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Ash Wednesday and the ghost in you

A ritual for Lent: make a daily list of what brings you joy, and what brings you closer to Spirit

No, we don’t mean our favorite song by the Psychedelic Furs, which was given a short second life a couple of years ago by the Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore vehicle 50 First Dates.

But now that we brought it up, did you ever wonder where they got that phrase, ‘the ghost in you’? Check out Corinthians 6:19, one of the most famous passages in the Bible:

Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, which you have from God, and you are not your own? . . . Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The passage points to the reason that people of a certain persuasion, starting tomorrow, give up pleasures of the flesh like coffee, sweets, alcohol or cigarettes. It’s a cleansing ritual that honors the temple of your body, and the Spirit which gave rise to it.

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An artist’s journey of creation: Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines

Like Alice down the rabbit hole, Joanne Ehrich leads us along the path that helped her to reconnect with her true calling and create Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves

“A picture is worth a thousand words”, and Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves is no exception.

In her recently released book, Klassic Koalas: The Book of Valentines and Other Loves,  Joanne Ehrich has taken seemingly disparate elements such as treasured old love letters, snapshots of long-departed family and friends, and images of koalas cuddling their babies — romantic love, the love of family and companions, and the love that exists even within nature — and woven them through her artwork into an enchanting book that will delight lovers, friends, and individuals.

This publication’s visuals are not only intended to entrance the viewer, it reminds us of our true nature — not just the love between lovers or among friends or family members, but the love we feel for creatures we hold dear and for the wonders of the earth.

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A child’s false God

My first “faith”: Catholic guilt, playing Purgatory, Priests who molested, and kissing cousins

BY MARINA GIULLIANI — Read part 1 and part 2 of this Soul’s Code exclusive from the book, Sins of my Faith

Outsiders would say I’m a serial victim of sexual abuse. I reject the word victim because I consider myself a champion and I resist being labelled at all, as such a complex experience can’t possibly be generalized.

Having said that, when I realized my stolen innocence created the havoc that became my future,
my mind raged with the minute details of experiences long forgotten. . .

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An unlikely love connection

How to turn MySpace into Our space: A contemporary shaman’s response to hate-mail

GUEST COLUMN: DAWN DANCING OTTER — Everywhere I go, in every moment, the ongoing mantra in my mind is a repetition of the four graces of Ho’oponopono — “I am sorry, I love you, please forgive me, thank you.”  What I have come to realize is that my life is transforming miraculously as a result. Whatever situation, whomever/whatever is in my field of observation, whatever thought or sensation that is in my present awareness, I am constantly reconciling, acknowledging, forgiving, and integrating.

The miracle to me, is that each moment I live is a lesson, a gift, an opportunity to love myself even more; to reconcile with the parts of myself that have been forgotten, disassociated, unloved. . .my shadows.

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Spiritual Surf: the gospel according to Elton John, Tiger Woods goes back to Buddhism, and more

Mawlid, birthday of Muhammad

This Friday Sunni Muslims across the world will celebrate Mawlid, the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.  Though the celebration is centuries old, historically Muslims were divided over the issue of permiting the holiday and how it should be celebrated (maybe it appeared too similar to that religious birthday among Christian neighbors: Christmas).  Festive processions and parties can be found in several nations, particularly in India, and though Mawlid is celebrated in nearly all Muslim nations, Saudia Arabia (the birth place of Islam) has not made Mawlid an official holiday.

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The gift of surrender

“I can feel the years of fears, abandonments and hungers. And then, I let it all go in acceptance.”

GUEST COLUMN: JULIA TUCHMAN — I have never been very good at surrendering. I have been the fighter — the hold-on-to-the-side-of-the-cliff, fight-for-your-life, never-give-up and “go down with the ship” kind of soul. It was exhausting work, and with no apparent end in sight.

Surrender is one of the most essential lessons I needed to learn, and I have been given a legion of opportunities to learn, grow, and finally accept the wisdom of surrender. But I am stubborn. The lessons for surrender kept coming into my life, but I continued fighting, resisting surrender at any cost.

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Does “For richer for poorer” work, even during a recession?

Recession pushed a real-life couple into therapy.  What they found when they got there: money was synonymous with love and security.

DAVID RICKEY — In early 1988 I began work with a couple, (we’ll call them George and Martha), whose relationship seemed to be a victim of the ’87 recession. Martha worked as an interior designer; George worked at a Wall Street investment firm.

The recession was the cause of his being laid off and it also saw a decline in her business. Before this upheaval they had lived a very comfortable lifestyle on the Upper Westside of Manhattan.

They came to me because they found that most of the time that they were together now, they were fighting or just irritable, and there was a big decline in intimacy. They thought all this had to do with the decline in their income and therefore the lowering of their “lifestyle”.

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The bearable lightness of being Roni Lipstein

An experience with altered consciousness provides a wellness coach with the strength to leave an abusive relationship, and an opportunity to learn to “love self, first”

BY RHONDA SHERYL LIPSTEIN — As an author, I realize that we all could write a book, since life itself is a series of experiences that expand our consciousness.

The only difference between one who “walks the talk” and one who does not even talk at all is whether we choose to be aware of this fact — of our expressed experience of being.

During my life I’ve had several experiences of expanded or altered consciousness, beginning when I was a child, continuing as an adult with the birth of my son — and later, when extricating myself from an abusive relationship.

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Love is a verb. So, let’s DO it.

Forget what you’ve learned about romance on “reality” shows like The Bachelor. Here are five tips on how to love in the real world.

GUEST COLUMN: PHYLLIS KING — Love is an all-inclusive vibration — it is an action word.

Although it is not a feeling per se, we can create a feeling of adoration and appreciation for others.

We all need to be aware that we are programmed by the external culture to believe love requires no effort, is a passive activity, and is simply just sex and romance.

Case in point: the incredible popularity of TV shows such as ABC’s  The Bachelor (the latest Bachelor is pictured at left) and  The Bachelorette.

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Making peace with childhood ghosts

Daniel realizes the far reaching effects a 49-year-old fight has had on many lives

BY DANIEL D. WOO, 2nd of two parts — I immediately found Chapter 18 and read it; here’s a paragraph:

“It is a summer evening, down in a green hollow, at the corner of a wall. I meet the butcher by appointment. I am attended by a select body of our boys; the butcher, by two other butchers, a young publican, and a sweep. The preliminaries are adjusted, and the butcher and myself stand face to face.

In a moment the butcher lights ten thousand candles out of my left eyebrow. In another moment, I don’t know where the wall is, or where I am, or where anybody is. I hardly know which is myself and which the butcher, we are always in such a tangle and tussle, knocking about upon the trodden grass.

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