The Truth About Walking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes…

Walking in another's shoes“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” ~To Kill a Mockingbird

Everything in life is seen from our own perspective. No matter how much we want to walk in someone else’s shoes to understand them and the challenges they face, it is impossible.

Even if we do step into their shoes we will still see things through our own filters. The best thing any of us can do is to listen and hear as clearly as possible, without judgment.  The best thing we can do is to be kind and compassionate with each other. 

In order to heal or help someone else it’s important to recognize we see through filters based on our own experience. We must take a moment clear our own filters before we can move forward to help someone else. We don’t have to take on someone else’s energy and feel what they are feeling. We don’t have to run their pain through us to heal them. Doing that will only cause us discomfort or pain.

When you look at someone with a level of neutrality it helps you understand and it is that understanding that will allow you to comfort another. It is your compassion, neutrality and ability to hold a healing space that creates a healing. It is not necessary to actually “walk in” someone else’s shoes when you open your heart to know, and clearly see, their experience.

It is also important to realize that at some level each of us has chosen our journey and it is up to each of us, individually, to seek a level of understanding within ourselves. The true healing begins within. 

Acknowledge the journey of others with compassion and kindness. Find neutrality to clear your filters and see things in a different light, from a new perspective with a new level of understanding.~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2015 All Rights Reserved

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I Flat-Out Refuse To Marry Anyone Unless These Are Our Vows

spiritlightdailymuse:

This is too good not to share. :)

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

alfredoderito alfredoderito

Marrying you is not the end of my liberty; it’s the beginning of it.

You’re the person I want to dive headfirst into life with. When I go out on the weekends, it is you I want shutting down the club with me. When I plan an adventure it is you I want holding the map. When I speculate about the future, I want to see you in every outlandish fantasy I plan for myself. You’re the person I want to rant excitedly to over happy hour drinks. You’re the person I want to dance around the house with in my underwear with. You’re the person who makes the whole world feel wide-open to me and I want to take advantage of that. I want to plunge into the future with you – because it looks bigger and brighter by your side than I ever could have imagined.

“Something…

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How to Recognize Growth & Expansion as Spirit

Growth and expansion. Emerging.“My destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing.”~Marcel Proust

There are personal messages in all that you see and all you are aware of. Your growth and expansion as a being is about increasing awareness and learning how to use what’s going on “outside” of you to heal and release those things “inside”.

Growth and expansion is really a “clearing out” to making more room for you come IN. The more of your energy you’re able to bring IN the more growth and expansion.

Recognizing those areas where you are growing and expanding as well as those messages which help guide your direction are found in your day-to-day circumstances and what you are attracting into your life at any given moment. You can also choose to use every outer circumstance for inner growth.

For example: They are replacing the windows in my building. The replacements are thicker, sturdy, a different style and of course, they are new and totally clean. The project will be messy, inconvenient, at times uncomfortable, and I will have to actually leave my home for at least one day while they take out the old and replace with the new.

Now that is enough in and of itself however it’s not just the window replacement. The condo next to me recently purchased and gutted it for renovation. Hmmm more construction. Add to that the building next door is in process of being torn down to make room for a new store and 40 story building. Hmmmm more construction! I’m surrounded by major construction projects all of which are in process of tearing everything down to make space for sparkly, new.

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”~Heath L. Buckmaster

How do we use the construction to recognize and confirm our growth and expansion? Well, for starters, we are all construction projects. We start asking questions. Where are our walls? What are the limits that stop us from building a beautiful new building. What are we in the middle of now? What walls and limits are solidly in place either by our choosing or because, at some level, we consciously or unconsciously agreed to not go beyond those walls?

When we speak of windows we are reminded of seeing with more clarity and certainty. What if we viewed our inner and outer world with an expanded perspective? What if we choose to see beyond our current horizons? What if it’s more about building upon a more solid foundation and emerging?

Growth and expansion is rarely convenient, comfortable, neat and tidy. More often than not, as with all construction projects, it is not only the opposite but just like construction projects, there are twists and turns and possible delays!

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”~Rainer Maria Rilke

Recognizing your growth and expansion is no different from asking questions, reviewing where you’ve been, what you’ve learned and acknowledging how far you have already come. Life is about becoming. It is a learning experience always under construction.

Live your questions and be aware of the answers you are receiving. Growth and expansion is not necessarily about a bolt of lightning or an epiphany, although it could be. Most times you don’t have to go any farther “than your own backyard” as Dorothy states in the Wizard of Oz.

What you attract, the thread of commonality that runs through your day-to-day life, is how you start to recognize where you are and what you’re working on. What you are going through shows you what you CAN and probably are, working on to move forward.

See through new eyes! Build upon a new foundation! Live your questions! Emerge and embrace the person you are meant to be.~Shine Your Light Debbie 

©Debra Taitel 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Healing Spirit: Coming Together as One

shattered_lifeEvery morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”~Ray Bradbury

There are times in life when we feel like we are, or about to, shatter into a million little pieces. Everything is falling apart and the overwhelm is a mountain that seems impossible to climb.

Believe it or not, this is a time to rejoice because when everything is falling apart, we are in the midst of a great spiritual healing; A reorganization of all that is. The explosion happens not because we are being punished but because we are more interested in the truth than the illusion.

While it is true it may take us time to put the pieces back together, more than likely we will put them together differently. Once shattered, we are able to see beyond the illusion. We are able to see beyond what we thought was there. We see the truth of who we are with greater clarity and are able to move forward with our creative design with more certainty.

Reinventing YourselfWhat if the shattering isn’t about something coming apart as much as it’s about revealing something more? What if the shattering is the healing? What if the “landmines” you step on are more about blowing up the lies and those pieces you get to put back together create a stronger foundation because they are built on truth? What if the shattering is about becoming more?

Shifting, changing and healing causes major disruption and often feels like we are shattering into a million little pieces. It takes us out of our comfort zone, brings up fear and causes us to re-evaluate everything. Once shattered we may experience feeling raw and vulnerable BUT we also feel more like ourselves.

The beauty of things falling apart is each of us has the ability to create something completely different with the pieces. The shattering is, in effect, a personal renewal. A time to re-invent ourselves. A time to shine. When we shatter it is a time of reflection as we decide how to put the pieces back together.

We are the artist and we choose how we want to put the pieces back into place yet instead of a puzzle where all the pieces must fit together in a specific way, there are infinite possibilities. We can add color, depth and hue.

At one time or another each of us will wake up in the morning and step on a landmine which has been the illusion of truth. We change how we see ourselves and recognize that maybe we ARE who we think we are instead of who others tell us we are. We will pick up the pieces and re-organize our lives. We will organize around our own self.

We shatter, we look at the pieces, we begin the process of putting them back together in a new way. We integrate all that we are as we become more of who we are. We will heal our spirit and come together as one within so we may become one with the all.~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Why Exercising Is a Higher Priority Than My Career

spiritlightdailymuse:

Mind, Body, Spirit and Soul all benefit. Meditation begins the process, exercising shifts the energy in your body.

Originally posted on TIME:

There’s a prevalent attitude among entrepreneurs that the business, whatever that business is, comes first. It is the high priority that trumps everything else, including family, friends and especially health.

I’ve seen entrepreneurs sacrifice all these things, sometimes with tragic consequences, to focus on making their businesses successful. I’ve also done it myself, although I’m one of the lucky ones. During the years I made my business my highest priority, my wife stuck by my side, I didn’t cause any permanent damage with friendships (although I certainly didn’t nurture any) and I didn’t die.

[newsletter-the-brief]

It’s not greed that motivates us entrepreneurs. It would be difficult to justify the sacrifices we make if the only reward were money. Dollars become mere points in a sort of game. What it’s really about is building something great, doing something that matters and changing the world. That’s what makes it so easy to…

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Be Direct! Ask for What you Want and Need….

LabrynthDo you have a challenge when it comes to asking for what you want? Do you feel like you have to do everything alone? Do you “hint” at your wants and needs hoping someone “picks up on them?

More importantly do you refrain from bringing up what you want and need because you don’t want to “bother” or “burden” someone else?

“From what I’ve seen, it isn’t so much the act of asking that paralyzes us–it’s what lies beneath: the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one.”~Amanda Palmer

It takes a great deal of courage to be direct and ask for what we want and need. The Amanda Palmer quote really sums it up nicely. Many of us are challenged asking for help. We don’t want to be a “bother” but there is also another side of the equation to consider and, aside from needing to ask for help; Are we being clear and expressing to our loved ones and friends what we want and need from them day-to-day?

We move through our lives thinking people are going to figure us out. We hint, we hope and we think we are being clear but, and this is a BIG but, we may not be communicating as clearly as we think we are. Sometimes we circle round and round like a labyrinth until we finally arrive at our destination. Well my friends, the distance between two points does not have to include walking a maze with only one way in and one way out.

I admit I’m not always the best at voicing my wants and needs. What if I sound silly? What if someone doesn’t like what I’m saying? What if I’m perceived as not being a strong woman or the opposite, too pushy or bossy? No one wants to be perceived as “needy or weak, pushy or bossy” and sometimes it takes all I have to speak my truth and allow my vulnerable self to be seen.

We cannot be afraid of how we “think” others will perceive what we are saying. We should not ‘decide’ what someone else thinks, or what they will or won’t do, or how they will or won’t react to what we’re saying because the reality is we will, more than likely, be wrong.

To me asking for what I want and need, not in terms of needing help but sharing with others my vulnerabilities, is much like cracking open a closet filled to the brim. I’m afraid everything will come spilling out and I will be seen as incompetent, high maintenance or “less than” I am. The beauty of asking for what we want and need is that it is not only brave and vulnerable in that it tells someone about us it hopefully opens up a conversation so they can do the same with us.

Asking for what we want and need is not about demands, expectations or ultimatums. What I’m referring to is taking the guesswork out of the equation. While we can hope our loved ones and friends are aware and paying attention, people cannot read minds nor do most pick up on our so-called “cues” and hints. This is also not to say others can fully hear us and/or are open and available to give us what we want or need; But the fact is, at least we’ve verbally, to the best of our ability, communicated our wants and needs.

We can all use work on our communication and listening skills. We can all increase our awareness and pay more attention. If you are saying nothing then expecting something in your relationships you might want to have a look at the part YOU play in not having your wants and needs met.

If you happen to be blaming someone for not meeting your wants and needs ask yourself if you clearly and verbally communicated what they are.  It seems more commonplace to let people “guess” and “assume” what we want than to speak from our heart and share what’s in there. Maybe we’re just afraid we’ll be disappointed if we speak up. Maybe we have in some way devalued our wants and needs and made others the priority.

Whatever stops you from clearly communicating your wants and needs, release it. You are important and your wants and needs have value. Be direct. Be brave. Be vulnerable. Be fearless. Be strong. Express what you want and need. Speak from the heart with love.~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2015 All Rights Reserved

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April is Stress Awareness Month: De-Stress with a Zen Den!

serenityflower“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”~Amit Ray

Do we really need a “stress awareness month”? I’m pretty sure we are already aware of how stressed we are! How can we not be? We’re constantly being bombarded with energy, taking on extra responsibility and attempting to meet our various and ever-increasing deadlines.

From the media to friends, family and even those we don’t even know, everything is energy and, at times, we are effected without even knowing the source. Isn’t it interesting that Stress Awareness Month is also the month our taxes are due?

Although each of us could choose neutral, say hello to the energy and simply let it go, most of us have not arrived at that blissful, neutral, non-complicated place. For those of us who are givers we need to remind ourselves it’s important (and OK) to give to ourselves. Even 5 minutes of self-care begins to do just that.

When we really break it down, much of the cause of our stress comes from our attention being outside of ourselves. We are thinking (or worrying about) the past or future. We are trying to control others. We are in resistance (circumstances or people), or we are worrying about others and/or how someone else will react. Of course there are many other stressors but for now, let’s focus on a few things we can do to de-stress.

Eat well

Bodies not only need balanced nutrition but they ENJOY eating! When you eat a healthy, balanced diet your body will be happy. Focus on your food when eating. If you’re at home, eat at the table, use the good dishes. Make mealtime enjoyable. Really taste the food. The more of your senses you use, the more in present time, and less stressed, you will be! Also, a hungry body is a stressed body. Don’t skip meals and DO have something on hand for when you find yourself hungry between meals. It’s ok to add healthy snacks or an additional small meal to your day.

Exercise and Play

Fact: Bodies need to exercise AND play! You might not enjoy exercising in the traditional sense so find something you enjoy doing. Maybe even combine it with play! Go to the playground and swing on a swing. Skip down the street, take a dance class, enjoy a bicycle tour of your city, go to the arboretum or walk the gardens, go on a hike, a climb or try something new like spelunking. Commit to a little “fun movement” every day. If you don’t have much time you can certainly take a 10 minute walk. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to notice your surroundings. Smell the flowers. Listen to sounds and by all means feel your body and breathe!

Hobbies

When was the last time you did something you enjoy for no other reason but you enjoy doing it? What are you interested in? Sometimes we get so caught up in work and/or day-to-day tasks we forget to do the things we like to do. It might be an artistic endeavor, a craft, an activity, learning to speak another language or even reading a book. I just read a study that said reading for only 5 minutes will dramatically reduce stress. If you don’t have a hobby but want to try something new, check out Meetup.com . Scroll through and find something that sounds like fun and by all means check it out. Any shift in your attention and energy will shift your stress level!

Meditation/Mindfulness

Transform Chaos to CalmThere is nothing better for de-stressing than meditation and inner reflection. Create a “Zen Den” for yourself. This is a comfortable “sanctuary” space free of distractions; A safe, anxiety free, zone if you will. If you have a meditation practice great! If not, simply close your eyes, breathe, bring your attention and energy back to you and imagine the stress simply melting away.

Meditation won’t solve all your problems but it will instantly shift your energy and definitely help! I have a couple of guided meditations (free to listen or download) available on my website and I’m working on adding a special stress relieving meditation as well. “Transforming Chaos to Calm” was initially offered as a free meditation workshop and is a very popular download.

Get a Massage

A massage is a great way to unwind and don’t discount the power of the human touch. If you are feeling isolated, alone and stuck in your thoughts, a massage will bring you back to the present. It will not only bring your attention back to your body it feels good! If you have a limited amount of time, check out a neck/shoulder massage. Depending on where you live and what your job is, they might even offer these types of massages at your workplace or close by.

Now that you have a few tried and true ways to de-stress, do you know what they all have in common? With each one you step out of your “thoughts”, shift your perspective and re-center mind, body and spirit in present time! Your energy and attention are on you, for you.

Part of de-stressing lies in the ability to give to yourself. Take a breath, acknowledge you are stressed then stop and get into present time with your surroundings. If you think you don’t have time, think again! There are 24 hours in a day and we’re talking about 10-15 minutes a day at the very least, 1 or 2 hours a day at most, depending on how much time you have and/or need to de-stress.

Take time each day to unwind and bring your attention back to you. Create a “Zen Den” sanctuary. Live in the moment. Live in your breath and transform chaos to calm.~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Do You Act Upon Your Miracles?

Miracle & Light“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”~Albert Einstein

Does a miracle change things by the notion that it appears and “poof” everything changes or is it a matter of acting on the miracle that presented itself? Is it “enough” that you recognized the miracle or will you take action with the knowledge that an amazing opportunity just opened a door for you and all you need do is act upon it by simply taking a step forward to walk through the door?

There’s no better time to reflect upon miracles, spirit and freedom than this holy week of Passover and Easter. From the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea to the miracle of spirit appearing after death, this is a week to reflect upon what we actually DO with the miracles that occur in each of our lives.

It might be a thought, an opportunity or you just might have an epiphany which in an instant helps you change direction. After all aren’t those the miracles you pray for? An answer is just as much of a miracle as anything else if you’ve asked a question (or prayed for it) long enough. What you do with your miracle is up to you but first you must start to see those miracles and find freedom by making the impossible, possible with your choices.

Back in 1980 I was living in Israel on Kibbutz Ha’Ogen. During the time I was there I had the opportunity to part take of a Passover Seder on the Kibbutz. The Seder was very different from the one I experienced growing up. At the time I spoke semi-fluent hebrew and was struck at the core of my being when the words (loosely translated here) were “It is what we did for ourselves with the help of God’s miracles that brought us out of Egypt.” Wait a second! It wasn’t all about what “God did for us (‘us’ meaning the Jewish people) that brought us out of Egypt.”

It made so much sense to me. If the Red Sea parted but the people were too afraid to step forward and actually walk the path that was miraculously created  the story of Exodus would be very different. In fact the story of Exodus might not exist at all. Can you imagine if the people said “ok God, you parted the sea, cool trick. Now what? Can you tele-port me to the other side.” I realized back then that if you don’t act on miracles or opportunities or the answers to your prayers you will still be in a place of waiting for miracles, opportunities or your prayers to be answered. You need to act upon the miracles presented to you at any given moment and in many ways, acting upon your miracles is another miracle!

The definition of a miracle is that which cannot be scientifically explained or otherwise attributable to the “laws of nature” but who of us has not experienced or seen some sort of miracle? The birth of a baby, the seeds sprouting in spring, or waking up in the morning after a devastating storm when you thought you would surely parish. The fact that you are a divine spirit and that you made the choice to live in a human body is a miracle. The sun rising and setting is a miracle.

So as in the opening Einstein quote; “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Each day presents you with miracles and perhaps the real miracle is the choice you have to act upon those miracles. It is YOU and what you choose to do for yourself when you are given a miracle that makes all the difference!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2013-2015 All Rights Reserved

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Super (New) Moon + Solar Eclipse + Equinox! Ride the Wave on March 20, 2015!

Super Moon, equinox, solar eclipse. Ride the waves on March 20As if it’s not enough to handle the energy of a super moon, a new moon, an equinox or a solar eclipse individually we will have a rare opportunity to experience all three, in the same week, on the same day!

Hold on to your hats folks the wave of energy is on its way! Actually the energy is already effecting us but with a bit of self-care you will successfully ride the wave of this energetic tsunami!

First let’s look at the energy of the Super Moon. A super moon occurs when the moon is at or closest to the earth in a particular orbit. In short, what’s going to happen during this eclipse is the Earth, Moon and Sun will all be in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth. This is a great time to look at your spiritual alignment between body and spirit as well as your alignment with the earth.

Riding the energy wave doesn’t mean you let go of your grounding! In fact it’s just the opposite. With all the energy stirred up and getting ready for release it’s important you re-ground and center yourself in present time. You may have already noticed your meditation space shifting in the past couple of days (I know I have.) If you’ve noticed a shift or you find it difficult to meditate just remind yourself you’re feeling the approach of the energy wave.

Another aspect caused by a Super Moon is heightened emotions. If you’ve found yourself extra emotional and there’s no reason for it, this might be why. Again, check your grounding and give those emotions space to flow. Like the tides, our emotions ebb and flow. Let them.

Now, let’s look at the energy of a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in between the earth and the sun. It momentarily blocks out the light from the sun.

Eclipses signify endings and beginnings. They literally ‘eclipse out’ things in your life that no longer serve you and free up your energy to create anew. The equinox is a wonderful time to create and grow new experiences, ideas and to finally start those projects you’ve been ready to put into motion.

The eclipse will help you move out anything that’s been standing in your way but as with all healing energy work, you have to WANT to release what no longer serves you or gets in your way. There’s power in this eclipse but you don’t have to get steam rolled under it. Choose to ride the wave and enter a new beginning for yourself!

Another important note is this particular cosmic event (according to NASA) will have an effect on the power systems; It will have a direct effect on everyone who is sensitive to energy. Keep breathing and take solace that after this 2015 equinox eclipse, the next solar eclipse at the March equinox will happen on March 20, 2034. Then there will only be two more in this century: 2053 and 2072.

The energy of the Spring Equinox is all about planting the seeds, growth and renewal. The energetic combination will truly offer us a gift. We all can change directions, illuminate the darkness, release that which no longer serves and warm our hearts and minds with the coming sun.

So grab your surf board, give yourself a new grounding cord and lets ride the wave of this one! Nothing but leaving the past behind, opening up your creativity, and riding off into new, brighter horizons!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Asking the right questionsHave you ever gone looking for an answer to something and no matter what you do, where you look or what you meditate on the answer never comes?

If this has ever happened to you (or is happening now) you might want to ask a different question; Maybe the question you’re asking isn’t really yours!

Now you might be wondering what I mean by “is (are) the question(s) really yours?” What I’m asking you to ask yourself is where are your questions coming from?

Are you asking questions out of habit? Is there programming in place that causes you to ask certain questions or go on a quest to find answers for someone (like a friend or family member) other than yourself?

As an aside, it’s also possible you are receiving answers to the questions you are asking but you don’t necessarily recognize that no answer is THE answer. A perfect example is if you are constantly asking yourself “what is wrong with me?” and you don’t get an answer. Could it be that you’re not receiving an answer because there’s NOTHING wrong with you? Yes, dear ones, in the world of “everything is energy” no answer might actually be THE answer!

If at first you don’t succeed…

When asking questions simply ask a question then allow it to lead you to another question and then another. You may find that when you allow your questions to lead you to other questions your next question might answer to your previous question!

If the same question keeps coming up over and over or you find yourself stuck or in effort, make it a point to change the question. For example if you’re asking why this or that is happening (or hasn’t happened) to you or for you, change the question to “what do I need to clear to create space or raise my having-ness” to move forward?”

This is where you might notice the question wasn’t yours in the first place. Try not to judge whatever comes up for you. Just notice your energy and your thoughts. As spiritual seekers looking to heal, whether you like the answer or not, you are receiving valuable information.

Ask the right questions and the answers find YOU!

All healing starts with not only asking the right questions but continually asking questions. In the grand scheme of things, you don’t know what you don’t know (none of us do) and how will you find out if you don’t continually ask questions? When you ask the right questions the answers WILL find you. Allow your answers to come without expectation OR resistance.

It’s best to be open, in neutral and set your intention to accept the answers even if you don’t necessarily like what they are. If an answer doesn’t seem to come or you feel stuck in a never-ending loop of asking the same question over and over, check to see where the question is coming from or if it’s even yours.

If it’s not yours, let it go and ask a different question. If it IS yours and you’re still stuck, look within to see 1. if you already have the answer but haven’t acknowledged it yet and 2. if you’re asking a question directly related to what it is you really want know. It might be that you’re afraid to ask because you’re afraid of what that answer might be.

When you ask the right questions, you will receive answers. You may find that your question keeps leading you back to you because really, you already have your answers. Your answers live in your heart, your mind and your curious spirit. Look inside! You have a treasure trove of answers just waiting for you!~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Photo Credit: © Jorgosphotos | Dreamstime.comSmart Thinking Men With Q For Question Mark Photo