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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Myths That Keep Us Feeling Sorry For Narcissists

Narcissists are chameleons with the ability to appear to be just what you want and need, at least for the initial whirlwind part of the relationship. However, once they have established the relationship, the dynamics change rapidly, with the narcissist utilizing a variety of tactics and manipulations to keep you close. The relationship stops being about creating a partnership and becomes a focus on keeping them happy and their needs fulfilled.

The tactics that narcissists use in this process are easily recognized by those outside the relationship. They may also be evident to the partner, but the myths around narcissism can make it extremely difficult to leave.

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Learning To Trust After A Toxic Relationship

A toxic relationship is an unhealthy relationship. These relationships typically include feelings of being unloved, unwanted, misunderstood, unsupported, belittled, or even attacked. While most people consider a toxic relationship emotional and psychological abuse, there can also be issues with physical abuse and domestic violence.

It is possible to find yourself in a toxic relationship and not really understanding how things got to that point. Often the toxic person is very good at hiding their abusive behavior at the beginning of the relationship. If the person is a narcissist, it can be difficult to understand the constant swings from overwhelming and grandiose acts of passion and love to absolute disdain and anger. The result is that you are constantly kept guessing what will happen next and doing everything you can to avoid the hostility and toxicity.

Signs of a Toxic Relationship

A few of the signs you are in a toxic relationship include:

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Self Love is NOT a Pre-Requisite to Soulmate Love

Self-love seems to be the hot topic in the personal growth movement these days and when it comes to finding soulmate love, there are a lot of myths that until you fully love yourself first, you won’t be able to get anyone else to love you. Is this really true?

My experience has been that most women (at least in the Northern hemisphere) live with a negative, critical voice in their heads that is often filled with ugly, shaming thoughts, self- doubt, and brings with it feelings of never being “good enough.”

And, I began to wonder, do you really have to eliminate that persistent voice in order to find true love?

Do we really need to be 100% in love with ourselves to experience Big Love?

No.

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Remember Your Self Worth

As an adult, it’s easy to slip into a few bad habits – especially as we get older. Routinely eliminating “me” time is one of them, as is not making regular trips to the dentist or putting your health on the back-burner. But there’s one thing that we all do that puts quite a strain on our lives: compare ourselves to others.

You’ve been there. Your friend’s husband gets a big promotion, and their entire life is “upgraded” as a result. Maybe your sister moves into a bigger home in a nicer neighborhood. Or your neighbor joins a gym and loses 20 pounds. All of these are great things for the people in your life. So why do you feel so…discouraged? That one’s easy.

When you compare yourself to others, you are creating an environment rife for resentment and sadness. You are no longer grateful for what’s happening in your life and can only focus on where you are lacking. Eventually, those feelings graduate from the material shortcomings you start out with; eventually, you start to belittle who you are as a person.

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Are You a Liar?

Are you a liar?

I believe most of us are. (Hey, we are all human, no judgement here.)

And the biggest lies we tell are to ourselves.

We lie to ourselves in small ways and big.

For instance, perhaps you do some or all of these:

You want to be healthy and yet you consistently blow off exercising and eat things you know are not good for you.

You want to nourish your mind with loving thoughts and yet you make up stories about how you are not good enough, loveable enough, or whatever and you let those stories keep you stuck.

You are in a relationship with a narcissist or someone who clearly exhibits bad behavior and you stick around hoping they will change. (They won’t)

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Is Your Heart Closed off to Love?

Do you or someone you know have trouble giving or receiving love, trusting others, or forming deep and satisfying relationships? These are signs of a widely prevalent but little understood condition known as a Heart-Wall®.

When you experience a traumatic childhood, a bad breakup, a divorce, the death of a partner, abuse, severe injury, or any dreadful event, the emotional pain of the experience can cause you to feel defensive and to wall off your heart. A Heart-Wall may prevent you from giving and receiving love, block you from trusting others and forming new relationships, and leave you feeling perpetually lonely and isolated.

Heart-Walls are made up of the energy of Trapped Emotions from difficult experiences. Most people have multiple unresolved and unprocessed emotions that lay trapped one over another, all covering their heart creating a Heart-Wall. Trapped Emotions such as these are commonly referred to as emotional baggage.

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How To Stop Being An Over-Giver

We’ve been taught in our culture that to give is better than to receive.

This can lead to being an over-giver. When you’re an over-giver and don’t allow yourself to receive, you also rob others of the gift of giving to you.

Giving and receiving are actually two sides of the same coin. So how do you stop being an over-giver if you are one? I share some thoughts in my new video.

Is Your Early Trauma Picking Your Partners?

Most people have had at least one bad relationship in their life. For most individuals, this bad relationship was a blip on the radar, with the experience chalked up to a lesson learned.

However, there are also people who find themselves in the same toxic relationship over and over again. The partner may look different on the surface. Still, his behaviors, abusive ways, or emotional unavailability are exactly the same as the partners before.
Why do some people bounce back after a toxic relationship and move on to a healthy relationship while others are destined to repeat the same negative relationship cycle? The surprising answer is that this behavior may be directly related to early trauma in your childhood years.

The Legacy of Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma is more common than most people assume. For example, in a 2017 study by Grant Sara and Julia Lappin published in The Lancet Public Health Journal, one in four adults reported they were physically abused as kids, and one in eight reported sexual abuse.  As stated in my book, Love Smacked: How to Stop the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency to Find Everlasting Love . “When we hold on to unresolved pain from childhood, especially trauma and abandonment, these wounds reemerge in adult relationships as toxic shame.”
Other types of childhood trauma can include:

•  Loss of a parent – the death of a close family member or a significant person in a child’s life can create trauma if the child is not allowed to grieve or does not receive the care and attention required to work through the grief.

• Multiple homes – children that are moved from home to home either within a family or through the foster care system are often traumatized as they have no place of comfort or belonging.

• Bullying and fear – this can be bullying from siblings, parents, or even within a community. This can be a single significant event or chronic types of fearful situations without the parental support and care needed for the child.

• Abandonment – children that are abandoned with friends, relatives, strangers, or even the other parent can be traumatized very early in life.
   
• Addicted parents – children that live in homes where they must take care of siblings and even their parents are often traumatized as they feel overwhelmed and helpless.

Attachment Styles and Choosing Partners 

Children that experience trauma early in life develop an anxious attachment style, which is sometimes called an anxious-preoccupied attachment style. These people are extremely fearful of being on their own as they obtain their validation and reason in life from being with someone else. Although they believe they need their partner for their identity, they often feel the partner does not care enough.

Signs of an anxious or anxious preoccupied attachment style include:
   
•  Extreme desire to please – these individuals will do anything to win the approval of their emotionally distant partners. This may include staying in physical abuse and toxic relationships.
      
• Clingy – the need to be physically close to the partner. This can initially seem attractive to some partners, but it quickly becomes overwhelming and smothering.
     
• Constant communication – in today’s always plugged-in world, this can include constant calling, texting, posting on social media, and even electronically tracking their partner.
       
• Constant reassurances – there is a constant need for reassurance the relationship is fine. This can become a constant in the relationship.

• Jumping into relationships – anxious attachment styles have short dating periods and then immediately into a serious and significant relationship.

These types of individuals attract people who need attention. The narcissist is the prime example of an individual who seeks out a person with an anxious attachment style as they crave the need for attention.

Tips Identifying Toxic Relationships 

It can be difficult to identify the signs of a toxic relationship if your childhood trauma has made it difficult to see the red flags in the relationship. Here are some tips you can use to determine if you are in a relationship with a toxic partner:

• Constant arguments – despite all you do to try to please the other person, it is never enough. You are always blamed for any difficulties or negativity.
   
• Jealousy – despite ignoring you or being emotionally distant, your partner may be very jealous of your relationships with others.
   
• Emotionally exhausted – taking responsibility for the happiness of another person while ignoring your own wellbeing is emotionally draining.

• Inability to end the relationship – if you believe you have to be in the relationship for your own happiness, despite being unhappy, and cannot break off the relationship, you may be in a toxic situation.

Working with a therapist or counselor with experience in healing from childhood trauma is perhaps the best way to identify the problem and begin the healing process.  You can also consider joining my online group coaching program Wake Up Recovery where you will receive support from me, as well as those like minded souls who have been where you have been.

The Vast Difference Between Aloneness and Loneliness

Often, when I ask my clients what they feel, it’s obvious to me that they are confused between loneliness and aloneness.
 

Aloneness

Aloneness is an inner feeling of being all alone in the universe, and feeling empty inside. Aloneness indicates that there is a lack of love inside. But, contrary to what most people assume, it’s not another’s love that’s missing – it’s your love that’s missing.

The feelings of aloneness and emptiness are the result of emotional self-abandonment – of ignoring your feelings, judging yourself, using addictions to numb your feelings, and of making others responsible for you feeling loved, safe, and worthy. When you emotionally reject and abandon yourself, your feeling self – your inner child – feels alone and empty inside. When you emotionally abandon yourself, your heart closes and you can’t feel the love and comfort of your higher guidance, which leads to feeling alone in the universe. This is a very sad way to live, yet this is how many people live. 

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Stop Trying to Overpower What Disturbs You

It isn’t this world that threatens or disturbs us. We are dominated by our own thoughts and feelings. We are taken over by our own reactions. This is painful for us because our original nature, our True Self, longs to be free and unencumbered by self-limiting, self-defeating, compulsive thoughts and feelings.


The problem is, at our present level, we believe that another person or event is causing our unhappy feelings. We want power over them in the hope that it will give us power over our punishing feelings. Can you see that this approach to self-command is doomed from its ill-conceived beginning?


So where do we look for the power we need to be happy?

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What Do You Do When You Have A Broken Heart?

Most individuals believe that people or circumstances cause their emotional pain. They say, for example, “He broke my heart.” They make themselves victims. Creating authentic power shows you that you are not a victim. You discover that your emotions are created by dynamics inside you. When you focus outside yourself, these dynamics remain intact to be activated again. Each time, they generate the same or similar emotions in you.

You have experienced these painful emotions in other places and times with other people. The individual you believe is causing them now is actually the latest in a series of individuals who have activated this dynamic in you before. When you focus on the activator, you miss what got activated.
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How To Love Your Body

Your body is beautiful just because you have a body.

No other reason needed.

It is a living work of art. A masterpiece and magical expression of the Divine.

But how often do we really appreciate and love our bodies?

We have been conditioned and brainwashed by the media to believe that “You are not enough as you are”.

This is a lie.

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The 3 Love Blocks and How To Shift

Love is what you are. It's your essence. It's not something that you need to get.”


How have you been limiting your love? At our very essence, we are love. Love is not limited. And when you are committed and dedicated to loving fully in your life, you can move through anything. Listen to this episode and learn how to overcome your love blocks to enable you to love more authentically without blocks or barriers and propel you to the next level of your life.

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Do You See Your Essence and The Essences of Your Children?

One of the things I loved doing as a child was making creative things for my parents. I would spend hours designing and building wonderful cards with little poems in them, and make special pieces of jewelry for my mother. The only problem was that, while my mother would receive her gift graciously, she never received it with her heart. She would smile and tell me how lovely it was, but I never felt her love coming back to me. My mother did not know how to open her heart, how to smile at me with love and cherishing in her eyes. My father would never even notice his gift.

I wanted to connect with my parents, to share love with them, to know their hearts, but their hearts were hidden. Sadly, my mother died at the age of 86 without ever being able to share her heart with me. My father died at 92 and his heart was always closed.

Your children need to feel your heart and soul. They need you to take the time to stop what you are doing and just be with them. They need you to really see them – to see who they are beneath their outward ways of being.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to see their essence, their true Self, the individual expression of Spirit within them. When children are deeply seen and valued by their parents, they learn to see and value themselves. All children need this profound mirroring from their parents to feel intrinsically lovable and worthy.

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How To Radically Accept Yourself

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be truly free of your past? To accept and love yourself fully and not see your life through the lens of your baggage?

This is the liberation that’s possible with radical acceptance. 

Radical acceptance means taking life on life’s terms. Surrendering to what it is without judgment – the good and the bad – and taking responsibility for the parts we need to work on. When you look at yourself and your life with this kind of honesty, you’ll experience true freedom and you’ll find the path to self-acceptance and deep self-love. 

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3 Signs That You Might Have Imposter Syndrome

How to Erase Self Doubt and Embrace Your True Greatness

You may have never heard of the term “imposter syndrome” before, but chances are, you or someone you know has suffered or is currently suffering from this debilitating psychological phenomenon. 

According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, about 70% of all people will experience symptoms of imposter syndrome at some point in their lives.

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The Easiest Way To Transform Relationships Into A Loving Piece Of Your Life Story

Our life experience can be easier then many of us imagine. Much of humanity has chosen to believe, even embrace, stories of pain and grief instead of love and joy. This is a betrayal of our true compassionate nature. I’m going to share the easiest way to transform relationships into a loving piece of your story.

Recently I was enjoying conversation with a Vedic astrologer from India. I asked him about possible challenges leaving his home country and family. San Jay shared he focuses only on how he feels now. He is able to speak with his family by phone and walks by their side energetically. He has removed the past challenge from the possibilities in his life and enjoys his everyday experience that includes an energetic closeness with his family.

In my own life I decided to reconnect with my brother that died of suicide years ago. I needed to let go of the grief and confusion I held in my heart and mind. I had been holding onto my brother’s life story, not reaching for his soul’s energy. I touched the uncomfortable and complicated thoughts and called his spirit to me. I did this in several meditations.

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Pandemic Parenting 101: Don’t Forget to Prioritize Your Own Wellness

It has been a long road through this pandemic reality, and even with some very promising corners turned, we are not through it yet. Many parents have been navigating these strange days simply by doing all they can to keep their children’s lives on track — even if that means neglecting their own well-being. If that sounds familiar, this article is for you. Your wellness matters, and putting yourself last all the time isn’t ultimately doing anyone any favors.

We all want our kids to be happy. We want them to thrive, and we want to protect them from undue strife or struggle any way we can. But here’s the thing: If we all lived by that saying, “You’re only as happy as your least happy child,” we’d doom ourselves to a lifetime of limited joy. Until we take our happiness into our own hands and unhook it from our kids, we won’t experience the grounded sense of peace and joyfulness we crave with any consistency.

4 Ways to Set Your Happiness Free with Mindfulness

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How To Forgive

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~Maya Angelou


Forgiveness IS one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, but how do we genuinely get there?

Many people believe that if they just decide to forgive someone, they have actually forgiven them, only to discover anger or resentment emerging over and over. So how to forgive?

Alyce wrote me the following question:

“Dr. Paul, How do I sincerely forgive my soon-to-be ex-husband of 32 years for infidelity committed prior to him even asking me for a divorce? I feel angry, hurt and jealous that he would give another woman the affection that he denied me. I know I must forgive him in order for me to heal and move on, but how to forgive?”

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Let's Get Angry

“Anger is often an exuberant expression. It is the force that injects energy, intensity, and urgency into battles that must be intense and urgent if they are to be won.”
 —Rebecca Traister

I've Been Thinking...

A couple of years ago, I did a story for TODAY on author Lisa Taddeo and her best-selling book Three Women. The book was an instant best-seller and launched a nationwide conversation about women and desire. In fact, it’s fair to say that it blew the lid off a topic that was once taboo.

Now Lisa is back with a new book called Animal. This time she is writing about another taboo subject: women and anger. I, for one, couldn’t be happier to be jumping into this conversation because it’s one that needs to be had! That’s right. Women and anger deserve their own conversation, and we need permission to have it out in the open without fear of judgment or outrage.

Just like women want and need to talk about desire, we also want and need to talk about anger (or at least I do). I don’t say that just because there is a lot to be angry about these days (an assault on voting rights, a continued debate on who gets to decide what we can or cannot do with women’s bodies, gun reform, and a lack of support for child care, elder care, and family leave—to name a few). There is a lot to be angry about that’s never really been spoken about: a woman’s role in the church, women’s fight for equal pay, and the status (or lack thereof) of women around the world.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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