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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Develop the Power of Patience That Perfects Your Life

Develop the Power of Patience That Perfects Your Life Develop the Power of Patience That Perfects Your Life

An essential spiritual force is missing from our lives. We are about to gather ample evidence of this fact, and learn ways to recover this crucial force that we unknowingly give away. 

The power we're missing is patience. Real patience is not about waiting for one's expectations to be fulfilled. This is the kind of patience that we have now, and as we will see, it is necessarily filled with impatience; so, it isn't so much that we are actually patient, as it is that we are hanging around, impatiently, waiting for that moment to get what we have hoped for.

This kind of patience is a contrivance. We pretend to have patience while inwardly our own unappeased thoughts and feelings pound on us. What we are about to study are some facts about the true nature of patience, and what it is that we have to acquire ­– meaning what we have to understand – if there is any chance for any of us to become a different order of human being. 

The way our present mind meets life is much like a machine. Most of our lives are spent in automatic reactions to moments where an expectation of ours meets either the fulfillment or the denial of our dreams. We have yet to see that our own conditioned expectations always set us up for a sorrow of some kind or another.

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Letting Go – the Key to Getting What You Really Want

Letting Go – the Key to Getting What You Really Want Letting Go – the Key to Getting What You Really Want

Each time we see the need to let go of something – a bad habit that drags us down, an unsatisfactory relationship, a career choice that can’t complete us in the way we dreamed it would, or maybe unrealistic expectations of ours about others that eventually spoil our partnerships with them – whatever it may be: what is it that’s actually happened in these moments of honest self-examination? See if this simple answer doesn’t describe our situation:

Aren’t we being “asked” to give up an existing relationship in order to make room in our lives for something higher? Of course we are. Then why is it so hard to act on our intuition? After all, who doesn’t want a life that’s better, brighter, and truer? 

Here’s why we hesitate to make this exchange, as so many of us do: the real challenge in such moments is that what we must choose in favor of can’t be seen by our physical eyes! Can we see the truth of this, no pun intended? 

Inherent in any true spiritual surrender is this one inescapable fact: we can’t hope to realize the actual nature of that new and “greater” relationship we seek until we have released the old one. St. Paul, author of numerous New Testament accounts, best describes what is, ultimately, an indescribable moment:
 

“Our faith must be in things unseen, and not in things seen; for who hopes for things (already) seen?”

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Realize Timeless Love

young-couple-walking-on-the-beach-picture-id144337273 Realize Timeless Love

We have all been hurt, left with a heart wounded by others who seem to go on just fine without us. In moments of such loss, our emptiness doesn’t stay empty for long; we are soon filled with anger, guilt, regret, or grief. These dark thoughts and feelings usually accomplish two things at once. At their onset, they bind us to a negative certainty that we will never again love or trust, but that’s not the worst of it. They also blind us so that the real purpose behind our pain goes unseen; as such, we miss the following lesson. Hidden within it is the power to transform our tears into a new kind of triumph over sorrow:

It isn’t love that has hurt us. 

Once our inner eyes are open and we can read the story between the lines secreted away in our suffering, we’re able to see one spiritual wonder after another. For instance, we realize that real love can’t hurt us any more than the light from a lamp can turn a room dark. We understand without taking thought that the nature of light is to reveal, not conceal. It’s clear: love heals; its celestial purpose is to integrate all that it embraces and all who choose to embrace it. 

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Realize the Real Purpose of Relationship

Realize the Real Purpose of Relationship Realize the Real Purpose of Relationship

How many men or women do you know that when a fight has begun – or even in the middle of one – they suddenly see and agree that to blame the other person for the state that they are in is a lie? How long would a fight go on between any two human beings if one of those individuals awakened sufficiently enough to see that the pattern of fighting with another person to prove that I’m right is in fact the proof that I’m in the wrong?  

Our experience has shown us that the fighting continues because we are not learning from the relationship. Instead we are burning over what someone or other has implied that we are or that we are not doing and therefore we are at fault. We are never at fault in our relationships until at last the fighting becomes so egregious that we can’t hide the truth from ourselves anymore. And by the time we reach that point with other human beings, we have most often ruined whatever little love had brought us together in the first place.  

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Take Yourself to a Higher, Happier Life Level

happy-family-holding-hands-and-jumping-against-the-sky-picture-id543084146-1 Take Yourself to a Higher, Happier Life Level

Human beings are a unique creation in the cosmic scheme of things. Unlike the untold billions of other life forms teaming on the Earth -- whose nature is an open and shut case -- human nature is not fixed. What does this mean to you? Only everything!

The tiger, the horse, and the bird must express their nature. They have no real choice. And even though they may be free to choose which part of the jungle, or open range, in which they want to feed and roam, these animals have no choice as to the kind of world in which they must dwell. 

The tiger can't choose to live above the jungle floor any more than a shark can decide to soar through blue skies. The tiger, horse, bird, and shark must live where they do because of what they are. Try to see this deeply.

The tiger's nature determines its life. And that life is a part of the jungle floor. They are inseparable. The tiger's nature and its life level are one thing. The tiger's life level determines the world it must inhabit. Its nature and life level are as fixed as its stripes.

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Choose to Go Higher

woman-making-heart-frame-on-spectacular-landscape-in-hawaii-from-top-picture-id1192417995 Choose to Go Higher

Our lives are the experience (or the reflection) of whatever presence we may share… and this holds true for all of our moments. We are primarily, first and foremost, creatures of consciousness. What does this mean?  

Our real -- but still hidden -- life is an expression and extension of eternal forces, even though we are presently well grounded in the sensual, physical life. As such, we remain bound in this realm's limited and unconscious circle of relationships. But we need not remain unwilling captives of this lower order. We may choose higher. 

Our as yet realized heritage is that we may choose, through higher self-awareness coupled with conscious discernment, what order of presence we wish to share, what presence we agree to allow within us. Think what this discovery means to us.  

It is our choice whether to dwell within the temporary or the permanent -- whether we run with the stream that pours itself into the desert and disappears, or dwell within the ocean that feeds all such passing pools. We are empowered to choose whether to give ourselves over to what hurts us, or to what heals us. 

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10 Causes of Needless Heartaches

pensive-young-woman-in-jacket-sitting-on-dock-between-reed-with-her-picture-id1207387057 10 Causes of Needless Heartaches

Why do we accept so much unhappiness in our lives today? If you think this supposition is untrue, ask yourself why people spend so much time seeking ways to distract themselves with empty pleasures? Or why so many people push themselves along one spiritual path after another, blindly hoping that something will happen to mitigate their sense of emptiness?

The self that is moved to do this kind of imagining does not understand that some unseen force of sorrow or distress fuels its dream engine. Consequently, the more it works to imagine some hoped-for happiness, the more identified it becomes with the opposite of what is driving this dream of brighter times to come. 

Our lives are meant to be bright, noble, and ever ascending. This promise of our true potential is made good in us by fulfilling our possibilities and not through the interminable struggle of trying to prove what is impossible. Most of our sorrows are the stressful offspring of trying to be something we have no real need to be; they are born for attempting to do what cannot—and need not—be done.  

The following Ten Causes of Needless Heart aches reveal how we cause ourselves unnecessary suffering.

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The Truth About Anger and Hatred

frustrated-african-american-businesswoman-surrounded-by-her-in-picture-id1176305941 The Truth About Anger and Hatred

To be angry and hateful is to suffer. It doesn’t help anyone to get angry. Anger hurts whoever is angry. It burns. Anger ruins relationships, causes heartache and regret, and devastates health. And yet, in spite of all of these facts, when we are angry it feels right. Somehow, in some unseen way, anger proves to whoever is experiencing its heated feelings that he or she is right even though, in the eyes of reality, nothing could be further from the truth. 

How can something so wrong seem so right? Feelings of anger and hatred feel like they’re in your best interest because, at the time of their intrusion into your life, they temporarily fill you with a powerful false sense of self born out of fierce but lying feelings that can only exist without your conscious consent or awareness of it being there. This negative-self’s interests are not in your best interest. This conjured-up temporary identity is nothing but a self-of-suffering.

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An Invitation to Outgrow Your Limitations

businesswoman-struggles-to-carry-large-stone-in-office-setting-picture-id927530086 An Invitation to Outgrow Your Limitations

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

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

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Stay Out of the Places That Steal Your Happiness

Stay Out of the Places That Steal Your Happiness Stay Out of the Places That Steal Your Happiness

It is important to understand what it means to be in the wrong place. The right place isn't just where your body is sitting. Have you ever been in the right place physically, paid a lot of money to go there, and then sat there resenting the fact that there was pulp in your orange juice? You can be in the most exquisite spot in the world and at the same time be inwardly in the most exquisite fear, worry, or pain, despite what you have put together for yourself. When we're in the wrong place inwardly, it simply doesn't matter where we are outwardly. 

What is it that must take place in our life so that we can begin the process of recognizing the simple truth of that idea? The most beautiful truths, are the simplest ones. Our problem is that we just don't know when we're in the wrong place. We can be in the wrong place even while thinking we're in the right place. 

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Stop Making Yourself Powerless

lioness-standing-on-a-rocky-outcrop-or-hill-looking-forwards-picture-id477691443 Stop Making Yourself Powerless

Once upon a time, there was an eco-tour guide in Africa who was considered the safest guide in all of Africa because virtually no one got hurt on his tours. You would think that people would flock to this eco-tour guide because of his safety record, but he had a certain reputation. It wasn't just that he was the safest, but he was also the sternest. People didn't want to go on a tour with a stern guide. They wanted to go on a tour with somebody that was fun!
 

Just prior to one trip, the eco-tour guide sits his guests down and says, "Before you start your trek, I have a few simple rules." With that, his friendly demeanor became somewhat stern. In not such a gentle voice he said, "Rule #1: When climbing slippery hills, you have the power to not grab onto a snake because you've mistaken it for a rope. Rule #2: In the heat of the day,you have the power to not take a cooling swim in the part of the river where the signs say Warning: Man-eating Crocs. Rule #3: When approaching the campsite after a long day's walk, you have the power to not walk through the quicksand swamps in order to take a shortcut back to your tent."

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The Right Place to Make a New Beginning

traveler-with-backpack-walking-forward-picture-id491297950 The Right Place to Make a New Beginning

If we try to make a new beginning, motivated by an attempt to no longer be where (or what) we once were, we do start out, but not from what is new. On the contrary, we begin our search, and then reach our conclusions as to what we must come to possess to affect this newness, from within the confines of what has been our own past experience.  

In other words, we set out to start a new life for ourselves from a place within us already known and rejected! Can you begin to see the implications of making such a mistake as it concerns knowing the correct “starting” place for making a new beginning? 

Under the conditions just described, we cannot start anything over except the very life we hope to escape! We begin our journey in the wrong place because we have yet to realize that the content of our “new” future to come, however sweetly dreamed, is secretly an unconscious extension of our own unwanted past. 

Unseen, but nevertheless active in our psychology, we carry within us a virtual string of “nots” by which we bind ourselves to our old life! And if we would be free to start life over, we must understand this spiritual truth: what we resist, persists -- and this includes our own past! 

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4 Keys To Starting Over On The Path To Inner Success

young-woman-stands-on-rock-outcrop-and-looks-out-to-sea-picture-id1204226444 4 Keys To Starting Over On The Path To Inner Success

When we first set off on the road to self-discovery, we’re optimistic and excited about this inner adventure. We’re confident that we’ll plant our flag atop the inner mountain, and that whatever presently limits us will soon be a relic of the past. But then we get a dose of reality. Talk about tough sledding! Rather than becoming noticeably better, it can feel as if we’re actually getting worse; like one step up the mountain, two steps sliding back. The bad habit we would break looms larger; frustration mounts; despair sets in; and soon we’re thinking about throwing in the towel.

But things are not what they seem, which is why those of us who aspire to reach and realize our own highest possibilities must gain new self-knowledge, beginning with the following: we have not gotten worse! On the contrary, what’s actually happened is that our effort to be free has made us more aware of our captive condition.

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Stand on the Ground of Your True Self

young-girl-bows-in-meditation-picture-id1215544467 Stand on the Ground of Your True Self

Our sense of self -- the way we experience ourselves -- is very much connected to the widely varying states of emotional energies that come into us and that seem to shape the nature of our individuality. But the fact of the matter is, there is no such separate self, at least not the way we presently experience it. There are just these ceaseless states of energy and the fleeting sense of self they produce as they pass through us. And because these widely varying states don’t belong to us -- in effect, they’re just "passing through" -- the moment their nature moves on, goes with them the sense of self we had derived from their presence.
 

This knowledge has great meaning for anyone who wants to be free of useless negative states and more, including this: When you don't -- when you consciously won't -- express some negative state, you are literally asking for awareness of a higher self. Here's why. As you don't express that state, you become conscious of yourself as the ground upon which it is breaking as well as the presence of that visiting state. In this moment of new awareness there is something there inside of you, with you, that won't change when the state changes.

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The Life of Christ is Now

holifest The Life of Christ is Now

There is one way, and one way only, that any of us will ever know the real meaning behind the life of Christ, and that is... to share in his death. And by this, I do not mean symbolically, or by any other allegory. If our wish is to know the truth behind his seemingly incomprehensible, incomparable act of self-sacrifice -- and the rebirth that crowns this surrender -- there's but one thing to do: we must stop thinking about it... and get down to the business of actually dying to our own lower nature.

Spending one's time wondering why this god-man agreed to lay down his life for the sake of the immortal Self that he embodied... is like hoping to be healed by a medicine that you give someone else to take for you.
 

Let me be clear: it doesn't matter what we say we believe in, or otherwise profess to be true. Belief alone amounts to nothing. To paraphrase and enhance a timeless idea: faith without acts is not only fruitless, but along with being the dangerous root of fanaticism, it is one of the dark seeds from out of which grows the evil of religious intolerance. Comparing the value of our ideals to those of others is not what it means to act truly, anymore than the act of judging someone proves the worthiness of the judge.

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End the Pain of Getting in Your Own Way

perfect-paintbrush-with-pink-heart-on-white-picture-id1156702512 End the Pain of Getting in Your Own Way

You know what it means to get in your own way, don't you? It is a true phenomenon.

Try to picture this: I'm walking down the street and then I run into myself… how can I run into myself unless I'm divided in such a way that in any given moment I’m on my way to do what something in me says is going to make the moment right, then I run into what the moment says will make it right… and I have a crash?


Here’s a little story to illustrate this idea of getting in our own way:

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Use Your Pain to Change

changefrompain Use Your Pain to Change

Most everything that we have to say about life and our relationships with others -- and how we talk about the part of us that wants to smooth things over, keep them from being disturbed -- is a form of saying something nice about what is killing us.

Here’s the bottom line: We just don't want to go through the pain of doing what's right when it's right to do it. That’s the whole shebang.
 

It isn't you I'm afraid of, it's my own pain. It isn't the condition I don't want to get in and mess with. I don't want to get in mess with the parts of me that are going to beat me over the head with threats and all other forms of conditioned reactions.

Everything about your work is bringing you to a point where you understand the need to bear yourself and to do so despite being unable to do it. Then you are upon a cross. Then you go through what is required of you to have your own life.

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Leave the "Victim Level" of Life Behind You

fragile-picture-id1193926857 Leave the "Victim Level" of Life Behind You

When faced with any pain or grief -- past, present, or promised -- the first thing our lower nature, the "me mind," usually asks is: "What's to be done? Who can I speak to about it? What's the best way for me to handle it? Is there any way out?" And at the heart of these complaints, whether detected or not, is the me mind's favorite question: "Why does everything happen to me?"
 

But at the root of each of these fearful questions which seem to seek a way out of the sorrow lies a secret assumption, one that keeps us defeated and going around in sad circles. And the deception in this assumption of ours is so habitual that if it weren't for the existence of a higher order of self, with its powers of higher perception, this subtle betrayal would be complete. What is this unconscious assumption that almost none can see?
 

The deception begins with the assumption that whatever your current pain may be, it must be real. And, more importantly, hidden in this same unsuspected assumption, is the wrong reasoning that since that ache is lodged in your heart -- it must follow that that pain belongs to you.
 

Even if you doubt the existence of a higher, happier life level, the following is beyond all doubt: living from a mind that automatically assumes suffering is real, gives you no choice other than to remain a perpetual victim. This defeated inner condition is the same as being sentenced to a life of perpetual sadness and resentment. Our lives aren't meant to be spent in this wasteful way. Following is a new and much higher way to look at, and solve, this very old problem.
 

The next time any sadness, or worry of any kind, calls for you, slow the whole of yourself down and work to quietly observe yourself.

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Are you struggling with the Quarantine 15?

Are you struggling with the Quarantine 15? Are you struggling with the Quarantine 15?

That’s the 15 extra pounds many people report they are putting on right now due to being stuck in their homes with nothing to do, tempted by the stocks of junk food they tossed into their shopping carts during their final visit to the grocery store.

There’s no question we turn to food for comfort when we’re feeling bored, anxious, and empty. And then we hate seeing the number on the scale rising, with seemingly no power to stop it.

But we do have the power to stop it if we remember certain inner-life truths about eating, and have some simple practices to help keep us from over-indulging.

Let’s start with facts about food.

The first purpose of the food we eat is to provide us with the best possible fuel needed for our interior and exterior work. This is especially important during this time of crisis, which is also a time of great possibility for our inner development. 

The second purpose of food is to remind us that whatever we’re given to nourish ourselves with should always be taken in with a measure of gratitude. Being grateful for our food helps us eat mindfully, instead of unconsciously stuffing ourselves without satisfaction.

The third purpose of food is for the pleasure it can provide. No one would deny the pleasure food provides, but again, mindless eating is not even enjoyable.

So those are three purposes of food, and having them out of order — as they so often are — is one of the chief causes of our physical misery.

There is no question that the kind of food we eat, as well as our relationship to it, when we eat it, impacts us. The body is a factory capable of producing an extraordinary product—however, junk in — junk out. The body breaks down, and the mind loses its capacity to consider even its own condition. Why Is Mindful Eating So Important?

Eating a healthy diet and doing proper exercise is essential for allowing maximum inward possibility. In these days of the pandemic, that means eating healthfully so we can use these unprecedented times to develop our inner strength and understanding.

The more consciously we eat, the more we begin to contact (and be contacted by) higher energy. This relationship is what we really want. It is the source of the inner strength we need now more than ever. Unconscious appetites keep us from developing a love for this one relationship that can actually fulfill our need for love, security, happiness, and peace.

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Stop Animating What Makes You Ache

office-worker-hiding-picture-id166231644 Stop Animating What Makes You Ache

If we see how much of our unhappiness is self-created, through being inattentive to our own interior life, then accordingly, we can learn to re-direct our attention, placing it where we will within what is right and bright. But, there is only one way to realize this reversal: we must work to see how wrongly directed attention works against us.

Perhaps a thought pops into your mind about a problem that’s been bothering you. Appearing with it is some emotional disturbance. Now the thought starts rolling, growing in its demand for your attention. Almost instantly it has defined what needs to be done, or what you are powerless to do. And both states accomplish the same dark end: you’ve unknowingly animated that thought and given it a life -- and the life you’ve given it is your own! Here’s an example of how this scene might unfold:

A man is walking through his office when his boss walks by and gives him a blank look. The thought pops into the man’s mind that his boss is criticizing him or doesn’t like him. Now, as he starts to fear this idea -- a negative picture produced by his imagination -- his mind focuses its attention on this disturbing image. And the more he attends to this dark dream, the further into its labyrinth he descends, strengthening its presence and power to further irritate him. A heartbeat later, he has no doubt: the boss has it in for him! This thought grows in authority for him, tormenting him for the rest of the day and causing him to snap at his family when he gets home. And all of this suffering is born of what? The conjunction of a passing glance and a moment of misdirected attention!

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