Sunday, December 9, 2012

Father Bede Griffiths

A beautiful talk on how exploring other religions can enhance the faith you practice.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 Simple Ways to Respond to Negative People

Many of the most valuable lessons I have learned have come from people I definitely do not want to be like. You know the type.

For example, I have a family member who is the embodiment of cynicism, doom and gloom. He rarely has anything positive to say and his dark jokes revolve around someone's misfortune.

Whenever asked, "How’s it going?" he details his latest job woes in a manner that reflects his view that the world is out to get him. He can also talk for hours about his dark conspiracy theories.

Being around him can be draining, to say the least. Most family members suffer in silent resignation, head for another room, or step out into the garden for some fresh air to get away.

I often do the same. At other times, I feel compassion and attempt to share the benefits of seeing life from a more elevated perspective while also hinting at the importance of taking ownership of one's shadow.

There are also times when, if I am not careful, I find myself getting drawn into the gravitational pull of his dark energy. When this happens, he unloads his grievances and walks away with a light spring in his step while I am left feeling like I need a shower.

In other words: this man is a fantastic ally. He has taught me incredible lessons about where and why I allow myself to be pulled off center and out of my heart. Through him, I have woken up to when this happens.

As a form of protection, I have created an internal checklist to respond to people both at work and at home who are negative or stuck in a dark mood. The checklist goes like this:

1. What does this person need?

Is there a chance that a positive input is being sought? If the answer is yes, then share something to lift the mood. If the answer is no, keep the interaction brief and walk away.

2. Are they acting as a mirror?

The answer is yes if we are being sucked in. When there is a pull, there is a resonance. Someone or something "out there" shows us where we are resisting the flow of life. When this is the case, we can breathe in deeply and accept what is.

3. This too will pass. 

While we can offer compassion and point to other alternatives, we are not responsible. Suffering is a choice. When we maintain our state, we are part of the solution rather than adding to the illusion. In this way, we create space for an opening of awareness to happen, which is more than enough.

4. Avoidance is O.K.

We can protect and safeguard the sanctity of our internal state by making sure we are with people who nurture us. On other occasions, when we have no alternative as a consequence of work or family obligations, we can remain upbeat and keep turning every negative comment into a positive. Do it for long enough and it works wonders. If the other person cannot get you on his or her negative side, they will eventually give up.

5. Love really is the answer. 

Everything always comes down to love. If we love and respect ourselves, we do not give ourselves away so cheaply. We do not come down from our state. We do not concede who we are for the sake of someone’s need to off-load. We can listen with love. We only get dumped on when we allow ourselves to become part of the drama.


The next time that person comes your way, be grateful. No matter how mean, dark-spirited or negative they may be, they are here to teach us how to love, honor and respect who we are and what we have to offer the world.

I would say that is an invaluable gift wouldn’t you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Where Would You Go & Why?

For one heady moment, imagine traveling anywhere in the world you have always wanted to visit. Imagine having unlimited resources and the time to stay for as long as you want. 

Imagine, just imagine.
  • Where would you go?
  • Why does this place tug at your heart?
  • Does it seem to hold a special meaning for you?
  • And what do you hope to find there?
For me, it was India. The moment I arrived I knew this strange and compelling country was my cup of tea.  Despite blaring noise, pungent odors carrying a heady mix of incense, car fumes and sewage, I instantly fell in love. It was as if the promise of some magical potion had drawn me there and I hungrily drank it all in. 

I had arrived with a thirst not so easily quenched. Although a long-time meditator and ardent student of kundalini yoga, I was desperate to find others like me who had been graced with a life shaped by the miraculous. 

Since childhood I had been blessed with lucid dream initiations from Master Yogi’s and life-changing, astral plane healing ceremonies with Native American and Tibetan Shamans. In the west I had learned to protect the profundity of these encounters and now here in India, the magic and mystery of the unseen worlds was openly inter-woven into everyday life.

Here, I was in heaven and my heart and soul knew it. From deep inside, everything seemed to relax and at the same time, there was a grateful embracing of the oddly familiar. However, my body wasn’t so happy.

My husband and I had first arrived in Mumbai on a bright, full moon night in early January. By mid March, with heat and humidity flooding the air, I was embarking on a second round of antibiotics in another attempt to purge pesky intestinal amoebas, which had set up camp in my digestive tract. In response, my appetite had upped sticks and left. 

I decided something more effective had to be done. Weighing under a hundred pounds, I knew I needed to find another, more holistic healing alternative.

Seconds after making that silent determination, a gentle, old Indian Swami came and took a seat beside me under the shade of a mango tree, where I had positioned myself to slowly sip chai. Without pre-amble, Swamiji sweetly advised, “You should go to Malad and see Dr. Pankaj. He is an Ayurvedic doctor. He will help you with your digestive problems.”

Two days later, I found myself standing on Bhadran Nagar Cross Road, outside a brick building with a pretty green and white awning. It read, “Ayushakti, Ayurved Health Center.”

At eight thirty a.m. the heat of the day had begun to settle in and I was happy to enter a dark, cavernous room on the second floor. People were already holding numbered cards and sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on hard benches. Cheered by a photograph of the Dalai Lama, seen smiling and shaking hands with the renowned Doctor, I took my seat.

Two long, slow hours ticked by. The cloying heat intensifying minute-by-minute, causing my cotton Punjabi to seal itself to my skin. Lack of food and water had also produced a cracking headache and my stomach was cramping in complaint.  Just at the moment I thought I was going to either vomit or pass out, I was ushered into an office.

Behind an antique looking wooden table, sat Dr Pankaj. With dark, vibrant eyes peering from under a mop of mahogany hair, a handle bar moustache and a sideways wobble of the head, he instructed, “Your wrist please!” and dutifully told, I laid my arm across the table with the palm turned upward. 

With that, Dr Pankaj lightly touched my wrist with four of his fingers, closed his eyes and slightly cocked his head, listening to something indefinable. Seconds later he sat up abruptly, confidently proclaiming, “1. You have bad headache. 2. You have stomach problem. 3. You have problem in two lower discs in back. 4. You travel very much outside your body.”

Astonished, I replied, “Yes, yes, yes and yes! You know all that from my pulse?”

Dr Pankaj smiled patiently and replied, “Naturally! I read messages of pulse and can say what is happening in body, mind and spirit. I have allopathic medical degree and training, but more I learned from a Master Yogi in the Himalayas. He taught me ancient secrets of how to read pulse.”

Continuing on in this manner, the highly accurate Doctor then went on to describe the food I did enjoy. He also advised on the kinds of foods I should adopt while in India, before ending with, “I prescribe mixture of herbal tablets. They must be taken before eating. Amoebas do not like and they will leave. Then you get healthy and strong!”

With a flourish of his pen Dr Pankaj wrote out a prescription and I left his office in search of the in-house pharmacy, intent on retrieving my magic potion pills. Feeling buoyed and renewed, my headache was gone, my stomach had stopped cramping and I happily realized, that right here in India I had been gifted with finding my kind of land and my kind of Doctor.

Copyright 2012- Julie Hoyle

Monday, December 3, 2012

3 Steps to Manifesting Your Dreams

In July 2007, I boarded a train heading from London to Nottingham in the UK. It was a two hour journey and I realized I had nothing to read. However, a moment later I recalled having picked up a free magazine while visiting a mind-body-spirit bookstore, which I had stuffed into my bag.

Taking it out, I settled in to read an article written by Barbara Brennen. Half way through, I suddenly heard a voice saying, “You can do this. You can write articles and essays that inspire people.” The voice was so loud I looked around just in case anyone had spoken, though I already knew. This message was ‘an inside job’, delivered from the depths of my own intuitive wisdom.

Without questioning or doubting what I had heard, I chose the only surface I had to write on and began drafting my first article on the back of a paper napkin. At home, after tweaking and typing it up, I sent it to the editor of the magazine I had been reading. 

Three days later, I received an e-mail from the editor saying he wanted to use the article in his next edition and hey presto! From that moment on my creative doors were flung wide open and I was forcefully propelled in a direction I could never have consciously foreseen.

Since then in the work that I do, I have been happy to share a simple, yet incredibly powerful  checklist, which can be utilized in order to go after what we are most passionate about. The list goes like this:

1. Listen.

When you hear a strong inner message, don’t miss the moment and let it slip away. Trust what you are hearing. Write it down; commit it to memory and hang on to it like a lifeline.

2. Act.

Take at least one step toward what you are being directed to do. If the first step is not immediately clear, keep a journal and inquire, “What can I do right now to bring this dream into manifestation?

3. Share.

Tell those you trust and who are able to safely incubate this intention with you. Ask for support and input. Don’t hesitate to express your wildest, most extravagant dreams.

When we Listen, Act, and Share, we are saying, “YES!” to the flow of the universe, which is dynamic, alive, and charged with immense power.

We are proactively stating,
  • I acknowledge and trust my intuitive wisdom.
  • I love and honor who I am.
  • I respect and stand behind what I have to offer the world.
In contrast, when we do not Listen, Act, and Share, we are made aware of it in several ways.

First: We feel depressed, intuitively recognizing that we have missed an important message meant to open us to new and expanded possibilities.

Second: We feel sluggish, “stuck,” and unable to see clearly. It’s as if our eyes have clouded over and we are trying to look through thick, dirty glass.

Third: We contract, which leads us to feeling alienated from the ones we love, as well as from the world at large.

Inevitably, at different stages in our lives, we flip-flop between the two opposites until we begin to see that we do have choices in the expression and manifestation of our dreams. We also realize that even if we miss an inner directive, it is never too late. We will be gifted with plenty of others.

Once we arrive at this understanding, we wake up to the truth that we will always be guided from within. And once we follow our inner guidance, we will be shown that the universe is, by nature, abundant and more than willing to take care of us, show us the way and even firmly take us by the hand, if we let it.
Copyright- Julie Hoyle 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The mind must soften and bend low,
to enter the lotus of the Heart.

Join Facebook for a daily dose of inspiration.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Transforming Self-Denial and Self-Sabotage

In my early twenties and straight out of college, I agreed to take a temporary position teaching high-energy eight year olds who so the story goes, had worn down their former teacher so effectively, she had suffered a nervous breakdown.
Happily for me, regular hatha yoga and meditation practices helped maintain good humor and composure, which led to the students and I forming a strong and healthy relationship. I was also grateful for the kind support offered by another temp, who took me under her wing, guiding me to navigate the political landscape of the school.
Nonetheless I quickly discovered, while my new friend Vanda was compassionate and caring toward everyone around her, she did not extend the same qualities toward herself. Within minutes of meeting, I learned she was in the throes of a separation. For the last two of their seven-year marriage, her husband had been having an affair.  “I only found out when the girl turned eighteen, “said Vanda. “Then my husband declared he wanted a divorce.”

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Lose yourself in the heart of your longing. 
Discover what your heart is longing for.


Monday, March 26, 2012


In 2001 my husband and I took a giant leap of faith. In our mid-forties, we quit our jobs, sold everything and closed down the life we had built in the Bahamas to embark on a new adventure in India. Being on staff at an ashram had been a long held dream and we were thrilled to be grabbing the opportunity with both hands.

Fast-forward two years. While the experience at the ashram was transformational, we knew it was time to start looking for work. We also knew that as challenging as closing down a former life might have been, finding new work opportunities would offer a unique set of challenges.


Sunday, March 11, 2012


In a lucid dream I was astonished to find myself in the home of Papaji an Enlightened Master from the Advaita tradition. Although I had never studied with him while he was alive, or even read any of his books, Papaji immediately made me feel at home and invited me to take a seat as he moved around the kitchen preparing a meal. Also to my great delight, seated close by immersed in profound stillness was Anandamayi Ma, a beautiful female Saint who is revered in India.

Observing Papaji's movements, I was acutely aware that every gesture was a teaching. With incredible focus, he took great care in washing the rice, chopping the vegetables and frying the spices. There was not one second that was thrown away with lack of Presence. When Papaji was finished, he laid a place at the table and handed me a plate of steamed rice, curried vegetables and dahl. Then he looked at me intently and said,

"What you teach about lucid dreaming is true.

Being conscious is everything.

When you realize there is no 'better' moment than this moment right now, you are not willing to throw it away.

There is never going to be a better moment than NOW."

That said, Papaji left the house and walked away and when I turned around to look for Ananadamayi Ma, I realized she had disappeared.

Find out more in the BE YOUR OWN GURU COURSE

Thursday, March 8, 2012


“Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it’s dark.” ~Zen Proverb

There was once a man who loved to complain and find fault with everyone and everything. Nothing pleased him, so he moved from one town to another, declaring as he left each place:

“I am going to another town, where the people are friendlier.”

A wise man perceived what the problem was, and as the angry man began striding along the dusty road to yet another destination, the wise man compassionately called out:

Oh brother, moving from place to place does not serve you well. Wherever you go, there you will also find yourself. Your shadow is always with you.”

It took me a long time to understand that in part, this was my story too. In early 2001, after taking leave of my job and arriving at an ashram in India, I anticipated the months there would be filled with experiences of light, peace, and expansion.

However within days, I was assigned to work with a young woman who could be charming one minute and explosive the next. I was shocked and began pondering:

“How could such an angry person be in this sacred place?”

Read more..