Archive for the ‘Self’ Category

Each of us is extraordinary and unique. Each of us was made to be different from everyone else. We were born to shine our original talents upon the world.

You bring a radiant light all your own that is essential to our human experience. We need you, and now is the time.

I believe that we are sparks of God, created as divinely perfect, and yet we are born to ever evolve. We are of God, and are connected to each other as one, and yet we are meant to shine as individuals. And we do a pretty amazing job navigating through this most difficult school – this human journey that is a dramatic chance to shine brighter. In fact, you are so incredibly brave to be here.

We are here to mature in responsibility and to become caretakers of life. We are learning from our tremendous challenges, but these lives are not who we are. They are simply obstacles designed to help us grow higher, but they are not our identity. So let go of these identifications, for it is like taking a test and letting the test define you. When these brief, challenging lives of duality have been lived, the perspectives gained and the brave spirits we learn them with will be what remain. As will the radiant, one-of-a-kind and ever-growing soul of you.

Oscar Wilde famously said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Let us not compare or imitate, or aspire to be anyone other than who we are at the core. Let us celebrate originality and lead ourselves strongly with our own intuitive power. Be true to yourself! Be true to the authentic and steadfast you that resonates from within. This true self is meant to be in charge of your life rather than the ego.

The ego wants you to win with rules that bind your spirit. It will try to convince you to emulate homogeneous ranks, but your true you wants to shine the spectacular light that is your birthright.

Author Mary Lane illuminates so beautifully that we often lessen our greatness in front of others. She says, “I have dimmed my fire all my life so I would be accepted.” She reminds me that I intrinsically belong here in my unique-ness, not in spite of it. She cheers me on, saying, “Allow your fire to burn brightly” and with no apologies! I am envisioning a glorious world where we each shine in this way.

At the end of this human journey, you will be the one who evaluates your life, so make it what you want it to be. Believe in yourself, and others will too! And embrace your invaluable worth. The universe has been trying to tell you how amazing you are your whole life. Know this as you steer steadily towards your dreams and what you came here to do.

Listen to what your heart truly desires so that you can follow your unique path and no one else’s – so that you can build an inspired reality all your own that creates each day with authenticity. This means focusing on how things feel from your soul instead of how they might look to others. It means purging anything you have taken on that isn’t you. So be pure in yourself and let your life sing out with integrity.

Love the sacred spark of God you are and watch your spirit soar! If you only knew just how much you are loved in God’s universe – it is beyond what one can fathom on this earthly journey. Let your heart illuminate our world with this love that transforms. Own your vital light and help our collective cause – our rising consciousness. Your shining soul is on this human road of metamorphosis, finding its way to flourish beneath the stars. Shine on bright soul! Shine on.

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I have learned to recognize my ego “voice” that pops up in my life. It is an immediate, almost involuntary message in my head that competes and compares, and sees people in terms of hierarchy. My ego believes in looking right most of all, and it is sneakily reassuring. Having awareness of this voice has been a revelation in my life.

The ego creates a self that feels completely separate from others. It forgets the unity that we come from. The ego takes individuality to a destructive level, igniting arguments and defensiveness. It suffers from a lack of compassion, and I shudder at what we often do for it – how we sweep people aside to feel momentarily superior. The key word is momentarily, because the ego lives in a tent that collapses. It needs to be propped up with most of our precious energy. It will never shelter us from the storms of life.

Spiritual teacher Christine Day writes: “the ego mind is incredibly limited; it is motivated to keep you in survival mode. When you are in survival mode, the full motivation connected to decision-making is through fear, lack and struggle, and these motivations are entirely connected into the illusion of third dimensional reality.” This cycle keeps one “constantly limited in your ability to create.” It doesn’t help that society’s controlling systems support the ego. But Day tells us that we can reconnect with our powerful hearts, and they can guide us out of the mire. Our hearts can help us build the lives we long for.

Longing is separation. It is feeling perpetually unsatisfied because we have forgotten our true selves. So often, we rely on the ego to make ourselves feel better, but it never will. You see, it can’t provide you with self-love.

You ego will always feel a need to prove that you are worthy, but you deserve to be loved just the way you are, and your soul knows this. Your ego will prompt you to run a grueling race, and as soon as you cross the finish line, it will ask you how you’re going to prove yourself tomorrow. It will never satisfy you.

Your ego loves to spin “stories” from the past that distract you and keep you working on its behalf. It wants you to be who you are not and to “win,” but there is nothing to win anyway. What you gain has no lasting value, just a fleeting fight to feel superior. I think this is where violence begins. I have noticed that my ego wants things that I don’t and is unaware of the choices my soul has made. I used to define my ego as my desire to be special, but now I see that we are all already special.

The task is to recognize the ego’s cry for love and then to act with love. When the ego feels weak, it lashes out to defend all that it identifies with. When a peer tells us about a personal accomplishment, the ego reacts with jealousy. It feels that another has something we don’t. In both of these situations, we simply need to be more loving to ourselves and to others.

I want to see a world where we cheer each other on through life’s deeper issues instead of competing at the surface; where we are aware of the ego’s thirst for personal gain that never fulfills and choose instead to reach spiritually higher.

Up until now, the ego has served its purpose. It has protected humanity through the survival mode of the past, but now it is time to take back control. We can thank the ego for helping us to function in the world, but now we get to be in charge.

Now, we are evolving beyond the ego. We are blossoming into authentic spiritual power. The truth is that we are so much more magnificent than we often think – than all we have built our lives around. Each of us is beautifully, divinely unique, and there is nothing to compare, ever.

I think most of us do this to see if we are “normal” – if we fit in and are on the “right” track, but when we compare anything, we make it less special than it is. And, if we simply follow the inner guidance of our soul and pay attention to how we feel, we will be steered perfectly through life. If we operate from our hearts and our souls, we will create our highest dreams.

You are a glowing universe unto yourself, limitless and eternal, and at the same time you are one with everything. Without the ego in charge, joy reveals itself to be right here at your fingertips. You find what you have been missing – unconditional love and presence. You remember who you really are, and you are free.

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Power II

Many of us ask, “If God is the most powerful, then why do bad things happen?” I believe that we are deeply and intrinsically connected to God while on earth, and are sacred expressions of God, but we are the ones directly living the details of life. I think it’s in our power to make this a great experience or a miserable one.

Of course, bad things do happen – awful and painful things, such as life-altering illnesses. But I feel that, with awareness and love, we have the power to grow through these experiences.

I have often blamed God for the hardship I see in the world, and for how tremendously challenging it is to be a human being. But looking at the big picture helps me to recognize my spiritual part in the play of life. I now realize I have a far greater role than I thought, and an inherent connection to God’s love. I remember that we are here to evolve and to bloom into our power that lets us thrive instead of suffer.

I believe that my obstacles are here to teach me. I have found that when I fully love others and myself, I create a joyful reality. I grow from the lessons I wanted to come here to learn.

Powerlessness is thinking that we don’t affect the world – that what we do doesn’t matter, but it turns out that it does. I think we have a lot of control, but we’ve simply been asleep at the wheel. Waking up to this realization can be dramatic. We might feel unprepared, much like a child instantly becoming an adult, but accepting the truth brings miraculous transformation.

Instead of taking control through the ego, or giving our power away to other people’s egos (often unknowingly) we can reclaim our magnificent spiritual power. We do create our lives at a deeper level, with our choices and beliefs, and we can do so consciously. We can grow rapidly and beautifully by flourishing rather than struggling, something so important in these changing times. It is our responsibility to work on our issues by adding more love, no matter how hard that might seem from our old perspective. We get to replace the survival mode of the mind with the endless dreams of our soul.

If you are searching for your power, how can you find it? All you have to do is ask. Power begins with the desire to own it. You are naturally powerful and already intuitive – you need only believe in yourself and trust your inner guidance.

Power reveals itself when we make our spiritual growth a priority – a joyous one that we feel drawn to as it magically unfolds. And, by removing the limiting illusions we have relied upon, such as authoritative rules, we can free the fears that take our power away. As James Barrett says, your energy is your power. So don’t give it to those who make you feel small. Live with compassion, but focus on what really matters to you that lifts everyone up. Know that just by being in your power, you illuminate all of us. Together in our power, we can transform humanity. We can live with love, which is the greatest power of all. I think striving to look upon the world with love every day, and being present, are the secrets to creating a beautiful life.

What else can you do? Love your human-ness as well as your spirit; love every part of yourself, and believe that you are worthy of every great dream you have, because you emphatically are! As an exercise, you can passionately state, “I accept and embrace my power. I am a co-creator of life. I am powerful.”

Be commanding of the positive things you want, instead of misguided ventures like trying to change people or proving yourself. You don’t have to prove a thing.

Power is your birthright. Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey writes, “Accept your power. You are great and mighty. True power comes not from the ego, but from the collective One of your spirit, your very being. True power is gentle power… Embrace the power of your spirit, of living intentionally as the co-creator of everything that you seek.” I am reminded of the biblical idea that the meek shall inherit the earth. I think this refers to our gentle power. And I believe it can change our world into a paradise.

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Power. I used to wince at this word when I came across it in spiritual books. It felt like the opposite of what I was seeking, conjuring up images of domination and greed. But the empowerment of the spiritual world is a gentle, benevolent mastery we have always had. It is our eternal, creative power that is an essential part of the universe.

So many of us have never been told that we are powerful. We have been taught the opposite instead. We have been told that we are limited and in need of being controlled by a higher authority – even by God. But, we are each a very special and direct aspect of God. And I feel that we’re all going to be rediscovering our spiritual power.

We have a gentle and omniscient power from within that is compassionate, wise, and free. It is loving beyond the imagination, and has a strong desire to help others. This is who we really are at the spiritual core. Enlightenment is rediscovering this natural power, and when we remember it (for that is what it is, a remembering) we can take responsibility and transform the human experience.

These changing times that we are living in are all about becoming self sustaining. They are about becoming stronger instead of relying on others for what they will never be able to provide – such as inner happiness. This is why the spiritual journey is, in essence, a discovery of the self. That is why it is about finding your own power that has always been within you.

Right now, we humans are slowly waking up from a deep sleep of conditioned beliefs. We are realizing that we’re not unworthy and hopelessly flawed, but just the opposite. We are realizing that we’ve been purposefully dumbed down. It begins early in life, when people tell us – “You don’t know anything, you have to prove yourself (with your ego) in this world, and look at all that you’ve done wrong.” We carry this background noise of judgment into adulthood. The old systems around us reinforce this, as does our modern disconnect from nature.

The unhealthy power that our egos strive for was born out of survival and spiritual forgetfulness, and this has harmed our world, but it has never been our true identity. Now, we can begin to reclaim our spiritual power by no longer defining ourselves with limitation. If you don’t already know it, dear friend, you are limitless. You are an incredible, direct spark of God, and you have immense power to lovingly co-create life.

Recently, I felt my power, and here’s what I experienced. I felt a pure feeling rather than a vision – a deep and natural all-knowing within my whole self, not my left brain. The familiar confining layers of life opened up, and suddenly I knew the wide expanse of existence. And all that I knew was incredible joy.

This feeling was so benevolent, easy, and euphoric. It filled me with the belief that anything is possible. I realized that I’m not separate from anything, and at the same time, I laughed at how overwhelmingly free I really am. I knew with certainty that I am a compassionate co-creator at heart, just as you are too. This feeling lingers with me, and I will never be the same.

I believe that this feeling is who we really are. We don’t have to live under the control of others and be at their mercy, or go along with agendas that harm our world. We can powerfully lead the creation of a loving environment, and it starts with accepting that we are each worthy of fulfilling our dreams – the earnest yearnings within our hearts. We are spiritually powerful, but have simply forgotten amidst the amnesia of life. For what you seek has always been within you on this long journey home.

I think power is such a vital topic that I’ll be writing more about it next time. And, if you’re searching for your power, I’ll be offering some ideas on how to find it. Please share your wise voice with me, and stay tuned.

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Higher Purpose

Each of us has a grand purpose for our lives. This purpose harnesses our unique talents while also serving humanity. You have such a calling. You see, there is a primary reason why you are here that heightens all of our experience, and it is called your Higher Purpose.

Your Higher Purpose feels joyful and free of struggle. It is in tune with your beautiful soul. Your Higher Purpose is naturally fulfilling and what you wish to spend most of your time working on. It is your passion and what you were born to do.

When you find your Higher Purpose, you thrive in your talents that help others. You lose yourself in total creativity, and your purpose appears obvious to everyone.

But what if you’re still searching to find your Higher Purpose? How do you identify it?

Look within yourself instead of the outside world. Stop and listen to what your heart tells you, and spend some time studying who you really are. Recognize what is meaningful to you alone – what makes you feel fully alive and fulfilled. Follow your spiritual path, and even ask for it to safely accelerate.

Your Higher Purpose is often something you are naturally gifted at, that you loved to do in some form as a child. You can pinpoint it by asking, “What can I create with my favorite talents? How can I enrich both myself and those around me? How do I really want to help our world?” As many have asked, what would you work at purely for the joy of it, if making a living were not an issue?

Once you fully own your purpose, the universe makes it possible on all levels. But it’s easy to block yourself from Higher Purpose by worrying over practical details. Practicality has its place, but it can squash creativity. Be bolder and braver than that. Be the courageous leader you really are at heart.

If you simply have the desire to recognize your purpose and you pay attention, it will make itself known. In fact, at some level you already know what your Higher Purpose is. Sometimes, it is so simple and obvious that you might over-think it. You might assume that it has to be overly grand.

Most likely, your Higher Purpose is already in your life in some way. You have probably done more with it than you realize and over many lifetimes. Your purpose might also have more than one expression.

It’s important to look at what might be keeping you from living your Higher Purpose. What if you were to let those things go – the things that are preventing you from living in true fulfillment? Is anything more important than this?

Sometimes, we need to become rebels in order to live out Higher Purpose. We need to rebel against society and what’s expected of us in order to embrace our passion. Ultimately, this elevates many lives around us in meaningful ways.

So try to drop what feels unimportant to you. Drop any obligations or distractions, because we need you in bigger ways. And remember that it is never too late. Even if we only spend the very last bit of our lives in Higher Purpose, that time illuminates all that came before.

My favorite example of fulfilling Higher Purpose is the life of the naturalist John Muir. He was born with an incredible passion for nature and began expressing this love to others through his writing. His journals made people notice the beauty that they often overlooked, and this brought these people fulfillment in return. Muir went on to protect the very nature he loved, founding the Sierra Club and helping to create America’s National Parks. To this day, America’s unspoiled natural beauty reconnects us with the grandeur of nature, and Muir’s writing continues to inspire this curious soul herself, over a century later. That is Higher Purpose, but again, it doesn’t have to be so grand.

To paraphrase Orin and Sanaya Roman, our Higher Purpose is our spiritual evolution. It is our creative process that we grow through. And it has nothing to do with fame or ego pursuits. In fact, our purpose comes naturally when we put these things aside and decide to help others.

As I was working on this post, I heard Oprah sum it up perfectly in her final show: “Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and to get about the business of doing it.” She goes on to say, “Know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.” I am envisioning an earth where we encourage and support each other to do this.

I passionately believe that you can change our world, and you are meant to do so joyfully, through your own incredibly special Higher Purpose.

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I believe that our most basic intuition is our gut, and I think it holds invaluable wisdom. I am trying to listen to my gut more often by being aware of how situations, people and places make me feel. When I start to feel uneasy, negative, or defensive, I know that something is unhealthy. This signals me to stop giving my energy here. I then refocus on the things that make me feel joyful, positive, and valued.

I love that we all have this built in barometer to navigate our way through life. And I also love that it’s based on feeling and being, rather than thinking in words. The gut warns us to avoid negative energy, or reminds us that we’re not on the right track and to change direction. We can listen to these warnings without judging the negativity that we sense, but instead simply identify it and become aware.

Feeling uneasy means that we don’t feel free, and that we need to detach from negativity, whether we’re holding on to it or whether it’s simply in the room. Ultimately, we are the ones who trap ourselves through attachment, and we have the power to set ourselves free.

For me, if uneasy feelings linger, I try to be completely honest with myself about why. If a person or situation is devaluing me, I need to walk away, but if I’m hooked into my own stubborn emotions, I look for my hidden shadow. I try to find what I’m attached to, whether it’s an outcome I’m expecting, or another’s opinion, or a goal for my ego. This attachment is not healthy, and it’s important that I not make excuses for it. Excuses trap us, whereas honesty frees us.

For example, I have found that when I share with a friend why I really, deep down don’t want to do something, instead of giving the answer that might make me look good, then we both experience an opening of the heart. Understanding blooms on both sides. And if I find myself focusing on negativity, I work on letting it go in myself, and this often involves forgiveness, compassion and love.

Severing negative attachment can be challenging and can take time, but ultimately it brings a feeling of liberation that is transformative. The most healing way that I’ve found to resolve my attachment is to share truthfully from the heart – to express fully what I am feeling and to see it from a new compassionate perspective.

Looking back on life, I see that the warnings are always there. If we heed them at the first sign, we can save ourselves and others a lot of suffering. You can check in with yourself regularly, and simply ask – how is this making me feel? Don’t give your beautiful energy to anyone or anything that makes you feel less than you are. Don’t harbor those who operate against you. Seek out healthy places, people and situations that support you in extremely positive ways. You deserve to feel harmonious and valued as you’re meant to. You deserve to be free, joyous and light, always.

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This post is on the often overlooked importance of self-love. Of course, focusing on the self can appear selfish, but it is the key to spiritual growth.

You see, we originally come from the same incredibly loving place, where we are united as one blissful energy. Because of this inherent unity, when we value the self, we are valuing others. If we can be more accepting, compassionate and kind to ourselves, then we know how to be this way to each other.

Going through the self is the way to truth. Every issue we have is here. Self-awareness prevents unnecessary fears that blame other people for our problems. It also helps us to have a caring awareness of those around us. When we nurture ourselves, we see this healthiness reflected in our relationships.

Orin and Sanaya Roman write, “What is loving to the self is always loving to others. Transformation of the planet begins with transformation of the self.” If we start on the inside, we can change the world.

Here is an exercise by teacher Maureen St. Germain that fortifies the self. It generates more love from within.

1. Start by writing down the loving statements that you’ve heard people say about you in your life. Take a little time to remember and list them, starting with your closest family, then present and past friends.

2. Next, call your cell phone and record these words with great tenderness and feeling, beginning with “I love you.”

3. Listen to this voice message twice a day for 45 days, re-recording your message as you remember more and can add more feeling. I have found that you can also record a message purely in your own words to yourself, when self-compassion is evident, to listen to as needed.

I know that it sounds so narcissistic, but this exercise helps to create a solid foundation of love from which to live. It makes us centered and whole, and able to contribute our strongest gifts to the world – what every person deserves.

When I began this exercise, I immediately realized “I just have to love myself better. It has nothing to do with anybody else.” I felt my heart open. When we open our hearts to loving ourselves one hundred percent, we can support and forgive ourselves, which is at the root of all healing. And, when our hearts are opened, we can fully love others. It then becomes obvious that self-love is essential. When everyone sees how special they are, and we can throw our outdated egos out and live harmonious lives.

Another way to strengthen self-love is to create a positive, supportive inner dialogue, to replace the one that judges our unique qualities. We often reject ourselves for not measuring up to human definitions, but we need to accept ourselves exactly as we are, and to recognize the divine perfection that we embody. One way to help with this is to look with compassion at the baby picture we have of ourselves and our loved ones. To me, this illustrates that we are all on this challenging adventure that began with very brave hearts. I believe that we agreed to play roles for each other, in order to help each other to grow. I wish to express to each of you how special, beautiful and brave you are to be here.

*Check out Dr. Kristin Neff’s inspiring web site on self-compassion, http://www.self-compassion.org/

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