Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Dreams of Joy

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Dreams of Joy
It could be someone
you never had the courage
to love, holding you
in the night.

Or talking all night
with a lifelong friend,
both of you lucid and hungry,
the talk peeling, not adding up,
but peeling into uncontrollable
laughter and the smell
of honey.

It could be swimming
deeper than ever, alongside
iridescent fish, copying
their wriggle for light.
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Opening to the Experience of Causeless Bliss

Opening to the Experience of Causeless Bliss - Dr. Margaret Paul

How often do you feel filled with inner peace, joy, and love – apparently for no reason? There is a reason, but it's not about anything external that's happening. For me, I have this wonderful experience when I am very connected with spirit and in deep surrender to my guidance. This wonderful, blissful energy of love, inner peace, and joy fills my being to overflowing. At these times, I can't stop smiling. Love pours out unendingly, and everything makes me giggle. Things that are not particularly funny to others strike me as hysterical and I laugh until my stomach aches. It is the very best feeling in the world! Sometimes I’m laughing and I have no idea what I am laughing at! I feel so blissful, joyful, and peaceful at these times!

This is causeless love, causeless joy, causeless inner peace – causeless bliss.

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How Joyfulness Can Lengthen Your Life

How Joyfulness Can Lengthen Your Life
By Deepak Chopra, MD and Robin L. Smith MD

No one can avoid the gray malaise that hangs over everyday life right now. The constant flow of 24–7 media thrives on anger, anxiety, and angst in a time of never-ending Covid-19 surges, climate change worries, mass shootings, and Russia’s insane invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, politics churns along in an angry and divisive rut, and the isolating effects of pandemic lockdowns have added to higher rates of depression, domestic violence, and suicide, especially among teenagers. 

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The Importance of Happiness in a Challenging World

The Importance of Happiness in a Challenging World - Dr. Margaret Paul
Do you have any idea how important your happiness and joy are to the healing of our planet?

I love this analogy of how much influence each of us has on the consciousness of our planet:

Imagine a beautiful clear pool of water. Imagine that every time someone is negative, mean, or harmful to themselves or others, a drop of black water is dropped into the clear beautiful pool. With enough people whose energy is dark, it doesn't take too long before that clear pool starts to get darker and murky.

Now imagine that every time someone is kind and caring with themselves and others, and every time someone is joyful, a drop of crystal-clear water is dropped in the pool. With enough happy, kind, and caring people, the water begins to clear. 

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What Are You Afraid to Feel?

margaret10.28
Are you stuck in wounded pain due to avoiding your deeper existential pain of life?

We desire to find the path to peace, joy, and freedom. We strive to feel lovable, worthy, and secure. We know that if we do our Inner Bonding work and open to our connection with Spirit, we will feel all of that. Yet we don't. We put off dialoguing for days or weeks. We stay stuck in our misery or numbness. Why? What are we so afraid of, if we open to learning about loving ourselves?

I searched for many years for the answer to this question. Over and over, I would find myself falling out of grace and joy and into anxiety and stress. Each time it was because I failed to take care of myself in some way.

The problem is that all our feelings live in the same place in the heart. Pain resides in the same place as joy. We cannot numb out our pain without squelching our joy.

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The Power of Joy

Kute10.1

True joy is bringing your attention to the inherent beauty, inherent privilege of what it is to be alive in this moment.


What is joy? Do you feel joy in your life? Joy is one of the most powerful states of being and a true reflection of freedom. I believe that we incarnate into this human existence to learn, to be joyful and not to suffer. Listen to this episode and learn what robs us of our joy in life and the things we can do to feel real, authentic joy in life.

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A Simple Formula for a Joyful Life

happy-family-mother-father-children-son-and-daughter-runing-and-on-picture-id1205460641

I remember the exact place I discovered my FORMULA FOR LIFE.

I was walking across a small wooded field near my house when I stopped and noticed how I felt peaceful and calm but not particularly happy. As I contemplated the feeling, I became grateful for the experience of being peaceful. This expanded into overflowing joy.

From that day, over twenty years ago, this simple formula has been a guiding principle in my life.

PEACE + GRATITUDE = JOY

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How to Define Your True Self-Worth

woman-holding-snowball-picture-id102284322

Do you believe your self-worth is in your looks and performance? If you do, is this working for you and bringing you joy?

Marilyn asked in one of my webinars:

“I’ve noticed there are times I define my worth in a way that seems not good. For example, if I see a picture of myself and I like it, I’ll define myself as cute or thin or something positive like that. If I don’t like the picture, I will define myself as frumpy or unattractive. So, while I’m defining my worth, it seems dependent on how a picture comes out. The picture is just an example. I may do the same thing with how I feel after interacting with someone. If it’s lively, I’ll see myself as social or interesting. If the interaction doesn’t go well, I may see myself as boring or awkward. So, while I’m defining my own worth, it still seems not quite right. Any suggestions for me?”

The problem is that Marilyn is defining her worth externally – by her looks and performance – rather than intrinsically by her enduring soul qualities.

 

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Let’s Talk About JOY

Joy

Spirit has been talking to me about reminding people about their joy. So … let’s talk about JOY.

First off, in whatever time frame you are reading this … Have you at this point today, laughed yet? Laughed. Have you laughed yet today? Have you done something today that has gotten you excited, made you kind of giddy, have a big smile on your face, and feel joyful from the inside out?

How many of you know, feel, recognize, understand that you need more of that? You need more laughter. You need more joy. You need more play. You need more fun … that you desire happiness, light-heartedness, connectedness.

Do you recognize that? Even if you’ve had it, do you invite more joy, more play, more fun into your life?

It is the highest expression of love there is.

I want you to think about the ways we were taught to express love and the way that you experienced joy as a child. You might not have been allowed to have joy. A lot of people didn’t.

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You Can Change The World

You Can Change The World You Can Change The World
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead, 1901-1978, Anthropologist, Writer and Speaker

Do you have any idea how much your caring and kindness change the world each and every moment? Do you understand that your joy, as well as your misery, goes into the energy field that we live in and has an effect on the entire planet?

Energy is not local. Many of us have had the experience of picking up the energy of someone we are very close to, even if they were thousands of miles away. You might have had a sense of the moment when someone you loved died. You might have picked up the phone and called a loved one just as they were thinking about you. We live in a universe of energy, and our thoughts, feelings and actions are a part of this energy.

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Discover the Secrets of Manifestation

child-holding-a-flower-picture-id157582199 Discover the Secrets of Manifestation
We are co-creators with God, so we have the ability to manifest what we want. However, as we all know, this is often easier said than done. We manifest only what we surrender.     ~Martha Beck, 

Certainly it is essential to visualize what we want, along with our excitement about it. Certainly it is essential to take consistent loving action toward manifesting our vision. But then what?

What does Martha Beck’s statement, “We manifest only what we surrender” mean?

To me, it means that, while I need to have goals, if I attach my joy or worth to achieving the goal, I am limiting my ability to manifest. The reason is that when I attach my worth or joy to getting what I want, I am in my wounded self, and the frequency of my wounded self is too low to manifest. I manifest when I let go of attachment and surrender the outcome to spirit, which is NOT something my wounded self wants to do!

My wounded self, by definition, is the part of me that wants control. Since surrender is the opposite of control, the last thing my wounded self wants is to surrender. If I go unconscious and allow my wounded self to be in charge of my intent, I’m actually creating the very powerlessness that my wounded self wants to avoid, and which is certainly not in our highest good during these challenging times.

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A Guided Meditation for Happiness

meditatingmountain A Guided Meditation for Happiness

With all of the anger, strife, and anxiety in the world today, it can be difficult to find the joy in life, but that is where meditation for happiness can help.

With so much suffering and conflict, sometimes it might seem like the world has no joy to offer.

You might ask yourself, “How can we be happy when others have it so bad?”

Other times, we’re so focused on the negative things that are happening in our own lives, the challenges we’re dealing with, and the potential catastrophes that could arise at any moment, that we simply block our capacity to feel joy. 

But joy is what gives your life sweetness and meaning. If you want to fulfill your destiny and become your best version of yourself, it is imperative that you take the time to cultivate your joy.

So today I’d like to share a simple meditation that you can use at any time to create the experience of more joy in your life.

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How To Live a Divinely Inspired Life

How To Live a Divinely Inspired Life How To Live a Divinely Inspired Life

As you begin to seek a life that is creative, passionate, and filled with inspiration, you begin to see Divine inspiration everywhere. And if you let inspiration become your guiding light, your life will become illumined with possibilities. What else is possible? I wholeheartedly believe that one of the best ways to honor the Creator of All is to be creative. It is your divine birthright to live a life of creativity, joy, and to create and be your very best version of yourself.

Here are four strategies to help you live a divinely inspired life.

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Joy on hold: Are you afraid to be happy?

unhappy-schoolgirl-sitting-in-the-park-education-lifestyle-concept-picture-id1008019504 Joy on hold: Are you afraid to be happy?

“He who laughs the loudest, cries the hardest.” Someone said this in high school during lunch as we watched a girl laughing so boisterously that everyone in the cafeteria turned to look. “She’s so going to cry tomorrow,” she declared matter-of-factly. How would she know? I thought to myself. She was only 15, after all, just like me. And yet, somehow, what she said haunted me in the many years to come.

After that, whenever I had extreme moments of happiness, it would be followed by tears of sadness. So, I learned to hold back. I didn’t want to be too happy because the higher the high, the harder the fall. Each time I allowed myself to feel happiness full on, I braced for impact. I expected to be slammed back down to the ground. But does happiness really lead to sorrow or misery? Is it really happiness that is to blame?

Of course, it wasn’t! The B.S. that was put in my head by a random character in high school took hold of me. I gave it life. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s the energy of manifestation in action—if you believe in something strongly enough, it becomes real.

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Mindful Resolutions for a Happier 2019

joyfulactivity Mindful Resolutions for a Happier 2019

Did you glide through 2018 with a big smile on your face?

Was 2018 a year of grace and ease under pressure?

If not, here are some amazing tips for a kinder, gentler 2019.

My friend Julie Potiker, author of  Life Falls Apart, but You Don’t Have To: Mindful Methods for Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos,” offers super useful tips to make sure 2019 is a year of serenity and mindfulness.

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Making the Most of Right Here, Right Now

girl-in-a-lavender-field-picture-id466512185 Making the Most of Right Here, Right Now

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” – Thomas Edison
This week, I’ve been thinking about how many of us spend our present lives stuck in the future.

“When I make this much money, I’ll finally do x, y or z…”

“I’ll travel one day…”

“When my kids are older, that’s when I’ll really get to living…”

“I’ll vote in the next presidential election, but I won’t this November because it’s not as important…”

The list goes on and on.

Needless to say, I’ve certainly done a lot of that kind of projecting in my own life. But I was reminded this past week that our present is all we have.


We have today. That’s it. We don’t get to decide about tomorrow. So the question we should all be asking ourselves is, “What am I doing today with the time I have, right here, right now?”

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What You Practice Grows Stronger: Choosing Joy to De-Condition Our Negativity Bias

What You Practice Grows Stronger: Choosing Joy to De-Condition Our Negativity Bias What You Practice Grows Stronger: Choosing Joy to De-Condition Our Negativity Bias

Some years back, I was talking with a woman in our community. She was a breast cancer survivor and she told me about a conversation that she had with a friend who also was a survivor. Her friend asked her, “What would it feel like for you to think that something good might happen, rather than something bad?” Her response was, “Totally weird and uncomfortable. “Good,” her friend said. “Try it now.”

 

From an evolutionary perspective, it really makes sense that we feel uncomfortable when we envision positive things coming our way. Our brains are designed to scan for trouble and fixate on what might go wrong in any given situation. This is described as the negativity bias and it one of our hard wired survival strategies. Of course, it is a very good strategy for avoiding real danger. But, in the absence of a true threat, it limits our capacity for enjoying, and celebrating our moments. We have such a short time on planet earth. When the negativity bias rules, we get very loyal to our anxiety, mistrust and vigilance. We cannot inhabit the fullness of our lives.

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3 Essential Steps to Greater Happiness

3 Essential Steps to Greater Happiness 3 Essential Steps to Greater Happiness

I WANT.”

Five simple letters. Two words. Yet, there are probably no other two words in the English language that cause such powerful suffering.

The pull of wanting is immensely strong. Like an emotional black hole, it can drag you away from the light of grace and into the darkness of need. You become detached from the present moment. Instead of experiencing the joy, meaning, and peace that is your natural state, you endlessly orbit the bottomless pit of want, a thrall to an emptiness that can never be filled.


In short, these two tiny words equal pain and frustration. Let me show you how:

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A Joy to Behold

A Joy to Behold... A Joy to Behold...
...life is meant to be a happy ride, if yours is fraught with anxiety, here are some ways to change lanes



Writing on stress relieving techniques has become a habit with me. Helping people to change their focus from what’s stressing them to what’s actually benefitting them by changing their thought pattern and coessentially their mood has a huge impact on their level of well being.

 

When your mood is good you naturally tend to see better opportunities and take advantage of them in creating a stress-free life for yourself.

 

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Welcome Joy.

joy Welcome Joy.

Joy lifts the heart and nourishes inner peace.

What’s the spark and what’s the fuel?

The Practice:
Welcome joy.

Why?

Positive emotions—such as feelings of gratitude, love, and confidence—strengthen the immune system, protect the heart against loss and trauma, build relationships, increase resilience, and promote success. Based on studies that have already been done, if a drug company could patent a happiness pill, we’d be seeing ads for it every night on TV.

Technically, emotions can be organized along two dimensions: intensity (how strong they are) and hedonic valence (how good they feel). Tranquility, for example, has low intensity but can feel really really good, a profound inner peace.

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