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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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7 Simple Reminders to Bring You Back to Soul Space 

So often, we get carried away in the human-ness of our lives. We forget kindness, love, patience, understanding and forgiveness. We forget our interconnectivity. We forget to trust, to have faith. We forget to stop, be mindful and appreciate. Absorbed in dramas, negativity or stress, for example, we spiral into and get trapped in the ego's lair. Sometimes we need a reminder of why we are here, and some simple guidance to bring us back to our Soul, our Self. We are here to experience life in the physical world. We chose our physicality, what we would be born into,…

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How to Open Possibility Through Creativity

When I was 25 I entertained on a cruise ship. People would embark stressed, but gradually begin to relax, laugh, be quiet, be rowdy, and revive romance. Wow! Two weeks later, as they disembarked, I’d hear them say “Well, that was fun, but we have to get back to the real world.” - as if being happy, engaged, and heartfelt was reserved for an “unreal” world! To really understand this, I needed to know more so, at 45, I went to university. What an amazing experience. Three Masters degrees later, my new knowledge began to blend with my life experience…

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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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7 Ways You can become a more Mindful Leader

Most people think that they cannot become leaders. In fact, everybody is a leader. The mother who leads at home; the father who takes responsibility; and the janitor who delivers his goods with excellence is a leader. We are all blessed with huge potential. We can understand this fact and unlock our potential by taking leadership in our lives. Don't waste your precious time by thinking about your unpleasant past which cannot be changed, and worrying about the future, which cannot be predicted. Start taking the steps to becoming a mindful leader now. 1. Leaders are the ones who lead from the front by taking responsibility.…

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Just Be… A Timeless Treasure

While mystics, philosophers and seekers of truth have been pondering this for thousands of years... the mystery of life was unceremoniously revealed to me one Saturday afternoon.. What began as an ordinary weekend of classes became extraordinary. An unannounced curriculum change opened our class to a special session. Richard, a third year student skilled at shamanic work, had been selected to take us first year students on a shamanic journey. I was hesitant about visiting “invisible worlds” beyond ordinary reality. The thought of venturing to “Lower World” to meet and receive a gift from our power animal was scary. Suddenly…

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Feeling Creatures Who Think

Last week I shared Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's TEDx Talk with you and the idea that choosing to stay angry affects both your body and your mind. This week I'd like to share another powerful concept that Dr. Jill makes: that we are feeling creatures who think. We are not thinking people who feel, yet this is what our society believes and values – which is at the heart of many of our issues. Here is the science and biology behind it. Our limbic system is constantly asking, “Am I safe?” If things feel familiar to our limbic system, then we feel calm and safe. The system…

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Mindful Leadership: Don’t Judge, Come to Understand

Gordon Dean, former head of the Atomic Energy Commission, scrawled the following quote on the back of an envelope found beside him after his death in a plane crash. Never judge people, don’t type them too quickly, but in a pinch, always assume that a man is good and that at worst he is in the gray area between good and bad. Wise words, realized only hours -- possibly moments -- before Mr. Dean tragically died. If you are reading this, then hopefully you have the luxury of more life to live -- and to learn a valuable lesson from…

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Practicing Mindful Happiness

We are a world of people in a hurry. We are stressed and striving to make it through another day. We sometimes feel used and abused. And every now and then, we want to scream at the top of our lungs, joining in the chorus of miserable people saying, "I'm sick of my life!" When is this chaos going to end? Where are we all going? What are we trying to accomplish by living our lives in pursuit of something we can never seem to catch? We're always trying to get a better job, to improve our relationships, pay off…

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