Messages That Are Heaven Scent!

There are many different types of symbols and messages that those in Spirit can send us. One of the more common ways our loved ones can communicate with us is through our sense of smell. Scents have an amazing power to vividly bring back memories that we may have long forgotten. When we smell a freshly baked apple pie, it may bring up loving memories of a grandmother, or the smell of the ocean could conjure up memories of happy days spent on your dad’s boat.

Stop and think for a minute right now what scents bring back special memories for you. Mine would have to be the aroma of my mom’s Italian cooking, which brings back memories of Mom giving us samples as she cooked.

All too often, these signs are quite subtle. For example, if your dad used to smoke cigars in his lifetime and one day for no reason, you smell cigar smoke, don’t be alarmed. Obviously, check that there’s no one in the house actually smoking a cigar. If not, then it might be your dad’s way of saying, “I just wanted to let you know that I’m here with you.”

Continue reading

Are Human Beings the Ultimate Creator?

It’s rare to find someone with an optimistic view of humanity’s future. The prevailing mood globally is dark, and yet David Deutsch, a far-seeing British physicist, argues that humans are responsible for everything new—we are the ultimate creators in the cosmos.

I was excited to view his April 2019 TED talk headlined “After billions of years of monotony, the universe is waking up” By monotony Deutsch means the mechanistic processes that have been in place ever since stars and galaxies began to form, and by waking up, he means us. We are a unique source of creative novelty in the universe, so far as we know.

To support this very original idea, Deutsch points out that humans have told themselves a story for centuries that is mistaken. We have seen ourselves caught in the middle of struggle between cosmic good and evil, which was expressed in religious terms for a long time but has been updated by science into the struggle between order (the good side of the war) and chaos (the destructive side of the war, and therefore bad).

Continue reading

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Releasing the Divine

There are two beautiful notions that speak to our innate yearning to release and be released by the Divine. What I mean by the Divine is the inherent quality of Spirit that informs everything in life.

One notion that speaks to the uncovering of the Divine is Michelangelo’s sense that the statue is already in the stone and that rather than create the statue, our task is to figure out a way to release it. The legendary sculptor would carve away the excess marble to reveal the statue already waiting in the block of uncut stone, as if he were freeing a prisoner from a deep sleep. Giorgio Vasari, the biographer of so many Renaissance artists, compared Michelangelo’s sculpting process to someone pulling a beautiful form from underwater. The form is complete but out of view until lifted into the world.

Continue reading

Discover the Real Cause of Discontentment

Imagine a man lost in a series of deep and dark caverns. He anxiously shouts out "Hello!" and then strains to listen for a response. A heartbeat passes and in the distance he hears "Hello, hello." His spirits surge and off he races in the direction of the caller. He doesn't understand it is only an echo. He doesn't know he is following the sound of his own voice -- a voice that is taking him deeper and deeper into the caves and further away from any real help that could deliver him back into the sunlight.


In an illustration like this it is easy for us to see that the man lost in the cave didn't know he was listening to himself. If he had known differently he wouldn't have trusted or followed the sound of his own voice echoing back at him. His mistake was assuming that the voice he was hearing belonged to someone else who wasn't lost like he was.

Continue reading

Have Compassion

Do You Care?

The Practice:
Have compassion.

Why?

Compassion is essentially the wish that beings not suffer – from subtle physical and emotional discomfort to agony and anguish – combined with feelings of sympathetic concern.

You could have compassion for an individual (a friend in the hospital, a co-worker passed over for a promotion), groups of people (victims of crime, those displaced by a hurricane, refugee children), animals (your pet, livestock heading for the slaughterhouse), and yourself.

Continue reading

Ram Dass Partners with Google Empathy Lab

“Don’t get lost in the details. Let your awareness go free.” – Ram Dass

I was lucky to attend an advanced screening of Becoming Nobody, the new documentary about Ram Dass, presented by Love Serve Remember Foundation and Google Empathy Lab. I’d like to share some quick thoughts on the movie, and also the really exciting partnership between Ram Dass and Google Empathy Lab, with the mission to ensure our most essential human values are designed into the future — shaping technology into an enlivening, soul-nourishing, human-flourishing force for good. 

Continue reading

The Spirit In Our Stories

First, I want to thank everyone who commented on last week’s blog. It meant so much to me to receive your kindness as I shared about my father in law’s crossing. It hasn’t been an easy week and so I’m grateful to know you care.

In my video this week you’ll see Marc and me took time out from all the grief, and hard work to have some fun. We went goat shmurgling!! (SHMURGLE Definition; snuggle, smooch, hug, cuddle ANY animal but particularly and with emphasis—a Nigerian Dwarf Goat.) I had the best time walking with a herd of goats, then enjoying some canoodling and kissing and getting head-butted by them. I love the significance of the spirit of this special animal. 

When I was 8 years old, my family lived in the West Indies on an island near Antigua called Dominica and there was a disabled woodcarver that lived and worked near us who also had a few goats. I would go over to play with them when I wasn’t collecting lizards. I loved the way the two babies smelled and would push their bony heads into my tummy or nuzzle my neck and bleat. My father taught me about the goat as a spirit animal—the goat represented the skill to navigate dangerous places. I thought how fitting for our times and how I wish I had included this animal in my Oracle Deck, but there wasn’t enough room for all of them! (I literally had too many, I could have created two whole decks!!)

Continue reading

Wise Investigation: Dissolving the Trance

If we are suffering, it is because we are believing something that is not true and caught in emotional reactivity. A key tool in meditation is investigation – actively inquiring into what is happening inside us. When we investigate with sincere interest and care, the light of our attention untangles difficult emotions and nourishes intimate relationships. As this light turns toward awareness itself, it reveals the radiance and emptiness of our true nature (a favorite from the archives).

How do we take these minds of ours and investigate our experience in a way that really reveals truth? …

Continue reading

Why is karma yoga an important vehicle for conscious awakening?

In the simplest sense, you could say that Karma Yoga is using your karma as a way of coming into ‘yog’, or union with God, by using the “stuff” of your life. Using it as the way in which you do work in the world, and acknowledging whether or not that work in the world is a vehicle for spiritual awakening.

In books like the Bhagavad Gita, Karma Yoga is specified as Krishna saying to Arjuna, “Do what you do, but offer the fruits of it to me” …. That’s what karma yoga is.

Continue reading

Mindfully Manifest a New Beginning

Most of you know, if you’ve been following my blogs, that we lost my husband’s father recently. If anything forces you to stay in the now, it’s this kind of loss. Everything stands still as you take stock after the shock, even before the arrangements, etc. there is this sense of being suspended in time. For me, as I have lost both my parents and now my second dad, I know it’s a precious moment that is filled with gratitude and heartbreaking love, breaking open to appreciation and reverence for all life and for the Spirit that is inherent in all things. You don’t have to lose anything to find that spot, you can enter it through mindfulness meditation and then by choosing to be aware and awake to both inner and outer conditions. 

Continue reading

How to Defeat What's Defeating You

The biggest problem facing us as individuals is that we have all been caught up in the race of looking for relief. Our time would be spent far more profitably looking for strength.

We would never tolerate a dictatorial government, so why do we put up with all of the inner-tyrants, including the chief dictator, better known as the false self? We need not. A revolt is necessary, and I can promise you that victory is assured.

However, you must revolt intelligently. Don't waste your time planning a coup in the workplace or at home. Leave your relationships alone. They are not the problem. If you want to live the ever-pleasant, ever-present life, the only regime you must overthrow is your present way of thinking.

The first step in this right rebellion to reclaim your own life is to learn what it means to think toward yourself instead of from yourself. The difference being that when you learn to think toward your thinking, this special kind of self-separation allows you to question its intelligence.

Continue reading

What is the ultimate act of compassion?

A conversation on compassion with Ram Dass & Raghu Markus

Raghu Markus: Can you talk about how we go about cultivating compassion so that we start to become more kind to ourselves and to others?

Ram Dass: We’ve lived our lives with negative images of ourselves, from childhood on, and we’ve built upon those images, and built upon them, and they became very heavy weights. These thoughts about us are a part of our ego, and they’re manifested through our roles of child or husband, wife, breadwinner, all of those roles. They’re built upon the thoughts of, “I’m not truthful” or “I’m not likable”, “I’m not good” – all of those negative images. Once you identify with your soul you start to taste the love in your true self, in your spiritual heart and it’s different than all of the loves you’ve ever had. It’s just different; it’s unconditional love.

Now you have the clarity and the vantage point of being able to see your incarnation through the perspective of the soul – it gives you a panoramic view of your incarnation. Only then can you develop compassion, first for yourself and then for others.

Continue reading

New Moon Intentions for Open-Hearted Connections

This week on Saturday we have a New Moon in the sign of Libra, which is a cosmic invitation by this moon to plant the seeds of harmony, gratitude, and goodwill in all our relationships.

I always like to look at the week just before the New Moon as the one to start considering what I need to be open to, and what wants or needs to be born within me or in my outer life. So in preparation for the New Moon in Libra, this week really is an invitation to start over, to open your heart even if it’s been bruised and its a reminder to celebrate Love (and know that LOVE truly is the answer).

Continue reading

How to Change Human Nature

Everyone is good at avoiding the elephant in the room, which refers to something everyone is aware of but cannot bring themselves to discuss. In some ways the ultimate elephant in the room is human nature. We all exhibit human nature, but we rarely discuss it for a simple reason: no one knows what to do with it.

Lions suffer no inner conflict when they prey upon the weak, but we do, or should. Mating season doesn’t send dolphins into an emotional tailspin, but human sexuality is fraught with psychological implications, and for some people these are unresolved for a lifetime. The essential problem, however, is that human nature is torn between opposites. We see ourselves as good and bad together, rational and irrational, peaceful and violent.

The divided self is a central topic in a new book I’ve written titled Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential. In it I counter the general helplessness that people feel about human nature. It’s a helplessness born of being human, quite literally. Just to exist as a human being involves an inheritance of opposites. As children we learn to curb the dark side of these opposites, but psychology hasn’t gotten much beyond Freud’s sad conclusion that civilization barely keeps a lid on our innate tendency to violence, sexual jealousy, hatred of others, and similar inherited woes.

Continue reading

The Gift of Silence: Quieting the Mind

Through all spiritual traditions, there is a valuing of silence and stillness. When the mind has quieted, it becomes possible to see into the truth of what we are. Yet quieting can turn into a battle with the process of the thinking mind. This talk explores practices that allow us to settle in a natural way, the presence which is silence itself, and the wisdom and love that flows freely when we live from that silence (a favorite from the archives).

…may we all tap into the stillness and silence of our Being. ~ Tara

…perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead in winter
and later proves to be alive.
~ Pablo Neruda

Continue reading

Learning to Connect to Inner Peace

Question: Why do some people seem to exude peace of mind while I struggle to be calm? What is the source of composure, and how can I work to develop it within myself?

Guy Finley: For better or worse, the quality and content of your life experience is determined by what you are connected to.

The next time you feel yourself becoming agitated, simply notice to what you are connected. See how simple this is, if you’ll do it.

Here you are driving down the street and you start to notice that you’re feeling depressed. Or maybe you’re feeling anxious. That’s the first step: to see yourself, to be awake to what’s going on within you. Ordinarily, the nature that feels negative, the self that embraces that stressed state, looks to itself to explain to itself why it feels like that, which does nothing but forward the process. Now you have some new information. The reason that you’re in the condition you’re in is because of what you’re connected to. Period. And what you’re connected to in that moment is nothing but some self-limiting idea you have of yourself -- an idea that’s telling you who you are, defining you based upon its incomplete perception of life. For instance, in unheard whispers it claims: “Unless so and so approves of my actions they’re worthless, which means I am too.” Or, “If I lose that account, or relationship, all will be lost”… mistaken ideas delivering wrong conclusions, unconscious conclusions which become your tragedies.

Continue reading

How can we begin to wake up in each moment?

A soul takes human birth in order to have a series of experiences through which it will awaken out of its illusion of separateness, in each moment.

The physical experience of being incarnated is the curriculum, and the purpose of the course is to awaken us from the illusion that we are the incarnation. Spiritual practices are tools to help us accomplish these goals.

You start from innocence and you return to innocence. A sage was asked, “How long have we been on this journey?” He replied, “Imagine a mountain three miles wide, three miles high, and three miles long. Once every hundred years, a bird flies over the mountain, holding a silk scarf in its beak, which it brushes across the surface of the mountain. The time it would take for the scarf to wear down the mountain is how long we’ve been doing this.”

Continue reading

When You’re in Transition Hell, Is Everything in Divine Order? Your Choice

When you don’t get things that you want, many people will tell you “Everything is in divine order,” which loosely translates into believing there is a reason, a good reason, a beautiful reason for everything– but you lame grasshopper of a tiny, baser consciousness cannot yet behold why it’s just peaches and cream perfect that you’re in how shall we say it—HELL—and struggling to claw your way through your own black swamp– while someone else nabs their dream job, spouse, and home along the sunniest coast of Spain, and, yes, bless their hearts, tweets about it.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m in pain, it’s hard to see perfection in my life.

But then, and I say this grudgingly, that would be the point of having a spiritual practice or faith.

Spirituality is all about holding a perspective that it’s hard for your ordinary mind to see.  That’s why it’s an extraordinary path.

Continue reading

Spirit Doesn’t Need a Mobile Phone

Are you tired of always rushing around? How are you handling your digitally driven life? I’ve noticed that everywhere I go, everyone has their eyes on their cell phones. We’re living in a new world where our digital devices are speeding up and maybe even taking control of our lives.

I remember the days before email, before Facebook, and even before everyone, including young children, had mobile phones. My older friends remember having to handwrite letters and drop them in a mailbox to correspond with their family and friends. Then there was the dial-up landline telephone followed by the novelty of sending a fax. Now it’s the explosion of all things digital.

The net affect of all this instant communication is that we’re always rushing. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. We’ve become more impatient, more intolerant and more about results than the journey getting there! These days, we want things done yesterday and expect things to just materialize or happen when we want them to.

I see how dependant we’ve become to our phones, especially when I’m at the movie theater. Seconds before the film starts, everyone takes one last glance before turning them off. The glow around the cinema says it all.

Continue reading

Meditation: Everything Belongs

This guided meditation awakens an embodied presence through a body scan, and invites us to rest in the breath, while allowing the different waves of sensations, feelings and sounds to come and go. When difficult experiences arise, we breathe with them, feeling them fully and mentally whispering, “this belongs,” or “this too.” By not resisting, we discover the sea of awareness that has room for all the waves.

“…Let the breath anchor you, so you have a way to stay present…”

Continue reading

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind