Acceptance Brings Peace

Feb 13 2016

Most people mistakenly believe they have to get what they want in order to be happy. But trying to squeeze the world into a mold of our making isn’t just arduous, it’s a recipe for unhappiness because we’ll be in resistance to what is every time life doesn’t meet our expectations. That is bound to happen a lot! Learning how to be content with whatever shows up is wise. The more often we can accept the moment we’re in, the more at peace we are. And peace is the…

Portal to happiness.

Steve and Jarl

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Giving for Real

Feb 12 2016

We’ve all heard the expression ‘the gift is in the giving’. That means that, when we give to others, we simultaneously receive a gift because giving is so satisfying. It makes us feel generous, kind and helpful. These are intangible, but very real benefits we receive every time we give. It’s good to reflect on these whenever we’re tempted to conclude that others haven’t expressed sufficient gratitude for our offerings. The only real giving happens when we do it without expectation. The way to do that is to remember that giving and getting are actually…

The same.

Steve and Jarl 

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Loosen the Ego Knot

Feb 11 2016

Our egos help us distinguish ourselves, relate to others and make our way in the world. But, it’s important to remember that we’ve created this image and can therefore expand, contract or change it if we choose. Being too caught up in particular stories about who we are limits our potential and keeps us stuck in habits and patterns that no longer serve us. The more we relax our grip on our identity, the easier it is to open to new possibilities, go with the flow and appreciate the value in…

All that is.

Steve and Jarl 

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The Honesty Dividend

Feb 10 2016

No matter how uncomfortable telling the truth might feel, it almost always aligns us with what promotes our greater happiness and well-being. Trying to manipulate others or push our agendas to create what we want won’t serve us in the end. When we’re authentic and truthful, life handles the rest. Sincere communication contains a potent energy that attracts the people, places and opportunities that naturally bring about genuine delight and satisfaction. It’s worth overcoming the moments of hesitation and discomfort because there’s very little that so completely enhances our lives more than living…

In your truth.

Steve and Jarl

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How to Predict the Future

Feb 09 2016

While you can’t know for sure what awaits you tomorrow, you can be sure it’ll be consistent with your energy. What appears in your future depends upon your behavior leading up to it. If you abuse yourself mentally with self-criticism or physically with unhealthy habits, your future will reflect that. If you cultivate a joyful heart and a trusting attitude while keeping your thoughts and actions in alignment with your aspirations, you ensure that both the journey and the destination will be compatible with…

What you want.

Steve and Jarl

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What’s the Lesson?

Feb 08 2016

The rhyme and reason of everyday life often escapes us when we’re in the thick of it. That’s why it behooves us to adopt a positive attitude that benefits us and feels good. There are many ways to look at experiences that didn’t seem to work out the way we wanted. Did they improve our judgment? Did we learn to be kinder and more compassionate? By seeing what didn’t work, did we discover what does? When we create a filter that perceives everything from the vantage point of looking for what’s good, that…

Will be our experience.

Steve and Jarl   

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Live As If

Feb 07 2016

Don’t wait to enjoy life until all your ‘ducks are in a row’. By the time those little duckies are nicely arrayed and quacking in unison, you will be so firmly rooted in the habit of waiting, that you won’t even know how to enjoy that fairy tale moment when (and if) it comes. If you mentally project yourself to your last days and imagine looking back over your whole life to survey it, you will probably agree that there’s only one way to live: Get really good at enjoying every moment…

No matter what.

Steve and Jarl

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Moving Through Plateaus

Feb 06 2016

When trying to get really good at anything, it’s easy to lose our way when we don’t see progress. But there are always cycles of plateaus in the growth process. It’s in these times of stasis that we’re assimilating, connecting and making sense out of important information, subconsciously preparing for a breakthrough in understanding. When we’re aware of how these cycles work, we can persist without feeling hopeless or frustrated. Perseverance pays off. Without moving through these interludes of dullness, we’d never get to…

Mastery.

Steve and Jarl

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Framing Reality

Feb 05 2016

The lens through which we see life is a complex, multi-layered filter that skews reality. Out of the limited slice of life that we do perceive, we tidily classify most of it to fit into our narrow and subjective belief systems. When we take a photograph, we carefully select the contents of the scene that will render the best picture. Since we’re already making up our experience according to our unconscious perceptions, we’d spare ourselves untold grief if we took the same care to consciously frame what happens to us in a way that…

Feels good.

Steve and Jarl 

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Look for the Benefit

Feb 04 2016

If you’re inexplicably feeling down, you may be spending too much time listening to the media (fear is their business). Or, maybe you’ve unconsciously developed the habit of looking for what’s wrong. Because your thoughts create your feelings, you can control the way feel by becoming conscious of how you think. Small changes can have big effects, like more walks and less news. When you find something wrong, try to find something right about the same thing. There’s a benefit to everything. If you train yourself to find it, you also train yourself to…

Feel good.

Steve and Jarl

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Acceptance and Flow

Feb 03 2016

Most of us live in a dreamworld that’s a product of our programming and personal experience. Because this self-created filter so completely colors our perception, we see the world in a way that predictably fulfills our expectations. The concept of awakening refers to the state of seeing through this veil of conditioning and perceiving reality without a story. In this state of awareness, instead of experiencing regret, resentment or bitterness, we experience the perfection and poetry of reality as it unfolds. When we don’t argue with what is, we’re joyful just being…

In the flow of life.

Steve and Jarl

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Neurology of Gratitude

Feb 02 2016

Focusing on gratitude is a way to immediately feel good. But, is it just a trick to distract ourselves from the suffering, tragedy and injustice we see? Actually, the exercise of focusing our thoughts on gratitude is mental training. Cognitive science instructs us that whatever neural pathways we use become increasingly likely to be used in the future. In other words, whatever we direct our attention on effectively trains our brains. The question is, what do we focus on that can create experiences that feel good? The answer for many people is…

Gratitude.

Steve and Jarl  

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Own Your Wholeness

Feb 01 2016

When opposites attract, people seek partners who have strengths that make up for their weaknesses. But this approach to relationships creates codependency, which usually leads to resentment. Depending on someone else to feel whole makes the thought of losing them so frightening that it interferes with your ability to be authentic and may induce you to try to manipulate your partner so you don’t ever lose them. You can heal this dysfunction by becoming aware of the ways that you’re dependent, feeling any fear you have around it and accepting yourself as you truly are…

Already whole.

Steve and Jarl

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The Only Enduring Possession

Jan 31 2016

Everything under the sun comes and goes, including you. But a healthy mind helps you navigate through the vicissitudes that characterize normal living. If you want an awesome life, this ultimate resource ought to be your deepest and most enduring objective. You can train your mind to support you in living joyfully no matter what the circumstances. Don’t get sidetracked pursuing social recognition and material goodies, the accompanying benefits have a very short shelf life. Cultivating your inner life and working to become more self-aware connects you to your well of…

Deep happiness.

Steve and Jarl 

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Your Thoughts Create Your Experience

Jan 30 2016

Notice how many times a day you have a judgment, criticism or an imaginary conversation expressing your anger or resentment toward someone else. How much time do you spend engaged in this kind of negative thinking? If you’re like most people, it’s probably a lot more than you think. It’s good to become aware of this habit because thoughts are the building blocks of your emotional experience. When you get conscious of the stuff you focus on and how it makes you feel, you have the secret to mastering your mood and your experience…

Of life itself.

Steve and Jarl

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Alone in Peace

Jan 29 2016

As social beings, we choose our friends according to common interests, talents and energy levels. Some people buoy our spirits, make us laugh or arouse our curiosity. It’s enlivening to relate to people with varied backgrounds and abilities, but it’s important to avoid ever thinking that others can or should supply us with inner peace. Healthy relationships are vital for a rich existence, but when it comes to developing a deep and enduring sense of calm and satisfaction, there is only one place it can ever come from…

Inside.

Steve and Jarl

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