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Flowing With The River Of Life

Imagine walking through the woods when suddenly you begin to hear the sounds of running water. The sound touches you like music. It calls to you. Then imagine coming out of the trees and finding yourself standing on the banks of a stream that is cascading over moss-covered boulders. Pause for a moment and allow that image to nourish you. Why does moving water touch us so deeply? It may be because water flows! To watch a river is to see a glimpse into what Life is really like – a great river of dancing energy that has been flowing and…

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How To Be Held By The Earth

Spring has arrived, and I invite you to take some time in this magical season to truly connect with the Earth. You are the Earth. Your bones are made out of particles that were once a part of mountains. Your cells are surrounded and penetrated by the ocean. The breath that moves through you once moved through mighty cedar trees and baby pandas. And all the plants and herbs that you partake of come from a love affair with the sun! To connect with the Earth is to remember that you are a part of the mysterious and awesomely creative…

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Access Your Inner Guru

3 Quick Ways to Access Your Inner Guru

While I have many teachers I am grateful for and whom I have learned priceless lessons from, I know that my own inner Guru is the most powerful teacher of all. When we begin to love and trust ourselves enough to tap into our intuition and Higher Consciousness, which has access to unlimited knowledge, we can truly begin to know and trust ourselves at a much deeper level and be the most powerful and trustworthy Guru we will ever find. There are many talented teachers, and I believe even one sentence in some cases from a teacher can in fact…

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Honoring Stephen Levine

  Stephen Levine, who is one of the most amazing hearts on our planet, died on Sunday, January 17, 2016. I am filled with gratitude for his presence and how much he helped so many of us to see through our stories and come home to our hearts. In honor of his life and how deeply he changed mine, I want to share with you an experience I wrote about after I came back from a retreat led by Stephen in 1985. I had been at a 10-day workshop with Stephen, a skilled teacher of consciousness and author of many books on…

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An Invitation For The New Year

It's that time of the year again…that time when you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and decide how you want your life to be in the new year. We call this a New Year’s resolution. Now I ask you, have your resolutions ever really worked? We keep on rising to the challenge of resolutions and yet in the past, most of them have faded by the middle of January!  The reason why they don’t work is in the definition of the word resolution: “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” Resolutions are all about doing because they are made…

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How To Be Compassionate With Your Compulsions

My friend, Jane, has a very high pressure job, plus she travels a lot. On a Friday morning recently, she arose feeling stressed and anxious about her weekend trip out-of-town. When she got to work, she had a conversation with one of her co-workers that did not go well. Then, when she got to the airport, she discovered that her plane was delayed for many hours. Jane had a traumatic childhood and has struggled with overeating for much of her life. So what did she do to soothe her anxiety and stress? She ate. Then she got angry and berated…

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Exercises to Develop Your Attention Muscles

Stephen Levine, author and spiritual teacher, once told me that focused human attention is as powerful as taking a magnifying glass and putting it right above a leaf with the sun shining through it. Even weak winter sun will start a fire on the leaf. In other words, focused human attention is phenomenally powerful. Focused attention is the ability to have your attention and your immediate experience come together. How do you bring these two things together? It begins with curiosity. Curiosity is becoming interested in what is going on right here right now without needing it to be any different…

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As Is, I’m Here

During a weekend recently three big challenges came up for me and and I used one of my favorite mantras over and over again, “As Is, I’m Here.”  Saying “As Is” reminds you of the willingness to allow yourself to be exactly as you are in this moment. It invites you to let go of struggling with whatever is (your usual mode), so you can move into the place of healing that comes from allowing yourself to be exactly as you are. “I’m Here” reminds you to be keenly attentive to what is, in a way that invites your heart to be open to…

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Harry’s Perfect Moment, A Tale of Practical Enlightenment

It was a Monday morning and Harry swung his legs over the side of the bed. He knew something was different, but he had no idea that today he would have a “perfect” moment. Donning his cotton robe, Harry made his way to the kitchen and started his day like he always did by preparing breakfast for his wife and two young sons. He got out the usual supplies – knife, cutting board, bowl and fruit – and laid them on the butcher-block center island. Suddenly the morning took a new twist. There was a break in his routine. The…

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Welcome Yourself Exactly As You Are

Welcoming means accepting yourself exactly as you are and also accepting life exactly as it unfolds. It is the ability to allow all of it, including all the parts of yourself and your life that you don’t like, and letting it all flow without getting hooked into the stories created by your mind. Welcoming is not trying to make your life any different than it is.  Easier said than done, right? I know it's not always easy to welcome and accept life, especially your challenges, because you have been conditioned to continuously judge yourself and others. This is the inner voice…

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Do You See What You’re Missing?

My eyesight, or lack thereof, has always taught me lessons. Back in 2008 and in my recent book, From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop “Doing” Life and Start Living It, I shared my experiences of having poor eyesight before receiving my first glasses. I learned a lot about myself through my microscopic view of the world due to my near-sightedness. Then, once I had the right glasses, I began to see the beauty and interconnectedness of the world. Now my eyes are ready to teach me the next lesson. A few years back I received Lasik surgery. For…

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How You can Find Healing that Lasts

How would your life change if you trusted that your challenges are a part of your journey home – back to yourself and back to Life – instead of feeling that your challenges are here because you have done something wrong or you are being punished or God fell asleep on the job? What would happen if your illness, your difficult relationship, your demanding boss, your compulsions, and maybe even your troublesome dog were showing up in your life to help you heal? The healing you long for comes when you discover how to play the warmer, warmer/colder, colder game. Remember that…

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How To Use The Mantra, “Just This Much”

If you watch your mind, you will see that it goes into the past or future all day long.  It especially loves to go into the future and when it really gets activated, it moves from a whole different place.  It will convince you that that you can’t do it right, or you can’t do it at all, or something bad is going to happen, and the thoughts go on and on.   These thoughts are just not true because we don’t know what is going to happen.  All we have is this present moment, but you can begin to see…

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How to Honor Your Survival System

We all created a finely-crafted survival system to bury or numb our pain when we were young.  We had to, as it was absolutely necessary for survival.  Life was too scary, and we didn’t have the skills to meet ourselves in our hearts. Our survival system can include compulsions, such as drug and alcohol abuse, shopping, work, sex, the Internet, busyness, self-judgment, and chronic worry.  I think about all of those years that I shut down the pain with food, drugs and alcohol.  In one year alone, I gained 97 pounds.  I would have died of the pain if I…

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In This Moment You Are A Perfect You

Where did you learn what a perfect body looks like? Where did you learn what is beautiful? Where did you learn what is ugly? How old were you when you came to these conclusions? We were walking down the street in Paris several years ago to find ourselves taken by a body image considered to be "beautiful." We were looking at the street lamps in front of the Paris Opera House. Built in the mid-1800's, those lamps are supported by statues of naked women. These castings done in the Neo-Baroque style are curvy with rounded bellies and by today's standards…

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These Things I Know to be True

What I know to be true is no matter how turbulent the roller coaster of life seems to be, or however many times I swing from one emotional high, to any emotional low, this life is a precious gift of experience I honor and treasure - no matter what form it appears to take. I know that whatever I know is only a point of view based on a past history of experiences, with every single point of view hiding in the minds of all, being equally unique and valid to their past, as similar or as different as it…

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How To Let Your Brilliant Being Shine

I recently came across one of my favorite poems, My Brilliant Image, by the fourteenth century Persian Poet, Hafiz: One day the sun admitted, I am just a shadow. I wish I could show you The Infinite Incandescence That has cast my brilliant image! I wish I could show you, When you are lonely or in darkness, The astonishing Light Of your own Being! Hafiz is telling us that the astonishing light, the brilliance of our own being, is already with us.  We are filled with great light that permeates everything.    Brian Swimme, Evolutionary Philosopher and Co-Collaborator of the documentary…

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The Zen Master and the College Professor: Letting Go of What You ‘Know’

Transformation, self–realization, enlightenment – is not understandable through what you already know. In fact, what you already "know" is keeping you from discovering what is possible. There is a story that demonstrates this idea: There once was a college professor who was interested in learning about the study and practice of Zen. He decided that the best way to do this was to find a Zen master to interview. Being struck with an inspiration, the professor did his research and found one on the Internet by Googling, "Zen Master". The professor shot off an email and made an appointment. On…

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Sometimes My Fears Get So Intense

Sometimes my fears get so intense. It’s like my heart is in a vice grip and it’s squeezing all of the optimism and positivity out of me. Fortunately this has happened enough times over my lifetime to know that those fears are not me. They are not my truth. They are seeds that were planted at one point or another and I choose not to give them my power any longer. This is why I celebrate my fears and the anxiety that tends to come with them. Because when it’s on the surface, in my face and surging through my…

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