August, 2013

10 small things you could do today that just might change your life (or at least your state of mind)

1. Forgive someone. Create a little ritual around it (the symbolic life is very important to the subconscious mind, which thinks in images and metaphors). Write a letter to this person, pouring out your soul to them. Then burn it. Chant, “I forgive you,” 5 times. And go have a beer to celebrate.

2. Go for a walk in a cemetery. Sounds morbid, maybe, but thinking about death can connect us more deeply to life. Imagine your funeral: what would people say? What would you want them to say? Then go home and write down a list of things you want to have, be and do before you die.

3. When you disagree with someone, develop a habit of detaching and looking for the truth in the other person’s statements. Just assume that it’s there. (You might have to look hard. Really really hard.) Reflect that truth back to the other person and let the conversation go from there.

4. Write down 5 things you liked to do as a kid, for fun, when you didn’t have to do anything. Then go do at least one of those things. (If you feel a need to justify the time, think about this: Play relaxes the mind. A relaxed mind comes up with better, more inspired ideas. Jung dreamed up much of the best of his work when he was building sandcastles and little villages on the beach.) click here

Aug 23, 2013 · 4 Comments / ADD YOURS

11 reasons why reading is sexy

Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.– John Wooden

1. Desire begins in the mind (and so does reading). click to tweet

2. Reading is mind-to-mind, soul-to-soul contact.

3. Reading has the power to shake up, transport and transform you.

4. A book can make an excellent prop over which to peer coyly at your victim.

5. Books can be subversive and dangerous, filled with ballsy ideas that ride motorcycles too fast, in the rain, without a helmet. click here

Aug 17, 2013 · 6 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to grow a soul ( so you can find the work of your soul)

The gift you carry for others is not an attempt to save the world but to fully belong to it. It’s not possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering your unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift – your true self – is the most you can do to love and serve the world. And it is all the world needs. — Bill Plotkin

The pull toward soul feels like an earthquake in the midst of your life. — Bill Plotkin

1

I posted a blog post titled You are not here to play it safe, which was a riff on all the crazy things your soul is here to do.

(“You are here to kamikaze at the sun!” Put that on your to-do list, boys and girls).

When I tossed it up on my Facebook page, someone said in the comments: Great. Now tell that to my bank and my landlord, thanks.

2

I use the word soul to refer to some essential evolving essence of you, the deep and coded line of poetry that pushes for expression in your life. (I also think of this as your creative intelligence.)

Whereas spirit refers to some great transcendent impersonal Om reality in the sky – the One we all merge into – soul takes you in the other direction.

It takes you down into the underground, into the deeply personal and highly individual depths of who you are: your gifts, your wounds, your unlived life, your mystery, your shadow. (Soul is to spirit what gothic eyeliner is to angel glitter. People tend to go one way or the other.) Soul is you in your body. It is lived through your body. It is your core, your mojo juice, your specific life purpose, and yours alone. click here

Aug 16, 2013 · 6 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to fail at your relationships ( + the art of the beautiful mistake)

I was revising a scene in my novel after two characters deeply attracted to each other get to know each other in the biblical sense.

( — I just wanted to say that. Can you imagine working that phrase into daily conversation: “Yes, last night I knew Jake in the biblical sense – and it was awesome – “ )

In the morning they realize that, for various reasons, they have no future together. They decide to see out their relationship for however long it lasts.

He does it because he’s intrigued by this unusual young woman.

She does it because she believes that people come together to learn from each other. Why, she wonders, is any relationship that doesn’t end in forever regarded as doomed, or a failure, or a mistake?

I don’t know if I would have thought this when I was her age (I’m pretty sure I thought nothing of the kind). But having come through a series of relationships, none of which ended in forever, it’s what I believe.

I believe that the goal of human life isn’t to be happy so much as to flourish, to find and fulfill our dharma, to self-actualize.

The Greeks have a word for this: eudaimonia. Religions and spiritual teachers pass on the disciplines to live well, to bring dark things to light, to bust through the walls of illusion, to move past duality and separateness and recognize our essential Oneness with the universe (can you give me an ‘om’, boys and girls?).

Human beings seem to have this deep, innate calling to become the best versions of ourselves. We want to make artworks of our lives – even if we have no idea of how to go about this.

To grow towards self-actualization means just that: to grow. This is where personal development starts shading into the spiritual: to achieve what you’ve never achieved requires you to do what you’ve never done. This requires that you change – and grow – as a person. click here

Aug 7, 2013 · 11 Comments / ADD YOURS

you are not here to play it safe

You are not here to play it safe

You are here to rise up from cold ash

You are here to bellydance to the end of the line

You are here to groove off the beat

You are here to run naked through color fields

You are here to transmit the deep code of your soul click here

Aug 4, 2013 · 4 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to get free of the trap of miswanting ( + find your life)

I used to shop at Neiman Marcus (known to some as Needless Markup). If you’ve ever wondered who the hell would pay a couple of thousand dollars for a pair of suede thigh-high Christian Louboutin boots, that younger me would have had to sheepishly raise her hand.

I shopped because I had a legitimate need to put clothes on my body, but also because I bought into all that Sex-and-the-City, retail-therapy crap.

I shopped to feel better.

One day I stood in my closet and no longer saw fabulosity — but money that could have gone to Apple stock, or building a girls’ school in Cambodia. “If you ever see me going down this path again,” I said to my assistant, “please shoot me.” She agreed.

What I know now, that I didn’t know then, is that there is a difference between a want and a yearning. When we confuse the two, as we often do, we engage in something that positive psychologists call miswanting. Even when we get what we think we want (the new Gucci bag, the promotion at work, the hot guy/girl, the trip to Fiji) we’re still dissatisfied, because of a deeper yearning that remains unmet.

Wants are for specific things (a new dress, a meal at Per Se, a date with Ryan Gosling), but yearnings are deep and universal. As Dr. Wright points out in her book TRANSFORMED!, we all yearn for the same things. These are click here

Aug 2, 2013 · 14 Comments / ADD YOURS
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