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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United We Stand; Divided We Are Merely A Distraction

I find it interesting that when this quote first came to me a few years ago I thought of it relative to organizations, communities, societies or families. As time went on, I realized this statement is most significant when it comes to my life experiences as a gay person.

United I stand, divided I am merely a distraction.

I was divided as a teenager when I realized that I was much more drawn to women rather than men. I had feelings for a young woman a little older than me yet the church said I was going to hell. My grandmother actually mourned when I was almost 14 that she would not see me in heaven. Here I was without even a driver’s permit and my grandmother is telling her former favorite granddaughter that she would not see me in heaven. A part of me died a little and felt divided.

The deeper truth of the matter was when I was 10 years old, my mother was accused of having an affair. We lived in a small southern town and to this day, I still do not know if it was true or an accusation. What is true is in the 60’s the South was just like they featured  in the famous film ‘Prince of Tides’. We put things under a rug and don’t look back. We don’t talk about anything that makes us uncomfortable. We medicated before we meditated. We have so many untold secrets and some of the secrets keep us up at night.  When this accusation happened involving my mom, I was sent up North to be with family and my mom was sent to a mental hospital and was gone for a long time. They used those barbaric shock treatments on her and she was never the same. She returned with very little of her memory in place and has experienced physical difficulties due to those methods. We never spoke of these events again. I certainly tried to but no one would engage. 

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The Easiest Way To Transform Relationships Into A Loving Piece Of Your Life Story

Our life experience can be easier then many of us imagine. Much of humanity has chosen to believe, even embrace, stories of pain and grief instead of love and joy. This is a betrayal of our true compassionate nature. I’m going to share the easiest way to transform relationships into a loving piece of your story.

Recently I was enjoying conversation with a Vedic astrologer from India. I asked him about possible challenges leaving his home country and family. San Jay shared he focuses only on how he feels now. He is able to speak with his family by phone and walks by their side energetically. He has removed the past challenge from the possibilities in his life and enjoys his everyday experience that includes an energetic closeness with his family.

In my own life I decided to reconnect with my brother that died of suicide years ago. I needed to let go of the grief and confusion I held in my heart and mind. I had been holding onto my brother’s life story, not reaching for his soul’s energy. I touched the uncomfortable and complicated thoughts and called his spirit to me. I did this in several meditations.

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How To Forgive

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~Maya Angelou


Forgiveness IS one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, but how do we genuinely get there?

Many people believe that if they just decide to forgive someone, they have actually forgiven them, only to discover anger or resentment emerging over and over. So how to forgive?

Alyce wrote me the following question:

“Dr. Paul, How do I sincerely forgive my soon-to-be ex-husband of 32 years for infidelity committed prior to him even asking me for a divorce? I feel angry, hurt and jealous that he would give another woman the affection that he denied me. I know I must forgive him in order for me to heal and move on, but how to forgive?”

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Desiring Love: It’s in Your DNA

Have you ever wondered why we humans seek a soulmate?

What is it about us that craves this deep connection to another?

Where does our yearning come from?

Are we genetically designed to be mated?

One fascinating and possible answer comes from Aristophanes, the acclaimed playwright and philosopher of ancient Athens.

He offers a wild tale that he shared at Plato’s Symposium about how the deep desire for Oneness came about.

Long, long ago in primal times people had doubled bodies: four arms, four legs, two heads and they were big and round….

These roly-poly creatures wheeled around earth like clowns doing cartwheels & were very powerful.

There were three sexes: the all-male, the all-female, and those who were half male, half female.

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Kindness to You is Kindness to Me; Kindness to Me is Kindness to You

What do you need?

The Practice:
Kindness to you is kindness to me; kindness to me is kindness to you.

Why?

I usually describe a practice as something to do: get on your own side, see the being behind the eyes, take in the good, etc. This practice is different: it’s something to recognize. From this recognition, appropriate action will follow. Let me explain.

Some years ago, I was invited to give a keynote at a conference with the largest audience I’d ever faced. It was a big step up for me. Legendary psychologists were giving the other talks, and I feared I wouldn’t measure up. I was nervous. Real nervous.

I sat in the back waiting my turn, worrying about how people would see me. I thought about how to look impressive and get approval. My mind fixed on me, me, me. I was miserable.

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Does Your Life Feel Alive And Meaningful?

Do you find that nothing really excites you or holds much meaning for you? Does your life lack aliveness, passion and purpose?

Vera sought out counseling with me because her doctor advised her to discover the emotional causes of her chronic fatigue. Vera, a successful stockbroker, was in a loving 18-year marriage. On the surface, everything in her life was fine. She had enough money, friends and a good relationship with her husband. Yet Vera awoke each morning battling fatigue and depression. She didn’t want to get out of bed because nothing felt meaningful to her.

David sought my help because of chronic feelings of inner emptiness. David is very successful in his manufacturing business, has a good marriage and two adult children. Like Vera, everything seemed fine. Yet the feelings of inner emptiness drove David to overeat, overspend and indulge in porn on the Internet. Like Vera, nothing felt meaningful to him.

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A Simple Practice to Bring More Harmony Into Every Relationship

Our relationships with one another are often a source of distress. One major form of conflict we experience with others involves their failure to give us the consideration we feel they owe us. We often suffer from thoughts like these: "She is not being respectful enough." "He is not as kind as I want him to be." "They just don't care as deeply as I do." 

However, if we will be courageous enough to see the truth of the next insight, and then admit it into our heart and mind, we can change the real root of this underlying sense of our dissatisfaction with others along with the conflict it generates: Many times the very thing we want from the person we are with -- for example, respect, patience, kindness, love -- is the very thing that we ourselves either lack at the moment or otherwise somehow are withholding from them. The "catch" here is that we are mostly unconscious to our actual inner condition in these encounters with others, and here's a major reason why this happens: 

Hidden in each of us are certain clever "self-concealing devices" whose sole reason for being is to protect our self-image and keep us asleep to ourselves. One of the ways they work is to show us ourselves as blameless while pointing the arrow of insufficiency at someone else.

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12 Ways to Improve Your Relationships. . .Including Your Relationship With Yourself

Our most fruitful field for self-discovery and life-enhancement is also the one we least understand or know how to use. And yet, virtually every moment offers abundant chances to benefit from it. What is this highly valuable field of opportunity? Our relationships.

Consider these truths: It is within relationships that we grow as individuals in everything valuable, because it is through them that we become stronger and wiser, allowing us to realize a love that transcends our unseen self-limiting self-interests. Yet, even though we may acknowledge the existence of this path to self-perfection, the essential mystery of exactly how to use this endless resource remains obscured.

How do we use our relationships to change the balance sheet of our lives so that for every measure of impatience and intolerance there may be at least an equivalent sum of compassion and consideration? And how do we learn to use our relationships with others to realize a new kind of relationship with ourselves so that we can discover the beautiful fact that who we really are is all we need to be?

Our willingness to work our way through the following twelve special practices -- to strive to use these higher ideals in our relationships with others -- will reward us with the Real Life our hearts longs for. 

The main purpose of these special practices is to show us how to use each developing moment in our relationships with family, friends, and coworkers to consciously change our relationship with them, and more importantly, with ourselves. 

If we are honest we will admit that, with few exceptions, the usual focus of our attention and interactions with others is centered on our selves and the fulfillment of our desires. "How do I feel about you?" "What do I want from him?" or "When will she realize that I know best?" In other words, the mindset of this largely unconscious self, under most circumstances, is: "Me first."

By forever placing its own considerations before considering any other, this self-serving nature remains the master of its own universe, even if all that revolves through it is its own imagined importance.

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This is Your Lifetime to Get it Right: Forgiving Yourself and Others

The struggle to love and forgive is a heroic struggle. It will affect every other relationship in your life. And guess what? For me, all movement comes from forgiving and loving myself. Go figure. 

I wrote some of this piece years ago, while visiting my mother in upstate New York. I wanted to be the perfect daughter. But there’s something about dealing with our families that’s like taking acid. You go on a trip. Things come out of the blue. People sprout extra heads. Then you come back and you think-- what was that all about?

“Those who see themselves as whole make no demands,” teaches A Course in Miracles. Well, clearly, those who seem themselves as threatened wildebeests act accordingly. 

Being with my mother, I can’t believe how quickly I am triggered. I teach workshops in A Course in Miracles , a form of spirituality which emphasizes choosing love instead of “being right.” But as I hide away upstairs in the cutesy, cluttered guest bedroom of my mother’s townhouse, despising every artificial flower I see, I consider a different line of work. Maybe I could be the anti-Gandhi. Because my blood pressure is definitely higher than my consciousness.

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Let Go of Relationship Clutter

Clutter. It blocks the flow of energy and gets in the way of manifesting our deepest desires.

We know how to unclutter the physical items in our lives and now, thanks to my friend Peggy Fitzsimmons, she is sharing with us today her views on letting go of relationship clutter. Enjoy!

“Our souls are inherently free and our true nature is love. And we also have ego minds that orient us towards self-preservation, lack, and scarcity. When the ego is in the driver’s seat, we relate from fear and separation. If conflict, competing, or power struggles are the norm in your relationships, your ego likely has a tight grip on the wheel. When you fail to treat yourself or someone else as a human being, your ego is present in that moment of relationship. In contrast, when the soul is in the driver’s seat, we relate from safety and connection. If your relationships are characterized by harmony, collaboration, and compassion, your soul is at the wheel. When you treat yourself or someone else with kindness, acceptance, and neutrality, your soul is present for that relationship moment.

The ego drives us to accumulate relationship clutter. Here are some examples:

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Fix This Mistake to Change Your Relationships – and Your Life

It may feel to us as though life comes at us from the outside in, but in fact, it doesn’t. We meet life from the inside out. Once we understand this, we’ll see the mistake we’ve been making all along about the true meaning of strength – and how this has compromised our relationships. As we are now, we each have a list of things we want to overcome: our past; our failure to acquire what we believe we need; difficult people. We’ve identified these as challenges that come at us from outside. Naturally enough, our behavior is based on what our mind identifies as the cause of the problem. We keep fighting the exterior challenge as a means of healing ourselves, but we keep getting hurt. A wound that is covered over too soon fails to heal from the inside. In the same way, as we try to fix the psychological wound by changing things on the outside, we interfere with the natural healing process, which must be an internal one. Because we don’t understand the nature of the wound, we rend it again.

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Discover the Magic of “Relationship Jiu-jitsu”

An argument between two people (lovers, spouses, family members) is a kind of psychological battle often filled with personal attacks, accusations, and dredging up past mistakes.

When both parties are exhausted, or one grudgingly concedes, the fight ends – for the moment. But nothing has changed; resentment has just gone underground until it’s dug up again, and hostilities soon resume.

But it needn’t be this way. There’s a little known “magic” that can stop any fight in the moment, and helps prevent the next one from getting starting. It’s the result of what we can call “relationship jiu-jitsu.” 

Jiu-jitsu is an ancient Japanese martial art based in “the art of yielding.” The combatants use special “moves” to turn an opponent’s energy back on them.

But here, I’m using the term psychologically, where the opponent isn’t a person we’re fighting. The true “opponent” to be overcome is a negative, lower level of consciousness in each of us that blames the other for the punishing pattern we’re both caught up in. 

To apply “relationship jiu-jitsu,” at least one of us must see we’re about to mindlessly repeat some old pattern that has no winner. So, instead of acting from the negative energy we feel – having seen the futility of throwing it at the other person who will only throw it back at us – we do something completely new: rather than try to “prove” we’re right, we use the moment to discover something about ourselves that will not only help transform us, but maybe the other person as well! 

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Beyond Suffering: An Ah-Ha Moment!

Allyson and Jonathan are sitting in front of me at a 5-Day Intensive. Married for 2 years, they have lost the passion and fun they once had, and they cannot understand why.

As I sit with them and experience what I call their relationship system, I see that what Jonathan does when he feels lonely around Allyson is to abandon himself by getting hard and judgmental or by shutting down. I see that what Allyson does when she feels lonely around Jonathan is to abandon herself by disconnecting from herself, leaving her heart and going up into her head. I see that Allyson’s disconnection makes Jonathan feel lonely, and Jonathan’s judgment and withdrawal crush Allyson.

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Start Seeing What You “Give” to Others

Every moment is the right moment to start seeing ourselves as we are... regardless of whoever may be our “partner” of the moment.

Maybe it’s the person in that long line with us, complaining about how slowly things are moving. There’s no better time to practice seeing yourself than when some part of you can’t wait to “pounce” on the impatience of someone else. How about being stuck behind a driver on the freeway who won’t speed up or get out of the way?

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The Power of Love

Love is one of those words that gets used a lot but has so many different meanings. Love is a feeling, a sentiment, a behavior, an action, a way of being, and often the thing that has the capacity to heal almost every situation.

I don’t believe there is a shortage of love in the world, in fact I believe that just as there is more than enough air and water for all of us, there is an abundance of love. When we choose to consciously tap into the vast pool of love and share it with our world and the world around us, life is a better, safer, happier place for us all.

Here are wise words from a sermon by Rev. Michael Curry:
“The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.
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Are You Feeling Stuck in Your Relationship?

I’m the money chick, which leads a lot of people to ask, “Julie… why do you talk about so many of these others topics? Relationships? Work life? Health?”

The answer is actually very simple: success in all these areas has to do with how we are authentically showing up in the world, and money is actually the result of you aligning with your heart and your soul—aligning in your relationship, your work, your health, and so much more. Without alignment in all these areas, money doesn’t follow, and if it does follow, it may not stick and stay either.

So today we’re going to focus a bit on relationships because if you are not happy in your relationships, then going to affect many aspects of your life in a negative way.

Taking Responsibility
Many people get mad at me for saying this, but here’s the hard truth: you created exactly the life you have and you made choices to get to the place you’re in right now. I get that life happens and some things are out of your control, but you being in the relationship you’re in (or not in) is you’re choosing.

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Love What’s Real

What can you count on?

The Practice:
Love what’s real.

Why?

Because this practice could seem so abstract or so obvious that it’s not worth doing, I am going to take longer than usual to explain why it’s so important.

As I grew up, my family and schools felt like shaky ground. I didn’t understand why my parents and many kids reacted the ways they did, with worry or anger that was unrelated to what was actually happening. It felt shaky inside me, too, and I didn’t understand my own feelings and reactions. Outside and inside both felt twirly, up in the air, unnerving.

So I looked for solid ground. I tried to see and understand what was really true. The orange groves and hills around our home were natural and comforting, and I spent a lot of time there. I started reading science fiction and liked an orderly universe in which you could figure out why the spaceship was falling and save it.

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The Imaginal Cells of Love

In biology there is a term called imaginal cells and it explains how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.

The metamorphosis begins when the caterpillar hunkers down on a perch and forms a chrysalis. It then dissolves and decomposes into a cosmic ooze.

During this process imaginal cells, which have been ling quietly inside the DNA of the caterpillar, spring to life, igniting new form and structure until a tipping point is hit and the caterpillar emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

For those of you seeking to find love, keep love, or be love, you can create more love in your life by awakening your own imaginal cells of love. The process is easy.

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A New Way to End Your Problems With “Problem People”

We often have a negative response to people who act thoughtlessly toward us. To our usual way of thinking, it just seems natural. But what we don’t realize is that it is the exact same kind of thoughtlessness within us that produces our response.

In other words, our own hostile reactions take no thought for anything outside of what they call into account for their suddenly heated existence -- so that the only awareness we possess in these times is that low level of cognizance that possesses us, making us feel "entitled" to attack back! And with our own aching heart or pounding thoughts providing the fuel, we lash out! After all, it is our "right" to set the record straight.

But in these moments, if we could learn to step back from ourselves -- to see and to be aware of ourselves as being but a cog in an ever-turning wheel of hurting and being hurt -- there would follow a great and liberating self-revelation. We would see, clearly, that before we rise up and attempt to hurt someone who has hurt us, it is we who hold this hurt first. And if we realize the dynamic exposed here -- how one hurt always gives rise to another one -- then we should also be able to see that each of us is always the first to hold this unwanted pain.

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This Is What People Will Remember About You

You love so much.

You love everybody so much and that’s why you get frustrated, and why you get angry. What you are beginning to realize is that no matter how much you love yourself, you can’t make other people love themselves. 

At some point you have to recognize that every soul is on it’s own perfect journey and you have to allow everyone in your life, regardless of the relationship, to have their own journey. You don’t need to be the lifeguard in everybody’s life or micromanage and control every single person in your experience because you are afraid. Instead, how about you just begin to tell the truth: I love you and I am scared. 

“I love you and I am scared”

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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