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Archive for the ‘Being’ Category

All the world is indeed a stage, and we the brave players on it. We come here to perform dramatic roles in this temporal play – this story of love and love lost. We strut and fret our hours, trying and falling, only to get back up again. It is a rough play, but these scenes are only temporary. And we perform them so that we might grow.

We are Shakespeare’s shadows, here to act out all the radiant facets of love.

Ultimately, love is life, just as it was for Shakespeare. The Bard of Avon, whoever he really was, showed us the human condition. With genius and art, he played out all of its passion – from tragic lows to uplifting highs, from violence to humor and embarrassment. And best of all, life’s sublime exquisite blessings.

But eventually, as Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest, all of this drama does end in dusty death:

“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

This life will all be over before we know it, but it has a purpose of grand proportions. The dramatic scripts that we carry out have been written by our own hand. And this is because we want to grow stronger with love and take charge of our soul’s education.

And so, we plan the roles that we will play with each other so that we will push ourselves the most. We want to shift stubborn beliefs so that we believe in more love. Because love seems so absent here, we are forced to assert love in ourselves. And we become forever stronger for it. And when these brief and violent lives are over, all that will remain is love.

When the curtain falls on your life, you will rediscover that it’s been nothing but a dream. You will take your tired costume off and remember your real life off stage. There, you will find yourself surrounded by your dearest loved ones again. And you will enjoy one spectacular cast party for the ages!

And there, in that incredibly blissful place where you have always belonged, you will remember the immensity of love. Even now, as you read these words, you are surrounded by this love that never ends.

So go on fellow actor, and speak your lines with love! Don’t take this play too seriously nor the actors’ lines too personally. They are simply delivered to help you grow just how you hoped they might.

This production is here to teach, so take its lessons to heart. Enjoy the performance! And play your role with as much grace as you can. And always, whenever possible, re-write your script with yet more and more love than you’ve ever known before.

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Breathe

Breath is life, but so often we restrict it. We block the flow of energy that is essential to our being. Your breath is trying to remind you just how spiritual you are. Because your breath shows you your God force.

For myself, when I fully breathe, the energy of life flows through me. And I feel electric to the core. Every cell of my being is charged and lit up! And then I remember that this electricity is love.

My attachments dissolve and are replaced by complete acceptance. The entire world wraps its arms around me, and I see that I am this world. I no longer feel separation or need. The unconditional love that I feel is overwhelming, and I realize that no one ever needs to be fixed, but rather celebrated. I LOVE everyone, including myself, exactly as we are.

Each one of us is this love that is so deep and all-encompassing. We have simply been blocked from the truth because we’ve been controlled for a very long time. We have been taught to restrict ourselves with shallow breaths that stunt the inhale and manage the exhale. But we are intended to breathe openly and fully.

When we breathe in an open and continual manner, air or prana life-force is allowed to flow into the body, and this also releases stored emotions. Considering all that humanity is going through in our evolution, it is vital more than ever to breathe freely and naturally again.

Once upon a time, humans subsisted entirely on prana air. We had an open channel to the universe. If you haven’t already done so, dear friend, you can reawaken this channel through breathing exercises. The following is my favorite method, but experiment and find what feels best for you.

When you breathe, open your mouth wide and inhale air deeply through your mouth and into your stomach. Your stomach should actually inflates and expands. Then, with an open mouth, exhale freely, completely and all at once with a natural rush, without any control whatsoever. Do not restrict the exhalation by slowing it down, but make a loud and full breath out. Your shoulders will probably shift and release some weight. Then inhale again almost immediately, without a pause. Allow your breathing to form continual waves that crest and fall, crashing to the shore, receding and building back up again. This kind of free breathing is incredibly detoxifying and healing. It connects us to the greater spiritual reality and to our authentic selves.

Breathing is so much about receiving. It is allowing ourselves to partake in more than we ever thought possible. It is owning what is already ours in each present moment. In fact, to not take what the universe naturally gives us is selfish. Let us instead accept all that is being offered and be a moving part of divine exchange. Let us enable ourselves to give in return, in our own uniquely gorgeous ways. Then, we are truly participating in the celebration of life.

Spring is calling us to partake in all that we naturally know, but have somehow lost along the way. When we fully breathe, we resonate with the authenticity of being. We resound with the electricity of all-encompassing love.

* Robert Winn teaches breathwork with tremendous wisdom, openness and humor. His Soul Breathing site has some fantastic exercises on it. Pheonyx Roldan Smith also teaches breathwork, and exudes love and acceptance. I also recommend the following books containing breathwork exercises: The Hathor Material by Tom Kenyan and Virginia Essene which includes prana breathing techniques, and Pleiadian Initiations of Light by Christine Day which teaches about heart breathing. These books are “out there,” and they are amazing. Breathe on beautiful friends!

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What if there were no map lines drawn? What if the world was wide open (it is) and we were one (we are!). While human, we tend to focus only on immediate radar and only the storms that are affecting our own backyard. Planet earth is trying to show us that we must expand our thinking. We are being challenged to become increasingly aware. Awareness is everything, and when we open ourselves to it, we remember that the greatest awareness is love.

So many of us are opening to love. We are looking beyond what’s right in front of our noses and asking how we can serve in bigger ways.

I have felt our one-ness with all of my being, and it happened when I put my dream to help others ahead of separate desires. I stepped outside of my personality and finally saw reality as it really is. I remembered that we are simply moving parts of one all-encompassing whole, and it felt blissful beyond!

The truth is that each creation of the heart is linked to the next, and each is an essential part of our us. This is becoming increasingly evident. So many of us are experiencing tremendous synchronicity right now. It turns out that we have always been working together to create the dream of life. With this in mind, when you create something for yourself, open your view to include others and the world. You can help us in infinite ways with every dream from your heart.

Let life be an open question that welcomes greater possibilities. Free yourself from the restrictions that have been holding you down. Break out of closed conditioning. Open your arms in acceptance and let all judgment melt away.

Open as you breathe in the present moment of right now. Open yourself up to receive all that your heart desires and your soul deserves. Let more love into your life, for the heart is a flower, simply waiting to be opened by you.

You are ever increasing love. You are an integral aspect of the divine energy that flows throughout creation. You are an essential part of us.

You see, we have never been separate from each other. We have always been interconnected to all that is. The human experience has simply masked the euphoric truth. The illusion of being divided is nothing but a temporary exercise that enables dramatic growth.

Every day now, we are opening ourselves up wider to our true reality. We are ready to lift the veil of separation and to remember that we are one, for how could we be here without each other? Indeed, how could I be here without you.

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It’s so easy for human beings to feel inadequate. But it turns out that we’ve been taught to feel this way. We have been raised to emulate an artificial humility that separates each beautiful soul from God, and therefore, from ourselves.

This conditioning encourages us to feel guilty for simply being born. As humans, we have “sinned,” and so we must atone for our very existence. We have been taught to feel that we will never be enough – that we are flawed and that nothing can fix us. Therefore, we must follow those in control.

This limiting mindset allows authority to dominate. And it is something that many religions uphold. Because, as harsh as it may sound, we live on a planet of masters and servants.

What better way to manage the masses than to make them feel like failures? What better way to dominate than to make the problem eternal? We have been controlled for eons by systems of judgment and violence, and by our own egos. But it is time to reclaim the benevolent power of our true humility.

Authentic humility champions everyone. It wants to serve humanity. True humility is eager for each soul to be strong so that we can all help in illuminating ways. To be truly humble is to feel a profound reverence for all life and to care deeply for everyone with unconditional love. It is to be awestruck by the wonder of the sacred that is all around us and in our very selves, for indeed we are each incredibly special.

Such humility is our inherent spiritual grace. And it demonstrates our direct connection with God. It comes naturally when we have awareness of our conditioning. And it shines when we put the ego’s selfish concerns aside.

There are so many luminous teachers walking among us right now, and they embody humility in its most enlightened form. They do not try to push anyone to do anything, but are gentle in their power. They lead with peace, not force. The truly humble know that hierarchy does not exist in the divine universe, and so they bring heaven to the human experience, something possible for each one of us to do.

Authentic humility is in such sharp contrast to the definition that we’ve been taught – the image of a worthless human begging for salvation, that it boggles the awakening mind. And if we can’t recognize divinity in ourselves, how will we ever recognize it in each other? How will we see our interconnection to all life and take responsibility for being here?

We have been separated from God, and our egos have grown rampant. It is time to stop following that which doesn’t have our best interest at heart. It is time to stop allowing others to dominate and ruin our planet in the process. lead with steadfast, compassionate humility. Let us lead with steadfast, compassionate humility that reveres the sacred in all things. We are the meek who shall inherit the earth, and it is time for us to shine.

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Life is a mirror, and we learn from the reflections that catch our gaze. The trick is to distinguish between what is ours and what is not. Some of what I see in another is not them. It is my own reflection. Others may see their issues reflected in me, but it is their stuff, not mine. Knowing how to identify what’s what is life changing. Even the process of discernment teaches immensely. We learn not to take on what isn’t ours and to own what is, and we become stronger in asserting our truth.

This lesson was recently delivered to me by our five year old son, Alex. He came to me crying because another child had called him mean. Now Alex had been kind to the other child, but had not done what was asked of him – to give away a favorite toy. In being called mean for this, Alex felt hurt and misunderstood, and I saw much of myself in his eyes.

I told him something to this effect, “Don’t listen to what others tell you, if you know that it’s not true. You know who you are, so be strong in yourself. Don’t let another person get you upset or make you feel like you have to defend yourself, because you know that you were kind.”

My son took the lesson to heart and bounded away happily. And in presenting me with this situation, he taught me something I’ve been trying to learn all my life. I have often reacted to what others say as though it’s the absolute truth, when I know very well that it is not. It is their reflection, not mine.

The legend of the Oracle at Delphi advises us to “Know thyself,” and this is the key to each spiritual journey. To get to know our true selves in this human experience requires digging deep rather than listening to how others define us. It means coming to a place where we can say, “I know who I am without the need for approval or validation.” It is fully believing in your true self – your non ego self, so that you get to live your life with integrity and the high standards of your loving soul.

In the past, I have not been strong in myself. I have shown a slightly different face to different people in order to please them. I have hoped that they will like me better, but ultimately this serves no one.

We don’t have to please anyone, and when we live with authenticity and integrity, we honor everyone. We become strong in ourselves, regardless of external circumstances. We shine with all of our magnificent colors blazing strong, unafraid of being judged or misunderstood, because we know who we are.

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It’s been one year since Share the Spiritual began, and I want to thank each of you for reading and sharing here. I’m grateful for your inspiring voices that bring such joy to this endeavor. I’m excited to be working on a book about embracing the sublime nature of ourselves and our true reality.

This week, I’d like to talk about living in complete truthfulness, something counter to how we’ve been raised in a competitive society. I’d like to share a challenge that I am also personally taking on. The challenge is this – try to be completely honest with yourself about everything, at every moment that you’re presented with.

If you don’t already do so, pay attention to situations and yourself, and recognize how you have been trained to operate. Notice the stories and excuses that might surface and begin to control you. Choose instead to observe the truth from a place of neutrality, without judgment. Then embrace that truth with love.

Keep in mind that the purest truth is not any kind of failure. It is completely free of limiting definitions. We are often conditioned to make ourselves look different than we are at heart, but this is just learned behavior for the ego. It is never who we are. You are in truth a magnificent soul who is growing yet brighter through your human experience.

The goal of the honesty challenge is to get to a more harmonious existence without being ruled by expectations and excuses. We humans tend to take on attachments that bring us much suffering, and beneath these are basic needs that haven’t been met. Find out what needs you have that are going unfulfilled.

It’s so easy in life to feel powerless and unheard, but the number one person who is not hearing you is you. Hear yourself, and assert your ability to fulfill your own needs.

The second part of this challenge is to be completely honest with others. Start by being honest with yourself about how you feel, and then operate from this truth with those around you. Practice transparency in your relationships with thoughtfulness and love. Get to a place where appearances melt away and your relationships become authentic with rich exchanges. They reflect the truth of what it means to be a whole and beautiful human being.

Those who don’t understand your truth have their own needs that aren’t being met. No hurt feelings are necessary. And remember, relationships evolve along with us, becoming deeper or sometimes ending. Then life greets us with entirely new friendships.

Being honest is about making choices with the kindness of your soul rather than the greed of your ego. It means living in a world that is open and light, that champions love.

Being honest can be quite a challenge for the human experience, but just by trying, we are given tremendous growth. I am grateful to each of you who are living in authenticity and are showing me that I too can remove my clouded conditioning. I can allow my true self to shine.

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Affirmations are positive statements that bring conscious direction to our lives. They are heartfelt declarations that define where we want to be. They work when we believe that we are already there.

Affirmations are meant to be free of doubt because when we voice what we don’t fully believe, our fears get sent along with our wishes.

For example, deep down we might worry that we will never truly be successful in life. If we affirm, “I am successful,” we are also sending an underlying feeling of defeat, and this sabotages our efforts. Success can’t come into action until we shift from within – until we completely believe in ourselves and overcome the external challenges that are telling us otherwise.

Our challenges teach us in this way, and affirmations can solidify the process.

What we tell ourselves in our heads, take into our hearts as truth, and repeat in the background of our lives, all create what we experience. We see what we believe and don’t see what we don’t.

As many of us have found, this ability to manifest is increasing exponentially right now, and we can harness it in extremely positive ways. We can start with the positive things that we believe and let them build upon each other through affirmations. These can keep us on track amidst the challenges we came here to grow through.

Many advocate repeating new affirmations daily for a month or more as a way to replace negative thought patterns. But again, be aware of buried doubt that negates. Speak with conviction and take your affirmations to heart. I have found that the most effective affirmations are said only once and are completely original to the moment. For myself, I feel each statement with my whole being and consciously send it out to the universe with deep intention.

Affirmations often appear to me spontaneously, and these in particular are life changing. One day while walking, the following statement came to me, “I am so happy to be here!” I instantly realized the impact that this declaration had as it filled my heart and changed my perspective.

James Barrett teaches that affirmations are to be made with certainty in the present, without words like “I am trying, wanting or going to …” Instead, solidly declare “I am now doing …” in your affirmation. This way, there is no lack of direction. You are stating your affirmation with the result you want as though you already have it, without want or need.

I think one of the most important things that affirmations can accomplish is to help us talk more lovingly to ourselves. This creates positive experiences from the inside. Indeed, spiritual self-love is the key to life because everything starts from within, and when we fully love ourselves, we remember that love is what we all are.

So declare how life is, and believe that it is so! Take your affirmations to heart and live by them. Expand your affirmations to include a larger picture of the world that believes in the highest attainments for all of humanity.

Here are some of my personal favorite affirmations:

 

I love my life! I love living here. I love the people I get to share life with.

I am receiving beautiful, light-filled experiences of life.

I see the greatness in everyone. Everyone is amazing!

We are waking up and growing in illumination. Right now!

My heart is so full of love. I sense love everywhere I go.

I accept and love myself exactly as I am. My life is perfect just the way it is.

(And, in honor of Thanksgiving)

I am thankful for the gift of life and the people I get to share it with.

(to be followed by one of the most beautiful affirmations of all time)

Thank you.

Here’s to empowering affirmations! Please share your favorites with us here.

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Our souls long to be free, but how is this possible when we’re held captive by the human experience? Are we not trapped in Plato’s cave, observing obscured shadows on the wall? Nevertheless, I know that we can find freedom through spiritual awareness because I have felt it with all my being. True and unbridled freedom is our natural state, and rediscovering it is remembering who we are.

Our spirits are immortal and free, and knowing this is every human’s right, but we have been denied the truth. We have been controlled for eons by those in egoistic power. They have kept us dumb and in the dark.

Most of what popular culture calls freedom is based on fears of survival and promises of safety. It is conditional upon our obedience to those who justify one human dominating another. We have been taught that authority is “right” without question and that hierarchy is desirable, but these are simply methods of control.

Our conditioning has made us afraid to be found “wrong,” and so we follow what society dictates. Many of us have been left wandering half asleep, unable to hear guidance but plenty of fearful media. We have bought into restrictive beliefs, and even violence, because we want to feel safe and accepted. This has made us unaware and powerless. Needless to say, this is not freedom.

True freedom is liberation from fear. It is finally flourishing in our own power instead of following those who want to control us. It is questioning everything so that we find our own answers. The truth is that we are incredibly free and safe within, and this becomes obvious when we awaken to the spiritual.

True freedom means being strong in our independence and our unity. You see, false freedom teaches us to take care of our own and remain separate from others, but until we respect every person regardless of what group they’re in, we will remain trapped in survival mode. Imagine a world instead where we are raised to know our spiritual power and work in harmony with each other. This is freedom.

So many of us set the bar low when it comes to our personal freedom. We become stuck in a self-made  survival mode of obligations rather than fulfilling Higher Purpose. But our beliefs create reality, and we have the power to shift them. We have the freedom to choose at any moment moving forward to break out of limitations, including the negative things we tell ourselves.

Freedom is being open to greater awareness and living in truth instead of opinion. It is being completely authentic and free from our egos. It is ceasing the endless mind tapes of past and future and turning the judgment machine off in our heads. That way, we are free to simply experience life, and to set others free from our expectations.

Protect your freedom! Pay attention to the energy around you and your intuition – what resonates spiritually with you. When something feels wrong in your gut, including your own behavior, stop and steer away. When something feels uplifting, choose this and reside at an elevated level of lightness and freedom.

We always have a choice. We can go about for years adhering to situations that compromise our freedom, only to wake up and realize that we can liberate ourselves, no matter how difficult that might seem. Amidst the pain, there is ultimately a releasing and a dramatic break from unhealthiness. We feel lighter as we re-chart our course with a free heart that chooses love over fear.

Humanity has not been free, but now that we are rapidly evolving it’s getting easier and easier to remember what it is. We are waking up, and our world is being shaken by the truth, and freedom is being championed around the globe. We are becoming aware that at the spiritual level we’re not trapped, and rediscovering this is a kind of personal resurrection. It feels limitless and light, joyous and harmonious, and how were always meant to be.

To remember freedom has been the most exhilarating and reassuring part of my spiritual journey so far.

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Perfect

Are you like me? Do you live thinking that perfection is just around the bend – a more ideal version of your life where you will do everything perfectly? Well, it’s becoming obvious to me that this unnatural state will never get here.

I often expect people to be perfect. I don’t allow for their complete and complex humanity. I tend to strive for a kind of artificial ideal that does not include the whole self. I exclude my own humanness.

I have lived many days wondering if I will ever get things “right.” I have put off life itself while waiting for an imagined future where I will do everything “perfectly.” But this unnatural state will never get here, because making mistakes is the human experience.

It’s all designed to move us forward. Life affords a unique chance to evolve. It gives us a dramatic and dual world. When things are more loving, as they are where we come from, we remain more static. But, when we are here and are faced with human challenges, these repeated difficulties push us to grow. We are offered the opportunity to learn about ourselves and to develop rapidly at the soul level.

What we perceive as imperfection is simply a chance to evolve, and this is the journey. The process is the purpose, and knowing this reminds me to live right now, rather than for an imagined scenario that will never be. Most importantly, the journey is perfect in how it teaches. And we, as expressions of God, are divinely perfect within. We are gorgeous in our unique power.

As an artist, I have noticed that the most beautiful things are not trying to be artificially perfect. They are truthful, and as such, we can relate to them. They call on us to embrace our whole selves and yet to reach higher towards beauty’s ideal. Maybe this shows the appeal for the perfect life I’ve been trying to get to, but what I have been missing is that it’s how we handle things that matters most.

You see, life is a spiritual practice, whether we’re ready or not. It is trying to teach us how to deal with our inevitable challenges. We will always be presented with the painful difficulties we wanted to go through, for that is the point of being here. And even when we fail to rise above our difficulties, our spirits still gain immense lessons to take back home.

I have found that my humanity becomes most obvious when I’m faced with personal upsets. I know all too well the reality of applying spiritual ideals to the messy soup of life, a test I often fail with emotional embarrassment. But, there is always a giant gift beneath the fiascoes I was born to perpetuate. Often, I only see this years later when I finally recognize God’s perfect design. I become moved to say, “Thank you for this lesson, for I could not have gotten here without it.”

It is so freeing to live in authenticity rather than pretending to be perfect. Expectations can be so high amidst our glaring difficulties, but if we let go of this false sense of control, we get to see the truth and know real freedom.

Lately, I find myself rejoicing in the small mistakes I make for the feeling of acceptance they bring. I am wanting to stop fighting the frustration around me, and instead ask, “What is the lesson here?” I am wanting to be open enough to say “I don’t know, please teach me.” I am learning to love my human self completely, with all of my light and shadow. These are the grand opportunities that life offers, and I am striving to cherish these immeasurable gifts.

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Detach

Last year, I read about an inspiring Native American “Give Away Ceremony.” In the ceremony, the participants permanently give up a cherished belonging, and subsequently, experience tremendous growth.

Spiritual teacher Drunvalo Melchizedek describes the purpose of releasing something we feel we can’t live without: “because we place so much value on our possessions, and because our emotional body is also often connected to these possessions, profound healings can occur.” The participants in the book each give a sentimental keepsake away and feel deeply changed by what is accomplished. It is a simple exercise that becomes transformational.

While reading this, I thought of my most prized belonging. It is a gold ring that my parents gave me for Christmas at 14. The ring is a simple vintage wedding band, and I’ve worn it for 27 years. Over the years, it has become a kind of symbol to always be true to myself.

This ring bridges my past with my future. Along the way, it has become a token of parental love, self-respect, and consistency. Such is the emotional attachment I have given to this object. And I have felt that I could never, ever part with it.

Well, six months ago in a bout of pre-travel frenzy, I accidentally threw the ring out. Now of course, I didn’t purposefully give my possession away in a beautiful ceremony. I mistakenly sent it to the garbage dump. But I did have to let it go. Consequently, I experienced some invaluable growth.

Material things can largely be replaced, but the emotions that we attach to them are very hard to say goodbye to. At first, I mourned the loss of my little belonging – I’d been through a lot while wearing this ring, but in some ways it held me captive there. My emotions quickly turned into release, and I began to feel a break from the past – from old patterns and expectations, from self-evaluations and limits, and all I’d long associated with it. I began to mentally detach from other objects too – my home, my possessions, and so many things that I used to hold on to very tightly that made me feel safe. All this from a little piece of jewelry.

I became grateful for the unfolding lesson and felt motivated to reinvent myself beyond prior definitions. I realized that I don’t need anything, and especially not a ring so that I can be true to myself.

Our possessions limit us, and losing them can be liberating. The energy once focused on the material becomes available for higher purpose.

Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron teaches that life is constant change and there’s nothing we can cling to for long. We hold onto our things because they offer a sense of permanency. Of course, this goes way beyond the material. We cling to people, experiences, emotions and places. We want something and we try to keep it for our own, but this creates imbalance. Attachment takes us outside of self fulfillment and we become dependent upon things that can never provide what we seek. When we detach, we free ourselves from the cage we have made.

And yet, how do we love something on earth without wanting a part of it for ourselves? I can’t imagine a full experience of life without attachment. I think it is the wanting and releasing that teach us so much. We literally rise above the past and all of our experiences, and we are stronger.

I feel such overwhelming gratitude for my loved ones and beloved pets who have taught me these lessons – who have shown me the spiritual in life through letting go. Love will always survive our desires.

The ring that carried such nostalgia has no meaning to me now. But, what does remain and shine out exponentially is the incredible love for my parents and the self-respect that was symbolized. Love will always transcend our attachments.

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