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Lissa Rankin's Blog

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Is The Internet Killing Us? Let's Create Local Soul Tribes That Heal

The Tribe

As a doctor who runs a business that relies on the internet, I realize it’s a strong statement to suggest that the internet may be literally killing us, but I’ll give you my reasons for saying something so provocative. When you look at the scientific data, I think it’s safe to say that the greatest risk to your health is not a poor diet, a bad habit, or lack of exercise; it’s loneliness.  If you don’t believe me, there’s a whole chapter loaded with scientific data from reputable medical journals in my book  Mind Over Medicine. When scientists study “Blue Zones,” those places on earth where a greater than usual number of people live healthy, happy lives until over 100 years old, they all share one thing. They live in close knit, multi-generational tribes that take care of each other. None of them spend all day glued to computers or cell phones, chatting virtually with people they have probably never met in real life.

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Let's Practice "White Magic" in 2016

White Magic

About five years ago, things that seemed like miracles—things my mind couldn’t explain—started happening around me. Patients were having “spontaneous” remissions. Synchronicities were unfolding around me as if I had been swept up in some current of magic. Spiritual superpowers were awakening within me, bringing with them gifts and powers I didn’t know I had access to. At first I was fascinated—in awe—and I played with these spiritual superpowers (which the yogis call “siddhis”). My entire view of reality got shattered. Things that should have been impossible were happening with regularity. At first, they were happening in waves of what I called “quickenings.” These quickenings lasted about two weeks and then a few months would pass before another quickening happened. Then, after a very mystical experience in January 2014, the mystical events became my new normal. I could no longer deny that reality was not as it seemed to my scientific, rational, materialist mind. When I told Byron Katie about some of the events that were happening, she said, “Lissa, they’ve always been happening. Only now you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.”

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The 21 Day Compassion Challenge

compassion

What does it take to become more tender, open-hearted, and compassionate human beings in a world that trains us to judge, criticize, compare, blame, and shame? How does this evolutionary initiation happen, when one makes the journey from the head to the heart and the heart swells into actions that ease the suffering of others? What does it even mean to be compassionate?

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What Is "Whole Health?"

Whole Health

Years ago, when I was practicing medicine in an unusual way and trying to find language to describe what I was doing, I struggled through words that didn’t quite fit my definition. Although words like “integrative medicine” and “holistic health” got close, the way those words are understood in our culture wasn’t the same thing I envisioned. To me, “integrative medicine” meant you play nice in the medical sandbox with acupuncturists and homeopaths. “Holistic health” meant you recommend green juice cleanses and prescribe a lot of supplements. “Functional medicine” means you order a lot of unusual laboratory tests not usually covered by insurance, and you treat often neglected biochemical imbalances naturally. While I very much appreciate the value of natural medicines, green juice cleanses, non-mainstream lab tests, and alternative healers, and while I fully endorse the benefit of all of these interventions, I was more journeying down another rabbit hole, where patients were having “spontaneous remissions” without drugs, supplements, raw vegan diets, or acupuncture needles.

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The Hero's Journey Of Finding Your Calling

The Hero's Journey

We are all, every single one of us, heroes. Life is hard, and to live it fully and express your soul authentically requires the courage of a warrior and the softness, gentleness, and yielding flexibility of a goddess. In my spiritual self-help book dressed up as a memoir The Anatomy of a Calling, I use mythologist Joseph Campbell’s archetypal hero’s journey as a map for finding and fulfilling your calling because when you’re embarking on something scary and risky, it helps to have a map. Of course, everyone’s map is unique, but there are well-traveled paths that all heroes before you have worn smooth through experience. So why not model your journey after Luke Skywalker, Mother Teresa, or Martin Luther King, Jr.?

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Awe & Mystery As Food For The Soul

Awe and Mystery

I never thought much about the difference between awe and mystery until I started hanging out at the proverbial kitchen table of Kitchen Table Wisdom author Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. Soon after I bellied up to that table, awe and mystery, along with a side dish of wonder, started showing up on the menu. I don’t know why I never thought much about awe and mystery before meeting Rachel. After all, just like her, I was trained as a doctor. Doctors are blessed with a front row seat on awe and mystery. Over 10,000 times, I was the first human a new baby saw after slipping out of Mama. At least 100 times, I was the last person someone saw before transitioning to the other side of the veil. Countless times, mystery showed up in ways I couldn’t explain—like how I would know something about a patient that I couldn’t possibly know with my five senses or the results of any laboratory tests, and yet very often, what I knew would save a life.

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10 Signs You're On The Right Track To Finding Your Calling

Find Your Calling

Finding and fulfilling your calling can be confusing, disheartening, anxiety-provoking, disappointing, and frustrating, but it can also lead to the greatest feelings of deep fulfillment you’ve ever experienced. When you know—you just know—that you’re here to be an instrument of sacred service for the Divine to use you as a vessel of love amidst a world in crisis, you’ll find yourself on just such a hero’s journey—because your calling will reach out for you like a magnet draws forth metal. This kind of journey is not for the faint of heart, which is why I wrote my new book The Anatomy of a Calling. Consider it a sort of field manual for anyone on the hero’s or heroine’s journey of embodying your soul’s purpose. (You can watch the book trailer here.) I wrote this book for anyone who just knows that you’re here on a sort of spiritual mission, one that your soul has been preparing for your whole life, which may be quite mysterious, filled with unexpected twists and turns.

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When You Know You’ve Veered Off Course From Your Calling

Anatomy of a Calling

The following is an excerpt from my new memoir The Anatomy of a Calling. The Anatomy of a Calling is about finding and fulfilling your calling, using Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey as a map for what happens in between the moment when you hear The Call to Adventure and when you finally bring the Holy Grail home to your people who need it. This excerpt describes a particularly painful part of my hero’s journey and demonstrates what happens when we start to veer out of alignment with the integrity of the soul.

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8 Myths About Finding Your Calling

Find Your Calling

More now than ever before, we are entering a time when people are realizing that it’s not ultimately fulfilling to just find a stable job, hunker down and serve a company that doesn’t feed your soul, build up your retirement account, and delay gratification until you retire at 65, when you can golf and lie on beaches in Florida until you kick the bucket. Not only do fewer and fewer stable jobs exist; even those who have seemingly stable jobs are finding that something even more important is beckoning them—a way to do soul-uplifting work you love that serves others and benefits our planet.

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Apology To God/Goddess

Heart

You came like a bolt of lightning in the form of a man. You gazed into my eyes and showed me myself. You quieted my mind and dropped me into Awareness. You held my hand and coursed through me like a river of pulsing vibration. You came into me and shook me with pleasure. You told me all you know and showed me who I am. You glimpsed the future and revealed the past. You broke through my illusions and unveiled the truth. You created miracles and so did I. Together, we were a miracle. Together, we were God seeing God, Goddess staring into the eyes of Goddess, witnessing Creation Itself, Stillness Incarnate.  We merged together, one Unibeing, one Mind, one Heart, one Body. We became heaven on earth, the Godself celebrating the Godself, Shiva dancing with Shakti, wholeness embodied, skipping hand in hand on the beach like magical children with enjoyment bodies of light.

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