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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And The Answer Is . . .

"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always."  -Unknown

I've Been Thinking...


One of my favorite quotes speaks to the importance of being kind to everyone, since everyone is fighting some kind of battle whether we know it or not.


I thought a lot about that this week because it felt like every conversation I had with others was about some personal struggle. One of my oldest and closest friends quietly told me that she finally called her doctor and asked for medication to help manage her depression, anxiety, and insomnia, which have gotten the best of her during this lockdown. Another friend told me that he was relieved to finally attend a small in-person AA meeting. In that gathering, he said several people spoke about the increased rate of suicide during lockdown and how challenging it’s been for all of them to stay sober during this isolating time.


Another friend spoke to me this week about the exact same thing and asked me why the media isn’t covering the devastating mental health toll of Covid-19. The impact of unemployment. The loss of health care. The rise in suicide, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The loss of human connection.


“Maria these are Covid collateral stories,” my friend said to me. “You must shine a light on all of this.”

“Agreed,” I said.


So, here are some stats I want to shine a light on: A new study from Everytown for Gun Safety finds that the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 could cause about 20 more lives lost per day by suicide, this year alone. According to Census Bureau data, a third of Americans are feeling severe anxiety right now and a quarter of Americans are showing signs of depression. And a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of 56% of adults. Think about those sobering statistics.

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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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Spark Your Inner-Child Joy

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." -Pablo Picasso

I've Been Thinking...

The news is exhausting, isn't it? We are inundated with information that's often confusing and conflicting. We are inundated with "breaking" news, stories of surges and spikes, overcrowded hospitals and looming threats of another potential lockdown. It's a lot.
 

That's why I've taken to removing myself from the chaos, as best I can. I’m doing it for my own mental health. These days, I read some news in the morning, and then again at the end of the day. But never before bed. I’ve reserved that time for Kevin Costner and his hit TV show "Yellowstone!"

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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.

The 4 Keys For Asking What You Want

“Create a way where you can be a true contribution in the lives of the people that you are asking from.”

The Universe is giving to you in every moment. Air is giving you life. Nature is giving you beauty. The sun is giving you light and warmth. So be bold and dare to ask for what you want, rather than silently suffering, thinking those around you should be psychic and know what you need. In this episode, I’ll share about the power of asking for what you want and the amazing gift in how to receive it.

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How to Transition Your Emotional Triggers

While still very much an extrovert, I’m an observer by nature, and recently I have been watching the emotional triggers I see happening around me. I get that not one ounce of what’s happening right now is fun or funny, but here’s what’s important: we have to start moving into a place of empowerment despite the circumstances.

We can do this by continuing to dig in and find what is healing and nurturing to ourselves. Understanding your emotional triggers are hugely important if you want to live a life of alignment and real wealth.

Understanding Emotional Triggers

I wrote my first book, The Emotion Behind Money, because I was noticing that the things happening around money really had nothing to do with money itself. It had way more to do with the emotions behind our money. This massive discovery became part of my message, ultimately leading me down this rabbit hole now 15 years later where I have really started to pay attention to the emotional side of money… and people’s emotional triggers.

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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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Our Task Right Now Is Love

When the shelter-in-place and quarantine mandates were implemented due to the COVID pandemic, I began offering Free BodyAwake Yoga sessions online to help people stabilize and ground the energies present during this uncertain and challenging time. Cooking

Recently this past week, as turbulent energies and upheaval are spreading across the United States, I’m even more dedicated to offering this sacred practice at a time when it’s needed more than ever.

In yoga, one often hears the phrase “Namaste” spoken at the beginning or end of each class. Namaste is a traditional Indian greeting, meaning, “The Divine Light in me recognizes and honors the Divine Light in you.” The term literally translates to “I bow to you.”

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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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Now more than ever, Be A Pleasure Puppy

I don’t know about you but lately it seems that everyone I know is totally stressed out – not just from their own lives but from the “frequency in the field.”

From the racial tensions and the horrific killing of African American men, women and children, to Covid-19 and the global pandemic, along with the economy and money worries, most of us are stressed to the max.

Even if you are safe, and your life is peachy right now, chances are you are picking up on the energies of those around you.

It’s almost unavoidable.

This is why I am such a big advocate for all of us to become daily “pleasure puppies” and find ways each day to consciously choose to reduce our stress levels and add more pleasure.

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Your Best Friend

Today I thought we would talk about how to listen to your body and how to pay attention to what your body is saying. Or maybe the other side of that is … how to know that your body is saying something because you are not paying attention.

Have you had experiences where you know your body is trying to get a point across … and maybe you’re not listening very well, or maybe it just keeps getting just a little bit worse and a little bit worse and a little bit worse?

30 years ago, I read a book that kind of turned my mind around on the separateness between our bodies and our spirits. It was called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.  She talked about how all these different physical manifestations meant something on an emotional level … and that you could discover what the emotional level was … and if you worked through those things, then the physical manifestations would be released out of the body.

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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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Know You’re a Good Person

Who are you, deep down?

The Practice:
Know you’re a good person.

Why?

For many of us, perhaps the hardest thing of all is to believe that “I am a good person.” We can climb mountains, work hard, acquire many skills, act ethically – but truly feel that one is good deep down? Nah!

We end up not feeling like a good person in a number of ways. For example, I once knew a little girl who’d been displaced by her baby brother and fended off and scolded by her mother who was worn down and busy caring for an infant. This girl was angry at her brother and parents, plus lost and disheartened and feeling cast out and unloved. She’d been watching cartoons in which the soldiers of an evil queen attacked innocent villagers, and one day she said sadly, “Mommy, I feel like a bad soldier.”

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Your Are Enough – The Shift

“When you can meet yourself without expectation and just relax into who you are here and now, others are freed to do the same thing.”

When was the last time you got lost in a good book? Or baked an apple pie “for no reason” and then savored each hot sweet bite? Or spent time in nature … Or sat down at the piano … Or played racquetball … Or consciously did whatever it is that makes you feel a sense of connection and pleasure?

In all likelihood, you were not conditioned to make your well-­being a priority, to extend love and respect to yourself. You may have learned to give all your love and kindness to others, making their happiness the barometer of how worthy you were of that same love and kindness.

Love is not about having, needing, controlling, achieving, or getting something. It is about the direct experience of the Essential Self. When you access that internal reservoir, it can extend outward to others with simplicity, compassion, and warmth.

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Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Once there was only one ball, and it hypnotized us. It seemed to cause our joy and pain and our pleasure and misery. It seemed to cause everything, and everything depended upon it. That ball was the world.

Now another ball has appeared, and it has become the new star of the show. The show is human evolution. This new ball is our interior experiences. Previously we did not pay attention to them until they became too painful to ignore, for example, our rage, jealousy, or grief. We never thought about them in the context of our evolution. On the contrary, they hindered our ability to evolve – to manipulate and control ball one (the world). Now ball two (our interior experiences) is more important to our evolution than ball one!

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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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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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