The New Paradigm: Foundations 101


Your health and well-being is the single largest contribution you will ever make to the world. Or, as Ram Dass once put it, “The only thing you have to offer another human being, ever, is your own state of being.”

I recognize this can feel daunting. Perhaps beyond your reach and capacity. It might even feel like hogwash. And simultaneously true. All at the same time. I also know that to ignore this is to put ourselves at odds with not only our own and truest Nature, but also with Everything and Everyone around us.

From this perspective, this is no small thing we are talking about here.

Of course, I did not always know this. Early on it never occurred to me to consider how I was living was impacting others. Makes sense given that I did not even know how it was that I was impacting me. Never mind everyone else I came in contact with. But I know it now, and I watch it play out. Meaning, that when I am healthy, resourced and clear, the quality of my interactions is always of a higher caliber. The healthiness of the engagement prioritized. Even when, and perhaps most especially, when it is a difficult encounter.

Our health and well-being is not only the very foundation of our lives, and what it feels like to be alive, it is the very foundation of our lives together. How could it be anything else? Individually and together we create the collective. The whole will always only be as good as the sum of all of its parts. There is no “in here” that does not reflect “out there.” For to live out of balance within ourselves is to create the very imbalances outside of ourselves that we all abhor. And fear.

So here’s the million dollar question, “If it were true that my health and well-being is the single most important contribution I will ever make to the world, what then?

Without trying to find a quick fix answer, without discounting this as too airy-fairy to be of value, and without succumbing to an internal paralysis because it feels like too much or because you wouldn’t know what to do, what if you just asked yourself that question? A lot. What if you let that question and your intention to contribute from a whole place, guide you?

What then?




What are some of the most precious gifts you have ever received?

Take a moment now with yourself. Was it an understanding word? A non-judgmental shoulder to cry on? Something important reflected to you by another that you could not see on your own?

As we enter the final lap in the “time of giving,” it seems essential to reevaluate. To question whether or not we have got the real meaning of this season “right.” To wonder if what we are doing is even giving at all.

By that I mean, is the giving reflective of our truest nature and what it is that we all really need to receive? Or is it some frenzied and distorted version of an offering whipped up by people making a profit off of us? Built to medicate the masses against the malaise and the dis-ease of life together.

When I was growing up, Christmas morning was a literal feeding frenzy. Four kids ripping open present after present with no pause until the floor was littered with wrapping paper. And then, when that last present was opened, the dark and heavy feeling that you were “shit out of luck” descending over you. It all happened so fast. There was so much stuff. Yet, there was never a feeling of being sated. Of having been met. Of truly being gifted.

One year I remember sitting in the midst of the carnage and thinking, “Is this all there is?” Immediately I felt ungrateful. A bad person. Ashamed for not being satisfied with all that I had been given. I mean, come on, look at all of this stuff. It should have felt like enough, right?

When I reflect across my Life on some of the most precious gifts I have ever been given, there is not a single thing in the list. I know we all know this on some level. And yet, we have allowed this knowing to be hijacked. To be dictated by something outside of ourselves. Leaving us to accept warped versions of what it means to both give and receive in deeply nourishing and valuable ways.

How do you give and why? Where do you give from? Do you even know?


Body, Mind & Soul Domination


“Dominated.” This is the word a student uses to describe the relationship he has to his screen devices.

Even though we are on Zoom, and everyone is muted, I can feel the silent heaviness that comes over the “room.” We are all stunned into silence as the enormity of this one word settles over all of us. It’s all so powerful. All so sobering. And all so very, very devastating.

Where do we go from here? How do I even begin to help these students untangle from what we have gotten ourselves into?

No matter how many times I gather with others around the impact the technologies are having in our lives, I am always taken aback. One way or another. I am always left knowing that the technologies are beyond us. That despite the fact that we are not even close to having a handle on what we currently have, we continue to create more and more of something that is taking us farther and farther away from ourselves. And each other.

Farther and farther away from what it is to be human.

At this point, we all know it. Whether we cop to it or not, we all know it. We know that our use ruins a good night’s sleep. We know that we do it to the detriment of really living. We know that it is destroying our mental and physical health. We know that it is eroding our capacity to be in relationship in satisfying ways.

And we know that it is destroying the health and well-being of generations to come.

If all of this is not the makings of a world-wide addiction, I do not know what is. But because “everyone else is doing it,” it feels normal. We are literally living out now every dystopian sci-fi story ever told. Every prescient warning we ever got from those before us. And did not heed.

Enter the “Metaverse,” Mark Zuckerberg’s latest brain child. According to him, we will do everything via a virtual environment. Everything. And it’s going to be so great! So advanced. And he is so enthusiastic in the telling that it’s got to be great, right?

Now is our chance, my friends. As with everything that is happening in the world, now is the moment. Does it make sense to you to travel even further from yourself than you already have? Does it make sense to allow something non-human to further dominate you?

This is not someone else’s to do, and it is time we all got over “what everyone else is doing.” Time we all got over abdicating responsibility to those making money off of us.

The Stories We Tell


I am recently told a story of a woman who travelled to Peru to be with a local shaman. She went seeking answers as to why her life was such a mess. I imagine what it took for her to get to this place. To be so unable to understand what was happening for her, and what it was that she needed to do. To feel the anticipation and the hope that there would be a magical transformation performed by a seer in a life-altering ceremony in a mystical nation.

He told her she needed to stop drinking.This was not what she expected. Or wanted. This was most decidedly, not what she came for.

She came seeking a transcendent explanation and experience as to why her life was not working out. She came believing that delivery from her own personal hell would come neatly packaged up and “performed” for her by another. Someone wiser. Someone more “hooked up” than her.

But that is not how growth goes. Change is hard, and it is messy. Despite our child-like fantasies of an external savior, the one who knows all, the one who knows more and better than we, and the one who takes it all away, that is not how real change works.

I am involved in a year long somatic training. Right now we are fully immersed in all of the behaviors we engage in to bypass the pain we cannot be with. It is excruciating. And it is liberating. To be in a place where you are nose-to-nose with the truth of your own behaviors is humbling. To see them in the light of the protective functions they play in your life is nothing short of breathtaking.

You see, we all have perfectly good reasons for doing what we do. Even, and maybe most especially, when what we are doing hurts us.

Look into your own Life. What’s not working? Could you be so brave and so wise as to notice a behavior, a feeling or a thought, one you wished was not there? Locating it, gently say to yourself, “It’s okay that you’re here.” 

This is not to say that you like it or want it to stay. This is a courtesy, and an honesty that you extend to yourself where you do not turn away, but instead turn towards, what is not working. This is done in the Spirit of a kind of reconciliation with your past. How it is that you got here. This is done with the understanding that the codes for changing anything, lie embedded within us.

And it all begins by learning how to be with what is.

Across & Between Species


I am talking with a friend who lives in the Southwest and she is telling me of the powerful encounters she is having with the wild horses who abound there.

With every word she speaks, instructions are being offered for how it is that beings who inhabit very different realities can stand side by side one another with not only a sense of decency but more importantly, Reverence. If even for just a moment, transcending, or at the very least bridging, the “apparent”differences. Communing, if you will, beyond the distinctions.

With these wild and majestic animals, there are no command performances. No demands to be placed upon them to acquiesce. She cannot “get” them to bend to her will or agenda, no matter her intention. Wise woman that she is, she does not even try. Choosing instead, for a far less egocentric way of being with these magnificent creatures by “merely” allowing a side-by-side existence.

She is alert for, present to, and allowing of, their right to take the lead. What a concept given the knee jerk dominance the human mind can slip into. That place where we believe that we are in charge. Of course we are in charge. For we know best. We always know best.

At times the wild ones I speak of are so immersed in their own experience that they have absolutely no interest in her. She lives with that, despite what her own desires of the moment might be. At other times, they intensely seek her out. Literally demanding that she be with them on their terms. No distractions, they seem to say. And absolutely no imposition of her will on the exchange will be allowed.

For it is They, and Some Deeper Intelligence that is in charge here.

It takes a lot, she says, of her and she believes, of them, to be in such open and close proximity to such a vastly different being. Such vastly different experiences, sensibilities and needs present in these encounters. And yet, in these rare and precious moments, there is a leaning into being both open to something more, while simultaneously remaining sovereign.

There is no entering this threshold, this “time out of time” space in the typical ways of the human mind. There is only a kind of being with that makes an opening such as this even possible.

Could we not take a page from this scene in our dealings with one another? Could we not recognize the tremendous effort, respect and awe it requires to be with another person where their unique experiences are honored, while we remain sovereign to ours?

Especially when we believe different things and cannot find our way to understanding.