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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See Good Intentions

What do others want?

The Practice:
See good intentions.

Why?

Hustling through an airport, I stopped to buy some water. At the shop’s refrigerator, a man was bent over, loading bottles into it. I reached past him and pulled out one he’d put in. He looked up, stopped working, got a bottle from another shelf, and held it out to me, saying “This one is cold.” I said thanks and took the one he offered.

He didn’t know me and would never see me again. His job was stocking, not customer service. He was busy and looked tired. But he took the time to register that I’d gotten a warm bottle, and he cared enough to shift gears and get me a cold one. He wished me well.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Labor Day

I was drowning in a dream

when the storm cleared and I was

lifted to the surface. I woke to find

your hand on my heart. You’ve

always had the power to calm

what you touch. Like the baby

bluebird you held last summer.
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The Secret Key To End Suffering In All Relationships

Relationships are one of the most common sources of suffering. It can cause such joy but also confusion and pain. We often approach relationships as if our partner is someone that we own. "You're mine." We go into a relationship thinking they will solve all our problems and fill the void.

Don't place your worth on another person. Don't depend on them to have self-value. You should feel completely secure with or without them. Your partner doesn't belong to you. You serve each other and help each other fulfill their purpose but your happiness shouldn't depend on them. Love cannot exist when manipulation is present. Trying to control another person is not love.

When you can truly love the other person and yourself without conditions, you will end suffering in relationships.

John Lennon Got It All Wrong

Don’t get me wrong, I love John Lennon and I love the Beatles, but their song “All You Need is Love,” a lovely sentiment to be sure, is also far from the truth.

The wild and wonderful state of “being in love” is natures greatest trick to get us to keep the species going, but it’s no predictor of a long term, happy, satisfying relationship.

We need more than just love to make love work.

I like to call being in love “the socially acceptable form of insanity.”

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Feeling LONELY and feeling ALONE

Feeling LONELY and feeling ALONE.

Any of you felt either of those?

The conversation that I wanted to have today is around the difference between being alone and being lonely.

Being alone means that you are solitary. You are by yourself. You are isolated, you are in a solitary space. There are no people around you. 

Being lonely is a feeling of sadness or abandonment or disconnectedness.

Sometimes people use a word that does not really fit what they are trying to describe.

Alone is being by yourself.

Lonely is a feeling that you have.

You can be lonely and be at a big party. You can feel lonely when you are with somebody that you love. My point is that loneliness is the feeling and being alone is the physical-ness of being solitary.

However, you are never actually alone.

We all have angels and we all have guides that are always with us. So, we are never actually alone.

So, if you are struggling with loneliness, that is something that is a feeling versus when you are feeling alone.

And I just want to make sure you understand that distinction.

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Are You An Energy Vampire Or With An Energy Vampire?

Another phrase for ‘squid’ is ‘energy vampire.’ 
“Squid is my word for people who seem to be missing their backbones but possess myriad sucking tentacles of emotional need.” 
 —Martha Beck

When your intent is to get love, rather than to be loving to yourself and share your love with others, you are a ‘squid.’ When you are not in the moment-by-moment process of learning what is loving to yourself, and taking loving action for yourself, you are abandoning yourself and creating an empty hole within. This empty hole needs love, and you will try to get it from others in any way you can.

The Neediness Creates An Energy Pull

Others might not be fully conscious of the energy pull from you, but they will generally back off nevertheless – as your pull unconsciously feels yucky to them. Of course, you might find someone who is such a caretaker that they stay and let themselves be drained by you, but you need to know that people who allow themselves to be drained and used by you have strings attached to what they give. They have a huge expectation – expecting you to love them and fill their emptiness as well. Both of you will inevitably be very disappointed.

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You Can Be The MVP

“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get." –Tim Russert

I've Been Thinking...

Just a few months ago, I was sitting at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service in LA listening to one speaker after the other talk about Bryant’s role as a “girl dad.” My eyes welled up with tears as I listened to them reflect on how his embrace of that moniker had affected how they viewed their own daughters and roles as fathers. In the weeks after the service, it seemed like everywhere I turned, men were proudly owning that title. 

I couldn’t help but reflect on my father at that time. He, too, was a “girl dad,” but when I was growing up, being a “girl dad” wasn’t a thing.

I grew up as the only girl surrounded by brothers, and the message I often got was to be like a boy. Be as tough as a boy. Be as competitive as a boy. Be as athletic as a boy. Be as competent as a boy. The "in thing" was to be a "boy dad." 

Even though I went to an all-girls school, dads weren’t applauded the way they are today for showing up and being present in their daughters’ lives. I say this not to bemoan or complain, but to celebrate this moment and to illustrate how much things can change in one person’s lifetime. I know we have a long way to go before parenting roles are equal, but I think it’s an awesome thing for men to be encouraged in their fathering—not just for their own kids, but for so many others in need of fathers as well.

Studies show dads who are present in their child’s life make a difference. Engaged fathers produce more confident daughters. Evolved, kind fathers show their sons a new way forward. Loving, nurturing, encouraging fathers show their daughters what manhood can look like, and what to expect in a man if she chooses to be with one.

Today, I am in awe when I see fathers pushing strollers, dancing with their daughters or doing their hair, standing with their sons while they cry and telling them it’s ok. I am moved when they proudly tell others that they took paternity leave or stand up and fight for it for others. I’m so happy that we have come to this place.

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The NEW RULES of Dating

Covid 19 and the murder of George Floyd have changed our world forever.

Not just in North America but around the globe. Billions of people are experiencing these shared traumas. We literally are all in this together.

No one knows when (or if) it will be safe again to sit shoulder to shoulder at a Broadway play or a concert or attend sporting events that once had as many as 70,000 crazed fans cheering on their favorite football, baseball, hockey or soccer teams.

What we do know is that life goes on and we will find ways to adapt to a new normal.

For those of you who are single, and have been quarantined alone, wishing you had a soulmate, life partner, best friend, lover and safe place to land person to share it with, I have some good news: it’s never been easier to manifest your soulmate than right now.

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What can YOU do?

In these challenging, expanding, painful and hopeful times, what can YOU do?


If you are feeling the fear, the sadness, the pain, not knowing what to do, how to show up, what to say or not say … I hear you.

When I went within and asked Spirit to guide me … when I asked Love what it would say, this is what I received.  This is my message to me … and I thought it might be of service to you too.

Ask yourself this question:  “What Would LOVE Say/Do?”

  1. Be the Change you wish to see – no excuses. Embody it! Whatever that change is, be it.
  2. Look within your own thoughts, mind, and heart. Observe your judgments, fears, and anger. Dig into why and where they came from and do what YOU need to do to release and heal them. Get educated, own your errors, step up and help.
  3. Create Connection, Unity and Oneness. Separation and division are the absence of connection. We as Human Beings are all connected. We are one and we need to stand together and BE ONE! What hurts another, hurts the whole.
  4. Focus on the actions as despicable, unacceptable, and deplorable; not the person. We each must consider our own past behaviors and know that they don’t define who we are today. This is the same for everyone else. Give some grace and know that we, as a human race, can do better.
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How To Heal Your Relationship With Difficult Parents

Your parents may not be perfect human beings, as they too are souls on this journey of life and are here to learn lessons like you.

But what if you have the perfect parents for your soul’s growth and evolution in this lifetime?

Relationships with parents can be some of the most challenging and difficult to navigate.

Ask yourself: What are the lessons that your soul is seeking to learn with them?

They give birth to you, raise you, and impact so much of who you become.

They simply did the best that they knew how to do at that time of their lives, even though it may not have been what you wanted.

It’s highly unlikely they woke up each day thinking about how they could cause you the most suffering. Likely, they were in pain themselves.

Hurt people tend to hurt other people, and the cycle continues.

You can break the cycle and take your power back.

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You Don’t Really Know Someone Until You Have Conflict

Do you sometimes wonder if you really know the person you are dating?

People often ask me how they can know whether or not someone they are dating is really an open and caring person.

“He seems open and caring, but how can I know? My last guy seemed really open until we started living together and then he was always angry. I don’t want that to happen again,” said Kiera in a phone session.

“Have you and your boyfriend had significant conflict yet?”

“No, we’ve only been dating for two months.”

“Two months is generally not long enough to know whether or not someone is open and caring. And you can’t really know until you have a conflict and you see how he responds. You need to know if he uses anger, withdrawal, resistance, arguing, explaining, defending, compliance and so on. And, if he does these protective things, how long does it last? Some people get immediately closed, but then in half an hour or so they open and are ready to learn and resolve. Others can stay closed for days, weeks or even longer. Of course, it’s ideal when someone is immediately able to stay open to learning in conflict, but most people haven’t done the inner work to be able to do this. However, if they open sooner rather than later, then things can be worked out. But if they want to sweep things under the rug and act like nothing happened, or stay distant until you apologize, this isn’t good news.”

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Dating In The Time Of Coronavirus

Dating is an integral part of socialization for single adults of all ages. The sudden escalation and impact of coronavirus around the world have created a challenge for those who are just starting in a relationship or those who perhaps have finally made the decision to start dating again.

There are some very important issues to consider with the very real presence of the coronavirus. Experts in public health and epidemiology recommend social distancing is a key factor in not only preventing contact with the virus but also in limiting the spread of the virus throughout the population.

Social distancing is particularly crucial for those in high-risk groups or individuals living with or working with people in high-risk groups. The high-risk groups identified currently include those over 65 years of age, anyone living in a nursing home, people with chronic health issues, those immunocompromised from cancer treatments, organ transplants or other diseases, and those with pre-existing health issues related to lung disease, heart conditions, diabetes, or chronic types of illnesses.

Family members of these individuals or those who provide healthcare or daily care services for these groups need to be especially careful. The general public also has to be very aware of how their interactions with each other increase the risk of the high-risk groups being exposed to one or more people carrying the virus.

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Love and Order

“To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try." – Rosa Parks

I've Been Thinking...

It was just a few short weeks ago that I wrote that I didn’t think we were going back to “normal.

At the time, it had dawned on me that the pandemic had uprooted us in ways big and small and that those yearning to go back to the way things used to be were in for a surprise. I had no idea how uprooted we were about to get.

This past week, millions watched as America’s streets and cities erupted across the nation. Huge peaceful protests called for an end to police brutality and for overdue systemic change. For a moment, the message seemed to get drowned out by images of violence and looting, which left people deeply shocked and shaken. Elected officials called in the National Guard and imposed mandatory curfews. Meanwhile, citizens in these cities stepped in to clean up the mess. More importantly, though, citizens stepped up to show us the opportunity and the importance of this historic moment.

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How To Deal With Difficult Parents

"Your parents may not be perfect human beings, as they too are souls on this journey of life and are here to learn lessons like you.”

Relationships with parents can be challenging. Whether you have an amazing relationship or a difficult relationship with your parents, there are a few things to consider if you want to transform your relationship. In this episode, I’ll share some deep thoughts and possibly a different perspective that will help you live a life that is more joyful and meaningful for you and your relationship with your parents.

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Tending to the ‘Inner Garden’

When we moved to our home in Colorado 13 years ago, my wife Stephanie and I decided to plant a vegetable garden.


This season we’re growing arugula, cucumbers, peas, radishes, tomatoes, and mint.

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What About Love?

“How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?”
—Jonathan Larson

Your mind can’t comprehend it, and your heart can’t absorb it: Sudden death—and the fear, pain, and anger that accompany it. Yet another African American man, George Floyd, murdered by a white police officer. Hundreds of thousands of lives cut short by a virulent worldwide virus. In the U.S. and internationally, thousands protest in the streets against years and years of racism, violence, and injustice. As COVID-19 circles the globe, people lose relatives and friends, their jobs and homes; immigrants are again targeted and blamed. Grief. Anger. Is this how life is going to be from now on? It is unless we make the conscious choice to change it. It is until we see our neighbors as ourselves.

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Ways to Strengthen Marriages & Partnerships during COVID-19

Due to the pandemic, couples are finding they have more time together. Working from home, a lack of late-night meetings, a reduction in travel – all of these combined have meant more time to connect with our significant others. People who are intentional to use this time wisely are shutting off their television at night and working to create greater intimacy with their partner. Meaningful conversation, working together on projects around the house, making meals together, playing games, and having intimate romantic connection are all ways to use this time to benefit your relationship.

When children are involved there’s a secondary layer of stress added. Couples need to remember that this is a time of great stress, and that their (and their partner’s) reaction to everything is likely to be heightened.

It is not uncommon for relationships to struggle under the strain of the pandemic, the economy, general stress of life, knowing how and when to reengage in society safely, loss of jobs, homeschooling and more. However, I believe there are ways to keep relationships strong and healthy during these times. Rather than simply survive this crisis, I advise couples to use this as an opportunity to grow in deeper connection with each other.

Here are 6 tips to strengthen relationships with significant others:

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Terrapin

I saw myself swimming in a river of deep blues and greens. The shape of the water reminded me of a swimming spot in my childhood. There was a sense of freedom and anticipation surrounding me. Every moment felt familiar.

I began to notice an energy that was coming from outside my vision. This new energy allowed a connection to memories of the previous life. Eternity began to swirl through my mind. The change brought a calm that surrounded me. While loosely observing my thoughts of creation, I felt a strong presence. My vision quietly revealed who was sharing this moment with me. We communicated without words.

I began to swim to the beautiful creature that was sharing such kindness and wisdom. I reached out and touched a giant terrapin. His shell looked like it was made of earth. The message to me was one of love and patience. I rested my forehead on his cheek. Through this touch, I was able to feel our entire world and so much more. I was shown how humanity is being guided deeper through the universe’s passage to eternal wisdom. I understood I had to wait and be patient. There will be many of us discovering our true connection. We will find each other, but first we must understand our personal power. Only then can we patiently have space for others.

I knew without a doubt that the ancient creature was a teacher for the whole of humanity. The message was clear. All animals, humans, and Mother Earth are connected through the energy that flows through our souls. We are all one, we are all equal.

The wise one encouraged me to trust my instincts and recognize that healing can occur even in darkness and confusion. Instinctively, I knew the turtle was returning to a place on earth that needed his wisdom and love. Higher power comes in all forms, males, females, rocks, plants, or animals.

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Hug the Monkey

Longing for love?

The Practice:
Hug the monkey.

Why?

To simplify a complex process spanning 600 million years, your brain developed in ways that are loosely related to three major stages of vertebrate evolution:

  • Reptile – Brainstem, focused on avoiding harms
  • Mammal – Subcortex, focused on approaching rewards
  • Primate/human – Neocortex, focused on attaching to “us”

Since the brain is integrated, avoiding, approaching, and attaching are accomplished by its parts working together. Nonetheless, each of these functions is particularly served and shaped by the region of the brain that first evolved to handle it.

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How To Deal With Disagreements with Those You Love

“When you don't let your loving be dependent on the agreement of the viewpoint, you're free to keep loving"

Experiencing disagreements with those that we love is a natural part of being human. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone, but it can be a deep source of pain, especially with those you love. In this episode, I explore the possibility of seeing a new perspective, where even if you both have a different viewpoint, they can still come from the best intentions.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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