Managing your Stress Triggers

Stress is a common factor amongst people from various walks of life. We cannot say for sure, which strata of society will be targeted most by this culprit. There are different types of stress and different types of people . Of course reactions to stress vary from person to person. Some people are more reactive to stress than others.

The body's stress response also varies from person to person. People have various triggers. The body is more responsive to a perceived stress trigger rather than an actual one. Some people may calm down easily, others could take a long time to settle down.

Continue reading

In Times Of Crisis

I just returned from lecturing at Tilton School, the NH school I attended as a student during my high school years and where my dad taught for nearly four decades. Being there now, talking with students and teachers, gave me a new perspective on the problems we face: climate change, US politics, international relations, gender issues, global poverty, and many more. I also was reminded that at Tilton I received an education that opened me to critical thinking, and I saw that the school continues to do that for students today.

Among the most important lessons I learned at Tilton that forever shaped my life: We humans have survived many crises; culture and history are changed by the written word – perception – more than by the gun and sword; and it is imperative for us always to explore the truths behind the “facts.”

As I wandered around campus this past week, I came upon a photograph of my dad outside his old classroom. The accompanying acknowledgement of his contributions to the school reminded me of his long view of history. I sat down in a nearby chair, opened my computer and wrote:

During troubled times, like the ones our country – our world – is experiencing, we may take comfort in the knowledge that we’ve staggered close to the brink before, and pulled back.



Continue reading

I Don’t Want To Be That Person!

This morning I was working out with a friend who was telling me a story about how he went to a quintessential Cuban cafe for breakfast. Although he used his best Spanish to order, they ended up giving him the wrong kind of steak with his eggs. Now my friend, who is dedicated to health and fitness, is vigilant about what he puts into his body and eating clean. When I asked him if he sent his meal back, he shrugged his shoulders and replied,

 

“No. I don’t want to be that person.”

 

Being raised around people who sent things back at restaurants, got upset if the service was slow, or took it personally if they didn’t get “the right” table, I vowed at an early age not to be a complainer. I, like many of us, have played the role of the meal martyr and tolerated underwhelming service, waiters getting my order wrong (you know, the whole “no croutons, dressing on the side” thing), and my biggest pet-peeve - cold food, just because I didn’t want to be that person!

 

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have sat silent, fought with ourselves about whether to say something or send something back or not, and paid for things we did not order because we didn’t want to be that person. Our fear and worry about being judged or labeled as a complainer, spoiled, entitled, or a pain in the butt has caused us to bite our tongue and swallow our integrity along with an order of food we didn’t want or care for.

Continue reading

Eleven Laws That Lift You to the Next Life Level

If we want to grow inwardly we must find new ways to learn about ourselves. These higher discoveries call for higher learning. Think of each of the following eleven laws as individual magic strands of a flying carpet. Make it your aim to weave them together in your mind. Then watch how these lessons combine to effortlessly lift you to a higher and happier life level.

The First Law

Nothing can stop you from starting over.

The greatest power you possess for succeeding in life is your understanding that life gives you a fresh start any moment you choose to start fresh. Nothing that stood in your way even a heartbeat before stands there now in the same way. It's all new, even if you can't as yet see it that way. You've only to test the truth of this fact about the newness of life to discover the incredible freedom that waits for you just behind it. And then nothing can stop you. You'll know the real secret and the perfect power of starting over.

Continue reading

Changing the Vibe

Putting together a booth that feels good, is both easy and fun for me…. I can say that, now. I only need flowers with extra sparkles, friends, and my books. I clearly set my intentions, and fill the space with love. 

 
Last week, I was reminded of how important intention is.

 
At The Alaska Women’s Show, I was offering free mini readings and guided meditations. Sitting in my rented space, I wondered if I should be there. It was a glorious fall day outside. No one was showing any interest in what I was offering. 

 
The other booths were packed with clothing, stun guns and hunting information. You could also find makeup, personal trainers and hand bags that could carry concealed weapons. It was expected to have at least 7000 guests. Many would enjoy the wine garden.

 
A few weeks ago, on a whim I decided to market my book at this show. The organizer only had one table available, besides mine. I called my friend Rebecca, an acupuncturist. She took the last space. Rebecca invited a rolfer, Marnie, to share her space. The three of us were tucked away in hall by ourselves. Vending machines had been moved to make room for us. 

 
My simple set up was on one side of our shared space. My healing friends had a table, chairs and a bed. Lots of attendees stopped by to see what they were offering. Some even experienced the free therapies. They were new concepts for most of the women.  


Picture
Continue reading

Don’t Ignore Signs From the Universe

The universe works in mysterious ways. It is constantly working to make available to you the tools, the resources, the people, and the lessons you need to become the person you were meant to be which is why it’s so important to pay attention to signs from the universe.

But, the universe doesn’t always make these things totally obvious, or even always easy.

You might need to go through bankruptcy in order to finally learn the money lessons you need to create a life of true financial abundance.

You might have to get laid off or fired from a job you don’t like, in order to find the job you love.

Or you might have to go through a painful breakup before you’re ready to meet and fall in love with the love of your life.

You might feel at times as if you’re a newspaper caught up in the wind, being blown about with no clear direction.

But if you start paying attention, you will realize that the universe is sending you signals all the time that show you where you need to go and what you need to do to create the life of your dreams.

Continue reading

Spirit Animals Choose You (not the other way around!)

Have you ever noticed a specific animal, bird, insect or fish that shows up for you in an uncanny way, perhaps even more than once when you’re in a dilemma or looking for confirmation about something?

Most of us were never taught that we share our environment with Nature’s oracles (other sentient beings). Actually most of us never even knew what an oracle was since it’s deemed taboo by some! That said, I was lucky that my Scottish nanny Mrs. Kelly brought me the gift of this sacred knowledge when I was little. I learned to pay attention to what happened in my backyard and she pointed out when we went to church the halos around the saints were the same as the ones I was seeing around the bees and dragonflies and our pet raccoon Petunia. All life was sacred and magical to Mrs. Kelly, and she reminded me that the comings and goings of animals were signs from Spirit.

That said sometimes a dog is just a dog, or a skunk just a skunk. But there are those moments when, in a flash of energy, you just know somehow that the appearance of an animal is meant to bring you a message. It’s built into our intuitive systems to tune into the language of Spirit Animals naturally. Example, a Spirit Animal is the presiding spirit of not just one dragonfly but all dragonflies, and contain the symbolic meaning of the essence of Dragonfly. This is not some anthropomorphic new age gobbledygook. Over thousands of years we’ve assigned meaning to these encounters, and in cultures around the world, there is an accepted language about these sightings and their significance.

Continue reading

The Universe Has Become a Risky Numbers Game

Although advanced instruments like the Very Large Telescope in Chile grab spectacular images and space probes give first-person access to distant bodies like comets, asteroids and planets, the story of the universe is largely told by the numbers. The cosmos holds together, particularly at the farthest horizons, through mathematical calculations. It's incredibly tricky to calculate what actually occurred during the big bang, for example. At the other extreme, the potential (inevitable?) death of the universe is conjectured, not by envisioning it but by taking the known laws of nature and foreseeing how they play out over time.

There are so many variables in this numbers game that huge gaps are possible and possible errors that are more than sizable. Trouble was recently reported in the October 3 issue of New Scientist, a "glitch at the edge of the universe that could remake physics," as the headline declared. What's in question--perhaps--is one of the constants upon which most of our theoretical understanding of matter and energy rest. The general public is aware of constants like the speed of light and the force of gravity, but the "fine structure constant," also known as alpha, has deep implications for the biggest and smallest things in creation.

Continue reading

Receive Generosity From Others

Let it sink in that receiving generosity is good.

Do you accept the gift?

The Practice:
Receive generosity from others.

Why?

Life gives to each one of us in so many ways.

For starters, there’s the bounty of the senses – including chocolate chip cookies, jasmine, sunsets, wind singing through pine trees, and just getting your back scratched.

What does life give you?

Consider the kindness of friends and family, made more tangible during a holiday season, but of course continuing throughout the year.

Continue reading

Before He Knew

He was thirteen before he knew what a hand drill was. His father saved and bought him one for 75 cents. Before that, he made holes in wood by twisting coal-fired nails into the grain. It was his job to throw wood in the fire after school. When red hot, he’d pinch a nail with a pair of pliers and twist it through the wood, which went soft and dark until there was an opening. Now his skin is thin and just last week he stumbled out of bed and landed hard on the radiator, his forearm tearing like a thin curtain. It took an hour to stop bleeding.

He just took care of it himself. We are held this way in the fire of time where we go soft and dark till our skin goes thin and just waking tears us open.


A Question to Walk With: Ask an elder in your life for a story about the first tool they learned how to use.

This excerpt is from a new book in progress, Compass Work: Finding Our Fathers While Finding Ourselves.

Continue reading

6 Ways to Make Decisions with Clarity and Confidence

Our basic human nature compels us to make decisions moving us from pain to pleasure. As we evolve, we want to make the so called “right” decisions for all involved in given circumstances.   
     

Because of my liberal as well as latchkey upbringing, I had to start making all important life decisions from a very young age. I felt that most of the adults around me were trapped in their own life circumstances and unable to help me. Also, being the first born, I felt the responsibility to make good decisions and constantly worried about making right choices. I prayed, meditated and read self-help books and Vedic texts for answers.

Pay attention to your feelings

  • Be still and listen to your heart. It is best to make decisions after praying, meditating or practicing yoga when your mind is quiet.
  • Do what makes you happy.
  • Do what feels good and expansive.
  • Use your body as a guide – Choose circumstances in which your body feels relaxed and safe and your mind feels at ease and peaceful. This means your body, your heart and your brain are aligned with the decision.
  • Drop your awareness down into your body with deep breathing, yoga or walking and listen to your gut feelings.

Continue reading

8 Habits That Keep You From Being Truly Happy

“There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human- in not having to be just happy or just sad- in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.”
~C. JoyBell C.

Do you have the courage to be fully human?

To me it boils down to this: being vulnerable enough to allow your emotions to rise up and flow through you unchecked, without hindrance, without judgment. Inconceivable joy. Devastating sadness. Raging anger. Unmitigated self-judgement. Burning guilt. The entire spectrum of emotions. There is no hierarchy. No one is better than the other. Each are powerful. Each of them teach essential lessons if we are willing to listen.

We get into trouble when we impede this flow and ignore the lessons. Because we are afraid of the change these lessons will bring, we reign in our emotions. We stuff them down and ignore them. We become energetically constipated and slow the vibrational possibility that is always calling us into more. We turn away from the light and reject our best selves.

Continue reading

Don’t carpe diem: A closer look at Glennon Doyle’s take on seizing the day

Ah, carpe diem. How many times have you heard this phrase? But have you really paid attention to what it means? It was made popular by the movie Dead Poets Society in 1990 but when I read the blog post Don’t Carpe Diem, I asked myself, “Why not? Isn’t ‘to carpe diem’ a good thing?”

Glennon Doyle is my hero. I never heard of her until I read her book, Love Warrior. I fell in love with this woman who, in my eyes, had the heart of a lion, opening herself up to the world with her real-life vulnerabilities. That is real courage to me. Her life inspired me to get real with my own fears and reservations and embrace my true self. How could I not? There’s this woman who went through alcohol and drug addiction and bulimia and she was not the slightest embarrassed to talk about it. No shame concealed her words and that is both respectable and admirable. My own life experiences are nothing compared to hers but I’ve carefully and desperately covered up my battle scars my whole life and so I finally asked myself, “Why is it so hard for me to show my wounds when they are the very things that made me who I am today?” I am stronger today than yesterday because I stared suffering down many times in the past allowing it to decide that I have become strong enough for it to leave.

One of Glennon’s most—if not the most—popular entries from her Momastery blog is Don’t carpe diem, which garnered over one million views and had been reposted and shared online countless of times. She talked about how she resented people’s well-meaning but unsolicited advice to enjoy the precious moments with her children while she struggled to “carpe fifteen minutes in a row.” And she’s got a point. You can’t really carpe diem when you’re struggling to get past the challenging moments because its very definition, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the ‘enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future.’ How would you feel if the dentist pulling your tooth without anesthesia tells you to carpe diem?

But here’s the disconnect: Carpe diem is derived from the Latin phrase Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero, which means pluck (or seize) the day trusting as little as possible in the future. And Merriam-Webster defines seize the day as: to do the things one wants to do when there is the chance instead of waiting for a later time. Clearly, the modern definition for carpe diem veered away from its true meaning. Here’s why:

Continue reading

Why the Brain Doesn't Think, and Other Helpful Ideas

At some point in the history of medicine, a picture coalesced about the role of the brain. From the first basic insight that the brain is the organ of thought, this picture became more and more complex, until neuroscience reached it present state, where the brain is glorified as "the three-pound universe." Like a magic lantern casting pictures on a blank wall, the brain supposedly projects the three-dimensional world and everything in it.

I ended the last post on the brain by saying that placing the brain on such an exalted plane will lead to a dead end--in fact, it already has. There is no physical evidence that your brain has ever had a single thought, that it projects a realistic picture of the world, or that it creates mind as a byproduct of cellular activity the way a bonfire creates heat. Nothing about the brain suggests anything of the sort. Instead, the brain displays physical activity as thoughts take place, the same as a piano's keys going up and down as a performer plays the "Maple Leaf Rag" or Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata.

Continue reading

Where There Is Anger, There Is Hope

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” — Jane Addams

I know many of you are waking up feeling enraged, angry, frustrated and disillusioned this morning. Meanwhile, others of you feel this process ended fairly and are probably just relieved that all this Supreme Court drama is over.

In fact, I heard some say yesterday, “I’m glad this is over. It’s time to move on.”

Yes, the news cycle will move on. It always does.

But, I believe the soul of our country is forever altered. So are the souls of all those people who shared their stories. Who confronted long, buried and painful memories. Who testified and spoke up. Even for those who stayed silent, I imagine their souls are also forever changed.

Continue reading

The Power that Defeats Defeat

You possess a potential power that is superior to any difficulty that life may ever present. This immense inner capability enables anyone who will claim it to instantly rise above his challenge. It makes no difference what form the challenge may assume or how huge it looms. This latent power of yours can render it harmless and ultimately make it disappear. This friendly force that can turn your life into a series of victories is the power to question defeat. 

If we honestly examine the way we presently question our defeats, we will see that we are still desperately seeking answers that serve only to correct the surface or exterior conditions. We blame circumstances for crushing us. By their very nature, our old questions tend to make and then keep us victims, because these questions imply that someone or something outside of ourselves is punishing us. No human being is a victim of any punishment outside of his own undeveloped life level from which his inner reactions are seen as outer attacks. This is why we must learn to turn our questions into tools for developing self-wholeness instead of letting them lead us off in the wrong direction. 

Continue reading

New Moon in Libra – An Invitation to Start Over

Human beings once looked at time in a more natural way. We looked to the moon and stars in the sky to reflect the cycles of life in our environment and to help us determine our place in the seasons of our life. The moon was and still is our great illuminator, the soft focus that could show us the way in the dark. We planted and harvested crops according to lunar cycles and this is still symbolic of how we can plant our sweetest intentions in our Field of Dreams when the moon is dark and open to receive, and pull out the weeds with wild abandon when the moon shines full and can show us what we need to release for our highest good.

This week we’re visited by the New Moon in the sign of Libra and there is a distinct cosmic nudge and invitation by this relationship focused moon to plant the seeds of harmony, gratitude, and goodwill even towards those you may have resented. That’s right the New Moon in Libra really is an invitation to start over, to open your heart even if it’s been bruised and celebrate that Love is the answer right now.

It’s so interesting when I look back I always felt that October was the cozy month to fall in love!  Ok, I will admit I kissed a lot of frogs before my husband. Maybe I thought October meant they would turn into a magical prince. HA!  It never dawned on me it was because the astro-influence was Libra – the sign ruled by Venus and centered around partnerships. But I slightly digress!

Continue reading

The Secret Key To Success and Getting Things Done

Those that are successful are willing to do the things they don’t feel like doing in order to get to where they want to get to.

Those that are unsuccessful aren’t willing to do the things they don’t want to and stay stuck where they don’t want to be.

Success requires commitment and dedication.

In order to be successful, you must get things done. And in order to get things done, you must be committed to doing what you said you were going to do long after the feeling or mood has passed.

Here’s the deal… When you have a project you are working on, you won’t always feel like taking action.

And that’s OK.

Continue reading

Speak Intelligently (6 guidelines from Buddha)

Words – and the tone that comes with them – can actually do damage.

What are you saying?

The Practice:
Speak Intelligently.

Why?

"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Ah, not really.

Often it's words– and the tone that comes with them – that actually do the most damage. Just think back on some of the things that have been said to you over the years – especially those said with criticism, derision, shaming, anger, rejection, or scorn – and the impacts they've had on your feelings, hopes and ambitions, and sense of yourself.

Words can hurt, since the emotional pain networks in your brain overlap with physical pain networks. (The effects of this intertwining go both ways. For example, studies have shown that receiving social support reduces the perceived intensity of physical pain, and – remarkably – that giving people Tylenol reduced the unpleasantness of social rejection.)

Besides their momentary effects, these hurts can linger – even for a lifetime. The residues of hurtful words sift down into emotional memory to cast long shadows over the inner landscape of your mind.

Continue reading

Stop chasing illusions and find lasting happiness

Happiness and virtue compliment each other, the happiest people have definitely conquered the art of living life in a de-stressed zone. Tranquility of the mind and happiness go hand in hand. It is only when we over commit ourselves to the external that we allow stress, a space to build itself up.


Humans of today have lost themselves to the external world. Meaningless values have gained priority over the true meaningful nuances of life. Chasing material things and living up to the neighbors way of life has become the accepted norm, and living in an anxiety ridden scenario is perhaps considered just "normal".

Continue reading

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind