Peggy Kornegger is a Boston-based writer and the author of three books: Living with Spirit (2009); Lose Your Mind, Open Your Heart (2014); and Inside the Rainbow (2021). 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...

Peggy Kornegger is a Boston-based writer and the author of three books: Living with Spirit (2009); Lose Your Mind, Open Your Heart (2014); and Inside the Rainbow (2021). 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. She has been interviewed on Vivid Life Radio (http://ow.ly/N5S0r).


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Breathing Lessons

Breathing Lessons

If God resides within the breath, what does it mean when you are “short of breath,” with inflammation in the lungs? That was my status, post chemo—another one of the side effects, which it takes 4–6 weeks to resolve. Meanwhile, my breathing was slower, my walking slower, everything slower. Was this God’s way of getting me to slow down (even though my life is not fast-paced)? Perhaps, the message here is “press the pause button on everything and just be in the stillness of the breath, in which God is ever-present.” Nothing is more important. “You’ve dropped all the pieces of your identity; now just rest in the absence of identification, the presence of divinity.” This is what I am hearing, what I am receiving. Another gift of this experience. Because when you find yourself struggling to breathe (as I did one night recently), you are awakened to the slender thread that holds you to life: one single breath at a time is your lifeline to aliveness. And to God.

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The World Is a Garden

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For many years I had a garden filled with a variety of flowers in our yard in Massachusetts. After we moved to Florida, I created a smaller “garden” of potted flowers on our lanai. Now, back home in the Boston area, the backyard we share with our downstairs neighbors really has no room for a garden like my previous one. Instead, I have begun taking long walks through the neighborhoods of our town to delight in other people’s gardens. I have found this to be an unexpected gift of my return to New England. I loved having my own garden, but now I am enjoying the entire town’s gardens, as well as those at nearby Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Suddenly, the whole world has become a garden—or I am realizing it always was.

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Body and Soul

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The body sometimes assists the soul’s journey with quite dramatic insistence. After I completed a third chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, my body let my doctors know very clearly that it had reached its limit. I had allergic reactions in the form of an inflamed rash/bumps all over my body, edema (fluid retention), and breakthrough bleeding beneath the skin (to name just a few). Treatment 4 was cancelled. This particular segment of my spiritual “firewalk” was complete.  My body is now being given time to reestablish equilibrium and prepare for radiation in a few weeks.

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The Secret of Life

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Every time you inhale and exhale, you are breathing the spirit of life, which is God. That’s the secret: The breath is God. In many languages, the word for spirit is the same as for breath. We hold this wisdom within the depths of our souls because it is what we are made of. Yes, we are human, but our humanity is composed of divine spirit. Your physical form is a sacred temple within which God experiences life on Earth. When you breathe, God is breathing. When you look through your eyes, God is seeing. When you look in another’s eyes, you are both gazing into pools of divinity. The only problem is that we have forgotten. We think that breathing is merely a physical phenomenon that arrives and departs with birth and death.

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Precious Moments

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Whatever your current age or state of health, you have probably experienced moments when life feels exceedingly ephemeral, as if it could disappear in a split second. This is raw truth. We are here on Earth as human beings for a tiny moment in eternity, yet time itself is always relative—sometimes racing and sometimes “stopped.” As our lives move forward and evolve, we experience the various aspects of life and living and come to know both impermanence and loss. In doing so, our hearts may break, yet we grow wiser. And we begin to see beyond time to eternity itself.

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Seeds of Life

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My second chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer took place on 2 Qanil in the Maya calendar. The sacred symbol Qanil stands for “the seed that generates life and creation.” For me, a perfect analogy, because I envisioned life’s seeds of light and love being transmitted to me via the infusions, at the same time that I felt them radiating out from me in my own vibration. This is the circular process of God creating God in the world. We each embody God in our physical forms, and God experiences life through our experiences. As we create, or express our soul selves, God is creating simultaneously. The entire universe is a divinely designed participatory symphony of living light and love. I feel this almost continuously now.

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Shedding

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In the second week after my first chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, I began to lose my hair. Like a white angora cat, I shed hairs everywhere: on my clothing, in the shower drain, on my chair, in my hairbrush. Sometimes they drifted down onto my shoulders like cherry blossoms in the springtime; other times they clumped like small snowdrifts on my pillow. All of it strangely fascinating to me, as if they were bits of my identity falling away, freeing me even further at a soul level.

That may seem an odd way to view it; yet the process feels symbolic of a larger shedding that occurs as I clear out the clutter of a lifetime of identities. To be human is to move through many experiences and identities. I used to gather identities like flowers in a basket (flower child, activist, feminist, lesbian, writer, editor, spiritual seeker), feeling glad that I was eclectic and not tied to any one self-identification. I felt freer that way. As the years went by and my spiritual practice expanded, I began to realize that freedom is a much more expansive designation when viewed from the soul’s perspective.

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Infinity Vision

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“On a clear day, you can see forever.”—Burton Lane

Several years ago, after a somewhat worrisome eye diagnosis, I had the extraordinary experience of looking out my window and seeing the external world moving in perfect synchronicity to the Andrea Bocelli music I was listening to. Every detail—people walking, cars passing, tree leaves in the wind—was part of a divinely choreographed dance of deeply connected oneness. And I too was part of it. There was nothing in the universe that sat alone on the sidelines within God’s creation. And I could see this so clearly that the power and beauty of it moved me to tears. Infinity vision, beyond an eye diagnosis.

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Divine Infusions

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I have straddled the worlds of western medicine and holistic health most of my life. As a child, I saw an Illinois allergist for many years who helped me with desensitization shots for my chronic multiple allergies. When I was 18, doctors in Venice, Italy, saved my life when my appendix burst on a trip with a student group. As an adult, I began to gravitate to alternative remedies like herbs, as well as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, massage, and meditation. I became an organic vegetarian. I continued to see my very supportive primary care physician for yearly checkups and prescriptions for migraines, but I was aware of the shifts in prevailing consciousness (and funding) that influence what is available at any given time. Every decision I made arose from my own intuition about which path served me best.

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A Camino: Firewalk and Life Streaming

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When I first heard the diagnosis “breast cancer,” I was lost in shock and fear. How could this happen in my life? To me?! After a few days, I gradually was able to re-center in the peace within me, to remember that everything that happens in my life is part of a soul plan that I was part of designing before my birth. Nothing is a coincidence, and everything is connected to everything else. I am one soul in one lifetime on one planet. Yet I am also part of the entire fabric of being in the universe. Sometimes it takes loss or crisis in our lives to fully realize this. When things fall away or apart, the long view becomes more visible.

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Floating in Kindness

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I have read that patients hear everything that is said or felt in the hospital room even when sedated or unconscious. Anita Moorjani writes of watching and hearing the doctors and nurses and her family members from “above” and seeing the connections between everything as she went through a near-death experience. I have always believed this to be true. Recently, I had my own experience of something similar, though not at the edge of death. I was sedated for a breast cancer operation, and as I came out of sedation after surgery, I had the vivid experience of writing a very detailed letter describing how extraordinarily kind everyone was in the operating and recovery rooms. I lay there feeling it all intensely as I slowly returned to conscious awareness within the “real world.” But I ask you, “What is real here?” There was no doubt in my fully conscious mind that I was remembering what I experienced during surgery and immediately after. I had felt surrounded by Bodhisattvas.*

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Guided

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Every moment of our lives is guided by an Intelligence that we may only partially recognize while we are in physical form. It has been called variously Infinite Consciousness, Soul Awareness, or more simply, God/Goddess. We are a part of that vast beingness, and before we move from formlessness to form (birth), we choose an overview for our lives that opens us to expansion and evolving. Our physical lives interweave with one another within a vast tapestry of intention and meaning woven by that Intelligence, which we are one with. There is no experience or event, however small or large, that is not connected to that cosmic interweaving.

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You Are Here

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Do you recall the maps in public places that help you find your way? There is usually a circle or an X with the notation: “You are here.” X marks the spot where you are in the “real world.” From there, you navigate the path to your destination. In life, without maps to guide us from birth to death, our course is less certain. We tend to wander at first, gradually gaining momentum and direction, then perhaps pausing at some point to contemplate the big picture. Our minds often wish we had something as simple as a map to direct us on the perfect life journey. We sometimes question where we are going and if we have made a wrong turn, a fatal error in judgment. What we don’t realize is that there are no errors.

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Living with the Unknown

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Nothing is definitively known, ever. That’s why Native Americans, in their timeless wisdom, have called life the “Great Mystery.” No matter what scientists do to try to break the code—send vehicles to Mars, create life in a test tube, photograph black holes in space—the puzzle of human existence and life and death is never really solved. Any “knowledge” we come to as a species is a shifting illusion that changes with the years and with those who are “knowing.” That’s the realm of science and the mind—and belief systems.

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Commitment to Hope

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“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without words
And never stops—at all”
—Emily Dickinson

A key component in any transformative life experience, personal or planetary, is hope. Not half-hearted or faint hope, but hope that is steadfast, sturdy, resilient, like that in Emily Dickinson’s poem. Hope within the human soul cannot be extinguished, no matter the hardship or loss. Despite the challenges of life, we humans endure because of that intangible something within us that holds us to life. Yet, there are times when hope seems shaky—as tenuous as a single candle flame wavering in a strong wind. Times such as now, when political discord, a deadly global pandemic, or personal crises erode our belief in a positive outcome. This is when hope is needed most.

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Shadows and Light

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On August 9, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.* For two days I moved, stunned, beneath the dark shadow of those words, which I never had imagined would apply to me. I felt as if all joy and flow in my life had vanished. I couldn’t access the inner peace that had become so much a part of my daily experience. I couldn’t hear my soul’s voice. I was lost within the dramatic scenarios my mind was playing out, all of them shadowed and sad. I grieved the loss of my connection to spirit, to trust (and perhaps to life). Then a wise friend reminded me that I didn’t have to immediately be at peace, that it was okay to feel whatever I needed to, day by day. The light of peace would eventually return, as long as I remembered not to get caught in the mind drama, and just trust the divine process of it all. He was right.

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True Love

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The word love sometimes loses its impact from overuse. We apply it to so many situations and recipients: people, food, places, experiences, clothing, cars, etc. In most of these senses, it signifies a strong preference or attachment of some kind. It doesn’t usually mean letting go or allowing, which is the greater sense of love. From a spiritual perspective, complete immersion in love is the highest attainment of a seeker on the path to self-knowledge and God realization. Within that experience, “attainment” and the path itself disappear in profound “loving awareness” (as Ram Dass called it). A deep light of unconditional love shines on everything and everyone, without expectation or judgment of any kind.

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New World, New Lives

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The media these days is full of stories of angry disputes between individuals and groups over what each sees as “truth” in the world. Much of it has become centered on making rules/laws about everything from masks to voting restrictions, often from single-minded opinions or self-interest, not mutual caring and cooperation. It seems increasingly hard to believe in the possibility of peace on Earth. Some of us may recall past lives where entire civilizations were destroyed from such conflicts. We had hopeful visions of bringing back a lost world, without the power struggles. But what once was is done. Despite appearances, everything is new this time around.

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Stillness of the Heart and Soul

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The nonstop noise of the external world often keeps us from experiencing the quiet at the core of our being. There, a timeless eternal presence without sound or language awaits us, a connection to something greater than our individual, seemingly short lives. Outer distractions, both audio and visual, continuously surround us from our TVs, laptops, and cell phones and prevent a deeper relationship to all of life. Traffic sounds, machinery, and loud voices in nonstop conversation interrupt our peace of mind, even if we don’t consciously recognize the dissonance. Yet, something within each of us does know something is amiss and longs for an absence of sound within which we can feel calmer, more centered. How do we get there?

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Losing Someone You Love

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“Yesterday a child came out to wander…”
—Joni Mitchell, “Circle Game”

Last month, a friend I’ve known most of my life passed away after a recurrence of cancer. It was not entirely unexpected, but it happened suddenly and was deeply shocking. I thought she would always be there—an unspoken assumption many of us probably have about close friends or family. We never imagine that they won’t be in our lives. Yet she was gone. And even the most profound spiritual beliefs about life after death cannot entirely prevent the initial heart pain of losing someone you love.

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