Tag Archives: Life purpose

Stop Talking Yourself Out of Your Own Greatness

Priska climbing the classic Star CheckRecently, as I found myself sitting in front of my laptop, tapping away at the final touches of my book  proposal, I’ve drifted away from my usual writer’s bliss and instead have been, oh you know, totally freaking out! You see, the deadline to submit the proposal to my dream publisher, Hay House, as part of the contest they’re holding for participants of last April’s ‘Writing from Your Soul’ conference is quickly approaching. And, wouldn’t you know, all of a sudden, my ego is totally tripping out on me! “Who would even want to read my book” “What are the odds of getting picked with over 500 others in attendance?” “I bet there are some pretty amazing book ideas out there.” As I’ve allowed these thoughts to creep into my brain, they have literally taken over, sucking the creativity and joy out of what is usually one of my most favorite activities, writing!!  I even started creeping into the “why bother?” territory. Yikes!

With just a little over a month away to finish up, fine-tune, and put my best step forward, I didn’t have time for this self-sabotage crapola and needed to snap out of it, stat! Through all of my spiritual work, deep down, I know that this is just the fearful illusion of my ego, trying to keep me “safe.” In reality, I don’t truly believe this crazy-talk deep inside. At first I thought it was fear of failure or fear of rejection. Then, I realized that it was a much deeper fear. All of a sudden, I had an a-ha moment as I heard Marianne Willamson’s voice in my head with her world famous quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Yes, this absolutely rings true! I was on the brink of psyching myself out into playing small. We all do this. It really is our own light that frightens us the most.

You see, all I’ve ever wanted to do is be a writer. When deciding what to major in college, I shied away from pursuing writing as a career because I didn’t see how I could make a living at it. I chose a different path to pay my bills. But, in more recent years, I have been strongly guided towards it again. It truly feel it is my calling. I’ve amassed a lot of experiences and wisdom through the years in my entrepreneurial and life adventures and through my spiritual studies, which has all helped me tremendously with my own personal growth and transformation. I feel that it is my duty to share this information as I know it can help so many others as well.  And, through my blogging, I’ve made so many beautiful connections with readers and affirmed this truth. So, I had to give myself a little Marianne Williamson-esque, “who are you not to be a writer?”

I share this story with you because I want you to be aware of your own potential greatness! But, also to be aware of your own negative self-talk that will try so hard to snuff out your fire. You are meant to shine, baby!! We all are. And by shining your light, you are helping others to do the same.

Try these 4 steps that I used to put a muzzle on my own negative chatter:

  1. Be the observer. Instead of owning these thoughts as if they came from you, “I won’t win” “I can’t do it” — take on the role of observer, as if somebody else is saying them to you. This is called separating yourself from your ego. While the ego may have good intentions of keeping us safe, instead it keeps us living in fear and not taking chances or reaching our full potential. That voice is not who we really are!

  2. Notice how silly it can be. As I listened to my ego voice as an observer, I actually giggled out loud. “Where do you come up with this stuff? You aren’t very nice!,” I thought to myself. Then, I said, “thank you for trying to protect me, but I’ve got this.”

  3. Channel your Marianne Williamson. ”Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” Remember this line always. Seriously, who are you not to be?! Print it out and put it somewhere you can always see it. You are not alone. We all go through this, but you can rise above. You are meant for greatness!

  4. Remember who you really are. For me, I had to remind myself of my deep passion for writing. Also, I am not doing this for me, but I feel a calling to share information to help others. I’m not doing myself or the world any justice by copping out. Same applies to you! The world needs what you have to offer. Don’t hold back!

Finally, after doing all of the above, I sat down with more focus and clarity then I have had in a long time. The words just flowed out of me. I reconnected with my purpose. I might not be good at a lot of things, but writing is definitely my calling..

And, of course, this does not mean I am a shoe-in for the Hay House prize by any means. But, winning or losing this contest is not what matters most. It’s about pushing through personal boundaries. And, at the end of next month, I will have a completed book proposal. That is a big deal for me, regardless of the outcome. I will continue to push towards my dreams, silencing my own negative chatter along the way.

What about you? Can you think of a time when you were talking yourself out of your own greatness? How did you get back on track? Have you ever missed out on an opportunity because of your own inner-critic? We can all learn from each other and would love to hear from you in the comments below!

For more from Dawn, check out www.dawngluskin.com and join her inspiring Facebook community

Live Life Like It Matters

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~Lewis B. SmedesBy Jay Forte

At the grocery store yesterday, while buying some great ingredients for a dinner with friends, I watched a dad walk down one of the food aisles with his daughter and son (probably about 7 and 9 years old). They picked up box after box and can after can and read the nutritional ingredients together. I overheard him say, “You have to know what you are eating and only eat the great things – this will help you be strong to live life like it matters.” Wonderful lesson for his kids. Wonderful lesson for me. Live life like it matters.

Most days we get out of bed unaware of the gift of getting out of bed and having access to an entirely new day. We have a blank day just waiting for us to fill it in with the things that matter to us – our families, our work, our hobbies, our passions, our beliefs. We can choose what goes in the day. We can make the moments of our days matter.

Many of us, however, take life for granted – that it will always be. That one day is like any other – nothing special. But talk to those whose lives are affected by loss, illness, age and fear and we quickly see how fragile, important, fleeting and precious life is.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, author many great books on mindfulness and consciousness, talks about being present to our lives. When we take the time to be present to and in our lives, we start to really connect with all that life is (and can be). But we don’t get this awareness if we don’t pay attention – if we don’t actually show up to the moments of our lives. These moments have everything for us; they have excitement, adventure, passion and opportunities to help us celebrate. They have pain, struggle, challenge and loss to help us learn. Both come to those who connect with life – paying attention and living life like it matters.

I routinely coach retiring Baby Boomers – people born between 1946 and 1964. More than 12,500 boomers are turning 50 every day; that’s about one every 7 seconds. By 2030, the 65-and-over population will be around 71.5 million; by 2050 that same group will grow to 86.7 million. Retirees are being confronted with relearning how to make life matter after so many years of work and routine; they are finding it is not easy, without some help, to reinvent ways to feel relevant, vibrant and valuable in retirement. Living life like it matters is about purpose – about having something important to do, contribute and be part of at every age.

We all go through this. As we move from high school to college to employee to married to parent to grandparent to retiree, we are the same people; we have the same talents and passions. What changes, however, is our world and our place in that world. At each stage in life we have to relearn how to show up to our lives and make them valuable and important. That is just how it works. But with the commitment to wake up each day focused on making life matter, we have the ability to find our way each day to be happy, engaged and living our potential.

I just did the calculation – I have been on the planet 20,333 days (almost 56 years). Have I lived each day like it mattered? Not at all. There were many days that I just took for granted – that when this one finished, many more will follow – uninterrupted. I had no respect or regard for the preciousness of each day. But seeing the number 20,333, I now see that life is finite and that the more successful way to live is to choose how to show up to each moment in life. I have a choice in how I value and spend my days. I have a choice to align what I do best to meaningful places in my world to feel connected to life. Writer and theologian Frederick Buechner, says it best, “Our vocation in life is where our greatest joy meets our world’s greatest need.” Connect what gives us the greatest joy to things in our world that need what we do best. This is how to live life like it matters.

Discover what living life like it matters means for you, then promise yourself as you put your feet on the floor each morning, that today will count. Today will be amazing. Today will matter.

Now. Here. This. – How to Stay Present to Your Purpose

be present.By Jay Forte

How present are we?

Most of us move through life entirely unaware – we move from thing to thing with little intention and focus. At the end of the day we fall into bed, barely remembering what happened during the day.

What if, instead, we truly showed up to each moment? Now. Here. This. (Right) now. (Right) here. This (exact moment).

See, each moment has the two things we need most:

  1. Our actual life.

  2. Information.

By being present and conscious in each moment, we fully connect with our lives. We experience what life shares with us – we are really part of life. After all, what other purpose do we have in life other to be present and experience it? Letting it pass by without really noticing seems a terrible waste of something so amazing.

The other important thing that happens in each moment is we gather information. As we show up present to each moment of our lives, we learn about life, ourselves and how we fit. The more information we have, the better our choices and the more amazing our lives.

I regularly say in my workshops that we were not born with an owner’s manual; at birth we don’t know what we are good at, passionate about and what matters to us. For this information, we need to intentionally show up to each day of our lives because we gather this information as we live. We learn what we rock at and stink at. We learn what moves us and bores us. We can see places of interest and adventure and places that we want to stay away from. All of this is in front of us in every moment. But we have to be present in order to see it, be part of it and learn from it. Now, here, this has all the information that we need to know how to be able to choose wisely in all aspects of work and life.

When we don’t take the time to discover what we are good at, are passionate about and what matters to us, we are unclear of what makes us unique and different. Without this information, our lives start to look like others’ lives instead of our own.

When we don’t know what our voice says (because we haven’t tuned in to now, here, this), then we take others’ voices on as ours. This will always lead us to others’ roads in life. As I tell my three daughters, if you see footprints on your road in life, you are likely on someone else’s road. Reconnect to now, here, this and get back on your road.

Life constantly presents each of us with everything we need; we just don’t seem to see what it offers. Most of the time it is because we are rushing and don’t make time for information and experiences that are right in front of us. Slow it down and all of a sudden life opens up. Slow it down to see what is right in front of us.

My father used to say that life is not a superhighway – it is a meandering path. Though the shortest distance may be between two points, life is not about getting someplace quickly; it is about the quality of the experiences while on the road. The meandering path gives different views at each turn; every event is larger, more interesting and has more to see and learn. But to enjoy the view you have to tune in – you have to make the time to be present, aware and conscious. You have to be in the now, the here and the this.

Showing up present not only is how we experience life, but it is also how we gather information to improve how we experience life. We have everything we need – it is always in front of us. We just need to train ourselves to slow things down to be part of it. So what’s the rush if all we do is get faster to someplace in work or life that doesn’t fit us?

Now. Here. This. Pay attention to right now. Be right here. Watch this. These are the steps to both learn about and experience a great and terrific life.

10 Inspiring Quotes for Labor Day!

Faces from the St Patricks Day ParadeToday is the day we stay home from the office, enjoy the company of our loved ones, and pay tribute to the incredible work people throughout this country do every day. Many in our communities won’t even be resting from work today – the bus drivers, the janitors, the supermarket cashiers, and many others. Today is for them, and for you, and for everyone who works so hard to keep this country going.

Here are 10 amazing quotes on the virtue of work and the real meaning of labor:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

~Confucius

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Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

~Theodore Roosevelt

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All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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All things are difficult before they are easy.

~Thomas Fuller

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Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

~Albert Camus

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Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.

~Rumi

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The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.

~Ginger Rogers

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To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.

~Pearl S. Buck

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No one can arrive from being talented alone, work transforms talent into genius.

~Anna Pavlova

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The greatest teacher I know is the job itself.

~James Cash Penney

Deepak Chopra: Finding Your Path in Life

This is something so many of us struggle with. Who am I? What is my path? In this episode of “Spiritual Solutions” on The Chopra Well, Deepak addresses this major question.

Brian recently dropped out of medical school and is wondering how to find the right path in life. How do we figure out our purpose and what path to take to achieve that purpose? Deepak Chopra provides a few suggestions – by looking at the relationship between meeting our needs and fulfilling a purpose. Needs may include achievement, love, success, higher consciousness, etc. Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I really want?

Are you trying to find your purpose? Subscribe to The Chopra Well and let us help!

5 Attitudinal Traits of Winners

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 11.19.34 AMBy Lyna Jones

“You will turn out to be an alcoholic and a prostitute, just like your mother. You are too stupid to do anything else.”

This sharp statement would resonate in my ears daily for nearly four years. My foster mom apparently didn’t perceive any potential in my 13-year-old self. Ever since that statement, I have been fiercely determined to win the game of life and break the chains of my past. I knew that my strength of will would ultimately liberate me from the ruinous patterns of my family.

Winning isn’t everything. The will to win is, as are the mental tools to become the victor of your own existence.

Here are the 5 fundamental traits of a winner that have permitted me to claim the happiness that I own today.

1. Staunch Perseverance

The only person who holds the chief capacity to get in the way of your goals is yourself.
Anything and everything is possible if we possess the staunch willingness to persevere until we reach our destination. We must recalibrate our mental focus upon our destination every single day. It becomes a personal value that shapes our character and refines our approach to win. Thomas Edison was the epitome of perseverance: He conducted nearly 10,000 experiments before finding a filament that would burn in the electric light bulb.

Perseverance does not entail an obsessive repetition of the same behavior and techniques but the ability to re-assess our approach keeping our end goal in mind. The path of high-achievers is paved by failures, rejection, and discouragement. But the winning mind is simply never deterred by such momentary setbacks. It strives forward with tenacity and resolve.

2. Clarity of Purpose

Do your dreams truly come from the innermost part of your soul or do they belong to somebody else? Our family, environment, peers, and cultural expectations, role models, largely influence us. It is paramount to live up to your authentic dreams. Let yourself stand for your individual truth. Honor and pursue the jolts of your own heart. Embrace your peculiar preferences. We are often programmed to fit into the current societal norms that we loose touch with our unique desires.

My childhood dream was to become an attorney-at-law. I was persuaded that such a profession would automatically earn me the approval and respect of the others. That dream was irrelevant to my soul. It was not carved out of a passion for the law. It was chosen to impress others. Clarify your vision. Write down your burning pursuits and their accompanied reasons. Let go of what is not genuinely yours to create space for your soul to barge in. Let authenticity be the authoritative mark of your dream.

3. Always Learn More

Winners are fully committed to developing their craft. Become a perpetual student to increase your knowledge, your value, and your confidence. A winning mind stays teachable. Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in the world. Yet he works with a coach, Sean Foley, to sharpen his swing.

People with the most information always have an advantage. Develop a system to increase your repertoire of information. I maximize my daily 45-minute commute to work to listen to personal development audio books and podcasts, which is the equivalent of a book per week. My life schedule is extremely tight but I make my free time very productive.

Learn more. Accumulate experiences. Bust through the walls of your comfort zone to propel your growth forward.

4. Look Forward

How do you feel about your future?

You are not your personal history.

Let your past be your mentor for the positive lessons it contains and leave the darkness of the past behind. The elements of your past can be immensely useful if embraced as constructive blocks for a better future. Anything is possible because nothing is certain in the future tense. Winners assume the energy of a triumphant outcome.

5. Core Confidence

You must become your biggest fan.

If you believe that you can, you are right. And if you believe that you can’t, you are also right.

Develop a self-belief so strong that it will ineluctably compel others to support you in your journey. Know that you possess the necessary skills, mindset, and self-concept to prevail in the end. Enough positive self-talk will burst through any obstacle so give up your “I can’ts”. My primary goal since first witnessing my mothers drunkenly fall outside of a bar has been to set my soul on fire in order to teach others self-reliance, determination, and the power of self-love.

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Born and raised in Normandy, Lyna Jones is a Certified Life Coach with a staunch desire to help others step into their extraordinary life. Having endured many grave hardships throughout her journey from childhood into young adulthood, Lyna is equipped with passion and perseverance. Still growing and developing as a writer, she is a passionate individual dedicated to inspire and galvanize each soul she works with.

Facebook.com/lynatjones

Twitter.com/LynaTJones

Confessions of an Ex-Serial Dater

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 10.07.11 PMIt was becoming fairly routine in the “date night” order of operations: moments before any Friday night date was about to begin, I would do a clean sweep of my apartment and quickly hide any evidence that might reveal who I actually am. Any old photos of me from the awkward years, any Louise Hay inspired affirmations taped to my mirror, and any erroneous object that might imply I had more depth than a kiddie pool was quickly stowed away in my desk drawer.

You see, when I moved halfway across the country about a year ago, I was going on a lot of dates. I’d like to think it was because I was entering a time in my life when men found me simply irresistible, but it was also part of a staunch effort to avoid having to spend any long span of time by myself. After such a significant uprooting, I was sure that if I stopped moving for a moment I would have to face a whole lot of grief and other yucky feelings I was dead set on avoiding. In order to continue hiding myself from myself, I also found it essential to hide myself from other people…particularly men I was going on dates with.

So when about four months ago, one of those dates turned into about six weeks of regular encounters, this man who we’ll call “John” for the purposes of a public post was recalling how I told him I was a writer on our first date. Curious as to why he’d never seen me so much as scribble, he asked me why it appeared I hadn’t been writing since we met.

“Didn’t you used to blog all the time?” he asked. “Why haven’t you been writing anymore?”

“Oh, you know,” I started. “I just haven’t really been inspired to write anything in particular as of late.”

I turned my back to him as I was talking to privately make one of those “oh my God, what just came out of my mouth was the biggest crock” faces to myself without him seeing. Of course, the real answer to his question was:

“Yeah buddy, of course I haven’t been writing since I met you…because then you would find it on the internet and know I’m absolutely nothing like the girl you’ve been spending all your time with.”

Suddenly, the truth was staring me in the face. I’d been working so hard at running away from myself that if this man were actually to stumble upon any of my writing, he probably wouldn’t be able to tie it to its author. I was so wrapped up in whoever it was I was trying to be (I tend to channel simple, needless, quiet, you know: all the things I am not) that I couldn’t even find it in me to do my favorite thing because it would stifle my act. It appeared I only had two options:

I could keep dating, or I could start writing.

I didn’t decide overnight. John and I continued seeing each other for a few more weeks, and after that there were one or two more guys I went on several dates with to no avail. The truth is, had those guys been Ryan Gosling clones descending from on high, I probably still wouldn’t have been interested in continuing to date them because there was someone I really missed spending time with who I was totally neglecting:

Me. 

I told my inner circle I was taking a brief sabbatical from romance to get my feet on the ground, and most importantly to start writing again. Since then, the posts have literally been coming out of me like a faucet I can’t turn off. The first step felt like jumping off a bridge, but the ones that have come after that? Those I would not take back for anything: they are so much sweeter than the time I spent running in the opposite direction. In the end, if it were between dating or writing again, I would pick writing any day.

I suspect that eventually, though, I won’t have to choose.

Are You Trying To Find Your Purpose?

Enjoying the sunHas trying to find your purpose ever stressed you out? Do you feel some sort of pressure to make something meaningful with your life? In the past, when I heard people talk about their purpose, I would feel stressed and believed I was supposed to be doing something different or more with my life.

I thought that I needed to be clear about what that purpose looked like in the physical world. I then realized that by searching for this clarity, I was missing the life that was actually given to me as this present moment. I realized I had been missing the opportunity to express what was most important to me while I was searching.

What if it’s not as complicated as the mind makes it out to be? What if in the larger picture, what you’re doing is not as important as how you are being while you are doing it and the quality of energy you are putting out into the Uni-verse?

We are all hooked up differently to feel alive and sometimes it’s just about paying attention to what already lights us up. One thing that has helped me get clarity around this, and that I often recommend to clients, is having what I call a Joy Journal. It consists of taking some time every night to simply write down your favorite part of that day: this could be connecting with a coworker on a break, teaching a child how to ride a bike, or even being in nature or with animals.

Over time I was able to become more aware of the themes that spoke to me and I consciously created a job that brings in those elements and that feels aligned with my values. I knew I enjoyed connecting authentically with people, creating environments where people could more deeply discover who they are and ask meaningful questions.  I loved being a part of an inspiring community, and I knew I loved Bali.

So… I created a Wellness Retreat to Bali and over the last four years have been leading groups there on an immersion retreat where we do yoga, daily meditation, we get massages, eat raw food, get inspired by each other and also express our creativity. At the heart of these activities I could see that what I truly value is consciousness work, genuine relationships and supporting people. It’s no surprise that I also work as a psychotherapist because these qualities are expressed in that work as well.

It’s not that my purpose is my work, but my work supports me in expressing what I hold as most important to me. The invitation is to first clarify what you truly value. If at the heart of things you hold important in life is love, then discover how love expresses itself in your life moment-to-moment, person to person. Or if what you really value is service, then simply asking yourself everywhere you go, “How can I best serve here?” is a way of embodying your purpose. Then watch as life unfolds by honoring what is truly in your heart.

You can trust that the intelligence that holds the stars and the galaxies in the Uni-verse is also orchestrating your life… you can rest in that. A flower doesn’t know where it is going or its ultimate purpose, and yet it still blooms… something in it knows.

Goals are fine, and if you already have clarity about a specific expression your life is taking, then follow that, assuming it’s aligned with your heart. Just don’t get lost in the goal, thinking that getting “there” will somehow deeply satisfy you. It’s easy to have the end in mind or believe you have a purpose and then lose sight of the other 90% of your life, brushing your teeth, driving to work, meeting people at the grocery store, etc. This 90% is as much a part of life as the other 10%. By mentally living in the future, we miss out on the opportunity to express what we truly value now.

Often what we actually deeply yearn for is the creativity and spontaneity that arises out of the present moment. I invite you to enjoy this discovery as you let go of the stressful ideas about how you believe life should be, and experience the fullness of following what you truly value in your heart moment-to-moment.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”  ~ Mother Teresa

Deepak Chopra: How Can We Live With Least Effort?

How can we live with least effort? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak lends his advice on effortless living. It doesn’t mean that life suddenly becomes easy, but rather that you are in perfect harmony with the rhythms of the Universe. Take a look:

The law of least effort is based on the idea that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless spontaneity. Even Jesus mentions this in the New Testament. What is the law, really?

It means harnessing the forces of the universe and becoming aligned with them. There are three components to this. The first law is acceptance of yourself and everybody else. This removes the great burden of judgment. The second is responsibility – the ability to respond creatively without reactivity. you reach a higher plain of creativity and imagination if you are not reactive. The third law is defenselessness. This strips away the need to defend your point of view. When you give up being right, you ultimately get what you want.

Living a life without resistance and going with the flow of the forces of the Universe requires the least effort, when you live your life.

 

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Deepak Chopra: What is the Purpose of Life?

What is the purpose of life? What is dharma? In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak addresses this classic, essential question. It may be next to impossible to definitively say what the purpose of life is, as so many philosophers throughout history have been hard-pressed to do. But Deepak contributes this important commentary to the discussion:

Dharma means higher purpose. The Law of Dharma says that ultimately the dharma of all of us to reach enlightenment, unity, consciousness and total freedom from conditioning, There are several subsets of that purpose. We are here on to fulfill our talent and when we express our unique talents, we serve a higher purpose. We feel joy when we do this and even our profession should be in alignment with our dharma. Our bigger purpose though is always to reach enlightenment and to find our true identity. That is when we learn how to be, not to love how to create how to serve and ultimately how to exercise subtle intention in choiceless awareness so we become an evolutionary impulse of the universe.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!

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