Empowered People Will Change the World

By Lisa Meuser. “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave.” Buffy, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Empowered People Will Change the World.” Lisa Meuser I’ll get back to these quotes in a minute. Before bravery, comes naming what gets in our way of truly living in the world… what gets in the…

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Listen For The Heartbeat

By Julia Stolk. The other morning I woke to the remembering of a dream. I had been in labour, and everything was unfolding normally, until a particular moment when I became utterly convinced that something was very wrong with the baby. Yet, when the care provider listened for the baby’s heart beat, it was…

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Artwork by Jen Peer Rich

The Dance of Comfort and Discomfort

By Lisa Meuser. As we have been discovering over the past few months, the topic of discomfort [1] has many, many tendrils – some of which are still to be discovered! Always “on the journey,” new sacred tendrils constantly reveal themselves as I evolve. Maybe you’ve discovered that too? The Field of Possibility is ever…

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PMayur Gala on Unsplash

Heart Seeing

By Julia Stolk. So much of everything and nothing here this morning. The question comes, is it a choosing of where the attention is placed that is the everything or the nothing? And then a noticing, there is a natural resting, a natural choosing that finds nothing. The orientation to the heart mind. Where does…

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Photo by Lisa Meuser

Going Deeper Than Safety

By Lisa Meuser. In the last two blog posts I wrote about the possibility of discovering a sense of well-being even when there is discomfort. In this next blog post I will take that a step forward into the territory of safety, a topic that is very related to discomfort. Safety is a huge topic,…

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Artwork by Stacy Lee for NPR

Being Alone

By Sumitra Burton. This little word “alone” can be terrifying, perhaps second only to the word “death.” We naturally feel threatened by these ideas of being alone in life or of dying. And sometimes the sense of being alone feels worse than death. Also there can be a big difference between feeling alone and feeling…

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Photo by Lisa Meuser

A Growing Relationship with Discomfort

By Lisa Meuser. In the first blog piece on discomfort, I wrote about how we often unintentionally conflate discomfort with wrongness, and the importance and significance of befriending discomfort. In the second piece I explore the topic of internalized oppression – which includes living from our internal narratives of should, supposed tos, and so on,…

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The Exhaustion of Inner Oppression

By Lisa Meuser. Here is the second piece in a series of blog posts exploring discomfort and disconnection.   I have been noticing in clients, in myself, and perhaps everywhere: tension (and discomfort) goes up when a sense of connection to well-being goes down.  It’s not the tension or push-pull that’s the problem, in fact tension…

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A Journey of Connecting with Discomfort

By Lisa Meuser. There’s something huge going on right now that is freaking people out around the globe, within almost every person: discomfort. Whether it’s Covid 19, or the great awakening with regards to racism, or something in between, this is a time of uncertainty – and for most humans, that ushers in dis-ease, restlessness,…

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Scum Of The Earth!

By Sumitra Burton. My first thought upon waking when I was sick recently was, SCUM OF THE EARTH! It had been a way-too-short sleep in a series of similar nights due to being ill with a sinus infection, and I felt wretched. The words “scum of the earth” seemed to describe me in that…

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Waking Up – A Rebellious Act of Love

By Lisa Meuser. “Transform yourself to transform the world…” Grace Lee Boggs   What’s going on? Across the world, cities are coming alive with awakenings. These are important times, perhaps what Joanna Macy calls the “great turning.” Some have been on this path for a while, and for others it is rather new. Regardless, as…

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On The Range Of Our Inner Experience

By Fiona Robertson. I listened to a podcast recently about people who have no mind’s eye (a condition called aphantasia) and so do not see any visual imagery, including memories. Some of the people featured also have no mind’s ear and cannot imagine sensory experiences that aren’t happening. As someone who has always had…

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How Full Is Your Well?

By Lisa Meuser. Almost daily, I journey with clients who are beating themselves up during these Covid-19 times for not being more productive, so I thought I’d write a little about it. I think it’s worthwhile to consider why we might not be as productive as we think we should be. I think it’s useful…

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Someone to Watch Over Me…

By Melanie Balint Gray. These days I find myself looking back at recent difficult experiences seeing if I can view them differently. I like to see if some new perspective has arrived, since I’m more aware that my initial view of things is never the only angle from which to see life. As I…

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I Just Want To Be Held

By Sumitra Burton. As I stopped this morning to check in with myself, the words came, I just want to be held … by someone big and strong … and told that everything’s going to be alright. I could feel the longing in my heart, as a rather intense pressure. I just want to…

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Covid 19 Invocations

By Lisa Meuser. I pray with the unseen these days. And yet, I pray with the seen, too. The buds, the sprouts, the blossoms, the leaves. I pray with the new blessings that appear out of nowhere in the shape of a flower slowly revealing itself, cloud formations from a once all grey sky, 13…

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When The Child Within Needs Tending

By Helena Weaver. These are challenging times. Today I was able to drop into meditation for the first time for a couple of weeks. I sat for a while, settling in, while my breathing slowed and deepened. Then I started to scan through my body and feel gently into the physical and emotional sensations within,…

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Strange times

By Fiona Robertson. These are such strange times, and it feels like they’re getting stranger every day (especially for those of us who have never lived through any other major disruptions or pandemics). I’ve been feeling my fair share of anxiety and worry for those most at risk, along with a kind of fascination…

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Journeying with Generational Trauma

By Lisa Meuser. 2019 came to completion with clarity that some endings were coming. Historically speaking, it’s powerful when my system undeniably lands on an ending, often because the joy of a new beginning is already en route. The clarity ushers in more momentum for the new beginnings, which can be both exhilarating, and also…

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Just a thought…

By Luke Hey. Do you know what I love? Finding new ways to inquire! And being a facilitator of the Living Inquiries has afforded me the opportunity to find many different and interesting ways to unhook the velcro of thoughts. I want to share with you some of these ideas to use as techniques…

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When We Can’t Say No

By Fiona Robertson. In my experience, ongoing inquiry is bringing about a much clearer sense of my own boundaries. I was looking this morning, and the words came, ‘I want nothing to do with this’, accompanied by crying. I saw an image of one boyfriend, who on our first date had an empty wallet.…

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Liar Liar! Our Dumpster’s on Fire

By Lisa Meuser. Word is finally getting out – we’re starting to acknowledge that, for the most part, we’ve all been raised in a culture of dishonesty[1]. As a result, we, as individuals, born out of this dishonesty, often don’t have our own sense of integrity, own up to how our behaviors have impact, or…

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ENOUGH

By Sumitra Burton. I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of “enough” lately. What would it take to make me feel safe on the planet, to be able to relax and feel at ease with daily life? How much money would it take? How much food? When would I feel I have given…

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Evolving Through Learning

By Lisa Meuser. This is an excerpt from a larger piece… shared the day I graduated from a conscious leadership training. I look forward to sharing more. An intention – which became my motto – whispered deep into my ear and into my heart as 2019 was being birthed: Be in the world and Be of…

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New Year’s Clarity

By Lisa Meuser. I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I do enjoy New Year’s clarity. New Year’s clarity? At the start of a year, I often connect with a word, a phrase, or an intention that is calling out for me to find clarity with. Hidden gifts always await as…

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Climate Change

By Kristy Johnsson. They march the articles out across our newsfeeds: pictures of the Statue of Liberty submerged in water up to her chest, horrifying headlines reading “Are humans going extinct?”, images of forests on fire. When I’m in a certain emotional space around this topic, I’ll sometimes walk outside and sit in the…

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Releasing Strategies, Finding Life

By Lisa Meuser. I’m driving, and all of a sudden it goes dark, and the road becomes enclosed. I know how to work the breaks, the gas, and the steering wheel, but everything is different so I’m completely disoriented. I‘m not sure what **to do**. I no longer see ahead of me, and I…

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The Sceptical Art of Inquiry

By Fiona Robertson. I read today that the ancient Greek word for ‘inquiry’ is skepsis, hence the word sceptical. Sceptical philosophers, from around the world in both ancient and modern times, have doubted our ability to know, either partially or completely. Their view is some variant of the idea that we can’t know anything…

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Being in the world and being of Love

By Lisa Meuser. “Deepen, that is where your reality lies. That is how you will find your place, and how you will find your true center. You are created matter… You are part of the great plan, an indispensable part. You are needed; you have your own unique share in the freedom of creation.”…

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Blaming Each Other

By Colm Burgoyne. A guilt and sorrow arose in me regarding my own, and our collective contributions towards each other’s pain. While inquiring into a dream I had, I saw memories of how my siblings and I unconsciously contributed to our parents’ pain and our parents unconsciously to ours. I could see an image…

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Fear, Hope and Dreams… and Connection

By Lisa Meuser. These words plopped into my system one afternoon when I was in “way deep”. By way deep, I mean in communion with the raw essentials of life – that place where the universe whispers wisdom. I could feel the universality of these words as they dropped in my lap, so to…

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Facing What’s Inside

By Kristy Johnsson. If we want any aspect of our world to change – whether it be family systems or political systems – we have to meet the parts of us that uphold the status quo. You know, the wildest thing is that after all the trees I’ve planted, all the kids I’ve taught,…

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The Dance of Life

By Lisa Meuser. I went to a 5 Rhythms[1] (5R) retreat over the weekend. If you’re unfamiliar with 5R, it is an organization devoted to freedom, utilizing dance. As with all sacred work, the 5R container is carefully crafted to invite, invoke, ignite and inspire… mind, body and spirit. 5R uses music to tap…

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I Want It Now! Inquiring With Cravings

By Sumitra Burton. When I have an intense craving for something sweet, there’s often an urgency to have it NOW! Don’t try to reason with me, don’t tell me No, don’t stand in my way! My gut is contracted, my whole body is tight and I can’t wait! I WANT IT ….. And I…

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What Elephant? Naming Systemic Oppression

By Lisa Meuser. Artist Alexis Morgan. Oh, the elephant in the room! You know the one, the topic that people don’t talk about. In my most recent blog post about embodiment and waking up, there was an elephant in the room that I didn’t mention. I know in my heart that if we’re going…

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Two Little Fussbudgets

By Sumitra Burton. This morning I was facilitated in an inquiry session where I was feeling “desperate” about needing to earn more money. Old, familiar story! There’s enough money for today, tomorrow and probably a couple of years. But what about after that? I need to earn more, to save more, to build a…

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Our Stories Are Sacred

By Lisa Meuser. “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Rumi I gently breathe in this quote. It has taken me a long time to know Rumi’s words. Most of my life I hid and denied my wounds, concealing them not only from others but also from myself. I repeatedly and systematically…

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Longing For Love

By Sumitra Burton. While looking back over my life recently to see what kind of “credentials” I had gathered along the way, I recognized a core thread that has permeated my experience from the very beginning: a passionate longing for love. Somehow I had never been aware of it in quite this way before.…

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Both Individual and Collective: Meeting Rapaciousness

By Fiona Robertson. When we engage consistently and deeply in inquiry, our experience of it changes over time. Embodied inquiry develops and evolves, the process itself deepening as we individually and collectively deepen. True to its name, this inquiry is indeed living. I’ve been inquiring for over seven years now. While self-focused beliefs took…

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Broken Hallelujah

By Colm Burgoyne. A tight, controlling anger, with a secretive, yet rapidly responsive mind in defence of its vulnerability, is the thread that my inner looking has been directing me towards much of the day. I take my time, as I know from experience that rushing inquiry leaves me open to bypassing the more…

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Listening Beyond Ourselves

By Lisa Meuser.   Listening to Life I have been in a deep creative flow for quite a while, spurring my productivity on, and on, and on. Writing, working with clients, my own self-study and learning, parenting, and completing tasks and projects… It has felt effortless, aligned and in integrity, and I have been…

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Life Is For Me

By Sumitra Judith Burton. Life is for me (not against me). There was a moment a few months ago that this realization began to dawn on me, and it feels like everything in my being is now shifting to make space for this truth. I had been running in an unconscious fog much of…

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Unravelling The Gods Of Childhood

By Lisa Meuser. I have a story to share This story starts with a Facebook post I made after finishing a session with a client. “When our parents aren’t safe, available, loving gods, we become vigilant and over responsible gods, thinking it’s all up to us, with wounds in our hearts.” It’s been a…

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Giving Up on Me…

By Melanie Balint Gray. I heard a statement in my thought stream the other day: “Give up on me…” Immediately there was agreement. “Yes!!!!!” Give up on me, on that ‘little me’ that I believe myself to be. Give up on all the aspiring, correcting, developing, revising, accomplishing, should-ing, shouldn’t-ing, fixing, scheming, resolving, the…

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On Shame and Sharing

By Fiona Robertson. “The shame of being me was a frequent visitor during my dark night…It felt shameful to have all these feelings. The shame was difficult to feel, not least because it felt endemic to my whole being. Every cell of my body, every memory, felt shaped by humiliation. It had misshapen my…

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Just what do you see from your window?

By Marcia Martin. I was in a meeting a few days ago and we were checking in, visiting, just touching base. I guess I was distracted by the view from my office. Actually, I was not distracted; I was looking from my window. I saw people I care about. I saw the wind moving…

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On Realising The Political Is Personal

By Fiona Robertson. We’re all familiar with the play of oppositional, fear-fuelled politics. Don’t elect them. They will damage you or threaten your lifestyle or your life in some way. Whether it’s the other political parties, other countries, a particular group, or a kind of people, the dynamic is the same: there’s them and…

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Where Inner and Outer Worlds Meet

By Paul Galewitz. I had grown very tired of my own inner dialogue concerning world events. I had and still have my own beliefs around what’s going on in the U.S., and these beliefs tend to range from dark to darker. My inner state was spilling over into my overall demeanor, and that was what…

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Real Life Interjects

By Lisa Meuser. “You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You.” You might recognize this quote from Stuart Smalley, a character who played on Saturday Night Live in the 90s. Stuart was known for his positive affirmations, including the one above, and wrote a book of Daily Affirmations. Whilst the character…

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Out of Proportion: How Over- and Under-Reactions are Equally Skewed

By Fiona Robertson. The phenomenon of triggering is widely recognised now that trigger warnings have become commonplace. We often know when we have been triggered because we experience some kind of unpleasant emotional and/or physical response to an event, situation or circumstance. We might not immediately understand exactly why we have been triggered – disentangling…

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The Aliveness of Feeling All Our Feelings

By Fiona Robertson. Many years ago, and in the throes of relationship turmoil, I went to see my wise friend and mentor. Having sobbed and complained about the behaviour of my soon-to-be-ex partner, I then went into a long diatribe about how I knew I was supposed to accept what was happening and that my…

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Wisdom Is Waiting For You

By Lisa Meuser. “I realized that it wasn’t my fault that my mother was emotionally unavailable to me.” “I have been putting on a happy face to cover up my unhappiness for years.” “I know I am connected to the Cosmos – I’m not alone.” “I met a reservoir of grief in me that I…

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The Unravelling

By Paul Galewitz. . This is no joke, this seeing; This seeing of patterns of habits of coverups of selfishness of internal compromises of dishonesty of not honoring inner truth . We know about this shedding of ego-based existence, But this morning I heard the phrase, “Say Goodbye,” and felt its implications . This is…

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Freedom Through The Edges

By Lisa Meuser. One moment Dave[1] was asking for a hug so he could tell me he loved me. A few moments later, after hugs and “I love you”s had been shared, the scene dramatically shifted. I was sitting on one side of the couch, my mom at the other. He was still standing –…

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Armed With Food

By Sumitra Judith Burton. The words “armed with food….” flashed through my awareness while I was swimming a few days ago. I was astonished to hear these words (and immediately feel the connection in my belly). When I sat later with my notebook, so I could write things down, and looked for the end of…

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The Reality of Embodiment: Coming Fully into Form

By Fiona Robertson. During the nineteenth century, phantasmagoria – or theatrical horror shows – became a popular attraction throughout Britain, Europe and the United States. The creators used lighting, projectors, smoke, sound effects and electric shocks to conjure all manner of apparitions and frighten audiences. Sequences of terrifying images played on screens and theatres were…

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Let Us Breathe

By Lisa Meuser. A client today explored his need to seek out solutions. “What if, as a child, I was taught or guided to just feel, instead of immediately look for solutions”, he pondered. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting solutions to problems. But too often, in this fixing and solving and left brained-…

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Shame

By Colm Burgoyne. Shame is splitting me open – in a loving, beautiful, sometimes sad and painful way. It’s been here, hiding under my skin, most of my life. I say loving and beautiful because compassion and self care arises when it is met as it is. And sad because of the sadness that surfaces…

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Discovering Your Re-set Button

By Lisa Meuser. I was lying in bed the other morning- thinking thinking thinking. Thinking about a guy. Thinking about my daughter. Thinking about my calendar and my clients and my mom and my to-do list and and and and… Before I knew it I was thinking about thinking, and I was well on my…

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On the Perils of Certainty and the Wisdom of Doubt

By Fiona Robertson. Lately, I’ve been reading about certainty addiction (or bias). Our brains are apparently wired to perceive uncertainty as a potential threat to our survival, so we go looking for certainty wherever we can find it. We prefer certainties – however painful or uncomfortable – to the unknown and uncertain. We will ignore facts, reasoning…

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Healing the Wounds; Pain Body Parenting

By Lisa Meuser. “She wants to trap me.” “She’s always trying to control me.” “She’s ruining my life on purpose.” “She knows that what she’s doing is driving me crazy.” “Clearly, she’s here to make my life miserable.”   Let’s take a poll. Who do you think “she” is in the above statements? The speaker’s…

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Willpower And Food

By Sumitra Judith Burton. Something sweet is happening along my path of mindfulness with eating. Using the Living Inquiries or other tools to help unravel an addiction with food is tricky in the sense that it’s not possible to totally abstain from eating. My relationship with food and eating for emotional comfort has provided some…

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Deprivation

By Melanie Balint Gray. I’ve been exploring deprivation as I walk through the twists and turns of my convoluted path from unconscious overeating to… to simple, joyful eating: eating that is easy, enjoyable, and restorative. A sense of deprivation has been a core experience throughout this journey. It was what I told myself sometimes—since you…

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Shadow Dancing

By Lisa Meuser. Both the light and shadow are the dance of love. Rumi. In the middle of the day, a sky filled with blue and a little bit of white suddenly became dark. The insects quieted. The birds stopped singing. Day-light became day-dark. Stars and planets became visible. The world as we knew it- our…

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The Gift Of Endings

By Lisa Meuser. We got in a car wreck last weekend while driving home from a family trip. It was a surprise, of course, as car wrecks are never planned. Thoughts of how it could have been avoided were interwoven with thoughts of gratitude in regard to how lucky we all were…all things considered.…

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Living Life with an Asterisk

By Paul Galewitz. So there I was, lying on a gurney, my nose and mouth covered by an oxygen mask, unable to speak, while being subjected to an EKG. While I was in this position, I had a clear view of the treatment room in this small interior of British Columbia hospital. To my left,…

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Innocence

By Greg Ascue. One thing I like to communicate to people about addictive and compulsive tendencies is how innocent, predictable, and natural some of this is. Humans are born with the biochemical capability to become addicted. We are born into existence with deep, built in impulses to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. At a…

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Relaxation: An Expression Of Self Love

By Lisa Meuser. A client of mine is exploring her alcoholic consumption. She’s committed to not drinking during the week, and is doing great holding herself to that commitment. But once the weekend approaches she often drinks Friday or Saturday night, sometimes both. “It’s just a habit,” she said today. “Are you going to…

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I’ve Come to Love Doing Mindless Routine Chores!

By Hanneke Geraeds. Before I learned about Natural Rest I kept postponing mindless routine chores, like plucking weeds, vacuum cleaning, mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom, ironing or painting walls or window-frames. Now I don’t mind doing them anymore. I play this game: trying to catch the moment when I fall from doing them in…

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Neither Nor

By Greg Ascue. Many people do inquiry around the “bad” things in their lives in the hopes that they will “disappear”. Negative identities, threats, addictions etc. This is entirely natural. Who wants to suffer? But in the end, this is only part of the equation. “Good” things can constrain your experience of life too. Recently,…

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How many times…?

By Hanneke Geraeds. “How many times will one desire emotional pain to go away before one realizes that it dissolves only through welcoming it fully and consciously?” ~ Scott Kiloby I know this. I’ve experienced the blessing of it several times. And yet I keep putting sweet food in my mouth while ignoring underlying feelings…

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Bringing Compassion, Understanding And Resources To Trauma

By Lisa Meuser. Although trauma is becoming more talked about in everyday circles, sometimes it is still thought of as something that only “really unfortunate” people experience. You know, those people. But the truth is we’ve all experienced it in varying degrees. I love how Gabor Mate approaches trauma: it’s not the event, he explains,…

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Inquiry and the Ego: Listening to All Our Voices

By Fiona Robertson. There’s a lot of talk in spiritual circles about the ego, the problems it causes, and how to deal with it. Ego is seen as the cause of our suffering, the root of conflict and pain. But what is the ego, exactly? And does it really deserve such pejorative labelling? In Latin, ego simply…

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Backlash: Lash Outward, Lash Inward…

By Melanie Grey. Newton’s third law of physics states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I was sitting in the passenger seat on a long drive the other day and I found myself beginning to review an unpleasant event that had occurred. I don’t even remember the details. What I…

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On The Insanity of Denial

By Fiona Robertson. Denial runs deep in our various cultures, and seems particularly prevalent just now. Climate change deniers are turning their backs on worldwide scientific consensus. There are those who deny that well-documented events – including the Holocaust – ever happened. Some even deny that the earth is round. The human mind, it seems,…

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Making Peace with Peacemaking

By Lisa Meuser. Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m a recovering peacemaker. There’s not a 12 step program exclusively for peacemakers, but you can be sure that at every 12 step meeting, in every recovery program, peacemakers and recovering peacemakers will be present. And while being addicted to peacemaking may not have the same stigma or…

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An Experience of Deep Release

By Paul Galewitz. . This is a story about me and what I went through, but this may be about many of us. This is fairly lengthy, just so you know. Every time I have come to the Hawaiian Islands, and Kauai in particular, I have always felt that I was coming home. Not necessarily…

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On Discovering the Sanity of Freaking Out

By Fiona Robertson. Looking back, I recognise that I was anxious from a very young age, but the extent of the anxiety didn’t become apparent until I was in my late twenties and started having panic attacks, a few days after a close friend of mine had dropped dead in tragic circumstances. Very soon I also…

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Discovering Resources In Stressful Times

By Lisa Meuser. Post-election. Holidays. Life. We humans spend a lot of time trying to figure out the world, our days, our thoughts, each other, our emotions. Trying to ‘figure out’ is a popular go-to strategy. Our brains are great at figuring out some things, such as building a deck, balancing a checkbook, and planning…

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On Healing the Divisions Within

By Fiona Robertson. Many spiritual teachings refer to the illusion of the separate self; the belief in being an isolated and deficient self seems to lie at the heart of our suffering. When we assume – or when life circumstances have led us to conclude – that we are unlovable, wrong, damaged or inferior, we…

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The Living Inquiries Bee Flower

When We Come Back to Our Senses

By Fiona Robertson. When we inquire, we come back to our senses. Literally. When we were young children, we spent virtually all our time in our senses. We moved unselfconsciously, and curiously touched, smelled, and looked as we explored the world around us, as well as ourselves and our own bodies. Gradually, we were taught…

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Innocence Revealed

By Lisa Meuser. “Just feel your feelings!” We get told this repeatedly, but if it was that simple then this world would be a different place. For many of us, dare I say most of us, there have been times when it literally hasn’t been safe for us to feel our sadness, or anger, and/or…

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