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Make Room for Financial Grace and Abundance

Financial grace is all about creating space in your life to live in the present moment and plan for your desired future. Being happy with where you’re at and where you’re going by aligning your finances in accordance with your life goals.

This however, can be difficult when your cash flow and energy is spent on past choices, like credit card debt. Our lifestyles often pigeon-hole us into a position where we feel stuck. We are surrounded with feelings of stress, regret and worry because of the heavy pressure to make up for our past financial choices.

Let’s choose to make it our mission to make decisions that empower us and help us to regain our personal power with money. Financial grace can only be achieved when we create physical, mental, emotional, and financial space to allow the positives to flow gracefully to you.

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What Is It You Plan To Do?

“When it’s all over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.”  — Mary Oliver


The other day, I was talking to a friend about the people who have most impacted our lives. She shared with me a moving encounter she recently had with a stranger and remarked, “Isn’t it odd that a total stranger had that kind of impact on me?”

I said it’s almost always a stranger that ends up shifting your life. In fact, my own life has been deeply impacted by several total strangers over the years.

My friend paused and was slightly aghast. “What do you mean? How can that be?” she asked.

Before someone becomes your friend or partner, they are a stranger to you, I explained. Something about them moved you and then you delved further into conversation — deeper into connection — and got to know them better.

Sometimes it might also be the words of a total stranger in a book or a poem that move you so deeply that you shift everything you thought you knew and embark on a different course.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver, who passed away this week, came into my life just like that. Her words have touched and moved me so profoundly over the course of my life. Eventually, she went from being a total stranger to a loving, loyal friend and for that, I am forever grateful.

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Blind Spots, Falling Off the Empire State Building, and You

There’s an old joke about a man who falls off the Empire State Building. As he passes an office window on the way down, someone shouts, “How are you doing?” and the man answers, “I’m okay so far.” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t laugh at the punchline the first time they hear the joke, but there’s also a wince thinking about the thud that awaits the man at the end.

Science has been okay—so far—in explaining how nature works, riding the crest of success for several centuries now. But the thud is near at hand, as outlined in a very readable, perceptive online article titled “The Blind Spot,” jointly written by two physicists, Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser, and a philosopher, Evan Thompson. It’s well worth your time to read it, because the blind spot referred to in the title has been of tremendous but hidden importance in your life.

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Experiencing Life With A Supple Heart

Years ago while driving my daughter through icy streets, she shared something interesting. She felt time standing still. Sometimes she watched for the pause while I drove. Chloe would pick an area in front of the car and then close her eyes. When she reopened her eyes, everything outside and inside the car was exactly the same. Logically she should have seen a different part of the road. I’m sure there is an easy explanation. I choose to think the reason is part cosmic and part scientific. 
 
I inquired if she still saw colors around people. Her response was, “Yes, when I think about it”. I understand this. All it takes to connect to an expanded world, is to think about, and feel the expansion. When she was much younger she was afraid there was something wrong with her eyes. She saw colors that other people did not. Eventually she shared with me the colors of her world.

She is not alone; many children experience the ability to easily live in an expanded, or more supple world. They may see images or hear sounds that others can’t. Gradually some children loose this ease of connection. Our adult understanding of the world shadows over their sweet version of life.
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Let It Flow

Can you stay mindful and peaceful when your thoughts and life get bumpy?

Are you stuck?

The Practice: Let It Flow

Why?

I think there are five key things we can do inside ourselves to be happier, stronger, wiser, and more loving this year:

  • Drop the stone
  • Let it flow
  • Take in the good as you go
  • “Us” all “thems”
  • Open into awe
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4 Tips to Visualize (And Achieve) Your 2019 Goals

Now is the perfect time to get clear on everything you would like to accomplish in the months ahead.

What big goals would you like to achieve this year? On December 31st, 2019, what do you want to be celebrating?

What do you want to be able to look back on and say, “I can’t believe I did that?”

visualizing goals in 2019

And how will you feel, knowing that you accomplished that thing?

In order to make that vision a reality, you need to know what your goals are – and you need to be able to clearly visualize each of those goals as already achieved and what your life will look like once you have achieved them.

Here are four tips that will help you do just that – so you can stay focused and motivated throughout the year as you work on making your dreams a reality.

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Honoring the grey to nurture the green in your life

During the last week of 2018, I traveled from sunny, warm Los Angeles, California to wintery Owego, New York. As the doors of the airport slid open, a blast of frigid air hit me square in the face.  My eyes immediately begin to water uncontrollably. 

I loved it.
 
Everything around me was frozen, gray and bare. The sky was gray, the ground was gray, the trees were gray.

I grabbed a coffee in town and fell into an easy conversation with an Owego resident. She is a born and raised Owego boomerang who has lived there for over thirty years. She shared with me how this winter has been one of the toughest for her in a long time because the sun hadn't come out in over three months. I told her I lived in Los Angeles, where the sun shined practically year round. She paused, contemplating her response and then replied, "Yeah, I think I'll take this rough patch we're having here instead."
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When tears start to fall: Why crying is necessary for emotional healing

For many people—especially men—crying creates an effect the way garlic has on vampires. It repels people. Some people don’t know what to do and don’t know how to react around someone in tears. It’s considered a weakness, and in some situations like the office, a taboo. While there are inarguable reasons as to why, when and where crying is appropriate, crying—in healthy doses—is actually a cathartic process that is not only healing, but also builds resilience and strength.

I’m a cry baby. There, I admit it, although I wouldn’t call myself such. Ever since I was a little girl, the people around me called me weak-hearted because of it. I would cry out of joy, sadness, grief, anger, fear, pain, and frustration. I would cry if I felt lost or vulnerable. I would cry over tear jerking scenes on television or the movies. Hard as a I try, I do not seem to have an off switch like many people. The waterworks would just come and I have no control over it and I had always wondered why.

I wanted for it to change. I wanted for me to have control over it. I still do. So I kept searching for the answers. It was not until the recent past that I found it. I learned that not only am I a highly sensitive person (HSP), I am also empathic. Judith Orloff, M.D. on Psychology Today defines an HSP as someone who has “a low threshold for stimulation; the need for alone time; sensitivity to light, sound, and smell; and an aversion to large groups. It also takes highly sensitive people longer to wind down after a busy day, since their ability to transition from high stimulation to being quiet is slower.”

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When Your Dream ISN’T Happening

We’ve all been there. We’ve got a big dream, a desire, or a goal.
We feel pretty sure it’s meant to be.

We do all the right things: we take our inspired action steps, we pray, meditate, dance naked under the full moon.
We re excited. We anticipate. We tell ourselves to be patient.

We read a book or two or three. Take a workshop. Make the effort.

And nothing happens. Not one thing. Ugh!

When this happens to me, the first thing I do is immediately create something fun and pleasurable for myself. I give myself a big dose of love and yumminess.

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Are we drivers in our own biology or victims of our genetic makeup?

The research that first led me to question scientific dogma took place in the petri dishes that are the workhorses of cell biologists' laboratories when I was cloning stem cells. Stem cells are embryonic cells that replace the hundreds of billions of cells we lose daily in normal attrition due to age, wear-and-tear, etc. As hundreds of billions of cells die every day, hundreds of billions of new cells are created from our bodies' stem cell population.

For my experiments, I would take one stem cell and put it in a petri dish all by itself. That cell would then divide every ten to twelve hours. After a period of about a week, I’d have about 50,000 cells in the petri dish. For my experiments, the most important factor was that all of the cells were genetically identical because all of them came from the same parent cell. Then I split up the cell population into three dishes, each with different culture mediums, i.e. each with a different environment. Despite the fact that all the cells were genetically identical, in environment A, the cells formed muscle; in environment B, the cells formed bone; and in the third environment C, the cells formed fat cells.

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Soul Talk On The Hill: CAN SPIRITUALITY AND POLITICS GOVERN?

Have you ever wondered who our congressional leaders are? What do they really believe, beyond what we know of their policies? Who are the people making the decisions for the lives of citizens in America?

“Soul Talk on the Hill,” a series hosted by Sister Jenna takes us into the halls of the U.S. Capitol as she engages in heart-to-heart conversations with some of our Congressional leaders. The series takes us where no policy hearing ever has. Together, we will discover the heart and minds of the men and women of the United States Congress.

Are we united in some way? Do we share a common story and wish for humanity? You will be amazed by the profoundness that some of our leaders’ responses to these questions entail. If more people were exposed to this series connecting these members of Congress to the average individual, Capitol Hill will no longer be a distant mystery to the American public.

The future of the United States Congress is progressive and hopeful. The 116th United States Congress, which just convened on January 3, 2019, includes a record number of women, minorities and first-time candidates who ran for office. Women make up nearly a quarter of its voting membership – the highest percentage in U.S. history. These times are a big wakeup call and they require each and every one of us to develop strength and discerning powers so that we can make choices that benefit the country as a whole.

Tag, You’re It

“Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”  — Henry David Thoreau

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the different speeches that have been on TV these last few days.

Yes, I watched the president speak from the Oval Office on Tuesday about the wall and our government shutdown. I also watched the Democratic leadership’s rebuttal right afterward.

Neither of these speeches moved me. Instead, they just made me mad. They made me mad about where we are right now in our country. They made me mad that so many hard-working Americans aren’t being paid and are struggling to get by. They made me mad that our country’s leadership can’t come together and find some path to common ground. They made me mad because, if you ask me, it feels as if the president and the Democratic leadership have put up a wall between themselves…

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Magic Happens When The Self Aligns With the Soul

Dearest You,

I wonder if you know what your soul needs, and is that different than what your small self wants? Are they ever the same? Can they be? The answer is yes and when they align you’re in the magical miracle zone!

As I went over my 2019 list of what I intended to manifest in my life, I asked myself this question. Are my intentions in alignment with my soul? For a long time now I have known that if I only focus on my wants and desires without giving equal space for the needs of my soul I find that my manifestations will not be satisfying. There is a big difference between inspired intentions and wanting something to happen.

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Drop the Stone

Are you lugging around a needless burden?

Is it heavy?

The Practice: 
Drop the stone.

Why?

As we begin a new year for many people, it’s natural to consider how to make it a good one. Besides taking action in the outer world—from fixing a dripping faucet to feeding every child—we can act inside our own minds... and take the benefits with us wherever we go. This year, what do you think are the top five things you can do inside yourself to be happier, stronger, wiser, and more loving?

In this JOT and those that follow, I’ll suggest my own top five:

  • Drop the stone
  • Let it flow
  • Take in the good as you go
  • “Us” all “thems”
  • Open into awe


So, what do I mean by “drop the stone?”

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What Does This New Year Hold For You?

"I Wish" is enough of a statement. As we step into a New Year, we always have mixed feelings."I want this" "I wish I could have this" "My this year's resolutions" "My this year's activities "

Each one of us comes up with our own Wish List and our own unique ideas on what the New Year holds for us. Which direction do we choose, or do we choose at all. In today's world I feel every thinking individual does like to believe that he is giving himself a chance for the better, in every which way.

Each one of us is geared towards getting the maximum from their own lives in terms of happiness and success.

According to me, I will give my readers an insight from my own personal perspective on which direction they should take, and how to go about achieving a happy and stress free life.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Mansions We Dream Of

I have longed for people I thought I would die without. And wanted books and music I was sure would bring me peace. And I’ve driven myself to accomplish things I thought would secure my worth. And though I seldom touched what I longed for or got what I wanted or achieved what I pushed for, the remnants of my longing burned like ancient wood on the fire of my soul, making the heart of my being burn brighter. To my surprise, I loved and worked and pushed till I used my self up. To my surprise, using my self up was the fate under all my aspirations. At the end of all we want, we’re meant to glow. So long and want and dream till you exhaust your heart’s desire. We learn so much from longing, and wanting, and dreaming. Mostly, that they are not the mansions we dream of living in, but the wood that keeps our fire going.

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5 Tips on How to Journal While Travelling

Documenting a trip makes for a great keepsake, but it can also be a powerful tool for self-reflection, turning any journey into a spiritual one. In this article, we share 5 tips on how to journal while travelling.

As best-selling author, filmmaker, and tour leader Phil Cousineau reminds us in his book to the Art of Pilgrimage, The Art of Travel: Journal, “by honoring our travel experiences through writing stories, poems, songs or creating sketches or other artwork, we can transform virtually all our travels, whether around the world or around our backyard, and make them more meaningful.”

How will you remember your travels? As a blur or as a vision?


In this blog, we share 5 tips to make a meaningful travel journal.

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Your Adventure Awaits

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” — T.S. Eliot 


On the first day of 2019, I sat down and meditated on how blessed I am to get this chance at a new year of life.

I focused on my intention to embrace the year ahead as one big magical adventure. My mind raced at times while thinking about this challenge to myself, but as I slowed down and focused my breathing, I found myself feeling calm and hopeful about what’s ahead.

If I have one big goal for this year, it’s to approach all of my professional and personal decisions from a place of adventure in 2019. Or, as one of my favorite poets the late John O’Donahue writes, I want to “awaken my spirit to adventure” this year. (You can read his poem in the “Sunday Reflection” section below.)

This year, I want to venture out, venture forward and venture into the unknown. I want to make decisions by asking myself, “Am I going to see and/or experience something new by doing this? Will it scare me or push me outside my comfort zone? Will I be able to look back and feel like I learned something or grew in some way? Will it be fun, meaningful and worthwhile?”

If my answer to these questions is “yes,” then I’ll know I’m making the right choice.

In 2019, I want to push myself to try things I might have said “no” to in the past. I want to challenge myself to keep an open mind about new opportunities. I  want to stop looking at the items on my calendar as things I have to do, and instead, view them as experiences that I get to embark upon. And, I want to keep track of it all along the way.

That’s why I’m excited about “I’ve Been Thinking… The Journal,” which came out last week. This journal is a place for me (and for all of you as well) to write down what I’m thinking and experiencing throughout the coming year. It will also be a place for me to document how I’m feeling, what I’m excited about, what I’m scared of, and what I’m hopeful about.

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Make 2019 Meaningful & Amazing

We’re at the beginning of the year and if you’re anything like me you’ve got your intentions all set and raring to go! But, sometimes the “new year new you” vibe can create too many expectations that can weigh heavily on you especially if you haven’t put closure on last year!

Imagine that you stepped into the new year still dragging along a big bag of invisible stuff you don’t actually want, nor is even vaguely good for you Yet here you are trying to jump up and down with glee about all things new however your jump up is so lame and everything feels so slow and heavy? It’s like you’ve taken a detour in your mind and you find yourself all wrapped up about a future outcome that can’t make lift off! This can leave you feeling like you are fending off negativity at every turn. Or maybe your mind has run willy-nilly to a past hurt as if it just happened? Or, perhaps you are wandering in the potentials that seem so far away from where you are now, that you get confused as to how anything could happen to move you forward? It’s a big ol’ New year Hairball!

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What Does It Mean to Live in the Present?

In recent decades the concept of living in the present moment has been widely discussed, prompted by the surprising success of Eckhart Tolle’s 1997 book, The Power of Now. For millions of readers Tolle’s basic thesis, that there is something special about the here and now, came as a spiritual message they could seize upon in daily life.

The power that the present moment possesses, as many people now believe, is its reality. To be in the now means that you are not distracted by memories of the past or expectations about the future. You dwell instead on whatever is right in front of you, applying mental clarity, alertness, and your full attention. Simple enough—until one looks deeper. Young children live in the now. Are they better off for it, considering the years of maturation that lie ahead to bring about full-fledged adulthood? The elderly suffering from dementia typically have severe memory loss, forcing them to live only in the passing moment, and this condition becomes confusing and blank, not to mention a source of distress.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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

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