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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What Is Enough?

enough
“To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step.
We will fail when we fail to try.” 
 —Rosa Parks

I've Been Thinking...

I’ve found myself thinking quite a bit lately about the idea of “enough.” What is enough? When do you know you’ve had enough? When do you finally feel that you are enough? When is enough enough?

I’ve thought to myself, have we as a country finally seen enough gun violence to actually do something about it, or does more have to happen? Have we seen enough about mental health to declare it a national emergency? What about climate change? Have we experienced enough racism, sexism, and ageism to say we’ve had enough, or do we need to experience more for things to finally change?

Is a man seen kneeling on another man's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds enough to enrage you and push you to want deep, systemic change? Is it enough to push you to become active and fight for that change in our society and in our world? If so, will you now vote differently? Talk differently? Spend your money differently? See the world through different eyes? How will your actions signal that you’ve had enough?

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Choosing A Better Path In Life

choosingpath

The word “path” has been adopted by people who are on an inner spiritual journey, but it has much wider implications. Everyone is on a path, even if they don’t always realize it.

There are two basic paths we take through life: thinking and feeling. To think your way through life appeals to rationalists, but they are fooling themselves. Feeling is always a part of every experience, every decision, and every life choice. Here are some examples of how the mixture of thought and feeling operates, often to our confusions.

  • Think of a food you hate (an American President made headlines by hating broccoli). See yourself putting a bite of this food in your mouth. It could be snails, a raw oyster, or boiled cabbage. Try to taste it as if you loved it instead. You can’t, because the taste is cemented with your feeling about it.
  • Put yourself in the place of a homeless person living with small children on the street. Visualize the situation; no doubt you’ve observed something similar in real life. Imagine that a stranger walks up to you and hands you $1,000 in cash. You thank him profusely, but then he laughs scornfully and snatches the money back. Can you see the situation without any emotion? This is a dramatic example of how everything we see comes with an interpretation at the level of feeling. 
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250 Hits

Why You Need a Vacation: 5 Benefits of Disconnecting

vacation
Are you among the 55% of Americans who don’t take their allotted vacation time from work? That may not be such a good move for your health, happiness, or productivity. There are important reasons why you need a vacation instead of burning the candle at both ends.

Because I travel so much for all the seminars, workshops, trainings, and speeches I give — as well as all the time I spend writing books or recording new online courses and video blogs when I am home — my wife was becoming upset about the lack of time we were spending together.

She suggested we take a month-long vacation together to reconnect and deepen our relationship with each other. So we rented a house on the ocean in Maui, Hawaii, for a whole month. 

At first, I was nervous about being away from my work for a whole month, but with the success of our online programs that don’t require my live presence every week, and the ability to prerecord video blogs and social media messages, it turned out fine. 

I made an agreement with my wife that I could write and handle critical emails for a maximum of two hours a day, and the rest of the time I would spend with her.

As I reflect on the month, here are five valuable insights and lessons that I learned about the value of disconnecting through taking a vacation. Hopefully, they’ll help you discover why you need a vacation too.

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66 Hits

It’s Time Reality Got a Makeover

blue-skies-reflected-after-the-rains

Reality, that most important concept about everything that exists, has gotten out of kilter, and yet very few people have noticed or are paying attention. The problem goes deep into the heart of things, however, so deep that future generations may look back and wonder why this generation didn’t wake up. The reason isn’t mysterious, actually. Modern secular society is based on materialism.

Materialism is a worldview based on physical objects as the stuff of creation. Worldview is a big concept that most people don’t bother to think about. As long as technology keeps progressing on all fronts, materialism seems workable. The only problem is that reality can’t be squeezed into a materialist framework. Materialism, it turns out, is just a plausible story, not a viable way to explain the world around us and certainly not the world “in here” where the mind operates.

Just last week physicists at Fermilab in Illinois announced that an obscure elementary particle, the muon, doesn’t behave the way it was supposed to. As a result, the standard model by which the universe is explained may totter. How can something infinitesimally tiny rock the cosmos? It didn’t. The muon rocked the story about reality we’ve been telling ourselves.

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352 Hits

The Key To Living Passionately And Joyfully

celebrating-picture
Happiness is man's ultimate quest. Whatever the endeavours he undertakes, all seem to gear him towards the path to happiness. It is only conscious survival instinct towards a certain goal, that keeps us going towards happiness.

CHASING OUR FEELINGS
Mankind spends most of his life chasing feelings.It is always felt by scientists and philosophers, that we need to make a conscious disciplined effort towards creating happiness. On the other hand , a simple hearted ordinary person may feel that, just watching a sunrise or sunset, could give him that sense of happiness, which people are seeking through complicated methods.

ORIGIN OF UNHAPPINESS
The longing for happiness only sets in when we feel any of these three emotions i.e. anger, fear or depression. Psycologists down the ages have been looking into the causes of these emotions and feelings, and they have been advising people on how to deal with them, whether it's through counselling, or medication. There is an entire industry dependent on the happiness quotient.
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As You Are, So Is The World

As You Are, So Is The World

An adage I first heard growing up in India goes, “As you are, so is the world.” At first glance these words are easy to agree with. Everyone has an impact on the world. You can’t expect to live in a clean town if you throw litter out of your car window. You can’t expect to live in a better world if you identify with the worst aspects of the world today.

Some people think the worst aspect of the world is that ice is melting at the poles and the whole climate crisis. But violence is worse when you consider the innocent casualties of war, and yet in the tradition of Yoga, worst of all is to be asleep. When horrible things are done by governments, the people tacitly give permission for those horrible things by self-blindness. I choose not to look’ therefore, nothing bad is happening. For all practicalities, identity involves a single choice. Either I am involved in everything around me, because everything is part of me, or I am alone and isolated.

Most people naturally want to be comfortable, and the easiest way to do that is to identify with “me” as a separate ego looking out for itself, although also including close family members. Your ego fools itself into believing that the rising oceans will never get to your doorstep, and dirty air will never reach suffocating levels where you live. More than that, the ego never believes that it could be held responsible for violence, war, racism, poverty, and famine. Those things exist somewhere else, caused by people unlike “me.”

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Surrender, the Unexpected Key to Your Magnificence

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Our desire to belong is a natural one. It is a desire many of us experience when we get stuck in our heads and feel disconnected.

We live in the mental body or the thinking mind, which perceives that something is missing—that we don’t belong. When we drop underneath the story the thinking mind writes, we realize we already belong. In fact, we cannot not belong.

It is our habits and patterns, the ways we perceive life, that keep us from perceiving our true magnificence.

The activity of the conscious mind is typically steeped in protection and performance. It writes stories to fill in the blank because it believes something is “missing.”

The mind attempts to do things like—carve a path for ourself, make sure we belong, or get approval and love. Those things start when we land here on earth, we energetically disperse or as I call it, “splat.” We’re not sure what happened, so we turn our attention externally to figure it out and prepare in case it happens again.

When our senses orient externally, we begin to need the external world to constantly give us feedback like, “Am I okay? Do I belong? Am I approved of? Am I enough?” Because of this misperception, that we need the outside for our sense of “okayness,” we focus “out there” instead of “in here,” to know if we belong. We end up with this giant void inside.

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312 Hits

50 Things I’ve Learned in My 50 Years of Life

birthday-cake

Life passes by slow and fast. We have both good and bad times. Happy and sad experiences. We walk through life and experience joy and loss, as well as happiness and death. There is contrast through it all. As I arrive at my 50th time around the sun, I took the time to sit with SOME of what I have learned. These are in no particular order and are certainly not all I have learned. I am sure I have forgotten some BIGGIES, but it’s a good start; and more importantly, on my birthday day, it is a good reminder to me of this amazing life I have been blessed to experience and all that I have journeyed through … on both sides of the contrast.

Enjoy ~ Sunny Dawn Johnston

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338 Hits

A Reservoir of unlimited power

unlimitedpower
Once we realize that only we are responsible for our own happiness, our world changes. We stop playing the blame game. We know and understand that we have the power to overcome our weakness, and fetch for ourselves, a true and genuine state of happiness. 

Many situations come in our lives, which take us to this unimaginably delightful level of happiness, yet no matter how marvellous the experiences are, they never last. They are transitory.
We need to create happiness on a conscious level and there are various ways of training our minds to do it.
 
TRUST THE HIGHER POWER
When you trust in the power and the wisdom of your sub conscious to guide you, and direct your ways, you become calm and relaxed. You radiate peace and joy and become, a conduit of happiness.
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214 Hits

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Blessing of the Ordinary

blessing

In a moment of exhaustion, my mind was too tired to keep weaving its web and my heart was too tired to keep the world at bay. In that sudden stillness, I realized that, as a patch of water when still will reveal the bottom of a lake, the blessing of the ordinary is that any moment met with stillness will reveal the whole of life that resides under everything. This is the power of presence. When fully present, we can see through all trouble and turbulence. Through meditation, we can breathe our way back into presence. Through love, we are softened back into presence.

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295 Hits

The Call to Unite

The Call to Unite
“What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.”
 —Edward Kennedy

 

I've Been Thinking...

This week, there was a lot to think about. There was a lot to talk about, a lot to feel, and a lot to reflect upon as we approach the one-year anniversary of lockdown.

Can you believe that one year has passed? Can you believe that more than 500,000 people have lost their lives to a disease that few of us had even heard of a year ago? Can you believe how much has changed? 

I think it’s fair to say that none of us are the same people we were before Covid shut down our worlds. Lives have been lost and/or dramatically altered. Jobs have disappeared, identities have been reimagined, and priorities have shifted dramatically. It’s as if we are all looking at our lives through new eyes.

What do you see today when you look out? What do you feel about your life and your future? Have you found a silver lining? Does being asked to look for one tick you off? Did you love your life before and hate it now, or is it the other way around? Did Covid force you to stop? Have you had to dig your way up and out? Are you taken aback at where you have found yourself? Do you feel uncertain and alone when you look forward?

I don't know about you, but very little in my life feels the same as it did one year ago. I don't look at the world the same way, nor do I look at my life the same way. And I know I'm not alone. That’s why I’m grateful that the new book The Call to Unite: Voices of Hope and Awakening by my brother Tim Shriver and my friend Tom Rosshirt is coming out this Tuesday. It's the first from my new publishing imprint The Open Field! Yippee! Hooray! 

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The Big Choice

monarch-butterfly

Have you ever wondered why things happen the way they do in your life? Have you ever considered that the creation of your experiences, like the creation of everything else, is governed by the law of cause and effect? In this case, the nonphysical law of cause and effect. The physical law of cause and effect governs physical causes and physical effects, such as launching a rocket and landing it on the moon. The physical law of cause and effect is a limited version of the nonphysical law of cause and effect. The nonphysical law allows you to use nonphysical causes to create nonphysical effects and also physical effects. This does not mean that you are not in control of what you create. On the contrary! It means that you are entirely free to create what you want, provided you are aware of how the nonphysical law of cause and effect works. If you are not aware of this law and how it works, you will create, as you continually do, but you will not want what you create.

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Where Do We Begin to Know the Truth of Who We Are?

The Truth of Who We Are

Where do we begin to know the Truth of who we are so that we know ourselves as the self-healer we already are…

As we look at the biggest picture, there’s the unified field of energy. This unified field is the combination of all things and all non-things. It’s the manifest and the unmanifest world. 

It’s everything there is. Nothing is missing. Yet we feel like something is missing when we are identified as the protective personality. We misperceive our ability to be a self-healer and heal. To be our “wholeness” in life and engage with others without reacting. 

If we identify as the one who generates our life experience, instead of responding to “out there,” we are able to manifest the life we desire. This is the truth of who we are. Yet we often forget to consciously identify as the self-healer…

The missing key—we are made of love. 

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305 Hits

How to Create Waves of Happiness

laughingfamily

Something happened recently that I find super hilarious, while also incredibly encouraging and hopeful. The other day, I was running around doing my crazy morning errands. The kids wanted sushi in their lunches so I ended up going to WholeFoods to grab some for them. We ended up getting Dunkin Donuts too, which I know sounds obnoxious together, but it made my kids giggle!

And that reminded me of something: by making other people happy, causing them to giggle, and helping them do things they thoroughly enjoy, it makes me happy. Through this pattern, I can create a wave of happiness.

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Is There a Better Way to Be Happy?

somwhere-picture

History is filled with powerful forces that change the face of the Earth, and right now we are experiencing one, an explosion of a new coronavirus that has upended daily life. Forecasts of a changing world are in the air once the pandemic is over, but no one really knows what the reset will be, if there is going to be one.

I think the best reset would be over happiness. There is an unquenchable drive for humans to seek happiness, but this means very different things at different times. A day laborer hauling stone to build a cathedral in the Middle Ages was happy, even inspired, by backbreaking physical work that never changed and ended with the breakdown of the body.

That way of being happy is unimaginable to modern people. In developed societies, our formula for happiness generally involves the following: physical comfort, ample leisure, scientific medicine, higher education, endless distractions through entertainment and social media, and a steady supply of consumer goods. In the developing world these values are dominant, not as what people already have but what they aspire to have.

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The Power of Your Words

word power

Are you aware of how much power your words have? Think about that the next time you’re sending a quick text or posting something on Facebook or Instagram. Keep in mind that words can inspire, heal and transform. They can be as gentle as a hug and have a positive effect on others. But on the flip side, words can be as sharp as a knife and can cut down someone’s else’s spirit. They can also be hurtful, especially when directed at yourself.

If people are constantly talking about gloom and hardship, then it’s most likely that their lives are a reflection of what they’re saying. It can be draining to be in their company. You come away feeling exhausted, because inadvertently, they’re sapping your precious energy.

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Life is Moving You Toward More Love

lifeismoving

If everything is love and you are love, then what exactly about you is not loved? There are no excuses. Relax into the truth and you will begin to experience yourself in a different way. The state of connection that you’ve been trying to access your whole life has always been present within you. 

At some point, you just have to understand that you are doing it to yourself. That revelation can either be a relief or it can be a further point of frustration for you, depending on how responsible, accountable and willing you are to hearing the truth. That means there are some fundamental principles that are permeating reality. For some reason, we have been conditioned to believe, and we further reinforce that conditioning, to have us disconnect from these principles. 

You are love. Not some future version of you, not some past version of you but the version of you that you are right now. You are love. There isn’t some power, or some force, or some energy that wakes up every morning and thinks of innovative and new ways to mess with your feng shui. That is not happening. There is not some being that has a power over you, who’s waking up every morning that messes with your vatsu. That is not going on. 

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223 Hits

Indestructible Soul

sea-city-lightning-storm
A mystic’s life
Can look messy

A full spectrum being
Has the courage
To embrace life
In all its intensity

It is their strength
That leads
Into the light
They know they are

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187 Hits

Why We Need The Divine Feminine.

goddess

With the decline of organized religion and a decades-old drop in church attendance, people have largely made their spiritual life into something private and personal. The rise of meditation and yoga attests to this. But it is hard to fix your sight on a spiritual goal if you don’t believe in heaven from the Western perspective or enlightenment from the Eastern.

Looking around at the tone of modern life, I think an important goal is worth seizing on: the divine feminine. Being scientific, rational, and technical, secular society seems to have less time for values that Carl Jung would have included in the feminine archetype, that religions cast as goddesses or a motherly figure like the Virgin Mary, and which most of us identify with our mothers growing up.

But at a deeper level, the divine feminine represents certain values that human beings have long cherished.  Half of human nature is represented by the feminine in both sexes, as reflected in the qualities of the ancient Greek and Roman goddesses.

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How To Get The Other Side To Yes

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Watching mainstream coverage of the Biden inauguration, you couldn’t miss the much-repeated call for uniting a divided nation. The commentary was quite approving; no one seemed to disagree with the theme or the need. But if you turned to right-wing media, the notion of uniting the country was derided as a ploy and scorned as bad faith. This indicates that gulf that lies between vision and outcome.

It is much better to have a vision than not, because a vision makes your intentions clear and keeps the goal in sight. A vision that is destined to fail, however, has no real use. Bringing the country together isn’t different from bringing a wounded relationship together. The needed skills are psychological. The right-wing has taken advantage of this fact for decades, as many commentators have noted, by tapping into grievances. But stoking people’s complaints, grudges, fears, and fantasies of revenge is a negative vision. As recent events have shown, the people you manipulate this way eventually leads to bad faith and eruptions of a violent, chaotic kind.

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237 Hits