It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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How to Stay Calm in Stressful Situations

Back in the late 1800s, there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day, his son left a gate open and his three horses ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. 

“Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horses returned, bringing with them 40 other wild horses. “How wonderful!” the neighbors exclaimed. 

“Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” said the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “This is terrible news,” they said.

“Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the farmer’s son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated for his good luck. “Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t,” said the farmer.

The moral of this story is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate — only time will reveal what a situation will bring into your life.

When life throws you a curve ball, whether it appears to be “good” or “bad”, the wiser move is to stay as calm as possible. To help you do this, here are three simple tips for you to follow whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation.

How to Stay Calm in the Presence of Stress and Chaos

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10 Ways to Connect Deeply Despite Distance

Social distancing and travel restrictions over the past year have left many people feeling isolated and lonely. One recent survey found 67% of Americans have felt more alone than ever before since the pandemic began.

People have also been coping with increased stress, sadness, worry, and uncertainty. They’ve lost loved ones and jobs to COVID-19, struggled to care for children forced to study from home, and lived in a constant state of vigilance trying to keep themselves and their families well. Almost 4 in 10 Americans say worry and stress in the pandemic has harmed their mental health.

We all hope the pandemic will be over soon, bringing an easing of restrictions and a return to a more normal life. Yet for many people, it may be some time before they’re able to connect with loved ones in the same way they did before.

Fortunately, there are many ways to connect deeply with the people we care about and stay in touch until the time when we can see them in person again. Here are some ideas to try that can help you feel connected and in touch with those you love:

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5 Ways to Ease Stress with Mindfulness

Each April, we acknowledge Stress Awareness Month as an opportunity to reflect on the stress we experience, and the tools we can use to ease it from our lives. One of the simplest, most effective, and most accessible stress reducers at our disposal is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is present moment awareness, without judgment. You might notice sadness, anger, or grief arising, and mindfulness allows you a little distance to feel the feelings. Then, you may choose to focus your attention somewhere else in order to ground yourself in a more wholesome state so that you feel less suffering and more ease. You can direct this mindful awareness toward anything! The key is that you are choosing what to focus your mind on, rather than allowing unbridled thoughts and emotions to take over and dominate your attention.

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Too Blessed to be Stressed?

Did you know that if you spell stressed backwards the word is dessert? Do you remember when you were a child all that mattered was the fun parts and all the chores and grown up stuff could be saved to last? As a matter of fact we had such a look of dread written all over our faces when we were asked to come in from playing with our friends or we had to wait before we could play. So how did we get to be so important that we do not create the time to still play in our lives. Is the issue that we are more important? What if I told you I believe the issue is we have become non-important. We are so unimportant to ourselves that we have made everything and everyone more significant than we are and we have forgotten the value and necessity of desserts. Often in our society today, too many people are doing things and staying busy without fulfillment and joy. Too many people are on automatic pilot without consciously choosing to participate with decisions which are necessary in order to have a life in which in college we would have written home about. We have forgotten that we are here to enjoy our journey and savor each and every day.

We all know the mantra there is good stress and bad stress and what a brilliant way of making another reason as to why we have forgotten to enjoy our lives. Regardless of whether it is good stress or bad stress…it’s still stress and it accelerates the head chatter, the bad eating habits, the lack of sleep and all the other elements which go with stress. We can intellectualize stress and explain what type it is yet our body still feels it and doesn’t understand why we are so out of balance with it. 

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Leave the Red Zone

Are you stressed or upset?

The Practice:
Leave the Red Zone.

Why?

There I was recently, my mind darting in different directions about projects in process, frazzled about little tasks backing up, uneasy about a tax record from 2010 we couldn’t find, feeling irritated about being irritable, hurrying to get to work, body keyed up, internal sense of pressure. Not freaked out, not running from an attacker, not suffering a grievous loss, my own troubles tiny in comparison to those of so many others – but still, the needle on my personal stress-o-meter was pegged in the Red Zone.

Then that quiet background knowing in all of us nudged me to cool down, dial back, de-frazzle, take a breath, exhale slowly, repeat, start getting a sense of center, exhale again, slow the thoughts down, pick one thought of alrightness or goodness and stay with it, exhaling worry about the future, coming into this moment, just sensations, calming, mind getting clearer, focusing on what I’ll do this day and knowing that’s all I can do, the body sense of settling down yet again sinking in to make it one bit easier to settle down the next time. Leaving the Red Zone, not all the way to Green, more like Yellow, but no longer even Orange. Whew.

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Step Into The Cloud

Juggling bricks?

The Practice:
Step into the cloud.

Why?

I had a lightbulb moment recently: I was feeling stressed about all the stuff I had to do (you probably know the feeling). After this went on for a while, I stepped back and kind of watched my mind, and could see that I was thinking of these various tasks as things, like big rocks that were rolling down a hill toward me and which needed to be handled, lifted, moved, fended off, or broken into pebbles. As soon as I dealt with one thing-y boulder, another one was rolling toward me. Shades of Sisyphus.

Seen as brick-like entities, no wonder these tasks felt heavy, oppressive, burdensome. Yuch!

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Allow your stress to recede and happiness take over.

As we are galloping into the new year, with newer apprehensions this time, we are also motivated by newer desires and newer goals to achieve. 
 
This period of the Pandemic has been a very trying  and challenging time for most people. For the majority of us, it has been a time of deep introspection and coming to conclusions about life, goals, challenges, and achievements. It was as though time had stopped. That seemed this way because there was a forced sense of staying at home, spending more time with the family, and coming to terms with a lot of unreal realities. 

MENTAL HOUSE CLEANING
On these days of Staying at home, there was time for everyone to look within and be objective about their ownselves. Filtering the why's and wherefore's was quite a scenario.  
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Imagine your personal fulfillment and live in your blissful reality

Happiness, Joy, and Peace could be used as a measure of success, and to be truly happy means you are stress-free. The eternal experience of these qualities is the everlasting feeling of success. These are intangible qualities, and they come from the depths of one's being.

We all have deep-seated inherent desires within us. Sometimes we ponder over these to get to the exact point of our desires. The intelligent human being knows and understands how he can harness the powers of his own mind to create the life he desires.

BELIEVE TO ACHIEVE
You need to realize and feel that there is a way with which you can achieve your desires and then go for it. Infinite intelligence within your subconscious knows and believes. It is the acceptance of your conscious mind that will respond in totality to your beliefs.

BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE
The path to joy is easy, only if we decide to take it at face value. Things don't happen your way many times due to your own inherent lack of faith. Build your confidence by believing in yourself and your ideas.
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Are You Ready to Stop Being Overwhelmed?

As many of you know, my passion is to bring all tools and resources you need to help you awaken your wealth. I’ve put together a toolbox, I go live regularly on my Facebook, and I’m continually referring to other experts and resources for you to truly awaken every aspect of your wealth. Because real wealth is about more than just money.

It’s so important to understand that money can only be the result of everything else happening in your life. Right now, many of us are going through a season of overwhelm, which is why I think it’s hugely important to share that my dear friend, Christine Arylo, has just come out with her new book: Overwhelmed & Over It. 

So get ready to get over your overwhelm because it’s time for us to finally start living from our heart’s space.

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The Key To Good Sleep – And Great Dreams!

I’ve yet to find the person who would argue that getting enough quality sleep is a goal in their lives. We know it contributes to better health, lower stress, and even an easier time maintaining a healthy weight. 

Even more, deep sleep offers a time for your mind to access a whole new world when your rational brain and ego are turned off. In this sacred space, there are no limits. You can fly, you can connect with loved ones who have passed over, you can be anyone and do anything. 

Field of Dreams: Your Intuition Speaks

Your intuition can more easily send you messages during this time. The symbols and messages in our dreams can provide intuitive insight, directing us on our path and helping us connect with our higher knowledge, heal old wounds, work through problems, and even give insight into the future. More on that in a minute… but first, let’s talk about how TIRED we all are!

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Spiritual Self-Care Tips For A Stress-free Holiday

The beautiful contradiction of the holiday season is this: We have an internal longing for peace, reflection, and harmony… yet our calendar (and our families!) often can send us in the opposite direction! As a result, holiday anxiety is a real thing this time of year. 

The gap between our expectations (“We need this to be the best December ever!”) and our reality (“What? We can’t have the annual Ugly Holiday Sweater party, my mother is still haranguing me about my partner, and our company is looking at layoffs?!?! Happy f’ing Hanu-Kwan-Mas!”) can create even MORE drama and stress. 

It’s easy to feel like we’re failing, or we’re not enough, or that life (and our jobs, and our families, and our friends, and our cooking, and well, everything) just sucks.

As I got older, as genuine loss and tragedy accompanied many of my family’s holiday events, we sat down with a good helping of sorrow, loss, fighting, and booze passed around the table like a bowl full of mashed potatoes (accompanied with a nice ladle of guilt and shame!). We wanted to create something different, but we just didn’t know-how. Outer conditions told us what our life meant. We didn’t know about the tools we needed to create an inner shift that would allow us to show up differently for each other. 

The more stressed we are emotionally and physically, the more likely we’re going to fall into old patterns of behavior and thinking. That’s why it’s critical that you take time, push the pause button, and find nurturing ways for managing holiday stress.

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Let It Go

I've Been Thinking...

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about life when he said to me: “Maria, if you want something new, you are going to have to first get rid of the old. It’s the only way to make room.”

Damn, I thought. Ain’t that the truth?

One of my big New Year’s resolutions for 2020 was to clear out the old in every area of my life. I had made a promise to myself that this would be the year I would take a hard look at how I was living my life: my beliefs, my attachments, and all my stuff. I started sorting through things from my office, things from my time as First Lady of California, things from my parents, things from my kids (do yourself a favor and do not save all of your kids’ school things like I did), and so many other things that had found their way into storage when life got the best of me. In fact, I was already in the thick of shredding, digitizing, donating, selling, and clearing out old stuff when my friend’s comment triggered me.

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Three Levels Of The Mind: Access To A Glorious, Joyous And Abundantly Happy Life.

When the whole world is reeling under stress, I pick up my pen once more to write, to heal, to help people deal with their lives and their issues. To be honest with myself and my readers I will say that I was on a sabbatical from my own self, from ideating, from being In charge, in control of myself, my emotions and all else that I was constantly resounding with. 

I wanted to learn on three levels of the mind, the conscious, the sub conscious and the super conscious, what this Pandemic has come to teach us. On a deeper level of the mind, I realize that a whole lot happened that caught the entire world unaware and forced them to lead a life, they thought they had never chosen.

We must realize of course, that we have an infinite supply of riches within us. But in order to reach this treasure house of infinity within, one needs to open one's mental eyes. This will access you to a glorious, joyous and abundantly happy life. Most people live like zombies, they are completely unaware of this unlimited storehouse of infinite intelligence within themselves. From their own levels of limited assumptions, they operate.
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The Instant Energetic Shift to Happiness

“What is happiness?” Are you living in the effects of happiness or “not-happiness”? Bio Energetics and Quantum science are revealing there is a psychological energy relationship to happiness…and to sadness.

Happiness is a byproduct of you being present for you and of radical self-acceptance. We need to access a deeper understanding that we are a creator generating our happiness…

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Take Heart

What do you do when the bottom falls out?

The Practice:
Take heart.

Why?

It takes heart to live in even ordinary times.

By “taking heart,” I mean several related things:

  • Sensing your heart and chest
  • Finding encouragement in what is good both around you and inside you
  • Resting in your own warmth, compassion, and kindness; resting in the caring for you from others; love flowing in and love flowing out
  • Being courageous, whole-hearted and strong-hearted – going forward wisely, even when anxious, knowing your own truth and, as you can, speaking it

When you take heart, you’re more able to deal with challenges like aging, illness, trauma, or conflicts with others. You’re also more able to take advantage of opportunities with confidence and grit.

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Surrender To The Mystery!!

There’s so much going on right now that is impossible for us to comprehend.

Movements are taking place around us – but on planes we can’t readily access (and we’re not talking airplanes although I sure wish I could hop on one to see my friends.) Transitions, opportunities, alignments… but it’s outside our reach. Yet we long so desperately to understand! 

How can we surrender to the mystery?

Here’s the deal: We can’t truly “get” what’s happening around us because the web of creation is so vast, so much more complex, so much more intricate than we could ever begin to grasp!

That’s hard for us, in our human state, to accept. (It kinda reminds me of when I was a little kid sitting at the adults’ table and the conversation went right over my head). We want to take part, to listen and to be heard… but we can’t exactly follow the train of thought! So we’re left grabbing little bits and pieces and getting frustrated because it doesn’t all fit together in a nice pretty package we can put in our pocket. 

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Navigating Chaos with Grace & Ease

My dear friend, the wise and beautiful Rev. Cynthia James, sent out a blog the other day filled with important and potent advice on dealing with the times we are in.

She has graciously given me permission to share this with you:

These last few months have been quite a ride. A pandemic, social unrest, and political upsets have created upset, division and emotional disturbance. It has been hard to keep up day to day with all of the changes.

I, personally, have had to find more ways to become clear, stay focused and stay still within myself. Quite frankly, I have had to learn how to navigate the chaos of these times.

Let me share what I mean by first beginning with definitions.

To Navigate: to move on, over, or through (water, air, or land) in a ship or aircraft; to manage or direct a course.

The word chaos derives from a Greek word meaning “chasm” or “void,” which makes sense, given that chaos also refers to the formless state of matter before the cosmos was created. It also means a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order. any confused, or disorderly mass.

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10 Ways To Stay Grounded

Change is in the air… On a societal level, on a natural level, and — based on what I’ve been hearing from my students and community — on a personal level as well. 

The “nothing is as it was before” feeling we’ve been dealing with for what seems like a lifetime has collided with the natural rhythms of life and the Universe. In the northern hemisphere, we’re well into the fall season, a time full of transformation. Kids are back to school in some way, shape or form (hugs and blessings on parents and teachers as you navigate the ever-changing landscape of education!). And even though we’re developing creative ways to celebrate, holidays are upon us. 

During this period, it’s essential to maintain your equilibrium. The earth is turning, but you can plant your feet firmly and enjoy the ride! 

To help you reconnect with yourself and the world around you, here are 10 ways to stay grounded. 

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Try A Little Tenderness

I've Been Thinking...

Earlier this week, I thought I was going to write this Sunday about the long lines people have been standing in to vote. Then I thought I was going to write about Amy Coney Barrett’s testimony in front of the Senate. Then I watched the dueling town halls on Thursday night and thought, “OK, I’ll write about that.” (As usual, a lot happened this week, and there was a lot to think about.) But then Pope Francis got me. He always gets me.

This week, the Pope wrote: “Tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women.”

Tenderness and courage in the same sentence. I love that! I know you can get the news of the week anywhere, so instead, I want to focus on these words. Embodying them could really benefit us in the coming weeks.

If ever there was a time for courageous men and women to step forward, it is now. But how we step forward is the key. We are inundated with examples of people stepping forward with rage, anger, and the intention to rile us up, confuse us, gaslight us, and scare us. It’s a lot, but when the Pope suggested stepping out with tenderness, I took a deep breath. It was a breath of relief. It made me feel like, “OK, we’ve got this. We can do this. Here is the path. Here are my directions.”

Now, I didn’t grow up with tenderness. I didn’t hear the courageous people around me even speak the word. But I have felt tenderness in my life and I know that it can be life-changing. Bestowing tenderness on an individual allows a person to feel seen. It allows them to soften and feel their worth. 

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Let's Take A Break

"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still." -Franklin D. Roosevelt


I've Been Thinking...

Hi there. How are you feeling today? Take a minute to check in with yourself. Are you doing OK?

There’s a lot going on in our country and in the world, so if your answer is “no,” I totally get that. The news is coming at us at such a dizzying pace that it’s really challenging to keep up with it all, much less know what to make of it. At least that’s how I’m feeling. So my thought for this Sunday is “let’s take a break from it all.”

People are tired and exhausted. Tired from trying to keep it all together. Exhausted from trying to figure out how to pivot, how to redirect, how to home school, how to shift a business model, how to care for everyone and act like it’s no big deal.

We all know the election is around the corner. In fact, millions of people have already voted, including me! We know the importance of voting. We know that elections are often decided by the smallest of numbers. We know that regardless of the noise out there, that mail-in voting is dependable and accurate. We know. We know. We know.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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