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HUMBLENESS

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The characteristics of an authentically empowered personality are humbleness, clarity, forgiveness, and Love. Love is the big one. Each time you have the courage to feel the sensations beneath the impulse to shout in anger, withdraw in jealousy, judge or disdain, or need to please, for example, and instead of acting on it, act from the healthiest part of yourself that you can access – even if that means simply remaining motionless and silent with a good intention for the person or people you are with, you create authentic power. The more you create authentic power, the more the characteristics of authentic power become your characteristics, and the more meaning, purpose, and joy enter your life.

This Spring through the beginning of Summer, I am going to explore each of the characteristics of an authentically empowered personality in a different article. This month I am beginning with characteristic of authentic power that few people have thought about – humbleness. What do you think it is, really? What do you think it is not, really? And last, why do you think it would be good to develop humbleness?

A humble person walks in a familiar world. He or she sees friends everywhere he or she looks, wherever he or she goes, with whomever he or she meets. His or her perception goes beyond the shell of appearance and into essence. He or she sees the attributes of people around him or her – big body, small body, strong body, weak body, quick intellect, slow intellect, yellow skin, brown skin, male or female, young or old – and on and on – as costumes. He or she does not believe that anyone will change this costume at the end of the day, but he or she also knows that everyone will leave it behind at the end of a lifetime. Ashes will return to ashes, and dust will return to dust. That is the way it is with costumes. They do not last forever. They do not even last very long – a century at best and much less for most people. The soul is a different story. The soul is immortal.

The next time you feel less than someone else, inadequate, or inferior, remember that “humbleness” doesn’t have anything to do with those experiences any more than it means lowering yourself to make a connection. There are no lower levels to a humble person. There are no higher levels, either. There are only souls. There is only love. Humbleness is one of the great gifts of authentic power – and you give it to yourself.

Next month, I will look at “Clarity.” It might surprise you, too.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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CLARITY AND SHARING

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What you share is not as important as why you share it. For example, sharing with the intention to impress people with your generosity, intelligence, or good nature is not the same as sharing with the intention to support another with no strings attached, or sharing because sharing with love is healing and natural to us, or consciously sharing with love your presence with others. Your intention for sharing determines the consequences of your sharing and your experiences of sharing.

Clarity allows you to identify your intentions, distinguish among them, and to understand their effects. When you share to change someone so that you will feel better about yourself or safe, you strive to manipulate and control. You pursue external power. This creates painful and destructive consequences. When you share to contribute to Life without thought of self-benefit, or share from your heart without second agendas that benefit you first and others second, or share the compassion, wisdom, and love that you were born to share, your frequency increases, you shine brighter, and your choices contribute constructively to the collective consciousness.

You are a micro of a macro. Your soul is a micro of the soul of humankind. This is sometimes called the collective unconscious of humanity, but it is not that. It is the soul of humanity. You cannot change the macro without first changing the micro. You cannot diminish exploitation in the macro while that same energy exists in you. As you change the micro, you simultaneously change the macro of which you are part and to which you are intimately bound. You create the world that you want to see, choice by choice, with the force of your own will applied in the only way that can produce permanent and constructive results – to the conscious and constructive transformation of yourself.

This is the creation of authentic power. The transformation that you create in yourself simultaneously contributes to the transformation of humanity. Clarity enables you to make and understand these transformations in yourself and to contribute them to the world. Ultimately, these are the contributions you were born to make.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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LOVE – THE HOLY PERCEPTION

LOVE – THE HOLY PERCEPTION

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Love is so big, so inclusive, so encompassing that no definition can contain it. Love is not only the love with a little “L”, such as the love of a parent for a child or a child for a parent. It is not the only the love of illusory fantasy, such as romantic love or love for a great heroine or hero. It is not only the Universal love, sometimes called Agape. It is larger even than that. When the great Sequoia, aging for centuries, finally falls, thundering downward until it comes to rest in the embrace of the Earth, that is love, also. The incoming and outgoing tides caress sand and rocks ceaselessly, relentlessly. That is love, too. When the cannons roar, bodies explode, and limbs scatter across grassy fields or littered streets made morbid with blood, can that be love? Can the cruelty of the bully, the deceitfulness of the coward, the majesty of the courageous, and the humbleness of the wise be love as well? How can we dare speak of them in the same sentence, especially when “love” is part of the sentence?

Love is a perception, but it is a holy perception, a sacred perception, a perception that excludes nothing and includes everything. It is the love of the bee for the flower, the mountain for the valley and the valley for the mountain. It is the love of the bird for the air and the air for the bird. It is the boiling, roiling, tumultuous collision of emotions within us, between us, and among us. It is the song of the wind and the whistle of an incoming artillery round. It is the stars and the soil, the light and the dark, it is the antelope eating the grass and the lion devouring the antelope. It is the dance of life and death, inseparably united within the illusion of time and space, matter and duality.

The fire destroys the forest and new life rises. The corpse goes into the ground, the waves, or the fire, but the soul remains. All this, also, is love. Victory and defeat, success and failure, insight and confusion are love. Nothing we see or cannot see, long for or push away, celebrate or regret is not love. Everything and its opposite is love. When you see this, you step into love.

Your life – all of your experiences – becomes an uninterrupted flow of opportunities to expand into love instead of contract into fear. You see the power of your choices and the extent of your responsibility for what they create. You see that when you create with brutality, the experience of brutality comes to you or another of your soul’s personalities. You see that when you create with love, the experience of love comes to you or another of your soul’s personalities. Eventually, you learn to create with love no matter what circumstances you are in. You see your circumstances differently, too. You see that all of them beckon you to Love, to fall into Love, to allow Love.

When you cannot feel the call, when you fight the fall, when you refuse to allow, you are experiencing fear. The experience of fear, also, is an experience of Love. Eventually you will come to realize that Love is all there is. Why not open to Love now? Why not begin the process now? Why not step into your life consciously and responsibly? There is no other way to Love.

Love.
Linda & Gary

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STRETCHING YOURSELF

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Commitment is a stretch when you commit to something new, something constructive and healthy, and stick to it, such as commitment to your integrity. How do you stay in integrity without being insensitive? How can you be sensitive to others and stay in it?

There are degrees of commitment, and each new degree is a stretch. It is as though we are individuals who are practicing yoga. As we stretch we become more limber, but we are always at the edge of what we can do. Individuals who come into the Authentic Power Learning Community may think that they are committed to creating authentic power and feel that they are committed, and yet as they begin to experience the depth of the transformation that occurs within themselves as they develop emotional awareness and apply responsible choice, they discover that they are indeed required to commit yet again.

Having a child is a commitment, and as the child grows, parents begin to understand in more fullness the demands of parenthood, and as they do, their commitment deepens or they fall into despair. As the child grows into adulthood, the commitment of the parents must deepen yet again to provide the love and wisdom they want to share in ways they are at the same time learning and learning how to share.

 

Having a child is a commitment, and as the child grows, parents begin to understand in more fullness the demands of parenthood, and as they do, their commitment deepens or they fall into despair. As the child grows into adulthood, the commitment of the parents must deepen yet again to provide the love and wisdom they want to share in ways they are at the same time learning and learning how to share.

It is the same with creating authentic power. The more you enter your life consciously, the more challenges and opportunities appear in equal measure. The more difficulties and tumultuous emotions you experience consciously and challenge, the more potential for freedom from fear and the spaciousness of joy appear. The more you stretch yourself, the more you gain. And you gain nothing when you do not stretch yourself. Creating authentic power is stretching yourself in every way that counts.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS OR UNCONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS?

CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS OR UNCONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS?

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What would a conscious Christmas look like? It would look like the Christ – loving others, caring about others without second agendas, no attempt to impress, patient, and caring. It would not be limited to a day, evening, or night. It would not be a special event. It would be a life-long endeavor, focusing the power of goodnesscompassion, and Divinity onto to every interaction and experience. It would be willful, not mindlessly habitual. It would demand commitment and an elevated perception. It would be the experiences of lovewisdom, and compassion brought into the matter of your life.

Who would benefit from a conscious Christmas? Everyone. It would cleanse the road film of sentimentality from our experiences, wipe clean the lens of our expanded perception, replace every distortion of anger, jealousy, resentment, superiority and inferiority with clarity, and free us from fear. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, recognizing the differences between a conscious Christmas and a commercial Christmas will help you recognize the differences between a conscious life and an unconscious life.

A CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS IS: AN UNCONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS IS:
Quality time with family and friendsvs.       impatience, overwhelm and stress
Aware and healthy interactionsvs.habitual and unexamined interactions
Compassion for others and yourselfvs.judging others and yourself
Seeing from an impersonal perspectivevs.taking things personally
Cultivating love at every chancevs.indulging fear (impatience, anger, etc.) at every chance
Being kind (no second agendas)vs.giving so others will like you
True and deep connectionsvs.sentimental interactions
Acting and speaking with integrityvs.letting things slide because it’s the holidays
Caregivingvs.caretaking
Conscious use of moneyvs.shopping out of obligation or need to please
Healthy, conscious eatingvs.eating and drinking to cover pain
Open heartednessvs.evaluating, assessing, judging others

In short, a conscious Christmas is filled with experiences of love and an unconscious Christmas is filled with experiences of fear. Only an empowered heart creating without attachment to the outcome can live a conscious Christmas, and only a heart clouded by lack of self-worth and searching for value outside of itself can experience an unconscious Christmas.

This mirrors the creation of authentic power – the alignment of the personality with the soul – and the pursuit of external power – ability to manipulate and control. Every deed, word, and gift at Christmas can express the creation of authentic power or the pursuit of external power. The intention that you hold as you act and speak makes the difference.
May your Christmas this year – and all your times – be heart-filled, joyful, and fulfilling.
Love.
Linda & Gary
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25 YEARS OF THE SEAT OF THE SOUL

25 YEARS OF THE SEAT OF THE SOUL

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Twenty–five years ago I published a book that I did not know if anyone would read. My publisher had been waiting seven years for a sequel to my first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. The manuscript I gave her was entirely different, but she published it anyway in Spring 1989. I called the new book The Seat of the Soul. This book immediately began to help people in meaningful ways, and in 1998 Oprah Winfrey and I cocreated a television show about it that aired on Christmas Eve afternoon. Almost everything changed for me after that. Oprah and I began doing audience shows the next Spring, and we did over thirty of them. Oprah needed to share The Seat of the Soul, too. This month the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Seat of the Soul was released.

I did not change the text of the original, but Oprah and Maya Angelou wrote remarkable prefaces for it, and I wrote a new foreword. The big change in the new edition, however, is the one that engaged me, transformed me, and liberated me in ways I could not have foreseen: the 85-page Study Guide in the back. The Study Guide helps you apply the principles in The Seat of the Soul to your everyday life in practical ways and to see more clearly the enormity of the context in which they are becoming visible – the expansion of everyone’s perception within a few generations beyond the limitations of the five senses. Each chapter in The Seat of the Soul has a corresponding Study Guide chapter. Each Study Guide chapter has opening paragraphs, questions, and different kinds of exercises. Before I began working on this Study Guide, I had not thought about explaining the principles in The Seat of the Soul this way. Once I began, I could not stop. Each chapter of the book became a surprising and deeply gratifying exploration for me.

I wanted the questions in the Study Guide to be meaningful, not intellectual, to draw from deeper places than thought, to elicit answers beyond words, to open new doorways. This required only an interest in supporting you, and that was deepest in my heart. The opening paragraphs, however, required me to dive deeply into chapters I had read many times before, clarifying everything that I felt might be unclear or need attention. I reread The Seat of the Soul four times. Just when I thought the Study Guide could not become more supportive, the idea occurred to me to add videos and audio meditations, and that required creating, in effect, a new website. Access to each page in this new website – which became the “Study Guide Extension” – is in the Study Guide at the back of the book. Now the whole thing is done – 25th Anniversary Edition with prefaces by Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou, Study Guide, and online Study Guide Extension. It is a joy to recommend them to you.

Some people might ask, “How could something written twenty-five years ago be engaging, much less liberating, to the person who wrote it? Understanding this requires understanding about inspiration, and how it comes from a source other than the mind. Before the mind can write anything, it needs to understand it in its own terms. All everyday writings are done in this way. But The Seat of the Soul is filled with things that do not present themselves in terms of the mind. They come from another place. That is why inspired people can not fathom with their minds the fullness of what they are writing, performing, and bringing into being as they are doing it. The mind can not fathom the fullness of inspired sharing because that kind of sharing comes from beyond the mind. They feel what they are sharing, express what they are sharing, and become what they are sharing, but they are not thinking about what they are sharing while they are sharing it. Thinking about it stops the process. Afterwards, the mind can recognize, appreciate, and revel in what inspiration has created. I have been recognizing, appreciating, and reveling in The Seat of the Soul for twenty-five years. Last year I began to see ways to help others do the same, and the result is the Study Guide and Study Guide Extension online in the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Seat of the Soul.

The publication of this new edition is so much more than the re-release of a classic book. It is an ongoing journey into love and nature of power – which are the same. I am grateful to share it with you.

Love,

Linda & Gary
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LOVING DR. MAYA ANGELOU

LOVING DR. MAYA ANGELOU

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I met Dr. Maya Angelou in 2011 when I interviewed her for a film project that Linda and I were helping some young friends create. Oprah made the connection, and we flew to interview her at her home in Winston Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A. As our questions became more substantive, I could see her engage more deeply in the interview, and her answers became more and more awesome to me. After the interview, to my surprise, she invited us into her dining room for tea. She also gave Linda and me one of her famous cookbooks and inscribed it to “My New Heart Throbs.” I soon realized that Dr. Maya Angelou was one of my heart throbs as well. This was the first of eight trips to her home that Linda and I would make during the next three years.

We both found ourselves thinking about Maya Angelou a lot when we returned home. It was as though we had never left her. Two weeks later she called. “I am still soaring!” she told us. Linda and I felt exactly the same. We decided to create a “salon” by phone and to meet monthly to talk about important and interesting things. Soon we were speaking every Sunday morning, and we continued to speak every Sunday that she was not traveling until she passed on.

There was nothing romantic about Dr. Maya Angelou that I saw, but everything she did came from a deep and deeply loving place. “When you know better, you do better,” she told us and the many members of her extended family that gathered around her dining table, especially on her birthdays and at Thanksgivings. “When you get, give,” she told us. “When you learn, teach.” “People will forget what you say and they will forget what you do, but they will never forget how you make them feel.” Dr. Angelou made me feel included, welcome, significant, part of the family, and a colleague. I have never met a person like her.

She traveled around the country giving events and inspiring talks, often to young people, in her private bus. We once drove to meet her in Portland, Oregon, where she was giving a talk to a huge sold-out audience. As we rode with her in her bus to the venue, she was quiet and inward, as though conserving her strength. When the curtain went up, however, there she was, seated elegantly without her oxygen, ebullient and unstoppable. I wondered whether going that long without oxygen was uncomfortable or fatiguing to her, but as one of the extended family observed, “If Maya’s got it, she’s giving it.” I often thought that she might be in pain as she moved on her walker from her private quarters in her house to the dining table, but if so, she never talked to us about it. Instead she told us, “When you are in pain, don’t be a pain.”

I did not at first recognize the greatness of our new friend or the scope of her reach. The First Lady of the United States described one part of it, “She reached a white woman in Kansas who named her daughter after her and raised her son to become the first black President of the United States,” while a few rows in front of us President Bill Clinton, who had invited Dr. Angelou to read her poetry at his inauguration, sat with the rest of us in celebration of her life.

“When I go on stage,” she told us often, “I bring with me everyone who has loved and supported me. They are on the stage with me. How can I be afraid?”

Dr. Maya Angelou inspired me to do more, reach deeper, and give more than I have in the past. She touched me with her love and caring and complete commitment to loving. The last time Linda and I called her, she came to the phone to tell us that she was speaking with her grandson and said in her matter of fact way, with complete authority, “I can’t talk with you now. The important thing is that you called and I love you and you know that.” We had no doubt about it.

Thank you, Maya Angelou. Your presence will always be a joy in my life.

Love,

Linda & Gary

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INTENTIONS OF INTEGRITY

INTENTIONS OF INTEGRITY

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Integritylove, and authentic power are inseparable. Integrity is much more than doing the right thing. From the perspective of your soul, there is no “right” and “wrong” thing. There are causes and there are effects of causes. When the cause is love, the effect is love. When the cause is fear, the effect is fear. When you are torn between love and fear, or between fear and love, your personality is splintered. It is not whole, not integral. You are out of integrity. Your wholeness is not present.

Only creating with integrity can re-establish it. That means creating with love, even while fear is present within you, for example, speaking with patience while impatience seethes inside you; acting with acceptance while anger rages through you; and honoring the needs of another while a frightened part of your personality demands that its need be met first. It means honoring others in deep and substantive relationships even when frightened parts of your personality demand that you exploit them – emotionally, psychologically, sexually, financially.

Integrity often requires courage. It takes courage to challenge a frightened part of your personality, for example, to not act in anger when you are angry and to listen respectfully when you feel superior. You act courageously each time you choose to act with love while you are experiencing fear. Courage is always required where will and fear intersect. What could be a better use of your courage than to create with love? When you hold the intention of love, when you act with the intention of love, you align yourself with your soul, and you are in integrity.

Love,

Linda & Gary
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PROACTIVELY CHOOSING TO LOVE

PROACTIVELY CHOOSING TO LOVE

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What does it REALLY mean to make choices from healthy parts of your personality? It’s not only when you observe that a fearful part of your personality is active (for example, one that is impatient), and you decide to act from a loving part of your personality instead (for example, one that is patient). This is the core dynamic of creating authentic power.

It also means proactively and consciously choosing to act from a loving part of your personality moment by moment – for example, a part that is grateful, or appreciative, or caring, or content, or in awe of the Universe as well as patient. When you do this, you will notice that you are naturally more givingcreative, and curious. You will feel your heart opening, and the joy of opening to others will fill your awareness.

Allow yourself to go on an adventure for the next week, or month, or even for the remainder of today in order to begin the process. Consciously and proactively choose to act from a loving part of your personality all the time. Cultivate loving parts of your personality moment to moment, interaction to interaction, activity to activity. Use all the circumstances of your life all the time – especially those that are unpleasant or painful – to bring patience, appreciation, gratitude, and care into your life. Can you imagine doing this all the time? Can you imagine taking the helm of your vessel and sailing toward love continually?

Love,

Linda & Gary
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SPIRITUAL LESSONS FROM CHARLESTON

SPIRITUAL LESSONS FROM CHARLESTON

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The root of the horror of a young person killing his neighbors in a bible class cannot be found in the young person. It can be found in ourselves, if we look.

What do you feel about these killings? Is it anger, sorrow, helplessness? If so, you will discover uncomfortable or painful physical sensations in your body – especially in your chest, solar plexus, or throat areas. These are experiences of fear. Is it compassion or appreciation (for example, for the compassionate response of the grieving families)? If so, you will discover pleasing or good-feeling physical sensations in your body in the same areas. These are experiences of love.

Only perceptions of love are true. Perceptions of fear are distorted. The young person perceived through fear. His neighbors appeared to him as less than himself and without value. Do parts of your personality perceive this way, too? For example, do any of them become angry, jealous, impatient, or judgmental of others? The actions of the young man are showing you these parts of yourself. Are parts of your personality grateful without reason for people in your life? Do they see beauty in each soul, including those that act in fear? The choices of the loving families of those who were killed are showing you these parts of yourself.

Which parts of your personality do you intend to cultivate? Which parts do you intend to challenge? Only you can decide. When you choose to act in love, no matter what his happening inside you and what is happening outside, you create authentic power.

That is how to grow spiritually.

Love.
Linda & Gary