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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This is Your Lifetime to Get it Right: Forgiving Yourself and Others

The struggle to love and forgive is a heroic struggle. It will affect every other relationship in your life. And guess what? For me, all movement comes from forgiving and loving myself. Go figure. 

I wrote some of this piece years ago, while visiting my mother in upstate New York. I wanted to be the perfect daughter. But there’s something about dealing with our families that’s like taking acid. You go on a trip. Things come out of the blue. People sprout extra heads. Then you come back and you think-- what was that all about?

“Those who see themselves as whole make no demands,” teaches A Course in Miracles. Well, clearly, those who seem themselves as threatened wildebeests act accordingly. 

Being with my mother, I can’t believe how quickly I am triggered. I teach workshops in A Course in Miracles , a form of spirituality which emphasizes choosing love instead of “being right.” But as I hide away upstairs in the cutesy, cluttered guest bedroom of my mother’s townhouse, despising every artificial flower I see, I consider a different line of work. Maybe I could be the anti-Gandhi. Because my blood pressure is definitely higher than my consciousness.

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Let Go of Relationship Clutter

Clutter. It blocks the flow of energy and gets in the way of manifesting our deepest desires.

We know how to unclutter the physical items in our lives and now, thanks to my friend Peggy Fitzsimmons, she is sharing with us today her views on letting go of relationship clutter. Enjoy!

“Our souls are inherently free and our true nature is love. And we also have ego minds that orient us towards self-preservation, lack, and scarcity. When the ego is in the driver’s seat, we relate from fear and separation. If conflict, competing, or power struggles are the norm in your relationships, your ego likely has a tight grip on the wheel. When you fail to treat yourself or someone else as a human being, your ego is present in that moment of relationship. In contrast, when the soul is in the driver’s seat, we relate from safety and connection. If your relationships are characterized by harmony, collaboration, and compassion, your soul is at the wheel. When you treat yourself or someone else with kindness, acceptance, and neutrality, your soul is present for that relationship moment.

The ego drives us to accumulate relationship clutter. Here are some examples:

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Fix This Mistake to Change Your Relationships – and Your Life

It may feel to us as though life comes at us from the outside in, but in fact, it doesn’t. We meet life from the inside out. Once we understand this, we’ll see the mistake we’ve been making all along about the true meaning of strength – and how this has compromised our relationships. As we are now, we each have a list of things we want to overcome: our past; our failure to acquire what we believe we need; difficult people. We’ve identified these as challenges that come at us from outside. Naturally enough, our behavior is based on what our mind identifies as the cause of the problem. We keep fighting the exterior challenge as a means of healing ourselves, but we keep getting hurt. A wound that is covered over too soon fails to heal from the inside. In the same way, as we try to fix the psychological wound by changing things on the outside, we interfere with the natural healing process, which must be an internal one. Because we don’t understand the nature of the wound, we rend it again.

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Discover the Magic of “Relationship Jiu-jitsu”

An argument between two people (lovers, spouses, family members) is a kind of psychological battle often filled with personal attacks, accusations, and dredging up past mistakes.

When both parties are exhausted, or one grudgingly concedes, the fight ends – for the moment. But nothing has changed; resentment has just gone underground until it’s dug up again, and hostilities soon resume.

But it needn’t be this way. There’s a little known “magic” that can stop any fight in the moment, and helps prevent the next one from getting starting. It’s the result of what we can call “relationship jiu-jitsu.” 

Jiu-jitsu is an ancient Japanese martial art based in “the art of yielding.” The combatants use special “moves” to turn an opponent’s energy back on them.

But here, I’m using the term psychologically, where the opponent isn’t a person we’re fighting. The true “opponent” to be overcome is a negative, lower level of consciousness in each of us that blames the other for the punishing pattern we’re both caught up in. 

To apply “relationship jiu-jitsu,” at least one of us must see we’re about to mindlessly repeat some old pattern that has no winner. So, instead of acting from the negative energy we feel – having seen the futility of throwing it at the other person who will only throw it back at us – we do something completely new: rather than try to “prove” we’re right, we use the moment to discover something about ourselves that will not only help transform us, but maybe the other person as well! 

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Beyond Suffering: An Ah-Ha Moment!

Allyson and Jonathan are sitting in front of me at a 5-Day Intensive. Married for 2 years, they have lost the passion and fun they once had, and they cannot understand why.

As I sit with them and experience what I call their relationship system, I see that what Jonathan does when he feels lonely around Allyson is to abandon himself by getting hard and judgmental or by shutting down. I see that what Allyson does when she feels lonely around Jonathan is to abandon herself by disconnecting from herself, leaving her heart and going up into her head. I see that Allyson’s disconnection makes Jonathan feel lonely, and Jonathan’s judgment and withdrawal crush Allyson.

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Start Seeing What You “Give” to Others

Every moment is the right moment to start seeing ourselves as we are... regardless of whoever may be our “partner” of the moment.

Maybe it’s the person in that long line with us, complaining about how slowly things are moving. There’s no better time to practice seeing yourself than when some part of you can’t wait to “pounce” on the impatience of someone else. How about being stuck behind a driver on the freeway who won’t speed up or get out of the way?

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The Power of Love

Love is one of those words that gets used a lot but has so many different meanings. Love is a feeling, a sentiment, a behavior, an action, a way of being, and often the thing that has the capacity to heal almost every situation.

I don’t believe there is a shortage of love in the world, in fact I believe that just as there is more than enough air and water for all of us, there is an abundance of love. When we choose to consciously tap into the vast pool of love and share it with our world and the world around us, life is a better, safer, happier place for us all.

Here are wise words from a sermon by Rev. Michael Curry:
“The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.
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Are You Feeling Stuck in Your Relationship?

I’m the money chick, which leads a lot of people to ask, “Julie… why do you talk about so many of these others topics? Relationships? Work life? Health?”

The answer is actually very simple: success in all these areas has to do with how we are authentically showing up in the world, and money is actually the result of you aligning with your heart and your soul—aligning in your relationship, your work, your health, and so much more. Without alignment in all these areas, money doesn’t follow, and if it does follow, it may not stick and stay either.

So today we’re going to focus a bit on relationships because if you are not happy in your relationships, then going to affect many aspects of your life in a negative way.

Taking Responsibility
Many people get mad at me for saying this, but here’s the hard truth: you created exactly the life you have and you made choices to get to the place you’re in right now. I get that life happens and some things are out of your control, but you being in the relationship you’re in (or not in) is you’re choosing.

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Love What’s Real

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 shaky ground. I didn’t understand why my parents and many kids reacted the ways they did, with worry or anger that was unrelated to what was actually happening. It felt shaky inside me, too, and I 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 liked an orderly universe in which you could figure out why the spaceship was falling and save it.

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The Imaginal Cells of Love

In biology there is a term called imaginal cells and it explains how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.

The metamorphosis begins when the caterpillar hunkers down on a perch and forms a chrysalis. It then dissolves and decomposes into a cosmic ooze.

During this process imaginal cells, which have been ling quietly inside the DNA of the caterpillar, spring to life, igniting new form and structure until a tipping point is hit and the caterpillar emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

For those of you seeking to find love, keep love, or be love, you can create more love in your life by awakening your own imaginal cells of love. The process is easy.

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A New Way to End Your Problems With “Problem People”

We often have a negative response to people who act thoughtlessly toward us. To our usual way of thinking, it just seems natural. But what we don’t realize is that it is the exact same kind of thoughtlessness within us that produces our response.

In other words, our own hostile reactions take no thought for anything outside of what they call into account for their suddenly heated existence -- so that the only awareness we possess in these times is that low level of cognizance that possesses us, making us feel "entitled" to attack back! And with our own aching heart or pounding thoughts providing the fuel, we lash out! After all, it is our "right" to set the record straight.

But in these moments, if we could learn to step back from ourselves -- to see and to be aware of ourselves as being but a cog in an ever-turning wheel of hurting and being hurt -- there would follow a great and liberating self-revelation. We would see, clearly, that before we rise up and attempt to hurt someone who has hurt us, it is we who hold this hurt first. And if we realize the dynamic exposed here -- how one hurt always gives rise to another one -- then we should also be able to see that each of us is always the first to hold this unwanted pain.

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This Is What People Will Remember About You

You love so much.

You love everybody so much and that’s why you get frustrated, and why you get angry. What you are beginning to realize is that no matter how much you love yourself, you can’t make other people love themselves. 

At some point you have to recognize that every soul is on it’s own perfect journey and you have to allow everyone in your life, regardless of the relationship, to have their own journey. You don’t need to be the lifeguard in everybody’s life or micromanage and control every single person in your experience because you are afraid. Instead, how about you just begin to tell the truth: I love you and I am scared. 

“I love you and I am scared”

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Electricity of Touch


Kennedy shares with us the electricity of touch, that which we knew even before the heart begins to beat. We came from the heart - our energetic heart. Listen as she tells the story of two twin baby girls and the electricity of touch.  
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Let Love Resolve Your Differences (and You Both Win!)

Have you ever been drawn into a fight with a loved one where by the time you got knee-deep into who's “right” and who's “wrong” over the most trivial thing it felt as if, somehow, your very life depended on the outcome of that fight?

We’ve all had moments like this, perhaps too many times; which is why it seems strange that we’ve yet to see the following: there's no such thing as a “winning” side in any fight between two people who love one another, anymore than one seat proved itself better than another on the deck of the Titanic.

This isn't to say that there aren’t, and won't always be differences in opinion between our partner and us; this is natural; needed, actually. There will always be some differences between us that aren’t a question of which of us is right – or wrong – as the case may be; rather there may come times when a disagreement might be over the best course to take for the well-being of a child, or over some other shared concern...where we see a different path than does our partner in order to reach an outcome that both of us agree is for the good of all.

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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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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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