All posts in Life in the Positive Possibilities

Being Your Most Natural Self: the Sweetness of Self-Confidence

Each of us has the potential for peak moments. With all sense of resistance, fear, and doubt dissolved, we are completely present and engaged with what is before us. We stand in our most natural self, fully alive to the now. Athletes and artists know this place when they are surrendered to their task and time dissolves, the sense of separateness is gone and all that exists is the perfection of what is. Lovers touch this place when life feels as though million-watt bulbs were just turned on and everything bloomed into technicolour. Heroes live this when they throw all caution to the wind and dive into a seemingly impossible situation, experiencing the momentary death of their ego, expanding into the realm of eternal possibility. In it is the source of true self-confidence. What is self-confidence? It is our certitude in our ability to discern or act. In self-confidence, we are no longer participating in internal conflicts such as doubt or fear. As we stand in inner peace, our actions can take on that potency that awes us in those peak moments. So how do we experience that? When my grandmother was on her deathbed, I asked her what the meaning of life was. She said to me so wisely: “It is all about being yourself.…

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How to Develop Healthy Self-Esteem and Revel in the Light You Are

There is a beautiful quote by the Sufi poet Hafiz, “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” It speaks to how we strangely get caught up in negative or ungrounded ideas of ourselves and need to return to a healthy sense of self-esteem. This week, we will explore why this is key to our inner peace and how to know our inherent value. Imagine that you found your friend depressed or even crying, lamenting, “My face is covered with warts. They’re so ugly and I can’t get rid of them.” But when you look at your friend, their face is perfectly normal, with not a wart in sight. You can’t understand why they are so upset about something that is not real. No matter what you do to try to convince them that they don’t have warts all over their face, they are adamantly convinced that they do. Seems far-fetched, doesn’t it? The funny thing is, many of us are prone to this tendency in a more subtle way. When I look at people, I see their inherent luminosity and capability. Each one of us is beautiful in our own unique way. We are each magnificent, perfectly interconnected within the fabric of life.…

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A Guided Meditation Practice to Help You Feel Connected with the Love You Truly Are

Last week, we looked at the importance of self-love for inner and outer peace. How do we cultivate this essential state of heart, mind and spirit on an ongoing basis? It comes when we know that our true nature is love, and when we understand, witness, and release the ways we have been resistant to it. This takes willingness and practice. As promised, I share a guided visualization this week to help you connect with the love that you are. Try the following every day for at least a week and notice the changes in your life. Find a quiet environment where you feel safe and comfortable to go deeply within for about ten minutes. Lie on your back in a relaxed position. You can either place your feet flat on the floor with knees bent, outstretch your legs entirely, or rest your legs on a pillow if you have low back issues. Your arms are at your sides, palms open. Put a blanket over yourself for warmth if needed. You can also use a small pillow under your head if you find lying on the floor creates neck tension. Close your eyes and move your awareness inward. Breathe quietly. Feel your belly rise with each inhalation, and release as you exhale. Notice the soothing, wave-like…

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Why Loving Yourself Is the First Gift You Give to the World

If you yearn to experience a happier, more peaceful life, begin by cultivating self-love. Perhaps at first self-love may seem like a reinforcement of your ego, or perhaps you dismiss it as a basic act of “self-care” along the lines of eating enough vegetables or getting proper sleep. But self-love is a profound expression of your true nature, and when you honour it, you become the healing our world so deeply needs. Within each one of us, there is an unbroken tie to the universe, an unending tap that flows with love. But it is as though most of us are standing on the cosmic hose that is sending love our way, while we scratch our heads bewildered, wondering where all the love has gone. This leads to problems, because we are born to experience love. When we do not feel connected with love, we are prone to wanting: seeking love from people, places, and things outside of ourselves. Since wanting is based in a sense of disconnect, it leads to disconnected actions that are against Nature and ourselves. No matter how many steps we take to reduce our carbon footprint, our mental footprint on the planet remains heavy when we do not include ourselves in unconditional love. As such, for the sake of our inner…

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Your First Steps to Cultivating a Peaceful Spirit in a World of Turmoil

There is a time-honoured moment of truth in many heroes’ journeys, where they wish to roar into battle to save the day, and yet they must go inward first – because that is the only place they can find their real power to make a difference. The truth is that a peaceful spirit holds the key to restoring our global balance. It nourishes our inherent interconnection that in turn influences our every decision. When our thoughts and feelings are centered and healthy, we take healthy actions, which create a healthy world. We must quell the high carbon footprint of our agitated minds and restless spirits in order to survive. And that begins within each one of us, in this very moment. We cannot focus on external change in the world and ignore the necessary internal transformation that makes it possible. Through the spring and summer, we have been looking at how to support a peaceful mind through emotional presence. On this foundation, let’s take a look at what it means to cultivate a peaceful spirit. The power of going inward to lay the foundation of external transformation is something very close to my heart right now as I have been in the music studio completing the six albums for GEM: Global Education for MAPS. One of…

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Give Yourself the Gift of Freedom from Painful Feelings That Steal Your Inner Peace

One of the biggest obstacles to peace we can face is found in our painful emotions and the way they can pull us down when we are not willing to be present for them. Over the past several weeks, we have looked at nine particularly painful emotions and how to understand, witness, and release their turbulence in order to find ease and freedom. This week, as we prepare to move forward into the next chapter of “Finding Your Inner Peace Sanctuary”, we sum it up. Being honest and present for your emotions is key to finding your inner peace sanctuary. You may not like to see that, for example, you don’t feel happy all the time – but there is nothing gained in denying or judging your feelings. If you notice you are experiencing painful emotions, remember that if you have been following along, you know how to deal with them now. You need to practice the three steps of transformation—understand, witness, and release. You understand that they are not ultimate reality, just passing clouds that temporarily eclipse the light of the sun, which is your true, luminous nature. Then you witness your feelings just as they are without adding any story to what is. As you understand and witness, release happens automatically because you no…

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The Power to Choose a Peaceful Mind is In Your Hands

When I began this workshop in the summer of 2019, the virus responsible for COVID-19 did not yet have a name and no one knew what would happen when it jumped into human lungs. Today, our world looks very different. The way we live, work, shop, and stay healthy has changed. Even if we and those we love are not directly affected by the coronavirus, we may never experience life quite as we used to. The question is, will we give up and become cynical, despaired and discouraged, or will we be inspired to commit more deeply than ever to health at all levels, including inner peace—for our own sake and for the good of all? Both options are available to each one of us. The power is in our hands. This spring, around the same time as the lockdowns first took effect all over the world, we started a new chapter in this workshop, looking at what it means to have a peaceful mind. We each have the potential for the radiant steadiness of a calm, clear inner lake. Yet somehow, especially in times of difficulty, our minds feel more like a turbulent sea. This is because of the sorry stories that disrupt our clarity, such as the following: • “NOT GOOD ENOUGH”: To perceive…

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How to Be Present for Fear and Live Meaningfully in Our Unpredictable World

In some ways, COVID-19 has been a great equalizer. It has shown those of us who have known relative safety our whole lives what others in more challenging circumstances have always known: not even our next breath is guaranteed. Death can happen at any time. Of this, we have no control. The question is, knowing this now, how will we choose to live: in openheartedness, or in fear? As we experience the ups and downs of an ongoing pandemic that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands, we are being asked to look at the world with fresh eyes and consider the role fear plays in our inner and outer worlds. As you may know, I made a life-changing journey to the North Pole a few years ago that ultimately inspired the creation of Parvati Foundation and the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). During the preparations for the trip, I had visions in my morning meditations of danger awaiting us, specifically that our plane could crash. With poor visibility due to increased fog from rising temperatures and melting sea ice, I knew it was a real possibility. Even so, I needed to go. I chose to not let fear interfere with the surrender I felt the trip was asking me to practice and the sincere…

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Step out of the Shadows of Shame and into the Light of Your Nature

You know the sensation all too well. Someone just pointed something you did that was not in keeping with how you want people to see you. Or perhaps they even called you a name, and you deeply believe it. Both hot and cold at once, a feeling of shame seems to creep into your cells and leaves you heavy and miserable. You wish there were something—anything—you could do to not have to experience this painful emotion. Luckily, there is. Shame is a painful self-perception. It often accompanies a sense of having done something wrong. In his book Healing the Shame That Binds You, the late John Bradshaw pointed out that there are two kinds of shame. Healthy shame helps us feel balanced remorse for actions that do not support our highest good or the good of all. Toxic shame binds us into toxic behaviours and thwarts our brilliance, joy and fulfilment. Here, we will look at toxic shame and how to address it. Shame can be hard to see because it hides in the dark. Yet it is quite common and comes from a feeling of being fundamentally flawed, unlovable or broken. It is a motivator behind co-dependency, addictions and the drive to over- or under-achieve. These compulsions can break down families and friendships, undermine our…

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How to Stop Listening to Pride and Start Resting in Your True Worth

Through this spring and summer, we have been investigating some of the painful emotions that interfere with inner peace. This is important work. It is not always easy to face certain tendencies we have been carrying. But until we do, we miss out on our true capacity to feel peaceful, happy, and connected. Today, I would like to take a look at an emotion we may not necessarily recognize as contributing to our pain: that of pride. We tend to misunderstand what pride really is and how it affects our beings on all levels. Often, we think of it as a healthy sense of accomplishment, such as feeling proud of coming in first place in a race. This is a natural response to praise. The issue with doing so is that if we hinge our sense of self on something external, then when that thing no longer makes us feel good, we are left collapsed and wayward. It is like leaning on a slender willow tree for support. We cannot get lasting strength from it. We may also think of pride as a way to push back against shame we perceive from others. But when we live our life in opposition to something, we are reacting to an energy of oppression and defining ourselves in relation…

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