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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Sacred Warrior: PRESENCE

Ernest Holmes was a Sacred Warrior. He spoke what he believed, and the world benefited immensely.

While attending a well-known garden in California and viewing and experiencing all the beauty around him, he came upon a struggling little plant. Ernest went up to the grounds keeper and said, “Hi, I am Ernest Holmes, where are the people in charge?”

The young man looked somewhat puzzled as he pointed to the offices on the second floor of a large building. Ernest instructed him to get the individuals in management to come and see him. In a few minutes, a few men came walking towards Ernest in their suits and ties and Ernest said, “Hi, I am Dr. Ernest Holmes and I would like to know what you are doing about this little plant?” The men looked somewhat baffled, but suddenly located a water hose and some fertilizer and began to take care of the little plant.

When the efforts were completed and the men had left, Ernest went over to the little plant and knelt down. He said, “I told you I would take care of you, didn’t I?”

The power of life is everywhere and in everything like plants and all living creatures. Ernest knew the intelligence of life is all around us, and as a Sacred Warrior he changed people and circumstances at depth. A Sacred Warrior is called to service in day-to-day life. More often than not the Sacred Warrior is willing to speak what very few are willing to say.

The Sacred Warrior possesses a willingness to honor the deep connection to the Divine, while at the same time no longer driven by an energy or desire to fit in with what is the norm or maintain the status quo.

This article is an excerpt from my new book: Being A Difference Maker: A Guide For Living Life Out Loud. 

Loving Life,

 

Stillness of the Heart and Soul

The nonstop noise of the external world often keeps us from experiencing the quiet at the core of our being. There, a timeless eternal presence without sound or language awaits us, a connection to something greater than our individual, seemingly short lives. Outer distractions, both audio and visual, continuously surround us from our TVs, laptops, and cell phones and prevent a deeper relationship to all of life. Traffic sounds, machinery, and loud voices in nonstop conversation interrupt our peace of mind, even if we don’t consciously recognize the dissonance. Yet, something within each of us does know something is amiss and longs for an absence of sound within which we can feel calmer, more centered. How do we get there?

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60 Seconds to Mindfulness Meditation

Most of us wish we had more time in the day for the things that make us feel healthier and happier. It can be challenging to figure out where to squeeze in these things that we treat as “extras” — as wants more than needs. Consider this your official invitation to move anything that makes your experience of life better (aka self-care!) into the “needs” column. And while you ponder how to make that work globally in your life, I have an incredibly simple way for you to get started.

If you have 60 seconds, you have time to squeeze a mindfulness meditation into your day. Practicing mindfulness helps us go through our days with more calm, grounded energy and less reactivity when things get chaotic. It’s a beautiful, simple practice, and here’s the great thing: You can do this anytime, anywhere. 

Being out in nature might be most relaxing — and I highly recommend you make time in your life for that on a regular basis — but you can also do a mindfulness meditation at your desk in the middle of your workday, in traffic on the highway, or while making yourself dinner, just for example. 

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Easiest Path to Daily Mindfulness Practice? Add It to Your Morning Routine

We all lead busy lives, even in a pandemic (or for some, especially in a pandemic!). So when it comes to wellness practices we want to add to our lives, it can sometimes feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to add one more thing. Well, I’ve got some good news: Adding mindfulness to your day is much easier than you might imagine. It’s as simple as adding it to your morning routine.

5 Ways to Bring Mindfulness to Your Morning Routine

Mindfulness is a simple, accessible practice that can help you stay calm and grounded throughout the day. The more you practice, the easier it gets to tap into mindfulness instead of reactivity when things get stressful. Here are five ways to build mindfulness into your morning routine without skipping a beat.

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Maxed Out and Exhausted? It Could Be Empathy Fatigue

Caretakers the world over are all too familiar with feelings of being stretched too thin from time to time as they nurture, support, and protect those they care for. Many others, though, are experiencing similar feelings for the first time during the pandemic. Whether you’ve been stuck at home caring for children 24/7, caring for an elderly or disabled loved one, or even “caretaking” your colleagues and your business as we all navigate this unusual time, you may have hit a wall of empathy fatigue.

What Is Empathy Fatigue?

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Mindfulness Practice: Opening Up To The Possible!

Your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs create the landscape in your mind that you call “here.” The challenging element is that it’s not fixed. Even while you inhabit it, it is changing based on your perception. 

Your inner landscape reflects your feelings and the thoughts that are connected to them. 

Two people can encounter the same situation and have completely different reactions based on their own history and stories. For instance, one person sees a picture of the Eiffel Tower and feels excitement and romance because it’s where their partner proposed. Another sees the same picture and feels sick to their stomach because it reminds them of the trip to France that led to a romantic breakup. Same photo, two very different responses rooted in their own individual experiences. 

The ground beneath you, the atmosphere around you, and the energy within you can all shift in an instant as you react to what you perceive as happening in your life. 

Past or Present? It’s Hard to Tell…

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The Superpower of Mindful Witnessing

The capacity to witness what is happening inside us with a non-judging attention allows us to respond to life from our full intelligence and heart. This talk looks at the role of witnessing in spiritual practice, and how we can cultivate this superpower in a way that reveals the light or spirit that lives through all beings.

“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and falling. And I do.”

Mary Oliver

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Small Lift

Our job while here is threefold. First, like a mountain that is steadfast in meeting the elements, we are called to face the wear of time, so we can reflect and endure the truth revealed. Some say this is doing nothing. If so, it is a noble nothing that in time reveals everything.

Second, like a river that is relentless in how it carves its path to the sea, we are called to bring what is true into the world. Some say this is our vigilance for justice. If so, this is a noble doing that in time honors everything.

And third, like a tireless seeker who finds God in the smallest pebble, we are called to care for everything in our way. Some say this is impossible. If so, this is the noblest errand of all—to go nowhere like a mountain and everywhere like a river until we turn nothing into everything with the small lift that some call love.

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Hang Out in the Present Moment

I had to laugh when I saw a cartoon some months ago. (If you haven’t seen it, I shared it on my Facebook page: It showed three booths at a Spiritual Fair. One of the booths offered “Past-Life Reading” and another touted “Future Telling.” Both booths had crowds of people in line clamoring to get their turn.

The middle booth, however, had no customers whatsoever. The sign above it read: “Meditation” and the lonely person manning this booth kept desperately trying to wave people over, saying “Present Moment anyone?”

How true is this? We yearn to discover more about how our past has shaped us and we can’t wait to find out what’s in store for our future. But for right now, we’re more inclined to shake our heads and say: “Uh-uh. No thanks. I’ll pass.”

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Bless

Wishing well?

The Practice:
Bless.

Why?

Lately, I’ve been wondering what would be on my personal list of top five practices (all tied for first place). You might ask yourself the same question, knowing that you can cluster related practices under a single umbrella, your list may differ from mine, and your practices may change over time.

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Only the Present Mind Is Without Fear

In stressful times many more people feel fear than in normal times. What this means is that an ability to be fearless becomes more essential than in normal times. How is that accomplished? Being fearful is a skill you can master. It doesn’t require any of the things society falls back on. You don’t have to be tougher, stronger, more of a man (if you happen to be a male) or call upon a strong man for help (if you happen to be female).

In reality you only have to be present, because in the present there is no fear. At first this sounds wrong, because when you experience worry and anxiety, the most common types of fear, they hit you here and now. But here and now isn’t the same as the Present. Here and now describes clock time. If you are waiting for a bus and it is five minutes late, once it arrives, it is here now. The present moment, however, has nothing to do with clock time. The present is a state of mind, and in fact is the most natural state of mind, the state your mind wants to be in.

One of the key concepts in my new book, Total Meditation, is that the mind will return to the present effortlessly if given a chance. Even though “living in the present” has become a popular phrase, most people still approach it as a kind of spiritual challenge that requires them to intensely focus to make sure they stay mindful and present. This is the mental equivalent of balancing a penny on the end of your finger. The penny naturally wants to topple over unless you exert an effort to keep it balanced.

The active mind can feel like that. When fear and anxiety are roaming the mind. Balance seems difficult. In reality it’s not. Fear, despite its unique power, is just another mental distraction. Distractions can also be pleasant, as we all know watching a movie, and the active mind finds them very useful, because when you are distracted, you get a vacation from the endless stream of thoughts and feelings that the active mind must deal with.

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Mindfulness as Self-Care: 5 Soothing Tips

Ups and downs are a natural part of life, but the roller coaster of emotional realities we’ve been riding lately calls for us to pay special attention to our well-being. If you don’t have a self-care routine in place, or you’re looking to refine or refresh the one you’ve got, allow me to recommend the simple yet powerful practice of mindfulness.

Mindfulness can help us offer ourselves some much-needed love, compassion, and peace of mind as we continue to navigate the realities of the ongoing pandemic. Here are five ways you can use mindfulness to comfort yourself, even amidst chaos.

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A One-Minute Lesson In Higher Consciousness

Although meditation has become widely popular, higher consciousness baffles and intimidates people. It seems like a faraway exotic attainment, and perhaps more myth that reality. But higher consciousness is just a convenient catch-all for expanded awareness. Reaching any higher state depends on a simple, very basic axiom: You cannot change what you are not aware of. Grasping this statement takes only a minute, but the point is critically important.

To be aware is also called being mindful. It is very desirable to be mindful. It keeps you in the present moment. It involves being alert and open to new experiences. Mindfulness is detached: you are open to the present moment but are not attached to any outcome that you either desire or fear.

Yet mindfulness has a built-in catch. How do you remind yourself to be mindful when you have drifted away from the present moment? Mindfulness is the very state you are not in. Telling someone to be mindful is like saying “Don’t forget to remember.” Fortunately, you can get past the catch. It involves the simple act of noticing. Your mind is designed to notice things all the time and sending the signal to you.

When you notice a friend in the crowd or something appetizing on a restaurant menu or an attractive stranger, what actually happens? You flick a switch and start to pay attention. The thing you notice is selected from lots of other things you are not noticing. When you see a friend in the crowd, you ignore the other people all around.

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Are We Here Yet?

Like small children, those of us on a spiritual path sometimes want to tug on the sleeve of those walking nearby and ask, “Are we there yet? Are we any closer to enlightenment?” Perhaps the question should be rephrased: “Are we here yet?” Because as long as we see enlightenment as a goal and oneness with God as a destination, we will be forever on the path. “There” seems to imply an ending, the achievement of an intention, the reaching of a final destination, whereas “here” is more about the present moment, right before us. “Be here now,” Ram Dass wrote. In truth, we are always living in the “here” of eternity, an infinite present in which time does not exist. The problem is we can’t recognize it because our vision is blocked by visions of “there.”

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We have within us a miraculous power

“We have within us a miraculous power, and if we live our daily lives in mindfulness, if we take steps mindfully, with love and care, we can produce the miracle and transform our world into a miraculous place to live.” — Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk, peace activist, and founder of the Plum Village Tradition


Mindfulness. Presence. Omniscient Wisdom.

These are always right at our fingertips—right here, right now—if only we decide to  claim our rightful inheritance as Divine Co-creators with God.

Many have. And many more are with each passing moment because we are in the time of the Great Awakening. Can you feel it?

We here at Humanity’s Team live and breathe this conscious awareness every day as we come together in collaboration to communicate and share the message of Love, Connection, and Oneness with the world.

We’ve accepted the invitation  to live this way, to bridge any previous gaps between workday and home life, and to share with others, who are receptive to the message, the inevitable grace and ease that come with conscious awareness.

What does this feel like?

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Do It Yourself Harmony 

EVERYTHING IS A GIFT. We only need to appreciate what we have, to have enough.

The Gift of who you are is a precious gift of Life. The gift of life is unmerited, undeserved, unearned and generous beyond measure. We do not earn our breath; it is a gift.

HEARTFULNESS is a process to restore our natural state of harmony, creating a lifestyle of being who you are and becoming more of all you are.

Heartfulness and Mindfulness are both aspects of Awarefulness. Meditation in a pure sense is being with the source of Life.

The experience of harmony is personal. You have to do it yourself. The awareness of Harmony is always available as life expressing as us.

"Giving love to someone is like trying to give them a breath, when they can only breathe for themselves. You can breathe with others but you cannot breathe for them." Will Hale 2-11-15

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Spirituality: Learn To Make Yourself Available to Life

The beautiful thing is that if you ask ten different people what spirituality means to them, you’re likely to get ten different answers, which makes it clear that spirituality truly is a highly individualized process and experience. Nobody owns it—not Buddhists or Hindus, Christians or Muslims, atheists or Jews. The abridged definition I most often use is simply: waking up. Spirituality is an interior journey, one that takes us beneath the surface of who and what we think we are and guides each of us home to our truest Self.

Spirituality emerges and grows from our individual experience of Spirit. I encourage you to become your own spiritual scientist. Be curious and, with an open heart and mind, explore what does—and does not—resonate for you on the spiritual path.

Hey, I love to zone out and watch The Walking Dead as much as the next guy, but once that hour of zombierific goodness is over, it’s over, and then what?

There are, of course, some pitfalls that can come with this path of direct connection. Here are two things to be aware of: when turning to your heart’s guidance, watch out for any hidden, self-serving, or distorting motives; and don’t allow your spiritual path to become one that is focused only on yourself and does not serve others in some way.

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How to Calm Your Mind and Soul

I know that many of you may have misconceptions about meditation. This word alone conjures up images of a guru chanting from the top of a mountain or a monk sitting in a sacred temple, surrounded by incense smoke floating in the air. Some people believe that meditation is as simple as closing one’s eyes and going into a trance, or at the most basic level, that you only need to let your mind go totally blank to be able to enter a meditative state.

During these uncertain times when many of us are having trouble sleeping as our minds race over the current headlines, let’s take a closer look at this ancient method of stillness and guidance of the soul.

Meditation is merely a state of being, in which your active mind slows down. It can bring you to a place where you can actually silence your mental chatter, and in doing so, become increasingly aware of the subtle, shifting energies within you. It may seem impossible, but you can actually train yourself to watch your thoughts come into your mind and go right out again, much like flowing water. Soon these same thoughts will lose their power to influence your conscious mind.

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Two Keys For More Powerful Meditation

I like to make two important distinctions for the intention of meditation.

Transcendent forms of mediation are designed to return us to Oneness. The Heartful Harmony system emphasizes body awareness and the experience of oneness in the Unity of many forms.

The Seven Skills of Harmony is a simplified system of Heart centered meditation distilled from decades of practice. The intention of this heart focused meditation is a complete experience in Harmony. In being aware of your heartbeat and breath, you can live in the Source of your Being.

THE SEVEN SKILLS OF HARMONY

1. FEEL YOUR HEARTBEAT
2. Be aware of your breath
3. Rest into calm
4. Posture and Beditation
5. Full Breath
6. Refined Breath
7. Rhythmic Breath

CAN YOU FEEL YOUR HEARTBEAT? Try it right now.
Your heart is an untapped super power. Breath is life giving and our heart is life living.

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6 Tips for Using Mindfulness to Navigate Grief

The world is struggling under the weight of grief right now; there’s no denying it. With the renewed fight to end racial injustice and the lingering realities of the coronavirus pandemic and all its implications, we all have a lot on our emotional plates.  

As of this writing, around 119,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States alone, and numbers continue to rise. People are grieving loved ones lost to the pandemic, lives destroyed by racial violence, and dreams crushed by cancelled graduations and weddings. Grief takes many forms, and it happens when we are in mourning for someone or something lost to us that has a huge impact on our lives.

If you are grieving, you are not alone — and you don’t need to suffer in silence. Mindfulness is a gentle and effective tool any of us can use to lessen the weight of grief as we navigate it. Give yourself a little present, right here and now, and try one or more of these mindfulness tips. As the saying goes: pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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