Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

So many of us can feel like we’re not good enough in life. Our egos might scramble to prove otherwise, but so often, self-defeating thoughts lurk in the back of our minds. These sabotaging beliefs take a heavy toll on us, but we have the power to change them. We have the ability to take charge of our beings.

To fully love oneself within the human condition is undoubtedly a challenge, but I believe that it is one of the main reasons we are here.

Now self-love is entirely different from pumping the ego up. And self-love is the key to spiritual growth. See, when we don’t love ourselves enough, we act selfishly. We never get enough validation from within, and so we seek it outside of ourselves with a hunger that negatively impacts our relationships.

You see, how we treat ourselves is how we treat others. When we think so little inside, we tend to not see the value in those around us. But, when we completely value and love ourselves, we can completely value and love others. When we build love from within, we create a solid foundation from which to live.

This is how we become centered and whole, and able to contribute our strongest gifts to the world. This is how we flourish and shine.

Every person deserves this. You deserve this, beautiful friend. Because if you don’t already know it, you are so spectacular and limitless, and love is your truest nature. You are so incredibly loved in this universe, and God wants you to know it, and to fully believe this for yourself.

Everything starts from within, and when we truly love ourselves, we remember that love is who we are. Love is the everlasting answer to everything. It is like a network of light that connects us, and when one soul brightens, the rest surge as well. We are one after all, and this becomes obvious when we love.

Your life is a grand mirror of yourself that is reflecting your inner world. Your beliefs and thoughts are being shown back to you so that you can really see them and really grow. This is the golden opportunity that your life affords.

Your spiritual journey is a path of self discovery that is leading you to expand the love within. When you shift by completely believing in yourself, and overcome the external challenges telling you otherwise, you accomplish what you came here to learn.

You are here to learn how to love yourself more. You are going through this human experience to become ever brighter in this way. When you do, you shine out with a radiance that no one can deny.

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This winter holiday, I wish to experience all the profound peace that the season holds. I wish to unplug from incessant scheduling and electronic distractions, and feel what is magical again. I want to hear the quiet of nature, and in that stillness, remember the sacred in everything.

Let us listen to the silent night together, and feel a thrill in our hearts for the gift of life! May we receive all the spiritual riches we are being given. May we realize that we are a luminous part of it all.

So often, we deny ourselves our own worth. We can so easily feel like we are never enough – like the next teacher or book will hold answers that only we can give. Even the New Age world can leave us feeling inadequate. But the truth is that we are so incredibly special and so loved.

Do not doubt yourself, brave soul, but sing the unique song you came here to sing! Sing it out loud for all to hear. You are so very brave as you get back up again and again in this shining opportunity called life. Remember that you do it to grow with love.

Now, in our human evolution, you are getting to a place of inner knowing without words. And it comes naturally to all of us – even those who aren’t “spiritual.” This knowing is simply love.

We love each other so much. Stop and listen, and see that this is everywhere. Love is the eternal message delivered by illuminated masters through the ages. It is the message of the story of Christmas, delivered by a newborn who came to remind us of our true essence.

I think the nativity scene beautifully explains the unconditional love that we are capable of. Because this is what we feel for our own children. It is what we are at heart. Unconditional love teaches us how to relieve our suffering and how to find our true selves. It is always the answer.

May we each of us on this earth forgive ourselves for our human struggles, and realize how beautiful we are – indeed, how spectacular and eternally loving! May we feel the immaculate peace within our souls in the silent night, amidst the natural beauty of winter.

It is dusk as I write this, and the woods paint a fitting scene. The trees are bare, reaching with elegant branches that slumber and yet are vital with life. They are pregnant with the buds of spring. The tree trunks form arches that link together, making a kind of graceful architecture. They have built high windows that frame the setting sun as it turns scarlet! And before my eyes, they transform into a magnificent cathedral, graced with stained glass in all the colors of fire. Before my eyes, the woods have become a glorious temple to God’s love – to our love that is burning with increasing intensity that no one can deny.

We have been dormant on the earth for but a brief time. Now, we are waking up to birth what has always been in our hearts. We will find ourselves starstruck by this love that we hold. And then we will know that it has always been within us, simply waiting to be born.

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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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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 believe that we have tremendous power to help others with our thoughts, words, and deeds. We can put our incredible energy towards someone instead of being neutral or even against them. We can encourage their highest personal goals and help bring them to life, while respecting their free will.

I think sometimes we hinder each other without even realizing it. Perhaps we are unaware of the power we have, or maybe we’re just preoccupied with our own endeavors. We have certainly been trained to compete so that we will be accepted. But when we support another, this feeds us as much as them. It reminds us of the one of we and ignites our own dreams.

If we can join together instead of feeling separate, we can harness the magic of endless possibilities within the human experience.

I am so inspired by the loving support people give, but I see the potential for more. We can actually envision the success of what our family and friends are trying to create, and imagine them flourishing. We can help them to manifest their dreams by listening and visualizing along with them. This means wanting the highest experiences for others with our whole being, and living from this place of supportive love.

Far too often, we focus on practical obstacles that say, “oh, that will never work.” But imagine if we were to fully, deeply support others – if we were to make our words and thoughts positive, especially in the stories we tell ourselves. Let these stories be purely supportive. Let us reach higher for another in the mind, especially if they can’t see it for themselves. And, we can give others the freedom to create in their own way, without thinking about how it affects us or fits with the image we have of them. We need to let others be free so that they can thrive.

There is great beauty in building positive experiences together, instead of feeling alone with lack. Giving begets giving that is reflected back to us, as is pure love offered purposefully. And it’s easy to do once we try – in fact, it is contagious! We can set the example by projecting a beautiful mirror from within. We can show others the possibilities from our souls, where it all begins.

Project positive and loving images for yourself, because you create what you experience. And project with others in group settings. When we combine our focused energy, we can move mountains.

Today, think of the dreams your loved ones have and visualize them coming true. Take a moment to picture everyone you know living their Higher Purpose. Feel this in your heart and put your belief behind it.

We can co-create a beautiful reality that supports what we each came here to do, instead of naming the practical details that bog us down. One of the best gifts that you can give another is your positive energy, and when you operate from this level of support, miraculous things can occur. Anything is possible; anything can be created, and there are no limits. We can make a fulfilling world of dreams intertwining with each other by joining forces.

While writing this post, I see a bride walking towards the beach. She is surrounded by people supporting her, and they are reminding me how important it is to celebrate everyone in life – how vital it is to show each other how special we are. This wedding is just one symbol of the many ways we can honor the sacred within each other and support our flourishing.

So let life be a party instead of a competition. Let it be a bright ceremony that demonstrates the love that surrounds us. I believe that it is everywhere, waiting to be enjoyed, and wanting to manifest from all the earnest dreaming of our hearts.

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Nurturing one another seems like the most important thing that we can do throughout our days, because frankly, living is hard. As Mary Lane artfully puts it, this is one “outrageous ride” down here in the trenches of life. It is a long journey to rediscover the magic hidden within our experience. Again and again, I am reminded how crucial it is to help each other bloom through it all.

And I am inspired by how much I see people tending to others. It is beautiful to see the ways that we support each other and offer protection, and the ways that we encourage unique beauty to thrive. For myself, I am trying to tread more softly with generous love, instead of trampling with my judgments. It is up to me to make life a garden rather than a battlefield.

And life shows me the way. To need each other and be needed are the transformative challenges of being human. They carry forward our evolution – showing us the sanctity of being here. They show us the connection of souls, fulfilling us from within.

The design of life is to be born completely vulnerable and dependent upon others, so that we must participate in the grand exchange of love. As a mother, I am often overwhelmed by the duty of nurturing, only to be transformed by the whole experience. There is an honor in being the one to provide what another needs, and to feel sacred love returned in whatever form it takes. Life is meant to be shared, and it shines when we do so with love.

Behind all nurturing lies the limitless and healing power of love. It is harnessed through heart and hands that offer compassion – that demonstrate reverence of a holy nature. There is I think an ultimate nurturing when we care for a complete stranger – when we step outside of our small circle of loved ones, and to me this is grace itself. I am reminded of Mother Teresa, who rolled up her sleeves to shelter those in need, inspiring the world and showing us what really matters. I think she was shocked by the suffering we allow our fellow humans to endure, and her bright life taught how incredibly important it is to take care of everyone.

Far too often in our personal lives as well, the heart-wrenching opposite of nurturing takes place, but I am starting to believe that we are each meant to experience resurrection from our past, our wounds, and our sorrows. Behind all negativity lies the positive, and I am relieved to know that one positive action can outshine the negative exponentially.

We often forget to nurture ourselves – to take the time and energy to replenish from within so that we can help others. Nourish yourself beyond what the world often feeds you, and see your extraordinary, unique beauty. Care for yourself lovingly, especially when you are feeling down, and be open to receive the gift of nourishment from another.

You are not alone. We are not alone, and we are each a brilliant light to revere and see in each other. I have found that our modern world can box us in, treating us as separate consumers. We are closeted indoors and made to follow, but I know that we are magnificent life-force itself. Own this in yourself. You are so incredibly special – you are an integral, essential part of our experience, and of the wide universe, and it is your birthright to always be nurtured.

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Sometimes I think that life is just one giant lesson in compassion. It seems to me that we’re continually given very challenging opportunities to choose this higher route amidst overwhelming difficulties. This spurs our spiritual growth.

Compassion is the opposite of pity, and it isn’t even empathy. It is trying to feel on a completely equal level what another is going through. Compassion recognizes that we all struggle and wants to ease our suffering. Compassion knows that we are all connected, ultimately, with unconditional love.

We hear these two words a lot, but what exactly does unconditional love mean? I think it is loving and accepting everyone, including ourselves, exactly as we are. It is loving without expectations, competition, or judgment. It is viewing humanity from a higher perspective that sees the big picture – that sees the connection of God within each of us. Unconditional love looks upon each person as though they are our own children.

With unconditional love, the critical eye is replaced by a loving one. And this love is not something we have to earn. We deserve it, and our souls naturally operate this way. They remember this love from before we become conditioned by the human experience.

So often in life, compassion and unconditional love are the missing ingredients. But how do we realistically practice them?

Perhaps we can start by remembering that every day is an opportunity to step into another’s shoes and feel their struggle. It is a chance to ask, “How can I help this person and give more love in this situation, in a higher way that values both of us?” The growth and fulfillment that follow are miraculous.

For myself, I try to embrace my emotions that care deeply – that don’t want to look the other way or be distracted by my ego. I try to remove any superiority that might be lurking in my personality, and I work on forgiveness by letting go. I try (try!) to put judgment aside, and interestingly enough, when I stop judging myself, I stop judging others.

You see, when we quit the blame game and put an end to comparing, we start appreciating how uniquely beautiful each person is.

One exercise that can help us to feel compassion is to envision an angel’s loving arms around those who’ve upset us. When I picture the person I’m at odds with being embraced by a higher love, the anger melts away, and I see our common humanity.

The definition of relent is to relax severity and yield to compassion. We need not be so serious and demanding with each other down here, myself included. After this past emotional winter, where I feel so many of us have been working through our unresolved issues, I’ve been experiencing some sudden, natural compassion. It feels light and effortless, like much of the judgment and heaviness is gone. I’m feeling a lot of gratitude for everyone, and embracing all of our quirks, faults and darkness with loving acceptance. Now it seems so simple – we just have to help each other as we work through our personal journeys, our sensitivities, and inherited legacies. These voyages require patience and love.

One ancient and deeply moving story that captures this for me is the biblical passage of Jesus washing his disciples feet. It is full of heart wrenching symbolism that speaks to love, forgiveness, and faith. My dear twin sister tells me it’s about teaching us to lovingly, humbly serve one another, without superiority or squabbling. He is showing us the holiness in taking care of each other, before that ultimate, indescribable suffering and transcendence.

There is a beautiful Mayan expression “In Lak Ech,” or “I am another you.” We are each other, and I am striving to feel towards every person I meet. I am striving to say: “I believe in the beauty and the excellence of you, despite our differences – despite the illusion of separation that limits us.” I think limitation is our biggest obstacle, and our evolution depends upon widening our view to how limitless, benevolent, and connected we are at the core. Compassion is already within us, ready to be remembered.

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