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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Discovering The Pearl From the Wounds

Rather than feeling like a victim of your wounds, you might want to embrace them as the injury necessary to produce the being that you are capable of becoming.


“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.” ~ Stephan Hoeller

I used to envy people who seemed to lead easy, uneventful lives. From day one, my life was not easy or uneventful. There seemed to be challenges at every step. Why was I so unlucky?

I no longer look at it that way. Now I’m grateful for every challenge that honed me into learning how to be a loving adult. Had I not had the injuries – the woundedness – I might never have embraced the learning path.

I meet people time and again who were never truly challenged until they lost a loved one, or got cancer or lost all their money. They are so unprepared to manage these huge life challenges, because they haven’t yet discovered the pearl – who they are in their essence – and they haven’t yet connected with their Guidance and developed their loving adult.

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Triggered by News and Social Media? Try Mindfulness

We live in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. It even leeches into our social media feeds if we’re not careful; we may crave peace-loving memes and photos of our friends’ four-legged companions, but every time we take the bait and click through to read a heartbreaking news story or the latest political fodder, the algorithm gods take note and feed us more of the same. Being tapped into the digital world can become downright overwhelming for many of us — but we don’t have to just brace ourselves and take it.

Take a moment to answer these questions for yourself:

  •  How are your physical, mental, and emotional states faring when you are constantly tethered to news and social media feeds?
  •  Do you notice yourself feeling tense or angry — not just when you see or read an upsetting news story or social media thread, but throughout the day as you’re thinking about it?

It really is tempting to stay connected to the world’s ever-evolving storylines and dramas, but if they are compromising your sense of wellness and inner peace (and they really are for many of us), it may be time to consider a change.

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Feeling Stuck? How to Get Unstuck and Move Forward

When are you? As you experience yourself in this moment, are you really present in the now?

Of course, we’re all physically here right now, but most of us don’t often truly live in the present moment. Our minds have the incredible ability to draw us back into the past and propel us into the future, all while we go about our day-to-day lives. While it can sometimes be good to relive old memories and dream about our future, living in the past or future more than the present can also keep us stuck. 

How many times have you found yourself in a repetitive cycle you just can’t seem to break? Or, what about getting caught up on a future outcome, while avoiding things you need to focus on now? We’ve all been there, myself included. So what do we do to come back to our present moment and get unstuck?

In my #1 bestselling book, The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in Your Life,  I teach you how to work with the map of your life. I lead you through a profound process to discover the inner landscapes you inhabit on your path—the unseen patterns, hidden motivations, and family legacies—and show you how to break free of whatever is holding you back from the super amazing and meaningful life that is your birthright. And, one of those things that can keep you stuck is time-wandering—living “somewhen” other than the present moment.

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Lent Unraveled in Three Steps

Did you know that Lent is a 40-day observation of fasting and feasting for millions of faithful Christians and Catholics? Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes with Easter Sunday. Typically, people give up something for Lent, such as sugar, meat, or something physical. Regardless of creed or religion, what if everyone actually tapped into the spirit of the Lenten season. I'm calling this experience… Lent Unraveled.

Think of Lent as Let’s Eliminate Negative Thinking. Decide to take 40 days to anchor yourself in a daily practice of prayer and meditation while being intentional can push your life so far forward.

A question that I often ask myself is…”But why though?” Do you want more out of life? Are you seeking a deeper more meaningful everyday experience and connection? Are you ready to create a life of abundance, love, bliss, joy, and prosperity? 

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Open Heart, Open Soul

If your heart opens completely, everything else within you also opens. Your heart becomes an expressway to your soul. And your soul is the designated navigator for this lifetime. Not your mind or your physical body. Before you were born, your soul was downloaded with the customized codes for this particular life journey. God’s cosmic plan is miniaturized within your cells. As soon as you open your heart completely, those soul codes light up and go into super-connectivity mode. Everything starts to flow seamlessly within your conscious awareness, within your physical form, and thus within your life.

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How do We Find Our Spiritual Orientation?


Each of us has a dominant theme in this incarnation.

Some of us are primarily head-tripping. Most of us lead with our hearts. We have these incredibly intricate mosaics for describing our individual differences. These differences have an interesting place in the scheme of things; are they real or false?

Part of how we define our inner work is that we learn to listen to all these individual differences. Then we can determine what our particular path is.

For each individual, there is a unique karmic predicament, and for each individual, there is a unique dharmic possibility. It’s called ‘dharma,’ meaning ‘practice’ or ‘path.’ Very rarely, you know it beforehand. Most of the time, you don’t even know of it when you are doing it. It sort of sneaks up on you, because nothing else works. By the time you understand your dharma, you’re practically finished using it, but it’s not terribly important that you know everything about where you’re at.

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Get Busy Being Still

Get Busy Being Still… and be still while you’re busy.

When you still yourself from the turbulence that the mind creates, you have an opportunity to be present, to be Here.

We have to build a sensation at the protective personality level that knows there is more to the picture. We can dissolve more and more of that protective personality each time we sit and meditate. I recommend that you do some kind of meditation every day. We can then begin to develop some mastery about staying centered, staying in the awareness of the truth and the stillness within.

In the quiet space at the core, while we look out at the world, hear the sounds and see the activities, we can insist that it happens through a filter of okay-ness:

I Am the One. I Am the One who gets to have the various parts of me come together in one synchronized reality…

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Manifest Your Feelings

Most of us have experienced moments, maybe even life times of attempting to control the future.  This might happen when we want something so badly, we view it as the only acceptable outcome.  The irony of this is, when we only allow one option, we close the door to possible better options. Often times fear creeps in and our brain will begin to tell us why we may or may not, achieve our perceived only option.  At this point the focus becomes on why it might not happen, versus  why it will happen.

Is it possible to just relax and really let the future unfold? Yes;  but there are several important pieces to consider when allowing your life to open up magically.  If you have specific goals; ask yourself why this and not something different? Make sure they are your dreams, not someone else’s.  The next piece to consider is, how will you feel when you achieve your goal?

Feelings are the most important piece in creating our future and enjoying the now.  Imagine and connect to the feelings you love.  Make them a part of your everyday life.  Let each breath hold a connection to your favorite feelings and dreams.  Each time you experience a feeling it can build and continue to grow until it fully becomes who you are.

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Embodied Presence (Part 1) – Planting our Roots in the Universe

In describing our human predicament and dis-ease, D.H. Lawrence says we are like a great tree with our roots in the air. We need to replant ourselves—in our bodies, hearts and spirit. These two talks are guides to replanting ourselves. In Part 1, we explore how we are so often dissociated from the life of our body, and the pathways home. Part 2 looks at the challenges of pain, fear and trauma, and how we can gradually and skillfully reconnect with a wholeness of being.

One of the realizations I keep coming back to is that the portal to presence is through awareness of this living body. ~ Tara

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How To Live a Divinely Inspired Life

As you begin to seek a life that is creative, passionate, and filled with inspiration, you begin to see Divine inspiration everywhere. And if you let inspiration become your guiding light, your life will become illumined with possibilities. What else is possible? I wholeheartedly believe that one of the best ways to honor the Creator of All is to be creative. It is your divine birthright to live a life of creativity, joy, and to create and be your very best version of yourself.

Here are four strategies to help you live a divinely inspired life.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Stewards of Light

The more a comet
burns away, the
brighter it gets.


As it enters the
atmosphere, more
and more of it flakes
off and burns up.


Until there is only light.


This is our journey
as a spirit in a body
over a lifetime.


As the years wear us
down and burn us up,
we grow brighter.


Until at death,
we are all light.


A Question to Walk With: Describe an aspect of who you are that has brightened over the years.
This excerpt is from my book of poems in progress, A Thirst for Simple Light.

The Power to Never Again Feel Powerless

When expectations get dashed, we don't see new possibilities unfolding; all we see is the way things should have gone. We don't see what is with all of its positive possibilities; instead we see only the negative . . . what is not. We feel powerless because we've become the captive of a mind resisting itself, an involuntary prisoner of a mind struggling to escape its own negative images. There is nothing but powerlessness in this resistance because by law whatever we resist . . . persists! 



The only way to liberate ourselves from the confines of this unconscious relationship is to develop a new awareness of what it costs us to remain in its captivity. We must ask, what kind of "power" is it to resent any moment for unfolding as it does, to wish it didn't happen? Does it change the moment in any positive way? No, it does not. Does our pain prove that our position is right? To the contrary: the more we don't want the moment, the more we lend credibility to that moment as being overpowering. This false perception then strengthens our negative sense of self, as someone being overpowered by it. 

 

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How do we optimize our connections to ourselves and to the world?



I’ve been asked many times whether this is the aquarian age and it’s all just beginning, or if this is armageddon and this is the end, and I have to admit I don’t know.

The way I’ve usually copped out in dealing with it is saying, “Whichever way it goes, my work is the same. My work is to quiet my mind and open my heart and relieve suffering wherever I find it.” That seems to be what my life is about, and it doesn’t matter which it is- it’s the beginning of everything or the end of everything – regardless, that’s still what I gotta do.

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Where is God When Disaster Strikes?

This is such a great question. If our faith is ever going to waiver, it will be when we see or experience, painfully scary and seemingly unnecessary events. Today we have plenty of examples to choose from. My answer; God is always with you and within you.

Without spending too much time on the concept of going within to connect with God; that is where you will find eternal peace.  Practice meditation and prayer.  Spend time in silence.  You will begin to experience the world differently, kinder.  You will begin to identify miracles of the smallest nature that lead you to experiencing life in a kinder and more simple world.  Simple because you become the great observer, and recognize everything as both miraculous and anticipated.

Our external world matches our internal world.  When we experience inner peace; we see glimpses of God in everything we pause to study.

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Find Your North Star

Where are you headed?

The Practice:
Find your North Star.

Why?

I did a meditation retreat (at Spirit Rock, wonderful place, including for workshops). One evening as we walked out of the hall after the last sit, I was feeling rattled and discombobulated. (One of the benefits of a retreat – though it can be uncomfortable – is that it stirs up of the sediments of your psyche, which can muddy your mental waters for a while.)

I looked up at the stars shining brightly in the cold clear night, and soon noticed the Big Dipper. My eyes followed its pointing to Polaris, the North Star, and a wave of easing came over me. The star felt steady and reassuring, something you could count on. It connected I think with a young part of me who loved the outdoors and learned to believe that as long as he could locate the North Star, he could find his way out of the tangled woods and back to safety.

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Practice the Pause that Spiritually Strengthens

The next time you feel yourself starting to become frustrated, angry or scared, do your best to confirm this vital insight: Negative emotions cannot exist without having something to blame for their punishing presence.

The clearer for yourself you can make this spiritual fact -- about the dualistic nature of spiritual weakness -- the better prepared you'll be to take your next step toward higher spiritual strength. Your discovery leads you to this totally new action. Whatever it takes, don't express that surfacing irritation by naming or blaming anything outside of you as being its cause.

Even if you have to remove yourself physically from the developing situation, then do it. Find some way to temporarily isolate yourself -- along with your smoldering emotional state. Please note: Isolate yourself along with your agitation.

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Two (free) Fun Baby Steps to More Love, Better Health

As part of my commitment to stay healthy and get healthier this year, before I get out of bed each morning I begin each day listening to my Morning Love Raising feelingization.

This 14 minute audio is focused on bringing love, light and healing to my body, mind and spirit and sets me up to have a great day.

In the past I used to start my day looking at my email on my iPad (while still in bed) and depending on what kind of emails I had gotten over night, my day could easily be energized or ruined pretty quickly.

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A Conscious Reset

There are times in life when you may feel as if you’re running backward down a dark alley that has no outlet. Kind of like a bad dream. When you finally realize you’re backing yourself into a dead end, there’s nothing to do but stop, take a deep breath, and look honestly at where you are. In fact, you are being given a precious opportunity to fully awaken and live with greater awareness. It’s what I call a conscious reset. And it’s what I’m experiencing right now.

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The Three Wishes of Every Spiritual Aspirant

Principal to all that we study is an immutable, interior law: As goes my attention, so comes my experience. What I give myself to, I get. If I give myself to something low, I get low. If I give myself to something beautiful, I get beauty. If I give myself to the Divine, I get the Divine. This law is what we must keep in mind as we gradually look at the idea of what it is that we really want from life. Not: What do I want when I get up and I see the news and I get all stirred up, or what do I want when I look at the markets and I get all worried about that, or what do I want because something has stimulated me… but what do I want when I see that all that has stimulated me has left me with nothing?" That’s a significant difference. 

What is it that I really want? A big part of a person's work --for probably many years -- is just the gradual realization of how (like the Prodigal Son) they have wandered off and squandered their resources -- meaning their time and their attention -- which is all that we really have of our own. Then it starts to get a lot simpler to give voice to a truth seeker’s three real wishes.

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Trusting Who We Are (retreat talk)

When we are suffering, we are believing something untrue – usually a limiting story about who we are. This talk explores the roots of our self-doubts, and the teachings and practices that remind us of our basic goodness – the loving awareness that is our source (given at the Fall 2019 IMCW 7-Day Silent Retreat – 2019-11-06).

Carlos Castaneda – the Don Juan books – puts this way. He says, “You talk to yourself too much. You’re not unique in that every one of us does. We maintain our world with our inner dialogue. A man or woman of knowledge is aware that the world will change completely as soon as they stop talking to themselves.”

Sri Nisargadatta says, “Love tells me I’m everything. Wisdom tells me I’m nothing. Between the two my life flows.”

I really invite you to experiment and find the way of remembering love that warms your heart because it’ll help you trust your heart and we deep down really want to trust the goodness of our hearts.

May we trust who we are.

~ Tara

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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