Molly Larkin

Author Archives: Molly Larkin

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller "The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

Desiderata

The desiderata is a much loved poem written by American writer Max Ehrmann in 1927. Largly unknown during Ehrmann’s lifetime, It became well-known after being found at Adlai Stevenson’s deathbed in 1965.

In response to losing the majority in the Canadian Federal election in 1872, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quoted the Desiderata in reassuring the nation that “the universe is unfolding as it should.”

While the writing may seem stilted by today’s standards, the sentiments expressed are profound. And our lives will be better if we embrace them.

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What does the first day of spring mean for us?

“I’m not interested in any philosophy unless it can help me grow corn.” Sun Bear

Meaning, “it gives me practical help in my life.” This post is about how celebrating the Spring Equinox can do just that.

This year the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is March 20, 1:14 a.m. Eastern Time: a day of equal balance of the hours of light and dark before the sun continues its journey towards longer daylight hours and warming temperatures. The word equinox comes from the latin words meaning “equal night.”

The equinox energy is strong for four days before and after March 20th, giving you time to bask in the opportunities and lessons it brings.

Ancient cultures throughout history have celebrated this time of rebirth of Mother Earth. But what does it mean for us?

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Irish Soda Bread recipe from my Irish Grandmother

This recipe comes from my Nana Sue, born in Larah, County Caven. A warm woman with a sharp wit, she raised six children and loved to cook. This recipe has been handed down to each generation.

Best served fresh from the oven, I swear men have asked me to marry them after tasting it.

Other than the marriage proposals, the best part is that it’s not a yeast bread, so it’s very easy to make. It’s the interaction of the baking soda and buttermilk that makes it rise.

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How the Irish saved civilization and otherwise gifted us over and over again

“May the road rise to meet you; May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.” — Irish Blessing

History is written by conquerors, and, frankly, I don’t think their accounts are to be trusted.

Being 100% Irish-American, I’ve never felt good about the bad rap the Irish have gotten over the years. Most of the stereotypes are inaccurate and undoubtedly started by the English as a way to assuage their guilt for having decimated the country.

For example: Ireland used to be covered with forests, but the English cut down all the trees to use in their own empire building. During the Great Famine, there was more than enough food in Ireland to feed the entire country, but, again, the English exported it to feed themselves.

“We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.”
- Winston Churchill

But enough about the English, I’m here to celebrate the Irish.

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Brigid: Goddess, Saint and Keeper of the Flame

This is the first of four posts leading up to St. Patrick’s Day in celebration of all things Irish.

One of the ways Christianity wove its way into the hearts and minds of the original peoples was by adopting their ancient gods, goddesses and festivals in order to more easily convert them without bloodshed.

For example, the evidence is that Jesus Christ was born in the spring, but our pre-Christian ancestors were already celebrating the birth of a wondrous male child, born of a virgin, around the time of the Winter Solstice, so it made sense to decree this as the time of birth of Christ. It made for easy conversion.

Christianity also incorporated most of the significant aspects of Mithra, son of the Persian sun God, who died at the spring equinox, heralding the time of Easter.

So many Christian holidays parallel those of our ancestors that it can be hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. The same can be said of the saints.

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ADHD – is it over-diagnosed?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 5.4 million children ages 4 to 17 in the U.S. have been diagnosed at some time with ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ], and 66 percent of those with current ADHD take medication to control the condition.

Is ADHD perhaps over-diagnosed? Might Ritalin be over-prescribed? In my humble opinion, yes. Is there something to be done about it? Yes.

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Sleep solutions: 25 tips for a good night’s sleep

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker

There may be no better way to improve health and energy, and reduce stress, than getting a good night’s sleep. But that seems to be more and more difficult to achieve in our 24/7 world. Prescription drugs and over the counter sleep aids are plentiful but may not be our healthiest choice.

Counting sheep has never worked for me, but here are 25 tips that will contribute to a good night’s sleep, without side effects:

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Human potential – are you living up to yours?

Are you living up to your full potential?

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” Anne Frank

One of my earliest childhood memories is of sitting in my second grade class at Our Lady Help of Christians School in Brooklyn, New York during a lesson on the human body.

During the class, my teacher said something that knocked my socks off! It was that human beings only use 10% of the capacity of their brains [that was wrong; it’s now understood that virtually every part of the brain is active most of the time].

But when I heard that statement, I made a decision right then and there to get to using 100% of my brain power in my life. That declaration led me on a circuitous exploration of personal growth, alternative lifestyles and spiritual paths, much to my parents’ chagrin.

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What is a leader?

[quote]“In gentleness there is great strength. Power most of the time is a very quiet thing.” Sun Bear[/quote]

It’s President’s Day, and this is an election year, so my thoughts have gone to considering what makes a good leader. And I wonder if we really know in this country what a good leader is. Or, more importantly, do our own leaders know.

Here are some Native American teachings about leadership:

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Asking for what you want – here’s how

There is an old saying that, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. It certainly was true for me. I’m frequently asked how I got involved with the Native American spiritual path. The short answer is: “I asked the universe.”

During college, I experimented with the usual recreational drugs and had an epiphany one day on a hillside in the Santa Monica Mountains.

High on mescaline, I saw a mountain breathe and immediately knew two things:

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How Love Can Change Our World

[quote]“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi[/quote]

Any life coach will tell you not to watch the news because it will just bring you down. Salesmen know not to watch it in the morning; it gets your day off to a bad start. So I don’t follow the news closely, although I do scan headlines to have a general idea of what’s going on in the world.

But in the past 24 hours some things came to my attention I couldn’t ignore. I watched Eve Ensler’s riveting talk on TED.com in which she spoke of the atrocities against women in warring third world countries. Then I saw George Clooney’s film, “Three Kings” which, under the guise of entertainment, made a powerful statement about atrocities against the people of Iraq by Saddam’s Royal Guard.

There’s so much more, but I don’t need to list it all; we all are aware of the inhumanity going on around the world. The question is: what’s to be done about it?

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Why are we afraid to admit our mistakes?

“You can never learn less; you can only learn more. The reason I know so much is because I have made so many mistakes.” Buckminster Fuller

When my niece, Kate was ready to start kindergarten, she had to first go through an interview consisting of ten questions to assess her social skills. Nine of her answers were deemed “correct” but the one she was marked wrong for shocked me.

Question: “What do you do if you break something?”

Kate’s honest reply: “You tell the truth.”

Wrong answer!

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Have you listened to the wind lately?

A few months ago I did something I’ve never done before. I ate my lunch without simultaneously reading or working; instead I ate on my screened porch and listened to the wind. Then I sat and listened some more.

It was a very strong wind; there were no other sounds to be heard over it. The birds that are usually so vocal during the day were relatively silent, perhaps holding onto tree branches for dear life.

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32 ways to de-stress

A December 7, 2011 story on the Today Show alarmed me: 25% of adult women take drugs for anxiety and depression, and to help them sleep. 25%!!!

The reason given is that we all have more stress in our lives and prescription drugs seem to help us cope with it.

While scientists don’t always agree on much, there seems to be consensus that at least 70% of all illness is stress-related.

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Workaholics, you are not alone!

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Mohandas Gandhi

I confess. I am a Workaholic. I rarely rest; I want to be working all the time.

It started as a child. My mother told me that once I was old enough to talk, my typical answer when she asked if I wanted to do something was, “I too busy.”

“Molly, do you want to come to the store with me?”

“I too busy.”

“Molly, do you want your lunch?”

“I too busy.”

“Molly, do you want to play outside?”

“I too busy.”

And so it has gone for most of my life.

The incredible irony of this is that I teach people how to de-stress, relax and live a balanced life. And am quite good at teaching these things! Proof of the saying that we teach what we need to learn.

I’m the girl who leaves a relaxing yoga class saying, “I don’t know why yoga has to take so long. I could do all that in 20 minutes.”

When I worked in a law firm, I was often the last to leave at night. And I never, ever said no to overtime projects. It wasn’t for the money; I just had a very strong sense of responsibility.

Years ago, my typical Saturday morning was: work out, clean the house, do the grocery shopping. When I returned at 10 am my roommate would ask, “Now that you’ve done what it takes most people a full day to do, what’s next?” And there was always more.

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How did my cats know that?

“Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.” John Muir

We had a lot of thunderstorms in Michigan this year. A lot. It’s particularly memorable to me because each storm, as it gets close, necessitates unplugging all my computer equipment. [Losing a printer in a storm last year was all it took for me to learn that lesson!]

So the drill at my home during a storm is:

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What is success?

“Too often we define success as financial achievement. I view success as doing your very best at all costs.” — Bear Heart in The Wind Is My Mother

Here in the U.S., “success” is often attributed to the richest, thinnest, youngest and most famous. Is that backward? I think it is.

I recently came upon another meaningful definition of success. I invite you to ponder it. As a reader of this blog, I feel it’s certain to apply to you.

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38 Conversation Starters

My last post was the “thirty day no-gossip challenge.” Since so many conversations seem to be about other people, particularly in a negative context, I promised to write a post with suggestions for positive conversation topics.

The idea for this post came from the memory of a sweet conversation I witnessed between my then four-year old niece and her 4-year old neighbor, Erica.

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The 30-day “No Gossip” Challenge!

“Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison.”
Don Miguel Ruiz, “The Four Agreements”

Years ago I read an interview with actress Susan Sarandon in which she told a story about her daughter’s 11th birthday slumber party. The girls were full of gossip so Ms. Sarandon suggested the ground rule that they not talk about anyone who wasn’t there.

The astonished reply from one of the little girls was, “Then what are we supposed to talk about?”

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