Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: April 2015

My Hawaii Life: Celebrating the Healing Power of Nature

Rainbow, Big Island, Hawaii

Double Rainbow, Big Island, Hawaii

If you would like to listen to me read this piece, please click below or continue on to read the text.

I grew up in a large city.  I never envisioned living on a fruit farm.  Life is not predictable, at least not for some of us.

This isn’t a commercial farm nor is it a large farm.  It’s just our humble attempt to live more sustainably.

Weeding, mulching, and feeding constitute my main tasks on the farm.  The scent of Cuban oregano and lemon grass delights me as I pull and hack and sweat – in moderation, of course.

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How To Discover Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life

The End of Self Help by Gail Brenner

Have you ever wished for a simple approach to cut through all the negative stories, stale habits, and emotional hailstorms that likely dominate your life?  That’s precisely what Dr. Gail Brenner offers in her new book, The End of Self Help:  Discovering Peace and Happiness Right at the Heart of Your Messy, Scary, Brilliant Life*.

I’ve been following Gail’s blog for almost 5 years and deeply appreciate her exceptional writing, keen insight, and heart-felt motivation. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to read her first book and  interview her about its major themes.

Many of the ideas and practices Brenner presents in The End of Self-Help* resonate with my own approach to personal and spiritual development.  For example, Brenner proposes that happiness lies within and is accessible to you at all times once you have the right understanding and know how.

This is an in-depth interview.  So grab a cup of tea, get cozy, and please enjoy.

1.  Gail, what prompted you to write this book?

I’ve known that there was a book in me for at least 20 years, and I’m so excited that it’s now finding the light of day! I’ve been writing a blog for over 5 years, and I got to the point where I wanted to go deeper than I could in individual blog posts. That’s when the book began to take shape.

A fire burns brightly in me to know and live in peace and happiness and share this possibility with others. I’m passionate about the amazing fact that who we are is not the limited, unlovable person many of us think we are. When these false ideas about ourselves are seen clearly, the truth is revealed—that we truly can find our way to peace and happiness in any moment.

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How to Cultivate Happiness: Be Positively Intentional

Be Positively Intentional

I woke up with a heavy heart one morning not too long ago.  I rarely watch violent television or movies.  But a few months back, I caught an episode or two of a popular drama with some especially vicious scenes.

Now, months later, a savage character from the show appeared in my dream, triggering a raging heartbeat and automatic muscle constriction.

As you can imagine, it took awhile to fall back to sleep.  When I woke in the morning, these thoughts arose:

  • “This world is hopeless.”
  • “Why do we allow writers, producers, and advertisers to imagine such a grotesque world and undesirable future for us?”
  • “Why do people find violence entertaining, so much so they’re willing to spend millions of dollars to watch it?”

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How to Gather Your Mind and Heart and Find Peace

To Be At Peace, Gather Your Heart and Mind

Would you like to be at peace?  Pause then to gather your mind and your heart.

Usually, mind is all over the place:  pondering the past, anticipating the future, or gripped by a crippling emotion born from desire, aversion, or confusion.  The gamut runs from self-recrimination and fear to competitiveness, anger and greed.

Take a moment to pause and gather your scattered mind from everywhere it’s gone – from yesterday, tomorrow, your to-do list, a problematic encounter, worries about work, the French Riviera or whatever pulls on you.  Bring your mind back home into your self.

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