Personal Growth

On Looking Deeper — Finding Gratitude — No Matter What

On Looking Deeper — Finding Gratitude — No Matter What
“True love has no opposite. It cannot flourish until you are free of the interference of the mind.” — Eckhart Tolle

Dear Friends,

Eckhart Tolle has been deemed by the New York Times as “the most popular spiritual author in the United States.” His teachings, which I find both simple and profound, reflect his own experience on The Power of Now (his first best-selling book published in 2001). In the book, Tolle documents an ephinay following many bouts with depression, in which he realized that if he could just be present and available for whatever is happening—regardless of the situation, his reactions and resulting mood would diminish, fade, and eventually disappear. And so how can you be “present and available”—particularly when whatever is going on is painful? Maybe it’s as simple as taking some deep breaths and stepping back from the situation until you can return to neutral—regardless of how long it takes.

Manifest What You Want by Being Aware and Paying Attention

Manifest What You Want by Being Aware and Paying Attention

By engaging in the art of being aware and paying attention to your thoughts and accompanying feelings, you’ll give your mind and your heart something else to do rather than go off on an emotional binge when you get triggered.  Instead of imploding, take a few breaths and step back from what happened. Scientific evidence now demonstrates that when you have a daily meditation practice, it will support you in creating the space to take that breath, and then focus on what you want (rather than what you don’t want)—from the really small things too much more grand and glorious ‘stuff.’ By creating that space, you provide an opening to receive what you want to manifest.

Prying Loose from the Noose of Conditioning

Prying Loose from the Noose of Conditioning

It seems at times that our minds can be endlessly complicated by a multitude of stimuli, any part of which can trigger a response from our conditioned programming. In his book, “2012 The Return of Quetzalcoatl,” Daniel Pinchbeck, consciousness researcher and bestselling author agrees:

Breathe in, Breathe out

Breathe in, Breathe out
Since I last wrote to you quoting the late psychiatrist, Carl Jung, I have encountered one of those pesky “insoluble problems” he referred to. You may recall that he said these problems can’t really be solved but rather “outgrown” when arriving at a “new level of consciousness.” What do you suppose he meant by reaching such a state? Was he referring to what the spiritual masters call, enlightenment? If so, can you have glimmers of that state even though you haven’t yet fully arrived?

On Merging Science and Creationism

Dear Friends,

Several weeks ago, someone asked me if I’d ever studied atheism.  Over my 25 years of researching human consciousness, science and spiritual growth, I had to say the topic hadn’t crossed my radar.  Apart from having read The Origin, where Dan Brown pits creationism against science, which was interesting (though not convincing) I’ve never had the slightest inclination to explore the subject.

Connection—"A Thousand Points of Light”

Mona Charon, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public policy center, recently wrote an article titled, Why Are Americans So Sad? Charon states, “So called diseases of despair (cirrhosis of the liver, suicide, and drug overdose) have hit record rates nationwide,” and because of that life expectancy is declining. She cites “chronic loneliness” or feelings of isolation as one of the culprits.

 

Dealing with Agnes

Dear Friends,

These are interesting times—no doubt about it… lots of drama and darkness in high places, and it’s so easy to get all swept up.  Whether it’s Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity, Blitzer or Colbert, discussions in the media are often about what went wrong on any given day and who is to blame. Much less fashionable are talking points on what actually might work to support the greater good, regardless of political persuasion. And speaking of what might work to support the greater good, I’ve been thinking about that topic for a while now. I even wrote a book about starting a new love story on planet earth. A pretty lofty goal, I know. But, even so, what’s stopping us?

It was a Soulful Weekend…

It was a Soulful Weekend…
Thanks to all who participated in the Immersion weekend offered by Jess Jacobsen and me last weekend in Carbondale, Colorado. We did some inner exploration around our soul’s purpose and how to unlock our limitless potential, and it was exhilarating!  The mixture of lecture and practice turned out to be a winning combination that resonated with our lovely gathering of beautiful souls!

For those of you who couldn’t be there, we spent time together reviewing some of our “inner workings,” looking at why and how we get triggered, which hijacks or log-jams our peace and creative potential.  As neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux points out,

“human consciousness is the way it is because of the way our brains operate…emotions evolved not as conscious feelings,...

Broadening Our Outlook

Broadening Our Outlook
It seems like there is some pretty significant turmoil in the world--people having trouble getting along--from the personal to the global level. Women want one thing in a relationship--men want another. The Republicans have a position--and so do the Democrats. As humans, we just plain struggle to get past our own stubborn stand on things--our feelings of righteous indignation. Why is it so hard for us to move into states of compassion and empathy for the other guy/gal? Why does our positionality laced with its fears and insecurities, so often have a stronger voice than a compassionate, loving heart?

I am no newcomer to the planet and I have been studying human behavior for over twenty-five years. I gotta tell ya,...

Taking the Road Less Traveled by Robert Frost

Taking the Road Less Traveled by Robert Frost
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference" -- Robert Frost It is getting to be late in the season and the gondola that I use for transport down the mountain after a hike will soon be shutting down, so, I decided to go on another hike this morning.

Today, I decided to take the “road less traveled by” so I could discuss the topic of resistance first-hand with you.  Since our discussion last time was on courage, I thought it might be appropriate to explore the subject of resistance or avoiding the inclination to give into fear and taking the path of least resistance.

Courage! A Labor of Love

In my last message, Taking Back Our Emotional Wellbeing, I talked about proven ways to interrupt the brain's conditioned mechanism to "emotionally hi-jack" us, when we get triggered--a coping mechanism which has actually been dialed into our programming to keep us alive throughout our evolutionary development.

As we continue to learn, some of our conditioned fears and the responses caused by these are no longer useful—at least when they cause more harm than good—like running around your back hand in tennis—or, consider this: Suppose you have had a life-long fear of heights for whatever reason (like me). And, for the last 11 years, you have been living in an alpine town, filled with hiking trails, cliffs, ski-mountains, and a multitude of exceedingly high places. What are...

Taking Back Our Emotional Well Being

Taking Back Our Emotional Well Being
Last week we continued our discussion on “the power of emotions over happiness” and shared insights from cutting edge scientists, who are merging science and spirituality. Today I’d like to discuss how our conditioning influences our emotions and provide a simple technique on how to begin to make permanent changes in patterns of behavior that cause challenge.

Among those participating in breakthrough studies on the brain (merging science and spirituality), is Dr. Richard Davidson, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin. “Dr. Davidson has unearthed some significant findings regarding how the emotion of happiness can be tracked in the brain. Davidson collaborated with His Holiness the Dalia Lama to study monks, who are experienced practitioners in meditation, having...

Balancing Your Emotions

Balancing Your Emotions
Last week we talked about the “power of emotions over happiness,” and posed the question, "How can you interrupt the tendency for the "emotional hi-jacking phenomenon" to play out in your world?”

Here are some insights from Joseph LeDoux, Professor of Science in the Center for Neural Sciences at New York University. “…we are evolution in progress… As things now stand, the amygdala (which governs your fight or flight response to perceived or imagined fear  http://bigthink.com/videos/the-amygdala-in-5-minutes) has a greater influence on the cortex (reasoning centers of the brain) than the cortex has on the amygdala, allowing emotional arousal (fight or flight) to dominate and control thinking. Throughout the mammals, pathways from the amygdala to the cortex overshadow the pathways from the...

The Power of Emotions Over Happiness

The July 15, 2013 issue of Time Magazine introduced a series of articles on “happiness,” and emphasized a point, which I made in my recent Huffington Post article (excerpt below) : “Being distracted (by emotional charges, thoughts, etc.) blunts responses in the brain (Time,  pp. 30).” That's a pretty radical statement! Your thoughts and emotional charges will blunt responses in the brain? Yes, they will.

“Here is a key point that I have learned from devoting much of my professional life to studying the effects of human emotions. The raw, impulsive ones, like fear, excessive worry, and anger will absolutely hi-jack happiness and well being—every single time. And, once these emotions take hold, they can have a fierce grip. So, if we are going to...

Inspired Atop Aspen Mountain

Inspired Atop Aspen Mountain
I recorded a one-minute video Gem from inside the gondola on my way down from Aspen Mountain a couple of weeks ago, and I’d love to share it with you here.

I was inspired as I reflected that I’d been hiking/climbing up Aspen Mountain for over eleven years. That is a long time. And yet, when I started I didn’t think I could do it. I never thought I could come close to successfully climbing that mountain, and yet I do it now on a regular basis.

The basic premise? You can accomplish anything you put your mind to. How? I offer a quick tip in this very short video.

I invite you to watch the one-minute video by clicking here, or if you are reading this online...

The Look of Real Love

The Look of Real Love
Being aware of our need to change our conditioned responses is a good start in establishing healthy patterns in relationships. But awareness alone does not cause change. Change can only occur when you make a conscious decision to do whatever it takes to go boldly toward all that will help you to first become the love of your own life, prior to searching for love in other places. You have to be able to recognize real love by first experiencing it through a conscious commitment to loving yourself. And once you do, you will know from every awakening cell in your being that you don't need someone else to provide what you already have. Then when a potential partner appears (or is already beside you), you...

It's High Time to Reprogram Our Brains

It's High Time to Reprogram Our Brains
Following up on my last article "Soul Sister (or Brother)" -- In order to succeed in our quest to tune into our own heart and soul and loving ourselves, we have to be committed.

We must be vigilant around any negative thoughts that are self directed, and turn these thoughts into loving kindness. Notice how deeply conditioned negativity is. Here is a simple example. Suppose you are in school and you just have done poorly on a test (by your standards). What is your first inclination? Is it to tell yourself how wonderful you are for even trying to do your best on the test (compassion)? Is it to find all of the ways that you have been successful in this...

Soul Sister (or Brother)

Soul Sister (or Brother)
If we really want to experience true intimacy with a partner, then we have to be willing to tune into our very own heart and soul. What is the secret to finding happiness, the right partner, the right career, enough money, better looks, more energy and the greater health? You must begin by making a commitment to loving yourself. The soul sister/brother that lives in your essence will never leave or forsake you. Marry him/her first (or marry "him/her" now if you are already "actually" married). Go and buy yourself a simple little eternity ring. Slip it on your finger and make a personal pledge to begin (or continue) learning how to provide for yourself absolutely everything that you think (or thought) you would...

Celebrating Summer!

Celebrating Summer!
Our alpine ice-land is finally beginning to melt after a pretty persistent winter (see the snowy peaks below).

And in the spirit of celebrating the season, I am offering the e-book version of Happily Ever After...Right Now at a special price for the summer months.

Here is what Deb Scott, host of The Best People We Know radio show said about Happily:  A New Standard for Every Woman! Required Reading! March 7, 2013 "... I wish I had this book 20 years ago. Don't wait - get it - read it - give it - as a gift to yourself or anyone you love. I think this would be a fabulous book club read as well. A new classic. – Deb Scott I invite you to take...

Love Lamp

Love Lamp
Realize that you have an inexhaustible inner light that glows even in your darkest moments. This light is eternal. It can never be extinguished. And the only way for you to actually experience its full, radiant brilliance is to embrace all of those attributes in yourself that you love, and then accept the qualities that you would rather not acknowledge. How is this possible? By opening our hearts and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, over and over again, eventually, what you will come to realize, as you proceed with such a practice, is that all of your suffering is actually just a result of your perceptions, having nothing...