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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The Awakening of Selfless Love

woman-hands-holding-red-heart-at-sunset-picture-id901678548 The Awakening of Selfless Love

A middle-aged man had recently moved into a new city and, soon after, decided that he wanted to explore his immediate area, maybe meet some of his neighbors, as well as visit some of the interesting shops that lined the streets all around his apartment.

Less than half-an-hour later, not knowing the lay of the land, he accidentally walked into an adjacent neighborhood whose streets had been long since “claimed” by an infamous gang. As he realized his situation, and tried to find the fastest way back to relative safety, he made another mistake: looking for the quickest way home, he cut through an alley where a heartless band of thugs beat and robbed him. Summoning all his strength, he dragged himself out from behind a dumpster where they had left him, and crawled just to the entrance of the alleyway where his faint cries for help were all but drowned out by the roar of passing traffic.

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Start Making Space for Your Partner to Grow

yardsale Start Making Space for Your Partner to Grow

It was a little before 7 AM on Saturday morning when Alex sat down in his living room with his first cup of coffee. He was up a little bit earlier than usual because a strange noise had awakened him from his sleep. So, when he looked out of his bedroom, he wasn't too surprised to discover the source of the disturbance was his neighbor Sam, who lived just across the street. Sam was dragging several folding tables out of his garage, and arranging them on the front lawn. From the look of things, including a couple of stacks of cardboard boxes, it appeared that Sam was setting the stage for a household rummage sale.

Partly out of curiosity, and partly out of irritation – wanting to see why on earth Sam felt the need to get such an early start – Alex threw his robe over his PJs and walked over to where Sam was arranging the things he intended to sell. As he made his way across the street, he could see his breath forming mini-clouds in the air. It was late spring, but there was a chill still rolling off the snow-capped mountains that surrounded their valley homes.

“Good morning, Sam,” said Alex. “My, but aren’t you out here bright and early!”

Apparently Sam didn’t hear the hint of sarcasm in Alex's voice; either that, or he just didn't care…which irritated Alex a little bit more.

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Special Exercises to Help You and Your Partner Grow Together

happyfriends Special Exercises to Help You and Your Partner Grow Together

If we want to help our partner change, we must change. There is no other way. And more: unless we’re exceptionally blessed, it’s unlikely our partner has the same wish that we do: to keep growing and exploring a love that, at the start, was filled with surprising changes, but that has lost some of that sparkle because one, or both of us has stopped changing.

All this is to say: odds favor you’re the one who will have to initiate the work needed to refresh your relationship. No problem. You’ll find everything you need to get started in the three special relationship exercises that follow. They are designed to work in a two-fold way.

Part one unfolds as you initiate the first action and receive the revelation that will help make changes in you. The second part of the exercise happens as your partner sees and experiences this change in you. When you no longer act toward them in the old way, they can’t help but see their own mechanical nature that only knows the “old way” to react to you.

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Let Love Be Your Answer

hand-holding-smart-phone-with-sending-heart-picture-id867746454 Let Love Be Your Answer

Perhaps you’ve read the classic story of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, or hopefully you've had a chance to see one of the film versions made over the last fifty years or so.

Very briefly, it's a powerful story that unfolds in an early 19th century coastal city in France, where love takes its three central characters on a long journey of revelation, and the eventual realization of what matters most in their lives.

The hero, Edmond Dantes, is accused of a murder that he didn't commit, by Fernand, a lifelong friend, who is the one who actually committed the crime. Fernand is so jealous that Edmond has the love of Mercedes, the heroine, that he ensures Edmond is thrown into a hellacious, inescapable prison, and left there to die. But when, after many torturous years in captivity, Edmond manages to escape by a series of almost impossible coincidences, he plots an elaborate scheme of revenge against those who betrayed him.

As the story nears its climactic end, Mercedes, whom Edmond never stopped loving – and who never stopped loving him – sees through his elaborate charade (as the Count of Monte Christo), and learns of his plan to take revenge on Fernand.

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Learn This Lesson and Take the Limits Off Your Ability to Love

couple-watching-the-sunset-in-a-convertible-car-picture-id514059558 Learn This Lesson and Take the Limits Off Your Ability to Love

We’re about to look at the facts we need to release ourselves from any kind of painful relationship pattern before we have to go through it again.

Never mind whatever may be telling you that such a power doesn’t exist. It does, and of this you may be assured: love is not limited to our present view of what it can...or can’t do!

As contradictory as it may seem, our almost inescapable sense of being unable to rise above problem patterns with our partner resides in the last place any of us would ever think to look for it: a false belief that we already understand the true nature of love. A few simple examples will help prove this last point.

If our understanding of love includes the belief that loving someone means agreeing to live with a mounting resentment towards him or her, then what else can happen as a result of that idea other than always coming to another tipping point? A fight ensues, and the pattern starts over.

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How to Invoke Love’s Divine Magic

guy How to Invoke Love’s Divine Magic
Imagine that we’re out to dinner, driving in a car somewhere, or maybe just lying in bed moments before it’s time to turn out the lights. All is well. Everything seems quiet. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, our partner tosses a “grenade” into our lap.


Suddenly, but too late, it’s obvious: we didn't see any of the familiar signs that usually indicate a conflict is about to erupt. Perhaps they say something overtly cruel, or make some passive aggressive comment to remind us where we went wrong earlier that evening, or maybe even five years ago.

Almost instantly, from out of our mouth comes pouring a host of tried and true things we tend to say in similar situations; words with edges to cut, some smooth enough to defuse the situation, others more forceful, and all designed to turn the tide of battle and push our partner back onto their heels.

But then, a shift; something within us remembers that we’ve been where this fight is about to take us at least a hundred times, and that there’s nothing new or good about getting there; just more of the same.

In that same revelation, in fact as a part of its remembrance, we now see what we couldn’t before: we’re about to wade into a “war” with our partner that can’t be won no matter which of us seems to come out on top! And so, given what this new level of higher awareness shows us as being true, there’s the only logical, and ultimately loving action left for us to do: we refuse the call to combat.

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Enter Into Full Partnership With Love

happy-family-picture-id514423061 Enter Into Full Partnership With Love

Love often appears at our door as a beggar in disguise. There are countless ancient myths that tell how the gods would show up at the door of someone’s home, appearing to be in dire straits. On the surface of things, they seem to be seeking food and shelter; but, in truth, they’ve come to ask if the ones they have chosen to visit will make room for them in their lives. And, as these stories go, whoever agrees to make this kind of sacrifice – for the sake of their unexpected visitors – is rewarded by them beyond their wildest dreams.

In much the same way, love is always knocking on our door. But it never does so more stridently than when our heart closes itself off to our partner in the name of some unconscious pain that we blame on them.

In unhappy moments like these, not only do we slam the door shut in the face of the one we love but, without ever knowing it, we also deny ourselves the precious, timeless gifts that only love can offer us: a full partnership with all of its powers. These gifts include the unfailing presence of an unconditional compassion for all that it embraces. This level of higher self-understanding can never be pulled into a fight with our partner because it can’t be deceived into identifying with one side or another of some unconscious opposing force.

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Cancel These Three Painful Relationship Patterns Before They Get Started

relationship-difficulties-picture-id505711990 Cancel These Three Painful Relationship Patterns Before They Get Started

Often when someone feels wronged by their partner they demand “payment” for the pain they feel unjustly inflicted upon them. History proves they will argue until this well-established pattern completes itself, one way or another. At some point, unable to resolve who’s to blame for the pain, one or the other will either storm off to brood over the mistreatment, or decide that “retreat” is the better part of valor and make some kind of peace offering, perhaps an apology. Sad, but true to say, in the long run, neither of these “solutions” makes any real difference. Their suffering passes into the night, but not the unseen reasons for it.

This situation sounds familiar, doesn't it? One event, a single word or critical glance triggers a negative reaction. Then and there we feel our partner has set him or herself against us, and – a moment later – we respond in kind. The feeling of being disrespected or misjudged morphs into a certainty that we’ve been betrayed; pain, not love, becomes our common denominator.


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3 Tips to Transform a Painful Relationship

happy-couple-having-date-and-eating-ice-cream-picture-id871628888 3 Tips to Transform a Painful Relationship

Pain, regardless of where or how it appears in our relationship, can either remain the seed of a distress destined to flower into a mounting resentment, or we can choose to use this same pain consciously. Then it can be transformed into the seed of something new, true, and beautiful: the birth of a new level of self-understanding – the realization of a higher order of love that can never turn against itself or anyone else.

A student once asked me, “It feels like my partner and I have come to a dead-end in our relationship. I don’t think he’s aware of it, but I sure am. I love him, but...I can’t let go of an old resentment that always rears its ugly head anytime he acts out one particular part of his nature that I just can’t stand.”

Many people have a similar problem. Here are some helpful tips for transcending the pain of relationships.

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Forty Ways to Determine Your Level of Inner Freedom

suns-rays-in-fog-through-branches-of-tree-picture-id588355606 Forty Ways to Determine Your Level of Inner Freedom

Want to know how free you really are? Good! You're about to be presented with a unique opportunity to learn all about your individual level of inner liberty. 

As you review each of the inner liberties on the list, just note mentally whether or not that particular freedom belongs to you. Our intention is simply to learn what's true about ourselves, not to prove anything about ourselves. Allow these forty freedoms to awaken and stir that secret part of you that knows living in any kind of bondage is a lie. Then follow your own natural sensing all the way to the free life.

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Eleven Laws That Lift You to the Next Life Level

asian-woman-on-beach-enjoying-sunrise-picture-id817359456 Eleven Laws That Lift You to the Next Life Level

If we want to grow inwardly we must find new ways to learn about ourselves. These higher discoveries call for higher learning. Think of each of the following eleven laws as individual magic strands of a flying carpet. Make it your aim to weave them together in your mind. Then watch how these lessons combine to effortlessly lift you to a higher and happier life level.

The First Law

Nothing can stop you from starting over.

The greatest power you possess for succeeding in life is your understanding that life gives you a fresh start any moment you choose to start fresh. Nothing that stood in your way even a heartbeat before stands there now in the same way. It's all new, even if you can't as yet see it that way. You've only to test the truth of this fact about the newness of life to discover the incredible freedom that waits for you just behind it. And then nothing can stop you. You'll know the real secret and the perfect power of starting over.

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The Power that Defeats Defeat

ethnicity-diversity-careless-freedom-people-chill-hangout-figure-picture-id933411116 The Power that Defeats Defeat

You possess a potential power that is superior to any difficulty that life may ever present. This immense inner capability enables anyone who will claim it to instantly rise above his challenge. It makes no difference what form the challenge may assume or how huge it looms. This latent power of yours can render it harmless and ultimately make it disappear. This friendly force that can turn your life into a series of victories is the power to question defeat. 

If we honestly examine the way we presently question our defeats, we will see that we are still desperately seeking answers that serve only to correct the surface or exterior conditions. We blame circumstances for crushing us. By their very nature, our old questions tend to make and then keep us victims, because these questions imply that someone or something outside of ourselves is punishing us. No human being is a victim of any punishment outside of his own undeveloped life level from which his inner reactions are seen as outer attacks. This is why we must learn to turn our questions into tools for developing self-wholeness instead of letting them lead us off in the wrong direction. 

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4 Signs of Spiritually Sick People  (and how to stop them from infecting you)

friends-making-a-selfie-together-at-party-picture-id903724814 4 Signs of Spiritually Sick People  (and how to stop them from infecting you)

Those with whom we assemble we will soon resemble, so the simple old saying goes. Yet it tells of a deep Truth. It says that who we are - the stuff of our soul at present - is being transformed continuously by the nature of the company we keep; so that, in (our) essence we are always moving and evolving towards a kind of psychic oneness with whatever relationships we have revolving around us that we are "within."

This "company" we keep refers both to the kinds of people "outside" of us and the presence of accompanying thoughts and feelings circulating within us. To see the Truth of this spiritual Law - and how it works in scale upon us, shaping our soul’s possibilities - just imagine how a cold piece of iron or damp wood soon assumes the nature of the fire it is brought next to. Radiant energy is transferred from one to the other, and soon what has no luminous properties of its own is transformed and begins to glow. With all this in mind, now consider there are four distinct types of people that can be identified by the four dark spirits inhabiting them. By recognizing these dark forces at work in others, we can learn to catch their dark works in ourselves. Once we have the Light to see what is so (in us), we are on our way to being set free from the enslavement inherent in living in the dark of ourselves. 

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Take Your Relationships To The Next Level

photo-of-heartshaped-glasses-on-the-beach-picture-id915689078 Take Your Relationships To The Next Level

When a person wants to reach the next level in their life, when they want to understand the truths -- the principles that actually produce in them a new kind of freedom -- they have to know where to look for it.

From micro to macro, you can discover that the whole universe is based on cycles and that these cycles run through our lives, determining our relationships with each other. And yet, there is something -- which we will call Love -- that contains these cycles… and it is right inside of us.

Once we recognize Love's existence and understand where it dwells, we can begin to intuit that we are all connected in an incredible living web through which we are meant to experience ourselves and learn from one another.

Relationship is how Love expresses itself in this universe. Relationship serves to express both the conditions under which we learn as well as those conditions that deliver us to the lessons we have to learn.

The truths that free us actually set up the conditions from which we need to be rescued for the purpose of showing us that the Truth goes before us and has always been there. So that rather than this maze of experiences we don’t understand that we try to solve or overcome, the process changes. Instead of being an externally oriented human being, we begin to become internally oriented. We understand that the order of relationship that exists for the purpose of our life itself waits for us to go to it -- waits for us to understand that the relationship we have to have first and foremost isn’t the one that our mind and feelings tell us we have to have, but that pre-exists inside of us.

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Use Every Relationship to Uplift Your Life

silhouette-of-happy-business-team-making-high-hands-in-sunset-sky-picture-id696209402 Use Every Relationship to Uplift Your Life

The greatest, most abundant resource on planet Earth is also its least understood and utilized. Its unlimited supply is found virtually everywhere, anytime, and under all circumstances, even though few recognize its real value. What is this most precious collective resource? It is our relationships.

Consider these truths: It is within relationships that we grow as individuals in everything valuable, because it is through them that we become stronger and wiser, allowing us to realize a love that transcends our unseen self-limiting self-interests. Yet, even though we may acknowledge the existence of this path to self-perfection, the essential mystery of exactly how to use this endless resource remains obscured.

What do we have to do to change the balance sheet of our lives so that for every measure of impatience and intolerance there may be at least an equivalent sum of compassion and consideration? How do we learn to use our relationships with others to realize a new kind of relationship with ourselves where we are able to discover that who we really are is all we need to be?

Our willingness to work our way through the following twelve special practices -- to strive to use these higher ideals in our relationships with others -- will reward us with the Real Life our hearts longs for.



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Giving Yourself and Others Room to Grow

runners-tying-running-shoes-and-getting-ready-to-run-picture-id864384892 Giving Yourself and Others Room to Grow

There is one essential ingredient missing in most of our relationships -- one that is definitely required if we wish to continue in our own development and help others to do the same. What is this powerful catalyst that only we can provide for each other? Room in which to grow.

We can help others reach higher by simply agreeing, consciously, to give them space to go through their changes even when these changes may challenge our sense of self and its well-being. As just one simple example of how to help in this way, we must each learn to keep ourselves quiet when the actions of someone close to us start to disturb us. Why is this new kind of self-silence so important for the growth of both parties involved?

To begin with, the disturbance that we feel in these moments is caused by a tremor in us. This is to say that our shaky sense of self is an effect of some picture we have held of this person as it hits the ground and shatters. Apart from our children, whom we must guide through their developing years, we need to learn to leave people alone with their decisions and corresponding actions. There is already a truth, a wisdom that supports this conscious course of action.

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We all Share the Same Emotional Pool

mixedculture We all Share the Same Emotional Pool

Compassion for others starts with the understanding that every human being on the planet looks different from us – because physically we are different – but inwardly we all live in the same pool.

We all have pain and pleasure, we all share emotions that move in waves through that pool. People may live on the east bank of the pool so that the waves they know are different from the waves we know on the west bank, but if we look close enough, we can see that we share east bank waves in us as well.

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, "How could that person be like that?" and then by the grace of God, discovered that you had done the same thing before, only called it something different? This is a beautiful realization because it proves to you that it is intended for those of us who would have a higher life to use everyone's life for our own development.

We Help Others When We Don’t Take Part in Negativity

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Awaken Higher Awareness Through Self-Observation

slim-tourist-on-peak-of-rock-in-autumn-empires-park-picture-id480003814 Awaken Higher Awareness Through Self-Observation

I'm sure that we can all agree that no intelligent, conscious man or woman would ever intentionally hurt him or herself. It is important that we are in agreement about this precept. No one would choose to ache. Yet the fact remains that all of us do hurt ourselves every day with bursts of anger or fits of depression or anxiety. Even at the simplest level there can be no doubt: fear and worry take an immeasurable toll on our health and well-being.

However, there is real intelligence. An inwardly awake person would never intentionally hurt himself. Self-observation is the key to developing this higher order of awareness; it is how we learn to become inwardly vigilant to our own thoughts and feelings, even as they pass through us. When we can observe ourselves in this new way our higher nature naturally prevails over any troubling thoughts or feelings that want to drag us down into their lower world.

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The Secret of Having Everything You Want

happy-couple-dancing-in-kitchen-picture-id668146926 The Secret of Having Everything You Want

Everyone wonders whether or not there is one great secret for truly successful living. There is. And it is not a secret. It has been quietly, steadily telling itself right in front of us all along. We just couldn't hear it over the clatter and chatter of our own secret demands. Listen quietly for a moment. Everything can change right now. Learning to hear this supreme secret is no more difficult than choosing whether to swim against a current or to let it carry you safely to the shore. Let it speak its wisdom to that secret part of you that can not only hear what it is saying but that is, in reality, its very voice. Listen to it now. It is saying, "Want What Life Wants." Think about it. Locked within these four simple words is the secret of an uncompromising power for effortless living; a new kind of power that never fails to place you on the winning side of any situation. Why? Because when you want what Life wants, your wish is for Life itself.

"What if I don't like what life brings to me?"

"Try to see that it is not what life has brought to you that you don't like. It is your reactions that turn the gift of life into the resentment of it."

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Principles for Perfecting Relationships

perfectingrelationships Principles for Perfecting Relationships

Have you ever been so upset, so disturbed by someone, that if you didn’t lash out at them, you were sure the whole world would come crashing down on you? When you and I get upset with someone, our attention is instantly glued onto the source of our irritation. All we do is think about the irritation we have and how it’s connected to what someone else has done.

When you’re upset with someone or something, you have no consciousness of yourself at all. You are only conscious of what you say he, she, or it is making you feel. You are
completely outwardly oriented in order to justify your inward agitation.

At the moment you see a person or an event as being responsible for this irritation, what you are actually seeing is your experience of the moment. So really what you’re experiencing isn’t the person, but the content of your own past experience in its narrow confines.

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