You

When Self-Help Books Fail

When self-help books become more confusing than illuminating, friendly advice causes anxiety, and the answers the world is giving you aren’t leading to greater inner peace, you are ready to be taught by the master.

Just as Lionel Richie’s answers lay dormant within his lyrics for years before he was able to hear their messages, everything you need to know came here with you.  The real guru is within your very being.  So if you can’t hear anything yet, and are feeling your way through the mist, don’t worry.  The light that is illuminating your path is shining behind your own eyes.

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Waiting

When Something Feels Wrong

TenebraeDo you ever feel restless, like you are just waiting for some type of change to happen? Do you ever feel like you want to do something more meaningful with your life or just want to feel differently than you do now?

If so, I have good news and bad news.  The good news is, you’re not alone!  The feeling of being disconnected, or just the slight sensation that not everything is as it should be, is a universal human experience.  The bad news is, there is nothing you can do to fix it.  Even if some exciting event were to take place in your life, afterwards you would just be back in the old familiar waiting stage.

The amount of time spent experiencing those pivotal life moments that are tangible and obvious pales in comparison to the waiting period.  There is more good news of course!  You can stop waiting.  To the mind that would seem an impossible task.  After all, it has so many thoughts about the future that it is waiting for, a future that will never come, because when it does it will no longer be the future, it will be the purgatory of the present.  That is the mind’s view of life.

To stop waiting means to stop asking your mind for permission to experience the reality of your present moment.  To stop waiting means to allow yourself to feel what happens when you become present and take away the momentum of your attention from the never ending thought ticker playing across the screen of your consciousness.

It may feel uncomfortable sometimes, but that is only the initial experience of the new layers you’re reaching as you delve just below the surface of your present moment experience.  Much like Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to let go and relax as they were being strangled by Devil’s Snare in order to make their way through to the sorcerer’s stone, there is more than the prickly uncomfortable surface experience.

Next time you feel out of alignment with your highest potential take a deep breath, lean into the initial uncomfortable feeling as you come into the present moment, and settle into what is real.  In this simple and transformative video Eckhart Tolle puts it much more eloquently:

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Life

Decisions: How do you know if you’re right or wrong?

Goodbye Playhouse!

Do you trust in your own decision-making abilities?  How do you know if you’ve made the choice that will lead to the highest potential outcome?  How can you maintain trust when people and situations reveal themselves to be different than you initially believed?

This coming week my grant-based job of four years is coming to an end and life is thrusting me into change and uncertainty.  In work, as well as in relationships, my mind’s favorite candy is questioning my ability to make decisions that are in my best interest.  The voice in my head could live an entire life surviving purely on self-doubt.

When I have difficulty trusting in people or situations I remind myself that I don’t have to trust in any thing, I only have trust in the universe, God, life itself.  Yet, sometimes the voice in my head has enough momentum that even this perspective fails to interrupt its destructive thought pattern. This is why I am so grateful for the insight in the following video.  It reminds me of what it feels like when my decisions are being guided by the clear perspective of present moment awareness, rather than the clever arguments of the mind.  Being able to discern between the two is the difference between peace and suffering.

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Inspiration

Harry Potter, Puppies, and the Origin of Joy

LeakyCon!Growing up during the “Harry Potter Era” taught me innumerable lessons, one of which is that I love Harry Potter.  I can’t count how many times I’ve read J.K. Rowling‘s gift to this world, but each time I do I am no less entertained than the time before.  Every time I go through the series it feels new.

New things, feelings, experiences, and insights provide an unparalleled joy.  Why is that?  Is it possible to feel that same sense of joy more often?

The joy that comes from the new is actually the joy that arises from the now.  Usually we do not truly experience the present moment, because our thoughts and perceptions are clouded by a heavy veil of past.  It is so natural to view everything through the eyes of the past that it can be impossible to notice we aren’t seeing the reality of the eternally new present.

New things unveil the joy of the present because we have no past experiences through which to filter them.  The beginning of cultivating that experience in everyday life is to acknowledge you are viewing the present through the lens of the past, and do no see the actuality of what is.  This opens the door for the infinitely new now.

On that note, get a boost in present moment awareness with these adorable puppies experiencing the newness of life.  Dogs are great teachers of presence because they are always fully experiencing each moment.

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Life

When The Honeymoon Is Over

Find Your Peace - NCI’ve never been on a honeymoon before.  But if the disillusionment after it’s over feels anything like the 26th of December, then I’m not sure I’d want one.  Even though I get better and better at letting go of Christmas as each year passes, when December gives way to the endlessly bleak Chicago winter I go into spiritual hibernation. During winter the only solace is the steady passage of days, and I still find myself asking, “Will this never end?”  This year I’m actually not sure if it will.

Spiritual hibernation is the setting aside of inner growth and evolving perspective.  When you spiritually hibernate you are in survival mode, and naturally you do what you can to survive.  Rather, you do what you think you need to do to keep going.

A commonly experienced aspect of spiritual hibernation, is that it occurs during a time when spiritual growth is most necessary, helpful, and potentially transformative. If you notice yourself spiritually hibernating, that is a pretty good sign the situation you are experiencing can quickly accelerate your inner transformation, first through acceptance.

Despite my earlier pronouncement of winter despair, summer is on its way.  Each year when it is almost June, even if it still snows occasionally, I not only anticipate the new season but I find myself growing happier.  Happier isn’t entirely accurate; I begin to feel lighter, have more energy, open up to new ways of trusting the universe and moving in it with ease.

During this phase I feel as if my joy has deepened, and am grateful to have passed through another winter to this new point.  Not moving through the after-honeymoon phase leaves the true fulfillment undiscovered.  The universe kindly uses honeymoon phases in many aspects of life to invite us into experiences that contain endless depth and opportunities for our highest potentials to manifest. The “trick” is to let the in-between period of transition change you.

Recently my answer to the question, “What makes a person irresistible?” was featured on irrestistablegirl.com. The question has since stayed in my thoughts and the following SoulPancake video leapt out at me today. In this Science of Love segment the connection between human beings who have experienced the birth and death of a honeymoon phase in their relationships help shed light on what happens next, and how to make it work:

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Life

Mother: Role or Real?

Sally and KatieWe all play roles. Sometimes we are a doctor or patient, a waiter or customer, a spouse or coworker. All of these functions turn into roles when your sense of self gets wrapped up in what you do.

All role-playing is transcended when we are present, responding to the needs of the moment we experience instead of acting out our mind’s idea of what our role entails. The same can be said for mothers. Being a mother can turn into a role when it is a mental concept. But one of the amazing things I’ve observed from mothers is the complete transcendence of roles.

I’ve observed my mother and grandmother, my aunts and friends who are mothers, being constantly present, responding purely to what is required in each moment. They go beyond the role of mother, and reveal where that role originated. They are creators, sustainers, love bearers, teachers, healers, unifiers, transformers. They are alchemists transforming love into life. Mothers bear the burdens of nations and create vital changes in the world that are necessary but often not invited. They act from love even when repaid in hatred or apathy. Thank you mothers for transcending roles, and birthing a better world generation after generation.

My own mother not only gave me the gift of life, but also taught me how to live. She provided a space to grow as a human being, free from judgment, in the all-encompassing embrace of unconditional love. It is with the love I have learned, and continue to learn, from my mother that I offer this gift of relaxation. Take a moment and be refreshed with Let Yourself Learn’s deep relaxation, based on Shavasana from Integral Hatha Yoga and the wisdom teachings of Swami Satchidananda.

Click here for a free download of the audio version of Shavasana with Katie Spero.

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Inspiration

How To Stop Deflecting Miracles

Waterfall Is there someone in your life you aren’t completely satisfied with? Is there someone you are holding something against?

When I asked myself these questions the answers surprised me. The people in my life with whom a small sliver of dissatisfaction sometimes remains, people who I might want to do something for me or act differently, are generally not unfriendly acquaintances. Rather, they are those I love, and have the deepest connections to.

A grudge is the continued non-forgiveness of another human being, whether it is for something they did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, or for their inability to make you feel whole and happy. Allowing yourself to look clearly at your non-forgiveness, without self-judgment, is the first and vital step to releasing yourself from the negative consequences of unconsciously wanting others to be different.

When I remind myself that fear and resentment, in whatever forms they appear, prevent my life’s purpose from unfolding, a choice is presented. In this instance I can make a new decision and choose to love being in the moment I am in. Reminding myself that this decision causes a chain reaction of miracles makes this choice all the easier.

The brilliance of this Super Soul Sunday video with Marianne Williamson is that she not only defines miracles and how they occur, but it is also made clear that allowing every individual to be on their own life path is essential to their highest potential as well as to yours. It is so easy to resent where people are at on their journeys, even more so in situations where they disagree with or harbor resentment towards you. But dealing with the consequences of your own resentment is not easy. Knowing that your inability to completely accept other people can prevent you from moving forward towards the miraculous makes the choice to love a more accessible reality.

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