It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Guy Finley is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and bestselling self-help author.  He is the Founder and Director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for transcendent self-study located in Merlin, Oregon. He also hosts the Foundation’s Wisdom School — an on-line self-discovery program for seekers of higher...

Guy Finley is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and bestselling self-help author.  He is the Founder and Director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for transcendent self-study located in Merlin, Oregon. He also hosts the Foundation’s Wisdom School — an on-line self-discovery program for seekers of higher self-knowledge. Guy offers 2 talks on GoToWebinar, open to the public every week. Each talk is followed by a Question-and-Answer session with the audience. These talks are free to anyone who wants to join in. To register visit www.guyfinley.org/online    

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How to Rise Above Any Betrayal

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Have you ever suffered from a betrayal? Who hasn’t! Fortunately, you can gain a new understanding of yourself that will both raise your understanding of others, and take the sting out others’ betrayal of you.

To get started, we need the following brief explanation of the inner workings of our personality. Because of our experiences in life, over time different “selves” develop in us. We’re not aware of them. In fact we think we always respond to events as a single, consistent person. But these conditioned selves live within the structure of our personality, and when we experience new situations, they emerge to respond to them. That’s why we might be confident and talkative among one group of people, and shy and quiet with another group. Each environment calls up a different self that’s been waiting within us, and that’s the self that responds. I call this self that responds the TPIC – the Temporary Person in Charge. It’s the aspect of us that takes charge in the moment. It’s not who we really are; it’s just a temporary self that the moment called out.

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Fix This Mistake to Change Your Relationships – and Your Life

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It may feel to us as though life comes at us from the outside in, but in fact, it doesn’t. We meet life from the inside out. Once we understand this, we’ll see the mistake we’ve been making all along about the true meaning of strength – and how this has compromised our relationships. As we are now, we each have a list of things we want to overcome: our past; our failure to acquire what we believe we need; difficult people. We’ve identified these as challenges that come at us from outside. Naturally enough, our behavior is based on what our mind identifies as the cause of the problem. We keep fighting the exterior challenge as a means of healing ourselves, but we keep getting hurt. A wound that is covered over too soon fails to heal from the inside. In the same way, as we try to fix the psychological wound by changing things on the outside, we interfere with the natural healing process, which must be an internal one. Because we don’t understand the nature of the wound, we rend it again.

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Discover the Magic of “Relationship Jiu-jitsu”

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An argument between two people (lovers, spouses, family members) is a kind of psychological battle often filled with personal attacks, accusations, and dredging up past mistakes.

When both parties are exhausted, or one grudgingly concedes, the fight ends – for the moment. But nothing has changed; resentment has just gone underground until it’s dug up again, and hostilities soon resume.

But it needn’t be this way. There’s a little known “magic” that can stop any fight in the moment, and helps prevent the next one from getting starting. It’s the result of what we can call “relationship jiu-jitsu.” 

Jiu-jitsu is an ancient Japanese martial art based in “the art of yielding.” The combatants use special “moves” to turn an opponent’s energy back on them.

But here, I’m using the term psychologically, where the opponent isn’t a person we’re fighting. The true “opponent” to be overcome is a negative, lower level of consciousness in each of us that blames the other for the punishing pattern we’re both caught up in. 

To apply “relationship jiu-jitsu,” at least one of us must see we’re about to mindlessly repeat some old pattern that has no winner. So, instead of acting from the negative energy we feel – having seen the futility of throwing it at the other person who will only throw it back at us – we do something completely new: rather than try to “prove” we’re right, we use the moment to discover something about ourselves that will not only help transform us, but maybe the other person as well! 

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Four Steps to Making a Fresh Start in Life

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Many of us have done drastic things trying to make a fresh start in life. But no matter what we do, nothing seems to change. Outer conditions may be different, but inside we're still the same. If changing things outside doesn’t make a difference, where does a genuine fresh start begin?

The answer lies in four connected steps:


Step One: Learn What Prevents Us From Making a Fresh Start 

Our plans to make a fresh start have not delivered the new life we’d envisioned. So the first fact we need to understand – that runs completely contrary to our usual ideas of starting over – is that we can't plan to do it.

If I plan a new start, that means I've envisioned a new position, power, or possession by which I will enjoy a sense of newness. The problem is, everything I imagine doing or becoming is a variation of past experiences and dreams. And clearly, nothing I pull from my past can bring a fresh start. It’s just a reconfiguration of an old idea that didn’t work the first time around. Our image of what it means to be a new human being is a product of our past, and it is what keeps us from making a real fresh start.

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Start Seeing What You “Give” to Others

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Every moment is the right moment to start seeing ourselves as we are... regardless of whoever may be our “partner” of the moment.

Maybe it’s the person in that long line with us, complaining about how slowly things are moving. There’s no better time to practice seeing yourself than when some part of you can’t wait to “pounce” on the impatience of someone else. How about being stuck behind a driver on the freeway who won’t speed up or get out of the way?

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Learn to Go Quiet

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We can learn to go quiet in the middle of what would ordinarily be a psychological riot going on within us. The frantic search for any answer – being suddenly caught up in a stream of thoughts and feelings trying to figure out what to do with some frustration – turning to those frantic answers, looking for them, is like turning on a fan and hoping to straighten out the papers on your desk.

We mustn’t be afraid to Go Quiet in those moments. In much the same way as we look out and see something beautiful, we can look interiorly and see that inside of us there is a scramble going on for some kind of security, and to know in that moment that it is not who we really are that’s afraid of what’s going on.

Here’s something that’s stunning. I remember the first time I heard it and what it did to me, and how my mind actually went quiet when I heard it. Listen to this idea.

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A New Way to Meet Moments When Trouble Comes

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What’s the first thing that any of us do when trouble comes? The first thing that happens when we get into trouble is that we start thinking. Our little think machine just gets geared up, and it starts to go. And it goes. Now, what is it thinking about?  It’s thinking about the trouble it’s in and it’s thinking about ways in which to get out of trouble.

And once our little machine starts to think about ways to get out of trouble, and is able to identify the way in which it can free itself, what does it do? It starts asking for stuff, doesn’t it? “Oh, please fix this. Please get rid of this. Please change this.” 

We must be willing to look at ourselves and see that when something happens and a pain comes, we start thinking. And when we start seeing what we think is the problem, even if it’s about ourselves, we start asking for ways to be free of this situation

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Wake Up and Work at Living in Presence

Living in the presence

Part of our essential need to be at peace is to know that we are in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing, and to know it in such a fashion that nothing can come along and convince us that we are not.

Have you ever thought to yourself "I'm doing the right thing at the right time," and someone said, "No, you're not," and then everything fell apart? 

To work at living in Presence, we need only bring our attention back into ourselves, quietly knowing we are aware of all that we are, and all that’s going on around us at the same time. 

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The ABC’s of How to Free Yourself from Negative Thoughts and Feelings

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Have you ever noticed that when you’re under the cloud of some negative state, what you do to try to “make things better” actually makes the situation worse? Struggling to free yourself from your own negative reactions is a bit like throwing gasoline onto a fire, isn’t it? 

Recognizing that you get trapped in this pattern of taking action that neither relieves nor rescues you from negative states  actually opens up the possibility of another kind of action based on higher self-knowledge.

Following are three new actions – the fundamental “ABC’s” – that can start you on the path to breaking free from negative thoughts and feelings: 

Avoid nothing.

 

In the moment when suddenly you are carried away in a river of negative thoughts and feelings, does it not seem as if the first thing to do is to, at all costs, avoid? Not just the states themselves, but to try to correct or reconcile the situation that these suffering thoughts and feeling are based in? 

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A New Way to End Your Problems With “Problem People”

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We often have a negative response to people who act thoughtlessly toward us. To our usual way of thinking, it just seems natural. But what we don’t realize is that it is the exact same kind of thoughtlessness within us that produces our response.

In other words, our own hostile reactions take no thought for anything outside of what they call into account for their suddenly heated existence -- so that the only awareness we possess in these times is that low level of cognizance that possesses us, making us feel "entitled" to attack back! And with our own aching heart or pounding thoughts providing the fuel, we lash out! After all, it is our "right" to set the record straight.

But in these moments, if we could learn to step back from ourselves -- to see and to be aware of ourselves as being but a cog in an ever-turning wheel of hurting and being hurt -- there would follow a great and liberating self-revelation. We would see, clearly, that before we rise up and attempt to hurt someone who has hurt us, it is we who hold this hurt first. And if we realize the dynamic exposed here -- how one hurt always gives rise to another one -- then we should also be able to see that each of us is always the first to hold this unwanted pain.

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Let Love Resolve Your Differences (and You Both Win!)

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Have you ever been drawn into a fight with a loved one where by the time you got knee-deep into who's “right” and who's “wrong” over the most trivial thing it felt as if, somehow, your very life depended on the outcome of that fight?

We’ve all had moments like this, perhaps too many times; which is why it seems strange that we’ve yet to see the following: there's no such thing as a “winning” side in any fight between two people who love one another, anymore than one seat proved itself better than another on the deck of the Titanic.

This isn't to say that there aren’t, and won't always be differences in opinion between our partner and us; this is natural; needed, actually. There will always be some differences between us that aren’t a question of which of us is right – or wrong – as the case may be; rather there may come times when a disagreement might be over the best course to take for the well-being of a child, or over some other shared concern...where we see a different path than does our partner in order to reach an outcome that both of us agree is for the good of all.

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Wake up to the Place of Power Within

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What is the root, the real root of any crisis in our life? Most of us have probably never thought of such a question, but it’s important today...especially today.

Isn’t the root of any crisis that sudden sense of being powerless? That feeling as if the choices have been taken out of our hands; as if there is a future coming that we may or may not have any authority over?

But what if we don’t know what real power is? And because we don’t, we’re often handed off into a sense of being powerless that only produces, time and time again, a way in which we seek ways to control our condition instead of transcending the consciousness producing it.

True spiritual power isn’t the ability to imagine or implement an endless series of new solutions to old problems.  Rather, it’s a radical higher form of self-understanding, one that illuminates and transcends our unconscious need to have painful problems at all.

I mean, which would you rather have?  Your own personal fire truck and a fire to put out every day, or a life that has no painful fires in it at all?

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Meditation on Winter

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Great lakes, ponds, and streams freeze over; the earth grows hard and unreceptive. Tree sap stops flowing; even the air becomes dense, slow to move, and heat stealing. Yet, not everything is as it appears to be! 

The pervasive stillness and deep silence of winter are powers every bit as great as are the explosive forces of spring and summer, only different. After all, what is a glacier but a vast frozen river crawling its way through time? Both are forms of water whose unstoppable might can carve their way through solid rock! So, how can we channel this power of winter, and use it to let go of whatever stands between us and the higher life we desire? 

Winter is the time of the year when the forces of nature assume their most passive form. But we are discovering here that passive does not mean powerless!

The better we understand this unique power of being “passive”– and how it serves as the secret consort of all things active – the more we grow in the faith we need to be wisely passive toward whatever fears remain in us about letting go of our false self. This is why, during the dark days of winter, we should take time each day - - as often as possible - - to quietly return to the living Light that dwells in the center of ourselves.

By gathering our attention in this way, and bringing the whole of ourselves into the heart of this interior stillness, we not only collect our own forces, as nature herself is doing, but much more: in this deliberate act of gathering ourselves – and for the conscious sense of quiet contentment we find within it – we are also being released from the false idea that the source of our strength and security can be found somewhere outside us.

Once we start to see, to know in our innermost heart, that Life itself is already complete, we can let go of whatever – or whoever – would have us believe otherwise. 

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Dismiss the Dark States that Steal Happiness

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Wishing to be free, without taking action toward our intention, is meaningless; we must employ the truths we uncover, or we will never realize the possibil­ity of their true power, which is to help us walk away from what has been wrecking us. But with this new understanding in mind we must also realize that the truth that sets us free is not for hire; it does not so much “work” for us as it is our silent partner, producing the new life we long for. This means several things. 

First, we must be receptive to truth’s instruction in the Now; only conscious awareness of our aching can lead us to what authentically answers it, ending it. But secondly, we must -- ourselves -- be true in the same moment to what we know is the truth of that moment. We must do the truth we know. We must refuse, no matter what the seeming cost in the moment, to take part in any conversation with those parts of us that have proven themselves, time and time again, to compromise us.

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5 Ways to Escape the Painful World of Self-Judgment

Self Judgement

It would seem – given the speed and ease with which most of us judge others and ourselves­– that there’s something natural, even good about it. After all, just about every time our eyes alight on someone or something, we judge it as good or bad, all based on how it stacks up against some inner ideal we have of how things should be. 

Why is she wearing that? He’s so clueless. OMG: I look terrible today. The inner comments never stop, and often come out in complaints we express to others. But we don’t see them as complaints. To us they are nothing less than our intelligent observations of life around us.

We also don’t see how this endless stream of judgments hurts us. When we impose a negative view on things and people based on the past conditioning we bring to the moment, we can’t experience life directly, or see the good it may be offering. We can’t see the beauty in what we’ve summarily cast away. 

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Make Love’s Higher Purpose Come Alive in Every Relationship

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The universe is set up to help us grow into our higher selves, and relationships are the “vessel” of that journeyDifficult relationships show us both the need to grow beyond our present level of understanding, and deliver the vital self-revelations that make growth possible.

Of course, we love to be shown qualities within us that are positive. But Love often shows us what is un-loving within us, such as anger, impatience, and selfishness. To understand this is to realize that even in the darkest moment of some unwanted revelation, we are never without Love; it is always there, even if it is momentarily obscured by our negative reaction to what we’ve been shown about ourselvesThese revelations are a gift from Love to help us become the truly loving individuals we want, and are meant, to be.

Love’s Power of Revelation

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If You Want to See Change in the World, Do This!

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Around the world today, millions if not billions of individuals are being consumed by negativity. The world and our relationship to the cosmos always run through cycles of increased or decreased activity. Right now we are in a cycle of increased activity where many people are stirred up. In such stirring there exists the possibility of increased conflict, but also of increased consciousness – although it is conflict that seems more prevalent.  

Negativity is a consuming energy that seems to create life, but actually drains it. It promises to create something new to escape the pain of it, when all it does is create increasing conflict where the pain is enhanced. At some point an aspirant must realize, “I just can't be like that anymore, but I don't know how to stop! I look out at the world and all its problems and ask, ‘What am I supposed to do??’ ” 

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How to Achieve Your Heart’s Desire

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If our heart longs to see a shooting star, that day will come when we’ll see one blaze across the heavens. If we keep looking for physical gold, by panning a stream or breaking through rock, chances are our search will be rewarded, but when we seek the more valuable gold of real self-knowledge, we are guaranteed to find it. It is there in abundance just waiting to be uncovered. 
 

Opportunities for self-study — and the changes these discoveries yield — present themselves endlessly, with new ones arriving with each new moment. The key point here is that if we don’t undergo the changes within ourselves that we say we desire, it’s because we are not awake to these unfolding opportunities. In other words, our attention is on something else. It’s easy to have our attention sidetracked in this way. The truth is that even though we may feel a strong pull in the direction of self-study, and long for the special freedom it alone can grant us, there also exists quite often an even stronger pull away from it. 

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Discover More About Yourself

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Although self-study may include reading certain inner life books or listening to lectures on self-transformation, these materials, as encouraging and informative as they may be, are really only preparational tools; they have their place. After all, if you were going to climb a mountain, you would want expert advice on the proper equipment to use, and you would want instruction from others who had climbed that mountain before you. From their past painful experiences, you might be able to save a few of your own! Or so the thinking goes. All of this instruction, however, cannot raise you one inch above the valley floor to bring you any closer to the mountain top. There is only one way to reach the peak: you, yourself, must make the climb. 

In the same way, self-study is personal, individual work that sincere seekers must do for themselves. Far more intricate and at least as rigorous as trying to scale a real mountain, self-study asks us to begin with:

• Honestly observing ourselves as often as possible during the day to see the truth of what is actually directing our life in those moments 
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Three Secret Ways To Start Your Live Out Fresh

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Here are three new and true beginnings you can start with today that will put you in the right place for leaving old self-defeating choices behind you for good.

 

  1. Each time you find yourself face to face with some overbearing man or woman who in some way intimidates you, dare to make this new and true beginning: act toward that person in exactly the way you want to act, and: not in the way you think he or she expects you to.

 

Within the guidelines of being kind and true, speak to that person as though you are completely free to say what you feel, for you are. What any individual may think about what you have to say is not your concern. So let this false concern go.

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