Living the Magic of Presence

Living the Magic of Presence - John Holland

The beauty and magic of England have always filled my soul, so when I had the opportunity to lead a group of 30 like-minded friends last month on a 10-day tour of the many spiritual sites there, I jumped at the chance. The trip was postponed for almost three years due to world events and travel restrictions, but the time was finally right and I was on my way.

It had been more than 25 years ago when synchronistic events brought me to England for the first time to study psychic sciences and mediumship. I never really set out to be a professional medium, I was just following the promptings of my Soul. There was something inside me back then that needed to come forward, and traveling to this magical country helped me to get better acquainted with my Soul and my Soul Purpose.

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Best Spiritual Plant Gifts for Happiness and Peace

Best Spiritual Plant Gifts for Happiness and Peace

Spirituality is a great way to grow as a person and become more in tune with your highest self. Therefore, faith, mindfulness and a peaceful lifestyle are generally the best ways to achieve inner peace and happiness in your day-to-day life. However, nature plays an enormous role here. This is why indoor plants can be so beneficial to your mental health. So if you’re like that, or you have someone special who is into spirituality, here are the best plant gifts that will make them happy.

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Powered And Fueled By Love

Powered And Fueled By Love - Panache Desai

What you are is the love we all need. Love is the truth of who you are. 

Life is a question of attention. When we finally allow ourselves to be who we are, we are able to accept the blessing of our life . . . the beauty that is our life. 

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Inside the Rainbow—Book Excerpt*

Inside the Rainbow—Book Excerpt* by Peggy Kornegger

There are at least 7.8 billion ways of seeing a rainbow, each one perfect and true. A scientist sees refraction of light. A poet sees transcendent beauty. A child sees magic. A spiritual seeker sees the gateway to heaven. Someone who has suffered great loss—a loved one, a home, a job—may see a sign of hope in the midst of their pain. What if our individual experiences of the world, of Nature, are how we discover meaning in life, how we connect with our souls and find God, or Spirit? What if spiritual connection is not about struggling to understand mysteries but instead just opening our eyes to the extraordinary beauty before us? Step inside the rainbow itself, and a world of vibrant color and divine light opens up all around you.

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The World Is a Garden

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For many years I had a garden filled with a variety of flowers in our yard in Massachusetts. After we moved to Florida, I created a smaller “garden” of potted flowers on our lanai. Now, back home in the Boston area, the backyard we share with our downstairs neighbors really has no room for a garden like my previous one. Instead, I have begun taking long walks through the neighborhoods of our town to delight in other people’s gardens. I have found this to be an unexpected gift of my return to New England. I loved having my own garden, but now I am enjoying the entire town’s gardens, as well as those at nearby Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Suddenly, the whole world has become a garden—or I am realizing it always was.

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How To Deal with the Feelings of Loneliness

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We have all felt moments of loneliness in life.

That sense of feeling disconnected to yourself, those around you and nature. It’s painful to feel that you are the only one going through your experience, or that no one understands your pain.

The truth is that you are not alone. There are millions of people around the world going through what you are and feeling similar emotions this very second. There are billions of people in the past that have as well.

We may seem different on the surface in terms of religion, skin color, political beliefs, but at our core we all share the same humanity, the same desires, the same fear, concerns and pain.

We all want to love and be loved.

When stuck in the feeling of loneliness, take a look and see if you are obsessing about yourself. This creates a sense of feeling disconnected from all those around you.

The loneliness may also be a signal about certain things in your life that aren’t working which you need to pay attention to and change.

What is it that you might need to change?

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Small Things With Great Love

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Mother Teresa said, “We cannot do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” In my experience, the smallest things require the greatest love. The smallest things we do are the intimate and personal choices we make each moment before we act. These choices are always between the intention of love and the intention of fear – between gratitude, caring, and patience, among others, and anger, jealousy, righteousness, among others.

These choices appear to us as as the smallest of small things, as interior experiences that we alone can enter and alter. Yet with our choices of love or fear we create the consequences of our lives and the contributions we make to the world. These choices are the origins of all things, great and small, they alone animate the one who chooses. You are the one who chooses.

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The Birds!

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“This kind of spring day, with the beautiful myriads of colorful sprites just arrived from tropical shores, has to be one of the greatest gifts on Earth.”—Kenn Kaufman

Inevitably, people ask me why I moved from Florida back to Massachusetts after only two and a half years. I answer a little differently each time, usually something about missing friends/family and the change of seasons. However, as spring begins to flower in New England, there is one answer that rises to the top: the birds! Meaning the spring bird migration that brings thousands of birds from Central and South America northward through Massachusetts. And right down the street from me to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, which is heaven on Earth for birdwatchers from April to June, especially the first three weeks in May. With the exception of the last two years, this is where I could be found early in the morning to mid-afternoon on most spring days over the past 30 years.

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Poignancy and Gratitude

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When you are in your teens and 20s, life seems to extend into the future like an endless expanse of potential experiences. You can’t imagine not having the opportunity to visit places you love again or see friends and family regularly. As you grow older and encounter both loss and change, life takes on a quality of uncertainty, sweetness tinged with sorrow. A favorite uncle or a parent dies, friends move away, you yourself may move multiple times. The tapestry of life is always shifting, and we too shift with the changes. At a certain point, you may realize that the years ahead are possibly fewer than those behind. It may awaken a deep sense of appreciation for every moment you are given. This is how our lives teach us gratitude. Yet now, at this time on the planet, that lesson is coming up in unexpected ways.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Allegro 28

anewyear
I happened into the cathedral downtown
and heard serious, ancient song in Latin
or Greek. Wonderfully, the words had no
meaning but the weight the voices carried,
the search their eyes revealed.

I was happy to receive no message
so beautifully.

It made me want to whittle new myths
for our children’s children
to lose their way by.

Finding is never as urgent
as needing to look.
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Shine forth in glory on the planet

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As we step into the New Year with an essential sense of enthusiasm,  we skeptically look behind us at the year gone by.  Even though there are apprehensions galore at how things went by, yet undeniably a new wave of excitement does seem to run through our veins. 

The uplifting sense of warmth and cheer despite the wintry chill of January keeps us smiling with inherent peeps of joy from within us.  

Celebration all over the globe, this year, has had a different meaning. The usual parties and hugs between friends, to celebrate the new level of awakening within us, has had a change in its manner. The year gone by has left us with a fresh perspective on life and it's meaning.  

So many questions to life's mysteries, so many answers of various kinds. 

As always, the onset of the New Year gives us a time for reflection. And this year we can all say in unison from all over the globe that the New Year has dawned with a whole new level of hopes and aspirations. Being positive is now considered a "way of life" not to be ignored. 
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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Finding It

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How will you ever find peace

unless you yield to love?

Rabia


If you put down what you carry

in case of emergency, you will make

space for what can really help. For

clutching onto failure or success

will only make you sink.

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Farewell to Florida

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As our last weeks in Florida go by, I find myself looking with fresh eyes at the natural world right outside our door, just like I did when we first arrived here. When you know you are moving (and who knows when you will return), everything takes on a special light, a different vibration. Habit falls away and you see every detail with delight and appreciation. A group of ten white ibises with long curved orange beaks walks slowly past our lanai. A palm warbler on the window ledge looks around curiously, bobbing its tail. A giant swallowtail butterfly, the largest in the U.S., serenely floats by and lands on a bush next to the trail where I am walking. A zebra longwing butterfly flutters in the air nearby. So many amazing creatures so close and clearly visible. None of them native to Massachusetts. These are once-in-a-lifetime moments, I say to myself; savor them.

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Colette's Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday-gift Colette’s Spiritual Self-Care Gift Guide

First off, can we just say that if there’s ever been a holiday season when we all deserve to treat ourselves and each other… it’s 2020! 

As I’ve been looking for gifts to treat my friends, family, and — okay, I admit it — myself, I’ve been naturally pulled towards those that help us create a cocoon of self-care and nurturing (doesn’t that sound amazing?!).

So pull up a squishy chair, tuck your pajama-clad legs underneath you, grab a mug of something warm, and let’s do some self-care gift shopping! 

Colette’s Spiritual Self-Care Gift Guide

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Beauty Needs No Explanation 

beauty_will Beauty Needs No Explanation

Beauty
Doesn’t need
An explanation

It is unnecessary
To describe
What is plainly seen

Beauty requires
No proof
Or evaluation

Judging what is genuine
As good or bad
Right or wrong
More or less
Is wasted attention

One’s attention
Could be on
The Beauty
Instead

Beauty does not need
To be interpreted to be validated

Beauty
Doesn’t explain
It just is what it is

Everything in creation is beautiful.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection - INTERIOR PSALM

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection - INTERIOR PSALM Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection - INTERIOR PSALM
The wind, skirting the dock, lifts a

veil and I feel a sudden relief. I watch

the endless variations of wave and think,

what will be will be. I have arrived beyond

yes and no. Now the loss of what is familiar

and the fear of what might come are torn.

Now my deeper eyes appear with nothing

between them and the world. The wind

buffs my soul and I slip beneath my name.

A lone duck lands, its bottomless eye con-

veying some message beyond words. I call

the duck closer by the mere authenticity

of my being. Now the duck glides toward

me, swimming imperceptibly, its efforts

below unseen on the surface. As it nears,

I admit that I am as alone as that bird,

gliding on a vast and changing sea,

yet at one with the Universe.
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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Singing in the Face of Days

david-boca-kB8p2u--xx4-unsplash Singing in the Face of Days

dhikr in Islam, japam in Sanskrit, witness in English:  the repetition of a name or face of God.


In the air that lets a leaf fall slowly.

In the mud that swallows every blade.

In the bridge that creaks but will not break.

In the fence that fails.

In the secret maps that lead us nowhere.

In the questions that sprout from our mistakes.

In the suffering that makes us give more.

In those slain for no reason.

In those spared for no reason who keep naming the slain.

In how the mind stops spinning its web in light.

In how truth like rain makes tender hearts swell.

In how arms spread like wings when dropping all they carry.

In how petting the dog keeps us from leaving.

In the smoothing of a stone by a thousand waves.

In the smoothing of our ego by the slap of time.

In the drops of blood covered by snow.

In the stories of kindness finally praised.

In how we keep dying without dying.

In how we keep losing without losing.

In how we live in spite of everything. Like

hungry fish parting the water of our days.

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Now That You’re Gone

david-hofmann-XmD4gx8jsXE-unsplash Now That You’re Gone

In my sixty-eighth year, I saw a dancer, middle-aged, outside a café. I was at a conference in California and she was hired to dance at lunch time in the open. I sipped my coffee and watched her for a while. Most of us were busy going to what was next. Something in how she leapt and landed softened me. For she was so thoroughly herself that there was nowhere to go. And I realized that all of us were there to find what she had found.

It’s been a week since I flew home. And I’m up early, having dreamt of the dancer being herself. And before the sun comes up, I realize Mom, now that you’re gone, that this was all you ever wanted—to find a spot in the sun where you could leap out from under the turmoil of your life and be thoroughly yourself.

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Wabi Sabi Quarantine

full-moon-and-cornflower-picture-id951247010 Wabi Sabi Quarantine

Wabi Sabi is the ancient Japanese aesthetic of seeking to discover beauty and perfection in imperfection. It seeks to find the beauty in things that are old, worn, imperfect or impermanent.

When we are in a situation beyond our control, and are finding ourselves highly annoyed or frustrated with someone’s behavior, that is the time to practice Wabi Sabi Love: this is about having a shift in perception and making up a new and empowering story about whatever you are perceiving as broken, wrong, or just not right.

For those of us that are stressed out, frustrated or are experiencing extreme cabin fever from the quarantine, finding the beauty and perfection in the imperfection can be a challenge.

I could make a long list of all the things I don’t like about being quarantined, but now that we are in week seven, I think for me, the good things are beginning to outweigh the bad.

By digging deep into my spiritual toolkit I have been practicing things I’ve often talked about but never really had to deal with….like turning fear into love and transforming judgement into compassion. The latter being the most difficult.

As I have watched many people filling social media with wild conspiracy theories, I find myself pinging back and forth between outrage and wanting to fix them.

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Finding Beauty and Inspiration in Devastation

Npaligirls Finding Beauty and Inspiration in Devastation

There is no denying where we are right now.

The shit has hit the fan.

Or, you more evolved types might say “the shift has hit the fan.”

In this moment in time, where no one knows when the pandemic will end, and how and when the economy will recover, I am navigating my rollercoaster of emotions that range from sheer terror to excitement and possibility.

One of my favorite thought leaders and scientists is Bruce Lipton. He is a Stanford stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief, and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, and below is a short explanation of “imaginal cells” that he wrote many years ago that is timely today. I think you will find fascinating and uplifting:

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