Frank vs. God movie

May 22nd, 2014

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I just heard about a really interesting movie called “Frank vs. God.” According to the film’s website:

David Frank (Henry Ian Cusick) thinks he’s lost everything. Unable to move past the grief of losing his wife, this former lawyer has all but given up. That is, until a tornado not only destroys his house, but takes from him the last real connection to the world, his beloved dog Brutus. When the insurance company deems the loss an “act of God,” David is desperate, and is convinced someone has to pay. He decides to serve God… with a lawsuit.

David’s provocative and clever legal antics turn the courtroom into a riveting spectacle as he cross-examines representatives of the world’s religions. But when he meets his match—charming and intelligent defense lawyer Rachel (Ever Carradine)—sparks fly and his assumptions are challenged. David’s act of desperation just might be his salvation.

Frank vs. God is a comedy that raises questions about faith and religion with a light-hearted tone and an open mind. The film is an uplifting story of one man’s search for answers, by taking them to a higher court.

It is set to screen at the Dances with Films Film Festival, FRIDAY | MAY 30th at 7:15PM at the Chinese 6 Theaters, in Los Angeles.


How art helps us communicate love and forgiveness to the world

May 20th, 2014

pressphoto-3 By Justin St. Vincent

Why does art and music resonate with the human spirit? Who are the artists that are uniting artistic expression with emotional healing? In this guest blog post, we explore these key questions and discover a spirit of artistry, faith, and unity.

Art has served humanity throughout the ages: from ritualistic and symbolic functions to expressions of the personal and mystical, and as a record of culture, community, and creed. Those who create art have discovered a unique path of creative expression that suits their abilities and interests and serves art’s many functions. Through their craft, these artists convey an experience, expression, story, or mood, all to share an idea, sell a product, or simply offer an aesthetic expression of their personal beliefs.

Art often appeals to and connects with our human emotions. It can arouse pleasure, disgust, sadness, or joy as well as elicit complex moral considerations or judgments. When artists convey love and forgiveness and other emotions and values through their medium of choice, they are inviting a deeper consideration of their work, allowing an audience to consider both the emotional and aesthetic. Art has a profound capacity to explore and express the complexity of the human condition and artists who are highly attuned to their craft can do this effortlessly. For artists, their attention to their craft allows them a deep understanding of the symbiotic relationship of artist and audience. They hope that the presentation of their work offers the space and time for an audience to learn or process their emotional responses. They also understand the inherent and ongoing exploration of their own inner life that their artistry offers.ebook_cover_3D_s

Exploring this theme further is LOVE LIVE FORGIVE, a FREE eBook with an exciting collection of exclusive interviews with many of the world’s most visionary artists, authors, and musicians. A unique anthology that explores the transformative power of love, forgiveness, and the creative spirit, sharing insights and reflections on the powerful intersections that exist between artists and creativity. This book embraces contributors from a dynamic spectrum of artistic, cultural, and faith-based backgrounds. Individually they offer their unique perspective on the human experience. Collectively they embrace a shared passion for art and its ability to transform our lives and the world around us.

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Justin St. Vincent, Managing Editor of “LOVE LIVE FORGIVE: Insights from Artists”, says: “I feel that this project can strongly resonate with young artists; teenagers, students, and graduates alike, to help develop their own understanding of love, forgiveness, the creative spirit, and how to practically express these essential values in their world today.” He believes: “artists can become the visionaries of culture and community. They help us interpret our world through their own unique lens of creativity and imagination. Together this can illuminate our understanding of the virtues that bring meaning to life, and significance to our existence.”

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
JUSTIN ST. VINCENT is the Director and Founder of Xtreme Music: where Music meets Spirituality, based in Auckland, New Zealand. He served on the Fetzer Institute’s Advisory Council for the Arts, and is pioneer of a highly acclaimed website embracing the beauty and diversity of Music and Spirituality. His new book, “LOVE LIVE FORGIVE: Insights from Artists” is available on June 1st 2014 from:
www.LoveLiveForgive.org

Still, In One Peace

May 19th, 2014

author(5)By Ronald William Cadmus

One who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment. ~ Meister Eckhart

This week in New York City a 48-year-old woman was killed by a subway train, after jumping onto the tracks to retrieve her handbag she accidentally dropped. Bystanders screamed as the train approached, while she frantically attempted to climb back onto the platform. Frozen in fear, she was crushed to death. The picture on the front pages of the New York newspapers, showed her handbag, held by transit agents and police officers. The bag contained her gym clothes and CP. She risked her life for clothing and her Blackberry. Riding the subway this morning I read the ad: “Your life is worth more than your belongings – If you drop something onto the tracks summon a booth agent or policeman.” A life lost over two pieces of clothing and a technological gadget. Sometimes grasping onto things makes us lose all sense of rationale.

The soul that is attached to anything, anything, however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union.

When attached to any one thing, that obsession becomes our idol. Our god. We cannot be attached to any one entity and expect to arrive at the liberty of divine union. We are made prisoner to that attachment. We might strive for that harmony, but attachment to any one thing, no matter how much good it affords, will make us fall short of complete, spiritual attainment. When we are possessed by things, we are entrapped by them. Imprisoned by them. Controlled and manipulated by them. And in the case of this woman on the New York City subway platform, we are destroyed by them. A strong wire rope hold or a slender delicate thread can attach us to a false sense of security. The attainment of serenity and purity of spirit will elude us. There can only be “the liberty of divine union,” the freedom in that One accord, when we place our lives in the stillness of that One peace. Not in our attachment to things or to that one “cord” from which we receive our false identity.

A story of a Monk and a traveler clearly reveals the hold that “things” have upon us and how “things” prevent us from attaining that divine union, until we realize that the attainment of “things” is no guarantee of inner fulfillment or happiness.

A monk in his travels once found a precious stone and kept it. One day he met a traveler, and when the monk opened his bag to share his provisions with him, the traveler saw the jewel and asked the monk to give it to him. The monk did so readily. The traveler departed, overjoyed with the unexpected gift of the precious stone that was enough to give him wealth and security for the rest of his life. However, a few days later he came back in search of the monk, found him, gave him back the stone, and entreated him, ‘Now give me something much more precious than this stone, valuable as it is. Give me that which enabled you to give it to me.’

The request the traveler makes of the monk, to be given the secure, inner peace, serenity or contentment that the monk possesses, is something the traveler has been searching for, but which he was willing to forfeit for a fleeting sense of security.

Peering into the Monk’s bag he coveted all that sparkles, glitters, all that is gold and costly. In a few short days, he was still wandering around, with a valuable gem in his pocket, but with emptiness in his spirit and soul. He still found himself deprived of serenity. The gem was contaminating his soul, because, the attachment to this precious jewel was in actuality a possession that was adulterating the more desirable quality of his own life, a purer quality that was being impaired by possessions, things, that held him like a wire rope and slender thread.Still, in One Peace.hrcover(2)

We must be freed from anything that adulterates, taints and impairs. The subway rider, who lost her life, was impaired in her thinking. Things can adulterate our lives. No matter if we are wearing Hope Diamonds, driving the most expensive cars, residing in multimillion dollar homes and apartments, sailing our yachts, or fitting ourselves in expensive designer clothes, all these “things and attachments” cannot compare to the value of who we are as human beings. They offer no lasting benefit. We cling to them and permit ourselves to be tainted, adulterated and impaired by their delusion. We contaminate our truer, deeper selves, and like that bird, whether through slender thread, or wire rope, we are suppressed by them and cannot fly until we can free our grasp from them, allowing ourselves to find the serene, pure place of life, where we can be free and Still, in One Peace.

Ronald William Cadmus was ordained a United Methodist Minister in 1975 and is presently a member of the Reformed Church in America. His anthems have appeared at major choir festivals and his writings based on experiences as a Chaplain at Ground Zero 911 appear on the Artists Registry of the 911 Memorial Museum. He lives in Manchester, New Jersey.

Still, In One Peace is published by Circle Books June. ISBN: 978-1-78279-474-5 (Paperback) £9.99 $16.95, 978-1-78279-473-8 (eBook) £6.99 $9.99

Love’s Calling

May 14th, 2014

Headshot, E. Griffin

Below is a guest post written by Elizabeth Griffin about her new book, Love’s Calling…

On Writing Love’s Calling A Journey to Italy Self, a new book by Elizabeth Griffin, to be released June 27, 2014

I showed the new cover of my book, Love’s Calling to some of my teen students during English class. “Cool! How long did it take you to write it?” I flashed back, not to the past as much as to the rambling path that led me to the book’s completion.

What came to mind first was following my heart. I left my hometown with only the things I had packed in my car and traveled alone for almost 8 years, stopping to work, but still changing domiciles every 6 months. I learned to write down my thoughts, if for no other reason, to keep my family posted on my whereabouts.

Then spiritual inspiration came to the fore. I met others with similar interests who ended up pushing me when I was lost in my own ideas about myself. A Course in Miracles was an important hand to hold, especially while everything fell apart.

Next came grace that led me, with no idea or plans, to Italy. Here the pace of life allowed me to sit quietly and look deeply – and keep writing.

After that came cancer, Ms. Cancer that is – an anthropomorphic  version of my breast tumor who helped me look deeply into what is (and what is not).

And the book? Actually this is a second version – the first was a mistake. I had to start over just when I was turning 50 and thought my good looking breast prosthesis were going to be permanent. That’s when they found more cancer, and I went back to….zero.

“How long did it take me to write the book?” I repeat the question. “Seven-eight years, maybe?” I can’t remember. “What’s important to me,” I said to my students with a smile, “is that I arrived at this point – Here, Present, where time has no meaning.

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Join Elizabeth Griffin in her beautiful new book, Love’s Calling: A Journey to Self, as she jumps into the unknown in search of….Love. Following inspiration she travels and ends up halfway around the world in Italy. A diagnosis of breast cancer changes the panorama of her outlook completely. She discovers the true terrain of her explorations is within. It is this new perspective that leads Elizabeth to realize her journey’s end.

 

Q&A with Simran Singh

May 8th, 2014

md_headshot_2Below is a Q&A with SIMRAN SING, author of Your Journey to Enlightenment: Twelve Guiding Principles to Connect with Love, Courage, and Commitment in the New Dawn

Viewed as a fresh and innovative voice in the realms of inspiration, motivation and spirituality, Simran Singh clearly states she is not here to be a teacher or a guru. Instead, Simran prefers to stand as an example of rebel humanitarian. As an author, visionary speaker and love catalyst, Simran is opening hearts around the globe.

 1. You have spent the last decade devoted to the journey of the soul, first for yourself and then in service; is that selfish?

Simran Singh: Personal Power is ‘personal’. It cannot come from another. Others will inspire you, motivate you… even challenge you as a mirror to who you are. In the end, only YOU can actually choose to walk in your power by saying, ‘No more excuses! No more settling for less than I deserve!’ You will finally say, ‘I give me to me and walk my own unique path’. In doing so, you make life personal; you finally connect to your own being. Your soul is calling you to the heart of the matter, where your unique genius lies.

The only way we can truly serve is by being in service to the self. Then, and only then, do we have everything necessary to truly steward this great world in the most sacred of ways. Our power is in our pain and when we love ourselves enough, realizing there really is nothing out there, we create a new world from the inside and out.

2. What has given you this pure sense of devotion to create so expansively: magazine, radio, videos, one-woman show and books?

Simran Singh: Can you feel it? Close your eyes for a moment… focus in and between your heart and gut. Do you feel that gentle quiver? Tune in; it is a raging river. It is you, ready to run wild and free… a bull in a china shop! You have attempted to keep Spirit in a bottle! But Spirit cannot be contained.

There is passion brewing. This energy of excitement is ready to be on fire, instead of in the fire; or even having your feet to the fire. You are the ember ready to blaze. The You-niverse is calling. Are you ready to respond to the pull of the heart? Some part of you knows it must be… there is no other way to go… The call is loud and strong. And, there can be no more excuses to deny it.

3. In your first book, Conversations With the Universe, you reveal the world speaking to us in many ways; what is it trying to say?

Simran Singh: Life is always inviting us to discover what is missing, show us what has been denied or left unhealed. Life brings the opportunities for our greatest gifts to unfold. Will it be hard? Will it be easy? It will be what we make up about it. In the end, it is an opportunity to see how we create, what we really believe and what that perspective brings into our experience. Look around. What’s going on? What are the challenges? The obstacles? The places of resistance? What appears and why?

Everything in the world is a representation of you, speaking back to you about you. There is nothing random. It all has a place and a part to play in the conversation that the Universe is using to guide you, but in the most playful of ways.

4. If we have created all of this, then who are we really?

Simran Singh:You are not a human being; this is a spacesuit that you wear. It has whistles and whirs, organs and sensory mechanisms, to lead and guide you as conversations. You are not a spiritual being having a human experience. If that were true, then we remain just as separate when we pass over. That does not make sense, does it? So, what is beyond separation? Where does everything unite? It would be Oneness… an energetic space of Love, Radiance, Power, Illumination, Brilliance… What would that Oneness most desire, by expressing as individuations of form? The answer… You are ‘Experience’ experience itself.

You are Light, Sound and Color embodied as a being. Why? You are ‘experience’ experiencing itself. This would mean there is no right/wrong, good/bad, perfection or imperfection… all is simply experience.

In that place of seeing, hearing, feeling, touching and tasting the experience called life, how can any of it be a mistake? We cannot possibly make a wrong turn. Throughout the entire story of your life, you have been experiencing the self and the SELF. Each one of us is a seed of beginning; a lotus bulb in the murky depths of the dark. We each have pushed upward through the muck and mire, through the dark and toward the sunlight. Each, in our own time, we burst into the warmth of the sun. And, we each have the chance to rest upon the calm waters, in the full blossoming of a lotus that has discovered another way of being… another experiencing.

5. How do we step out of conformity and into courage to be something new?

Simran Singh: By unknowing who you are, you begin to see the formation that you have become. This knowledgeable self you have evolved into is whom you live, breathe and walk. This formation, although you perceived it as your truth, has only been a very small version of your full capacity. It has been based completely on what you know. This is less than 5 percent of what IS. Imagine if you tapped into that 95 percent you have not known. Can you consider the possibilities that are available to you and your world? What if the unknown is actually the larger expanse of your Higher Divine Self?

In dismantling what has been created as your persona, you reach the simplest form you can identify with. This could feel like nothingness, the place of “Who am I?” This phase must occur before you consciously choose to walk the true High Way of transformation, where you venture beyond formation. You will journey into the land of unknown, where all discovery and capacity is possible. Instead of “Who am I?” the question becomes “Who will I allow myself to be?” knowing there is no end to expression. The unique distinction between before and after is the level of conscious awareness and innocent wonder in action.

 6. Your second book, Your Journey to Enlightenment is a polarity of serious and lighthearted, binding and free. Describe this path of enlightenment.

Simran Singh: In fully surrendering identity and living as the constant unfolding experience, with no attachment and no need to control or measure, the new human opens to a level of truth that is both intoxicating and liberating. The sense of freedom from completely letting go of identification is the greatest power of all. When engaging in this form of living, there is no going back to any sort of limitation. Those that come across you will be completely awed and inspired at the level of freedom that is exuded.

You will truly view the world as a playground. This enlightened one might be viewed as the drunken fool but to that soul, all others are the ones under the influence and having had lost their minds. These people can see the great cosmic joke. Inside the “humor- Ahs” nature of the Universe is the immortality of us all.

 7. You say we are not free and we have not been brave, yet there is an easy way to get there; how?

Simran Singh: I write about 12 guiding principles of love, courage and commitment in Your Journey to Enlightenment. These are the highest essences of the ‘child’. We are to live life fully from the place of a child. This does not mean being childish; it means being childlike. We all know this, but have forgotten how. The essences reactivate the memory and the memories reawaken the child within. It is truly like being on a playground again, and that is where you will find yourself… your true Self.

8. You are completing an amazing 11-month tour around the country living in the unknown and the void; what about the fear people would have in leaping into the void?

Simran Singh: We are not meant to live without fear. Fear can be a good thing, a protector and a driver. What is important is feeling the fear, not ridding ourselves of it. We have to be willing to be honest with ourselves, with our feelings.

The void, in fact anything new, is just a step into a larger version of you. There is more of you out there than in here, in this physical body. And perhaps, what you are feeling is not really fear but a different end of the spectrum of excitement… we just have called that fear. However, it is all excitement in the end.

9. Much of your sharing is in regard to bridging the dark and light, the fear and love; can you offer an example of facing our fears?

Simran Singh:The tears began and the sensations became stronger. “I think when I complete this Rebel Road, I will no longer exist. I will not have an identity. I will come back, and do not want to come back to the life I currently have. What is rising in me is the realization…” I paused as the revelations flooded, forming waves of words to express what my body had known my whole life. “I have created everything in my life, worked hard and stayed busy…. out of fear… out of the fear of doing nothing, being nothing… having no identity. My whole life has been based in the darkness of fear. And now that I know that, I feel like this year is to strip me of all that I truly know and I will dissolve into the nothingness. This road into the unknown is truly the unknowing of the self… And that will end up in the allness and the nothingness… the fullness and the emptiness. We think we know who we are but we have no idea… no idea.”

We are not here to escape our fears or ignore them; we are here to face them and dive into them and in doing so, we discover we are more than we knew ourselves to be.

10. What will be next for you? What is the plan?

Simran Singh: That is the whole point to both my books and the one I am currently writing; that was the mission of The Rebel Road. There is not supposed to be a plan. There is no ‘next’, only now. What is my experience right now? What brings me joy right now? What fills me up right now? What am I feeling right now? When we live this way, in the present moment as a child does, the Universe shows us where to go. All we are to do is play and follow the dots, the Conversations With the Universe. They will lead into Your Journey to Enlightenment.md_books_sitting

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Author of Your Journey to Enlightenment: Twelve Guiding Principles to Connect with Love, Courage, and Commitment in the New Dawn and IPPY Gold Award Winning Conversations With The Universe, Lead Rebel of The Rebel Road Tour: Connecting the Dots of What Was to What IS illustrates the bridge between dark and Light as a path of radiance and illumination.

Publisher of the Nautilus Award–Winning 11:11 Magazine, and number-one rated, 11:11 Talk Radio show host, and featured speaker at an inaugural TEDx, Simran Singh’s vision is ‘Creating a New World Experience of Aliveness’.

www.Simran-Singh.com

Q&A with Sarah Alexander, author of ‘Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership’

May 2nd, 2014

Sarah Alexander LRBelow is a Q&A  with Sarah Alexander, author of ‘Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership’

1.  What is Spiritual Intelligence?

Our Spiritual Intelligence is the deep inner wisdom, knowledge and insight that is within us all.

We are connected to our Spiritual Intelligence when our thoughts, words and actions are aligned with the loving kindness, wisdom and power that is within us all. This alignment leads us to feel happy, inspired and to experience inner peace. From this place, our Spiritual Intelligence can guide us through our gut feelings, our inner hunches and our creative ideas, in tandem with our highest good and greatest joy.

2.   Why do you think it is important that people tap into their Spiritual Intelligence?

The value of our Spiritual Intelligence is that it is able to see all situations and people with objective awareness. It does not have the personal mental filters and limited perceptions through which we see and evaluate everything and everyone that we meet. This Intelligence can see clearly the way forward for us because it has knowledge of all of the facts in any situation (which in truth, we do not have) and it has the predictive powers that we also lack.

3.   Why did you write the book?

I wanted to write a book demonstrating, from my own personal and often painful life experiences, my understanding of how Spiritual Intelligence operates to benefit our lives.

I also wrote the book to give the readers a clear understanding of the seven foundational principles that I believe underpin effective leadership in the 21st century. With these seven principles in place, we are able to lead in any capacity and be leaders in our own lives.

4.  What are you hoping people will learn?

In my book, ‘Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership: From Manager to Leader in Your Own Life’, I highlight the difference between our True Self, which is the Leader in our lives, gently guiding us forward from within, and the ego, which I refer to as the manager in our lives. The ego is that voice always chattering away in our minds, acting as the one that manages and controls us. The ego does its best to divert us away from the guidance of our inner Intelligence, telling us “it is not rational or logical” and those ideas “won’t work”. Our True Self, in contrast, is that place of stillness, awareness and calm within us that continually and persistently directs us in alignment with our Spiritual Intelligence.

I want people to be able to recognise the distinction between the ego and True Self and bring their life into increasing awareness of the True Self.

5.  How can this help people in their lives / what difference will it make?

This inner Intelligence can guide us both practically, on everyday issues, as well as provide us with wider insights on larger life questions. All we have to do is ask this Intelligence for guidance and listen to receive its answers. These answers may come in the form of new intuitive ideas and thoughts, information that your awareness just seemingly gets drawn to, or a new sense of direction and purpose that naturally arises in your life.

Our Spiritual Intelligence operates in conjunction with our learned intelligence, our emotional intelligence and our body’s innate intelligence.

The more we acknowledge it and use it, the more profoundly it affects our consciousness. This Intelligence guides us also to let go of limited thinking and programming and all the negative beliefs that we hold about ourselves. It nudges us to step into our True, Authentic Self. It guides us to embrace our purpose and use all the talents, skills and gifts that we have for the betterment of the world. For this is how we become Leaders in our own lives.

If people are looking to have a sense of meaning, purpose and fulfilment in their life, as well as greater happiness, then their innate Spiritual Intelligence will provide them with the means to achieve exactly that.

6.  How can people tap into their Spiritual Intelligence?

The key to connecting to your Spiritual Intelligence is the practice of meditation. This includes the focusing and stilling of your mind, even if just by observing your breath for 5 – 10 minutes a day. When we quieten our mind’s chatter, gradually the wisdom and loving kindness of our Spiritual Intelligence can speak to us clearly and guide us forward.

7.  Which leaders in the world today really embody the idea of Spiritual Intelligence?

I am really inspired by people who use their talents and gifts for the betterment of the world, and this is my definition of ‘Leadership’ for the 21st Century. There are many leaders who are demonstrating exactly this.

I am inspired by Karen Armstrong, an English scholar, who has set up ‘The Charter for Compassion’ in 2008 after she won the TED prize. Through this she is determined to make the world a more compassionate place and she currently has much support from around the world for this thinking.

I am also inspired hugely by Oprah Winfrey and all that she does, not only through her TV network to inspire people to greater lives, but also through her South African Leadership Academy for Girls. This Academy is dedicated to creating new leaders for South Africa with the same values that Mandela stood for.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for her views on a girl’s right to education, is another person who really inspires me. She has recently won the Sakharov Prize for free speech awarded by the European Parliament and is using it to continue to promote the rights of children in her country.

8.  What do you see as your spiritual purpose in life?

To help people fulfil their potential by aligning with their True Selves and their innate Spiritual Intelligence

9.  What next for you / what are you pans for the future?

To take the message of Spiritual Intelligence out to a wider audience through my book, webinars, speaking events, and 1-2-1 work.Cover_Spiritual-Intelligence LR

10.         How can people buy the book?

The book can be purchased through my web site www.sarah-alexander.co.uk or from Amazon and all good book retailers.

About Sarah Alexander

Sarah is an expert in Spiritual Intelligence. She has worked with 100s of business owners and leaders worldwide, guiding them to use their inner Intelligence to make the most of their life’s work. Sarah has used Spiritual Intelligence successfully to build her first business, which she sold in 2001. She then used it again to build her current business, which helps business executives, international sports competitors and entrepreneurs, become even more successful. ‘Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership’ is Sarah’s second book. Her first is ‘Spiritual Intelligence in Business: the Eight Pillars of 21st Century Business Success’ Both are available from Amazon, all good book retailers and www.sarah-alexander.co.uk

When will you find love?

April 30th, 2014

When Will You Find Love By Orli Lysen

You don’t need to have been cheated, mistreated, lied to or made blue to want some real, honest to goodness love and romance in your life.

If you keep meeting the wrong kind of partner, or no partner at all, and you’re tired of leaving things to chance and want to take control of your love life, you’ve come to the right place.

This book aims to show you not only when you’ll meet your true love, but also where you’re likely to meet him or her, as well as what he or she will be like, so you’ll recognize your partner-to-be as soon as your paths cross.

You might be wondering how can this possibly work as isn’t astrology all down to fate? In fact it’s all down to cycles which repeat over and over again, with slight variations that make things more (or less) favorable to achieving the romantic outcome you want.

For instance Mars, the planet of passion and one that’s very helpful in working out timings for relationships, is in exactly the same place only once every two years for about eight weeks, so miss that and it could potentially mean a two year wait until your next window of opportunity for romance.

But there are in-between times when the quest for true love all works out beautifully.

With a few easy-to-follow guidelines, you can pinpoint these to help put you in the right place at the right time to meet your love match.

There’s the potential for love in everyone’s future, but it can take a while for circumstances to be just right. There’s no point simply sitting at home waiting for love to come knocking on your door. That might just happen, and you might well fall for the TV repair man or the person who delivers your pizza, but it’s much more likely to occur if you pursue some of the options outlined in the chapters for your sign. These will put you in the perfect place and the right mindset for the right person to connect with you when the timing is also spot on.

So in the meantime you need to get in touch with what you love. Dress up, put more effort into your friendships and personal pleasures, and fill your life with beauty and happy experiences each day. Nothing is more attractive than a person who’s already fulfilled. Who would you rather date: Someone who’s waiting for someone else to come along to make them happy, or someone who’s genuinely in love with their life and radiating joy?

Live your life to the fullest. Be interesting, be interested and you’ll be working with the planets to help you meet your ideal partner. Putting your life on hold if your ideal astro love time is months away is letting yourself down and not taking advantage of the planetary energies that want you to develop to be the kind of person your ideal partner is looking for too.

Sometimes this will mean stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something different, or finding yourself in a place you’d never normally consider going to, but that’s how the magic happens. If you always do the same thing, the same way, you’ll always meet the same kind of lover, so you’ll go through the same kinds of situations you’ve always been through, leaving you frustrated, loveless and back where you started.

Now’s your chance to take control of your love life.

And if you think you must be getting a little desperate or crazy to consult the stars to find true love, think again. Back in the day (we’re talking 16th century) astrology was highly regarded and almost exclusively for society’s elite, for royalty and for the important decision-makers of the time. The finest minds in the land would use their knowledge of the movements of the planets to select the most beneficial timings for major events.

Queen Elizabeth the First’s coronation date was specifically chosen by the Royal Astrologer, Dr John Dee, to take place on 15th January 1559, and she went on to become one of the most powerful and revered monarchs of all time. There wasn’t a lot of romance for Good Queen Bess, the virgin queen, however, as her specially chosen day was all about her career. But your special days will be all about your love life.

While the key point here is that each sign of the zodiac has opportunities when love and the chances of meeting that special someone are higher than at other times, it’s worth also realizing that your true romance might not be with the kind of person or Sun sign you’d normally fall for, so keep an open mind.

You may have read that if you’re an Earth sign, pleasure-loving Taurus for example, you’ll get on best with the other Earth signs, meticulous Virgo and sensible Capricorn. The same goes for the Air signs and it’s true there are compatibilities for quick-thinking Gemini, stylish Libra and quirky Aquarius. If you’re a Fire sign you’ll share certain qualities with action-oriented Aries, limelight-loving Leo and adventurous Sagittarius. And if you’re ruled by Water you may have an emotional connection with nurturing Cancer, mysterious Scorpio and intuitive Pisces. Certainly you’ll have something in common with those signs who share your element, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be a match made in the heavens.

There’s so much more to it all than just your Sun sign and your element, and you’re about to see how loving Venus, passionate Mars and lucky planet Jupiter’s influence will improve your chances of finding true love too.

Using this book you’ll be activating your romance zone (or 5th house), which in the world of astrology relates to romance, engagements and taking a risk or a gamble, in this case, on love.

It’s easy and more effective than you can imagine. And you don’t need to be an astrology expert to understand it and make it work.

Think of it as the love equivalent of being on a diet without having to eat less or exercise more!

And don’t worry either if you’ve loved and lost before. You may have thought that he or she was ‘the one’, but at different times in your life a different kind of partner can suit you more than someone you thought was just your type, or even your soulmate. Be open to new experiences and again you’ll increase your chances of finding someone who’s right for you, right now and forever.

So does this really work? I tested the theory on myself and was amazed to find that the most important and long-lasting relationship I’ve had was with a Gemini guy I met while producing a book, working in the offices of a former school. Gemini rules literature (books) and education (school), and my Venus sign is Gemini. The day we met we were both in a strong Venus cycle (an age that’s a multiple of 7) and Venus and Mars were close together (or conjunct) in the skies, which is one of the best times of all for a relationship to start. We were together for 14 years and are still very good friends.

I looked into this further and found that each key relationship in my life started when Venus and Mars were locked in an astrological embrace.

Astrology worked for me and I’m going to show you how it can work for you. So let’s get started, as timing is everything!

Pope Francis Reminds Us of St. Francis , The Great Love, All That Is Good Is Abundantly Present When We Are Heartfully Present

April 29th, 2014

7431839_origBy Bruce Davis, Ph.D., Author of The Love Letters: Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi Meet Pope Francis

Seemingly a day does not pass by when there is not a new quote or an act of humility from Pope Francis. Recently he advises all that “we know God by having an open mind.” “Each of us,” he says, “must look into our hearts.” Then a few days later it is announced Pope Francis is going to wash the feet of handicapped people during Easter
week. I think a Pope rarely leaves the Vatican during the Holy Days of Easter, no less washes the feet of the least fortunate amongst us. Truly Pope Francis is bringing alive the spirit and life of St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis, the medieval saint from the 12th century is being remembered for his love of nature and his humility and concern for everyone–no matter what is their walk in life, particularly the very poor. If we look deeper, we will also see Pope Francis practicing the inner path which brought St. Francis of Assisi to so much joy. Pope Francis can illuminate these practices as well as clear up misunderstandings. There has been too much self-denial and sacrifice embedded in religion for too long and for too many.

Those who have been fortunate to live in Italy and follow the footsteps of St. Francis realize he is the saint for nature, the poor and a lot more. Most people don’t know that St. Francis spent a good part of his short life living simply on mountain tops all over central Italy. His many days and long nights were spent in the big silence,
contemplating all elements of life. Nature in all its beauty, the sky in its wonder, and his own nakedness stood out nearly every moment. This time alone in silence guided him to a profound peace within himself. He would spend days and weeks alone on many mountaintops instructing his dear brother Leo to keep all humans away. His time alone in the perfect stillness was sacred. This time was about simply being and much more. It was time without distraction. St. Francis would venture deep into the great vastness of his heart. Loneliness and everything human was present, but time and time again, it all fell aside to something greater. St. Francis found a great vastness of God. A perfect peace was found inside the midst of the peace and quiet of the mountaintop.

Today Pope Francis, the Dali Lama and spiritual leaders of many faiths are practicing a similar path of spending much time sitting in profound stillness, the deep quiet of the heart. They begin each morning, taking time to be and listen to the depths of the inner stillness. This is the source of their openness, humility, wisdom, humor and compassion.

St. Francis battled his ill body, his desires and his feelings on his journey into the vastness of God. Pope Francis, the Dali Lama, and spiritual leaders today have learned the battle is not necessary. The middle road of taking time to listen and receive the silence of the heart is a true path. There is no need to punish ourselves. At the end of his life, St. Francis asked brother body to forgive him for being so hard and unforgiving towards what is also a gift from God, his body and all his humanness.

Since those medieval times, serving others and self-sacrifice have been confused in the Church and in many traditions. Many think helping others includes denying ourselves. This is where Pope Francis and today’s Church must speak openly about leaving behind medieval thinking and join the modern era. How can being unloving to ourselves lead us to be more loving with others? How can we think battling with ourselves can lead to peace? If God is love how can we love one another if we are uncaring and supportive towards our own feelings and needs? After saying “no” to parts of ourselves, how can we suddenly expect to find a big “yes”? Denying our feelings, trying to turn off our sexuality has led to the problems that have existed for centuries in all traditions, but are now very public. When are we going to realize
the excess in fasting, controlling, berating, judging ourselves and others has nothing to do with God?

Denying the self to free the self does not work. We free the mind by discovering and receiving God inside our heart and in life all around us. The great love, all that is good is abundantly present when we are heartfully present, available, and sharing it with others. There is a big difference between self-denial and sacrifice and humility and compassion. One is hurting to the heart. The other is fulfilling the heart.

Humility and compassion cannot be forced. They grow slowly, naturally as we discover the abundance of our inner garden.

A true spiritual life is neither self-sacrifice or being selfish. It is neither self-denial or self-importance. Battling parts of ourselves does not lead to peace but inner conflict, hidden lives, and destruction. Being poor and suffering is not a path to holiness, but about being poor and suffering. Similarly being successful and healthy can be a distraction if we are busy acquiring possessions and forgetting about our heart and the hearts of others.9164478

The path is not really about having possessions or no possessions, having desires or trying to have none. St. Francis and Pope Francis point to a spiritual practice in silence with no distractions. Today, we call it unplugging or disconnecting. When the mind is not so occupied and busy, awareness of the heart naturally begins. Inside each of us there is a vastness of presence, God overflows our normal limits of self and personality. We find ourselves more forgiving and offering the gifts of life to others. From the well of silence in our heart comes generosity, gentleness,
innocence, and joy. Today with all the humility and beauty being demonstrated by Pope Francis, let’s speak clearly about the end of putting ourselves down in order to lift someone else up. It makes no sense and never has. Time to lift ourselves and everyone with a sincere and meaningful spiritual life like St. Francis long ago and Pope Francis today.

Bruce Davis Ph.D. is the author of The Love Letters: Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi Meet Pope Francis, a charming, soaring fictional and spiritual dialogue with a deeper purpose: a discourse on whether Pope Francis can truly return the church to the saints’ ideal-a humble, compassionate, uplifting embrace of the world’s poor and the heart in everyone. This tender tome–that bespeaks the deep love of God, Man and Nature from every page–purports to be letters between the two saints as they discover to their delight that a new Bishop of Rome has arrived carrying forth their ideals. Can he succeed, truly bringing about the radical change that’s necessary and end two millenniums of pomp and circumstance, returning the church to its spiritual essence of simplicity and compassion? For more information, go
to: www.gravedistractions.com

Relationships

April 28th, 2014

peterBy Peter Field

Can you imagine a world where you were the last person alive? Where you would never again hear a voice other than your own, never again look into eyes other than the ones that look back at you from the mirror? It might be a welcome relief for a little while, with no one making demands on your time, energy, or resources, but how long would it be before you longed for other people to share the world with you? When we think about this scenario, it’s easy to see how important other people are to us, even though we often take them for granted.

Not all the people we meet on our life’s journey are kind, accepting, and easy to get along with, of course. Some care about us, and some are careless, knowingly or unknowingly causing us harm. This is the way it has always been. The person who has never been hurt by another, just as the person who has never hurt another, has yet to be born.

If we are fortunate, we know genuine friendship. If we are very fortunate, we know genuine love. These things make life worthwhile, giving it warmth and depth. Friendship and love sustain us and contribute so much to life’s meaning. As social animals, we are meant to mix with others, to cultivate friendships based on trust and respect. Genuine friendship helps us to develop as people, adding a degree of objectivity to our subjectivity, aiding clarity and balance, and offering support and feedback unavailable elsewhere. With friendship we can join forces with others, sharing the joy and the difficulties, celebrating the seasons of plenty and better enduring the times when hardship comes calling. As the French palaeontologist and philosopher Teilhard de Chardin wrote,

‘The world is made round so that friendship can encircle it.’

And when friendship encircles our world, it’s a better, nicer place to be.

How many friends does a person need? Well, thoughts differ, and there is really no scientific answer to this question. It depends on what works best for us as individuals. Some people believe two close friends are enough and others believe five or six is the right number. The average number of close friends most people have appears to be around five, but there is a limit to the number of really close friends a person can have before friendship becomes diluted. Our closest friends form the nucleus of our ‘friendship network’, with others, perhaps ten or so, forming an additional layer. Some of these are family members, and others are people we like and with whom we share common values or interests. Then there are additional layers that include people we talk with on the telephone occasionally or meet up with from time to time and who add to our social world.

While the closest and most enduring friendships may have their roots in a platonic love, friendship is not what we generally think of when we say ‘love’. Love can come in so many different forms. It can be the familial love between parent and child, for example, or the platonic love that builds real and lasting friendship. It can be romantic love, or the love involving Eros, the sexual principle that feeds physical desire, and it can also be something higher, something called agape, a kind of spiritual love that is completely unconditional and selfless.

Many of us take the love between parent and child for granted. This love seems built into our genes. It is profound and unique, and no one will ever be able to replicate it. We ourselves may have experienced such love, but not every person has been so fortunate. We are born helpless and dependent into this world, relying on the love and kindness of our parents or those who care for us in order to survive, grow, and become independent. This early love, or the lack of it, stays with us in one form or another throughout our lives.

Later in life, we may become the parent to our parent as age takes its toll, perhaps reversing the role of dependence. The slow decline of an aging parent can be one of the hardest things to witness and go through. To see the person who means so much to us, who has been there from the beginning, diminish and fade before our eyes can be absolutely heart breaking. Not only this, but it can make us angry.

At such times—and such times may last for years—it is important to remember the lessons life has taught us. We and those for whom we must now care are passing through a process that inconveniences, annoys, and upsets both them and us. Now is the time for perspective and above all, a time for patience. It is not our mother or father we really are angry at, although they may be the target of such emotion, but rather it is the apparent unfairness of the aging process, the fragility of human life itself.

If we feel anger, it is because life is taking away someone who matters to us, who has always been there and who now is leaving. Though the journey may be long and grueling, wearing down even the strongest, patience and still more patience must be found if we are to do what needs to be done as we are called upon to do it. It is at such times that our love and our spirit are tested.

So many people who consult with me arrive carrying the burden of remorse, an enormous sense of guilt about a parent or loved one they believe they have failed at the very end. All too often they feel they acted selfishly, impatiently, irresponsibly, or childishly—the way they acted so many times in their lives when with Mom or Dad. The sad language of regret falls from the tongue: ‘If only I’d had more patience …,’ ‘I could have been kinder …,’ ‘I should have done so much more …,’ ‘I just wish I’d told her I love her …,’ ‘I wish I’d been there for him at the end …’ Though therapy can greatly help with these feelings, it is so much better to have mustered the courage and found the patience necessary to help the person when they were alive—the person who has helped us so much (or who has hurt us); the person without whom we would not be here. No matter what our relationship with our parents has been, it is we who must live with ourselves after they are gone. To know we have done all we could to help them when they needed us frees us from regret. That is truly priceless.chiofchange

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Peter Field is a registered psychotherapist, qualified counselor, Board Certified hypnotherapist, and an internationally recognised authority on hypnosis and health. For more than 30 years he has helped people from all over the world to deal with life’s difficulties, and to live a more balanced, meaningful way. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health. He lives in Birmingham, UK. http://www.peterfieldhypnotherapy.co.uk

The Chi of Change – How hypnotherapy can help you heal and turn your life around – regardless of your past by Peter Field is published by Psyche Books, May 2014. Paperback 978-1-78279-351-9 | $29.95 | £17.99 | 393PP eBook
978-1-78279-350-2 | $9.99 | £6.99

Lucid Dreaming

April 27th, 2014

475543_65393004-202x150 By Kerry Mcglone

Imagine this: you’re exploring things and emotions you never thought were possible. You have the opportunity to control anything that goes on, and have the power to change anything if needed. You’re exploring these crazy ideas as if you were doing it in real life, however you’re merely dreaming. Is there a monster chasing you as you lucid dream? No worries – with the power of your mind, you can dismiss that monster and completely modify the dream just the way you want it. So instead of being chased by a monster, you can talk with your favorite actor or be an actor yourself being chased by hundreds of fans! The act of lucid dreaming can be confronting, but can be an experience not to be forgotten or avoided.

These endeavors can happen if you set your mind to it, and learn how to do it; or you may be gifted with this natural ability.We’ve all experienced a nightmare; a falling dream; a daydream, etc. Imagine if you had the ability to be in complete control of what happens. Have the ability to fly through the sky, perceive a scenario from a different perspective. Sounds cool, huh? If you were able to live in your dreams, then wouldn’t going to sleep every night be exciting opposed to an inconvenience? We all know that there aren’t enough hours in a day, which is absolutely true. Lucid dreaming will make out as if you never sleep, but still receive the same effects. In saying that, whatever happens in your dreams will not (necessarily) happen in real life. For example, you may win the lottery in real life, but wake up as rich as you were the night before.

Although lucid dreaming requires practice to ensure perfection, it is definitely achievable to anyone at most ages. It is not dangerous, nor will it physically affect you whatsoever. It’s simply a dream that you’re consciously aware of and able to manipulate. Lucid dreaming can occur both accidentally or intentionally. It is not to be feared – it is to be honored as though you have a power; a sixth sense. It’s not uncommon for people to lucid dream, and those who are privileged to experience a lucid dream should be proud of their experience(s).

As you lucid dream, you can explore your inner mind and view what you never thought existed. Maybe you’re anxious for a test, or fear public speaking: lucid dreaming is able to assist you positively to help you overcome this anxiety. So in theory, lucid dreaming is a perfect way to help assist some medical problems you may face on a daily basis. Whether or not you choose to use a lucid dream to help with your problems is completely up to you, but is something one should definitely consider. Does overcoming some personal issues in your life sound appealing to you? Never having to feel anxious to the same extent can be exceptionally relieving, and definitely rewarding.Along with lucid dreaming comes things needed to be aware of. One of the most important things you must consider is whether or not you’re actually experiencing a lucid dream. Think about this: what makes you think that as you read this article, you’re not lucid dreaming? What makes it a reality? As you lucid dream, you can feel, see, read, smell, etc. just as you would in real life. It’s a scary thought, but once you are able to distinguish a lucid dream from reality, you’re able to feel more comfortable and begin enjoying your dreams.

Remember that dreams are often illogical, which can be the first hint that it’s a dream – however that’s not always the case. Some dreams can make perfect sense, so don’t completely rely on a realistic event to differentiate a lucid dream from reality. In saying that, with practice comes experience and perfection. It will not be an instant accomplishment, however will become easier and easier in due time. Lucid dreaming is an encouraged act and should not be avoided and/or feared. It can be a time to explore things you never thought existed, and experience things which wouldn’t be possible in real life. Why wouldn’t you want to overcome your fears and live a happier, less stressful life? Why shouldn’t you look forward to sleeping; now capable of controlling and experiencing your dreams as if they were real life? The exciting adventure you endeavor can be thrilling, and most certainly rewarding – and should be considered. http://dreamlucidly.info