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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Accepting What You Can't Control, Controlling What You Can

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Coming to grips with what you can and can’t control opens the door to true emotional freedom and personal power. I frequently receive questions about what to do in situations where someone is behaving in an unloving way, or a way that’s painful for them. For example:

  • My co-worker never answers emails, making it very hard for me to do my work, as I need his input.
  • My wife never wants to make love.
  • People often ask me intrusive questions that I don’t want to answer.
  • My husband is often late and never calls to let me know he is going to be late for dinner.
  • My friend got together with a bunch of our friends for lunch and didn’t invite me.
  • My parents are forever criticizing me.
  • I often feel invaded and demanded of by family and friends.
  • My husband sits at the table when we go out to dinner absorbed with his phone instead of talking with me.
  • My children are disrespectful toward me.
  • My wife has a male friend whom she talks with all the time and sometimes meets for lunch, even though I’ve told her I’m uncomfortable with their relationship.
  • My wife often wants to talk about what I’m doing wrong. 


Two Healthy Choices in Conflict

It is important to remember that we have only two healthy ways of dealing with conflict – two loving responses when another is behaving in a way that is upsetting or hurtful to us.

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Internal Weather

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What if the weather outside your window is actually a reflection of the weather conditions inside you? What if your perceptional framework for viewing life shapes everything, including how you see physical conditions such as rain, snow, clouds, and sunshine that appear to be outside you? What if nothing is quite as it seems to be to the mind? What if the world is as you are?

Ever since I was a small child, I have carried within me an at-times-overwhelming grief about the nature of life, death, and eternity. The “human condition” terrified me; infinity terrified me. Late at night, I described my fear to my mother as “the world goes on forever and ever.” She comforted me and tried to help me learn to distract myself with happier thoughts. But the core unease never really disappeared. In college, I found infinity hiding inside my astronomy and philosophy textbooks. Fear of death and whatever came after was always hovering in the back of my consciousness. In my 30s, I turned to a spiritual quest to try to resolve it. That was the beginning of a shift in my perception.

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247 Hits

Transforming Two Fears: FOF and FOMO

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There are two common fears that can block us from our full potential – fear of failure (FOF), and fear of missing out (FOMO). This talk explores how to meet these fears with mindful presence, and discover within them the essence energies of loving awareness and full aliveness (a favorite from the Archives).

Note – This talk is dedicated to Tim Ferriss, who turned me on to the phrase FOMO. Tim exemplifies the creative aliveness of FOMO energy when it’s living through someone who’s dedicated to being awake, caring and real. Check out his podcasted interview with Tara at: https://youtu.be/pXNEM4wjSmE​ and his podcast at fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/.

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174 Hits

Honoring Your Authentic Self: THE FIFTH ENERGY!

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When asked about how he was able to create lifelike, detailed forms from blocks of marble, Michelangelo answered, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”

And so it is with your authentic self. You don’t need to create your personal truth; you simply need to remove everything that is standing in the way of self-expression. And the biggest obstacle is usually fear. 

Rejecting Limits on Your Voice or Your Truth

When your fifth energy, the energy that corresponds to creative self expression, is unbalanced, it’s common to feel that you don’t have a right to express yourself. This lack of harmony can lead to fears about speaking up, for fear you’ll be judged, mocked, censured, or otherwise rejected. 

But we cannot be totally free unless we are committed to telling the absolute truth — to others and to ourselves. And this takes courage! Often, we can be led to believe stories that it is safer to fit in, or that we have to earn our worth before we can speak up. Many people have had to fight to be heard, or maybe you were punished for telling the truth. Maybe you were, like me, taught how to fit in, and that being different was dangerous. 

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269 Hits

How to move beyond feeling alone

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The biggest epidemic in the world today is loneliness. That feeling of being unloved, unloveable, alone… 

Technology has created a world that continues to become more connected... more crowded...  

and yet increasingly lonely for so many.

This persistent feeling is not just emotionally painful, it can damage your relationships, career and even your health. Lonely people tend to sleep poorly, experience depression and anxiety and have reduced immune and cardiovascular health. 

Research also tells us that chronic loneliness makes you increasingly sensitive to rejection and hostility. In uncertain social and work related situations, lonely people immediately think the worst.  

Lonely people also pay more attention to negative social information like disagreements or criticism. They tend to remember more of the negative things that happen and fewer positive things. 

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223 Hits

THINK Beyond Your Genes

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Time Out … a Pause to Reflect

When nutrients are placed in a tissue culture dish, cells express growth behavior by moving to the stimulus and are open to assimilate the nutrition. In contrast, when toxins are placed in the culture dish, the cells engage in a protection response by moving away from the stimulus and closing themselves down to ward off the environmental threat. Growth behavior: Move to the stimulus and be “open.” Protection behavior: Move away from the stimulus and be “closed.” The insight offered by these cells is that organisms cannot move “to” and “away” from a stimulus, nor can they be “open” and “closed,” at the same time. The profound conclusion is that organisms can switch between either growth or protection, but they cannot engage in both behaviors simultaneously.

What position do you think an individual’s “survival” switch would be in response to each of the following two news bulletins: 1) “The annual flu season is back and as normal, there are certain populations whose lives are more threatened.” 2) “The COVID-19 virus is coming and millions may die.” In previous years, you may not have been overly concerned about the report offered in version 1. However, today’s corona flu pandemic, fraught with massive potential deaths, has almost the entire global civilization engaging in a protection response, hiding from one another and “locked down” in isolation. 

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“Why Am I Procrastinating?”

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Fran asked me the following question:

“I am a Ph.D. student and I have chosen my profession because I like it and not because of my parents’ influence. However, I am procrastinating every day more and more to the point where some days I don’t work at all. This really scares me and I don’t understand why I would procrastinate in doing something that I have chosen to do and is supposed to be my passion. I realize there is some fear of failure behind this, but it is irrational because I know I am capable of doing my work. I am really frustrated and scared and don’t know what the underlying cause is.”

The clue to her procrastination is this: “I realize there is some fear of failure behind this, but it is irrational because I know I am capable of doing my work.”

The fact that she is calling her fear ‘irrational’ is stopping her from learning from it and understanding it.

Her fear is likely NOT about whether or not she is capable of doing the work. Her fear is likely about whether or not she is going to judge herself if she doesn’t meet a certain standard.

Please take a moment to take in what you just read.

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144 Hits

How To Speak Your Truth With Love

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We have all lied to ourselves and others at some point in our lives, about who we are, what we think, what we have done.

Deep down our fear is, “If you really know who I am or what I have done, then you won’t love me.”

We are afraid of losing love or losing the life that we have. Living in fear is not freedom.

The truth will set you free and open you to receiving all the bigger blessings that life has in store for you.

It requires real courage. It requires the willingness to not compromise your heart, even if it means being alone.

It’s true that in the process of speaking your truth, you may lose people, relationships may end, old structures might crumble.

Know that you are clearing the space to be open to what is right for you.

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Is Shutting Others Out the Only Way to Stay Safe from Toxic People?

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It is absolutely true that there are certain types of people who are toxic to your quality of life.

They may have abusive tendencies, dark cynical outlooks or they could be self-destructive.

Our minds are always trying to judge, and our hearts discern whether or not certain people are good for us.

The residual trauma of being abused or mistreated by another creates the need to strictly enforce the condemning of unhealthy people in our lives. The extreme of this will cause imbalance and the accumulation of residual karma.

The act of condemning a person even for a good reason, is a fear based egoic mechanism that reinforces fear and anger. A person will feel constantly on edge or anxious during that time of judgment.

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Discover More About Yourself

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Although self-study may include reading certain inner life books or listening to lectures on self-transformation, these materials, as encouraging and informative as they may be, are really only preparational tools; they have their place. After all, if you were going to climb a mountain, you would want expert advice on the proper equipment to use, and you would want instruction from others who had climbed that mountain before you. From their past painful experiences, you might be able to save a few of your own! Or so the thinking goes. All of this instruction, however, cannot raise you one inch above the valley floor to bring you any closer to the mountain top. There is only one way to reach the peak: you, yourself, must make the climb. 

In the same way, self-study is personal, individual work that sincere seekers must do for themselves. Far more intricate and at least as rigorous as trying to scale a real mountain, self-study asks us to begin with:

• Honestly observing ourselves as often as possible during the day to see the truth of what is actually directing our life in those moments 
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461 Hits

What Happened To Emotional Intelligence?

Woman_emotional When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

For many younger people, the COVID virus outbreak will bring their first experience of fear and anxiety as a pervasive mood. Anxiety is difficult for everyone, but in the larger scheme, we need to ask: What happened to emotional intelligence? The phrase became popular for a while, but that was almost a generation ago. Right now, emotional intelligence seems to be forgotten, or to put it another way, it is unknown to most people.

Social forces can drive you to feeling anxious; politics stokes anger; personal threats to your well-being can lead to worry and depression. But none of these forces has a positive effect in giving you tools to ward off anxiety, anger, and depression.  Raising your emotional IQ is something each person must confront on their own. Let’s focus on anxiety, which the current crisis has stoked more than any other negative emotion (although anger over politics runs a close second).

I believe that freeing yourself from fear and anxiety is possible. More than that, you can learn how to be free of fear long after the COVID crisis has passed.

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Pandemic Holidays Leaving You Lonely? Mindfulness Can Help.

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Loneliness around the holidays has always been an issue for some of us, but the coronavirus outbreak has widened the reality of this struggle to include more people than ever. Before the pandemic hit, a study reported that more than 60% of Americans grapple with loneliness. After lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were issued, about a third of Americans reported feeling even lonelier than usual.

Now, nine months into the pandemic, with the holiday season in full swing, coronavirus numbers are on the rise — and so are the stay-at-home orders to combat that surge. How can those who already struggled with loneliness in normal times deal with the increased isolation? How can people who usually rely on companionship with loved ones during the holidays cope with this new loneliness-inducing reality?

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Gold of Suffering

*Photo Credit: Michael Held Notes from the Pandemic

The apple blossoms behind Susan’s studio are opening and the weeping cherry is turning pink. And today, we have coffee on the deck, our faces in the sun. Everything is so peaceful and full of quiet that we can, for the moment, forget that the Earth is draped in a pandemic. Still, all things are true and all things are happening at once. As I breathe in the early light, someone is taking their last breath. As I wrestle with a jolt of fear, a couple is making love for the first time. As a thousand things are falling apart, another thousand are coming together. This ebb and flow on a cosmic scale is what keeps the Universe going. It feels inevitable that the more I can’t go anywhere, the more my heart travels everywhere—across the globe, then back and forth through history.

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449 Hits

9 Ways to Unleash Your Joy (Even During Turbulent Times)

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Today is a good day to be happy. No matter what is happening in the world (or your own personal world), joy is your protection and purpose right now. 

Joy is one of the highest vibrations we can experience on Planet Earth. Fear is one of the lowest vibrations. During these turbulent times, fear is trying with all its might to seduce us into believing we must worry, fret, and stress over the current conditions in our world.

“How can I not stress?” you might wonder. Yes, the world as we know it appears to be crumbling in complete chaos. But do you know what is really happening underneath the surface? Fear is being shaken out. Hidden deception, corruption, and inequalities are coming into the light, so they will no longer be tolerated. Truth is rising to the surface. Underneath all the chaos, positive change is awakening like the sun rising and shining upon the entire earth.

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Miracles: Creating Our Own Magic

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Miracles happen all the time, you have to allow them to happen. Life is a series of thought and action. Miracles occur when we start relating to the power of our subconscious mind.

It is our own thinking patterns that are responsible for creating our destiny. Habitual thinking is responsible for creating the patterns, combined with imagery and visualization, for impacting our subconscious in such a way, that life turns to magic.

MIRACLE WORKING POWER
This is the power that will guide you towards the road to freedom, happiness and peace of mind. It will lift you from the throes of confusion, melancholia and depressive thoughts.
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Healing The Fear Virus With Compassion!

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When the whole Coronavirus stuff started to go down earlier this year, I noticed how another virus was spreading even faster than COVID: The fear virus. Fear was taking root and spreading around the globe faster than the speed of light. 

Fear is contagious. And it’s easy to make it the enemy. But fear shouldn’t be viewed as the enemy itself.

In fact, I believe that when we make choices out of fear, we’re making choices to protect ourselves and those we love. It comes from a desire for self-preservation. Fear can be important. We need some level of an alarm system to keep us out of harm’s way. 

Fear brings a message with it. 

We can’t ignore it — because ignoring it simply buries the emotions. We can’t bypass it — because we have a lot of collective trauma that needs to be addressed and healed. I invite you to see fear as a valuable piece of information. Throw out the concept that you shouldn’t feel fear. At its core, fear is actually friendly. Fear wants to protect us, and is a biologically-rooted system that’s working on our behalf 24/7 to warn us of possible threats to our life. It’s trying to keep us safe and alive. 

But we also don’t want to give in to it or give it more power than it warrants.  

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Shine The Light Of Your Own Awareness

Blog-shine-awareness_ss Life is showing you who you are and who you are not.

Your life is showing you where you are conscious, or it’s showing you where you are unconscious. It’s showing you where you are still in fear, and running programs and circuits that are fear-based, based in survival, or your life is showing you where you are in love and being able to meet life as presence. 

Life is very binary. This whole life thing, in the experience of this whole life, isn’t really that complicated at all. The key is to recognize that life is showing you who you are and who you are not. The key is being willing to shine the light of your own awareness on yourself. When you turn the lens of your awareness on yourself, you are beginning your journey of empowerment. As long as you continue to blame people, places, situations, circumstances and things for your internal state of being, you are a victim.    

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The Secret to Letting Go of Every Fear

lettinggofear Turn fear into fearlessness

Are you afraid of some condition in your life? Here's a life-transforming secret: that seemingly scary condition, whatever it may be, is not the problem. It is your reaction that is fearful. This is why if you will become conscious of your condition instead of afraid of it, you will change forever your relationship with fear. 

It is only within this special kind of inner-relationship that there is real safety, because now you are interacting with fear in an entirely new way. You are no longer letting it dictate to you how to act or what to do. Instead, you are aware of the fear. You are learning to quietly observe and study it. And, each day, as you discover something new about the strange and shaky nature of your own fearful reactions, they begin to lose their power over you.

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581 Hits

Transforming Your Relationship with Anxiety

house-sparrow-sitting-with-a-tangle-of-barbed-wire-picture-id1212648346 Discovering an inner freedom in the midst of life

Strong anxiety frequently triggers fight-flight-freeze, our survival brain’s strategy for dealing with threats. This can become a trance that dominates our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and deepest experience of who we are.

This talk explores how we get caught in this reactive trance, and ways of calming anxiety and radically shifting our way of relating to the experience of threat. The gift is discovering an inner freedom in the midst of life, and the capacity to respond to what arises with love-in-action.

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453 Hits

Do You Know When You’re NOT In the Abundance Code?

open-purse-with-coins-inside-closeup-as-a-sign-of-lack-of-money-picture-id1031299316 The flow of wealth and abundance in all good things rests in your hands

Scarcity is a low frequency code hidden deep in your unconscious. It’s fed by your fears and it blocks abundance from entering your life. 

This mindset is founded on the belief that if someone else wins, you have to lose. There is no room for the possibility that everyone can win.

The fear and judgement that comes with the perception of not having enough sets in motion a reaction that reaches every aspect of your life. It keeps you in constant fight or flight mode and effects you both at an unconscious and cellular level.

Scarcity affects you mentally, spiritually and physically and once it becomes your default code, it will literally cause you to write your own scarcity story.

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354 Hits