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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Spiritual Hope

Spiritual hope opens us to possibility and energizes us to manifest our potential for love and wisdom. In contrast to attachment or egoic hope, which is the grasping for what will benefit a separate self, spiritual hope arises from trust in the openhearted awareness (bodhichitta) that is always and already within us. This talk explores how, as individuals and as a society, we can nourish spiritual hope, and create the grounds for healing and radical transformation.

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness.”  

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
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You Are Enough – Harmony

“Harmony is authenticity. It is the essential nature of everything.”

When you feel dissonance, that is an invitation to return to harmony. Dissonance is a vibrational experience that is egoically based. Harmony and peace are vibrational experiences that exist on the level of the soul. When you are at peace, you are aligned with the soul. Everything else is ego.

Your Essential Self, pure Being, is what harmonizes life. It is the foundation that stabilizes everything else. It is always there, but so often obscured and forgotten. When it’s consciously present, consciously remembered and experienced, then you have restored wholeness and connection.

Harmony arises when you reconnect with, remember, and realize the bigger part of you that was forgotten and hidden. This is the ultimate alignment: the role with the Essential Self. This is the restoration of oneness. You are more than your thoughts and feelings and body. You are more than your created self. You are universal consciousness.

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Meeting Racism, Homophobia and Close-Mindedness With Love and Compassion

Hate, negativity, close-mindedness — none of this is new. Being heavily tattooed with big holes in my earlobes, a skateboarder and a fan of punk/hardcore music since my teenage years has left me all too familiar with judgmental people, especially growing up in a small town before these things started to become somewhat socially acceptable.

Disapproving looks, comments under the breath, or, in some cases, blatantly to my face, have been commonplace throughout my life and have led me time and again to contemplate why people feel the need, or, that they have the right to cast judgments and write someone off based solely on outer appearances or personal lifestyle choices.

There’s really no simple answer. Each person is a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances that has led them to become the person that they are today. One thing I’ve learned about myself however, and my own judgments (because yes, I too am human and have no shortage of them), is that they’re almost always rooted in fear.

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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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An Invitation to Outgrow Your Limitations

Have you ever noticed how the more negative you get, the more difficult everything about your life becomes, including being able to do the simplest things? It’s like suddenly sinking into dark molasses, where not only can’t you move, but everything you don’t want seems stuck to you! 
 

To the spiritually uninitiated, it feels as if you’ve been dropped into a river of resistance but, in truth, you are being pulled into it by a lower level of self that wants you to look at whatever challenges you in life as an adversary. Its attempt at deception—to negatively alter your perception—is the only power it has to keep you from seeing unwanted moments as they are in reality: an invitation from the Divine to outgrow your present limitations. Regardless of the nature of the trial set before you, it asks, “Would you like to live in a larger world—one without fear? Do you want to be less worried or angry and more at peace with yourself?”

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Spiritual Unrest

By Anjie Hosley, The Spiritual Doula penned from Writefully So

These are unprecedented times in which we are living. During this pandemic of COVID-19, people around the world are getting to witness systemic racism, oppression, and killings that have plagued people of Color for centuries, and I find myself in a state of spiritual unrest.

I live, move, and have my being in two very unique worlds which I toggle between like multiple tabs on my internet browser. I grew up in Metaphysics believing that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. I wholeheartedly believe in the interdependency of Oneness. I’ve been taught all my life that I am a spiritual being, living in a spiritual world, governed by spiritual laws that is having a human experience. I am also a Black woman who has been discriminated against and called “angry” for my passion and “aggressive” for my persistence. Nevertheless, I describe myself as Love and Law. My mother used to advise me to be like water…gentle enough to nourish you and strong enough to wear down the toughest of surfaces. Her advice and charge for me was to learn how to be a gentle, refreshing mist and when to be a tsunami.

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Your Are Enough – Enter The Heart

“Your heart is also what allows you to embrace the deepest, darkest parts of your created self and bring them into resolution.”

The result of acceptance and vibrational transformation is not that you become a doormat. It is not an excuse to do nothing about your situation, whether it is an abusive relationship, a job that is unsupportive, or a dear family member who is taking advantage of your good heart and pocket book. Quite the opposite, vibrational transformation sets the stage for empowered, inspired, dynamic action.

These deepest, darkest parts of yourself are usually found cloaked in the guises of your sub-personalities. Sub-personalities are egoic adaptations that help you navigate the world—­coping mechanisms that protect you from feeling your perceived lack of worth and lovability.

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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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If You Want to Change, Start from the Ground Up

By Deepak Chopra, MD and Anoop Kumar, MD

When people seek personal change in their lives, they often don’t get very far. Even in this day when online advice is bewilderingly abundant and self-improvement books are at our fingertips, change eludes us. One way to remedy this is to start from the ground up. Normally, we feel compelled to start where we are right now, and that’s a tremendous problem.

No matter how different people are, each of us woke up this morning to the same situation. We are constantly involved in thinking, feeling, and doing. No one starts this activity afresh. Instead, we are heavily invested in habits, beliefs, opinions, hopes, dreams, and fears collected from the past. So our thinking, feeling, and doing is entangled with the past even when we want something new, better, fresh, and different.

You can’t always use will power or desire to cut the ties that bind you to the past, but you can do something that will lessen the influence of the past: You can start to see yourself clearly. With that one intention, you are starting from the ground up, because seeing yourself clearly happens here and now.  You detach yourself from your story, which is the accumulation of your past. You take a fresh look at what is generating all this thinking, feeling, and doing. The process has to have an origin, a source, a wellspring that sets the active mind going every minute of the day.

Normally, if we try to see ourselves clearly, we are actually looking through a lens. We filter and arrange our experiences. Some experiences we reject, ignore, judge against, or censor. Other experiences we encourage, value, appreciate, and allow to enter our minds. The lens you choose is critical, yet people often don’t realize they have a choice. It doesn’t strike them in the first place that they see themselves—and everything around them—through a lens.

The lens you see through can also be called your mindset, worldview, or simply your state of awareness. Your perspective, on life, family, relationships, work stem from it.  Things become confusing because we are caught up in the conflicting stories, explanations, and belief systems that everyone gets exposed to. This confusion can be sorted out once you start to see yourself clearly. Cutting through all the clutter, you discover that you actually know what’s going on. Deep inside, you are fully aware already.

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It’s a Vital Time to Feed Your Soul

Now that we’re staying at home, it’s getting harder to find peace and contentment.  I believe, above all right now, it’s most important to continually feed our souls.

When the outside world becomes so stressful that your anxiety starts to overwhelm you, stop and ask yourself: “When was the last time I checked in with myself?” You’ve got to learn to pull back from the stresses and strains of our current situation and make time to seek out that inner place of silence, calmness and peace.

Meditation can do all that! It can also positively affect your health, which I call the extra benefit.  For instance, the sense of relaxation and calmness that results from meditating can enhance your immune system, as well as reduce your blood pressure. Additionally, it can increase your physical energy as well as your overall well-being.

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The 3-Minute Quick Meditation Guide

I want to teach you a simple 3-minute meditation that will help you quiet your mind and become more centered and present in the moment – no matter what is happening in the world around you.

Despite meditation being such a powerful and important success tool, a lot of people are wary about meditation. They’re either skeptical of the benefits or they worry that it might go against their own personal religious beliefs. 

The reality is, anyone will benefit from meditation if practiced regularly—both in their mental and physical well-being.

Getting Started With 3×3 Mediation

Meditation, while it can be used with a spiritual intent, is simply a matter of learning how to quiet the constant “monkey-chatter” in your mind and allow you to consciously think better thoughts. 

My friend Dina Proctor encourages people to try what she calls 3×3 meditation, which is doing a 3-minute meditation three times a day. 

Most people, when they start to meditate have difficulty sitting for longer than three minutes at a time. When you begin the 3-minute meditation it can be hard to just meditate.

A 3×3 meditation is simply breathing and being with whatever thoughts you’re having for 3 minutes at a time, 3 times a day.

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Drenched in Holiness

These times of chaos, turmoil, and massive uncertainty require faith and a deepening with our relationship with the Divine. Spending time in prayer, meditation, poetry, being in nature, having gratitude for all that is, cuddling with loved ones and pets…all will infuse the field with love and healing.

My beautiful late sister, Debbie Ford, wrote a prayer book, Your Holiness, and below is one of my favorites.

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Beditation and the 7 Skills of Harmony 

Have you ever had a light bulb moment when a fresh new idea came to you? My favorite time of day for Aha! moments is first thing in the morning, laying in bed, calm and supported. Resting in a receptive atmosphere, observing my thoughts, feelings and sensations without resistance or judgement.

The first three skills of Harmony are,
1. Feel your heartbeat
2. Breathe
3. Rest into calm

This is what I call a Harmony Refresh. It is the foundation of everything I do in the Heartful Harmony System. This creates a fertile environment for every heart desire.

The Harmony Refresh skill is easy to learn. For a free pdf guide and more information Click Here

THE FOURTH SKILL OF HARMONY is the first of four power boosts to amplify the effects of a Harmony Refresh.
I have simplified decades of meditation practice into the Seven Skills of Harmony.

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Broken Open and Broken

It is impossible to know why some of us are broken open while some of us are just broken. If we knew how to invoke the difference, we could change the course of history. Even within one life, we can experience transformative moments of being broken open and, at other times, we just suffer being broken. More than staying in the unanswerable tangle of why some of us grow while some of us stay stuck, it is more important to move from one to the other. When broken open, we grow. When just broken, we endure. And the crucial calling of all relationship is to inhabit what we learn from being broken open to help us endure those times when we are just broken. Essential to the practice of compassion is that, when broken open, we find a way to help those who are broken, and to be humble enough when broken to ask for the help of those who are broken open. In this ongoing way, the light of kindness fills the hole of every pain. We must resist the trial of fairness and the comparison of suffering and devote ourselves to completing each other as we tumble through time.

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Transform Pandemic Panic With These 7 Mindfulness Tips

Negative thought patterns we experience in life can occur for countless reasons — and let’s be real: the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic can be straight-up panic inducing sometimes! But we don’t have to just suffer through this upsetting mental state. Mindfulness is a wonderful tool that allows us to tap into a calmer way of thinking and feeling. It is the opposite of rumination, and we can call on it anytime we need to shift out of unhelpful thought patterns.

Here are seven mindfulness tips you can use right now, today, to transform your thoughts and create more peace and calm in your life — even when life feels chaotic.

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How to relax with all that's going on!

If you want to become more aware of your inner guidance system, you must first learn to relax your body as well as your mind. When your physical state is one of calmness, your mind will become still, and clarity will follow. You’re probably saying: “But John, how can I relax with all that’s going on in the world right now?” My best advice: Meditate!

I know, you’ve heard me say this before, but it’s worth repeating since meditation will help you feel calmer and more balanced during this pandemic.

So, here’s the deal. I want to challenge you to meditate every day, even if it’s for only 5 minutes. You’ll feel more capable of dealing with being stuck in your house and handling your anxiety. Plus, it will ultimately build your immune system and alleviate some of these tensions you’re holding inside your body. Once that stress is released, some associated minor ailments may disappear as well.

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How can we use our emotions positively on our spiritual path?


How can we use our emotions positively on our spiritual path?

We can start by looking at the practice of what is called devotional yoga, or Bhakti Yoga, as it’s called in Hinduism. For example, if your relationship is to Christ, you could take a picture of Jesus and then think about all the qualities of his life, of his compassion, of his beauty of being, and the ways that he reminded people about God. You could look at that being and allow your own emotional responses to bubble up.

These emotional responses are relational; they are warm, human responses of love, of caring, of tenderness. Then if you stay with that picture of Jesus and keep being with Jesus, you will go beyond those emotions into a deeper way of being with him – of just being with him in the present sense.

And that presence includes more and more of the essence of love. But you go through that doorway by using your emotional heart as a vehicle to getting into that deeper way of being with God. That’s one way.

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Creating a Home Retreat: Finding Freedom Wherever You Are

When a widespread difficulty like the coronavirus pandemic grows, it becomes important to draw on our inner strength. It is the time to pause, reflect and bring wisdom, courage and care to ourselves and those around us. We human beings have survived for a thousand generations, helping one another and inspiring each other. We know how to do this. Instead of getting caught in collective fear and anxiety, we can remember to take a breath, center ourselves, and take practical precautions and protections, but calmly and in the spirit of love. Each of us can contribute to the well-being of ourselves, our communities and our world.

As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh explains:

When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.

Let us practice together in these difficult days so we can be that person.

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Your Are Enough -Acceptance

Acceptance allows energy to flow and supports the natural unfolding of life at a higher vibration, to a more evolved state and an expanded understanding.

To some of you, this kind of total acceptance sounds preposterous. Perhaps you are suffering in a loveless marriage, battling a chronic illness, enduring the daily torture of a soulless job, or drowning in debt with no viable opportunities for escape. Finding harmony within the limitations (internal or external) of your current frame-work can sound far-­fetched. But from the standpoint of vibrational transformation, the reason you remain where you are is that you are in resistance to your reality.

Generally, I’ve found that resistance manifests itself in people in two ways: attachment and aversion. Attachment is grasping at things and circumstances you believe will make you happy and end your suffering. Aversion is pushing away everything and everyone you believe is creating your unhappiness and suffering.

How do you escape from this utterly exhausting see-saw of physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual ups and downs? Through the restoration of your connection to your Essential Self.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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