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. 

Join Soulspring for conscious insights... ...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

And receive this very special audio recording from Panache Desai on Breaking Bad Habits.

DR. MARGARET PAUL is a bestselling author, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows (including Oprah). Her book titles include Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You, Heal...
DR. MARGARET PAUL is a bestselling author, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows (including Oprah). Her book titles include Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding" and the recently released Diet For Divine Connection and The Inner Bonding Workbook. Margaret has successfully worked with thousands around the world and taught classes and seminars for over 50 years.
More

Addiction to Spirituality: The Spiritual Bypass

margaret10.12
Are you using your spirituality as a "spiritual bypass" to avoid feeling your feelings and taking responsibility for them?

Lian had been meditating for many years before consulting with me for his depression. He had been part of a spiritual community that encouraged their members to turn to God through prayer and meditation whenever they were feeling any difficult or painful feelings such as anger, hurt, anxiety or depression. He had been taught that Spirit would transmute his feelings for him and bring him the inner peace he sought.

Yet Lian was depressed. "I have faithfully practiced what I've been taught, so why am I still depressed? What am I doing wrong?"

Lian was suffering from what is called "spiritual bypass."

Continue reading

The Myth of Explaining and Defending

MargaretP10.6
Do you believe that explaining and defending will convince the other person to see things your way? Has this ever worked?

"What's the matter with you?"
"How could you do that?"
"Explain yourself, young lady/young man."
"Why are you dressed like that?"
"Why are you late again?"
"What did you do to your hair!"

How often did you hear some variation of this when you were growing up? I heard it all the time. And what I learned to do was to desperately defend and explain in fruitless attempts to get my mom or dad to stop judging me and SEE me. Or I would apologize and become the "good girl," so they would approve of me.

Of course, defending and explaining didn't work. But that didn't stop me from trying because I just didn't know what else to do - other than completely give myself up, which is what I eventually learned to do.

When I got married, I continued in the same pattern - first trying to explain and defend and then giving myself up. The result was, of course, no better than it was with my parents. Again, I had no idea what else to do.
Continue reading

10 Keys to Inner Peace and Joy

margaretp9.22
Most of us want to experience inner peace and joy, rather anxiety and depression. There are choices you can make to consistently experience peace and joy.

Inner peace and joy are spiritual gifts. The gifts of spirit enter the heart when we make the choices we need to make to be available to them. What are these choices?

Presence

Peace and joy exist in this present moment - not in the past or future. If you are in your left-brain ego programmed mind - your wounded self - you are likely thinking about the past or the future with a desire to have control over something. The moment you are out of the moment with a desire to control, you cut off access to the spiritual gifts of peace and joy, as well as to the gifts of love and truth.

Gratitude

The heart needs to be open in order to receive the gifts of spirit. Nothing opens the heart faster than deep gratitude - gratitude for your life, your soul's journey, for the body your soul lives in, for the food you eat, for friendship and caring, for shelter, and for anything else that you are blessed with - eyes that see, ears that hear, arms, legs, health, and so on. Being truly grateful for your particular blessings opens the heart to the gifts of spirit.

Continue reading

Don't Be Your Partner's Therapist!

mpaul9.15
One of the important things I learned in my own marriage and in my work with clients is that a committed relationship is NOT supposed to be a therapeutic relationship. We can help each other to learn, grow and heal, but this is very different than a therapeutic relationship. In a marriage, or close committed relationship or friendship, we can help each other, but in a therapeutic relationship, one person is helping the other. This doesn't work well in a partnership.

Caretakers often enter relationships to 'fix' their partner.

Caretakers often see themselves as healthier or more evolved than their partner, and they go about trying to change their partner – 'for their own good.' This puts the caretaker in a one-up position, which may make the other person feel one-down. I often hear from a client whose partner is trying to fix them, or who sees themselves as the ‘healthy one’, "My partner is much healthier and more evolved than I am."

Since we come together at our common level of health or woundedness, I know that this statement isn't true - that it's indicative of an imbalance in the relationship and is what is causing some of the problems.

Sometimes one person expects the other person to listen the way a therapist would. A client in this position asked me,

"What should I do when he vents on me and expects me to listen to him like a therapist might listen to a client?"

Continue reading

A Powerful Method for Healing Depression

mpaul9.7

Kendra had been depressed on and off for the last three years before consulting with me. "I've tried various medications and they help somewhat, but I still feel depressed. I've tried psychotherapy and it also helps a little but not enough for me to feel happiness or peace inside. I hate feeling this way and I just don't know what to do."

The first thing that I did to start Kendra on her Inner Bonding journey was to help her create a personal source of spiritual guidance. I asked her to make up a being who was very loving, wise and powerful to whom she could turn, in her imagination, for help and guidance. Kendra made up an older Indian medicine woman whom she called Elder One.

Next I asked Kendra where in her body she felt the feeling of depression. "In my heart and stomach. My heart and stomach often feel so heavy and sad."

"Kendra, imagine that your feeling self, the part that is presently depressed, is a child within. How old is this child?" She told me she thought the child was around six.

Continue reading

Speaking Your Truth Without Blame or Judgment

margaretp8.30

How often have you become irritated or angry, or given yourself up, or started to argue or debate, teach or explain, or withdrew when someone was treating you badly - ordering you around, judging you, blaming you, or dumping their complaints or negativity on you? How often have you behaved in any of these protective, controlling ways when someone is unknowingly interrupting you when you are trying to focus on something or get something done? How do you end up feeling when you behave in any of these ways?

The chances are you end up feeling angry, hurt, anxious, depressed, or numbed out. It is easy to believe that these feelings are coming from the other person's behavior toward you, but this is not the case. Your unhappy feelings are coming from not taking loving care of yourself.


For example...

Madison consulted with me because she was feeling depressed. She and Andrew had been married for 12 years. She loved Andrew and felt that they had a deep soul connection. Yet she was often unhappy around him.

Continue reading

Is This the Right Person for Me?

MargaretP8.25
"How will I know when I meet the right person?"

I often hear this question in my counseling practice.

The answer is fairly complex. There are two different reasons that people have for wanting to get married:

• To get love, validation, security and safety

• To share love and to grow emotionally and spiritually.

If you feel insecure and alone, you are likely to look for someone who will fill the inner emptiness and give you the love you are seeking.You may want to find someone who will complete you and make you feel adequate and worthy.
Continue reading

Why So Much Violence?

mpaul8.17

The violence in our society has sparked many discussions regarding the cause of such horrifying behavior. Why is this happening?

In my experience, it is not possible for us as human beings to be violent when we are connected to our soul and to our spiritual guidance. When we do the work we need to do to develop a spiritually connected loving adult, we have the ability to place limits on our behavior regarding harming ourselves and others.

However, many people lose touch with their true soul self. Since our soul – our inner child - holds our intrinsic feelings of compassion and empathy for others, losing touch with this aspect of ourselves may cause us to be able to harm others without feeling any pain or remorse over it.
 

The question is, how do we lose connection with our feeling soul self?

Continue reading

Still Not Healthy - Even with A Perfect Diet?

MPaul8.9.21 Do you eat well and exercise, and still find yourself lacking the health and vitality you want?
"And here’s the thing, you can eat a perfect diet and take all the right supplements, but if you’re not sleeping well and managing your stress, all bets are off. I see this every day in my private practice." 
Chris Kresser, 9 Steps to Perfect Health, p. 34


I also see it every day in my private practice. I work with people who work very hard to be healthy. They eat all organic foods. They tune into what kind of eating plan is right for them – vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, Paleo, modified Paleo, and so on. They exercise regularly. They might even sleep well most of the time. But they are still not healthy. They still hurt. They still have low energy, fatigue, and low immunity. What is the problem?

Time and again, I discover that the main problem is how they manage stress.

In our current culture, stress is inevitable. We can't completely do away with stress, but we can learn how to manage it in ways that promote our health rather than destroy it.

I used to be one of those people who didn't manage stress well. I would get anxious a lot. I often felt angry or down. I carried a lot of tension in my body. And I was not well.

I read everything I could find on health. I ate really well – all organic, no processed foods, no sugar. Still, my health was going down – until I started to practice Inner Bonding.

Continue reading

The Vast Difference Between Aloneness and Loneliness

mpaul_7.27

Often, when I ask my clients what they feel, it’s obvious to me that they are confused between loneliness and aloneness.
 

Aloneness

Aloneness is an inner feeling of being all alone in the universe, and feeling empty inside. Aloneness indicates that there is a lack of love inside. But, contrary to what most people assume, it’s not another’s love that’s missing – it’s your love that’s missing.

The feelings of aloneness and emptiness are the result of emotional self-abandonment – of ignoring your feelings, judging yourself, using addictions to numb your feelings, and of making others responsible for you feeling loved, safe, and worthy. When you emotionally reject and abandon yourself, your feeling self – your inner child – feels alone and empty inside. When you emotionally abandon yourself, your heart closes and you can’t feel the love and comfort of your higher guidance, which leads to feeling alone in the universe. This is a very sad way to live, yet this is how many people live. 

Continue reading

The Power of Genuine Hugs

hugging Are you aware of the difference between hugs that heal and hugs that are draining or invasive?

There are hugs…and there are hugs. In other words, there are genuine loving and giving hugs, and there are needy hugs and inappropriately sexual hugs. There is a world of difference between these.

While I knew this as a child – as most children do – I didn’t have words for the difference. I just knew that I loved hugging and being hugged by some people and I hated being hugged by others. Loving hugs felt nurturing and safe to me, while needy and sexual hugs felt yucky.

My mother’s hugs never felt good to me. My mother was narcissistic, and her hugs were needy. When she hugged me – which fortunately wasn’t very often, I felt like the life was being sucked right out of me. My mother was never a person I would go to for love or comfort.

Until I was twelve, my father’s hugs were wonderful – filled with love and nurturing. I felt so safe in the arms of my father. All that changed when I was twelve and my father became sexually abusive, which, of course, meant that he was no longer safe for me. I was confused and scared and crushed to no longer be able to go to my father for hugs. I protected myself by staying away from him as much as I could.

I’m a very affectionate person, and by the time I started dating I was so starved for hugs that I often found myself in difficult situations. What I wanted was loving and caring hugs but, what I mostly got was needy and/or sexual hugs from the boys I dated. It took me many more years before I could articulate the energetic difference between loving, healing, nurturing hugs, and needy or inappropriately sexual hugs.

Continue reading

Should I Stay, or Should I Leave?

breakingup

Heather asked the following question:

“My boyfriend and I are on a two-month break, and during this time I realized that I have been trying to fix my boyfriend so that he would be the loving adult to me. I have been abandoning myself for five years, first by not taking loving care of myself when a substance addiction was revealed, then by pushing him to go to an addiction therapist and a 12-step program, and now Inner Bonding. All so I could control his indulgent behavior and get the love I need from him. I’m trying to decide if I should stay or leave. My inner conversations are not yet kind and compassionate towards myself and I am not feeling very supported. I just keep hearing a harsh voice telling me to leave. How to I decide what’s loving to me?”

Since Heather has been abandoning herself, she can’t know the answer to whether she should stay or leave until she has practiced Inner Bonding long enough to develop her loving adult self.

Continue reading

Do You See Your Essence and The Essences of Your Children?

mother-and-daughter

One of the things I loved doing as a child was making creative things for my parents. I would spend hours designing and building wonderful cards with little poems in them, and make special pieces of jewelry for my mother. The only problem was that, while my mother would receive her gift graciously, she never received it with her heart. She would smile and tell me how lovely it was, but I never felt her love coming back to me. My mother did not know how to open her heart, how to smile at me with love and cherishing in her eyes. My father would never even notice his gift.

I wanted to connect with my parents, to share love with them, to know their hearts, but their hearts were hidden. Sadly, my mother died at the age of 86 without ever being able to share her heart with me. My father died at 92 and his heart was always closed.

Your children need to feel your heart and soul. They need you to take the time to stop what you are doing and just be with them. They need you to really see them – to see who they are beneath their outward ways of being.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to see their essence, their true Self, the individual expression of Spirit within them. When children are deeply seen and valued by their parents, they learn to see and value themselves. All children need this profound mirroring from their parents to feel intrinsically lovable and worthy.

Continue reading

A Major Cause of Stress

stressful

Discover that stress is NOT being caused primarily by people or situations, but by your own thoughts and actions.

We tend to think of stress as something that occurs because of outside events, such as having financial problems, relationship problems, health problems, or from having too much to do. Certainly events such as these are challenging, but they are not the actual cause of stressful feelings.

Stress Is An Important Message

Stress is your inner guidance’s way of letting you know that you are thinking thoughts or taking actions that are out of alignment with what is in your highest good, or that you are trying to control something that you cannot control – such as how people feel about you or the outcome of things. Stress may also be letting you know that something in your body is out of whack – you are on medications or substances that are affecting your brain and causing the stress, or you have eaten foods such as sugar, processed, or pesticide-laden food that is causing brain toxicity, leading to feeling stressed.

When you are operating from your wounded self and trying to control something over which you have no control – such as others’ feelings and the outcome of things – your stress is letting you know that you are hitting your head against a wall and not accepting reality. The opposite of stress – inner peace – is the result of accepting what is, learning to take loving care of ourselves in the face of what is, and practicing gratitude for the big and small blessings on this incredible journey of life – even in the face of all the challenges. And as many of us have experienced, gratitude offers us a stress-free way to manifest what we want, and works far better than trying to control others and outcomes.

Continue reading

How To Forgive

forgiveness
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~Maya Angelou


Forgiveness IS one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, but how do we genuinely get there?

Many people believe that if they just decide to forgive someone, they have actually forgiven them, only to discover anger or resentment emerging over and over. So how to forgive?

Alyce wrote me the following question:

“Dr. Paul, How do I sincerely forgive my soon-to-be ex-husband of 32 years for infidelity committed prior to him even asking me for a divorce? I feel angry, hurt and jealous that he would give another woman the affection that he denied me. I know I must forgive him in order for me to heal and move on, but how to forgive?”

Continue reading

Does Your Life Feel Alive And Meaningful?

feeling alive

Do you find that nothing really excites you or holds much meaning for you? Does your life lack aliveness, passion and purpose?

Vera sought out counseling with me because her doctor advised her to discover the emotional causes of her chronic fatigue. Vera, a successful stockbroker, was in a loving 18-year marriage. On the surface, everything in her life was fine. She had enough money, friends and a good relationship with her husband. Yet Vera awoke each morning battling fatigue and depression. She didn’t want to get out of bed because nothing felt meaningful to her.

David sought my help because of chronic feelings of inner emptiness. David is very successful in his manufacturing business, has a good marriage and two adult children. Like Vera, everything seemed fine. Yet the feelings of inner emptiness drove David to overeat, overspend and indulge in porn on the Internet. Like Vera, nothing felt meaningful to him.

Continue reading

Loving Yourself When Your Partner Shuts You Out

lovingself

What do you do when your partner shuts you out?

Do you know that being shut out and stonewalled is even more hurtful than being yelled at? Children would rather get yelled at or even hit than ignored. This is why the worst punishment for prisoners is solitary confinement.

Yet, along with overt anger, withdrawal is the most common form of controlling behavior in relationships. Just as the fear of anger keeps partners from addressing issues, so does the fear of a partner’s withdrawal.

Loretta is struggling with this issue.

“I’m in a two year relationship. My main problem is how can I raise an issue without him turning his back on me and walking away? I have to follow him to get my feeling across only to have him ignore me. He says I am never happy with what he does and feels frustrated that he can’t make me happy. The ignoring makes me feel unloved and rejected. I have told him how it makes me feel but he still does it.”

Continue reading
Tags:

Your Imagination Can Take You Where Knowledge Cannot Go

Imagination
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
–Albert Einstein
Knowledge, in this quote by Einstein, refers to the learned information we have acquired over the years of being on the planet. It is the information that is stored in our left brain, the facts that we may need at any time, as well as the false beliefs that are stored in our amygdala in our lower brain, the home of our wounded self.

When Einstein stated that “Imagination is more important than knowledge,” he meant that the wisdom we access when we open to our right brain – the seat of our imagination – is vaster, broader, and far more profound that any knowledge we acquire though our left brain. When we open to learning and go into our imagination, which is where we access our higher guidance, we open ourselves to “all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Continue reading

The Important Messages From Our Deeper Painful Feelings

depressed

One of the basic tenets of Inner Bonding is that our feelings are our inner guidance system. Our wounded feelings such as anxiety, depression, fear, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness, emptiness and jealousy – the feelings that we cause with our false beliefs and resulting behavior – inform us that we are being unloving to ourselves, that we are abandoning ourselves in some way.

Our deeper existential core painful feelings – the feelings that are caused by others and events – are also informing us. Our loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief, helplessness over others, outrage, and fear of real and present danger offer us an enormous amount of information about what is happening externally.

Continue reading
Tags:

Is Your Caretaking Covering Up Your Heartbreak?

her-emotions-are-building-up-picture-id1129124218

Jenny grew up with a narcissistic mother who was incessantly demanding attention and demanding to have her way. Her mother would get furious when her husband or children didn’t do what she wanted them to do, or didn’t pay enough attention to her. Jenny, not wanting to be like her mother, learned early to be “nice” and go along with things rather than speak up for herself. She decided that the only way to not be demanding like her mother was to always work conflict out by herself – never voicing her feelings to anyone. In order to do this, she had to deny the heartache or heartbreak she felt when others were unloving to her.

 

She was treated the same way she treated herself…

Continue reading