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Best Friend Poem always

Best Friend Poem   I still remember the first day we met  We were too shy to say much at all  It's funny to think back to that time  Because now we're having a ball! They say that true friendship is rare  An adage that I believe to be true  Genuine friendship is something that I cherish  I am so lucky to have met you. Our bond is extremely special  It is unique in it's own way 

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The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Women

The Best Vitamins and  Minerals for Women   Even though it is possible to get all of the vitamins and minerals by having a quality diet, research shows that 30% of women experience at least one type of nutrient deficiency. Another fact is that about 75% of are likely to develop a nutrient deficiency if they don’t ingest supplemental multivitamins. According to a report published by the Population Referee Bureau, the lack of vitamins and minerals in women poses serious threats to their health. For instance, it weakens women’s ability to survive childbirth, makes them vulnerable to infections, and leaves them with fewer resources when trying to recover from illnesses. In addition, post-menopausal women are less resistant to diseases such as osteoporosis if they don’t ingest enough vitamin K, vitamin D, and calcium. They are also risking to lose their vision if they don’t consume enough antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C.   HERE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT VITAMINS FOR WOMEN: 1. Antioxidant Vitamins (Vitamins A, C, and E) These powerful antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage, which is the biggest cause of aging and many diseases that affect the heart, eyes, skin and brain. Vitamin C improves immunity against colds, infections, and other illnesses, and protects the vision and skin from damage that can be caused by things such as UV light and environmental pollution. So, it is very important to consume foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin A and E work in similar ways in protecting healthy cells and stopping cell mutations. A research conducted by the National Eye Institute has showed that a diet low in these vitamins is a major risk factor for age-related macular degeneration and cataracts in older women, and can also lead to the development of skin cancer.

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Your Health Starts in Your Gut!

Your Health Starts in Your Gut! Gut-Friendly Foods You Gotta Eat Unhealthy food, preparation, processing and ingredients can negatively affect your gut. It is really important to have a healthy digestive system, as it is the one that processes everything you consume to nourish your body and spirit. If you want to keep your gut in proper shape, it is of vast importance to pay attention to everything you consume. Naturally, you have to limit or even eliminate anything that is not meant to be flushed down the GI tract, such as processed foods and fast food joints. Some of the foods below are highly recommended and you should try to consume them on a regular basis in order to have a proper functioning gut. Artichokes Due to the fact that they are rich in sulfur and classified as cruciferous vegetables, artichokes have the ability to detoxify your gut. They are also an excellent source of fiber that flushes out all the impurities along the gut and it prevents constipation. Another reason why you should consume artichokes is because they contain probiotics, compounds that feed and nourish the good bacteria in the gut. Whole Grains According to the experts, you should consume about 20-30 grams of fiber daily. However, the diet we consume these days supplies about 10 grams of fiber. The good news is that the lack of fiber can be recompensed by the consumption of whole grains, such as bulgur, quinoa, corn, whole-wheat bread, wild rice, oats, and triticale. All of these grains are abundant in fiber that cleans the 

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Why healing your emotional body is the best thing

  Why healing your emotional body is the best thing you could do for yourself…   The effect of your emotions on your body? Your physical, emotional and mental bodies are connected and interact with each other all the time. Each of these bodies are different dimension of physicality of you. Emotions can not be seen or touched like the physical body, but it has an immense impact on your physical body. Your vibrational/energy body can not be seen but it can be measured in frequency. Like when you experience Stress the body responds physically with Serotonin, or Happinesswith Endorphins. The effect of negative emotions on your vibrational/energy body causes blockages of life force energy. These chemicals have serious long term effect on the body…. Specific emotions produces specific chemicals and affect specific organs or parts of the body. The same goes for specific frequencies of emotions effect specific chakras or meridians. That is why if you have physical ailment there is a

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Eating A Plant-Based Diet

If You Think Eating A Plant-Based Diet Is Eating Salad and Broccoli All Day Then Read This It’s a question I’ve heard a million times. It has been posed to me over, and over (and over) again: “So if you don’t eat animals, what do you eat? Broccoli? Salad?” Well yeah, I do enjoy broccoli and salad from time to time, but I also eat plenty of other things. The options on a plant-based diet are literally endless and, I would argue, far more numerous and diverse than those of the typical omnivorous diet. And if you’re wondering what a plant-based diet is, I will explain. It is a diet consisting of foods derived primarily from plants; it either restricts the use of animal products or uses them in sparse moderation, and it completely exempts processed and packaged foods. Another name for a plant-based diet is a whole foods diet, and generally people who follow these diets try to stick to organic foods to ensure they are getting maximum nutrition and avoiding exposure to pesticides. If you are someone who is aware of how most conventional food is produced and no longer want to support it, but you are worried about having to sacrifice great taste, variety, and satiety, I encourage you to put that doubt and worry aside and give it a shot! You’ll be pleasantly surprised with just how many truly amazing meals can be achieved whilst eating primarily plants.   Why Choose A Plant-Based Diet? There are countless reasons why you may want to consider adopting this diet. The main 3 categories include: health, environment, and animal rights.

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7 Health Benefits of Cinnamon You Need to Know

  7 Health Benefits of Cinnamon You Need to Know   Once upon a time, cinnamon was more valuable than gold. And while these days, most of us would rather get our hands on 24 karats instead of 24 ounces – a gold bar over a brown stick – this bark-cum-spice has just as much bite as it does bark. The potential health benefits of cinnamon could be stated as nothing short of astonishing. To help us sort myth from fact, we’ve enlisted the help of several health experts to give us their two cents on one of our favorite spices. 7 Proven Health Benefits of Cinnamon 1. Cinnamon may help treat Type 2 diabetes. While it’s true that there’s no cure for Type 2 diabetes, cinnamon can be an effective tool in managing the disease. According to Lori Kenyon Farley, a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in wellness, fitness and anti-aging and one of the experts behind Project Juice, cinnamon can help manage this disease in two different ways. “It can reduce blood pressure and have a positive effect on blood markers for those with Type 2 diabetes,” she explains. Cinnamon can also reduce insulin resistance, which, Farley explains, “has been shown to lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29%, which can reduce the instance of Type 2 diabetes.” Shane Ellison, MS, a medicinal chemist and founder of the Sugar Detox, explains how exactly this works. “(Cinnamon) works directly on the muscle cells to force them to remove sugar from the bloodstream, where it is converted to energy,” he says. “It’s even shown to work better than most prescription meds.” The key is in increasing insulin sensitivity in the body, a sensitivity that, while present at birth for those without type 1 diabetes, slowly decreases as we age and consume more sugar. As a result, sugar floats around in the blood, causing diabetes and other health problems. “Cinnamon, which is completely non-toxic, repairs the receptors so they are once again responsive to insulin,” Ellison explains. “In time, sugar levels normalize due to an increase in insulin sensitivity.” Add to this the fact that cinnamon has a naturally sweet taste that is devoid of sugar, making it a great addition to foods like plain yogurt as a dessert or snack, and you’ll soon see why we suggest it as a staple for the pantries of those with Type 2 diabetes. 2. Cinnamon can lower your bad cholesterol (or LDL). Even if you do not suffer from diabetes, you may want to include cinnamon in your diet for many of the same reasons as those who do. As Carina Parikh, MScN, MSiMR, the holistic nutritionist for Kate Naumes ND Holistic Wellness in Dallas explains, the positive impact on Type 2 diabetes symptoms is due to a number of factors, notably “improving serum glucose, lowering fasting blood glucose, and reducing triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol.” These are all benefits that can help even those not suffering from diabetes, including those with hereditary cholesterol worries or problems. “(Cinnamon) also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol,” she explains. HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the body. And that’s not all. “Regular intake of cinnamon may also help to mitigate the effects of high-fat meals by slowing the increase in blood sugar post-meal,” says Parikh. This means that when cinnamon is added to your diet, the effects of occasional high-fat choices may not be quite as detrimental to your health as they would otherwise be. 3. Cinnamon has antifungal, antibacterial, and even antiviral properties. Cinnamon has been proven to fight fungal, bacterial, and viral elements in foods, thus preventing spoilage. It’s no surprise that in the Middle Ages, when food spoilage was far more frequent due to lack of refrigeration, many recipes, both sweet and savory, were flavored with the spice. But these properties of cinnamon do not extend merely to the foods cinnamon seasons. Consumers of cinnamon can benefit from these properties as well, according to our experts, who say cinnamon can be used as part of a treatment for anything from lung problems to the common cold. Denise Baron, a wellness educator and director of Ayurveda for Modern Living explains that cinnamon can help with all sorts of lung congestion issues. “It helps clear up mucus and encourages circulation,” she explains, thus lending its powers to everything from a simple seasonal cough to bronchitis, when used in tandem with other remedies.

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How to Create a Life Filled with Passion and Joy

  How to Create a Life Filled with Passion and Joy When You Don’t Know What You Want     How to Discover What You Really Want  Start by taking a closer look at what you know you don’t want. Getting clear on what you know you don’t want in your life is the key to discovering what you DO want. Really acknowledging the things that make you feel unhappy, stressed out, depressed or unfulfilled is the first step. Start by answering the following questions: What areas of my life am I unhappy in

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How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

    How Gratitude Can Change Your Life “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart   Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress. Research Shows Gratitude Heightens Quality of Life Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, were more likely to help others,

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Turning Gratitude Inside Out

  Turning Gratitude Inside Out   Discovering how to live in and with gratitude has exploded onto the personal development scene. Many of us have cultivated a deep and intimate knowledge of things for which we are grateful. This is a tremendous step towards developing a positive life. Even so, maybe its time we turned our gratitude inside out and gave it more of a real world voice. We’ve all probably come across the idea of keeping gratitude journals, using affirmations about gratitude, and so on.  Many of us work very, very hard at being grateful, at being aware of all mercies small and large. Many of us begin and end our days with written or prayerful litanies of instance after instance, person after person for which we give thanks. These are all good things, but having made a place for gratitude to live in our hearts, minds and souls, we’re then offered an opportunity. We can lose sight of the fact that all good things in our lives have specific sources. Many people do things large and small that make our dreams, wishes, and affirmations possible. It’s far too easy to treat gratitude like a spiritual coin to be put in a cosmic vending machine, with the actual process all too often taken for granted. Gratitude and Others People all around us have free will to help or ignore us; to embrace or reject our visions; to be rude or kind; to kill or cure; to love or hate; to be genuine or to manipulate; to treat us like fellow human beings or use us; to be honest or lie; to be grateful to us if we have done right by them or to hold our gifts in contempt. Everyone around us, from our partners down to the guy you literally bump into on the street has the power and the free will to choose all those things with every variation and degree in between.

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Why Gratitude Will Save Your Life

  Why Gratitude Will Save Your Life   7 Ways to Increase It Starting Today   I took a moment. I could feel my chest. My heart was racing. What’s wrong with me? It didn’t make sense. I was 27 years old, healthy, had a good job, loving parents, great friends, involved in the community, and the list keeps going.   Yet, as I lay on my bed at 2am, overwhelmed by my life, I knew something was wrong. It was as if, the world had been handed to me, and I had no soul. From a logical standpoint my life was great, but my heart showed otherwise. Why can’t I appreciate? Why do I feel this? Why do I hate my life? Is Everything Pointless? At the root of happiness, fulfillment, joy, and love is a feeling of gratitude. Its the single most important feeling a person can develop. Without it, all of our emotions collapse. You can make a million dollars, drive a fancy car, wear nice clothes, and be beautiful… But if you don’t appreciate what you have – it’s all meaningless. Gratitude is the door to the beauty that life offers. Which means, if you don’t have gratitude… The door is closed. The Question Think about your life, this moment. The fact that you have the freedom to read this post is a miracle in and of itself. By no choice of your own, you were born in a time period with near infinite access to more information than you and I could ever imagine. You click a button type in a few words, and BAM! You have the answer. Yet, with all this abundance we struggle to connect with our hearts.

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How To Remove Pesticides from Food

  How To Remove Pesticides From Non-Organically Grown Produce    What’s the difference between organically grown produce and non-organically grown produce? Well, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic farms and processors must not use any genetically modified ingredients. This means that organic farmers can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO feed, an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients, and so on. Farmers and processors must show that they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances from farm to table. In order for something to qualify as organic, it must also be free from most synthetic materials, like pesticides and antibiotics. (source)(source) Conventional food, obviously, has none of these restrictions. Food grown in this way can be genetically modified, sprayed with pesticides, and injected with antibiotics. “How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?” – Jane Goodall When it comes to pesticides specifically, organic and conventionally grown produce are miles apart. A recent study conducted by researchers from RMIT University, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that following an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide exposure in adults by 90 percent. (source) Cynthia Curl, an assistant

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How To Change Your Life For The Better

  How To Change Your Life For The Better In One Month   I want to start off by saying that I am in no way an expert on this thing we call life. I have had my fair share of ups and downs (trust me) and on this roller coaster ride they are inevitable. I have been at some pretty low points and have resorted to some pretty extreme measures in order to “help” myself or “save” myself. What I learned, after various attempts to “fix” myself, was that I had the power all along, and all I had to do to turn my life around was to be able to see that. Self-help books didn’t help, counselling didn’t help, and other “healing” techniques didn’t seem to help (for me anyways) because as I said, the only thing that was stopping me from having a good, purposeful life was myself and I needed to learn that I held the power within me. I held the power to step into who I am and trust that I had what it takes inside of me to let go of past issues and be who I am meant to be. And wow, what an incredible realization that was. I still have issues like everyone else, but these are the tools that have helped me on this journey toward living a more purposeful, connected, and meaningful life. I hope the following tools can help you as much as they’ve helped me. Week 1: Journal & Set Your Intentions 1. During this first week of your new life, try and get up half an hour earlier each day. Journal between 1-3 pages every morning, specifically doing stream of consciousness journaling and just write whatever is in your head, even “this is stupid, I’m tired, I don’t want to do this.” Whatever comes to mind, just write it down. I have found this to be extremely beneficial first thing in the morning, as having all your thoughts out of your head and onto paper clears up your mind for the rest of the day so you don’t have to waste time thinking about the same things over again. At first it may seem pointless and even monotonous, but eventually you will begin to gain insight about what is working and what isn’t working in your life.

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Choose Your Words Wisely Here is How

  Choose Your Words Wisely Here’s How They Can Shape Your Life     Can you remember words that were spoken to you at an early age that literally created your life? These are powerful words that, while they may seem hidden, are really there to be discovered if you pay attention. Words are vibrational patterns with energy just like everything else in the known universe. We know that light and sound are energetic frequencies, and that matter can also be broken down into vibrational patterns based on molecular structure. This is also true for thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and words. One single word can alter a person’s trajectory for the rest of their life. Every word has tremendous creative and destructive power, especially words we hear from authority figures. Words, especially when tied with strong emotions, can become deeply embeddedwithin us very quickly. When I was in the first grade, I had to take an admission test to see if I could get into a prestigious school. When I failed the test, my father said to me, “You are a shameful and useless being.” These words stuck with me for the next 30 years and perpetuated the creation of negative emotional patterns that would fight to keep out anything positive about the state of my intelligence.

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Mother Child Poem

  Mother Child Poem     Never Enough   Sometimes I know the words to say to give thanks for all you've done, but then they fly up and away as quickly as they come.   How could I possibly thank you enough, the one who makes me whole, the one to whom I owe my life, the forming of my soul.

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When It’s Time to Let Go

  When It’s Time to Let Go The Freedom of Accepting What Can’t Be Changed   “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” ~Helen Keller Years ago, a friend had a small party for her son’s fifth birthday. I was expecting to spend most of the party talking to the other adults. But that’s not what happened. Instead, at the insistence of my friend’s son, I spent most of the party entertaining him and the other children. Occasionally, I would escape to the living room to talk to the other adults. But before long my friend’s son would emerge from his bedroom and drag me back to play with him and the other kids. The truth is that I didn’t mind. In fact, I actually enjoyed the attention. And what happened at the birthday party has been the story of my life. Kids have always been drawn to me, and vice versa. Children draw out parts of my personality that adults rarely see: my silly side, my creative side, my playful side. I’m an expert at improvising engaging games and activities for children. And of course, I always join in the fun! And yet, despite the natural affinity that I have for children, for most of my adult life I’ve been indifferent to having my own kids. I’ve seen firsthand from family members and from friends how much responsibility children are. And the truth is that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take on that responsibility. My feelings toward having children changed as I got older and entered my forties. I realized that I really did want to start a family and that having a child was my most important goal. Unfortunately, I have reached a point where I seriously doubt that I will ever achieve my goal of having a child. My forty-seventh birthday is rapidly approaching. And my wife will soon turn thirty-nine.

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Olive Oil Plum Cake Recipe

  Recipe Olive Oil Plum Cake Plum cake made in olive oil Mmmmmm…plum cake. This glorious cake looks like something in a French pâtisserie, but is actually quite simple to make. The best part is that it’s healthy as well. Ingredients: One cup olive oil salt

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Things That Prevent You from Finding Your TrueLove

  7 Things That Prevent You from Finding Your True Love   Do you have trouble finding your true love? Are you sick and tired of loneliness but afraid to change the situation? Chances are, you allow these factors to prevent you from being happy with a person you love. Eliminating these factors from your life will help you find your true love and eventually become happy Share

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9 Signs You Are Forcing Yourself to Love Him

  9 Signs You Are Forcing Yourself to Love Him     The fear of loneliness makes many people force themselves date and marry someone they do not like. Girls give up on their dreams, feelings and desires just to be in relationships. They do not care whether he is a lazy drinker or an abuser. The only thing that matters is that they are not lonely. If you feel like you are with a wrong person, you may be forcing yourself to love him.   1. You find excuses to break plans with him   Be it a weekend gateway or a romantic dinner, you always have tons of excuses running through your head. You try to come up with the best one to stay home and watch your favorite show or spend the whole evening with your beloved pet. When you have no excuses, you force yourself to believe you are absolutely happy with him. Are you? 2. You keep convincing yourself you love him   As someone who had been dating a wrong guy for 2 years, I know how it is easy to trick yourself into thinking you love him. Every day you try to remind yourself of his best traits and every night you convince yourself you want him, and then end up crying in the bathroom and moaning about how unhappy you are. When you love someone, you do not look for reasons and good traits, you just love him the way he is.

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Does Mother Nature Know What She is Doing?

  Does Mother Nature Know What She is Doing?     Julian Spalding, Contributor Waking Times Richard Rudd In his monumental work, The Gene Keys: Unlocking the Higher Purpose Hidden in your DNA, states, “Nature knows exactly what she is doing, and we should take heart from this.” That simple statement reveals a potentially powerful insight into the mystery of our times. If Nature indeed knows what she is doing, from that flows a deeper realization of the historical trajectory in which we find ourselves. Is it possible we are the culmination of a vast experiment of a vast intelligence we can barely fathom from our limited human intelligence? Is it possible that our very disconnection from “Nature”is actually Her intent? It has often been postulated that humans are destroying our habitat because of our belief that we are separate from and superior to Nature. Yet we are in reality a part of Nature. We are not separate. May we not, then, be a part of Nature herself creating the Dream of the Planet? Is it possible that we are part of a great e

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Living an Inspired Life Every Day

  Living an Inspired Life  Every Day   “You’ve got brains in your head; you’ve got feet in yours shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss   For a lot of us, life just happens. It did to me for many years. I had a job; I paid my bills; I took an occasional vacation, went out with friends, had my favorite TV shows, and always read before falling asleep. Life was a safe habit and quite predictable. And then, as can happen, I had a single experience that changed my life. A friend had come over for dinner. We had planned to go to a club that night, but a horrible storm came on. As long as I had enough wine, we decided not to go out. So, we began to look through the cable guide for a movie to watch. One movie that came up was Pay it Forward. I had never heard of the movie but my friend had seen it several times and insisted that we watch it. Because I love Helen Hunt (As Good as It Gets) and Kevin Spacey (A Time to Kill), I agreed. While the acting was not their best, the movie hit me like a nuclear blast. I couldn’t get this movie out of my head. Such a simple theme; such a simple concept. I stewed about this concept for several days, not realizing that inspiration was creeping into my soul. I spent more time alone and began to unlock the “real” me. We all get inspired at a lot of points in our lives. We go to a conference, listen to an amazing keynote speaker and leave

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How to Make Peace with Your Past

  How to Make Peace with Your Dark Past     We all have our crosses to bear. We can all recall times in our lives when we were in dire places. Maybe we had a mental illness, maybe we were in a bad relationship, maybe we were in debt or maybe we just made a lot of unfortunate decisions that got us into big trouble. And as we’re human beings, we beat ourselves up over it. We get stuck in a pattern of trying to figure out why we did what we did, why we were so stupid, so dumb or so naive. I know this dark circle so well. For the longest time, I held on to many resentments of the past and believed that because of my eating disorder, I lost the most valuable years of my life. And while it is true that I never got to experience my youth the way other teenagers did, I came to a point, where I was able to be grateful for having developed my anorexia. That’s a bold statement to make, but it’s the only one that will enable me to live my life fully. I know that without my anorexia, I wouldn’t have survived my difficult youth and my many childhood traumas and that’s reason enough to be tremendously thankful for. Embracing your past, even if it is a really dark one, is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself. Think about it, what happens when you hold on to regret, shame and other negative feelings? It impacts your life today, makes you miserable and keeps you from moving on. It casts a dark, depressing shadow over everything you do, feel and

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Flowing with Change

  Flowing with Change     “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan W. Watts   My life has been composed of two divergent parts, almost as if I have lived two incarnations in one lifetime. The first part was a rock ‘n roll lifestyle – I had a musician husband and we spent most of our time partying and drinking and drugging. We didn’t have kids by choice, and were self-indulgent and hedonistic. We had fun but I also clearly remember feeling shame often, when I woke up, as I barely recalled events from the night before, when I over-indulged and often either blacked out or fell asleep. A horrible memory is of forgetting to pick up my sister and her new husband at the airport from their honeymoon trip to Jamaica. My worried mother kept calling, and I purposely didn’t answer the phone, letting the answering machine take over. I remember how it felt to be so counter-culture, that I wore shades at dawn, heading home after a cocaine-induced evening, while commute traffic headed the other way, normal people on their way to their jobs. My parents had divorced when I was in my teens, and I never intended to let that happen in my own marriage. Then, I ended up going back to college in my mid-30s and my husband and I got sober during that same time. I was shocked to find out that we had little in common when we were straight! Really not many similar interests at all without over-imbibing, and we both felt restless and bored, and our marriage began unraveling. So, even though I often resist change in my life, preferring the status quo, as a few more years went by, I began to realize it was time for a change. A big change! And I came to realize that even though I resisted the idea of divorce, it was inevitable if either of us were going to find more happiness and contentment in our lives. Even though

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Is It Naïve to Believe That You Can Create a Life

  Is It Naïve to Believe That You Can Create a Life You Love     A Canadian article about my decision to quit Harvard to live in the woods for a couple of months recently started spreading around the world. Versions were published in the USA, UK, Italy, and evenVietnam and the Czech Republic. Throughout its iterations the article became a bit sensationalized, but I’ve received so many supportive messages and feedback about my journey that it has warmed my heart and encouraged me to keep moving forward. Another consistent response to the article has been criticism. Some readers perceive me as a privileged white girl who took a vacation between two jobs. Others question why someone leaving a prestigious academic institution to take time off is such a hot topic. Before I get into what I learned from this experience, I think it’s important to clarify a few logistical factors. First, I made the decision to leave Harvard before knowing what I was going to do next professionally. I went to live in the woods to give myself some time to contemplate what I value and what I want my life to look like. Second, my time off was unpaid. I didn’t make a lot of money as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard, and I had to save up enough to buy myself two months off. And yes, I am privileged in the sense that I live in an environment and time period that allows me to contemplate my life, but I am no more privileged than anyone who had the time and money to read the original article or this blog. Logistical factors aside, I want to address a fundamental problem that I think underlies many of the negative responses to the articles about my work-life sabbatical. The problem is that many of us have stopped believing that it’s

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The Search for the Fountain of Youth

  The Search for the Fountain of Youth   The legendary fountain of youth is supposedly located somewhere in Florida, though some legends place it in Ethiopia or other lands. (Thinkstock)   In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below. The fountain of youth is the mythical spring that has the power to heal as well as to return youth and vitality—and according to legend, it’s located in Florida. A fountain of youth was said to exist in St. Augustine, Fla., discovered by Spanish explorer Ponce

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A Healthy Biosphere Means Healthier Humans

  A Healthy Biosphere Means Healthier Humans   Imagine if scientists came up with an inexpensive, easily administered way to decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity by 25 percent to 35 percent. It would create a sensation and, if patented, would be worth billions. But there’s already a free and simple way to achieve this: exercise. The human body evolved over millions of years, long before cars, escalators, laptops, and remote controls. It’s built to expend effort. Gas-powered vehicles enabled us to move over long distances or get somewhere quickly, but they’re bad medicine when they’re used to go two or three blocks. Our lives are easier but not necessarily healthier. It’s time we put more thought into keeping our bodies active and well, minimizing sickness.   Fitness increases your chances of staying well, but it’s not a guarantee. We still have much to learn about the ways in which genetics and environmental conditions affect health. After the first human genome survey was completed in 2003, we thought DNA sequences would reveal the secrets of disease and speed development of treatments. But despite trillions of dollars spent on research, many cancers are still unsolved and we’ve learned that only a few diseases—such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s chorea, and sickle cell anemia—are the result of only one gene.

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BELL PEPPER PIZZA BITES

BELL PEPPER PIZZA BITES Sure, you can put roasted bell peppers on a pizza. But why not make the bell peppers the bottom instead – get the edges just charred enough to give you a nice crunch and fill them up with tomato sauce and all your favorite toppings. If you tolerate dairy well, you could just use mozzarella cheese on top of these. Otherwise, go for almond cheese, or just leave the whole cheese question to the side and make the peppers with a different selection of toppings. There’s nothing really “wrong” here; go for whatever combination you like. As for the pizza sauce: if you can find a Paleo-friendly one in the grocery store, great! Otherwise, use your favorite recipe to DIY; it’s not hard at all especially if you “cheat” a little with canned tomatoes. Kids would love these as a snack, but they’d also make a surprisingly good vegetable side for a meal. Look down the ingredients list: unless you want to get really pedantic about tomatoes 

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Decorate Using the Most Elegant of Neutrals

  Shades of Grey: Decorate Using the Most Elegant of Neutrals     There’s no doubt about it; grey is the shade of the moment. Our homes, stores, restaurants, hotels and more all feature shades of grey. Decorating with grey is no passing fad. And forget about 50 shades of grey–the human eye can actually detect more than 500 different shades of grey. But why do we love grey so much? And what is the difference between ‘grey’ and ‘gray’? And just what is the best shade? Read on to learn more. British blogger, home stylist Kate

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3 Good Habits to Renew Your Love of Life

  3 Good Habits to Renew Your Love of Life (Even When Things are Tough)     Focusing on improving your morning routine, developing strategies for staying calm, and cultivatingmental toughness are all good habits worthy of your focus.

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Best Natural Makeup Removers

  Best Natural Makeup Removers Yes, You Need One!     You love your eye makeup. Not so much removing it at the end of the day? We feel you. Make the job quick and easy by using the best natural makeup removers. Okay, once in a while the slept-in eye is a good look. Every day? Nope. If a quick lather with your fave foamy cleanser is all your face is getting, leftover makeup (and the oils and possible bacteria it leaves behind) could be causing irritation, blemishes, or a dull complexion. Another problem with using a foaming cleanser as makeup remover? As you’ve likely experienced if you’ve ever used it to take off eye makeup… that stuff can sting eyes and make them red. And this not-so-fun look and feel can last long after the cleanser is rinsed off.   The best ingredients for thoroughly removing makeup are natural oils. They bind to and melt away makeup without irritation. Wash face as usual after use to cleanse and remove anyresidual oils. Following are the best natural makeup removers to get you clean and totally makeup free.

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We’re Only Guaranteed Today So Stop Waiting

  We’re Only Guaranteed Today So Stop Waiting for Tomorrow   If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don’t be afraid. Be alive.”  ~Sarah Dessen Sometimes it takes a traumatic experience to make us face our fears and start living the life we truly desire. I spent many years letting fear hold me back from pursuing my dreams. I was afraid that I would not be good enough, strong enough, or smart enough to accomplish the big goals I had for myself. I didn’t think I was special and I definitely didn’t think I deserved to be successful. The day that all changed was the day my father nearly died of a heart attack. I didn’t know it at the time and I never imagined anything good would come from that experience, but to say that day dramatically changed my life would be an understatement. That day, we were told my father had about a 1 percent chance of living and if he did, he would likely have brain damage. The weeks that followed led my family and me on an emotional roller coaster. My dad slowly improved, but his memory was lacking. It was devastating to us when he couldn’t remember the Disney vacation we just went on or that he had a seven-month-old grandson. By some miracle, my father made a full recovery and is back to his old self. It was impossible to imagine that he could ever recover from the state he was in on that very first day in the hospital. Seeing the transformation in my father over those few weeks truly opened my eyes to what is possible in this life.

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The More You Do The More Opportunities Open to You

    The More You Do The More Opportunities Open to You We’re here for such a short period of time. Live like you’re already dead, man. Have a good time. Do your best. Let it all come ripping right through you.” ~Jeff Bridges   Yesterday, a Chinese exchange student we hosted two years ago texted to let me know her mother would like to invite my family to visit them in Nanjing—and she would pay for our plane tickets and let us stay at their vacation home. Of course I told everyone I know (I mean, China! C’mon!) and they all said, “You’re so lucky!” And it’s true…we are lucky. However, there’s more to our luck than, well, luck. Receiving amazing opportunities is a function not of waiting around and wishing for good things to happen, but of going out and living life to the fullest so good things can’t help but come to you. The China trip is one example: Since 1997 we’ve hosted fourteen exchange students for periods of time lasting from one month to the whole school year. Our friends and relatives have always thought we were nuts to take on the inconvenience and expense. (No, you don’t get reimbursed for hosting.) But we consider hosting foreign exchange students to be part of our civic duty, a lot of fun, and a good learning opportunity for our

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Don’t Let Your Mind Limit or Define You

    Don’t Let Your Mind Limit or Define You   “The limit is not in the sky. The limit is the mind.”   I was having a conversation with a friend. She was telling me how maybe I should quit my writing and focus on something that wasn’t so challenging for me; that I should accept my limits and work within those boundaries. Her words made me cringe. You see, I am dyslexic and I struggled greatly to write this story down. I am probably going to read it twenty times and will still have many mistakes that need editing. My job is a daily struggle, and sometimes I break down and cry because it takes me double the time than it would take a non-dyslexic person. But here’s the thing, I’m not quitting, no matter how many times I cry, no matter how many times the editor sends my story back, or how bad I have it with dyslexia. I won’t quit. I’ve seen a man with no legs and no arms swimming in the ocean, Albert Einstein was dyslexic, The Beatles were told their music sucked, and I was told I would probably fail in university. Am I a story of success? That depends on what you think success is. In a world limited by people’s opinions, I was fortunate enough to have parents who pushed me beyond what I thought were the limits imposed by my circumstances. I was born with a heavy form of dyslexia that saw me fail over and over again math and Spanish (my

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How to Overcome Fear and Live Your Dream by Change

    How to Overcome Fear and Live Your Dream by Changing Your Brain   “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” ~Les Brown   Fear used to be the driving force in my life. I didn’t even know that I was living in fear at the time. I hid behind labels like “stress” and “anxiety,” but those are just clinical terms for fear. Truthfully, my dreams terrified me because they seemed way too big to achieve. At the time, I wanted to excel in my new career, get into the best shape of my life, and create meaningful relationships—and I felt like I had a long way to go. So naturally, I got really stressed out. And why, oh why, did it feel okay? It seems like stress is such commonplace now that we think we’re slackers if we don’t feel tense all the time. But that’s just our fear finding excuses to stick around. Once I finally realized that stress was just an option, I started looking for a way through it. And I found the answers in a simple Japanese philosophy called Kaizen, which is the practice of continuous improvement through small, consistent steps. I learned that whenever we’re scared about making change it’s because the steps we’re taking are too big, and these leaps of faith will trigger a life-saving biological response: fear. But luckily, there’s a way to turn that fear off, and it all starts with your brain, specifically your amygdala. Shut Down Your Amygdala by Asking Tiny Questions Your amygdala plays a heavy role in your fight-or-flight response, a physiological reaction to something threatening (like those big dreams of yours). When you come across a scary thought or situation, your brain will enter flight mode and your amygdala will literally stop your brain from producing new thoughts. Most artists know this as creative block, but it’s really just fear. So your big dreams aren’t the problem—your amygdala is. And you can turn your amygdala off by asking tiny questions. When I decided that I wanted to excel in my career, I didn’t start out with a question like “How can I help my company revolutionize the world?” No. That question would terrify even the most capable person. Instead, I took a step back and asked tiny questions. I thought about things like “What one benefit do I hope to deliver to our audience?” Or, “What can I do for ten minutes today that will bring me closer to completing this

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Why We Worry About What Other People Think of Us

  Why We Worry About What Other People Think of Us   When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” ~Winston Churchill   I often play a little game with myself when I’m feeling bad. The game is a simple one, and maybe one that some people might find slightly morbid, but it cuts to the heart of the matter. I ask myself if this thing that is making me feel bad will matter to me when I’m on my deathbed. Ninety-nine percent of the time the answer is no. The things that matter to us when we’re contemplating our demise are the things that are actually important like, Did I love enough? and, Did I do all of the things I wanted to do? No one on their deathbed has ever said, “Man, I really wish I hadn’t stumbled over my words during that job interview.” Or, “I wonder why no one complimented me at that party when I was twenty-two.” We spend a lot of our time worrying about things that won’t matter to us later. You might be thinking, but it matters to me now, and it does. But there are two reasons why it shouldn’t: The first is that worrying is counterproductive, and the second is that worrying about what other people think of you doesn’t serve you. Worrying is the most impractical way to use your energy. There has never been a time when worrying if so-and-so would like you, give you the job, or want to be your partner in life contributed to you getting what you want. Not only does this not solve your problems, it typically leads to anxiety and overwhelm. When things are outside of our perceived control, like when we’re meeting people for the first time, worry kicks in. Our minds are wired for negativity—an evolutionary tool designed to keep us safe. But today, this process doesn’t serve us. We’re not meeting bears that might kill us at the event tonight, but our bodies are responding as if we were. Just like anything that isn&rsquo

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Overcoming Shame Forgive Yourself and Let Go

  Overcoming Shame Forgive Yourself and Let Go   “Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” ~Unknown   I haven’t always been the woman I am today. I used to be scared. Of everything. And everyone. Painfully shy and insecure, I saw myself as a victim of my circumstances, and was always waiting, on guard, for the next rejection. I masked my insecurity in a blanket of perfectionism, and worked hard to put forth the image that I had everything together and had it all figured out. I did a good job looking the part. On the outside most people just saw an attractive, intelligent, successful woman, and had very little awareness or understanding of the pain and fear that was living inside. To further protect myself, I often times took advantage of knowing that others believed my facade. I believed myself to be unworthy of love or loving, and there were times when the only way I knew to feel good about myself was to treat others harshly, often by knowing I could intimidate them just by being my “perfect” self.   I had split the world into people that I was either better than or less than. It’s been said that someone once asked the Buddha whether it was possible to be critical and judgmental of other people and not treat oneself the same way. He said that if one is critical and judgmental of others, it is impossible not to treat oneself the same. And that while at times it appears that people can be judgmental toward others, but seem completely satisfied themselves, this is just not possible.

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How to Release the Painful Memories and Emotions

    How to Release the Painful Memories and Emotions Stored in Your Body   “The cure for the pain is in the pain.” ~Rumi   Your body keeps a physical memory of all of your experiences. You have lots of memories stored in your brain that you can recount at any given moment. You can recall names, faces, where the event took place, what it smelled like. But over time, these memories fade or change as time passes and we mature. However, even when the memory begins to fade from your brain, it lives on in your body in the form of physical sensations and behavior patterns. The body doesn’t forget. The events of our lives leave physiological imprints in our bodies, especially when we experience trauma or situations of extreme stress that cause the body to fight, flee, or freeze in order to cope. In a perfect world, we would be able to release the trauma or soothe the stress response soon after it was triggered. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so we’re all walking around with physical imprints of past experiences (good and bad) stored in our bodies. Most of us don’t know how to release them because we don’t even realize they exist! You may feel your body tense up when you have to ask for help or borrow money, or your face may get hot when you’re asked to speak in front of a crowd. The sensation is your body remembering. It’s remembering a past experience when you asked for help and it didn’t go well. Maybe someone made you feel ashamed because you “should be able to handle it yourself.” Perhaps you were called to the front of your third grade class and asked a question you didn’t know the answer to, so you felt embarrassed and humiliated. The body doesn’t have words to express itself, so it responds with physical sensations. You can forget, block, or intellectualize the memories that are stored in our brains, but how do you work through the memories being stored in your body? Animals shake when they experience trauma or anxiety. Think of a dog who’s been in a fight with another dog: Once the fight is over, both dogs will shake to calm their nervous systems and quiet the fight, flight, or freeze response. This enables them to move on without the physical memory of the situation.

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Self-Acceptance The Key to Natural Beauty

  Self-Acceptance The Key to Natural Beauty   “When you are balanced and when you listen and attend to the needs of your body, mind, and spirit, your natural beauty comes out.” ~Christy Turlington It wasn’t until I stopped wearing makeup that I realized the hypocrisy in every “natural beauty” ad. Be natural, wear a mask, they say. Unleash your confidence by hiding your flaws, they say. If only it were so simple. My struggle with body image began at age five. That was the first time I threw up to make myself feel thin. I began to heal four years ago after I almost killed myself. All the years in between, I spent at least an hour each day putting on makeup, and all the rest of my waking hours obsessing about past and future calories and wondering if my clothes made me look fat. When I went natural, it wasn’t exactly a choice. I had spent so long altering and concealing myself, making sure that nothing real would show, that nothing real was left—including joy, peace, and sanity. I could say it was self-hatred that led me into a suicidal hole, but that self-hatred came from something else—my obsession with how I “should” be. I was so obsessed with crafting the perfect mask that I suffocated my authentic self. So, she burst out.

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7 Secrets To Stimulating Your Creativity

    7 Secrets To Stimulating Your Creativity and Generating New Ideas   Tapping into our own creativity to allow it to come forth in fresh ways is the holy grail of an artist. Creative self-expression can be seen in any almost any industry, realm, or facet of life, and I truly believe it is one of the essential joys of life. But we all take inspiration from others at least some of the time, a fact which often leads me to wonder whether there are any original ideas left in the world. My conclusion, based on meditations I’ve done, exercises I’ve undertaken, and conversations I’ve had, is yes! We can have original thoughts, and we can have them every day. Fresh ideas, brimming with ingenuity and sparkling with authenticity. New ideas are our bread and butter when we are creating. But how can we keep them flowing? I’ve noticed that new ideas used to come in waves for me. And then those waves eventually turned into bursts of inspiration. Now, I have to practice. Daily. Here are some ideas on how to keep a nice flow of creativity in your life. Think of them like workouts for your mind. 1. Use Structured Exercise It may seem counterintuitive to incorporate structure into what is usually a flexible, free-flowing practice, but our brain loves patterns and actually thrives when forced to work within set parameters. Giving yourself little word exercises to do can increase the scope of your thoughts, allowing your imagination to travel further with each session than it did before. “Storyline” is a great example of a constructive creativity exercise. It asks you to select 4 words at random and then create a story using them. A similar exercise involves completing

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Why You Need To Do The Things That Scare You

  Why You Need To Do The Things That Scare The Sh*t Out Of You       As a child I remember standing at the top of the stairs to my basement looking down into the darkness. On an afternoon much like any other winter’s day as a child, I was in the midst of playing a hockey game with myself (and my very vivid imagination) on the main floor of my family’s house when my yellow Nerf ball slipped through the staircase railings and fell into the basement. The light switch was readily accessible to brighten the staircase portion to the lower level, but I knew that chances were the ball had made its way into the darkness — darkness that could only be lit by a series of pull strings sporadically placed around the unfinished mystery. I always had the option of calling for my mom, but who wants to do that? That would require admitting that I was still afraid of the dark, something that she wouldn’t care about but that my 12 year old ego couldn’t stand. In keeping my perceived “manliness” in place, far too many hockey games ended early, or experienced longer than usual intermissions that only ended when my mom finally needed to go downstairs to get something for herself, a trip that I would quickly become her companion for. It wasn’t until several years later that I decided enough was enough. I let my desire to play override my fear and I stepped into the darkness. What initially felt like a terrifying pit quickly transitioned into a major source of happiness. Amongst that darkness was my new arena, far more spacious than what I ha

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Feeling Afraid To Act On Your Passion?

  Feeling Afraid To Act On Your Passion? Here Are A Few Secrets In my line of work, I often meet people who tell me they’re afraid. They’re afraid to put themselves out there. They’re afraid to be judged, or seen for who they are—the biggest fear lurking is that they’re a fraud, and now they’ve been caught. These people are often talented, wise, and have an important skill or message to share. I’ve heard this from web-coders who I’ve seen create incredible websites for themselves and friends yet are too afraid to put their services up for sale because they think they’re not good enough. I’ve seen this in yoga teachers who really want to teach but are too intimidated—often because they feel all around them are senior teachers with decades of experience over them, and they wonder, “What can I possibly offer in this climate of saturated yoga teachers?” I’ve seen masterful cooks and holistic chefs perfect the art of the cupcake, but when it comes to selling it they’re “just not ready yet.” Does any of this sound familiar? Can you relate? The fear is that your work is inadequate, and that that would translate

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Is What You Are Thinking About Impacting Your Life

  Is What You Are Thinking About Impacting Your Life Negatively? There are two great laws of physics. One is quite old. The other, quite new. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It is just altered into different states. All matter can be reduced to energy – nothing more, nothing less.    Now scientists are saying what many have known for years: Everything in this Universe of ours is, at its very base, energy. Atoms are made up of energy, and when they form themselves into certain patterns, they create matter – trees, chairs,

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Your Awakening Counts More Than Your Vote

  Your Awakening Counts More Than Your Vote   We live in a world where illusions are held in higher esteem than verifiable truth. This is no accident, as the individual has for decades now been on the receiving end of social engineering programs, advanced political and corporate propaganda, fear programming and outright mind control. The sum total of all this mass conditioning has been to convince otherwise good-natured and hard-working people to participate in their own enslavement and to willingly acquiesce to the ever-increasing rules, invasions of privacy, taxations, permissions and control schemes of a government and world elite who have long since left public interest in the dust. The American dream is a mythic idea that was supposedly founded on the principle that public oversight of government is possible thanks to an electoral process which would give an informed citizenry the opportunity to replace undesirable politicians with better ones. Government itself, though, is a brutish and violent force that has time and again proven absolutely wild, reckless and untamable. It has never has obeyed its own laws, policies or regulations, and world history is a bloodstained chronicle of man’s failure to control himself when given power in the form of government.

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The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved

  The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved to the Matrix   “In prison, illusions can offer comfort.” – Nelson Mandela   For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the deceptive act is committed, and for the fool, reality then becomes inexplicably built upon on a lie. That is, until the fool wakes up and recognizes the truth in the fact that he has been duped. Maintaining the suspension of disbelief in the illusion, however, is often more comforting than acknowledging the magician’s secrets. We live in a world of illusion. So many of the concerns that occupy the mind and the tasks that fill the calendar arise from planted impulses to become someone or something that we are not. This is no accident. As we are indoctrinated into this authoritarian-corporate-consumer culture that now dominates the human race, we are trained that certain aspects of our society are untouchable truths, and that particular ways of being and behaving are preferred.  Psychopaths disempower people in this way. They blind us with never ceasing barrages of suggestions and absolutes that are aimed at shattering self-confidence and confidence in the future.  Bansky, the revered and elusive revolutionary street artist, once commented: “People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.” – Banksy

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Return to Source – The Spirit’s Journey Home

  Return to Source – The Spirit’s Journey Home     According to a vast array of magical and alchemical texts, hermetic treatises, philosophic works, religious scriptures, and many prominent pieces of literature spanning the ages, it appears that the sole purpose of life is to awaken from our self-imposed slumber. That is, to remember who we really are or to become that which we have always been. This natural proclivity percolating within man to consciously collaborate with an innately irrational unconscious life process is what gives an individual meaning, purpose, and value.  We see this current of thought unequivocally expressed in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s first book entitledNature. While striking a delicate accord between the terms Nature and nature, the work essentially presupposes that the entirely of life has but one aim: to return to the Source. At bottom, this process of spiritual awakening is ultimately an initiation into the enduring harmony of the world or, if you like, a realignment of our will with the embodied Will of the Universe. It is about ascending that mystical ladder that punctuates the heavens and leads right up to the doorstep of God. It is about the firing of rudimentary clay so as to produce that finished effervescent glaze. In essence, it is about the changing of frequency as the blossoming of our blood allows us to tune back into that ancient theme of the Music of the Spheres. As Cicero wrote in his work The Dream of Scipio: “Learned men, by imitating this harmony on stringed instruments and in song, have gained for themselves a return to the supernal heights….” Given all of this, the question naturally arises as to how we know we are marching to the right tune. As we pursue the text of Life, of which we are all on different chapters, there are many indicators of progress that help one measure the extent to which he/she is successfully moving away from an object-oriented ego-dominated consciousness.      While not everyone experiences the exact same signals, there do seem to be some parallels that persistently appear in the life of the would-be adept. For example, initially you will find yourself engulfed by a series of jaw-dropping “coincidences” (synchronicities). The inner will spill over into the outer as your enthusiasm scintillates like a savory steak, boils to a crescendo, and finally takes off like a 747. This formidable energetic essence of emotion appears to be the elixir that underlies this aboriginal dreamlike state of mind. As Albertus Magnus wrote in his piece De mirabilibus mundi: “I discovered an instructive account (of Magick) in Avicenna’s Liber Sextus Naturalium, which says that a certain power to alter things indwells in the human soul and subordinates the other things to her, particularly when she is swept into a great excess of love or hate or the like.  When therefore the soul of man falls into a great excess of any passion, it can be proved by experiment that it (the excess) binds things and alters them in the way it wants.” As these synchronicities abound you will feel like you’re dreaming while in a state of waking consciousness. It’s like being the choreographer of your own inner theatre production. For myself, this was the tipping point where I was forced to reconfigure my cognitive schema relative to how the world is structured and functions. I was forced to see it as it really was – a sort of fiction, mirage, cognitive construction, or illusory transcendental projection of thought itself. Now, while it is true that everyone experiences certain synchronistic phenomena such as the aforementioned, those who are advancing on a shamanic path will notice the regularity and frequency of these occurrences increasing. It may even get to the point where it becomes psychologically worrisome. But obviously fear not for this is all part and parcel of the Way.      The next thing you will start to notice on this journey is the mysterious manifestation of a multitude of omens. Omens are the Spirit’s way of communicating to man through the medium of Nature. They appear to increase in the life of the more spiritual types but this is only an illusion. As Carlos Castaneda wrote inThe Power of Silence:

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Gluten-Free Vegan Cupcakes Recipe with Coconut

  Gluten-Free Vegan Cupcakes Recipe with Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting and Fresh Berries   Lighten up your next batch of cupcakes by ditching the dairy and gluten in favor of these vegan cupcakes topped with coconut whipped cream frosting and fresh berries. These are great for serving to your friends and family with food allergies since they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. Plus, these cupcakes won’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated afterward. This recipe uses organic sugar because conventional cane sugar is often refined with bone char and/or other animal byproducts. By opting for certified organic sugar, you are guaranteeing that your sugar is vegan. The coconut whipped cream frosting is so light and fluffy, you’ll wish you had been topping your desserts with it all along. Native Forest canned coconut milk is BPA-free and certified organic, so opt for that if you are forgoing homemade coconut milk. A pro tip for easily separating the coconut solid from the liquid is to open the can upside down. Then drain out the liquid (save for another use, like a smoothie) and you will be left only with the solid cream remaining. While

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Does Our Perception Precede Our Decisions?

  Does Our Perception Precede Our Decisions?     Have our decisions been made far before we make them? Walking down a specific street, choosing a career path or even reaching for a cup of coffee make not be as conscious a decision as we think, new research by Yale University psychologists suggest. The belief in free will is thought to engender levels of cooperation that allows for the emergence of social order. Our fate and destiny is shaped by not only the course our life takes but a combination of conditions which many believe are pre-determined and then molded by our free will. Many philosophers believed that all behaviors are predetermined and have a causal lineage. Some of the factors believed to influence determinism include genetics, environment, and past and present experiences.

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Don’t Ask for Freedom – Live It!

    Don’t Ask for Freedom – Live It!     “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus That quote pretty much sums it up, at least on one level. What’s fundamentally dystopic is that humanity petitions others for their freedom, as if it’s something to be granted by someone else in a position of authority over them. Not only is that counter intuitive at a very deep level, but it reinforces the very paradigm from which they are trying to escape. It’s very much like putting the cart before the horse – and then the horse complains about it and asks those who did it to change the situation. There may be a time to straighten out a misunderstanding and stupid mistake by pointing out the obvious in a particular situation, but ultimately it’s up to the bridled human to have some “horse sense” and just say no to the situation and be its true independent self and not cooperate with being yoked into bondage and just break free from the bridle and reins…and dump the saddle as well. That metaphor doesn’t fully describe this phenomenon, but we all get “yoked” into situations in our lives as its built into the very nature of the matrix. Anything from compromising personal relationships with friends, family and loved ones to employment or imposed legal restrictions. This is no small thing we’re encountering here in this earth-human experience. The question remains – how do we deal with these challenges on both a micro and the much more profound macro spiritual level?     Why Petition Pathological Lying Psychopaths? Just look at the world today. Unfortunately, while this fact that such non-empathic, power-crazed personages is well known to be the case amongst rulers, politicians, bankers, corporate monsters and the Orwellian media, people still take their word, hoping against hope that their empty

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You Are the Solution!

  You Are the Solution     Bob Marley couldn’t have been more right when he sang that there’s “so much trouble in the world”. Our planet is in chaos, and most people are trying their best to pretend that it’s all normal. Geoengineering is making everybody sick, along with a cocktail of chemicals and GMOs in our food supply, and a backward education system funded by the same family behind Big Oil and the Federal Reserve is distracting and dumbing people down so we don’t question any of it. Tension is at an all-time high, and people are being systematically murdered in mass numbers. War is generating billions in profit for the upper class while people across the world struggle to find food, water and shelter, and while it’s clear that these problems will only get worse if we let it all continue, there just aren’t enough people doing anything about it. Is Peace Possible? With all of the chaos surrounding us, you may wonder if peace is even possible. The mayhem we see in the world can easily darken our outlook and make us think peace could never happen, and if you’re looking for a path to inner peace or a solution to the world’s problems, look within. Peace is possible because you’re here. You hold within you the power to change the world and restore

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6 Potent Superfoods to Detox Heavy Metals

  6 Potent Superfoods to Detox Heavy Metals from Your Body and Mind     Anna Hunt, Staff Waking Times “Heavy metal toxicity—from metals such as mercury, aluminum, copper, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, and lead—represents one of the greatest threats to our health and well-being.” ~ Anthony William, author of Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal Every person has been exposed to heavy metals throughout their lives, often on a daily basis, thus toxicity due to accumulation of heavy metals in the body has become a very common. These accumulated metals that are burrowed deep inside the body’s tissues and pose a significant threat to your health. Their presence puts immense stress on the human body, slowly poisoning the body, damaging the body’s organs, and weakening the immune support system. Fortunately, it is quite easy and inexpensive to cleanse your body of heavy metals through adding certain supplemental foods into your diet. Similar to chelation therapy, a medical procedure that involves the administration of often-synthetic chelating agents that will bond with heavy metals in the body and remove them, these foods also electrically attract and bond with metals, but not the beneficial nutrients, and help eliminate them out of the body. The following are six simple foods that will likely reduce heavy metals toxicity in your body: 1. Spirulina is an edible blue-green algae. It is known for its distinctive green color and strong odor and delivers a strong dose of protein, all eight of the essential amino acids, iron, folic acid, B vitamins, selenium and manganese, resulting in strong therapeutic benefits. Spirulina can be effective in removing heavy metals from the nervous system and the liver.

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6 Steps To Free Yourself From the Struggle of YoYo

  6 Steps To Free Yourself From the Struggle of Yo-Yo Dieting “Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.” ~Astrid Alauda Have you ever guiltily reached for second helpings of a tempting dish or dessert while justifying it with something along the lines of, “It’s okay, I’m going on a diet/detox after this”? Or, do you ever find yourself eating really healthy one week, then the minute you cave in and eat something unhealthy, your eating habits suddenly take a turn for the worst? Are you really hard on yourself when you don’t feel comfortable in clothes you want to wear and suddenly regret all the unhealthy food choices you’ve made the past few months? I’ve experienced all of these scenarios. I used to yo-yo diet for years, and I would cycle through super healthy or restrictive eating plans one week, to eat-whatever-you-like the next week. I was always fighting to be a particular weight or to look a certain way. My eating habits were inconsistent, and so were my weight, my energy levels, and the way I felt about my body. After years of unhealthy eating habits (that may have appeared healthy on the outside), my body didn’t take it so well anymore. I got to a stage where I would feel sick after most meals and suffered stomach cramps due to a digestive disorder. It was frustrating and a daily inconvenience, however it was irritating enough for me to stop and do something about it. After years of not looking after my body, the messages became louder and clearer until I made the choice to pay attention and listen to my body. I started to re-educate myself about my health from a more holistic perspective. I moved away from using food as a way to control how my body looked and moved toward using food as a way to heal my body of illness. By embracing mindfulness with my eating I began to notice which foods my body rejected and which foods fueled my body. I also noticed how my eating habits affected my mindset and how I feel much more confident about my body now that I look after it and eat well.

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How to Transform Your Body

  How to Transform Your Body by Coming from Love Instead of Fear   “Fear is the opposite of everything you are, and so has an effect of opposition to your mental and physical health.” ~Neale Donald Walsch My initial foray into health and fitness started from a deep place of fear. I feared my weight and my appearance, always wondering what new trend I’d encounter in a magazine or on social media that would point out the latest way I was inadequate. I feared the big health scares that we’re told could kill us at any moment if we aren’t careful. Diabetes. High blood pressure. Cancer. Many of us have all been on some part of this same path. But when we let fear sit in the driving seat, it actually pushes us in the opposite direction of true health and happiness. We’re driven to make exercise or diet choices that never seem to satisfy, and the body we see in the mirror never seems to be what we want. And so like many of us, I hopped from one exercise plan to another. I jumped from one eat-this-but-not-that diet to another. Meanwhile, I never arrived at a place of feeling healthy, whole, and happy. This feeling I was seeking—this thing I was trying to get out of my body and my physical pursuits—was a teaching moment for me. As each so-called “healthy” lifestyle change led to dead ends, and as I saw friends struggle with weight despite their strongest efforts, I slowly realized that our health is only as good as our mindset. See, fear is completely unsustainable as a motivation for our health journey. We don’t like to dwell on all the ways our mortal bodies are threatened. Information alone isn’t heart knowledge, which is why so many of us intellectually know we shouldn’t smoke or eat so much fried food, but maybe we eat French fries for lunch anyway. Fear of our own bodies doesn’t work either. Our unhappiness might make us go on a diet, but for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, so we inevitably get off of that diet. Then we feel the pang of guilt and more fear, and the fear-driven cycle repeats itself. To break this cycle, we have to talk about not just our gym habits or our eating habits or our favorite green juice, but also our mind habits. If we change our minds, we change our bodies. The body is the physical incarnation or manifestation of our internal beliefs and thoughts. While so-called “body problems,” like extra weight where we don’t want it, may bubble to the surface on the body level, the answer isn’t solely on the body level but also on the level of our mindset. My health path switched lanes dramatically when A Course in Miracles reminded me that nothing real

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You Are Not for Everyone, and That’s Okay

  You Are Not for Everyone and That’s Okay “One of the most freeing things we learn in life is that we don’t have to like everyone, everyone doesn’t have to like us, and it’s perfectly okay.” –Unknown I grew up a people pleaser. It was drilled into me from childhood that it was very important to be aware of what other people thought of me and my actions at all times. Growing up in the south, keeping up with appearances is something that becomes a part of your identity. While I enjoy the part of Southern upbringing that taught me to always be polite, the part that teaches you to put others’ opinion before you own is something that I came to resent. Before I made any decision, I was to carefully weigh out how it would affect others and their thoughts of me. As a kid, it worked out pretty well. (The whole reason I stayed out of trouble mostly, eh?) As an adult…not so much. The constant need to have everyone like me came back to kick me in the butt, again and again. It started out through middle and high school when I was figuring out my interests and passions. In my heart, I felt one way. In person, I obviously leaned toward whatever I thought was “cool.” I remember still having the childish awe and passions at that time, but I tried to grow up far too quickly to fit in.

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Stop Pushing Yourself So Hard

  Stop Pushing Yourself So Hard How to Slow Down and De-Stress   “Self-care is not selfish or self-indulgent. We cannot nurture others from a dry well. We need to take care of our own needs first, and then we can give from our surplus, our abundance.” ~Jennifer Louden I have always been really driven. I readily admit that I am an overachiever, and I have the capacity to burn the candle at both ends. Following my dreams and creating what I imagine is my destiny takes work, real work, so I can easily spend way too many hours a day striving to bring my visions into reality. I am hardwired to push myself naturally. I am quite certain it is a gene that I have inherited from my dad. I don’t seem to have an off switch, and that fuels me to fit as much as I possibly can into twenty-four hours. Two years ago my off switch was shut down for me without my consent. My world and my body were shaken and shattered into a million pieces in what seemed like a heartbeat. Back then, I lived in a beautiful two-story home. One morning, as I headed out for my morning run, I fell down my steep internal staircase. One minute I was standing on the top step, and then the next minute I was lying at the bottom. I suffered all sorts of injuries. Some of those injuries healed quickly, and some will stay with me for the rest of my life. But on the flip side, my fall from grace has reminded me to slow down, smell the roses, and practice self-care every single day. I often look back and ask myself, was my fall perhaps the Universe’s way of nudging me, or rather throwing me, into a place where I had no choice but to nurture and heal myself? Being forced to completely stop gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my entire life. I had always taken care of myself, but when I look back, I recognize it was only on the surface. I had never stopped for long enough to prioritize wellness on every level. Though it can be challenging to find time to practice self-care, we all need to nurture ourselves—emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.

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Breath Awareness: 4 Insights On How Breath

  Breath Awareness 4 Insights On How Breath Can Provide Mind-Body Healing Benefits   How many times have you been worked up, and had someone tell you to “breathe”? That one word holds so much power. As soon as someone brings to our attention that we’ve escaped our breath, we immediately take an indulgent inhale. Breathing is innate. We do it without thinking simply because our bodies require it to survive. But there is much more to breath than meets the eye. Our breath reveals a lot about our current state. When we’re uncomfortable, stressed, anxious, or fearful, we may find ourselves breathing very shallowly. When we’re relaxed, we breathe slowly. We can spin ourselves into a tantrum, and we can soothe ourselves into a safe and secure space, all by how we breathe. There are countless breathing practices to relieve physical and mental ailments, bring about a sense of calm, and even raise our vibrations.

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5 Ways Your Spiritual Life Can Affect Your Success

  5 Ways Your Spiritual Life Can Affect Your Success   Does your spirituality have an impact on your success? I would argue that the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Spirituality is something that impacts your entire life, work included. Here are 5 ways, both good and bad, that your spiritual life can affect your success. Increased Positive Energy Can Improve Your Relationships With People People who are more spiritually in tuned tend to have more highly developed empathy skills. This may mean that you are better able to read people, and better able to relate them in ways that makes them feel valued, respected, and heard. In a practical sense, this can increase your ability to make sales, and convince people to be loyal customers. However, this isn’t the only benefit. Your people skills can also contribute to better morale among the people you work with.

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Are You In Need Of An Energetic Detox?

  Are You In Need Of An Energetic Detox? What It Is & Why You May Need One   When I began to fully understand the direct effect negative energies have on the health and well-being of the human body, and how a person can end up chronically or terminally ill if these energies are not processed effectively, I immediately wanted to write an article on the issue. So, I began broadening my horizons in the field of energy medicine by studying the work of energy healers like Donna Eden and Amy B. Scher, and I quickly realized I still had a lot of work to do myself when it came to releasing stored negative energies from past traumas and unprocessed emotions before I could write anything legit on the subject. As a result, I implemented some of their techniques into my daily life and underwent what I like to refer to as an “energetic detox” since it is much like a physical detox. Similar to a physical detox, you are releasing that which is toxic and does not serve you. Also similar to a physical detox, an energetic detox can cause physical symptoms as the stored energies are brought to the surface to be released. For me, these uncomfortable physical symptoms lasted weeks. With that in mind, I highly recommend taking the process of energy clearing slow at first. As many of you already know, chemicals released from negative emotions impact you on a physiological level and can literally make you sick if they are not properly dealt with. When you accumulate numerous stored negative energies in your body, you risk throwing the mind-body-spirit connection out of alignment and creating disharmony and “dis-ease” in the body. So, the more past traumas and unprocessed emotions you have to release, the more uncomfortable an energetic detox has the potential to be; but don’t let that scare you, because in my opinion the process is still 100% worth it. What Is An “Energetic Detox”? An energetic detox is the process of releasing stored negative energies  from past traumas, unprocessed emotions, repressed memories and so on. When unpleasant emotions arise and you resist them, they are unable

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Lucuma The Anatomy of a Superfood

  The Anatomy of a Superfood: Lucuma   It may be the most popular ice cream flavor in Peru, but we Northern Americans have most likely never heard of this super delicious, super nutritious superfruit before, at all. Lucuma (LOO-KU-MA) has been enjoyed for thousands of years for its rich, sweet, maple-like flavor that’s said to taste a bit of cashews. And now, raw foodists are loving their lucuma… but why? Despite lucuma’s dynamic sweetness, it is still amazingly low on the glycemic index which makes it a great treat without any downsides. It also contains healthy doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals and is especially high in beta carotene, iron and niacin (vitamin B3). Beta carotene, responsible for the beautiful orange hue of the fruit’s flesh, helps aid your DNA

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Lessons on Living a Long, Healthy Life, from a 90

  5 Lessons on Living a Long Healthy Life  from a 90-Year-Old “In the end, long life is the reward, strength, and beauty.” ~Grace Paley In September 2014, my grandmother turned ninety years old. She lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is where she has lived her entire life, and while my parents could have brought her to live with them in the US a long time ago, she has always preferred to live independently in her hometown. I went to Rio to celebrate my grandmother’s ninetieth birthday. Although I was born there, I had not been back for over twenty-five years. I learned a lot about my country of birth, my hometown, and my relatives on that trip, but the most important things that I learned were from my grandmother. She is healthier, more active, and more independent than most seventy-year-olds. By simply observing her, I learned some key lessons about what it takes to have a very healthy and long life. Here are the five keys to her longevity. The Importance of Being Physically Active When you imagine someone in their nineties, you probably imagine a person who has difficulty moving because of body aches, stiff joints, muscle loss, and a lack of stamina. You may imagine someone who needs a cane or walker to get around and can’t walk long distances without needing to stop for a break. My grandmother is definitely not that person. She is very active every day. She cleans her apartment, cooks her meals, and does her laundry. She also goes to the market, the bank, the post office, and anywhere else she needs to go on foot. Because she lives in a big city and almost everything she needs is within walking distance, my grandmother is able to walk to most places.

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The Dangers of Being Too Busy and How to Restore

  The Dangers of Being Too Busy and How to Restore Your Health and Sanity “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~Jim Rohn Busy doesn’t adequately describe my life over the past few years. Let’s say it was a hurricane of a schedule, with extra storms and a tsunami thrown in. Looking back from my current safe vantage point, I’m not sure how I survived. The Stress Of A Busy Schedule In 2011 I was working full time for the civil service and working part time trying to start up my own business. Early in the year I had my son, who turned out to be a non-sleeper and a constant crier. After nine months of sleeplessness, stress, and upset I went back to the civil service ‘part time’ three days a week, but the reality was I had the same workload, only now I had to sort out childcare and stay awake all night to deal with my son too. Over the course of three years we also moved three times. You know how they say moving is the most stressful experience? It is—especially with two jobs and a toddler. On top of all this stress I kept getting ill. At my check-up I was told my blood pressure was too high. I couldn’t shift a permanent backache, cold, and headache. I cried literally all the time, boosting the crying human total to two in one house. My son outdid me, though, because you’ve got to get on. Being a new mum is hard, but I told myself “Get a grip,” every day. The Wake Up Call Then my aunt suddenly died at the young age of fifty-nine. She was always busy moving, rescuing horses, and looking fabulous. She complained to her doctor about headaches and he sent her away with a “stress” diagnosis. The following week she was taken to the emergency department and she died of cancer a few months later. It was a mighty wake-up call for me. Work, stress, and demands had taken the fun out of life—it was miserable. Life is too short, so I made a vow to sort myself out. I was ungrateful for my life, too busy to appreciate anything except tea and Kit Kats. I was a horrible person to be around, if anyone actually saw me. How I Dealt with the Nightmare Years I ate rubbish. I don’t eat much meat or dairy, but I ate a lot of processed foods to save time. My son had lovingly prepared home-cooked foods, but me? I ate standing up in the kitchen—usually jam on toast. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t have time to exercise. If my son was asleep it was time to work on the business, or cook something, or even clean. I found time for friends instead of me.

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Things Everyone Should Learn Before They Die

  7 Things Everyone Should Learn Before They Die “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” ~Vincent Van Gogh I attended an interesting event a few nights ago. It featured ten speakers who spoke for ten minutes each on ten things you should know before you die. The speakers included TV and film stars, CEOs, cover-shooting photojournalists, traveling journalists covering natural disasters, and HIV survivors. As you can imagine, there was a wide spectrum of perspectives shared. Here are a few of the lessons that stuck out for me. A lot of these can profoundly change your mindset, how you view the world, and how you choose to react to things. You just need to take a step back and put things into perspective, which leads us into our first one. 1. Maintain perspective. A journalist told a story of how he traveled to Haiti after the devastating earthquake that hit them a few years back. In the capital of Port-au-Prince many of the homes had fallen apart, and people who already had nothing were now living in small plots of land in public squares in the city. The separations between each family’s plot were drawn in by hand, with tents and tarps set up overhead. In one particular plot was for a seven-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy. The speaker spoke a bit of Creole French and asked the people in neighboring tents which family these children were with. They replied, “That is the family.” The seven-year-old girl and one-year-old boy’s parents and older siblings had been killed. She was now responsible for this baby. This is where the notion of perspective comes in. The next time you’re upset at traffic, or someone is taking too long in the checkout line, or someone hasn’t texted you back quickly enough, take a step back and ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, is this really worth being upset about? The book Unbroken drove this point home for me. Reading what this man went through quickly made me realize, if I were privileged to be born into a first world country (Canada) in the current peaceful time, I have absolutely nothing to complain about. A reminder to myself the next time Netflix is slow to load something… 2. Take care of your health. Health is the gateway to happiness. If you are not living with your fullest energy and vibrancy, how can you expect to get the most from life? This was the main

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What Are You Practicing Self-Judgment or Self-Comp

  What Are You Practicing Self-Judgment or Self-Compassion? “You are what you practice most.” ~Richard Carlson “What are you practicing?” she asked in a gentle, lilting voice. The entire class was in triangle pose, and at that moment I was comparing my triangle to the young woman’s right next to mine, scolding myself for wobbling out of the pose and simultaneously harassing myself for not being “further along” in my career. (Because if you’re going to hate on yourself, my motto is GO BIG.) “Are you practicing judgment or comparison?” she tenderly probed. “WTF!” I thought. “Does this woman have a direct line to my brain?” “Are you practicing worry or blame?” she continued. “Perhaps you’re practicing patience and love. Notice what you’re practicing and know that you become what you practice. What you practice is what you live.” DAMN IT! I was three days into a five-day yoga retreat and I was far from blissed out. In fact, I had deftly managed to tie myself into a knot of comparison, self-doubt, judgment, confusion, shame, and embarrassment.

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Strawberry Smoothie Bowl Recipe in Under 10 Minute

  7-Ingredient Strawberry Smoothie Bowl Recipe in Under 10 Minutes   Liven up your spring mornings with this mint strawberry smoothie bowl. With only seven ingredients and three easy steps, this breezy recipe will jumpstart your morning in the best and most delicious way. Fresh berries are already popping up at farmers markets so pick up a basket and put it to use in this strawberry smoothie bowl recipe. Strawberries and raspberries are both great sources of fiber and vitamin C. Plus, their phenol content makes them anti-inflammatory. Be sure to buy organic strawberries because 

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How to Organize Every Room of Your House

  How to Organize Every Room of Your House (Without Losing Your Mind)   Believe it or not, organizing your home isn’t rocket science. The basics of learning how to organize your space are actually pretty simple; the difficult parts are taking the first step and staying committed. Take the initiative and discover how to organize your home, room by room, with our easy organization tips.   Room by Room Tips for How to Organize Your Home Living Room Form and Function Storage Options – Solutions like storage ottomans and coffee tables with hidden storage are ideal for the living room. Everything Has a Home – One of the key principles of organization is “everything has its place” and that’s never more true than in the living room–the one room that is the public face of your home. Have a Catchall Option – When company arrives unexpectedly it is handy to have a basket or a trunk that can be used for

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10 Eco-Friendly Garden Tools You Know You Want

  10 Eco-Friendly Garden Tools You Know You Want   We all know the amazing curative powers of retail therapy. It’s remarkable how shoe shopping can cure a bad date, a lousy interview, or an annoying roommate. This time of year, when the trees are bursting with buds and the flowers are just starting to show their faces, I get a hankering for garden tool shopping. (Retail therapy for a long, cold winter.) Here are my ten must have eco-friendly garden tools. 1. Compost Glamorous? Absolutely not. Necessity? Absolutely! Compost is the food that feeds your garden. Just as healthy food fuels you, the same is true for your garden. What’s the difference between short, scrawny tomato plants, and Instagram-worthy beauties bursting with life? Good compost. Maybe you have your own compost bin but if not, then you need top quality organic compost. Your local nursery will have some, but a local farmer may as well. Next time you pass a farm stand stop and ask if they sell compost or manure. 2. Gloves Just because you enjoy a good putter in the garden doesn’t mean that you want to damage your manicure. Arm yourself with a sturdy garden glove that will serve you through many gardening seasons. My favorites? These Honey Badger gloves that double as a cultivator. The

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Useful Things Do to Help Monarch Butterflies

  5 Useful Things You Can Do to Help Monarch Butterflies     Can you name this masticating character from literature? Hint: It was so hungry that it ate through a boat load of fruit before it started carbo-loading on cake, ice cream, and pie. If you guessed the very hungrycaterpillar, then give yourself a gold star! Spoiler alert: That hungry caterpillar turned into a beautiful butterfly. And now that butterfly has very important work to do as a pollinator, and Monarch butterflies especially need your help to be able to do that work. What are pollinators and what, exactly, do they do? When most people think of pollinators they think of bees. True, bees are pollinators, but so are other types of bugs, bats, birds, and butterflies. The wind is also a pollinator. A pollinator causes plants to make fruit or seeds. They do this by moving pollen from one part of the flower or a plant to another part. This pollen then fertilizes the plant. Only fertilized plants can make fruit and/or seeds, and without them, the plants cannot reproduce. So why are Monarch butterflies so important? Monarch butterflies are important pollinators for wildflowers. According to the National Park Service, “The flowers they choose are varieties that are brightly colored, grow in clusters, stay open during the day, and have flat surfaces that serve as landing pads for their tiny guests. Monarch butterflies are also an important food source for birds, small animals, and other insects.”

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Basic Needs We Have toMeet to Feel Happy and Alive

  9 Basic Needs We Have to Meet to Feel Happy and Alive   “No person, no place, and no thing has any power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind. When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.” ~Louise L. Hay Seven years ago I felt a tangible sense of despondency about where my life was heading. Having ended a six-year relationship, I found myself alone, feeling isolated, often with only a bottle of wine (or two) for company on a weekend. For the first time ever I wondered if I had depression. After weeks of feeling helpless and sitting on my sofa crying, I decided enough was enough and started taking action to turn my life around. In doing so I discovered the “Human Givens Basic Needs.” Suddenly, everything made sense to me. I realized I didn’t have depression; I just hadn’t been meeting my basic needs in a healthy and balanced way. Working through the basic needs, I scored myself a number between one and ten for each, with ten being fully met. After taking action and pursuing a new diploma, I reflected on how much better I was meeting my basic needs for control, creativity, and stimulation, and how much happier and alive I felt as a result. I also recognized that I was meeting my need for status in a new way, as people were amazed when I told them what I was studying. Seven years on, I have never forgotten the basic needs. Every six months I take a few hours to do a stock check of my life to see how well I am meeting each of the needs, and where I need to take action or do something different. At the moment I am training for my third marathon, which is meeting so many of my basic needs in one hit! People tell me how awesome it is that I am running a marathon (attention and status), I look

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Just 1 Minute Of Intense Exercise Rivals The Benef

  Just 1 Minute Of Intense Exercise Rivals The Benefits Of A 45-Minute Workout   Chances are, if you are like the majority of Americans, Australians, or Brits, you’re probably not getting enough exercise. From office chair to car ride to couch, we could definitely be staying more active. We all know we should exercise, but sometimes life happens and many of us would rather do almost anything else. The main excuse becomes, there’s just no time. Well, what if I told you that you could get the exact same benefits of a 45-minute workout, in 1 minute? According to this new study, you can. According to exercise physiologist from McMaster University, Martin Gibala, “Brief bursts of intense exercise are remarkably effective.” You should know that the entire workout routine is actually 10 minutes, but this includes warming up and cooling down, with only short bursts of intense physical activity lasting 1 minute. What excuse could you possibly have not to spare 10 minutes? None. The answer

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Ways To Bring Feng Shui Into Your Spring Cleaning

  Top 5 Ways To Bring Feng Shui Into Your Spring Cleaning   Taking care of the space we occupy the most, our homes, is vital to our well-being, and spring is the absolute best season to tackle this cleansing, as it marks a natural time for renewal, manifestation, celebration, and love. Feng shui is perfect for this because it harmonizes your energy with that of your home, aligning your environment with who you are and where you want to go. It also completely reframes the traditional idea of ‘spring cleaning’; when you have the mindset that this is more about creating wealth, bringing balance, and opening yourself up to romantic opportunities, the feeling that this is a huge hurdle to overcome simply disappears. Below are some tips to help revitalize your space and, in turn, your mind. So allow yourself to be open to getting rid of everything that does not serve you anymore. 1. Kitchen – Wealth & Health     Your kitchen should be a place that celebrates the earth’s abundance and provides life-sustaining energy. It should be a place you want to be in, radiating warmth and vibrancy, because that energy will infuse the food you prepare. The ideal kitchen is clean, light, and airy and has bright, cheerful colours that convey a sense of health, happiness, and vitality. The design should be functional and flowing to enable easy cooking with a lot of storage. Your kitchen’s presentation reflects the state of your health, so do yourself a favour and clean it thoroughly! Keep all of the surfaces in your kitchen clean and free from clutter. Get rid of all items that are blocking the energy flow in your kitchen. Clean out your refrigerator, cupboards, and freezer of food that are past their freshness. Donate any food that you have not used in six months or longer to a charity. Purge your kitchen of junk food and harsh chemical cleaners. Instead, opt for more safe and natural cleaning solutions. Take everything out of your cabinets to really survey what you have and get rid of stuff you don’t use. Clean your stove, inside and outside of your fridge, pots and pans, cabinets, counters, and even light fixtures. Bring in whole foods, live plants, and potted herbs. Clearing away all this clutter and dirt and creating a fresh pathway for a strong and vibrant Chi energy to flow will nourish your energy and make your kitchen feel more alive, which will in turn will make you feel healthier. 2. Bedroom – Calm & Sensual Energy     Your bedroom should promote a harmonious flow of nourishing and sensual energy. The bedroom is a private space but it should be fun and pleasurable to be in. You should be able to relax in it for a quick nap, enjoy a good night’s sleep, or make passionate love with equal ease. The decor should be balanced to promote the best flow of 

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A Shot Of This A Day Will Keep The Doctor Away!

  A Shot Of This A Day Will Keep The Doctor Away We all know that Mother Nature provides incredible ways for us to get our daily dose of nutrients. How amazing is it that wheatgrass juice contains all minerals known to man, as well as vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K? Wheatgrass is extremely rich in protein, and contains an astonishing 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Here Are 10 Reasons To Drink Wheatgrass: 1. Wheatgrass juice contains up to 70% chlorophyll, which is an important blood builder and can help with iron deficiency. 2.

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Tiny Wisdom: The Pain of Anticipating Pain

  Tiny Wisdom: The Pain of Anticipating Pain “If pleasures are greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of troubles.” ~Elbert Hubbard The other day I had to get some moles removed after a biopsy showed they were “severely atypical.” Since they were both on my back, I laid on my stomach while the doctor’s assistant numbed the areas with lidocaine. He repeatedly asked me, “Are you okay?” And I repeatedly said, “Just fine!” Since it didn’t really hurt that much, it surprised me when he said, “Wow. You’re strong!” I do believe I’m strong, but I’ve always been squeamish around needles—going back to my first childhood finger prick, which I resisted with blood curdling wails.

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Tiny Wisdom: Think Less, Feel More

  Tiny Wisdom: Think Less, Feel More “Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.” ~Osho Have you ever felt attached to your thoughts—like you knew you were thinking yourself in circles, but a part of you wanted to keep getting dizzy? Now that I’m healthy and energized, three months after my surgery, I’m developing a consistent yoga practice again—and I’m feeling better mentally and physically as a result of doing that. But sometimes, when I get to the end of the day, particularly when I know I have a lot to do, I feel resistant to making that time for myself. It’s not even nec

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Tiny Wisdom: Remembering the Good Things

  Tiny Wisdom: Remembering the Good Things “Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” ~Albert Einstein As I was walking to my apartment just now, I heard the voice of a child who was walking in the same direction with an adult across the street. With his enthusiastic, high-pitched voice he asked, “Remember we went on a plane? And it was really, really high in the sky?” Then just a few seconds later he asked, “Remember we saw a baseball game?” And then a few seconds af

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Tiny Wisdom: Loving the Process of a Passion

  Tiny Wisdom: Loving the Process of a Passion “Never underestimate the power of passion.” ~Eve Sawyer Last week, I began writing my second book. I originally intended to start a month ago, but life got in the way, as it often does. In order to make my September deadline, I’ll need to maintain a high level of output and adhere to a fairly rigid schedule. Four hours after starting my first day of writing, I felt I’d produced very little, and I wasn’t thrilled with what I’d written, so I started worrying about that. What if I keep rewriting but

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ARE YOU EVER NAKED IN YOUR DREAMS? HERE’S WHAT IT

  ARE YOU EVER NAKED IN YOUR DREAMS? HERE’S WHAT IT COULD MEAN   A common theme in dreams involves finding yourself naked in a public place. This is a really important clue about how you see yourself in society, or what we call the “collective” in dream speak. Clothes in dreams generally represent your persona. The adaptations we make to be in society; the personality that you wear for other people. It is how we choose to portray ourselves in front of others so that we feel accepted. In dreams we take notice of the style of the clothes. Are they dated? Do they fit well? How do you feel as you wear them? What are they made of? Are they the colors you would normally choose to wear? Those descriptions are what we call signifiers in dreams. Adjectives are important clues about what the unconscious mind is trying to communicate to you through your dream. Most of the time you don’t really notice what you are wearing in your dream, which is fine; unless remarkable, the clothes are just part of the wallpaper of your dream, not really important and not a part of the message your unconscious mind is trying to communicate. When the clothing is ill fitting or badly dated or inappropriate we then understand that this is what we call a “wobble” in the dream. A wobble in dream speak is something that is obviously out of place or not normal that your unconscious mind (or UM, as I call it) has placed in your dream to get you to pay attention. So if you are wearing a tutu and are not a ballet dancer then that would be a wobble. The color indicates the mood of the dream. Pink would be a feminine aspect and red would be emotional and most likely mean anger. Was it age appropriate? These descriptions indicate what time in your life

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WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO DROP EVERYTHING AND TRAVEL T

  WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO DROP EVERYTHING AND TRAVEL TO ‘FIND YOURSELF’   People desire change. Even though we often fear the unknown, we still want to experience new things and become better versions of ourselves. And so we immerse ourselves in new territories and situations in the hopes that we will unveil a new side of ourself — one we are proud of for having taken the plunge into unfamiliar waters. I can see the appeal in all of this. Just this year I whisked myself away to Hawaii for a retreat, hoping it would force me to grow and learn, hoping that I would discover a new part of myself that had been lying dormant up until now. Yet while I did learn some new things and meet some new people, ultimately it was still the same person taking that flight home. Every day people are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to learn more about some secret they believe they are harbouring within themselves. We buy books, we listen to podcasts, we take expensive trips — none of which are inherently negative by any stretch of the imagination, but all of which I think signal a common, misguided behaviour: people are still searching for answers outside of themselves.

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HERE’S WHAT GETTING SPANKED AS A KID DID TO YOUR

  HERE’S WHAT GETTING SPANKED AS A KID DID TO YOUR PERSONALITY   The topic of parenting is a sensitive one, especially when the conversation directs to discipline. One such method of discipline in particular has long been debatable: spanking. While many parents agree on its appropriateness, more and more parents are opting out of this disciplinary action. In fact, in 1979, Sweden was the first country to actually implement spanking as illegal. Rights Specialist Emme Kristensson from BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society) states, “It’s a basic human right to grow up free from violence of any kind and abuse, we see that even lesser forms of aggression and violence have long-term effects on you as an individual.” [1] However, many countries have opposed banning spanking or smacking, like New Zealand. People who opposed the ban claimed that, “no decent research shows [a] smack by a loving parent breeds violence.” But they actually may be very wrong. A recent study published in The Journal of Family Psychology by experts at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan, claim that children who get spanked are more likely to “defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties.“ And this isn’t just a typical study that monitored children for maybe a couple of years. In fact, researchers say “it is the most complete analysis to date of the outcomes associated with spanking, and more specific to the effects of spanking alone than previous papers, which included other types of physical punishment in their analyses.” This study is based off of a meta-analysis of 50 years of research involving over 160,000 children. The analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking—an open-handed hit on the behind or extremities. When any parent chooses to spank their child, more often than not his or her intention is to create long-term obedience, when in reality, it only creates immediate obedience.“We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children,” says Elizabeth Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Undoubtedly, parents only want what’s best for their children, so their intention of course isn’t to cause long-term side effects from what they’ve always believed an appropriate form of discipline. That’s why it is vital for all parents to recognize the effects they could unknowingly be causing to their offspring. “The upshot of the study is that spanking increases the likelihood of a wide variety of undesired outcomes for children. Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do.” —Co-author Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work Most people would say that there is a clear distinction between physical abuse and spanking, but both were associated with the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength. Gershoff explains, “our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree,” and that “there is no clear evidence of positive effects from spanking

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Loving Yourself When You’re Too Fat, Too Skinny

  Loving Yourself When You’re Too Fat, Too Skinny, Too Tall, or Too Short   “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau Living in NYC, I have seen some crazy and outrageous things. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see an ad in the subway that read, “Overcome Your Bikini Fears. Breast Augmentation Made In NY: $3,900,” or another ad from the same plastic surgery office that showed a picture of a woman looking sad, holding a pair of small tangerines in front of her breasts, and the same woman looking happy holding grapefruits, with the same caption, “Breast Augmentation Made in NY: $3,900.” Still, I was surprised to see that this plastic surgery office would so overtly play into the insecurities of some women, basically implying, “You’re not good enough as you are; let me make you better.” I understand that this office is simply trying to make a buck—a big buck, that is—but I couldn’t help but be aghast that this sort of message is allowed to be out there, to be seen on the train by many women, especially young women who might be wracked with a poor self-image already. The truth is, I get it. I grew up wanting plastic surgery pretty much from third grade into my early twenties. I was obsessed with looking in the mirror, poking around with my fingers trying to see the “better version” of my face, when it would be somehow reconstructed magically or surgically. My nose was too flat, my eyes were not big enough or deep-set enough, and my jaw was not defined enough. To top it off, my legs were too short and my torso too long. I was not a girl on a magazine cover. It broke my heart that I felt ugly and plain, and that I wanted something different from what I was. I actually felt beautiful sometimes, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, it wasn’t a vision of beauty, as I understood it. The vision of beauty was the girl in a Hollywood movie. The vision of beauty was the girl in a commercial. The vision of beauty had features that I didn’t possess. I kept wishing that my facial and body features would magically change as I grew up, or that I would one day be able to have plastic surgery. But deep down, I knew that I didn’t want to change my physical appearance in order to feel good about myself. Over time, through the transformational work I did in the past decade, I was able to dissolve self-hatred and the desire for plastic surgery, and give myself total acceptance for who I am. Now I feel good in my own skin. I’ve learned that the old adage is true: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I had appreciated it as a concept for a long time, but now I get it and know that it’s true. I used to wish that my face and body would change somehow, but in truth, what needed to change was the way I saw myself and how I felt about myself.

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4 Things You Need to Hear When You’re Emotionally

  4 Things You Need to Hear When You’re Emotionally Exhausted “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” ~John De Paola You’re on the verge of burnout. You’re unmotivated to perform even the simplest of tasks. You’re physically and emotionally isolated. Slight annoyances cause you to snap. You may be blaming your work, other people, or circumstances. But if you dig a little deeper, you may be surprised to learn that your own choices have led to emotional exhaustion. This is good news because it means that you can alleviate your own pain without the permission or blessing of another person. In my junior year of college, I experienced a bout of intense mental and emotional exhaustion. I was pursuing two demanding majors and the heavy workload had finally caught up with me. Desperate to find a way to motivate myself to finish college, I bought Tony Robbins’ Personal Power motivational program after watching his infomercial on late night television. As I delved into the lessons, I fully expected Tony Robbins to motivate me back to good emotional health. Instead, I learned that I needed to take full responsibility for my emotional state. I learned that I had all the tools I needed to nurse myself back to emotional and spiritual health. When I was emotionally exhausted, I realized that my own body was trying to communicate its needs to me. I just needed to listen. If you’re on the brink of burnout, here are some things your body may be trying to tell you: 1. You need to trust your intuition.

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7 Steps to Create More Love and Happiness

  7 Steps to Create More Love and Happiness in the Present Moment “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” ~Abraham Maslow It was 4:00am, but I was wide awake. I wanted to be a great achiever, a great partner, and a great parent. Instead, I had turned into an irritable insomniac who no longer knew how to relax. I was trying to do everything perfectly and be everything to everyone. Demands kept piling up. This made it tough to focus on the present moment. A wandering mind is less happy than a mind focused on what it is doing, according to scientific research. For most people, a wandering mind dominates about half of the time spent awake. That encourages over-thinking, anxiety, and other emotional distress, while limiting the quality of work and play. At the time, I didn’t realize how focusing on many different things at once limited my ability to be fully present in my relationships. I also didn’t realize just how crucial relationships are to happiness. The Harvard Study of Adult Development tracked people for seventy-five years. People who thrived weren’t those who gained wealth and fame, but those who nurtured great relationships with family, friends, and community. What’s the key to nurturing great relationships? Presence. Love flourishes in an atmosphere of kindness, patience, forgiveness, trust, and hope. This is helped by presence and responsiveness in the moment. Anxiety and impatience don’t provide a fertile soil for love. I’ve gradually developed a way of being more present in each waking moment of a busy life. It’s made me much calmer, kinder, happier, more relaxed, confident, and more attentive to family, friends, and even strangers. Think of your mind as a computer screen with many tabs open. How can you close all the tabs except one, and focus on that? Here’s what works for me. 1. Clarify what you value. Identify your top core values, those things that make life worth living for you. For example, I most value love, health, peace of mind, contribution, and self-actualization. Your list might be a bit different. It’s okay to fantasize about being atop some metaphorical mountain. However, it helps to make values, rather than goals, your “mountaintops.” Then you can keep living by your values even if you don’t succeed at one of your goals. For example, you might not yet be able to take that dream round-the-world trip

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CRAB-STUFFED DEVILED EGGS WITH TARRAGON

CRAB-STUFFED DEVILED EGGS WITH TARRAGON   These deviled eggs would pep up any party or appetizer tray. They have just enough bells and whistles to be interesting and new, without so much extra stuff that they make you a lot of additional work. Crabmeat is great with eggs because the crab has a light, very slightly salty seafood taste that contrasts nicely with the richer flavor of the yolk. Add some fresh herbs on top and call it an appetizer! To make these Paleo, make sure to get actual crab meat and not imitation crab (surimi). Imitation crab really is crab in name only – it’s about as far removed from an actual crab as you could get within the realm of things that are still technically food. It’s is made of a ground-up paste of many different white fish, mixed in with food starch, salt, MSG, and other flavorings. Super appetizing, right? But even aside from the gross-out factor, the food starch often contains gluten, so you can never count on imitation crab being gluten free. And that’s all without mentioning that real crab is much more nutritious than imitation crab. Just get the real thing! Once that’s done, the rest of the recipe is simple. If it’s not snack time right away, you can chill the eggs in the fridge until you want to serve them. And if you have any leftovers, just keep them around for a quick, protein-rich snack or lunchbox filler.   Crab-Stuffed Deviled Eggs With Tarragon Recipe

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CHERRY TOMATO AND BASIL QUICHE

CHERRY TOMATO AND BASIL QUICHE This quick quiche is the perfect breakfast (or lunch, or dinner…) just for two – it’s so easy to throw together, it only gets a few dishes dirty, and it makes just as much as you want. A traditional quiche also includes milk and cheese to make the baked eggs creamier and even more delicious – the directions here call for almond cheese to make a dairy-free version. If youtolerate dairy, you could also use regular cheese, or just skip the cheese altogether and just go with the eggs and vegetables. For all the amateur gardeners who grow their own herbs, recipes like this are a great way to really appreciate the difference between home-grown and store-bought basil. And if you have some fresh garden tomatoes to go with it, so much the better! This recipe is perfectly-sized to make just enough for two less-hungry people (or one hungry person) for breakfast, but you could also increase the amounts to make breakfast for a crowd, or to make a week’s worth of grab-and-go breakfasts just for you. If you’ve never tried making baked eggs as a make-ahead breakfast, give it a spin, and if you have, this is a tasty variation to add to your collection. Cherry Tomato And Basil Quiche Recipe

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Switching Paths: You Can Live an Exciting Life

  Switching Paths: You Can Live an Exciting, Fulfilling Life “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Neale Donald Walsch  Lights out. Eyes closed. We biked through an imaginary trail. Our guide shouted the magic word, “switch,” and we knew it was time. We began using our minds to visualize where we wanted to be. I imagined biking down my favorite street in a city abroad. I enjoyed feeling the bumpy ride on the uneven pavement, looking at the clothes line-drying from beautiful ancient buildings, smelling delicious aromas from local cafés, and listening to the different languages that people were speaking around me. My heart felt full. I felt happy. The instructor told our group to shout the word “switch” whenever we felt the urge, and each person had the choice to either stay where they were or switch their path. I felt every muscle working, my heart pumping, the energy soaring within and around me. Hearing that powerful word pushed me to courageously continue on the path that felt right to me. I did not want to switch back. I felt fearless. Then the class ended. My eyes opened, the lights turned on, and I was still in the same place. I was left with the idea of that path, and I knew I wanted to be riding down it more than anything. Playing this game in my college spinning class reminded me that we all have the ability to create the life we want, but we must be willing to get uncomfortable and embrace change. Which Path Would You Choose? There’s a path we are taught we “should” follow, a path that we learn about early on from our family, friends, and teachers. There is also a path that is true to our heart, a path that feels right to each of us individually. For a long time, I lived as a people pleaser and had difficulty making my own choices without getting approval from others. I wanted to switch paths, but I was afraid I would disappoint the people I loved the most.

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You’ll Never Be “Ready,” So Stop Waiting

  You’ll Never Be “Ready,” So Stop Waiting “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready.” ~Hugh Laurie Throughout our childhood and early adult years, we’re conditioned to think we need to be “ready” to take the next big step in life. Our teachers won’t let us get too far ahead of where they think we should be in terms of knowledge. Our parents try to protect us from ideas and truths they think we’re not ready to learn about. We, ourselves, hold back when faced with major decisions that we don’t believe we’re ready to make. We’re constantly told we’ll understand certain things, or be able to do certain things, when we’re older—as if the passage of time alone is enough to teach us everything we need to know about life. This way of thinking has a hugely negative impact on the way we live our lives. For one thing, some of us feel we are ready to move forward in life, but are constantly being held back by societal norms. Additionally, there are those of us who never take the first step toward our goals because, despite being told by society we are ready to do so, we don’t believe we truly are. — The night I graduated from high school, I broke down into tears. It hit me all at once as I returned home from the school-sponsored “All Night Graduation Party”: I had no idea what I was going to do with myself after walking across that stage. Throughout my first eighteen years on Earth, life simply happened to me. I didn’t need to make decisions on my own. As long as I did the work that was given to me, I was passed on to the next grade. Though I did well enough in school, had succeeded at many after-school jobs, and felt pretty good about my life in general, I didn’t feel as if I was ready to take the next step. It was intimidating to think that everyone around me had a plan for the rest of their lives while I had no clue what I wanted to do. I figured if I was going to move away, spend thousands of dollars, and commit to learning a specific set of skills, I had to be 100 percent certain that it wouldn’t end up being a mistake. It never once occurred to me that most of my peers were just as apprehensive about their future. But while I wasted time waiting until I was “ready” to dive into

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How to Stop Living on Autopilot and Make Life More

  How to Stop Living on Autopilot and Make Life More Exciting “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” ~Stephen Hunt Isn’t it funny how metaphors for life exist in all of our everyday experiences? I found myself on a mountain the other day (no, that’s not the metaphor), where the route through the particularly rocky bits was marked with cairns. (For those non-mountain runners, a cairn is a man-made pile of little rocks indicating the pathway.) Even though I was following a fellow runner, I liked to lag behind to enjoy the solitude and absorb the surrounding energy of nature. That’s the hippie in me. There were a few times when I found myself gazing around, feeling lost, hands on hips, looking for those all-important cairns. I yelled, “Where’s the path?” to my patient partner far up ahead, who replied, “You’re always looking for the path! Just come straight up!” And there it is… my metaphor! My personal epiphany was that in my life, I’ve always looked for that proverbial path. The straight and narrow. The safe way. The known route traversed by many. Need I go on? Looking for the known path narrowed my focus to the immediate surroundings. It kept my world and experience small. Had I forged straight up the mountainside, I would have had to navigate through unknown territory on high alert, and with extreme attention and interest. I would have seen different views and experienced a sense of accomplishment and exhilaration. Yet, I followed the path. How often do we do the same in life? Ten years ago I ricocheted in and out of a volatile, toxic relationship. Each time I left I would vow to have a clean break and move on. Yet many times (way too many times) I found myself back in this destructive relationship simply because it seemed easier than finding the courage to venture into something new. I felt comfortable and safe, as I knew what I was getting. It didn’t matter that I was unhappy; it was the known path. We can get from A to B on the known, safe, predictable route, or we can explore a new route and open ourselves to new experiences, adventure, and opportunities. So where do we start? Acknowledge the Mundane Become aware of your daily routines and how they make you feel. Start noticing those things you do on automatic pilot, things as simple as your grooming routines. Do you brush your teeth the same way every day? How about what you have for breakfast and lunch? Do you make the same thing because it’s easier and quicker?

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10 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Mindset and Change

  10 Ways to Cultivate a Positive Mindset and Change Your Life “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha I remember how I used to think; it was always, “People suck” and “I hate (fill in the blank).” I was constantly focusing on the bad side of humanity, so that was all I could see. It cast a shadow, which took the joy out of life. It should have been obvious that I was creating my own misery, but I wasn’t able to see how my own thoughts affected my mood. I had to change my entire outlook by training my mind to see things in a new light. It would have been easy to stay on the same path. After all, I had chronic fatigue, no money, and nothing to look forward to because I didn’t have a compelling vision of the future. I felt the present situation was permanent. Eventually, I’d had enough and started thinking about what I could do to change my situation. Change was slow, but a new path that wasn’t clear to me before started to appear as I worked on my mindset. As things progressed, my goals and dreams became bigger and more ambitious. I started imagining being fit, healthy, running my own business, and traveling the world. These are some of the things I did to change my mindset and my life. 1. Seek positive friends. A negative social circle will act as an echo chamber for bad ideas. A positive social circle will also act as an echo chamber, but one that supports your dreams, so choose your friends carefully. Find people who reflect the values you want to adopt. Join groups online and go to networking or social events focused on personal growth. As your own mind starts to change, it’ll become easier to connect with more positive people. I’m not suggesting that you ditch friends who are going through a hard time and need your support, but rather that you evaluate whether some of your relationships are persistently draining and unhealthy. I left my old social circle because it was an echo chamber for negativity. Instead of focusing on a great future, everyone was talking about the things they didn’t like about life. It was hard to make new friends at first. The problem was that I couldn’t offer any value to people with much more positive mindsets—the kind of people who I wanted to emulate.

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How to Stop Taking Things for Granted and Feel

  How to Stop Taking Things for Granted and Feel Blessed “I count my blessings every day, quite honestly, because I take nothing for granted.” ~Mario Andretti You know that feeling. When you feel bad about yourself for not being grateful enough. Maybe not often, but surely sometimes. You are busy working hard, trying to make things work. Busy at life. But then you see a nine-year-old painting a picture holding a brush with his toes. He has no hands. And it hits you: You’re so busy trying to make your life better, you forget that it is already beautiful. You feel guilty for not being happy enough. How I Found My Hidden Blessing in Life When I left for college it was the first time I went away from home to a different city. My parents were concerned about how I would adjust to life in New Delhi. But I was excited. I wanted to do this. As my college life began, I faced a problem: I was bad at managing my expenses. I had no idea how to spend money reasonably. Until then, my parents took care of everything. The unspoken message had been, “You focus on your studies, and we’ll take care of your needs.” Middle class families don’t lack in money, but the expenses are always modest. So when I ran out on my monthly share in ten days, I was horrified. Exploring the city with new friends, eating delicious meals in restaurants, buying a pair of Nike trousers all contributed to my downfall. Expecting a scolding, I told them what had happened. But there was no scolding, just a reassuring “I’ll put more money in account today.” A few weeks later, the same thing happened. I was sure this time they would get angry. But they didn’t. They simply poured in more money. And that is when I realized: My parents truly loved me, but I had been taking it for granted.

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Now Is the Time toDo theThings That Make You Happy

  Now Is the Time to Do the Things That Make You Happy “The trouble is you think you have time.” ~Buddha When I first read this quote after graduating from college, I fell headfirst into a tailspin of “do it now, do it now, do it now.” I had to travel the world, while doing yoga, and learning Spanish, and hiking the PCT, and living in different cities, and building my resume, and reading every book ever written. With every check I put next to an item on my bucket list, I found ten new things that pulled me different directions. I tried to do it all and ironically, felt like I got nowhere. I was so frantically searching for my place and planning my next step that I often neglected where I was. I was trying to protect myself from feeling regret for not having experienced life to its fullest, but I was so busy doing this that I missed a lot on the way. The reality is that in the present moment there is nothing to protect myself from; it is the safest place to be. I began to

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Why It’s Okay to Feel Lost and How tofind Your Way

  Why It’s Okay to Feel Lost and How to Find Your Way Again Feeling lost, crazy and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty and reason.” ~Alain de Botton Do you feel lost and alone? Adrift and confused about which way to go? Do you long for “something more” but have no clue what’s missing? Maybe you’re not miserable exactly, but you’re not animated and in love with life either. Your circumstances may even look pretty good on the outside. But on the inside, where truth resides, you are bored to tears, unfulfilled, and restless. Or maybe you are miserable, stuck in a painful place, silently suffering. Trust me; I know what that feels like. I felt lost as an introverted, highly sensitive soul struggling to conform to my environment. I felt lost as I endured the shame of a teen pregnancy and years of pent-up grief over the adoption of my baby. And I felt completely lost when I realized that I had spent over twenty years pursuing work that was utterly wrong for me. For decades, I tried to just ignore the disturbing aspects of my life. I became good at distracting myself with routines and habits that brought me a sense of peace, however superficial. Some of these habits even turned into addictions I had to overcome, but that’s another story. With no real sense of identity or direction, I mostly did as I was told, stayed on the periphery of things, and focused on giving others what I thought they wanted from me. Until I became so weary with my soul-crushing job and so depleted by not honoring my true nature that I felt like I’d die if I didn’t make a change. But if I wasn’t going to do this work anymore, what was I going to do? And how would I honor my true nature when I didn’t even know who I was or what I really wanted? I sure have lost my way a lot in life. It’s scary. But it’s okay. Because feeling lost can be a good thing. Let me show you why. Why It’s Okay to Feel Lost It means something better is waiting for you. All feelings arise to show you something about yourself and your life.

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How to Reconnect with the Inner Light Below Your

  How to Reconnect with the Inner Light Below Your Pain TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with an account of physical abuse and may be triggering to some people.   “What hurts you blesses you, darkness is your candle.” ~Rumi We are all born with it. The beautiful bright light in our soul, filled with love and happiness. I remember having that feeling of being so alive and free and untouched by fear or worry. This is who we are at the core of our being. This is our true authentic self, from before the world told us who we needed to be and negative outside circumstances started to tear down our self-worth and self-esteem. I can tell you exactly what age I was when the light inside of me started to fade. I was seven years old and there was physical abuse at home with belts and hangers. From the very first moment it happened, I remember being in my bed and hugging my Snoopy doll, questioning what love and trust really meant. Worst of all, I started to believe that I was not worthy of safety and security, and decided I must be a really unlovable girl. Having this negative belief about myself, I could no longer hear anything positive from anyone. No matter what compliment someone offered or how much someone would try to show me love, I would go back to this now instilled belief: “You are not worth it. No one will love you. You are supposed to feel pain if love is involved.” This false self-perception led me down many dark paths into self-destruction and self-sabotage, and my world in my mind became very small. I was attracting circumstances and people in my life that would reaffirm my low self-worth so that I could tell myself, each and every time I was abandoned, rejected, or broken up with, “See, what you think is true—you are not worth it.” This eventually turned into a huge black abyss in my soul,

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Follow Your Heart Not Your Fear How to Make Choice

  Follow Your Heart Not Your Fear: How to Make Choices That Are Right for You Unnecessary fear of a bad decision is a major stumbling block to good decisions.” ~Jim Camp Twenty years ago, my wife and I decided to move from Montréal, where we had lived for the first 35 years of our lives, to Nova Scotia, 800 miles away, where we had no connections whatsoever. Neither a small decision, nor undertaking, since this involved our four kids and the entire contents of our house (not to mention a dog and two cats!) Why were we moving? We were not moving because of a job opportunity; we enjoyed the life we had in Montréal. And there was nothing—as far as we knew—waiting for us in Nova Scotia. Nothing, except our future, the next stage of our lives. But we both had a strong, clear feeling—a felt sense—that it was time to leave. And we both had a strong, clear feeling that Nova Scotia was the right place to move to. Simple as that. There were lots of reasons to think that we shouldn’t make this move and take all the risks involved. In the year before we moved, every attempt I made at getting work there fell through. Every attempt I made at finding a house to rent fell through. It was literally only three weeks before we moved that we finally had a place to move to! There was plenty of worry, stress, and anxiety, plenty of thoughts saying that this was a bad decision. By this point in my life, though, I had learned to listen to my intuition, and to the signals of my heart, to guide me in my life choices. I had learned not let my thoughts (that is to say, my worries, doubts, fears, anxieties, and apprehensions) paralyze me in my decision-making. I had learned to have more confidence in what my body felt than in what my mind said. There was a time when I would have wasted a lot of time and energy debating back and forth, and then made a choice I was neither sure was the right one, nor fully happy with. For the first three decades or more of my life, I was a person who struggled intensely with making choices and decisions. I was usually afraid of making the wrong choice, and unsure of how to know whether I was making the right choice. Aside from any question about “right versus wrong” choices, I worried about what others would think, or how others would feel, if I made this or that choice. This indecision, this self-doubt, resulted in significant stress and anxiety—sometimes, to the point of feeling too paralyzed to act at all—as well as resulting in wasted time, lost opportunities, and regrets. Over the years, I worked in therapy on overcoming anxiety and other issues, and learned and practiced meditation and mindfulness, and yoga. Over time, and with consistent practice, I gradually learned how to find a calm center in the midst of those conflicted thoughts. I also learned how to tune into my heart, with heart-focused meditations. I discovered that my heart would always tell me what I really needed. There was always one clear answer from the heart, about what was right for me in any given situation. And when I experimented with acting on those choices, the outcomes were always good, and I never felt doubt or regret. There was a consistent sense of acting in alignment with my true self, my true purpose…my truth.

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An Open Letter To My Bullies for making me strong

  An Open Letter To My Bullies Thank You For Making Me Strong “The heart is like a garden: it can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?” ~Jack Kornfield Dear Bullies, To be honest, I didn’t think I would ever write you a letter. As far as I was concerned, the amount of suffering I went through during my school years was enough to make me bitter. I didn’t forgive you, and I most certainly wasn’t about to forget. I remember those years like it was yesterday—the cruel name calling; the scrutinizing of how I looked, what I said, and what I did; the public humiliation and cornering on the bus rides home. Wrong face. Wrong size. Wrong skin color. Wrong personality. No matter how hard I tried to understand it all, it felt like the world was telling me that I didn’t belong, and I never would. I remember the hours spent locked in my room crying after school, while my mother paced around the house anxiously. Back then I didn’t know how to communicate to her how I was feeling, and she felt at a loss how to help. I felt paralyzed and confused. In the schoolyard I was the good girl who

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When You’ve Lost Your Job How to Start Moving For

  When You’ve Lost Your Job: How to Start Moving Forward If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ~Martin Luther King Jr. For five years, I worked for an incredible little company that makes creative products for creative people. I first joined the company as the marketing director and over time, moved into a top executive role. It was a wonderful adventure with passionate people and incredible learnings, challenges, and joys. And then it wasn’t. I was laid off. Suddenly I, among other top executives, managers, and team members, found myself out of work. The reason? Budget cuts. But that didn’t really matter. What mattered was that my “second home,” the place where I had made close friendships, where I had mentored and worked side by side to build teams, where I had laughed, cried, and come to work after too many sleepless nights of worry and planning, had let me go. I had lost my daily connection with my tribe. My mind flooded with thoughts, questions and emotions. I was pissed, and heartbroken and frightened, all at the same time. How could this have happened? What was I going to do? It was paralyzing. And then I paused and took a deep breath. I reminded myself of a phrase a friend had told me long ago, “Eat your elephant one bite at a time.” It had helped me through other seemingly impossible projects and life changes, so why not now? I asked myself what one thing I could do that day to move me forward. I knew that even one small step would be better than nothing. The pause brought me a moment of clarity. In that moment, I knew there was only one thing I needed to do. I took a deep breath and cried.

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Hate Your Job? Change May Be Hard, but It’s Worth

  When You’ve Lost Your Job How to Start Moving Forward “It’s never the environment; it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events—how we interpret them—that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow.” ~Tony Robbins How long are we going to put up with lifestyles that kill us before we decide to do something about it? It’s no surprise to me that between 70-80 percent of American workers (depending on the source) dislike their jobs. I was part of that statistic until the disappointment got the better of me and I had no choice but to leave it all behind. Things were off to a great start; at least, they were for two months after my wedding. The week after Thanksgiving my boss came in after my shift and gave me the news that I was being laid-off without severance, effective immediately. This was shocking, and given the nature of the situation, I was angry, disappointed, stressed, sad, and anxious. Considering that my boss was a close family friend, I also felt betrayed. I didn’t want to go home and give the news to my family, so I did the only thing I could think of—I sat in an empty parking lot and cried for two hours. All of my problems were directly related to the stress of not having an income. So many thoughts ran through my head during those two hours, like the vision of being in a homeless rut and never getting out of it. I was in a state of panic, and sitting alone for two hours was not a good decision for my mental health. After a long discussion with my wife, we were able to calmly rationalize the situation and create a plan. It turns out everything was going to work out just fine. It had to—there was no other option. After three months of rigorous job-hunting, I got an offer for a new job for a major security corporation. This time it was in IT (tech support), so I could put my degree to good. My pay doubled and I had access to benefits, which I did not have at my previous job. It turns out that getting laid off actually worked to my benefit. My job started to lose its appeal around six months. I was beginning to notice the flaws within the company, the lack of good management and training, the politics that come with corporate jobs, and all of the drama between different levels of management.

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How to Find the Courage to Quit Your Unfulfilling

  How to Find the Courage to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake.” ~Francis Bacon Sr. Isn’t it a shame? You’ve studied and worked hard to get to where you are. You’ve succeeded. And you got that job. But now, it just doesn’t feel right. Well, I understand exactly what you’re going through. Once upon a time, I thought I had it all too. A great position, a great salary with generous bonuses, and I was working in the heart of the city of love: Paris. My life and career might have looked perfect on the outside, but on the inside, I was desperately yearning for something else. As the months went by, my sadness skyrocketed. And the voice inside telling me to change grew ever stronger. So did my concerns, worries, and fears about the future. What if things didn’t work out? What if I couldn’t make enough money? What if I would come to regret my decision? Sound familiar? When I evaluated my life, though, I found that the idea of staying was scarier than anything that may happen if I quit. So, I finally found the courage to leave the safety of a corporate job to find my true calling in life. If you’re yearning for change but too scared of the what-ifs, the following tips will help you evaluate your life and finally find your courage as well. 1. Choose to live by design instead of by default. Take a step back and look at what kind of life you truly want to live. Does it look like the one you’re living today? A while back, I asked myself that question. One of the things that came back to me was that I wanted my life to revolve more around yoga. So, now I’m training to become a yoga teacher. Don’t settle for mediocrity or life by default. Instead, decide to make active choices to create the life you desire—that’s the only way you’ll get there. 2. Fear regret rather than failure. Failing means you tried and learned something. Regret, on the other hand, comes as a response to what hasn’t happened. It’s an ugly emotion that usually doesn’t show up until it’s already too late. Failing at something is scary, but regret is even scarier. Wouldn’t you rather try and fail now instead of one day regretting you never tried at all? 3. Imagine the worst-case scenario. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you quit your unfulfilling job? Maybe you’d have to find another full-time job? Maybe you’d be standing without a safety net, unable to care for the people that depend on you?

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7 Ways to Make Your Workday Awesome

  7 Ways to Make Your Workday Awesome “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” ~Wayne Dyer I wish my first real boss had read the book Fish. It’s the story of Mary Jan Ramirez, a young widow who took a job managing the least productive and most negative department of First Guarantee Financial, in Seattle, Washington. In fact, the department was referred to as the “toxic waste dump” of the company. One day she had an epiphany as she observed workers in “Pike Place Fish Market,”—people who had smelly, nasty jobs of cleaning, wrapping, cooking, and serving fish to an overflow crowd. This team was having a great time and were the reason for the overflow crowd. She found the owner and began a several-month relationship during which she learned how to make the workplace both fun and productive. My first real job was when I was a student at USC, studying computer science and game/app design and minoring in media communications. I took a part-time job with a small local consulting firm that handled digital marketing campaigns for small businesses—maintaining their blogs and their social media platforms, user testing designs and specific strategies, and so forth. The owner of the firm was a sour man. He assigned tasks and deadlines to all of us, discouraged collaboration, and seemed only to come out of his office to “bark” at someone. While the creativity portion of the work was personally rewarding, the office itself was a bleak, stark den of unhappy people. Fortunately, he was gone quite a bit, meeting with prospects and managing current ones (I don’t know how he made any sales—perhaps he had a split-personality), and we were like those bad children who came out to play when he left. I was determined to make my workday more pleasant, and hopefully the days of my co-workers, so I began to add things to the environment. The result? We began to have some fun at work and, despite, the disapproving looks of Mr. Sour Man, he could not argue with success. Everyone was more productive. If you are in such a situation, I urge you to take a look at the suggestions below. They really do work.

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Chicken Tacos with Kale-Slaw and Avocado Salsa

  Chicken Tacos with Kale-Slaw and Avocado Salsa     These fresh and fun Chicken Tacos with Kale-Slaw and Avocado Salsa from Superfood For Kids, is a great recipe to get the kids assembling their own dinner! Ingredients 500 g chicken tenderloins. 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground. 1/2 teaspoon oregano, ground. 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, ground. 1 clove

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Detoxifying Carrot Soup Recipe with Turmeric and G

  Detoxifying Carrot Soup Recipe with Turmeric and Ginger Bring the best of the best among detoxifying ingredients together with this roasted carrot soup, which is infused with aromatic spices that carry both immense flavor an incredible health benefits. Enjoy this soup warm or cool. No matter the time of year, it is always important to have a go-to immunity-building and detoxifying soup that fills you up without overtaxing your digestive system. When your digestive tract is given a break, your body can focus on other things, such as clearing skin, strengthening the liver, and burning fat. Ginger, as you may already know, is a panacea of sorts. It has anti-inflammatory effects and helps to protect against cancer. Turmeric’s benefits are 

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Do What You Love, and Be Who You Really Are

  How to Leave Your 9-5, Do What You Love, and Be Who You Really Are I put so much hate into my 9-5 that it actually drained my energy. I’d complain to others, feel sorry for myself, and moan to my parents about why I just couldn’t f*cking quit. I’d like to say this only went on for days, or weeks, or even months. But it went on for years. One time I was so drained that I fell asleep at the wheel. When I opened my eyes, I was about to smash into an oncoming car, and I had to yank the steering wheel as hard as I could in the opposite direction. The car spun around a couple of times before coming to rest a few yards away from some trees. I was shaken but I was ok. I was alive. I was awake. I drove home and curled up in the foetal position on my bed and just breathed. I could’ve been killed. But I wasn’t. I was still here. I was finding it difficult to accept how lucky I’d just been. That literally could’ve been it. I thought to myself“imagine if I’d just… died?” I thought about my parents. They would’ve been destroyed. Obviously, I wouldn’t have been around to see them be destroyed, but picturing them being destroyed… I couldn’t picture anything worse. I cried. I couldn’t let that happen to them. I wouldn’t let that happen to me. Because that’s what else I thought of. I thought about how much I hated my job, how unfulfilling my life was, how much I wanted to escape this reality… and I thought about how I wasn’t doing anything about any of it. All I was doing was complaining, and feeling sorry for myself, and putting my problems on the shoulders of my parents. And I was doing all of that because I thought I was entitled to success. It’s not like I thought to myself “I’m entitled to whatever kind of success I want!” It’s not like I told other people“hey, I’m entitled to success!” But I was complaining and feeling sorry for myself and feeling jealous of other successful people so what does that say? Because that’s what’s happening when you’re jealous of successful people. It’s because you think you’re entitled to success. You think you should be successful because they’re successful. You think you should be successful right now because they’re successful right now. No. They earned their success. You haven’t. Not yet. I didn’t want to accept that. I didn’t want to accept that I hadn’t done anything to earn any kind of success. Because that would mean that I wasn’t entitled to it, and that meant that success wasn’t guaranteed, and what if success wasn’t guaranteed? Well, if success wasn’t guaranteed, then there was the possibility that I’d never be successful. And I hated that thought. I didn’t want it to be true. But the truth doesn’t change just because you can’t handle it. I felt like I was entitled to success because that would be easier than working for it.

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Stop Interpreting and Start Listening

  Stop Interpreting and Start Listening     When you want to connect; when you want to create a relationship,the most vital action to take is to deeply listen. All relationships and connections are circles…enclosed combinations of projections and receptions. Amongst humans, and any creature with verbal communication, reception is listening — projection is expressing. Sunia is the word in Sanskrit/Gurumukhi that means: the art of ‘extreme deep listening’…beyond the words…listening to the tones; to the inflections; to the inferences — each subtlety of the sound. It’s

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Chicken Korma with Cumin Naan

    Chicken Korma with Cumin Naan         We love the look of this Chicken Korma with Cumin Naan by Callum Hann and Themis Chryssidis' in their latest cookbook Quick. Easy. Healthy. Who knew making naan bread from scratch could be so darn simple?! Ingredients 130 g

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Stop Fighting Life

  Stop Fighting Life   I have two friends who are trying to do beautiful things in the world. One is an ardent environmentalist who really passionately yearns to save the biosphere and protect the planet. The other is a social worker serving abused, abandoned, neglected, traumatized children in a community where most people are hooked on meth. Both carry so much pain in their deeply empathic hearts that their own bodies are suffering. I worry that these two are killing themselves with those broken open, bleeding, service-oriented hearts. Yet, I see in them a painful pattern that leads to unnecessary suffering, one I recognize because I’m still in the process of breaking this pattern myself. But it’s not easy. Breaking this kind of pattern is like trying to put an octopus to bed. The minute you get two arms tucked quietly under the covers, six more arms of the pattern sneak out! Here’s what I wish I could say to these two extraordinary big-hearted activists: To be on the front lines of service work, you have to stop fighting what is. Yes, it hurts that our biosphere is at risk. Yes, it breaks our hearts that innocent children are violated every day. We can’t skip those emotions. They remind us that we’re humans with sensitive hearts, and this is a good thing. In his work with grief, Francis Weller acknowledges the five gates of grief—the grief of losing a loved one, the grief for places within us that are hidden in shame or banished from our awareness, the grief of our loss of connection with nature and each other, the grief for what we hoped for but never received, and ancestral grief. In our culture, we often only acknowledge and respect the first gate—losing a loved one. But these other gates of grief are real and to neglect them or fail to feel them means either living in denial or “spiritual bypassing,” whereby we use spiritual principles or practices to skip painful emotions. Grief can’t be skipped, so I would never tell my two friends to avoid the pain they feel. However, we can get stuck in the story of “the world is wrong.” The world is the way it is. This is what is. We can keep fighting life and suffering needlessly or we can choose to let go of the painful story that says that the biosphere shouldn’t be dying. Let go of the gut-wrenching agony that says children should not be abused and neglected. Let go of the part of you that thinks you—and you alone—are here to fix this brokenness in the world. Let go of any story that says that if you take a day off or turn your back on yet another client or say no to yet another climate change conference, the world will fall apart and it will be all your fault. What if the world isn’t broken? What if there is Divine perfection in things just as they are?

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Do Good Anyway

    Do Good Anyway     Living in Los Angeles, I see a lot of homeless people asking for food, sleeping on benches, begging in front of storefronts. Recently, I was walking into a coffee shop to get my post workout iced tea. A woman came up to me and asked if I’d buy her something to eat. I was a little caught off guard but agreed. I got her a foot long sub from Subway and then went into the coffee shop. A group of guys were laughing and looking at me, which made me feel uneasy. One of them, a tall lanky kid, walked over and said, “we’re not laughing at you. We’re laughing because that woman has been out there for at least an hour and she has gotten two sandwiches, about seventeen dollars in cash, cookies, bags of chips and now your sandwich. She’s cleaning up.  She scammed you.”

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Do You Want To Make a Difference in This World?

  Do You Want To Make a Difference in This World? I keep seeing people post comments on “famous” people’s instagram accounts, or people with huge followings, or hot girls with “perfect bodies” in bikinis on beaches looking “candid” and these comments say things like: OMG – I want your life. I sooooo wish I was you. You’re life is perfect! I wanna be u!   our life is the only life you should wish you had. It’s the only one you’ve got. Don’t you dare go comparing or wishing you were someone else just because there life looks shiny and pretty or they get a lot of attention. Wake up. You are it. Think about this. You find yourself saying “I

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How to Be Generous !

  How to Be Generous   Don’t keep score. If you bring “obligation” into the equation, it makes everything janky. We all do favours (personally, I’m leery of favours) for each other and hope that it will be reciprocated. But…really really really it doesn’t matter what you did for anyone yesterday. Really it doesn’t. Don’t let it. You gave it. Let it go. No one owes you anything. Remembah! (this requires a Yonkers accent): Ya can’t do nuthin’ by yerself. Everyone needs someone to pull it awff. So just give your love freely, with zero 

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Your Calling Doesn’t Have to Be Grand

  Your Calling Doesn’t Have to Be Grand     Recently, I spoke at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit, where 3000 people who yearn to make the world a better place gather to inspire one another and compare notes. My talk was, in part, about sacred activism, how we can find and fulfill our spiritual mission and allow our gifts and talents to be used in service to our life purpose. As part of my call to spiritual action to those in the WDS community, I shared something I wrote about in my upcoming book The Anatomy of a Calling. The “Karass” and the “Granfalloon” In Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut writes about how God organizes the world into units which he calls a “karass.” A karass is a unit of incarnated beings whose job it is to bring into being one of God’s holy ideas. Members of a karass all further the collective purpose seamlessly, though many never even know they are part of this karass. Even if they never meet, they work together in harmony, in impeccable service to God’s holy idea. Everything about their lives furthers the purpose perfectly, even though they may be furthering the purpose unconsciously. When you meet someone who is a member of your karass, even though it may make no sense to you on a human level, you will recognize them as a family member instantly. Your souls will resonate, even if you appear to have nothing in common on the human level. This is how the Divine gets important things done in the world. Your karass is like a peaceful army that activates to bring light into the world. Vonnegut compares the karass to its polar opposite, which he calls “The Granfalloon.” The Granfalloon is a group of people who think they are connected to each other in some way, but they have no spiritual connection whatsoever. For example, the Harvard class of 1986—or the Republican party—or Mets fans. They are completely unrelated to each other when it comes to their soul purpose. They may think they belong to the same tribe, but the bond is shallow, whereas the bond between members of a karass runs deep and pure. Members of the same karass are held to their purpose like electrons around a nucleus. Some live very close to the purpose. Some are further out. But all are held to the purpose by a spiritual magnetism. They may have never met each other, or they may be married to each other. They may work in the same field or they may have very different careers. But their lives fit together in service to this shared spiritual purpose. We are all here for an unknown purpose. Serving this purpose makes us feel fulfilled and enriched. But if we get seduced off purpose—by ambition, fame, money, or the ego’s grasping at comfort—our vitality gets stolen from us. When we commit to this purpose we’re here to serve, when we give ourselves to serving it with great impeccability, everything begins to fall into place. Finding & Fulfilling Your Calling We all have the opportunity to find our karass and fulfill our calling. When we do, we are filled with a deep sense of fulfillment that nourishes us at the soul level, that sense of knowing that you have been an instrument of Divine work in the world. This kind of fulfillment is much more deeply enriching than making lots of money, writing a book that hits the New York Times bestseller’s list, becoming a household name, or even reaching lots of people with charitable works. Finding and fulfilling your calling requires courage, because it often means following your heart and trusting your intuition, even when it guides you away from what our culture most values—security, comfort, reason, safety, and practicality. What if you’re loaded with courage but you still haven’t found your calling?

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A Step by Step Guide to Visualization

  A Step by Step Guide to Visualization     The notion of using visualization to achieve a goal is not altogether new. Athletes and chess players have been using this technique to enhance their performance for decades. I have taught visualization as a tool to manifest a desired result, to clients and students all over the country for the past fifteen years. Wishing or hoping is the opposite of visualizing and planning. Visualization requires you to harness the power of your intention to create what you seek.Before you put energy into visualizing you have to first answer the question: That is really a topic for another blog, but worth looking at because if you’re more comfortable wanting, you will find ways (probably unconscious) to sabotage what you are seeking to create.

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5 Tips for Becoming a Better Listener

  5 Tips for Becoming a Better Listener     I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Bernstein‘s work in the Wall Street Journal, and she wrote an interesting piece, How Well Are You Listening? We’re naturally bad listeners, even with loved ones; steps to avoid burn-out.   Here are some of the key steps she outlines, for being a better listener: 1. Look for hints that a person wants to talk — and signal your willingness to listen. My husband rarely wants to “talk,” but when he does, I put my book down flat in my lap, to show that I’m paying close attention (and to prevent myself from sneaking a look at the page).

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Reinventing Yourself

  Reinventing Yourself   I have reinvented myself so many times. I was a lawyer. Then I was a yoga instructor. Then I managed a gym. Now I’m a life and health coach, and top Wellness Advocate for a premium line of essential oils. I was single. Then I got married. Then I got divorced. Then I got remarried. Now I’m a mom. In all of the times that I have reinvented myself, I didn’t go into it thinking that I had to create a whole new me. I didn’t put out some big announcement: ***NEWSFLASH.  HAYLEY HOBSON WAS A LAWYER AND THEN SHE QUIT HER SIX FIGURE INCOME TO BECOME A YOGA INSTRUCTOR. NEWS AT 11.*** Why announce it – just so that the whole world could witness if I fell flat on my face? No. I just knew that I was not leading the life I really wanted as a lawyer. I knew that by becoming a yoga instructor I would. Going from a lawyer to a yoga instructor wasn’t the biggest piece of my self-reinvention, by the way. It was everything I learned about the world of yoga that created the real change. I got in touch with my breath, with my body. I learned how strong I was. I loved how good I felt on my mat and I developed a passion for it. I wanted to teach others how to feel that good. I embraced a healthier lifestyle that would later fuel my stepping forward again into becoming a life and health coach. From lawyer to health coach – think about that. If there’s something you’re interested in – that lights you up inside every time you do it or even just think about it, go for it! Let it define who you are and who you want to be. I get it, though. Change is scary, it’s hard, and it doesn’t always work out. Some brave ladies posted

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How to Make Surrender Your Choice for Winning

  How to Make Surrender Your Choice for Winning at Life “Surrender isn’t about being passive. It’s about being open.” ~ Danielle LaPorte Does the thought of surrendering send shivers up your spine? Do you immediately think of giving up? Or giving in? What’s the real truth about surrender? Could Surrender ever be Sweet? You hear tell of “sweet surrender.” But surrender was never sweet for me. It meant losing—losing face, losing the game, losing who I thought I was. The truth was that I felt like I would lose myself. Even if I didn’t have a clear notion of what that meant. If I stayed in control I would be protected; even as my gut was clenched against a blow that never came and my spirit sagged beneath the weight of my sorry expectations. My years as a psychotherapist taught me to refer to this way of being as “using defense mechanisms”. It was a way to keep me feeling safe in the

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Are You a Worrier? Three Tips to Worry Less

  Are You a Worrier? Three Tips to Worry Less.   I worry to some extent, of course, but I don’t think I worry as much as a lot of people. Many people worry about how much they worry! The New York Times had an interesting article by Roni Caryn Rabin, “Worried? You’re Not Alone.” In it, Rabin points out several intriguing findings in a Liberty Mutual Insurance research paper, the “Worry Less Report.” Apparently Millennials worry about money. Single people worry about housing (and money). People worry less as they grow older.

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How to Tap Into Your Intuition

  How to Tap Into Your Intuition   My intuition saved my life. In 1998, after a cancer diagnosis, surgery and radiation treatment the doctors gave me a clean bill of health. This is exactly what you hope to hear on your follow visit and thankfully I felt perfectly fine…physically. But…I could not not shake this nagging feeling that something else was wrong. I felt that there was more cancer that they missed. Everyone thought I was nuts and just traumatized from what I had been through. The surgeon at the hospital that claims to provide, “the best cancer care anywhere,” was such a condescending jerk when I tried to discuss my ‘feeling’ that I fired him on the spot. My husband agreed that I should trust my intuition and follow it. So we surgeon shopped in NYC until I found a doctor who would remove the other half of my thyroid based solely on my non-medical intuition. I was diagnosed with a more dangerous cancer that could spread to lungs and bones. I had another surgery and more radiation. My surgeon said, “I am really glad we listened to your intuition.” Um…me too pal! Do you have a story like mine? How dialed into your own intuition or innate wisdom are you? When you get a gut instinct about something, do you follow it or are you afraid to trust what you’re feeling? From a therapeutic point of view there are many factors that can block your ability to recognize the

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How to Be Classy When It Doesn’t Work out the Way

  How to Be Classy When It Doesn’t Work out the Way You Expected. The Grace of Loss. I was in the ladies room when I ran into a good-friend-of-a-good-friend. We were thrilled to see each other. “I didn’t know you’d be here!” I said as we hugged. “Well how often do you come to this city to speak?! I wouldn’t miss it!” she replied. We caught up quickly on our kids and careers. It was slightly rushed because I was about to go on stage to speak.

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Why I Still Believe People Can Change

  Why I Still Believe People Can Change     I have worked as a clinical psychologist for over twenty-five years and as a family law attorney for over twelve years. In that time, I have witnessed people behaving at their best and I have seen people operating at their absolute worst. I have watched people get stuck and unstuck. I have watched hearts break and mend again. I have watched people make horrendous decisions and beautiful ones, too. I have witnessed real-life miracles, unfolding before my eyes. The miracle of forgiveness. The miracle of self-confidence. The miracle of brave self-expression, despite decades of being told to “shut up.” Hundreds, if not thousands of times, I have witnessed the greatest miracle of all: The miracle of unconditional love. After all these years, now, more than ever before… I still believe that people can change. Why? Because my clients prove it to me, every day. And today? I want to share a few of their stories with you. (Names have been changed. But every single story is true.) I believe… because of Aaron. Aaron resented his father for being so controlling while he was growing up, and for wanting to mold him in a certain way (“You’ll become a doctor or a lawyer!”) rather than letting him have his own identity. For the longest time, Aaron was angry at his father, and didn’t want anything to do with him. Then, when Aaron’s father was diagnosed with cancer, and needed his son to be his full-time caregiver, Aaron learned how to forgive… and let go of a twenty year old grudge. With forgiveness came the opportunity to share love and compassion, until the very end — when the father died in the loving embrace of his son.

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Kindness & Your Love Life !

  Kindness & Your Love Life     Romantic relationships have the capacity to bring out the best in you, and the worst in you. According to relationship expert Harville Hendrix, we unconsciously choose romantic partners who mirror our unresolved childhood wounds (hopefully so they can be resolved, but that does not always happen.). For an array of reasons the romantic relationship can be an emotionally loaded connection where behavior can swing from extreme kindness to extreme cruelty. It’s interesting, when you think about how good it feels to be kind, how many people find themselves stuck in a pattern of behaving in an unkind manner towards their partner. Snapping, harsh words, an aggressive tone and thoughtless action all chip away at the foundation that a relationship is built on. For many couples the issue is not intentional cruelty but a lack of intentional

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To the Voices That Say I’m No Good.I Say...!

  To the Voices That Say I’m No Good. I Say…     To the voices that say “It’s crazy to call yourself a success.”   I say: “There seems to be a crazy here, but it’s not me.” To the voices that say “you are not worth it.” I say: ”I disagree, but I know how you feel.” To the voices that say “you are fat.” I say: ”I have substance, and I know how to use it.” To the voices that say “You have an accent.” I say: “Yes, and it’s elegant.” To the voices that say “You are just fishing for compliments.” I say: ”I can see how you would see it that way.” To the voices that say “I wish you would die.” I say: ”Oh dear! It must be hard to feel so envious.”

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What If You Could Meet Pain and Fear With Love?

  What If You Could Meet Pain and Fear With Love?     “Just breathe,” I whispered to myself. Sitting on a bench just off a hiking trail, I watched the cars speed by in the valley below. Just ten minutes earlier I had been in one of those cars driving home from work, my mind a mess. It was just one of those days where the little things were getting to me. It was the kind of day where it seemed that nothing was going the way it was supposed to. That day hurt to be in. Why does this day hurt so much?  Something called me to that trail, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. I had never even thought of visiting this trail before that moment. What am I even doing here? This whole scenario was not like me. Usually, I power through. I get my game face on and jump in with a quick fix before I even give it a chance to play out. I’m not always so good at being there when it hurts. Cover it up. Bury it. Blame it on someone else. Anything but be there. Sitting on that bench, I could see my little corner of the world unfold beneath me. I watched the cars on the road where I had just been. “Let it unfold,” I said. I watched the people going about their day just as I had been moments before. People, just like me, each on their own path. “This path is hard right now,” I stated simply. I admitted that I had been resisting this path that I was on. When I looked at it, I thought about how this wasn’t where I was supposed to be and this wasn’t how things were supposed to go. I was supposed to be glowing and pregnant, not still recovering from a miscarriage. I was supposed to be planning to finally stay home with the kids, not sitting through more staff meetings and commutes home with no end in sight. These were supposed to be the best years, right? I was supposed to be soaking it all up and enjoying it while I could because it would be

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What to Do When Someone Pushes Your Buttons

  What to Do When Someone Pushes Your Buttons     We are all each others teachers and in ALL our relationships from family to colleagues to friends to romantic partners, there are going to be times when our buttons get pushed. When someone does something that affects you in a negative way, what is your response? Do you lash back and attempt to get even? Do you stuff your feelings away and stew in your upset? Do you stand strong in your opinion that you are right and they are wrong and wait for them to apologize? Or is it a combination of all three? I recently served as someone’s button pusher after I made a request of him that he found upsetting. Caught off guard, the coach/nurturer in me immediately wanted to make it better. However, I know that the best thing to do when I’ve pushed someone’s buttons (which consequently push my own buttons of fearing that I am not liked) is to take responsibility for myself and give the other person space. Fortunately he is someone who is committed to growth and took the time he needed to process what happened. When he called me the next day to explain how my request made him feel, what it triggered, share what he learned and make a request of me, it was done from an incredibly authentic and neutral place. There was no blame. That made it possible for me to really hear and understand, communicate vulnerably my experience, and be totally open and willing to meet his request. This beautiful communication was possible because we both chose to take personal responsibility rather than taking things personally.

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The Secret to Letting Go of Every Fear

  The Secret to Letting Go of Every Fear     Are you afraid of some condition in your life? Here’s a life-transforming secret: that seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful.This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear. It is only within this special kind of inner-relationship that there is real safety, because now you are interacting with fear in an entirely new way. You are no longer letting it dictate to you how to act or what to do. Instead, you are aware of the fear. You are learning to quietly observe and study it. And, each day, as you discover something new about the strange and shaky nature of your own fearful reactions, they begin to lose their power over you. Why? Because you are at last seeing them for what they have always been: unintelligent mechanical forces. You are slowly becoming stronger than they are because by seeing them as they are—not as they would have you see them—you have helped yourself to climb above and outside of their influence. This self-insight is the difference between trembling through your life and being in command of it.

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How to Connect to Your Authentic Self

  How to Connect to Your Authentic Self     Just be yourself. You’ve probably heard this piece of advice more times than you can count, but what does it actually mean to you? In a world that is constantly selling you ideas of who and how you should be, it can be confusing to figure out who you really are. It is sometimes assumed that with age you will eventually come to know yourself. In my experience, this is not necessarily true. As a therapist,

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Tired of Trying to Fix Yourself? Try This Instead

  Tired of Trying to Fix Yourself? Try This Instead.   Do you have a nagging issue that’s bothered you for years? Yeah, me too. I’ve spent decades experimenting with a cornucopia of ways to get rid of my issues. I’ve tried: Psychotherapy Support groups Personal development workshops Life coaching Yoga Self-care Online seminars Naturopathy Antidepressants Affirmations Psychics Self-help books Retreats Reiki Tapping Healthy eating Meditation Massage I could go on, but I think you get the point. Most of my adult life has involved a valiant effort to “fix myself.” This is because I’ve often assumed that I was broken and in need of fixing. After a few years of the “fix it” approach, I started trying to convince myself that I wasn’t broken – I was perfect – and that I should just flat out accept myself regardless of whatever issue was bothering me that day. The problem is that neither approach really worked. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve made a lot of “progress” through my dedicated efforts at personal development. I got off antidepressants and significantly reduced the anxiety and depression that used to plague me. But it’s not like these things completely disappeared. And therein lies one of the problems: I expected these issues to disappear.  At some deep level I believed that one day I would wake up without a single worry or issue – and maybe even ride off into the sunset on a unicorn. The second problem was that when I tried the self-acceptance approach, I felt like I was being fake. I would repeat affirmation after affirmation, or force myself to come into the present moment to watch my anxiety or pay attention to my breath (a mindfulness approach that, while useful, also sometimes feels too much like I’m forcing myself to accept or ignore something that feels uncomfortable).

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Facing Your Fears at Any Age

    Facing Your Fears at Any Age   Age is a funny thing. Sometimes we look younger than we are, or feel older than we look. Some people have “old souls” that impart wisdom from a young age, while others maintain a childlike sense of wonder well into their 90s. No matter how old we are, most of us have one thing in common: fear. You might be afraid of death, or spiders, or subways, or seaweed. You might be afraid of failure – or even of success. Modern society makes it pretty easy to be afraid. We fear violence, we fear terrorism, we fear debt, we fear people who are different from us. My mom, for example, is afraid of a lot of things. My stepfather used to call her “snowflake” because she wouldn’t drive her car if there was even one snowflake falling from the sky. One of her biggest fears is airplanes. At the age of sixty-five she had never owned a passport. She had only been on an airplane once in her life (a three hour domestic flight), and she had never left North America. Until last week.

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8 Things My Daughter Taught Me

  8 Things My Daughter Taught Me   Last week I was having one of those challenging days with my little six year old daughter. So let me just state from the start that I absolutely adore her and she really is the joy of my life…now having said that, she is one tough and independent little cookie that loves to test Mommy from time to time. To be honest it happens a lot as all of you with kids would know. Well it was one of those days, where I had a crazy amount of work, I was feeling a little cranky as I had been traveling, was tired and felt like I was coming down with a cold. She chose this particular day to be the boss…or at least try to be. She was insisting on wearing the socks she wanted, even though they didn’t match. She insisted on wearing the shoes she wanted, even though I was trying to explain that high heels just wouldn’t be the best choice for the playground at school (can you imagine the vision of running around the wood chipped playground in high heels and socks? She didn’t want her normal breakfast. All of a sudden, everything that she usually loved didn’t fit her tastes, and she was insisting on having to shower before school and wash her hair as there was a sticky piece of glue still in her hair from crafts the previous day. You know these type of days right? When your little angel starts to grow horns for a few hours? Well, this was it and by the time I got to the school and dropped her off I had, had enough. I was frustrated and stressed and to be honest I was starting to get negative on myself. The self doubt was creeping in with thoughts like… “Am I a bad Mother?”, “Have I raised a spoilt child?”, “Am I too soft or do I need to be stricter?”, “Am I cut out to be a parent?”, “What’s she going to be like when she is older?” and all this other negative garbage. I felt pretty crappy to be honest.

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Don’t Say Your Passion Is Gone, It Never Left

  Don’t Say Your Passion Is Gone, It Never Left.   Have you ever wondered where your passion went? It seems as if the days of getting excited about something are a distant dream. Now you feel that you are doing the same things over and over again. You definitely feel that there is more to life than this, but you have no idea what to do. Then you turn on the news and you hear reports about artists, athletes, entrepreneurs and scientists who have “followed their passion and love what they do”. You start to wonder why you haven’t been able to reach a similar level of success, despite being a human being just like them. You keep hearing that the secret to their success was following their passion, but your passion seems to be missing. It feels like your passion abandoned you a long time ago, and you have no idea how you’re going to get your passion back. That’s why you might be reading a lot of books and articles to find a way to get your passion to return. You’re watching videos, listening to motivating speakers, anything to find your passion again. But it’s not going to work because of one reason. Your passion hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s been waiting inside you the entire time. This isn’t a trick, or some hidden answer. Passion is not something that leaves you. It’s something that you have suppressed, willingly or unwillingly. Why is it important to realize that your passion never left? Because if your passion never left, it means you can rediscover it a lot faster and even learn a few things about yourself. So if your passion never left, why haven’t you found it until now? Is It Still With Me? Passion is the exciting feeling that your body feels when you do something that you truly love. Whenever you find something you love, your passion is what keeps you going, as you will pursue something that gives you happiness. Without passion, you wouldn’t have much motivation to do anything. Having fun with friends, watching movies and other simple activities are just bursts of your passion that you feel every now and then. Since you find those activities fun, you continue to do them. Let’s be honest; if you didn’t find anything that excited you, you wouldn’t be doing it. But no matter how boring your life may be, there are always activities you enjoy doing. When I was in high school, I felt that my passion was to be an entrepreneur. I was attracted to the idea of working for myself, but I wasn’t sure why I wanted to be one. What I did know was that I enjoyed helping people, because it put a smile on other people’s faces.Being the awkward person in school, I helped out at random times or whenever I felt like it. But it was an enjoyable feeling. It was only a few years later when I was in the middle of university did I understand that helping people was my passion, and my desire to be an entrepreneur was just the extension of my passion. I wanted to see a smile on people’s faces, and helping people was the best way to make myself happy. Even if you don’t know what your passion is, it’s not as if it left you. You’re still excited when certain topics come up. You find reasons to persist in a task even when you don’t like it. You just can’t put a finger on why you like some activities over others, or why some

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One Thing You *Always* Need to Have and Be

  One Thing You *Always* Need to Have and Be   No matter how old you are, Or where you are in your career, Or what stage of life you are in, There is something you always need to have and be! What is that something? A mentor. I recently got back from spending time with my speaking mentor and am lit up about how valuable this relationship is. In the vlog, I share tips on finding a mentor, cultivating a relationship with that person, and becoming a mentor to others.   A mentor is defined as “an experienced and trusted adviser” but I believe that definition is missing a lot.

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The Approval Trap: How to Ditch the Fear You Didn’

  The Approval Trap: How to Ditch the Fear You Didn’t Know You Had So You Can Find Your Inner Authority! When my daughter was two years old, she loved to draw. The funny thing is, she never asked me if it was okay to draw on the walls. She assumed it was fine. White wall, colorful crayons, good idea. She had inner authority: she didn’t stress about it; she knew just what she liked. She never second guessed herself, wondering if she was good enough. She certainly didn’t wonder if she was smart enough, attractive enough, or funny enough. She assumed that she was all of these things and more, and most importantly, she was undeterred in accomplishing whatever she set her mind to. Is that just like you? If so, I’m truly thrilled for you. But I suspect that for the majority of us, this magnitude of inner confidence got whittled away bit by bit over the years — by school, peers, mentors, and even members of our families. How we get caught in the Approval Trap: Our families We all come into the world with this amazing creative sense of expressivity and rightness. We are unruly, make noise, make demands. Too often, though, it seems that the world doesn’t know how to deal with this. Our parents need us to be a certain way so that they can get their work done and so that we reflect well on them. We are asked to curb our desires to make room for others, to cooperate with other people’s needs. Indeed, perhaps we are met with this kind of disapproval because our freedom reminds our caretakers of what they lack, what they fear, or what they simply don’t understand. As children, we are dependent on our caretakers for survival, and so we bend to their rules. Especially as girls and women, in order to stay on the good side of our caretakers and teachers, we have to conform to the behavior that they expect from us. In my case, I grew up with a lot of yelling and witnessing my two older sisters getting their mouths washed out with soap as punishment for being “fresh” with my parents. There was always an escalation of demands that my sisters resisted, and this would typically result in some physical reprimand. Terrified by the looming threat of these punishments, I vowed that I would never do anything to make someone yell at me this way.  Thus began my entry into goody-goodness, of ensuring that my actions would bring approval from my parents and my sisters (though, to be honest, the latter was a lost cause). How the Approval Trap is embedded in our school system Of course, there are always exceptions, but the last time I looked, our public school system rewards those who follow the

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Age is a Number, Old is an Attitude

  Age is a Number, Old is an Attitude   What is old for you? I remember when I was a child and I used to think about my parents being thirty odd years old, I used to think they were so ancient…LOL. It was something that was so far off that I could never even imagine me getting there. I did want to be older, but like thirteen older.  Then I wanted to be sixteen, then eighteen, then the big TWENTY ONE! I wanted to be free and I wanted to be a woman, going off to work, having my own car and being all fancy and mature. Then when I got into my twenties I started to fear my thirties. Everything became a bit of a rush for me. I was always an A type overachiever personality, where I wanted to be the best at academics, I wanted to be the fastest runner, I wanted to be the best at cheer, but now I was being driven by something else…Aging! It was just an illusion of course. I was being driven by my own limited beliefs that society had helped forge in my mind, that we only have a certain amount of “prime” years before everything starts going downhill. Fortunately, I actually broke that limited way of thinking as I lived out my thirties. In fact my early thirties were the worst for me at that point in my life, as I was in a career as a lawyer, that I couldn’t stand and had pursued because that is what others wanted for me. I eventually got so sick and walked away from that career. I followed my true passion and became a Yoga and Pilates

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Perception Is Your Reality

  Perception Is Your Reality     You know one of the things I hear so often from people who are looking to change their lives is…”Hayley I would love to have the passion and lifestyle that you have, but I don’t think I could ever ‘sell’ anything.” That statement always shocks me for a number of reasons. One is I don’t know why people sell (no pun intended) themselves so short all the time. Why do you think we so often start off a statement with the words…”I could never do that…” How does that make you feel when you say out loud, “I could never …”? Do you even know why you’re saying you don’t think you can do something? Where is that thought coming from? Again, how does it make you feel when you say that? Is it empowering to you or does it make you feel unworthy? If you just give yourself a chance to trying something, give it a go…you actually may surprise yourself, right? And if you don’t give something a go, then you SURELY will never know if you can do it. So, even if it seems so impossible to you and way outside your comfort zone, why NOT go for it? Essentially, you are only dealing with thoughts and you can simply choose different thoughts.

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POEM ABOUT LIFE_LESSON

POEM ABOUT LIFE_LESSON   You chose.     You chose. You chose. You chose. You chose to give away your love. You chose to have a broken heart.  You chose to give up.  You chose to hang on. You chose to react. You chose to feel insecure. You chose to feel anger.

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Transforming Guilt into Self Acceptance

  Transforming Guilt into Self Acceptance     How Do I Know What I Really Want? What do I want? What makes me happy? How do I know? Maybe there was a time when I knew, when I was really young, but I don’t remember. I remember my mom worrying constantly about my highly sensitive brother and his struggles to fit in socially and emotionally. I remember feeling proud that my parents didn’t have to worry about me because my teachers liked me and I was able to make friends. I remember feeling some power in my ability to contribute to a relative sense of calm in our family. While I had an easier time fitting in than my brother, I was also highly sensitive. New research demonstrates that high sensitivity runs in families. I was particularly sensitive to injustice. It infuriated me that people in the world lived with hunger for example, because of where they happened to be born. That some of my classmates’ great grandparents were enslaved felt so absurd and wrong, I had trouble sleeping. The strong feelings I had about injustice were confusing and scary. What do I do with these feelings? What do these injustices in the world say about me? They were unanswerable questions, especially for an eight year old. Perhaps it was because my brother’s needs seemed to trump mine, or perhaps it was because the oppressed people of the world’s needs so clearly seemed more important than mine, or perhaps because it felt so good to be recognized for my “togetherness”, I didn’t develop a muscle of tuning into what I might want. I felt happy taking care of others. I liked praise and recognition more than an internal sense of my own needs being met. And if I did feel hurt or passed over, it never occurred to me to do anything but “get over it.” Our Pain is Sacred But the truth is, we all experience pain. It is part of being human. Our pain is sacred. Our pain comes when what is most precious to us – our special gifts, are trampled on, belittled, or rejected. And we all have special gifts – and it seems impossible to live in this world without our gifts being trampled on at one point or another, even when we live with privilege.

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Choose to Live

  Choose to Live     The first life altering news came on December 17, 2012. The moment that socked me in the stomach and changed my life forever. “I opened up his chest and found lots and lots of cancer… Advanced stages…” My husband, Scott, was dying sooner than later of a rare cancer without a cure. He fought and mustered up his brain power to be positive. He was certain that he wasn’t done living; it wasn’t his time. God called him home anyway. After his death, I pretended to function. In the first year of grief, I continued to teach, get my master’s degree, keep my kids healthy, buy a house, move, and start a new job. On the surface, I was a survivor. Looks can be deceiving. On the inside I was broken. The world was dark and scary. I lost sleep over decisions, even the small ones. I couldn’t make a plan for the weekend if my life depended on it. I cried everyday. I never wanted to be a single parent, let alone an only parent. The cross God gave me felt heavy and severely unfair. Sadness, anger, and guilt were my main emotions in this new, dark world without my husband. I was in the waiting room of grief. I lost my love, so all I had left to do was wait for the rest of my life until the glorious day I died. I am an optimist. I spent years learning how to embrace life and the moments. I loved a man who lived in the moment and wanted the world full of laughter. Deep grief, waiting to die, no longer actually living was an uncomfortable place for me. While I was accepting this “punishment” of grief, I desperately wanted to feel like me again. I also loved life. I loved adventures. I wanted happiness and joy, despite the horrific circumstances of my recent past. “How can I change my life?” was a question I asked myself daily. I waited for time to pass. I waited for the day I would wake up and feel better. I waited for the tears to stop flowing, for the horrific memories to fade and the happy ones to come back. I waited for the moment I would enjoy my time on earth and not look at it as a death sentence. I waited and waited and waited. However, those days did not come. Simply waiting for grief to subside

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What Stops Us from Asking for Help?

  What Stops Us from Asking for Help?   I was in the library the other day when I heard a little boy shout as loud as he could: “Daddy! I need help Daddy!” It made me smile. It was cute. It was honest. Of course, his Daddy rushed over to help him. He wasn’t hurt or anything. He just wanted a book that he couldn’t reach. His Daddy reached up and got it, and put it into his son’s tiny hands, and the little boy smiled and said “thanks Daddy.” And that got me thinking. How many of us are that comfortable with asking for help? How many of us would even ask someone for help when we’re alone with another person, let alone shouting for help in an enormous room with all sorts of other people around? Is it that difficult? No, it isn’t. Asking for help involves talking to someone. You’ve talked to people for almost every single day of your entire life. Talking isn’t difficult. Asking for help isn’t difficult. So then we have to ask a different question: What stops us from asking for help?

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Why Awareness of Your past Is the Key toYour Child

  Why Awareness of Your past Is the Key to Your Child’s Future     Most parents are eager to do the best job they can raising their children. In our parenting groups, when we ask moms what qualities they feel make for a good parent, some will joyfully describe their experiences with their own mothers or fathers when they were children. They will speak of parents who were generally patient, present, calm, able to hold loving boundaries, and supportive. They tell us they want to emulate much of how they were raised with their own children, and they feel they have a solid roadmap – the example of their own parents – with which to do so. These are the lucky ones. But as often as we hear about these positive scenarios, there are just as many stories of childhood experiences that weren’t quite so rosy. These moms share their desire, to varying degrees, to “undo” the parenting they experienced in their own childhood now that they themselves are the parent. While these moms very much want to do right by their children, they often also have the added layer – whether they are aware or not – of wanting to heal parts of themselves through correcting the “mistakes” of their parents. This intention is quite noble, but the journey that unfolds from that intention is a daunting one, and one that most parents – even if they are willing – aren’t sure how to navigate. But willing or not, facing the emotional wounds of childhood is something that every parent will inevitably have to do. The choice is whether you do so consciously or unconsciously. Your family of origin has a huge influence on how you parent. Childhood events such as divorce, loss of a parent, a mentally ill or unstable parent, an alcoholic or drug addicted parent or just a generally chaotic environment can leave deep wounds for children. Whether you experienced a onetime trauma or multiple difficult or scary situations throughout your childhood, you may be trying to manage your own kids with a lot of anxiety and reactivity. But research has shown that the biggest predictor of how you will fare as a parent – how present and available you are able to be to your child – is your ability to make sense of your own history. It doesn’t matter whether that history was calm and pleasant or painful and abusive; as long as you are able to examine it,

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Why Kids Need Parents to Tell It Like It Is

  Truth Be Told: Why Kids Need Parents to Tell It Like It Is In our parenting groups and private consultations over the last twenty years of working with families, parents have shared deeply about their lives, both the happy times as well as the more difficult situations or events that they experience. Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on your perspective – none of us gets through life unscathed by challenges. That goes for kids too, of course. For many parents, loving your child means protecting her from experiencing tough situations or difficult feelings. In the desire to shelter your child from life’s hardship, it can be easy to imagine that shielding her from the sometimes gritty or painful reality of life circumstances, or sugarcoating the truth, means that she won’t have to feel sadness, disappointment, or a broken heart. Many a “mama bear” has told us that her natural instinct is to do anything to prevent her child from feeling pain. But as understandable as that parental instinct to protect your child may be, when there is a proverbial elephant in the room, you won’t be able to hide it for long. Kids are sensitive and perceptive. When parents pretend that everything is “normal” and “fine” and it isn’t – or when they seem tense for no obvious reason, whispering out of earshot – kids go into an inner conflict. They intuitively feel and sense that things are happening in their world that are important, but they’re deeply confused about why no one is talking about them. When kids don’t understand something, they go within and use their imagination to try to figure it out – and more often than not, the stories they tell themselves are far scarier than what’s actually happening. If you look a little more deeply underneath your understandable tendency to want to protect your child in these moments, you’ll often find something surprising: your own fear. It might sound strange to admit, but most adults are absolutely terrified of their own painful emotions, not to mention your child’s. Many parents have read all the parenting books that say it’s important for children to have permission and space to feel any and all feelings, whatever they may be, but parents often become paralyzed with anxiety and confusion about how to help them do that. If you feel this way, don’t

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To All the Women out There…

  To All the Women out There…   Please forgive me.   For all those times I made you wrong.   When I blamed you… When I shamed you… When I envied you… And disdained you.   Please forgive me for my fears.   My ugly projections… A form of protection… Surface level connections… Because I was afraid.   I was afraid to let down these walls, And bare my scars, And own my wounds, And allow the tears to fall… …Fall before you.   Instead, I attacked you, I harassed you, I destroyed you (in my mind).   Please forgive for not loving you - All stemming from not loving me.   A paradigm of lies - Where girls are witches And women are b*tches. They will take your men! And they will tear you down! With their endless games, Inflicting so much pain! Insidious minds - Oh… you know the kind.   But let’s put on a show and be friends! Let’s smile and pretend! BFFs until the end!

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Are You Lucky in Love

  Are You Lucky in Love I was working at a Vietnamese restaurant and I needed some extra money. I had just let a coworker borrow some cash. “I need to buy my girlfriend a birthday present,” he said. “I’ll pay you back tomorrow.” He never came back to work. Okay. Another time, I was walking home from work at night when a couple pushing a stroller approached me. It was below freezing and the baby wasn’t covered. “Please, we need some money to get a hotel room,” the husband said. “We’re really f*cked up.” I looked at the freezing baby and hesitated for a moment. I gave them all the money in my pocket, but I kept a dollar bill in my hand. Just in case. “Can we have that too?” they said. As I reached out to give it to them, the dollar bill flew out of my hand and they chased after it in the dark.

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Spill Your Desire to Love and Be Loved Everywhere

  Spill Your Desire to Love and Be Loved Everywhere I’ve had thousands of conversations with people about desire and this is what I’ve learned from them (and from my own fiercely tender fierce heart): Desire is simple. You can crave it, distill it, and peel back every kind of wish and most get to this: Everyone desires to love and be loved. Beloved. Some of us

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We Can Save the Planet

  We Can Save the Planet   My husband and I were changed forever when we took a trip to Haiti earlier this year. I’m a wellness advocate for an essential oil company that believes in being kind to our planet, and supports efforts around the world to help local people in developing nations. They have partnered with farmers in Haiti to grow the plants from which they harvest their oils, and Wes and I were given an opportunity to visit, meet the farmers and see where our oils come from. I have traveled to many places around the world, but I have never experienced anything like Haiti. The pictures and videos that you see don’t come close to conveying the utter destruction of the country. Four years after the big earthquake, the entire country is still in ruins, but not just because of the earthquake. The devastation, the poverty, will take your breath away. The company chose Haiti as the place to grow some of its herbal crops for two big reasons: the soil and climate are perfect for growing the plants for longer periods and the people of Haiti needed an industry to grow from. A partnership was formed with the farmers of Haiti, a promise to create a sustainable relationship. My company prepaid them, created five year contracts with them, and the farmers were taught how to grow the crops and keep them in the ground longer to create a more natural life cycle for the plants instead of over-harvesting and depleting the soil. What did this do for these Haitian farmers? EVERYTHING. Now there is money for their families to send their children to school which didn’t even really exist before. And even more profoundly, through the foundation that my company created and manages, we have been able to raise enough money to fund building a well that brings running water into the village so that its inhabitants will no longer have to trek two hours a day to bring clean water back to their families. Clean water. Food. Clothing. Schools. Birthing Centers. Hospitals. These are all things that so many take for granted in America. We just assume that we will have these things, that someone will provide them for us, even if we don’t have money. The trip to

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Why the Issues that We Ignore Often Come Back

  Why the Issues that We Ignore Often Come Back to Plague Us   Novelist Paul Auster wrote a memoir, Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure. He writes, “By the end of 1977, I was feeling trapped, desperate to find a solution. I had spent my whole life avoiding the subject of money, and now, suddenly, I could think of nothing else.” This reminded me of a thought-provoking interview I did with personal finance expert Zac Bissonnette a few years ago. I’ve never forgotten a story he told: A few years ago – when I was in high school — my dad was

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Lend a Hand to Change the Future

  Lend a Hand to Change the Future     “There cannot be too many glorious women.”  – Marianne Williamson I was eating by myself in an LPQ on the upper west side of Manhattan after a long day of therapizing and was seated next to a beautiful woman, also eating alone. I was exhausted, but was compelled to make a connection with her. That woman was Debbie Phillips, the founder of Woman On Fire. That two hour deep dive was the beginning of what I know now would become, a lifelong friendship. Debbie became my cheerleader, strategist, supporter, sister and mentor. She generously shared her wisdom and knowledge without expecting anything in return. From the beginning she said, “You are meant to do this, I want to help you. We need you.” Her belief in my purpose, gave me courage, strength and guidance to stay the course.   Mentoring is an invaluable service that you can give to a young woman coming up. We need this next generation to be awake because even though we are making stride

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The Surprising Way to Have It All

  The Surprising Way to Have It All      Having it all posts get me every time. Live the life of your dreams? Follow your bliss? Reach your full potential? Sign me up for that! I think I’ve always wanted it all. It started harmlessly enough. Favorite color? Blue, oh and yellow, and green. Can’t decide which club to join in school? Join them all! Study music or psychology? Both, please. I like to think of it as being multi-passionate and ambitious, but that would be leaving out a huge piece of the story. In reality, this is part of a vicious cycle. You see, each step I took was another set of expectations and comparisons to contend with. Somewhere along the way, the desire to explore became a binding agreement with the universe to set my mind to (and accomplish) everything. Having it all meant doing and being it all. Simultaneously. For everyone. Oh, and perfectly (don’t forget that part). So my charming elementary curiosity gave way to a respectable adolescent over-achievement before finally becoming a crippling quest to become superwoman. Keep the house perfectly clean. Keep yourself in perfect shape. Make perfectly balanced meals with organic vegetables you grow in your backyard. Host the party of the year. Have the perfect marriage and perfectly behaved kids. Be at the top of your game in your career. Learn a new language. Quit your job and travel the world. Maybe you should become a photographer. Do it all with a perfect smile (and hair). This got exhausting – FAST.

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When You’re Done Fighting for It

  When You’re Done Fighting for It. The Upside of Finally Giving Up.     Do you know the story of the man who was hitting himself over the head with a hammer? “Why do you keep hitting yourself with that hammer?” a shocked passerby asked him. “Because,” the man replied, “it’s going to feel so good when I stop.” Examine the evidence. You keep fighting the same fight. You’re losing sleep. You’re sick of hearing yourself complain about the same damn things over and over again (yammer, hammer, hammer). Clearly, wrestling isn’t getting you closer to free. It’s quite possible that…you have no fight left in you. This is excellent news! This is beautiful! Because… This defeat can be a major victory.

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A Letter To My Teen (And Your Teen)

  A Letter To My Teen (And Your Teen)     Recently, while doing yoga, an image appeared in my mind’s eye. The image was of myself as a teen. Actually, it was more than just an image. It was a feeling. I was reminded, in mind and body, of what life felt like back then. And I was infused with a deep sense of compassion for the young woman who was struggling to find her way through her teens and early twenties. While my early years weren’t as devastating or traumatic as what many people go through, I experienced my fair share of difficulties. My parents divorced when I was young, and my father eventually stopped communicating with me. My stepfather was a decent, but troubled man – a recovering alcoholic who was blind due to a gunshot wound that almost killed him in his twenties. I also seemed to have been born with a pervasive sense of anxiety that was way beyond my years and that often resulted in random illnesses, phobias, and insomnia. I was often bullied or ignored in elementary school, and I ended up on antidepressants in my early twenties. Don’t get me wrong – my childhood wasn’t all bad. I had food and shelter, a caring family, a few close friends, several hobbies, and a general sense that I was loved. But I also had a crushing sense of low self-esteem. I never felt good enough and I constantly compared myself to others who I believed had it “better” than I did. I also suffered from a crippling lack of confidence in my opinions, beliefs, and experiences. I always deferred to authority figures, or to people who were “cooler” than I was. When it came to having opinions or making decisions, it’s almost as if I lacked a sense of self. Even in high school, when by some twist of fate I ended up hanging out with the “cool kids,” I always felt inadequate. I felt like I lived on the fringes of the cool crowd – sort of cool, but never cool enough. In my mind I was never: Pretty enough.

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What Is Creativity??

  What Is Creativity?     My mum showed me some of my school books the other day, from when I was about eight years old, and I could tell I struggled with what to write. There were just words. Just sentences. Just paragraphs. There was no passion. No verve. No explosion. I suppose I was only eight. But I didn’t want to use that as excuse. Not when the one exam I was worried about was my writing exam, because of that exact reason: I never knew what to write about. Knowing that everyone else expected me to do well in all of my other exams seemed to make it worse. If I did well in everything else, but not in this, I’d have failed. I wouldn’t have been who I wanted to be. I would’ve let people down. And then my parents told me something that changed everything.

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How to Stay Together in a World That Can’t Stop

  How to Stay Together in a World That Can’t Stop Breaking Up     “Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it.”- Erica Jong “I love you”. Sometimes you wondered if you’d ever hear those words. Whether you would ever find your soul mate. And if you did, if you would ever hold onto them. But now you have, you worry about losing them. About the accusations, the raised voices, the sound of the door slamming. And then it just being you… …alone again. Believe in fairy tales Do you remember as a little girl listening to the romantic fairy tale where the lovers found each other and lived happily ever after? But then of course you grew up and stopped believing. Or did you? Do people tell you that you are living in a romantic fairytale? Do they tell you to wake up and stop waiting to be swept off your feet? Do they say there’s no such thing as ‘happy ever after’. I say believe in fairytales – they’re happening all around you. In every suburb, in every town, in every state, in any country you can point to on a map, there are soul mates meeting and falling in love and living happily ever after. And not in a romantic fairytale, but in a real life fairytale. And you could be one of them. And yes, I have loved and lost and it hurts, really hurts! It burns like acid when love walks out that door. But there is no second best in love. A broken heart is not forever, but a missed opportunity for love is.

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How to Find Bliss in Your Everyday Experiences

  How to Find Bliss in Your Everyday Experiences   Last week I gave a lecture on “Religion, Spirituality, and Well-Being” for an undergraduate Positive Psychology course that I’m teaching. The lecture covered a range of topics, with a particular focus on scientific and individual explorations of what some call “transcendent experiences.” These experiences are extremely difficult to define, but they’ve been reported by religious and non-religious people throughout history. Take, for example, Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuro-anatomist who had a transcendent experience when her left hemisphere shut down during a stroke. Or Gary Weber, a scientist who, one day seventeen years ago, was practicing a yoga posture and lost his sense of I/self (and who has managed to continue to function in society). Or Lissa Rankin, a medical doctor and author who went through a spontaneous transcendent experience with two friends on a beach, during which the normal laws of space and time did not seem to exist. What all of these experiences have in common is a departure from ordinary reality (without the use of alcohol or drugs) that instilled the experiencer with a sense of awe, wonder, connectedness, and love. Each individual returned to the “ordinary” world as a changed person who felt they received (and perhaps continue to maintain) a glimpse into the mysteries of life and the universe. Now, before we all go off and try to have our own transcendent experiences, let me make a few things clear. First, while scientists have started to investigate topics like enlightenment, research in this area is still very preliminary. There are, for example, questions about what makes some experiences transcendent or mystical, while others are labeled psychotic or delusional (such as in schizophrenia). Many questions remain about how to even define transcendent experiences let alone measure them. However some scientists, particularly in the field of transpersonal psychology,

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The No.1 Killer Of Your Happiness and HowTo Beat

  The No.1 Killer Of Your Happiness (and How To Beat It)   Can you name your most precious asset? The one that guarantees you the best chance of happiness? Of skipping through your days, laughing and smiling, light on your feet because you’re so light-hearted? It’s not your job, personal possessions or car. It’s not even your health or wealth, (although they obviously do affect your happiness, you’re not made of stone). It’s your attitude. Or to be more specific – your positive attitude. A positive attitude is the single biggest asset to hug happiness close to you. That’s because it embodies the growth mindset: Optimistic – your attitude thrives on positivity, not negativity, upbeat is how you roll, not downbeat. Solution-orientated – you see the challenge, not the problem and know there is always an answer. Open-minded – you’re always growing, exploring new ideas and expanding the horizons of your life. Fostering strong relationships – you are loyal, loving and supportive in the good times and the bad. That’s the perfect recipe for greater happiness every time, whatever the situation. But without that awesomely positive attitude, your happiness will falter and die. And the most deadly attitude assassins are often those closest to us. Happiness Assassins Are Close At Hand It’s ghastly to be surrounded by negative people, isn’t it? And even ghastlier when some of those negative people are family and friends? You can’t exactly jump up screaming, “Get away from me!” But odds are, not everyone around you shares your positive mindset. Or appreciates it. Sometimes your ‘nearest’ aren’t necessarily your ‘dearest’. The cynics and gloom merchants among them seem to have only one goal – to consciously or unconsciously kill your positive attitude …and your happiness with it. I know all too well because that was how I was raised… Well-meaning but pessimistic parents who’d been brought up themselves to always see the problem, never the solution. To see life as a prison ground, not a playground. To believe there was little point in trying to be happy, because happiness had nothing to do with life. Who threw cold water over the flames of my enthusiasm because they thought they were being ‘kind’ in saving me from inevitable disillusionment and disappointment. Such a tragedy that they never saw the sun, only the shadow it cast. My natural defense mechanism was to escape to the outdoors. Days of sunny fun, grubbing about haphazardly in our overgrown backyard jungle, trying to create a secret haven of colorful beauty. It was my 

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The HUGE Mistake We Make When It Comes to LOVE!

  The HUGE Mistake We Make When It Comes to LOVE!     One of the biggest mistakes that I see us make when it comes to relationships is loving other people the way we want and need to be loved, rather than loving them in the way they want and need to be loved. And I don’t just mean romantic relationships; this mistake applies to all our relationships from family to friends to colleagues. Each of us has priorities and preferences when it comes to what we like to eat, what kind of music we like to listen to, our hobbies and so on. Similarly, we also have priorities and preferences when it comes to how we give and receive love. There are certain things we do to express our love to others and certain ways we’d like others to express their love to us. We make the mistake of giving the kind of love to someone else according to our own priorities and preferences. And we expect to receive that same kind of love back. This becomes a MAJOR problem because we are so busy loving others the way we want to be loved – and they are loving us the way they want to be loved – and so no one feels loved the way they truly want and need! I have a few EASY fixes to this love mismatch. First, investigate how the people you love truly feel loved and express love. You may be surprised at how there are super simple things you could do that will fill their love tank. It’s equally important to learn how they give love because

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Karma Is A…

  Karma Is A…     “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”– Wayne Dyer I think everyone has a slightly different idea about what karma means. There are phrases like, “Karma is a bitch,” which to me implies wishing bad things on “bad” people because you believe they have it coming. Deepak Chopra teaches The Law of Karma or Cause and Effect which states: Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . .what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success. This is a definition that makes sense to me personally. Many years ago Vic and I were betrayed by a close friend in a business deal. It was not a situation we saw coming and we were stunned, hurt and shocked for the first few months after the incident. As time went on, the situation became legal and we had a choice to make, we could try to recoup our financial losses (which were substantial) or we could try to recoup our financial losses plus bring a criminal case against our former friend. With no hesitation we both rejected the idea of a criminal suit. Our lawyer did not understand but we did not care. How would this person, with a family and small children, being in jail benefit us? It wouldn’t. We did not want revenge only restitution. (Which never came.) That

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Why Leaning Back, Not In – Is Our Key to Peace

  Why Leaning Back, Not In – Is Our Key to Peace     Are you feeling the intensity of the world lately? Sure, it’s always been intense, but lately there’s an out of control feeling everyone is sensing. Couples are fighting, relationships are ending, and fear is everywhere. Let’s face it: volatility and overwhelming emotions like sadness are flooding into everyone’s consciousness. But here’s our clue to peace: Everyone’s consciousness refers to the collective consciousness of the planet. We’re betting half of what you’re feeling isn’t even yours. Let me explain: We’re ALL connected through this cosmic web of energy called the collective consciousness, but here’s the really interesting part: We have the collective consciousness where the beliefs we’re aware of – things like murder is wrong and being kind is good are found – and we ALSO have the collective unconscious. This is where the shadow emotions we neglect to feel such as anger, disappointment, or fear are suppressed. When enough people carry this energy, it becomes part of the collective unconscious. So why do we pick up on one another? Because we’re all made up of energy, our cells are vibrating according to the energy we carry in our bodies. Not only do cells vibrate in our own body, but they vibrate with cell receptors in other people. Scientist, Candace B. Pert, calls this vibratory attraction. In her book Everything You Need to Know to Feel Good, she writes: “Sitting on the surface of the cell, the receptor wiggles and shimmies, changing from one configuration

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A Morning of Miracles

  A Morning of Miracles     This morning, I was having brekkie with my parents at a new little bakery my dad discovered that he’s been wanting to take me to for a while. I had a late night last night and could have used a sleep-in but I know how precious time with my fam is, so I rallied myself up. As we were driving down, we passed a woman walking a funny looking dog and my mom said “Oh look at that ugly dog.” I laughed and teased my mom as I do, saying, “Was there anything you liked about the dog?” I have found myself to be very critical at times and have been blessed with friends who have taught me to look for the good in everything and so I decided to pass the lesson forward to my mom, to her initial chagrin. A few minutes down the road, there was a silence in the car and I looked up at the gray overcast sky, still feeling a little groggy and said: “Too bad the weather sucks today.” My mom quickly jumped in and cheekily said: “Is there anything you like about the weather today?” I smiled in acknowledgment and gave my mom props for returning the lesson to me so gracefully. Touche. (Miracle # 1) The French cafe named “Le Pain Perdu” (translation: “the lost bread”) was cozy and quaint, and had a very European style. As we walked in and sat down, I could feel and see my dad’s excitement at being in on the secret of this buzzing gem of a spot and his joy in sharing one of his newest pleasures with me, his middle son (Miracle # 2). I, too, couldn’t help but appreciate this one and only moment with my beloved parents and

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True Compassion Begins with Self-Compassion

  True Compassion Begins with Self-Compassion     We are all such an important thread in this magnificent global fabric of love and along with awakening and cultivating our innate gifts of acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude, we should also focus on awakening compassion. If we can be just a bit more accepting, grateful, forgiving and compassionate each day, then we indeed are transforming the world by transforming ourselves! Compassion is often misunderstood and confused with other emotions. True compassion is the ability to be sympathetic, empathetic, as well as having the desire to alleviate another’s pain and suffering. Beyond living life at the level of, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” compassion looks to heal others even in instances when you would not

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That Person Who Bugs You Is Here to Teach You

  That Person Who Bugs You Is Here to Teach You Something     “Nobody shows up in your world except by your invitation” – Alan Cohen I once spotted a man across a crowded room at a party and there was an instant mutual attraction. He made a beeline for me, grabbed a chair from another table so I could sit with him at his table and proceeded to engage in conversation. I was excited to meet him and found him attractive. After a little while, however, I became absolutely bewildered when he turned and introduced me to his girlfriend – with whom he lived. Whoa. Why had I been attracted to someone who seemed to return my attention and yet, was clearly unavailable?  I wondered if I had been putting anything ‘out there’ that suggested I was interested in being ‘the other woman’ because I certainly was not. Why had I been so excited about and attracted to someone like this, who so quickly afterward made my skin crawl? I couldn’t seem to let go of the anger I felt at this person’s deception and his feigned ignorance when I confronted him about his attempt to stay in touch with me after our meeting. He insisted that everything was innocent and that he was just interested in friendship but both the facts and my intuition told me otherwise. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop ruminating about this man. I was unable to shake off the whole thing and move on. I felt insulted and confused. He had caused me to worry that my attraction radar was in serious need of maintenance. In other words, he was really bugging me. We all get upset from time to time by people around us. Once in awhile, however, we encounter someone who truly bugs us. This is perhaps someone you meet and immediately cannot stand. Perhaps there is someone with whom you’ve had 

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Self Love in 1, 2, 3

  Self Love in 1, 2, 3     I know you’re a loving person. I have no doubt that you treat your family and friends with kindness and consideration (OK let’s say most of the time). Do you extend your vast capacity to be loving to YOU? Or are you much more judgmental and much less loving towards yourself then you are to others? This is a common experience for many of my over achieving, perfectionist driven clients and is important because a lack of self-love can block you from creating the healthy, happy life you deserve. To dive deeper on this I rang up my pal Gala Darling. She is an author, coach and self love guru and has an eye-opening perspective on the topic. Darling says: “You don’t need to have a “perfect life” to love the way you exist in the world. You don’t need a “perfect body” to appreciate how you look (and have fun with it). You don’t need to BE PERFECT to enjoy your life and live it to the hilt. This [self love] is not about trying to become an immaculate person. It is about looking at your messiness and realising that you have an inherent beauty regardless. Radical self love is about seeing yourself as you truly are — with no delusions — and choosing to believe that you are pretty goddamn great.”

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I’m Strong Because I Was Weak

  I’m Strong Because I Was Weak     There was a time in my life when I thought a lot about ending it. When I chose to be numb and stop feeling because it was too much to be here. There was a time in my life when I stole and smoked and rarely went to school. When I was drinking and talking about where to get drugs with “friends” I barely knew. There was a time when I was desperate for love from the wrong people. When I let someone push me around and control me so much that I lost all sense of myself. There were many times in my life when it was simply too much for me to handle. When I would spin out in uncontrollable tears from an inability to handle the day to day. There were many times when I wanted to give up… and maybe for a moment or a day or a month, I did. I stopped trying. I stopped caring. I sunk into the darkness and let hopelessness consume me completely. There have been many times in my life when I’ve done things I’m not proud of. When I broke trust with people I loved. When I lied, stole, or cheated. Times when I used my gifts to hurt people, because I knew exactly how to unravel them. Times when I was harsh and cruel to people who just needed love or understanding. Take a close look at my life and you’ll see a simple truth: I’m human, just like you. I mess up, just like you. I’ve struggled, just like you. Sometimes people like to look at my life and business and think there must be something different or special about me that allows me to be where I am despite all this. That I must be stronger in ways they’ll never know. But the fact is: I’m where I stand today because I was once weak and broken and incapable of handling life. Because I once made really bad decisions and hurt the people around me. 

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Nurturing Our Relationships!

  Nurturing Our Relationships     This is the time of year that we tend to do a lot of self-examination, especially when it comes to our relationships with others: parents, siblings, BFFs, and even coworkers, bosses and neighbors. Exploring the realm of relationships is mind-blowing when you think about how many diverse connections we have in our life. And whether you are close with someone, never speak with them, or can’t stand them, you are holding onto mental, emotional, time-consuming, energy regarding the relationship. But the key to this realm is the relationship you have with you. How do you treat yourself? How’s your sense of worthiness? Are you arrogant, condescending, and mean to yourself? Or, loving,

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The Art of Knowing When to Change

  The Art of Knowing When to Change     The reality of life is that it is full of moments of sadness, compromise, and responsibility. As teenagers we rage against perceived injustice, cry over small problems, and we are told “well, that’s life, you just have to get on with it”. To a certain extent, this is true. As I grew up I had the realisation (as everyone does) that things won’t always go my way, and that highs and lows are inevitable. Fourteen years olds can get away with throwing strops when they don’t want to do the housework, but it’s a pretty embarrassing way to behave in your twenties. Sometimes, you have to do things you don’t want to do, and responsibility is part of adult life. But as vital as this realisation is, it can be taken too far. The attitude of “that’s life” made me stick around in situations that I should have abandoned, and a sense of duty made me stay miserable. I didn’t like my job, but I thought I just had to get on with it. My relationship wasn’t going well, but relationships take work and sacrifice, don’t they? Maybe I wasn’t seeing my friends as much as I’d like, but that’s part of being a grown up. I got trapped into the idea that being stressed, dejected and overwhelmed

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What Really Happens After We Die

  What Really Happens After We Die     After he died I immersed myself in every book I could find that talked about where we go when we die. Every free moment I found where my little girls would be asleep or playing I spent it reading about the afterlife. You see I was looking for him, I wanted to see where he went. I could not understand logically how we can be here one moment and be gone the next. How I could be in love with someone who no longer physically exists. I was so mad. I was furious that life can be here in one moment and be gone the next. Without any explanation. So I turned page after page, read book after book and when I went through everything, I was still hungry for more. I was still searching to find him. He died reading the book ‘Life after life’ by Raymond Moody. He too was searching for his next home. Over the course of the last ten years I have experienced miracles. I heard of incredible stories. I read so much about what happens to all of us when we die and today I want to talk about some of the things that have helped me understand our mortality and immortality better. You see we exist in both. We are both mortal and immortal. I am sure you have many beliefs around this and you have read so much about it. You even have your own experiences to share with others. But my hope for this blog is that you will stumble upon a new frontier of knowledge when it comes to our life after life. A more scientific version of the truth that is out there. As time went by I was no longer satisfied with the generalizations books made or with how everything was so watered down. There is so much more to what happens to us when we die. In my opinion we have just scratched the surface.

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Who Are You Really… After Loss

  Who Are You Really… After Loss   I have taught myself to listen to my inner voice really carefully. It has incredible wisdom about my destiny and my present happiness. In the last two years, my voice has started asking for something I never thought I wanted. A simple life. Even just writing these words makes my chest expand. My voice has been asking for less things. Less recognition. Less relationships. More writing. More stillness. More making things with my hands. So I have been listening. I have also been listening to the truth that the only way to live life after loss is with simplicity. I think I am finally arriving at a place where I find the connection between death and life. And it is not what I thought it would be. Sometimes I wonder whether I am arriving at the end of my life as I am seeking less success, and more simplicity. I am becoming less driven but more creative. The years after my loss were so hard on me. I had to step so much outside of my old life to survive. And my old life was much simpler than the one I built to survive my tragedies.

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A New Perspective Can Change Everything

  A New Perspective Can Change Everything     One of the things that continues to amaze me about life is when we think we have everything figured out and then we learn something new or suddenly see something in a different perspective and everything shifts again…do you ever get that? Something that was already part of your life for so long, may become second nature and you think you are completely crushing it, and then you hear a new perspective or way it is said and BOOM…you suddenly get an even clearer focus on the idea. I’ll give you an example. I have been coaching people in a number of forms for over a decade now and I live my life with the exact same principles every day. I am also a huge believer in positive thinking, energy and emotions and how we need to be mindful and learn to control our emotions. I also surround myself with like minded people who love their Yoga, meditation, energy work and clean eating…living in a place like Boulder, is pretty easy to find communities like that too!  I spend a lot of time working on staying in a positive frame of mind and letting those things go that don’t add a positive energy to my life. Recently I was in California at a coaching clinic and I was pretty excited to attend. The reason why I chose this one, was because the person hosting spoke in a language that resonated with me and the course brochure seemed like it could have been written by me. So naturally it was a fit for me and I looked forward to hooking up with her and the other attendees.

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The Power of 1,000,000 Kisses

  The Power of 1,000,000 Kisses   You wake up in the middle of the night, your mind goes from zero to sixty faster than a Tesla, and you are ALERT with no chance of going back to sleep. Even though you are a mere arm’s length from your partner, or kids, or neighbors, there is a piercing loneliness. The Midnight Meltdown feels like there’s not enough within you to overcome what’s around you. But there is! Of course there is. You wouldn’t be wired with 10 billion miles of DNA and 100,000 miles of nerve fibers in your brain if you weren’t given the capacity to KICK A$$. Author Barbara Marciniak writes, “Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” ***** On Saturday night, I had a beautiful taxi ride home, if such a thing is possible in NYC.

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12 Simple Things You Can Do NOW to Protect Animals

  12 Simple Things You Can Do NOW to Protect Animals!     Animals remind us that all beings who walk, stand, swim, crawl, or fly are radiant, mysterious, and unique expressions of the Source. Every species, every culture has its own genius. Our human “species-specific genius”—our ability to protect and serve nature and the other beings with whom we share this world is desperately needed now. To see a problem and fix it utilizing our individual gifts that are alive in “the eye of your heart” is what the human heart aches to do. Often in my conversations with people, they express feelings of helplessness saying “the problems are so overwhelming” and how can their efforts possibly make a difference? Each time we help one animal, we serve the greater good.  Who can judge what one act of kindness will birth? Gandhi once said, “What you can do in response to the ocean of suffering may seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” Every day people are making a difference, creating change in their lives that positively impacts animals and nature. Change comes from dedicated, ordinary people, in the trenches, serving a cause greater than self. The bald eagle has been our national symbol since 1782. The eagles were on the brink of extinction in 1973, and people spoke of the impending disappearance of this magnificent bird. From the 1930s to the 1960s, the combination of hunters, sheep ranchers, and DDT insecticide sprayed on crops decimated populations in the US and the birds

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How to Stand Back Up When Life Knocks You Down

  How to Stand Back Up When Life Knocks You Down.     Seven years ago life knocked me down on my knees. Not only did I survive, I learned to thrive. I make it a rule to never take advice from someone who hasn’t been there, so I’ll share with you what happened, and then I’ll share how I got through my own personal tunnel of hell. In a thirty day period I lost it all. Money, love, health, a baby, beloved pets, security and pride. My boyfriend at the time broke up with me while I held the still dripping, positive pregnancy pee stick; his response to having a baby with me was to end our relationship and share that he hoped to tile his kitchen and travel that summer. I lost the baby at nine weeks and suffered an extreme crash of hormones. Being in my 40′s, I realized this was probably my last chance to have a child. To make matters worse: forty-eight hours after losing the baby, my bank accounts were emptied. I had 40 cents in my pocket when I stood at that blinking ATM on an early July morning. You see, someone had sued me out-of-state and due to a loop-hole in the serving process, I never received notice and didn’t show up to defend myself. When you don’t show up, it’s as though you’re admitting guilt and judgments were issued – every account was emptied.  Seven days later, I was faced with putting my sixteen-year-old pet down, only to be followed by the rapid decline of my other fifteen-year-old pet ten days later. If you’re like me pets are family. This was a loss beyond words. My health was shot and rapidly declining, my mind was a mess, my heart-broken, and I had 40 cents to my name. My father died years ago and I had been the one helping my mother financially. I was alone in this situation, and in my own words – lost. Ancient cultures understood the dark night of the soul as a time of transformation. A time when personal strength is tested and the knowledge you’ve gained over the first half of your life is drawn up from the depths of your being and utilized. In this culture it’s considered a Mid Life crisis.

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Open Yourself to Flow of Abundance

  Open Yourself to Flow of Abundance     “When we allow the world to ripple into us with open arms and then let it flow out of us with grace and generosity, in that moment we are a conduit, a channel, a medium for whatever we desire.” In my last blog, you read about stepping into your power. Now, let’s explore wealth consciousness, also known as abundance consciousness. Abundance consciousness is not simply about making or receiving money. Money is one of the symbols of material wealth. But viewing our abundance solely in terms of dollars or euros or pesos or pounds is limiting. Abundance consciousness is opening our arms so wide so that EVERYTHING — money, health, love, forgiveness, happiness, spirit — flows into us without conditions.

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How to Bring More Love and Intimacy into Your Rela

  How to Bring More Love and Intimacy into Your Relationship     Love and intimacy goes most of the time hand in hand. We all want to experience them in our relationships, but sometimes we feel like we don’t have enough. Many of us feel a lack of intimacy and love, especially when we have been in a relationship for a longer time. Common misunderstanding What most of us don’t know is how much power we have to bring these qualities back into our relationships. We often think that intimacy and love are something that we ”get” from the other person, but we can actually affect how much intimacy, and at the same time love, we can experience. The art of listening

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You Girlfriend, YOU. The Things Women Friends Do.

  You Girlfriend, YOU. The Things Women Friends Do.     It was snowing and I needed a stress cigarette. We bundled up, walked to the corner store to buy a pack. My hands were shaking as I lit up — partly the cold, partly the devastation. I said, “Go in inside, it’s f*cking freezing out here.” But you didn’t. You shivered with me. And you don’t even smoke (anymore). You cry when I cry. You came out of retirement for me. You texted me just before I went on stage. You got up early to meditate on my well being. There isn’t a word in the English language that can convey my gratitude for that. When I was out of town you came into my house to burn sage because that weird juju thing had happened. And you left flowers. You told that guy to F*ck off on my behalf. You loved it. You’re like that. You dropped everything when

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Discover Why You’re Really Attracted to Them

  Discover Why You’re Really Attracted to Them     Have you ever wondered why you are attracted to certain people? Why you feel a strong pull towards one person and have no attraction at all to another? As children, we learn about the world, ourselves and what love is from our caregivers. We end up attracting people who mirror both our parent’s positive and negative qualities because we unconsciously think that what’s familiar is safe, even if it’s not healthy. Obviously, none of us would choose to consciously attract a partner that mirrors the negative traits of our parents. We logically want to be in healthy, fulfilling relationships. By attracting a partner that mirrors the negative traits of our parents, our partners give us the opportunity to bring up and heal our old wounds by meeting that hurt with the compassion and love that it longed for when we were young.  This then becomes an opportunity to free ourselves from replaying old wounds in our current relationships. These wounds are often dormant within us and our partners have this perfect way to help bring them to the surface. Have you noticed?

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Small Shifts Make Big Changes

  Small Shifts Make Big Changes       There come times in our lives when we need to make a big change. We can feel completely overwhelmed, lost, in a state of despair and quite desperate. We look for that magic pill, magic wand to wave or miracle to make it all go away. The reality is that it doesn’t work that way. Like everyone, I have faced some of these challenges on a business and personal level and to be honest many times, I just wanted to wave a wand and make it all go away. However over the past year I have learnt some personal lessons on how to make “small” changes that will result in nice big positive changes in your life. As I have mentioned in the past, I had a pretty rocky time with my marriage which really rocked my husband and I. At one stage it seemed so overwhelming we didn’t know where to start. So we had an option at that point. We could have looked at it and said ”This is going to be too hard, let’s just call it quits”. But we didn’t. We sat down and chatted about it and came up with a strategy that was measurable from a commitment and timing perspective and just focused on that. We took it one week at a time and worked with a professional. Now we look back and we can’t believe that it seems like an almost distant memory.

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PursuingHealthy Communication for anAuthenticLife

  Pursuing Healthy Communication for an Authentic Life     What kind of a communicator are you? Can you say what’s on your mind or do you stuff it down if you think someone won’t like it? There are many reasons we avoid sharing our authentic truth, even at times, with ourselves. Society conditions women to value ‘niceness’ above almost all other virtues. This can be in direct conflict with speaking the truth (which can always be delivered with kindness but isn’t always ‘nice’). Avoiding or denying the truth is not free. We pay with our level of satisfaction, the depth of intimacy in our relationships and often with our health as well. That is why I am so excited to share some deep insights about how to up your communication game from my pal 

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Is It Really “Easier” to Blame Other People?

  Is It Really “Easier” to Blame Other People?     I blamed my parents for not letting me live the life I wanted to live. Of course I blamed them. It was their fault! They knew I wanted to live a different life to the one I was living, and they weren’t letting me! I just didn’t get it. Why were they so against me wanting something different? Why were they so against me being happy? It was so unfair. It was bullsht. Who were they to tell me what I could and couldn’t do? It was the same as all those editors I pitched because I wanted to write for their publication. I was clearly good enough, but they kept saying no, or that a piece wasn’t quite right, or they’d just ignore me. They’d be lucky to have me! And I can’t even get a reply? I’ve seen some of the writing you publish, and it sucks. And you won’t publish my obviously-infinitely-better piece? It was the same as my basketball coaches. Pretty much all of them told me I was one of the best players on the team, and yet they wouldn’t play me. Well, they wouldn’t play me as much as I thought they should, considering I was one of the best players they had. Forget that I played scared in games, and that I played much better in practice, and that this disparity must’ve been completely noticeable. Why did that matter? They told me I was one of the best players and that meant they should’ve been playing me, no matter how I performed! Right? No. Of course not. But that’s how I felt, even if I didn’t quite admit to anybody. Including myself. I blamed my basketball coaches for not playing me. It was their fault, and in my mind, I was 100%

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Tips on How to Trust and Thrive in Turbulent Time

  10 Tips on How to Trust and Thrive (Instead of Stress and Survive) in Turbulent Times     For many people, unexpected life changes are the source of their biggest fears. What if their jobs get outsourced? What if their spouse leaves them? What if their town’s main source of employment dries up? What if the future they always imagined for themselves turns out to be a pipe dream? The possibilities can be scary to contemplate. But for some people, unexpected life changes can be a source of amazing opportunity. If you have an opportunity-seeking mindset, you will respond to any new situation in a way that allows you to create abundance and thrive. For example, I know of a woman who lost her job in a town hit hard by an economic downturn. Businesses were closing up shop and many people were losing their homes. As she noticed the foreclosures happening in her own neighborhood, she realized that the angry people being forced out of their homes were leaving the houses in a complete mess. So this enterprising woman called the local banks and offered to clean them for a fee so that they would be presentable when the banks tried to rent or sell them. Her little venture was so successful that she had to hire several other people to help – and she now has a successful house cleaning business. I know of another jobless woman who had the brilliant idea to start buying and selling used furniture from people who were forced to downsize their living accommodations – either through foreclosure or job loss. She opened a store that sold the furniture locally as well as online – and she was able to make a good living! Then there was my friend who has a Lexus dealership in Southern California. When the economy took a sharp downturn, people stopped coming into his dealership to buy cars. In order to stay afloat, he knew he had to change his business approach. So instead of waiting for people to come to the showroom, he drove his cars out to country clubs, marinas, and private golf courses and invited people there to take a test drive. Once people got behind the wheel, they were sold – and his dealership ended up selling more cars than ever. You have to have faith in the Universe and yourself The problem with turbulence is that it involves a lot of abrupt and dramatic ups and downs – and you can’t always see the blue skies beyond the storm. But you mustn’t let your worries and fears keep you stuck. You need to have faith that you will navigate your way through the storm and end up in a better place than you were before. And you need to have the motivation to keep going no matter how hard the wind blows – and the confidence to take risks and act on opportunities that have no guaranteed outcome. Here are some tips on how to cultivate trust and take action that will catapult you closer to your dream life – even when it feels like your

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Finding Light in the Darkest of Days

  Finding Light in the Darkest of Days     “And hard times are good in their own way, too. Because the only way you can achieve true happiness is if you experience true sadness as well. It’s all about light and shade. Balance.”  ~Gabrielle Williams  I’d like to believe that nobody enjoys being unhappy. And while I can think of a few people who seem to be perpetual grumps with nothing but pessimistic tendencies, overall, I think we as humans look for happiness any chance we get and like a flower looking for nourishment, lean towards it as much as we can. Happiness comes from within, but it is also all around. A few months ago I was standing at a home store lost in all the inspirational signage that has become so popular these last few years. Mostly they were signs I’d seen before, sentiments that never fail to make me smile. But then, peeking out from behind some candles, I saw this small, framed message. The words inside said: “Sunshine all the time makes a desert.” I stared at this sign for a while. I thought about it as I continued on to the check-out line. I even took out my phone and added this in as a note since I didn’t want to forget the idea. I didn’t. Not because the sentiment was in my phone, but because I kept seeing it. The message would simply pop up and there I would be pondering it again. I thought of the possibility of having sunshine all the time. My initial response was: 

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Get a Faith Lift

  Get a Faith Lift   Get a Faith Lift. Where could you use a faith lift? A place in your life where there’s doubt, anxiety, stress or fear blocking the flow? There is a big hairy spiritual misunderstanding out there that can take you out of the faith flow where you feel supported, guided and held and pull you into the ‘fear pit’ where you get weighted down with feelings of stress, anxiety, and doubt, and it’s this: “If you just do your work, fix yourself, become spiritually evolved ‘enough,’ then life will stop throwing challenges at you.” (as much as I’d like to promise you this spiritual nirvana, it’s not true.) I see so many people – and I’ve done it myself – create tons of unnecessary pressure and stress for themselves because when challenges arise in their money, relationship, careers, or health, instead of meeting the situation with faith, surrendering to the challenge & embracing it, they judge that there is something ‘wrong’ or they did something ‘wrong.’ When hard stuff shows up, or life doesn’t look the way we want, we think and judge that life is supposed to be different than it is. And the moment you choose to judge your situation as wrong, or you blame/shame/criticize yourself or others, the faith flow wanes, your ego flares up, and you create lots more struggle and suffering because you try to muscle, think or criticize your way through instead of relying on the Divine to guide you through.  The spiritual truth is that life is a challenge, full of victories and initiations, full of times of intensity and times of rest. And that’s not a “bad” thing, it’s life. It just is. As you evolve in your spiritual strength and depth, it’s not that the challenges stop coming, it’s that you change how you meet them. This is where building strong faith muscles comes in. You want to strengthen your faith before the hard stuff happens, so you can meet the challenges that come your way with more grace, clarity and centeredness.

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Healing After Abuse

  Healing After Abuse   By Kate - To protect the identity of the author, this post was published under a pen name. I was eight years old when the abuse began. My abuser was married to my oldest sister, who was many years older than I. I stayed with them frequently when my parents were away. My sister worked night shift so he and I were often alone together. I became his sex object. It continued for years before I told a soul. He had so much control over me. Or so I thought. Even after the abuse ended he reigned over me, controlled me with his words. He often tormented me with one line statements that left me paralyzed with fear. “I should have killed you when I had a chance” or “I oughta put a bullet through your head.” At family or community events he would say, in a voice meant only for me, “should we tell them about us?” Fear and shame would flood my soul. Fear that someone would find out how dirty and awful I was. Shame for having done such unspeakable things with my sister’s husband. When I was a teenager I attempted to tell my mother. She was outraged and told me never to say such things again. She berated me for saying something so awful when he had been so

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Why the Pursuit of Happiness Is a Form of Madness

  Why the Pursuit of Happiness Is a Form of Madness (and How You Can Heal It) I have no money. I have no friends. I have no job. I have no house. I have no spouse. I am unhappy. “If I were in your situation, I would be unhappy. I would pursue happiness,” the world may tell you. First ask yourself, “Why does not having these things make me unhappy? And how do I know that having these things will make me happy? What if they don’t?” You feel separate from happiness and believe that you need to achieve something first to become happy, as if you could add “happiness” to your life. Then you start to pursue happiness, and go after the things the world told you will make you happy. But they never do. At the end of your life, you realize that the “pursuit of happiness” was a lie. You see a rainbow. It makes you feel good. You want to add the rainbow to your life. You start to run towards it. But you never reach it, because it’s an illusion created by your mind. This makes you unhappy. You stop running as you realize that both happiness and unhappiness stem from the same illusion. Happiness is like a rainbow, an illusion. Peace is like the sun, real.  You close your eyes and feel peace, joy, love, beauty and gratitude. You didn’t add these things to you. They have been there inside of you all your life. They are your true nature. You have woken up out of your dream, entered the awakened life and realized that pursuing happiness is a form of madness. What do you mean by “madness”? “Madness” or “insanity” is not a label to judge, but a word that is used for the dysfunctional part of your mind also called “the ego” or “the

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Let’s be Real: How Vulnerability Healed Me

  Let’s be Real: How Vulnerability Healed Me   The bravest thing you could ever do is face vulnerability. Sit in it. Writhe in it. Feel the fear and pain wash over you until you’re raw, but clear. But we don’t. We’re so often faced with situations that make us want to have some kind of emotional response, but we swallow it like an ambitious mouthful of rice without water, clumping and sticking in our throat. We’re not at fault. It’s what we’ve been taught. I was told and shown (like most of us) that strength is being a stoic, silent sufferer. No matter what, she smiles. When I learned how to be that—perfected it even—I was proud. I was finally that girl who you’d never know was struggling with a host of mood disorders. I’d heard intermittently from brave souls that letting the emotion come and being open about it was the only way for the pain to move through (and out of) you … which sounded great. I just had no idea how to do that. My tools were these: “shut your mouth” and “smile.” I never learned any others. Plus, they seemed to be working for everyone else, so why not me? Why was I the only one who was still bothered by her locked-down pain? Using the only tools I had in the only way I knew how was enough to fool friends and family for years. But then, I started having fantasies of passing out randomly in the middle of a workday or when I was out with my friends. I imagined everyone flocking to me in surprise, worrying, and dumbfounded. And in these dreams, I found solace. Physically crumbling under the weight of my mask would show people how much I was truly hurting without breaking my oath of sucking it up. Without having to say a word, they’d know. In this make-believe world where I’d finally reveal my inner turmoil, I wouldn’t have to sacrifice my “strength” to get relief from the burden of “staying strong.”

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How to LiberateYourself fromYour Age and Slow Down

  How to Liberate Yourself from Your Age and Slow Down the Aging Process     The summer makes the transition into the autumn. The leaves are turning red and are falling down the trees. You don’t want the summer to end, because it was the greatest summer of your life. You walk around the garden and collect the leaves. Then you paint them green and put them back on the tree. Even though the average daily temperature has dropped by 10 degrees Celsius, you still walk around in your summer clothes. Soon, you catch a cold and feel sick. All because you resisted the change. That’s what happens when people resist the change in their bodies that we call “aging“. Summer is not better than autumn. The earth just appears to be different on the surface, but at the core, it is always the same. Doesn’t age make me a different person? “You are this age, so you are this kind of person now. People at this age do such and such things. By this birthday you should have acquired such and such things,” the world tells you. The number of your years of age is nothing more than a story created by the person who invented the calendar a few centuries ago. How many people suffer because they are completely identified with the number of years that has been assigned to them? Millions? Billions? Do not determine the value of your life by your years, but by the strength of the connection you have to the present moment.

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How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Smartphone

  How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Smartphone and Start Using It in a Conscious Way   If humans remain unconscious, robots will become like humans and humans will become like robots. – Fabian Markl Through smartphones, humans have become like dogs. Pavlov was a scientist who had a dog, which he conditioned. Whenever he rang a bell, the dog expected food and its mouth started to water. The smartphone conditions human behavior very effectively. Once it gives a sound or a vibration, we are pulled to reach for the phone, no matter whether we are cooking, eating, watching TV, driving a car, riding a bicycle, walking across the street or talking to someone. The phone rings but we cannot not answer it. It could be important, and if it’s not important, we resent the caller. The phone vibrates but we cannot not answer the text message. We feel compelled to answer within a certain time period, because the sender knows you’ve read it, and if you don’t reply he or she may be disappointed.

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Is It Better to Take Action or Surrender?

  Is It Better to Take Action or Surrender?   Let’s talk about the polarity to resignation: control. I recently received a question from a reader about how when she pushes herself to ‘figure things out’ she feels overwhelmed, anxious and eventually drained. Yet when she errs on the passive side she feels like she is not being proactive enough. Can you relate? Do you work hard to make things happen until you are so exhausted that you throw in the towel of surrender (when really it’s resignation!)? And then start to panic because you are not doing enough so you throw yourself back into trying to make things happen? Whenever we are bouncing between two extremes like being extremely proactive and being patiently passive, we end up getting nowhere because it’s impossible to really gain any momentum when our attitudes and behavior keep flip-flopping. I call this “penduluming” because it creates a back and forth in our consciousness, never giving us an opportunity to find an equilibrium. Finding the balance between doing and being is a delicate one.

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How to Stop FeelingGuilty overJustAbout Everything

  How to Stop Feeling Guilty over Just About Everything   “Sometimes I just want to paint the words “It’s my fault” across my forehead to save people the time of being pissed off at me.”  – Christina Westover I’m a really bad person. It shows in my face. Guilty as charged my eyes say. You see, I’m a really bad person. How do I know? Guilt told me so. But you know what? Guilt can go to hell! I’ve had it with guilt. I’m done being a patsy, a whipping boy, a scapegoat. I refuse to lose any more of my life to all the guilty feelings I’ve dragged behind me like a ball and chain. This guilt trip has reached its final destination. And unless you’ve got a dead body, a spade and a bag of lime in the trunk of your car, yours should to. You Never Started The Fire. Blaming yourself for, oh yeah, everything, is so ingrained it’s become who you are. You’ve confused the fact that you care, that you have a conscience, with the mistaken idea that you are somehow responsible for all the wrong in the world. You’re not. Just because you can see something, doesn’t mean you need to put it right. Just because you can feel something, doesn’t mean you need to suffer for it. Just because at some point you had to walk away to sort out your own pressing problems doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Guilt be damned! Your life and mine aren’t at the expense of someone else’s. Eating doesn’t mean someone else starves.

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A Great Initiation Called Death

  A Great Initiation Called Death     There’s no point in pretending it’s something not to think about. We do anyway don’t we? But it’s how we think about it that matters – and how we feel about it, even more so. Carlos Castaneda rivets our attention on the ever imminent reality in proclaiming the Shaman’s rule: …that unless one can stand face to face with the unflinching reality of death – one is unsuited to the role of warrior traveler. Now some might retort, “We are not aspiring to be warriors anyway, so why make a big deal out of it?” OK, but let’s not confuse the more standard war-like connotation of that word ‘warrior’ with its further meaning as: warrior traveler. You see the ‘traveler’ factor is very significant; it means something that moves, that is not static. It suggests a continuing exploration, a voyage, change an unfolding event, doesn’t it? Many reading this are no doubt warrior travelers in the making; brave explorers within the divine drama of life. But many more might wish to be, yet feel a little fearful of the many unknowns that face the would be initiate. I suggest that we all recognize this dilemma and share the insecurities and questions it raises within us.   So, just like any of life’s innumerable hurdles, we can start by looking at ‘passing’ as a creative challenge. There is clearly an art to dying just as there is an art to living. The question is, what might that art be … and will we be lucky enough to have a generous and largely pain-free space of quietude in which to perform it? That would indeed be a blessing. I’ll have a stab at answering these rhetorical questions, but please bear in mind that they are my particular take on this – and I don’t pretend to suggest otherwise. This is a flight of the intuitive led imagination. If dying is an art, then the first thing is to recognize is that it is ‘art in progress’, as it were. We are talking about ‘transition’ are we not? We are talking about moving through different states of existence. And so as to make as smooth a transition as possible, we can benefit from preparing

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Your Brain Is Not Your Mind: True Nature

  Your Brain Is Not Your Mind: True Nature of Consciousness       There’s a fundamental question that’s been asked for ages – are your brain and your mind the same thing? If not, what’s the difference? First, let’s take a look at the standard definition of mind: “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.” – Merriam-Webster Now let’s look at how they define brain: “An organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating center of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity.” – Merriam-Webster

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The Magic Power of Words and Why Words Rule

  The Magic Power of Words and Why Words Rule the World     “Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.” – Confucius We hear and speak words everyday for the reason that we heavily rely on them to communicate. Because of this, words play a very important role for shaping our beliefs and perception of reality. It is estimated that the average person speaks more than 7,000 words per day. Even though we hear and speak words everyday, most of us have no clue as to how powerful words are. What most people do not know about words is that they have magic properties and are very effective for deceiving the mind. However, words can also be used to empower the mind. In this article, I will show you how words are used to trick you to give up your natural rights and spiritual powers to the state. Every time you give up your spiritual powers and natural rights to a government agency, you are committing sin against the Prime Creator. The process of using words to trick you to commit sin is what I like to refer to as word magic. Be aware that word magic can be used for good or evil purposes. If you are new to word magic, I recommend reading my empowering article titled Magic and the Power of Words. My article shows you evidence of why words have magic power.     One of the first things the state does to trick you to give up your natural rights, so they can make you play their vampiric game called the debt-based commerce system is by convincing you to sign commercial contracts with their government. Your first commercial contract with the state is the birth certificate. I am not going to go into details about the birth certificate, because this article is about educating you to become aware of the magic power of words and why words rule the world. If you want to learn more about the birth certificate, watch the short and informative video below. The Magic Power of Words Before we explore the magic power of words, I need to explain to you what magic is so you can see the relation between magic and the power of words. The term magic is derived from Old French magique, Latin 

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How to Stop Taking Heartless Criticism to Heart!

  How to Stop Taking Heartless Criticism to Heart   Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. – Aristotle No. No. NO! Please no, don’t criticize me. Because the wounds caused by harsh words don’t heal easily, if at all. Instead, they fester. Scornful words slash your self-esteem apart, leaving you with an open wound, brutally exposed for more disdain and salt to be poured on. You feel ashamed, vulnerable, stupid… …and then angry. Angry because you’re trying so hard. Because it’s so unfair. Because you’re doing your absolute, damn best. Why can’t they see that? Why!? For one reason only… They Don’t Know Your Story That’s why they misunderstand and misjudge you. And it’s why they don’t see how truly amazingly you’re doing. And how incredibly far you’ve already come. No one knows your Story – except you.  So stop taking heartless criticism to heart. Because you also know the other truth – that they have only played a cameo role in your whole Story. Embarrassingly, they believe they’ve been a central character from page one when in reality they are little more than a footnote. There is only one central character in your Story. Only one who was there on the first page and will be there on the last – you.  And only one hero. Because true heroes and heroines come from within, not without. Others may aid and abet you, they may turn up at the crucial moment and give you the strength or knowledge to carry on to the next stage of your journey. But when you reach that last page and look back, you’ll find that all those fairy tales lied. The hero or heroine never rode in on a white horse, they were there all the time. It was you. You are the hero of your Story.

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Are You Relaxing in a Way That Actually Recharges

  Are You Relaxing in a Way That Actually Recharges You? When is the last time you felt truly, deeply relaxed? So much so that you were actually energized? If you honestly can’t remember or if it was during your last vacation, then you are definitely overdue for some downtime. But here is the thing – we need downtime every day and it needs to be quality. Too many of us bounce between being overly busy and then collapsing into exhaustion which never truly puts us in a state of relaxation. In the vlog I share how what you may be calling your downtime could be laziness.

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How to Rediscover Life’s Magic and Feel Like a Kid

  How to Rediscover Life’s Magic and Feel Like a Kid Again     “A little magic can take you a long way.” – Roald Dahl Grown up? Please no! Being an adult looked so much more fun when I was still a kid. I spent my teenage years aching to be old enough to make my own decisions, choose whatever, wherever and whenever the heck I wanted. Oh yeah. Somehow, it seems I missed the class that covered the truth about adulthood. The one that said being grown up can leave you floundering in responsibility, drowning in expectation of all that you should be, suffocating from the rules of all you have to do and own. Ironically, you can stay up as late as you like, but stressed and exhausted you crash early into bed too frazzled to really sleep. Lying awake stressing over the worries of debt, words you regret and all the targets someone else has set. Adult life’s got you fearing, not cheering – frantically refinancing instead of dancing. What the hell happened? Somewhere between making paper chains and making a living, life’s magic faded. Being grown up can be such a drag. But there is a cure… Rediscover Your Sunshine Children. Children are sunshine. Glorious, sunshine on tiny legs. Because sunshine is all they see. They don’t worry about tomorrow or forever meeting responsibilities. They feel no awkwardness at falling over, making mistakes or in being brutally honest about how they feel. They’re too caught up in the wonder of discovery and excitement that every day brings to consider the consequences. Every day is another chance to laugh until it hurts. Then laugh some more. Oh boy, that’s a fabulous state to be in . . .  carefree, ah. Imagine bubbling over with excited anticipation rather than sinking under a million worries. Delighting in all that you’ve said and done instead of over-analysing every detail. Swapping the worry of what the day might bring to rushing out in your pyjamas to welcome it in. You know, we can learn so much from our tiny rays of sunshine.

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The One Formula to Find Your Passion in Life

  The One Formula to Find Your Passion in Life   I was passionate when I was throwing hard pointed rocks at other little kids. “I hit him!” My friends and I would climb around construction sites, pretending they were forts. And throw rocks at each other until we were caught by parents. By adults. Fun! Einstein found his passion because he wondered what a man traveling the speed of light on a spaceship if he looked out the window and saw a man standing still. He daydreamed and doodled and found his passion. DaVinci found his passion drawing machines with wings that flapped like birds – the first illustrations of what 500 years later became planes. Just doodles. Thousands of them. Charles Darwin found his passion playing with rocks halfway around the world. He played with them, he kicked them around, he drew pictures of the tree of life around those rocks, for EIGHT YEARS, before returning to the land of adults where he accomplished his life’s work while all of the adults jeered in his path. Mozart found his passion when he finally escaped the adulthood of a steady job in Salzburg, for the virility of Vienna where commanding operas and orchestras and singers and actors he created Don Giovanni, the opera that changed every piece of music that ever came after that. Marie Curie found her passion, like so many of us, by again playing with rocks. Why did some rocks seem to be like the sun, their own source of light when all else around them was pitch black dark. Like a child, she held them in her hand, she looked hard at them, she threw them. She studied them. Mick Jagger had no musical talent at all but would collect blues records from America and he and his childhood friend Keith Richards would lie around listening to them. When his parents sent him off to study at the London School of Economics, he was still listening to those records and scribbling down lyrics rather than paying attention to supply versus demand. Mary Shelley wondered what it would be like if a machine had intelligence. She daydreamed. She called her machine Frankenstein and made up stories about how people would treat such a hybrid human/machine. Ada Lovelace wondered what it would be like to tell a machine what to do. Could such a machine ever exist? Steve Jobs loved calligraphy and using a key from a captain crunch box to scam the phone system. The common thread: everyone was playing like a child, but with the experience of an adult. Here are ten ways I still try to be a child every day. This is how I know I will find my passion. And every day it might be different: - PLAY Every day I have to do something for no other reason at all than that it’s fun. What can you do that’s fun? Play a game with someone else. Learn a magic trick. Sing. When people want me to meet at their office I suggest the local ping pong establishment instead. It’s through Play that we get to know each other. Or I suggest we bring a backgammon board. Or a deck of cards. “I will beat you!” That’s the words of a child. And also the words yesterday between me and the CEO of a company I’m an advisor to. - FREE Nobody paid Einstein to daydream about two people staring at each other, with one going through space as fast as he could. In fact, he was a clerk in a patent office and could’ve stayed that way forever. Nobody paid Ada Lovelace to imagine a world of computers 120 years before one existed. She was supposed to just be a stay-at-home Countess and enjoy her luxuries.

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Should You Trust Other Women?

  Should You Trust Other Women?   The other day I was ending a phone call with a woman I mentor, and she expressed to me her gratitude for being able to trust me. The tone in her voice was beyond sincere, it was like a breath, a deep exhale. It felt like a release or opening of something she had been tightly holding for years, as if in protection. In that moment, I knew instinctively that she had just opened the door to me to enter that close, tender, vulnerable space inside of her that she let very few, if any, into – the place I call the inner heart sanctum.  And I also knew her instinct to protect this place within her was there for good reason. She, like many women, including yours truly, and maybe even you, have been betrayed by other women, backstabbed, walked over, used, lied to, rejected, befriended and then tossed aside, manipulated and the list goes on for way too long. And while you have likely also had experiences on the other end of the spectrum – sisterhood, unconditional love, kindness, support – the wounds you’ve received from other women are always lying just under the surface, like a scab that never quite heals over. It could be the girls in school who made fun of you and made you feel cast out. Or the competition and cattiness that grew even more prevalent as you entered college or the workforce. Or the woman you thought would be your sister forever who turned out to be one of your biggest heartbreaks. I think we all have a very personal sisterhood story about women and our female relationships. I haven’t met a woman yet without at least one “sisterhood wound” that has impacted her trust of other women. Some of us trust too easily and let the wrong women in too close and get hurt. Others have little to no trust and so let in a few to none, or keep old friends around mistaking years known for intimacy and trust – and so miss out on true sisterhood. Some surround themselves with lots of women friends but never let any into her inner heart sanctum, so on the outside she looks happy, but on the inside she feels alone. Some women even espouse sisterhood and unconditional love, but behind the scenes, they attack, manipulate, lie or backstab. What’s your sisterhood story? The start of my sisterhood story goes something like this… From the age of fifteen to thirty, I didn’t like women much. Other than three or so women I had known forever, I surrounded myself with men. They were easier. I knew their game. We could hang out, no drama, no competition, no backstabbing gossip. But at the age of thirty, after a broken engagement and a realization that the men I thought had my back, had been hiding the fact that my fiancé was cheating on me,

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The Empowered Woman’s Manifesto for Making Life

  The Empowered Woman’s Manifesto for Making Life Happen   We are the movers, shakers, and creators of this world. We make life happen, either subtly or with all the authority of nature herself. We are the midwives of our dreams, and whether we do it big or in a way that is unassuming and silent, we are constantly working to support, nurture, and communicate…to connect, honor, and love…to comfort, strengthen, and grow our communities and each other. We are multifaceted. We are moms. Daughters. Sisters. Partners. Businesswomen. Artists. Leaders. Philanthropists. Community builders. Pioneers of a way of living and being that is as ancient as the Earth, and as new as the rising sun. We are black, and we are white. We constitute many races, ethnicities, ages, belief systems, spiritual and political ideologies, life experiences, and forms of wisdom. We have an infinite variety of stories, including ones that have never before been uttered or acknowledged. And we’ve lived many lifetimes within the single one we’ve been blessed with. We are the ones who hold up half the sky. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Whatever roles we find ourselves identifying with—we are, first, and foremost, women. The generative power of the universe—the potent life force that makes itself known in our bodies, our wombs, our hearts, and our wisdom—lives within us. As women, we have the potential to birth new possibilities. We can be the bold heroines of our own stories and lives. And be assured: we can turn all the old standards of heroism on their heads and choose wholeness, connection, and love to guide our journeys. The Feminine Thread Many of us are only now remembering that we are the living embodiment of the powerful feminine principle, which is all about courage, compassion, beauty, connection, sensuality, and above all, truth. Indeed, your story, your truth, is forever intertwined in the beautiful, chaotic ball of yarn that is life itself, whether those stories are of struggle or hope, joy or loss, self-discovery or a voyage into the unknown. What’s more, a single thread, simultaneously delicate and resilient, weaves in and out of that ball of yarn—creating unity and coherence, connection and meaning. I call this the feminine thread.

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Your Inner Child

  Your Inner Child. (I Know, I Know. GROAN. But Hear Me Out…)     I’m hanging with my shrink and he brings up some inner child stuff. My general response: “Really? Come on. You’re gonna pull the Inner Child card on me? That is SO 1994.” And then we laugh, hard, like we do, and he gives his best exaggerated Jew-Bu shrug, “Well, that’s when the wound happens, so it’s like, hard to get around.” Eye roll. I’d like to think that my years of earnest (and not-so-earnest) contemplation, and metaphysical expeditions, and sacred dancing, and dirty dancing (same thing), and fire-walking, and colonics, and green juice, and kundalini breakthroughs, and hang outs with ethereal beings, has you know, gotten me over the Inner Child Thing. Like, I’m a growwwwn wuhman. I can do what EVAH I want. I did a 

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Sailing Life’s Storms: How to Stay Open, Yet Feel

  Sailing Life’s Storms: How to Stay Open, Yet Feel Protected     This past September and October, I was navigating through highly turbulent waters, trying to keep my marriage afloat. Isn’t it odd that it’s the people closest to us who can hurt us the most? You know, a harsh word said or a kind word withdrawn, being ignored by a friend, or rejected by the spouse. I was experiencing all of these simultaneously. It felt as if my solar plexus was being punched with an iron fist day after day. I was shattered and disoriented. “How can I write anything spiritually meaningful when I’m a total mess?” But I sat down in my reclining chair at the bay window anyway, hugging the coffee mug in my hands. I sipped the comforting drink, and stared at the dancing branches and leaves of the oak, river birch, and mulberry trees, breathing, slowly. And the words came: the poetry and prose. From the ether around me, from the light still flickering within each broken shard of my Soul. Gradually, the thoughts about the anatomy of the Soul emerged. Yes, I can be open and feel safe at the same time. I sighed in relief, as the dark clouds gently parted.

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The Beauty in Pain

  The Beauty in Pain     We all go through pain in our lives and usually we go through pain many times. Pain is uncomfortable, it is scary and we all try to avoid it. And I am not talking about physical pain here, but rather Emotional and Mental pain. This past weekend my husband, daughter and I traveled to the East Coast to visit a very special friend who is losing her battle with a very serious brain tumor. It has been very tough just finding out about it and was really difficult seeing her in person as I was overwhelmed with emotion. Inside I was on fire, I was burning with raw emotion and wanting to explode with grief, sadness and despair. We’re so young! We have families! Why was this happening? I wasn’t sure how I was going to be at the end of the weekend, if I was feeling like this now. The funny thing is, the whole experience

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Are We Having Fun Yet???

  Are We Having Fun Yet?     When it comes to having fun, I really have to push myself. Doesn’t that sound silly? It’s not that I don’t have fun; I consider my job quite fun and adventurous! And I take great pleasure in eating and playing with my kids, too. But can’t you hear a bit of “arrested development” in this area for me? I know there are true psychological and physical benefits of having fun, and that it’s an important part of a well-balanced life. But the truth is… … if I didn’t really pay attention and consciously “take on” fun, I wouldn’t have any. Some people have no problem prioritizing this area in their lives, while others (myself included) reject that it is even an area we should

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8 Ways to Achieve More by Working Less

  8 Ways to Achieve More by Working Less   I spend about five hours a day slacking off. Really: I spend that much time doing stuff I enjoy, that isn’t on a task list anywhere. I walk through the beautiful university campus near my house–during the workday. I cook for pleasure. I lay around on my daughter’s bed reading while she does her homework. You’re probably thinking, “I could never do that!! Because I have to [insert 500 good reasons]!” Maybe you now believe that I am lazier and more pampered than you previously imagined. Here’s the truth: I slack off not because I’m lazy or don’t care about being productive. In fact, I’ve found that slacking off makes me more productive because I slack strategically–meaning that I take breaks at designated times, for regular intervals, in ways that sharpen my focus when I sit back down to work. Strategic slacking has enabled me to dramatically increase both the quality of my work and the amount I get done in a given day. It increases productivity because we don’t think or work or create at the same rate throughout the day. How fast we work doesn’t just depend on the difficulty of what we are working on; it also depends on how well our brain is functioning. Is it well-nourished? Free from stress? Rested and ready to go? To a large extent, how we answer those questions is within our control. Here are eight ways to achieve more while working less. 1. Designate time for “Think Work.” Late morning is an excellent time for most people to tackle their most difficult work, as alertness tends to be high and willpower is not yet depleted. I do work that takes a lot of focus at a standing desk that has a small treadmill under it, on a computer that doesn’t have an email application. Walking slowly while I work has a lot of positive outcomes; one of them is that it more or less chains me to my desk. I put my phone in do-not-disturb mode and close any unnecessary applications or windows that are open on my computer. I put on my noise-canceling headphones and play my “listen while writing” playlist. 2. Take “recess” throughout the day. One survey discovered

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How to Balance Life and Healthy Living

  How to Balance Life and Healthy Living   I believe that self-love is the path to true love.  So today I am sharing my top three non-negotiable self-care practices. 1. Create Healthy Boundaries Establishing and 

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The One Formula For Happiness Nobody Told Me

  The One Formula For Happiness Nobody Told Me   Kissing tastes really good. The first time I kissed a girl I was eighteen. Tracey. Man, what the hell! That was like an electric charge to the core. How come they didn’t teach this in high school? In high school I learned one thing: that I was ugly as explosive diarrhea. Girls would cover their mouths and whisper to each other while they stared at me. But at nineteen, I don’t know what happened. Some girl graced me with her lips. And, as is typical with me ever since, I fell immediately in love with her, begged her to move in with me, hid that fact from my parents, cried desperately on the floor when I realized it wasn’t working, and finally moved to another city as a clever way to end the relationship. But still…kissing. I can’t stop it. It’s an addiction. I will die from that addiction. The autopsy will reveal “too much kissing led to cardiac failure – a broken heart.” Bad Formula #1 I thought that kissing = happiness. What an easy formula. And I thought I would get more kissing in various ways. I’m just being blunt. Here are the ways: If I was handsome, funny, famous, or rich. If I grew up in the Instagram world, I would think Kissing = More Instagram followers. Instagram is a company that has a billion cat photos uploaded every day. It was bought for $2,000,000,000.00. Nice is good also. But I didn’t have enough confidence or charisma to make nice work for me. I wanted to be a psychologist. My dad said, “Don’t be a psychologist. You won’t make any money. Girls won’t like you.” But I really wanted to be one. To talk to people. To help people. I said, “But if a girl likes me, how do I know she will like me for me or for the money.” My dad said, “She’s not going to like you because you have money. She’s going to like you because you are the kind of guy who can make money.” Maybe so. Maybe so. I don’t know. I got a D- in Psychology 101 anyway and by the time I was nineteen years old I was no longer qualified to help people according to the institutions of higher learning. And they were right. ***

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Are You Focused on Your Capabilities or Your Pos

  Are You Focused on Your Capabilities or Your Possibilities? Are you ready to look beyond what you currently can think of or know how to do? “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti A woman at a seminar I was at last weekend stood up and shared an “aha” moment that I thought was brilliant so of course I want to share it with you! She said, “I am realizing the importance of focusing more on possibilities rather than my capabilities.” The crowd made a collective “ooohhhh”

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What Does This Life Mean to You?

  What Does This Life Mean to You?    Last Monday began like any other. I willed myself out of bed when the alarm went off before dawn. I shuffled around, grumbling about the usual. I sighed as the garage door closed behind me, and I headed off to begin the week. My mind wandered to nothing in particular as I drove the familiar thirteen miles to the office. It was another Monday, another week. Same as the last and same as the next. About fifteen minutes into my commute, the driver just ahead of me lost control of his car, swerving in and out of my lane.He weaved what could be a beautiful pattern under any other circumstances with his little red sedan. I was trapped between two lanes, and the cars barreled toward us from behind. There was nothing to do but stop. I watched it happen in slow motion and played out what seemed inevitable. I saw my car wrap around his. I saw the cars hit me from behind. I could almost feel the impact. My life and the things that matter most to me flashed before me. My mind flipped through the people I wished I could see one more time, the regrets for what I haven’t accomplished, and the words I still had inside of me left unsaid. And then, miraculously, nothing happened.     There was no crash. Not even a tiny scratch on the bumper. Nothing. The driver made it to the shoulder, and everyone carried on like it was business as usual. I peeked at my fellow travelers at the next red light. Everyone seemed absorbed in their own world, fiddling with the radio, putting on makeup, and sending a quick text. I wonder how many of them were doing exactly what I was at that moment: counting my blessings and pledging to appreciate more of my life.     I routinely tell myself to practice

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How I Got off Gratitude Autopilot

  How I Got off Gratitude Autopilot     “What if I am not sincerely grateful? Do I force gratitude?” My client asked. I reflected on this and decided to explore what happens when we don’t authentically feel gratitude and instead force a feeling that isn’t there or worse, put ourselves on gratitude autopilot. Human beings tend to put emotions on autopilot. Out of habit we tell a loved one we love them at the end of a phone conversation, when someone asks how we are usually we say “great,” even if we had a crappy day. My client’s experience with gratitude was the same. Although thankful for many things in her life, she didn’t truly feel it. Are we cheating ourselves out of experiencing the pure essence of emotions, such as gratitude, if we place ourselves on autopilot? As a teenager I had the same question. In church I would hear the priest say, “We thank you Heavenly Father for this bread and wine,” and wonder if I was thankful? Why should I be thankful? Am I going to Hell if I am not? As I recited more prayers thanking God I became very sad and disappointed with myself. The words I was saying meant nothing to me. Why wasn’t I feeling grateful? I expected to feel something after repeating the words but didn’t. It was then I placed myself on gratitude autopilot. I told everyone I was grateful, but secretly I never felt it. Gratitude is taught to children in the form of manners and society’s expectations. Parents, teachers and role models have demanded children say thank you for decades. Sometimes these demands were motivated not only by the desire to teach good manners but also to impress friends. As a result children became indoctrinated into gratitude autopilot because they know it will please their parents. Some even adapted it as a manipulative tool.

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How to Stop Regret from Consuming Your Dreams

  How to Stop Regret from Consuming Your Dreams   How many times have you wished you could go back in time and stop yourself from making a mistake in your life? A lot, I’m betting – me too. It’s human nature to feel regret and want to become better decision makers so we can avoid future missteps in our life. But there’s no time machine in life, and no reset button to use whenever we take a wrong step. Even if we made the right choice in the past, it’s still common to feel regret over a decision we made because we feel it was selfish or inconsiderate of us in the grand scheme of things. So how do we stop it from consuming our thoughts and our dreams? Regret Is More Than A Thought, It’s A Worldview It’s no secret that regret consumes a large part of our lives if we allow it to. But if we make decisions fueled by regret, then we’ll stay clouded by what could have been and what the future could hold if we only did things differently. I remember trying to choose my major in university and how everyone around me was telling me how I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and fast. Needless to say, it was a struggle. And while the major I ended up choosing lined up with my passion for writing, I couldn’t help but think what if – what if I had gone into marketing like my dad wanted me to? What if I had gotten a business degree that was relatively safe and would likely lead to a “good” job, even if I didn’t necessarily like it?

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How to Find Your Smile Even If You’re Hurting

  How to Find Your Smile Even If You’re Hurting Inside   “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful”. Thich Nhat Hanh We’ve all experienced it. How hard life can be. And how in an instant it can rip you apart. And when it does, how much you hurt inside. It started when I lost someone that I’d always believed would be there for me. My dad. It couldn’t be that he’d gone, I was still at school.  What about watching me grow up, being there when I needed a hug, giving me away at my wedding? What about being a family? I couldn’t change the news that day. I felt so alone. And I wasn’t prepared for how much it hurt. It felt like my insides had been shredded. My heart constantly ached with all the emotion that surged through it. At times I felt way too wretched to function normally. Yet somehow I stumbled on. The days felt unbearably heavy, insufferably hard. All I thought of was quiet, dark, solitude to find some relief from suffering. All I wanted was for the hurt to end. But it felt endless, relentless, merciless. And for a long while that pain became so familiar, it became who I was. I started to believe that the wound might never heal. Every day was an exhausting struggle that I didn’t really care if I won or lost. I just wanted the hurt to end . . . please. And you know, eventually, it did. How I Finally Found My Smile After Hurting for So Long When it was time. When I’d worked through enough stuff. When I’d grown strong again, I found my smile. The pain had disappeared; it receded over time to leave me still whole, still standing. Days seemed warmer, easier, and even interesting again. Memories of dad were only happy ones, if still tinged with sadness that he wasn’t there. I felt like a mole that had been underground for far too long, now blinking and blinded by the brightness of life. It was almost too delicious to believe. But I was super lucky on the way to recovering from the hurt and the grief. Someone taught me the greatest lesson ever about getting through, starting over, and jumping up again. My incredible best friend then, and my soulmate now and forever, Mark. He gave me space to work through the stuff, the chaos, and the confusion. He knew that time honestly would heal everything. He believed scars don’t have to change who we are inside. He had unshakable faith

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You Are Not Here to Stay…

  You Are Not Here to Stay…   “I will be a wave breaking at the shore alongside thousands of waves.” My husband would say at night during his terminal cancer diagnosis when the thoughts of dying would forcefully climb into his human mind and remind him of his mortality. And I would refuse to be in his mortality. I refused to believe that he would die. My refusal did not bring him hope but an aloneness of his own journey. “I don’t want you to be a cheerleader.” he would say. “I just want you to see that I am actually dying.” And he was. And he did. He really did. He died forever. And ever.

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Why Second Chances Are Beautiful

  Why Second Chances Are Beautiful     Second chances are beautiful. I should know, I’ve had many in my life. There are of course the day-to-day events like the time I completely ruined that pot cooking burning dinner, the shame-filled events like failing a class senior year of college, the doubt-filled events like not getting into graduate school and having no alternate plans, or the countless moments of uncertainty in building a business. So often we can look at heartaches, losses, and failures as proof that there’s something wrong with us, and we can lose our motivation. Here’s the thing to remember: growth, success, and fulfillment aren’t always automatic, but they ARE always possible. Now don’t get me wrong, these moments did not feel good, but I also know that mine is not a sad story. It is a story of finding beauty and motivation in second chances. So many of the wonderful things in my life are directly tied to second chances. I made that dinner again (and it was so delicious), got a solid B in that class (and it was the sweetest B I ever got…still not perfect, but that’s not the point), went to grad school (and got that Ph.D.), and am celebrating the small victories in growing a business. Every second chance (and beyond) has brought with it a chance to celebrate, no matter how small the victory. Whenever I’ve needed to try again or even start over from scratch, second chances have been a beautiful hidden gift. I’m not some special case. This is as true for any one of us. You see, there’s no goal that second chances don’t bring you closer to. Even if you don’t come out the winner in the end, that’s alright because that’s not required for growth. The second chance might not be as literal as a complete do-over, but even when that one thing cannot be done again, you will have another chance at challenging yourself,

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3 Ways to Thrive with Change

  3 Ways to Thrive with Change     I’m seventeen years old and I’m 4,689 miles from home. When I arrived in Poland for my year-long foreign exchange program, I found that everything was shocking and scary. It was a transition I thought would come easily to me because in the back of my mind I always convinced myself that I was the master of change. In truth, I could not have been more wrong. When I left my hometown in North Carolina I had numbed myself to the everyday pressures I faced in work, school, and relationships. I was living an unsustainable life, highly prone to breakdowns and bad moods. The move turned my whole world upside down and I couldn’t live in that comfort anymore. The first few weeks were tough, as I felt all of the things I was suppressing and so much more while trying to navigate this new and confusing world. The first few weeks were a time of painful discovery. I discovered I was living a life guided completely by my fears. This life involved a lot of ignorance of my emotions, unhealthy attachment to those closest to me, and worst of all, my authentic self was buried in a deep dark place, kept safe from harm (or the truth). In the first month I succumbed to my constant woes. I sunk down behind the covers, eating for comfort and watching TV constantly to distract me from what I had

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On Worrying

On Worrying   The other night I was snuggled up to my husband Dan in bed, knowing that in a few days he would be leaving for a business trip to Vancouver. While he was fast asleep, I was struggling to relax because my mind was busy scanning everything that could go wrong on his trip. I found myself worrying about whether the plane he was going to be in would crash and all the aftershocks that would follow his death – the funeral, the eulogy…(sigh). I know. These were some very dark thoughts. I noticed that my throat immediately began to tighten and my heart raced. In one moment of worrying I had triggered the fight or flight response in my body and all systems were on red alert as my brain prepared for the danger, even if it was an imagined one. To reassure myself, I held onto Dan even tighter and as I felt his chest rise and fall my brain was like, “He’s still breathing. He’s still alive!” And then I felt the tears begin to flow. As I felt flooded with gratitude in my heart, here was the exact thought that popped into my head: Even if he died in a plane crash I would be okay because I had married my best friend and experienced true love. (I know these were such crazy thoughts I’m even embarrassed to write them.) But as sadness overcame me, I started to calm down and feel better. The tears made me feel like I was really appreciating what I had… and then I fell asleep. In the morning I woke up, looked at Dan (who was still alive by the way) and I had this WTF moment of epiphany. Did I have to worry that the worst

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I Doubted Everything In My Life…

  I Doubted Everything In My Life… Here Is What Happened.   Someone wrote  “I want to benefit all of humanity as much as possible. But how can I get over all the doubts I have?” My response: You’re going to totally fail. Your doubts are completely correct. I’m not saying this in some reverse psychology way. You’re not a teenager (if you were — I would totally use reverse psychology). You’re an adult with a grand and admirable ambition. You want to benefit humanity. I admire that. My waitress just poured me a cup of coffee. She benefited humanity just now. But you want to do it in a bigger way. You want to do it, as you say, “as much as possible”. Not just a cup of coffee for me. A cup of coffee for everyone! We are lucky, you and I, that we can want enough that we are also able to doubt enough. “Want” is the older brother of “doubt.” First we want, then we doubt that we can get what we want. So I will tell you what I do. I wanted to start a company. I had an idea in the 1990s. That every company would eventually need a website. A million companies or more would need one. I would help all of them. So I learned how to build a web page. Then a website… Then I found one customer. It was hard. I had to convince him why he needed me. I had to convince him I could do it

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Why You Are Not Meditating

  Why You Are Not Meditating   Do you meditate regularly? If you do, you know how invaluable it is to your well-being. If you don’t, you probably know you “should” but either cannot seem to start or stick to a regular practice. There is tons of research that shows the positive impacts meditation has on our health, productivity, sleep, and even weight. We know it is a great way to calm anxiety and tap into our intuition but when it comes to actually doing it, we often face resistance. In the vlog I reveal the two biggest blocks to meditation (and they are not what you think they are) as well as give you tips for how to move beyond them. I get asked a l

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None of Your Beliefs Are Real

  None of Your Beliefs Are Real     When you were nine years old, how old you did believe you were? nine, right? And when you turned ten years old, how old did you believe you were? Ten. Hopefully. Maybe you stayed up until midnight so you could “experience” changing from ten to 1ten years old. Maybe you went to bed early because you were so excited, and when you woke up, you were ten. Double figures! Finally! I was happy when I turned ten. I felt very grown up. Especially as I’d sometimes get a lift to school with a kid who was a couple of years below me. I was so much OLDER than him. I knew it all. Anyway. What’s fascinating to me here is how easily I let go of the belief that I was nine, and how quickly I embraced being ten. One moment I believed I was nine years old, and the next moment I believed I was ten years old. There was no struggle. No doubt. No wondering whether or not I was allowed to. I just let one belief go and took on another. It makes me think of all the times I couldn’t seem to let go. Like when I stayed in a job I hated. I’d complain, and feel frustrated to the point of tears, and almost fall asleep at the wheel every time I drove home because I was so drained… and yet… I did nothing about it. Because I didn’t quite believe that a different life – the life I kept daydreaming about – was possible. Like when I held onto someone&

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Strangers Are Just Friends You Haven’t Met Yet

  Strangers Are Just Friends You Haven’t Met Yet a.k.a. Blessed Too I’m supposed to speak at the New York Public Library in fifteen minutes, but they are running early, so when I see the woman who hired me waiting, I swipe my credit card in the cab, grab my bag, and don’t look back. I don’t look back to see my iPad left behind on the seat next to me. I have no receipt or Medallion number… But I do have the Find My Phone App, and my iPad is two blocks away and traveling…very slowly. Could it be coming back to me? My driver had six kids and seemed like a good, honest man. An hour later it was still so close and yet so far…the App shows my phone is still two blocks away. Library security and my Access-a-Ride driver both were kind enough to use the GPS coordinates to track down every yellow cab SUV nearby (like the one I arrived in)…with no results. Finally, we give up to pick up one more passenger on 42nd before heading home. She’s wearing bright colors and from the inside, she just glows. I can tell even before we speak that she’s a deeply spiritual woman. We are late because of my iPad hunting. I apologize and explain about the rogue iPad. She says “Believe me, I’m just happy you came…I’m sorry about the iPad, I hope you get it back… I’m sure you will.” I say what I know is right, even though I’m still struggling with lingering disappointment…”God will take care of it….it’s only a thing.” She says, “You’re really right. You know, a year ago my house burned down and I lost everything. My mom’s wedding dress, all our pictures, the family china…we had to start over…but me and my six kids none of us were hurt. 

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How to Ditch Fear and Get What You Need

  How to Ditch Fear and Get What You Need   “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.” Mick Jagger I gave him the full mama bear hug and kissed the side of his head before sending him off with the usual parting words of a mother, “Have fun and be good.” Only he wasn’t my child. How did I know he needed mothering at that moment? Simple. He asked. There were at least thirty of us at a neighbor’s house observing the pre-Junior Prom, picture-taking ritual. My son’s friend was there alone, his mother unable to attend. When it came time to leave for the prom, parents sent their children off with huge smiles, kisses and hugs. As I released my hold on my son and sent him over to his father, his friend looked at me, extended his arms and said, ““My mother isn’t here and I need a hug too.”

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Learning to Accept Those We Love

  Learning to Accept Those We Love Often the most difficult people to accept, exactly as they are, are those closest to you. We really only want what is best for our loved ones. So we make suggestions, give advice and share our opinions. Though many times what we think is best for someone we love, has little to do with them at all. At a holiday gathering years ago, my Dad, who was fifty-one at the time, declared that he was retiring, packing it all up and moving to Florida with his longterm girlfriend.Which to me, sounded like the worst idea ever.

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Practice Random Kindness…

  Practice Random Kindness…   Growing up, one of my parents had a bumper sticker on their car that said, “practice random acts kindness and senseless acts of beauty” along with another bumper sticker that said, “I am a proud parent unconditionally.” I have heard people talk about “random acts of kindness,” but I never knew the power such a little event could have on someone. In July, my mom and I were in Maui doing wedding planning things for my upcoming wedding, which will take place there. We decided to stop at a little restaurant called Leoda’s for lunch, and while we were eating there, my mom noticed a little girl, about four years old, wearing a cast on her arm and looking kind of down. My mom gave birth to seven children naturally and has dedicated her life to raising all of us in the most natural, loving, and kind environment that she and my Dad could dream up. Needless to say, my mom is very tuned in to children and very sensitive to their feelings.

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Do You Have Self-Love?

  Do You Have Self-Love?     No woman would tell her daughters or any other woman or girl, “Hey you, don’t love yourself, that’s selfish.” Chances are that if asked, “Do you love yourself?” most women would say, “Yes, of course I do,” when in fact the majority don’t really have a clue what self-love actually means, or requires. This lack of understanding about self-love isn’t surprising when you consider that the current definition of self-love on dictionary.com is ‘conceit, vanity and narcissism’ (no kidding!) Or when you look at the pressures today’s woman faces knowing she can do anything, but is exhausted by her attempts to do and be everything. So how do you know if you really love yourself? First you need to know a few facts about self-love: 1. Self-love isn’t something you have, self-love is something you choose in every moment of every day. In your daily choices and thoughts, you can either choose fear, guilt, shame, stress and criticism for and towards yourself, or you can choose to give yourself love, such as compassion, care, respect, and acceptance. And that can be hard to do. 2. The challenge is not in knowing what you should do to love yourself, but in giving yourself permission to take the loving act. Most of us know what the self-loving things are we should do – like take good care of ourselves, only have respectful relationships, believe in ourselves and go for our dreams to name a few – but we let guilt, fear and shame deter us from making the self-loving choices. 3. Self-esteem is not the same thing as self-love. You can have self-esteem and still not really love yourself. Self-esteem is a part of self-love – 1/10th to be exact! You need all ten areas of self-love strong and growing. Because even with high self esteem, without self-compassion, self-care, self-respect and more, you will still make unloving choices for yourself, things like over-giving/over-doing/over-working, staying in bad relationships, or settling for less. After studying self-love now for over a decade – living it and teaching it – what I’ve noticed is “Do you love yourself?” is not a yes/no question. It’s not either you love yourself or you don’t love yourself. But instead there are ways that you really love yourself well. Ways in which you totally show up for yourself, areas in your life when you easily choose the loving act or thought over fear, blame, shame, guilt, pressure, stress and criticism. And, there are other ways in which you sell yourself short, put your needs last or don’t honor them at all, and don’t accept yourself. These are the places where it is hard for you to give yourself permission to do what a bes

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How to Avoid Getting Disappointed by Other People

  How to Avoid Getting Disappointed by Other People Consider this . . .If you were craving nachos, would you go to a Chinese restaurant? No! Because you know that in a Chinese restaurant, they don’t serve nachos. In fact, they probably wouldn’t even have the ingredients to make them. If you really wanted nachos, you would go somewhere where they serve them, right? Now think about who you go to when you are craving support, encouragement, guidance, unbiased advice, loving feedback, or acknowledgment. Do you go to people who are consistently able to dish out what you are hungry for? Or do you go to people who do not have what you need on their menu and then find yourself consistently discouraged and disappointed (again)? Most of the time, we know what we are craving when we reach out to someone else. If someone in your life has consistently reacted and responded in a way that has not satisfied your needs, chances are they do not have the ingredients to do so. Continuing to go to that person, hoping that someday what you are hungry for appears on their menu, is like continuing to walk into a Chinese restaurant when you want nachos. You may get fed, but not with what you truly wanted to eat. And now the only leftover you have is an&

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Inner Peace for Broken Hearts~!

  Inner Peace for Broken Hearts   At age eighty-three my Dad falls into a coma a few days before Christmas and his time is short. It is Christmas day and I am by his side at the hospital. People in a coma may still possess their hearing so I speak to him. I thank him for being a wonderful father. He loves to hear me sing so on that wintry day in a windowless room with the beeping of the heart monitor keeping time, I lean in close to my Dad’s face and softly sing Silent Night—his favorite carol. My face rubs against his whiskers and I slip back in time to an old memory. As a boy my dad would tickle my face by rubbing his whiskers against my cheek. This time the boy inside me moves my face gently across his chin and feels his timeless touch once more. Eight days later snow falls hard and he is buried. Afterward, my brother and I shovel my parent’s sidewalk and the sidewalks of neighbors. It is more than just a thoughtful gesture. We have to strain our backs and symbolically bury our Dad. Rituals can bring a kind of peace. Seeking Peace If you live long enough or love hard enough you will eventually experience some major loss. Heartbreak is one of life’s “givens.” At such times we struggle to find some sort of constancy in our lives, some toehold to prevent a freefall, some perspective that allows us to heal or at least keep us functioning until we find our bearings. A mistake many people make is to strive for happy moments as a way to undo grief. But we do not undo grief. Rather we undo our resistance to it and allow it to flow naturally. As our sorrow eventually possesses a sweetness it is a sign that we are experiencing—not happiness—but peace.  Inner peace is similar to the deeper ocean waters where it is calm even when the ocean surface is battered by storms. When inner peace humbly co-exists with our grief we may discover a depth and appreciation of our life experiences we might have otherwise overlooked. You Don’t Create Peace, You Uncover It I stand at the doo

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The Hero’s Journey of Finding Your Calling

  The Hero’s Journey of Finding Your Calling We are all, every single one of us, heroes. Life is hard, and to live it fully and express your soul authentically requires the courage of a warrior and the softness, gentleness, and yielding flexibility of a goddess. In my spiritual self-help book dressed up as a memoir The Anatomy of a Calling, I use mythologist Joseph Campbell’s archetypal hero’s journey as a map for finding and fulfilling your calling because when you’re embarking on something scary and risky, it helps to have a map. Of course, everyone’s map is unique, but there are well-traveled paths that all heroes before you have worn smooth through experience. So why not model your journey after Luke Skywalker, Mother Teresa, or Martin Luther King, Jr.? So what is a hero’s journey? Joseph Campbell described it best, first in his book A Hero with a Thousand Faces  and then in The Power of Myth, a famous interview with Bill Moyer that aired on PBS. His teachings were translated into Hollywood gold via Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, which uses Campbell’s work to teach how to write a great screenplay or a bestselling novel. Influenced by Campbell’s work, George Lucas credits Campbell with the inspiration for Star Wars. Luke Skywalker follows the epic hero’s journey classically. But so do you, every time you say yes to your calling. Some of us are driven towards our purpose by passion, but many others take a journey to hell and back, and only when we’ve survived something traumatic do we realize we have been in training to serve others who are still in hell. Sometimes we only discover we are heroes when we get disillusioned enough with the dysfunction of our present circumstances. When we feel sad enough and lost enough and hopeless enough, something deep within us has the opportunity to emerge, something stronger and wiser than we may ever have known existed within us. We all have this heroic spark that never dies, even when we’re in our darkest moments. I call this part of you your “Inner Pilot Light,” which is your inner superhero. This spark within you is fueled by a pressing sense that there is adventure out there, that your life has purpose, that you’re on a quest you may not understand yet, that your small little existence on this very big planet could mean something, that there is more to life than the ordinary, dysfunctional world, and that perhaps all it takes is a cape and a mask and some really cool boots in order to save the world. Navigating your own hero’s journey is one of the cornerstones of living a meaningful, rich, authentic, wholly healthy life. So what does it mean to be on a hero’s journey? What is the arc? Let me break it down for you the way Vogler does, not because you’re necessarily writing a screenplay or a novel, but because you’re writing life, and as the hero on a journey, it can be helpful to know what lies ahead. The Ordinary World Most of us don’t realize how truly heroic we are until we’re called to step up to the plate and do something we would never have believed we’d be capable of doing before we were called to get out of our comfort zone and demonstrate our potential. We don’t know we are heroes because we assume heroes are supposed to fight battles and overcome obstacles and rescue damsels in distress and still looking dashing while they’re saving the world.  But heroes start out like everybody else, living our ordinary lives in our Ordinary Worlds, doing our ordinary things, slogging through life, reacting to life’s tragedies and feeling like victims of our circumstances, treading water in our lives until we realize we are drowning and the only way to survive is to quit fighting so hard and just trust that we will be thrown life preservers. Because we will. But maybe not the way you expect. The Call to Adventure Right when you might start to question your inner superhero and feel tempted to lose hope that your little blip of existence in this great big world could really make a world-changing difference, you’re likely to hear the phone ring. It usually rings very softly at first, perhaps so softly that, like your cell phone with the ringer off, you miss it altogether. But when you fail to pick up, the phone is likely to ring louder. Some Divine force turns the ringer on. Refusal of the Call Because heroes are inherently curious, you won’t be able to resist picking up the jangling phone, yet when you hear what you’re meant to do on your hero’s journey, if you’re like the rest of us, you’re likely to respond with a rousing, “HELL NO.” What you are being called to do is too scary. The dangers are too risky. Your comfort zone is too secure. It would be so much easier to stay in the Ordinary World, even though the Ordinary World is so . . . well, ordinary. Fear wrecks you. There are so many really, really good reasons to hang up the phone and refuse the call. Nobody would blame you. You’re only human. It would be natural to turn your back on something so terrifying. So like all the other heroes who have ever walked a hero’s path, you refuse the call. It’s how we heroes play hard to get. Yet no matter how much you pretend you’re not available for that last minute Friday night date with destiny, I guarantee you that, when it’s your true calling, the call will keep pestering you. You can resist the call,

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A Positive Perspective On Negative Behavior

  A Positive Perspective On Negative Behavior As a psychotherapist and parenting coach, one of the places I see parents get stuck most often is with their child’s behavior. What parents perceive as negative behavior in their child often triggers the parent’s own frustration and aggravation—and it’s easy to understand why. Being around a child who’s acting out, whining, or tantruming is not exactly most people’s idea of fun. But even a slight shift in perspective can make all the difference between a parent’s heated, negative reaction and a calmer, more positive response.  Most of us have an automatic negative reaction to a child’s acting out (particularly if it’s your own child). What’s easy to forget is that your child’s behavior isn’t a personal attack, it’s simply an expression of his experience in that moment. Where we get lost is in the meaning we attach to the behavior: I spent time with him all afternoon, and this is the thanks I get? We’ve talked repeatedly about not hitting, but he just goes ahead and does what he wants. She does this just to push my buttons.  She doesn’t want me to have any peace. It’s so embarrassing when he acts this way in public—everyone

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Daily Disciplines for Effortless Success

    Daily Disciplines for Effortless Success     “Jack, what daily practices have played the biggest role in helping you achieve your level of success?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from almost everyone I meet – from my students, to top CEOs, to the great Oprah Winfrey, who asked me this very question before I appeared on her show. I find that the most powerful actions I take every day are those that help me shift my attitude, cultivate a success mindset, and keep my most ambitious goals and dreams top of mind so I stay on target and achieve them faster. Here are the six daily practices I use to stay inspired, keep my energy and confidence high, and accomplish more with greater joy and ease. Add them to your daily routine and I guarantee you will experience similarly great results. 1. Visualize your goals and intentions As soon as you wake up in the morning, take five or so minutes to focus your mind on your desires, goals, and intentions. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and visualize what your life will look like once you accomplished your biggest goals and dreams. How will you spend your days? Who will you spend them with, and where? Spend thirty seconds to a minute on each of your core goals and desires. Focus on imagining how you will FEEL when you have manifested your ideal life. The intensity of this feeling will fuel the intensity of the results you will get. Once you have that energized feeling of achievement running through you, visualize your day ahead going exactly as planned and moving you closer to your goals. This will motivate you to stay on target and accomplish so much more during your day. 2. Use external images to keep you focused  Another powerful way to keep your bi

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Where Are the Anomalies in Your Life?

  Where Are the Anomalies in Your Life?     “I’m me”, I’d proclaim to those I worked with. I was kind of right. As one of my best friends used to say: “well, you can’t be anybody else.” That made me laugh. There’s definitely some truth to it. But the fact that we can’t be someone else doesn’t mean we’re always being ourselves. And, no matter how much I said “I’m me,” no matter how much I was trying to convince myself… I wasn’t being me. I got asked this question last week as part of my weekly Q and A: “How do I know if I’m being who I am?” It’s a good question. And he was brave to ask it. This is what I replied: “Are you happy?” Because why wouldn’t you be happy if you were being you? Of course, being you doesn’t mean you’re immune to bad things. Or failure. Or feeling like sh*t. But aren’t you happy when you’re you? And that was the anomaly in my life at the time when I’d proclaim “I’m me” to the people I worked with. I’d proclaim I was me. And yet I was unhappy. I was in a job I didn’t like

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Learning to Love How You Look

  Learning to Love How You Look     Whether it’s human nature or a product of living in our society, it seems that most people–well, women, at least–have plenty of stories about not feeling pretty enough, and there is nothing more triggering for those feelings to come up than to stand in front of the camera. We may build our self-confidence as we raise families, foster friendships, and grow our skill sets in our line of work, but bring on a camera for a family photo or for making business videos, and we get all awkward and uncomfortable. I’ve been there, too. I can’t count the days, hours, years that I spent stressing over how I look. And I don’t mean fixing myself up with pretty clothes and makeup: I’m talking about feeling self-conscious that I’m unacceptable in my appearance, squirming inside my skin. The pressure to be perfect began in my childhood through trends and styles. My mom took great pride in her ability to be fashionable and with the times: she was born in an era of glamorous movie pictures and held herself to a high standard of critique. She adored clothes, and wanted her children to be picture-perfect angels worthy of any family TV show. My mom’s absorption with being beautiful demanded absolute perfection. And I could see the toll it took on her, in the form of an eating disorder: every day I can remember, she was either dieting, or said she’d start a new diet “tomorrow”. But growing up as a child of the 60s, I was all about nature and homegrown. I would rather be comfortable than fashionable; I clashed against her obsession with beauty. Indeed, I have memories of making the long trip to Loehmann’s warehouse, several weeks before school began, to get our new dresses for the season. The script always went something like this: Me: I hate plaids, mom! Mom: No you don’t. They’re beautiful and that skirt looks great on you.

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Why I’m Daring to Ask “What Do I Want?”

      Why I’m Daring to Ask “What Do I Want?”     I was raised to be a quiet, polite, good girl. Of course, nurture alone didn’t form me. As an introvert, it’s entirely my nature to hang back to get the lay of the land and advance slowly. Add to that the fact that I’m big sister to eight brothers and sisters, a wife and mother of two and you get a lifetime of putting others first. Back when I was a practicing attorney, one of my lawyer friends told me I was the most assertive person she’d ever met. I was shocked, but maybe she was right. When push comes to shove I know how to shove back and my legal career did teach me to curse like a sailor. But, that persona was cultivated to get the job done. It’s not my default. It never really hit me how hard I found it to say “Yes” to what I wanted until I got breast cancer. Once I became mindful of letting “Yes” into my life, I launched a blog, wrote two books for cancer survivors, got passionate about volunteering and picked up speaking engagements. Then, the unthinkable happened. I got old enough to get a glimpse of the empty nest. Sending both of our children to college wasn’t exactly like getting a pink slip. It was more like the premonition that haunts you immediately before getting the ax. But the good news is that the universe is merciful and I was being eased into obsolescence as a full-time nurturer. With time to think I realized I had just scratched the surface of saying “Yes.” I believed Joseph Campbell when he said, “The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” But, how do you know what your big adventure is if you don’t ask the bigger question, “What do I want?” Once I dared to ask the question a lot happened. First, asking the question interrupts the involuntary impulse to automatically consider someone else’s wishes. (Him: “What do you want for dinner?&nbs

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“Are You Overdosing on Self-Help?”

  “Are You Overdosing on Self-Help?”    Are you overdosing on self-help? This may seem like an ironic question coming from me since my passion and career is all about personal growth. But here’s the thing: I’ve noticed that a lot of people who embark on a journey of self-discovery often go through a phase where they start to OD on self-help. When we embark on our path of personal discovery the coaches, healers, teachers, courses, seminars, programs and books we seek out are incredibly valuable (and necessary). They create a safe space for us to address and heal our issues, teach us how toreframe our limiting beliefs and create a container for us to reconnect to our Higher Self and The Uni-verse. And once we get a taste of self-help most of us find ourselves yearning for more because it feels so good! Personal growth is absolutely amazing and there are INCREDIBLE resources out there. I would not know how to stop learning and growing. In fact, you’ll be getting an email from me next week telling you about a lot of cool new resources I’m offering this year. AND I am aware from observing many people that too much self-helping can become a way to avoid being the truth of who you are and doing the things that are aligned with that Truth.

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Loneliness 101 – I Could Teach the Course

  Loneliness 101 – I Could Teach the Course   “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”- Gandhi Are you getting ready to go off to college? These are years to be spent finding your unique “voice,” discovering your talents and skills, experiencing the richness of diversity, and pushing yourself through adversities that you are bound to encounter. Although you cannot imagine it now, surrounded by family and high school friends, college years can bring some of the loneliest times you may ever know. So, I have some advice for new students about to embark on this amazing journey. Don’t go through college with your music locked within you. Find ways to nurture yourself and to pass your “music” on to others.  It will become one of the best habits you can develop. Perhaps my story will illustrate this point. It’s possible that I’ve always been introverted. As a child, I had a few close friends, of course, but growing up, there was nothing about me that was even remotely related to being a “social butterfly.” Others would come up with crazy things to do for fun, and I would just sort of go along. Parties with a lot of strangers made me nervous. That may have been introversion or it may have been from just having lots of self-doubt about my social abilities and worthiness – probably some of both.

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15 Steps to Nowhere

  15 Steps to Nowhere   I know I’m going to get in trouble by saying this but I’m going to say it anyway. I’m sick and tired of all the headlines that say there are steps to something. Like, 5 steps to having more abundance. Or 7 ways to love your partner more. Or 3 things to do to get more friends. Or 15 steps to less stress. I mean really. I get stressed out thinking about all the things I have to do to get unstressed. If I do all those things will I really have more gratitude, less stress, more abundance, be happier, have better relationships, be more powerful, be the real me (as if someone else or any amount of steps can lead me to me), be thinner, sleep better, be more fun at work, and on and on and on? What do you think? Really. What do you think about all of this? Here’s what I believe. The real deal is about being in the present moment. I am coming to believe that who and where we are right now is right, and good and enough. I have started to think that where we

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Creating Balance in Your Life Using Rocks

  Creating Balance in Your Life Using Rocks     Right now I am on the beach in the Dominican Republic and was just reflecting on life and being in a state of gratitude. I am here with my family, my friends and my team. But while I was going for a little stroll along the beach I saw one of those rock formations, where people balance rocks on top of each other. They’re called a cairn and I am sure you have all seen them. Well, in this one spot on the beach there were about six or so of these things. It was pretty windy and they were getting splashed by the water but they stood firm. There are plenty of people walking by them and kids touching them, but none of them had been knocked over. I was in awe about how these things were standing when there was no glue or cement. If you try to stack just one or two rocks, they aren’t as strong as when you use a number of rocks. They withstand the elements and the only way they collapse naturally is when one of the rocks starts to weather, becomes weak, breaks up and then the entire structure collapses. I was just thinking about how this related to my life and

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Resignation to Acceptance:

  Resignation to Acceptance: How I Became My Own Hero   I lived twenty-five years of my life in resignation. In high school, I was told that I had clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. My reaction to my diagnoses was to give up. What was the use in fighting them? They felt crushing, inevitable, unbeatable. My therapist was an unrelatable older man who talked to me in a condescending tone. I admit I was a difficult, obstinate teenager; I was never given the tools to deal with the intense emotions and anxiety I faced, so I acted out in hurtful ways. I couldn’t find a medication that would solve it for me. Most produced nasty side effects. Some even made me suicidal. Even the closest people in my life rejected my situation. One of my best friends told me she didn’t believe OCD was a real malady. She said that I was making it up to get attention. I felt like the people around me more or less gave up, and so I did, too. I stopped talking about it. I resigned myself to the fact that no one wanted to help, and I was determined to grit my teeth and bear my pain in silence. Despite my best intentions, however, the struggle wouldn’t stay quiet. In my classes, I regularly had profanity-laced outbursts. Any stressor triggered a soul-crushing breakdown. One night a police officer even took me to the hospital because he asked me what was wrong and I replied, “F–k off.” I didn’t think I was worthy of being cared about, so I gave up caring about myself. I thought maybe I could escape the pain when I went to college, but it only got worse. I moved to New York City and then to L.A., and my symptoms grew until I reached my all-time low, landing in a psych ward under suicide watch.

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Betrayal : Will It Leave You Bitter or Better?

  Betrayal : Will It Leave You Bitter or Better? Lied to. Cheated on. Stabbed in the back. Almost everyone will face betrayal at some point in their life. Whether it’s by a parent, partner, child or friend, when your trust is violated, it hurts. Often it’s accidental, sometimes intentional, though regardless of why or how it happened, betrayal can cause a major injury. Some level of betrayal is almost unavoidable in any close relationship, because let’s face it, people make mistakes. No matter when it happens there will be feelings of vulnerability, anger and hurt. You may wonder if you can ever trust again and how to move forward in your relationship and perhaps life.

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What to Wish For

  What to Wish For     A Russian short story portrays an aristocrat who has only a few days to live. When he replays the tape of his life in his mind he realizes he has wasted most of his life in the pursuit of wealth and power devoid of real meaning. He is desperate to rewind the tape but it is too late. So, think of the time you have until the tape runs out and contemplate how you spend your precious time. The Rabbis said: “Change for the good one day before you die”, and since we never know when that is:   We must treat every new day as an opportunity to measure the goodness of our deeds.   This reminds us to be careful of how we spend

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You Matter. Choose Love.!!

  You Matter. Choose Love. The word, “Love” has been used so much that often its power is diluted. We use it as the right thing to say in a speech or the right weapon to use when you want someone to submit to us. Perhaps the real power in the word is that Love is so large. Which might lead us to question, “Why do I play so small?” Love is large and it has the capacity to remove any limitation of race, creed, religion, or language. The question then is, ‘When we speak of love, do we return to the awareness of a sacred soul contract, first beginning with the self, then to God, and then funneling out to others?’ If we cannot love and accept ourselves by means of sacred acceptance, will it ever be possible to love

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Goodness!!

  Goodness

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Why do we not ask for help?

  Why do we not ask for help?     “To carry each other is not a burden at all, but a kind of privilege.”  Bono My husband and I have just spent two weeks on a skiing vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with our three adult kids. We were greeted by other family members and their adult kids, so to say the least, there were Feltons everywhere. Unfortunately, one of the family members (“Nan”) was out skiing on the first day and broke her shoulder in four places. She had never had a traumatic injury before. For anyone who has, going from full throttle to park is a rude awakening. We have all witnessed people who have gotten injured. But something very interesting takes place: Their true colors and those around them show through. They either rise to the occasion or not. What I mean is there are those who accept care, ask for help, or continually say, “I’m fine” and want to be left alone. The battle began when the “I’m fine Nan” stubbornly rejected help from her own adult child (“Sue”). It was fascinating, yet sad, to watch the scene unfold. The frustration from all who wanted to help mounted hourly. Wanting to help the patient feel more comfortable, but to be given roadblocks right and left…”I’m fine.” She was NOT in the least bit “fine.” So why do people not want or ask for help? We’re overwhelmed, stressed to the max, exhausted, and our energy is depleted, and we still don’t ask for HELP! What’s with that?

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Uncovering Your Passion & Finding Joy

  Uncovering Your Passion & Finding Joy   There is something special about doing something that you love. Your whole mind, body and spirit seem to know that what you’re doing is your true passion and it radiates with positive energy. I am sure you have experienced those good vibes in that past, where you are just in love with life. That to me is wellness. When you are in balance in all areas of your life and feeling content, feeling peace and experience joy. When you are aligned with your passion that feeling of well-being comes a lot easier and you feel like you are in the flow. The problem is that many people either don’t know their true passion, and we typically have many areas that are our passion, or they do know their passion but do not follow it. I can relate to that actually as early in my life I ignored my true passion of Yoga, Wellness and Pilates and chose a life as an attorney. For those of you who know me that didn’t end too well for me. I ended up getting really sick and living on anti-anxiety meds and I was totally depressed. After a long period of healing, I lived my passion and purpose in life and became very successful at what I do, but that didn’t mean I felt fulfilled in all areas of my life. To me there are other areas of life that we may also have a passion for. Now that may not mean you want to do that as a career, but it is a powerful interest that becomes

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I Am a Late Bloomer and It’s Okay If You Are Too

  I Am a Late Bloomer and It’s Okay If You Are Too     Today’s update is about coming into harmony with your personal rhythm and Divine timing. There is no “normal” when it comes to the timing of dreams. There is a natural order and pacing to when things manifest in our lives. But this is easy to forget because of modern day conditioning, which enforces a one-size-fits-all approach to when certain things should happen. Perhaps you can relate to feeling like you should have things in your life or be at certain point given your age or experience. In the vlog, I get very personal about my journey as a late bloomer and hope that it not only brings you comfort, but deep reverence for your own journey. Growing up I was what you may call a “late bloomer.” I grew and hit puberty years after my peers. It was difficult. My young mind thought there was something wrong with me and my young heart felt like I didn’t belong. All I wanted was to be like everyone else and I would lie awake at night praying to catch up physically to all the other girls. But as much as I wanted to force and control the timing

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Leveraging Your Imperfections

  Leveraging Your Imperfections     Have you ever postponed putting yourself out there because you’ve allowed the energy of doubt to get the best of you? We all have. Most people who know me or see me in the world wouldn’t guess I have a little voice inside my head that says things like, “No, you can’t. Who do you think you are? Nobody cares. What makes you think anyone is going to listen to anything you have to say.” But that voice is there. I’ve been aware of its presence for quite some time. I’ve come to build a relationship with it in the past few years. I acknowledge it. I allow it to be there. And I try not to let it make my decisions. Perfectionism, shaping oneself to meet the line of perceived personal or societal acceptance, can hold us back, keep us small and living in the realm of unmet potential. Perfectionism says only if I do things a certain way will I be loved and accepted and avoid feeling ‘not good enough’. We all know that feeling too.

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Can You Be Grateful for Both Blessings & Challenge

  Can You Be Grateful for Both Blessings & Challenges? A Practice of Radical Gratitude   Usually, when we talk about gratitude, we express gratitude for our blessings. I’m grateful for my beautiful daughter Siena. I’m grateful that I live by the ocean among the redwoods in the most beautiful place on earth. I’m grateful to feel like I am smack dab in the center of living and fulfilling my calling to be of sacred service in my own unique ways. Gratitude for our blessings opens the heart and raises our vibration, calling in more blessings. Being grateful for our blessings feels good and reminds us to appreciate what is with us already. This kind of thanksgiving is easy, when we remember to pay attention to it. But can we also practice Radical Gratitude? Can we feel just as grateful for our struggles—our painful experiences, our crises, and the Dark Nights of the Soul that we experience both individually and as a collective? Can I access the state of consciousness that allows me to feel grateful that I lost five people I love this fall—most of them way too young and tragically? Can I be grateful for the breakup I just experienced from someone I adore? Can I be grateful that my spiritual retreat center Harbin Hot Springs—the place I would go to heal from this kind of grief—burned to the ground in a wildfire? More radically, can we as a culture feel grateful for what is happening with ISIS, as innocent people are murdered around the world in the name of a jihad? Can we find it in our hearts to not only accept but even thank those suffering souls who think they must become suicide bombers in order to stand for what they think is right? Can we be grateful for climate change? For extinction of animal and plant species? For genocide? For sexual trafficking of women and children? Can we be grateful for starving babies and suffering refugees and mega storms that threaten to flatten whole cities? The Story of Separation Can we be grateful for all of these things as they all point towards how far we’ve ventured into what Charles Eisenstein calls the “Story of Separation”—the world view that marks us as separate from one another, separate from nature, separate from

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If You Can Imagine It, You Can Make It Happen

  If You Can Imagine It, You Can Make It Happen. Here’s How…   Did you know that you have a powerful “secret weapon” inside you that you can use to achieve any goal you can imagine? It’s true! This weapon is your MINDSET. When you activate its unlimited power and truly believe that you are capable of achieving your dreams, you will. It’s just that simple. But cultivating a success-oriented mindset can be challenging – especially if you’ve suffered setbacks in life or have been surrounded by negative people who attack your self-worth or self-esteem. Today I’m going to show you how to overcome these roadblocks – with five powerful techniques to help you create a positive mindset that will empower you to achieve anything you want in life. 1.  Meditate daily When it comes to cultivating a success mindset, meditation is the most powerful tool at your disposal. It allows you to separate yourself from your thoughts so you can gain more insight into them and steer them in a more positive direction. I recommend you set aside at least ten minutes every morning to meditate. You can use a guided visualization or simply sit in awareness, observing your thoughts and then letting them go without becoming attached to them. (If you’re new to meditation you might find my Awakening Power: Guided Visualizations & Meditations for Success helpful. Click here to learn more.) 2.  Control your self-talk Researchers have found that the average person thinks as many as 50,000 thoughts a day. Sadly, many of those thoughts are negative:  I’m not management material  I’ll never lose weight

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How I Reclaimed My Magic

  How I Reclaimed My Magic “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else” – James M. Barrie When I was in my final year of school, I wanted to be a newsreader. Watching the news excited me. Telling people stories thrilled me. I loved watching the news. I was fascinated about how newsreaders got their jobs. I ended up getting into the best course to become a newsreader but it was two hours away from my hometown. My conservative European parents would not let me go because they felt that I was too young and inexperienced to live out of home. So like a regular European girl who listens to their parents, I enrolled in an arts degree with the view to getting into journalism somewhere close to my hometown. I ended up finishing the arts degree with flying colours and eventually enrolled into law after being talked out of journalism due to it being so difficult to get a job by my loved ones. That said – I have always found it easy to get a job in law. I have always enjoyed speaking and learning. I have been employed by large law firms and global companies. I am thankful for all those opportunities. But – over the last few months, I have realised what my true passion is.

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Don’t Let People Tell You That You Can’t Dream

  Don’t Let People Tell You That You Can’t Dream   Do you have a dream that you want to achieve? I’m sure you do, because everyone grows up with a dream that they want to achieve. Everyone has ambitions, goals and hopes. It’s an integral part of life. But you might have encountered a lot of people who tell you that your dreams are impossible, that you have to be realistic, and that you shouldn’t think too much about the things you want to do. This is strange, because you are taught in schools that you should be proud of having dreams, yet the world around you does not seem to be supportive of your dreams. It’s a conflicting feeling, and it’s perfectly normal to be confused and lost. After all, you’re getting two different messages, and people tend to give up their dreams and carry out their lives normally. It’s the easier of the two messages, and everyone loves easy things. However, if you’ve ever felt that you wanted to do more in your life, if you’ve ever felt that desire to change, if you’ve ever felt that thirst for achievement, there’s good news. You’re more than capable of achieving your dreams, no matter what people tell you. I’ve heard a lot of arguments against achieving your dreams, but to me, none of them make actual sense. This is coming from someone who once listened to people and sacrificed my dreams and individuality just because it was easier and I wanted to fit in. With the help of books, a mentor and my friends, I started believing in myself again. I started to dream, and I couldn’t feel happier or more proud of myself. I’m taking steps towards my dreams, and I would like to encourage others to do the same. What I’d like to do is look at what people will say to convince you to give up on your dreams, and then tell you why you should still keep dreaming anyway. Because life is too long to let other people tell you whether you can dream. It’s Impossible, You Can’t Do It I’m sure you’ve heard it before. It’s impossible to achieve your dreams. It’s not realistic. You need to think about what you can actually achieve. You need to stop dreaming. These are some of the statements I’ve heard when I told people that I wanted to change the way people looked at communication. Sometimes they weren’t even phrased like that, but the meaning stayed the same. I’m sure you have heard similar statements before, or even said them to other people. I was told that people wouldn’t change their minds, that there was only one way to learn how to speak better, and that people “wouldn’t be interested”. It was very demoralizing, and sometimes I wondered if this was even something worth pursuing. When something is impossible, you think it can’t be done. You feel that you are wasting your time. If you are wasting your time, you’re being silly. And no one likes to feel silly. People are naturally afraid of impossible odds. They represent something that cannot be overcome. This was very useful when we were in a time where we had to fight for our survival. We wouldn’t risk our lives and the people around us doing something silly.

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Why You Are GREAT

  Why You Are GREAT So I have to tell you something… You are great! You have been “great” since your very beginning. You were created that way. And with the right conditions, the right parenting, some people “get” that they are “great” early on. They go on to create wonderful things in the world, give back in amazing ways and live spectacular lives. And for others, it takes longer. But “greatness” is what we are, whether or not we realize it. The question isn’t “if” you can become great, the question is how long will it take you to discover your own innate greatness? And yes, many never do. Yet, the minute you wake up and realize how awesome, amazing, bright, creative,

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Be Careful When Judging

  Be Careful When Judging “You must be the change you want to see in the world” Ghandi When you are out in the world, be it at a restaurant, grocery shopping, driving in traffic, or at the doctor’s office, and you see a child screaming and a mother losing her cool and grabbing that child by the arm and being stern: BE CAREFUL BEFORE YOU JUDGE THEM.  Be careful placing judgment upon others, for you know not what battles they are fighting.  It has been months since my family went out to eat. We recently went out for a bite at a local, casual restaurant. Very loud, very kid friendly. Or so we thought.

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Say “Thank You” Before You Get There

  Say “Thank You” Before You Get There   I like to imagine my dreams coming true in great detail. Where I’ll be. What I’ll be wearing. Precisely how I’ll be feeling. And mostly, who I’ll turn to to say, “It happened! Can you believe

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Grateful or Indebted? How Women and Men Respond

  Grateful or Indebted? How Women and Men Respond to Kind, Loving Gestures For reasons that, until very recently, I’d never really understood, my husband is rarely made happy by my spontaneous gifts or generous gestures. When I bring home a favorite dessert from the supermarket to surprise him or when I offer to get up early with the kids Saturday and Sunday so that he can sleep in after a hard work week, the response is usually lukewarm. He says “thank you” (something he’s learned the hard way to do to keep from hurting my feelings), but I can tell that he’s a little uncomfortable, too. This has been hard for me to wrap my head around because I love it when he does those sorts of things for me. It’s not the pampering so much as the thought behind it that brings me joy. Knowing that he’s thinking about how he can bring a little happiness to my day or ease my burden just a little makes me feel terrific—and makes me love him just a little more. Why in the world doesn’t he feel the same way? The answer may lie in how our reactions to acts of kindness differ. When someone goes out of his or her way to help you, you typically feel either gratitude or indebtedness (and sometimes a bit of both).

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Has Anyone Told You Yet Today That You Are Perfect

  Has Anyone Told You Yet Today That You Are Perfect?   You really are. You are engineered and designed perfectly for your unique mission in life. You have been given just the right set of skills, placed into the proper circumstance, and graced with the appropriate challenges needed, for you to learn the lessons that will help you to succeed. This is called Dharma. You were sent here for a very specific reason. It is ingrained in you, in your DNA, in your “spiritual thumbprint.” The challenging part is uncovering what your particular mission entails—and then activating it. There are so many clues that point you toward your particular path. And there are no coincidences. Perhaps you already recognize your Dharma. If so, are all of your decisions consciously aligned to ignite your purpose? Or perhaps your particular glorious reason has yet to reveal itself?

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Make the World a Better Place!

  Make the World a Better Place by Completing the Inner Journey Nasrudin was now an old man looking back on his life. He sat with his friends in the tea shop telling his story. “When I was young I was firey-I wanted to awaken everyone. I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change the world. In mid-life I awoke one day and realized my life was half over and I had changed no one so I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change those around me who so much needed it. Alas, now I am old and my prayer is simpler. ‘Allah,’ I ask, ‘please give me the strength to at least change myself.”** According to Sufi tradition, man/woman is the meeting point between heaven and earth and is created with a spiritual destiny. Within each person there is the capacity to create, make decisions and destroy. These aspects or abilities reflect Higher attributes and man/woman’s birth right is to rule a vast, personal spiritual kingdom.   Humanity is evolving to a higher state of consciousness. This is both individual and collective- as a race of people. This evolution is purposeful and guided so it may be attained. To help safeguard this Plan there is a hierarchy of servants and teachers who work on many levels. Collectively, humanity has a potential and destiny. Many of the holy books speak about this potential. These references are part allegorical and part literal. In the Plan, each person or soul has a distinctive role. In part, that is what this life is about. To figure out how you fit into the world, using your physical, mental, and spiritual potential. The world needs good people who are doing what they can to make things work for themselves and others. In each day, there are many opportunities to reach higher and fulfill your individual destiny or plan. Simply ask yourself before doing something that you are uncertain about, if this action will bring you closer or further you from your own higher destiny and the Source.  Learn to wait for an answer. You can do this. Slowly you will begin to hear your own inner capacity. Follow this inner voice. This inner voice and its wisdom are aligned with the higher destiny of the universe. This piece is written for those who come later and those who might wonder how to make this world a little better. This formula has long existed; it is relatively easy to describe, but more complex to in act.  The Formula First, wor

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Make the World a Better Place ... by user268126036

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How to Let Go of Negative, Limiting Beliefs

  How to Let Go of Negative, Limiting Beliefs About Yourself “If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become truth for you.” ~Louise Hay Have you ever felt like you weren’t living up to your potential? That chasing your ultimate dream is a waste of time because you’ll never accomplish it? You’re certainly not alone. I know the feeling, and quite frankly, it’s awful. Recently, I had occasion to visit a cemetery for military members and their families. I saw tombstones over 100-years-old. Some of the people lived long lives, while many did not have the privilege of growing old. As I walked, I couldn’t help but think of the kind of lives they’d lived. Some saw unimaginable horrors in war that no doubt changed the quality and trajectory of their lives. Were most of these people happy and fulfilled? I didn’t know; tombstones don’t talk. The thoughts that kept coming back were: “How many of them went to their grave with regret? How many settled and accepted the labels assigned, without ever finding the satisfaction of breaking free and living life the way they truly wanted?” Going to the grave without ever realizing my full potential—that scares me to the bone. It’s something that I have had to fight for most of my life. It’s something that I emphatically refuse to let happen. Like most people, I took on the labels that authority figures assigned me at a young age. It’s what kids do. As the years go by, those labels, whether true or not, become sewn into the fabric of our being. They become part of our core, the vocabulary we use about ourselves, and the thoughts we hold of ourselves. The crime here is that so many times the labels have absolutely no anchor in truth. Rather, they are skewed or twisted interpretations that others have about us or they are our skewed and twisted interpretations of things said and done to us. Rarely are the negative beliefs we hold about ourselves actually true. My nemesis was the belief “I am lazy.” In adulthood, after studying counseling theory for years in college, I finally figured out where it came from. I had always just assumed it was part of who I was. It came from my sixth grade teacher tel

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5 Reasons to Embrace Alone Time & Take Yourself

  5 Reasons to Embrace Alone Time & Take Yourself on an Artist Date   “It is only in solitude that I ever find my own core.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh When was the last time you took yourself on a date? Not just you and a friend, or you and your partner, or you and your kid(s). Just you, yourself, and you. I’m not talking about staying home with a good book, or taking a bubble bath (though I’m a huge fan of bubble baths), or watching a movie by yourself on your couch. I’m talking about venturing into the world alone to do something fun and outside of your ordinary routine—something that supplies fresh new sensory inputs to the creative well that resides in your right brain, with nobody else’s opinion coloring your own. Whether you think you’re an artist or not, Artist Dates will enrich you. I was a left-brained international economist when I first heard the term “Artist Date” about twenty years ago. I had won a door prize at a networking event that included a free session with a life coach (still a nascent industry at the time—I had never even heard the term before). After a few exercises to hone in on my heart’s true passion, the coach recommended I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Though I didn’t identify myself as either artistic or spiritual at the time, I liked the idea of carving out a tiny bit of space for myself. My days were stretched thin between work demands, two young sons, and managing the care of my grandmother. I hired a babysitter and gave Artist Dates a try. Just as Julia Cameron had promised, I returned home from my solo excursions inspired, rejuvenated, and with a multitude of new ideas, none of which had anything to do with economics. “Art’s not really my thing,” you might be thinking to yourself.   Here’s the cool part: Artist Dates don’t have to involve “art” in the traditional sense. Their purpose is to simply spark delight, engage your senses, and move you out

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Kindness Goes a Long Way

  Kindness Goes a Long Way Every time we pass a homeless person on the street my son will want to stop and give him or her money. When they are holding a cup or are sitting with a sign we usually do. It is something I have always done and will continue to do. When I had children I would always try to find ways that would teach them that showing kindness to others is the way to live. They may not always want it or care for it, but that doesn’t stop us from doing what feels right.

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How Dealing with Our Emotions Can Help us Heal

  How Dealing with Our Emotions Can Help us Heal Chronic Pain   “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” ~Plato Our bodies are clever. They constantly send us messages that something isn’t right. It’s our job to tune in, listen, and act on these messages. That headache, tight shoulders, and backache are all trying to tell us something. But sometimes the physical symptoms we experience are actually tied up in a deeper emotional pain that needs to be dealt with first. How do I know this? It was a message I needed to learn, one that I now teach to others. Six years ago my life fell apart. Within an eighteen-month period my marriage broke up, I lost my house in a devastating earthquake, and I had to walk away from my physiotherapy practice that I had poured my soul into for four years. At the same time I was also experiencing chronic shoulder pain. I was suffering from regular headaches, sciatica, and insomnia. I sought help from a number of different health practitioners. At times I would get temporary relief, but it never lasted. As a physiotherapist I knew I was doing everything right to heal my physical pain, so I could not understand why I wasn’t healing. Not only was my physical health a mess during this time, but I was also an emotional wreck! I felt like a failure. I was ravaged with guilt. I was scared of what the future held. And my self-esteem was at an all time low. I had stopped eating and sleeping. My weight had plummeted and I looked terrible. It wasn’t until I stumbled across Louise Hay’s book, Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them, that I began to gain a better understanding of the relationship between our emotional and physical health. This one book was the catalyst for change and healing. I realized that if I wanted to heal myself from chronic pain, I was going to have to dig deep to get to the core of all the challenges in my life. It was the start of a journey that wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty. A lot of the time I wanted to bury my head in the sand. I have always been one to brush emotions to the side. “I’m fine” was my tagline.

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How to Release the Limiting Stories That Keep You

  How to Release the Limiting Stories That Keep You Stuck and Unhappy   “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau We don’t see with our physical eyes, we see with our minds. I learned this lesson the hard way when I turned fifty-five. Suddenly, new wrinkles, deeper crow’s feet, dry eyes, and dryer skin seem to enjoy welcoming me each morning when I looked in my mirror. I began to notice other people my age and I would automatically compare my appearance to theirs. Was she younger looking than me? Did she still appear under fifty (even when I knew she wasn’t)? As you might guess, the negative train of doubt, comparison, and judgment did not fill me with joy. Instead, a looming sense of dread began to permeate through my life, dragging me into the abyss of aging despair. Hope became a lost memory, and the inevitability of growing older my reality. My age stories became a lens through which I saw my life. My mirror was my worst enemy. The more anti-aging skin care products I bought, the less I liked myself. It soon became a self-fulling prophecy—I thought I looked old, so I started acting older. It wasn’t until after I meditated that I realized the trap I had fallen into—telling myself limiting stories when I had the same ability to tell myself something positive and empowering. I learned to shine my awareness on the negative beliefs and use a simple process to reframe them. Story Alchemy™ to the Rescue The word “alchemy” has earned a bad reputation over the centuries. Magic and witchcraft are associated with it, as well as charlatans and sorcerers. But alchemy is really about transformation. Instead of changing lead into gold, Story Alchemy guides you through a simple four-step process to transform

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We Have a Right to Grieve Losses Big and Small

  We Have a Right to Grieve Losses Big and Small     “Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” ~Robert Gary Lee It felt like I was being crushed by the weight of the world. “Impossible,” I thought. It’s impossible that people actually suffer this kind of pain and survive to tell the tale. When I thought about it, my stomach contracted as if I’d taken a blow to the gut. I’d gasp for breath and try to find some air through the tears and in between sobs. So this is what grief felt like. Now I understood why denial is the first stage of grief. How could you endure this kind of agony if you had to face the force of its full frontal attack? I felt sick and exhausted. I lay down and, although I expected never to find enough peace to sleep again, I quickly drifted off into a place where there was no more pain. When you think of grief, you think about a great loss. A death of a loved one, news of your terminal illness, and the loss of your home from the violent winds of a tornado are all acceptable events to grieve about. We can understand how any of the above can bring a person to their knees. We expect people to grieve over these losses. What we refuse to understand is the grief we feel over the smaller losses.  The falling out you had with a good friend, the passing of your family hamster, and losing a heirloom you’ve had for two decades are all examples of small losses that are too silly to deserve our grief. Which is why, as I fell asleep that night, I felt nothing but weakness and shame. Because I was grieving the loss of my childhood relationship with my father, and that wasn’t serious enough for all this fuss.

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Why Happiness Sometimes Means Letting Go

  Why Happiness Sometimes Means Letting Go of the Life We Imagined     Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” ~Mandy Hale As a child, you imagine (with much excitement!) the life that you are determined to have as you grow up. The life that you are meant to have. We have expectations. Lots of them. Only reality doesn’t always quite match up. Life twists and turns, changing direction to forge new paths, and things happen that don’t match the idealized playbook in our head. Some of these things are good; some are not so good. So how do you cope when the unimaginable, the undesired, happens? How do you react when you wake up and realize that your life is not at all how you imagined it would be? Understand that it is okay to mourn the loss of the life you had planned for yourself. Critical illness. Disability. Chronic pain. We all have circumstances in our lives that are not ideal. These are just a few of mine. I never imagined I would find myself at times living through what I can only describe as my own personal hell. My life wasn’t supposed to be like this. Many things I never imagined or wanted to happen in my life, and yet they did and they have and theyare. It can be

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The Trap of Thinking You’re Special and Entitled

  The Trap of Thinking You’re Special and Entitled to Success   “Life is not designed to give us what we need; life is designed to give us what we deserve.” ~Jim Rohn Is there something wrong with being special? Short answer: yes. But why is that? Being special is… special! That’s true, but there’s a downside most people aren’t aware of. Before we go any further, let me clarify what I mean by “being special.” In short, being special is about thinking that what applies to others doesn’t apply to you, thinking that you’re an exception to the rules of life that others have to follow. It has nothing to do with having healthy self-esteem or thinking highly of oneself; in fact, it’s all about ego and self-deception. And you could be thinking in such a destructive way without even realizing it. The Trap of Being Put on a Pedestal Let’s say when you were growing up, people put you on a pedestal for something you did well. Maybe you used to get straight A’s, maybe you were a good boy/girl who never broke the rules, maybe you were more physically attractive than most of your peers, and so on.

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Going Through Some Changes, Are You?

  Going Through Some Changes, Are You?   Whatever you do, don’t fight them. Even the seeming dark experiences. The learning curve has taken a mighty leap forward for all who are willing to listen, and follow on. Our most precious lessons come from examining the seemingly dark places with open hearts. That’s where the gems are buried. In order for any of us to move forward in this transitional shift into higher levels of conscious awareness we must have a full knowledge of ourselves as well as our surroundings. Only in self healing, actualization, and deep, sincere grounding can we be fitted for the challenges ahead. And this takes courage. The courage of our convictions and willingness to venture into the unknown. At any cost. Into the Unknown Having explored all known avenues only to find we’re not yet fully empowered nor tooled to do the job that appears to be at hand to realistically change the course of this planet’s apparent destiny, we must take this as a confirming signal to move into unknown realms. The ones unknown to each of us individually, as well as collectively. So much has been pioneered by brave, realized souls who’ve manifested on earth through the ages. Much of the teachings they left behind appears vague, cryptic, and even inconclusive to those first coming upon them. Such is the nature of our layered realities. Much like prospectors or alchemists looking for treasure, each of us seeks personal fulfillment and answers to heart-held questions we’re born with. As we progress, often learning by trial and error, we’re led into new realms of thought and most notably personal experience. This shared conscious growth is often painful but always exhilarating as we venture into to what is yet unexplored territory. Learning to Know..and Trust

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The Content You Consume Becomes Your Reality

  The Content You Consume Becomes Your Reality   “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.” — James Allen, As A Man Thinketh I’m a ravenous consumer of content. I bet you are, too. If we are what we eat, for better or worse, the content we consume becomes our reality. It becomes the story we tell ourselves, the principles we believe in, and it may even determine our health. Some content is detrimental and some is beneficial. Because we’re bombarded with information from every direction, it’s never been more important to carefully curate what we consume. Practically everything we observe and experience now seems to be “content.” From music, movies, books, news, politics, gossip, work, friend feeds and t

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Ways to Stop Absorbing Negative Energy from Others

  5 Ways to Stop Absorbing Negative Energy from Others   With empathy, the ability to recognize and feel other people’s emotions, comes the disadvantage of also absorbing the suffering and negativity of the others around you. When this occurs, your ability to function at your best can be significantly impacted. Even a person who is not so empathic can be affected energetically when around negative or dramatic people. Absorbing other people’s negative energy can be just as toxic on a person as ingesting unhealthy food, and perhaps even more noticeably draining. Thus, learning how to stop this from happening can be a valuable skill. Here are five methods that you can use so you absorb less negative energy from others around you.   1) Be Selective About the People You Allow into Your Life You have to come to terms that not everyone will like you, and you don’t have to become friends with everyone that you meet. You do not need to pressure yourself into befriending everyone you meet, either at work, though existing friends, or via your kids. Of course you want to be polite, but trust your intuitionwhen meeting new people and don’t ever feel like you need to spend time with people just because you’ve come to know them by association. Furthermore, if you find yourself often needing to vent about a person, have a friend that is consistently negative about life, or feel like someone in your life is regularly taking advantag

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LETTING GO OF ATTACHMENT: 6 REASONS TO LET GO

  LETTING GO OF ATTACHMENT: 6 REASONS TO LET GO  “Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached” – Simone Weil   The Buddha taught that attachment, which is the desire to hold on to a permanent state or keep a thing or person, generates craving, wanting, and insecurity, and he believed it is one of the main causes of human suffering. Non-attachment, on the other hand, aims to cultivate a mind free from these limiting desires. Once we do this we can then move towards a mind of oneness, which involves compassion, clarity of vision, and an understanding of impermanence. Not only do humans become attached to physical objects or things, but also to relationships, ideas, opinions, and success and failure. Most the of problems we face as a species and planet are a direct result of our attachment to one or more of these things. If there is one thing that remains certain in this life, it is change. As soon as we realize the impermanence of our existence it becomes much easier to let go of attachment. While in theory this sounds easy, however, even the greatest of masters struggle with letting go…

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HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HEART CHAKRA NEEDS HEALING

   HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HEART CHAKRA NEEDS HEALING CHAKRAS 101: Have you ever felt as though you’re carrying around a heaviness throughout your day? Or had a difficulty letting go of the past? Or find it hard to connect with others because you’re burdened with emotional pain? If so, the issue could be coming from your heart chakra. According to Eastern metaphysical theories of Ayurvedic Indian Medicine, there are seven major spiritual centers of the body. These are called the chakras, which are like wheels of energy that correspond with certain organs and glands, as well as mental, emotional, and physical states. When a chakra is working properly, energy should move freely into it and freely out of it. It naturally takes in that which it needs and releases that which it does not. But sometimes traumas can cause the heart chakra to malfunction. When the energy flow of the heart chakra is impeded, you may hang on to a lot of heavy emotions and have a difficult time moving forward. It can also be difficult to let new people into your life (as new people represent new energy) because you have not fully let go of the past (old energy that needs to be released). Opening Our Hearts We are born with pure hearts that give and receive love freely. Think of how deeply and unconditionally small children love. Think of how easily they make friends with other small kids. They don’t see difference until they are taught that others are dangerous or different from them. If we are to open our hearts, we need to go back to the way we were as children and love freely and purely.

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HOW TO BE HAPPY WITHOUT CHANGING

HOW TO BE HAPPY WITHOUT CHANGING ANYTHING BUT YOURSELF – KNOW THYSELF   If you give the video above an hour and a half of your time, you won’t be disappointed with the Inner wisdom it provides you. Do we create our own reality? As human beings we all co-create the aggregate of our experiences; your outer world is largely a reflection of your inner world.  You are the co-creator of your reality. You are not the entirety of your reality — this isn’t solipsism — but at the same time you’re not at the mercy of a deterministic world with no free will. You co-create it, which means you have a lot of Power to influence it. When you remove filters that influence the perspectives and decisions you make, the things that resonate with those filters will be removed with them. One of the laws, which is the law of analogy — as above so below, so within so without — is consistent in every human being because the patterns and cycles within ourselves create and interact with similar patterns and cycles outside of ourselves. Everything you do in life starts from inside you. It starts with a thought, a belief, a desire,

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WHAT IS TRUE FREEDOM

  WHAT IS TRUE FREEDOM  HOW CAN YOU REALLY BE FREE?   Everything is separated and connected at the same time. The reality we live in is simultaneously divided, broken into small pieces and completely unified. It depends on you – how you see the World and live your life. To be more precise, it depends on your preferred attention style. When your attention is narrow the reality seems to be filled with separated objects. Everything has its borders in time and space. You focus on one object (problem, issue, idea, person, detail, etc…) after another trying to be precise and striving for perfection. When you let your attention diffuse, all objects – including you – merge with space around them and everything becomes one. It is the easiest way to relax – immerse with the world around

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7 Ways to Start Spreading the Optimism Today

  7 Ways to Start Spreading the Optimism Today “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill Optimism. It can turn a situation that looks negative or bleak into an opportunity or something to learn from. It can replace the draining thoughts of pessimism with something that will give you more energy and enthusiasm again. And it can help you to jump over obstacles, to keep moving when you fall or stumble and to not give up just because you have had a couple of temporary setbacks. So not just adding more of it to your own life but to the lives of the people in your world too is a good idea.   Because you tend to get back what you give in the long run. And in the short run, well, you get to enjoy the smiles when you spread the optimism. Plus, you’ll  boost your own self-esteem&nb

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7 Small Ways to Make This The Happiest Summer

  7 Small Ways to Make This The Happiest Summer of Your Life “Then followed that beautiful season… Summer… Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Summer is here in full bloom after what was, at least up here in Sweden, a long and cold winter. So this week I’d like to share 7 small and simple tips that you can use to create a happier summer – and rest of the year – for yourself. 1. Go slow. You’ll be less stressed and you’ll enjoy all the smells, the sights and people in your summer even more. So slow down a bit and use all your senses to tap into what is happening in this moment around you and inside of you.   2. Say yes to the new. Go for something new. Expand your comfort zone in a small way. Or a bigger one. Go somewhere you haven’t been bef

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How to Stop Overthinking Everything 9 Simple Habit

  How to Stop Overthinking Everything 9 Simple Habits   What is holding people back from the life that they truly want to live? I’d say that one very common and destructive thing is that they think too much. They overthink every little problem until it becomes bigger and scarier and it actually is. Overthink positive things until they don’t look so positive anymore. Or overanalyze and deconstruct things and so the happiness that comes from just enjoying something in the moment disappears. Now, thinking things through can be a great thing of course. But being an overthinker can result in becoming someone who stands still in life. In becoming someone who self-sabotages the good things that happen in life.   I know. I used to overthink things a lot and it held me back in ways that weren’t fun at all. But in the past 8 years or so I have learned how to make this issue so small that it very rarely pops up anymore. And if it does then I know what to do then to overcome it. In this article I would like to share 9 habits that have helped me in a big, big way to become a simpler and smarter thinker and to live a happier and less fearful life. 1. Put things into a wider perspective. It is very easy to fall into the trap of overthinking minor things in life. So when you are thinking and thinking about something ask yourself: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks? I have found that widening the perspective by using this simple question can snap me quickly out of overthinking and help me to let that situation go and focus my time and energy on something that actually does matter to me. 2. Set short time-limits for decisions. If you do not have a time-limit for when you must make a decision and take action then you can just keep turning your thoughts around and around and view them from all angles in your mind for a very long time. So learn to become better at making decisions and to spring into action by setting deadlines in your daily life. No matter if it is a small or bigger decision.

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How to Build Self Confidence 6 Essential Tips

  How to Build Self Confidence 6 Essential and Timeless Tips   “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.” Helen Keller “Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.” Brian Tracy “Confidence is courage at ease.” Daniel Maher I believe that one of the most common wishes is simply to feel more confident in various situations in life. But how? Confident friends may say: “Well, just be confident, man!”. However, to a person that doesn’t feel that confident this piece of advice may not be very helpful. At all. There are however some time-tested and timeless advice. And in this article I’ll explore some of those tips. You can learn much more about becoming more sure of yourself and building your inner strength and assertiveness in my 12-week Self-Esteem Course. Now, I hope you will find something useful in this article to help you improve and maintain your own levels of confidence. 1. Take action. Get it done. “Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.” Thomas A. Bennett “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.” Thomas Carlyle “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie The most important step in building self confidence is simply to take action. Working on something and getting it done. Sitting at home and thinking about it will just make you feel worse. Simple. But not always easy to do. To make it a bit easier, here are a three of my favourite ways to make it easer to take action: Be present. This will help you snap out of over thinking and just go and do whatever you want to get done. This is probably the best tip I have found so far for taking more action since it puts you in a state where you feel little emotional resistance to the work you’ll do. And it puts you in state where the right actions often just seem to flow out of you in a focused but relaxed way and without much effort. One of the simplest ways to connect with the present moment is just to keep your focus on your breathing for a minute or two. Lighten up. One way to dissuade yourself from taking action is to take whatever you are about to do too seriously. That makes it feel too big, too difficult and too scary. If you on the other hand relax a bit and lighten up you often realize that those problems and negative feelings are just something you are creating in your own mind. With a lighter state of mind your tasks seems lighter and become easier to get started with. Have a look at Lighten Up! for more on this. Really, really want it. Then taking action isn’t something you have to force. Taking action becomes a very natural thing. It’s something you can’t wait to do.

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How to Release Your Attachment to Your Stuff

   How to Release Your Attachment to Your Stuff  7 Decluttering Tips   “To change skins, evolve into new cycles, I feel one has to learn to discard. If one changes internally, one should not continue to live with the same objects. They reflect one’s mind and the psyche of yesterday. I throw away what has no dynamic, living use.” ~Anais Nin I’m attempting to fit my life into ten large boxes (and one red suitcase). As I enter a new phase in my life I’ve decided that now is the time to reduce the stuff that has been sitting in my storage unit while I’ve been house sitting and declutter my world as much as I can. The process has been both satisfying and exhausting. Satisfying because I’m finally able to get rid of things that I no longer need, from an ironing board to a box of fifty-plus rubber bands. (I’ve no idea when my rubber band hoarding began!) Exhausting because every item of my belongings requires a decision. Keep or release? Sell or gift? Friends or family? I found that while some things were easy to be rid of, there were others that I moved from pile to pile, unsure where they should rest. I knew that I didn’t need them but felt unwilling to let go. This feeling came up the most with clothes, as it turns out I’d attached a lot of meaning to fabric and thread. Like my pink suit. It’s that rare shade that suited me perfectly. The shape was flattering—a random woman once came up to me in the street to say how great my legs looked. I wore it in a corporate law office where black, accessorised with grey, was the norm. (I never did like to conform!) That suit reminded me of a time in my life where I lived in an exciting city and felt successful. That beautiful suit also has a stain down the front that dry cleaning won’t remove. It now looks dated, not to mention that I don’t wear suits anymore. Yet I cling onto it. Part of my reluctance was due to my scarcity mind set. “What if I never find another suit in that colour that makes me feel as good?”

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to Create a Happy Future by Accepting the Present

  How to Create a Happy Future by Accepting the Present     “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~Eckhart Tolle Imagine if every night you wrote the script of your tomorrow. You’d tuck it under your pillow and when you woke up, it would begin unfolding just like you had envisioned. The man or woman of your dreams would appear in the Whole Foods aisle you were perusing. A check for a million dollars would show up in your mailbox, with the note, “have fun.” Your friends and family would call you up telling you how great life was and how awesome they felt. Seems pretty sweet. But is that what we really want? I used to put a lot of effort into becoming a great “manifestor.” I thought I’d be happy if and when I could figure out how to make what I wanted come true. This desire was grounded in the belief that reality wasn’t okay as it was. Something had to change in order for me to fully enjoy it. I remember crying to a friend because “I sucked at manifesting.” Things weren’t coming true in the way I wanted them to and they definitely weren’t happening fast enough. It seems silly, but I was completely devastated by this. I wanted so badly to feel fulfilled in the work that I did, but I only saw one possible way to make that happen—to coach others and own my own coaching business. I refused to do anything else, even though I was struggling financially and didn’t give myself nearly enough time or money to grow a business. I also wanted the freedom to travel the world, take my work with me, spend extended time in various places so I could truly experience them, and visit my family whenever I wanted. Again, I only saw thatone way to make that happen. And it wasn’t working. I felt disempowered, hopeless, and stuck. The rigid need to make things happen blinded me from the millions of opportunities and beauty all around me. I had missed the whole point of manifesting. At the time, Eckhart Tolle was my main man. I

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Cultivate Gratitude and Boost Your Happiness

  3 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude and Boost Your Happiness   “Gratitude can turn common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~William Arthur Ward Living in India for more than two years now has been an eye opening experience for me, as I’ve realized how I used to take so many things for granted. While growing up and living in my home country (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in Europe, I was lacking gratitude for all the blessings that surrounded me. While sitting in our penthouse apartment in the New Delhi suburbs, in an air-conditioned room, still feeling the need to chill with a cool water or a mango shake due to the intense heat (which can reach up to 118° in the summer), I could observe the construction ground across from our building. Constructions workers would come in at 9am and work for twelve hours, with only a short lunch break, without proper safety equipment, chilled water, or any shaded cover to rest. While they’d wipe sweat from their face, I’d imagine how hot they must be feeling, as I was sweating even in an air-conditioned room. Some of them were working together with their wives, who would help them earn their daily wage (equal to $1). These women would carry piles of cement and bricks on big pots on their head, from one side of the construction site to another, sometimes climbing many stairs as well. In my home country, I never saw women working on construction grounds or carrying such heavy loads on their heads. Their children would play in front of the construction ground with sand and small rocks, as their parents could not afford to send them to school. I thought about how, in my home country, children often complain that they “have to” go to school and people complain about how tough their jobs are. These people in New Delhi could not even dream of sending their children to school or having an eight-hour job in an air-conditioned office. The wives who didn’t work on the construction ground would work in our building as maids. One of them cleaned our home. Every day she came in with a water bottle, which she’d cool in our refrigerator, as they did not have an electricity, not to mention a refrigerator, in the slum where she lived with her family.

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Free Yourself From the Struggle of Yo-Yo Dieting

  6 Steps To Free Yourself From the Struggle of Yo-Yo Dieting   “Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.” ~Astrid Alauda Have you ever guiltily reached for second helpings of a tempting dish or dessert while justifying it with something along the lines of, “It’s okay, I’m going on a diet/detox after this”? Or, do you ever find yourself eating really healthy one week, then the minute you cave in and eat something unhealthy, your eating habits suddenly take a turn for the worst? Are you really hard on yourself when you don’t feel comfortable in clothes you want to wear and suddenly regret all the unhealthy food choices you’ve made the past few months? I’ve experienced all of these scenarios. I used to yo-yo diet for years, and I would cycle through super healthy or restrictive eating plans one week, to eat-whatever-you-like the next week. I was always fighting to be a particular weight or to look a certain way. My eating habits were inconsistent, and so were my weight, my energy levels, and the way I felt about my body. After years of unhealthy eating habits (that may have appeared healthy on the outside), my body didn’t take it so well anymore. I got to a stage where I would feel sick after most meals and suffered stomach cramps due to a digestive disorder. It was frustrating and a daily inconvenience, however it was irritating enough for me to stop and do something about it. After years of not looking after my body, the messages became louder and clearer until I made the choice to pay attention and listen to my body. I started to re-educate myself about my health from a more holistic perspective. I moved away from using food as a way to control how my body looked and moved toward using food as a way to heal my body of illness. By embracing mindfulness with my eating I began to notice which foods my body rejected and which foods fueled my body. I also noticed how my eating habits affected my mindset and how I feel much more confident about my body now that I look after it and eat well. I redefined what healthy means for me and it no longer means choosing fat-free options or tiny portion sizes. On reflection, these are the steps I took to redefine my health and finally be free of yo-yo dieting and controlling

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How to Improve Your Mood Right Now

  How to Improve Your Mood Right Now 3 Simple Habits   A social, an energetic or a productive start sets the context for your day. But on some days you may not get a good start for some reason. Maybe you slept badly. Or the maybe grey skies and cold summer rain is dragging your energy down. Or you might have lost that positive momentum during a hard first part of the day and after lunch you feel tired, low or lost in a somewhat sad or uninspired funk. What to do then? Is that day lost and should you just aim for a better day tomorrow? Well, today is not over yet.   Maybe you can still make something good out it. Here’s how I do that by breaking the negative mood and getting a new start.

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Do You Make These  Mistakes in a Conversation?

  Do You Make These  Mistakes in a Conversation? Can you improve your conversation skills? Certainly. It might take a while to change the conversation habits that’s been ingrained throughout your life, but it is very possible. To not make this article longer than necessary let’s just skip right to some common mistakes many of us have made in conversations and a couple of solutions.  And if you want more in-depth training then join us in my 12-week, step-by-step Smart Social Skills Course where I share the very best things I have learned in the past 8 years about improving social skills and relationship habits. Not listening Ernest Hemingway once said: “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Don’t be like most people. Don’t just wait eagerly for your turn to talk. Put your own ego on hold. Learn to really listen to what people actually are saying. When you start to really listen, you’ll pick up on loads of potential paths in the conversation. But avoid yes or no type of questions as they will not give you much information. If someone mentions that they went fishing with a couple of friends last weekend you can for instance ask: Where did you go fishing? What do you like most about fishing? What did you do there besides fishing? The person will delve deeper into the subject giving you more information to work with and more paths for you choose from. If they say something like: “Oh, I don’t know” at first, don’t give up. Prod a little further. Ask again. They do know, they just have to think about a bit more. And as they start to open up the conversation becomes more interesting because it’s not on auto-pilot anymore. Asking too many questions If you ask too many questions the conversation can feel like a bit of an interrogation. Or like you don’t have that much too contribute. One alternative is to mix questions with statements. Continuing the conversation above you could skip the question and say: Yeah, it’s great to just get out with your friends and relax over the weekend. We like to take a six-pack out to the park and play some Frisbee golf. Nice. We went out in my friend’s boat last month and I tried these new lures from Sakamura. The blue ones were really great. And then the conversation can flow on from there. And you can discuss Frisbee golf, the advantages/disadvantages of different lures or your favourite beer.

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Gandhi’s Top10 Fundamentals for Changing the World

  Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problem.” “If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” Mahatma Gandhi needs no long introduction. Everyone knows about the man who lead the Indian people to independence from British rule in 1947. So let’s just move on to some of my favourite tips from Mahatma Gandhi. 1. Change yourself. “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or maybe even have thought about – while stuck in your old thought patterns. And the problem with changing your outer world without changing yourself is that you will still be you when you reach that change you have strived for. You will still have your flaws, anger, negativity, self-sabotaging tendencies etc. intact. And so in this new situation you will still not find what you hoped for since your mind is still seeping with that negative stuff. And if you get more without having some insight into and distance from your ego it may grow more powerful. Since your ego loves to divide things, to find enemies and to create separation it may start to try to create even more problems and conflicts in your life and world. 2. You are in control. “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” What you feel and how you react to something is always up to you. There may be a “normal” or a common way to react to different things. But that’s mostly just all it is. You can choose your own thoughts, reactions and emotions to pretty much everything. You don’t have to freak out, overreact of even react in a negative way. Perhaps not every time or instantly. Sometimes a knee-jerk reaction just goes off. Or an old thought habit kicks in. And as you realize that no-one outside of yourself can actually control how you feel you can start to incorporate this thinking into your daily life and develop it as a thought habit. A habit that you can grow stronger and stronger over time. Doing this makes life a whole lot easier and more pleasurable. 3. Forgive and let it go. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” “An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Fighting evil with evil won’t help anyone. And as said in the previous tip, you always choose how to react to something. When you can incorporate such a thought habit more and more into your life then you can react in a way that is more useful to you and others. You realize that forgiving and letting go of the past will do you and the people in your world a great service. And spending your time in some negative memory won’t help you after you have learned the lessons you can learn from that experience. You’ll probably just cause yourself more suffering and paralyze yourself from taking action in this present moment.

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We Are the Universe Becoming Aware of Itself

  We Are the Universe Becoming Aware of Itself “Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.” – Alan Watts “You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.” –Eckhart Tolle Our Responsibility Since Creation Ancient wisdom holds that humans were created to be the caretakers of the Earth. We were placed here on this planet in order to care for its plants and animals, to protect its natural beauty, to show respect and gratitude for all the abundance that the Earth gives us every day. Scientists are discovering now that everything in the Universe vibrates at one frequency or another. That includes human beings. Think of your heartbeat, your breathing, your cycles of waking and sleeping. These are vibrations. All things vibrate differently, so we may not be able to sense the vibrations of a rock or a tree as easily as we can feel the natural rhythms of other creatures similar to us: The heartbeat of a dog, the pace of a galloping horse, the buzz of a bee. Ancient wisdom, and many indigenous people today, bear witness to the fact that even inanimate objects have vibrational energy. Even modern scientific findings, such as superstring theory, support the idea that vibrations are at the core of all existence. The vibrations are there, but in modern culture we are not taught to hone the senses that can detect this type of energy. And so for most of us, it goes unnoticed. But if we stop and think for a minute, we can begin to recognize the ebb and flow of the natural world all around us. Flowers that open and close, cycles of birth and death, the tides, the migration of birds, weather patterns cycling from sun to rain and back to sun, the seasons, the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, even the expansion and contraction of the universe—all of these are vibrations, on smaller or larger scales. Arkan Lushwala, in his book The Time of the Black Jaguar, states: “ [Humankind was created] with the mission to care for the rest of Creation through the power of their heart and their capacity to produce refined vibrations. … Keeping this memory alive in their heart and signing it back to all that lives became their gift, their mission, and the foundation of a beautiful way of life.” Humans were given the responsibility of all the vibrations on Earth. It was our honor and task to literally keep the Universe humming with its essential life force. How Our Ancestors Cared for the Universe Ancient humans felt (and many indigenous people today feel) a burning responsibility to show their respect, honor, and gratitude to Nature, to the Universe, and

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7 Health Benefits of Bee Propolis

  7 Health Benefits of Bee Propolis Bees make more than honey. They also make gunk called propolis. And this “bee glue” is a powerful health balm.  In fact, studies show it has anti-cancer properties. Dr. Seema Patel of the Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics Research Center, San Diego State University conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on propolis and cancer.  Dr. Patel found laboratory and animal studies supporting propolis efficacy against cancers of the: Brain Pancreas Head and neck Kidney and bladder Skin Prostate Breast Colon Liver Blood Propolis contains as many as 300 active compounds.  These components were found to fight cancer in a variety of ways including:   Preventing the growth of new blood vessels to feed cancer cells (anti-angiogenesis) Preventing the spread or metastasis of cancer from one organ to another Halting cancer cell division Inducing apoptosis or programmed cell death

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Purification of the Heart

  Purification of the Heart Feelings derive from our heart space and have a greater power than our thoughts. We need to focus on our emotional world just as much, if not more than our mental world. Emotions are the means to manifest desires. Thus purity of heart should be considered a necessity. One cannot live long with a tainted heart and the longer we allow psychic garbage to collect within our heart space the more our emotional, spiritual, physical and mental bodies will suffer. A tainted heart is something that all should strive to avoid because it is the smearing of your true self. “As rust is natural to iron and as milk turns sour, so the feeling of the heart which by nature is as pure as milk, turns when it becomes rusted.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan The transformation of the natural to the unnatural is a process that takes time. Slowly the innocence fades into nothingness as our heart goes sour. This is imperative to understand because it reveals to us all that this process of souring occurs over a duration of time. We can see that our innocence is intact at the beginning of life, but as we grow older and live life many of us start to rust, thus our spiritual heart suffers greatly. Once this happens it is very difficult to turn things around, to restore oneself. The way to cleanse our heart is to submerge it in the stream of love. A continuous in-flowing of love will help heal our heart. This means we have to be willing to receive this love, because that’s the problem many of us face. It’s not that love isn’t sent in our direction, but instead it’s our inability to absorb this love that keeps us in lack of it. Love is constantly flowing from the Creator to us, but because of our free-will and ignorance many of us cannot take in this love. We’ve hardened our heart with so much fear that it’s a very difficult task for love to penetrate. Allowing love to enter one’s being is much easier than what we believe it to be. It can be simply described as being present in the Eternal Now. The Eternal Now is where you reside at all times, it is beyond the concept of time/space, thus it is the aspect of your being that exists in another realm of existence. This is where your higher self resides and this facet of your being has the capacity to give you all the love you need. How do you become present in the Eternal Now you may be wondering, three words sum it up quite well; Love, Acceptance and Joy. By accepting yourself and life you allow love to flow, by loving yourself and others, you allow love to flow, by being joyful to yourself and others, you allow love to flow. These three traits are invaluable when beginning the journey to self empowerment. “For it is the good quality of heart that will keep away undesirable impressions and thoughts, so that the heart will only reflect good impressions and desirable influences.” – Hazrat

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Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies and What can be

  7 of the Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies and What Can be Done About Them   Many individuals are not getting enough important nutrients from their diet. For many, it is simply due to the fact their diet does not provide adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Even if you try to eat a whole, living foods diet, many foods these days provide fewer nutrients than one might think due to where the food is grown, the quality of the soil, how it is stored and for how long, and how it is processed. Now, consider that many people are dealing with digestive issues and other health conditions that influence their body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food, and you have a recipe for a very unhealthy population. Because of these factors, there are many common nutrient deficiencies. Supplementation is often necessary, especially if you develop symptoms showing signs of such deficiency. Below is a list of seven of Dr. Mercola’s most popular nutrient deficiencies, and how to address them. 1. Vitamin D Sensible sun exposure may be one of the best ways to optimize vitamin D levels, yet with the use of sun block and seasonal weather limit people’s exposure. Our decisions to stay indoors and even eating habits affect our vitamin D levels, as well. For example, a diet with foods that tend to be loaded with the herbicide glyphosate (such as conventional foods with genetically modified corn or soy), can interfere with enzymes responsible for activating vitamin D in your liver and kidneys. “Researchers estimate that 50 percent of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency.” [1]   Signs of deficiency: obesity, achy bones, feeling blue, head sweating, and poor immune function. You can purchase a vitamin D at home test to assess your vitamin D levels.   Who’s at an increased risk: individuals with very little sun exposure, people over the age of 50, and ones with darker skin. How to supplement (especially when the weather won’t permit sun exposure year-round): Eat Vitamin D-rich foods such as sardines, trout, caviar, portabello mushrooms, and maitake mushrooms. Find good supplements such as cod liver oil, 

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SCHOOL TEACHES KIDS TO SEE WITH THEIR EYES CLOSED

  SEE WHY & HOW THIS SCHOOL TEACHES KIDS TO SEE WITH THEIR EYES CLOSED Many claim that we are all born with a natural intuitive ability to perceive beyond our known senses, and this notion is well established in the teachings of various ancient texts. While that of course does not alone make something true, we now also have a wealth of scientific data which confirms this ability.   According to The Art of Living, which is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives, these natural intuitive abilities are more visible and ‘alive’ in children “whose minds are still fresh, less obsessive and more in tune with nature.” The Art of Living process attempts to help children tap into the intuitive abilities of the mind, which, according to the movement, are “demonstrated by them seeing colours, reading text and identifying pictures with eyes closed.” They believe that deep and enigmatic faculties are present in a latent form in every child. To make these faculties blossom and become more firmly established, the mind needs proper nurturing and nourishment. That’s where the Intuition process offered by The Art of Living comes in. The program helps children aged 8 to 18 years:

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7 Eating Habits That Add Years to Your Life!

  7 Eating Habits That Add Years to Your Life     I have always had trouble understanding the meaning of life and death. I mean, I do understand, but I can’t accept the fact that some people live till 100 and others die in their 20s to 50s. Believe it or not, but I am so afraid of death that I am ready to look for that Fountain of Youth my entire life. I monitor my eating habits, do regular exercise and consult researchers and doctors regularly. My goal is to add years to my life and I am sure I will reach it and live more than 100 years. Why? Because I stick to these seven eating habits recommended by many doctors and researchers. 1. Never eat carbs alone Carbohydrates can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, increasing your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It does not mean that you should eliminate carbs from your eating plan. Your body still needs healthy carbs, as well as healthy fat and protein to keep your blood sugar at bay. If you want to live longer, consume carbs with protein or healthy fat, but never eat it alone. 2. Watch out for hydrogenated fat Dieters shy away from anything that contain

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11 Ways to Change Negative Body Image!

  11 Ways to Change Negative Body Image     It is summer time and I’m sure many of you are fretting about fitting into skin revealing clothing and wondering how you will look in a swimsuit. As women, we often feel pressured to look a certain way and when that doesn’t happen we end up feeling poorly about ourselves. Along the way of achieving our perfect bodies we all want, we end up compromising our self-esteem and how we view our bodies. Here are eleven ways you can change your negative body image: 1. Take it easy Do not be so mean to yourself. Be nice to yourself. Treat yourself like you would you best friend, significant other or family member. Stop the negative self-talk. The negative thoughts that pop up in your mind every time you see yourself in the mirror are just thoughts that you have enough power to overcome. 2. Forget the diet hype That’s right, forget all about it. Diets are temporary. If you are unhappy with your body, know you can do something about it. You can make a lifestyle change. This can be a commitment to change how you eat and how frequently you exercise. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. 3. Know your body and accept it We are shaped differently. Some of us have short legs, some have long legs. The uniqueness of our bodies makes us, well us. Rather than focusing on areas of your body you do not like, why not appreciate the areas you do like?

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7 Reasons Why It Is So Important to Love Yourself

  7 Reasons Why It Is So Important to Love Yourself   Loving yourself and narcissism or selfishness are absolutely different things. Love is all about giving and receiving and if you can give enough care, attention and sympathy to yourself, most probably you can give it to others as well. You must have heard the old truth that we cannot love others if we cannot love ourselves. Love flourishes when we give it to other people, but love always starts with ‘me.’ We are the only ones responsible for our life, choices and deeds so we just have no right to be neglectful of ourselves. However, I’ve never thought about why it’s so important to love yourself even though I completely agree with the statement. The reasons stated below show that loving yourself is really essential. 1. When you love who you are, you accept who you are Indeed, I know perfectly well all my positive and negative sides and I accept them. It doesn’t mean I’m satisfied with all my traits. Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you should stop improving yourself. It just helps you realize that you are the only one, with your unique traits, qualities and potentialities. It gives a great sense of confidence. When you accept who you are, you feel no need to counterfeit someone or compare yourself to others. And this is the most powerful and inspiring feeling ever. 2. It gives you confidence and approval We all love confident and charismatic people. This is our inner subconscious desire and you cannot do anything with it. Compassion is also important but when people need to talk to someone, they usually address a strong confident person. People who love themselves are more likely to get a better job, promotion and more friends and admirers. I think it’s a crucial reason to love yourself.

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How to Live In the Moment and Appreciate Life

  How to Really Live In the Moment and Appreciate Life “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein  Just when you think you have the whole living in the moment thing down, a four-year-old comes along and shows you how it’s done. I’ve been working hard on this, actually, keeping a gratitude journal and everything. I was feeling pretty good about my progress yesterday when I decided to take said four-year-old on a walk rather than rushing through the to-do list burning a hole in the back of my mind. “I’m going to be totally present,” I reminded myself as we headed out. I took deep breath and said a silent thanks for the beautiful day. Like I said, I was feeling pretty proud of my progress. Then my daughter blew me away. She schooled me in everything I have been working so hard on, and she wasn’t even trying. Her commentary on the walk went exactly like this: Ohhhhhh, what an amazing house! What an amazing garbage can! Oh wow, what a wonderful tree! Look at the rocks! I hear a bird! I hear a wind chime! Mom, do you hear that dog? It’s perfect! I hear a truck! Do you feel the wind? It is so soft! Look at the beautiful cactus,

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To The Girl Who Wants to Let Go of a Lost Dream

  To The Girl Who Wants to Let Go of a Lost Dream   We all know the feeling when we first feel that spark of a fiery dream inside our souls. It completely takes over your life and opens up your eyes to new horizons beyond your imagination – but what happens when you start to feel that fire dying out? What happens when you start to feel another one sparking? Do you ignore the call and frustrate your soul, or do you choose to be brave and let the new dream in? Honing your dream to perfection leads to disappointment Losing a dream is never easy, you pour your heart and soul out into it, honing it to perfection and to the idea you had in mind. It is no wonder that when it dissipates or completely disappears that you find yourself facing the different stages of loss: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and eventually acceptance (or in my case going through all these stages a few times around). However – despite what society might want you to believe – there is absolutely nothing wrong with a dream that changes.

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5 Situations Where It Is Better to Burn Bridges

  5 Situations Where It Is Better to Burn Bridges Pin When you move to another city, leave your job, or break up with ex-partners and friends, everyone keeps telling you, ‘Do not burn bridges.’ Even though these words mean a lot, there are a few situations where it is best to burn bridges, move forward and build new relationships. I love an idea of leaving people in life ‘just in case,’ but when those people drain you or you drain them, there is no point in staying in touch with them. I have burnt many bridges and lost many people who might help me today. I do not regret it. Life is full of wonderful people, so I do not afraid to lose those who need to be lost. If you feel guilty of stopping keeping in touch with your former coworkers, friends, or anyone who could help you in future, ditch guilt for good. Here is why:

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7 Difficult Life Situations and How to Handle Them

  7 Difficult Life Situations and How to Handle Them P They say, living a happy life is a choice a person makes. However, sometimes we do not have a choice. A number of difficult situations can make the life of even the happiest person dull and miserable. Hard times help you learn and grow, but the following seven difficult situations are not just hard times. They can break your heart into pieces and turn your life into sorrow. 1. Losing loved ones Death is inevitable. At some point in life, we lose someone we love and it seems impossible to cope with the pain and continue to live without them. Be it a mom, a friend or a pet, the grief is enormous, and not everyone can handle it. If you are trying to deal with the death of someone you love, avoid being in denial. Accept the

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9 Old Truths to Help You Overcome Tough Times!

  9 Old Truths to Help You Overcome Tough Times Unfortunately, life is not a bed of roses. We are going through life facing sad experiences. Moreover, we are grieving various kinds of loss: friendship, a romantic relationship or a house. Hard times may hold you down at what usually seems like the most inopportune time, but you should remember that they won’t last forever. When our time of mourning is over, we press forward, stronger with a greater understanding and respect for life. Furthermore, these losses make us mature and eventually move us toward future opportunities for growth and happiness. Shaun Hick once said, “You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to appreciate truly what it is stand in the sun.” I want to share these ten old truths I’ve learned along the way. 1. The power of mindset A positive mindset can help people overcome hard times. The main point is to get rid of negative clouds in your mind and start looking at the positive things. This way, you will accomplish things and boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. A clear and positive mindset gives you a chance to work your way around obstacles before they can break your power of will. If you replace your negative emotions by positive thoughts, you will change your reality. 2. Pain

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10 Habits That Can Steal Your Happiness!

  10 Habits That Can Steal Your Happiness   People from all over the world have one common desire. They are looking for happiness. There is no definite concept of happiness that’s why all people keep moving in different directions to reach their happiness. Each person has an individual vision and perception of happiness. I think all people have habits which can both help them become happy or lose their dream. Unfortunately, there are many habits that steal your happiness and make you feel miserable. These harmful behaviors can easily affect your emotional well-being, if you do nothing to correct them. Read on and be aware of the things that steal your joy each day. 1. Waiting for a suitable moment Only you can change your life. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, make every moment perfect instead. Many people who keep waiting for the perfect opportunity and for the best moment to do what they have to do, usually end up doing nothing. Life is short, so you should do your best to seize the opportunity to make your life and the life of your dearest and nearest people better. 2. Working without interest

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7 Reasons to Focus on Making Yourself Happy

    7 Undeniable Reasons to Focus on Making Yourself Happy       Every person makes this world wonderful and happy. It is important to struggle for happiness, but you should start with yourself. You should change your negative vision of the world and control your emotions and feelings. It turns out that happiness doesn’t depend on external factors, but it has a direct connection with your inner feeling of contentment. Remember that it is possible and quite easy to be happy being yourself. However, if you don’t learn to accept who you are, you will never grow as a person. Read on these reasons and I hope your life will be colored by new and pleasant changes. 1. No one knows what you feel inside

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When Time Feels Constricting: Tiny Wisdom

  When Time Feels Constricting Tiny Wisdom “An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.” ~Bonnie Friedman Have you ever felt controlled by time? This has been a lifelong challenge for me. Sometimes it can be difficult for me to truly immerse myself in the present, because I can feel constricted by imaginary strings, tethered to an invisible clock.

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Why Self-Care Should Be a Priority

  Why We Put Ourselves Last  Why Self-Care Should Be a Priority   “Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind.” ~Dodinsky Sometimes, when we’re feeling stressed and running around taking care of everybody else, the healthiest thing we can do is to stop and consider how we can take care of ourselves. While this seems obvious to some people, many of us struggle with the idea of putting ourselves first. We were raised to think we should always put others before ourselves and ignore our own needs—that it is somehow arrogant or self-centered, and not a nice thing to do. So, why is self-care not held in high regard as the essential practice that it is for our well-being? Here, I take a look at some misconceptions that hold us back from looking after the most important person in our lives, explore why self-care is better for others around us, and share my own list of self-care commitments, as somebody who has struggled with this in the past. 1. We think self-care means being selfish.  Taking care of ourselves is the opposite of being selfish, as it strengthens us and enables us to support our loved ones better. We are no use to anyone if our energy is depleted because we have given every last bit of it away. Self-care is an antidote to stress, as it builds resilience so we can better cope with challenges. Just think how they tell us to put on our oxygen mask first on an airplane before we help others. Yes, absolutely support others, but nurture yourself first. 2. We confuse “rescuing” with caring. We often sacrifice self-care because we’re too busy trying to save everyone else. But people have to learn their own lessons in life, however painful that is. Who are you to decide that you know what is right for them? Now that is selfish, as it’s based on your own desires for them, which may not truly be in their best interests. The way we can really help is to focus on ourselves and stop trying to run others’ lives. While we think we’re caring by “rescuing” them from unpleasant experiences in their lives, we are denying them the opportunity to face their own challenges, and grow stronger or learn a lesson from doing so. This has been a hard truth for me to face, as I always thought I was being nice and caring. It’s even tougher to accept now that a close family member of mine is very ill, mostly caused by their own actions. I have an overwhelming desire to help, and have tried on numerous occasions, but I now realize that they have to want to change. By rescuing them every time, out of what we believe is love, the rest of the family are enabling this person to stay feeling helpless, and we are burning ourselves out with stress. I don’t mean we should never help people, but there is a difference between providing support for somebody who asks and taking it upon ourselves to save somebody and make their life turn out in a way that we think it should. 3. We are accustomed to relationships based on neediness, not real love.

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Spiritual Guidance for Surviving the Coming Earth

  Spiritual Guidance for Surviving the Coming Earth Changes Teacher to student… As in Ancient times, we are again in the beginning of a period of radical changes for the Earth and its inhabitants, physically, mentally, and spiritually (the entire threefold nature). Humanity’s selfishness has taken its toll and is starting to come back in full fury. With the damage that has been done already, there is no preventing the great Earth changes within the next decade. Given a sufficient rise in Consciousness, those things that are not past the ‘karmic point of no return’ could be altered by free will, however, many are past the point of no return. Ask yourself if the first drops of rain from this great storm of purification, have not already begun to fall. There are many things today that are similar to conditions in the old world before the great Earth changes that destroyed it – including the political powers. The forces of darkness – best described as the Sons of Belial, have grown very powerful, and seek to enslave the world, at any cost. Many people who are not directly Sons of Belial, are pawns by virtue of their own selfishness they ‘unconsciously’ follow the conscious evil ones. This is no excuse however, because they chosen their unconsciousness’. They are but selfish cowards who have willingly participated in the evil that will bring their own destruction. The brave people of this world open their eyes to what is happening, and refuse to be pawns. Even many of the brave ones are not aligned with the light yet, but at least they have resisted the darkness. These people can save themselves. After they suffer the horrors of what is about to befall the people of the Earth, they will have been purified enough – involuntarily as it may be – and this purification will awaken them to the Spirit within, and return them to serving Universal Will. The coming Earth changes are not ‘bad’ things, in and of themselves. They are necessary now. Necessary for a clean up of both the Earth and of humans. As all of these changes come to pass, we are given the opportunity to transcend into a new world of Unselfish Love and harmony. Some will approach the sufferings of this purification with patience, understanding, and Unselfish Love. Others will react with selfishness, negativity, and resistance. Universal Law dictates that each individual, through their attitudes and resultant actions, create, and modify, their own experiences. Those who Love Unselfishly, will ultimately experience the ‘heaven’ of that attitude, while those who are negative, will ultimately experience the ‘hell’ brought by that. So it will be like the old world all over again? More Final Than the old Ancient World? There are some distinct differences between the Earth changes of Atlantis’ day, and what is going to take place now. First, we cannot escape them as some of the Children did when they fled Atlantis. But also, there are various possibilities for intervention during these great Earth changes. It may be that we will even have some outside help. Many things are not determined fully. Free will choices are still dominant, particularly in whether or not there will be nuclear annihilation, which would create a much bigger mess if it is more than a very limited warring or act of violence. So is there anything we can do about any of it? Yes and no. We can’t stop the purification – it is badly needed anyway and we shouldn’t want to stop it. We shouldn’t see it as a ‘bad’ thing. But can we do anything about it for ourselves, to survive it? What for? That is the most important question. Do you want to survive to save your selfish separate self, or to help be here to truly free others and point them to the way back to Oneness, and free them from their selfish separate selves? But to answer your question directly, yes, and know – know to make Inner preparations. There are some physical preparations one could make, and perhaps that will be done by you or others.

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Once When We Were Free

  Once When We Were Free We’re more sensible now. We don’t live our lives as much as we arrange them and organize them. B follows A. D follows C. We take our medicine and our shots because the doctor says so. We’re careful, because accidents happen. We don’t say what’s on our minds a lot of the time, because other people might pass that on, and who knows? We might get into trouble. But once upon a time, when we were young, we were free. We didn’t take any shots, and when we got sick we recovered. We were stronger than kids are now. We didn’t ask for much protection and we weren’t given much, and we survived. There was no talk about the needs of the group. When we went to school, we weren’t told about ways we could help others. That was something we learned at home. We weren’t taught about The Planet. Instead, we learned to mind our own business, and it wasn’t considered a crime. When we played games, adults weren’t hovering or coaching every move we made. We found places to play on our own, and we figured it all out. There were winners and losers. There were no plastic trophies. We played one game, then another. We lost, we won. We competed. Losing wasn’t a tragedy. There were no childhood “conditions” like ADHD or Bipolar, and we certainly didn’t take any brain drugs. The idea of a kid going to a psychiatrist would have been absurd. People were who they were. They had lives. They had personalities. They had eccentricities, and we lived with that. There was far less whispering and gossip. There were fewer cliques. Kids didn’t display their possessions like signs of their identity. A kid who did was ignored, even shunned. Kids never acted like little adults. They didn’t dress like adults. They didn’t want to be fake adults.

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12 TOP EXERCISES TO EFFECTIVELY SHAPE YOUR BOOTY

  12 TOP EXERCISES TO EFFECTIVELY SHAPE YOUR BOOTY   We all want to have a fit and lean body, that’s why we try to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Men and women alike aspire towards perfection when it comes to our body but one of the things we want the most is to have that perfect butt which will make us rock those skinny jeans. Luckily for you we’ve prepared the most effective exercises which will make your booty look like JLo’s in no time. This workout routine targets the glutes specifically and you’ll have to do them at least three times a week for maximum result These exercises are specifically designed for a firmer and rounder booty but you’ll still need to do some cardio and pay attention to your other body parts as well. Don’t spend an entire workout session just focusing on the glutes, you can over work them and be counter-productive. Just set aside 15-20 minutes each session to these exercises, three times a week and the results will be visible soon enough.  1. Flutter Kicks

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IS TIME TRAVEL REAL? IS TIME AN ILLUSION?

  IS TIME TRAVEL REAL? IS TIME AN ILLUSION? HYPNOSIS WEIGHS IN If you could travel in time, would you? You’re probably thinking I’m talking about time machines, which would be cool in theory but not really practical. Considering we live on a tiny planet that is hurtling through space and being pulled by the force of the sun — which is blazing its own path — all while traveling within a galaxy among millions of other galaxies, to actually go back to that one particular time and space, which would now be perhaps millions of light years away, seems an unlikely proposition. Even with the possibility of wormholes and parallel universes, which are again interesting, I think in our mortal terms, physical time travel may be implausible. However, if you consider time travel in a less physical sense and are open to transporting your “Self” through the metaphysical realm of hypnotherapy, that’s a whole other REALITY. And it is real, or as real as it can be when we are talking about consciousness. Consciousness doesn’t have “matter,” so it doesn’t matter. Consciousness doesn’t follow physical precepts. It is all in your head, or more specifically your soul, Your higher conscious or essential self — whatever you are comfortable calling your “Self —  is what is left when the physical you is gone. That may be a quantum leap for some to make, but as a hypnotherapist who has regressed many hundreds

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU READ: RESEARCH REVEALS

  YOU ARE WHAT YOU READ: RESEARCH REVEALS THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT YOU’RE READING Are you a tabloid loving, pop culture obsessed, meme and GIF intrigued person? Do you like sensational novels to pass the time? According to a new study published in the International Journal of Business Administration in May 2016, your love for “light reading,” and web-based aggregators like Reddit, Tumblr and BuzzFeed may not be doing you any good. The researchers concluded that what students read in college directly affects the level of writing they achieve. In fact, students who pick up academic journals, literary fiction, or general nonfiction wrote with greater syntactic sophistication than those who preferred the former options. Furthermore, the highest scores came from those who resorted to academic journals, and the lowest to solely web-based content. But then again, “good writing” is often subjective. What we’re really

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WHY FRIENDSHIPS ARE SO IMPORTANT:

  WHY FRIENDSHIPS ARE SO IMPORTANT: THE FORGOTTEN KEY TO YOUR HEALTH & LONGEVITY? Have you ever wondered what really makes you healthy? Is it the vitamins you take or the food you eat? Is it the exercise you do and the medical care you get? All of these things are surely important. But I believe there is a hidden dimension to your health that you may have overlooked or ignored: your friendships. Friendships can make the difference between enjoying a long healthy life and just suffering through it. Getting and staying healthy may very well depend on the quality, quantity, and resiliency of your friendships.  Is Friendship the Forgotten Key to Health? Scientists have been trying to unravel how our friendships affect our health for a long time. Lisa Rankin, MD, in her groundbreaking work Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, states: “When you feel loved, supported, and nurtured in a relationship, your mind experiences fewer stress responses and elicits more relaxation responses, and the physiology of the body responds accordingly.” She goes on to explain how this nurturing extends even to the doctor/patient relationship: “When a patient who imbues the

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THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING EMPATHY TO PRESCHOOLERS

  THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING EMPATHY TO PRESCHOOLERS, WHY ALL PARENTS & TEACHERS SHOULD DO IT   At its simplest, empathy is the awareness of the feelings and emotions of other people. It goes beyond sympathy, which is often thought of as feeling for someone, and instead, is feeling with that person. When we are empathetic toward someone else, we think before we speak or act, and instead, find a way to make them feel supported, loved, cared for, or even just simply understood. Practicing empathy can be as deep and as challenging as being there for someone during rough times, or as surface as making an effort to be kind to the people and things we come across in our own little worlds each and every day. This mindset entails the basic necessity of respect and the knowledge that we must treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. The sooner we understand what empathy means, and the importance of it, the sooner we can live a more peaceful existence. Various studies even reinforce that the more empathy a child displays, the less likely they are to bully someone else. They are also more likely to share with and help others, and less likely to be antisocial or exhibit uncontrolled aggressive behaviours.  This is why educators are devoting more attention to empathyin recent years. Yalda Modabber is one of those people. Now the principal and founder of Golestan Education, a Persian-language preschool and after-school program in Berkeley, California that collaborates with other local schools on cultural education, she admits that being bullied as a child motivated her to integrate empathy into every level at her school. “It was nonstop for two years,” 

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4 STEPS TO HEAL FROM ANY KIND OF LOSS OR TRAUMA

  4 KEY STEPS TO HEAL FROM ANY KIND OF LOSS OR TRAUMA   Trauma can be challenging, but the moment we are willing to do work on it is the moment that so much potential for healing and growth opens up. The more aware we are of the bigger picture, the less we suffer. As a general rule, the mind clings to negative, fear-based experiences as a biological survival mechanism. But when we can consciously step outside of our own stories, outdated beliefs, and personal perspective, we can empower personal transformation through self-awareness. Below are some useful questions to ask yourself in different instances of trauma. They are designed to help clear your mind, open your heart, and begin the healing process. 1. Life Is About Evolution. Find The Lesson In Your Experience The Big Bang has revealed a universe to us that is radically evolutionary. It is constantly growing, evolving, and developing, and has been for more than 14 billion years. Life is evolution. It is an ongoing process of transformation and conscious expansion. This is a natural law, and this means that from a higher perspective, all of the experiences in our lives are happening for us, not “to” us. While things may create suffering on an egoic level, there is often a different layer of meaning from a higher perspective. You must be willing to look for the hidden order in your perceived chaos. Ask yourself: What am I supposed to learn? How did I play a part in the creation of this, and what habits or behaviours do I need to clear? How can I grow from this? These questions will take you out of a state of learned helplessness and begin shifting your mind to focus on the solution rather than the problem. I recently worked with a client whose house burnt down. She was overcome with grief. While discussing the situation, she mentioned to me that it was also days within the ten-year anniversary of her husband’s death. I asked her if she felt that the two situations were somehow connected. Right away, she mentioned that she had still kept all of her husband’s belongings in that house and their bedroom exactly the same, more than ten years later.

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Love Life :This is the Greatest Relationship

  WHY THIS IS THE GREATEST RELATIONSHIP YOU WILL EVER HAVE Throughout the course of our lives we have many relationships: from our parents and siblings as infants, to friends, romantic partners, and even our own children as we get older. Relationships are an integral part of our lives and they are very important to help us learn and grow as human beings; to learn how to love, accept, forgive, and have compassion are extremely important lessons in life. The most important relationship that you can have, however, is the one you have with yourself. The relationship to one’s self is often overlooked as there is much more pressure to find the perfect relationship with another. Being single is often looked at as sad and unfortunate. I know for myself, some of my older family members tend to feel sorry for me because I was in a 5-year relationship that came to an end and have been single for quite a while now. They think it’s too bad it didn’t work out and that I must feel lonely. Well, to some extent it can be lonely being single, but there are many other relationships in my life that are important to me, including friends and family. If I hadn’t taken the chance to be single, I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to develop the relationship that I now have with myself. Instead of relying on approval from a significant other to make me feel whole or complete, I have instead had to find that on my own, which is a much more fulfilling feeling. Being someone that used to jump from one relationship to the next, I was not thinking about myself, but rather, distracting myself from myself and putting my happiness into the hands of another, which inevitably will not

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HOW 10 SECONDS OF OUTRAGEOUS COURAGE CAN MAKE

  HOW 10 SECONDS OF OUTRAGEOUS COURAGE CAN MAKE ANYTHING POSSIBLE What is worth any risk to you? Is there anything in your life that you’d be willing to pursue, even if you knew the chances were great that you would fail? Too often, we look for the easy road — what’s guaranteed to put money in our pockets? What’s guaranteed to leave us safe and secure at the end of the day? These aren’t bad questions to ask, but when they become the only questions, we fail to recognize the potential for accomplishing incredible feats that reside within each and every one of us. When we look at our futures and ask ourselves, “What do I really want my life to mean?” the answer won’t often come in a secure paycheque or a paid-off home. What we really dream of accomplishing are the nearly impossible feats: climbing a mountain, becoming the president, solving global climate crisis, building up a business empire, or even starting our own community where people can flourish and thrive. These feats all seem so impossible, that most people will never start on any of them, but I want to let you in on a secret. That impossible dream you’ve had can be accomplished with merely

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EARTHING: IT CAN DO WONDERS FOR YOUR HEALTH

  EARTHING: IT CAN DO WONDERS FOR YOUR HEALTH     Have you ever been barefoot at a park or on the beach, and just felt right? Just felt at home, connected in some form or fashion with the natural world? It’s a feeling that is so innately human, yet is forgotten so quickly upon returning the doldrums and monotony of the shoe-wearing concrete ridden western world. Have you ever wondered where this connection, this oneness, is coming from? You aren’t just some loony hippie spouting sounds about being one with mother earth (okay, maybe you are), there is actual evidence for this phenomenon! I found an article on the benefits of going barefoot, and after you hear some of this information you are going to find every excuse in the world to leave your shoes at home! As we all know, in the West it is a seemingly vital part of life to wear shoes to be respected and successful, however did you know that only 20% of the world’s population wears shoes? It’s true. It may be winter now, but spring is just around the corner, and some of these benefits will surprise you! 1. Clear Your Mind  It’s hard not to pay attention to every step when you’re walking barefoot. You have to be on the look out for sharp rocks and thorns. Awareness of what’s in front of you in this moment quiets your inner chatter and clears your mind and helps you focus on the here and now. As we all have been hearing a lot lately I’m sure, being we are in the midst of an awakening, living in the moment is a key component to happiness and health for the mind, body and spirit! If you haven’t heard this, but would like to know more, just contact me and we can talk! 2. It’s Free Foot Yoga Walking barefoot strengthens and stretches the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your feet, ankles and calves. This helps prevent injury, knee strain and back problems. Not only that, but because it works muscles not used when you’re wearing shoes, it strengthens and stretches your core, helping keep your posture upright, and your balance spot on. 3. It’s a Free Reflexology Session. There are reflex points to every part of your body in your feet. Every little bump and rock in the road helps to stimulate all these little reflex points. If it hurts at first – especially in specific areas, this means your feet need the stimulation they’re getting by being barefoot. Over time, these sensitivities will go away, and the areas the tenderness corresponds to will be rejuvenated, helping decrease the symptoms of whatever it is that ails you.

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Prisoners of the Voice

  Prisoners of the Voice Elva Thompson   “What, then, is the soul but a prisoner of your flesh? An undying yet constrained energy, bound and enslaved within a shuffling, steadily rotting suit of tissue and savage needs?” –David Wong We Are All Prisoners of the Voice in the Mind We are all prisoners of the voice in our minds, and slaves to our programmed emotions, traumas, fears, intellect, ambition and the ‘poor wronged little I’.  Many people identify their ‘ego I’ as being the centre of their universe, and the ‘I am so and so’  and ‘I do this’ is who they are, lock, stock and barrel. The personality and its ‘whirled’ is the total sum of their awareness- the only thing that is real in terms of the five senses. Constant Replay I spends its days busy thinking about its hopes, dreams, chores, agendas and how they can be achieved. ‘I am’ revisits the past, dwells on grievances, betrayals and sleights which replay over and over again in the present along with all the feelings and sensations of the original event. Most of us are in mind all the time, our thoughts are crowded with fear and expectation, we worry about tomorrow –  what if we lose our job and what is going to happen to us and our loved ones in the future… and how will we die. Will it be quick – or slow and painful? When we begin to observe our thoughts we realise that there are two opposite polarities operating in our consciousness, two separate minds: one with a divine connection to Source and the other connected to the reptile mind, the mind of the matrix machine –  with all the variations in between. The reptile survival at all costs mind is the consciousness of the predator, the chatterer that distracts and distracts, and when the mind is quiet and connected, it tries to trigger our traumas and take control. Who is Thinking? Who or what is thinking? – who or what resurrects past grievances and disappointments that fan our pain and fill our hearts with misery? Who or what is the voice that dictates, argues and whines, decrees our social mores and puts us on constant replay? Artificial Intelligence The separate I is the mind of the predator – the Artificial Intelligence, impostor consciousness and phantom self that has taken over the rule of our lives. We live its purpose not ours, and its ‘whirled’ is the sacrificial reality we call the third dimension – the Luciferian construct that uses the polarities of the hive mind to run the show of opposites and conflict we call life. The Binding of Saturn/Sol Without the dictator, our minds would be quiet, clear and in touch with Source. The parasite’s world would dissolve, and we would once again be the powerful beings of our myths and legends – the Golden Age when Saturn was our Sun. Saturn is now bound, limited and constrained by electro-magnetic rings of power, modulators of energy and information – and so are we. Survival Mode The A I, the cunning machine that oils the cogs of this dimension knows

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If People Only Knew

  If People Only Knew   This awakening dynamic is one of the main drivers of my impetus for communicating and attempting to motivate and encourage others. If people knew what their energetic contribution is accomplishing they’d jack up their participation to such massive degrees it would accelerate the change we seek in ways that would make everything simply fly out of the grip of control grid in a manner that would defy imagination! That is no exaggeration. It’s a simple, provable reality at our fingertips. I try to get this fact of spiritual truth across but this blinding mind slippage the matrix causes is just horrendous and blocks this realization from really hitting home. But crack the blockage we will! As I said in Yank the Morphic Rug: UNTIL WE TRULY REALIZE OUR FULL POTENTIAL AND EFFECT, BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY, WE CAN EASILY LIVE IN A STATE OF SEMI-CONSCIOUS DISCOURAGEMENT AND DISEMPOWERMENT WHEN IT NEEDN’T BE THAT WAY. OUR WARFARE IS PRIMARILY SPIRITUAL. YET SPIRITUALITY MANIFESTS IN MANY WAYS, AND MUCH OF IT IS INFORMATIONAL. THIS IN TURN LEADS TO MORE CONSCIOUS AWARENESS AND MUCH MORE CONSCIOUS ACTION, AS WELL AS FUNDAMENTAL NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE INFLUENCES OF THEIR IMPOSED SPIRITUAL AND SOCIETAL CONSTRUCT.

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The Three Taoist Treasures of the Energy Body

  The Three Taoist Treasures of the Energy Body   A fundamental difference between Eastern and Western medicine is that many of the Eastern traditions include practices that help one to develop and achieve optimal health and wellness before the onset of disease, infection and emotional problems. Prescribing Qi Gong to prevent and cure illnesses of the body, mind and spirit is quite typical for Chinese medicine practitioners, but anything similar is almost unheard of in Western healthcare. In Chinese medicine and philosophy, Qi is thought of as “the natural force which fills the universe,” and while there are many ways of defining Qi, it may be generally thought of as any and all types of energy which are “able to demonstrate power and strength,” including the power to animate objects with life. [1] “It is known that all diseases arise from the upset of qi: Anger pushes the qi up, joy makes the qi slacken, grief disperses the qi, fear brings the qi down, terror confuses the qi, and anxiety causes the qi to stagnate. Anger harms the liver, joy the heart, anxiety the spleen, grief the lungs, and fear the kidneys.” – The Nei Jing Primarily handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth and in actual practice, not in written texts, the ancient Chinese practices

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20 MORNING MANTRAS TO START A GREAT DAY

  20 MORNING MANTRAS TO START A GREAT DAY     We all know the detriments of putting ourselves down. When we tell ourselves we’re not good enough too many times, we truly begin to believe it, and for many people, mornings aren’t the easiest. The feeling of getting out of bed to exercise, go to work, or take on any other responsibility we feel obligated to do is tough. But that’s because we make it tough. We tell ourselves Mondays are the worst. We tell ourselves it’s too early to exercise. Thoughts begin to circulate in our heads regarding all the things we have to do, all the things we should be doing, and all the things we actually want to do but don’t feel like we deserve or have time for. This negativity only brings on stress. We get into such a groove of doing this, of complaining about our Monday through Fridays, that we tend to live for moments, like the weekends or vacations, to get us through the rest of our days. But what we should be doing is living for every day. So how can you change your morning around? Mantras are words or phrases meant to be chanted either internally or out loud as a means of meditating. They originated about 3,000 years ago in India, at least to the Vedic tradition, in which they were used to influence and control the gods. Throughout history, they have continued to be used in various ways to promote transformation. In our modern day Western world, they are often seen as a means to shifting our perspectives in order to welcome a new sense of self. In the words of Buddha, “What we think, we become.”

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WHY I PRAY TO MYSELF & NOT SOME EXTERNAL POWER

  WHY I PRAY TO MYSELF & NOT SOME EXTERNAL POWER     A friend recently asked if I ever prayed for anything. My response was yes, but not in the conventional way. I don’t pray for intervention in the world, but for intervention in my mind, for that’s where I most need help. We usually think of prayer as an appeal to some higher power. We might pray for someone’s healing, for success in some venture, for a better life, or for guidance on some challenging issue. Behind such prayers is the recognition that we don’t have the power to change things ourselves—if we did, we would simply get on with the task—so we beseech a higher power to intervene on our behalf. Trying to change the world occupies much of our time and attention. We want the possessions, opportunities, or experiences that we think will make us happy—or conversely, avoid those that will make us suffer. We believe that if only things were different we would finally be at peace.

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15 QUOTES BY OSHO THAT WILL TOUCH YOUR HEART

  15 QUOTES BY OSHO THAT WILL TOUCH YOUR HEART & MAKE YOU THINK     Many of the most influential people our world has seen have exposed truths, wisdoms, and controversial viewpoints that have earned them both respect and fear from the masses. Osho Rajneesh was one of those people. An Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher, he had millions of followers worldwide, along with thousands of detractors. Confident and outspoken, he shed light on topics often considered taboo by mainstream society. Born in 1931, Osho grew up questioning the existing religious, cultural, and social norms of society, eventually having a mystical experience that led him to what he calls his enlightenment at the age of 21. He came to prominence as a spiritual guru not just in India, but also internationally. His teachings focus on the necessity for meditation, awareness, love, celebration, courage, creativity, and humor, all of which he believed to be suppressed by traditional belief systems, religious tradition, and socialization. His teachings have greatly impacted the Western New Age movement. Osho died in 1990, but his work continues to be published by over 200 publishers worldwide and in over 60 languages. With that said, here are 15 incredible quotes by the influential guru: 1. “Love knows no boundaries. Love cannot be jealous, because love cannot possess. It is ugly, the very idea that you possess somebody because you love. You possess somebody – it means you have killed somebody and turned him into a commodity. Only things can be possessed. Love gives freedom. Love is freedom.”

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Free Will Determinism and the War on Consciousness

  Free Will, Determinism and the War on Consciousness     What really makes up who we are? What influences are controllable or uncontrollable or actually alterable in ourselves? How much can we be in charge of ourselves? This may seem to have obvious answers, but if you’re a searcher, self-realizer on the path, or just curious about what’s really going on here, this is something we wonder about. The pat answers we’ve been told have to do with genetic make up and environment, within an inbred context of fatalism. The parameters we’re given from birth are very containing, with only a small margin allowed for potential change in our lifetimes. It’s very subtle, but social engineers and programmed lower dimensional thinking have laid a very restrictive and disempowering groundwork, with only seemingly exceptional people breaking free from the supposed confines we’re born into. So What Really Makes People Different? Clearly genetics and environment play a major role in the formation of our characters. What’s obviously missing are spiritual, conscious and cosmic influences, which science and especially religions and belief systems try to thwart, contain, minimalize and explain away as best they can. Why? Because according to the imposed structure we need to be controlled, not released into our fullness. That would blow their whole plan. There might be true freedom, abundance, and uncontained happiness and true efficient and conscious societal development. Then who would use their banks and manipulated money system, buy their oil, need their useless products or polluting education, media and entertainment industries? However, in this lower density reality we face very real repercussions from their corrupt systems from the outset. Beginning at birth and on through childhood and adolescence we develop deep co-dependencies based on abandonment and abuse issues. Unaddressed and unchecked, these become ingrained into our personalities and how we project ourselves. Our reflexive behaviors and misplaced expectations then extrapolate into complex action-reaction, craving-aversion syndromes that seem inescapable, even in later years.

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QUOTES FROM DR. SEUSS TO HELP BRIGHTEN YOUR MOOD

  25 WISE QUOTES FROM DR. SEUSS TO HELP BRIGHTEN YOUR MOOD WHEN YOU’RE DOWN     Dr. Seuss is one of the greatest literary legends of our time. He wrote an impressive list of children’s books that offer a great message and many lessons for both children and parents alike! In fact, anyone reading a Dr. Seuss book is sure to gain some valuable insight about life and themselves. For a surefire way to brighten your day, here are 25 pieces of wisdom from the late, great Dr. Seuss himself! 1. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Don’t try to be like everyone else, that’s boring! You were meant to stand out. Everyone is different and it’s time to embrace those qualities that make us unique. 2. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” This is a very simplistic way of saying that you can be and do anything you want! If you can think it, then surely your feet and motivation can get you there. 3. “If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” Take a step into the fear of the unknown, try new things and face your fears head-on. You’ll be happy you did and you will gain some new experiences along the way. 4. “Think and wonder. Wonder and think.” Go outside, lay in a park, and just think or daydream. Try unplugging from technology and think for yourself, and use your imagination! 5. “You are you. Now isn’t that pleasant?”   Be happy with who you are. This can be one of the most challenging lessons to learn in life. But try embracing your unique qualities and focus on the great things about yourself instead of dwelling on the things you perceive as negative. Show yourself some love and take good care. 6. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Never stop learning. The moment you feel like you have it all figured out is exactly the moment where you should pick up a book and read something new. If there is something you always wanted to know more about, then do some research. It may just lead you on some new and exciting adventures. 7. “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

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COMMON TRAITS AMONG PEOPLE WHO LIVE PEACEFUL LIVES

  COMMON TRAITS AMONG PEOPLE WHO LIVE PEACEFUL LIVES THAT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU   1. Let Go Of The Ego And Just Be Yourself “Take time to be an impartial observer of life particularly when an ending is causing despair.” Lao Tzu   We don’t need to be anything or anyone. We need to impress no one. As a society we have become concerned with having the latest fashions, how we look and impressing others. What for? Who cares? We are trying to fulfil other people’s expectations of us. That doesn’t really make any sense. It just drives us to distraction, always trying to prove ourselves to others. Even when we succeed at creating the right look, social status, image or whatever it is we are trying to achieve, most people don’t notice. So why bother? Our preoccupation with our exterior persona has diverted us from our true self. Once we have let go of our ego state we feel a freedom a freedom that allows us to truly experience life to its fullest without the weight of expectation holding us back. 2. Learn From Masters “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein By studying great teachers and mentors we can develop wisdom from what others are

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I STARED INTO THIS WOMAN’S EYES & SAW HER SOUL

  I STARED INTO THIS WOMAN’S EYES & SAW HER SOUL (POWERFUL)     The howler monkeys screamed outside and the humid air hugged my skin like a warm blanket. I sat down and faced a woman who I barely knew and placed my hand on her chest to feel her heartbeat. She did the same and we stared deeply into each other’s eyes for five intense minutes. Sweat began to pour down my face, stinging my eyes and, as my heartbeat grew in intensity, I thought about my wife back home. This is definitely not appropriate, I thought to myself, as intense guilt began to flood my mind. But what followed next surprised me like a rainbow that appears without a cloud in the sky. Such is the nature of a mindfulness retreat in the jungle.

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CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S INCREDIBLE POEM ON SELF-LOVE

  CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S INCREDIBLE POEM ON SELF-LOVE THAT YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD   Charlie Chaplin is best known today as a comedian who starred in silent films from 1920 through 1950, recognizable even today by his iconic moustache and hat. While many people can still identify him as a silent film star, few people know just how insightful and intelligent he was. The scene from The Great Dictator in which Charlie speaks of our connectedness as human beings, our inherent rights on the planet, and how we have lost our way because of greed, is perhaps our greatest indication of the mind behind the man. Even though he passed away almost 50 years ago, his legacy lives on and he continues to inspire us daily with amazing insight, wisdom, and humour. The following poem offers his unique and perceptive understanding of self-love. Incredible Poem Written By Charlie Chaplin As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional

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10 SMALL THINGS PARENTS CAN DO TO MAKE THEIR CHILD

  10 SMALL THINGS PARENTS CAN DO TO MAKE THEIR CHILDREN FEEL LOVED EVERY DAY     As a parent, you may find yourself caught up in the motions of day-to-day life with your children, but it’s important to take a step back and evaluate the things you’re doing that are making them feel loved. Sometimes, it’s not always what meets the eye at first. Beyond the simple “I love yous,” do you remember what made you feel loved as a kid? Sometimes it’s the small things — the things that are so easily overlooked — that make the biggest difference. Here are 10 ways to make your children feel loved every day. 1. Give them physical affection. Taking a moment to give your child a kiss, a hug, a pat on the back, a cuddle on the couch, etc., can go a long way. Research has shown that kids thrive on warmth and affection. It can even reduce the chances of your children developing behaviour problems, including becoming anti-social and aggressive. 2.  Turn off the TV and other electronic devices during mealtimes. While it used to be the TV that was the biggest problem, there are a plethora of other electronics circulating throughout the home that create a gap in interpersonal communication. But whether it’s the TV, the phone, or an iPad, it’s important to shut it down when it’s time to eat. We already create an environment that promotes connecting through meals. From sitting at the dining room table to creating foods that fit everyone’s tastes, we choose to sit down next to one another to connect on a variety of levels. When these electronic distractions dissipate, the advantages are tenfold. Research has found that turning off the TV, for instance, promotes healthier eating and drinking habits in kids. They also enjoy the companionship of their parents and siblings.

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ISWHAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT IMPACTING YOUR LIFE!

  IS WHAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT IMPACTING YOUR LIFE NEGATIVELY?   There are two great laws of physics. One is quite old. The other, quite new. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It is just altered into different states. All matter can be reduced to energy – nothing more, nothing less.  Now scientists are saying what many have known for years: Everything in this Universe of ours is, at its very base, energy. Atoms are made up of energy, and when they form themselves into certain patterns, they create matter – trees, chairs, the human body, and so forth. Some energy stays in a non-material form. One of those non-material forms is our thoughts – especially those with intention. And just like all forms of energy, our thoughts have power. They can create matter, just like any other form of energy. And this is where the awesomeness and the responsibility of our thoughts come in.

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6 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT KARMA & RELATIONSHIPS

  6 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT KARMA & RELATIONSHIPS   Every day, sparks are ignited between two people. Good chemistry with another person can be intense in itself. When those sparks are flying you might feel your heart beat faster and your palms become sweatier.  They’re at the forefront of your time and your thoughts, and this is a normal and beautiful experience. But on a rare occasion, two individuals come together and experience a soul connection. These souls feel a strong bond between one another which is called a karmic bond. A karmic bond can occur for a number of reasons such as past life trauma, unresolved emotions, unlearned lessons, or an ongoing agreement for further learning and growth. But in all cases, a karmic bond is a result of a past life connection. This means that you’ve actually known this person before but in previous lives. When you have this connection with an individual, everything seems to be amplified. Not only do you get all of the familiar symptoms that come with infatuation, but there’s something that goes much deeper. It’s as if you feel a magnetic pull towards this person. You feel like you’ve known them for years even though you’ve just met and you ache to be around them or at least in contact with them. It’s as though a part of you is longing for them to be a part of your life. When this happens, watch out… it’ll rock your world. This person will be at the forefront of your mind and can easily take priority over other things in your life. Everything else seems to fade in importance when that person is around and your life begins to change. Here are a few important things to know about karmic relationships: Sex is Not Always The Answer! An intense karmic connection between two people can often be mistaken for sexual energy. Although sometimes this is the case, at other times, it’s not. Take the time to seriously get to know someone before sleeping with them —ESPECIALLY if there is a karmic connection. Just because your souls go way back into past lives does NOT mean that there is a loving or supportive connection between the two of you.

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WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU START THINKING

  WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU START THINKING OUTSIDE-THE-BOX   The phrase “think outside the box” is admittedly a bit of a cliché. Using it conjures up images of men in suits à la Mad Men trying to come up with the latest and greatest advertising slogan. In spite of that, thinking outside the box really does work. It helps us to approach problems in different ways. This, more often than not, results in solutions that work better than we expect. In addition to this, approaching life in general using outside the box thinking can lead to a more creative and ultimately happier life. The challenge is in figuring out the best ways to adopt outside the box thinking. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to cause this important shift in your thought process. Brainstorm Without Limit Many people try to brainstorm, but they never get all of the benefits from the process that they can. This is because as soon as they throw out an idea, they edit themselves. Rather than just letting an idea come and then simply allowing it to exist, it is immediately judged as good or bad, or feasible or not feasible. The purpose of brainstorming isn’t to come up with the perfect solution that is guaranteed to work. The purpose is to think creatively and come up with as many ideas as possible. Then, when the brainstorming session is over, the various ideas can be examined. In many cases, an idea that seems completely off base will trigger a thought process or conversation that does lead to a great solution. Look For Opportunities Within Problems The problem with the way we approach problems is that we view them as a negative. They are, in most of our minds, bad things that we must make go away by finding solutions. The next time you have a problem, don’t move directly to the solution/eradication phase. Instead, ask yourself the following questions: o    What new thing can I learn from this? o    Can I create something that is bigger than just a single solution to this single problem? o    How can I create something beneficial out of this negative?

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WHY PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION OFTEN COMES BEFORE OUR

  WHY PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION OFTEN COMES BEFORE OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY     For many of us, childhood was a somewhat confusing experience. We found ourselves caught between unconditional love, rules, traditions, punishments, at times humiliation, and even abuse. So what conclusions did we draw from this potpourri of conflicting messages? Well, we came up with a very personal interpretation of how life functions — one that defines how we perceive ourselves, others, and what makes us lovable.   An essential quality we learned to forgo in this process called ‘life’ was our intuition: that natural connection we have to what feels right and wrong, our personal barometer that holds the key to our well-being, both emotionally and physically. Instead, we learned that serving outside needs and expectations comes first, and that dishonesty about our true needs and feelings gets us further. So we learned to pretend and lost track of what we know to be right or wrong inside our heart. Focusing on our personal transformation therefore becomes a priority, rather than aspiring to adopt philosophies or spiritual practices too soon that make us feel elevated. There is of course much to benefit from practices such as reading books, learning from great teachers who can provide guidance with their truth and wisdom. But what often happens instead is that spirituality becomes a new idealism, a way to feel superior, and certainly the best way for us to avoid facing our own shadows. Nothing can really replace a direct experience, and it usually takes multiple experiences and deep understanding in order to change the way we perceive life. Such honest meeting with ourselves takes courage, but it also paves the way for spiritual practices that allow moments of awakening. For this transformation to happen, a deep commitment is needed. One in which we promise to reclaim an understanding of who we truly are beyond all the masks and protections we’ve collected and fortified over decades. We must be ready to feel deeply into ourselves and face our belief systems. When working towards a deeper understanding, it is beneficial to give certain areas of our life and personality structure special attention. Below are some considerations and practices on the path of making this personal transformation happen: How I practice authentic and honest self-expression In most cases, both authenticity and honesty about what we felt was not a priority during our upbringing. It was rather compliance and fitting in that was encouraged. What needs a fresh look is how ‘I’ feel about expressing my truth — not for or against anything, but just as a reference point for how I feel at a given moment. The questions ‘am

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THE AMAZING POWER OF VULNERABILITY

  THE AMAZING POWER OF VULNERABILITY   What does it mean to be truly vulnerable? This question has been on my mind a lot lately. Being vulnerable means letting your guard down, and it means risk. By completely exposing yourself and expressing your thoughts and feelings, you risk being hurt, you risk being rejected, and you risk being seen. Understandably, many people find being vulnerable challenging and frightening, particularly men, at least in my experience. They often have a more difficult time showing or expressing emotion, having been told by society, their parents, or their friends that it’s not ‘manly’ to do so. It’s not uncommon for men to feel weak or effeminate when expressing emotion, so often they lock it all away and bear the burden of holding on to so much. But there is such power in being able to be absolutely vulnerable with someone, and deep connections are made in this way. As C.S. Lewis once said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable.” Dr. Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the author of the bestselling book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, has devoted nearly 15 years of her life studying the emotions of vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her research has made it into the mainstream and has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Katie Show, and even Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday. Her Tedx Houston talk, “The Power Of Vulnerability,” is one of the top ten most viewed Ted Talks in the world. When it comes to vulnerability, I think it’s safe to say she’s an expert. Tedx Talk: The Power Of Vulnerability      I absolutely love the part where she says: “They had connection . . . as a result of authenticity. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be who they were.” And this line was pretty brilliant, too: “Being willing to be the one to say I love you first, and do something that doesn’t provide any guarantees, this is ways one could show vulnerability.” As Dr. Brown mentions, people who feel shame are

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Waiting For God?

  Waiting For God?     After the recent carnage in France, the Dalai Lama was asked what should be done concerning such atrocities on this planet, and if he thought people should pray for Paris? This statement formed the central part of his answer: “We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.” So fundamental is the truth behind this response that it should serve to eradicate any doubts left lingering in the minds of those who believe that only divine intervention can save them – or indeed the planet – from whatever it is the that threatens to overwhelm both. I am not a Buddhist, but if that is a central tenet of the Buddhist philosophy, then all power to the practitioners!  The Dalai Lama’s proclamation is rooted in deep common sense, and deep common sense surpasses religious belief and faith. It is a missing link in this world of virtual reality smoke and mirrors, in which far too many seem to feel that anybody ‘but them’ should take responsibility for helping to re-set the life-direction of this beleaguered planet. In a vague sort of way many individuals appear to be waiting for some one, or thing, to make the decisions they don’t want to make. To take the steps they don’t want to take. To intervene and make things OK. For others, the unwillingness to take responsibility often equates with the belief that life is essentially composed of random and chaotic events that have little or no meaning and no connection with each other. For these members of the human race, taking responsibility involves some sort of attempt to create an order, but a purely homophobic one. Strictly man made. Not a reflection of any all pervading cosmic order. Definitely not ‘as above so below’ – more simply ‘as below’ full stop! Of these two lineages, the most deceitful is the first. The one which continuously shifts responsibility onto a third party and then seeks refuge in a higher power. Seeks solace in the fact that ‘another’ will surely sort-out the problems one has brought upon one’s self or the planet, by refusing to take a stand. This attitude constitutes a singular failing within much of human kind. Mainly, as the Dalai Lama so clearly states, due to the sheer illogicality of adopting such a position in the first place. Yet disowning the need to participate in making change is widespread; as is the “there is no higher power/God”

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A Simple Step to Know Your True Self!

  A Simple Step to Know Your True Self   A tiny seed of Truth is found in every human being. Similarly to the seed of a tree, the tiny seed contains great potential. If the spiritual Seeker protects and nourishes that tiny seed, it will grow into the mighty tree of Truth. But it can only protect and nourish it, if it’s aware of its existence. How can the spiritual seeker realize this and how can the Truth be revealed? The World of Forms and Shapes A lot of people are unaware of this, and they try to find the Truth outside themselves, in the world of forms and shapes, wishing to make forms eternal. So the modest little seed in us stays dormant, waiting for better times. The better times come when the spiritual Seeker realizes that all the external shapes and forms are transitory, so they turn their attention from the world of shapes to the internal world. Under the effect of turning inward, the small seed begins to sprout, and it starts slowly growing. I revitalizes the spiritual Seeker, and a deep desire arises in them to see the flower that the small seed may become. Then one of the spiritual Seekers may try to use the little sprout to decorate his/her ego with it. Another one says: “Look, there is a lily of the valley growing in me! But I want to be a rose!” In their effort to become a rose, their attention turns back towards the shapes and forms, so the gentle sprout dries and the seed falls asleep again. That is how the spiritual Seeker has been playing games in the world of forms and shapes for a long time. It is true that the game is beautiful and relaxing. The spiritual Seeker will soon have favorite games and toys, as well as favorite playing partners. The more beautiful and better toys the spiritual Seeker invents, the more powerfully they will insist on them. If they do not cling to the toys, they will cling to their partners in the game or to the game itself. By playing these games, the spiritual Seeker will be trapped in the world of shapes and forms, and the modest little seed will sleep forever. When the spiritual Seeker gets tired of playing, and during a brief rest turns inward, there is still the

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Kindness Makes You Smarter, Stronger & Happier

  Scientific Proof Kindness Makes You Smarter, Stronger & Happier   What if the cure for your cold was opening a door for a complete stranger? Or watering your neighbor’s roses while they are away on vacation when you notice them wilting? How about stopping your headache by putting some spare change in someone’s parking meter when it is about to expire? Or, reversing inflammatory joint pain by letting someone cut in front of you in traffic without getting miffed? These are not just Pollyanna wishes for curing mental and physical ailments. Science abounds with proof thatkindness cures, an even makes us smarter. Though there are opponents to the ‘smile-or-die’ phenomenon, but many studies actually provide sound evidence that kindness, and thereby, happiness, make you healthier. In fact, a Department of Psychology Tohoku Gakuin University study found that happy people become happier by being kind. In their study of two groups of people, one of 175 undergraduate students, and another of more than a hundred women, results showed that: (a)        Happy people scored higher on their motivation to perform, and their recognition and enactment of kind behaviors. (b)        Happy people have more happy memories in daily life in terms of both quantity and quality. (c)        Subjective happiness was increased simply by counting one’s own acts of kindness for one week. (d)        Happy people became more kind and grateful through the counting kindnesses intervention. If anything, it may be as simple as a self-perpetuating feed-back loop. Kindness has its own rewards, and then there are practices that inspire us to be more thoughtful, too. Meditation, and other

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Truths About Consciousness and Being Human

  11 Untouchable Truths About Consciousness and Being Human     No matter how divided the world may seem, and no matter how many differences people can put between themselves and others, the untouchable truth of being human is that we have more in common with each other and with the other inhabitants of this planet than we have differences. Bound to a shared fate, we all play a role in making up the collective body of conscious life on this living planet. The material perspective on consciousness and spirit reduces the most intriguing parts of being human to impossibilities, unexplainable phenomenon, or somehow considers them to be tricks of the self on the self. Materialist reductionism only contributes to a sense of competition and division between man and himself, and between man and nature. Disharmony. Human consciousness is the mystery that connects us all, the one question that cannot be answered by anyone, no matter what religion, creed, race, color, perspective or code. Every individual arises in conscious spirit from the same unknowable place, and moves on to the same eternal void when the material body no longer supports the spirit. This we all share, and to this we are all beholden. “Evolving our consciousness is not something we do only for ourselves – it is something we also do for others…for all others, and for the earth.” –

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Death as an Advisor

  Death as an Advisor   “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow!  What a Ride!”  – Hunter S. Thompson Steve Jobs once asked the question: “If today were the last day of your life, would you want to spend it the way that you’re about to?”  If you sit in a quiet place and think deeply about this question, it becomes scary, yet liberating. Scary because one day everything we love and everything we’ve become attached to will cease to exist through our eyes. Liberating because realizing this fact motivates us to contemplate how we walk in our daily lives.  For most of us our life story seems to become, slowly and imperceptibly, one that is mass-produced, like a product off of an assembly line. We are born and we grow into playful toddlers filled with a vast imagination and endless laughter. As we continue to grow, we’re told to study hard and long.  The world has become more competitive and this competition dictates that we put in the time necessary to ensure our success and survival. We get a safe secure job, not so we become wealthy, but just so we don’t become destitute. We are endlessly bombarded with commercial after commercial; pop up after pop up showing us the illusory, bullshit image of success. We buy that image with our dollars and credit cardsthereby

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True Healing: Beyond Managing, Treating and Curing

  True Healing: Beyond Managing, Treating and Curing Disease   True healing and true health are deep concepts which by their very definition imply oneness and unity (the word heal is etymologically derived from various words such as the Old English hælan meaning “to make whole”). True healing includes the many levels within you beyond just the physical – the integration of the emotional, sexual, mental, spiritual and other selves or layers. True healing is far beyond just “managing”, “treating” and “curing” disease, which Big Pharma and its lapdog the FDA like to focus so exclusively upon. Western medicine has its place in society as an excellent tool for specialized surgical or other emergency interventions – however it came into being from the Rockefeller-Big Pharma cartel, whose business model thrives on repeat customers who can’t get off the hamster wheel of drug after drug after drug. On a deeper level, is it really any wonder that Western medicine can’t deliver true healing, when its approach is narrow and materialistic, rather than broad and holistic – when it’s fixated on managing, treating and curing, rather than healing? Big Pharma and Western Medicine: Hooked on “Treating” Disease If you’re wondering where the notion of “treating” come from, look no further than the FDA-mandated disclaimer that many natural health and holistic practitioners and companies are forced to use on their products. It states that “this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease” because only a drug can legally make such a claim. And, in a great example of FDA circular logic, if a substance does have an effect on the human body such as preventing or curing a disease – then it must be a drug and not a food! Guess what? The moment something becomes a drug and not a food, it’s regulated differently. If you’re a producer of a food that wants to state its natural effects on the body, now you have to jump through all sorts of expensive hoops just to state the truth. This is despite the fact that scientific studies have shown, for instance, that cherries have a positive effect on gout and arthritis,

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THE COMING AGE – LOVE !

  THE COMING AGE – LOVE   After you have written your contract and come into the world you become a part of a collective belief system and are infused with beliefs handed down to you through DNA strands of your parents – The Program. For years people were born into this system, conditioned and became a part of the world we knew where we would go to school for conditioning to be sent out into the “real” world where we would work for 35 years then retire (again a collective belief we have created) and die off when your souls work is done. There was little time to stop, breath and just enjoy the experience we have before us. This program in the mind has come with a funny little thing known as the ego. This is why the world is the way it is in its current state, full of greed, power, money and negative energies. All of these energies are based around fear, dense and low vibration energy. Can you imagine a world without these things? Can you imagine a world where people were not greedy and you did not have fear of your brothers and sisters? A world anchored in love. The hippies were criticized

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MOVING UP AND ON

  MOVING UP AND ON  

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DREAM ON…

  DREAM ON…  

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SOUL MATES !!

  SOUL MATES     Soul mates are members of your own soul group, they are beings you have had many life times and incarnations with before. When you meet your soul mate, even if you are not aware of any spirituality within you or have had no mystical experiences of any kind you will still have the feeling you are connected to this person. The connection of those within your soul grouping is very strong. You resonate with matching frequencies and often have karmic ties. There has often been human love between you before, you will have had lifetimes as husband and wife or brother and sister or parent and child.

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12 THINGS TO STOP DOING TO YOURSELF RIGHT NOW

  12 THINGS TO STOP DOING TO YOURSELF RIGHT NOW   Life is challenging enough on its own without our intervention, and yet still so many of us regularly adopt moods, mentalities, and schools of thought that make life an even harder path to navigate. Not sure what I’m referring to? I’ve compiled a list of 12 things that we tend to do or put ourselves through that unnecessarily complicate our lives. Be mindful of the fact that your ego may not be willing to admit to some of these behaviours, but if you can recognize and admit to any of these tendencies, you will allow yourself the opportunity to move beyond them; to live a simpler and more peaceful life. See how many these 12 relate to you in either video or written form:   1. Stop Running From Your Problems You cannot run from something forever, and believe it or not, the longer you run from something the more difficult it becomes to face. Challenges arise for a reason, and as difficult as many of them can be to both face and overcome, doing so gives you the opportunity to become a stronger and more capable version of yourself. There are also fewer things more liberating than the feeling of finally facing something that you had either avoided or feared for a long time. 2. Stop Lying To Yourself & Others Lying is, in my opinion, the most naturally cumulative process. What starts as a simple and small lie (possibly even with the intention of not hurting someone) quickly spirals into an entirely false reality where the biggest factor preventing you from sharing the truth is the unwanted reputation of being known as a liar.

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CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY HERE’S HOW THEY CAN SHAPE

  CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY, HERE’S HOW THEY CAN SHAPE YOUR LIFE     Can you remember words that were spoken to you at an early age that literally created your life? These are powerful words that, while they may seem hidden, are really there to be discovered if you pay attention. Words are vibrational patterns with energy just like everything else in the known universe. We know that light and sound are energetic frequencies, and that matter can also be broken down into vibrational patterns based on molecular structure. This is also true for thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and words. One single word can alter a person’s trajectory for the rest of their life. Every word has tremendous creative and destructive power, especially words we hear from authority figures. Words, especially when tied with strong emotions, can become deeply embedded within us very quickly. When I was in the first grade, I had to take an admission test to see if I could get into a prestigious school. When I failed the test, my father said to me, “You are a shameful and useless being.” These words stuck with me for the next 30 years and perpetuated the creation of negative emotional patterns that would fight to keep out anything positive about the state of my intelligence. I created the belief “I am stupid” because of the power of these words from my father.

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HERE’S WHAT HAS HELPED ME TO STOP HATING MYSELF

  HERE’S WHAT HAS HELPED ME TO STOP HATING MYSELF     Now, when I can easily talk about that time, I admit: I used to be engaged in self-destructive behavior. You could say that anyone is subject to self-destructive behaviours, but the thing is in borders. While we often think of these disorders as typical of adolescents and young adults, they actually cover all age and socio-economic groups. We must define self-destructive behavior as any activity which poses a threat to mental or physical well-being that is self-imposed, that an individual has made a life-choice engaging in such behavior – it is not imposed by any external source. These behaviors may be relatively mild, such as avoiding certain responsibilities, to severe, including eating disorders, addictions, and self-mutilation. When severe self-destructive behaviors result in death, it is usually by accident, as the individual does not consciously choose death. Thus, someone with anorexia may die, but s/he has not chosen that result. Causes Of Self-Destructive Behaviors Psychologists agree that there are multiple causes for self-destructive behavior. They may be coping mechanisms, adopted to deal with stress, pressure, or social demands. They may also result from low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness. In these instances, the individual uses the behaviors as a way of staying within the comfort zone of being at the “bottom of the social ladder.” In addition, they typically isolate themselves and refuse any kind of help. Types Of Self-Destructive Behaviors There are self-destructive behaviors that have no outward signs, and we often miss them in ourselves and others. These includes: o    Maintaining a self-defeating mindset: When we make such statements as, “I know I can’t do this,” or “I’ll never get through this,” we are setting ourselves up to fail and fulfilling our own low opinion of ourselves. o    Passive acceptance of something we know is bad for us rather than taking any action to avoid or remedy it. A smoker knows that the habit is harmful, yet continues to engage in it rather than make an effort to quit. Other behaviors are 

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WHY DO WE INTERNALIZE EMOTIONS? THE 4 LIES WE TELL

  WHY DO WE INTERNALIZE EMOTIONS? THE 4 LIES WE TELL OURSELVES TO KEEP EVERYTHING IN     We all face challenging times in this world. Whether it be surrounding our job, a relationship, familial matters, or anything else we tend to encounter in this thing we call life, everything has its rougher patches. While these patches may be inherently difficult to go through, one of the biggest factors in determining just how difficult they are is our response to them. Many of us are quick to vocalize our trials and tribulations. We may not directly address those involved, but we tend to have a trusted individual (if not several) that we always turn to for advice. But there is also a select group of us that respond differently. Rather than seeking others, we choose to instead internalize our hardship. Despite being quite vocal when I need to be, I recently realized that when it comes to personal matters, I tend to be quite introverted in my response. At times, it undoubtedly is

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10 EASY WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY HELP CHANGE THE WORLD

  10 EASY WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY HELP CHANGE THE WORLD     You have a magnificent cause that you are dedicated to because it motivates you in ways that no other topic does. Maybe this cause represents change you want to see in the world or perhaps you couldn’t imagine being in the shoes of someone who this cause represents. Another possibility is that a loved one is involved and you just want to support him or her. You have the heart, which means you have the potential to reach out to thousands of others with similar interests to provoke a positive change in the world. All it takes is one person to make a difference.   1. Join Online Groups Or An In-Person Organization If you are passionate about a subject, chances are that many others share your interest. When you meet people who dedicate their time to a cause, you may notice you have more in common with them than the very idea you are joined by. 2. Activism, Slacktivism! When you see your comrades create a campaign, support it! While many people don’t believe in the effectiveness of online activism, loosely dubbed as “slacktivism,” awareness of your cause can reach out to others who may be interested (or who may share

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WHAT DOES HE/SHE WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP?

  WHAT DOES HE/SHE WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP? 5 POSSIBLE ANSWERS     As a relationship coach I often hear the question, “What does he/she want?” Here are five possible answers to the question of what your partner, or the person you’re longing aWhen people ask this question, it’s usually with the hope that the answer is going to be something that they can create in themselves in order to make the other person fall in love with them. When people ask this question, it’s usually with the hope that the answer is going to be something that they can create in themselves in order to make the other person fall in love with them. You’re never going to be able to do that, and to be honest, you really don’t want to – just remember back to a time that someone was in love with you and you didn’t feel it. No one can force that emotion. It sucks to have to accept that, I know, but the sooner you do, the sooner you will be free to find the love that you truly deserve. 1. To Feel Love & Be In Love If you ask most people what they want in a relationship, they’ll tell you it’s to be LOVED by someone. This actually isn’t true though; although most people don’t realize it.

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GUIDANCE OF OUR HEARTS !!

  GUIDANCE OF OUR HEARTS  

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5 ESSENTIAL KEYS TO TRUE LASTING HAPPINESS

  5 ESSENTIAL KEYS TO TRUE LASTING HAPPINESS     Why does happiness seem so fleeting? Why does the immediate satisfaction of a fun night out, a shopping spree, or getting more likes on that recent Facebook post never seem to last? We can get a short term rush out of social validation and material gain but if they don’t fulfill some fundamental criteria for happiness then the joy will always be hollow and fleeting. If you’re not feeling like you used to, it’s okay — many of us go through ups and downs. It’s part of being human. The good news is that happiness has been studied for many years and researchers have discovered what you really need to be happy. To be honest, the word happy is being used here as it’s easiest for people to relate, but truly, this is more about achieving lasting peace as opposed to an ever fleeting emotion. Want to know how to create lasting happiness for yourself? Here’s your recipe, and it only has five ingredients.

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WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO

  WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO    

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YOUR TRUTH IS THE ONLY TRUTH ?

  YOUR TRUTH IS THE ONLY TRUTH     The title of this article has many layers to it but the message I am trying to get across is very simple.

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“NEW AGE” AND “SPIRITUAL” BELIEFS !!

  “NEW AGE” AND “SPIRITUAL” BELIEFS       Sometimes it appears as though the “new age” or “spiritual” movement has created many more boxes, labels and limits. Often times we see another set of beliefs created with these new movements and to be clear, this is a very big trap many of us end up falling into. At times the “fluffy” side of spirituality can create beliefs that don’t allow us to not face what’s inside. We may run from our inner darkness and to not face it. It can suggest that everything must be happy and bright all the time, no exceptions. It has created ideals that are not concrete, that make things seem like something they are not, but they are so often said. It is not so much that these are bad, but that they have become another belief that is followed blindly.

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LOOKING FOR ANSWERS !

  LOOKING FOR ANSWERS   In these times many are looking for answers, people look to religious or political saviors to fix the problems we have collectively created and decided to experience. The answer is, there is no answer. We are only to experience this, there is no one on the planet that can tell you what to do. You are given free will and get to choose what you feel is right to do and experience. People seem to be waiting

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A SHIFT WITHIN AN EXPERIENCE !

  A SHIFT WITHIN AN EXPERIENCE     Life is a continuing process of role playing into becoming the follower of a higher path. This involves using the mind to overcome reaction and move into creation. Each person is moving from a limited reactive 3rd dimensional body with a 4th dimensional drama, to a 5th

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THE MIND CREATES A ROLLER COASTER

  THE MIND CREATES A ROLLER COASTER   Playing with something I have never felt before has brought me into an understanding of how we experience situations in two very different ways – in the mind through thought, and in the heart through knowing. The mind engaging and playing about brought a lot of ups and downs, the same ups and downs we all experience, and so I intend share what I have discovered to offer an experience others may relate to.

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FEAR NOT WHEN, FEAR NOT WHY…

  FEAR NOT WHEN, FEAR NOT WHY… IT’S LIFE   Earth’s best kept secret is on the verge of being exposed. Today many things are happening and changing as humanity is getting ready to embrace a crystalline form and move away from the 3rddimension.    Life is the greatest gift that is given, your heart receives the loving energy of life with gratitude and appreciation, as you know deeply the flow that moves through you is source.   Fountains of feelings are arising through every cell and every atom as they resonate with the crystal soul illumination. These new energies are allowed to each of

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How to Rediscover Life’s Magic and Feel Like aKid!

  How to Rediscover Life’s Magic and Feel Like a Kid Again   “A little magic can take you a long way.” – Roald Dahl Grown up? Please no! Being an adult looked so much more fun when I was still a kid. I spent my teenage years aching to be old enough to make my own decisions, choose whatever, wherever and whenever the heck I wanted. Oh yeah. Somehow, it seems I missed the class that covered the truth about adulthood. The one that said being grown up can leave you floundering in responsibility, drowning in expectation of all that you should be, suffocating from the rules of all you have to do and own. Ironically, you can stay up as late as you like, but stressed and exhausted you crash early into bed too frazzled to really sleep. Lying awake stressing over the worries of debt, words you regret and all the targets someone else has set. Adult life’s got you fearing, not cheering – frantically refinancing instead of dancing. What the hell happened? Somewhere between making paper chains and making a living, life’s magic faded. Being grown up can be such a drag. But there is a cure… Rediscover Your Sunshine Children. Children are sunshine. Glorious, sunshine on tiny legs. Because sunshine is all they see. They don’t worry about tomorrow or forever meeting responsibilities. They feel no awkwardness at falling over, making mistakes or in being brutally honest about how they feel. They’re too caught up in the wonder of discovery and excitement that every day brings to consider the consequences. Every day is another chance to laugh until it hurts. Then laugh some more. Oh boy, that’s a fabulous state to be in . . .  carefree, ah. Imagine bubbling over with excited anticipation rather than sinking under a million worries. Delighting in all that you’ve said and done instead of over-analysing every detail. Swapping the worry of what the day might bring to rushing out in your pyjamas to welcome it in. You know, we can learn so

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Signs You Are Over Giving & Burning Yourself Out

  10 Signs You Are Over Giving & Burning Yourself Out     Have you ever heard the saying “It’s better to give than to receive?” I am convinced that this seemingly positive cultural belief is at the core of why so many of us struggle to take care of ourselves. Think about it. We’ve been conditioned to believe that in order to be a good friend, wife, daughter, employee, mother, partner that we must give. And not just give a little, but give, give and give until there isn’t anything left. Even if we are tired, even if we don’t really have the time, money or energy to offer, we’ve been conditioned to give to others instead of receive ourselves. We operate like banks that only give out withdraws and never take in deposits. You don’t have to be an economic genius to run the results of this equation – bankruptcy. We over-give, under receive and then end up emotionally, physically and spiritually drained and depleted, internally bankrupt. As a recovering achievement junkie, doing addict, and super woman who was told she could do, be and have anything, I’ve been an over-giver for most of my life (and still have to monitor my giving/receiving equation every day.) I’ve worked too many hours, put others needs above my own, and gave it all I had, until I dropped into a heap of exhaustion every several months making myself physically sick so I had a ‘valid’ excuse to rest. I’ve become so mentally spent that all I could do was lay in a vegetated state on the couch and watch a marathon season’s worth of Downton Abbey or Law & Order in one day. All signs that I was over-giving, I just had no clue I was stuck in this self-sabotaging pattern because I’d never considered there was such a thing as giving too much. But there is. While giving to others is a good and loving act, giving to the point of sacrificing your own health, wealth and happiness is not loving or good, because living this way is not loving to a very important person – you. Loving yourself as well as loving others is equally essential.  So what if taking care of others and taking care of ourselves didn’t need to be an either/or equation? What if we could take care of the people and projects we love and take care of ourselves too – both? What if self-love wasn’t seen as selfish but as smart? How? Change

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How to Call in What You Want

  How to Call in What You Want     Wouldn’t you love to bring in more of what you want in your life without working so hard at it? If the answer is yes, then I think you will really love the process I have for you today that is one of the biggest secrets to my success. In the vlog I share stories about how this practice has led to the manifestation of few of the things that have been integral to the growth of my business.   I have learned over the years that: What I don’t do in my life is just as important as what I do.    Building my business has been a balance of outward and inward actions. One of the most powerful practices I have incorporated is a “calling in” process where I attune to the people, situations and opportunities that are most aligned for me and our mission.

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Yes, You DO Have a Purpose

  Yes, You DO Have a Purpose   What the heck is purpose anyways? To some, the word lights a fire in their belly because they truly understand what it means to live life with a purpose or calling. Others will cringe at the word… what a silly word, purpose. They doubt that everyone (including themselves) has a purpose or that things really do happen for a reason. I believe that absolutely everything, including the awful, happens for a reason. To enlighten us… or those we leave behind. To force us to change our ways… a catalyst for growth. To shape us into the people we’re meant to be… so that we can live our purpose. You really do have a purpose, and it’s simply this:

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Your Pet’s Guide to a Positive Start to the Day

  Your Pet’s Guide to a Positive Start to the Day     When my alarm starts blaring at 5 a.m., my cat just stretches, readjusts and settles back into place. But if I hit snooze, the dog will press her wet nose in my face and start wagging until I get up. Most of the time I flail and rollover before finally getting out of bed to scratch her head. Admittedly, the dog wakes me up because she loves me. There are worse things in the world, but even a loving wake-up call doesn’t put me in the right mindset to start my week off on the right foot. In fact, a wet nose to the face normally starts me down a wrathful path. My pets have it made. They don’t go to work, they get fed on a schedule — OK, plus random treats — and they can sleep and play all day. It’s no wonder they’re in such a good mood. But when I started lacing up my sneakers for a morning walk with my boxer dancing spastically around me, I started to wonder if there wasn’t some way I could learn something from her. Could I start my morning with that much joy? Here is what my pets have been trying to show me from their first day in the house, and how I’m using it to change my life. Advice from the Cat 1) Only on My Terms. There are some things you can only do to a cat when they want you to. Have you ever tried to rub a cat’s belly? It’s a mixed bag. They want to share love, but they end up bunny kicking your hand to death. What the best cats do is say no from the get go. Remember how to say no, even though it’s 8 a.m. on a Monday. Yes, you should smile and be polite, but just because it’s Monday doesn’t mean you aren’t a busy person. Don’t think social time is a requirement in the office, either. Your work comes first. If you have to, grab a cup of coffee and just close your door for the first few hours of the day until you’ve finished wading through emails and phone calls. 2) Patience Wins the Prize.

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The 3 Biggest Time Management Booby Traps

  The 3 Biggest Time Management Booby Traps     What feels better than a day in which all your to-do’s are crossed off the list? The rare experience of “getting it all done” is empowering, thrilling, and deeply satisfying on all levels. But for every day we master time, we undoubtedly log twice as many feeling the pressure of deadlines, standing commitments, confused priorities and distractions that leave us overwhelmed and ineffective. How you spend your time depends entirely on how you relate to it on a personal and philosophical level. You may not know it yet, but the theories and misconceptions you have about time show up in your days like booby traps, clamping you down and keeping you stuck, frustrated and unproductive. Listen to the following examples of some common time management misconceptions and see if you can’t spot your own version: Booby Trap #1: “This will only take a minute.”

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3 Tips to Liberate Yourself from Toxic People

  Success Hack: 3 Tips to Liberate Yourself from Toxic People When I was a first-year history teacher in a Chicago high school, I quickly stopped going into the teachers’ lounge, which I dubbed the “Ain’t It Awful” Club. Worse than the haze of cigarette smoke that constantly hung over the room was the cloud of emotional negativity: “Can you believe what they want us to do now?” “I got that Simmons kid again this year in math. He’s a holy terror.” “There is no way you can teach these kids. They are totally out of control!” … It was a constant stream of negative judgments, criticisms, blaming, and complaining. I didn’t want to be around that kind of negativity. I knew it would make it so much harder for me to be the positive, life-changing teacher I wanted to be. Fortunately, I soon discovered a group of dedicated teachers who hung out in the library and ate together in the teachers’ lunchroom. They were passionate about their jobs and believed they could overcome and handle anything that was thrown at them. I started hanging out with them and implemented every new idea they shared with me – as well as a few more that I picked up from my weekend classes at the University of Chicago. As a result, the students voted me Teacher of the Year in only my first year of teaching. That never would have happened if I had allowed myself to get sucked into the “Ain’t It Awful” Club! Don’t let toxic people infect you with their negativity. All of us have to deal with at least a few toxic people in our lifetime. You know the kind of people I’m talking about… They’re the ones who are always complaining and blaming others for their circumstances.

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The Secret Ingredient to Success!

  The Secret Ingredient to Success – Emotional Intelligence How many times have you had an interaction with someone who is really smart (in terms of IQ) but has no clue as to how you are feeling, what you are thinking or how to handle a challenging situation? The person may have gone to all the best schools and even have a fancy degree and title, but they lack emotional intelligence (EQ). When this happens at home relationships become strained and can fall apart. When it happens in the workplace it’s really frustrating and causes many people to want to quit their jobs. Dan Goleman brought the concept of EQ to the main stage with his book, Emotional Intelligence, which changed the way we think about what makes people and leaders successful. Having talent, skills and knowledge is a good start but not enough — you need to be able to effectively deal with all types of people. Building your EQ is available to all of us regardless of your age, education, financial status or background, but only some of us invest the time and energy to leverage this essential component. IQ and EQ are very different. Many people may have a high IQ with impressive analytical and technical skills.The question we now need to ask is what’s our EQ and how am I showing up as a leader at home and work? Specifically, employers are now focusing on EQ rather than just IQ. They would prefer to have someone with a good attitude and teach him additional skills. What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and why do we care?

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What Dims Your Light?

  What Dims Your Light?     When you’re shining bright, you’re happy, glowing, energized, inspired, passionate and expressive. You feel joy bubbling from deep within you and life is filled with love, fun, and connection. Life is good and you feel amazing, like you can take on the world. But sometimes that light gets dimmed. It gets dimmed by outside expectations, less than healthy meals, drama at work, gossip, small talk, too much TV and spending time with people you wouldn’t choose to on your own (because they don’t get you and  you can’t show up fully). Life is filled with people and moments that dim our light… but what happens when these moments turn to hours, days, weeks and months? Sometimes even years? When you wake up next to someone who’s presence makes you feel so low that you head straight for the candy jar first thing in the morning. Just to feel a little bit of joy. What happens when you go to work for another day, after many days and weeks and years working a job that stresses you out and doesn’t utilize your skills, let alone your passion? One where the people who surround you everyday are so negative that all you want to do after work is sit in your empty apartment and watch as much TV as possible. Just to feel a little bit alive.

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THE SELF-HELP TRAP: ARE YOU IN IT?

  THE SELF-HELP TRAP: ARE YOU IN IT?     Imagine you are studying for a test, and once you truly understand the subject and have memorized all that is needed to pass the test… you buy another book to study and understand the same stuff you already understand. Sure, maybe it helped you bring a slightly different perspective to help with your test. Great! But then you get another book about roughly the same subject. And another. And 2 more. And 12 more. And you just keep swallowing content you already “get” and never actually get up and go pass the damn test. I see this a lot in the spiritual and self-development crowd, and I have been guilty of the same. We tend to forget that books, words, and perspectives may be pointers to important truths, but the real test — the real advancement and “training ground” — happens in real life. In YOUR journey. Not on paper, not on a screen, not even in your head, but in the very moment you are in, waiting to be lived, felt, and explored. Much like we can get addicted to looking at a cell phone screen to avoid simply being with ourselves, we can also get addicted to keeping our noses in endless research and self-help books — because letting go of constantly “intellectualizing” our way through life may bring us face to face with our fear of uncertainty and the unknown. In a way, getting caught up in researching theory and concepts is kind of like reading a bunch of video game strategy guides, but never actually playing! “Even if you think you know the “Truth,” you have to let it go to experience it.” – Unknown Addiction To Processes There is another, equally as deceiving but far more subtle trap that we can fall into as well: the addiction to continually putting yourself through all of these complex processes to “clear your emotions” or “slash your negative beliefs.” There’s nothing wrong with working on yourself, of course; quite the opposite. But the ego is a sneaky little thing, and just might want to stay in charge by keeping you stuck in these processes endlessly, making you perceive growth as an all-consuming, serious and heavy mission that will make you forget about enjoying life itself, or even being present with your loved ones. (a.k.a the most

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THE IMPORTANCE OFTEACHING EMPATHY TO PRESCHOOLERS!

  THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING EMPATHY TO PRESCHOOLERS, WHY ALL PARENTS & TEACHERS SHOULD DO IT   At its simplest, empathy is the awareness of the feelings and emotions of other people. It goes beyond sympathy, which is often thought of as feeling for someone, and instead, is feeling with that person. When we are empathetic toward someone else, we think before we speak or act, and instead, find a way to make them feel supported, loved, cared for, or even just simply understood. Practicing empathy can be as deep and as challenging as being there for someone during rough times, or as surface as making an effort to be kind to the people and things we come across in our own little worlds each and every day. This mindset entails the basic necessity of respect and the knowledge that we must treat others as we want to be treated ourselves. The sooner we understand what empathy means, and the importance of it, the sooner we can live a more peaceful existence. Various studies even reinforce that the more empathy a child displays, the less likely they are to bully someone else. They are also more likely to share with and help others, and less likely to be antisocial or exhibit uncontrolled aggressive behaviours.  This is why educators are devoting more attention to empathyin recent years. Yalda Modabber is one of those people. Now the principal and founder of Golestan Education, a Persian-language preschool and after-school program in Berkeley, California that collaborates with other local schools on cultural education, she admits that being bullied as a child motivated her to integrate empathy into every level at her school. “It was nonstop for two years,” admits Modabber. “That period in my life was so hard that I blocked it out. I don’t even remember my teachers’ names. The entire class turned on me.”

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From Unemployed to Self-Sufficient:

  From Unemployed to Self-Sufficient: My Story of Personal Transformation   “Life is a grindstone. But whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.” – Thomas L. Holdcroft A few years ago, I found myself out of work and very dispirited. I had been applying all over the city for months, but so far, had no offers.  I felt like I was running myself ragged, and yet spinning my wheels and going nowhere. When I realized that in my desperation I had started applying for jobs that I knew I would hate even before I got to the interview stage, I knew that something had to change. I had always wanted to backpack around South America, with no plans farther in the future than that day, surviving on nothing but my wits and common sense.  What better time to go, I thought, than when I don’t have anything

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A Ballerina’s Story: How I Learned to Love My Body

  A Ballerina’s Story: How I Learned to Love My Body     Early in life, I learned to view my body as a sort of prison. While other little girls spent time playing and living carefree young lives, I struggled my way through ballet class– attempting to forcefully train my body to be graceful, obedient, and beautiful. Through my journey from student to professional, no matter my efforts, no matter how low my weight, or expertly I executed choreography, I never felt it was enough. At the root of it all, I felt that my body held me back. “If I’d only been born with narrower shoulders, higher arched feet, longer legs,” I dreamed, “I would be better and do better. My life would somehow be easier”, I thought. My soul was that of an artist, choosing dance as the medium within which to come alive, but my very human body never seemed good enough to match the ambitions I held for my dance career.   Over time, I began to resent the body I was born with, feeling limited by the “hand I’d been dealt”. I realized that while I couldn’t control the body I was given at birth, I could control how I operated it– working harder, training longer, and being as skinny as possible in order to be the best dancer I could be. Eyes firmly on the goal to curate my identity as professional ballerina, I adopted so many ways to control, shape, and demand from my body. I used this discipline to transcend and ignore my basic human needs for rest and food– in true “no pain, no gain” fashion. These habits served me fairly well, or so I thought, until my first major injury at age 29 forced me to take some time away from the stage in order to heal.  Forced to truly partner with my body (instead of dominating and controlling) for the first time in my life, I began a continually unfolding journey of healing and awakening, coming back home to myself.   When I began to understand that my body was something to respect and honor– that I had limits and finite energy that had to be acknowledged—and began acting as such, I realized that my body was an extension of me, my soul made flesh. I realized that my one, greatest responsibility in life was caring for this body every day, because she is my home in this lifetime. Embodying this realization meant no more excuses, no more blurred boundaries with others, no crappy, convenient, or emotionally-charged food choices. It was time to go beyond the surface level frustrations I held and tap into what really mattered most. I realized essentially that to hate my body was to, in fact, hate myself. And when I realized just how much I had been unconsciously hating myself all those years, I was heart-broken. I resolved to return to myself– treating myself as a loved one each moment.  Creating love, peace, calm and strength from within, first.

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Becoming Me Discovering My True Self After Divorce

  Becoming Me: Discovering My True Self After Divorce     “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings Married. That was my place, once before. Every day I fulfilled my role as the loyal and good wife while carrying my little boy on my hip. I thought I had it all; love, health, stability, family, social acceptance and more. On the surface, everything seemed picture perfect. I believed I was living true to myself. But something was not quite right…   Fast forward to February of 2015. The reality bombs dropped hard blowing up my life into millions of pieces. Complete and utter devastation was left behind. Shock and despair consumed my entire body. After years of living in denial, the truth of my failing marriage rose to the surface shattering my world. Reality struck. My life as a wife was over. The future I had planned in my heart for my husband and our son went up in flames leaving me with the ashes of broken dreams. Standing knee deep in the wreckage, I climbed out to save myself this crushing reality. Once I could breathe and regain consciousness, I began the arduous task of cleaning up the debris to build a solid foundation for my post-divorce life. Some might say I was building a new me as a changed woman. But that’s not all true. Yes, the divorce was life changing. My living arrangements changed. My financial situation changed. My perspective on life changed. But I didn’t change…

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Silence and Introversion !

  Silence and Introversion.     “Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” – Norton Luster As a child, I grew up with extroverted parents. I found myself surrounded by people who found comfort in spoken words, and viewed silence as a treacherous and inhumane quality, but to their alarm; I turned out to be a quiet and thoughtful introvert.

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WHY DO WE CHEAT ON THE ONES WE LOVE?

  WHY DO WE CHEAT ON THE ONES WE LOVE? ARE HUMANS MEANT TO HAVE SEX WITH ONLY ONE PERSON DURING A RELATIONSHIP?   I will boldly state that we’ve all experienced some form of infidelity at some point in our lives. You may be thinking, “not me!” or “I would never!”, but there are multiple levels of cheating that I’m talking about here. Cheating could literally mean anything we’ve done and thought “I can’t tell my partner about this.” Maybe it was some harmless flirting at the gym to boost your ego, sharing intimate pictures online, or perhaps you even slept with someone else, but my point is that for the majority of us out there, there is most likely at least one time in our relationship that we’ve felt the need to explore some type of external, stimulating experience outside of our committed relationship. But where are these urges or sensations truly originating from? Are we really ‘bad’ or promiscuous beings at our core? THERE ARE A FEW THEORIES WHICH AIM TO HELP US UNDERSTAND OUR POLYGAMOUS/MONOGAMOUS NATURE. LET’S EXAMINE A FEW OF THESE THEORIES AND THEN EXPLORE WHAT IT REALLY TAKES FOR A MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP TO WORK. What Our Animal Origins Tell Us About Monogamy Although we cannot be fully likened to other animals, as humans are unique beings, examining the behavior of animals has long been thought of as a means to help us understand our more primal instincts. It seems that the odds are against monogamous relationships when looking at our animal origins. Only 3 to 5 percent of the 5,000 species of mammals bond for life, including otters, beavers and wolves. The rate of monogamy among primates is about 6 percent. Some evolutionary psychologists have suggested that men are more likely to have extramarital sex, partially due to the male urge to “spread genes” by broadcasting sperm. Both males and females, these scientists say, try to up their evolutionary progress by seeking out high-quality mates, albeit in different ways. “The human species has evolved to make commitments between males and females in regards to raising their offspring, so this is a bond,” said Jane Lancaster, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of New Mexico. “However that bond can fit into all kinds of marriage patterns – polygyamy, single parenthood, monogamy.” The human species is somewhat unique amongst mammals in that fathers do invest in raising children “We do know that in humans we do have this pretty strong pair bond, and there’s more paternal investment than in most other primates,” said Daniel Kruger, a social and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. “We’re special in this regard, but at the same time like most mammals, we are a polygamous species.” Kruger said humans are considered “mildly polygamous,” in which a male mates with more than one female. Does The Desire To Cheat Come From Our Unfilled Voids?

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BE THE HERO OF YOUR OWN MOVIE :HERE’S HOW

  BE THE HERO OF YOUR OWN MOVIE HERE’S HOW IN ONE MINUTE     The following is an inspiring video by Joe Rogan. Perhaps best known for his work on reality television show Fear Factor and in standup comedy, Joe Rogan has since come to host one of the most successful podcasts in history, offering a platform for discussing current events, civil liberty, and consciousness. In this short yet powerful video, Joe offers brilliant tips for staying motivated, even when the pressures of life and the ugliness in our world start to bring us down. 1. “Forget about whatever financial disasters you’ve had, personal failures, relationship failures. What would the hero of your life’s movie do right now?” All of us have faced such challenges, and too many of us dwell on them, repeating the story in our heads over and over. This does nothing but exhaust us, bring us down, and keep us stuck in victim mode and self pity.

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WHY COMPLAINING IS LITERALLY KILLING YOU & MAKING

  WHY COMPLAINING IS LITERALLY KILLING YOU & MAKING YOU SICK. (HERE’S HOW TO STOP)     We all do it — you know, complain about people or situations in our life. We may even call it “venting” in an effort to disguise our complaining, but when it all boils down to it, they’re both the same behaviour. On the surface, complaining may seem harmless — perhaps even helpful, as venting may make us feel better — but complaining can have serious physical and mental ramifications. Society itself seems to encourage complaining — we complain about work and being overworked, we complain about lack of time and being too busy to enjoy life, we complain about politics (a favourite past- and present- time activity for many), we complain about family members and issues, we complain about lack of sleep and feeling exhausted, and we love to

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POEM:PROMISE YOURSELF

  Promise Yourself     Promise Yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that

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POEM : Acceptance & Self Love

  Acceptance & Self Love

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READ THIS WHEN YOU ARE TIRED OF EVERYTHING

  READ THIS WHEN YOU ARE TIRED OF EVERYTHING     We all get tired. We all know what it is like to feel like we want to give up, throw in the towel, and just stay in bed. You know what? Sometimes it’s okay to stay in bed, but at some point we have to be real, to look at ourselves, and move on.

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Inspirational Poem :Mighty Oak!

Inspirational Poem  Mighty Oak  

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DON’T SAY ‘SORRY’ WHEN YOU MEAN TO SAY ‘THANK YOU

  DON’T SAY ‘SORRY’ WHEN YOU MEAN TO SAY ‘THANK YOU.’ THIS CARTOON EXPLAINS IT PERFECTLY       If you’re anything like me (or if you happen to be Canadian), then you probably use the phrase “I’m

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8 THINGS YOU LEARN FROM BEING RAISED BY A STRONG

  8 THINGS YOU LEARN FROM BEING RAISED BY A STRONG-WILLED MOTHER     Growing up, whenever I experienced fear, anxiety, sadness, confusion, judgement, or a lack of self-confidence, it was my mother who soothed me, shook me from my stupor, and guided me to a place of love, light, and strength. But it wasn’t just her words which shaped me into becoming a strong-willed woman, it was her actions in her own life. The way she responded to challenges; the way she presented herself, like she could cut glass with her confidence, and her all-knowing attitude that she was worth every breath on this planet, shaped me into the person I am in so many ways. And I know I’m not the only one. If  you have a strong mother, you’ll appreciate these eight things she has likely taught you:  You learn the importance of being independent When you put your happiness, success, and wellbeing in another’s hands, you give up the power to control the depth of your imprint on the world. No one should

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POEM :Fear Itself Is Undefined!

  Fear Itself Is Undefined

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There are no mistakes…

  There are no mistakes…    

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THE ANSWER what is Love

    THE ANSWER  What is love?   This question has been asked so many times and yet everyone you may have asked have most likely had a completely different answer. In truth, love is just a word. It’s a word every single person defines on their own. It’s an abstraction and just as with many other emotions, no one can really claim to know the single true meaning of it.

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How fairy tales can prevent us from finding true

  How fairy tales can prevent us from finding true happiness  

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True independence – does it exist?

  True independence – does it exist?  

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Life as a game and how to play it right

  Life as a game and how to play it right  

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The beautiful Mind – reflections on how we limit

  The beautiful mind – reflections on how we limit ourselves      

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Why you need to start changing your life by

  Why you need to start changing your life by changing what you put on your plate   It’s hard to find a person who hasn’t heard about the need to eat healthy. We hear almost every day that the preservatives in food are bad for us, that eating sugar causes wrinkles, diabetes and cancer and that eating greasy foods leads to heart diseases. Still, it seems that often times people LISTEN to all the advice but don’t actually end up HEARING it. Not long ago I was a person trying to eat healthy but nevertheless always finding herself going back to the guilty pleasures of cookies, chocolate etc. It wasn’t until I’ve read a great book on this topic that made me realize quite a few important things and mechanisms that were triggering my behavior

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Is someone in your life telling you how you should

  Is someone in your life telling you how you should live?  

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Areyou still stuck inthe misconceptions about love

  Are you still stuck in the misconceptions about love?     Today I have one long quote for you. I think it’s really worth reading and thinking about. Especially, that love is misinterpreted so often everywhere around us and I believe it to be one of the main reasons why that many people in the modern societies end up feeling unhappy and frustrated with life.       They made us believe that real love, the one that’s strong, only

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Christina Aguilera – The Voice Within

  Christina Aguilera – The Voice Within       Today’s music inspiration is very special. Hardly ever do we find a song expressing so much truth and value any more.  Christina Aguilera’s ‘The Voice Within’ is a song I used to like a lot as a child. It moved me deeply by its sadness but back then I didn’t quite understand or realize what it was actually about. If I did, perhaps I would have saved myself a few tears and bad decisions… Well, now, 12 years later I’m realizing how important it is to be aware of the voice within. It’s a voice we all have deep inside us. The one that holds all the answers and is always there, ready to point us in the right direction. Once we learn this truth, everything in life becomes ever clearer and simpler. Anywhere we find ourselves, we always have the best friend and teacher inside of us – giving us all the love and support that we need. Lyrics: Young girl, don’t cry I’ll

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Big girls don’t cry… Do they?

  Big girls don’t cry… Do they?     Do you ever feel completely powerless, unable to move? Do you ever feel confused with life, not knowing what to do with it? Do you ever find yourself crying because of the enormous pain growing inside you for no apparent reason? And it all makes you feel even worse about yourself because in the end you have nothing to complain about. After all, there are people in this world who are starving, have no roof above their head or are fighting with cancer. And you find yourself so horribly ungrateful, even spoiled for crying over your life. Well, I must tell you, you are not alone. I have also suffered from the feelings of pointlessness, feeling powerless and confused, asking myself ‘When does it all end? Where am I headed? What am I to do with myself?’. I never was a person who would settle for a ‘standard’ way of life. I’ve always experienced the feeling of not fitting into this whole scheme – finishing college, finding a job, getting married, having kids. One day I finally realised I never wanted any of that but it made me so much more confused as then I didn’t really know what to do with my life instead. So I started observing myself and my feelings. I started paying attention to those moments and activities that made me feel alive and happy. And I must tell you, it worked miracles for me. The observant approach made me get to know myself better and helped me realize that what I really needed in my life were my passion. The moments when I felt the most free and present were the ones when I was dancing, writing poetry or stories, listening to certain songs or just enjoying

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LET IT BE !!

  Let it be  

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POEM :BREATHE

  Breathe     Here’s a little poem which perfectly reflects my philosophy of life. Enjoy! ‘Breathe’   Open your heart

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What to do when your life sucks

  What to do when your life sucks     Today, while having my gym session, I was thinking how way too often I hear people around me saying things like ‘I’m so fat’, ‘My life sucks’, ‘I never have money for anything’, ‘People don’t like me’, ‘Old ladies and teenagers have a better sex life than me’, ‘I can’t change’, ‘It’s too difficult’, ‘I hate my job’ and so on and so on. For me, all of these statements fall into one huge category called ‘complaining’. Seriously people, I don’t mean to offend anyone but it seems that somehow we have become a generation which expects a lot and yet is not particularly willing to put much effort in it. We want things to happen to us just like that, for free. The thing is, it doesn’t work this way. If you want to change something, then stop complaining and do something about it. If you’re not satisfied with your body and skin structure

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You can make excuses or you can make it happen

  You can make excuses or you can make it happen     Lately I have been thinking about the dynamics that determine the direction of our lives. And analysing my own life, it became pretty obvious – in the end the times when I actively took action instead of waiting around for something to happen, account for the biggest and most positive breakthroughs. I know what some of you might be thinking – it’s easier said than done. I used to think that too when I read all those positive and motivating to take action quotes around the internet. However, one day I asked myself – don’t I want to have control over my life at last? Am I happy with my surroundings randomly choosing my destiny for me? I realised that until I do something, nothing will happen. I can keep on dreaming but life will pass in front of me. If I keep on doing the same things that I did in the past, nothing will change.

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YOU ARE BORN FREE !

    YOU ARE BORN FREE

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YOU REALLY NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR ON YOUR COSMETIC

    WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR ON YOUR COSMETICS LABELS         I received my first makeup kit as a Christmas gift from a family member many years ago, and I remember being thrilled with it. I couldn’t wait to try it out and experiment with this beautiful thing I’d only ever heard about but never had the opportunity to use. In hindsight, I realize that makeup set was most likely bought at a dollar store and thus, composed of ingredients I probably should not be putting on my skin. The scary thing about this though, is that I only just recently disposed of one of the last lip glossesfrom that set after hoarding it for over 10 years. The point of my story is this: we hang onto old makeup like we hang onto old clothes, clinging to the hope that we will wear them again one day and cluttering our lives in the process. Good makeup isn’t cheap, so it can be admittedly hard to throw it away. Unlike old clothing, however, old makeup poses serious risks to our health. We need to change our thinking and accept that, like food, makeup only lasts so long. Old Makeup Is Unhealthy A new study conducted by London Metropolitan University scientists found that expired cosmetics can contain lethal bacteria, including — but not limited to — ubacterium (which causes bacterial vaginosis), aeromonas (one of the causes of gastroenteritis and wound infections), andpropionibacterium (one of the main causes for acne and other skin conditions). In the study, five beauty products were tested by Dr Paul Matewele, a senior lecturer in Biomedical Science at London Metropolitan University. These products were from high-end brands just coming close to expiration or past their ‘use -by-date.’ What they found was nothing

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What would the wise owl do?

  What would the wise owl do?   During my spring break I went back to Poland to celebrate Easter with my family. I was also hosting some friends from Switzerland (where I’m living at the moment) and wanted to show them some places in my country of origin. Naturally, I took them to a beautiful little town – Kazimierz Dolny, which is really close to my home town. As we were walking along the river and enjoying the stunning views, I noticed a really interesting graffiti on the wall beside. Surrounded by all the ugly and nonsense scribbles, there were two identical owls with the following words underneath: A wise old owl Sat on an oak

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True happiness lies Within.

  True happiness lies within…     Every once in a while each of us encounters those special words on our way. It might be one sentence or a few, but it has an extremely powerful impact on us and can provoke a massive shift in thinking. Often, these words come to you when you least expect them, from a place where you would least expect them to appear.

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Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happ

  Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened – Dr. Seuss   When I look out the window on the gloomy autumn days, I often catch myself getting melancholic and sad. There’s just something depressing about the rain and the lack of sunshine. However, luckily there are some ways that can instantly cheer up even the most prone to getting depressed souls.

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The beauty is all around you.

  Observer   Here’s a piece of my original poetry for your enjoyment! This is a poem about seeing beauty in every single detail of the world surrounding you, enjoying life with every sense. If you look at the world lovingly, the world will respond in the same way!    Remember, what you give is what you get. This especially applies to the energy we send out ourselves. Look around! The beauty is all around you. You just need to observe more carefully  ‘Observer’     In a careless whisper In

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Healthy Snack Recipe

  Healthy Snack Recipe  These balls are perfect for that moments when you just want something to bite. Healthy Snacks is something you can never have enough of in your fridge. Best part it is healthy and made with natural ingredients and super foods. Raw and Organic! You can add whatever you have available. I just emptied all the bags I had left of raw organic and healthy ingredients. I chopped up 3 packets of dates and then I used the rest to make some organic chocolate. Take these balls with you to the beach, add them to your breakfast in the morning, but most of all have fun making them! It takes only a few minutes….     Power Balls a Healthy Snack     Ingredients

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The effect of your emotions on your body

  The effect of your emotions on your body   Your physical, emotional and mental bodies are connected and interact with each other all the time. Each of these bodies are different dimension of physicality of you. Emotions can not be seen or touched like the physical body, but it has an immense impact on your physical body. Your vibrational/energy body can not be seen but it can be measured in frequency. Like when you experience Stress the body responds physically with Serotonin, or Happiness with Endorphins. The effect of negative emotions on your vibrational/energy body causes blockages of life force energy. These chemicals have serious long term effect on the body…. Specific emotions produces specific chemicals and affect specific organs or parts of the body. The same goes for specific frequencies of emotions effect specific chakras or meridians. That is why if you have physical ailment there is a corresponding emotion or vibrational ailment.

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Why Tantrums is a good thing

  Why Tantrums is a good thing          Up until the age of 7, the cognitive part of the human brain has not yet fully developed. Only from age 7 and up complex behavioral and cognitive abilities become possible. As the central nervous system matures they begin to understand logical and rational thought, but only about things you can see or touch. This means your child is operating solely from their emotional body. So if you tell them they can’t have something it is impossible for children to cognitively understand and reason why.

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12 Powerful Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts

  12 Powerful Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts   “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anais Nin “Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done.” Bo Bennett “It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.” Unknown It starts with just a thought or a feeling. Or maybe with a sentence spoken by someone else. And then it starts to drag you down. It starts with just a thought or a feeling. Or maybe with a sentence spoken by someone else. And then it starts to drag you down. Into feeling sorry for yourself, worried or into thinking “what’s the point of taking any action at all?” as you walk around in a funk with your own personal rain cloud above your head. Negativity that wells up inside of you or in the world around you can quickly become toxic and hold you back from living the life you want. 1. When you’re in what seems like a negative situation, find what’s good or helpful. If you’ve had a setback, stumbled or failed then things might look bleak and so negative thoughts may start to crop up and threaten to fill your view of this situation. To counteract that ask yourself better questions. Questions that will help you to feel better but also to learn so you can grow. Questions like: §  What’s one good thing about this situation? §  What’s one thing I can do differently the next time to likely have a better outcome? §  What’s one thing I can learn from this? §  How would my best friend support and help me in this situation?   2. Reminder: people don’t care that much about what you say or do. It’s easy to fall into negative thoughts when you think about what people may say or think if you do or do not do something. And so you zap your personal power and may trap yourself in analysis paralysis. Getting stuck in your head and in thoughts like that will drag you further away from what you want and from reality. Because the truth is that people don’t have that much time, attention or energy to think or talk about what you do. They have their hands and minds full with their kids, jobs, pets, hobbies and their own fears and worries (like for example what people may think of them). This realization and reminder can help you to set yourself free from the constraints you may create in your own mind and help you to start taking small – or bigger steps – towards what you deep down want in your life. 3. Question the thought. One thing I like to do when a negative thought taps me on the shoulder and tries to start growing in my mind is to simply to question that thought. I ask myself: Should I take you seriously?

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How to Avoid End-of-Life Regret: Stop Giving Your

  How to Avoid End-of-Life Regret: Stop Giving Your Life Away “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” ~Unknown Do you ever wonder what life is all about? You may wake up day after day and go to a job you can barely stand. You might be in an unsatisfying relationship that’s on its last breath, yet you can’t seem to let it go. Maybe you spend more money than you have, or you eat or drink too much because it’s the only thing that distracts you from your misery. Whatever the distraction, you know you are unhappy, but powerless to know what to do about it. In my early twenties, I had finished college and was working at my first “real” job. My graduation allowed me to become commissioned as an officer in the Army National Guard. Most importantly, and best of all, I was in love. I was on a personal and professional trajectory and right in line with societal norms. The next step in my carefully predicted life was marriage and a family. My life was unfolding before me like I thought it should, and I was content to ignore the gnawing discontent that had been quietly eating away at my insides, for as long as I could remember. Unfortunately, or fortunately, when the “love of my life” brought our relationship to a screeching halt, I was devastated. Like, I wanted to die, devastated. My body froze in time, and I was unable to move with any sense of direction or intention. I was lost, as grief washed over me in relentless waves, threatening to drown me. Life had thrown me overboard, and I was not wearing a life vest. The truth is, all those overwhelming feelings had less to do with him and more to do with feelings that had been living inside of me long before he came along. He just reminded me they were there. Do you know the feeling? The feeling of the bottom completely falling out of your world, leaving you with nothing to stand on? That relationship was not my destiny, but it would turn out to be a critical turning point in my life. Obviously, I did not die. After crying countless tears and dragging myself out of bed every morning for a few months, wondering what I was doing with my life, I made a decision. I had four months of Officers training to complete at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, so I decided it was time to fulfill that commitment. So for four months I worked hard, played hard, made some fantastic new friends, and got paid for it all. Something unexpected happened. An unfamiliar feeling of lightheartedness began to possess my body, and my eyes were opened to the seriousness with which I had been living my life.

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The One Purpose We All Share in Life

  The One Purpose We All Share in Life   “We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” ~ Mary Dunbar I sat staring at myself in the mirror. All I saw was failure. And for the first time in a long while, I cried. All I could think about was having to get up the next morning and force myself through another day. Force myself to put on a smile and pretend to be happy. Force myself to act like everything was moving in the right direction. I’d been putting on this façade for months by this point. My fitness business was finally growing at a good rate after years of struggle, finances were the best they’d been in a while, and I felt like I was helping a lot of people. Yet I felt stuck, broken on the inside, and like I was massively holding something back in terms of what I had to offer the world. And in that tear-filled moment with the mirror, I knew I had to let go of the business and life I had worked so hard to gain momentum with. I spent the next year trying to work out what the hell was going on. I suppose you could say I was trying to find myself, but the cliché-ridden nature of those words makes me cringe even now. So I prefer to say “working s**t out.” I stepped back, traveled, sought connection, read, listened to podcasts, and dug deep into my soul for answers to questions I had previously written off as too time wasting for a busy business owner to deal with. But a key question that kept coming up for me was “what is my purpose?” I would muse on this for days, weeks, and months at a time, desperately trying to figure out the answer and looking for some Eureka moment. Almost every book I read, every podcast that I listened to, and every video I watched all seemed to keep coming back to this question in some roundabout way. Each moment of consumption giving me more information on systems, steps, and questions to find out what my purpose is on this earth and what I am “here to do.” I became obsessed. And in that obsession I created confusion. Who was I? What did I want to start? What did I want to talk about? How could I help and serve others without draining my own life force? After traveling to various parts of Europe and South East Asia, connecting with others and trying to figure my own stuff out, I still felt completely lost. Like I was just wandering the globe, going from place to place without any reason, and simply shuffling through life with a black hole continually expanding inside of me. I would dive into things headfirst and

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How to Speak to Someone about an Unspeakable Los

  How to Speak to Someone about an Unspeakable Loss     “It’s not about saying the right things. It’s about doing the right things.” ~Unknown Years ago, my family and I moved to a bucolic little town in New Zealand, where we were immediately swept up into a group of ex-pats and locals. We felt deeply connected to this community by the time I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in the local hospital. When our son was three months old, a doctor heard a heart murmur. Twenty-four hours later, he died. In the days and weeks that followed, I wandered in my own fog of grief as I went about the necessary tasks of ordinary life: shopping for food, taking our other kids to school, doing the usual mounds of laundry. Meanwhile, my new friends kept their distance. I saw them take great care to avoid me: to cross the street, switch supermarket aisles, literally do an about-face when they saw me coming. Invitations stopped coming. The phone went silent. My grief was marked by a deeper isolation than I’d ever known. Later, many of these people apologized. They told me they were terribly sad and distressed about what had happened, but hadn’t known what to say. My loss was so enormous that words seemed inadequate, even pitiful. They said nothing, out of fear that they would say the wrong thing. This sort of experience repeats itself in many different forms: a friend gets dumped by the love of her life, a colleague is given notice at a job he’s held for two decades, or a loved one receives the dreaded news that she has inoperable cancer.

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Why We Need to Stop Judging Our Feelings

  Why We Need to Stop Judging Our Feelings   “Your emotions are meant to fluctuate, just like your blood pressure is meant to fluctuate. It’s a system that’s supposed to move back and forth, between happy and unhappy. That’s how the system guides you through the world.” ~Daniel Gilbert As a highly sensitive person I experience emotions very deeply, though it’s not usually obvious to others that I’m having such strong internal reactions. For those not familiar with this trait, high sensitivity is not a defect or a personality flaw; it simply means that you experience sensory and emotional input more strongly than non-sensitive people. Of course, this is not to say that humans are really that bipolar in terms of their emotional and physical experiences; sensitivity is a spectrum, and I’ve found myself leaning to the more sensitive side. High sensitivity has wonderful benefits: it facilitates deep insightfulness, fosters a drive for authenticity and creative expression, and enriches the sensory experiences of life. It’s a double-edged sword, however, because just as the positive aspects are magnified, so to are the negative aspects. Just like with most aspects of life, this is a delicate balancing act, because it can be difficult not to become overwhelmed by emotion, whether positive or negative. Embodying this trait throughout my life has been a challenge: I’m always super aware of my environment (both external and internal), and processing that information on a deep level pretty much all the time. This causes me to have a preference for quiet environments (yet I live in New York City!), and also to need lots of alone time to recharge. This is not to say I’m a hermit or that I hate people; quite the contrary: I crave authentic connection and love engaging deeply with others. It’s been crucial to learn to accept this trait, to pinpoint my needs without feeling guilty for them, and to have the courage to express those needs to my loved ones. One of the most beneficial things I’ve been learning is the importance of non-judgment. For every high there is a low, and the only thing making a low “bad” is that we judge it as so. Everyone experiences a full range of emotions, and a 

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5 Breathing Techniques to Melt Your Stress Away

  5 Breathing Techniques to Melt Your Stress Away   “Feelings come and go like clouds in the sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh  Breathing techniques are now such an important part of my daily routine. I couldn’t think of starting a day without doing my breathing exercises. I usually combine these with my morning meditation, which, through sheer perseverance, I have made into a habit and have been doing for the last few years. Almost everywhere you look you can find stress—at work, at home, on the road. It’s hard to avoid it and even harder to not get sucked in. I used to let stress get the better of me on a daily basis, through an incredibly stressful and demanding job. That was until I realized the dangerous effects it was having on my body. I worked in video production as a producer, where there was a new type of stress every single day. There were so many cogs that all had to fall perfectly into place for the production to move ahead, not to mention the amount of people who would depend and rely on me. The deadlines were tight, and to make sure that every stage of production was complete, I often had to work long hours. This was an incredibly stress-inducing job, and so often I felt myself getting overtired and angry due to the workload. Stress can make it near enough impossible to control your emotions. I found the more stressed I became, the more irrational I would become. Stress is also strongly linked to diseases, and chronic stress can give these conditions the green light to flood your body. Stress has been linked to cancer, lung disease, fatal accidents, suicide, and cirrhosis of the liver. Not to mention that stress can make you gain weight and look older, and ruin your relationships. After understanding that I was a very stressed person, often attracting stressful

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A Surprising Way to Let Go of Painful Feelings and

  A Surprising Way to Let Go of Painful Feelings and the Past   “We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” ~Marianne Williamson  I’ve struggled with it. Letting go, I mean. I’ve struggled with moving on from my past. I’ve struggled with ridding myself of guilt, shame, and grief. I’ve struggled with freeing myself from mistakes, past relationships, and worries about the future. It’s not that I haven’t tried. Believe me, I’ve tried really hard. I’ve written goodbye letters, mentally cut the energetic cords, and fiercely gone back into the pain to free myself fully from it. I’ve cried my eyes out, talked about it, and brought it to my meditation pillow. What I’ve tried has helped to some extent, but not completely. So, instead of moving on I’ve felt stuck between my past and my future. You know, like in limbo. And that’s not the place to set up camp; both you and I know that. It’s frustrating because I’m fully aware of the importance of letting go and moving on. I know that attachment is the reason we suffer. I know that past pain, anger, and resentment holds us back. I know that holding on to the unwanted blocks the wanted from coming in. Letting go is essential. But, it’s not always easy to apply theory to practice. If you’ve also struggled with it, here’s another approach that has helped me to truly let go and move on. Why Letting Go is Hard First of all, everything is energy. Our thoughts and feelings emit a vibration, and what we send out to the world is what we receive back. This isn’t some woo-woo thing—it’s quantum physics (

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10 Creative Ways to Express Gratitude

  10 Creative Ways to Express Gratitude   “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~William Arthur Ward It’s probably no surprise to you that gratitude is one of the most effective ways to increase your own happiness—and the happiness of others. But did you know that practicing gratitude can also make you healthier, less stressed, and more optimistic? Plus, it’s even been shown to have positive effects on your career and relationships. Gratitude is clearly a worthwhile practice, and there are tons of wonderful resources online (even here on Tiny Buddha!) filled with insights, inspiration, and ideas for practicing thankfulness. Whether it’s writing in a gratitude journal, sending out a thankful note, or saying “thank you” to people you love, there are countless ways to express appreciation and thankfulness. Embracing gratitude might not be so difficult when things are going well, but over the past few years I’ve discovered just how powerful gratitude can be when going through a difficult time. After a lifetime of perfectly good health, last autumn I was unexpectedly faced with the challenge of having four surgeries. As someone who battles with extreme anxiety when it comes to anything medical (especially needles!), the prospect of surgery terrified me. During this difficult time, I was so fortunate to have friends, family members, and even strangers treat me with kindness, love, and compassion—something that I know wasn’t always easy, given my panicky state of mind! One of the ways I coped with my anxiety was transferring my attention from my apprehension to appreciation. Every time I found myself dwelling on my fears, I asked myself: What can I be thankful for? Who can I thank today? While I won’t deny that four surgeries (and tons of bed rest!) was an unpleasant experience, it did give me the opportunity to have a life-changing revelation: expressing gratitude can be a transformative experience. The more I focused on being thankful (and expressing that gratitude), the less time I had to ruminate on my worries. Being thankful not only helped me to better cope with my worries, but expressing my appreciation to others helped me to strengthen my relationships with my friends, family members,

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Life Lessons from an 8th Grade Teacher

  5 Ways to Find Peace,   Life Lessons from an 8th Grade Teacher     “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson Good Morning, and welcome to 8th grade History with Mr. Bacchus. The first thing I need everyone to do is to take out your class schedule and make sure that it says Mr. Bacchus for this period. Is there anyone who doesn’t have my name on their schedule? No? We sure? Great!! Now I need each one of you to take a moment and thank whoever you believe in, the powers that be, or even the magic genie that granted you this wish, because you’re one of the few lucky enough to be in my history class this year. Why lucky? Because there is going to be a day when you don’t feel like getting out of the bed, but you will remember that you have Mr. Bacchus today and you will be up before the alarm goes off. One day, your boyfriend or girlfriend will break up with you in the middle of the hallway, and the news will quickly spread via social networking. But when your friend asks you if you’re okay, you’ll simply smile and say, “I have Mr. Bacchus today.” I couldn’t make this up if I tried. A student fell in gym class and broke his leg one year. It was an awful injury, and he was seriously hurt but refused to go to the hospital. He said it wasn’t that bad. He had Mr. Bacchus next period. This has become my first-day-of-school opening monologue as an 8th grade teacher. It’s a nice way to break the ice. I say these words with a sense of confidence. A sense of purpose and joy comes over me the second I begin this inaugural address to my students. And it lasts throughout the school year. My class has often felt like a beautiful symphony (and I was the highly acclaimed maestro), but in the midst of my father falling back into addiction and my ex-girlfriend moving across the country with her new fiancé, it seemed as if I couldn’t play chopsticks in my personal life. My father has always struggled with addiction, but this was the first time I had to face it as an adult. This time around I knew exactly why he wasn’t answering my calls, why he was asking to borrow money, and why he was nowhere to be found for weeks at a time. Likewise,

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Two Lists You Need to Make If You Want to Be True

  Two Lists You Need to Make If You Want to Be True to Yourself     “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” ~Alexander Hamilton For over a decade I worked as a paralegal in the corporate world. I worked hard, and I was a dedicated employee, but I was treated poorly by my superiors. After a decade of working in this industry I felt lost, without purpose, and I constantly dreaded the next day when I would return to my job. One day, an attorney that I had worked for came into my office and screamed at me, leaving me in tears. At that moment I politely shut my office door and cried with my head in my hands. After getting out all my frustrations through tears, I told my office manager I was leaving for the day. As I sat down in my car, I wondered how I got to this place, where people could take advantage of me and bring me to tears. It was the car ride home that made me realize that I had lost my backbone and a sense of what I stood for. I lacked a foundation of what I valued in my life. Throughout the years of working non-stop and losing sight of my values, I was hereby declared lost. After I acknowledged that I had lost my backbone, and essentially a say in my life, I broke down. I lost it. I cried my heart out and mourned for my old self, who knew exactly what she wanted in life. So, it was time to change. When I arrived home, still shaky, I made myself a cup of tea and sat down at the kitchen table with a pen and notebook in front of me. It was time. At first, I wrote all the bad things that were happening in my life. Then I elaborated further and grouped them into categories, such as: Injustice Hate Abuse Unkindness Selfishness Vanity Moral corruptness After I got it all out, I felt relieved

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How High Expectations Can Lead to Disappointment,

  How High Expectations Can Lead to Disappointment, Depression, and Anxiety “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” ~Alexander Pope I was sitting on the couch in my bedroom, at sunset, looking at the trees outside my window. I felt a profound sadness, frustration, disappointment, and desperation taking me over. While I was staring into oblivion, all my expectations came flashing to my mind. “No, this is not what my life was supposed to be. I was supposed to be successful. I was supposed to have my own house. I was supposed to be happy. What happened?” What happened was that I am part of the majority, not the exception. My entire life I expected to be the exception. I assumed that if I worked hard enough, I would succeed; if I did well in university, I would succeed; if I poured my heart and soul into something, I would succeed; my dreams could come true. I had become a slave to my expectations, and they were ruining my life. In my mind, things were supposed to be different. My great expectations were robbing me of happiness, because I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I didn’t have what I expected to have, and I wasn’t who I expected I should be. The truth of the matter is that there are few people out there who are lucky enough to be living their dreams. Most of us survive on crumbs of our expectations. We have a job, even if it’s a job we don’t like. We work from nine to five every day to pay the bills. If you’re lucky, you get to go on a vacation once a year, and for the very lucky, two of them. Statistics show depression and anxiety are on the rise. I am part of those statistics, along with 350 million other people who suffer from the same hell I do. How could depression and anxiety not be on the rise when we are constantly bombarded my repetitive messages that tell us about all the great things we can accomplish? Of course giving people high expectations is what sells. If beauty creams advertised their products

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When We Love and Accept Ourselves, the World Fits

  When We Love and Accept Ourselves, the World Fits Around Us   “If you feel like you don’t fit in in this world, it is because you are here to help create a new one.” ~Jocelyn Daher Since I can remember, I never felt comfortable in my skin. I would watch everyone else, and it seemed as though they knew exactly how to be themselves. Even as a toddler I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t like everybody else. From those earliest memories I thought something was wrong with me if I didn’t feel, understand, or think the same as someone else. My insecurities started young and grew as I got older. I would observe the other kids at school; they had interests, hobbies, and seemed to know who they were. I wanted to fit in so badly that I began to morph into whatever I thought I needed to be to belong. I would see someone and want what they had. It didn’t matter if it was clothes, shoes, or musical interests. I thought their happiness came from the life they lived, and I wanted so badly to be happy. I grew up poor, in a single parent home. I was overweight, and other kids bullied me daily. I told myself this was why I didn’t have hobbies: My mom couldn’t afford to put me in classes, and I couldn’t play sports because I was fat. This was partially true, but it was also true that I didn’t like sports and never wanted to play them. I just longed to fit in to a group, any group, and it was easier to make excuses for who I wasn’t than to admit that I didn’t fit in anywhere. I’ve always been a people pleaser, and I wanted everyone to love me. I craved love so strongly because there wasn’t any inside of me. The façade would constantly blow up in my face, and I’d get called out for not knowing things I acted as though I knew. There was always someone skinnier, smarter, and better than me at things. I needed to be the best at everything to feel good enough. You can imagine how often I felt unworthy. The issue was that I wasn’t looking inside of myself to find out what I enjoyed. I wasn’t following my heart. Instead, I used that energy to watch and mimic other kids. I constantly compared myself to others and saw only where I was lacking.

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Your Smile Is More Powerful Than You Think

  Choose to Shine: Your Smile Is More Powerful Than You Think “Shine like the whole Universe is yours.” ~Rumi I had a revolutionary experience at a grocery store. Yes, a grocery store. I’ll never forget that day. I believe that some of the most mundane and unimportant places I’ve visited have been the bedrock of my spiritual growth. There is so much to witness at a store: people frantically trying to load up for the weekend, elderly in their motorized carts, people in line glued to their smart phones, and then of course the workers that 90 percent of the time seem achingly miserable and sad. It was like any other day as I stepped foot into my local store to pick up up a few essentials. I was walking in with the intention of getting some food for the week and ended up walking out with so much more. Once inside, I saw a man standing at the front of the store with the biggest smile on his face. It was as bright as the sun. It was the kind of joy that you could easily tell was radiating from within. I did what I habitually do: looked him in the eye, smiled, and called him by his name. As I grabbed my cart and glanced back up, I stopped dead in my tracks. I had a huge rush of awareness: No one was noticing this man. Not a single person in my ten-minute stare down paid attention to him. No one. He wa

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“Nice” Isn’t a Compliment: Letting Go of the Need

  “Nice” Isn’t a Compliment: Letting Go of the Need to Please “Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” ~Brene Brown When I was in the seventh grade, I moved to a new city and started a new school. I was terrified andfilled with anxiety about navigating this new world without a single friend. What if no one liked me? My first week there, I walked through the cafeteria some when two girls called me over to their table. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking maybe I would be able to make a friend. I went over smiling my best smile, then they said they wanted to ask me a question. One of them smiled sweetly and said, “We were just wondering why you walk around with your nose up in the air. Do you think you’re better than everybody else or something?” They sneered and laughed and proceeded to say a few more hateful things to me that I don’t exactly remember. I was crushed. I had never been bullied before, and I had no idea how to deal with this kind of situation. I would like to say that I gathered my strength, stood up to these mean girls, and told them where they could shove it. But I didn’t. I felt my face flush with heat and the sting of rejection in my chest. And then I told them I was sorry. For what, I’m not exactly sure, but I sputtered out some awkward apology and waited for them to realize that they had made some sort of mistake, and that I was clearly worth their approval after all. But they just looked at me silently like I had three heads. This day stands out to me because I remember distinctly feeling that in order to be accepted, I needed to be different. I needed to be careful and do whatever it took to avoid people disliking me. I was well on my way to becoming a chronic people pleaser. Fast-forward twenty-five years, and I still have a habit of unconsciously putting a great deal of my energy into people pleasing. I keep the boat steady, navigating carefully so as to not make too many waves.

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How to Stop Neglecting and Abusing yourInner Child

  How to Stop Neglecting and Abusing your Inner Child   “Hold the hand of the child that lives in your soul. For this child, nothing is impossible.” ~Paulo Coelho You’re probably an abusive parent. Even if you don’t have children. In each of us lives an inner child. This child isn’t just a sub-layer of our personality; it’s arguably the real us, the deepest aspect of ourselves. Like many people, I’ve been aware of the inner child idea for some time. I thought of the concept mostly as another way of explaining our personal sensitivities or the childish behavior we all are capable of at times. But it’s not that; it’s much more. It wasn’t until I thought of my inner child in relation to my actual children that I started to appreciate just how important it is to really take responsibility for this child. I realized, too, just how so many of us mistreat our inner child. Abuse them even. And it’s changed the way I treat myself forever. I think of the basic needs of my children. Sleep. Nutrition. Regular praise and encouragement. Physical safety. And of course, love. The idea of them not receiving these things causes me a pain that feels almost physical. Sadness and even anger arise in me as their dad. And yet, what about my other child? My inner child—the little me? I, as my adult self, have just as much responsibility to him as I do my son and daughter. But I, like so many others, have outright failed in my responsibility to him as a supposedly responsible adult. I have so often deprived him of sleep, made him go long periods without eating, and failed to keep him adequately hydrated. I have dragged him to work with me and pushed him so hard that he has burned out. I have allowed past girlfriends to abuse him.

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One Simple Way to Be a Good Friend

  One Simple Way to Be a Good Friend (A Lesson from My Childhood Dog)   “To be rich in friends is to be poor in nothing.” ~Lilian Whiting For eleven years of my life, I was graced by the presence of an extraordinary dog. Her name was Jenny, and she was a black lab and springer mix with a hyper personality and an almost absurd passion for the joy of being alive. She was a gift to our family from a close family friend, and she was by far the most life-changing gift we ever received. While there are many stories I could share about her, there is one story in particular that stands above the rest. Mrs. Johnson (name changed for privacy) and her husband lived across the street from our house. They had dogs of their own for a number of years, but as they reached retirement age, they chose to no longer have pets. What happened next is the story of a truly beautiful friendship. Jenny was an outdoor dog (mostly because of my family’s allergy issues), so she had an unobstructed view of Mrs. Johnson’s yard and house from her doghouse. I don’t know exactly when it began, but Jenny started to visit Mrs. Johnson’s yard. At first we thought she was just chasing squirrels or some other favorite canine pastime, but eventually she started coming home smelling like perfume. Yes, she smelled like Mrs. Johnson. I started watching Jenn

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by Sabina De Nooij

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3 Things That Cause Unhealthy Food Cravings

  3 Things That Cause Unhealthy Food Cravings and How to Stop Them   “Reminder: food is fuel, not therapy.” ~Unknown I learned about food cravings at a young age. My parents divorced when I was six years old. My older brother and I ended up living in another city with our grandmother. We used to spend long hours alone, and we learned soon enough how food could help us lift our mood and suppress our real feelings. That was when I started having unstoppable food cravings. Eating would make me feel good and bring me peace and calm. Trying to avoid my favorite foods would make me nervous and unsettled, and would bring my real feelings back. I was overweight until my teenage years, and I hated it every single day. Over the years, I became afraid that giving into cravings was making me lose control over my relationship with food, my weight, and my body. In high school, I learned all I could about calories and how eating better could help me lose weight. I put this knowledge into practice and finally dropped some pounds. And I promised myself that I would never, ever be overweight again. I decided to learn as much as possible about nutrition so I could find my own my way to manage my weight. That’s why I became a nutrition specialist. Learning to control my cravings naturally has helped me overcome my fears of gaining weight again. But paying attention only to the numbers on the scale is not enough, and only when you are in control of your weight you can say you made it. In this article, I’d like to share the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and show you how you can stop food cravings naturally. It’s Essential to Understand the “Whys” Have you ever felt an unstoppable food craving that was stronger than you? You knew you shouldn’t go for it, but you couldn’t resist. This lack of control is very annoying, isn’t it? As with many other things in life, weight management related issues are much better approached when you understand what’s going on in your body, why, and the actions you need to take. In this post, I will explain the causes of those uncontrollable food cravings and the biological processes behind them, and I will give you easy to apply recommendations on how you can stop food cravings naturally. Just imagine how it feels to be in control of your food cravings and what it would mean for your weight! But before we dive in, a disclaimer: This is not a scientific paper on food cravings that aims to cover every single aspect of the topic, but an effort to explain the main reasons for food cravings and how to practically deal with them, in understandable terms without going too deep into science. The goal of this post is to give you enough information to understand the “whys” behind the food cravings and enough practical means for you to be able to stop food cravings naturally. What Triggers Food Cravings? Although food cravings can be caused by hormone imbalance or nutritional deficiencies, I would like to declare those food cravings off topic here. The way to deal with such food cravings is pretty straightforward: Either accept them and let them pass (pregnancy or PMS cravings, for example), or see a doctor if you suspect a nutrition deficiency. Instead, I’d like to focus this post on the unhealthy food cravings that you deal with every day. If you’re craving celery sticks, go for it! But if it’s donuts, chocolate, cheeseburgers, and similar foods that you can’t keep your hands away from, it’s dangerous for your health in the long run and you have to stop them. So what triggers these unhealthy food cravings that make you feel so powerless? Three things: Your emotions High-processed food as a product of food engineering Sugar imbalance in your body Many authors cover the emotional part of food cravings, not considering food engineering and biology, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can crave food even without emotions involved. In this post, I’d like to fill this gap and put the spotlight on food engineering and sugar imbalance as triggers of food cravings. Let’s look at each trigger in detail. Trigger 1: Your emotions You see an apple pie and instantly think about a pie your mom used to make. Your mom lives far away, but that pie is right there. You feel lonely, but there is no one around. There is, however, chocolate ice cream in the fridge. Your boss is being unrealistic, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So you jump into a bag of chips, as you do every time you feel stressed. Many feelings are hard to deal with, and food is an easy way to help you handle them… and there is a physiological explanation for it. There are areas in your brain responsible for memory and sensing pleasure, which also act as reward centers. Specific foods can send signals that reach those brain centers and “make you feel good,” which will of course help you deal with those emotional needs, like calming you down and reducing your desire and anxiety, at that particular moment. The way it works is that the brain recognizes those feelings and knows that certain food can help alleviate them, so the body produces appropriate hormones (for example, cortisol) and other biochemical substances, like the neurotransmitter serotonin to make you crave for the “right” food. You can read more about biochemistry of food and food cravings here. Trigger #2: High-processed food as a product of food engineering.

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How to Stop Measuring Your Worth in Achievements

  How to Stop Measuring Your Worth in Achievements   “The better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off.” ~Robert Hand The first vivid memory I have of anxiety is when I was only seven years old. I sat in math class, gripped with fear that I wouldn’t get a perfect score on my test. If I got even one answer wrong, I would feel worthless. This striving for achievement followed me all the way through college. I not only graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, but I had an impressive Curriculum Vitae filled with awards, extra curricular activities, publications, honor societies, and more. Each time I added something to my list of achievements, I felt a surge of worthiness. Yet, this satisfaction with myself didn’t last long. Soon, I was on to the next task to prove to myself (and others) that I am worthy.  I fell into the same trap in graduate school: commuting each night, taking extra classes, making all A’s, working a part-time job—until the panic attacks hit. I couldn’t control my brewing anxiety anymore, and I developed debilitating panic disorder and agoraphobia. I could barely function, so I made the decision to drop out of my graduate courses. I believe the panic attacks were my body’s and mind’s way of screaming out for help. Their way of saying, “I’ll make you stop since you won’t listen,” of letting me know that perfection isn’t healthy or possible. During those anxiety-ridden days, the panic made it impossible for me to live a successful life according to my previous definitions. Suddenly, my biggest accomplishment was simply making it through the day or going to the grocery store alone. I felt antsy and worthless without academics or a steady job.

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Stop Chasing Happiness: 17 Alternative Ways

  Stop Chasing Happiness: 17 Alternative Ways to Live Your Best Possible Life     “If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.” ~Edith Wharton I have a question for you. What would you be willing to sacrifice to be happy? Would you be happy to let go of Netflix? Alcohol? Pizza? Would you be willing to take up a monastic life? Every single day of the year we’re being sold happiness. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the form of a pill or a book or a holiday, the underlying idea is the same: What we have to sell you will make you happy. The problem with happiness is that no one really knows exactly what it is. It’s intangible, even a little mysterious, yet still we all want to be happy. But trying to be happy is like trying to get to sleep; the harder you try, the less likely it is to happen. So four years ago, on New Years Eve, I made the pledge to myself to stop trying to be happy. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t miserable. I was just spending too much time thinking about whether or not I was happy—even though neither I, nor anyone I knew really, could give a clear answer about what this meant. So instead of saying to myself, This year I’m going to be happy, I said, This year I’m going to try new things. I’m going to meet new people. I’m going to go to new places. I’m going to push myself out of my comfort zone. And if I’m not happy, well, I’m not happy, but at least I’ve had some interesting experiences. The result of this was the best (and probably happiest) year of my life, at least up to that point. And I realized something obvious in hindsight, but still profound: Happiness is something that comes a lot more easily when we stop thinking about it. It’s more like a place you occupy than an object you obtain. Some days you’ll be there and some days you wont, but the more time you spend thinking about being happy, the less likely you are to spend time being so. A large part of what less than happy people have is a problem with their patterns of attention. In the same way the attention of an extrovert is naturally directed at social communication, the attention of an entrepreneur seeks out business opportunities, and an artist looks for creative expression, an unhappy person tends to look directly at happiness. This post will explore some practices that can help you to stop focusing so hard on the idea of happiness and instead embrace the experiences and thoughts that will actually make you happy. 1. Take the word “happy” out of your vocabulary. We all know words are used to communicate ideas. Unfortunately, sometimes a word can get overused and it becomes confusing, stifling, or even dangerous. Here are some other words you should start to use in conversations with yourself and others about how you feel. Don’t be fooled into believing you need to experience all of them; you don’t. If you find yourself asking, Am I happy? Replace the question with: Do I have [insert word] in my life? Contentment Enjoyment Laughter Well-being Peace of mind Cheerfulness Playfulness Hopefulness Blessedness

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Our Lives Are Measured in Love, Not Numbers

  Our Lives Are Measured in Love, Not Numbers     “In the end, these are the things that matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” ~Buddha Last year my yoga teacher told a story in class about Hanuman, an ancient Hindu god depicted as a monkey. When asked what he was devoted to, Hanuman opened his chest and there were Sita and Ram, sitting on his heart, always with him. He was their greatest devotee. The story stuck with me. “What do I hold closest to my heart?” I asked myself quite often, and I was not getting the answer I wanted. Where was the dream I held close to my heart? Was I truly devoted to love, joy, and peace, or just appearing to be? What I observed was that numbers subtly defined my life. Numbers. Money, time, days until, days since, age, weight, calories, date, GPA, mile time, social media likes, followers, lovers, breakups, countries visited, height, miles driven, time left, time passed, books read, books to read, miles run, seconds in a handstand. I felt like I was living a quantitative life. I enjoy math and I think science is fas

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Say No !!

  Say No     “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Seuss As children we’re taught to just say no, and we do it with abandon. Want to come inside and get ready for dinner? No! Want to shut off the TV and go grocery shopping? No! Want to wear the

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Be Your Purpose Now

  Be Your Purpose Now     “The secret to success is constancy to purpose.” ~Benjamin Disraeli Most of us want to be successful, if not in monetary terms, then by our own definitions. We want to feel a sense of meaning, to do something worthwhile that we can be proud of. Something that matters to people. Somethi

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Life Goes by Too Quickly to Postpone Our Dreams

  Life Goes by Too Quickly to Postpone Our Dreams     “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” ~Paul Valery As I am sitting at my desk, looking out the window, I am contemplating if I should fly to Germany or not. My father has been very sick for the past three years. I spent three months in Germany last year to have some time with him and help him get better. He finally recovered and I flew back home to Miami. When I talked to my stepmom the other day, she gave me the news though that my father had a relapse and seems to be worse than ever. My first instinct was to get on the next plane to go see him. My father refuses. He doesn’t want me to come. He doesn’t want me to see him suffer, so he prefers I stay home while he is waiting for a place in the clinic. Situations like these make you realize how precious life is. Everything we take for granted can be gone in a heartbeat. Knowing that, why do we keep procrastinating? Why do we keep postponing our dreams? We always think the time is not right, we don’t have the resources we need, we don’t have enough knowledge, we don’t have any support; the list is endless. I was just like that. I always dreamed of going full-time with my personal training business. But even though I felt depressed, kind of empty inside, and even useless once in a while, and I had a day job I wasn’t passionate about that seemed meaningless to me, I kept making excuses. I kept telling myself,&nb

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Cultivating Purpose: Let Go of “Should” and Do

  Cultivating Purpose: Let Go of “Should” and Do What You Love     “Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all.” ~Khalil Gibran In my mid twenties I found out I had a mass on my pituitary. I was told it could be cancer, it could be benign, it could be a cyst—we wouldn’t know until my doctor performed a surgery to remove it. This surgery meant I could go blind, be on lifelong hormone replacement therapy, or even die. I don’t want you to wait until something bad happens to dedicate time to things you love. Countless people I meet share the same story over and over again when I tell them I’m an artist: “I was told I was good at drawing, but Dad wanted me to be a doctor,” “It reminds me of my love of the theatre. I keep thinking about joining our local community theatre, but I never seem to get round to doing it.” It seems calling oneself an artist triggers a longing for creative expression in many. How can we find and follow our inner guide? While waiting for the big day of surgery, I hid away in the basement of my sister’s home. I painted for perhaps my last time. I painted for the pure joy of painting. For perhaps the first time in my life I didn’thear a bunch of “shoulds” running around my mind. I painted as a channel, connected to whatever source gave me the inspiration for that work. The world around us communicates a whole lot of expectation on our lives. We have pressures to stay connected, to succeed, to travel, to be the perfect parent, to somehow “balance” our life, all while eating green smoothies, cooking homemade fresh organic meals, and exercising regularly. That’s a whole lot of &ldq

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Stop Dissecting Your Every Thought and Action

  The Self-Analysis Trap: Stop Dissecting Your Every Thought and Action   “Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible.” ~Eugene Ionesco We are taught from a very young age that it is our responsibility to reflect on the motives behind our actions and behaviors. From the time we can form sentences, we are asked the questions: “Why did you make that choice?” and “What made you do that?” These questions often follow bad behavior and punishment. Our parents were trying to teach us, with the best of intentions, that we are responsible for our own actions. This is a necessary lesson for young children, who are discovering their autonomy and the consequences of their behavior in a social world. To a certain point, we should be held responsible for our actions, by others and ourselves. A conscientious person practices self-reflection and recognizes the origin and causes of thoughts and feelings when possible. But for some of us, myself included, it feels like every thought and behavior needs to be analyzed. Self-reflection, rumination, and justification fill my day and keep me up late at night. In order to maintain a sense of self-control and discipline, I dissect every emotion I feel and every action I take, all the while building a psychological narrative for my life. For a long time, my drive to understand my behavior was an asset. I could explain my actions and thoughts more maturely than other kids, and adults prided me on my reflective nature. When I was younger, I was blessed with mental health. Because my mind was functioning correctly and promoting the right behaviors and feelings, it was easy for me to explain and justify my actions. For the most part, they were appropriate and positive. If I did act

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Are You Showing Up in the World as Your Best Self?

  Are You Showing Up in the World as Your Best Self? “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ~Robert Kennedy Many years ago, I had the opportunity to take a yoga class at San Quentin State Prison in Northern California. I had visited the prison before, attending other classes, with inmates, on anger management and a class based on Bryon Katie’s The Work, but this was my first yoga class. It was an evening class, which made the prison seem that much more foreboding, and the class was full of lifers. The inmates in that room had committed very serious crimes. Most would never again see outside the prison’s walls. A man sat down on the mat next to mine and immediately struck up a conversation. He shared with me that the class had changed him in ways he hadn’t anticipated, that the yoga and mindfulness practice was helping him see the oneness in the world, and the invisible connections between all of us. He had also begun to realize the damage he had caused by taking a life, not just to himself and the victim, but to his family, his community, and that of the victim’s. The circle of people affected by the violent act and its outcome was ever-widening. He had been in prison for years but had never really considered all of that before starting his yoga practice. He said that what he ha

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The Power of Failure: We Get to Decide

  The Power of Failure: We Get to Decide What It Means “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard Why does this affect me so? What am I feeling? Sheer Anger! Total disgust with myself. Hatred and disappointment in my life stain my thoughts. Why? Because in my ego’s opinion, I should already be who I am meant to be, and I am not there! Not by a mile. I feel so much disgust. My fears and resentment have grown into hatred and pain. I am at a loss for who I never became. Full of shame, I see that I have wasted my life—or so I perceive it that way. It is hard to accept this. I am so sorry that I have failed so frequently at empowering myself. Seriously, what extremes must I take to wake up and say, “I am finally okay with myself; I am here, warts and all”? Instead, life has molded me, shaped me, and created me where I am right now. Tears of anger fill my eyes. Why pursue so many times my desire to make something of myself? Whatam I making? What did I expect to have happened already? Who did I think I was supposed to be? Fear, disappointment, and sadness shadow me as I have moved on.

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Discover Your True Joy: 5 Ways To Find

  Discover Your True Joy: 5 Ways To Find What You’re Really Chasing   “Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” ~Unknown When my last relationship ended, I found myself suddenly questioning what my goals honestly meant to me. I had focused my past five years steadily chasing a very specific dream with this woman (creating joy, art, and a community in NYC, adopting some dogs, and eventually moving back to California to start a family together). At least that’s what we thought we were chasing. When we realized that our lives together had become static, that we lacked engaging dynamics, and that we only rarely brought out true joy in each other, our roads abruptly veered and I found myself sans lover, best friend, and collaborator. I also was given a huge opportunity to view my life with fresh eyes. I saw that by limiting our vision and chasing only our one shared dream, we were effectively shutting ourselves off from exactly those varied personal experiences that it would take to build our joy, inspire our art, and create that dynamic life we both desired. We allowed ourselves to be held back from a meaningful life by chasing the goals we thought it would take to get there. We had gotten stuck in chasing the wrong things for a right reason. I began examining what I had been busy chasing in all the aspects of my life. Chasing in my career, chasing in my suddenly newly blossomed singles life, and in the personal identity of who I was now

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Forgive Yourself and Change Your Choices

  Forgive Yourself and Change Your Choices   For almost four years I held onto a feeling that I had somehow done something wrong—that I hadn’t tried hard enough, that I had somehow failed my daughter. In May 2008 my daughter’s father had arrived home after staying out all night. He told me he no longer loved me, found me attractive, or even fancied me, and that at eight years younger than him I was “too old.” I was completely stunned. While our relationship had many of the usual flaws, we had never fought, and I’d believed him one month prior, after we bought a new home together, when he said he was the happiest he’d ever been in his 45 years. After the initial shock had worn off, I moved into a house with my daughter and I began to reflect back. I realized that for the previous eight years, I had in fact been living in some sort of cloud-cuckoo land. I realized I had overlooked many real issues that had existed between us because we had a child. I had worked full-time, putting our daughter in childcare, while he remained unemployed and “too depressed” to look after our girl, spending hour after hour laying on the sofa watching movies. I had never questioned how he went out, bought a sports car, two motorbikes, and a yacht after coming into some family money, while I continued to pay for all food, child care expenses, and household expenses. I suddenly realized all the “girl friends” he had and communicated with on a daily basis, via text and email, were in fact “girlfriends.” And then I got angry; in fact, I became wild.

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Releasing the Urge to Push and Being Kind

  Releasing the Urge to Push and Being Kind to Yourself Instead     “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” ~John De Paola Pushing has always been the way I get things done. Actually, I should be more specific: pushing myself harder has been the way I get things done. I grew up believing that life was hard, and that the only way to survive was to give up indulgences, buckle down, and trudge forward. Uphill. Against the wind. In my small, suburban high school, I spent hours after my classes ended wrestling with quadratic equations. I had the overwhelmingly generous help of my teachers, who tutored me for free in their after-school time. I had the patience of an incredibly gifted best friend to accompany me at study sessions. Still, I felt alone in it all. I cried (weekly, probably) over math and science. Other subjects came easily to me, but the black-topped tables of the science classroom consumed my experience of school. I still remember how smooth and cold they were under my elbows. I continued on to college at one of the most expensive private schools in the U.S., sinking into student loan debt with every lecture. When depression swept me away during my first college semester and my grades suffered, the only solution I saw was to work harder, to sleep less. The results weren’t good: I exited the school year with deepening depression and a blossoming eating disorder.

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Will You Get Bitter or Better?

  Will You Get Bitter or Better?     “Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Proverb I am a member of a mercifully small subset of society. I am the mother of a dead child. Twenty years ago, my daughter Grace—my first child, my only girl—was born prematurely and died 32-minutes later. As I write this, I am astonished that it has been twenty years since I met my daughter for the only time. Time stopped for me when Grace took her last little breath. And I was certain that my life could never start again.  I was wrong. Here’s what made all the difference in my healing: Over time, I learned to bless the thorns in my life. I began to see that the thorn and rose define one another. Since, one cannot exist without the other, we can only enjoy the rose when we embrace the thorn. As a society, though, we make healing from loss very difficult. We unintentionally tell each other lies about suffering and the healing process. One of those lies is that “Time heals all wounds.” If time healed all wounds, why do so many people suffer their entire lives from things that happened decades ago? As one of the bereavement experts I studied explained, it’s not “time” that heals all wounds. It’s hard work. And hard work takes time. Here is some of the hard work of healing:  Choose to Heal When great tragedy

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Embrace Fear and Find Your Center

  Embrace Fear and Find Your Center Riding With No Hands     “Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong—sometimes it’s letting go.” ~Unknown My mom leaned in and gave me a goodnight kiss. The only light illuminating her face was coming from the hallway. I looked up at her, and in the confidence of the dark confessed, “I saw it.” “It” was my birthday present, waiting patiently for me to wake up in the morning and claim it from its place in the garage. “It” was a turquoise blue Stingray bicycle with a white pleather banana seat and an extra tall sissy bar. I’d seen it by chance, tucked back in a dark corner, and knew instantly it was for me. I couldn’t stop myself from ruining my mom’s surprise. I just couldn’t contain my joy. That bike was the answer to my 10 year-old dreams. And I wasn’t disappointed. My new bike was the coolest mode of freedom I could imagine. It took me to the local pharmacy for candy and back to the school playground to meet up with my friends. Like an addict, I lusted for the feeling I got from riding past the Skerkoske’s house, Marcia Brady hair blowing in the breeze, singing “I Think I Love You” at the top of my lungs. Riding something so beautiful gave me all kinds of cocky confidence. I was fearless. Within days, I was pedaling through the neighborhood, arms waving madly in the air, shouting “Look at me world!  I’m riding with no hands!” I let go without ever calculating the risks involved.

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Reasons to Let Go of Jealousy and Celebrate Your

  4 Reasons to Let Go of Jealousy and Celebrate Your Greatness     “Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown When I arrived home after a brief stint living in another state, I was anxious to reconnect with places from my childhood and the friends I’d left behind. But while I was healing from a heart-wrenching breakup, suffering through sleepless nights on my parents rock-hard couch, and mulling over where all my freelance writing work had gone, my friends seemed to be successful, happy, and right on track. Realizing that I had hit rock-bottom and that it crippled my self-esteem, my friends gathered around me, taking shifts to ensure that I wouldn’t drown in my own overwhelming grief. Yet, while their love and support was what got me through, seeing each of their lives so clearly flourishing added another emotion to my already full load: jealousy. Jealousy is a sneaky bugger—a pot-stirrer who likes to aid the ego in pointing out flaws you’d rather just sweep under the rug. It serves as a reminder of all the success you don’t have, the experiences you haven’t had, the relationships you’d like to have—basically everything that makes you feel “less than.” I spent the next few mon

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Ways to Deal with I-Should-Be-Better Syndrome

  6 ways to Deal with I-Should-Be-Better Syndrome     “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu Pretty much everyone I know thinks they should be doing better in some way, at least sometimes. Are you totally and completely satisfied with what you’ve done so far in life? No little part of you thinks, maybe I should have more money in the bank? Or maybe I should have a more professional wardrobe, or a book contract, or a dog that’s housebroken? The word “should” is not exactly enlightened or peaceful. Nor is the practice of judging yourself or believing that you’re not exactly where you’re meant to be. But we’re human so our thoughts inevitably go there from time to time. We judge ourselves. We hold ourselves to standards that someone else made up—standards that may not even make sense for our current life. I often hear people say things like: “I can’t believe I’m in my 40s and still don’t have matching luggage.” “Shouldn’t my child be reading by now?” “I always assumed I’d exercise regularly after I finished college.” “I can’t believe I don’t have better health insurance at this stage in my career.” I have to wonder, whose beliefs are those? Whose standards are they, really? It’s not like we wake up at 40 and suddenly crave matching luggage. Someone fed us that expectation somewhere along the way, and we forgot it wasn’t our own. Would the mother feel genuine concern for her child’s reading skills if they lived on a deserted island? Or is the pressure external, based on what others say, think, and read, and she simply doesn’t realize those thoughts aren’t hers? And I, too, have thoughts like these all the time. Not those exactly, but ones like them.

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Reclaim Your Energy So You Can Follow Your Dreams

  How to Reclaim Your Energy So You Can Follow Your Dreams     “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~Dan Millman I don’t care who you are or where you live, we all have one thing in common. We like to dream—to close our eyes and imagine that we’re living the life we were meant to lead. It’s a desire that’s imbedded in our DNA. To want more. Achieve more. Become more. It’s why we start new businesses, write novels, learn to play the guitar, get our MBA, change careers, learn to cook, sew, or speak Swahili. We’re all chasing a dream. Every day life dreams as well. Like simple happiness, good health, or financial independence; finding a place to call home, someone to love, or a path to inner peace. Perhaps it’s just a life with less pain, heartache, or loneliness. Dreams are not only what make the world a better place, but you and I better human beings. We need to chase our dreams every chance we get. Fortunately, most of us do, and with all our hearts. Unfortunately, many of us give up on those dreams almost before we even start, stuffing them in the back of our sock drawer until we forget they were ever there. It’s easy to make excuses for our failed dreams, too. We don’t know where to begin, or we have no time, money, skills, or commitment. But, the real enemy is deeper and more insidious. We’re plain worn out. We have no energy to chase our dreams. There’s always somewhere to go and something to do. Late meetings at work, carpool to drive, lunches to be made, trash to be taken out, homework to finish. We catch a cold. Lose our job. Start a relationship. End a relationship. Birthdays. Holidays. Trips to the dentist. The list is endless and exhausting. It’s no wonder we have nothing left in the tank for a better life. It’s all we can do to maintain the life we have. Money is not the great currency of our time. Energy is. Physical energy to get out of bed, and positive energy to do something better with our lives. All the noblest dreams in the world mean nothing if we don’t have the energy to

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Accomplishing Goals Moving from Ego to Spirit

  The Key to Accomplishing Goals Moving from Ego to Spirit     “Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” ~Glenda Cloud My life is over. That’s what I thought when I got the news that I’d lost my job after fifteen years with two sister companies. I loved this job. I was on the road to becoming everything I thought I wanted to be—a Hollywood studio vice president, well on my way to running a studio someday. I was doing something I loved, developing stories. And now it was all over. Have you ever had a moment like that? When the end of something in your life felt like the end of your life? You’re not just being overdramatic—when we lose a job or relationship or role, we do experience loss. So how do we pick ourselves up and move on? For me, even though my Hollywood job had ended, in a way it was Hollywood that saved me, too. I realized that I needed to shift my perspective. Losing this job wasn’t the end of my story; it was the difficult middle. Think of all the movies you’ve seen where, at the midpoint of the story, the hero starts to run into some serious obstacles. It’s at this moment when she starts to see the weakness in her approach to her problems. She has to go through an “all is lost moment” before she can reach the “aha” moment when she realizes what

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How to Connect with Your Body to Feel Balanced

  How to Connect with Your Body to Feel Balanced: 10 Grounding Techniques     “Get yourself grounded and you can navigate even the stormiest roads in peace.” ~Steve Goodier Sometimes my head is in the clouds on a massive scale. This isn’t always a bad thing for me. When I am blissfully ignorant of reality, it can feel beautiful and exhilarating—shiny, I call it. It can be a welcome respite from the days when life feels dark and painfully uncertain. But this can also be dangerous. When you’re not connected to your body and surrounding environment, you don’t have a strong sense of direction or purpose; you’re just floating. Also, the smallest thing can distract you and it’s difficult to get anything done. For example, I’m supposed to be editing another article right now, but instead, I’m playing with this one. Even if you don’t have the same struggles I do, you might be able to relate. When you’re dealing with difficult circumstances and emotions, you may feel unbalanced and even start to shut down a little. It’s all too easy to disconnect from the world when it starts to feel overwhelming. Let’s face it: the clouds are beautiful, but sometimes it’s helpful to have your feet on the ground. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a series of grounding techniques that help me reconnect with my body when I’m feeling a little lost:  1. Change the bed sheets. This requires a significant amount of concentration, otherwise I end up with funny shapes for bed covers. Not only that, the activity is a tactile experience; the sheets are clean so they smell gorgeous, and if you use softener the fabric is great to handle.

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others !

  Stop Comparing Yourself to Others An Alternative to Competing with People     “Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown We all do it or have done it at some point in our lives: We compare ourselves to others and gauge where we are based on what we observe them to be doing. If this was simply an observation, that would be one thing. But in comparing ourselves to others, we often end up judging ourselves. There’s no one worse to judge! If you have ever noticed, it doesn’t matter how many people are on your side, cheering you on. If you can’t get on your own side, you never get past “go.” The thing about comparison is that there is never a win. How often do we compare ourselves with someone less fortunate than us and consider ourselves blessed? More often, we compare ourselves with someone who we perceive as being, having, or doing more. And this just leaves us coming up short.

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Healing the Inner Child

  Healing the Inner Child Free Yourself from Subconscious Pain     “The child is in me still and sometimes not so still.” ~Mr. Rogers We’ve all been there. Either we’ve said “Stop acting like a child!” to someone who we felt was acting immature, or someone said it to us in a moment that we’re not too proud about. Many couples would sum up their frustration with their partner by saying that, at times, they act like a child. For many of us, we continue to feel frustration and disdain for the part of us that seems to repeat in failure, pain, or foolish behavior. Whether it’s unhealthy relationships, acting out, or some level of attention seeking, no matter how hard we try, there seems to be in all of us a little child that won’t be still and act right. I spent most of my life trying not to make mistakes and hiding the parts of me that I knew others would disapprove of. As a kid I excelled in sports, grades, and music. I was “cool” enough to play the drums and always managed to be first chair in the band (this is the best drummer position, for non-band nerds). Each week there would be a test to determine who would be first chair. One day, while testing, I forgot to repeat a certain part of the routine. The room fell silent, and everyone turned, looking shocked that I’d made a mistake. It didn’t even take

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Being Happy in the Present: See the Tree

  Being Happy in the Present: See the Tree     “Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” ~Jack Kornfield I sometimes find myself smiling for no reason—a good mood, perhaps, or maybe a thought about friends and loved ones. What I notice is that every time I contemplate my own smile, it comes back to the thought of being here, now, and feeling for those around me with understanding instead of judgment and love in place of anger. It is in the here and now that I find happiness. Contemplate a tree: In the blazing heat of the summer, does it cry and complain, or does it sway in the passing breeze? In the deathly cold of winter, does it shutter and wither, or does it catch the falling snow from the sky and offer us pleasing scenery? Now ask yourself the same question: In the crests of life, do you lose your legs and sink, or do you stay afloat with the rolling tides? Oftentimes we forget that happiness is usually a choice, and it is in times of need when we need to be patient with ourselves in order to stay afloat and choose to be happy. Last year was rough for me. I felt manipulated by a (now ex-) girlfriend for a year before finally leaving her, was hurt twice again over the summer, and as a result, became slightly jaded. I was prepared to live the next year in solitude, not caring to find romance.

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Fighting For Your Joy

  Fighting for Your Joy I’ve had to fight for my joy. I’ve also loved and laughed and created my way to it. But it’s fair to say that removing all of the obstacles, illusions, attacks, grief, and heavy trippin’ from my truth has beenstrenuous work. I know growth is cyclical, I know that you never really arrive. I know grief can catch you off guard. I know nothing is certain. Now that I’m at the most joyful I’ve ever been, (there’s a difference between happiness and joy), I’m asking: Will I have to fight for my joy again? I think of the places that I made myself go to be intimate with love & usery, light & darkness, confusion & clarity. I got through those portals the scrappy, human way, the way householders discover their cosmicness…laughing really hard in my living room, 

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How to Change the Life You’re Giving Yourself

  How to Change the Life You’re Giving Yourself We meet life, with all of its complex relationships, through what we know. Each daily event, with its dozens of unsuspected twists and turns, challenges us to come up with our best answers. Once our most suitable answer is at hand, we launch it and ourselves into action and watch to see what happens. With each situation this challenge and response process is repeated over and over again, until the condition resolves itself for us, either favorably or not. The point being made here is that at any given moment we always do what we know. This may seem very obvious, but with closer examination, especially in light of the fact we wish to elevate ourselves and what we are getting from this life, we will discover something very astounding. Read the next three sentences very carefully. I have separated this trio of important ideas for ease of reading, but they are very much connected to each other. Each higher idea leads to the next one, and when they are absorbed all together, they will tell you a great secret. Before you can get anything different from this life, you must first do something different. Before you can do anything different with your life, you must first know something different.  Before you can know anything different, you must first suspect and then confirm that it is your present level of understanding that has brought you what you now wish you could change. Now let’s reverse the order of these right ideas so that we can see how they work from the other way around. Until you know something different you cannot do anything different. Until you do something different you will not get anything different. And until you really get something different from your life you cannot know what you have missed and how much more there is to understand.

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My Body No Longer Lets Me Lie

  My Body No Longer Lets Me Lie     My body has been the keeper of many lies over the years. I never considered myself a deceitful person until I began truth telling on a much deeper level. You see, I spent years lying. Lying through the smile plastered on my face, the “fine” responses to “how are you” questions, and by not giving air time to the simple truths that surfaced within me. The simple truths that said… This is not the right relationship for you. This job is killing you slowly. This client is not the right fit for you. This sadness is eating you alive. This career path is so far from aligned. This life is not truly fulfilling you. I was a master of deceit. Not a soul in my sphere knew the levels of my unhappiness… and I kept my cards close to my heart. I blended in. I let people see who they wanted to see in me. I made myself small. And I did this for far longer than was healthy or helpful.

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The Women Who Said Yes to Themselves

  The Women Who Said Yes to Themselves   Warrior woman, I see you. I see you every day. I see you as you walk past me on the street, weaving through crowded avenues, your feet sinking into the paving stones with each overwhelmed step. I see you as you cover your face with your hands, letting your head surrender its heaviness, wondering when the calm will come, when the angst will leave. I see you on long nights when you soothe your crying child, when you survive on hot tea, and turn away from the cold chimes of a clock that judges your use of each second. I see your beauty and your brokenness and the tattered griefs and dreams that you carry balled up in your fists. And when I see you, I hear you too. I hear your heart as it cries out with confusion as you stand so silently, pressing your lips tightly together for fear your voice might also cry out in unison. I know the weight, sweet Warrior. I know it well. Some days it’s a crushing despair: I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do me. Choosing yourself in a world that asks you to suffocate your self-expression takes fire and fortitude, I know. The World will tell you that you are too much. Too feisty. Too strong. Too daring. The World will tell you that you are not enough. Not good enough. 

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You Should Pursue the Success That You Want

  You Should Pursue the Success That You Want     Have you ever wondered if you’re aiming too low in life? You have your own dreams for success, your own plans for how you will get there and your own timeframe. Your dreams are modest; perhaps you want a nice career in an industry you like, or you want to be the owner of a local store in the community. Your goals might be personal. You want a happy family, or you want to have a complete collection of collectables. You want to actively contribute to a local charity, or you might want to be on the board of a non-profit that has personal significance. The dreams mean a lot to you, and you cherish them very much. But when you share your dreams with other people, you might hear laughter or mocking. You might be told that your dreams are silly, and you should do something more realistic. You might even hear that you should be aiming much higher, and dream to be one of the top people in the world. After all, if you have small dreams, your ambitions aren’t great. If you’re not aiming for a large amount of success, you’re never going to be successful or happy in life. Why aren’t you taking more risks? You’re young, you still have so much time, why not be more adventurous? Comments like these can really make you feel silly about your goals, and make you think that your goals are insignificant and meaningless. It can dampen your desire to achieve your goals, because you can’t shake the fact that people don’t see realizing those dreams as success. I’ve always had a dream to have my own business and be a stay-at-home father. To me, nothing is more important than being able to help others and be there for my children. I have other dreams as well, but those two are the most important to me. When I share those with the people that I meet, I do hear a lot of supportive comments and encouragement. I’ve also heard my share of discouraging comments and ridicule, such as people saying no business investment is an automatic failure, or stay-at-home fathers being a bad idea. Negative comments stay with me, and they are always uncomfortable to deal with. During my days in university, I had a lot of trouble throwing those thoughts away. They would always stay in my mind, and it started to affect my confidence in following my passions. Then I opened my mind and started reading more books and talking with my mentor, and realized something about success. Everyone’s got a different idea of success in their mind. Just because an idea is different doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just because you have modest dreams doesn’t make them any less significant than someone else who might be aiming higher. If you’ve achieved something and you’re happy, that’s success, no matter what anyone else says.  Everyone Wants To Achieve Different Things In Life The common message in society seems to be that unless you’re incredibly rich and famous, you can never consider yourself to be successful. There also seem to be standards that society holds people to in order to judge success. Having a well-paying career or a large business, married with children, a lovely house, owning a car and being able to afford luxuries. If that makes you happy once you achieve it, that can and should be

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Was it Luck or Was it …You?

  Was it Luck or Was it …You? I have always considered myself lucky because of the many gifts I’ve gotten in life: a loving husband, a loving family, great friends (not many, but true ones). A healthy body and a healthy mind. The home I live in, nice vacations I can afford, doing the work I love. For all this, I am truly grateful. And the more grateful I am, the more I feel spoiled by the universe. However, I have decided to stay in my truth and say what I think, with no apologies. I’ve stopped pretending this was all about “luck.”I am now brave enough to step outside my fake humbleness and start celebrating myself and my achievements. You see, most of us have been conditioned to feel the need of always “improving” ourselves and focus on our flaws and perceived limitations while taking our strengths for granted or not even being aware of them. While we are all learning from our experiences and mistakes, we also need to know our gifts and talents that make us truly special and unique. Knowing who we are, detaching ourselves from the toxic habit of comparing ourselves to others and celebrating our uniqueness. Sounds beautiful, isn’t it? And still, why is it easier said than done, for so many people? What makes it so hard for ourselves to accept our brilliance? Let’s be honest with this one: women generally have a bigger problem seeing their worth compared to men. Men tend to attribute their achievements to their skills and capabilities. Women tend to connect their successes to other people who helped them to be where they are or to pure “luck”. No wonder women don’t get the same paycheck as men for doing similar work. It’s all about the way we perceive ourselves and our level of self-worth.

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We Need 100 percent of Love Everyday!

  We Need 100% of Love Everyday!     Ask yourself, “How much do I love myself? 20%, 30%, 60%? More? Less?” Well, we need 100% of love everyday. So whatever we are missing from 100% that’s what we are looking for everyday. If love doesn’t come from you, you will get it from someplace or someone else. We all have to give away our power to things we love or things we believe in! We give away our power to our lovers, parents, friends, society, teachers, drugs, school, the past, therapists, people in the industry and so much more. If you feel weak, confused,

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The Universe Works Fast When YouGet Out of the Way

  The Universe Works Fast When You Get Out of the Way   In 2014 my husband and I spent nine months hunting for an apartment. We live in New York City, which is a competitive market, and our search coincided with one the best seller’s markets in recent history. As a result, each new viewing left us more and more depressed and lethargic. Our reaction to everything was, “Ugh, another overpriced, craptastic listing!” Then we’d collapse on the couch, feeling bummed out and drained of energy. We quickly lost sight of the joy that comes with buying your first home. Instead, we started to feel terrible because we were getting priced out of neighborhoods that we didn’t even want to live in. The whole experience was bringing us down. In time we started to get sick, fight and lose faith in our dream home. One night, after seeing yet another insanely expensive place in need of a gut renovation, we both unraveled. In the midst of a mini meltdown, I remembered I had another choice. I said the magic words to my husband: “There has to be a better way. Let’s pray for a creative solution. ” He nodded yes, and we prayed. I said,“Thank you, Universe, for opening us up to creative possibilities. We surrender our plans to you. Show us what you’ve got.” Within seconds we both felt lighter. In our surrender we’d realigned with the true source of power, the Universe. Instead of fixating on everything that was getting us down — and trying to control the outcome of this stressful and unpredictable situation — we instantly gave ourselves permission to stop worrying

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Why Are the Comfort Zones So Uncomfortable?

  Why Are the Comfort Zones So Uncomfortable?     The “comfort zone” is a place you find yourself in, when you have stayed in a certain situation for far too long. Your heart says, “There is more to life than this.” It’s telling you that you must act now, but your brain says, “Stop wanting more, stay where you are and play it safe.” You will have to move out of your comfort zones if you want

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The Curse Of Knowledge

  The Curse of Knowledge     By the time you finish reading this, everything I’m about to tell you will already be over. What you choose to do with it is up to you. Caleb Carr was beaten as a child. His father, Lucien Carr, was an Ivy League boy, friends with Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. They were the rebels of society. Known as The Beat Generation. But Caleb reminded me of their other legacy… “My father gets arrested for murder. Jack gets arrested for accessory because he helped hide the weapon…” “And then Burroughs, of course, shoots his wife down in Mexico.” “My father’s murder case gave their movement a type of darkness and gravitas it wouldn’t have otherwise had.” *** “All of these cycles, all of these abusive things are cyclical,” Caleb said. His father didn’t get the help he needed. Neither did Caleb. “It’s one of the reasons I never had children myself.” I didn’t understand at first. Caleb has the awareness. He understands

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Waves of Doubt and an Ocean of LOVE

  Waves of Doubt and an Ocean of LOVE   One of the hardest things that we deal with in our lives is doubt. Oh sure, we go through enormously difficult situations – we lose jobs, we lose loved ones, we get sick, the list of hardships can be mind boggling. And doubt is probably the most difficult hardship to conquer. It can literally come from nowhere and can feel like the snake in the garden, winding itself sneakily through our joys and our confidences. It can attach itself to our best relationships and undermine our finest moments. Before his death, Socrates once described pleasure and pain as two sides of the same coin, saying that one could hardly live without the other. I wonder if we too easily castdoubt into the same pot as pain and disregard its enormous value to us as human beings. If we can acceptdoubt as part of our life process of faith, we can see that they are literally the yin and yang of one thing, rather than being at odds with one another.

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What Jealousy and Envy Reveal About Your Need

  What Jealousy and Envy Reveal About Your Need     Jealousy and envy. They’re real. They show up in sneaky ways. Sometimes, before you realize it they’ve made their home in your belly, and you feel awful that you could be so jealous or envious. Your life is great after all — right? But what is jealousy? By definition: JEALOUSY is “mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc.” It’s an unhappy or angry feeling caused by the belief that someone you love (spouse, sibling, friend) is liked by or likes someone else more than you. ENVY is an unhappy or angry feeling caused by desiring what someone else owns. You want what they have, and you feel inadequate for not having it. You know how it goes. You’re hustling in life, your Facebook photos are on point, your life seems pretty swell, not perfect, but swell. Then here comes Christy with photos from her trip to Europe, her perfect wedding, and her gorgeous baby. Of course, you love Christy. She’s an incredibly sweet person, and honestly, she deserves all of these wonderful things in her life. But still, in your happiness for her you can’t help but notice that small tinge of envy. It rears its ugly green monster head, and you think “Why?! I’m not a bad person. I have a great heart.” You willingly give to others. You do your best to be a kind and loving person. “Then why am I so awful that I feel jealous or envious right now?” Maybe you’re worried you’re being a bad friend, daughter, neighbor, parent by being jealous. You’re not being supportive of this other person. But what if I told you that your jealousy or envy has very little to do with them, and a whole more to do with you and your needs? What if I told you that it’s okay to feel jealousy or envy? That they can exist alongside your love and support of someone in your life who you feel jealous or envious of? THE GREEN MONSTER MIRROR The world is a sea of mirrors. Those we encounter are a source of reflection and introspection; mirrors that allows us to see what we want and what we don’t want in our lives. Jealousy and envy is one way that mirror to our internal needs works. Stay with me here. What if we looked at jealousy just as a feeling? Strip away the judgments, shame, and any other negative self-talk. What if we explored the feeling a bit deeper, and looked at it square in the eye?

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What If Your Purpose Has Nothing to Do with Your

  What If Your Purpose Has Nothing to Do with Your Career?   These days there’s a plethora of self-help books and online courses aimed at helping you find your passion and live your purpose (full disclosure: I offer such a course). Many of us get hooked very quickly on the idea of monetizing our passion. We want to make money doing what we love and we want to make the world a better place in the process. This is a noble goal, and if you’re lucky enough to have achieved it then I tip my hat to you. But this blog is for the rest of us. This blog is for those who have a tricky time getting paid to be their True Self. This blog is for people who poured all of their savings into what they thought was their purpose, only to lose it all. This blog is for those who are biting their nails while looking at their bank account – hoping that the law of attraction will eventually kick in and bring them the Ferrari on their vision board. This blog is for people who repeat affirmations about being financially abundant when they don’t actually believe a word they’re saying. Because here’s the hard truth that many of us need to hear: sometimes your purpose isn’t supposed to have anything to do with making a living. Your passion might not actually want (or need) to be monetized. And the more you try to convince people to pay you for a purpose that doesn’t need money, the less authentic you appear to your audience.

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How To Achieve Goals !

  How to Achieve Goals   Most of us are a bit flawed in how we pursue our goals. We think that setting intentions and taking steps toward them is enough, but it’s not. I walk you through this transformational exercise in my vlog below.   The basic principle to understand when doing this exercise is that in order to create anything new, we must remove the obstacles

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Are You Pushing Yourself Too Hard?

  Are You Pushing Yourself Too Hard?     You have a goal. Something important to you. Something you said yes to creating, doing, achieving because you believed it would make you happy. And so you go for it, work your way to making your goal a reality, feeling good about it, but then something shifts. You realize to reach said goal, you are going to have to push yourself to make it happen. Work hard. Cancel dates. Put pressure on yourself. Put your personal happiness on hold. So like a “strong” woman, “responsible” man, you buck up, push through, exhaust yourself, sacrifice your self-care, and the thing you were originally doing to make you happy is now making you unhappy and stressed out. But instead of stopping to re-assess your situation, you pretend like you’ve got it handled, or passively aggressively complain about how busy you are – never letting on to yourself or anyone else, that the perpetrator of your stress-filled, no-space-for-myself life is you. Sound familiar? Welcome to the lifestyle of the 21st century super woman and super man. Overworked, overwhelmed and frankly over it! A life where we accept stress, hard work and sacrifice as the norm, even at the cost of our own happiness and health. But really, if we just pause here for a moment, we all know that unsustainable, pressure cooker pace is no way to live. Could there be a different way? Where we don’t have to be a victim to our responsibilities, schedule, family, work, etc…?While there may be moments we need to rally and push to the finish line, what if those were the exception instead of the norm? Your operating system for life should NOT be pushing yourself hard.

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Having A Vision

  Having A Vision     We have recently purchased a vacation home in San Diego and I was going for a run this past Saturday morning. I was on a bit of a high because my dream had come true of owning a second home in Southern California. I have been coming here for about three years for an annual Yoga retreat and when I first came I didn’t have much money to be honest. But I wanted to live here and went home and created myvision board. Well fast forward three years and here I am as a homeowner and the crazy part, was that during my run I realized the little apartment room I rented three years ago on my first trip was only 1.5 blocks away from my new home. Isn’t that amazing? The power of having a vision and a dream is so important and is crazy how powerful it can be. It also reminded me of a little history from my home town of Boulder, when I was trying to find a bit of history about Boulder to explain to my daughter. And this VISION thing just popped out at me again then, so I wanted to share that with you too. In the middle of the 19th century a group of explorers headed out West to explore the area of Boulder because they believed gold was to be found there. At that time Boulder was still part of the Nebraska Territory until it became part of the Colorado Territory a number of years later. Well gold was discovered and the inevitable happened as gold seekers rushed to the area to get rich. To make a buck and make a name for themselves. Some

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How To Hold Happiness In The Palm Of Your Hand!

  How to Hold Happiness in the Palm of Your Hand To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour ~William Blake There’s no better feeling is there? True Happiness. It makes you feel enthused, energized, alive! If only it could last forever. A perpetual state of bliss. Of utter joy. Okay, so reality check needed. Maybe forever happiness isn’t possible. There certainly seems to be too many things to knock your happiness onto the floor in today’s hyper-busy, hyper-competitive world… Bad news. Bills mounting up. Someone else’s bad mood. So when the world is forever changing, how the heck can you hang on to happiness? How can you feel your in control of anything, let alone something so seemingly fleeting? Is it just a case of hitting the lucky odds, of everything falling perfectly into place? Well, I’m not prepared to wait for those kind of odds ever coming off. And I don’t think you are either. But the incredible news is you don’t need to wait. There is a simple way to give yourself an instant happiness boost. No matter where you are, who you’re with or what you’re doing. I know, how come no one told you before? How come you’ve been chasing happiness seemingly forever without this vital piece of information? Honest answer – no one told you because most people don’t know. They missed the class first time round, just like you and I. That’s a genuine shame for the world. You see, the answer is right there in front of you. In the palm of your hand. It always was. Unfurl your hand and look at the palm of your hand.

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The “Chosen Ones” Choose Themselves

  The “Chosen Ones” Choose Themselves     In 1994, a young woman asked for an order of restraint against her husband and filed for divorce. With no job and little money to live on, she signed up for welfare benefits so that she could afford to care for her baby daughter. The woman’s mother had died a few years prior. She had a rocky relationship with her father and they hadn’t spoken in years. And now, as a single parent with a failed marriage and without a job, she was battling depression and on the verge of suicide. Years later, she would refer to herself as “the biggest failure I knew.” However, during the five years that followed her divorce, this woman would battle through fear and depression and go from living on welfare to becoming a multi-millionaire. And she was just getting started. The woman’s name was Joanne, but the world would come to know her as J.K. Rowling. The Rise of J.K. Rowling J.K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter book series, which has sold more than 400 million copies, making it the best-selling book series of all-time. The story was later turned into a series of films, which quickly became the highest-grossing film series of all-time. According to Forbes, Rowling is the first author in history to earn more than $1 billion from writing books. Rowling’s success is even more astounding when you consider her backstory. She was still living on welfare when she submitted the manuscript for her first book. How did she climb out of poverty and reach the top of the literary world? There are many pieces of the puzzle, of course, but here is one factor that I believe made a huge impact on her success:

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HOW TO ABSORB EARTH’S FREE FLOWING ENERGY

  HOW TO ABSORB EARTH’S FREE FLOWING ELECTRONS THROUGH THE SOLES OF YOUR FEET (EARTHING)   Grounding, or ‘earthing,’ as some people call it, involves placing your feet directly on the ground without shoes or socks as a barrier. The logic behind this practice relates to the intense negative charge carried by the Earth. This charge is electron-rich, theoretically serving as a good supply of antioxidants and free-radical destroying electrons. Dr. James Oschman, a PhD in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and an expert in the field of energy medicine, notes: Subjective reports that walking barefoot on the Earth enhances health and provides feelings of well-being can be found in the literature and practices of diverse cultures from around the world. For a variety of reasons, many individuals are reluctant to walk outside barefoot, unless they are on holiday at the beach.(source) It makes sense if you think about it; in our most natural state, we wouldn’t really be wearing any sort of cover on our feet. Putting your feet on the ground enables you to absorb large amounts of negative electrons through the soles of your feet which, in turn, can help to maintain your body at the same negatively charged electrical potential as the Earth. The Science A study published a couple of years ago in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health titled “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” postulates that earthing could represent a potential treatment/solution to a variety of chronic degenerative diseases.   It concluded that simple contact with the Earth, through being

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UNDERSTAND YOUR DARK SIDE & STOP FEARING IT

  WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR DARK SIDE & STOP FEARING IT One of my favourite quotes is by Carl Jung: ” One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.”  This resonates with me so much, I think, because I’ve spent the last 10 years reading, listening to, absorbing, mimicking, and meditating on the following mantras: “Just think positive thoughts.”; “All we are is love and light.”; “This too will pass.”; “Transcend your ego.”  I have pages and pages of words in countless journals asking, no, pleading, with God or the Universe to please help me be better and rid myself of negativity. I think to myself, “God please help me be more loving, more compassionate, more understanding.” Let me just go ahead and say, nothing is wrong with praying for these things, but not once did I ever stop to think that perhaps I’m not embodying these traits I so desperately seek for a reason.   What is this wild, pushy, manipulative, self-serving woman trying to actually show me right now? I’m talking about my ‘shadow’ self, or ego-self. We all have one, and the more we run and hide and try to deny it’s there, the more internal conflict arises. We’re living in fantasy land if we think we are, and must be, happy, loving, shiny, joy-filled beings all the time. Everyone wants pleasure without the pain.

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THINGS I LEARNED BY GOING CELIBATE FOR A WHILE

    FIVE THINGS I LEARNED BY GOING CELIBATE FOR A WHILE (BY CHOICE) Have you ever considered taking a time of celibacy? It’s a fascinating question because it seems counter to everything that we desire when we start studying tantra. Many of us start studying tantra because we hear about the incredible sex and hour-long orgasms. Why would we ever want to be celibate? Because the magic of tantra is about breaking free of limitations and old patterns. It’s about personally challenging our beliefs, fears, and desires. It’s about changing, expanding, and truly taking ourselves to a new level. And celibacy is a fascinating “wormhole” that can get us there. Many Great Tantric Masters Had Times of Celibacy. Why? Sex is a wonderful experience, a wonderful way of sharing love. In fact, part of becoming tantric sexually involves getting rid of all the shame, guilt, and taboos connected with sex. So, isn’t taking a time of celibacy going in the wrong direction?  No. The ancient tantriks were about changing things up and challenging the status quo so that people would wake up and start truly living. And so, if they came into a town where everyone was sexually repressed through religion or societal rules, sex would be the thing to shock them into awakening. But if they came into our sex-saturated society, what would they recommend? A break, perhaps, since  even though we have issues with shame, guilt, religion, and taboos around sexuality, sex is everywhere. We believe that it defines our self-worth. The media tells us subliminally each day how important it is to be attractive sexually. It is so deep in our subconscious now that the idea of chosen celibacy is shocking. And in some tantra circles it is even worse. In many “red-tantra” workshops and courses, the focus is on healing and releasing the shame and guilt around sex — very valuable work. Accordingly, they include many sexual exercises and physical interactions that are very pleasurable and freeing. But often, there is also an undercurrent of sexual addiction. Having these pleasurable sexual experiences becomes the goal of every workshop and life experience. As you walk in, you can literally feel the sexual desire and needs coming off of people. Energetically, their “second chakra” is screaming for union. Once we are freed of our shame, guilt, and taboos, the next step is to become whole. Tantra brings us to complete wholeness. There is actually no need for another. There is no need for sex. We have both masculine and feminine energies within us. Combining these polarities with spirit, we are fully satisfied within us. This is true tantra. Sexuality and union with another simply becomes one way of expressing this ecstasy. What I Discovered Being Celibate: I recently took a time of celibacy. This was a huge deal because I LOVE sex. The choice of celibacy came as an intuitive knowing. A healer had told my friend that she had to take some time off from men for a while. As my friend told me this, it was like the healer had spoken directly to my heart. I instantly knew that this is what I needed to do. And it horrified

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MORNING RITUAL TO START EVERY DAY OFF RIGHT

  A 5 MINUTE MORNING RITUAL TO START EVERY DAY OFF RIGHT What do the first five minutes in a typical day of your life look like? Does it consist of you rolling over to hit the snooze button in disbelief that morning has already come? Or does it involve you grabbing your phone to see everything that happened on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter while you slept? No matter how your day currently begins, I’m convinced you could be doing it better. That’s a bold statement, I know, but as someone who has found himself enacting both of the above scenarios, as well as a number of other, equally unhelpful ones, far too often, I now recognize just how impactful the start of your day really is. It’s time to take control of your life and kickstart every day in the healthiest way possible: 0:00 to 1:00 – Lemon Water Minute number one is all about hydration. Over the course of the night your body becomes increasingly dehydrated, so it is crucial you consume water (I start with 1 litre) before doing anything else, and particularly before eating. Rather than just consuming plain old water, amp up your morning hydration by adding organic lemon. The lemon alkalizes the body, gets your digestive juices going, and offers some extra nutrients. A bonus benefit would be to prepare the lemon water the night before, place it on your nightstand, and consume it before getting out of bed. Both myself and several others have been amazed to see how effective this can be at getting you to the bathroom right around the end of this five minute sequence. To me this is certainly something to consider, whether or not you are among the 63 million Americans who struggle with constipation. 1:00 to 2:00 – The One Minute Meditation

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Things I’ve Learned About Trying to Please Others

  3 Things I’ve Learned About Trying to Please Other People “In trying to please all, he had pleased none.” ― Aesop, Aesop’s Fables   ‘Traditional’ probably isn’t a word that anyone would use to describe me.   If there’s anything I’ve learned over the course of my life, it is that breaking away from the perceived ‘norm’ can be difficult. But I’ve also learned that living life a certain way just to please people is nothing short of a death sentence. Thankfully, I learned that lesson relatively early-on in life. As a younger man, I did everything I could to live like everyone else thought I should. This gained me a small bit of approval from my elders and peers (which I craved for the temporary feelings of happiness and inclusion it provided), but it ultimately filled me with emptiness on the inside. The fact of the matter was that I wasn’t being true to myself—and as a result, I ended up bitter, resentful, and angry toward everything that my ‘normal’ life had become. Eventually, I hit emotional rock-bottom. I found myself so disappointed and disheartened at my existence that I could barely summon the energy to get out of bed in the morning. In my mind, I was quickly running out of reasons to continue living. Any shred of happiness that I had once possessed was gone. This confused me, because I was making decent money, and had what most people would consider a ‘good’ life. But it all felt forced, empty, and meaningless. The problem was that I wanted something different. But other people in my life encouraged me to live the way they thought I should live—and I found myself second-guessing my own passions and ambitions when this happened. I wanted them to be happy with me. I wanted respect and admiration from my friends, family, and community.

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How Writing Helped Me Find A Life Balance!

  How Writing Helped Me Find A Life Balance   Do you know a person who has never faced any obstacles in life? If you can think of a name, then you probably don’t know enough of their personal story. People are torn apart between their ideas, desires, personal goals, expectations of other people, and the sad reality that never leaves enough space for complete self-accomplishment. Those struggles can easily take us to a bad point in life. I know that for a fact because I’ve been there myself. When I finished college, I faced the inevitable existential crisis: now what? Do I start looking for a boring job? Do I go to graduate school to get the degree I had zero interest in? My head was a complete mess and I could not see a clear road to a happy future. That’s when I started writing. I thought that the only way to understand the chaos in my head was by writing how I felt and what I was thinking. This turned out to be a masterful trick that helped me find the balance in life. When I told my friends that writing was my therapy, they thought I was kidding them. I was one of those students who always complained about writing assignments, so it was weird that I arbitrarily turned to this method. Let me tell you how writing helped me get my life back.

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MAKEUP: IS IT EMPOWERING OR PROGRAMMING?

  MAKEUP: IS IT EMPOWERING OR PROGRAMMING? WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY IF YOU SWITCH PRODUCTS? The history of cosmetics is much longer than most people think. The act of covering yourself with pigmented minerals dates back to over 300,000 years ago to the African middle Stone Age.  Throughout time, cultures have altered their appearance in many ways, like using crushed bugs for lipstick, blackening teeth with dyes, and creating whitening agents from lead and vinegar.  Before the structures of culture and social status, the act of putting pigments on yourself started as a ritual of curiosity. It was exploring the physical, experiencing color, creating shapes and symbols that would be given meaning, a work of art.  As communities evolved into a more structured societal system, the idea of makeup started to become intertwined with status and became a representation of your character. The fundamental reason for putting on makeup has shifted as our priority for beauty grows. The core reason for a morning ritual of painting your face is now much different from when our ancestors did it. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other, they each hold very different meanings in their purpose. The Chemicals The makeup industry today is a brand, a massive multibillion dollar market that, at its core, is putting profit before health.

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THINGS TO UNDERSTAND IF YOU WANT TO AVOID ILLNESS

  5 IMPORTANT THINGS TO UNDERSTAND IF YOU WANT TO AVOID ILLNESS It’s no news that there has been an epidemic of poor health in industrialized societies over the past 100 years. Since the peak of the industrial revolution we have seen a steady incline in chronic disease.  The three most common ways for a human to perish in our society include heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These are known as ‘diseases of civilization’ and together cause 75% of all deaths in Western nations.45% of adults in the United States have a chronic disease.  The largest factor in developing one of these diseases is misinformation. So few of us actually understand why and how we are getting sick that we cannot hope to make this world a better place unless we know what truly makes us healthy.  Here are 5 things to understand about health and illness. Our genes are programmed for health It is toxicity and/or deficiency affecting the expression of our genes that causes us to get sick. It is not in your genetic programming to become sick. Toxicity is when there is something of excess in our system that is harming us and a deficiency is an under-supply in essential substrate for healthy functioning. A toxicity can

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Your Essential Guide to Welcoming a New Cat Home

  Your Essential Guide to Welcoming a New Cat Home Break out the catnip and goat’s milk. The new cat is coming home! You and your family will definitely be excited to bring home the new addition. The years you spend with your feline companion will be long and rewarding, but you need to start off on the right paw. Since you want to make this experience the least traumatic and special as possible, there are a couple things to keep in mind before, during, and after your new cat or kitten has come home. Preparing for the new cat Take a good, hard look around your house. You might think that there is nothing dangerous for Kitty to go sticking her nose into, but you would be wrong. Everyone knows that cats are instinctually curious. Places humans overlook out of routine can pose some troubles for felines, especially kittens. Cat-proofing This is like what you have to do for a toddler when they first start crawling. Get on your hands and knees then scan the spacing between furniture, objects that could come tumbling down or get jumped on and yanked loose, bundles of wires and other cords. You don’t want a scared cat to get cozy inside the sofa or knocking down something that could traumatize him inside an enclosed space. High traffic versus Low traffic areas One of the best places for a cat is an unused room that is away from places like the kitchen and living room, where people tend to gather and make noise. The first few days present a lot of new

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Reasons to Raise Your Children Around Animals

  7 Crucial Reasons to Raise Your Children Around Animals If you have a love for animals, chances are that you want your children to have that love too. Animals are great friends to people of all ages and a great learning experience too. Starting that kind of bond with animals while your children are young is really important for many reasons and here are just some of them. 1. Increase empathy and compassion Children that are raised around animals are more likely to develop these positive traits because they are learning to care about something that needs our positive attention and responsibility to keep alive and well-cared for. Additionally, animals are empathetic and compassionate themselves and through their own love and caring, they teach their own lessons to our children. This way, you will reduce an animal cruelty that is spreading like a plague these days because of irresponsible parents who don’t teach them to respect animals. 2. Provide opportunity for responsibili

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7 Tips on How to Groom Your Dog at Home!

  7 Tips on How to Groom Your Dog at Home If you are on a tight budget and you need to groom your dog, don’t worry, there are a few tips you can follow to groom your pup and save money. We all (I mean pet owners) have been there and it’s not the end of the world. Since many groomers can charge over $40 only for a cut, I think it’s worth learning how to groom your precious pet at home, especially if you have several dogs and they all need a regular trim. With a few easy tips, you can do a great job and leave your dog feeling fresher and cleaner in no time. 1. Brush Start with brushing your dog. Remove all debris and tangles from the hair, and find all hair knots that must be cut out. Brushing will help you see which parts of your dog’s coat need the most attention. For example, a long-haired dog tends to carry more hair through their belly area and tail, than their head and legs, while a short-haired dog has the same amount of hair all over the body, with a little more on the belly. Many dogs have more hair around the ears. It’s important to choose the right brush. If your dog has a very thick, difficult to manage coat, buy a special detangling brush. This brush is typically thin and slick and it helps to remove tangles better. Just make sure you brush your dog carefully, without hurting your pet. If your dog has a soft, oily

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To Discovering The Healing Power Of Probiotics

  My Journey to Discovering the Healing Power of Probiotics   What would you do if I told you there was an easy, and safe, way to supercharge your immune system, prevent and treat UTIs, improve optimal digestive function, and protect your body against food-borne illnesses? Something quick and painless as taking a probiotic capsule with your daily multivitamin, or adding a cup of yogurt with active cultures to your breakfast, can get you functioning at a level you never knew possible. Probiotics have a history too Probiotics have been steadily growing in popularity since the 1990s and have really taken off within the last few years. I remember first hearing Jamie Lee Curtis mention the term in a yogurt commercial a few years ago, but honestly did not think about them any further. Until recently, that is. Eating bacteria is not as bad as people believe Probiotics are live bacteria that are quite beneficial to a healthy body and immune system. I know you are thinking, “You want me to eat bacteria?” But don’t be alarmed! Our bodies are full of safe bacteria that are essential to our survival. Probiotics are frequently referred to as “helpful bacteria” since they help to keep your internal ecosystem balanced and digestive system operating at its

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Would You Chase the Dream Guy or the Dream Job?

  Would You Chase the Dream Guy or the Dream Job? We live in a world that is run by the powerful fuel called ambition. Whether it is focused on getting the guy or whether it is focused on getting the job, ambition remains a powerful substance. If you have it, you feel it pulsing in every nerve of your body. It can be so powerful that it can dictate your every move, your every decision and ultimately it can land you that guy you have been hung up on (believe me it is possible) or the job you have been dreaming of since childhood. If you find yourself in the predicament of either having to choose one or the other, something is out of balance and you have got to figure out what it is and how you are going to deal with it – either he is expecting you to shove your dream in a box (or boxes, if you are as ambitious as I am) or your dream is so big that it is calling for you to sacrifice your relationship with him. The latter happened to me. Although the dream turned a corner in my case, it all worked out for the better: the innocent victim of an ambitious woman turned out to be a cheater – surprise, surprise. No matter which one it is, the reality of the matter is, many times you will be called upon to make a choice and it is important that you weigh each option and base the decision on all the information that you have at hand. Here are two things you have to take to into consideration when you find yourself at this crossroad: Chasing the dream guy

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Ways to Know You Have Finally Found Your Soulmate

  8 Ways to Know You Have Finally Found Your Soulmate When Cupid’s arrow strikes your heart, you lose all sense of reason and throw caution to the wind just to be with your sweetheart. As time goes by, though, you may wonder if your love is real and ask yourself if this person is the “one” or if it is just a fling? I have eight ways to help you know if you have finally found your soulmate, so read on. 1. You keep them close When you are with your soulmate, you just want to be next to them as much as possible even if you are not actually doing anything. Simply sitting in the same room with them makes you feel complete somehow. 2. You help each other out Soulmates like to find little ways to help the other person out. Maybe you make them a drink while you are up, or you throw a load of their laundry in the wash – any little thing that you can do just to show them that they are special and worth it to you.

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I Choose Me and Why You Should Choose Yourself

  I Choose Me and Why You Should Choose Yourself “One should always be on the trail of one’s own deepest nature.” ~Henry David Thoreau I am watching my beautiful eighteen-year-old daughter begin to navigate life as a young adult. Dating, friends, work, school, future plans: the perennial Big Five in terms of potential landmines. I am projecting like mad, reliving my own traumas, and hoping she will be more successful, more lucky, more savvy by a long shot than I ever was. And mostly, I find myself on the sidelines silently urging her (okay, not always silently) to choose herself.  Choose herself when the friend who only wants to hang with her when there’s nothing better in the offing calls at the last minute with an invitation. Choose herself when the guy who looks so great on the surface just isn’t consistent in following up with his actions. Choose herself when the pressure comes to declare a major and everyone else on Facebook is going into Biochemistry or Genetic Engineering or Future Masters of the Universe. I want her, and I want you, and I want myself to choose me. This is not selfish. Repeat: this is not selfish. Choosing yourself is the only way to thrive in the world. You can only know yourself and your own reactions, so this is the only truly accurate compass you will ever have. You can’t steer by what other people want or need, and it will make you crazy trying to figure out what that is anyway.

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How to Discover the Work That Will Bring You Joy

  How to Discover the Work That Will Bring You Joy and Purpose “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~David Viscott You are a seeker. Searching for more of life. More joy. More depth. More connection. More happiness. Our generation is not willing to settle for meaningless existence. Just to get by, just to keep it all together. It doesn’t interest us any more. We want more freedom. Especially in the realm of our work. But it can seem like a long road between ‘here’ and ‘there.’ From this job, from this life into… the unknown. We know there is deeper purpose to fulfill, so we start to ask ourselves the question… What Would Make Me Happy? Four years ago I started asking myself this question. And I was coming up with nothing. Silence. Not good. I was working as a successful hospital pharmacist, moving up the ladder into management. I made great money and was well respected and efficient. But I was unhappy. My professional dissatisfaction had become physical, and my body was speaking to me with symptoms of severe nausea. Sugar consumption was at an all time high and I had to get out. But where to go? What would make me happy? What would I rather do? I had no idea. If you too are at career and life crossroads, you are likely asking yourself this question too. What would make you happy? And perhaps, like me, you won’t be able to answer the question at first. Or, if you do dream up a solution it involves distant countries, foreign adventures, and escape. And in your heart you know that’s not the answer. You desire a life that you don’t need a holiday to “escape from.” You desire a life that is the destination. When I first asked myself this question—what would make me happy?—the hospital pharmacist had no clue. I was going through the motions of life and finding pleasure in its various pursuits, but there was nothing that really lit me up. Nothing that really sang to my heart. And I was frustrated. How was I so numb to life that I couldn’t answer the simple question in a meaningful, not just fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of way?

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17 MISUNDERSTOOD CHARACTERISTICS OF INTROVERTS

  17 MISUNDERSTOOD CHARACTERISTICS OF INTROVERTS Imagine this: You’re at a party at someone’s house. Where are you and what are you doing? Are you in the living room talking up a storm? Or are you just waiting for the party to be over so you can go home and sleep? Do you plan road trips or adventures during weekends or would you rather spend time with yourself or with your family or few friends? If you picked the latter in a heartbeat, you may be an introvert. When someone mentions the word introvert, it’s often translated to mean someone who’s uncomfortable around people or is very shy, but introversion is defined as the preference for situations that are not overly stimulating. Introverts value their space, and they don’t let just anyone in it. Extroverts, on the other hand, are the life of the party! They crave socialization and interaction, and they just love talking. Outgoing in nature, they tend to be more impulsive and open about themselves. You Wouldn’t Expect These People to be Introverts Surprise, surprise! We actually owe a lot of the things we love to introverts. Without introverts, there would be no Facebook, no Microsoft, and no Harry Potter! Yes, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and JK Rowling are all introverts. They aren’t the only famous people who are introverts, either. The classic beauty Audrey Hepburn was also an introvert even though she was a famous movie star. Elton John and Michael Jordan, both very respected in their fields, are introverts as well. Even Dr. Seuss, who wrote lots of peculiar and quirky children’s books that are loved by generations, admitted that he was afraid to meet his readers because they might be disappointed at his quietness. Barrack Obama doesn’t have a wide circle of friends for someone who is always out and about. Emma Watson readily answered that she is an introvert when asked why she is not a party girl like other people her age. You may still be amazed to find out that some of the most famous people in the world are introverts. This is because introversion is usually exaggerated. Most people think introverts cannot speak in public, let alone lead a whole company. However, as you have just read, some of the most successful entrepreneurs and influential people that are household names worldwide are introverts. What Do These Famous Introverts Do Differently? Though one introvert varies greatly from the other, they do share some similar characteristics. Check out these 17 habits of famous introverts: 1.  They choose their friends carefully. Introverts don’t prioritize having too many people in their lives. This may be one of the reasons why people assume that all introverts

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5 PIONEERING SCIENTISTS WHO WERE SPIRITUAL MYSTICS

  5 PIONEERING SCIENTISTS WHO WERE SPIRITUAL MYSTICS To excel in science and academia and become a person of significance in those areas requires thorough knowledge of the subject you’re studying. Indeed, being knowledgeable, analytical, and clever are some of the major criteria required to be considered intelligent in our highly detail-oriented and rigorous educational system. But taking a closer look at what actually drives the success of our most revered minds tells a surprisingly different story. Here is a list of five of the greatest scientific achievers of our time, who have contributed the most to humanity. While they may fit the above criteria for intelligence, they were also intensely spiritual people. 1. Albert Einstein Considered by Western society to be one of the smartest men who ever lived, Einstein was a physicist who spent his entire career trying to understand the laws of the universe, eventually making major scientific breakthroughs which have shaped our world ever since. But what our history and science textbooks don’t tell us is that he owes his scientific achievements to things decidedly unscientific. “The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling . . . that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men.” – Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946 2. Issac Newton Issac Newton was the first to discover the laws of motion and the existence of gravity, and developed the worldview that the universe runs like a giant and mechanistic machine. Based on these achievements, it would be easy to assume him a solely rational man, yet of the 10 million words he wrote (almost all of his notes have been found and edited), nearly half ar

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Becoming More Me Through Meditation

  Becoming More Me Through Meditation “The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.” — David Lynch The thing about my meditation experience is this:  I was terrified of what it meant to become more me.  When I agreed at the urging of a very patient therapist to at least attempt to meditate, I was truly afraid of what was underneath the layers of self-preservation I had built up.  It was my thirty-fifth birthday and my gift to myself was to commit to anything that might improve my anxiety. Up to that point, I had tried reading self-help books, running, yoga, and even prescription medication.  Like clockwork, though, I could expect an anxiety attack around 2:30PM and again around 8:00PM, times when my mind became less engaged in work and productive thoughts.  Scrambling, circular thoughts precipitated the inability to take a deep breath and the combination led to reaching out like a person drowning for any validation I could find from friends and family. “The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.” — David Lynch The thing about my meditation experience is this:  I was terrified of what it meant to become more me.  When I agreed at the urging of a very patient therapist to at least attempt to meditate, I was truly afraid of what was underneath the layers of self-preservation I had built up.  I

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Chasing Your Dreams in 10 Minutes a Day

  Chasing Your Dreams in 10 Minutes a Day. “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” – Stephen King Take one step, however small, today. Now. It works. Let me elaborate, I live in an isolated town in Northern British Columbia, Canada. We are best known for the manufacture of aluminum and snow drifts. Other than snow, bears, and fish, we don’t have much else – no movie theatre,  Starbucks or even a bowling ally. And sometimes the hope of achieving one’s dreams dwindles with the miles and latitude. I have felt this most acutely when working as a school counsellor. Of course, issues of money, opportunity and education create obstacles in any location but this is doubly so in an environment so removed from urban living and post-secondary education. So when working with students, I emphasize to take one step, however tiny, today. As in now! And take another tomorrow. This step must, in some, small way, bring the individual closer to the dream. It could be a google search for possible programs, or writing an e-mail to a local singing teacher. All pretty standard stuff, I know.  But this post is not about my work with others, but rather what I learned when I stopped doling out advice and, instead, looked inward. As I settled into the role of motherhood, travel proved even more difficult. and negative thoughts started to lodge in my grey matter. Phrases like ‘I can’t get that graduate degree because I live miles from anywhere surrounded by snow and bears’ became a familiar soundtrack. Similarly, I told myself I couldn’t work out because I didn’t have time and I certainly couldn’t move forward on my personal goal of writing a novel. I mean what full-time school counsellor and mother of two has  time to write a book? Reading a novel was enough of a chal

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RESPONSES WHEN DEALING WITH RUDE OR UPSET PEOPLE

  6 SIMPLE RESPONSES WHEN DEALING WITH RUDE OR UPSET PEOPLE   Confrontation has never been a strong suit of mine. In fact, for the vast majority of my life I often went out of my way to completely avoid it. While in the moment this may feel like the easier thing to do, it often leads to one of two unwanted outcomes: (1) the suppression of true feelings, (2) gradually becoming less of yourself and more of what you believe others wish you to be. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized just how unhealthy my fear of confrontation was for my well-being. As part of this discovery, I identified that so much of what I feared about confrontation was not the words being said or actions being done, but instead my reaction to them. As the infamous saying goes, cooler heads do prevail; it’s just a matter of giving ourselves a chance to get to that calmer state before fully responding. Here are 6 responses that I’ve found to be particularly effective in the moment of confrontation that allow you to not only quiet the other parties involved, but also give you the time you need to process and properly address the issue. (NOTE: Of course there are always exceptions and extreme situations where responses of this nature are inappropriate. Always use your own discretion as to when and when not to reply using any of these techniques.)

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KNOWING THAT EVERYTHING YOU NEED, YOU HAVE

  KNOWING THAT EVERYTHING YOU NEED, YOU HAVE Whether it’s with money or another form of resource, everything you need in this lifetime you already have available to you. You have created the situation you are in and do not require anything outside of that except if the program/mind tells you otherwise. Knowing that in every moment, you have what you need means y

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6 WAYS TO MAKE LOVE WITH YOUR PARTNER

  6 WAYS TO MAKE LOVE WITH YOUR PARTNER (WITHOUT HAVING SEX) I’m sure I don’t need to remind most of you of the joys of having sex. Whether you’ve formed your opinion from firsthand experience or have been heavily impacted by the media and pop culture’s obsession with it, sex (and thoughts about sex) seems to be a staple in most of our lives. But what about making love? To some of us, it implies a more connective form of sexual intimacy, where those involved are actively seeking a deeper bonding experience, while to others, it’s just another way to say sex, no more meaningful than “hanky panky.” But viewed from the former perspective, making love certainly sounds like a desirable experience that most partners would seek to have regularly. But is that level of intimacy restricted to those “perfect” moments between the sheets? Here are 6 other ways that I believe we can all “make love” with our partner regularly: 1. Work Together This may sound completely unrealistic at first. Finding a partner to share your life with is challenging enough, so what are the chances that the one we do eventually find will work in the same field that we do? They don’t have to. Working together could constitute any ongoing project that you are collaborating on for collective success. It could be something as simple as planting and maintaining a garden together, or it could be as involved as taking a secondary job together to supplement your income. The process of coming together to accomplish something or provide for your family or partnership could not only be rewarding, it could also deepen the romantic bonds you already have.

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KIDS LIKE THESE ARE WHY CARL SAID REINCARNATION

  KIDS LIKE THESE ARE WHY CARL SAGAN SAID REINCARNATION DESERVES SERIOUS SCIENTIFIC STUDY Reincarnation is a fascinating subject that has remained on the fringe of scientific study for too long. Fortunately, it has recently begun to attract serious interest from the scientific community. Decades ago, American astronomer and astrobiologist Carl Sagan stated that “there are three claims in the [parapsychology] field which, in my opinion, deserve serious study,” with one being “that young children sometimes report details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation.” Fast forward to today, and amazing discoveries have been made, as multiple researchers have taken it upon themselves to study this intriguing and inexplicable — at least from a materialist scientific worldview — phenomenon. Subjects like reincarnation belong to the non-material sciences, an area of research that deserves more attention. As Nikola Tesla himself said, “the day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” University of Virginia psychiatrist Jim Tucker is arguably the world’s leading researcher on this topic, and in 2008, he published a review of cases that were suggestive of reincarnation in the journal Explore. A typical reincarnation case, described by Jim, includes subjects reporting a past life experience. The interesting thing is that 100 percent of subjects who report past life remembrance are children. The average age when they start remembering their past life is at 35 months, and their descriptions of events and experiences from their past life are often extensive and remarkably detailed. Tucker has pointed out that these children show very strong emotional involvement when they speak about their experiences; some actually cry and beg their parents to be taken to what they say is their previous family. According to Tucker: The subjects usually stop making their past-life statements by the age of six to seven, and most seem to lose the purported memories. This is the age when children start school and begin having more experiences in the current life, as well as when they tend to lose their early childhood memories. Sam Taylor Sam Taylor is one child Tucker studied and wrote about. Born 18 months after his paternal grandfather died, he first began recalling details of a past life when he was just over a year old: When he was 1.5 years old, he looked up as his father was changing his diaper and said, “When I was your age, I used to change your diapers.” He began talking more about having been his grandfather. He eventually told details of his grandfather’s life that his parents felt certain he could not have learned through normal means, such as the fact that his grandfather’s sister had been murdered and that his grandmother had used a food processor to make

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What Really Makes Us Happy And Why

  What Really Makes Us Happy and Why     “Whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy.” ~Unknown Like many of us, I live paycheck to paycheck. Which is okay. We aren’t alone. CNN reported nearly 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. I want to give a quick shout out to all the hardworking folks out there who budget every week to see how much they can spend on groceries. We got this. So back to that 76 percent number, for the sake of simple math that means that three out of every four people are living paycheck to paycheck, which sounds about right in my experience. I guess I have rich friends, though, because they all have big savings accounts, houses, and nice cars. Am I a little jealous? You bet. I am sitting over here hoping my car makes it another six months. I drive a 2002 Acura RSX, with over 150,000 miles on it. Some people might be thinking, there’s plenty of life left in that car; what are you talking about? This might be true, but it’s starting to give me problems, and not being a car guy, I’m left trying to figure out what is worth fixing and what can be put off and paid for at a later time. Not the most reassuring thoughts when commuting. You might be thinking, oh great, another one of these “woe is me” posts. But bear with me; you might be surprised what I learned by the end of this. More to the point, I have always wanted a truck, for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into right now. So my plan was to start saving for one. I started reading about ways to save money and put together a plan. Here are the quick highlights of what I did to save up enough for the down payment. I called Comcast and cancelled my cable (saved $80/month) I refinanced one of my credit cards (saved $20/month) I opened a ROTH IRA and put $35 a month in there because I can make better returns than it sitting in savings, and it helps me not spend it frivolously ($35/month)

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A Daily Self-Care Ritual for Anyone Who Feels Lost

  A Daily Self-Care Ritual for Anyone Who Feels Lost in Life   “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” ~Jean Shinoda Bolen We all get lost sometimes. So lost that we lose track of who we are, where we’re going, what we want, and how to give ourselves what we need to feel nourished and healthy. I’ve been there many times, enough times to realize that it’s an inevitable part of life, to realize that it’s okay to get lost. The triggers? They’re never predictable. Some are subtle and prolonged, some are brief but so huge they knock me off my feet and leave me reeling from shock: the pain of not fitting at school as a teenager; the sudden death of my father when I was away at university; my first serious breakup; the time I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship but couldn’t work up the courage to leave; a betrayal by a friend that made me question if everything that we shared was even real. At times like these, when I find myself down on my knees, the first thing to go out the window is my motivation to take care of myself. I either eat too much or stop eating. I stay in bed all day. I don’t drink enough water. I drink too much alcohol. I become unkind to myself. I lose patience with myself and others. It just feels easier to not care. It was only in recent years, when I hit my mid-thirties, that I became aware of how repeating this cycle of behaviors wasn’t serving me in any way. In fact, they were keeping me stuck in a negative place and holding me back from healing and moving forward. It’s been during this time that I decided to break that cycle and give my intuition the voice and attention it deserved by making the following self-care steps a part of my life. I give myself permission to not feel motivated all the time. I always thought that motivation was this bright, power

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The Best Kind of Wishing

  The Best Kind of Wishing Months ago I was invited to celebrate the birthday of a friend’s daughter. As the fourteen-year-old went to blow out her candles, she paused, looked at all the faces around the table and asked, “Can you make wishes for other people?” I was stunned and touched by the question. “Yes, of course,” I answered. She pondered for a moment, squeezed her eyes shut and blew out the candles in one, deep exhale. I felt the weight of her wish—how important it was to her that it come true, how desperately she felt this wish would help the person on the other end of it. It can be a powerful thing to make a wish for someone we love. It’s a silent prayer that puts no pressure on the individual as to what it is you want, while sending a potent message to the Universe. Though it can be a beautiful sentiment and done with the best of intentions, it reminded me of one key thing. When we wish for others, we must be careful to leave our judgments or particular outcomes out of it.  I thought of the countless times in my own life when I made wishes for the people I love. They were usually incredibly detailed and specific. For instance, I’ve wished for friends to leave a disastrous relationship within a certain time span. I’ve al

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Things Your Future Self Will Thank You For!

  Things Your Future Self Will Thank You For! You go along life either with some sort of intention or simply drifting with the tide. How do you plan for your future? Well, the answer is not just to look at where you want to be, but rather – who do I need to become, to live the life I always wanted. What kind of qualities, emotions and experiences would I like have on my journey? Here are twelve things you can do today that your Future Self will Thank You for Later. Your future depends on what you focus and practice today.  1. Invest In Yourself! We spend time investing in relationships, and that’s good. However, don’t forget that investing time and money in yourself will have the biggest reward in your life. Take lessons that push you forward and out of your comfort zones. 2. Be Who You Really Are. Too many times we allow ourselves to be defined by others or our career. (You might need help to figure this one out.) It takes a lot of insight and courage to be your authentic self.

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How Do You Want to Be Seen??

  How Do You Want to Be Seen?   How do you want to be seen by the people you work with, your clients/customers, your friends, your family, your romantic partner, and the world in general? My guess is you’d like to be seen for your gifts, beauty, confidence and contributions. You probably don’t want to be seen for your insecurities, doubts about yourself, or what you deem your weaknesses and imperfections. We all want to be seen for who we truly are and feel accepted, safe, and acknowledged in the eyes of others. But you can’t expect the world to reflect back to you what you cannot see and acknowledge inside yourself. In order to receive the acceptance you crave, you have to give it to yourself first.    On the morning of my birthday last week, instead of sitting on my special cushion and doing my usual closed-eye 

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How to Become a Leader Worth Following

  How to Become a Leader Worth Following Whether you own a business, teach school, manage a small group, coach an athletic team, or are working to advance a worthwhile cause, you need to enroll others in order to achieve the success you want. This not only requires you to hold a vision of what success is, it also requires you to practice coaching and training skills that will inspire others to want to help you reach that goal. Because our success often requires the help of others, successful people, not surprisingly, are also successful leaders. They know how to communicate their vision in exciting and compelling terms. They’ve mastered the skill of motivating others to jump on board with full commitment. They recognize the potential in their people, coach their team members to go above and beyond, and routinely acknowledge others’ positive contribution. And while great leaders must demand accountability from the people they lead, they also hold themselves accountable for their contribution to the result. So let’s take a look at some of the basics of how to become a leader or coach whom people will want to work with and follow. 1) Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses One of the most distinguishing qualities of a great leader is their dedication to understanding themselves. When you have a clear sense of who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and know the impact your behavior has on others, your ability to lead others will improve. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses gives you the ability to discern when your skills will add value or not and keeps you open to delegating and listening to people with other points of view.

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I Feel Like I Am Falling Apart

  I Feel Like I Am Falling Apart It was just four short years ago that I was lying in bed feeling like I just wanted to give up and stop the suffering. I kept thinking my entire life is falling apart in front of my life. You see at the time I had been fighting Lyme Disease for four years and it kept coming back and kicking my backside. It wasn’t fun and it was the darkest period of my life. This pain and suffering went on for another year before I finally emerged from the darkness a completely different person. The combination of the illness, the medication, the mental, physical and emotional suffering had seared a powerful traumatic memory into the very essence of my being. Despite those freshly acquired scars, I felt excited. I felt relief and I felt different. I knew deep down that this was it. I was done with that illness and I was in a state of gratitude for the experience. Was I some kind of a sadist? No far from it. I was just someone who had been through the ringer like so many millions of people and realized that period of suffering was the greatest gift of my life. It had taken five years of me squirming, crying, screaming, kicking, shouting, begging, praying, running, worrying, cursing, negotiating with the higher power for a release to finally break free of my old conditioning. My old model of life that was filled with fear, self-doubt and low self-esteem had been vanquished. It was like a rebirth. A long painful one. I know I am not alo

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How To Get Over Regret

  How to Get Over Regret Regret. We’ve all felt it at some point. Some of you are feeling it right now and you are suffering because of it. Something did or did not happen the way you wanted. You did or didn’t do something the way you wished you would have. And you want more than anything to be able to rewind time and get a do-over. You’ve replayed scenarios over and over in your head thinking of all the things you could have done or said. You’re trapped in a shoulda/coulda/woulda perspective and it’s a miserable place to be, isn’t it? As much as you are aware that regret is a miserable place to hang out in, you cannot seem to be free of it. But I have good news: liberation from regret is 100% possible!! And it is essential to your well-being that you commit to letting go of regret. Why? Well, because it feels awful and feeling awful does not support the co-creation of an awesome life. Regret keeps you in the past and when you are consistently looking behind you, you do not notice what is right in front of you. And, when you are hanging out in regret, you may be feeling depressed and beating yourself up – and that’s not useful in any way! So how do y

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Are You Feeling Stretched

  Are You Feeling Stretched?   There is no question that we are living in intense and uncertain times where who we’ve been and how we’ve operated will not support us on the path ahead. About every person I know who is awake, open-hearted, and desiring to live their greatest life, in alignment with their soul, is being called to their “edge” – personally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It’s like our souls are beckoning… “Let go of things that no longer fit and leap into the unknown.” Like our hearts are pulling us out of our comfort zones and the status quo – in our relationships, jobs, homes, careers, wealth, health, lifestyles, and habits – to create the realities we desire for ourselves and this world, now. It seems like anything that stems from false security, diminishes our most true presence or distracts us from our soul path is fair game. We either surrender it or we suffer through it. And while most of us desire to live our greatest lives, be our greatest selves and create the world we know in our hearts is possible – if we are honest, stepping out and stretching past previous limits feels scary, uncomfortable and there are times we’d rather pull the covers over our heads, or quit and just resign ourselves to do something easier. This is what I call a SOUL STRETCH. You are being called to step forward into expressions, situations, realities that stretch you out of your comfort zone, the status quo or how you have previously done things (even if you have no idea of how it’s all going to work out.) And/or you are being called to let go and surrender

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Affirmations to Heal Your Life

  Affirmations to Heal Your Life I believe we all crave Freedom, Joy and Happiness, which includes BEING Positive. Yet many of us struggle on how to access those qualities which are our birthright. We want out of confusion, doubt and fear and often do not know how to get there. Here is one way simple way I allowed positivity to take over (in a good way) my life. It worked for me and I believe it can work for you too. A BIG part of my healing from years of self-abuse, addictions and eating disorders was to teach myself how to be positive… Now don’t get me wrong. I could rally with clans of negative nellies, discussing all that is wrong in my life and in this world and what is the point of that? Isn’t it healthier for you to focus on what is working in your life and in your world, rather than what is not? I found my way to positivity by doing what was suggested to me and that is why I sharing these positive affirmations with you as well. I read these powerful affirmations every day, often two-three times a day (I carried them with me) for many years. The power in these statements helped my mind shift from pain to power. From hopelessness to possibility and to positivity. These words instructed my life. The more I read them, the better I felt. I internalized and I believe they saturated my cells every time I read them. I hope they do the same for you.

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How We Avoid Our Feelings and How Embracing Them

  How We Avoid Our Feelings and How Embracing Them Sets Us Free   “We numb our minds and heart so one need not be broken and the other need not be bothered.” ~Peggy Haymes Feelings are important, no doubt about it. They communicate all sorts of information to us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve preferred to ignore some of that information. Raise your hand if you would much rather feel the good feelings and just jump right over the not so good ones. Okay, so it’s unanimous. We all prefer the good, happy feelings. I expect we are all experts at finding ways to avoid the uncomfortable ones. But maybe we can share some avoidance techniques and try something new. I like to eat. Food has been synonymous with love in my world. It comforts… until it doesn’t, right? Alcohol? Well, thank heaven I was spared addiction, because, but for the grace of God, there go I. Running and exercise were at least a healthier alternative to dealing with my feelings, and I did feel a little better about myself, so that was justifiable, I’m sure. Oh, and let’s not forget a good movie, or even a bad one is a great distractor. Binge watching is even better. So, let’s add to the list. What do you do to avoid those uncomfortable feelings? Just take a minute to think about it. What are your avoidance techniques? Okay, time is up. Do you shop for stuff you do not need? Are you constantly on the go? Do you peruse social media incessantly, call or text anyone available? Do you eat, drink, and be merry? Spend more time with Match.com than you do with yourself? Do you clean your house, obsessively making sure everything is in its place? Lose yourself in a book? Surround yourself with so much chaos that you can hardly hear yourself think? Or maybe you avoid certain places or people or being alone. Do you work long hours? Get a front row seat into the life of someone that appears messier than you? The list could go on and on. So, pick your favorites and have at it. But before you do, I have to tell you that, in hindsight, I was one of the lucky ones. I was lucky because I could not keep avoiding those uncomfortable feelings, no matter how hard I tried or what avoidance technique I used. They were like a bad penny that kept showing up. If you want to know how that made me lucky, read on. If you prefer to just add some avoidance techniques to what you are already doing, then you can stop reading now. So, why was I lucky? Because, you see, my feelings ended up being my North Star to the life I wanted. First, some education: Feelings, and the emotions that go with them, like absolutely everything else in life, are energy. Energy, by its very nature, has to keep moving. Unfortunately, too many of us learned,

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Have to Give a Toast, Speech, or Presentation?

  Have to Give a Toast, Speech, or Presentation? 11 Tips for Improving Your Stage Performance.   Over the summer, my father happened to meet Livingston Taylor at a conference, and he was so impressed by his presence that he urged me to look him up. What I discovered is that Livingston Taylor is a singer-songwriter and a professor — he teaches a class on Stage Performance at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. (He’s also the brother of James Taylor.) I watched some of his videos on stage performance, and I also read his book, Stage Performance. Just last week, Elizabeth and I did our second live show for the 

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Self-confidence vs Self-esteem What’s the Differen

  Self-confidence vs Self-esteem What’s the Difference? We often talk about stepping into our true power, building our confidence muscle and boosting our self-esteem. However, the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem is not clear for many. As for myself, I also felt confused regarding these two terms for quite many years, before  digging into psychology research, and here is what I’ve found out: Although these two terms are very similar, referring to how we feel about ourselves, they are two different concepts. Self-esteem refers to how we generally feel about ourselves: how much we like or love ourselves and the overall image we have about who we are: positive or not. Our self-esteem is shaped by past experiences and the environment we grew up in: our family members, our school and our community. Self-confidence is related to how we feel about our abilities and how capable we see ourselves of doing certain things or handling different situations. Is it possible to have one without the other? The answer is yes, and self-confidence can vary depending on the situation. High self-esteem and low self-confidence: I have learned to love who I am with all my flaws and imperfections. Today, I treat myself kindly. I am aware of my strengths and talents and, in the same way, I can see and appreciate the gifts in others. I love event planning and I have organized many hugely successful gatherings. I feel very comfortable and very confident, like fish in the water, when I plan parties and see them through smooth sailing. On the other hand, I’ve never been a fun of math. I am good with numbers, I can run budgets and savings, but solving complex exercises has never been my cup of tea. In other words, I don’t have an interest. Instead, I am passionate about social sciences, literature and art. So what does that mean? It means my self-esteem is good, my confidence as an event planner is high, but my confidence in dealing with mathematics is weak. Low self-esteem and high self-confidence:

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Be The Person You Want Your Child To Be

  Be The Person You Want Your Child To Be     You will not believe this story,” began the email from a client who had just returned from family services for the Jewish New Year. She described the mother and three children sitting next to her own family, “She was knitting!” (Yes, you read it correctly—knitting.) “And when she was done knitting, she pulled out her BlackBerry and began texting.” I queried as to her guess of the ages of the children. “Elementary and middle school,” was her reply.   There really isn’t more I need to write here. You who are taking the time to

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Angels’ Voices

  Angels’ Voices “First my world went silent, then my sleeping dreams and now my memories–no sound. Nada.” I wrote the poem below for my two children, Amanda (17) and Sarah (13) . My hearing loss had just worsened profoundly and permanently. I could no longer discern the sound of either daughter’s voice, and I wanted to offer reassurance. Now, well over a year later, my memory of sound is also slipping. It’s weird. Lyrics to familiar songs remain firmly memorialized in my brain. I can recite the words. But I can’t hum the tune. I forget the melody. In the same way, I know the girls’ voices—none are more familiar. I just can’t recall their sweet, angelic sound. This is a new phenomenon.  See, it’s been a gradual process. First, my world went silent. Then, my sleeping dreams. And now, my memories. While my recall of those myriad blessed Kodak moments has never been more vivid. I remember the events, words, and emotions precisely—no sound. Nada. Present and Past When Amanda was a toddler, she had the cutest nasal chirrup caused by inflamed tonsils and adenoids. Her voice was high-pitched, kind of squeaky, until she had her tonsils out. It was adorable. I can see her saying precious 4-year-old stuff in my mind’s eye like it was yesterday. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember the sound. (Of course, Amanda is going to kill me for this little revelation, especially if her high school friends read this!) Par

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10 Things Your Dog Would Tell You !

  10 Things Your Dog Would Tell You I saw this list shared by several friends on Facebook yesterday. It is so simple and moving that I felt compelled to share it here. I invite you to share your thoughts below. 1. My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me. 2. Give me time to understand what you want of me. 3. 

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How to Redraw Your Mental Blueprint

  How to Redraw Your Mental Blueprint   All of us have a downloaded blueprint in our subconscious mind of How It Really Is. I use the term “blueprint” because your belief system is like the architectural blueprint for a house—that someone else designed. Whether it’s finances, love, health—or any other aspect of your life—how you were raised, the lessons you were taught, and your home environment, all formed that blueprint. These blueprints are passed down through generations and become your reality. However, just as with any architectural blueprint, you can change your mind’s framework if the one you have is not producing the results you seek. If you want to move from

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It All Starts with a Choice

  It All Starts with a Choice     Everything that happens to us starts with a choice. Where did our attitude come from? How did we end up feeling this way? Why aren’t things working out? Why are things working out? There are choices behind everything going on in your life. Choose your words It starts with our choice of words. The human mind, in some ways, acts like the memory inside a computer. It simply records whatever it hears, sees, touches, tastes, or smel

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AreYou a Positive Person?You’re Probably in Denial

  Are You a Positive Person? You’re Probably in Denial. Until very recently, I was in denial… I believed that positivity consisted on only focusing on “positive” things and ignoring everything “negative.” So that’s how I lived my life. I dodged my shadows and avoided my own darkness, then wondered why I felt confined and limited. In doing this, even though I thought that my life was all sunshine and rainbows (because that was the only territory I let myself explore), I was governed by the fear of fear itself (which is a self-created illusion). This phase lasted two-three years, until the Seeker archetype within me grew to the point where curiosity, backed by a deep sense of courage/faith/trust, could no longer be confined by fear. Positivity can be immensely useful, but when it becomes your identity or a way of avoiding the uncomfortable, you ironically slip into a life governed by fear and delusion. This is the trap of what I call delusional positivity; disregarding anything negative and pretending that it doesn’t exist. This is a dangerous way to live because what is suppressed will inevitably manifest in other ways. Although this naïve optimism seems all loving and pleasant, it’s based in fear; the fear of your own darkness (as well as the external reflection of it in the world). And what is positive anyway? Essentially, positive and negative are just labels which we place upon things that the ego either likes (positive) or dislikes (negative). When you draw your perspective back and look at the big picture, what you might deem positive and negative will often flip flop. For example, being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning when I was nineteen seemed like a “negative” experience at the time, yet it was the greatest catalyst for my journey of self-discovery. “There is nothing either good or

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Reclaiming Your Imagination

  Reclaiming Your Imagination   When I was younger I had a vast imagination. I was obsessed with all things fantasy. I loved unicorns, fairies, witches, trolls, and gnomes. I created entire worlds in my mind – medieval lands where I interacted with people in King Arthur’s court. I believed that I had magical powers, and would often try to cast spells or speak with fairies or make unicorns appear in my bedroom. I loved being in the woods, where I hunted for fantastical creatures and nurtured my sense of wonder. I often shared my imagination through stories. I wrote mini novels on my great-grandmother’s typewriter and dreamt about being a New York Times bestseller. In high school I wrote hundreds of poems and even had a piece published in a national literary magazine. My teachers praised my imagination and said that my writing was among the best they’d seen. Then I went to university. In university I fell in love with two things: science and achievement. And I fell hard. I poured my writing skills into my academics. I excelled on exams and essays, often getting the highest grades in classrooms of 500 people. Tests became my drugs. I was addicted to checking my grades – the better the grade, the bigger the rush. I became enamored with research methods. I loved the process of asking questions and searching for answers using data and statistics. My professors praised all things quantitative and observable: hard numbers, rigorous analytic techniques, and strong theoretical models. There was no room for “fluffy” concepts – especially within psychology which was having a hard enough time proving that it was a “real” science. Theorists like Freud and Jung were discussed – but more out of respect for history than actually acknowledging any scientific basis for their reasoning. Alternative research methods, like conducting one-on-one interviews, were touched upon – but never to the point where I actually learned how to conduct this type of research. And so I stopped writing poetry. I stopped reading novels. I stopped dancing in the woods. I stopped tapping into my love of fairies and magic and fantasy. I was embarrassed at having loved these things. I was taught that they represented childish urges that had no basis in reality. But I got great

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Learn to Listen to What Your Body is Saying

  Learn to Listen to What Your Body is Saying   Our bodies hold all of the information we need to function at our best, but too often we ignore their messages and plow ahead with what our minds tell us. Because most of us are taught from an early age to focus on external demands, we frequently ignore what our bodies are saying. More often than not we treat the physical symptoms rather than looking for the internal cause of pain, depression, and weight gain. We take another extra-strength aspirin, rather than investigating what’s causing our head to ache. We use caffeine or sugar to give us a lift when we feel tired, rather than listening to our body’s message about needing rest. A look at our pets may be all we need to see the value of naps. Our bodies communicate thousands of little messages to us every day. For instance, is your mouth pinched and tight? Are your shoulders up around your ears? Do you feel a knot in your stomach as you promise to do something? Your body is telling you that you are tense, stressed, and over-extended. As a society, we notoriously put deadlines ahead of the protests of aching bones or inadequately nourished bellies. Your body is a sophisticated, intelligent machine, but too often we fail to understand them because we don’t value them as highly as we should.

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Keeping it S.I.M.P.L.E.

  Keeping it S.I.M.P.L.E.   “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”―Albert Einstein Sometimes life can be overwhelming with all the choices we have to make. A helpful recipe for success is to keep things simple. I believe that deep down everyone wants to improve and lead his or her best life. Seems easy enough, but often challenging to implement because you need clarity and the courage to take action. What do you want to focus on and make a priority in your life? Here’s my recipe for success by keeping it SIMPLE. Feel free to add on to make these rituals work for you.   S: SPECIFY We all want success. But are you clear on what success means to you? To do so, it’s much more effective to focus on YOUR top 1% rather than on THE top 1%. Living your best life is dependent on doing what brings you energy, makes you feel alive and connected, and leaves you feeling fulfilled. It’s not dependent on your status, role, finances, or education—as society likes to have us believe. Success is doing what makes you f

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A Million Shades Of Gray:Letting Go Of Being Right

  A Million Shades of Gray: Letting Go of Being Right   How many times have you heard the question, “would you rather be right, or happy?” It’s always made me a little nuts. Because quite frankly, most times I say, “right, please.” I’ve recently had a change of heart in this matter and hope you will oblige me in exploring the idea of choosing happiness. Isn’t that funny, I actually have to try to choose happiness. I used to believe that “right” was an irrefutable fact, thereby making everything and everyone else “wrong.” It seemed to me that “happy” went hand-in-hand with “ignorance is bliss,” and I was not about to wear the dunce cap. So, with my talons firmly embedded in whatever position or idea I was holding, I stood my ground. In hindsight, I can see that I was simp

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If You’re Happy and You Know It: 6 Ways to Grow

  If You’re Happy and You Know It: 6 Ways to Grow Your Child’s Emotional Literacy     If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. Every kid knows that insipid song. It scrolls through a palette of feelings, “If you’re sad…If you’re angry…” always pointing to the refrain “but if you’re happy and you know it, shout hooray!” as if that’s the right way to be. I’m not so sure. What about all the other feelings, the big feelings—sadness, anger, fear, frustration, loneliness, to name a few—which fall under the umbrella of “unhappy”? What is the child supposed to do with those feelings and where do they fit in? Unhappiness, right along with happiness, is a normal part of the human condition. Yet, a child’s unhappiness is often difficult, if not downright painful, for a parent to endure. Why is that? What does the child’s unhappiness stir up in the parent? The sinew that connects parent to child—the invisible string—is so strong that a mom feels her child’s discontent. Often it goes beyond normal empathy. His unhappiness can awaken her own unhappiness. Her own less-than-happy childhood memories might surface, difficult feelings that were unrecognized or unexpressed from way back when. Perhaps a dad feels less than competent, even a failure, assuming it is his job to keep his child happy. It is unbearable and so he fixes the feelings, making it all better for them both. Shout “hooray,” as the song demands. The stresses of life make a child’s unhappiness hard for parents to stomach. And, yes, sometimes it is expedient to fix the cause of the unhappiness. Mom doesn’t have time or patience to tolerate he

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Become Your Own Best Friend

  Become Your Own Best Friend   Remember how simple life used to be when you were a child in grade school. Most of us were lucky enough to have a childhood best friend whom we cherished deeply and treated well. In many cases we actually treated our best friend with more love, respect, and kindness than we did ourselves. From a young age we were taught that if we treated others this way, then they would reciprocate by treating us the same way. However, I have realized that there is a problem with this belief. It does not address how we are supposed to treat ourselves. I realized that in order to truly have a loving, supportive, and long-lasting relationship with someone else, I needed to learn how to be my own best friend first. I subscribe to the belief that life brings me exactly what I need, when I need it. This past year I have had the privilege of spending time with and getting to know a wonderful and very inspiring woman, Louise Hay (International Best Selling Author of You Can Heal Your Life and Founder of Hay House Publishing). This woman is a true example of “walking the talk.” What she teaches, she practices in her own life every day. One of the biggest gif

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We Radiate Energy  So Be Careful with It!

  We Radiate Energy  So Be Careful with It!   Sometimes we don’t realize our own power and the influence we have on others…or perhaps don’t fully appreciate how big our influence can be on others. We have a bigger impact on those around us than we realize, and I refer to both people we know and the strangers that cross our paths. The way we project our energy, consciously and unconsciously is super important for us to grasp and understand if we want life to work for us, rather than against us. We are normally aware of this when someone comes busting into our little life bubble and they just seem to exude this negative energy. You can literally feel it. And let’s be honest we are aware to some extent how we can go home in a bad mood sometimes and take it out on our partners and kids…especially when we have a case of the grumps right? Well, I have been thinking about this, listening and observing and I really now see that most of us don’t actually realize how powerful we are with our own energy. You see when we come across somebody that is grumpy, we know that their energy and attitude can irritate or annoy us. It’s not always fun when being on the receiving end. But the truth is, that negative energy doesn’t just stop with us if we’re not aware. What I mean by that is we can

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Death Can Teach You How to Live

  Death Can Teach You How to Live Dear Reader, I come to you in the form of this article simply because I have found I have no other way to get through to you. It seems that most times when we meet, our encounters are quick, superficial and you quickly push your awareness of me from your mind. Our relationship wasn’t always this way. When you were a child, you couldn’t understand me and so you thought of fun & interesting ways to grasp me. When it became too much, you simply put me out of your mind and went on your way. As a teenager, you recklessly pursued me as you thought you were invincible and that your virility would keep me at ba

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Boo! What Are You Hiding From?

  Boo! What Are You Hiding From?   Take a look at your wounded areas. Be daring. Go inside and ask yourself some direct questions. At some point in our lives, all of us are faced with the decision of whether or not we are going to take off our masks. Have you ever gone through something and found yourself saying, “Wow what was going on with me?” or, “How did I let that happen?” months—or years—later? It’s like the light goes on, and you realize you have been living a lie in some shape or form—and now the truth seems obvious. Running from someth

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If Not Now, When??

  If Not Now, When?   Care a little more. Show up. Embrace possibility. Tell the truth. Dive deeper. Seek the truth behind the story. Ask the difficult question. Lend a hand. Dance with fear. Play t

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Free Yourself from These Types of Toxic People

  Free Yourself from These Four Types of Toxic People Those with whom we assemble, we soon resemble! This simple old saying hides a deep Truth that can enlighten and empower every aspect of our lives: Who we are — our very essence — is continually being transformed by the company we keep.  Stated differently, when we keep the company of what is light and bright, our lives get lighter and brighter. And when we keep the company of what is dark and discouraging, our lives can’t help but be dragged downward. This idea might sound a little simplistic at first, but its power soon becomes evident when we put it to use in the quest to realize our highest aspirations. The key lies in understanding that this principle is active on multiple levels at once. For instance, when referring to “the company we keep,” we of course mean the people we spend time with every day — family, friends, co-workers, etc. However, on a deeper and more important level, “company” can also refer to the thoughts and feelings moving within us in any given moment. Have you ever been home alone in a fine mood, enjoying a meal perhaps,