I’ve heard it said that everyone’s favorite word is their name. I haven’t polled anyone to find out whether or not it’s a fact, but it makes sense. To be listened to and heard is a gift. To have someone’s undivided focus in a busy world is something special. Continue reading
Intents come from our soul and represent who we aspire to be as individuals, members of our communities and citizens of Mother Earth. Continue reading
You’d be hard-pressed to find the perfect family if you had all the time in the world to look. Single parent, both parents, no parents.
Siblings, no siblings.
Extended family is another can of worms altogether.
As humans, we’re all in process. We’re sorting through the experiences, habits, memories of our existence and deciding what to hang on to and what to let go. Some of us are very intentional about it. You’ve seen others be destructive in their choices. At the same time, every single human you’ve ever met has a genealogy. They belong to a family whether or not they know it or choose to participate in it. Maybe your family has those people. It can be easier or harder to love someone depending on what part of the process they are presently living.
Our encouragements for living and loving amidst a tough family situation? Continue reading
Two years ago the internet got it’s first glimpse of the amazingly effervescent and inspiring Kid President. Partnered with SoulPancake to flood the world with positivity and sweet dance moves, Robby and his brother/filmmaker Brad Montague have released pep talks, books, hung out with cool people, surprised cool people and showed us how to love one another and ourselves. Continue reading
I’m hoping to get a job with more hours, or should I just stay where I am? Also,
will love ever find me?
Think not about more hours: or the lack thereof: instead, focus your attention and intentions on manifesting your dream job.
All too often: one finds themselves settling for any job: let alone one that they actually love.
Time is a vastly misunderstood commodity.
It is as limitless as it is priceless: however: it is not guaranteed.
To waste or squander it: is to be selfish and “un” timely: meaning, to not be limitless or priceless.
Begin each day by stating your intentions.
I intend to find the very best job for ME.
I intend to be open and aware to the signs and signals the Universe sends me.
I intend to follow through with each lead or opportunity with guided enthusiasm or restraint.
Continue to hone and revise your intentions: addressing matters of daily living: health: happiness: and specifically your dream job income, location, hours, boss(es), clients and co-workers: to name a few.
Incorporate the power of intentions throughout your day: so as to sustain a higher vibration: one that mirrors your new level of expectation.
Soon enough: by stating and re-stating your intentions: coupled with conscious awareness of the signs and signals the Universe sends you: you will have manifested your desired outcome.
Dreams jobs really do exist.
They are a match made in heaven: by a benevolent, gracious abundant Universe: and the expressive, faithful soul willing to dream and reach for the stars.
Love will find its way to you in the same manner.
Be willing to be: that which your heart longs for: by mirroring your actions with your intentions.
The power of your intentions will dramatically alter the trajectory of your life experiences.
And so should they: for they are a mirror: of your deepest held desires.
DearJames™ provides intuitive insight, answers and advice…to your life questions. DearJames™ is an Intuitive Advice Columnist, Radio Host and Consultant. DearJames™ is available for private intuitive consultations and you may also listen and call in live every Wednesday at 9:00AM Pacific on the Contact Talk Radio Network during DearJames Live – EXPRESS YOURSELF: an all live call in show where you Tell It Like It Is…And Then Hear What DearJames™ Has To Say. ASK DearJames a question or find an abundance of Inspiration, Advice, Wellness Resources & Tools and Charitable Giving opportunities at www.dearjames.com.
Lots of people argue about whether or not there is anything special about December 25th.
Maybe it’s Christmas, maybe it’s just Thurdsay.
Whatever today is to you, we encourage you not to miss an opportunity to share love and joy with those around you. Continue reading
Our Intent community is pretty great about transparency and vulnerability. They are honest about their process and where they are going, the change they want to see.
If you were to welcome change into your life, what would it look like?
Consider some of these areas of your life: Continue reading
“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
The thing they don’t tell you about getting older is how hard it is to maintain relationship. As a grade-school child, you’re in a room with 25 other kids your same age from your neighborhood and for roughly eight months, you have built in best friends. That’s how it goes for 13 years or so and then you slowly add more and more people until you realize, unless you’re intentional, you might not know anyone.
I can’t name one person I met in college. Seriously.
As an adult, I’ve learned that if I want to have more than surface-level friendships, I’m going to have to put in the extra effort. I don’t know that I’ll ever find the consistency I had in grade school. I work from home. I’m a single adult. If I want friendships, I have to make them a priority. Here are some best practices I’ve collected over the past years:
1. Don’t expect your friends to be psychic. I’m not even sure the people advertising themselves to be psychics are psychics, but we expect our friends to know when we’re sad or sick or feeling left out. While you don’t want to end up in a one-sided relationship, involvement with another person is always going to require putting yourself out there in some form. If you’re feeling blue, invite a friend to dinner. Decide you aren’t going to let it ruin your night if they aren’t available. Maybe think of 3 or 4 people to ask just in case. The point is just to get some quality time!
2. Know what you love. It can be really frustrating hanging out with people who love football to watch football if you don’t love football. Who’s fault is it really? If they know they love football, they are only being authentic to what they love. What do YOU love? If it’s not football, that’s totally fine! Is it hiking? Is it crafting? Is it going to concerts? The more you know about what you love, the easier it is to find your tribe or to invite people into experiences with you versus always feeling like you’re tagging along with someone else. It’s no one else’s job to find out what you love so take the time to really think about it and then share it!
3. Reconnect. There has to be some advantage to all the social media we’re glued to these days. Maybe it’s an opportunity to reach out to family or friends you lost touch with long ago. Upon moving to LA last year, I reconnected with one of those grade school friends I mentioned after I noticed on Facebook that she’d also moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college in Texas. We sent a couple of emails back and forth and scheduled lunch. It was a little nerve-wracking walking up to the restaurant. Would it be weird? Would we even have anything in common anymore? But, from the moment we sat down at the table, it was as if we had never missed a day!
It’s hard to be vulnerable. It’s hard to say “I feel alone” because it means you want people around and so much of society these days says you’re weak if you need people. To that I say the world isn’t big enough for everyone to have their own islands, so community has to happen. I also think that some of our best refining comes in the context of community.
It is where we learn to be selfless and also to stand up for ourselves.
It is where we learn to love ourselves and also to put others first.
It is where we learn what hills we want to die on.
It is where we learn the value of “thank you” and “I’m sorry”.
Those seem like worthy lessons.
So, don’t forget.
You are not alone.
You’re here and I’m here and so we can go ahead and put the notion that you’re alone to sleep.
You are not hopeless.
You are not unworthy of love.
I can say that with full confidence because your heart is beating.
So get out there!
A lonely someone is waiting on your friendship.
At a weekend workshop I led, one of the participants, Marian, shared her story about the shame and guilt that had tortured her. Marian’s daughter Christy, in recovery for alcoholism, had asked her mother to join her in therapy. As their sessions unfolded, Christy revealed that she’d been sexually abused throughout her teen years by her stepfather, Marian’s second husband.
The words and revelations Marian heard that day pierced her heart. “You just slept through my whole adolescence!” her daughter had shouted. “I was being violated and had nowhere to turn! No one was there to take care of me!” Christy’s face was red; her hands clenched tight. “I was afraid to tell you then, and now I know why. You can’t handle the truth. You can’t handle me. You never could. I hate you!”
As she watched her daughter dissolve into heaving sobs, Marian knew that what she’d heard was true. She hadn’t been able to handle her daughter’s involvement with drugs, her clashes with teachers, or her truancy and suspensions from school, because she couldn’t handle anything about her own life.
At this point, compassion for herself was not only impossible, Marian was convinced it would have been wrong: the horror that Christy endured was her fault; she deserved to suffer.
We’ve all harmed others and felt as if we were bad because of our actions. When we, like Marian, face the truth that we’ve hurt others, sometimes severely, the feelings of guilt and shame can tear us apart. Even when the damage isn’t so great, some of us still feel undeserving of compassion or redemption.
At times like these, the only way to find compassion for ourselves is by reaching out to something larger than the self that feels so small and miserable. We might for instance take refuge by calling on the Buddha, Divine Mother, God, Jesus, Great Spirit, Shiva, or Allah – reaching towards a loving awareness that is great enough to offer comfort and safety to our broken being.
As a Catholic, Marian had found moments of deep peace and communion with a loving God. But, in her despair, she now felt alone in the universe. Sure, God existed, but she felt too sinful and wretched to reach out to him.
Fearing she might harm herself, Marian sought counsel from an elderly Jesuit priest she had known in college. After she’d wept and told him her story, he gently took one of her hands and began drawing a circle in the center of her palm. “This,” he said, “is where you are living. It’s painful—a place of kicking and screaming and deep, deep hurt. This place cannot be avoided, let it be.”
Then he covered her whole hand with his. “But, if you can, try also to remember this: there is a greatness, a wholeness that is the kingdom of God, and in this merciful space, your immediate life can unfold. This pain is held always in God’s love. As you know both the pain and the love, your wounds will heal.
Marian felt as if a great wave of compassion was pouring through the hands of the priest and gently bathing her, inviting her to surrender into its caring embrace. As she gave her desperation to it, she knew she was giving herself to the mercy of God. The more she let go, the more she felt held. Yes, she’d been blind and ignorant; she’d caused irreparable damage, but she wasn’t worthless, she wasn’t evil. Being held in the infinite compassion of God, she could find her way to her own heart.
Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance. The priest wasn’t advising Marian to ignore the pain or to deny that she’d failed her daughter, but to open her heart to the love that could begin the healing.
Now, rather than being locked inside her tormenting thoughts, Marian could remember the possibility of compassion. When remorse or self-hatred would arise, she would mentally say, “Please hold this pain.” When she felt her anguish as being held by God, she could face it without being ripped apart or wanting to destroy herself.
Two weeks later, when she and her daughter met again in therapy, Marian admitted to Christy – still acting cold – that she knew she’d failed her terribly. Then, gently and carefully taking her daughter’s hand, Marian drew a soft circle in the center of her palm, and whispered the same words the priest had whispered to her.
Upon hearing these words, Christy allowed herself be held, wept, and surrendered into the unexpected strength and sureness of her mother’s love. There was no way either of them could bypass the raw pain of yet unhealed wounds, but now they could heal together. By reaching out and feeling held in God’s mercy, Marian had discovered the compassion that could hold them both.
Whenever we feel held by a caring presence, by something larger than our small frightened self, we too can begin to find room in our own heart for the fragments of our life, and for the lives of others. The suffering that might have seemed “too much” can now awaken us to the sweetness of compassion.
© Tara Brach
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