I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon that often occurs when people devote themselves to continuous self-improvement, whether in the arena of health, career, success, relationships or money: they lose themselves. They abandon their inner wisdom, their genuine longings and their inspired impulses and, instead, place all of their trust in the formulas and processes taught by outside experts.
Theresa (not her real name) sat across from me, her head tilted slightly at an angle and her forehead wrinkled in concern. She had just finished telling me how long she has wanted to create an experience of financial prosperity, yet still she is struggling. She leaned forward and asked out loud, more to herself than to me:
“What am I doing wrong? Do I not want it enough?
The number of people who report having tried online dating is approximately 50 million in the U.S. (www.statisticbrain.com). Several studies have been conducted to explore the demographics of the users, average amount of money spent on services, number of matches resulting in long-term relationships, marriage, etc. In a recent study completed by Consumer Reports, they found that “online dating, however painful and time-consuming, often does produce
It’s no secret that we currently have an epidemic of substance abuse in the US. Not only are opioids and heroin usage on the rise, but also the rate of alcoholism is skyrocketing. In fact, in 2015, the CDC reported the death rate from alcohol related illnesses such as cirrhosis of the liver and alcohol poisoning is at a 35-year high. Although most people are aware of the crisis, many may not have a clear understanding of what addiction really is. Let’s look at some of the common misconceptions.
Dreaming is a natural process that happens just by virtue of being human. And like other natural processes such as breathing, it does its work whether or not we pay attention to it. But like with breathing, if we do pay attention, we can begin to have a different and perhaps deeper kind of relationship to it. When we learn how to purposely take deeper breaths, we begin to have new kind of living connection to our body. It can be like this and so much more when we pay attention to the natural process of dreaming. When we intentionally dive deeper into our dreams, we develop a new kind of relationship with the totality of ourselves and to the world we live in.
Years ago, when I first realized I didn’t actually want the corporate career I had so diligently and doggedly pursued, I did what many people do at the dawning of such a realization: I tried to figure out alternatives.
As part of that mental analysis, I outlined several options available to me based on my education and experience. One of those options was to open my own accounting or tax business, since I was a CPA. And so, just as diligently as I had pursued extra responsibilities at work so I could earn promotions and move up the career ladder, I continued taking Continuing Professional Education classes to earn the credits I would need to maintain my CPA certificate.
Did you know that you are fearless, generous beyond thought, gracious, creative, able to shape shift your destiny?
You are! So what is keeping you from celebrating yourself, from living the bountiful life you deserve and can create?
In looking at the events of the past several years, I found a thread, a luminous thread that led me through the maze of challenges we face today. How did the events of our time form into the chaos of the world today, as well as the turmoil in our own personal lives?
- Writer's Bio: Author of the internationally acclaimed Medicine Woman Series, Lynn Andrews who has spent the last 30 years studying with shamanic women on three continents. This best selling author shares her ancient teachings of shamanic training. Lynn Andrews brings spiritual tools and compelling techniques for healing from the spiritual realm to the modern everyday physical world. Her techniques use the power of thought to take you beyond self limitation to other realities. Through live shamanic gatherings and many other media outlets, Lynn uses a wide variety of experiential tools to lead her audiences deeper into themselves. Lynn learned shamanic healing and empowerment directly from shaman women on three continents, not from lecturers at a podium, but, instead, through life learning, physical and spiritual world experience in her years with these several medicine women. Following decades of study, Lynn is now uniquely gifted in the multiple facets of shamanism, including not only healing, but also how to take others into her special world of energy and living a life of purpose with passion
On any given day, we engage in a number of activities which require us to agree to the “Terms and Conditions.” We enter into contracts with apps, cell phone providers, utility companies, banks, credit card companies, landlords, doctors, pharmacies... We have warranties and insurance policies on the goods we buy; which stipulate the terms and conditions for the care or replacement of said items. Just about everything in an American life has some kind of contract or agreement.
Like most things, our relationships have contracts—
This is the overwhelming realization Anita Moorjani had while in the other realm during her near death experience (NDE) in 2006, after a four-year struggle with cancer. In that expanded state, in a realm of unconditional love, she could see clearly that we’re not supposed to suffer with cancer or other illness. She realized that the medical community’s perspective of disease as an enemy to be conquered is completely misguided.
She could also see that we’re not meant to struggle with our finances, work or relationships. We are meant to live joy-filled lives. We are meant to experience heaven on earth. She understood that it is when we are unaware of our true worth and magnificence that we experience pain or struggle.
“Depending on our mood, we experience the identical circumstances—who we are married to, where we work, the car we drive, our potential, our childhood—entirely differently.”
—Richard Carlson From: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff (MJF Books, NY 10001, 1997).
Mood swings are a fact of life for everyone. Given the increasing scientific evidence that mind and body are interactive I have found the daily practice of rating my mental state helpful and healthful for life management. This is another mindful exercise in self awareness, a fundamental quality that elevates Homo sapiens from the rest of the animal kingdom. This practice pays huge dividends for my quality of life, so I will share my process for you to use. But first let me elaborate on some benefits of engaging a mood rating system.
- Writer's Bio: Karen is a naturopathic physician who has taken holistic healing and education into the realm of quantum physics. She is credited with “the first major breakthrough in Swedish Massage ~ research demonstrating energetic interconnections ~ since Peter Ling systemized it in the early 19th century.” International recognition for her healing and educational work includes an honorary degree, a silver medal, listing in Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women, appearances on TV and radio, lecturing in Europe and in the U.S. for professional symposia, colleges, corporations, community groups, and being featured in professional journals, magazines and newspapers. She has published more than 200 articles on holistic health and education. She has facilitated joyful well-being and health for hundreds of students she has personally certified in holistic healing and holistic massage and for hundreds more clients she has personally touched including luminaries in science, medicine and religion. firstname.lastname@example.org
The technological advancements that have been produced over the past two decades have led to a fundamental shift in our interpersonal communications with one another at work, in our social lives, and in our homes.
Face-to-face communication has widely been replaced with what is now called Computer-mediated communication (CMC). In its most basic definition, this is “any human communication that occurs through the use of two or more electronic devices” (McQuail, 2005). With so many electronic devices now at our fingertips, the ways we interact with each other, and the ways we now form relationships are vastly different than even just a few years ago; and it continues to grow and change at a fairly rapid pace.
The great promise in following our dreams is that in doing so, we come into alignment with who we really are. We literally get in the flow of our own lives and start experiencing, more and more, the inspired thoughts, unexpected opportunities, supportive people and delightful synchronicities that affirm for us the “rightness” of our path.
After receiving several questions from LWM readers in response to my article “Missteps on the Path to Finding Love” (LWM September 2015) Primarily, readers wrote to me asking for more dating advice about ‘what not to do.’ Email after email, readers shared their experiences and asked my advice. A pattern emerged: I was being asked very similar questions, despite the differences of the individual’s specific experiences and demographics (age, sex, etc.).
Below are two of the more common questions, followed by my list of general “dating don’ts.”
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” −Melody Beattie
The single most important, most widely applicable tool for fulfilled living is gratitude. It celebrates and savors our good times. It softens and helps heal the bad times. Gratitude is a habit no one is too young or too old to cultivate. Gratitude fits into any cultural, economic, religious, political or social ideology. It has no harmful side affects. It’s free. It’s instantly accessible. Gratitude is contagious. The more I use it, the more it grows. The more it grows, the better I feel. Gratitude is a no-tech app that recognizes
When I was much younger, I hoped that the intensity of my love would fix things
It’s that time of year again – February, with its own special holiday to celebrate love. And whether or not you have a certain someone in your life who is your Valentine, let me suggest something a little different. This year, vow to be your own Valentine. Decide that no one is more deserving of your respect, kindness and enthusiastic support than you, and get creative about cultivating and expressing those qualities toward yourself.
In other words…love yourself. Completely, courageously and unconditionally.
For some it is sooner rather than later, for others it comes as a shock. Some experience it in great waves and others seem more surprised that is it is happening to them. Regardless of your gender, color or ethnicity, we all experience it. It is a part of life.
Forget about new year resolutions, only 1 in 10 will succeed. They fail because we simply just don’t care enough by about getting them. Cold hard truth. If you want change, true change that is lasting we must change who we are. We try too hard to change the what we do without changing what or who is doing it. Change occurs from the inside out, not outside in. We try to change from the outside in because it seems easier and logical. We think if we do this or don’t do that we will become what we desire, yet very often we fall back to being comfortable and what is familiar. We do what are.
I turned the music up. Maybe the extra volume would supply me with the Christmas spirit I seemed to be lacking and jumpstart my enthusiasm for putting up decorations. Pausing in a roomful of opened boxes and tattered bags stuffed to the brim with memories, I waited for the music to work its magic. Nothing. I sat down and closed my eyes, giving myself full permission to halt the decorating process and, instead, simply invite my favorite Christmas music to infuse me with its exuberant energy.
She said, “Joe, I mastered the art of not getting what I want in my life.”
She went on to share examples of a failed marriage, an uninspiring career, and an uncertain future. She told me how she was on the verge of giving up hope; that the waves kept knocking her down. She felt she was running out of options and running thin on hope.
I remember the look in her weathered eyes when she asked me, “Is there any hope for me?”
Life can be tough. We all know that; and it is easy to get caught up in trying to make a living, paying the bills, raising kids, eating right, and so on. The next thing we know, that birthday with a “0” or a “5” is coming up, reminding us just exactly how far we have NOT come.
I smiled and said, “What you need isn’t hope. What you need is YOU. And that is something you have always had within you. You must access that part of you... the part of you that recognizes the truth: You are more than you’ve allowed yourself to become. Just because you have not stepped up in the past doesn’t mean that you can’t make a new choice right now. Your past does not equal your future. The question is: Will you let go of the familiar and comfortable for what you truly desire?
There are two worlds in which we can live. The world of comfort and the world of growth. Comfort is addictive and seductive, but there is no fulfillment in comfort. We are wired to grow. Yes it is uncertain, but it is part of who we are at our core. When we step out into the unknown, we grow and become more. As we become more, we then have more to share with ourselves and others. Through growth and contribution is where we feel fulfillment. It is not always easy, but it is the path we must all take.
She looked at me me with a nervous smile and said, “It has been so long since I really let go and embraced changed. I know I can do it, but my fear is: what if I fail?” I chuckled and said, “Don’t worry, you WILL fail, and you will learn how to get back up stronger, with more resolve than before.” Her face lit up and for once I saw her first real smile as she said, “I think I would really like that. I’ve lived in comfort and fear long enough. I am tired of waiting, tired of trying, it is time to break free!”
We all have the resources within us to create the life we want. Sometimes all we need is the courage to let go of comfort and embrace who we are and what we can achieve, accomplish, and become. In the case of my client, with a little coaching and guidance, she now lives in growth; unafraid and ready to achieve her dreams.
"I left for the Biggest Loser Resort with an initial weight of 326 pounds and I am happy to say that I left part of myself in California, actually 60 pounds of myself."
Before I start to tell you guys how my life has changed, I think that I need to do a “previously on” for those of you who are new to the life of Sean.
Previously on the “Life of Sean”
About six years ago I was crossing the street in New York City when suddenly I was hit by a BMW SUV going 40 miles per hour. Fast forward 3 years and it is discovered that I have four herniated discs in my back, they fixed one of them, and left the other ones to fend for themselves. About a year later I go to the doctor with what I thought was a cold, but instead I’m diagnosed with heart failure.
Life has a not so funny way of throwing a wrench in your plans. The ability to adapt and overcome is a required skill. I am here to tell you that I got hit by one of life’s biggest wrenches. My cardiologist described my life in the most blunt and concise way, “You have had a shitty half a decade”. Since April 2006 my life has been in a free fall, but in that time I have discovered that I can survive anything.
This is the third of three articles featuring highlights of my recent interview with Anita Moorjani, best-selling author of Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing. Anita was healed of stage 4 terminal cancer through a consciousness-expanding near death experience that opened her to the realization of who she is, and who we all are: magnificent beings whose very essence is love. Not only did that profound realization heal the cancer, it awakened her to a deep knowing of the joy-filled purpose of our lives, which is to express our unique magnificence. In this article I’ll share more of her insights – and an amazing story that isn’t in the book! Enjoy…
Soon after my inspiring interview with Anita Moorjani, whose clarion call to us is to remember our magnificence, I realized we had covered so much ground that I had the material for at least three articles, though I had planned to write only one. Talk about an abundant universe! Reviewing my notes, I made little symbols beside the main points to indicate topics I felt went well together and could form the basis of an article. I drew stars next to the notes I’d taken when she talked about self-love – there was the first article! – and hearts next to the comments related to manifesting our desires – there was the second article!
This is the second of three articles featuring highlights of my recent interview with Anita Moorjani, best-selling author of Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing. Anita was healed of stage 4 terminal cancer through a consciousness-expanding near death experience that opened her to the realization of who she is, and who we all are: magnificent beings whose very essence is love. Not only did that profound realization heal the cancer, it awakened her to a deep knowing of the joy-filled purpose of our lives, which is to express our unique magnificence. In this article I’ll share Anita’s perspective on manifesting our desires.
“Find your joy! Listen to your emotions and do what makes you happy.”
— Anita Moorjani
Author “Dying to be Me: My journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing
In the March issue of Living.Well Magazine I wrote briefly about an amazing book I’d recently read titled, “Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer to Near Death to True Healing” by Anita Moorjani. In the book Anita shares her story of having miraculously healed from stage 4 terminal cancer through a consciousness-expanding near-death experience that awakened her to the truth of who she really is – and who we all are.
So one day a man was stuck in a hole and could not get out. A priest walked by and the man yelled up, “Hey Father, could you help me get out?” The priest nodded, said a few prayers and left. Later a doctor walked by and the man yelled up, “Hey Doc, could you help me get out?” The doctor nodded, wrote a prescription and threw it to the man and left. Later a friend of the man walked by and the man yelled up, “Hey buddy, could you help me get out?” The friend nodded and jumped down into the hole. The man in the hole was upset and said, “Why did you do something so foolish? Now we are both stuck in the hole.”
My mother would say it means to say what you mean and mean what you say, but if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.
She had it right… but not complete.
I have also found that living an authentic life is also about being true to ourselves in how we share ourselves in the world. And, I’m not just talking about sharing our opinions. If we never share our talents, reveal our creations—that painting, that poem, that song, that idea—are we being authentic?
For many of us, the new year will begin with a promise—a promise that this year we will accomplish that which has eluded us. Often it’s the everyday things that prove most difficult—managing your schedule, treating people the way you ought to, and keeping things in perspective when chaos is at hand. The sad truth is that nearly 80% of us will fall off the resolution bandwagon by Super Bowl Sunday; and by this time next year, a mere 5% of us will have succeeded in reaching our goals.
There are two reasons why we’re so bad at reaching our resolutions. The first is that we bite off more than we can chew. It may seem reasonable to pick up three or four new skills to add to your repertoire, but that’s an expectation the mind can’t execute. When we try to develop too many new skills at once, they become competing priorities that leave us distracted, discouraged, and overwhelmed. The second reason most self-improvement efforts are doomed to fail is that our emotions have a nasty habit of hijacking our behavior. Without a strong ability to recognize and manage our emotions as they occur, old habits are sure to die hard.
(The Firewalk Transformation Seminar is a 6-hour seminar that culminates in participants walking barefoot over hot coals.) The answer to the question is easy: you walk for whatever reason compels you. For some, it is to overcome fears and limiting beliefs. For others, it is the metaphor of what is standing in the way of the life that they want. Some see it as pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and others see it as a spiritual journey. Regardless of why someone walks, the Firewalk Transformation is UNFORGETTABLE.
After previously discussing a foundation for communication in relationships, it’s time to go deeper into understanding physically intimate relationships. I love the work of David Deida and how he describes the role of masculine and feminine energies in relationships.
More Articles ...
- Relationships 102:Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Most Effective Listener of All?
- Relationships 101: Authentic Communication and Feedback, an Unwavering Foundation
- The Most Amazing Letter Ever
- A different kind of Resolution
- Appreciate Your Self A Winning Way to Play New Year’s Resolution
- A proverbial question?
- Cleaning Up Our (Inner) Environment
- The Shaman- "He or She Who Knows"
- Managing Your Persistent Fears and Anxieties
- Couples Journey -- Part 3