What SCANDAL Taught Me About Politics and Power!

Now is one of those times when I, a yogi sister, along with many devoted SCANDAL fans, just don't want to see a good thing end.


Firstly, let me begin to offer the utmost respect and praise for Shonda Rhimes, the fuel behind the fixer-up drama that will be signing off on April 19th. I had to get caught up when a friend emailed me about SCANDAL and said, 'Sister Jenna I think you will love what this show offers.' She said, 'just close your eyes on all the scenes of lust and violence, but look out for all the information on government and human behavior.' I was hooked. Even though I do not have much leisure time, when I could get caught up I was there, and with each episode, I was so amazed at the secrets being revealed. The average American has no idea what happens at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the way the media weaves narratives to influence the public. The diversity in the casting and messaging attracted me because I live and love a life of diversity and inclusion. While it doesn't sell, it is what we need more of in these times in America.


With a need for viewership among networks, Scandal did fantastic with millions of viewers. Beginning with a little shy of 7 million live or same day viewers it grew steadily garnering over 12 million viewers by Season 4!


I think what I loved about the SCANDAL cast and Shonda Rhimes was that they truthfully tweeted and shared what they were going through and what certain scenes meant. It brought us on the set in a way that engaged us to be a part of this bigger story!

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Using Humor to Create Empowerment

Humor has the power to transform your experience with a difficult issue from below it (victimized), to above it (empowered). You may have had the experience of finding an experience funny that you had found upsetting in the past. If this is the case, then you are most likely healed and over what happened.

       

If you were able to view your life like a movie or play, you could see the natural flow of events go from happy to sad, easy to hard, everything in between and back again. It is a somewhat predictable cycle, though the circumstances do change and may surprise you.

       

William Shakespeare was criticized for putting humor in some of his plays when people felt the situation called for more of a serious mood. It came across as insensitive or inappropriate. Was it really? Or was it just skipping ahead a bit because from a higher perspective he knew that it was all just an illusion of the same cycles playing out? He figured he may as well have fun with what was happening if he was able to.

 

Joan Rivers once said, “Everything is funny.” While she created a lot of amazing success in her life, she was not spared the heart wrenching devastation many face in the course of a lifetime.

 

While I did not always enjoy her style of humor, I have a great appreciation for her intelligence and wisdom. She knew that the value of humor went well beyond the entertainment industry. It is a profound tool that can be used to come back from the depths of sorrow.

 

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Feeling Anxious? Find Where You Belong…

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about belonging. It’s not something I recall thinking about much when I was a child. At that time, I knew where I belonged, and who I belonged to. (Although I must say, there were times I wondered how I ended up in the family that I did, haha.)

But, I think there comes a time in one’s life — perhaps it’s when your parents die, or your kids grow up and leave, or your marital status changes, or your job ends— when you wonder to yourself, “Where do I belong? Who do I belong to, if anyone? Do I belong here? Do I belong at all?”

I believe that having a sense of belonging is critical to your emotional, spiritual, mental and physical health. Belonging is grounding. It’s reassuring. It’s calming. It gives your life a foundation.

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Choose U!

Have you ever thought about what or who is driving your choices?

 

Week after week I hear stories about:

 

  • The people-pleaser who does everything for everyone else besides themselves

 

  • The baby-boomer who puts their life and dreams of traveling more on hold to stay in close proximity and take care of their aging parents

 

  • The sibling that not only financially supports their own family but also feels compelled to pick up the check when they go out with their family or give money to their brother or sister who has fallen on hard times

 

  • The millennial who is trying to make their parents proud

 

  • The partner who is working around the clock because their significant other has certain materialistic expectations and desires

 

  • The creature of habit who lives on autopilot, doing the same or slightly different versions of the same thing that they did last month, year, or decade

 

  • The person born into a certain religion or culture who feels obligated to live in accordance with expected rules or norms, even if those values are not in alignment with their truth and desires

 

Although the specifics may vary, the common thread that runs through all of their stories is that they are letting others or their tendency to live on automatic pilot dictate their life. They are being driven not by what is in their hearts or in their highest. Instead, they are running around like the proverbial gerbil on the wheel, putting others, organizations, and societal expectations in front of themselves. And as Lily Tomlin famously said,

 

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat.”

 

Making choices based on the expectations of others or placing the needs of others over ourselves is a setup for disappointment and exhaustion. Even if you accomplish all the things that you set out to do, the accomplishments will eventually feel empty. Why? Because they aren’t being sourced by your dreams, your desires, your truth, and your wants and needs.

 

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© Affiliate link entered for Every Choice Matters program

The ONE Key To Dealing With Worrying About What Others Think

Do you ever find yourself worrying about what other people think?

How often have you allowed that worry to stop you from doing something that you might love?

It's natural. It's actually part of being a human being and our need for connection and belonging.

Here's the truth when it comes to what others think…
 
We could be Mother Teresa incarnate and someone, because of their own stories or insecurities, may think or feel in a way that is judgmental or critical. We have no control over those thoughts. We truly don't.

And while we know this on a logical level it still doesn't always keep us out of that place of worry. The good news is this; we don't have to stay in that place of worry for too long.

With that said, here's a thought that I use to reduce the shelf life of worrying about what others think.

I remind myself that there's a good possibility that others aren't spending as much time thinking about me or what I'm doing as I might think they are. And that's because they're probably too busy worrying about their own stuff and what other people think of them.

BUT and this is a BIG HUGE BUT; in the event they're thinking about what we do or who we are, let's give them something really good (and I mean really good) to think about!


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GIVE THEM SOMETHING GOOD TO THINK ABOUT?
The best way for me to explain is to share a recent experience I had during one of the coolest astrological readings I've ever had.
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Stand Up to Bullies

Is anyone being pushed around?


The Practice:

Stand up to bullies.


Why?


Humans are the most social species on the planet. Most of us spend most of our lives working, eating, sleeping, and playing in groups that range in size from two people all the way up to nations and humanity as a whole.

Woven through the tapestry of our relationships are several major threads. One of these is power, which plays out in almost every group of any size. The only question is, do we use it for good or ill?

Like a hammer, power itself is neutral. It can be used justly and wisely for beneficial purposes, such as the necessary authority of a loving parent, a child’s popular friend protecting her from mean kids, a physically stronger spouse helping a more vulnerable one, or a government defending a country being invaded. Power can also be used unjustly and unwisely for harmful purposes, such as a parent beating a child, a big kid picking on a little one, domestic violence, or a government jailing its critics.

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Predictions: Can You Change The Outcome?

The most popular blog I’ve written in the past 10 years is on the subject of predictions. Given that everyone needs some empowering things to think about, I revisited the article and gave it a polish for you to enjoy this week.

Over the past 30 years, I think the most asked questions of me are from people asking for my thoughts on predictions they’ve been given by different psychics and intuitives. Some of the common questions are: What do you do if you get a negative prediction? Are predictions absolute or can you change them? Why hasn’t a particular prediction come true yet?

At this juncture, I’m going to mention that for the first 20 years of my professional life the concept of prediction was very important. It was, as an intuitive, my job to look into the realm of possibility and pull out a probable future. After all, it’s part of my skill set and I had a very high level of accuracy which helped build a solid reputation by word of mouth. Today I am not a fan of predictions, for the main reason that the minute we ask to see the future as an absolute – a place we land that promises us an outcome, we give our power away, and take ourselves out of the grounded moment where we have the power to co-create reality in partnership with the universe.

Why did I change my perspective on this subject? Things began to change as I personally explored the notion of absolute determinism vs free will. I started asking the hard questions. Why is it easy to see the future so clearly and at other times see multiple possibilities? Is it ethical to predict the future? What happens to someone when they hear a prediction that keeps them mired in a compulsive relationship pattern? Isn’t it better to track potentials and probabilities where there is room for course correction?

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Claim Your Life!

This coming weekend, I have the extreme honor of leading The Shadow Process Workshop in Los Angeles. No matter how many of these workshops I have attended, participated in, or led over the years, I am always in awe of the shifts that people experience in the short time span of 2 ½ days. I am also so grateful to Debbie Ford for creating a process that continues to live on and transform the lives of so many.


On a personal level, I am always amazed that even after having experienced this process numerous times, I always take away so many insights and a-has! One of the most powerful concepts that emerged from one of our amazing workshops is that it is up to each of us to "claim our life!"


We all have heard the adage "You teach people how to treat you." Yet what many people might not realize is that it is often your unconscious mind, which is far more powerful than your conscious mind, which tells and teaches people how to treat you and how to interact with you. It is also your unconscious mind that is filled with shadows and shadow beliefs -- all of that internal dialogue that plays in your head and repeats disempowering statements like "I am not good enough." "No one will ever love me." "It is not safe to stand out and shine or be seen." Ultimately, it is your negative internal dialogue that is your inner teacher, instructing the world how to treat you!

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© Affiliate link entered for The Shadow Process.

And the Doctor Said, ‘Go Live Your Life…’

A few weeks ago, I went to visit my friend Nancy.


She didn’t ask me to come, I just went. I went because she told me the doctor (actually, multiple doctors) had told her there was nothing left to be done for her. Her cancer — the disease she had long kept at bay — had finally gotten the best of her.


She looked me in the eye and said, “What do you suggest I do?”


I looked at her. Her beautiful eyes locked with mine and I felt as if my heart were on a magnetic wave with hers. “Good question,” I replied.


What does one do when something like cancer gets the best of you? What does one do when there is nothing left to do, but enjoy what’s left? What does one look forward to when there is almost no forward to look towards?


I asked her, “What do you enjoy? What brings you joy?”


“Being with friends,” she said. “Being by the ocean. Letting the sun hit my face.”


“And so,” I said, “Let’s do that…”

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What Really is the “Mind” and How Can We Harness the Power of Our Minds?

The priest (swamiji) at our temple used to tell us the story of a magical “Genie” given to human beings by God. This genie is able to do whatever we ask of it, as long it is kept busy all the time. The caution was, if this genie did not have something to do, it would wander off and cause us problems. So it was given a pole to climb up and down like a monkey until the next need for this genie arises. According to swamiji, this genie is our “mind” and the pole is the inhalation and exhalation of breath. To avoid unnecessary problems and troubles, we were advised to focus our mind on the breath when we were not using our minds.


We hear so many words related to the mind such as conscious mind, sub conscious or unconscious mind, narrow mindedness, mindfulness, mastermind, mind blowing, mindless, remind, never mind, absent minded, mind set and peace of mind. What really is the “mind” and how can we use it to our advantage?


According to Vedic scriptures of Hinduism, sat (truth) or the absolute is that which remains true in all periods of time – the past, the present and the future. From standpoint of the absolute, there is no mind. But the mind is not “asat” (false) or totally non-existent either. Therefore, the mind comes under the category of mithya or an illusory entity. According to these scriptures, human beings have five bodies or koshas which goes from gross to subtler forms or from separateness to oneness at different levels.

  1. Physical body which is made of matter and is visible.
  2. Etheric body which is our energy body and can be felt.
  3. Mind body which is made of thoughts and vibrations. This body is very important because it holds your experiences from this and past lives or psychic impressions which creates our belief systems (samskaras). Whatever happens to us constitutes only 3 to 5 % of our experience but the reaction to the event constitutes over 95% of our present experience depending on our past psychic impressions. As we become more conscious and aware we have more control over our projections and are able to respond instead of react.
  4. Causal body which is made of wisdom or consciousness.
  5. Bliss body which is associated with feeling of ultimate peace, joy, love or Samadhi.
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How Do We Liberate Ourselves from the Power of Others?

Recently I was at a conference, and one of the men at the conference was very powerful, and very preoccupied with power, much like a teenager might be occupied with power, except that he was considerably older.

I experienced this as he was introduced to me and he said, “How ya doing Ram?” I spent time with him and saw that he had decided in his mind that I was irrelevant. Everything I stood for was irrelevant, and I felt my irrelevance in his presence, and I watched that pour through me. I watched myself get caught in it at first, so that I started to crunch up into irrelevance and get slightly deviant. Those are the ways I responded to irrelevancy in his mind about me.

Then I saw my predicament, saved by my meditation bell, and I saw what I was doing. I saw my mind buy his model of myself, and just the noticing of that started to loosen its hold over me. He had brought me into the dimension of power, and found me wanting. He found that I was not powerful enough to be important in his eyes, and I just sat with it, and I felt what it felt like to be irrelevant and somewhat litigious. I just noticed all this, and slowly as I noticed it, and just allowed it. I didn’t push it away, I didn’t make believe that it didn’t exist, I just noticed and allowed it.

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4 Steps Toward Creating Your Most Authentic Life – Part Two

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
– Carl Jung

In Part One, I talked about the importance of living authentically and my own struggle to develop a life that was full of joy and meaning. Here, in Part Two, I’m going to share the four practices that I use every day to keep myself on the most genuine of paths.


4 Ways to Begin Living Authentically

1. Connect with your inner voice.

Uncovering your most authentic life will come from deep within yourself. You need to learn to discern that inner voice that often whispers in your ear. It’s a voice that is so very easily drowned out by the noise of the unimportant and the trivial. Too often, this noise is self-created, so that we can ignore what our inner wisdom is trying to tell us. Through a daily practice of silence, you can create a still space that allows the message that this voice carries to resonate throughout your life.

The key is connecting with your inner voice often throughout the day. Get out of bed 15 minutes early and sit in silence. If this feels uncomfortable for you, start with just 3 – 5 minutes. Simply ask your true self to make itself known. Quietly offer that you are willing to be open and grateful for any wisdom and guidance that comes through.

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It’s That Time Again…Tips to Embrace Mercury Retrograde

Yup, it is that time again! By now, you have probably heard someone say … “Oh, It’s Mercury retrograde”.

Mercury Retrograde is about to begin and many people are beginning to “feel” the energy shifts … possibly without even knowing it … as it moves in. Now, I’m not an expert in Mercury Retrograde … nor am I an astrologer. I’m a psychic medium and someone who is sensitive to energy … just like you. I notice when the energy shifts … especially the strong shifts. As I tune into the energy (and look at the calendar) I usually discover that Mercury is retrograde … and I take a breath, look up how long it will be in retrograde … and then plan to move forward at a slower pace … knowing that it always has something to teach me. Not that I always love this … but, I can either hit my head against the wall, pushing and forcing OR go with the flow of Mercury in retrograde … and embrace it’s teachings. Which do you choose?


What is Mercury Retrograde?

Usually, three or sometimes four times a year, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky for a period of approximately 3 weeks. Technically, planets don’t actually move backwards … they don’t even slow down, but as Mercury passes the earth in its orbit … it appears to slow down, stop (station) and spin backward (retrograde). Of course, it really isn’t moving backward … it’s an optical illusion, since there is forward movement, like speeding by a slow-moving train — as it recedes, it appears to go backward. In astrology, Mercury rules communication, travel, and technology—so all of these areas can feel out of control during these three weeks.

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Channeling Excellence

Today, is as good as any other day to decide you are worth the effort to live the best life possible. Now, is as good as any other time, to commit to living a complete life. It only takes the conscious decision to see yourself fully engaging in this life. This means prioritizing everything that allows you to feel the thrill of excellence. 


As usual, I never know exactly what I’m going to write about, I wait for inspiration. This week I put the above message on my word document and moved on. In the back of my mind, I was tossing around Ideas of how I would convey the message, or if it was the right message for this week.


Later, my husband and I went out to dinner. I noticed a tattoo on the server’s wrists. I looked closer. The message read, THIS IS YOUR LIFE. We discussed, THIS VERY MOMENT, being the time to live your dreams. In other words, channel your excellence. I took a picture of the words and recognized confirmation that the message needs to be shared. 
 

The choice is ours to honor our ability to live a life that allows peace, prosperity and wellness. I know this is true. Channeling excellence (God, love) is allowing the pure inspirational energy to saturate and fill up both your body, and mind.
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How To Deal With People That Challenge You The Most

Love those that challenge you the most, they are your greatest teachers.

They are simply angels disguised to remind you to love bigger.

Thank them.

And learn the lesson for which you attracted them into your life.

It’s so easy to point the finger in judgment and blame, insisting that they change. But when you do that, you simply disempower yourself and give your power away to them.

No one is worth your happiness and freedom, but it requires taking full responsibility for how you feel.

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"We've Been Waiting for You"

These were former President Obama’s words last week after students across the U.S. walked out of their classes to attend demonstrations protesting guns and violence in this country. The Parkland, Florida, high school shootings on February 14, where 17 students and teachers were killed, was the most recent of over 200 other school shootings in the last six years. It appears to be the “last straw” for young people who have watched the escalation of lethal violence directed at their classmates and teachers.


Emma Gonzalez, senior at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, spoke fiercely and articulately at a gun control rally in Ft. Lauderdale: “The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us….Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this….It’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.” She speaks for countless others across this nation, of all ages, races, nationalities, and backgrounds. And she echoes Oprah Winfrey’s words, in a different context (sexual abuse) but also about the devaluing of human lives by those in power, “Their time is up!” We are reaching critical mass on so many fronts.


I had tears in my eyes when I listened to Oprah’s speech and Emma’s speech, and when I read Obama’s heartfelt reaction to the students taking a stand against the existence of guns and violence in their lives: “We’ve been waiting for you. And we’ve got your backs.” Those of us who have actively spoken out for nonviolence, peace, and the honoring of all human lives (“Black Lives Matter!”) for years see hope for the future in these angry but determined young faces. They are in great pain, but often great change comes from such pain. Pain that cuts through all the lies and gets to the heart of the matter: How do you want to live your one precious life? At war or at peace? In fear or in love?

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3 Ways Our Brain Messes With Us & 3 Powerful Antidotes

Thinking, re-thinking and thinking some more before making a decision. Ruminating over something, whether it was something someone said, didn't say, did or didn't do. Telling stories and not the fairytale kind.


Do any of those sound familiar to you?


I raise my hand.


I can be the queen of rumination. I will chew on something until it's lost all its flavor. Oh, and don't get me started on story-telling. The stories in my head can be some real doozies. I'd like to blame the stories that I tell myself on my creative writing background, but then I'd just be telling another story.


Here's the deal-o…we're human. I know, shocker…bet you didn't see that coming. But we are, and as human beings we're trained, taught, pre-disposed, born, to think. However, when it comes to overthinking, rumination, and story-telling, we weren't born to do those things. I'm pretty sure those are things we learned from our environment and from others. (Not to place blame here by any means.)
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What I’m Giving Up For Lent This Year

On the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, my pastor asked all of us at church to start thinking about Lent. What might we do this Lenten season, and what might we give up, he asked?


His sermon really got me thinking. In the past, I’ve used Lent as an opportunity to give up things that I loved. Things that might sound simple and slightly ridiculous, but that were actually quite hard for me to cut out. It was Swedish fish one year. Popcorn and licorice another. Last year, I gave up chips and guacamole (my all-time favorite).


What I’ve learned from Lent over the years is that stopping something cold does make a difference. It doesn’t matter what you give up. Your relationship with whatever has a hold on you will change, no matter what it is. And so, as I thought about all of this last Sunday, I wondered: what vice do I have right now that has too much of a hold on me? Then, out of the blue, it came to me. The answer is self-doubt.


Yes, I have self-doubt. Yes, I question myself. Yes, I question the decisions that I make — big and small — way more than I care to admit. But, I’ve come to think and to feel that self-doubt is really harmful. It’s cruel, it’s critical and it’s mean. It’s also bad for my health — my physical health, my mental health, and my spiritual health.


And so, I decided right then and there to kick the habit. Then Ash Wednesday came —  the day I was to begin — and the school shooting in Parkland, FL, happened. That led me back to church, trying to make sense of such a senseless tragedy.


I sat there trying to think about whether I should stick with giving up self-doubt for Lent. It just seemed so trivial in the wake of 17 people being killed. Then, I stopped myself cold. No, I was sure. Self-doubt is exactly what I should give up during these confusing and troubling times.


Giving up self-doubt is the right thing for me for many reasons, but it’s especially important now because I don’t want to spend any more of my precious time alive on this earth doubting myself.

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Death, Dying and the Soul’s Transition

Nikola Tesla states: “If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

We are souls/spirit having a human experience.  We are energy.  We are spirit embodied.  When we die, we drop the body … The spirit, the soul continues and lives on.  Energy can never be destroyed. It only changes forms.

“Death in the physical world is rebirth back in heaven” – SDJ

My goal with this blog is to help you consider a different perspective of death.  Not to stop the grief, but perhaps put a different perspective to it. So many people struggle with the death process and with a sense of loss – and understandably so.  This sense of loss can then hold them back from living life fully.  So many people feel guilt, pain, shame and the tragedy of loss … and this can block them from the light and the love of the soul connection.

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The Best of Us

Earlier this week, my brother sent me a link to this commercial for the Winter Olympics that features skier Lindsey Vonn and ends with the tagline “The Best of U.S.”


It’s an inspiring, uplifting and motivating video. And, as usual, it got me thinking. It got me thinking about the best of us, and about all of us.


This was a week when political leaders told us about the state of our union — in other words, the status of “us.” Media pundits argued over whose point of view was valid, who could take credit for what, and whose facts were right.


I watched and listened to it all, and as the week wound down, what stayed with me —what really rose above the noise — were the stories I read or heard about the best of us. The men and women that President Trump singled out in the House gallery, like Preston Sharp, who at just 12 years old has made it his mission to lay flags and carnations on the graves of all veterans. The hard-working Americans from Fall River who gathered to hear my cousin Rep. Joe Kennedy III give the Democratic response. Americans who, as Kennedy said, quietly serve, rescue, help and heal every single day. What stayed with me were these people’s stories. They are the best of “us.”


As I wrote last week, the division of “us” is what really breaks my heart. Especially all of the news that highlights the worst of us. I believe that highlighting the best of us is what this newsletter strives to do on a weekly basis. That’s not naive. It’s a point of view. It’s a perspective.

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