’s human vulnerabilities and seeming faults as well as their divinely sweet magnificence–and loving them for all of that. Holding it all in my heart at the same time, seeing it as part of this particular individual’s soul journey. And seeing myself that way too. I’ve found that viewing everything as perfectly lovable in just one other person unlocks the ability to do the same for everyone in my life—and then for everyone on the planet.

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The Forgiveness Factor

Scientists have discovered there are emotional, mental, and even physical needs for forgiveness.

Every cell in your body acts like a computer. Each cell has an electromagnetic energy field and a biochemical composition that instantly responds to your environment — and to your thoughts.

According to well-documented discoveries in epigenetics, genetic inheritance is only a predisposition. Whether it is triggered or not is dependent on the individual’s programs.

What does that mean? It means that more than anything else, the body’s response to our conscious and unconscious thoughts determines your health and happiness.

Now, here’s the really good news!  To forgive is the soul’s choice.

That’s right, your soul has a choice!

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Start Each Morning With A Big Dose of LOVE

Several years ago on a trip to Bali, we were privileged to meet a very old, wizened Shaman who taught us a beautiful morning love process to bless, heal, and nourish my body, mind, and soul.  

This transformative process is a fantastic way to begin each day and I highly recommend it for everyone who desires to have more love in their life!

Here’s how to do it:

When you wake up, before getting out of bed, before checking your phone, or anything else…  lie in bed, with your eyes closed. and put a smile on your face.

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Enter Into Full Partnership With Love

Love often appears at our door as a beggar in disguise. There are countless ancient myths that tell how the gods would show up at the door of someone’s home, appearing to be in dire straits. On the surface of things, they seem to be seeking food and shelter; but, in truth, they’ve come to ask if the ones they have chosen to visit will make room for them in their lives. And, as these stories go, whoever agrees to make this kind of sacrifice – for the sake of their unexpected visitors – is rewarded by them beyond their wildest dreams.

In much the same way, love is always knocking on our door. But it never does so more stridently than when our heart closes itself off to our partner in the name of some unconscious pain that we blame on them.

In unhappy moments like these, not only do we slam the door shut in the face of the one we love but, without ever knowing it, we also deny ourselves the precious, timeless gifts that only love can offer us: a full partnership with all of its powers. These gifts include the unfailing presence of an unconditional compassion for all that it embraces. This level of higher self-understanding can never be pulled into a fight with our partner because it can’t be deceived into identifying with one side or another of some unconscious opposing force.

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Grief and Joy

Last December my family and I spent a week or so, in Arizona. We were looking at someday, possibly buying a house for the Winter months. Seeking the sun and dirt trails, we explored both Sedona and Phoenix. My husband loves Sedona’s seasons and red rocks. I felt pulled by the warmth of the Phoenix area.
 
Searching for hiking near our hotel in Scottsdale, we discovered a little trail head. Walking up the dirt path I heard dogs barking and wondered about the houses. They were mostly concealed by trees.  The trail led us to a junction of several more peaks and valleys. We both love the expansive feeling found in the sun and open land.    
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Cancel These Three Painful Relationship Patterns Before They Get Started

Often when someone feels wronged by their partner they demand “payment” for the pain they feel unjustly inflicted upon them. History proves they will argue until this well-established pattern completes itself, one way or another. At some point, unable to resolve who’s to blame for the pain, one or the other will either storm off to brood over the mistreatment, or decide that “retreat” is the better part of valor and make some kind of peace offering, perhaps an apology. Sad, but true to say, in the long run, neither of these “solutions” makes any real difference. Their suffering passes into the night, but not the unseen reasons for it.

This situation sounds familiar, doesn't it? One event, a single word or critical glance triggers a negative reaction. Then and there we feel our partner has set him or herself against us, and – a moment later – we respond in kind. The feeling of being disrespected or misjudged morphs into a certainty that we’ve been betrayed; pain, not love, becomes our common denominator.


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Accentuate the Positive, My Mother's Gift

A song written and recorded in 1944 that was popular with my parents’ generation had the refrain: “Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.” Those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II often developed one of two responses to life: fear or hope, or perhaps a mix of both. You can see hope in songs like this one. And I definitely saw it in my mother when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. Without fail, she always looked for the positive in any situation, person, or event. If someone behaved in an unpleasant manner, my mother’s response was inevitably, “She means well.” And then she would find something nice to say about the person.

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How to Maintain the Infamous Honeymoon-Period-of-Bliss

The two minds are the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind contains wishes and desires and operates about 5% of the time. That means that 95% of our lives are from the programs, which have been downloaded into the subconscious mind. Most of these programs are negative, disempowering, and self- sabotaging. While our conscious minds are busy thinking during the day, our subconscious programming self-sabotages. We externalize our struggles because we don’t see that we’re sabotaging ourselves; we only recognize that life isn’t working. 

Knowing all of this, how do we achieve ultimate happiness and heaven-on-earth? Stay mindful, stay present (Resource List Here). If you stay in the present moment, the conscious mind is the pilot and your hands are on the wheel.

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The Power of Acceptance

“Accept—then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it … This will miraculously transform your whole life.” — Eckhart Tolle


When my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I heard the words, but it took me several years to accept the realities of the disease.

I’ll never forget one moment when we were sitting outside in his backyard together. It was just a few years after he was diagnosed. There was traffic racing by on a nearby highway, but he thought he heard water flowing.

“Don’t you love the sound of that water?” my father asked me.

I corrected him. “No daddy, that’s traffic.”

He shook his head and insisted that he heard water. I corrected him several times until finally, I accepted his version of reality.

“Wow, Daddy, I hear the water, too,” I said. “It’s so calming.”

He smiled and nodded, relieved that I had met him where he was.

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3 Tips to Transform a Painful Relationship

Pain, regardless of where or how it appears in our relationship, can either remain the seed of a distress destined to flower into a mounting resentment, or we can choose to use this same pain consciously. Then it can be transformed into the seed of something new, true, and beautiful: the birth of a new level of self-understanding – the realization of a higher order of love that can never turn against itself or anyone else.

A student once asked me, “It feels like my partner and I have come to a dead-end in our relationship. I don’t think he’s aware of it, but I sure am. I love him, but...I can’t let go of an old resentment that always rears its ugly head anytime he acts out one particular part of his nature that I just can’t stand.”

Many people have a similar problem. Here are some helpful tips for transcending the pain of relationships.

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How to Reinvent Your Love Life (or How to Break Blocks to Love)

Love is in the air! Can you feel it? I think autumn is the most romantic time of the year. Yes I know it’s spring down under but It’s this time of year for me that turns on my romantic buttons. I know I’ve said this before but I just love all aspects of love. I love being in love and helping people understand and experience more love. I love my awesome husband, I love my job, I love my dogs, my friends, my students, my employees and you know what -my world is brimming with love! I have so much of it to give. And so I do!

It was not always like this. I used to look for love, and determine my worth for how much the outer world would reflect my lovability and value depending on who was there or not there to prove it to me. I thought longing and yearning was love but it wasn’t – it was the focus on the lack of love that was so compelling and “romantic.”

For many years I struggled with this need to be loved and seen as worthy. When I was single, for a long time to me it was a message that I was flawed. I could only see the empty part of the glass. Yet thank goodness I saw the Light.  It was only when I surrendered this fully, and learned to love myself and be a channel for love that I no longer saw myself that way. And paradoxically the more I let go the need to find love, the more of it came to me!

I know that for many people, the mention of love and relationships elicits frustration, regret, anxiety, and a sudden need for chocolate. You want to meet the right person, but things just never seem to pan out. Or, you keep thinking you’ve met “the one” only to discover that he or she is just as commitment phobic or dishonest as “the one” before him/her. It’s the same old story with a new leading love interest, and you wonder what you’re doing wrong.

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