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The Soul Doctor is in, and I’m prescribing a special tonic for your mind, body and soul! If you‘re feeling sad and stuck and life just isn’t going the way you want it to, I can help.

What’s this “magical potion” that can lift you out of your funk and get life moving in the right direction again? Forgiveness is the cure for what ails you, and before you tell me that the wrongs you’ve experienced are absolutely unforgivable – consider this.

Forgiving other people doesn’t mean that you excuse their actions, and it doesn’t require you to open the door and make yourself vulnerable to hurt or abuse. Forgiveness is something you do for YOU!

Need more convincing?

Here are three teachings that will help allow you to open your heart to the healing magic of forgiveness.

        1. Practice Ho‘oponopono – the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness. You know how I always say that separateness is an illusion? Well, this special ritual is all about that. It stems from an understanding that we are all one in spite of our feelings of ‘separateness’. Because we are connected at a soul level, holding onto negative feelings about another person causes a matching negative vibration in ourselves. Not only that but because we are ALL one, that same toxic energy actually resonates across the entire planet. You and I both know; the planet does NOT need more negativity.

The start of the healing process, Ho‘oponopono relies on four magic sentences:

I am sorry.  Please forgive me.  I love you. Thank you.

Next time you’re feeling hurt, send these words out to the other person, yourself, and the universe!

       2. Ask the important questions. We sometimes have unreasonable expectations of other people. We expect them to behave a certain way, and they’re not always capable of that. You might read too much meaning into the actions of others, not realizing that they might be distracted, grieving, or totally unaware of the effect they are having on us. Sometimes people don’t mean to be hurtful, so don’t take it personally. Before you react with anger, be compassionate. Ask yourself if the persons intent is to be hurtful – if the situation is right, you can ask them this question directly. Then think about the person and try to put yourself in their shoes to understand where they’re coming from.

compassion, you shield yourself from hurt and resentment BEFORE it takes hold.

       3. Don’t let anger poison you! We are divine energetic beings and holding onto grudges is POISON to us. Refusing to release anger blocks you energetically, which can have all kinds of repercussions. It can hurt you physically, causing pain and disease in your weakest areas. It also blocks you from attracting good things into your life. All the power of positive intention and manifestation can be derailed by the refusal to forgive.

Believe it or not, if you die holding on to anger, that energy can even carry forth to harm future generations. Forgiveness is a lesson that must be learned in the physical world. Souls can forgive from the other side, but even when they do, it lingers on in the spiritual DNA of future generations.

In addition to these three insights that I’ve shared, the JVP School of Mystical Arts offers several online courses that will help you to let go and forgive. Check out the courses here, and pay special attention to the 28 Days to Total Transformation, My Spiritual Healer Certification Course, and Forgiving the Unforgivable!

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. 

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…

The 4th of July holiday is upon us, the day when we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. That historic document proclaimed to the world our birth as a new nation, “with liberty and justice for all.”

As I worked on the menu for my Independence Day barbeque, I was thinking about freedom and what it means in the spiritual sense. It occurred to me that spiritual freedom begins when you make the simple choice not to live in a cage of your own making, but instead “pursue happiness” by listening to the wisdom of your soul.

Taking the first step toward establishing your Spiritual Independence.
Start with awareness. Snap yourself out of auto-pilot mode and go through an entire day paying particular attention to your thoughts, actions, and feelings. Notice how often and under what circumstances you do the following:

– Have a strong reaction, negative or positive, to someone else’s judgment of you

– Make the “safe” choice based on fear of what could go wrong.

– Feel guilt, worry or insecurity.

– Repeat a familiar behavior and get the same old result.

– Spend time feeling resentment or anger about the current or past behavior of others.

– Say yes when you ‘d like to say no.

– Feel stuck – in a job, relationship, or any place you don’t want to be.

After a day or two spent noticing your behavior and the mindset that accompanies your actions, you’ll start to see areas where you are limiting yourself. These are opportunities to break down what is blocking you from experiencing your soul destiny – and establishing your Spiritual Independence.

Breaking down the walls.
Ready to declare your own Spiritual Freedom? Start with releasing yourself from:

  • Putting the expectations of others over your own desires. Too much concern about pleasing other people can cause you to lose touch with your own desires. The key to Spiritual Freedom in this area is the realization that other people’s judgments and expectations of YOU are their issue – not yours.
  • Holding on to old “stuff” from your childhood. Childhood traumas, insecurities, failures are in the past, and they shouldn’t be allowed to define who you are today. Break those chains and listen to your inner voice – it knows the real you!
  • Fear based decision-making. Fear and worry form an energetic wall that blocks abundance from flowing into your life. Faced with something (or someone) that you perceive as unfamiliar, overly challenging, or dangerous? Instead of reacting with fear, imagine the best possible result – an adventure, a wonderful new friend, a new personal best. Choose excitement and optimism instead of allowing fear to limit you.
  • Judgment of others. The more love that you generate, the more that you will attract. Judging others is the opposite of loving them – so replace those inclinations with empathy, compassion and unconditional love.
  • Refusing to let go of old grudges and grievances. Forgiveness isn’t excusing someone’s bad behavior, it’s refusing to allow that behavior to have an effect on you. Let it go – for your own sake. Forgiveness is the biggest and most important key on your Spiritual Freedom key chain!
  • The crazy-making belief that you have to be perfect. Do your best, but don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Perfectionism generates fear, anxiety and stress – the opposite of Spiritual Independence!

American independence didn’t come easy – first there was a long war, which was finally won. Hopefully there won’t be any bloodshed involved with establishing your Spiritual Independence, but there will most likely be some internal battles. I often recommend my 28 Days to Total Transformation course to students struggling to overcome their limiting behaviors and destructive patterns.

I have faith that with mindfulness, self-care and trust in your own soul wisdom, you can release yourself from whatever is holding you back, and soon be celebrating your own positive transformation.

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How often have you said to yourself, “I’d really like to find a fulfilling job, get fit and healthy, or get my financial act together, “yet, after a few attempts you find yourself pulled off course. Whenever I hear someone listing out all the reasons why they “can’t” achieve their life goals, the same thought pops into my head.

“Who is driving your bus?”

It’s funny, because I flashed on that image of a bus for years before I paid attention to what it meant. When I took the time to think about it, I realized that my guides had put the bus in my head for a reason – to illustrate how we hand over the keys (our power) to other people, our own ego, and our past. The whole thing is a perfect analogy for the soul journey.

Let me explain…

Imagine yourself navigating along life’s path. You’re driving a bus, and you have a destination in mind. Why a big cumbersome bus and not a cute little sports car? Because you’re not alone – you need lots of room for your guides, family, and the various people in your life. Your bus even has a compartment for baggage. Do you see where I’m going here?

Some people stick with you for the whole trip, but like any bus, you will have stops along the way and passengers will get on and off.

So, what’s the problem? What could possibly stop you from reaching your destination?

When you travel mindfully, allowing your higher self to set the course, odds are good that you’ll make steady progress in the right direction. That’s not to say that you won’t decide to take some interesting detours, stop to watch the sunset, and pick up some strawberries at a roadside stand. Those experiences are part of your mindful journey, where you are fully present, and enjoying the ride.

However, there are some pitfalls (or pot holes) to avoid, and insights to keep in mind to make the most of your journey.

Your route is beginning, so strap in and consider these suggestions:

  • Pick a destination based on your intuition – your soul’s voice. You’ve heard me say it a million times – what other people think of you is none of your business. Your soul knows why it’s here. Have complete faith in your inner voice and don’t be distracted by other people’s opinions and expectations, or any fear and insecurity that you’re carrying around.
  • There’s lots of competition for the driver’s seat, but let your higher self take the wheel. When you find yourself taking a path that’s not true to your heart, that’s how you know ego is in the drivers seat. Don’t let ego drive the bus – it will steer you toward doing what other people expect because it feeds off praise and acceptance for others.
  • Be mindful of where you’re going, and don’t spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror. Remember, you can’t change the past –any mistakes you’ve made are something to learn from, not a prediction of things to come.
  • You’ll know you’re on the right path when you feel the flow! Speaking of being in the moment, when you’re moving a direction that’s in harmony with your soul, you will feel peace in the knowledge that everything is happening exactly as it should. Obstacles won’t phase you a bit as you drive on, secure in the fact that you are fulfilling your true purpose.
  • Don’t let the baggage spill into the aisles. Learn from the past but keep it in its place. Just as a bus has a dedicated area to store suitcases and bags, your spiritual bus has a safe place for emotional baggage; thoughts, beliefs, and fears that no longer serve you. Keep them there, and don’t let them interfere with your day to day journey.
  • Keep fear in its place. You might encounter dangers and challenges along the way, but don’t let fear paralyze you. Most of what you fear isn’t real, in fact, I consider FEAR to be an acronym for False Ego Appearing Real. Most of the roadblocks you encounter can be overcome with compassion and love – the language of the soul. In fact, I have come up with an acronym for SOUL too; Source of Unconditional Love.

The best advice I can give you comes down to this. To achieve your divine purpose in this lifetime, let your soul guide you. Choose your path based on LOVE, not FEAR, and most of all, enjoy the ride. Happy travels!

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When I’m traveling, I love to stop along the way and explore new things.  No matter how busy my itinerary, I make time for fun little detours to check out museums, shops, and restaurants. I find the most unexpected places are often the most memorable and truly reflect the unique personality of an area. On a side note – these little excursions make great social media posts too. I hope you’re following me on Facebook so you can see them!

This summer I have a few events and workshops scheduled around the country – but when I’m home, I plan on doing some exploring of another kind. I’ll be exploring myself, searching the deepest recesses of my soul looking for new outlets for my creativity.

Last year, I started working on a musical. I love music, theatre, and writing – so this was a great way to incorporate those interests into one neat project. The topic of my musical? Destiny, the soul and the afterlife. Hello!

That project is nearly done, so it’s time to come up with a new way to exercise my creativity.

If you’re like me, your life is full of tasks and responsibilities. Family, work, exercise, maintaining your home – the list is endless! But just like the unexpected side trips I love to take when traveling, fitting in new hobbies and activities is worth it! They can be so rewarding and reveal so much about who you really are.

If you’re looking for a fulfilling way to spend your free time, let me share my process for tapping into your passion:

  • Make a list of things that interest you. Dig deep and look for themes. What are your favorite books, movies, and television shows? What did you love to do as a child? What were your favorite classes in school?
  • Ask yourself what you’d do if you won the lottery or if time and money were no object.
  • Think of how you react when other people talk about their hobbies and interests. Are there any that you find especially intriguing?
  • Once you’ve pinpointed some ideas for areas you’d like to explore, make a list. Don’t judge yourself, just jot everything down. Your list will probably include some diverse things – maybe things like working with horses, astronomy, vegetable gardening, water painting, restoring old furniture, bird watching, stand up paddle boarding. Don’t limit yourself! When your list is finished, put it somewhere where you can see it often.
  • As you go about your day, glance at your list. Let the items percolate in your mind, and see which ones rise to the top. Don’t force it. You’ll notice that some ideas start to take on a life of their own. That means the universe is giving you a nudge and making things happen. Here’s what I mean. Take the list example I just gave you. Maybe you wrote “restoring old furniture” down impulsively but didn’t give it much priority. But suddenly, you start noticing shows on television about fixing up garage sale finds; then you start noticing garage sale signs in your neighborhood. Finally, your local hardware store has a huge display of wood finishing materials – and offers free classes. As the days go on, your furniture restoration project starts to take form, and you get excited about exploring this new hobby!
  • Let go of old, limiting beliefs. Let’s go back to my furniture restoration example. You might have written that idea on your list, and suddenly start noticing signs that this is something you want to pursue. But you don’t listen to what the universe is telling you, because you have convinced yourself that you’re not good with tools, or not creative enough to take on a painting project. Don’t do that! The art of self-discovery works best if you take a leap, and don’t put limits on yourself. You’ll never know what you can do till you try.
  • Finally, give yourself permission to have fun. My detours don’t always lead me to a hidden gem or a life-changing experience – but there’s always something new to see, learn or do.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. The summer months are the perfect time to follow my steps and progress down your personal path to self-discovery!

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As summer approaches, my travel schedule slows down, and I find myself with a bit more leisure time. I’m on the road so much that being able to relax at home is an absolute luxury. And for me, the ultimate “stay-cation” has three main components: gardening, swimming, and reading.

If you love nothing better than relaxing with a book at the beach, in a coffee shop, or in your own backyard, you’re in luck. My staff and I have gathered some of our favorite summer reading picks. We hope you’ll decide to pick up one or two for your own enlightenment, inspiration and entertainment! Feel free to jump on our Facebook page this week and weigh in on our favorites – or share your own recommendations.

We’re a diverse bunch, so you won’t just find books about mediumship and spirituality here. There’s something for everyone, but let’s start with the more serious choices:

The Invisible Garment by Connie Kaplan is absolutely fascinating! You’ve probably heard me talk about the “contract” souls make before they come to earth? That’s what this book is all about! Connie shares the 30 spiritual principles that make up a person’s spiritual DNA – their reason for being here. Her ideas are life-changing and are giving me some new perspective on my relationship with myself and others.

Essential Spirituality by Roger Walsh, M.D., PHD is a spiritual must-read for anyone who believes, as I do, that we are all ONE. The author gets to the core the great spiritual traditions to identify their 7 common principles. Essential Spirituality shows how you can integrate these practices into your life to awaken your heart and mind, and remain true to your spiritual core, even in the most difficult times.

Emily, my course developer, has been working with me to launch my newest course, The JVP Spiritual Life Coaching Certification. It’s designed to help anyone achieve personal, spiritual and financial success – while remaining true to their soul. Emily is an expert in this area, and suggested this book for anyone ready to use the power of their intentions to attract abundance. Catherine Ponder’s book, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, will help anyone manifest what they need to live the life of their dreams.

Emily also recommends Jack Canfield’s classic, The Success Principles. It’s stood the test of time with profound and helpful advice for anyone trying to navigate life’s path.

My operations manager, Liz, had two suggestions. Liz is an advocate of meditation as a stress buster and mood elevator. Plus, being present and “in the moment” makes you a better friend, spouse, employee and parent – so who wouldn’t spend a few minutes a day to reap all those rewards?

Liz suggests adding Davidji’s Secrets of Meditation and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle to your own mindfulness library!

All of these suggestions are captivating reads that have something to teach. But sometimes you don’t want to work so hard, and simply want a well written book with  a great story to tell.

I have a great suggestion for a fun read!

Recently, I picked up Boys Keep Swinging by Jake Shears. Shears shares tales of his days in New York City as the lead singer of the iconic glam rock band Scissor Sisters. I’ve been loving how he portrays the underground music scene in New York, but he goes back further to reveal the events in his young life that made him who he is today.

I hope we’ve inspired you to head to the bookstore or load up your Kindle for some great summer reads. These picks are sure to open your eyes to some new ideas. Don’t forget to let me know what you think on my Facebook page!

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“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.” 
– Johann Schiller

From Father Knows Best’s Robert Young to Modern Family’s Ty Burrell, every generation has their own iconic sitcom dad, happy to come home after a grueling day of work, never too tired to toss the ball or shoot a few hoops with the kids, able to dispense profound advice on any topic at a moments notice. But what if your father wasn’t that guy?

What if you dad was never there to coach your little league games, teach you to drive a stick shift, or proudly walk you down the aisle at your wedding?

For many people, any effort to visualize a happy day with dad conjures up negative feelings – or no memories at all.

If your father was unavailable or absent when you were growing up, was a less than perfect role model, or passed away when you were a child, you might wish you could sleep your way through Father’s Day and wake up when it’s over.

Don’t pull the covers over your head just yet. You can honor the day by acknowledging someone who made a difference in your life and by doing so, attract the kind of positive masculine energy you’re missing.

I want to share what happened at an Evening of Spirit a couple of years ago…

I looked out over the audience and immediately spotted a young woman. She was clutching a photograph in a frame, and looking up at me with a hopeful expression. That wasn’t what caught my attention – what was really drawing my eye was the gentleman standing behind her, looking at her with pride. He was an elderly gentleman, and I got a strong sense of father energy from him. I asked her to stand up, and I described the Spirit coming through. I was getting impressions of soccer games, and a big old Thunderbird car.

“Is this your father?” I asked.

“No, no, no,” said the woman, getting a little agitated. “He didn’t have a car like that, and he traveled all the time and was never at my soccer games.”

 She walked up to the stage and showed me the photograph she had brought with her.

“This is my father!”

The soul I was seeing was definitely NOT the man in the picture. After some discussion, we determined that the man behind her was her high school soccer coach, and that he had been a mentor to her and often drove her home from practice. He was the one who helped develop her passion for soccer and had helped her get into college with a sports scholarship. Her father had been absent most of her life, and when he passed, she couldn’t help feeling that she had missed out on having a relationship with him. The loss she could not let go of was keeping her from feeling content with her life, and interfering with her relationship with her husband and daughters.

I convinced her to put her desire to connect with her deceased father aside for a few minutes and listen to what her coach was trying to tell her. He urged me to let her know that he had been honored to be a part of her life. He could see that she was a wonderful mother and watched with pride as she coached her own children on the soccer field.

“Let her know that I’m there, guiding her, when she’s coaching her girls. They’re as talented as their mother was!”

She looked at me and it was as if a light went on in her head.

“He was such a great role model for me! I’m going to stop chasing the dream of what my real dad should have been and be grateful that I had this man in my life!”

I left that event feeling that the whole room had learned something very profound. Your biological father might not be perfect, but if you let it, the universe will fill the gap by providing a father figure. The strong, protective, masculine energy you are looking for can come in many forms – it might be a coach, a teacher, a grandparent – anyone. The person doesn’t have to be a man at all – they just have to be there to protect and guide you.

If Father’s Day leaves you feeling that you have nothing to celebrate – this is the year for a change. Take a minute to look back and honor the individuals who have played the role of father for you and be grateful for the support they have given – whoever they are.

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Meet Bunny Sutherland – Cowgirl Medium! Bunny is one of a small group of very gifted students in my Mediumship Level 3 mentoring program. I was delighted when she submitted her “Relationships” blog to me, because the loving connection we share with others is such an important part of our soul journey.

Bunny is a practicing psychic, medium and soul coach. You can learn more about Bunny here: www.cowgirlLogic.ca

Love,
James

Relationships

A Guest Blog by Bunny Sutherland

Do you find yourself struggling in a relationship?

To be heard, to be understood, to feel loved.

Why is that?

We as humans are meant to be in relationships with others for many reasons. The interaction we experience is built on a base of constant movement, change and growth. It has no choice but to change and merge for we as individuals are in constant growth. At times we unknowingly resist growth and change, this often leaves us striving for others outside of ourselves to fulfill our needs.

How do we bring less turmoil to our relationships?

  • Become still. Disengage and get quiet within your Soul for there you will find your heart and connect back to love – the only real power in our lives. When we take the time to become centred our heart expands and brings peace to our mind. Simple tools are available and can be used. These are just a few examples: music, nature, yoga, dance, walking or meditation can help to remind you who you truly are, Soulful Love
  • Get clear. Wants, needs and dreams are three very different elements of our humanness. Make a list with the heading of relationship role, ex: My Child, My Husband, My Sister. Beneath have 3 columns: Wants, Needs, and Dreams…as you write out each thought regarding the relationship clarity comes.
  • Realize your expectations. So very often difficulties arise due to us placing our expectations on others. Expectations can be based in fear instead of love. Take the time with each of your expectations regarding this relationship and ask is this in my head or in my heart?
  • Unconditional Love. This phrase is used a great deal, take time to define it for yourself. You may find your unconditional love has expectations attached to it. Often expectations are unspoken desires and have a thread leading back to learned relationship patterns. Explore the thread.
  • Use your creative ability to open the heart space to “I wonder….” Have fun, filling in the blank. There are many phrases: what do they dream and desire, how would I feel if they were gone from my life, how can I make their day the best it can be? Your thoughts do create change, starting with yourself and radiating outward to others.
  • Using your list from exercise #2, answer the columns again. Listing your wants, needs, and dreams for the one you are in relationship with.…you will find that your heart expands with relationship Love.

These simple 6 exercises will help your mind shift to gratitude. There are no right or wrong answers, only love from your soul. It’s about learning what your soul needs, from yourself and defining the wants and desires from others you are in relationships with. Be open to change. When we become heart centred and focus on what is happening in the present moment, our life expands. We expand our love and light shining our soul gifts of compassion, grace and harmony onto others. When we take the time to reflect and understand our soul needs, we are reminded of our life journey and that relationships bring us joy.

After all we are all just walking each other home. Nameste…

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I was taking a walk around the neighborhood earlier this week and encountered a mother with her young son. The boy had a fuzzy black caterpillar in his hand and was gently stroking it with his finger. He held the little creature up to his mom and exclaimed, “Look at him! Isn’t he cool?”

Seeing how enchanted the little boy was with his furry friend made me think about how we use the metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly as an analogy for personal growth and transformation. We all marvel at the delicate beauty of a butterfly – but the caterpillar phase has its own beauty – and it’s a necessary step before the butterfly emerges from the cocoon, spreads its wings and soars.

In fact, all of life’s stages deserve to be honored. As you grow and evolve, remember to be mindful of the precious present moment, and honor your past, because it’s made you who you are.

Step 1 – Be aware of the NOW:
In last week’s blog I talked about doing a personal inventory to assess your current situation. Understanding exactly where you are now and coming to terms with how you got there is a critical step to achieving real change.

Right now, you probably have goals that you are working toward. As you make your plans, ask yourself this important question – WHY? Why do you want to be a life coach? Why do you want to get married? Why do you want to go back to school?

Let your intuition guide you to the real reasons behind your aspirations. Maybe you want to get married to experience unconditional love or dream of being a life coach because you long to make a difference. Going back to school might be all about building structure and purpose back into your life.

Now think about small ways to incorporate what you’re striving for into the present. Want to make a difference? While studying to be a life coach, you can set aside time right now to help needy teens or feed the homeless. The work you do now will not only feed your soul, but help you achieve your transformation!

One more thing – starting right now, pay attention to the company you keep and surround yourself with like-minded individuals who support the very best you can be!

Step 2 – Benefit from the Patterns of your Past.
Do you keep experiencing the same things over and over? Looking back at key events in your life will help you to identify and break destructive cycles that you might have found yourself pulled into in the past. But be kind to your younger self – don’t judge yourself for past mistakes, honor the caterpillar phase and be grateful for lessons learned.

Step 3 – Visualize your dream future!
As you plan your future, have a roadmap of where you’d like to go and keep track of incremental progress. Create small, step by step goals and give yourself time to achieve them. Give yourself love and celebrate your victories!  Keep a journal and list out the positive qualities that got you this far and write down the steps that will take you to the next level.

As you work toward that big goal, make mindfulness your friend! How often have you gotten excited about a new project – writing a book or blog, learning a new skill, starting an exercise routine- only to have other obligations get in the way? Having a practice or routine of meditation is the perfect way to pull yourself back and remember your priories. 

Here’s a tip to keep to moving forward! Put a card with your goal in the form of a positive affirmation, or even a picture that represents where you want to be in the spot where you meditate and focus on that to set your intention.

The road might be winding, but you can keep moving forward!
Remember that your journey will have detours, roadblocks and delays. That’s life! Celebrate your successes and pay attention to how far you’ve come. Embrace your mistakes and lessons learned along the way. Use positive self-talk to keep yourself going. Remember that your thoughts are powerful, so use them to propel you forward and move you closer to your own personal metamorphosis.

I’ve just launched a free masterclass to help you on your journey to health, joy and success! You can access the first lessons here and awaken the beautiful butterfly within you!

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“Before you can change anything you need to know where you are, how you got to where you are, and what direction you’re pointing.”

-James Van Praagh

Imagine you’re going on an amazing trip. You have your destination picked out, and you’ve been dreaming about all the things you’ll do when you get there. You even have a guide book where you’ve highlighted travel tips, restaurants, and museums.

When you’re ready to book your travel, what’s the first piece of information you’ll need?

It’s pretty obvious in this example.

Before you focus on where you will be landing, you must know the place you will be departing from.

In other words, the first step of any journey is knowing where you are now.
It’s exactly the same when you are charting your life’s path. Every successful plan for positive growth begins with an honest assessment of your current situation.

Taking a personal inventory.
I don’t wait till I have a goal in mind to take a look at my current state of being. At the beginning of each calendar year, and again on my birthday, I spend several hours alone with my journal. I consider everything: my physical and emotional health, the state of my relationships, my work/life balance, where I’m spending my time, and what my intuition is telling me.

I write everything that comes to mind down in my journal, letting the words flow without a lot of editing.

This ritual helps me to clearly see where I am, and from there I can decide what changes and actions will get me where I want to go. Because I’ve been doing this for many years, I am able to glance back and notice my progress, and spot patterns – both good and bad – that I might otherwise be unaware of.

Along with my practice of meditation and my daily mindful walks in my garden, my personal inventory is one of my “secret weapons” that allows me to continue to lead a joyful and fulfilling life.

Ready to try creating your own personal assessment?
If you’re taking inventory for the first time, this exercise will allow you to create a quick history so you can look back and identify important habits, trends and behaviors.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Take a piece of paper and make four columns. On the far-left column, list the following items down the side:
  • Relationships
  • Career
  • Health
  • Education/Learning
  • Hobbies
  • Friendship
  • Happiness
  • Fun
  • Fulfillment (am I living my purpose?)
  • On the top of the second column, write 10 Years Ago, then on top of the next column 1 Year Ago, and finally, on top of column 4, write today’s date.
  • Now, go line by line and rank on a scale of 1-10 how satisfied you are with each area listed. For example: relationships are on line #1, so start by rating how happy you were ten years ago, one year ago, and today.

Fill in the rest of your chart, and if you’re not sure of an answer, tune into your

intuition. Your body will give you all the clues you need.

When you’re done, you will have an outline of the areas in your life that need love and attention. Are you focused on work and neglecting your health? You know what you have to do. Set some goals to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your life!

It’s crazy how this simple exercise can help you see things clearly. You’ll be able to spot where you have made improvements, and maybe some area where things have gotten worse.

Something to consider.
There’s a saying – “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

And that’s if you’re lucky. Sometimes staying in the same old patterns can make things deteriorate over time.

Think of your health – if you’re feeling unhealthy avoid making positive changes, things won’t stay the same – they’ll likely get worse.

So, don’t ignore what’s right in front of you.

Positive change starts with awareness. In a few days, I’ll be sharing a free video series to help you live your very best life. I urge you to do a little soul searching and create your own inventory, so you ‘ll know where you’re starting and be ready to embark on your own amazing journey to health, happiness and success!

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When I was a boy of three or four, Spirits visited me at night. They would hover at the foot of my bed projecting impressions and images my young mind could barely comprehend, but that I understood at a deep soul level. When I got older and started kindergarten, I realized that my visions were unique and that my little classmates were definitely not experiencing what I was.

One day I brought the matter up to my mother. “Oh, you can see spirits?” She said calmly. “I saw them too when I was your age.” Her words comforted me and made me feel safe.

Looking back on my relationship with my mother, I’m grateful for the way she made me feel accepted and protected. By sharing that she had been able to detect the presence of Spirit as a child, she let me know that I was not alone. Since she passed, my mother is one of my guides, and makes her presence known to me often – sometimes with her name appearing in an unexpected way, and other times with her “special sign,” a blue moon.

I was thinking about the role that mothers, grandmothers, and all maternal figures play in our lives, and in honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to offer up these thoughts for your consideration:

Mothers come in all forms.
In my workshops, I sometimes lead students through a mind journey where they travel back to a joyful memory from their childhood. Mothers often are featured in these happy remembrances, but that’s not always the case. For some people, their early lives were not happy, and it’s difficult for them to capture a memory they want to re-live. Their mothers might not have been present, either physical or emotionally and that absence can leave a painful void. To help heal them, I take them aside and help them recall someone or something that provided warmth and safety. It might be a teacher, or a neighbor. It might even be a place where they feel that they belong, like a library or a park. It helps to remember that the “Mother” role doesn’t have to be a woman – or even a person, it’s the love energy that matters.

Love crosses all boundaries.
The love between a mother and child is powerful, and like all forms of love, it never dies.

I’ve comforted thousands of grieving mothers who have lost a child by providing them evidence that their son or daughter is still watching over them from the other side, guiding them toward fulfilling their highest purpose. I’ve also healed people who have lost their mother by helping them to tune in and recognize the signs that Mom is still around!

Spread the love.
I recently saw a sweet video about an elderly woman who made it a habit to sit at her window and wave to the children walking to school. The children, especially the older ones, thought it odd at first, but it wasn’t long before they started looking forward to seeing her smiling face at the window each morning and waving back to her. When the word got out that the woman would be moving from her home, dozens of students gathered with signs and flowers to give their friend a loving send off. When I watched this video, it occurred to me that her simple act of kindness created a ripple effect that touched everyone the children came into contact with each day.

This Mother’s Day, and every day, I hope you’ll honor the mothers, grandmothers, and all sources of unconditional love and nurturing in your life!

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