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Gratitude for the Worst Things I’ve Ever Experienced

“ Life is messy, tragic, terrifying, but also unbelievably breathtaking. There are deep gifts hidden in the most demanding challenges that life throws at us. In a time of crisis, gratitude is the key to opening your heart and unlocking the magic contained in these truly profound gifts.”

In the ring stands a boxer. He is clearly exhausted. In the early rounds of the match, he was a fighter. Then, there was a hope of winning. That hope now seems long gone. Now, the boxer is simply trying to survive. Cut and bleeding, he attempts to defend himself. Taking one body blow after another, he endures the punishment, waiting for the sound of the bell.

Does life sometimes leave you feeling like this boxer? Are you dazed and exhausted, struggling to navigate your way through whatever challenge or crisis you are facing? Do the overwhelming negative emotions that you are experiencing feel like crushing blows? Are you barely enduring, waiting for some relief, believing that you may never find your footing again? If so...come sit next to me!

Life can seem like a brutal and overwhelming opponent. Believe me, I know this feeling firsthand. One doesn’t make it into their sixth decade without experiencing a multitude of potential knock-outs. Death. Divorce. Illness. Infertility. Depression. Addiction. Really, any kind of loss is like an unexpected sucker-punch. You don’t see it coming and, when it hits, you are overwhelmed by the crushing unfairness that sends you reeling into the darkness.

Let me share my toughest fights with you. Let me be completely transparent about how I’ve felt during these insurmountable times. Let me show you how I’ve made it through to the other side. My prayer is that, in doing so, you will no longer feel completely alone. In fact, I hope you recognize my words as those of a dear friend who is reaching out a hand in recognition, comfort, love and inspiration.

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Tis’ the Season to Give Thanks

In my past when I’ve thought about THANKSGIVING; I’ve always thought about history, family, good food and being thankful for what was immediate in my life. Good friends and family, etc.

 

Now that I am older and wiser -  I think about what it means to be grateful. I think about where I am in my life. At this time.

 

When I think about how gratitude feels for me now…

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What To Do When You Are Feeling Lost (video)

We all have moments when we feel lost and unsure of what is going on, where we are going or what to do next.


What if in your greatest darkness when you felt lost, you were actually much closer to where you needed to be?


It’s scary to sit in the unknown. It’s often easier to go back to the familiar comforts of your old life. But this only leads to more of the same.

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Waking, dreaming, and sleeping happen in you

Many years ago, Science magazine declared that one of the most important and unanswered questions in science is What is the universe made of? Today, we still don't know the answer.


Part of the problem is that we, as human beings, are part of the very universe we are trying to understand. Therefore, it goes without saying that if we don't understand our own nature, we are likely to misunderstand the nature of the universe.

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Butterfly Effects

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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Turning The Tables on Turkey Day Trauma & Trepidation

Happy almost-Thanksgiving! If you are like me, I'm sure that you cannot believe the holidays are already upon us. What happened to Fall? Although the song says "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays," despite what we see in Hallmark Channel's Five Night Thanksgiving Movie Event, the fact is that most of us experience a sense of dread as we envision our upcoming holiday gatherings. Feelings of resistance, anxiety, and resignation start to bubble up as we anticipate the drama and dis-ease that will undoubtedly accompany the candied yams and pumpkin pie. As we contemplate the upcoming holiday, our minds naturally drift back to Thanksgivings past and we automatically become stressed out thinking about our family dynamic and the scenarios that consistently cause trauma and trepidation before we get to and/or around the Thanksgiving table. Any hope of warm and fuzzy feelings turn cold and cautious as we contemplate situations like:

  • How do I once again try to explain to my family why I have to bring my own food since I eat vegan or gluten-free?

  • What can I do to appease my parents and in-laws, who are all divorced but expect us to show up and make their Thanksgiving meal the most significant one?

  • How should I handle it this year when, at the last minute, my sister-in-law once again decides to invite four more people to dinner?

  • What do I do when Uncle Bob brings up politics and the holiday goes from being about pilgrims, Native Americans, and gratitude to Democrats vs. Republicans and hate and hurling insults?

  • How do I not get pissed off at my family when they stay glued to the couch and watching TV as I do all of the work in the kitchen?
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5 Tips to Stop Seeking Approval from Others

I spent 13 years as an actress and in that time I learned that it wasn’t my job to make sure the auditors or audience was loving my performance. My job was to live in the moment and focus on my craft.  

 

What did that mean?  

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Don’t Forget To Smile

Sometimes life gets hectic and things seem to pass by in a blur. Other times the weight of the things occurring may cause you to feel weary or down.

 

There are times life invites you to embrace uncomfortability, stretch your boundaries and reevaluate your limits. Sometimes in unpredictable, but pleasant new ways; other times in ways riddled with challenges.

 

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What Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know About Burnout

There’s no denying it… building a business takes energy, stamina, resilience and a bucket-load of grit.


If you’re constantly aiming for the next level of success without caring for your number one asset – (that’s you, trailblazer) – then you’ll undoubtedly move towards exhaustion, where so many entrepreneurs end up at some point.


When you’re feeling exhausted, every day feels like you’re pushing through a thick cloud of fatigue and brain fog.


Thinking clearly becomes challenging.


You start to make poor decisions – and you procrastinate on tasks you’re too tired to deal with.


Your productivity levels and enthusiasm and drive for your business plummet, making you feel even more frustrated and overwhelmed.


Thinking you just need to do more and try harder makes you feel even more exhausted.


The ripple effect to the rest of your life can be devastating, as you’re too tired to maintain relationships or consider having a social life.


And the risk to the success of your business is real.

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Why the Silence?

Sexual Assault is a violation that occurs in many different forms with the side-effects lasting a lifetime.

 

So, why does a victim stay silent at all?

 

I think it is easy to look at someone’s situation or circumstance and pass judgments based on what you would do. Because it is easy to say if…  then I would …

 

However, thinking about a circumstance or a situation and playing out the scenario in your head is extremely different than having lived it and experienced it for yourself firsthand.

 

Violations of this degree go far beyond the physical act. The victim is left with permanent emotional, physical, and psychological scars. Meaning that once the act itself is over, it isn’t over for the victim. The victim often re-lives that act repeatedly because of the multiple ways to which the violation impacts them. Leaving them with more than one could imagine, to learn to cope with.

 

Probably one of the most common reasons silence occurs is fear. But fear confines us all in different ways.

 

And a victim stays silent for several other reasons:

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#metoo Out of the Silence Comes Dignity and Healing

I like to blog about things related to how we co- create reality, and solutions that can help us become the person we want to be. I am always focused on this and feel it’s important to know there is a spiritual solution for every problem. I also only write about what I know and what I’ve overcome. I share only from experience. I have to keep it real, or you’re going to be reading fluff, and if you’re anything like me you can smell BS a mile away. Not into stinky.


I’ve been watching the trending topic of the #metoo movement that has set fire to Hollywood in recent weeks. To be honest I have taken my time rather than jump in because I think it’s a very sensitive issue, and yes I tend to stay away from hot button issues (like politics and religion too) because they can be divisive, and it’s not why people read my blogs.
I have been called to talk about this regardless.


For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about in a nutshell it began with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein being called out for sexual abuse, and then an avalanche of women began to share their stories, and then some men came to add their voices too.
In the past few weeks #metoo has been shared millions of times on social media as women and men who have experienced sexual abuse from people in power have spoken out about their secrets and shame, and how the experience affected them.


Make no mistake this form of abuse is soul destroying and will, for some people, create an internal set up, a commitment to maintain all manner of coping behaviors that can take a lifetime to unravel. Not talking about it, keeping it a secret is the first way in which we rob ourselves of our true nature of joy and abundance. Our dignity and self worth depends on sharing and healing.


Last night my husband and myself watched a movie called Wind River and there is a rape scene in the film that brought back so many memories, I knew it was time to add my voice.

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Are You Highly Sensitive?

One of the biggest AHA moments of my life was when I discovered that I wasn’t crazy…. I found out that being super sensitive to loud noises and bright lights (and more) is actually a condition with a name – it’s called being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

What a relief it was to discover not only a name for my peculiar reactions to life, but that there are also solutions. (Some are below!)

About 20% of the population is born with heightened sensitivities. One definition of HSP is described as having hypersensitivity to external stimuli, a greater depth of cognitive processing, and high emotional reactivity.

How do you know if you are an HSP?

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[LIVE INTERVIEW] Removing the Mask of Masculinity With Lewis Howes

For men in the modern era, this book is chock full of wisdom about how to improve your life and shed misconceptions that may be holding you back. My time reading Lewis' book was incredibly eye-opening and informative, and I wanted to take the time to highlight some of my main takeaways from The Mask of Masculinity by talking with Lewis.

Watch my interview now below!

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How do we address the lack of environmental awareness?

Someone asked me if the earth will still be habitable when their three year-old grows up, and is that a part of the cosmic perfection?

More than ever we are awakening to being an integral part of earth’s ecosystem. As inhabitants of this planet we have some responsibility for the nest we live in and maintaining the nest. The same way we clean up our house, we also have to clean up our environment.

Environmental consciousness seems to be happening too slowly. Some people are motivated to keep it from happening. There are economic costs in that awakening — not in the long run, but in the short run – in ways that cause realignment of economic power. People who have that power have a lot of inertia, they want to hold onto it. A company like General Electric may not be ready for dramatic shifts unless they are forced into it because it may change their stockholder dividend.

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My Birthday Reflection

As I approach my birthday and a new year of life, I’ve been thinking about how blessed I am.


I’m blessed to live in this country. Blessed to have my family and my friends. Blessed to be in conversation with a loving non-judgmental god. Blessed to have work that interests me. Blessed to be in community with people who are good, kind, compassionate and inspiring. I include you, the readers of The Sunday Paper, as part of that community.

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Surrender - Must We, Really?

Most teachers of Spiritual Elevation get to it: Surrender and your life will transform.


But doesn’t Surrender mean Giving Up? ‘Cos that doesn’t sound like something I want to do. For example:


One path we shall never choose, is the path of surrender, or submission.”  –John F. Kennedy

Or:

“If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.”  —Jesse Jackson


In fact, we’re talking about a different kind of surrender. It’s commonplace to say; but (I have found) it can
be difficult to do. “Let Go, Let God”…”Go with the Flow”…Or:


”All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.”
–Blaise Pascal


One of my favourites is: “Don’t Push the River.” That comes from the patriarch of Gestalt psychology, Fritz Perls. One of the reasons I like it is that it “flows” naturally into what for me is the clearest analogy for this, the kayak and the river.


I like having a handy image that explains Surrender, as it’s something I think of a lot.

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The Transformative Power of “Me Too”

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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Big Moon, Big Magic

This week as a follow up to last week’s blog is a continuation of our manifesting magic discussion which began with me asking you “ who do you want to become?” and then giving some tips of how to practice being that person ( in the guise of more questions). Remember that by choosing to consider who you would need to become to live your dream life and “ dressing up” in that “costume” it would help set this in motion for you. That would include imagining how you would dress, stand, talk, what you would think about, etc. if you could see yourself there already.


So remember when I said the veils between the manifest world and the hidden realms are thinnest in these 2 weeks? These next few days are most important- not just to connect with our loved ones in Spirit, but to really get into turbo charged co-creating! Especially since we are also coming up on the Taurus Full Moon this Friday. ( but more on that later).


Note it is super important to consider what you give attention to this week as it can expand in front of you as if you ordered it up on a menu! (and in pretty funny ways too)

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How to Find Conscious Empowerment for Personal Beauty

This is about finding freedom, empowerment, appreciation, and satisfaction in your own personal beauty.

Today many women feel inadequate in comparison to the beauty standards of today's society. The media bombards us with the idea that we are not enough as we are. We are not thin enough, our lashes aren't long enough and are hair is missing texture. It is suggested that signs of aging decrease our value as people, and must be compensated for by the newest wrinkle cream on the market.

I consider myself to be a conscious person but I have noticed that I have also bought into some of the hype. I don't allow the influence of propaganda to make me buy Tide detergent. I have, however, allowed my mind to believe that I am substandard, in comparison to other women in the world.

This idea or belief is constantly in the back of my mind, creating pain and diminishing the quality of my life. When I see an ad for makeup, or a high-fashion magazine spread, the first thought that floods my mind, is always the same; " I don't look like that, and looking like that is what will make me desirable, and loved by others." In the back of my mind, I have a belief that, as long as other women look that way, I would never be anybody's first choice.

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Don’t Blame the Victim


A big part of having success with the Law of Attraction is understanding that “thoughts are things” and that our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs help to co-create our reality. Other factors that also influence our lives include karma, divine timing, destiny, free will, and that omnipresent reality of “shit happens.”

When something really bad happens to someone – let’s say a serious diagnosis, losing a job, a big car crash, and then a supposedly well-meaning “spiritual friend” asks them, ” What thoughts were you having that would cause this?”…well, this scenario just makes me crazy.

We would never ask an abused toddler, “Hey kid, what thoughts did you have that created these beatings?”

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