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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Scapegoating: A Dysfunctional Family System

When I work with clients, I can feel the beauty of their soul and I can feel their light shining through. I’m fortunate that the vast majority of clients that want to work with me individually or come to an Intensive are very ready to learn and heal and own their beautiful light.

One issue that frequently emerges is when a person has been scapegoated in his or her family of origin, and might still, as an adult, be being scapegoated. Scapegoating is when someone is blaming you for their feelings, wrongdoings, mistakes, and projecting their woundedness on to you, with no empathy or compassion for how this feels to you.
 

In families, one member is often the target of judgments, criticism, accusations, blame and ostracism. Scapegoating often begins is childhood and may continue into adulthood with your family of origin or with your in-laws. If you have been or currently are the target of scapegoating, it’s important to realize that you are being abused.

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Beat the Valentine’s Day Blues with Mindfulness

Have you been dreading Valentine’s Day this year? If so, you’re not alone. This holiday that celebrates romantic love can feel like a thorn in the side of those who have loved and lost, or those who feel sad and stressed about being single.

Scientific researchers have documented the reality of emotional struggle around the holidays, with the Mayo Clinic noting that holidays often exacerbate stress and depression. Many people simply struggle to receive the meaningful social interaction they crave, and the resulting loneliness can be especially intense around holidays.

You don’t have to suffer in silence, though. There are many tools available to help you shift out of sadness or loneliness this Valentine’s Day, and mindfulness is a particularly valuable and effective one. Here are seven mindfulness tips anyone who feels sad or lonely this Valentine’s Day can try:

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Find Your Voice

This week I noticed a theme that I picked up on during conversations with various people I thought I’d bring to you. I noticed there was a recurring discussion about speaking the truth, using your voice in a powerful way, and dealing with the consequences of what happens when you don’t speak out of fear.

Authenticity requires you to use your voice with a certain veracity– telling the truth, the absolute truth. Finding your voice takes courage, especially if you were raised to be seen and not heard, or you had to fight to be heard, or you were punished for telling the truth. Maybe all these things were implied while you were learning how to fit in, before finding out who you wanted to be.

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Loving Yourself – Chore or Freedom?

Are you resistant to doing your inner work and taking the loving actions on your own behalf?

“Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.”
– Julie Andrews

How often have you said to yourself, “I have to take the time to do some Inner Bonding,” or “I’d better do my Inner Bonding work.”

If this is what you hear yourself say, it is your wounded self, trying to have control over getting you to do something that you think you ‘should’ do. Your wounded self likely sees Inner Bonding as a chore, something you ‘have to’ do to be okay. When this is your mindset about doing your inner work, then you might find yourself in resistance, because another aspect of your wounded self hates being told what you ‘should’ or ‘have to’ do.

The wounded self misses the point. Just as a diligent practice of playing the piano eventually gives you the freedom to play spontaneously, or the diligent practice of running gives you the freedom to run in a marathon, the diligent practice of Inner Bonding gives you the freedom to take loving care of yourself and bring yourself joy.

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Choosing to be a Loving Adult

Some years back, I had the moving experience of working with Kevin (not his real name), a thirty-seven year old very talented branding artist we had hired to work on our website. From the moment I met Kevin, I knew he was a person I wanted to hire and work with. His demeanor was open, honest, caring and attentive. I had seen some of his work before speaking with him, and I was blown away by his creativity.

One evening, as we were having dinner, after working together for four solid days, I asked him how he had met his girlfriend. I had spent some time with Lila and Kevin and I was impressed with how loving they were with each other. They had been together for three and a half years.

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How Do You Feel About Yourself?

Do you feel worthy, valuable, adequate, lovable, and secure?

Or, do you feel unworthy, worthless, inadequate, unlovable, and insecure?

Do you believe that your inner child is worthy enough for you to take loving care of yourself, or do you believe that your inner child doesn’t have enough value to make him or her worthy of being loved by you or by God?

Very often, when I ask my clients why they don’t take loving care of themselves, their answer is “I’m not worthy of love. I have no value.”

I always feel so sad to hear this.

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Acts of Faith – Manifest Faster

Happy New Year and if you are like me, chances are you have a list of goals, desires or intentions (hopefully written down on paper and shared with an accountability partner).

One of the lesser known manifestation tools is called “Acts of Faith.”

This is something you do when you are so trusting that your desire will be fulfilled, that you acquire something that you would want or need if the desire arrived right now.

For instance, if your desire is to meet and marry your soulmate a gigantic Act of Faith would be to buy your wedding dress now.

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How To Make It Your Best Year Ever!!!!

Each year brings new lessons and opportunities for growth.

Each year you are given is a precious gift from the universe.

Each year is a new canvas that you get to create, a work of art that is your life.

It’s not the change of year that makes the difference but who you are being and what you bring to it.

So what will you bring to 2020 that was different than the year before.

And who will you be differently this year?

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The One New Year’s Resolution I Hope You Make…And Keep

This one New Year’s resolution can change your life, heal your relationships, create health and well being, and heal our planet.


One of the most important aspects of Inner Bonding is opening to a compassionate intention to learn. I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion, and I’ve realized that compassion is often more than people think it is.

Compassion does include the standard definition: the ability to feel empathy with another or others who are suffering, to be moved by the suffering and to want to help alleviate it.

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“Outgrowing the Life You’ve Known: The Loneliness & Loss of Blossoming.”

Loneliness is one of the “problems” with growing. Sometimes, in order to connect with yourself, you have to separate from what you’ve known. The aliveness of love will ruin your chances of stagnation. It will call you out. Success demands loss.  Sometimes, we have to let go of waning definitions, circumstances, or relationships that no longer reflect us so that we can blossom wide…

I’d Rather Lose a Friend, than Lose Myself

So I’m moving on. I’m taking that love with me. I’m no longer looking for support where it’s not. I’m also not making myself wrong for wanting support. I don’t care how brilliant you are on stage, how many trophies line your walls, or how much money you sock away in investments, this I know. We are all fragile, especially if we’re courageous. Those of us who continue to grow, continue to step out onto new ledges. We continue to move beyond what we have known into the beckoning of uncertainty.

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Limitless Love on an Evolving Planet

Is love on a global scale, for oneself and others, possible? I believe it is, despite evidence to the contrary. Let’s face it. The current planetary paradigm that we inhabit is based in limitation. From a very early age, we are taught to curtail our heart’s desires for fear they will be crushed within a skewed social matrix that does not allow universal self-fulfillment and growth. Most social constructs in our world are organized on a top/bottom basis. Whether you are at the bottom or top, your life is limited by the very fact of inhabiting a limited paradigm. What would it take to shift that paradigm, to make it inclusive instead of exclusive? How about a complete transformation in global consciousness? Because until the collective consciousness changes, we are all caught in a web of limitation.

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Learning To Be Gentle With Myself 

Have you ever seen a child fall and is urgently warned “Be careful” when it is already too late, the accident has happened?

To be careful, often sends a message to be cautious but be responsible for a future you cannot control.

Be careful, is telling you there is some danger and something you should do but not what to do.

More useful phrases give clear guidance. “Please watch where you are going.” or “Hang on to the railing when you walk up the stairs.”

It was too late to say be careful, when I found myself, kneeling by the side of my bed, braced on the nightstand for support. My lower back was in immense pain after sitting at my computer for 12 hours. I was afraid to move.

~~~

I allowed my body to find harmony, I gave my body time to restore balance.
I became aware of a sense of equilibrium.

Surrendering in the moment.

I had a beautiful revelation,

“I AM GENTLE WITH MYSELF.”

Slow with awareness is different from careful.

I am gentle with myself, is in the moment. It is caring, not careful

I care for myself when I am gentle with myself.

Gentleness is patient. Caring doesn’t rush. It is, simply
with what it loves.

Grace is soft
Grace is caring
Caring is kind

Be Gentle
With
Yourself

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Relationships: Accepting the Challenges or the Loneliness

Is the fear of getting hurt or losing yourself keeping you from accepting the challenges of loving a partner?

“My inner child is lonely and wants to be in a relationship, but relationships are too hard. I feel like I don’t want to work that hard,” Karen told me in a phone session.

“Are you ready to fully accept the loneliness of never being in a relationship?”

“No, that sounds too sad and awful. But why do relationships have to be so hard? I’ve worked on myself for years, yet even relationships with close friends are hard. It shouldn’t be that way.”

“Karen, they are hard because most of us come from families where we did not see our parents or other caregivers being open to learning with each other, especially during conflict. We saw them get angry, give in, withdraw, resist and turn to various addictions. So this is what most of us learned to do. Relationships challenge us to give up trying to control each other and instead open to learning with ourselves and each other, so we can share love. When two people are open to learning, relationships are not hard. What’s challenging is reaching the point where we can stay open to learning in the face of conflict.

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How To Love Your Body [Special Video]

Your body is beautiful just because you have a body.

No other reason needed.

It is a living work of art. A masterpiece and magical expression of the Divine.

But how often do we really appreciate and love our bodies?

We have been conditioned and brainwashed by the media to believe that “You are not enough as you are”.

This is a lie.

This creates so much shame, judgment, non-acceptance of our naturalness. We end up hating our bodies, disconnecting from it’s innate intelligence, and comparing ourselves to others.

We base our self-worth on being the perfect shape, weight, or size.

You are worthy and lovable just because you ARE.

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Will you LOVE all of you – wounds, warts, and all?

Long, long ago, I thought if I just took the right workshop, read the right self-help books, or found a magic wand, I would find happiness and peace of mind.

And, doing all of those things helped a bit.

It certainly gave me some relief as well as insight and understanding as to how and why I had my issues.

But, after thousands of dollars, countless hours of various practices, I finally figured something out: Getting rid of the problem isn’t the best goal, and in a lot of cases, with core wounds, not even possible. Having worked closely with many of the biggest names in personal growth, here’s what I observed:

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Minimize Painful Experiences

Are you feeling unneeded pain?

The Practice:
Minimize painful experiences.

Why?

Painful experiences range from subtle discomfort to extreme anguish – and there is a place for them. Sorrow can open the heart, anger can highlight injustices, fear can alert you to real threats, and remorse can help you take the high road next time.

But is there really any shortage of suffering in this world? Look at the faces of others – including mine – or your own in the mirror, and see the marks of weariness, irritation, stress, disappointment, longing, and worry. There’s plenty of challenge in life already – including unavoidable illness, loss of loved ones, old age, and death – without needing a bias in your brain to give you an extra dose of pain each day.

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Copyright

© © Copyright 2019. Dr. Rick Hanson

You Don't Have to Live With Guilt

Do you know that it is completely possible to heal your guilt? I did it and so can you!

I grew up in a family that constantly used guilt as a form of control. Sometimes the guilt was somewhat subtle, such as “Fine, do what you want,” said with a blaming tone. Other times it was blatant, such as my grandmother (who lived with us) saying to me, whenever I didn’t do what she wanted, “How can you do this to me? You are so selfish.”

As an adolescent, if I came home five minutes after my curfew, I would hear my mother hissing at me from their bedroom as I tried to tiptoe into my room, her voice dripping with anger, “You’re late again. You know I worry about you.” My mother had many ways of making me responsible for her feelings – from her intense anger to her victim tears. I was always to blame.

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Forgive

Are you holding onto feeling wronged?

The Practice:
Forgive.

Why?

Forgiveness is a tricky topic.

First, it has two distinct meanings:

  • To give up resentment or anger
  • To pardon an offense; to stop seeking punishment or recompense

Here, I am going to focus on the first meaning, which is broad enough to include situations where you have not let someone off the hook morally or legally, but you still want to come to peace about whatever happened. Finding forgiveness can walk hand in hand with pursuing justice.

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Owning Your Sensuality Mindset

My brilliant friend, Susan Bratton, is the trusted hot sex advisor to millions and an expert on all aspects on how to improve your sex life, which for many women, begins with improving your “sensuality mindset.” Please enjoy her wisdom on this topic.

Just recently I spoke at an all women’s sexuality event. Before I took the stage, I went around speaking to each individual woman. As we chatted, I asked them privately what they were thinking about when they decided to attend? What were they hoping I’d talk about? What issue was on their mind?

As I listened to the stories, the struggles and the desires of these beautiful women my mind filtered the meta-conversations into four main categories of interest. These women wanted to hear first about what kinds of treatments, procedures and technologies were available and effective at keeping their lady parts in good working order. They wanted to know how to keep their libido high as they aged. They wanted my tips on solo pleasure. And they wanted to hear about female pleasure potential — what was possible for them and what were they missing out on that they didn’t even know might be available?

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Turning The Tables on Turkey Day Trauma & Trepidation

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? 

What happened to Fall?

Although the song says "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays," the fact is that most of us experience a sense of dread as we envision our upcoming holiday gatherings and being around our family.

Feelings of resistance, anxiety, and resignation start to bubble up as we anticipate the drama and dis-ease that will undoubtedly accompany the candied yams and pumpkin pie. As we contemplate the upcoming holiday, our minds naturally drift back to Thanksgivings past and any hope of warm and fuzzy feelings turn cold as we think about our family dynamic and the scenarios that consistently cause trauma and trepidation at our Thanksgiving table. Situations like: 

  • How do I once again try to explain to my family why I have to bring my own food since I eat vegan or gluten-free? 
  • What can I do to appease my parents and in-laws, who are all divorced but expect us to show up and make their Thanksgiving meal the most significant one? 
  • How should I handle it this year when, at the last minute, my sister-in-law once again decides to invite four more people to dinner? 
  • What do I do when Uncle Bob inevitably brings up politics?
  • How do I not get pissed off at my family when they stay glued to the television as I do all of the work in the kitchen?

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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