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Soul Searching

soul move cropI use the word “soul” a lot when I’m working with clients. It dawned on me, that while I have a very clear understanding in my mind of what I’m referring to and why I’m choosing this particular word, I’ve never stopped to give myself an actual working definition. That I could actually write down. Or quote to a client: if they actually paused to ask me “just what do you mean, when you say soul?”.

My bad.

Easy fix: jot down my definition so I have crystal clear vocabulary at the ready.
Okay. No probs: GO!

Uhhh….

mmmmm…??

Okay, not so easy.

As I search for my “soul”, my first stumbling block is that I believe I have two distinctly different uses for the word: one I use with clients and one I use personally. Hypocritical?? Well, let’s see as this post progresses… I think you’ll understand that, given I work with a very diverse clientelle, I want to refrain from any upfront connection of the word soul to anything sounding remotely affiliated with “organized religion”. Simply put, it’s a respectful way to start out and make YOU feel safe as we get to know each other.  Next, I’m cautious not to use the word soul in any soulsearching 101way close to sounding “woo-woo”. While I vehemently oppose the mostly derogatory, arrogant, fear-mongering (but let’s get real: fear-FULL!) use of the term woo-woo, on what are for the most part, unexplored theories fully worthy of exploration, I do understand that soul-speak has been thrown around with some very alternative beliefs. I could make my job very difficult (and ineffective, really) if I don’t tippy-toe a little with my vocabulary: it’s my job to listen to you, my client, to hear your frame of reference for any terminology or phrasing that comes up; and then gear my words to how you will hear them best, regardless if your definition is miles from mine. If I’m unclear about your use of a word or concept, I ask for clarity – which invariably proves quite revealing, as clients pause to question if they actually know (and/or believe!) their own definitions! (“Clarity” is self-help magic: shhhh!) Clarification for the word soul, though, has never come up, funnily enough. I’ll take that to mean I’m doing my job well!! Little wins!

Now as a little aside: I do actually use the word woo-woo quite frequently – as do many doing this kind of work. The word to me (us) connotes “forward thinking”, and it’s been reclaimed in the self-development, psychology and wellness industries, among others, as light-hearted (perhaps a little “told-ya-so”) sarcasm: ribbing the skepticism of “crazy” ideas which are often dismissed out of ignorance and fear; and that have ultimately produced many positive game-changing and world-impacting results. I love world-renowned neuroscience-quantum physics geek, Dr. Joe Dispenza‘s viewpoint on this: “Science is the language to explain possibility”. Brilliant!!! Just when did we begin discriminating where this concept can be applied – or more pertinently: WHY??  All “credible” scientific developments started as blind woo-woo exploration; and guess what – some of that “credible” research has now been proven – wait for it: WRONG!! “Proof” of something is actually current working theory, not fact. With the rapid increase in tools available to measure and challenge past and present woo-woo theories more consistently (e.g. fMRI’s, 3D ultra-sound, hubble telescope)*, woo-woo and science are, rightfully, becoming one very quickly. Can’t wait to see what the future holds! Some of my fave woo-wooisms and woo-wooites:
Nietzsche dance2-Copernicus, earth/sun rotation
-John Dalton, atomic theory, pffft
-Marconi, radio waves… leading to cell phones, Apple, you’re welcome… and while we’re here, computers were pure fantasy when I was a kid (but adorable in tennies!)
-a deranged William Harvey said blood circulates… say WAHHH!
-that insane Josiah Nott claimed bugs – BUGS! can carry disease to humans!!
-PMS is, hello, clearly mental “hysteria”!
-Dr. Damien Finnissplacebo research leading to more discriminatory use of pharma… because hey, guess what, maybe the human body came pre-loaded with self-healing mechanisms that we just haven’t given it credit for…yet!
-and please, burn ’em at the stake for even imagining test-tube babies or a man on the moon!!!
A lot of woo-woo has made YOUR life pretty fabulous – just what if those far-out thinkers succumbed to narrow-minded fear?! I’m holding the faith that people are finally coming around to blood circulation.

“Perhaps understanding how and why are the booby prize.”
                                       -Rachel Naomi Remen (full quote/story)

Back to the soul search: maybe it would help me formulate my definition if I gathered some vocabulary from a few others. Good ‘ol Oprah to the aid….

READ ON: Oprah’s friends offer some perspectives on the term “soul”: will they meet my needs? Yours??

You’ll See It When You Believe It

Change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

One of my all-time fave philosophies. Change. It’s powerful beyond measure, and also crippling as hell. Sigh. There’s been another death in my life.

I shared in a recent post that my Mom changed residences from her comfy loving home here on earth to somewhere, hopefully, even more wonderful. For you straight-shooters: she died. I wrote of how for me, Mom’s passing was a positive, enlightening experience and I have felt very little of the grief that I had been forewarned of and feared most of my life – and I LOVED my Mom! I valued my relationship with her greatly; she was a beautiful spirit that brought only good things to my life – the most obvious being my heart, lungs and brain! Read more about my ‘positive’ experience here, but to reinforce the sentiments of that post: today, fifteen weeks later and the day after her birthday, I’m still just revering Mom’s death with a smile! My world has felt a bit off its axis for sure, and her absence has me a wee bit out of sorts: but contrary to my fears, her loss has brought little pain. And let me say again clearly: I loved that woman dearly.

Best teachers help you find your own pathSo why then, has the death of someone I have never even met left me heartbroken?!? Psychologist, philosopher, author, speaker, “father of motivation” and master of the above “Change” quote, Dr. Wayne Dyer, passed unexpectedly on August 30th, 2015. Wayne’s work influenced every field related to mental and physical health, motivation, personal development, professional development, spirituality, education. Any of those things relevant to your life? Then so was Wayne.

I wrote a post on Wayne a while back so I won’t regurgitate his bio and deets, rather, I’m just so curious as to why I, alongside millions of others, felt such shock, sadness and utter loss upon hearing of Wayne’s passing. Clearly, he was a teacher for me. I’ve often been asked: “what teacher impacted you the most growing up”; questioners expectantly awaiting a gushy, grateful idolizing of one of my public-school teachers. I could indeed provide a high-school teacher’s name: Mr. Toews. Pronounced “Taves”. My Grade 9 Social Studies teacher. Why? Because he had a mini-guillotine on his desk and would behead a pencil if I walked in late for class. Still echoing in my soul, Mr. Toew’s sinister voice: “Loughlinnn!!!” CHOP! This anchored to my young psyche forevermore, that being late wasn’t necessarily a bad thing: the flying pencil-head was pretty cool. Otherwise, not a damn thing resonated under Mr. Toew’s tutelage; and it has really bothered me not to be able to name a single school teacher who even slightly inspired me. I’m sure I came out of public school with a decent memorization Off with your head!of some useful (and a lot more totally useless) information and some handy skills, however, no galvanizing direction, having never been approached by anyone in the education system – EVER, offering me personal context, incentive, or even a bolstering of curiosity as to how this ‘education’ could be harnessed “to be anything I wanted to be“. Ditto for college: strong contributing factors as to why it took me so long to identify my calling, me thinks. Wayne Dyer impacted my life greater than any “formal” teacher I’ve ever had: encouraging me to shift my definition and means of education; to shamelessly pursue my tribe, fulfillment, joy; and, most importantly, inspiring a desire to inspire others. And I’ve never met the man.

You got some 'splainin!

CONT’D: So why tears for a stranger, when I barely shed them for Mom? And…see how Wayne made me a believer in the ‘afterlife’!
PLUS: Are You A Self-Help Whore?? (page 2)

KISS of Life

Survival instincts.
Seriously, how did we get so off track?
Even the birds and the bees know to KISS: keep it simple, stupid!

Origins Movie

I’m loving a webinar called Origins: Deep Dive, a follow-up interview series to the newly premiered movie Origins which essentially asks the central question, in the producer Pedram Shojai’s own words:

“What kind of stupid animal forgets how to survive
in the very environment it evolved in?”

The movie and interviews have just been offered free to the public until Nov. 27/14. The movie and interview links are below. I will have the interviews in mp3 available here in the next few days.
[HERE THEY ARE! MP3s]

Pedram ShojaiShojai, who has a Master’s in Oriental Medicine and is founder of Well.org (and quite fond of telling us to “wake up!”) promotes the movie with this trailer tag:

“Who’s Hijacking Your Health?

We humans were once pretty bad-ass organisms.
Then something significant changed.

Today we don’t move enough, we don’t know how to take care of ourselves, and we’ve become disconnected from what makes us thrive as the super-animals we once were.

We’re getting sicker, weaker and more infertile. We’re spending billions on health care to stay healthy, and it’s not working.

Find out why. And what you can do.

 Cont’d… and MOVIE/INTERVIEW links. Click page 2

Can I Be More Thoughtless?

Just when I’m ready to take a break from my series of thought-full blogs, here comes Mr. Dyer again with a whopper…

dyer kaleid
“You might think that you have no control over the thoughts that keep popping in your head, but consider this radical idea:

Your thoughts are not located in your head.”
-Wayne Dyer

 

Say whaaa??? Take a minute and let this one resonate. Your thoughts are not located in your head.

I gotta say: immediately that idea made it easier to identify with the concept that “you are not your thoughts”; it reinforces thoughts as being external to “me” – thus not me. Personally, I’m doing pretty good putting this whole thought thing into a perspective that enhances my life:

  • I believe thoughts are made up, not reality
  • I believe I can control and manage thoughts
  • I believe that what I think about puts focus and attention on the subject of those thoughts thus narrowing what I see/feel, and bringing more of what supports my thoughts – positive or negative, into my realm (i.e. thoughts create reality)
  • I believe the quality of my thoughts create my future – can’t fix a problem with the same old thoughts that created it!
  • I KNOW of the existence and power of subconscious thought: through first-hand experience… and believe it can both manipulate us and us it!! (p.s. Mr. Dyer calls it “habitual thought” – might be easier to comprehend!)
  • I meditate, so I know I can stop thought and have a voiceless, empty head  (I can hear my brothers going: duh!!!) 

I follow a lot of neuroscience and have great insight into the theories and science-based realities of mind/thought/brain connection… but I gotta say, I’ve never really contemplated that if thought is not located in my head, then… where’s it hangin’??

I went back to Wayne Dyer to elaborate on this statement, and this is what followed, excerpted from his book Excuses Begone*:

“Thought is an energy system that isn’t found anywhere in the physical world.
The universe itself and everything in it is both mental and spiritual in nature.”

soul energy

Now this statement, relative to Wayne’s work and other current research in the quantum physics world, is actually a fairly simple, science-not-religious based concept.  But if you’re not up on his work or haven’t explored the world of spirituality and/or consciousness much, it can easily be lost and abstract: “huh what… energy system… mental/spiritual in nature, ya, whatever!!”
As per previous posts, I love how all of the old “woo-woo” concepts of the past are being validated by the new science, and therefore, I encourage you to take the time to read some of Wayne’s books. (I don’t even think they are close to woo-woo… however some ideas can seem a little heady based on the narrow-minded education, religion stereotypes/biases, and societal fear of “philosophy” that most of us westerners have been raised with!). Maybe supplement it with a scan of Bruce Lipton’s Biology of Belief, or Rick Hanson’s Buddha’s Brain, if you want a quick dive into the new neuro/consciousness research that helps to put it in perspective: “you” vs. your thoughts vs. your brain. (A-ha, seeit’s not all your fault – it’s YOU’s fault!!).

In the meantime, just lay down, tune into your body and really get a feel for your thoughts and the concept that they are not simply a nattering” mini-me” in your head, but rather, may be outside of you altogether: part of a much bigger picture.

Okay. Cool. I think that’s wrapped up some final insight on “thought”: I feel good to stop this blog series here.  So… what subject to tackle in my next blog?? I turn on my fave place for inspiration: Hayhouse Radio. Awesome!… it’s Joe Dispenza on the air – love me some Joe Dispenza! Dr. Joe is a chiropractor who diversified into neurology and wellness; most recognized from being featured in the award-winning film What the BLEEP Do We Know!? Dr. Joe is driven by the conviction that each one of us has the potential for greatness, and unlimited abilities; he always offers up some cool new perspective every time I hear him talk. Let’s take a listen to which of his many titillating interests Dr. Joe’s on about today:  meditation… corporate coaching… nurturing creativity?? Oh, you gotta be kidding me: PLACEBO effects i.e. the power of THOUGHT!! Now, it’s not really so far-fetched a topic for Dr. Joe, given his extensive research on brain mapping, holistic/integrative medicine and epigentics: it’s just… ironic!

And sorry… but now I’ve gotta go here: Dr. Joe  has just released his book You Are the Placebo, which “explores the history, the science, and the practical applications of the so-called placebo effect”¹.  (So-called, because other cultures and progressive scientists, thinkers and doctors have known for DECADES that thoughts can change and heal a life, yet mainstream folks most often think of “placebo effect” as flushing out hypochondriacs and annoying Pollyannas.)  The book might sound a little predictable – BUT IT’S NOT!! There is a whole new, juicy meal of fresh ideas around thought – in a perspective I’ve never heard before.  Dr. Joe speaks and writes for the common-man, and this book might give you a whole new insight on just WHY you can’t seem to master and change your thoughts (even though you’ve had all of this great information on OtherWise to provoke you!!).master-thought Interesting to me in particular, is the identification of thought patterns as an “addictive” behaviour: we get use to and crave the neurotransmitters that we have created through our thought patterns – good or bad. That’s some major insight, if you parallel it to a smoker or cocaine addict trying to stop! Not only that, but our trek down the same brain path over and over and over with a repetitive thought (60,000 thoughts a day, 90% of them repeat!)² carves a little river (figuratively), perfectly formed to our comfort zone — and a complete bugger to dam up! New behaviours need to stack up enough momentum to divert the flow of our comfy dysfunction and forge healthy new tributaries: thought by thought by de-toxing thought!!

Oh… where we could go with all of this!!  But alas, I will move on to a new topic next blog.  It wouldn’t be very thoughtful of me to leave you without a link to Dr. Joe’s Hayhouse interview with Diane Ray re: the above referred-to placebo book; Diane represents newbies to the subject, so it’s an easy interview to follow! There’s an interesting comment challenging:  we are not our thoughts…; and also, if thoughts don’t live in our head, then too: where do feelings live???  Here’s a bonus link to a lecture by Dr. Joe… and here’s one final article specifically on thought – for now! Fear not: thought will traverse through a lot of future topics: it’s a nucleus to a contented life!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* see Quotes Archive 2014 for a list of the most common excuses!!
¹quoted from www.drjoedispenza.com
²According to the research of Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University.

worry chairFour Tips to Reduce Worry and Rumination

How to break the “habit” of unhelpful worry and rumination
by Edward R. Watkins

Rumination and worry– repeated dwelling on feelings, problems, and difficulties – has been found to be a significant “process” causing and maintaining depression. Many people with depression report that they brood repetitively on their symptoms of depression (e.g. “Why can’t I get better?”), on their perceived inadequacies (e.g. “Why can’t I do this?” “Why do I always get things wrong?”), and on past upsetting events and losses. We know from long-term follow-ups and from experimental studies that rumination exacerbates negative mood and predicts increases in depression.

Next: How To Stop Ruminating (page 2)

DYERect Your Thoughts

What you think, mattersWe can’t have a thought-full conversation without including one of the foremost “toughtleaders”, Wayne Dyer. Wayne was one of the first triumphant souls able to break through to the masses and engage us in conversations about consciousness and the power of thought.  Why him? That would definitely be a philosophical conversation, but in a nutshell:  his amiable personality and timing. In his early work, Wayne presented the every-man perspective: not too philosophical, preachy or woo-woo – simply relatable. He blended self-development and spirituality together with the new evidence-based science both palatably and digestibly for a mainstream fast-food mindset. The concepts resonated at the heart-level and made logical sense, thus earning “credibility” and a loyal following.

I love that Wayne openly challenges his own understanding of thought as it shape-shifts Wayne Dyerthrough his education and experiences, which have included varying spiritual practices, parenthood, illness, and the lightning-speed of neuroscience and functional medicine research.  Did you know that he relinquished all of his assets (Wayne Dyer’s assets!!) and belongings, including his shoes, to authentically experiment with a new (to him) modality of life?!  Fundamentally, he has always reinforced that our thoughts – whether conscious or latent, spontaneously impact our perspectives, actions and choices: how much and where we focus our thoughts, manifests proportionately.  Additionally, he has consistently supported the impact of our thoughts on the physiological, bio-chemical reactions in our human body (a true “functional” medicine pioneer).

We all have the power: “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life”, so says one of Wayne’s books and PBS documentary (see here on page 2!) based on his shoeless exploration of the Tao Te Change Your LifeChing (“dow da jing”), an ancient eastern wisdom; and case-in-point of Wayne’s broadmindedness to funnel some non-mainstream but timeless insights in a way that relates to our closed-minded perceptions of what will work in the modern world.

Wayne has manifested many books and other “products” of spiritual value by sharing his own evolvement; and being one of the first to impact the “commercial” self-help industry, he’s at risk of a bad rap by the fearful and the stuck! His work is nothing short of brilliant and enlightening; he impacts both spiritual novices and scholars. The evolution of his work has simplicity and common sense at it’s depth, though his own personal path is highly philosophical (still simple!).  Like anything else, you hear a message when you are ready to hear it, and Wayne’s work definitely has a message for you somewhere, sometime (quite likely, a life-changing one)! This man challenges me in his lateral thinking and inspires me through his authenticity; and I look forward to any interview with him, and any endorsements from him.

Give Wayne’s work some consideration in your self-exploration; this article is excerpted from his 2001 “10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace”, which time-wise, falls after his public skyrocket, and before the Tao journey and of course, his more recent introspective battle with leukemia. It’s a great primer re: his general ideology of thought!

wisdom inner1

Authentic Wisdom

– by Dr. Wayne Dyer

“Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact.”
– William James

“Nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so.” – William Shakespeare

Every single thought you have can be assessed in terms of whether it strengthens or weakens you, in fact, there’s a simple muscle test you can do to try out any thought that you’re having in the present moment. It works like this:

NextThoughts That Weaken You, Thoughts That Strengthen You (page 2)

Ever Asked Yourself Why You Want a Relationship?

awareness jung
Last week’s featured article was a another hint about being conscious in your life. “Is It Love… or Comfort” prompted us to view relationships as containers for growth.  We begin relationships at whatever growth level we happen to be in when we meet, and then — we change.  Change is the way of the world, so inevitably in our relationships, we have a choice: we can grow together or we can grow apart. A significant number of couples do not consciously make this choice.

Our social and familial conditioning often contains an autopilot that dictates partners, marriage, children as an endgame. Advocates of conscious living, myself included, view these as lovely, fulfilling choices – IF you so choose, but certainly not an endgame. Particularly, the old message of relationships often includes an element of another person being the completion of one’s life and love, as opposed to a complement to your own self-love and fulfilling “be-ing” – – which is in essence, the generator of your ability to share love in the first place.  Awareness of one’s self is pretty key to a lot of outcomes, and the following article and video by renowned relationship expert Margaret Paul explores a very fundamental view of this:

If you are a person who
wants to be in a relationship,relationship water flame

have you thought about why?

Actually, in my research and years of relationship counselling there are two very different reasons for wanting a relationship. The first is about what you want to get, and the second is about what you want to learn and share.

Wanting a Relationship in Order to: Get

If you ask people why they want a relationship, many will say things like:

  • I want someone to love me and make me feel special and worthy.
  • I don’t want to be alone and lonely anymore.
  • I want to have children.
  • I want to feel safe and secure.

What they might not say outright is that they want a relationship to:

  • Fill the empty place within them.
  • Complete them. They hope that their partner will give them what they are not giving to themselves and what they might not have received as children.
  • Make them feel taken care of emotionally, financially and/or sexually.

You might be thinking, “Right! Aren’t these the reasons everyone wants a relationship? Why be in a relationship if not to be loved, cherished, made to feel special, safe and secure? What’s the point of a relationship if not to fill me, take away my loneliness and make me feel okay about myself?”

There really is another reason for wanting to be in a relationship.

Wanting a Relationship in Order to: Heal, Learn and Share Love

The other reason for being in a relationship stems from the fact that relationships are the most fertile ground for learning about what is unhealed in us, and for having an arena to heal. Most of us have baggage from childhood that we carry into our primary relationship — such as fears of rejection and fears of engulfment. These fears generally get played out with a partner, which offers us an incredible opportunity to learn about and heal them. Relationship can be the Ph.D. of personal growth!

being the real you takes courageLearning about your fears of intimacy, as well as about control issues that may surface with a primary partner, can lead to much personal growth — enhancing your ability to love. The more you learn to take responsibility for your own feelings — learning to love yourself, cherish yourself, make yourself feel special and valued — the more you may want a relationship in order to share your love rather than to get love. Contrary to what many believe, it’s not the getting of love that takes away loneliness, but the sharing of love.

The most profound and beautiful experience in life is the sharing of love. But we can’t share our love unless we are filled with love. When we learn to fill ourselves with love from our “Source” — whatever that is for each person, such as nature, spirit, God, the energy of the universe — then we come to our partner with inner fullness rather than with inner emptiness. Rather than needing a partner to complete us, we desire to share our completeness with our partner.

When two people come together to get love rather than to learn, heal and share love, there is a strong possibility that their relationship won’t last. With both partners trying to get loved and filled by the other, and neither one having learned to love and fill themselves, each will ultimately be disappointed. Very often, one or both might believe they’ve picked the wrong partner.

When two people come together because they want to learn together, grow together, heal together, share their time and companionship, and share their love and passion, they have a good chance of creating a lasting, loving relationship.

When these people are asked why they want a relationship, they say:

  • I have a lot of love to give and I want to share it with a partner, who also has a lot of love to give. Possibly, we might want to have children with whom to also share our love.
  • I want to learn and grow with someone who also wants to learn and grow.
  • I want to share time, companionship, lovemaking, laughter and play with someone with whom I feel deeply connected.

If you tune inside and honestly ask yourself why you want a relationship, and you find yourself on the first list rather than on the second, do not despair. You can learn how to love yourself and fill yourself with love so that you have plenty of love to share with a partner.

It’s important to realize that we attract people:we are one when we are two

at our common level of health — which is the level of taking personal responsibility for our happiness and wellbeing — OR

at our common level of self-abandonment — which includes making someone else responsible for our feelings.

Given this reality, you have a far better chance of creating a healthy and loving relationship with a partner when you have a healthy and loving relationship with yourself.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a relationship expert, best-selling author, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah. There are many more wonderful videos on youtube.

Why Worry Is a Choice

-By Deepak Chopra

conflict10

The demands you put on yourself can create more pressure than you know how to handle. Deepak Chopra has a series of articles and strategies to help you break the cycle of anxiety by changing the way you respond to stress, this included:

Anxiety is like a shortcut. When faced with uncertainty, the normal response is to stop, consider what might happen, and make a decision based on the best prediction you can make.

But the anxious person doesn’t go through this process; they jump right towards feeling afraid.

No one enjoys uncertainty. There is always a tinge of anxiousness when you don’t know what the future holds. But going straight into fear is the worst way to handle the situation because fear is almost never a good advisor. It blocks clear decision-making, and exaggerates the risks and dangers that might lie ahead.

If you are an anxious person, you need to stop making the leap into fear. But how do you do that? It requires a new way of approaching uncertainty.

Life is always uncertain, and until you can embrace this fact, you will imagine risks, dangers, and threats that never materialize.

Yet, suffering in your imagination is just as painful—perhaps more painful—since dealing with a crisis is always easier than waiting for one in a state of dread.

The Anxious Self

There are many sides to me.

Many spiritual traditions speak of separation as the real cause of human misery. Depending on your school of belief, separation can mean being apart from God, your soul, or the higher self/consciousness. But the terminology isn’t important; even the word “spiritual” isn’t crucial. What is crucial is that people are divided inside. One part of the self opposes another part. With guilt, the good fights against the bad. With anxiety, the strong part of the self is at war with the weak part.

When a situation arises that can be handled well, the strong part feels confident, competent, in charge and in control. When uncertainty crops up, the weak part feels afraid, helpless, and hopeless. Anxious people never settle this inner conflict. They are so divided that when they feel afraid, the weak part is “the real me.” When they are not afraid, the strong part is “the real me.” In fact, neither is the real self. The real self is beyond conflict; it is whole and at peace. So the long-term approach to anxiety is to rise above the inner war to find a self that is more whole.

What self-judgment really sounds like

When the self is divided and in conflict, there is always a hidden aspect of judgment against the self. Anxious people judge against themselves so much that they usually seek a stronger person to handle the uncertainties and difficulties that seem so overwhelming. It can certainly mask the problem for a while to marry a strong spouse or rely on a powerful parent. But finding a substitute isn’t the same as finding yourself. Anxious people are blocked from finding themselves because they quickly run into self-judgment, and this makes them even more insecure. Self-judgment is the voice inside that says:

STOP. You are good enough.

“You can’t handle it. Remember the last time you fell apart?
This time will be the same.”

“You’re too weak. Inside you’re still a helpless child. Other people stand on their own, but not you.”

“You aren’t smart enough. Other people can find the right solution, but not you. You just stand there looking blank.”

“You aren’t good enough. All these fearful things are a punishment. You deserve what you get.”

As you can see, to live with a divided self is misery and anxious people dread themselves more than their imaginary dangers. The main thing they dread is anxiety, of course, but anxiety is more than a bad sensation. It is rooted in the weak self that quickly jumps to conclusions. The first part of healing is to realize what is going on. The second part is to identify with the real you; then the war inside will be irrelevant.

Your real self is always present, but it’s masked by the trappings of everyday existence. Whether you recognize it or not, everyone lives in a state of separation, which means the divided self is the one you identify with. People with anxiety have a tougher time than others, but even the healthiest and most secure person is divided. If you weren’t, you would be in contact with God, the soul, or the higher self twenty-four hours a day. I mention this only to emphasize that moving out of the divided state doesn’t happen overnight. Any anxious person needs to learn how to deal with fear and panic on a day-to-day basis while at the same time never losing sight of the long-range goal: finding the real self.

How to Move Towards Healing

Escapism is healthy - sometimes

You can’t find something if you are looking in the wrong place. This holds especially true for the real self, because we all look for solutions from our divided self, and then we trust its answers. For anxious people, fear is actually a kind of solution. It provides a shortcut. It keeps the person vigilant. It gives the feeling of being concerned, engaged, and busy. And since fear is unwelcome, it drives people into all kinds of escapist activities. Every distraction from alcohol and drugs to television and movies is constantly available. It’s no surprise that millions of people would rather accommodate their lives to being afraid rather than seeking authentic healing.

Yet real healing does exist. Because anxious people are insecure, they need to pursue a path to healing that reinforces itself.

Outside help is valuable, of course, but anxious people tend to use stronger people as crutches; that’s where impartial mentors and counsellors can be extremely useful.

The trick here, though,  is to accept that self-healing is the only way. Once you can accept this truth, which is quite painful to anyone in a state of insecurity and fear, the next part is to keep reinforcing the process. Every day needs to be seen objectively as a step in the right direction.

The daily checklist to end anxiety

One method is to keep a simple daily log to track the positive things you did to abate your anxiety. For the sake of being realistic, it’s also good to record the negative things, but avoid the urge to become discouraging or self-pitying. Rather than keeping a full-fledged journal, which most people can’t find the time to sustain after a few weeks or months, make your log a simple check list, ticking off what went right and what went wrong. You can insert comments if you like at the bottom of the page.

Affirmations WORK!

POSITIVES

I stood up for myself, I spoke my mind.

I felt strong.

I had a moment of being real with someone.

I dealt with a panicky moment.

I started to feel anxious but it didn’t progress.

I felt optimistic about myself.

I had hope for the future.

I felt some peace and calm.

I survived a difficult situation.

I appreciated myself; I congratulated myself.

I felt worthy; my esteem was high.

I didn’t fall into my usual reaction.

I had a bright idea.

The world seemed like a safe place to be.

I felt accepted.

I didn’t cling to anyone or use them as a crutch.

I faced a difficult choice.

There is hope.

NEGATIVES

I didn’t stand up for myself; I wanted to speak my mind but didn’t.

I felt weakness.

I didn’t get real with anyone.

I suffered through one or more panic attacks.

I had a lot of low-level anxiety that didn’t go away.

I felt pessimistic about myself.

The future looked hopeless.

I felt no peace and calm.

I caved in to a difficult situation.

I criticized myself and fell into self-judgment.

I felt unworthy; my esteem was low.

I related to people who made me feel bad about myself.

I gave in to someone else’s negative views.

I didn’t feel safe.

I felt rejected.

I was clingy.

I procrastinated and put off a difficult choice.

I wanted someone to rescue me.

I kept wishing that things would get better on their own.

The key to breaking the cycle of anxiety

If you decide to include the negative roster, be sure to note if the items you have checked Take time for yourself.off are improving. Negatives can be useful if they show you what you are moving away from, but they’re not useful if you use them to fuel your self-judgment, since self-judgment is the root of the problem.

It’s key to have more positive events than negative ones. Happiness is built up by having good days, not by reaching for an unattainable ideal in the future. The same is true for being non-anxious. You must find it today, as best you can. By paying attention to your anxiety one day at a time, the hidden healing processes in your mind and your body can begin to work, because you are giving them a real opening here and now.

In the end, however, the best healer is the real self.

It is found by walking your own path: call it the path to self-awareness, God, or higher consciousness – whatever appellation works for you.

The methods for discovery have been outlined in all the world’s wisdom traditions. First and foremost, you need to make a real connection with the level of peace, silence, and security that lies beneath the turbulence of daily stress and strain. The most reliable method is meditation. If that seems unworkable, then sit for fifteen minutes twice a day in a quiet place, close your eyes and breathe. Place your attention on your heart and simply be. If you notice that your thoughts have distracted you, breathe again and once more place your attention on your heart.

This technique will accustom you to being with yourself. Anxious people misjudge being alone. They identify it with fear, loneliness, and insecurity. That’s perfectly understandable given their history of fear. But being alone is your ground state, the basis of your existence. It’s not your enemy. It’s not a danger zone. So take some time to undo the mistaken judgment that alone and lonely are the same. They aren’t. The doorway to a lifetime of safety, security, and self-worth lies at the level of the real self, and you were born to open it.

adapted from:
Oprah.com   |   December 31, 2010

Highly Sensitive People: Not Your Grandmother’s Introvert!

sensitive & A-OK!

Samsara HSP Blog

In her national bestseller, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, author Elaine Aron defines a distinct personality trait that affects as many as one out of every five people.

According to Dr. Aron’s definition, the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.

Additionally, she says, the success of The Highly Sensitive Person is cause for celebration: “We’ve done it ourselves. And not surprisingly, since we are 15 to 20 percent of the population – that’s fifty million in the United States. Highly sensitive people are real, we exist, and we’ve proven it. That alone is something to celebrate.”

Another cause for Aron and her fellow HSPs to celebrate is the acceptance into mainstream psychology of the HSP personality trait. After numerous in-depth interviews, as well as surveys of over one thousand people, Dr. Aron’s findings have been published in Counseling Today, Counseling and Human Development, and the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Elaine Aron has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a thriving psychotherapy practice. She is the first therapist to tell HSPs how to identify their trait and make the most of it in everyday situations.

Highly Sensitive People have an
uncommonly sensitive nervous system…

– a normal occurrence, according to Aron. “About 15 to 20 percent of the population have this trait. It means you are aware of subtleties in your surroundings, a great advantage in many situations. It also means you are more easily overwhelmed when you have been out in a highly stimulating environment for too long, bombarded by sights and sounds until you are exhausted.” An HSP herself, Aron reassures other Highly Sensitives that they are quite normal. Their trait is not a flaw or a syndrome, nor is it a reason to brag. It is an asset they can learn to use and protect.

In defining the Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron provides examples of characteristic behaviors, and these are reflected in the questions she typically asks patients or interview subjects:

  • Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
  • Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
  • Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
  • Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
  • Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
  • Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
  • Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
  • When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

Dr. Aron explains that in the past

HSPs have been called “shy,” “timid,” “inhibited,” or “introverted,” but these labels completely miss the nature of the trait.

Thirty percent of HSPs are actually extroverts. HSPs only appear inhibited because they are so aware of all the possibilities in a situation. They pause before acting, reflecting on their past experiences. If these were mostly bad experiences, then yes, they will be truly shy. But in a culture that prefers confident, “bold” extroverts, it is harmful as well as mistaken to stigmatize all HSPs as shy when many are not. In the Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Aron reframes these stereotyping words and their common application to the HSP in a more positive light and helps HSPs use and view these aspects of their personality as strengths rather than weaknesses.

Sensitivity is anything but a flaw.

Many HSPs are often unusually creative and productive workers, attentive and thoughtful partners, and intellectually gifted individuals. According to Dr. Aron, HSPs could contribute much more to society if they received the right kind of attention – and her national bestseller proves that this 15 to 20 percent of the population is eager to get off on the right foot in asserting their unique personality trait.

Read more:  There are many websites from both the medical and personal perspectives on HSP (including http://livingsamsara.com/)  and of course Dr. Aron’s book is a classic.

Read Me

THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D
http://www.hsperson.com/

BONUS VIDEO! from Marie Forleo, renowned life & business coach… well in her own words:
“I often say if Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Oprah and Jay-Z had a love child, it would be me.  That’s because I’m part business strategist, part marketing maven and part spiritual ass-kicker with a side of hip-hop swagger.”
Marie is highly entertaining – and SMART!

Read/see more from Marie on YouTube, or:  http://www.marieforleo.com/archives/

How To Do What You Do

by Iyanla Vanzant

You can-do anything, and navigate yourself through anything if you have the proper road map.  When you are guided by peace, driven by love and if you have a clear direction you will reach the highest point of your destination.  My motto is, “Begin Within!”  Once you clean up the inside, everything and everyone on the outside will fall in line with your center.

Be Clear About What You Are Doing

This sounds real simple, yet it is a point we often miss.  This means making sure that your inner conviction and your outer actions are in alignment with and compliment each other.

Be Clear About Why You Are Doing It

Very often, we allow what we “don’t want” to determine and sometimes control our behavior.   Doing anything just to prove you can do it will ultimately lead to a sense of being unfulfilled. Sit down and get quiet with yourself and make sure you know fully why you are doing what you are doing.

Identify and Heal Your Judgments

You must remain flexible.  Judgments keep you stuck in what should and should not be, leaving little room for what can-be.

Know Your Worth:worth9

Pick a destination that allows you to stretch and grow beyond your comfort zone into a higher vision of the self you know right now.

Declare Your Value:

Time and energy are valuable commodities.  Declare your own self value by not wasting time or energy with things and people who are not moving you in the direction you have chosen for yourself.

Communicate Authentically By Asking For What You Want:

The easiest way to get what you want is to ask for it.  When you flip-flop between what you feel,  what you say and what you do, you send out mixed signals, which means you will get mixed and often unsatisfactory results.   (It is also a good practice to make sure that your no means no and that your yes means yes.)  Write it down, speak it out loud or clearly picture it in your mind will help you to do this.

Learn From The Past

Just because something hasn’t happened does not mean that it will not happen.  Do not allow the past to weigh you down.  Learn from your mis-steps and mis-deeds.  (Be prepared to do a new things in a new way rather than crying over what didn’t work.)

Ask For Support When You Need It

Everyone wants to claim their own victory, however, most victories are a team effort.  Open yourself to receive support, assistance and guidance from others.

Love What You Do!

I never think of my ministry, Inner Visions Institute, as purely a business venture.  I consider it a service to the world. This means that it is the part of my life that I offer to God.   Everything that I do for God, I do in love.  I love to write!  I love to teach and share ideas!  I love to support other people in finding their passion and vision in life.  It may not be written anywhere as a sound business principle, but believe me, it works!  Love magnetizes whatever it touches and, it attracts more love to it.  It also helps to know that love and money are ruled by the same vibration.

Don’t Do It Just For The Money!

My daughters and I started Inner Visions on my kitchen table.  I wrote the Newsletter, they helped me fold it.  At first, we didn’t even charge for it.  We sent it out to anyone who requested it because we wanted them to have the information.  When someone suggested to me that I charge for the Newsletter, I was appalled!  Over time I came to realize that I could never charge for the love and energy I put into my work.  However, it is necessary to charge people for the cost of production and my time.

Have A Vision! Stay Focused!

When times were real tight, nothing I did generated an income.  I was tempted to throw in the towel and go back to practicing law.  When I was alone at night, I would remember how I got started.  More important, I remembered why I got started.  Loving people!  Sharing information!  Healing the planet!  When I woke up in the morning, I would be so charged up, I would count my pennies, make new arrangements to pay the bills and renew my vow to do whatever was necessary to spread the word.

Specialize!  Make Yourself Unique!

One day, without any prompting from me, Dr. Dennis Kimbro walked up to me in a convention center and began to compliment me on my work.  He told me how important my work was and  how good I was at it.  Not only did I need to hear those words on that day, he went on to give me the best advise I have ever heard.  It is advice I still use today.  He said, “Don’t try to do everything.  Specialize!”  Pick something and stick to it.  He went on to say, “Make yourself unique!”  Do what you do in such a way that no matter what anyone else is doing, people must have what you are offering.  I specialize in loving with excellence and listening with compassion.

What makes you unique?

———————————————————————————————————————————- Iyanla Vanzant: is the best-selling author of five books on self-empowerment, personal growth and spiritual healing, with the most recent book being Peace from Broken Pieces. You can learn more about her work at www.innervisionsworldwide.com.

100 Most Spiritually Influential

Every spring Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine publishes a list of 100 most spiritually influential living people according to specific criteria (below), most notable: living. With this in mind, I don’t see anyone major missing from the list, and sadly, some will be omitted next year, including a personal favorite, Debbie Ford (#86).

The word “influential”, of course, takes on a few perspectives: the message, and the number of people accessing the message. When I read the criteria of the Watkins list, I first thought: who cares about google searches?  Then I re-evaluated: although the number of searches doesn’t define if a message has more value than another, it does represent how much a message is being shared i.e. influential.  Still, I was very surprised that some on the list were positioned where they were, case in point, Louise Hay (#45), who has undoubtedly created the most accessible personal development library on the planet with her radio station, publishing house, marketing division, and education series; a good chunk of the listees gained both their best opportunity and popularity on Louise’s back!  That said, I bet Louise would be the first to remind me, no message is more or less valuable than another if it means something to you right here, right now. Which reminds me to remind you, at different times in our lives we are more receptive to a message or perspective, so I highly encourage you to re-read some of your old favorites to see what new messages you may get from them; and shelf or note the books that seem whatever right now, and revisit them later – chances are that if you picked it up in the first place, there’s a message in there for you when you’re ready
to hear it.

While I would re-order this list based on my personal experience, so would every one of you! Watkins list is very fair based on their criteria. -SL

SPIRITUAL 100 ARCHIVES
2016

Watkins’ Spiritual
100 List for 2013

(Issue 33, Spring 2013)
We are delighted to share with you our
2013 list of the 100 Most Spiritually
Influential Living People
.
This marks the third year that we are publishing our 100 list. We’ve done our best to consider as many people as possible and our spiritual database includes the names of over six hundred candidates from which we selected the list of the top 100, highlighting the most proactive individuals – ranging from political and religious leaders to spiritual writers, filmmakers and visionary artists.

This list is meant to serve as a positive guide to some of the leading modern teachers that are alive today, and we hope that you are as inspired as we are by their impact. We hope it helps our readers discover new authors and inspirational ideas.

This year’s list is more global and diverse than ever before. The youngest person on the list is Jeff Foster (32 years old) and the oldest person is Kyozan Joshu Sasaki (105 years old). We are also sad to report that Stephen Covey who was on last year’s list, passed away in July, 2012. There are several factors that were taken into account when compiling the list. The main three criteria are:

1) The person has to be alive
2) The person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution
on a global scale
3) The person is frequently googled, and is actively talked about on the internet; for writers, the book sales via Nielsen Data are also considered.

By taking into account the amount of times that a person is googled, the list gains a highly democratic parameter. In a sense, being googled is a form of digital voting, and illustrates just how often someone is being sought out. Additionally, we were highly selective in creating this list and did our best to remove candidates who spread messages that were hateful or intolerant.

Ultimately, this list is meant to celebrate the positive influence of contemporary spiritual teachers.

Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit magazine publishes the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People list on an annual basis and we welcome your feedback and suggestions in the comments below.

LIST AT A GLANCE: (scroll down for the top-10 in detail)

1. Dalai Lama 35. Marianne Williamson 68. Richard Rohr
2. Thich Nhat Hanh 36. Andrew Weil 69. Jeff Foster
3. Eckhart Tolle 37. Elizabeth Gilbert 70. Colin Wilson
4. Deepak Chopra 38. Steve Taylor 71. Tony Parsons
5. Rhonda Byrne 39. Iyanla Vanzant 72. Judy Hall
6. Dr. Wayne W Dyer 40. Esther Hicks  73. Pema Chödrön
7. Paulo Coelho 41. Mantak Chia 74. John Bradshaw
8. Oprah Winfrey 42. Masaru Emoto 75. Richard Bandler
9. Nelson Mandela 43. Erich von Däniken 76. Liz Greene
10. Byron Katie 44. Lisa Williams 77. Michael Newton
11. Alice Walker 45. Louise L. Hay 78. Daisaku Ikeda
12. Alex Grey 46. James Redfield 79. Jack Kornfield
13. Doreen Virtue 47. Stuart Wilde 80. Vladimir Megre
14. Richard Bach 48. Mooji 81. Rowan Williams
15. Desmond Tutu 49. John Gray 82. Rupert Spira
16. Francis Chan 50. Ken Wilber 83. John & Caitlín Matthews
17. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 51. Krishna Das 84. Kathy Jones
18. Robin Sharma 52. Drunvalo Melchizedek 85. Huston Smith
19. Kyozan Joshu Sasaki 53. Dan Millman 86. Debbie Ford
20. Gregg Braden  54. Adyashanti 87. Rupert Sheldrake
21. Neale Donald Walsch 55. Graham Hancock 88. Stanislav Grof
22. Amma 56. Bob Proctor 89. Don Miguel Ruiz
23. Andrew Cohen 57. David R. Hawkins 90. Lars Muhl
24. Brian Weiss 58. Daniel Gilbert 91. Satish Kumar
25. Matthew Fox 59. Jack Canfield 92. Gary Snyder
26. Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi 60. Caroline Myss 93. Prem Rawat
27. Alejandro Jodorowsky 61. Philip Berg 94. David Deida
28. Peter Russell 62. Seyyed Hossein Nasr 95. Colette Baron Reid
29. Starhawk 63. Bruce Lipton 96. Thomas Moore
30. Michio Kaku 64. Karen Armstrong 97. Lorna Byrne
31. Ram Dass 65. Julia Cameron 98. Bernie Siegel
32. Diana Cooper 66. Lynne McTaggart 99. Anita Moorjani
33. Pope Benedict XVI 67. Dolores Cannon 100. James van Praagh
34. Vadim Zeland  

1- Dalai Lama. Born Lhamo Dondrub, Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama. Tibetan Buddhists believe him to be a reincarnation of his predecessors and the Buddha of compassion. He is a vocal activist for Tibetan independence and has made an incredible contribution to global spirituality. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2012 and donated most of the prize money to the Save the Children fund in India. Time Magazine call him “The most influential person in the world”, while The Times commented “He draws crowds that no other spiritual leader or politician could hope to match…he seems to look at life in a different way to everyone else”. His latest books How to Be Compassionate: A Handbook for Creating Inner Peace and a Happier World and Towards The True Kinship Of Faiths: How the World’s Religions Can Come Together are now available in paperback. www.dalailama.com ::  Born in Taktser, Tibet :: 06/07/1935 :: Spiritual Leader

2 – Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master, poet, scholar and peace activist. During the war in Vietnam, he worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam and his courageous efforts moved Martin Luther King to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He founded the Order of Interbeing and the Unified Buddhist Church, along with monasteries and spiritual centres in Vietnam, the USA and France. He lives in Plum Village, his meditation centre in France, and travels widely, leading retreats on the art of mindful living. His latest book Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through the Storm was published in November. www.plumvillage.org :: Born in Thua Thien, Vietnam :: 11/10/1926 :: Spiritual Leader

3 – Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart’s profound yet simple teachings have helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. His books, The Power of Now and the highly acclaimed follow-up A New Earth are two of the best-selling Mind, Body, Spirit books in the world. Tolle’s free online “un-course”—video teachings offered as reminders to the true source of peace and freedom within yourself – provides free resources to work towards a deeper level of consciousness. www.eckharttolle.com :: Born in Lünen, Germany :: 16/02/1948 :: Modern Teacher and Writer

Deepak Chopra4 – Deepak Chopra. As a writer on Ayurveda, mind-body medicine and spirituality, Chopra has had huge success with titles such as Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. His latest books are Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind, co-written with neurologist Rudolph E. Tanzi, and God: A Story of Revelation. Also new in paperback Is God an Illusion: The Great Debate between Science and Spirituality, in which Chopra pits his views against leading physicist Leonard Mlodinow. www.deepakchopra.com :: Born in New Delhi, India :: 22/10/1946 :: Physician, writer and public speaker

5 – Rhonda Byrne. Well known for The Secret book and DVD, Byrne advocates the belief that we can all transcend our suffering by not falling prey to negative thoughts. She has been listed among Time Magazine’s list of 100 people who shape the world, and has also produced television shows. Her latest book, The Magic, was published in March 2012. www.thesecret.tv :: Born in Australia :: 12/03/1951 :: Writer and TV/Film producer

 Wayne Dyer6 – Dr Wayne W Dyer. Affectionately called the “father of motivation” by his fans, Dyer is one of the most widely known and respected people in the field of self-empowerment. His childhood was spent in orphanages and foster homes, and he has overcome many obstacles to make his dreams come true. Today he spends much of his time showing others how to do the same. His latest book, Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting, was published in February 2012. www.drwaynedyer.com :: Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA :: 10/05/1940 :: Author and Speaker

Paulo Coelho7 Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist is one of the top selling books in history, with over 65 million copies sold in 150 countries. Coelho has sold more than 150 million books in over 150 countries worldwide, and his works have been translated into 71 languages.His new book Manuscript Found in Accra is published in April. paulocoelho.com :: Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil :: 24/08/1947 :: Novelist

Oprah Winfrey8 – Oprah Winfrey. Oprah might just be the most influential person in the world. She has discovered and advocated many spiritually influential thinkers—from Obama to Eckhart Tolle. Her multi-award-winning talk show became the highest-rated program of its kind in history. She now hosts Oprah’s Lifeclass (a self-help show), Super Soul Sunday (a spirituality show), and Oprah’s Next Chapter (an interview show) on her TV channel OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. www.oprah.com :: Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA :: 29/01/1954 :: Talk Show Host, actress, producer and philanthropist

Nelson Mandela South Africa The Good News www.sagoodnews.co.za9 – Nelson Mandela. Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and served 27 years in prison. After his release from prison in 1990, he led his party towards a multi-racial democracy and served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999; he advocates compassion and reconciliation and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He is active in fighting AIDS and racism, and his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom is still an inspirational best seller. www.nelsonmandela.org :: Born in Transkei, South Africa :: 18/07/1918 :: Political Activist

Byron Katie (c)Kasey Lennon10 – Byron Katie. Katie refers to her method of self-inquiry as ‘The Work’ and promotes the idea that we can liberate ourselves from suffering by not believing/listening to negative thoughts. Katie exemplifies her methods as she has overcome paranoia, suicidal thoughts and severe depression. In addition to her bestselling books, she teaches her methods at free public events, in prisons, hospitals, churches, corporations, shelters for survivors of domestic violence, universities and schools, at weekend intensives, and at her nine-day “School for The Work”. www.thework.com :: Born in USA :: 06/12/1942 :: Author and Speaker

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the full Spiritual 100 list 2013, see issue 33 of the Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine.

*Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit magazine is now available  in Canada at specialty health & bookstores or take out a subscription directly from Watkins Books.*

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