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December 29, 2013

Anytime Now

As I sat down to write this post my goal was to receive a message that gave some insight to the upcoming New Year, but as spirit often does, they had another topic in mind. The subject is time, or our attachment to it. Life on this planet warrants that we manage our time – some more than others, some better than others – though what the message below refers to is how we can get caught up in allowing the calendar to govern our lives at the risk of sabotaging our creativity and ultimate happiness.  

This time of year is doubly symbolic for me in that my birthday also occurs in the mix. It’s definitely a time where I feel the pull of clearing out the old and creating something new. Though as time marches on I’ve also found myself putting pressure on things I feel I should’ve achieved by now. Not to mention that I’m a quintuple Capricorn which can be crazy making when it comes to work and goals I set for myself. All this aside, who’s to say what anyone needs to accomplish by a certain point in life? It’s the dreaded “shoulds” and “have to’s” that get in the way of things. It’s the stories our society tells us of what we’re “supposed” accomplish and have and have done by a certain time. Buying into this only boxes us in and keeps us from creating our own individual version of life. And you know what? Whatever that version, it’s just fine.

So Happy New Year, and Happy New Day, and Happy New Moment to You!

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Time is linear and the spirit does not view through a linear perspective. One does not need to wait for markings on a calendar to create a new beginning or to release old patterns. This use of the calendar is purely symbolic, as time as you know it does not exist in the realm of spirit.

As the actions of the spirit are only limited while housed in the physical body, so does the concept of time have the capacity to limit the free flow of creative accomplishment. Approach the concept time as a means to organize and invite that which you desire, not as a barrier to creation.

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ time for moments to occur. They just occur. Allowing situations to unfold as they will – without attempting to force or hinder their appearance through the date on the calendar –allows divine for creation. As the human mind has a need for creating structure through time, use this ritual to your advantage. Do not let it hinder expression or your actions, only as markers along the way to accomplishment, and not as a form of self-judgment.”

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Featured Guest: Gandalf the Wizard
Yes, I’m a big Lord of the Rings geek and proud of it, so I’ll leave you with this short snippet from Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. 2013 was certainly a year of many challenges for many people and I think in this scene the ring signifies those challenges. It’s all about how you react and meet what comes your way and what you do with the time you have left on this dense sphere we call home. The wisdom of Gandalf.


December 23, 2013

Get to Celabrating

Since this time of year is a whirlwind of activity for most everyone I’m giving you all a re-post from a couple of years back. It’s a good reminder – one to remember all year – that celebration is really all about experiencing  joy and not about stressing out over the specifics of how things unfold.

I wish you a very joyous holiday season; however you celebrate, whatever you celebrate!

With Love.

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From Over There:
"To celebrate to is experience joy. If there is no joy, there is no true celebration. When one celebrates from only a sense of duty, it is not true celebration. True celebration comes from love, joy and excitement. It is felt with the heart. It is fluid, not rigid. There may be thought and execution of planning preceding, but the joy of celebration is always spontaneous. Allow it to unfold." 

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Featured Guest:
This week you get a quote from the beautiful soul who was once housed in the body of Mother Theresa: Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.” A good to remember – every season of every year.

December 15, 2013

Kind, Respectful Individual Seeks Same

I have to admit that I recently realized that I had a bit an obsession with running into a couple of people I hardly know, just so I could give them a piece of my mind for having had a part in hurting someone I care deeply for. To give you a little perspective, this incident happened several months ago, and although the individual at the receiving end of the pain has moved on, I’ve been holding onto a grudge the size of Jupiter. You can imagine that this hasn’t been a very pleasant thing to do, and from time to time has distracted me from focusing on the important things in my life – like staying present with those I love. Not to mention that the offending individuals have had no idea what’s been circulating through my mind and therefore have gone on with their lives, seemingly unaffected.

The reason I bring this up is that in sitting myself down and really looking at the situation I came to realize – aside for my anger at their hurting someone I love – that I wanted to hold them accountable for their actions. I wanted to hear them apologize. I wanted them to fully grasp the repercussions of their actions. And I wanted to know if they had learned from their mistake – or if they even viewed it as a mistake in the first place. Basically, I was projecting my own standards of decency upon them, and was very attached to them holding the same standards. It was then that I realized that – whether I feel someone’s actions are wrong or not – everyone has the right to choose how they interact in the world. That’s what free will is all about. And I knew for my own peace of mind it was time to let it go.

We all make mistakes and do things we later regret – we’re human, and like it or not, that’s often how we learn. But when you find yourself confronted with someone whose standards of compassion are completely out of synch with yours it can be unsettling, especially when they appear to lack any concern for the pain they’ve caused. Though at the end of it all the most we can do is hold ourselves accountable for our own actions, and be forgiving of those who make amends for their human errors. We owe it to ourselves and everyone else to be as kind, considerate and respectful as possible. And when someone pops up that can’t or won’t deliver, it just might be time to let them go – whether they’re physically present or just swirling around in your head. 

Here’s to focusing on those who really count…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Pain is the result of moral standards that have been compromised that one sets for oneself. These standards are different for each individual and are subject to cultural background and familial identity. One is not born with these standards, one is taught these standards. Oftentimes these standards are created as a means for a society to keep its members acting within certain behavioral boundaries. When one knowingly engages in acts that are harmful to another – without fear of consequence – the individual acts through disconnect of their spiritual self. This leads to disharmony in relationships and slows the evolution of humanity, as the actions of each individual are valuable to the whole.

It is the individual who has no need for such standards as a means of behavioral control – yet chooses to interact with those around them with loving kindness that are the most enlightened. To act from the perspective of love for another as a way of life – not as a rigid condition – is the purest form of human connection.”

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Featured Guest: Thich Nhat Hanh

This week I’ll leave you with a quote from Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh:  Listening to and understanding our inner sufferings will resolve most of the problems we encounter.

December 8, 2013

Holistic Happiness

This week I want to talk about happiness, or rather, allowing happiness in all areas of life, not just some. I like to refer to this as “holistic happiness”. We all have different things that make us happy, though is there one area in your life in which you ignore your well-being? I know for me, I have a tendency to allow work to take over. I have to consciously make an effort to take care of myself and remember to eat, be social, and allow some down time. It took a while for me to realize that I was doing myself a grave disservice with my workaholic tendencies.

Distracting yourself to avoid feelings that may arise from focusing on a particular area of life is also another thing that can thwart happiness. I call this the pursuing of shiny objects. These are things that present themselves in nice, glossy packages, but lack what you need to be fulfilled. This can happen with work situations, home situations, and yes, people situations. For instance, pursuing work with an organization that may seem to fit in with everything you desire, yet the boss has control issues, is a shiny object that will most likely leave you feeling powerless and undervalued, and distract you from finding a better working situation. Or what about that attraction to an individual with a gorgeous outside wrapper, but nothing inside to offer? This type of shiny object distracts you from noticing those diamonds-in-the-rough that have loving, kind and present insides that are all around you.

So what areas of your life could use better tending to? What shiny objects are you willing to let go of so you can bravely pursue what you deserve? It’s up to you and only you to decide. How cool is that?

With Love.

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From Over There:
“When one chooses to focus only on happiness in one area of life and forsakes happiness in other areas, one is not being true to the whole self. Balance focus on all areas of one’s life – relationship, career, home, family – and allow flexibility in pursuing satisfaction in these areas. It is with flexibility that one may bring more attention to a chosen area when needed, yet not forget the importance of the whole self.”

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Featured Guest: Marci Shimoff, Happy for No Reason
In Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, transformational expert Marci Shimoff offers a breakthrough approach to being happy, one that doesn't depend on achievements, goals, money, relationships, or anything else "out there." Most books on happiness tell you to find the things that make you happy and do more of them. Although there's nothing wrong with that, it won't bring you the kind of deep and lasting happiness most people long for -- the kind you'll never lose, no matter what happens in your life. Based on cutting-edge research and knowledge from the world's leading experts in the fields of positive psychology and neurophysiology, plus interviews with 100 truly happy people, this life-changing book provides a powerful, proven 7-step program that will enable you to be happier right now -- no matter where you start. To learn more visit happyfornoreason.com.


December 1, 2013

Stop Shoulding Yourself

This week I’m, once again, pulling from the archives. I’ve been immersed in book rewriting and holiday festivities which has left me next to no time to write a new post. I thought this one from a couple of years ago was a good one to share, as it talks about the issue of what I like to refer to as “shoulding” yourself. And since I won’t be pushing to cram in a new post because I feel I should, I’m going to take the message’s advice. Maybe there’s something you need to allow yourself to let go of, too.

Allowing a little breathing room.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Dwelling on what should or should not occur takes away action and possibility of growth. It takes responsibility out of your hands and puts it into the hands of the individual or group whose beliefs you are pushing yourself to subscribe to.

Instead of telling yourself that you should do something, what instead, would happen if you simply decided not to do it? Just not do it. Make a decision instead of being in a perpetual state of limbo. This would free up the time and space around the inaction and create action. Opening to the possibility of something better for you - something that resonates with who you are, and not who or what you are trying to be."

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Featured Guest: Will Return next Week!

November 24, 2013

Thanks, Giving and Receiving

This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving, the American tradition of eating until we’re stuffed way beyond any comfort level. Along with my love of playing dress up at Halloween, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food, I love my family coming together, and I love the opportunity to take a road trip up to the mountains. To me, it’s a time to appreciate abundance and slow down enough to enjoy it.

This week’s message speaks to the necessity of slowing down in order to allow more enjoyment into your life. We all move at such a hurried pace, it’s good to be reminded that shifting into a lower gear now and then is needed to balance the times when you have to rev things up.

Sending my thanks to each and every one of you.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Patience and stillness are needed in addition to action to increase the flow of abundance. The act of stillness is a state of receptivity, which is needed to allow more abundance into one’s life. If one is in constant action, there may be missed opportunities to receive, as one maybe too focused on a desired outcome to see that there is another, even more beneficial opportunity presenting itself. If one does not use patience to allow desires to materialize, it is a sign of mistrust in the possibility of achieving the desired result. This mistrust sends an opposing signal of that which one wants to manifest – forming a block which slows the process of creation.

It is the balance of stillness and patience with action that creates a dynamic of greater manifestation of that which one desires to come forth, and is necessary in recognizing the self as co-creator. This, in turn, builds self-trust and empowerment – the foundation of an empowered life.”

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Featured Guest: Deepak Chopra
This week’s featured guest is Dr. Deepak Chopra, or more specifically, his center. Dr. Chopra opened the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996 along with David Simon, M.D. to help people experience physical healing, emotional freedom, and higher states of consciousness. Located in Carlsbad, California, they offer a wide variety of programs, retreats, and teacher training programs that integrate the healing arts of the East with the best in modern Western medicine. To learn more, please visit chopra.com.

November 18, 2013

Me and My Shadow

Many nights I take a walk an hour or two after dinner to release the stress on the day. I enjoy walking around the neighborhood after dark when it’s quiet and no one else is out because it’s easier to let my thoughts wander. The other night it was particularly brisk outside and there was something about how the street lights cast shadows that seemed a bit sharper than normal. As I walked I noticed how my own shadow would shift – sometimes in front of me, sometimes to the side, and sometimes behind me – and every once in a while when the light hit just right there were three shadows at once.

This got me thinking about how my various shadows could be viewed in a symbolic kind of way, as in the past (behind me), the present (beside me), and the future (in front of me). I also noticed that when my “behind me” shadow popped up it made me a little uncomfortable, like someone was following me. Which again got me thinking, this time about how much past pain we allow into our present circumstances. Think about it, if you were able to wave a magic wand and remove all of the past trauma, drama, betrayal, slights, and judgments that you felt at the hands of another, wouldn’t right now feel a whole lot better? This all coincided with a situation for me that brought up some triggers that I swear were from my teenage years. Very old wounds to be sure, and although I practice a method of belief release work on a regular basis, sometimes things have a way of getting buried way…way…way down.  

This leads me this week’s message, which is about the necessity of confronting your shadows on a regular basis. Without doing so the darkness has a tendency to grow, blocking out the light. When you confront the pain it’s like flipping a switch on so you can reveal the situation for what it really is.  And the reality of it just may be buried in the past.

Over here letting some light shine…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Recognizing and expressing  human emotional pain is necessary to bring forth healing and releasing. When one does not allow the depth of feeling to surface, it forces the pain to be stored in the psyche and energy bodies, creating a perspective of the world based on that pain. This keeps one trapped in the feelings of pain and a reliving of the trauma through present and future relationships. Only when one confronts the pain and allows the feelings to release through the emotions does one begin the healing process, and create life through clearer perspective.”

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Featured Guest: Ruth Kellogg, LCSW

Ruth is a practical coach, who provides in depth counseling, and deep emotional healing. She works both from a traditional psychotherapeutic point of view, as well as from an energetic perspective, using her intuitive skills, along with other varied healing modalities to provide short term counseling, for what otherwise might be long term issues. To learn more, please visit ruthkellogg.com.

November 11, 2013

All the Time in the World

I admit, once again, that the message below is a repost due to my book rewrites taking over a vast amount of my time. The thing is, if I had been uber-structured with my time I’m sure I could’ve squeezed in something fresh, but instead I decided that some very necessary down time was in order. We all need time now and then to just chill, and I’m notoriously bad at doing that.

So here it is, a message about our concept of time and the structure we create in our lives. I, for one, needed to hear it and I hope it speaks to you too.

With Love.

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From Over There:
"Need for structure has created the concept of parcels of time. This can be useful, yet also a hindrance if one becomes overly attached to this structure. Over attachment impedes flow of possibility and change. Balancing structure and flexibility with time schedules allows for greater action with receptivity. To remain flexible with life as it occurs, while taking action steps toward that which is desired, generates the movement needed for creation of change.

Over attachment to structure creates rigidity and the attempt to control time. In contrast, over attachment to flexibility without form creates aimlessness. With balance, there is action and inaction. There is striving accompanied by rest. Both are of equal value in attaining goals and desires. Both are the foundation for a fulfilling life."

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Featured Guest: Golda Meir
This week I’ll leave you with a quote by Prime Minister Golda Meir:
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.

November 3, 2013

Move It!

Maybe it’s because of daylight savings time, or maybe it’s the constant stress of trying to get everything done that needs doing, but I woke up Sunday morning with pounding headache and a raging desire to eat an entire pumpkin pie. Thankfully there was no pie in the house or I would have devoured it for sure, and then would’ve have had a pounding stomachache to match the headache.

I sat down to see what this was all about and got very quickly that it had to do with the lack of exercise. I’m usually pretty good about getting out for a walk on a daily basis, but lately all manner of work situations have been getting in the way. Well, to be honest I haven’t been making it a priority and have allowed work to get in the way. Yeah, there’s that personal responsibility thing popping up again...So I threw on my hiking shoes and decided that a real hike was in order, not just my usual-as-of-late walk around the neighborhood.

It’s truly amazing what happens when you allow a tightly wound up body to de-coil itself. As I began down the trail I could literally feel my chest, shoulders and back relax. Being in nature is truly magic for the body and soul. I was reminded the hard way that I need to remember to move my body – especially while overtaxing my mind. This helps keep the overactive brain from blowing a circuit, which is pretty much what I felt like I had done.  After the hike I felt so much better and no longer had a burning desire to down a whole pumpkin pie – just maybe a slice or two.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“The body must experience movement on a consistent basis in order to keep energy flowing. Without movement the energy in the body becomes stagnant and creates lethargy. Movement increases the flow of energy and allows the body to restore itself.  Movement releases excess energy that builds up through persistent fear or worry or anger. This release allows the body to relax and produce regeneration through consistent sleep patterns. Physical movement is necessary for optimal health of the body, and to quiet the mind, and ultimately, for a clear connection to the higher soul’s perspective.”   

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Featured Guest: Lou Reed
In light of Mr. Reed’s recent passing, I chose to feature him this week to honor his creative influence on the world of music. And although I can say with certainty that he wasn’t talking about walking out in the wilderness with this song, it’s one of his major contributions, and well, I like it. This version is a little different than the original: Walk on the Wild Side

October 27, 2013

Laundry...Check!

As stated in last week’s post, I’m currently in the midst of rewriting my book. This weekend I had every intention of getting a certain amount of revisions done, though only got to about 30% of what I had hoped for. This happened due to my focusing on all of the other little things that needed tending to in between bursts of writing. Over the years I’ve learned that laundry doesn’t do itself, and is a necessary task if plenty of clean underwear are important to you. And as the saying goes, a cluttered house represents a cluttered mind, so tidying up the living space is an essential part of my writing process. Not to mention that occasionally preparing something to eat – and eating it – helps keep the brain functioning. Mixed in were some social engagements, though unfortunately I had to miss a few I would have liked to attend, and alas, the carpets never did receive a proper vacuuming.

As I sat thinking about how my best intentions went awry, I received the short, but sweet message below. It’s about valuing all of your accomplishments, not just those at the top of your list. Life is filled with so many things to do, rarely are we able to get them all checked off. So let yourself feel good about what you did accomplish, instead of beating yourself up for what you didn’t. I know I feel better having done so.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Rejoice in all endeavors, as life is filled with many things to accomplish. Understand the value in all of your undertakings – whether profound or mundane – as each has its importance in life’s progress.”

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Featured Guest: Steven R. Covey
This week’s guest is author of the classic time management book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. No matter what it is, or what you choose to accomplish, good time management skills really help. To learn more, please visit stevencovey.com.

October 20, 2013

I'll Commit to That

This week I’m cheating a bit by reposting a message from about a year or so ago. The reason is that I’ve been immersed in rewrites for my book. I received some great feedback from a source I respect very much, and so dove in, full-throttle. The message below has to do with commitment, and since I’m completely committed to getting this book published, thought it fit quite nicely!

With Love.

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From Over There:
"Commitment is necessary to follow through to a desired outcome. It is important to be flexible within the framework of commitment, as there are times when the path to manifesting that which is desired is different than envisioned. Be open to changing commitments when necessary to move along the path that brings joy.

Many times, new experiences will alter the course of life. Changes in perception will - at times - broaden the view and reveal choices and desires that were once hidden from awareness. This is why flexibility is vital to growth and expansion. If one stays rigid and attached to the initial outcome - or avenues to the outcome - it has the potential to create fear of change that stifles forward movement.”

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Featured Guest: Will return next week!

October 13, 2013

Flex Your Flexibility

I find it pretty funny that this week’s message is about staying unattached to the course of an outcome. The reason for this is that I’ve sat down several times to write the opening portion of my post – something that usually flows very easily for me – though I keep finding myself in the middle of other tasks. Suddenly, I’m outside in the bright sunshine doing yard work. Oops, I had better get back to writing. I start to type and then…hey, how did I end up over here straightening up this bookcase??? After a few more similar situations such as these I realized that in allowing myself to do what I really wanted to do (putter around the house) I was actually heeding the advice that this week’s message was relaying.

So after much organizing and weeding, I’m back to writing this opening. Or actually writing about not writing it, for the most part. The great thing about allowing myself to deviate from my expected path today is that I accomplished a lot of stuff that I’ve wanted to do for a while, AND got this post done at the same time. It’s also a wonderful reminder that sometimes you need to change course a little to get back on track. It’s all about staying flexible.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“To remain on course with a desired outcome one needs to be unattached to the outcome and the method used to pursue the outcome. This fluidity is necessary to allow all opportunities to come forth, and to recognize an opportunity otherwise not yet envisioned. It is this ability to remain unattached and fluid that allows for the greatest change to occur. If one is resistant to change, then one cannot readily expect the change that they desire. The experience of resistance comes from the repetition of pursuing old patterns of behavior that are no longer useful. When one releases the need to control the outcome or the path to the outcome, then one releases the patterns that keep one in stasis. It is action met with non-attachment that creates the truest path toward achieving of a desired outcome, and allows doing so with a joyful heart.”

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Featured Guest: Thich Nhat Hanh 
This week I will leave you with a quote from Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh: Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.

October 6, 2013

Just Smile

I recently read somewhere that wearing sunglasses has the ability to increase happiness. How so, you ask? Well, as the story expressed, when you don’t wear sunglasses in the bright sun it creates a squinty facial expression that’s similar to when you’re angry. This “angry face” then triggers a response in the brain that can cause a person to become irritable. Interesting. This made me think about how when I’m stressed and irritated I tend to hunch over, almost as if I’m closing down shop and preparing for battle. On the flipside, when I’m feeling happy I tend to hold my shoulders back a little more. A much more welcoming stance!

If you’ve ever paid attention to body language when talking to someone you know how the body can communicate quite a bit, even when no words are spoken. Being aware of this is great for understanding how to interact with others, but what about your interaction with you? As the message below says, how your body speaks to you is pretty important as well. So from this day forward I do solemnly swear to make my best effort to stop scrunching my face and hunching my shoulders whenever I get cranky. Maybe my crankiness will disappear…or at least not stick around for such an extended stay.

May your smiles be wide and often.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“The human body is an instrument that is capable of expressing or repressing emotion. When the body is in joy the muscles lift, tension releases and the body feels light. When the body is in sadness the muscles droop and the body feels heavy. When the body is in anger the muscles tense and the body feels tight and disconnected.

As the human body and mind are symbiotic in nature, the body’s actions have the ability to change patterns within the mind. Anger and sadness may be lessened if one engages in joyful posturing. Through purposeful breathing, through opening and expanding the chest, through lifting the facial muscles the body expresses to the mind feelings of joy. Through this symbiotic connection the body communicates to the mind and the mind reacts to the message through shifting to a more positive position.”

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Featured Guest: Nat King Cole
This week I’ll leave you with one of my favorite songs, written by Charlie Chaplin and performed by Nat King Cole, Smile.

September 29, 2013

Sparkle & Shine

I write this while sitting in a Laundromat. I come here every so often to wash my comforter since it’s too big to fit in my washer at home. The place is right down the street from my house, and every time I’m here I gain a greater respect for those who have to schlep piles of laundry here every week. Not to mention it reminds me to be very grateful for the rickety washer I have at home.

Tonight there is a family here with me. A young Hispanic couple with three kids ranging from what looks like between 3 months to around 12 years. The middle child is a boy who is most likely around 5. He’s chock full of energy, but not in that obnoxious wreaking-havoc-on-everything-around-him sort of way. Instead, he’s playing some sort of imaginary game, and although I don’t understand what he’s saying, I can only imagine that he’s conjuring up something grand. Whatever it is, it’s sweet to watch. He glances at me occasionally, and smiles back when I smile at him. He seems curious about me and like any kid, starts becoming a little more animated with whatever it is he’s pretending to be when he knows I’m watching. I send out a secret wish to him that he gets to pursue a path in life that gives him as much satisfaction as he’s getting right now.

That’s the thing about kids, there’s a time in life when the whole world is wide open for them. It’s before they start listening to a world that tells them that they can’t step outside the box that society has constructed for them. I remember my daughter telling me when she was very little that she wanted to be “the person who makes sidewalks”. I can’t recall exactly why she said that was so alluring to her at the time, but in retrospect it showed a desire to create and design something, which speaks of the artist she is today.

My point in all of this is that as adults it’s important to find that kernel of childhood spark – a belief that anything is possible – to uncover the bit still untarnished by society’s boxes. Without it we would be devoid of so many things. Can you imagine the flack that the Wright brothers got for even talking about their dream of building a “flying machine”? What if they had listened to the naysayers? They had to have a combination of confidence, vision and the childlike belief in possibility to pull that one off.

Whatever it is that makes you feel all sparkly, do it. If you feel that your spark has been snuffed out or is fading, then it’s time to start doing what you love again to rekindle it. Find something, no matter how small, to fan the flames. It doesn’t have to look like it did when you were a kid. I didn’t achieve my once-upon-a-childhood dream of becoming a secret spy, though I’ve been able to pursue work that requires observation, something I enjoy and I’m sure is a necessary skill for a productive secret spy. Do whatever it takes to start feeling inspired – take a walk, grab a sketchpad and doodle, read a book, sing a song, write a song – whatever feels good to you.

I believe in you, Sparky.

With Love.
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From Over There:
“Belief in one’s abilities circumvents the limitations perceived by others. The perception of limitation is the product of the mind, and represents the closing off of connection to the spirit’s wisdom.  The mind that remains open allows for creative flow and the spirit’s wisdom to be present. By remaining open one calls forth benevolent forces to support the unfolding of ability and the confidence needed to sustain belief in oneself. Belief in oneself is necessary regardless of the level of ability. Without it the ability becomes stagnant, never meeting full potential”

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Featured Guest: Venus Williams
This week’s guest is Venus Williams, professional tennis player (former world #1), entrepreneur, and role-model. Here's a quote from her that pretty much says it all: Some people say I have attitude - maybe I do... but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does - that makes you a winner right there. 

September 22, 2013

Laugh It Up

I want you to imagine a time when you were in the midst of uncontrollable laughter. We’ve all been there, something funny strikes and you just can’t seem to stop. Belly muscles start to ache a little, tears start to fall, but at that moment there’s not one thing that feels bad or wrong. And there’s nothing quite like it when it happens in a group, it’s infectious. One person starts to laugh and then before you know it everyone is joining in.  

On the flipside, have you ever been around someone who didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor, or had a hard time seeing the light side of things? They feel heavy, don’t they? Not to mention a bit of a buzzkill, if I don’t mind saying. Now I know we all have times when we’re down, but what I’m talking about are those who just never seem to get the joke, and never seem to want to. It’s as if laughter and silliness is beneath them. I often wonder what it must be like to be in their skin, seems like it must feel pretty uncomfortable.

To horribly date myself, I remember reading my Grandmother’s issues of Reader’s Digest as a kid and would automatically go straight for the section I believe was called something like Laughter is the Best Medicine. Most of what was written was pretty cheesy, but what I loved were the stories that highlighted everyday life circumstances where a funny twist occurred. I liked how it showed how you can find humor in just about anything, and that doing so makes life a whole lot more fun. Let’s face it, life can be challenging. So why not make the best of it? I mean, no one is immune to painful experiences on this planet, so if laughter makes dealing with the inevitable easier then I say “Ha, Ha” and another big “Ha!”  
With Love.

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From Over There:
“Laughter is the soul’s way of reaching through the physical. Laughter, when done from a lighthearted perspective, is a high vibrational form of communication that has a profoundly positive effect on those who come in contact with its source. The sound of laughter reverberates at a frequency that raises the energetic fields all around. This is why it appears to be infectious. It is through this energetic shift that the true self is revealed. While is this state of joy there is no sorrow, no anger.

To view life from a lighthearted perspective allows one to find humor throughout day-to-day life. This way of being releases the heavy burden of emotional discomfort. One cannot be sad while one is in the state of laughter. This is not to use laughter as a form of avoidance of emotional discomfort, but to help one ease through the pain. It is to help one release the pain, and create the ability to remain less affected by the pain one experiences.

Much laughter equals much joy. Joy is the spirit’s expression of true self.”

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Featured Guest: Mark Twain
This week is a simple quote from master humorist, Mark Twain: Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

September 15, 2013

Yet Another Cat Picture...

This week’s post is related to something that I think most everyone who is on Facebook or surfs the internet can relate to. It has to do with cats, or rather cat pictures or videos. All you have to do is google the word “cats” or do a search on Facebook to pull up an amazing array of kitties doing what they do best, looking cute.

Yes, I am a cat parent and have, at any given time, had one or two of the little critters around the house for most of my life. I find them to be such goofy characters and so fun to watch. Other people must feel the same, because I’ve noticed that whenever posting a picture on Facebook of one of my cats doing something silly it gets multiple “likes”. The flipside of this is when I’ve posted a link to an article I find meaningful, (or this blog, for instance) that seems to get hardly noticed. And although I do (thankfully) know that plenty of people are reading my posts, I started wondering why things like cat pics are guaranteed to be popular, when other posts aren’t. I’ve also noticed that I don’t seem to be the only one experiencing this phenomenon.  

My pondering all of this leads to this week’s message and how to reconnect to that non-judgmental part of ourselves. It’s about how hanging out with our furry friends (this of course includes dogs, rabbits, pigs…whatever your pet’s species happens to be), small children, or anyone that doesn’t have the capacity judge or criticize can bring us back to a place of acceptance. Think about it, can you remember a time when watching a pet’s silly antics, or playing with a laughing baby that you felt judgmental? Kind of impossible, isn’t it?

So yes, please, keep enjoying my cat pictures, and I’ll keep enjoying yours…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Connecting with a source of innocence reawakens a conscious connection to the soul. This is a state of non-judgment, of wonder, and of simplicity. Spending time with activities that instill a sense of playful innocence – such as interacting with small children or domesticated animals – opens one to a more lighthearted perspective. This lightheartedness perpetuates joy, leading to a generally happier life. This happiness keeps the mind, the body and the soul interconnected for increased conscious awareness, and creates greater understanding of the effect each one has on the whole.”

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Featured Guest: ASPCA
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” While there are SPCAs and humane societies all over the country, the ASPCA is not directly affiliated with them. However, the ASPCA works nationally to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with many shelters across the country. To learn more, please visit aspca.org.


September 8, 2013

Not So Blurry

There’s been a flurry of commentary around Robin Thicke’s music video “Blurred Lines” that has many saying it perpetuates date rape and the objectifying of women. I hadn’t paid much attention to the guy until the controversy erupted – all I knew was that his dad was an actor in some 80s sitcom. I finally decided to check out his video on Youtube after reading an article with his response to all of the hoopla. In the article Thicke says, "For me it's about blurring the lines between men and women and how much we're the same.", alluding that somehow his song and video support the sexual liberation of women. Basically, to call out the contradiction that women often feel between a society’s demand that they be a “good girl” and their own need of fulfilling their sexual desires, that women have the right to be as sexual as men. But then he admits to degrading women in the video as a way of making light of it, "People say, 'Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?' I'm like, 'Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women.' So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, 'Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.'" Yikes! 

While I’m all for sexual equality and am not offended by nudity, after watching the video I wondered how this guy thought that it in any way was helping the female population. Throughout the video he parades topless women clad only in flesh-colored G-strings with vacant looks on their faces while he, fully dressed, and a couple other dudes, also fully dressed, sing and leer. To add to the insult he shows a woman provocatively playing with a large stuffed dog, another one holding a live lamb (what the???), and then another scene where he pretends to inject a huge hypodermic needle into a woman’s backside (Rohypnol®, anyone?). 

I could go on and on about how wrong (in my opinion) this video is, but that actually isn’t the point of this week’s message so I’ll get off the soapbox now. The point is all of the attention that this guy is getting and the fact that he’s so unaware of what it is that he says he’s trying to support. He’s either stupidly chauvinistic or simply a great marketer…or maybe both. Which finally leads me to this week’s message about finding balance between those things that deserve our attention (creating a more accepting and loving society), and those things that don’t (Robin Thicke and his video). And yes, I know that through this post I'm bringing him more attention, but I think some exposure (pun intended) of his lack of awareness might actually shift a few perspectives on how women deserve to be treated in the media. So let’s call out the misogyny that permeates our culture and have conversations about that so we can begin to create change, and not give Mr. Thicke anymore of our attention…maybe he’ll learn something…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Focus primarily on that which uplifts society, while bringing awareness to that which degrades as it allows an opening for change to occur. By viewing the issues that degrade members of a society it uncovers behaviors that one may have exhibited without understanding the impact on another. Understanding the impact of a given behavior – those that uplift as well as those that degrade – allows for a shift in perception that creates greater awareness and acceptance. Through this awareness and acceptance one can forge a deeper connection with those actions and thought processes that uplift society. This, in turn, lessens the focus on the offending actions, thus removing power the offender has over the target of the offense. With less power come fewer followers and fewer to imitate the action. With increased focus on that which uplifts come a greater number of those who would follow and imitate the action.”

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Featured Guest: Aretha Franklin
This week’s featured guest is none other than beautiful vocal force, Aretha Franklin. This woman’s musical talent has spanned decades, and she’s gained and maintained respect while in an often male dominated industry without objectifying herself or selling herself short. In honor of this, here is a song of hers that is one of my personal favorites, “Think”.



September 1, 2013

By the Hammer of Thor

Two of my best friends growing up were of Mexican heritage, and I remember being somewhat jealous of what seemed – in comparison to my bland Nordic ancestry – a rich and vibrant culture. It always felt like I was missing out on something when it came to embracing my own heritage. Not to mention the food. I would not like to live in a world that didn’t include a good mole sauce. And as far as I knew, the only culinary contribution from my people was the sugary breakfast food known as the Danish pastry. I guess you could say that I didn’t feel very connected to my ancestors.

Though as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown to appreciate my Norwegian/ Danish parts, I mean after all, my people were Vikings, and we sure did know how to party. The more I know about my heritage, the more I appreciate and have a sense of pride in what my ancestors have contributed to the world. Each and every culture can look into their past – pushing aside the dysfunction – and find gems worth feeling good about. 

This leads to this week’s message about striking balancing between honoring our heritage and not getting caught up in the stereotypical stories that have the potential to keep us constricted. Embrace where you came from, but keep open to the ever expanding mindset of the global community. In other words, let’s celebrate our diversity by sharing it with one another. And as much as I love the spicy-richness of Mexican food, I can still appreciate a Danish pastry now and then, especially with a nice touch of mole sauce.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Within each and every one of you is genetic coding that connects you to your ancestors. This coding affects thought patterns beginning at birth and molds the way your culture interacts. This structure has been helpful in the survival of cultures, yet has created a division cross-culturally. It is through the attachment of cultural ideals that disallows growth and evolution toward more unified thought process. It is this pattern that keeps certain cultures closed off and stuck in the mindset of superiority over others. While this occurs, global harmony is not possible.

The values of the ancestors are not always necessary to hold onto for future generations since future generations will not have the same life circumstance or survival experiences as the ancestors. As the systems of survival change, so must the value systems evolve. Through global unification cultures around the planet will create ever expanding tolerance and acceptance of one another. It is not necessary to forgo the celebration of one’s culture in order to gain acceptance, it is in the celebration of one’s culture alongside the cultures of others that creates unification and harmony.”

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Featured Guest: Ancestry.com
 At the risk of being too commercial, if any of you want to play around with genealogy this is the easiest site I’ve played with. Not to mention that they offer a 14-day free trial. To learn more visit ancestry.com.

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If you'd like more information, to book an appointment, or check out the current class schedule, please visit molliejensen.com.


August 25, 2013

Hey, Stop Fighting

Thursday evening I went to bed with a laundry list of things that I wanted to accomplish the following day, though Friday had other plans. I woke up that morning with a stabbing pain in my gut. In true form I stubbornly attempted to go about my day as planned, all the while cursing the pain and its intrusion on my scheduled activities. Doesn’t it know that I have things to do? I don’t have time for this! How rude!

As you can guess, the more I fought it the more it won, until I had to admit defeat and crawl back into bed. I laid there weakly arguing with it a little more before finally letting go and giving into the fact that, no, I wasn’t going to get any of the things done that I mapped out for the day. I took a breath, and then relaxed…

It’s truly amazing what happens when you stop fighting something. The miraculous occurs. It creates space for peace and for a gentler kind of change. I’m very happy to say that within about an hour my stomach started calming down.  It was still a little tender for a while, but who isn’t after they’ve been battled with?  This leads me to this week’s message, which is about the difference between fighting for change and supporting change.  It really is all about perspective and knowing what to let go of. Picking your battles, so to speak, and using the weapons of compassion and focus instead of anger and frustration. My stomach and I are both loving this idea.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“To fight is to confront in anger. This is not the same as self-preserving tactics which are necessary for survival. To protect oneself and others through action while releasing the need to do it through anger or resentment allows potential for a more peaceful outcome. It is through recognizing the underlying reason for pursuing the action that one realizes if the action is based in anger or in a true desire for positive outcome. Through an altruistic perspective one can move toward creating change with a lessened possibility of offending others and creating resistance. It is with this intention as the motivating force behind action where resolution can be found.”

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Featured Guest: Marshall Rosenberg
Most of us have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand and diagnose — to think and communicate in terms of what is “right“ and “wrong“ with people. We express our feelings in terms of what another person has “done to us.” We struggle to understand what we want or need in the moment, and how to effectively ask for what we want without using unhealthy demands, threats or coercion.

At best, thinking and communicating this way can create misunderstanding and frustration, or simply keep us from getting what we want. It can also keep us from the fulfilling relationships we deserve. And still worse, it can lead to anger, depression and even emotional or physical violence.

Since developing the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) process in the 1960’s, Marshall Rosenberg’s vision has been to teach people of any age, gender, ethnicity or background a much more effective alternative. At present, hundreds of certified NVC trainers and supporters are teaching NVC skills to people from all walks of life around the globe. To learn more, please visit nonviolentcommunication.com.

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If you'd like more information, to book an appointment, or check out the current class schedule, please visit molliejensen.com.




August 18, 2013

Individually Wrapped

This week’s message came to me as I was getting ready to head out for a fun-filled weekend to celebrate the 50th birthday of a good friend. At the time I really didn’t think it would have much to do with the weekend, but now as I sit, relaxed, post-fun at home I can see that yes, it does indeed have some significance.

About seven of us women converged on the home of one member of the group who happens to live in the lovely little town of Soquel, right on the outskirts of Santa Cruz. On top of being in the midst of a cool group of ladies, the weather gods shone brightly upon us. It was a great weekend, all around. We got along wonderfully, in spite of our varied personalities, backgrounds and life circumstance, which leads to this week’s message, what does it mean to be an individual while we’re all interconnected?

As the message below states, recognizing ourselves as being part of one big cosmic soup is important in that doing so we have a deeper understanding of our impact on others. Though this doesn’t mean that you have to forgo your individuality in order to “be one” with those around you. In fact, individuality is what keeps us moving ahead on the evolutionary wheel. Think of it this way, if a multitude of individuals hadn’t made the decision to step outside the status quo (think Einstein, Gloria Steinem, Steve Jobs …), where would we be?

Yes, it’s important to understand our energetic connection, but let’s not forget the amazing gifts, talents and insights that we each –individually – bring to the table. This is the color that makes our big, beautiful world interesting.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Do not get trapped inside the lives of others. Love them, but allow them to live as best serves them. This means allowing them to experience the lessons that life presents to them. This means supporting them, without an attempt to control their actions. Each individual has a divine path that is unique to them.

Your interconnectedness is represented in the effect that your actions have on one another, not in the mimicry of another. Comparison to another takes away from the validity of one’s personal gifts and attributes. These attributes are what weave the rich texture of humanity together. For all to be identical, there would be no advancement, no creativity, no inspiration. It is in honoring your oneness through thoughtfulness – not the impersonation of another – that allows the race to flourish and evolve.”

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Featured Guest: George Carlin
Here is an excerpt from George Carlin’s book, Last Words, on the subject of individuality. For any of you who haven’t had the opportunity to hear Mr. Carlin’s reflections, keep in mind that his language is colorful. I don’t know about you, but I sure do miss him.

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If you'd like more information, to book an appointment, or check out the current class schedule, please visit molliejensen.com.

August 11, 2013

Pretty, Much

The other day while hiking my usual trail and avoiding the ubiquitous poison oak I realized that, hey, poison oak is kinda pretty. As I admired from afar how the leaves are now starting to change from green to brilliant red it got me thinking about how although it was pretty, it can cause anyone who comes in contact with it a whole lot of irritation. And then of course my mind started churning, as it does, and it came to the topic of physical beauty.

Like it or not, we all – to some extent – judge one another based on our version of physical attractiveness. A lot has been written about our aversion to what we find unattractive, but what about our aversion - or irritation - to what we find too attractive? Yes, it’s there, and we judge people based on that as well. This came glaringly home to me the other day when I realized that I judged someone’s actions by being surprised at their depth. I realized that I had expected them to be more shallow, because well, they’re pretty. I also realized that I’ve had this negative judgment in the past, whereby I’ve assumed that someone with above average looks probably hasn’t suffered nearly as much as the rest of us run-of-the-mill folks. Now how shallow is that?! I’m actually embarrassed to admit such thoughts, but hey, I try to be as transparent as possible for the sake of my own evolution.

We all know that oftentimes “the beautiful people” get in doors that may be shut to others simply because of their looks. But this beauty, or perceived advantage, can be threatening those around them, and it gives rise to the potential of their being ousted from a group because of it. I’ve witnessed this type of situation and it’s so disheartening. Although it might seem like this is mostly a female trait, I know that it can happen with men, because I’ve seen it. I’ve also known women and men pushed out of careers by from not abiding their boss’s advances. They were punished for their attractiveness. You’d think that it wouldn’t happen in this day and age, but it does.

It all boils down to, as many of my previous posts speak of, getting past our outer casings and letting go of our attachment to them. We need to view ourselves first by who we are at a soul level. By releasing the attachment we have to our own looks, we lesson our attachment to the looks of others, and see them for who they really are. Then you open the capacity to better understand if a threat is actually a threat, or merely a judgmental thought.  And let’s face it, looks change, but the soul that comes shining through our eyes is the most beautiful thing anyone can wear. Don’t you think?

Here’s to you, in all of your beautiful glory.

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Do not be attached to the current standards of beauty thrust upon you. For it is an ever-changing social norm and nothing more. It is not based in reality. The reality of your beauty lies within your willingness to see and be seen, to understand and to be understood, to hear and be heard through the perspective of love. Love is the ultimate expression of beauty. Without a loving heart the physical self is like an empty shell waiting to be filled.”

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Featured Guest: Eva Cassidy
This week’s featured guest is the late Eva Cassidy singing What a Wonderful World. To me it reflects the beauty of her spirit that she so graciously shared while here.

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If you'd like more information, to book an appointment, or check out the current class schedule, please visit molliejensen.com.



August 4, 2013

Boys Will Be Boys

As a woman who has raised an only child – a daughter – I’ve mostly focused on ways that girls and women can rise above the issues of an often misogynistic society. This makes sense, considering that I’m a female who has been responsible for the care and development of another female, but more and more I realize that this focus is only half the battle. What about our boys and men? As women – unless you’ve committed to raising a conscious and aware son – we sometimes forget that the reason for this misogynistic view is in part due to society’s restrictions on what is acceptable in male behavior.

I, for one, must admit to telling a man or two to “man up” when angry over what I felt was a lack of responsible, adult-like behavior on their part. And when thinking back to those instances, yes, I still feel that they should have risen to whatever occasion I deemed acceptable, but now I know that there are better ways to express it. We put such unbelievable pressure on the males in our society to protect us, be strong, financially support us, and so on. And as women, we want them to express their often hidden emotions, but how can they when they’re told from an early age that crying or any expression of vulnerability is a sign of weakness? It’s the same as telling our girls to be strong, powerful women, but at the same time to “be nice and polite so as to not be labeled a bitch”. No wonder we’re all so confused!

It all boils down to, as the message states below, connecting to that bigger part of ourselves – our spirit. Our bodies are ever changing, hormonally chaotic vehicles that are here to house us, move us around the planet, help us maintain the proliferation of our species, and – dare I say – nothing more. While we obviously need to take care of them for optimal comfort and pleasure, pushing aside the need to define ourselves by them will help move us out of the outdated and often harmful gender role constraints we’ve imposed on ourselves. At the end of it all, we’re all in this together, really, and our very existence depends on it.

With Love.

PS. Please check out this week’s Featured Guest, an amazingly powerful documentary in the works that will be released sometime in 2014.


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From Over There:
“Your physical natures are defined by gender, but not your spirit. To live in human form is to embrace the capacities that your given physical form has allowed, yet your spirit-selves know no such limits. It is the evolved being who can combine and make useful the human features of the physical with the boundlessness of the spirit. In doing so, one breaks through the societal restrictions and self-imposed human laws toward the ultimate birthright of enlightenment.”

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Featured Guest: The Mask You Live In
A new documentary brought to us by MissRepresentation entitled The Mask You Live In will be exploring the systemic societal problems caused by toxic masculinity.  The director Jennifer Siebel Newsom interviewed men and boys across the country and what she found was jaw-dropping. She found that although men are dying to speak, they are taught to stay silent. They spend their life wearing a mask that they are taught to never remove. See what happens when they take it off. To learn  more, please visit policymic.com.

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If you'd like more information, to book an appointment, or check out the current class schedule, please visit molliejensen.com.