Lighten Up by Bonnie Greenwell

Ways to Lighten Up

by Bonnie Greenwell

If you are having challenges with a spiritual awakening process or just life in general here are 10 things you can do every day that will help you lighten up.

1.Take a few minutes to make a running list of things you are grateful for in your life.

2. Spend some time outdoors relating to a tree, a rock or a river.

3. Remember to use your senses to be fully present now — instead of entangled in watching and reacting to your thoughts, most of which are not true and just neurons firing. Can you predict what thought will arise next? Then why believe they are based in truth? They mostly spring from long past experiences and habit, or from something someone once told you as if it were true. Look out the window and be with what is real right now.

4. Stretch and breathe into the heart or the belly. Breathe in clarity, Breath out love.

5. Stand up and Swing your arms and body from side to side scooping energy in and flowing it out.

6. Even when setting a boundary you can send out love. Boundaries are not about blocking people, but about doing what is right for you in the moment. You may need to avoid crowded places, and toxic interactions.

7. Avoid intoxicants and mind-altering substances. Eat well.

8. Your true nature came into existence as form to enjoy the experience of this amazing world and the adventure of a journey through it. Facing what we do not like and cannot change is part of the journey. Resistance doesn’t support change — clarity, acceptance and creative action does.

9. Do some small service or something good for a person or the planet each day.

10. Take a backward step into stillness and presence and send affection to the little you that is still sometimes caught in illusion and struggle. When you learn to do this for yourself you will find it easier to do for others.


Bonnie Greenwell,  is a non-dual teacher, author  and therapist who offers programs and counseling at Shanti River Center in Ashland.  She is the author of “The Kundalini Guide” and “The Awakening Guide” on Amazon or Kindle. To receive a newsletter monthly from Shanti River Center on internet webinars and other events related to non-duality and spiritual awakening send an email to

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Hate: Not Welcome Here

I love this poster on the front doors of the Ashland Presbyterian Church!

Hate has no business here!

We carry aspects of hate in our hearts in many ways:  The crazy driver; the screaming neighbor; the alcoholic Uncle; the high school bully; etc.  Hate and condemnation go hand in hand.   All we need do is change our minds!  That is where our power lies:  In Choosing to change our minds!

Do we know what hate does to us, to our energy not to mention our hearts?

Hate is a poison and if we acknowledge it, look at it, laugh at it, it will disappear into the void!

See more at the following:



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Send Love to the tragedy


Re: Paris-Brussels Bombings by Jim Hatton


 As we pause to honor and bless those who perished recently or were wounded during the attacks in Paris and Brussels, let us also remember and honor their families, the first responders, all others affected by these horrific acts, and all people who have been impacted by similar attacks around the world. 

As we send love to those who were affected in this tragedy, we remind ourselves, once again, that regardless of the conditions that we find ourselves in, our faith and knowingness remains strong because our spiritual principles are clear. These principles do not change or waiver when one thing seems more difficult than another.  They remain true and steadfast, even when things do not appear to get better.

A Spiritual Truth is clear- that Infinite Spirit is unfolding, evolving and expressing as all of creation all of the time. The Universe hasn’t changed and Spirit hasn’t abandoned us. Rather, human beings have manifested destruction out of ignorance and fear. In such times as these, we must to turn our attention, intention and actions toward our desired vision of a loving, peaceful and enlightened world; rather than to succumbing to fear, hatred and violence, let us intentionally be the very consciousness of Love, Light and Peace, that lifts and raises consciousness as a whole.

Spirit neither endorses or condemns these hostile actions or the people that perpetrate them. Spirit only loves the essence of ALL individuals. We must endeavor to do the same. 

I know that turning to our true and Divine selves and seeing Spirit in ALL individuals can be a challenging task at times like these, but what else is ultimately effective in changing the conditions? Certainly NOT an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth. This is not saying that we endorse or permit these horrific acts, not at all, but we must look beyond the actions to see the same Divine essence in others that is in us. We are all branches of the same tree.


“Cease weeping over the mistakes of yesterday and steadfastly holding the face of the great and divine Reality, walk in that Light wherein there is no darkness.”

~ Dr. Ernest Holmes


This magnificent quote by Dr. Ernest Holmes reminds us to rise above our past, above the current circumstances and envision a future that is filled with infinite possibility, healing energy and unifying Love.

There truly is only One Thing happening, and that One Thing brings wholeness to all that we experience in our lives to the extent we recognize in our lives. We can trust this One Thing and we do so now. We recognize the One…in all and everyone.

Peace be unto you, my friend. 

 Jim Hatton, Author: “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life” available on Amazon or at


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Is War Necessary?

Is War Necessary?   By Jim Hatton

 Many beginning Metaphysical students become excited when they learn that they can create and mold their lives by their thoughts and feelings.  A new sense of having control over their lives motivates them to create and learn more.

After several consciously intended uses of the ‘Law of Attraction’ and their subsequent celebrations of this new found ability, something comes along that wasn’t intended. In fact, this experience is very unpleasant.  They come running back to their teacher and say “This stuff doesn’t work.”  With a grin I gently remind them of their previously created shiny new car but don’t insist they take it back to the dealer. “Maybe this stuff does work!”

For those of us who have been up and down the “Spiritual Block”, so to speak, we know that the Law of attraction works, and it works absolutely, whether our point of attraction was conscious or unconscious. Realizing the Law of Attraction does work absolutely, without exception can be a big pill to swallow.

When those manifestations and experiences come along some may not be pleasant or we may not be proud of.  Rather cursing or condemning them, it behooves us to look at this as an opportunity to look into that mirror of experience and seize the lesson that it offers.  What it offers is to see, what it is within us- that through our thoughts, actions, words, feelings, and expectations are attracting this experience.  Once we “own” this we can move on to greater understandings. Then and only then will our experience change.

It is not a new understanding that we tend to be products of our environment.  If we grow up in a family, that argues all the time we are likely to experience the same thing in our own family….that is unless we make a conscious choice to experience and ultimately expect something different.  It is our expectation that is such a powerful force in perpetuating a set of conditions…something we experience over and over again.

Therefore, I ask you…what you expect:

  • Prosperity or lack?
  • Love or anger?
  • Respect or dis-respect?
  • Ease of life events or difficulty making things work out?
  • Peace or War?

When we focus on Peace or to a greater degree, when we expect Peace, that is what we will personally experience.  The greater the focus, the greater expectation of Peace, this will ultimately allow us to walk through the greatest of turmoil and be untouched by it. If we are part of a community that expects Peace, that community will experience Peace as a collective.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if we focus on war, if we expect war, especially as a community, war is exactly what we will experience.  Granted if we are currently experiencing turmoil or war, it is a big shift in consciousness to expect Peace.  It takes a large paradigm shift from expecting war to expecting Peace as a community.  A community can be a small group, a town, a religious tradition, a race, a gender, a country, or the entire world.

If a collective of people truly desire Peace there are steps they can take to release their focus on war and focus on Peace.  These steps may include:

  • Stop celebrating past war victories and atrocities, including erecting statues to war heroes, remembrances of injustices and emphasis peace initiatives.
  • Focus on teaching our children to develop inner peace rather than teaching hatred and the use of weapons. Peace begins with one person at a time. Parents must set the example.
  • Release the past.  No matter what happened to you or your tribe in the past, focus on how your community will thrive when there is peace.  Releasing the past means forgiveness…without forgiveness of self and others there is no Peace.
  • Release Judgement:  It may be a fact that your tribe is different from other tribes but yours is not better or worse and there is no better or worse.  They are just different and that difference is simply a choice.

Peace will be achieved when the spiritual wisdom is realized: that we all have a choice.  We have experienced war and its atrocities only because we, at some level, have attracted it to us in order to learn the lessons we need to learn.  War is the greatest and most violent contrast.  Yes, indeed, Peace begins with us and it has to be internalized and ultimately expected.  What do you expect in your life?  

Jim Hatton, Author: “A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life” available on Amazon or at

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Peace Leadership


Peace Leadership – by Will Wilkinson

Who’s leading the way on peace? Martin Luther King, Jr? Gandhi? Mother Theresa? The Dali Lama? How about me? Heroes are inspiring but the good ones are always urging us to do the same. In fact, I seem to recall Jesus saying something like, “The things I do, you shall do better.” Or something like that.

Sadly, our modern heroes don’t exactly offer that same invitation. For instance, of the films up for Best Picture in this year’s Oscar extravaganza, most of them extoll the extreme heroism of individuals, overcoming impossible odds. Admirable as this may be, it serves to further emphasize the fundamental differences between them and us. I’ll never do what Matt Damon’s character did in The Martian, let alone survive the ordeals that Leonardo’s character did in The Revenant.

Meanwhile, I’ve got my little life, void of attacking Indians, surging waterfalls, and the rigors of living on an atmosphere-free planet. What am I supposed to do, absent dragons to slay? Well, how about being peaceful? Wouldn’t that be real leadership? I mean, all those heroes did was handle what came up, moment by moment. It had to be dramatic… they’re in movies, that’s what movies are. But it’s the same principle in my little life. Circumstance, options, choice, voila. Either the result of my living is more peace or less, since that’s our topic in this column. More peace or less in every circumstance, what a bare, simple choice.

Leaders, are we born or made? That’s an interesting argument. My take is that both are true. All of us were born and we make of our lives what we choose to. So, I choose to be a leader, not the screen or stage but in the simple circumstances of my own life. That includes stuff like not cursing the driver stuck in the left lane at 45 mph and remembering to get flowers for my wife and helping a neighbor with her firewood and meditating about my good fortune and loving the plant on my desk.

Will Wilkinson is a local author, life coach, and professional speaker.

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When All Else Fails

You know how you think you invented something clever, until you find out someone else said the same thing, years before? Hate that! It happened to me the other day when I heard a doctor suggest that we really need to reverse that old cliché, “Don’t just stand there, do something.” He said he tells people: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

I thought that was mine! Oh, and someone else talked about the “innernet.” There’s another one of “mine.” Guess I’m not as original as I thought. Or, maybe I’m connected with others and we share an intelligence that’s surfacing similar ideas regardless of where we live?

Anyway, it’s a good idea: “Don’t just do something, stand there.” When all else fails (and in terms of creating world peace we seem to have exhausted most of the possibilities, just look at the Middle East) maybe it’s wise to chill, to pause from acting and get into being.

Author James Hillman said, “See different, do different.” Lately, I’ve been studied Eco-Psychology and learning how to see with the eyes of nature, to expand my sense of self from this little human, separate from everyone and everything else, to merge with the web of life. It’s not like I have to make this up… all of us are connected already or we’d be dead.

Acknowledging the connection theoretically is one thing but experiencing it is another. That’s where the standing still comes in. We are usually traveling to fast to feel this connection so slowing down to the speed of life is the first step.

Peace is either a concept and something we are going to impose or it’s an experience available that I tap into and begin to experience. I choose door number two!

Will Wilkinson is a local author, life coach, and professional speaker.

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What is your focus?



With this we become, in essence, our creation.

We must become our creation first to experience it in physical form.

The proof that this works is also very simple.  Take a look at what is in your life.

Are you experiencing the same thing over and over again? 

Oh yes, it may a little different but it’s the same tragedy, suffering, pain, lack, and non-fulfillment as before. 

Are you repeating the same story over and over again?  

If you do, then start changing your story. You are already a very powerful creator.

With looking at these concepts of re-living our past, being in the present moment

and consciously creating our future, how do we bring these together in an easy practice?

The answer is also very simple:

  1. Give thanks for everything in your life.  Start with the things that give you joy and eventually give thanks for the “painful” things as they have brought you wisdom.  This is honoring the past but living in the NOW. Do this daily.
  2. Focus on what you want to create or experience in your life. Do it over and over again. Write about it, imagine it, and then emotionally experience it; what does it feel like to have it?
  3. Give thanks for your new creation.

That’s it!  You need do nothing more to completely change your life, a little at a time.

Our new Mantra (story) becomes:

I give thanks for what is,

and gratefully focus on what I want.

See the entire article by Jim Hatton, “Simple steps to cure What-is-itis”  in the Ashland Daily Tidings

Jim Hatton is author ” A Spiritual Master’s Guide to Life” available at Amazon of at


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The Call

The Call

 It’s all hearsay until you’re graced

 With It.

Struck down. Dumb.  Blind.  Lame.

 By light and wind and heat

 So fierce

 It shreds your soul within  


By Joyce Graham is an instructor at Rogue Community College and author of Eat Cake for Breakfast…And Other Rules to Break to Live Life More Vibrantly and Joy Becoming,  available on Amazon.

Contact her at


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Einstein’s Idea

Einstein is quoted often. One of my favorites is: “I didn’t say most of what people think I said.” Love that. So, he was a genius AND he had a sense of humor, an odd combination, wish there was more of that around.

My fave Einstein quote (which I hope he actually uttered) is about how we can’t hope to solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. Lots of other people like this quote too because I’ve heard it and read it countless times, in books, at seminars, in conversations, etc. Problem is, I don’t see much new thinking occurring.

I’ve wondered if the person saying these words, and then doing nothing about it, imagines that they have already starting thinking differently, just because they care about the world, for instance, about world peace. That’s just an idea… I don’t think it constitutes the fullness of what Einstein was pointing towards. Do you?

In my explorations, I’m finding a few specifics about new thinking.

1. Questions are more important than answers.

2. Humility is stronger and better than arrogance.

3. Peace is a seed, not a result. And, a bunch more.

Number one, though, is the vital importance of restoring my connection with nature. I live in the Oregon woods so that should be easy, but it’s easy to get lost in my screen. Meanwhile, that wild world out there beckons. Daily walks give me the opportunity to commune and gradually, after seven years here now, I feel the forest is accepting me and that I am beginning to hear the forest song I’ve been soaking in these years. The sound of the stream seems more melodic now; the wind in the trees too, it seems intelligent.

A question I like to ask whenever I’m discussing this with friends is: “Who do you think is the most intelligent species on earth?” It always raises eyebrows because the default is “humans.” Of course, who could question that? Well, I do. On what grounds? Results.

I don’t notice any other species wreaking havoc on the natural environment the way humans do. This, we are great at. No other animal has shown such a callous disregard for his home nest, has acted in ways that have hurt so many other species (species extinction is now about 1,000 times faster than the traditional “background” rate). Wow, we really excel at this!

Einstein was right: we need to think different. For me, it begins with realizing that humans, that “I” am not nearly the most intelligent species on the planet. I am part of Gaia, part of a universal intelligence, but I access much less of it than the trees in this forest I am growing to love. What can they teach me about peace, for instance, if I open my ears to really hear? Hmn… wonder if that might lead to some new thinking?

Will Wilkinson is a local author, life coach, and professional speaker.

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14th Century Samurai Code

(Wisdom from the ages)

I have no home:
I make the present moment my home
I have no power:
I make the rhythm of nature my power
I have no freedom:
I make awareness my freedom
I have no skills:
I make ceaseless practice my skills
I have no authority:
I make honesty my authority
I have no weapon:
I make the absence of self my weapon
I have no rules:
I make readiness and adaptability my rules
I have no enemies:
I make apathy and carelessness my enemies
I have no friends:
I make the earth and the sky my friends
I have no plan:
I make patience my plan
I have no strategy:
I make unwavering attention my strategy
I have no magic secret:
I make appropriate action my magic secret
I have no ears:
I make stillness my ears
I have no body:
I make unflinching endurance my body
I have no eyes:
I make intuition my eyes
I have no armor:
I make courage and alertness my armor
I have no fortress:
I make quiet-mind my fortress
I have no shield:
I make reverence for life my shield
I have no sword:
I make penetrating insight my sword
I have no honor:
I make gentleness and compassion my honor
I have no victories:
I make harmony and balance my victories
I have no rewards:
I make tears and laughter my rewards
I have no life or death:
I make the tides of breathing my life and death

–from Fourteenth Century Samurai Code
adapted by J.A. Cirie

 Above information from Barbara Casey


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  • About This Blog

    The Inner Peace blog is a place to share wisdom about peace practices and inspire, learn and explore all aspects of inner peace. A team of writers will discuss varied qualities –€” intuition, courage, fearlessness, friendship, forgiveness, gentleness, giving and receiving, tolerance, faithfulness and kindness –€” that help us all through the tough times, the challenges, the joys and the sorrows with inner peace as the ever-shining goal. Whether 2 or 92, your inner peace is up to you.
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