Tag Archives: personal development

What are your biggest struggles with change?

Watch Woody Harrelson‘s opinion on the people vs. corporations, and then read on below because I need your help!  Help me, help you….. bonus if you know which movie I’m parodying…

Did you know that our issues are in our hands this way?  But there is more at play than just corporations isn’t there?  You gotta lotta stuff going on in your life that make these “easy” changes difficult.  It’s easier said than done, because if it was that easy, we’d already be making greater progress now that so many people are aware of the shit going on.

I’m working on some ideas to help you switch to a lifestyle that better matches your beliefs and values to help the world.  One that supports your change but without all the pressure and fear that you’re not doing it right, or all the overwhelm that comes with such an enormous transition.

But I need your help.  I need to understand what some of the biggest issues are that people are facing so I can make those the top priority instead of just using what I know from my own experiences and research.

Would you help me out and tell me in the comments below what your biggest struggles are with social and environmental change?  I would love to help more people start making the changes through this website, Facebook group (come join me!), and some materials I’m creating, but I would rather hear from all of you what you need specifically, so that it will make the biggest difference!  Can’t wait to hear from you!


Humans Kick Koala to the Curb

Koala image on soulourpower.org
Koala sits where home used to be. Photo courtesy of Huffington Post.

Humans kick koala to the curb

This image and story is circulating from Huffington Post and going around on Facebook.  The koala wants to go home, but there is no home to go to because it’s been destroyed by loggers and deforestation.  If you want to check out this sad story, go to Huffington’s article.

On Facebook there are over 300 comments on this poor bear’s plight and what we humans are doing to its natural habitat.  This is one story among thousands around the world that talk about what deforestation is doing.

Who’s Fault is This?

The only problem with these stories, is we all talk about these issues as if we don’t have anything directly to do with them.  When we think of deforestation, we think of loggers and corporations, and somehow place the blame there, or out there, or away from ourselves.  The disconnect with doing that is it leaves us feeling helpless as though there is nothing we can do to help the endless amounts of animals and environment being subjected to our issues of consumerism and pollution.

Psychological and Spiritual Effects of Pain and Suffering

It may seem far-fetched to some, but when we witness these sorts of pains and suffering in our world, it affects us emotionally and psychologically.  It affects our soul to see such hurting and usually compels us to move in such a way to stop the hurting.  But when we witness things through technology via images and movies, it stunts our ability to act, as well as emotionally connect with this natural compassion we have within us.

People react differently with this sense of helplessness to give directly to the source of this pain.  Some jump right in to a good cause, others become apathetic and have to push it out of their mind. Or some find a mix between the two extremes of doing something and doing nothing.  Most of us fall in that category.

No, but seriously, what can You do?

The truth is, we can do something.  Something very effective and powerful to stop, slow down, or bring more awareness to things like deforestation and other issues that are effecting us all, not just the animals.  It only took one photographer/reporter to alert thousands about this ONE koala.  But we all have a part to play, similar to this photographer’s part in the awareness aspect.

No matter what our professional passions are though, we can all change our lifestyles in such a way that we can greatly reduce the impact of our consumerism and pollution that is taxing our natural resources at both ends.  And this is powerful and many are already doing this.  But the real power comes from all of us doing it together and yet in our own way.  Supporting one another and encouraging people to take steps in the right direction through positivity.

We can’t beat each other down for eating meat or not eating meat anymore.  We have to allow for the hypocrisies just enough to compel each other to do more in a compassionate way.  To love more so that changing our emotional addictions becomes easier.  Piling emotional pressure on addicts of many kinds only creates more situations for a “fix.”  But compassion helps us to let go of negative emotions, which in turn help us heal from these consumer addictions that are hurting us all.

Be kinder to yourself and others

When we look at images of a koala sitting on a pile of wood chips, knowing it sat there for an hour, confused and really think about that.  Let it sink in.  We can become empowered knowing that for every material thing you can let go of, you are helping countless other species not face this same plight.

Doesn’t it make you wonder what we are doing as a world when many of us already know that stuff does not make us happy?  And when we ask, what does make us happy, the documentary, Happy, gave us three fundamental values each human looks for in happiness.  We want our own personal identity, to connect deeply with others, and to give back to the world.

Some of the happiest cultures have far less than Western cultures do.  They focus on these elements of life to sustain that inner need.  And we can emulate these other cultures ourselves.  You don’t have to scale back so far you are depriving yourself, it is tough to live a different way other than your culture.  But chances are, you own way more than you know what to do with and are suffering  from debt, responsibility and being overworked in ways that are not fulfilling to you.  If you aren’t, then maybe you know other people who are, to which I hope and congratulate you being a positive influence to them!

Can we share common goals for the future?

We all have the same goal in mind.  We want to live a great life, be happy and leave a legacy and share a great planet.  As humans, it is our duty to help one another do this by taking care of our common areas together, just as roommates would in a house.  Our common areas are the environment and all the species, including us, that live within it.  We are a tribe aren’t we?

If you feel like your impact is insignificant, you might be right in a sense.  We cannot work alone on a project of this size.  But, if you realize that every person doing their part will amount to the greater whole, then your efforts become very powerful as you gently lead others toward the same direction by example.  We need leaders who are awesome at positively steering others towards behaviors that not only benefit the self, but also all others as well.  It takes a lot of courage to lead people this way, rather than relenting to critical and negative behaviors towards those not doing their part, but stick with it long enough and you will reap the benefits.

Even the smallest steps will take you somewhere

If this poor koala really touched your heart, please consider a Minimal lifestyle.  I promise you, it is the most amazing lifestyle you can choose for yourself because the effects on you will be so profound and direct.  Everything about your life will change and you will experience a freedom and happiness you never knew existed!

You don’t have to deprive yourself, just choose more wisely.  Refuse to own things that don’t lift you up and motivate you to do more and be more in this world.  What you get rid of is different for each person.  More importantly it’s an ideal that helps you to buy less in the future and spend more time an energy on your passions.

Personal development is deeply tied to social and environmental change.  If you want to make these changes but you’re stuck in a rut, overwhelmed, scared, or confused on how to start, please don’t  give up.   Sign up for my blog (or any other countless blogs) as I continue building more content that will further your efforts to directly impact these issues in your life inside and the world out there.  And always feel free to leave a comment or question below.  We all deserve the very best in this world.  Every person is important, every species is important, and the environment is important.  Our Souls are Our Power to change this!

Are You Free From What Others Think?

English: Broken heart sewn back together
English: Broken heart sewn back together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People are flocking to personal development and spiritual modalities like crazy these days.  Or they might be at church, mass, or temple enjoying various religions of their choosing, or for some, not their choosing.

But the point is, we are all trying to become better people.  If you really want to test yourself and see if you’re on track with your development, consider contemplating these five points below.  Chew on them for a while before immediately rejecting them and just see what you think.  Turn them towards someone who you wish would apologize and ask yourself if this isn’t what you’d want from them.

Then see yourself doing the same for others.  If you have trouble forgiving people, then you can use this information to help you visualize how it would feel to have someone forgive you for something you’ve done.  Then, when you’re comfortable with that, you can change the visualization and see yourself forgiving someone who’s harmed you.

Try to give them the same feelings that you got from the person that forgave you.  If you’re feeling fear or stagnation in your life, or depression and sadness, these exercises will help you become free from what others think.  We often trap ourselves with what others think, their judgement and opinions and it causes us to feel unworthy, insecure, and isolated in our culture.  But you can change that now, no matter what you believe.  And if you can’t physically apologize to people, just practice in your head.  It will be effective in taking you to the next step in your journey.

  1. When you can genuinely apologize to someone without needing them to respond back to you, then you no longer care what they think.
  2. When you can admit your wrongs about yourself, without excusing yourself with blame on something or someone else, then you no longer care what others think.
  3. When you apologize to someone for the sake of peace, and not for the emotional or physical comfort people bring you, then you no longer care what others think.
  4. When you can apologize without explaining or reasoning your actions to that other person, but simply use your mistakes to better yourself next time, then you no longer care what others think.
  5. When you can truly apologize and forgive someone as an act of giving, with no expectations, than you no longer care what others think.

It would be tough being this type of person with all people and at all times, but just aiming yourself in the right direction will be enough to get you on track.  When you live your life unconditionally loving others in this way, it frees you up from what others think of you – their judgements and opinions, good or bad.  The spiritual meaning it brings is profound.  It’s up to you to find that in your own journey, but you will.  We all know the right thing to do, and we all talk about these right things to do, but it’s really tough to walk that talk, which is where we all need to ramp-up to for significant changes in our social and environmental efforts.  If we want a better world, we have to be  better people.

Love and Peace

Yoga for Humane Living

yoga (Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)

I’ve suffered from lower back pain for over a month now. Prior to my back pain, I thought I’d be smart and buy a rebounder (mini trampoline) to get my exercise. It was great while I used it for my two-minute workout when I caught myself sitting at my desk too much.

But, as life would have it, I got a little too zealous one day and went crazy “pushing” myself to do jumping jacks and other crazy stuff to music that’d make a person on crack freak out. Okay, I’m joking. But what ended up happening with my over-achieving workout ethic is that I pinched my sciatica in my lower back. I’ve been miserable ever since, watching my rebounder become a junk collector of my stuff.

Since I couldn’t do more than stretch and walk I was sad. I am really determined to get my body back in shape for this next summer. But I learned a couple of valuable lessons with this pain in my back. I first learned how important core strength is to any workout routine. Not only that, but I learned how essential core muscle strength is to my posture and breathing. They are all connected, you know. If you have good breathing skills, your anxiety is lower. If you have good core muscles, your posture is better, which means your breathing is deeper.

But I also realized, that was only half the battle.

Since birth, I’ve been docile. A piece of string entertained me for up to 20 minutes at a time at an age where most babies don’t have a long attention span. My characteristics were oddly similar to children with autism. My mom said that the other two kids were always into everything like normal children do. But I was quiet, self-entertained, and didn’t need much to keep me happy.

This led me into being the kid that sat around reading, drawing and listening to music for hours. I liked to go out and play with my friends too, but I was not what you would normally describe as an active child.

So naturally I chose activities throughout my life that kept me sitting around a lot. As I grew older that led into bad eating habits and more sitting around. And for many years of my life, I sat at a desk 8-9 hours a day. The point is, although I love certain recreational activities, I’m not naturally the type to run to the gym daily.

The second lesson I learned is that I have to retrain my brain to think about activities that get me moving. So I wrote out a list of positive affirmations that had to do with exercise and being active, while my back constantly reminded me that it was not participating no matter what I did. Even rolling out of bed was painful!

But I’m serious and know that I am in control of my life, my brain and my back. And with gentle persuasion, I will exercise. I will! Healthy, active, and vibrant are what descriptions I want about myself now. And although I’ve always been a sedentary type of person, I feel way better when I am moving and my body feels like a slick machine.

I did this Yoga video today. Since I can’t afford a chiropractor, I take my health into my own hands. Actually, I really believe this is better than a chiropractor because it addresses the issues of the body at a root level, not just fixing the pain. No band-aids for me and I always look for solutions that solve more than one problem in my life (and the world) so I don’t have to work as hard.

At the end of this video, I felt awesome! I laughed until tears streamed out of my eyes. That is what you call a spiritual detox of relief and joy.

If you need more reasons to support your transformation into a healthy, happy body, consider these thoughts.

You reduce your carbon footprint by not using an expensive gym that uses excessive amounts of water and electricity.
Less travel time equals more gas for other trips, less carbon footprint from travel, and more time to spend at home with your family.
Other family members can work out with you and it doesn’t cost more money.
Family time is one of the top contributors to social change.
You lead your family by example and influence, especially powerful for kids.
You can pick a different coach everyday, as well as a different workout.
You can cook dinner or do laundry or other activities in between your routines.

These are just a few reasons to help motivate you to start working out and find solutions that turn your life  into Humane living. I’m sure you can find more and use them in your daily positive affirmations.

If you’re not ready to make these kinds of changes, consider just doing the daily affirmations and visualize yourself participating in activities and exercise that you enjoy. After roughly 21 days, your brain will naturally start to give you more reasons, ideas, and clues to follow that will lead you to a more active lifestyle.

Good luck to you and your health.
Love and Peace.

What Are You Doing to Make the World Better?

Life on mother earth
Life on mother earth (Photo credit: Mara ~earth light~)

I just logged into my Facebook and found a post from one of my friends. He’s frustrated with all the crazy news stories in the media about the problems in our world.

He wants to know where all the good stories are from those of us that care and are doing something to make this world a better place.

I couldn’t agree more. And neither could his Facebook followers!

What a great blog post, I thought. And so here it is.

What am I doing to make the world a better place?

Today, I worked on my mental state of mind through researching self-esteem and self-confidence. I listened to hypnotherapy to help my mind and actions get in-tune with each other.

I want to eat better. I want to behave better. I want to consistently push myself more and more in everything I do. I want to give to humanity and the environment in sustainable ways, even if that just means doing my best in my own little world.


I’ve researched for many years now the effects my diet has on my health, my state of mind, the power of my soul, my finances, and basically my life. But the even better part that I learned is that the better I behave, the less I spend, the less I consume, and the less I pollute. This is a daily task.

My life, inadvertently becomes an example to others. This never really meant much to me until I experienced it with my teenager.
I realized I can talk her all day if I want, but what I do is what she subconsciously picks up on. If I want to know how well I am parenting, all I have to do is see her reactions to me and the life I’m trying to offer her.

I see more changes in her when I just behave the way I want her to behave.

What does this have to do with the state of the world and the environment?


There is a beauty in action and body language. In truth, we are all like my teenager. We watch what everyone else is doing, subconsciously picking it up, and then behave like-wise for acceptance, love and worthiness in the eyes of others.

And this would be great, if the state of our world wasn’t in such place that it is now. We have to reverse these problems through compassionate actions. We have to consciously change our behavior and match it up to what we want to see happen, not go around telling others what needs to happen.

We have to do it.

It takes courage to live this sort of life. We have so many excuses as to why it is easier not to change, or to wait around for the next person to stand up and do it. However, this is not a meaningful life. A meaningful life is changing ourselves first, to match up with our visions of world peace.

This friend of mine on Facebook left a quote from Mother Teresa under his first post:

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Mother Teresa

Its true. We feel that the little things we are contributing aren’t enough, but Mother Teresa knew that all the small actions amount to a lot more when we consistently engage in those actions daily. Its putting a penny in the spiritual bank.

One of us alone can’t make the world peaceful nor heal the environment, but all of us taking small steps together create an ocean of action. Everything you do, day in and day out, contributes to this ocean we all live in. Are you creating a life of peace and compassion? Are you consciously improving your behavior in empowering ways?

It’s a tough road, but we are all in this together

I support whatever efforts you are putting forth, even if some days you feel like you’re taking two steps backwards. It feels like that often to me too. This is all the more reason we should work together on supporting each other.

But I’ve learned with my daughter that it is possible even when it seems dark and hopeless like the news makes us feel. Today, I talked to her about her own self-esteem. I told her that it would affect every part of her life and how very important it is. I had her sit down and watch a YouTube video about self-esteem. I told her what I wanted for her life. I want her to have good relationships with her friends, and to pursue her passions, and to take responsibility for her actions.

The best part about it is, even though she’d rather be off texting her friends and listening to music, my messages to her always come back to me later. She will tell me how she helped her friends by giving them good advice. When she repeats the advice, I hear my message come back to me from her perspective. I smile to myself when I hear these things because when I said it to her, I thought I had no effect on her.

Last week, she told me one of her school friends wanted to commit suicide. She talked to him and helped him out with these thoughts. He came by our home later to thank her. After he left, she told me that if it hadn’t been for her, he would’ve committed suicide. This is not the first friend she helped.

Is my parenting working? Some would look at our life from the outside and beg to differ. But I know I am teaching my daughter very valuable lessons about life, connections, and how to behave in a crazy world. I know the power of small steps and small conversations, what others would equate to as “not enough” for what is going on in this world.

But I agree with Mother Teresa. The power of who we are, how we behave, and what our actions stand for are far more reaching than we could ever imagine.

One drop at a time

I know in my heart we are all doing things like this to help each other. We just lose these moments in the busyness of our day. We forget what power we are giving to each other and what words are helping others. Some of us lack self-esteem and it makes it hard to internalize that we are the difference!

Now its your turn. Tell me something you’ve done today, or that somebody did for you, to make the world a better place. I know you are putting more good into this world than you probably give yourself credit for. I’d really like to hear about you. I’d also like you to share this blog with others that you know are not giving themselves enough credit for the good they put into this world.

Let’s bring our focus together on this subject by sharing our stories of how we’re helping each other just a little at a time. Just one drop in the ocean at a time. We never know who are encouraging.

Before you go to sleep tonight, look in the mirror while you’re brushing your teeth and remind yourself who you are. Tell yourself you are the difference. When you are positive with yourself, you will eventually become naturally positive with others.

Updated Feb. 23rd, 2013:  Here is another article from Zoe Weil on this subject on her blog Humane Connection.

Love and Peace


Why must we wait?

Patience teaches purity

Transformation is a sticky subject. Usually by the time we want to change something about our lives, the pain has become so unbearable that we want a miracle and are wearing holes in the knees of our pants to get it.

The internet, with its “get rich quick,” schemes, try this one diet “trick” for instant results, or do this “magic spell” to get that special someone to fall for you is de-sensitizing us away from true character development. There is an inexhaustible list on the world-wide web and everyone wants to board that express to success without understanding the work they have to do.

It’s safe to say that our problems have far exceeded our solutions, and our solutions are arrows in the dark. We solve one problem and watch three others spin out of control. You make one person happy at the cost of your own. You fix one addiction only to see it pop up somewhere else in your life. You quit one job only to find another one just like it or worse. Maybe you keep dating the same person over and over, just with a different face.

Jumping from solution to solution is a worthy pursuit to find what works for you, but if you’re not understanding the process of transformation, most likely you ditch your old efforts for new ones before anything has time to take effect. This leads to endless seeking and searching and is, quite frankly, exhausting.


Patience is hardly used in this (Western) world of convenience we now live in. But the value of patience is priceless and saved for the wise. Waiting, slowing down, becoming still, reflecting, and listening are keys to what you are searching for and not just a bunch of spiritual or religious hype.

Impatience is a wrench in your life to be avoided. Its expressed through fights, illness, addiction, road rage, emotional manipulation and control, excessive consumerism and a lot more of not getting what you really want, except a lot more frustrated. After all, like attracts like.

Patience for patience

If you would like some significant changes in your life, then you will have to get serious about it, and yes, wait. You will have to have patience to learn patience. That is living in the here and now. All these alarm bells that are going off in your life need you. As you deal with each one in its own time,  you will learn patience. You will also develop a strength of character that will prepare you for the things you want.

Patience is a step by step process, designed this way for a specific reason. We humans can only handle so much, and much of the time we conveniently distract ourselves from doing the work necessary to build our character for more exciting roles in life, like meeting a soul mate.

But patience is constantly working inside and outside of you in very small increments. When we become still, we start to notice those tiny impulses and then can recognize how they spin out of control into wild emotional binges that show up in addiction, fights, and other unsatisfactory response that leave us feeling exhausted and depressed later. Patience teaches you how to manage those impulses in ways that give you your power back, and work with your situations or other people in a way you can feel good about.

Because if you can’t manage your own emotions, how will your soul mate see you as a soul mate? If you cannot manage the money you have now, how will you be able to handle more of it? If you can’t find time to work on your passions now, how will you have time when the pressures and demands of that passion increase from exposure?

Instant fame and lottery winners can tell us fast success often leads to failure because the right character traits didn’t have time to develop. Many famous people have and are dying of drug overdoses because of the immense pressure they are under from their careers. Countless lottery winners end up broke months later because they didn’t adopt new spending habits to go along with their wealth.

While most of us will never have to deal with that kind of pressure, the message is still the same. We have to learn how to deal with the problems right in front of us. As you build character you will find that you can handle bigger dreams and the bigger demands that come with them because you developed a muscle in your character.

Not only that, but the problems that you are trying to overcome permeate various aspects of your life. A good example is a person that quits smoking sometimes suffers from weight gain. They quit the addiction, but they didn’t overcome the emotional addiction that caused them to start smoking in the first place. But by adopting the right character traits, one of them being patience, you will solve parts of those various problems you are dealing with and learn other complimentary character traits that will help you solve larger aspects of your problems in a systematic way.

Adopt the habit of patience

Slow down and live your life right now. If you make a choice to become more patient today, and actively move towards that decision, you will find a heavy burden lifted from your shoulders as you no longer struggle and fight against things you can’t control anyway.

Take your time to develop this habit right and make sure you’re using it in all parts of your life. Start with one area and start to practice it everyday, even if the practice is just conscious awareness. Visualize yourself as a patient person every night before going to sleep. Consider evaluating your beliefs and expectations that are so prevalent in this society of instantaneous results. Try a few positive affirmations every night before going to sleep. Here are a couple to get you started.


After doing these things, start looking for confirmations showing up in your life. You might hear people talking about patience, or unintentionally find yourself reading about it on the internet, or noticing parts of a book or movie stand out to you that involve something about patience. That means you are becoming consciously aware of your actions. Pursue those cues!

Do you have a positive affirmation or suggestion for developing more patience? Share your wisdom below.

What does your soul have to do with the environment?

If you had the power to change what is happening to our planet, would you act on that power? When you look at your own life, and understand the constant weight from the perspective of consuming, and realize its an addiction, you start to realize what a heavy burden that is to carry.

However, we say it in different terms. We express this weight as being unfulfilled, unhappy or like something is missing from our lives. The truth is we have become so disconnected from our souls, that we no longer find meaning in what is truly important to each of us. Life. Sharing of life. Being connected with ourselves and one another. Doing happy things and feeling true contentment inside.

When you work on your own personal development with the environment and community in mind, you learn to develop yourself in an all-inclusive way. You get in touch with your soul, your passions, your loved ones and simultaneously realize that although technology is fun, it’s never as much fun as laughing with another. Material wealth cannot fulfill us, and the environment is showing us this fact.

The environment reflects the state of humanity. We all have the power to change what is happening to our world. Your soul is your power. It connects you to the Source of life, whether you call it God or something else. When you  tune into that power, your wants, desires and addictions fade. Your complaints turn into compliments, your sorrow turns into gratitude. Your anxiety turns into peace. You transform into the very thing you seek to fulfill you.

Everyday activism isn’t just about money and volunteering. It’s a lifestyle choice that involves developing yourself into a happy person through contemplative reflection of who you are everyday, maybe every moment. It is also contemplative reflection on how you treat others, what you buy, how you fulfill your passions, how you manage your emotions, what choices you make. Every aspect of your life can change in a way that creates peace and stability inside you, while fulfilling your passions and joyfully connecting with others. Environmental conservation becomes a side effect of your happiness and willingness to do what is right. 

Check out this trailer below. If it grabs your attention, there is a link for a 93 minute video. But please, take care of yourself today. Don’t give up. Our world needs your help and happiness.

HOME: The Environment – by homeproject : Living Green Magazine.

Waterkeeper Alliance Video – Let’s Clean Up Our Messes Together

Photo Courtesy of: Quoteseverlasting https://www.flickr.com/photos/quoteseverlasting/8736910852/
Photo Courtesy of: Quoteseverlasting https://www.flickr.com/photos/quoteseverlasting/8736910852/

You can get involved in any organization through money or volunteering, but what we also need is people willing to help the massive pollution problem by changing their lifestyle.

In the beginning of this video, narrator Edward Olmos talks about heroes. We all have this inner want to do something great.  But just like this video indicates, sometimes doing something really great isn’t being famous.  Sometimes doing something really great is just choosing to consistently work on one problem everyday without fail.

If this video inspires you, consider a lifestyle that is minimal. The reason we have so much factory pollution is because the people demand it through what they buy. If you change through effective personal development what you want decreases. You want less, spend less, become happier, and put less of a strain on the environment.

Evaluate the decisions you are making. Get intelligent with your spending and find ways to reduce your consumerism and pollution on this planet. You may only be one person, but when you do something enough times it gains momentum and becomes contagious to others. You will be a hero to all of us for standing brave and making a few sacrifices in your personal life for the sake of others and the environment.

via Edward James Olmos Narrates Waterkeeper Alliance Video – “Around The World” PSA – 2012-2013 – YouTube.