Archive for the ‘Exchange’ Category

So many of us have been experiencing increasing synchronicity these past few years. Indeed, it seems absolutely everywhere. Sychronicity demonstrates the energy that connects us and that is us. Because we are each other, and we are infinitely expansive.

The beauty of synchronicity is that it speaks specifically to each person from the greater spiritual world. Concepts, images, words, and numbers appear as sign posts, and repeat themselves to get our attention. When we notice them and trust, it is as though the universe embraces us with a knowing wink. It says, “See, you are not alone on this earth.”

And so often, synchronicity is your support team from above communicating with you.

As time goes by, however, humans tend to rationalize away magical experiences. We try to explain what is unexplainable. You see, when we see the world from the left brain, we operate in survival mode, and it becomes challenging to remember who we really are. We forget that we are eternal, spiritual beings not doomed to live once and die.

Miracles happen all the time, but too often we erase them. We convince ourselves that they don’t exist. If you haven’t already, beautiful friend, make yourself open to miracles in your life. Because anything is possible, if only you trust. You are magic, beloved soul, and your spiritual connection is undeniable. Synchronicity is proving this to you all the time.

For myself, synchronicity has become so obvious, that it is almost laughable. From hour to hour, I see my thoughts and words reflected specifically in the environment around me. The exact idea in my head is spoken out loud in a conversation by two people passing by. Combinations of the same numbers appear on the clock every time that my attention is called to it. The identical meal I just made shows up on a tv cooking show. My questions are even answered specifically, such as when my child gives me the perfect answer with a statement out of the blue.

Synchronicity also occurs for me as a kind of spiritual classroom. I am led from one topic of growth to the next, and these topics are then reflected in my life and relationships.

Each day is filled with these signs, and they remind me that I’m on a limitless path. They reveal my inherent connection to the universe, and that I and it are so much bigger than human perception can explain. It makes me smile in amazement every time.

There are no coincidences and everything has meaning. Have you ever noticed that you have exactly what you need throughout your day, if only you don’t resist it? Life works out beautifully if we don’t work against it, and the right thing at the right time is always here. Have you noticed that you have the people you need throughout your day as well? Just the right friendly voice (one you never expected) appears in the nick of time to get through a trying moment. The universe is always trying to work with us if we just relax “control” and let it.

Synchronicity is God’s genius design revealing itself to you. The universe is singing a song just for you in your very own language. Allow yourself to hear its sweet music, and let it remind you how incredibly magical you are.

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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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The human experience teaches far more rapidly than any other method, and you are incredibly brave to have chosen it. Regardless of anything you may think you haven’t done “right” in your life, the truth is that you are here to learn. You see, the universe never judges you, for you are accepted and loved just the way you are. You must never beat yourself up or put yourself down. Putting yourself down is not humility – it is a lack of reverence for the sacred in life. You are so incredibly sacred. You are an expression of divine love who is so incredibly special, and you are here to teach us all.

Everyone is a teacher. Many people take on roles that are designed to teach, but attract tremendous criticism. Perhaps you’ve experienced embarrassing situations that leave you feeling vulnerable, but these are meant to teach everyone involved about love.

As humans, it is so easy to judge what others endure as failure, but this is just our own fear in disguise. We are all teaching each other through our difficulties. We are pointing out the ways that we suppress love and asking that we give more of it.

The great news is that this earth school is evolving, and someday soon we will be learning through more positive means. We will enjoy the bliss of creation and continue to grow, instead of suffering as we have been taught. For now, do not allow your sacred self to suffer. Do not let the difficult things that happen to you transpire in vain. Oh my God, I know just how hard they are! But use them. Let them be wake up calls that show you what you want to learn.

The justice in life is learning the lessons, and thereby expanding your love within. Injustice is suffering and repeating that suffering over again. Every bump in the road is here to get your attention and teach you something invaluable to your soul – something that you came here to study. You might not know what it is for a little while, but some day soon you will. And you may find yourself saying, “Thank you!”

And when you overcome your relentless human challenges, you become an expert on the issues you have battled. You have learned through sweat and tears, and now you can teach others what you know. Your greatest problems become your greatest gifts.

This is one of the most beautiful exchanges that life offers. You see, we are all mirrors, showing each other what we need to see. Participating in this human experience is like saying, “I will be who you need for me to be, because I want to help you.” We are so compassionate at heart.

Thank you for teaching me every day, beautiful souls! It is an honor to share the mirror of life with you.

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When our first baby was just a few hours old, my husband and I looked across the room at him sleeping, and simultaneously realized that we had fallen in love with him. Completely. This tiny being had illuminated our world with a love so deep that it changed our lives in an instant. The love we felt was unconditional and transformative in its power. And it was forever.

While watching our children grow up, we have experienced a deepening of this love. We have seen our sons emerge as whole little people, complete with the brightest light as well as hidden shadow. In fact, we love our children all the more for their human-ness, because in their eyes we see ourselves. Even negative behavior can be endearing, because it reflects the human journey of finding one’s way.

Most of all, we recognize our sons beyond shallow definitions. We are aware of their souls that transcend their human beings.

In reflecting upon this love, can we try harder to emulate it in other relationships? Can we strive to love the fullness of each person, with all of their light and shadow? I see that I often expect too much from people who are navigating their way, just like me, through this difficult human experience. And to love only the surface “good” in another is limited, incomplete, and unreal. But if I love deeper, I receive deeper love. When I am grateful for the wholeness of another, I am more accepting of myself.

You probably have someone close to you in your life whom you feel pure, unconditional love for. Be it a child, a partner, a parent, or friend. You love their whole human self, with all of their greatness and faults, including vulnerabilities and strengths. In fact, their vulnerabilities make them all the more lovable; the love that you feel is deeper because it is so real.

Think of this person now, and try to look at everyone in a similar way. Each of us is so much more than we might notice, if only we look deeper beneath the surface.

You have probably received unconditional love from someone in your life as well. With this person, you feel trusted, fully loved and always supported, regardless of your human difficulties. Reflect upon this feeling now, and turn to it with the other relationships in your life. I know how hard it can be, but imagine if we could give unconditional love to all of the people we know. What magic this would bring! To give this love reminds us of the place we come from – the place that reflects who we truly are.

Love is unconditional. We don’t have to need, want or ask for it. It is already ours. You are embodying it right now in your spectacular self.

The greatest gift that we can give to others is the greatest gift that we can give ourselves, and it is remembering unconditional love. The most important thing that we can do while human is to put this love into action, especially now as we create our new world.

When your life is over, what will matter most will be the times when you gave unconditional love – the times when you chose this all-encompassing grace over getting swept up in negativity and judgment. Remember, life on earth is so full of judgment because it is an excellent place to learn more about unconditional love. We are learning through contrast here, and although our lessons might be beyond comprehension to the human mind, they will always make sense to our hearts. They are lessons of love, and love needs no explanation.

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As we begin this momentous year, I resolve to increase my spiritual responsibility. I resolve to incorporate more spiritual discipline into my life. I am giving daily practice equal priority to my spiritual curiosity by devoting more time to meditate, heal, and practice energy work, regularly rather than just sporadically.

I want to follow the beautiful example that so many of you have set. The theme of spiritual responsibility seems to be everywhere these days, and more and more of us are harnessing purpose. We are finding that spiritual responsibility brings tremendous joy.

You see, when we are “asleep” and think that we don’t matter much, life is easier but less meaningful. It is in some ways a vacation from working on our growth. But the beautiful truth is that we each matter, and embracing our true selves means stepping up to the plate. It means becoming responsible.

Our souls obviously want this for us, but our “teenage” minds resist. They are used to making excuses and leaving larger problems to others. But now, we are waking up to make bigger choices. We know better and cannot pretend to be ignorant.

Denial of spiritual power is the easy way out, but it only cheats us. It keeps us sleepy and ineffective. Teacher Paul Twitchell shares his perspective, “God works in this way. He takes away the little problems and gives you a bigger one, and if you refuse it then you are not able to progress on the path. He is building your responsibility to life, for someday … it will be your duty to run the entire universe.”

We are powerful, and our actions make an impact. The flap of our “wings” affects the whole world. So let us be more responsible with the energy that we generate. Let us become empowered rather than wounded. Our spirits long to lead us, if only we allow them to.

2012 is the year to set a new standard for living that champions grace, integrity and love. I finally get it – we have to build our new world. It is up to us to actually create it. Our problems are catalysts for breakthrough solutions – for personal triumphs of spirit, and for ancient innovations the likes of which our modern civilization has never seen. We are receiving unprecedented help from above that is showing us our power, and must do our part to heal ourselves and the world. I believe with all my heart that we can transcend humanity’s pain if only we heed the call and devote ourselves to spiritual responsibility.

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Here amidst the holiday season, I’d like to explore what true giving really means.

Sometimes as modern humans, we can feel so rushed and stressed to buy gifts for each other. We feel so overwhelmed with obligation. We can think that our presents will only be acceptable if we spend a certain dollar amount. And so, our giving becomes limited before we have even begun. But this mindset can easily be overcome, because our true nature knows only abundance.

You see, we are limitless, generous beings who are briefly living in a limited world. True giving remembers this and comes from our overflowing hearts. It is a conscious gesture of love intended to enrich life by devoting our energy to another. Giving is sharing ourselves with generosity and then realizing that we have so much already, and so much to give. It is thinking about someone else’s joy before our own, and in the process, experiencing joy together.

As we all know, giving never feels that we “should” give. And it is not a contest. The prophetic expression “you get what you give” rings ever true. When we give with generosity, this is what we receive in life. But when we give from the ego, competition shows up for us in the future.

Giving is not concerned with exact and even exchanges. It is the opposite of expectation and lack. And when we reach deep and give what is most challenging, we grow immeasurably in love.

Giving is service. It is stepping out of the self to help others with our unique talents. It is erasing the lines that divide and striving to take care of all, because we see the whole picture of one.

That we set aside a time each year to give to each other is quite profound. Let it be a celebration ripe with spiritual exchanges rather than material. Let it be a thank you for the sacred that we share on this tumultuous human road.

Some Gift Ideas  –

Instead of adding to our piles of stuff, imagine gifts that bring magic. Get excited, and experience the joy of putting together a unique present rather than spending hours at the dreaded mall. Create gifts of time, care, nature, and art. Use creative materials that inspire. Give a living plant or sapling tree, seeds or herbs in a unique, recycled planter, or a beautiful candle to make wishes upon, with a home made label. Give music and poetry that stir the soul, art supplies and a canvas, or a beautiful journal and pen. Think of gifts that take care of ourselves with healthful ingredients for the kitchen or bath, using artful bowls, spoons, or jars and ingredients, tied together with handwritten recipes. Give a favorite book with your inscription, photographs beautifully presented, or a travel log for adventures. Give handmade ornaments or materials for a vision board. Help with a special project that your friend’s been longing to start by giving your time and an object to begin it.

Give experiences. Present a small token that unfolds to greater meaning, such as a ticket, a menu or a key. Treat your friend to a beautiful lunch, and then go to see gorgeous paintings at a museum, or plan an evening to stargaze. Give special luxurious presents – things to splurge on with generosity – things you’d love to give yourself. Give what is precious to you that might bring joy to someone you love. Donate in another’s name to a cause that they care about. Give something thoughtfully humorous that heals with laughter, or a gesture of beauty like flowers and evergreen branches in a lasting vase. I can think of no better gift than a handwritten letter telling all that you love about another. Tie it with ribbon as a scroll or write it on an ornamental keepsake for them to turn to throughout the year. Heartfelt words hand-painted onto mere objects transform them into symbolic treasures.

Reignite the magic we knew so well as children, and have forgotten in our day to day. Harness the creativity we have to make something precious out of the homemade. Here, on the cusp of creating a more conscious world, there are so many gifts that can help our collective cause. Look for presents that inspire by being sustainable, spiritual, and conscientious – that benefit each other and our earth. The size and cost do not matter, just the gesture and the care. If your gift comes from your own talents and your heart, then it carries invaluable riches.

Rediscover the thrill of pure giving – one of life’s greatest joys! And give from your beautiful self. Give with life-changing love.

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The spiritual concept that comes most easily to me is gratitude. Gratitude feels natural and authentic, and creates a beautiful view. It gives me a kind of heaven on earth amidst my human lessons.

Gratitude builds a light filled world that renews itself every time I appreciate life. Gratitude is my dearest teacher on this journey, and I keep her close always.

I have so much to be grateful for, and remembering this opens my perspective and lightens my step. I find myself sincerely amazed at all that people do to give of themselves, and from my heart I want to thank them. This thankfulness allows me to recognize what really matters. It shows me that there is so much more than just my story and my wants. It reminds me that the positive is always beside the negative; abundance always lies beneath appearances of lack.

Gratitude builds upon itself and provides an endless reservoir. It brings grace and love to challenging days. It has the power to cleanse the past, to teach us to rise above our fears, and to transform life beyond what we think it can be. Most of all, gratitude strengthens our connection to each other.

So often, the jobs that we do for others go unacknowledged or are just expected, but with gratitude, we pause to say thank you. We remember to appreciate one another through life’s trials, amidst our personal embarrassments and triumphs. This is all that really matters.

Gratitude holds unfathomable depths. Last week, I experienced them when my eight year old son had emergency surgery. All through a long uncharted night, my husband and I felt the most intensifying gratitude for our child. On the hospital stretcher, surrounded by the sights and smells of his newborn days, our son looked so much like the baby we had welcomed to the world – the infant we had fallen in love with. I was reminded a hundred times what an honor it is to take care of him, but he was in immense pain that our hands could not fix. When he came out of surgery safely headed for a full recovery, our spirits soared in gratitude! I gathered flowers from my garden for his hospital room, to celebrate all that he is, and tears fell shining in the September sun. My heart overflowed with thankfulness for gifts I could only begin to understand, and for the omnipresence of love. Gratitude held my hand that quiet afternoon and healed a thousand worries with the radiance of one soul – the light of my child, the brightest in my heaven on earth.

Carrying this gratitude with me, I see the sacredness of life. I feel the connections that echo what an honor it is to be given each light that walks among us. With a grateful heart, I say thank you God for each other, for benevolence and mercy, for thankfulness unbounded, and most of all for love. May I walk forward appreciating these immeasurable gifts.

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We all need to be heard, but how many of us are really listening? I am trying to work on my own listening skills, and I’m realizing just how challenging this is.

When I am talking with someone about their life, I find myself wanting to relate to their issues and show that I understand – I want to ease their struggles and even fix their problems, but these are my desires, not theirs. When I jump in to share a similar story or to offer advice, I’m not really helping another. I am speculating about things that only they can solve.

What I think this person needs most is to be heard and valued within the safety of compassion. They certainly don’t need words or interjections. You see, we can communicate so much without saying a thing.

A healthy conversation seems to strike that harmonious balance between giving voice to our authentic selves while truly hearing what others have to say. Listening and being heard then become a kind of mindful exchange. I have been so blessed with friendships that are loving and therapeutic, and what works so well is that we speak from the heart with gentle offerings, not impositions. We give empathy and encouragement, and we are truly listening to each other.

I love the way my dear friend Rosary says that we are holding the space to be present with another. Let us cherish the time with our loved ones by simply listening to the moment rather than letting it slip away amidst distraction. September 11th is such a poignant reminder of this.

But, what about listening that involves negativity? I think it is vital to be discerning about the energy we give and receive, and to strive for the highest exchange possible. If it doesn’t feel elevating, don’t be a co-creator of it (note to self!).

And it’s so important to be aware of ego competition when talking with others, something Garth Stein points out beautifully in his endearing book The Art of Racing in the Rain. He writes from the perspective of a beloved dog who sees that humans continually interrupt one another. We often deflect what others are saying and we steal each other’s stories. Stein reminds us of the importance of being silent so that another can fully express themselves. We are there for them rather than thinking about how our own problems relate. It’s about being secure in knowing that our issues are as important, instead of trying to prove it.

With listening comes the sacred quality of silence, something that I truly crave. We are so crazed in this modern world with our noisy busy-ness, talking endlessly as we move from one stimulus to another. We are swimming in a sea of constant interruption. I want to be more still, and in that stillness, to hear the spiritual world. I want to receive the present moment and pay attention to what God is trying to tell me.

So often, life-changing messages are delivered by the people we encounter, if only we make ourselves open to them. Let us quiet the chatter of our minds so that we can listen to these messages with our hearts rather than our heads. Let us also listen to ourselves by putting the practice of meditation into our lives. We can find peace within this hectic society by stopping to hear our own compassionate voices. This is how we receive the wisdom of our ancient souls.

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How do we best handle the sting when someone hurts our feelings? It can feel so surprising and emotional, but it’s also a prime opportunity for growth.

Spiritual teacher Maureen St. Germain explains that when we are children, we start to build layers around the heart every time that we get hurt. As an adult, when we experience an emotional sting from someone, whether a family member, friend, or stranger, we have a chance to face this pain again. We have a chance to work through our issues instead of blaming the person who stings us. We are being given the opportunity to open ourselves up and heal at last.

Of course it’s important not to tolerate repeat hurt from others. We must consciously stay away from those who try to dominate, mistreat, or look down upon us. It is vital to surround yourself with loving people who want you to thrive.

But I find that when my feelings are hurt, a deep life-long issue of my own lurks beneath. I work on letting the other person go from the problem, and by doing so, I immediately feel better.

If I am angry, I have found that it’s crucial not to lash out, but rather to communicate thoughtfully after I’ve processed the situation. To help process things, I’ve found that exercise is a great way to work through and release anger.  Another great way to process is to write my emotions down until I come to a compassionate place. Acting with compassion towards anyone who stings us is always the most liberating choice. We free ourselves from enemy images, and we realize that what’s happened is simply an opportunity to learn.

Then we can go within and ask – what is it that’s bothering me so much about this issue? How can I give myself more love in this area and embrace this opportunity for growth. How can I reach higher than in the past?

We can look for negative patterns and see what our soul is trying to learn. Remember, we are each trying to evolve through personal issues that span many lifetimes, and when we reach higher and overcome these issues, we grow at the soul level.

When I personally set high spiritual standards for dealing with a challenge that I face, I experience this growth, and it feels expansive and peaceful. And, when I get to a place of resolution, after a little time has passed, I feel it’s absolutely essential to internally (and formally if appropriate) thank the person who delivered the sting for bringing up this very important problem. This frees me like nothing else.

The stings that people deliver are not accidental. We attract them for our development. Our relationships teach us by reflecting our issues and pushing us to learn. They mirror our uniquely sensitive selves.

We have signed up for specific lessons. We have agreed to play roles for each other that teach. The more I gain awareness of this, the richer life gets. I own my part in the play, and I see that I’ve inadvertently stung people too. How many times do I only later realize that I’ve hit upon a delicate issue for someone without intending to. But, they needed this trigger.

Ultimately, we are so much greater than our wounds. And these wounds are extraordinary chances for growth.

Every kind gesture we give in life will be what we remember most in heaven. When I consider this perspective, I am inspired to help resolve my stings with more grace. These days, it still takes a little time for me to get over my hurt feelings, but reacting negatively doesn’t feel right at all. I am finding it easier to thank others for bringing up my issues, and I’m actually grateful for the role they have played to help me grow beyond my old patterns. And, the glimpse of unconditional love that I am given is well worth the sting.

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I’ve always wondered why mainstream culture hides the spiritual meaning of life. Why aren’t more people shouting from the rooftops what existence is all about, in a way that isn’t tied to old systems of exclusivity or violence – in a way that helps every human in a body? Instead, we have to search through veiled mystery and uncertainty. We question ourselves while feeling very alone in our questioning.

I believe that this is not by accident. We have been taught to follow systems that keep our eyes on the ground and our minds preoccupied with squabbling. And so, religions go to war with each other and perpetuate violence in the name of God. They raise us to look down upon more peaceful, indigenous cultures that celebrate the spiritual.

While I embrace the truth in all religions, I feel that our deep connection to God has been obscured. We need only look at how women have historically been treated for proof. We can look further at the western world too. When reincarnation was taken out of the Bible so that we wouldn’t believe in second chances, we lived in fear of personal extinction and did as instructed to save ourselves. This took most all of our energy. It took our inherent freedom away.

When authority labeled us as sinners, we forgot our loving power and became repentant subjects. But making God’s children loathe themselves does not respect God. A lifetime of begging for forgiveness will never allow us to spiritually grow. If only we knew the truth.

We have been asleep for a long time. The amnesia of life and of our conditioning can feel debilitating, but some would argue that searching is a required part of life – that coming out of the darkness is the natural evolution of consciousness. In the end, we might say the unfolding is perfect.

But I think it’s time to help each other by sharing information in bolder ways. Now I see many wise and loving people doing this, and it is exciting! For example, many are sharing the compassionate teachings of Jesus in ways that don’t preach or exclude, or incite wars. But I also see some spiritual teachers perpetuating the hierarchy of the ego. I see media figures hiding their truth with trepidation. And I notice people (including myself) remaining quiet in conservative surroundings. Our world still suffers from a limiting mindset that scoffs at the great beyond.

In his movie Hereafter, Clint Eastwood refers to this as “The Conspiracy of Silence.”  Indeed, the mass silence is deafening. Time is of the essence, and I want to see more courageous truth. I believe that we must break through our residual fears of not conforming and bravely say that life is spiritual.

What I want to share most is that our souls do not die at death. We are eternal, spiritual beings experiencing lifetimes on earth. When we are living here, we can feel very separate from the incredibly loving place that we come from  – a blissful place where we are more alive than here. We become fearful in this human world and forget that joyous sense of complete belonging and love. Each one if us is so incredibly special to God, and rediscovering this about ourselves is our spiritual journey.

What I want to say to each of you is, make your wise voice heard! Shout out loud how you feel about this experiment of life. Tell the world what it needs to know and speak the truth within you, as a completely free person. We need your unique and essential voice, your talents, your beauty, and passion. I am so grateful to be on this journey with you.

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