In the spirit of gratitude, let’s talk about what joy brings to our individual lives. So joy huh… Fun fact…did you know that joy can be both a noun and a verb? Which means it is both a tangible thing and an action. Think about that for a minute. It is something you can have and be! Joy is defined as a source of cause of delight. Or to experience great pleasure of delight. Ask yourself, how do I experience joy? For me, one of the things that bring me joy is the laughter of children. I am the great aunt to 12 amazing little souls. And when I hear them laugh, it feels like my heart sings in union and it makes me smile and giggle. Have you ever heard someone laugh and the joy in their laughter makes you all ooey-gooey good. When was the last time you experienced that feeling?
What if I told you that that is your natural state of being and you living your best life in all the authentic bliss is your birthright and is how you are designed to live? Do you believe that?
We often think because we have experienced heartbreak, loss, or even bouts of depression or loneliness that we aren’t entitled to the joy that is naturally ours. Joy is your birthright! It is the natural essence of who you are.
EVERYTHING IS A GIFT. Simply breathe and know it is true. Allow every breath to be filled with appreciation for life. What more do you need? Everything in life is enough.
We only need to appreciate what we HAVE. There is no reason to wonder why we have it. You donot need to decide what is worthy of gratitude. Everything is worthy of gratitude. We are not made happy because of anything, we are made grateful by everything.
We only need to appreciate what we have, to have enough. When you know all you have, you can’t stop yourself from being grateful. Let every breath say, Thank You! for everything!
If you sometimes get stuck in your wounded self and can’t see how to get back into your loving adult, here are some ideas that may help you.
Sometimes, when we get stuck in ourwounded self, it is hard to wind our way out of it. I’ve noticed what I do when I’m happy and my frequency is high, as opposed to when my frequency feels low.
It is helpful to me to keep a list of ways I’ve learned move myself from closed to open.
Here are some of the ways I’ve found work for me…
The subtlety of these choices is that I need to be consciously doing these things because it is loving for me to do them, rather than as a form of control. It’s possible for your wounded self to choose these same behaviors as a way to avoid responsibility for your feelings and avoid learning from your pain. When that is the intent, then these choices will not raise your frequency, which means you will not move out of your wounded self. So please be honest with yourself!
I don’t believe luck randomly offers people a place in our life.There is a deeper connection involved when a moment, lesson or even message needs to be shared.There is a supreme force of power, love and light that brings us together.We join this energy of infinite possibilities on a journey that brings light and love to the surface.
This morning, after hiking I created an office space outside.The sun had warmed the Earth a perfect temperature.The birds were singing and some of my favorite music was playing.It was one of those moments that reminded me of how perfect life can be.My intent was to catch up on emails and begin my blog.My heart was wide open.
I was thinking about yesterday, an artist confided in me how her art reveals secrets of what is going on in her life.Each peace shares a connection to what her heart is experiencing at the time of creation.In the past decade she experienced a divorce, followed by a diagnosis of a serious health threat.She also had children to raise. It was this powerful need for strength and purpose that brought healing and passion into her art. Finally she is ready to release some of the pieces created in her darkest time.They have served their purpose.The healing is complete.She is now painting over the original art, and sharing a different story for people to connect with.
I was raised with cows, horses, goats, dogs and a couple other species of animals.These creatures and our very large garden, taught me at a young age, about the time and energy involved in animal and garden care.I love plants, but choose to not commit the time to growing them.For many years that’s how I viewed animals.I love animals. I even eat a plant based diet because of my spiritual beliefs that acknowledges the sanctity of animals.Still I didn’t have the time needed to properly care for an animal.
When my children were no longer babies I finally decided I had the energy and resources required to care for a family dog.This is after years of our oldest child asking for a puppy.
My husband was shocked when my stance of no, no, never..changed to, “ lets get a poodle.”
That is how Ringo came into our lives.We bought him from someone out of state.She claimed her poodles had service dog dispositions.Ringo was born in December and he came to us in April.We picked him up at the airport in the evening.When we opened the crate he was all legs.He looked more like a young horse then a dog.He quickly became part of our life.For the first few years our oldest was the person that slept with and helped care for him.
Liking feels good, plus it encourages us to approach andengage the worldrather than withdraw from it.
Your brain continually tracks whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. In essence, is it a carrot, a stick, or safely ignored? Naturally, we like – we enjoy – what’s pleasant, dislike what’s unpleasant, and wish what’s neutral would get pleasant pronto.
Natural opioids – pleasure molecules – are released when you see things you like; on the other hand, disliking things can activate the neural networks of pain. Liking things feels good, so we approach them; disliking things feels bad, so we avoid them.
We are hardwired to like some things, like the sweetness of sugar, and dislike other things, like shivering from cold. But most situations are in the middle and formed of many parts. Consequently, our response to them – liking or disliking – depends a lot onwhat we pay attention toand on our own perspective.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about the concept of entitlement -- that feeling so many of us have that we are owed something, that we have rights or deserve something to be the way we think it should be. Think of the times you have thought or had someone say to you:
“I deserve to be treated a certain way, given certain things, or taken care of in a particular manner, because I am your child, parent, or friend.”
“You owe me because I was there for you.”
“The Universe should reward or repay me because I am a ‘good person.’”
"The moment a woman comes home to herself, the moment she knows that she has become a person of influence... who is respected and recognized, the resurrection of the world begins." — Joan Chittister
I've Been Thinking...
The other day, my daughter Christina watched the documentary“RBG”about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and said she couldn’t believe how much this one woman has done in her lifetime on behalf of other women. She said it got her thinking about all the other women who have done so much, yet whose stories we know so little about.
“It’s crazy that so many women my age don’t know about all of the barriers they’ve broken for us,” Christina said. “We don’t know enough about what these women have accomplished, or about what they’re still doing to instigate change.”
Amen, I thought. Amen to acknowledging all that has been done before us, and all that’s still being done. Amen to taking a moment to acknowledge all the women whose shoulders we stand on.
Christina’s words came to mind this Tuesday when I learned that veteran journalist Cokie Roberts had passed away due to breast cancer complications. I gasped when I heard the news.
Like me, Cokie was a child of politics who found her calling in journalism. When I was starting out, Cokie, Barbara Walters, Linda Ellerbee, and Nancy Dickerson were among the women who were out there working hard so that women like myself could succeed.
To simplify and summarize, our brain has three primary motivational systems – Avoiding harms, Approaching rewards, and Attaching to “us” – that draw on many neural networks to accomplish their goals.
Lately, I’ve started to realize that a fourth fundamental human motivational system could be emerging as well.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors depended upon their habitats for food and shelter. Today, over 7 billion of us are pressing hard up against the limits of Lifeboat Earth. To survive and to flourish, cultural and perhaps biological evolution are calling us to love the world.
The world is near to hand in the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the weather and climate in which you spend your days. And then in widening circles, the world extends out to include complex webs of life and the physical characteristics of the land, the sea, and the sky.
Have you ever had a gut feeling, decided not to listen to it, and then later regretted that decision?
This has been the case for so many people. In the last 30 years of my work, talking with tens of thousands of individuals, nearly all have said they regretted ignoring their gut feelings. In fact, never in all those years have I heard someone say, “I had this gut feeling, this inner voice, and I went with it, and boy do I regret it.”
It’s time to do the math. When we regret ignoring that small, inner voice 100% of the time, we should learn that trusting it is the obvious way to go.
We know we should listen to that gut feeling, and yet we override that small voice all the time because we doubt it; we think we’re not enough; we think we couldn’t possibly know more than the authorities or those who have come before us and so on. What we must understand is that we are built of creativity and are destined to come up withnewanswers and solutions – to bring new ideas that work and to be innovative – and oftentimes those ideas start with that small, inner feeling in our gut.
“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” – Deepak Chopra
How are you? I hope that you were able to take some time away this summer to rest, reflect, and recharge.
My August break abruptly began with a death in my family. It was sudden and heartbreaking, and it stopped everyone and everything in its tracks.
As I flew back to LA after the funeral that was held for my cousin’s 22-year-old-daughter, I thought a lot about the fragility of life. I thought about the suddenness of death, and how it upends us in different ways.
When I got home, I looked at my calendar and, for the first time all year, it was clear. I breathed into the emptiness and didn’t allow it to make me feel empty, invisible, or irrelevant.
Before my August break, people asked me, “Maria, aren’t you worried about losing your momentum on social media, with your Sunday Paper, and with NBC?”
“Yes and no,” I replied. “I’m sure I’ll lose some momentum, but I’m certain that what I’ll gain in return will be more meaningful and more profound.”
Sitting on the couch, I felt it coming. It was late at night and the world was fast asleep. It was slowly making its way to me and I started to feel terrified. “What do I do now?” I asked, addressing no one in particular. And then, it begins: “I can’t do this. I don’t have what it takes!” I was starting to feel overwhelmed and if I didn’t get hold of it, it would lead me down a deep hole the way Alice did when she followed the rabbit.
This is just one version of a very real, very human process of going downhill emotionally. I’ve been through many different types of it countless of times before and I doubt it will ever stop happening. The difference is, this time around, I got it under control. I got myself out of it fast—through gratitude.
Our minds have an annoying habit of continually warning us to watch out, be careful, stand back, or say no to any new situation. Perhaps left over from prehistoric times when humans often encountered oversized predatory beasts outside the safety of their caves. Not so helpful today though. Certainly there are things to be concerned or cautious about, but not every choice we make is fraught with danger. Over-cautiousness keeps us frozen in fear and inertia.
A high frequency is necessary to feel love and joy, and to manifest your dreams. Learn two secrets to keeping your frequency high.
I have discovered that there are two choices I can make that, together, invariably put me into a high frequency and bring me inner peace and joy. While either of these choices are always beneficial, together they are incredibly powerful!
We all know how important gratitude is, but the problem is that often we express our gratitude in a fairly rote manner. The kind of gratitude I’m referring to is moment-by-moment gratitude for every big and little thing, and the overriding gratitude that we are never alone – that spirit is always here for us.
There are simply endless opportunities that we have daily to help others. It feels good to us to help, and it feels great to the recipient, too! Scientific studies have shown that giving of our time, energy, or money greatly helps boost all of those feel-good chemicals our brains just love.
Here are seven real benefits – backed by science – of how contributing to the lives of other people can help us find peace.
A Longer Life – If you want to enjoy a long, healthy life, start volunteering! Find out what kinds of things you can volunteer for at your childrens’ school, make scarves for the homeless, or help deliver food to those who are home-bound. Studies show that the people who contribute in these ways will actually lengthen their lives due to an increased ability to handle stress, a reduction in depression, and an increased immune system strength. The caveat is that you can’t just do it once – it needs to become a consistent part of your life in order to reap the health benefits.
The overarching theme coming this week, and the energy in the weekly reading, revolves around the art of changing perspective while being compassionate with ourselves and allowing for the space we need to look at our limiting beliefs. In a time of transformation – global and personal it’s so important not to fall prey to the “omg there is so much more healing to do!” voice, and take account of how far you have actually come. If you’ve been even slightly awake and on track with your quest for a more practical spiritual life, you will have learned a lot along the way. Now is not the time to get stuck in the mire of more work to do. It’s not about effort anyway.
It’s about perception and perspective.
I am always incredibly grateful that my mission is being a small part of the Big Shift and offering people a way to gain inspired insight so that we can all learn to see ourselves in a new light.
Some days can be tough. During the times that are most trying, it’s difficult to let go of worry, anxiety, frustration and sadness. To a certain extent, we train ourselves to keep our feelings of upset flowing. We replay endless loops of negative thoughts that keep us anchored to our problems. I know how difficult it is to look on the bright side, especially if you’re in debt or have other financial fears.
But that’s exactly when you need to keep yourself open yourself to humor and gratitude. Allowing in more positive feelings can shift your outlook and help you to make decisions in alignment with where you want to go, instead of staying stuck where you are.
When you meditate do you know that if you focus on gratitude everything in your life changes for the better? Today, my brain was on the fried and crunchy side. I was feeling a lot of resistance to a situation that is turning out to be different than I wanted and so was feeling frustrated. To top it off I left my blog to the last minute. I’m not always “on” when it’s time to write a blog and so I needed help and fast. I know this works 1000% so I meditated, tuned into Spirit, held my heart for 10 minutes, and allowed gratitude to permeate my whole body, breathing deeply. Then I knew I should choose an Oracle Card from my Oracle Card deck “Wisdom of the Oracle” for a message. I would write about it if it felt right.
Every time you approach an Oracle for wisdom and guidance you automatically tune into synchronicity and the flow of what’s most needed to be in coherence with Spirit, and in alignment with the highest good. So I prayed for what I needed to write in this blog and asked for a subject to focus on for “the highest good” for everyone who reads this, then I shuffled and chose a card.
You know, even though I was called to bring this Oracle Card deck to life even I forget sometimes how uncanny it is when you ask the question, “What overarching message do we need to know to live our best lives now?” And then get a powerful answer.
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