Peggy Kornegger is a Boston-based writer, lightworker, and the author of two books: Living with Spirit (2009) and Lose Your Mind, Open Your Heart (2014). She has written about personal and global transformation for more than thirty years, offering her perspective on the profound changes occurring at this key time in human and Earth evolution. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications in the United States, England, and Italy and has been included in several anthologies. In her articles and books, Peggy explores her own spiritual awakening and growth within the greater ongoing expansion of human consciousness. Since 2012, her blog has posted biweekly on her website and reaches an international audience. Her blog articles are also now regularly featured at soulspring.org and simple reminders, which has 50 million readers weekly. She was recently interviewed about her latest book on Vivid Life Radio (http://ow.ly/N5S0r).

What's in a Name?

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My aversion to the word God began in childhood because of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who regularly showed up at our door to convert us to Christianity. My father used to try to argue them out of their stance that only they knew who or what God is. They, of course, saw my dad as one of the lost who needed to be saved. This was my first experience with proselytizing. As adults, my parents had moved away from their Christian roots to a more “free-thinking” approach to religion. They felt that humans can never really “know” if God exists; it is a personal belief. So I was raised entirely outside of traditional religion. My parents took me to a Unitarian church once, but I wasn’t really interested. They always allowed me my own choices with regard to religious beliefs or practices.


So I had no spiritual framework other than Nature and my parents’ unconditional love, which I eventually recognized as God in its purest form. I remained suspicious of the rigidity of religion, as well as its patriarchal structure, for many years. The word God to me exemplified all of that. It wasn’t until I read Mary Daly’s book Beyond God the Father in my 20s that I began to open to a spirituality beyond religion. Mary asked her readers to imagine God as a verb not a noun—an active verb, neither male nor female. That fascinated me and enabled me to break through to infinite possibilities around the idea of God. The words Source, Divine, Goddess, Great Mystery, Universal Consciousness, Spirit all held meaning for me. I liked having many names for God, which is really unnamed energy anyway. It’s humans who want to name it.

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Peace Is Everywhere

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Beneath the noisy thoughts in your head, there is peace. Underneath the emotional upset, there is peace. Behind every human action and reaction, there is an unwavering core of peace. It may be hard to perceive at times, but if you take a deep breath and allow everything to just be as it is, you are immediately brought to the peace that always lives within. I have learned the truth of this over time and through experience. That one breath changes everything, and I am centered in absolute stillness and peace, no matter what else is going on around me.


The world we experience every day is full of excitement and drama, all of it compelling. We are here on Earth to immerse ourselves in those diverse experiences and emerge on the other side with new awareness and wisdom. We may not know it consciously, but our souls are guiding us on our earthly journey. It is a journey through the polarities and extremes of life back to the center of all creation, which is infinite peace and oneness, which is God. To know peace in the midst of every experience—chaos or celebration—is to live in alignment with divine Source energy. It is why we are here (and where we came from), all of us in our uniquely diverse lives: to come back home to peace and radiate it out from the core of our being. More and more, we are coming into conscious realization of this extraordinary process and the transformative power it holds.

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Bliss and Bangs on the Head

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Sometimes life is a joyful dance, and sometimes it just hurts, like a really bad headache. When things get difficult, you may feel that you are being punished for failing some invisible test of your character. Or, dramatically, that you are Sisyphus pushing a boulder uphill, only to watch it roll back down again. This is the human view, thinking we are in complete control of our lives and have made a mistake when things aren’t going well. In truth, we are not in single-handed control, and there are no mistakes. Everything that occurs in your life has been envisioned by God and your soul to bring you to greater awareness of the absolute perfection of every moment.

As we progress on the spiritual path, we gradually learn that sacred Source energy is present in every single experience. It’s in the goose bumps and tears of blissful connection to something greater as well as in the sudden harsh twist of fate that stops you in your tracks and diverts you to a new destination. It’s the hard stuff as well as the celestial celebration. It’s all divinely orchestrated Grace, designed to move you ever closer to complete alignment with your soul. It opens you to seeing that God/dess is present in absolutely every situation and scenario, in every person and event.

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Losing Heart and Having Heart in Troubled Times

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When you “lose heart,” you become discouraged and lose hope. When you “have heart,” you keep your faith and trust in spite of the odds. We are living at a time in which both of these options present themselves. The shadow side of our collective consciousness in the United States is coming to the fore, and we are seeing people fiercely hanging on to privileges and prejudices as if their lives depended on it. In truth, it is their identities, their egos, that depend on belief systems based in hierarchy and entitlement.

The 1% believe they have earned their place at the top of the heap and that those they have stepped on and profited from in order to get there are losers and leeches. Minorities and immigrants are targeted as threats to an elitist, white-male status quo. The exact opposite of the values of democracy and equal rights that this country is supposedly founded on. Of course, those founders were also white, male, and many were slaveholders, so the underside of American “freedom” has always existed.


When the rest of us look at this scenario, our hearts are tested. Will we lose hope or will we keep our faith that the imbalances will eventually right themselves? To paraphrase (and update) Thomas Paine: these are the times that try human souls. Can generosity, compassion, and loving-kindness eventually prevail in a society like ours where the accumulation and hoarding of monetary wealth and material possessions, as well as the oppression of entire segments of the population, is so widespread? Classism and racism overlay our so-called democratic society, to say nothing of sexism.

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Hard-Wired or Habit?

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There is a trend lately to think of certain behaviors as immutable and impossible to change. We hear comments like “Oh, he’s just hard-wired that way.” Meaning, it’s in the genes; he (or she) can’t change. Really? That line of thinking can take us down a rather pessimistic path into entrenched fear. Fear of the external world, fear of change, fear of those different from us. Are these fears hard-wired in us or simply habit? Do our genes control our destiny? Maybe not. Perhaps our genes and we ourselves can be transformed by shifts in collective consciousness and the power of divine energy. By connecting through the heart with our fellow human beings and to the God/dess within us.

 

Biologist and author Bruce Lipton has written about “spontaneous evolution.” He cites scientific studies that show that “genetic determinism” is an outdated belief, and we are not victims of heredity. Signals from our external (or internal) environment ultimately control gene activity. Translated, this means that genetic predispositions can be overridden by real-world experiences such as those that open our hearts or connect us with our soul. Spiritual awakenings or other transformative moments have a power that can break through habitual personality patterns. As our awareness grows, we can also consciously choose to align with our soul instead of our personality self or ego.

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That’s Wonderful

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
When I told a good friend recently that I had lost my connection to God and could feel nothing during meditation, he responded, “That’s wonderful.” A month or so later, when I told him that the house where my partner and I rent our apartment was for sale and we would probably have to move, he again said, “That’s wonderful.” In both instances, he was expressing the wider perspective that something greater often arises out of a seeming loss. That turned out to be absolutely true. In the first case, the emptiness I felt opened me to an even deeper and more expansive divine connection; I had to be swept clean in order to receive it. In the second case, that For Sale sign was indeed a “sign” that it was time for Anne and me to move, which is now becoming an exciting exploration of possibilities.

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Raking Leaves: Connection

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In autumn here in Massachusetts, I often preempt the landscapers hired by our landlord and rake the leaves in our yard myself. In doing so, I not only avoid the gas fumes and deafening noise of their leaf-blowers, I also step into a kind of spiritual practice. Raking leaves, in the quiet of a crisp fall day, is sweetness for the soul. The slow movements back and forth are deeply meditative. My body moves gently and unhurriedly with the natural rhythm of the seasons. I listen to the sounds of blue jays and chickadees calling and pause silently to watch when a butterfly or bumblebee alights on the periwinkle ageratum flowers. Gratitude fills my heart. I feel intensely the beauty of nature all around me. The sun on my face and hands, the slightly cool breeze, the smell of fallen leaves and the earth itself. At times like these, I am fully present, fully connected to the spirit within me and everywhere around me.
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Glimpses of God

Glimpses of God

Those of us who have been on a spiritual path for twenty or thirty years know firsthand that there is no fast track to enlightenment. No door that can be forced open by sheer will power, on the other side of which God sits waiting. No treasure chest that a special secret code can spring open. Detective work and safe-cracking tools will get you nowhere, except back to where you started from, learning again and again to sit quietly and open your heart to the God within. Our lifetime search brings us home to ourselves, realizing at last that God is everywhere and everything, including us.

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Saving Grace—Elephants, Dolphins, and Whales (video)

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Elephants, dolphins, and whales are three of the most intelligent, grace-filled beings on Earth. In this week’s video blog, I talk about my own experiences with them and offer a prayer/plea for their survival. May we humans open our awareness and step away from cruel and heartless behaviors that endanger the lives and well-being of these magnificent creatures we share the planet with. Save the elephants. Save the dolphins. Save the whales. Save all animals. And in doing so, save the sweet grace they embody in their lives.

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Butterfly Effects

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
The aptly named “butterfly effect” has become well known in recent years as people begin to take seriously the interconnectedness of all life on our planet, as well as the nature of energy itself. The name refers to the possibility that the movement of a butterfly’s wings affects the world around it in unforeseen ways. The greater truth of this idea resonates within my own life again and again, often quite literally.

 

Several weeks ago, I reread Sharon Salzberg’s book Faith, published in 2002. I had read it then, but I was moved to take it off the shelf again because its title called to me strongly. As my spiritual journey has deepened, I have found myself repeatedly stepping off the edge of certainty (or the illusion of it) into the unknown. Over the past two months, everything seemed to fall away until I realized that I was being asked to move forward completely on “faith.” Thus my reason for rereading Sharon’s book. With each chapter, I saw how much more deeply I connected with it than I had 15 years before.

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6

The Transformative Power of “Me Too”

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It has become a social media phenomena, the #MeToo that says “yes, I too have been sexually harassed or abused.” Women’s voices are finally being heard and acknowledged in huge numbers after years of fear, shame, secrecy, and silence. We have endured hidden and overt harassment in our lives since childhood. Children of both sexes have also been subjected to sexual abuse, and women of all ages have been raped and traumatized. At last, the invisible is becoming visible, and the secrets are becoming public as courageous individuals shine the light of truth on sexual predation and disempowerment.

 

Presidents, priests, Olympic doctors, Hollywood moguls, and countless unnamed others are part of a worldwide epidemic of disrespect and sexual violation. With great bravery and integrity, women, and adults of both sexes who were abused as children, are speaking up and sharing the experiences they have held inside themselves for so long. Each revelation empowers others to speak up and say “me too.” Each voice that is heard adds to the collective transformation from personal trauma to liberation from fear and shame.

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Paradise Right Now—Really?!

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Is it unrealistic or irresponsible to talk about paradise when sexual abuse, mass shootings, massive fires, and monster storms are occurring somewhere in the world on almost a daily basis? Does the existence of violence and hatred make peace on earth a lost cause? I don’t think so. Maybe this is exactly the time to look at the possibility of global harmony and balance. After all, paradise is not really external-world perfection as we have come to think of it. It arises instead from our own hearts, our own perceptions. In this week’s video blog, I talk about how paradise, and perfection, live within us at all times….


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Shiva, Irma…and Faith

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Shiva is the power of destruction, dissolution, or transformation in our lives. Nothing entirely new and innovative can be created without this strong, and often unsettling, force that turns the tables on the status quo, normality, and habituation. Without Shiva, our lives would be dull and uneventful—one long Groundhog Day, playing the same scene over and over again. Yet the word destruction strikes fear in our hearts; we freeze at the very thought of losing what is dear to us. Of losing everything.

Hurricanes like Irma, Maria, and Harvey embody this extreme aspect of Shiva. Monumental raging winds and rising water completely obliterate the old, often leaving thousands homeless and grieving the deaths of friends and family. In the aftermath, something new is eventually created, but loss of home and loss of life are not easily assimilated or accepted. Those affected may experience emotional trauma as well as financial burdens. These human crises break our hearts. How do we face life at times like these?

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The Reason

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There is a song in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton in which the character Aaron Burr says, “Death doesn’t discriminate/Between the sinners and the saints./It takes, and it takes, and it takes/And we keep living anyway…./If there’s a reason I’m still alive…/I’m willing to wait for it.” I found this to be one of the most moving and human moments in the show. I felt his pain and longing deep within me. We all could speak some variation of those words, really. Sometimes you wonder what life is about, why people have to suffer, and what the point is to your being here at all. Yet, you continue; you wait, hanging on to something inside that tells you that you are here for a reason, even if you can’t seem to see it clearly.

 

Yes, you are here for a reason. We all are. Sometimes we catch glimpses of it, a momentary peek at the big picture, but the curtain drops again, and we become distracted with the day-to-day worries and preoccupations of life on Earth. Still, an inner wisdom—call it soul awareness—carries us forward throughout our lives. This part of us knows that life is not meaningless. There is something greater that holds us in a gentle embrace of loving connection. We are beginning to experience the presence of that connection more and more as our individual awareness expands and our hearts open. Some call it God, some call it universal consciousness, some call it just “mystery.” It doesn’t need a name or label. This Presence is with us always, whatever we call it or don’t call it.

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This Is God

This Is God
Some of the most profound spiritual wisdom tells us that everything and everyone is God and that all that we do is in service to God. I’ve taken that in at deeper and deeper levels the more expansive my spiritual practice has become. Lately I’ve found this awareness popping up at surprising moments to remind me of God’s presence everywhere in my life.

 

A few weeks ago, I was taking the subway into Boston, and there was an older man at my subway stop, toothless, with a crumpled cardboard sign that read “Homeless Vet.” He greeted everyone who walked by with “Good morning.” As I passed him, I looked into his face, and the thought “This is God” unexpectedly passed through my consciousness. I turned around, pulled out my wallet, wished him “Good morning,” and gave him some money. “God bless you,” he said. I could feel my heart expand. As I boarded the crowded rush-hour train, someone rose from their seat and got off. The woman in front of me held out her open hand to the seat, looking at me and smiling, as if to say, “It’s all yours.” I sat down with tears in my eyes, feeling the angelic energy of the man’s blessing carrying me within the flow of life. God’s presence in everyone….

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Mud in Your Eyes

Mud in Your Eyes
What do you do when life events hit you hard, knocking you to the ground, facedown in the mud? When you lose your job, your home, or your health? When a hurricane, flood, or other environmental disaster devastates your city or town? Does “oneness” or “universal love” have any relevance in a world full of pain and suffering? Having faced job loss, financial uncertainty, and health challenges myself at different times in my life, I know there are no simple answers to such difficult questions.
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View from the Edge—Our Human Journey

View from the Edge—Our Human Journey
I seem to be living on the edge in my life. By that, I don’t mean hanging precariously in a danger zone. I mean delicately balanced between one paradigm and another, old and new, memory and present, personality and soul. Actually, the truer description is that my soul is fully present in the new paradigm, and “I” am increasingly aligned with that pure being-ness, observing remnants of old memories floating by me. I have a sense that this is where many of us are now, as the world “turns upside-down” all around us, and we step over the edge of certainty into mystery, and beyond. We are learning to live from an awareness and a soul presence that is continuously evolving.

 

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Speak Up, Speak Out

Speak Up, Speak Out
In the United States, there are societal rules about when silence or quiet is called for: in temples, churches, and meditation halls; in libraries and classrooms; in funeral homes and cemeteries. This is sanctified silence, the kind that is recognized as fitting into the social structure. The underside of these rules is another kind of silence, the silence of dissociation or noninvolvement, which can translate as complicity: “When there is conflict, keep your mouth shut,” “Don’t get involved,” “It’s not your problem, so why make trouble?” The threat of potential or escalating violence runs through these admonitions. Best to ignore whatever you’ve seen or heard. Only many of us don’t have that option in our lives. And now, increasingly, none of us have that option.

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Choosing “Different”

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
Life at its most fulfilling and expansive is not about fitting in or aspiring to socially promoted goals like a 24/7 career, with accompanying big money, house, car, and investments. It’s also not about finding one “perfect” soul mate and living happily ever after. That’s the Cinderella story they keep trying to get women to buy into so that we forget that who we really are is Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman who has her own unique, independent soul and doesn’t need anyone to make her life perfect. This applies to men looking for one mate to fulfill them too. We are not half-humans searching for the missing part to make us whole. Nor are we necessarily one gender, one expression, one role, or one anything. We are so much more.

 

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Empty Space—An Invitation

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
Spiritual and self-help programs have counseled people for years to “let go and let God.” Wise advice. When you let go of everything (literally, everything), that very letting go creates an empty space in which you are inviting God to come in. The letting go is actually a welcoming, an open door for divine presence. At times of uncertainty or stress, it can be hard to remember this, but that wisdom, if relaxed into, can cut the cord that holds you to fear-based trying and replace it with the gentleness of allowing. On the level of egoic effort, nothing happens but straining and frustration. On the level of soulful surrender, all is flowing and perfectly unfolding.
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