Archive for the ‘Wisdom & Inspiration’ Category

Five Minutes of Bliss

May 27, 2015

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (3)

Most people we know, including ourselves, encounter seemingly endless stressful situations in their lives—from work, to health, to family and friends, to global issues and crises. More accurately, the situations themselves aren’t stressful, but our perception of them—the ways in which we think about and react to them—produces feelings of stress in us.

If you’re a regular meditator, you know the power of meditation to soothe the mind and calm the body. If you don’t meditate, you’ve probably thought from time to time that you “should” try it, because you’ve heard how it can help make life feel a lot less stressful.

The question usually comes down to this: How can we find the time to meditate in our already overloaded lives?

Here’s a new idea—and one that makes positive use of your cell phone:

Set your phone’s timer to 5 minutes. (This feature usually comes with the pre-installed alarm or stopwatch app, or download a free timer app.) For the alarm, choose the most pleasant sound available on your phone.

timer appNow, whenever you have a few minutes during the day—maybe in the morning before leaving the house, or while waiting for a meeting to begin—start your timer. This gives you 5 minutes to let go. You don’t need to think about how much time has passed or when you should end your meditation; just let your phone take care of that for you.

Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, following the breath as it flows in and out of your body. Feel the chair or floor supporting you; know that it will be there this whole time to support you.

Now, listen. Listen for anything that sounds sweet, or calm, or soothing. Even if there are lots of other sounds around, listen very alertly for sounds that have a calming quality: the wind, a bird singing, leaves rustling, the sound of your own breath or heartbeat. If thoughts come in during your “5 minutes of bliss” (and they most likely will!), just notice them, without following them or holding onto them, and refocus your attention on any peaceful or soothing sounds you hear.

When the timer goes off, open your eyes, turn it off, and notice the difference in your state of mind. And know that your timer will be there for you anytime you have a few minutes to tune back into you.

If you liked this little exercise, our book 52 Prescriptions for Happiness offers several more rejuvenating “mini meditations” that will calm your body and mind in a matter of minutes.

Mali Apple & Joe Dunn

Thank you for being here! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and The Soulmate Lover.

Men Have Souls Too!

September 17, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (5)

A man we’ve been coaching was finding himself often feeling anxious and frustrated with the challenges in his life. We asked him to make a list of things that help him to reconnect with himself, so that he would have them as reminders whenever he could use them.

When we shared his list, the first one that appears below, a woman from the Middle East was deeply touched. She said she knew of no man in her country who would be so revealing. In her honor, we are pleased to share more such lists from some very soulful men we know.

What is on your list? 

Ron Nurture Soul

The original list
here

Santanu Nurture Soul

Santanu Pani

hereJimSharonNurtureSoul

Jim Sharon, author of Secrets of a Soulful Marriage

herejoelnurturesoul

Joel Young of Non-Personal Awareness
here

joenurturesoul

Joe Dunn, coauthor of The Soulmate Experience
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WarrenNurtureSoul

Warren Talbot of Married with Luggage

ereTobin Giblin

Tobin Giblin of Integrated Life Counseling

her

SanjayNurtureSoul

Sanjay Patel

kj

scottnurturesoul

Scott Dehn, of www.saintlouisreiki.com

here

mikepasnurturesoul

Mike Pas
here

sidnurturesoul

Sid Hutter

robertfryenurturesoul

Robert Frye
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Mali Apple & Joe DunnThank you, all you amazing men, for your beautiful examples of what it means to be “soulful.” ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love.

Overcoming Jealousy: One Woman’s Personal Journey

July 8, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (0)

The creator of the blog I Am a Love Addict (and on twitter at @iamaloveaddictgenerously shares her experiences with our Overcoming Jealousy 23-day online course. After taking the course, she says, “I feel like a new woman!”

What was your experience with jealousy before you took the course—why were you interested in taking it?

Too often we get caught in our own preconceived notions of how we believe things ought to be. In the past, I spent a lot of time trying to modify my feelings and actions in an attempt to influence someone else’s behavior. I believed I needed to act a certain way in order to receive the love and acknowledgement I desired from my partner. Through this belief, I lost authenticity. I must have appeared to have a split personality, as I could never be consistent with this facade.

"365 Days of Happiness" by Qiqi LiThe need to be myself, but the inability to do so is when jealousy peaked.

The truth is, playing so many different characters throughout my life had depleted my knowledge of self. So, I was drawn to partners whom seemingly were true to themselves and could possibly show me the way.

Much later, I realized their appearance of self-confidence was a disguise, masking more pain than I had ever experienced in my entire life. You can imagine my surprise when these choice partners were emotionally unavailable. Astonishment quickly turned into unhappiness, which encouraged more jealousy due to my dysfunctional way of thinking about relationships.

I believed I was not good enough, or that I must have done something wrong. Perhaps, they finally noticed my lack of self-confidence. My thoughts continuously revolved around, “it must be me”.

I chose to take the Overcoming Jealousy course to free myself from this emotional prison. I felt stuck.

What was something surprising you discovered about yourself through the course?

Surprisingly, I learned that in most cases I was more envious than jealous. I envied the qualities I believed my partner possessed.

The more distant my partner became, the more unattractive, unintelligent, uncertain, uninspiring, unimaginative…envious, I felt.

What was the most significant thing you learned through the course?

Through the course, I am learning to observe the actions of people (leaving all preconceived notions at the door). I am no longer seeking a partner that will define who I am.

I am also learning to forgive. Forgiving myself for the mistakes I’ve made is giving me strength to stand and not become a doormat in exchange for my shortcomings.

Finally, with the tools I have from this course, I am learning not to measure self-worth based on how good or bad someone else treats me.

"Spring Romance" by Qiqi LiNow that you’ve taken the course, how are you inspired to approach your relationships differently in the future?

I am confident that I will approach, romantic and platonic, relationships with a renewed outlook. I am truly excited about the type partner I will attract due to my new acceptance of who I am.

How might what you learned through the course affect other areas of your life?

Learning to put a positive spin on insecure feelings that may arise will grant me the spirit I need to keep moving forward in all aspects of life!

As I journey toward recovery from what is considered “love addiction,” I am moving toward total positive mind, body and spirit health. I am proud to say that I have always taken pride in developing good/healthy eating habits. I do believe that food is medicine. Currently, I am working on incorporating, eating and fitness tips on my blog. This will help keep me on track, and perhaps bring others along for the ride. I look forward to continued growth and seeking education on healthy relationships with others, but most importantly myself.

Artwork courtesy Qiqi Li, www.etsy.com/shop/QiQiGallery.

In gratitude for your willingness to share your experiences so that others may also free themselves from this often-debilitating emotion. ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover

The Present of Presence

May 29, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (1)

Jason Garner is a father, husband, former concert promoter, and spiritual student who spent the first 37 years of his life working his way up from flea market parking attendant to executive at a Fortune 500 company ― never taking a breath in the belief that in order to be loved he had to be the best. As the former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation, he has worked with rock stars and sports legends and was twice named to Fortune magazine’s list of the top 20 highest paid executives under 40. The sudden death of his mother caused him to re-evaluate what was important in life … and to finally breathe. In this new phase he has spent thousands of hours studying with some of the world’s best teachers, including traveling to China to learn from the monks at the Shaolin Temple.  

In a class I took once on deepening the connection of romantic relationships, the teacher said, “In over 30 years of working with couples I have found only one thing that women want from their men: presents.”

“Great,” I thought. “A Gucci purse should do the trick.”

Except the teacher had said “presence,” not presents.

Another one of my teachers told me there is always truth in jest. That humorous story, while charming and cute, is also a realistic portrayal of much of my relationship history. I used material presents to compensate for my lack of physical, emotional, and spiritual presence in the relationship.

Why? Because Hallmark told me to, that’s why. More jest, and more truth.

As a man I have been bombarded since birth with images of what it means to be manly.

A knight in shining armor. So I rescued damsels in distress and then wondered why I felt disconnected.

An emotional rock. So I bottled up my feelings and felt misunderstood and unloved.

The provider. So I spent all day at work and all night thinking about work and then spent the money I made at work on gifts to show I cared about something other than work.

The result of all this? Two divorces and too many failed relationships to count, a lot of money spent on designer shoes, purses, and dresses, and hours and hours of counseling. While this story is mine, it is — in one way or another — true for most of us.

So when that teacher told me that “presence” was all it took, I thought to myself how easy that would be. He suggested I lie in bed next to my wife, put my hand on her heart (not boobs!), look into her eyes, and say, “I see you. I hear you. I love you. I am here.”

Easy, right? Try it. It will make you cry and want to go out and buy 100 expensive purses so you never have to go that deep again.

Truth in jest … again.

Dr Christy

Seriously, the practice of being present is a gift. As men we think of it as a gift we give our wives or families. As much as we’ve been conditioned to be the knight, the rock, the provider, deep inside we are so much more. And connecting with the deeper part of ourselves, our true self, is a gift we give ourselves as well as those around us.

I know that in my life the constant striving to be strong, to not show my fears, to make everything okay all the time, to fulfill the illusion of fixing the damsels in distress, and to make as much money as possible wore me down. The never-ending march up the hill of my life left me feeling sick, tired, and scared of the day it would all come crashing down.

So while I now give my wife presence often — tender kisses in the morning, a look in her eyes with a gentle “I love you” and lots of big hugs of love — I recognize that those moments are also gifts for me. They are the times in the day when I take off my cape and am true to the man inside the costume, they are reminders that I am loved just for being me. Those times calm my fears because when I am present, I know all is well.

We can start now, present only in ourselves, a few deep breaths and the silent message inside, “You are loved.” And then, as the comfort level grows, we can share the same with our spouses, our children, our parents, our brothers and sisters, and even the clerk at Whole Foods (maybe just “Hi, how are you?” instead of “I love you” or you may find yourself present in the doghouse). Eventually, you can try the exercise my teacher shared with me — lie down, put your hand on your partner’s heart, look into each other’s eyes, and say, “I see you. I hear you. I love you. I am here.”

Together, present in life, we find love and connection. That is the present worth giving … and receiving.

Big hugs of love,

Jason

Jason Garner

Read more of Jason’s perspectives and sign up for his blog at www.jasongarner.com.

Thank you, Jason, for the present of you! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: A Love Story

May 12, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories, Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (0)

secretsEnjoy this excerpt from Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship by Jim Sharon, Ed.D. and Ruth Sharon, M.S. Available from SkyLight Paths Publishing. Find out more at www.energyforlife.us.

The Power of Story

As you travel on your journey of a soulful marriage, it is important to remember the beginning, where the relationship started. What is your story? How did you meet? Did your family or friends introduce you or perhaps you believe that your meeting was “arranged” by cosmic forces? Life is so mysterious. What do you each recall from your courtship? Those early experiences of being together provide the foundation of your relationship, upon which you have built your marriage.

Love is often colorful, dramatic, and playful. We have had the pleasure of hearing many thrilling and outrageous stories of how happy couples met. Ours is one such story, which we would like to share to encourage you to recount the magic of your own beginning.

Our Wild Beginning: Jim’s Version

In the fall of my senior year of college, my apartment roommate, Alan, requested that I speak on the phone to his sophomore blind date to answer some questions for her about a class that I had previously taken. Although our conversation was fairly brief and ordinary, I had the strange thought that I should be going out with her because I was less than two years older than her, whereas my roommate was four years older. A week or so later Alan reported briefly meeting her and that she was “nothing special until she took her coat off.”

The next weekend Alan had his first date with this girl. Neither was enjoying the other, but because the night was young, the girl agreed to come to our apartment to perhaps meet me and my date. The two of them intruded on us making out on the couch and we quickly sat up as the door opened. Before Alan had a chance to introduce his date, she brazenly began to critique my collage that was hanging on a wall by the door. Her boldness commanded my attention, as did her liveliness. Alan’s date and I began sparking off of one another in conversation, while the other two receded into the background. At one point, Alan went into the bedroom to make a phone call and my date went to the bathroom. I then followed the mystery girl into the kitchen after she nervously rose to get a glass of water. Impulsively, I spun her around and kissed her on the lips–a brazen act that I had never done previously nor repeated. The electricity between us was palpable. The remainder of the evening was a blur to both of us.

You probably realize that Alan’s date was Ruth, my bride-to-be. Neither of us ever recollected what happened to our dates after my bold hello, there! kiss. I don’t even recall taking my date, who was visiting me for the weekend, to the train station. (We had casually dated the previous summer in my hometown.) The only thing that I remember was asking Alan if I could ask Ruth out, to which he replied, “You can have her!”

Ruth and I proceeded to have four long, glorious dates that Fall of 1967, ranging from dinners to attending football games and a theatrical play, to merely studying together. At one point during our study date in my apartment, the third of the four dates, I took a break to talk with Ruth. As we stood about a foot apart looking into each other’s eyes, I was jolted by a sudden, highly mystical experience. I sensed that I was peering into eternity! I had never before (or after) had such an experience. When I called Ruth in mid-December, after this series of dates, she was hopeful that I would ask her out for New Year’s Eve. Instead, in the middle of a good conversation, I shocked her and surprised myself by impulsively breaking up with her. Looking back on that instant decision, I am quite sure that I was unconsciously frightened by the prospect of finding my soul mate. Having been rejected a year and a half earlier by a girl whom I dated for a year and loved, I was not ready for another committed relationship, let alone one of this magnitude.

I did not have any further contact with Ruth until three months later, when I spotted her across a large ballroom floor at a college dance to begin the spring term. Although we were both leery of reconnecting, we conversed and danced together. Two very curious things transpired. One is that I called Alan and simply mentioned that Ruth was standing nearby. Alan retorted with conviction, “You’re going to marry her,” which stunned me, although I dismissed the idea at the time. Secondly, when I offered to turn the water fountain on for Ruth, she thought to herself, “If he turns that water off (in midstream), that’s it on him!” I kept both the water and our relationship “on” and we’ve flowed onward ever since. Despite attending graduate school the next fall about 150 miles away, Ruth and I continued seeing one another. We were delighted to be married less than two years later at a large and festive wedding.

Our Wild Beginning: Ruth’s Version

After a very frustrating freshman year at Penn State, I was telling a cousin at a summer family event that I was feeling very lonely and disconnected. She suggested I call her fiance’s best friend, Alan, who was studying for his doctorate in psychology at Penn State. I thought, “What? I am just going to be a sophomore, how can I call a doctoral student?” I simply replied, “thank you” and took the piece of paper with his name and number.

When I returned for the fall term, I tucked the piece of paper away, too nervous to make the call. Time went on, and finally in November, I got up enough courage to call. I met Alan for a movie. No chemistry and no emotional reaction to the fabulous movie “Cool Hand Luke.” Since the night was young, I decided to go to his apartment to meet his roommate and date.

As we entered the apartment, the roommate and a girl were kissing on the couch. She sat up quickly, but he lay there beaming at me. My heart flipped and I thought, “He is so cute!”

As the night went on, Jim and I were enthralled with each other. We talked, laughed, and flirted. I connected with him more deeply than anyone I had ever met. The roommate and the other girl disappeared!

Jim and I were alone in the living room. I got nervous, so I went into the kitchen for water. Jim followed me, twirled me around, and planted a big kiss on my lips. Although I responded, we were both startled.

To this day, we do not know where the other two people went or how I got back to my dorm! Jim and I shared four engaging dates until winter break. The night before we left for the holidays, Jim called. I thought he would ask me out for New Year’s Eve. Instead, he said, “We shouldn’t see each other anymore. We are just too different; I just don’t think it will work out.” I was devastated. I got very sick, missing most of the winter term.

When I returned for spring term, I attended a campus dance. There, across a noisy, crowded room, was Jim Sharon, strolling toward me. Hesitantly I went in the hall to talk with him. We decided to try it again and happily dated all spring. After Jim graduated, we deepened a long distance relationship for two years and fell in love!! We claimed we had the best relationship in the world! We touched each other on every level and were convinced that being together forever was a gift that would never wear out!

After Jim’s American University Master’s degree in psychology and my Penn State degree in Elementary Education, we began a new chapter. Reciting our vows under the chuppah and joining as a sacred couple on June 7, 1970, we celebrated in the presence of family, friends, and God.

Jim and Ruth

Soulful Connection: What Is Your Story?

Take a few moments to re-tell your story afresh to each other. Share how you each remember the details, sentiments, feelings, and thoughts of your meeting.

Every so often recount your meeting, dating, deciding to marry, and special events in your relationship. How you tell the story can reveal so much about each of you and who you are as a couple. You can record in writing or video for later generations to enjoy.

Order Secrets of a Soulful Marriage from SkyLight Paths Publishing.

Thank you, Jim and Ruth, for sharing your love and wisdom with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

The Key to Self-Love

May 1, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (0)

Today, we have the pleasure of being the host on Day 2 of Daniel Parmeggiani‘s virtual blog tour. His new book, The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence, is celebrating its official launch.

Daniel-Parmeggiani-Headshot-cropDaniel Parmeggiani is a modern-day spiritual teacher whose approach is unaligned with any particular religion or tradition. Driven by intense psychological turmoil when he was younger, Daniel discovered within himself a deeper reality that he says not only saved his life, but also showed him the way to permanent happiness and inner peace. Those revelations became the foundation of his new book.

Yesterday, Daniel visited Kate Beddow’s ‘Growing Spirits’ blog at http://www.katebeddow.co.uk/blog/ where they discussed parental guilt and nature versus nurture in parenting. Today, we’d like to share with you a recent interview we had with Daniel on self-acceptance and increasing our ability to love.

MALI & JOE: Why do so many of us struggle with self-acceptance?

DANIEL:  We struggle with self-acceptance because of negative, erroneous concepts and beliefs we hold about ourselves. This, however, is not our natural state. As small children, we typically have no issues with self-acceptance. At that early age, we simply haven’t yet learned that anything could possibly be wrong with us. But soon enough, we are taught that we can be good or bad, beautiful or ugly, worthy or unworthy, innocent or guilty, successful or a failure. We learn to judge and label everything, including ourselves, and we begin to wonder, “Am I smart enough, good enough, strong enough, attractive enough, popular enough?” The inevitable failures, rejections, traumas, and disappointments that accumulate intensify our self-criticism and self-doubt, and so begins our lifelong struggle to regain our own self-acceptance.

Most of our goals, obsessions and aspirations are driven by the need to prove ourselves worthy of our own self-acceptance. And this is a next to impossible task, as we try to live up to the impossible standards that society, fashion and our finicky culture in general throws at us. But in reality, there is nothing to prove because we are always entitled to our own self-embrace no matter what. We are born in a state of unconditional self-acceptance, and we just need to know that it’s ok to return to that state.

MALI & JOE: How will increasing our ability to love and accept ourselves affect our relationships and our lives?

DANIEL:  There is nothing more rewarding in life than unconditional self-acceptance and self-love. It all begins with loving yourself.

When your own self-embrace is guaranteed no matter what happens, you no longer fear failure, ridicule, rejection or even humiliation. Filled with confidence and optimism, you are completely free to live life to the fullest, express yourself completely, and reach your true potential. Your relationships also take a quantum leap in quality, since you are now entering them from a place of completeness rather than neediness and incompleteness. With our insecurities gone, all the possessiveness, jealousy, defensiveness and insincerity that ruins relationships also disappear, replaced with openness, transparency and real love.

MALI & JOE: What is the easiest way to become more loving towards and accepting of ourselves?

DANIEL:  There is only one way to find true self-love, and that is by realizing we are all innocent, pure beings. We must replace the false, negative concepts we hold on to about ourselves with awareness of our true nature, which is perfectly innocent and spiritual. Awareness of our absolute innocence and our equality as flawless spiritual beings is the key to permanent and unconditional love not just for ourselves but towards everyone else. The more we awaken to who we really are, the more we are freed from the burden of proving our worth, and the closer we get to the “Inner Heaven” we all seek.

Lotus

MagnificentTruths-front-coverWe hope you enjoyed this interview with Daniel Parmeggiani, author of The Magnificent Truths of Our ExistenceIn Daniel’s words, “this book provides deep spiritual insight about who we really are, the cause of our suffering, and how to transform our lives.” If you are intrigued to find out more about Dan’s approach to achieving the highest spiritual aspirations of happiness, love and inner peace, pick up a copy of The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence at:

http://www.MagnificentTruths.com/order

When you buy the book now during the official launch, you’ll receive dozens of beautiful free gifts from Daniel and his friends and colleagues. It’s their way of saying “thank you” for supporting Daniel in this important spiritual work.

Be sure to follow Daniel tomorrow on the next stop of his Virtual Blog Tour, when he’ll be visiting Tina Games’ ‘Moonlight Musings’ blog at http://moonlightmusepress.com/blog/ where she and Daniel will talk about the importance of unconditional acceptance and the four questions that we should ask ourselves when we make choices.

Thank you, Daniel, for sharing your insight and wisdom with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover

 

The Gifts of a Blind Eye

April 29, 2014

LABELS: Mali's musings, Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (15)

“Are you sure you don’t notice anything unusual about my face?” I asked her again.

It was Saturday afternoon. A gorgeous sunny day at a winery somewhere among the vineyards of Napa County. We’d been chatting about ten minutes when it struck me that this was the first time I’d ever met and had a conversation with someone who didn’t do that awkward double-take, nervously looking away from my face and back again, trying to figure out what was going on with me and which eye to look into.

I’d seen that response all my life. Having been born minus one optic nerve, my left eye generally just floated around. That plus the thick lenses I wore for the severe myopia in my “good” eye meant I was teased regularly in school.

Molly Nov 1964I remember standing against the gym wall with the two learning-disabled kids in my class, feeling humiliated that the team captains couldn’t decide which among the three of us to choose next.

You develop a thick skin. You come to understand that what a person looks like on the surface may not tell an accurate story about their capabilities and who they are.

I remember transferring to a new high school my sophomore year and, upon arriving my first day, being immediately escorted by a kind lady to the classroom for students with physical and mental limitations.

You learn to speak up for yourself.

“This can’t be my classroom,” I said. “It must be a mistake.”

I remember spending an entire summer trying to learn how to return a tennis ball until I realized, this is just not the sport for me. Along with baseball, basketball, frisbee . . .

You become resilient. You work hard to discover where you can excel.

I remember a woman in an aerobics class, who’d apparently gotten herself all worked up by the time she finally turned around and screamed: “Why do you keep staring at me?!”

You learn to smile at the little ironies of life. Before that moment, I hadn’t even known she was there.

I remember a young woman in college I’d just met who said flat out, “Why don’t you get that eye fixed? It’s really unattractive.”

You develop empathy. It’s been said that facial defects are the most difficult for people to accept, and I’ve noticed that is true for me, too, when I meet people who have them.

“No, I don’t notice anything unusual about your face,” the woman sipping the chardonnay said again. “Now you must tell me why you’re asking!”

Mali post-surgeryWhat was different that day in Napa was that I’d just recovered from surgery to straighten my eye. It wasn’t 100% successful, but enough so that my misbehaving eye wasn’t the first thing someone noticed upon meeting me.

What a freeing feeling that was!

And yet . . .

This “defect” has been such a gift to me. The more I contemplate my blind eye and limited vision, the more I learn from it, the more I see how this “disability” has helped to shape who I am.

I’ve always recognized that my visual limitations encouraged my other senses to develop more fully, including my intuitive senses. Navigating life without them would be much harder than navigating it minus one eye.

Seeing the world without normal depth perception has made me into someone who searches for the depth in everything.

Having precarious vision in my sighted eye, with no spare to count on, has made me incredibly grateful for this truly magical sense. I’ve always been in love with sight. If you know me, you know I never take a sunrise, a rainbow, a baby’s face, or the cross-section of a red pepper for granted. (And I’ll try to make sure you don’t, either!)

Mali todayA while back, I overheard a couple in a restaurant talking about their baby daughter. They had just found out that she was blind in one eye. They sounded scared, really worried about what effects this would have on her life.

I just couldn’t not go over and introduce myself.

“I wouldn’t say that there haven’t been challenges along the way,” I told them, “but facing those challenges has everything to do with the person I am today. Yes, she probably won’t be a natural at softball or tennis, she will need to learn some special tricks to be able to parallel park, but with you helping her to discover all the gifts in her special circumstances, her life is going to be exceptional.”

If you’re dealing with a challenging life situation, what’s to lose by spending a little time contemplating what gifts that situation just might have for you? 

~Mali Apple, coauthor of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover

Kiss Your Fights Good-Bye: A Book Review

April 1, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (1)

KissYourFightsGoodbyeIf you’re experiencing conflict, disagreements, or other communication issues in your relationship, you might take a look at the new book Kiss Your Fights Good-Bye: Dr. Love’s 10 Simple Steps to Cooling Conflict and Rekindling Your Relationship.

Dr. Jamie Turndorf, aka Dr. Love, shares in clear, understandable language her truly powerful method for healing destructive patterns of relating and transforming conflict into connection. What we think makes this book so special is that she’s willing to go deep into the trenches with you, help you assess exactly what’s been keeping you there, and then, step by step, help you free yourself again.

There’s a lot of great information here, like:

  • Why we get into negative conflict and communication patterns in the first place
  • Why we can tend to misinterpret our partner’s words and actions in the most negative way
  • How to break through negative—and often unconscious—communication patterns
  • Why biological differences between the sexes can lead to poor communication patterns, and how to use that knowledge to increase connection
  • Ways to identify behaviors that cause conflicts to spiral out of control
  • How to recognize and defuse common “fight traps,” like scorekeeping, globalizing, power plays, and guilt trips
  • How to determine when old traumas or wounds are contributing to your conflict and start on your path to healing them

Here’s just one of her powerful suggestions:

The next time you and your mate have a conflict discussion, turn on a voice recorder. Try to forget that it’s running and speak naturally. Then listen to yourselves afterward. Honestly examine how you both sound. I bet you’ll be surprised.

Even if you don’t often fight, we think this book is insightful for anyone who wants to understand more about how to make a good relationship great or turn conflict with anyone—like family, friends, and co-workers—into deeper connection.

Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

Doing My Work

February 27, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (1)

Marie Franklin lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon. They met 10 years ago and have been madly in love ever since. Marie is a matchmaker who wants to help others find their Soulmate Experiences, too!

SME at Book Passage

If you have started down a path in search of the Truth, then you know that certain books will present themselves to you along the way as you increase your understanding.

The Soulmate Experience is one of those books.

I’m a highly spiritual person and have been reading and looking for whatever “the real Truth is” my whole life. And I found rather quickly that if you do sincerely seek the Truth, you will stumble down a path and find it. It is not an overnight journey for most of us. For me, although I’ve been at it my whole life, I am just now really getting somewhere.

The first thing you learn on this path is that all answers must come from within. Which is really confusing, especially when you are holding a book in your hand outside of your body, and it is telling you that the answers you seek are within you. So you respond with “Huh? If the answers were within me then I would already know what I am trying to learn!”

And the next thing you find out is, yes you do already know what you are trying to learn. The Truth is held forever safe and sacred in a spot within you.

Then you find out that in order to find that sacred spot, you must “do your work.”

Your work will be different from anyone else’s work, and you’re the only one who can do yours. But if you do it… if you really do your work and complete most of it… literal treasure awaits you.

Emotional treasure.

The Soulmate Experience is a book for people who are ready to do their work. I think everyone could benefit from this book’s cool and beautiful tone and message. But readers who are on the path to Truth and who are ready and willing to work at the soul level will probably be greatly affected by this book.

As I read it, I was reminded again about so many Truths I have learned along my path.

Be in the present moment.

Treat everyone as a guest.

Release all guilt and resentments.

Don’t play negative tapes in your head all day.

Feel your gratitude.

SMEcafegratitudevenice

When you have begun to do your work, the list above is easier. I’m so glad I found this book right here on my path, because I have at least done enough work to come back to these practices and put them back into place. I haven’t done enough work yet that it is habit to have these in place, though. But I intend to get there. The Soulmate Experience is clearly the right step for me at this time.

When you really are present and loving and treating your life partner as your honored guest, you begin to feel that spot within you. That spot within you where the Truth is forever protected and waiting for you to find it again. When you engage on the soul level you feel yourself begin remember these important truths.

The authors are clearly people who are farther on down the path than I am. They are exactly the type of calm and centered loving people who can really use manifestation techniques well, because they understand how they work and why. After reading the book I went and watched a few clips of Joe and Mali in the Media section of their website, just to get to know them a little better. Seeing them for a few moments, I felt like I knew them and that I could trust them. When people do their work and get on down the path a bit, they can help the rest of us, sometimes just by their mere presence. You can see that they are at peace, and you know that peace might rub off on you a bit.

Readers who may have never been exposed to such metaphysical concepts will be amazed at what is presented in this book. I can imagine it could actually prompt someone onto their own path to Truth.

I am drawn to this book on many levels. The first one is that I am in a Soulmate Experience right now, every day! I am married to the man of my dreams and we are in love on the deep, soul level the book describes. When Joe and Mali are telling us what they “know” about romantic relationships, you can feel their love for each other, but also their ability to love in general. This shines through the book and helps the reader engage with their inner, deepest capacity for love.

Another level this book appeals to me is in the realm of romantic relationships, because I am a dating coach and matchmaker. I can’t wait to give this book to certain clients who I know will be able to use it! For some, this book could be a life changer. If a person can clear the space in their lives for their “guest,” then amazing things can happen.

SMEonthedeck

The book emphasizes that to engage on a soul level, you have to believe that you deserve it. This is hard for some people. So many of us have felt held back by life or cheated out of good things, especially romantic relationships. Then you don’t know if it is chicken or egg. Did I end up with poor results in the past because I didn’t really think I deserved true love, or did I really not deserve true love and that’s why I didn’t find it? It is easy for some people to feel that they are not deserving must be the answer.

But this feeling can be overcome and if you do overcome it, you’re going to be so much more likely to find that love you deserve. When you know you deserve it, your path opens up to better possibilities for you. This is true in so many other areas of life, but particularly in manifesting a truly loving relationship.

I’m pretty good at manifesting, but I still have a lot of work to do. Reading The Soulmate Experience reminded me to get more of my work done. I have so much still to do, and I know that if I do it, the type of relationship experiences Joe and Mali promise can happen, will happen. I have had enough glimpses in my life to know that I’m almost there.

This book is about Soulmate Experiences in the truest sense. We all have souls, and we can all experience each other on that level. It does not even have to be in the form of a romantic relationship, but when it is, it is like Heaven.

Marie, we honestly can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share your experience with our Experience. Love and gratitude, Mali & Joe