Leaning into is the Only Way Out

As long as we’re in this world, we can’t escape its hard knocks. Many problems are created by our own bad choices and negative thoughts. Some struggles are out of our control. While other life issues develop because of poor attachment to our original caretakers and as a result we don’t know how to form healthy adult relationships. A number of difficulties are a result of traumas. Some people develop a lack of trust in their ideas, talents or sexuality because others mocked or shamed them.

Working through this pain while staying connected to our humanity helps our Soul become stronger and more resilient. When we choose growth over pathology, acceptance over denial, healing over victimhood, we’re embracing our authenticity. When we honor our unique struggles verses denying we have any, we’re in touch with our Sacred Self.

Connecting to that sacredness is about leaning into the pain we feel and working through the puzzle of healing. When we avoid our inner turmoil by blaming others, self medicating or repeating old patterns that are harmful, we’re riding a whirlpool of chaos. The only way out is to confront our suffering. This way forces outside of ourselves no longer control us. Stepping out of the vortex puts us into the eye of the storm, which is where calm resides.

When we grow psychologically, we stretch — sometimes it’s messy, always uncomfortable. At times it’s downright painful. Like the twisting of gold wire to make jewelry, we’re applying pressure to achieve new form. The wire becomes stronger as it bends to hold the beautiful gemstone. It doesn’t change what it is, only manifests into something greater than its initial form.

Reclaim all that is within you.

–Cheryl Lewallen

Art-Deborah Koff-Chapin



Making Difficult Decisions with Ease

by Carol James – 

Have you ever struggled to make a decision? 
Do you sometimes base your decisions solely on what you think you will get as a result of a given choice? For instance, if you thought “If I take that job, I will have more money, and when I get more money then I can stop worrying about my bills,” your decision would be based on being able to pay your bills, not on being excited about the job.
The problem with a “If I do this then I will have that and when I get that, I will have or be. . .” approach is that if this doesn’t turn out to give you that, which frequently happens, you end up in a state of worry, anxiety or fear.
Of course, when first making the decision you are filled with enthusiasm and expectation of a fabulous outcome. 
I call this stage the honeymoon period: the “in love” stage when everything is rosy and you couldn’t see a blemish with a microscope. However, the decision was made because of an expectation to get something, so it is inevitable that you will start monitoring whether or not it has arrived.
If what is wanted comes quickly, the “in love” state continues to flourish. But when it doesn’t. . .well, there’s just too much negative chatter, doubt and lack found in that state.

There is another, far better place from which to make decisions: the heart. 

The heart’s filter wants to know:
  • Do I feel inspired about this option?
  • Does it feel like the “right” thing to do?
  • Will I grow and expand from this experience?
  • Will everyone involved be uplifted by this choice?
  • Can I feel good about my choice regardless of the outcome?
  • Does it cause my heart to sing?
Instead of laboring over decisions, give yourself time to notice how you feel about each option under consideration, then pick the one that resonates the most with your heart. By doing so, you will naturally pursue the best option. 
After all, your inner knowing – the heart center is the wisest one of all.

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5 Tips to Feel At Home Anywhere

by Karen Naumann –
Within the past seven years, I’ve lived in five cities in the U.S. and in Germany. Each time, I’ve moved alone to a new city and made a new start, including finding new friends, favorite places and peaceful moments.
I know what culture shock means and feels like. I’ve been through the stages and discomfort of “giving up” my own assumptions and expectations of other cultures and even the ones of my own.

Maybe you’ve just moved away from home to another city or country too, and just hit the “negotiation” phase. which can be upsetting. No worries, this pain you’re feeling isn’t because you’re weak. This is a growing pain and shows how incredibly strong you are. Only a minor part of the world population actually moves abroad or even moves within their own country from one city to another. This makes you part of a small group of very brave people who decided to stick their heads out of their comfort zone to go out and explore the world.
Here are five tips to help make you feel at home wherever you go:


I’ve worked a lot with international students in my past and present job. Moreover, I’ve been an international student myself when I studied abroad in the U.S. and lived there for six years. What I can tell you for sure is that we are all in the same boat when it comes to experiencing a new culture. We look for similarities to feel comfort, and we realize that there are differences in dealing with certain things regarding lifestyle, food, and even the dating scene.
You might have had the feeling of disagreement and had thoughts like, “This is weird! Why do they act like this? We don’t do this back in my culture, we do it better.” Have you? Well, this is so called ethnocentrism. You are “judging” the other culture based on the standards and values of your own culture, which helps you define and find your cultural identity.
Funny enough, after living in the U.S. for years and now being back in Germany, I still do not identify with either U.S. or German culture completely. I call myself a “Germarican,” because I have adopted some of the American outlooks and kept some of the German customs.
Embracing cultural differences is key in overcoming ethnocentrism. Remember that your culture is only one out of many, like one piece of a colorful mosaic. There is nothing wrong with the other cultures, they are just beautifully different from yours.


As Bill Nye once said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”
Absolutely! There is so much to learn from each person you meet, no matter if they are from a different culture than yours or not. I’ve had roommates from Brazil, Czech Republic, Zimbabwe, and the U.S., and let me tell you: I’ve learned so much from each and every one of them.
Diversity is so “rich” and powerful. It will shake you up, awaken your awareness, make you think, and educate you more than any book or class could ever do. So go out to the gym, take a literature class, join a “meet up” gathering or simply a networking event and enjoy the learning journey. Just make sure to mingle outside your comfort zone.
For example, I even did online dating in Chicago and had fun dates with a Persian guy, an Italian-American and a Canadian. It’s amazing how differently we might look, but we all smile in the same language.


It truly is. Although I live by the motto “All you need is less,” there are certain things that I simply have to keep because they give me comfort. For example, I have a big green tea cup with the word “Believe” on it, which I bought at a thrift store in Chicago when I just moved there. Since then, I’ve been drinking my green tea out of it every morning. It makes me feel at ease and gives me a feeling of safety no matter where I am, just like home.
Take and keep whatever gives you comfort; it might be a blanket, stuffed animal or maybe even a small thing like a key chain. Grab it, hold on to it and make yourself feel at home whenever and wherever you go.
Or like Cecelia Ahern put it, “Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”


Sure, moving to a different city or even country can be quite lonely and stressful. The “honeymoon phase” unfortunately doesn’t last forever and you might soon feel lonely or even like an outsider. Don’t worry! Pick yourself up and be proud of yourself.
Again, how many people do you know who have moved to another city or even country? Exactly! Not too many people are brave enough to move away from their families, thus away from their comfort zone. This is truly a big change in your life, and a step towards an unknown future. But you know what? You have nothing to lose! You can always go back home. Your family and true friends will be there. So, see it as an adventure and embrace this opportunity that not too many people get! Try or explore something new every week in your new city and create positive memories that will pick you up in lonely moments.


Keep a diary or start a blog! Sharing your everyday encounters can be so entertaining and powerful for yourself and others. Plus, it makes your family and friends back home feel like you are still there and close to them.
I truly wish my eyes could take pictures sometimes, because this would describe the beauty and astonishment I feel whenever I go somewhere new. I moved away from home (yet again) about six months ago and started all over in the capital of Germany all by myself. After moving and settling into my new place, I finally started trying out yoga studios, cafés, restaurants and explored museums and other cool places.
Putting yourself out there is certainly not an easy thing to do but you will find new favorite places, spots and streets to walk in, as soon as you make the first step in front of your door. Just be safe, give yourself some time, cut yourself some slack and GO!
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Every Answer and Solution

The answer to every question is Love. The solution to every problem is Love. The response to every request is Love. Surrender yourself to the power of Love

Be consumed by its raging fire. Throw yourself into its ocean. Love everything and everyone at all times, in all places and in all ways.

Awaken to the only true reality. Bow before its alter. Every song is a song of Love. Every dance is a dance of Love. The message of every prophet, sage and avatar is Love. When afraid, Love. When in doubt, Love When confused, Love.

Embrace the healing power of Love for Love is the only way. All ways are the way of Love for ultimately every cry is the cry of Love or the cry for Love

Love, Love, Love and then Love some more. Love eventually catches everyone, no matter where you are. It is simple yet so profound, just Love

Let Love flow through you. Let Love consume you. Let Love become one with you and you become one with Love. Allow yourself to be woven into its pattern until you and Love are One.

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Getting To The Core Of Who You Are

by Garrett Paknis – 

What is it that you most want but are afraid of speaking up about? Has there been something that you’ve kept locked away from all your friends and family members simply because of a fear of being judged or ridiculed? Is there some sort of secret fantasy life you wish to live yet you don’t know how to go about getting it? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Our whole purpose in life is to do exactly what we wish to do. What makes us truly happy. Not what our ego wishes for or what our parents or friends wish for… but what our core being is both made up of and is fueled by. Sometimes, the biggest hurdle keeping us from living the authentic and passionate life we are dreaming of are our own self-limiting beliefs. We get caught up in our heads and societal pressures to be one thing when we know it isn’t who we are.
Who’s going to stick up for you? Who’s going to fight your battles if you don’t? The most amazing, exhilarating freedom can come about when we face our fears and move confidently in the direction of our future. Sometimes, all it takes is the smallest step in order for all the doors to open. And once those doors are open and the light is beckoning you from the other side, you just have to run and jump through. You don’t hesitate… you jump. That’s what this life is about. It’s important to make the jump and take chances. Chance is a yummy recipe for miracles.
In order to get ready to make that jump, you need to get comfortable with yourself. You need to be honest and figure out what it is that keeps you from living truthfully and going after what you most desire. Usually, at the core of this issue are the ideas of others. Whether you were once told that it was impossible for you to do something, or whether others expect you to live a certain type of life – that is usually our greatest detriment as people.
But who cares? No – really? 

Who cares about what other people say? They aren’t the ones fighting for you at the end of the day, you are. The only person you need to be happy with when you’re going to sleep at night is yourself. So let’s get to the core of it all and unplug from our false beliefs about ourselves! I want you to get to the core of you.
When you’re ready, the universe will step up and be ready with you. 

You’ll be presented with the opportunities to change once you decide to change. And like the light beckoning you to jump through the door of opportunity, you’ll find yourself meeting every opportunity and rising up to it. It’s time to rise up to yourself. Get clear on the life that you’re after… and… go get it. Off to the races! I’m over here rooting for you.
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Gratitude’s, Learning’s and Gifts

by Irene Martina – 

I was blessed to have a very insightful and intuitive mother who became my greatest teacher. I would like to share with you a few of her teachings and my learning’s.

1. Choose your thoughts carefully, they are your destiny.
Since the Secret has come out people have become more aware of the power of thoughts and choices but back in the 50’s when I grew up this type of wisdom was rare to get from parents.
We struggled through some hard times but my mother always told me to focus on the good things life could bring and when my sister and I did, we would see how right she was.
My philosophy to this day is that wherever I am in my life each day; it is exactly the blueprint I have created. You always have a choice about who you want to be and it starts with your thoughts so chose your thoughts carefully.

2. Be in the moment always, it’s all you really have.

I so often hear my clients tell me that they will begin to change or manifest or whatever next week or perhaps sometime tomorrow.

When I first started working with guides and discovered that they work on energy only that meant they worked on the energy I created with my thoughts, deeds and actions. It amazed me to know that they did not care if that energy was positive or negative; it was just energy and they worked with whatever it was.
It did not take long to realize that saying tomorrow, next week, and perhaps later or “I will”… did not create a great response in my present time period until I realized there are no guarantees of a “tomorrow, next week or next month” and that our power was always in the moment.
This moment is the only moment in life we are given so it has the greatest point of power we will ever have. By not living in the moment we miss the joys, the teachings, and the manifesting that each day can bring and it is truly all we are ever going to have.

3. You Are Unique – Believe in Yourself!

I remember one day I was hurt by an insult a classmate gave me about my intuitive gifts and my mother’s teachings as being those of witchcraft. I often struggled with being different or strange as so many called me.

There were always wonderful moments before or at bedtime when she would listen to my daily tribulations and smile. One day she asked me who I would like to change my life with for a day if I could do so.

 I told her I wanted to be a movie star like Elizabeth Taylor. Of course she asked me why! On and on I went about how beautiful she was, rich and famous and adored by millions.

As she often did, my mom made me close my eyes and visualize most of my life’s problems or desires. She had me visualize a day or week in Ms. Taylor’s world. I told her what I would want to do and my mom would stop me and tell me that what I was asking for was not possible as I had staff and 100’s of people that demanded time and work from her and I had a responsibility to produce for them. She made me see a side of her life that could have been one of sadness because she had no privacy. She showed me how demanding and at times unrewarding and hard her life must be to become who and she was to the world.

At the end of our game she would smile and tell me how unique I was and that every person on the planet had been given a great gift when they were born; the gift of becoming who they were meant to be. We are all unique she would say and each one of us would have our own “staring roll” in the world if we believed in our own magic; our own inner power. She made me create a vision of what I would love to be in my world and that if I chose to be a star it would be of my making and based on my capabilities, talents and unique gifts.

Sadly, I have discovered so many people that I have met in my life who have wanted to be someone else. They could never see their own talents and gifts that they were bringing into the world. They could not see or acknowledge their own power or greatness.

There is no duplicate of you so how can you fail! You came into this world already special, unique and with one of kind gifts to share with those in this world that you will come into contact with. Each of us has to find that inner power and belief in ourselves and when you do; you will become the star you are really seeking to be!

If you believe God created perfection in all things, than you must believe in you!

4. Love Yourself First.

Have you given yourself a hug today? If not, why not? Do you realize that we seldom give ourselves some kind words, a mental hug, or a pat on the back? Can you tell me if you said this gratitude today, “I am grateful for the strength of my spirit (courage, etc.) and for the wisdom of my choices?” If not, why not?

Realize that you really do come first! You cannot give what you do not have! You cannot give love if it is not in you to give. How do you love your family and friends the way they deserve to be loved if you are not loving yourself?

We are constantly giving away our power and when we need it for us; we are drained and too tired to feed our own soul’s, bodies and minds. Can you write ten things down right now that you appreciate about yourself and read it aloud? If you can great, now have you taught your family and children how do this and why it is so important.

5.The Power of Gratitude

My mother worked about five different jobs a week for years to keep us off welfare. I did my best to make the house run smooth for her and to look after my younger sister. As she usually came home exhausted, she did not have the energy to take over as the housekeeper and chief bottle washer.

It was not always easy to keep up this pace and we struggled for years to keep our heads above water. She never complained and she was so grateful to us for everything we could do. I never really saw my mom sick, unkind to anyone and she was generous to a fault.

When I was thirteen I rebelled one night. I got angry and frustrated at my sister because I could not go to a party and have some fun for a change. My sister told my mother how I had been (verbally) mean to her and why. My mother said it was time we all had a date with each other and a treat.

She took a night off and we went to the restaurant for a meal which was rare and costly to her. She told us to order desserts and that was a real treat! When we got home she told us we had to learn to have “down time” and fun, even if it was not going to parties and out of the house.

My mother told us many ways we could treat ourselves such as long baths, listening to our favorite music, talking to friends and write in a journal to share our feelings. But most importantly she asked us to promise her that we would do something for her for the rest of our lives. I have kept that promise and I want to share it with you.

Every night for many years she had us share at least five personal gratitude’s for the day. These gratitude’s had to include one for each other and for ourselves. One day when we got older she had us add something new to the gratitude’s.

When saying the gratitude’s we had to start with working our day backwards because she said our dreams would be more powerful as we cleared the energy of the day. She added another new step; after the gratitude’s we had to find our greatest lesson or gift from the day?

My mom, sister and I looked forward to the evening when we would play this game and we loved finding different gratitude’s each day. It changed our whole outlook on life and each other. When we were seventeen she added the last and most important step.

After we went to bed filled with our gratitude’s, learning’s and gifts we added a new saying in the morning. In her words it was simply this:

“When your feet hit the floor in the morning, simply say, “God whose life will I touch today?”

From that point on, she would ask us if we first touched our own life that day because we cannot touch a life with love unless we love ourselves first. She taught us how to hug ourselves and how important it was to do it often.

Asking to touch someone’s life each day brings more gratitude into your life than you can ever imagine. When your hearts fills with love for others you know it is because you have discovered how to really love yourself. Our gratitude’s were even easier to come by each night from that day on.

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Know Thyself and Why?

 by Michele Knight –

Why Being True To Yourself Is The Greatest Soul Work You Can Do.

The sign above the entrance to the Oracle at Delphi famously read ‘Know Thyself’. Shakespeare wrote ‘To thine own self be true’. And whichever way we look at this, this remains timeless advice. Being authentic and being ourselves is not only necessary for our happiness it is also the most important soul evolutionary work we can undertake.

By knowing ourselves, we then understand exactly what it is we need (as opposed to what we think we want) to live our best, happiest, more creative, rich and abundant lives on every level. 
Not only that, the soul freedom we create for ourselves not only frees us but it frees everyone we come into contact with as we are no longer interested in wasting our time and energy – or theirs, on something that doesn’t serve our greater good.
When we know ourselves, we are unafraid to be ourselves or to show others what we really think or feel. 
Other people’s judgements don’t concern us the way they used to but a funny thing starts to happen. Once we become more open more and more people start responding in kind. Our relationships even with acquaintances, improve and deepen. 
Where do we start? 

First by being honest. Are you hiding something behind the official ‘truth’ about the situation? Believe me, this is a trap that’s easier to fall into than you might think! Perhaps you worked long and hard for a job or promotion but now you’ve got it you’ve discovered it’s not what you thought it would be or no longer you but you don’t want to admit this as you’re worried people what people will say. 

Are you presenting a happy façade that all is well with your marriage or relationship when it’s not? In these days of social media it’s all too easy to start believing our own Facebook status and to use this to create a false perception of what’s really going on in our lives.

Or maybe your job or your relationship is something you just ‘slid’ into before you started thinking about what you really needed? It really doesn’t make you happy but you feel it will cause you and others too much pain to admit that.
If you are unsure even how to begin what I recommend is a Soul Audit. 

Your intuition or ‘gut’ feelings are never wrong. Write down your feelings about every area of your life right now. Your job, your relationship status (whether you are in one or not), your home – anything and everything. 
Write down all the emotions you feel when you think about each area – from the positive to the negative. The key to this exercise is discovering how you truly feel about something. 
If you are listing feeling such as ‘frustration’, ‘trapped’, ‘ambivalent’, ‘drained’, ‘depressed’, ‘exhausted’ then focus on those areas and now list what you would like to be feeling around them instead. Now, what do you need to do to move yourself from the negative side of the feelings spectrum and into the positive? Chances are you are going to have to have conversations with people where you tell them how you really feel – not how they think you may feel.
Don’t necessarily go in thinking that having these conversations means the end of a relationship, friendship or a career. Of course, in certain circumstances a radical shift is going to be necessary to put you back in the right path. 
Very often, speaking your truth allows everyone concerned to come away with a win/win situation. 
Our partners, friends or family are not mind-readers no matter how close we are. By being honest you are inviting them to do the same and together you can address any issues and resolve them. Similarly, that ‘dream’ job that is now a nightmare – having a conversation with your boss may result in you being able to reconnect to whatever it was that made you want the job in the first place.
Knowing what you truly want, think and feel means you don’t waste your precious time or anyone else’s by continuing to invest in something that has no future if that is the outcome. So, far from being a selfish or narcissistic act, being true to ourselves is actually an act of kindness and serious, soul-freeing work for both ourselves and everyone concerned.

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