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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Slow Times are Grow Times

misty-morning-canoe-with-the-reflection-of-mt-hood-or-picture-id478656470 We have to find our way back to the stars

Many of us will hit fear season, the winter of our work. It’s when things go inky, evaporate, slow down to a crawl, or simply collapse on the side of the road. It’s when insecurity whips up like candy wrappers in a tornado. Most of us see the slack times as the pink slip of self-employment or some bad plague from which we will never recover.

But every creative success story seems to require a plunge into pain. It’s the emotional jalapeno that wakes up the creative grit to succeed. It’s when you call up your will power, leave chance behind, and summon the immensity of your own unspeakable strength. Nothing is happening on the surface. But know this: there’s a surge of growth mounting within you.

When I’ve hit dry skids in my speaking and coaching business, I have often gone on wild red alert. You would think the aliens had finally arrived, closed Starbucks, and brought the end of civilization with them. Friends say comforting things like “The land needs to be fallow before it yields new crops. It’s all a period of gestation.” But I am gestating demons, bankruptcy, and new strains of anxiety attacks. I am growing crops of hallucinations. I’m not so good with this passive little time out for spa days and redirection.

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721 Hits

The Magic of 11:11!

1111 The Magic of 11:11!

As long as I can remember, the number 11:11 seems to show up just when I need a dose of guidance, or as a way to make me pay special attention to what’s going on around me. I’ve considered it as a “butterfly kiss” from Spirit, a message that I’m loved and cared for. It’s so fun to see the creative and playful ways that Spirit can communicate with us, and this has always been one of my favorites throughout my life. 

As I’ve shared many times before, my teen years were fraught with angst, stress, and anxiety (for me and my family!). This period was very difficult for me in large part because I could sense I was different from others, but I had no way of processing the strong emotions, prescient dreams, or intuitive “hits” I would get. Many of those intuitive episodes were preceded by periods where 11:11 would show up everywhere from clocks to the combination on my locker. At the time, I noticed the pattern, but I thought it was simply coincidence, not synchronicity. 

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516 Hits

Sacred Territory

sun-rays-in-a-dark-misty-forest-osnabruck-gemany-picture-id1179385633 “You are not the voice in your mind, but the one who is aware of it.” -Eckhart Tolle

I've Been Thinking...

I want to go slow this morning. I want to ease my way into your heart and mind.

After all, entry into those spaces is sacred. I know that. It always has been. But, now it’s really sacred, and it’s something I take seriously.

It’s scary out there, right? It’s scary, and it’s noisy as hell. There is so much trying to make its way into your mind, and very little of it benefits you personally (please see my interview with the director of the new film "The Social Dilemma" below about this very issue). It is challenging to navigate all of the information and/or misinformation coming your way. If you aren’t vigilant, it can make you feel, well... crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I don’t use that word lightly. Anyone who has felt crazy in their life, or who has been made to feel like they are losing their mind, knows how triggering it can be to be told you’re crazy, or that you don’t know what you are talking about, or that what you are saying or seeing isn’t true. That said, we are in crazy-making times. Perhaps you feel crazy like I do when people insist the pandemic is a hoax despite the fact that more than 200,000 Americans have lost their lives. It’s crazy-making that a young woman can be killed in her home and no one is held responsible for her death. It’s crazy-making when the President of the United States floats the idea that he might not leave the White House, even if he loses. What?? 

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698 Hits

Change The Channel

woman-at-home-watching-the-tv-during-the-lockdown-picture-id1216804019 It’s OK to change the channel

What can you do when nothing is working?

The Practice:
Change the channel.

Why?

In response to a previous JOT – Find Stillness – a wise therapist, Betsy Sansby, reminded me that sometimes a person just can’t find any stillness anywhere. Maybe you have epilepsy or chronic pain, or are wildly worried about a child or other loved one, or have been rejected in love or had the bottom fall out financially. In other words, as Betsy put it, like there’s a nest of bees in your chest.

She’s right.

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525 Hits

Walk Lightly Through Life

solo-traveler-walking-on-a-bridge-with-arm-raised-picture-id907634620 A gateway to a new and exciting understanding

Whenever you come upon a healing idea or a rescuing truth, it is almost always a surprise that you could have missed something that was so obvious for so long. Do you know the feeling? More than anything else, a glimpse of a Timeless Truth is a lot like rounding a bend and suddenly seeing something you know you knew a long, long time ago; like discovering all over again a special place you once loved. 

You can't explain it but these out-of-the-blue higher moments seem as much a trusted memory as they do a gateway to a new and exciting understanding. Our life is intended to be filled with magical moments such as these. Settling for anything less is an unseen compromise that suffers the Spirit. This is why the real successes in life are more an awakening than they are an arrival at a thrilling but temporary destination.

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744 Hits

Two Easy Steps To Experience An Inspired Calm

trail-signs-in-sedona-arizona-picture-id1161687088 Experience An Inspired Calm

My husband and I planned a quick trip on Labor Day. We were looking to relax and reconnect while exploring the Grand Canyon and Sedona in Arizona. I made reservations for a glamorous tent site as well as a couple of guided tours. I didn’t take into consideration that 25 percent of the world’s population and their pets made the exact same plan. I also wasn’t prepared for a heatwave impacting every waking moment of our escape. In the first 24 hours, I needed to be emotionally rescued from my vacation.

Our luxury camping adventure began with our GPS attempting to send us through the desert on a road that didn’t exist. When we finally located our weekend stay, it was well over a hundred degrees, crowded, and dusty. We found our tent with very small water, mister, in the doorway providing little protection from the heat. If the canvas flap was open, we could sometimes feel a light breeze. We quickly figured out that taking a shower and lying in front of the doorway was our best cooling option. On a side note, the shower had no temperature control and it was operated by a pull cord. The glamping wasn’t quite what we had expected. It was memorable and interesting but definitely not relaxing.

The following morning, we had a late start to a hiking adventure. Because of the heat, we decided to trek only three miles down before starting back the steep climb up. We shared the narrow trail with mules, their riders, families, rangers, happy people, stressed people, and everything in between. I was completely inspired by the beauty of the Grand Canyon but overwhelmed by the crowds.

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603 Hits

Being With What Is

white-water-rafting-picture-id139894095 How do you best enjoy the ride?

We are now a full six months into living with the Corona pandemic.

For me, and most everyone I know, it’s been a very bumpy ride.

It’s kind of like white-water river rafting. Periods of smooth tranquil waters followed by occasional terrifying rapids where I’m holding on tight, hoping not to capsize.

There’s no map. We don’t know when or where the river ends.

Nobody does.

No one.

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610 Hits

The Only Road to Everything You Want

road-to-the-rainbow-picture-id1193144986 Into the life you desire

We commit to real change, and then we resist it. This cosmic dance has been going on forever in every ballroom since the beginning of time. Remember those New Year’s intentions?  Then you know what I mean. What’s up with that? Let’s talk focus….

I’ve committed to write more this year. It’s what I want. Now that I’ve said it, I know I will drag myself into my writing room-- and it will feel as though I have to hoist a dead whale body out of the way---just to sit down and type out a sentence—and this is my “bliss,” mind you. Naturally, I’ll want to pet my cat until she’s bald, then wash my hands, then research how did soap get invented, and then perhaps start a small organic soap company on the side that employs underprivileged women in third world countries. Oh, but I’ll stay put. I’ll write. Because I’ve committed to this focus.

There is a part of myself who will wheedle: “Maybe tomorrow. You’ll feel better tomorrow.” Then there’s the one who’s painted her toenails Purple Passion, during writing time, and stomps her imperial feet. “I don’t want to write,” she bellows.  Another part of me bargains. “I’ll answer email now. Do the dishes. Work on taxes. Okay, okay, I’ll exercise!”  

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760 Hits

What Are You Fighting For?

11111cover.112442 "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt

I've Been Thinking...

Dear friends, 

How are you? I really want to know.

How are you feeling emotionally, physically, and spiritually on this Sunday? Are you feeling optimistic about September and about the fall? Or are you Zoomed out and stressed out by all the politics, social unrest, and COVID-19?

Take a moment to check in with yourself. Put your hand over your heart. There is no hurry or right answer here. Allow yourself to be exactly where you are. That’s how I try to start each day, assuring myself that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Today, I am back in your inbox after my August break. I am so grateful to be here again! Thank you for making me and The Sunday Paper a part of your weekend routine. If I’m being totally honest, I thought twice about returning this month, particularly when it comes to social media. The distance I’ve had allowed me to look anew at all the noise and wonder whether I’m adding to it. 

The mission of this newsletter is to rise above the noise, clutter, and mayhem. It is to lift up the voices of those trying to move us forward in a passionate and purposeful way. The more I thought about that mission over these last few weeks, the easier it became to return to this forum. My hope is that the inspiring voices we elevate in The Sunday Paper will elevate and reassure you. I hope they will remind you that you are where you are supposed to be, and that you and your voice are so needed at this time.

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662 Hits

See Deep Wants

self-portrait-in-the-mirror-picture-id1169556945 Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what are the deepest wants of all?

The Practice:
See deep wants.

Why?

I did my Ph.D. dissertation by videotaping 20 mother-toddler pairs and analyzing what happened when the mom offered an alternative to a problematic want (“not the chainsaw, sweetie, how about this red truck?!”). Hundreds of bleary-eyed hours later, I found that offering alternatives reduced child negative emotion and increased cooperation with the parent.

Pretty interesting (at least to me, both as a new parent and as someone desperate to finish grad school). And there’s an even deeper lesson. Kids – and adults, too – obviously want to get what they want from others. But more fundamentally, we want to know that others understand our wants – and even more fundamentally, that they want to.

Consider any significant relationship: someone at work, or a friend, or a family member. How does it feel when they misinterpret what you want? Or worse, when they couldn’t care less about understanding what you want?

Ouch.

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567 Hits

Accept It

meditating-youn-woman-picture-id1203764522 Acceptance means you give up to the truth – the facts, reality – no matter what it is

What are you resisting?

The Practice:
Accept it.

Why?

As general clusters that each include a number of specific methods, my Top 5 types of practices (all tied for first place) are:

  • Be mindful
  • Love
  • Take in the good
  • Go green
  • Open out

The practices of “go green” helps you get out of the brain’s fight-or-flight, Reactive, “red zone” setting and instead, engage life from its recover-and-refuel, Responsive, “green zone” setting.

In this JOT, we’ll enter into the fifth cluster – open out – by which I mean relaxing into a growing sense of connection, even oneness, with all things. For some, “opening out” could go all the way out to something transcendental (it does for me). But I’m going to write about this practice in very down-to-earth, practical, and psychological terms.

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652 Hits

True Acceptance, Big Desire and Uncovering Your Wild, Right Life

beautiful-business-woman-squatting-next-to-the-table-picture-id635964812 Feed the desire for what you really want AND practice true acceptance of what is

I’m in the biz of helping people live their wildest dreams. I’m also a champion of discovering the wild genius of your current life. These two tracks must go hand in hand-- or else they can undermine you. After two decades of being in this field, I want to give you the best of the best of effective focus. So let’s talk about how to use the innate strategy of “big desire”—and that bad boy super power “true acceptance.” Together, big desire and true acceptance are an unbeatable dynamic mindset duo—guaranteed to take you into the one amazing life you’ve always wanted.

Why Desire is Everything

In my career coaching, I rarely listen to my clients’ “reasonable” desires. I’m a conjurer with a glittery heart. “What do you really want, like what’s too good to be true to want?” I ask. “Only the real dream has the power,” I remind them.

Real dreams have the power of Godzilla, extinguishing miniature ideas of “why things can’t work.” That’s why I hunt for purity. I know the crazy truth is your secret code. It’s holy. It’s mystical. It’s involuntary. And it makes you giggle. The truth is safer than the denial of truth. The truth will take you all the way.

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534 Hits

Build a Foundation of Abundance

scenic-view-of-wheat-crops-growing-in-fields-picture-id665064618 The ego mind LOVES beliefs and stories!

Our inner beliefs and the stories we tell ourselves create boxes that we unintentionally keep ourselves in. 

The ego mind LOVES these beliefs and stories! They keep you small and supposedly keep you safe.

Right now your ego mind has probably convinced you of certain things…are you in any of these boxes?

I’m struggling for money. I’ll never be wealthy.

I can’t find true love. I’m not even worthy of it.

Sandra and Daniel can’t help me. Why do I bother reading their emails? No one can help me.

There’s so much bad in the world. I can’t possibly be happy until things change.

Here’s a little secret for you… those limiting beliefs that keep you in tiny boxes are the lies told by your ego mind! 

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550 Hits

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Moment of Lift

dandelion-clock-in-morning-sun-picture-id665037880 Moment of Lift

I was bearing up under a weight I could no longer see, when the exhalation of something older than all my trouble unfurled my understanding, like a scarf blown out of the hands of someone clutching it. And my mind, floating between preoccupations, was now see-through and weightless. For the first time in months, the grief I’d been obeying went silent. I felt whole in a new way, as if the skin of all I’d been through had grown over all my conclusions. I can’t name this other than to say: I have moved through something difficult that has finally opened. All this bearing up and bearing down to be lifted like a scarf on the wind that a child might chase.

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1055 Hits

Course Correction From The Universe!

Course Correction From The Universe! Can we find the lesson or meaning in the tough times?

Think back to the last time you had your heart set on something — a job that’s perfect for you, a new apartment in the building you’ve had your eye on, the Caribbean cruise you’ve been planning for months — only to see it evaporate in front of your eyes. Someone else (with less experience) gets the job. The apartment sells before you can even make a phone call. Your trip gets canceled because of bad weather. 

No matter how “zen” you might consider yourself, it can be hard to not feel disappointed and let down when your dream bubble is burst into one big cloud of “WTF?!”

But have you ever then found out later that your sidetrack actually led you to something better — or at least helped you avoid a nasty situation? The new company ends up going bankrupt… you found a better apartment a month later at a lower price… the refund for your canceled trip gave you a cushion in your bank account that you ended up needing for car repairs. 

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555 Hits

It's Okay to Not Know

confused-student-holding-a-book-picture-id162965666 What is the next right step?

There’s so much going on right now, right? So many of us are in a confusing state of having no idea whatsoever what to do next. We’ve got a lot of layering going on now, right? We have a huge pandemic, financial crisis, rioting, and protesting, and I honestly don’t think this is going to be the end of it, ladies and gentlemen.

But something I’m super, super clear on is this: it’s really, truly okay to be in a space of “I don’t know what to do next.” Here’s what I mean by that...

The Magic Phase of “I Don’t Know”

Believe it or not, there is magic in that “I don’t know” phase. It’s really okay to be in the step of not knowing because it allows you to decide what to do next. You just have to know how to move forward in the right way.

What I’d encourage you all to do when you find yourself in a state of not knowing is to ask yourself a simple question: “What is the next right step?” Don’t worry about the far-away future or finding the perfect solution to every problem. Just ask yourself, “Show me the next right step.”

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768 Hits

One Light, Many Reflections – Enough Is Plenty

businesswoman-relaxing-outdoor-picture-id1185007236-1 What ideas arise related to your life experience?

I write one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings. My Page poems are a combination of sketch pad and journal.

The history and method of my writing process can be found in my article How I Wrote Three Thousand Pages Without Trying

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574 Hits

Chase Grace, Not Guilt: You Have Your Own Way to Succeed

walking-into-sunset-picture-id614715674 Chase Grace, Not Guilt: You Have Your Own Way to Succeed

Is there something you need to act on in your life? 

I have coaching clients that ask me to “kick them in the butt,” twist their arms, stick dynamite into their voodoo dolls, and make them do things they don’t want to do. But I’m not a fan of sadism. I already worked as a high-powered lawyer in a corporate law firm once, thank you very much. Now, I prefer grace. I’m of the mind that sometimes you don’t want to do something, because deep in the big sky of your being, you know there’s another way, an original suggestion summoning up, or simply another day. I have no need to micromanage the infinite resourcefulness of my clients. Still, they insist that they’re just lazy, and if only they could be jack-hammered into shape-- as in have their spirit broken-- they’d be inspired. Yes, of course.

I’ve been down that twisted road myself. Here’s a glimpse from the notebook of an anguished past: 

“How hard could it be, to pick up a freaking phone and make the call I need to make? Anyone else on the planet could do this. But for me, cold calling this organization feels like taking off my clothes in slow motion, in front of my entire junior high class, on some bad contest-type reality television show, like ‘What Thighs Not to Have.’ It’s so not what I love. And for once, I’m willing to consider that just maybe it isn’t because I’m catastrophically timid or inadequate at a cellular level. 

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643 Hits

Sometimes It's About The Questions, Not The Answers!

empty-swing-at-the-park-picture-id1213877125 Sometimes It's About The Questions, Not The Answers!

It is so natural to want concrete answers in life. Back when I was making my living doing private readings, that’s what most people came to me for: Directions, guidance, and ANSWERS. “Will so-and-so ask me to marry him? How will this business deal work out? When is my kid/mom/uncle/partner ever gonna straighten out their life??, When is he coming back?”

Boy, do I understand. Especially with so much uncertainty these days, everyone wants to know: “When will coronavirus get under control? Should I quit my job? Is my relationship with so-and-so gonna last when we can’t see each other?”

As humans, we have a natural desire for certainty. But that desire often handcuffs us, keeping us locked into a single way of seeing the world. There is so much more that Spirit has in store for us, but we can’t see it because we are so tied to our reality. 

That’s why before we can talk about getting answers, we have to talk about asking the right questions. 

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729 Hits

One Light, Many Reflections – Willing to Be Worthy

Worthy-Together-cropped-pexel_20200822-145800_1 One Light, Many Reflections – Willing to Be Worthy

I write one page at a time, with only one to five words per line. The structure can look like poetry but has more to do with the physical limitations of a handwritten page and my desire to emphasize multiple meanings. My Page poems are a combination of sketch pad and journal.

The history and method of my writing process can be found in my article How I Wrote Three Thousand Pages Without Trying

                                                                                                                                                                      '

        "The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply." Kahlil Gibran

I like to limit my writings to one page with one idea, but my favorite achievement is to distill short meaningful sayings. I have selected a few quotes from my 2014 volumes for you to savor here. Try having three or four breaths between reading each quote to contemplate and expand the meaning to yourself.

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914 Hits

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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