I am.

Some are waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ—the man worshiped as spirit made flesh. But if Jesus was a man who recognized his divine spirit—his formless soul as his eternal identity—then his work is already done because we fully recognize the truth he taught. This collective awakening we are experiencing is the second coming.

“If Christ were to return tomorrow in some externalized form, what could he or she possibly say to you other than this: I am the truth, divine presence, eternal life within you, here and now.” The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

“I am” is the most powerful, profound religious or spiritual statement because it removes time and conditions—recognizing the eternal and formless as what is real. “I am” is awareness of the eternal soul within you here and now.

Eternity does not mean that time goes on forever. It means that time isn’t real—that only the now is. What humans call time is only the movement of form in the eternal present. All form is unstable, impermanent, ultimately meaningless and unreal. Now we sense that which is real—the realm where words and perception fall short.

In John 8:58, Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” We are the soul, the timeless essence. There is something invisible within us that is life, that makes us human, that connects us with all other forms of life and removes all differences. The energy of this realm is love. You are divine, and you are eternal.

Today we transcend the illusion of time, of perception, and of physical form as we align our awareness to that which is real. Live from here now. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.   

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Outer success flows from inner abundance.

So much attention is focused on what we think we are lacking. Our goals are so ambitious, the pressures and expectations so huge, sometimes we can barely breathe. Minds racing, we wonder how will I do it? Why is it taking so long? What’s wrong with me? Why is the world standing in my way?

Ambitions are wonderful. We naturally want to reach our potential in life. But this can no longer get in the way of one simple realization: everything real is already ours. We need only look within.

If something is real, then it is eternal and cannot be threatened. It is fully available to all, in limitless supply, now and always. This is no consolation prize; rather, the full realization of everything we most deeply want.

The longing, the striving, the sacrificing, the sickness and fear inside—it only exists when we get ahead of ourselves. We strive for the external while overlooking the endlessly abundant internal. Everything we deeply desire is internal: a feeling, happiness, love, beauty, bliss, safety, wisdom, peace, a feeling of inspiration, excitement, and fun. We hope that this internal bliss might flow into our lives when we achieve something or when we succeed—but it doesn’t work that way. The ultimate reward for everything we seek is what we already have inside. Allow it to flow.

The priorities have been all wrong. Rather than seeking externally as the source of what we desire internally, now we learn to access it all internally and then effortlessly extend it externally. Outer success flows from inner abundance. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Give up the ego and sacrifice nothing.

The normal state of human existence today is egoic. Most people don’t really know what the ego is. The ego disguises itself by convincing you that it is you and you are it.

According to the ego’s self-serving thought system, you are your thoughts. Fear everyone and everything. Look out for yourself. Be normal, fit in, yet somehow show that you are special and unique. Take seriously the world’s institutions, which you believe have real power.

According to the ego, happiness will come in the future when you are successful, respected, rich, famous, and find the perfect partner. Set goals! Reach toward your destination! Work harder! Fight for it! Stand up for yourself! The story of your past defines you. Trust only yourself, even as you continue to blow with the wind.

Here you are just a desperate and confused mind racing—like a tree without roots or a ship without an anchor. Most people don’t know that it is possible to let all of this go while sacrificing nothing. Sacrifice is only to be found in ego. This sacrifice takes many forms—physical suffering, illness, conflict, fear, exhaustion, depression and others.

This selfish drive to seek “destination happiness” at any cost is the cause of human misery, poverty, war and environmental disaster. This sick thought system would have us sacrifice other humans, the planet, ourselves and anyone that gets in the way of our thoughts. While they may pretend, no person has ever found true and lasting happiness this way.

Let go of ego and gain everything. “Destination happiness” is available now, in the present moment, if you align with the awareness that you are consciousness, you are love, here, now. It is easy to live here now and eternally. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Unless you create, you are unfulfilled. (A Course in Miracles)

“The ego’s whole thought system blocks extension, and thus blocks your only function. It therefore blocks your joy, so that you perceive yourself as unfulfilled.”

Unfulfilled, now you are incorrectly instructed by the world that getting will fulfill you. You believe that happiness can be found in consumption. Buy. Have. Take.

For this, you must sacrifice a great deal: long hours at work or worse—borrow, beg or steal. In this state of sacrifice, you no longer have the possibility to create because you no longer have the time, energy, or inspiration. Thus, the sacrifice you have been told will save you becomes the reason for deep, persistent unfulfillment which is only relieved temporarily by the meaningless distraction of consumption.

From the ego, we cannot create. Instead, we merely make from a place that is uninspired, ugly, manipulative, calculative, and incapable of delivering much value. Everything of value lies within spirit. In spirit, we extend truth, beauty and love by creating. This is where you fulfill your purpose completely and find lasting peace and fulfillment.

We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Go more deeply into the now by going more deeply into the inner-body. (Eckhart Tolle)

Today’s lesson may seem unexciting to the mind, but to your state of being it is everything. To remain conscious of the inner-body is to remain spiritually-rooted. Like a strong tree with deep roots, “No matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore.” To use another common metaphor; you remain at the center of the wheel.

With attention on the inner-body, your consciousness no longer gets lost to the drama of the mind and to the chaos of the external world. You remain in peace, calm, content. You feel good even if waiting in line, or sitting in traffic, or dealing with a challenging situation.

Eckhart Tolle explains, “Do not give all your attention away to the mind or to the outer world.” If you can keep some attention on the inner-body, you will experience “permanent connectedness with being.”  

Furthermore, “There is infinitely more intelligence in being than in the mind.” The body is where you access the realm of inspiration and intuition. Go within to experience the energy of love. Here, you are guided by a higher intelligence. Here, you are fully-present and anchored in the now—in being.

Negative emotions only arise when your attention leaves the inner-body. All negative emotions are rooted in fear. Perhaps this fear, this agony and discontent, is your soul screaming out for attention—calling you away from ego and back to inner-body awareness. Go within. Be here now, where you are awake.

We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Transformation is through the body, not away from it. (Eckhart Tolle)

“The fact is that no one has ever become enlightened through denying or fighting the body, or through an out-of-the-body experience.” -The Power of Now

We have said that you are spirit, and not your body. Yet this can't be the whole truth because, paradoxically, we have also said that love comes from within you. While your identity is not your body, the body is how you experience aliveness and reality in this life.

To place focus on the energy field within your body is to practice present moment awareness. Take a moment to feel the subtle energies and emotions deep within your body. Close your eyes and just feel it. Perhaps after some time, you may become overwhelmed by the power of the energy you feel. With complete focus on the way your inner body feels, you were probably not thinking about past or future. You were here, now.

The body is our learning device. Through it, we sense the world around us, we feel love, experience pleasure, we sense our state of health, our positive and negative emotions, and our energy levels. Our inner-body is our greatest spiritual teacher.

Today, make peace with the body. Go into it. Become aware of it. Have faith in what it is telling you. Keep moving toward an experience of inner peace, of perfect energy, and of perfect love. By following your intuition and acting according to your inspiration, you will naturally align with truth—which is experienced as a state of continually feeling good. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Love the person, not the role.

Even when two people fall madly in love, there is a common problem that emerges after marriage. By assigning the title “wife” or “husband”, we begin to see our beloved differently. A wife and husband are expected to be and do certain things.

Too often, peace and harmony in a marriage depends upon how well we play the role. We fake a role at work, then we come home and fake another one. Afraid to fail in these impossible roles, often we lie and deceive just to create a little space to be real. But this isn’t the way.

When two people come together to form a family and run a household together, it is best to ignore the roles completely—just agree to love and accept each other unconditionally. Don't marry a person who won't agree to this.

This same problem occurs in parenthood. When our children are young, we love them unconditionally and accept them for who they are. When they go to school, many parents become primarily concerned with school performance and achievement. This is how we break the relationship with our kids—we turn on them by teaching that doing and achieving is all that matters. This siding with social expectations and institutions hurts and shocks a young soul. We break the trust and destroy the relationship. The world will beat-up on your kids enough, you don’t need to join-in.

We fail our kids, our beloved, and everyone in our lives when we care more about the role than the person. This is conditional love, which of course isn’t love at all—only the siding with authority, institutions, and the cruel world over the person who needs love. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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In early childhood, you already had everything. You felt good, you were happy, friendship was easy, love was everywhere, and there was nothing to be afraid of. Then you were forced by authority to sacrifice all this so that you can work toward getting it back at some distant point in the future. Think about that.

Institutions have conditioned us into believing that the world can give us what we want, when all it does is convince us to sacrifice it. We are taught that we aren’t smart unless we get good grades, that we are not worthy of love unless we first become something or achieve something, that we are not beautiful unless we buy something. There are no guarantees. Do what you are told. Work toward it.

Here is the basic thought system we are taught: authority is there to help and to make sure you are taken care of. One day you will get a good job and will have a happy, comfortable life. When you are young, you even might imagine that work is more fun than school. You believe that, if you follow the rules, one day you will be free, feel safe, and that life will be meaningful and fun.

To achieve this, we are supposed to do just one thing: sacrifice everything. It will come. Just work harder. Just a bit longer. You’ll be there soon. At some point, when we realize that there is no reward for all this sacrifice, we either fall into self-loathing or we fully understand the lie that has been perpetrated on us, which is this:

Everything you are supposed to sacrifice to get what you deeply want—that’s exactly what takes you away from it.  

Everything you deeply want comes from within—not from the world. You know this is true because you already had everything when you were a very small child—before you sacrificed anything. Let us undo the conditioning now and remember what we are. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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Stress helps nothing.

Something happens. We react in anger and attack. What purpose does this reaction serve? Has anything ever been taught or learned, or has any problem ever been solved in this way?

Even when nothing happens, we imagine a terrible thing that might happen. The constant stream of uncontrolled thought keeps us worried all day and up for hours at night. The heart starts beating in panic, we get exhausted, lose sleep, and ultimately develop diseases—and all because of this thing called stress.

What is stress but another word for insanity?

I used to believe that stress fired me up and gave me energy to get things done. Then I began meditating each day. A guided meditation suggested that you can get a lot more done in a calm, relaxed state. I didn’t believe this at first, but in time this proved to be true. The peace, calm, and restfulness I felt after a 15-minute mediation put me in a state where I could be very productive and effective for hours. Now I meditate as a way to reset when I want to do something well.

In a relaxed state, the quality of your work improves, you make better decisions without emotion, your relationships are more solid, and you don’t get tired as fast. Time isn’t the most critical success factor; your state of being and state of mind is.

Stress serves no positive purpose. It an insane reaction to belief in fear. It is also the cause of accidents, conflict, disease, exhaustion and failure. Stressed out, love cannot be felt and inspiration cannot shine through because you have allowed the ego to completely take over. Let’s stop believing that stress is okay. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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A person who is afraid of love does not know what love is.

People say they are afraid of love because they might get hurt. All fear of love is identification with ego and allegiance to it. It is only the ego that fears love, and only to protect itself.

A person afraid of love does want someone nearby—a partner to control, manipulate, and use for practical purposes. This person wants to be able to argue, attack, correct, punish, blame, shame and make wrong. Apologies and occasional acts of kindness are offered as a last resort—used only so that you stay around for the cycle of more drama, more attack, more diminishment and more misery.

This is what the world calls love. When someone claims to be afraid to love you, the fear is only that you won’t forever play your assigned role in their tragic drama. This, the normal state of marriage, is the ego’s playground. Here, true love is resisted and not desired because it would be the destruction of ego. This is known as "resentment".

To know love is to know that it gives you everything. When you have everything, then something different would be less. Identified with love, ego becomes unnecessary and wholly undesirable. True love is the total undoing of ego.

Only after ego has been undone are you able to love. As they say, love yourself first—which is only possible after the escape from ego. Now you can connect with other beautiful spirits in love. Now there is nothing to be afraid of because, through love, you are already perfect and complete. We continue tomorrow and each day after that.

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