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Category Archives for "Self Improvement"
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New year, new you?

There’s a lot of talk of “new year’s resolutions” these days. Probably because the new year seems a good time to create a “new you.”

What is a “new you?” That is a personal question that each must answer for themselves.

For me, it has to do with qualities of being rather than getting a new wardrobe or hairstyle. Those things have their place, but if you’re a reader of this blog, you probably want to look a little deeper at your life.

I always strive to be a better version of myself: less judgmental, more compassionate and forgiving, kinder, more nurturing. The list goes on.

One of my frequent prayers is for help in taking my spiritual work to the next level, and I think developing qualities like that are excellent hallmarks of a spiritual life.

Food for thought. But yes, I also want to lose the five pounds I gained over the holidays!

So now on to the practical tips for making change:

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7 ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice

“Winter Solstice is the time when light is born out of the womb of winter’s darkness.” Mara Freeman, in Kindling the Celtic Spirit

To original peoples around the world the Winter Solstice is a time of great celebration. This year it takes place on December 21.

It signifies the return of the sun through longer days and shorter nights until the sun reaches its zenith at the Summer Solstice.

Many ancient cultures considered it to be the true beginning of the “new year.”

It’s something modern society takes for granted, and may not even notice. We always assume the sun will rise and set every day. But what if it didn’t?

What if it gave up because we never said, “Thank you!”

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A gift for you: The Fountain of Youth ebook is free now

I’m delighted to announce I have a new book out and the e-book is FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow.

The Fountain of Youth Is Just a Breath Away; Breathing Exercises for Relaxation, Health and Vitality.

It’s also available as a paperback, but unfortunately that’s not free! 🙂 But the paperback would make a great holiday gift for your loved ones.

You do NOT need a Kindle to read the e-book. You can read it on any computer or tablet by downloading the FREE Kindle App software .

Don’t like to read ebooks? Get the paperback here.

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“What is right with you?”

Has anyone ever asked you that? “What is right with you?”

No one’s ever asked me that, but I certainly recall being asked, “what is wrong with you?” by parents, teachers and employers. I’m sure we all have.

All too often we, and others, focus on what is wrong with us. But there is more right than wrong with all of us.

Just as there is more that is right in the world than is wrong in the world.

People complain that there is only bad news reported in newspapers and the evening news. Well, the good news is that these events are out of the ordinary; that’s why it’s news!

The truth is that planet earth and everything on it is part of an amazing Creation, and we are each magnificent beings of light. Spiritual beings learning to be human.

We forget that a lot.

For some reason we seem to be trained to look for what is wrong.

I would say that 95% of my first-time clients ask, at the end of the healing session, “what did you pick up? What do you think is wrong with me?”

Meaning, they’re hoping for a clairvoyant reading that will tell them the problems I found.

I give everyone the same answer:

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What eagles can teach us about Courtship

There is always much to be learned from the animal world, even about courtship . . . and even from eagles.

Here’s what a Navajo elder says:

” … It amazes me that in the animal world, the female of every species chooses the fastest runner, the best hunter, the strongest fighter for her mate. Yet a woman, who is supposed to be Creator’s finest achievement, often will lay down with any and sometimes every man who comes her way. If anything is going to change for the better, we women must lead the way to higher moral ground. We have to begin teaching our daughters and sons that they have great worth and great responsibility.”

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The urban legend of the right to bear arms

The more something is repeated, even if untrue, the more it will be believed. This is particularly true of the belief that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives individuals the “right to bear arms.”

The Second Amendment, passed by Congress in 1789, consists of one poorly crafted sentence: “A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

For 200 years, it was understood that the Second Amendment only gave an individual the right to bear arms within an organized militia.

This changed in the 1970s after a methodical political campaign by the National Rifle Association [NRA] led to its being reinterpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read on to understand how this came about.

According to the Huffington Post, last week’s mass shooting in Oregon was the 265th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2015. That’s not a typo.

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Change your habits, change your life

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” ~Mike Murdock

What do we call something we do daily? A habit.

Part of the work of becoming a conscious human being is looking at our habits and patterns and seeing whether they serve us . . . or hold us back.

Sometimes we do things without even knowing why.

I love the story about a mother teaching her ten year-old how to cook a roast. As part of the preparation, the mother cut the ends off the roast before putting it in the pan.

The daughter asked why and the mother replied, “Well, honey, that’s how my mother taught me to do it.”

“But why?” asked the daughter.

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What are you getting ready for?

I recently heard a Chinese saying about Western culture: “People in the West are always getting ready to live.”

That made me stop and reflect on how much time I have spent “getting ready” for the next direction I want to go in my life.

A fair amount of time, actually. And much of it was wasted time.

In fact, much of it was merely procrastination.

That is why I’ve taken to heart a phrase I heard last year by Steven Pressfield: “Start before you’re ready.”

Do you rush around “getting ready” to find the perfect mate, find the perfect job or house or car?

Or start that creative project?

Do you wait for conditions to be just right to start something new? I used to think I had to create the perfect office environment before I could start writing.

There’s no such thing!

Do you delay taking vacation time until you can afford to go to Paris? When there are perfectly interesting cities and places nearby?

Don’t let excuses hold you back!

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Bear Heart’s first job

Encouraging a child to earn their own money does more than teach them responsibility. It gives them the confidence to tackle anything. In this lovely excerpt from “The Wind Is My Mother,” Bear Heart tells the story of his first job: earning money planting cotton.

My dad taught me to hitch a team of horses to a wagon and a plow when I was eight years old and when I was ten he gave me two acres of land, saying, “If you want to plant something, go ahead. If you don’t plant anything, let it grow wild. Maybe some rabbits will come, feed upon the plant life and you can kill a rabbit to have something to eat. It’s your choice.”

Don’t let it sit idle, let it yield something — that’s what he was teaching me.

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Ten Commandments of Climate Change from Pope Francis

Well, just when I thought Pope Francis couldn’t be any cooler, he has come out with an eloquent 10 commandments for stopping climate change and the “disturbing warming” of our planet.

One would think he was Native American.

These 10 commandments were part of a 182-page encyclical on climate change entitled “Laudato Si [Praised Be To You]; On Care for Our Common Home.”

Encyclicals are teaching documents traditionally addressed to Catholics worldwide, but this one was addressed to “every person living on this planet.”

In it, he said, “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”

Here are the Ten Commandments of Climate Change

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Your surprising super power: inexperience!

Years ago I was at a party and walked into a room where a group of friends were playing on a small pool table. Curious, I asked what they were playing.

“Pocket billiards. Want to play?”

“Sure,” I replied, “what do I do?”

Pointing to the various pockets and handing me a cue, my friend said, “shoot this ball into this pocket and that ball into this other pocket,” etc., etc.

Much to my friends’ amazement, I did exactly that, because I was too naïve and inexperienced to know it was supposed to be hard!

So there was a super power I didn’t know I had.

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How to find the sacred in everyday life

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and find they were the big things.” Robert Brault

One of the things I love about the Native American spiritual path is the focus on appreciating the simple things in life.

Simple things are often hard to relate to in today’s world of overwhelm.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, says we human beings currently create as much information in two days as we did from the dawn of civilization up through 2003!

And yet our bodies were, and still are, designed to be in tune with the sun, the moon, the seasons, and the cycles of nature. That simplicity is what our souls long for.

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Memorial Day: Earn it!

“James, earn this… earn it.” Dying words of Capt. John Miller to Private James Ryan in the film, Saving Private Ryan.

Officially, Memorial Day in the United States is a day for remembering and honoring all Americans who died in any war.

Unfortunately, Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of the summer holiday, with people focusing on shopping, family gatherings, picnics and sporting events. So we sometimes forget the real meaning of the Day.

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Moon time teachings: why they’re not for women only

In traditional Native societies, the moon time, or menstrual cycle, is seen as something sacred. Yet my mother called it “the curse.”

What do the Natives know that our mother’s didn’t?

I used to share moon time teachings with women’s groups only, but I’ve decided that men need this information, too.

For my women readers, this is information that has been lost in our society, but it can help us in achieving the life balance we all seek.

To my male readers, please read this in the spirit of gaining a better understanding of female mysteries! Learn to appreciate the women in your life as energetic beings in tune with the cycles of nature.

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How to overcome your limiting beliefs

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

That goes for how we treat ourselves, too.

I just listened to a talk by one of my mentors, Brendon Burchard. He made an interesting point about ending our focus on limiting beliefs and instead focusing on what works.

Brendon related the following email conversation he had with one of his coaching clients:

Client: “But what about my doubts and fears?”

Brendon: “What of them? They’re not going to go away. The question is, are they winning the day, or are you? What of your greatness and power? When you connect there, finally, after all this time, your insecurities will be irrelevant.”

We’ve heard it before: what we focus on expands.

Do you want to focus on your problems? Or what works?

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The Japanese Tea Ceremony – the sacred in every day life

I love to look for the sacred in every day life. And there may be no better example than the opportunity offered by mindfully drinking a simple cup of tea, as in the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Whether gazing out the window, or going through the formality of a Japanese tea ceremony, there is tranquility and grace to be found there.

The Japanese are reputed to have the lowest rate of heart disease in the world. Diet is a big part of that, but also, 50% of Japanese drink three cups of green tea day!

Perhaps there’s something to learn from that and, in particular, how>/b> they drink tea.

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Sacred Fire: the manifestation of Spirit

“The Sacred Fire used to heat the rocks represents the eternal fire that burns at the center of the universe.” Dr. A.C. Ross, Lakota

I don’t believe I have ever been to a Native American ceremony that did not incorporate Sacred Fire.

Fire is a gift from the Creator. It is spirit made manifest.

It is untouchable yet touches us with it’s warmth and light.

When we learn how to communicate with it, our lives are enriched.

Just as the sun provides warmth and light, and allows growing things to flourish, Fire warms our homes and cooks our food, and lights our way in the dark.

Even without looking for deep, spiritual meaning, fire is certainly mesmerizing. What is more relaxing than sitting and watching a fire?

DOES FIRE HAVE A CONSCIOUSNESS?

I think the answer is, “yes.”

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Why having a role model can change your life

“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.” Oprah Winfrey

Do you sometimes wish you had someone to answer all your questions and tell you how to run your life?

Tell you which path to take when you’re at a cross-roads?

I’ve wished for that many times.

When life seems confusing and hard, it would be so nice to have someone we respect just say, “Here, why not take this path. This is what you should do.”

Well, the fact is, we all do have people like that in our lives. They’re called role models.

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