We were thrilled to sit down with spiritual pioneer Jac O’Keeffe for our Winter 2019/20 issue recently. During our time together, we chatted about her awakening journey, what it means to live in integrity, owning your truth, and more. This is a sneak peek of the article we published in the magazine – pick up a copy or subscribe to read the full feature. You can also listen to our full interview on SoundCloud!
We were very excited to interview Wim Hof – the amazing athlete and originator of the Wim Hof Method – for our Spring 2019 issue. In this sneak peek of the article, he shares the basic principles of his Method, the scientific grounding behind it, and how it can help us to open up to our full potential. To read the full piece, pick up a copy of the magazine in your local stockist or subscribe here.
Paul was recently at the Kryon event in Dublin and had the great opportunity to chat with Lee Carroll! Check out the full interview below:
By Victoria Mary Clarke
I was feeling hopeless, helpless, full of fear. My partner was being wheeled into hospital, shaking with pain. I asked the Universe to show me a higher, wiser perspective on the situation, and via Paul from Positive Life, it delivered her. On 4 February 1992, Oprah Winfrey told 14 million people that she had personally bought 1,000 copies of Marianne’s first book ‘A Return to Love’. All 70,000 copies sold out that day. Oprah said she had got 157 miracles, possibly the most miraculous endorsement imaginable. The book was based on the teachings of the ‘Course In Miracles’, which is believed by the author Helen Schucman to have been given to her by Jesus. Marianne has written eleven books and sold three million copies, she founded Project Angel Food in LA, and co-founded the Peace Alliance, which is campaigning for a US Department of Peace and she tours and lectures constantly. Sixteen years ago, I sat next to Marianne at a dinner. I was wildly jealous of her, she had everything I wanted, the Oprah endorsement, the NY Times bestseller.
I watched her speak at the launch of her new book, and my envy turned to awe. She glided on stage, slender, sexy and chic and OWNED the audience like a rock star. She spoke with gravitas and authority about the need for compassion and community in our governments. She was Presidential. Having told her about my partner’s plight, she said a prayer for his healing. I had been nervous, stuck in my head, busy thinking of clever questions. She immediately shifted me into my heart, which is exactly what she teaches people to do. In October 2013 she ran for Congress in California and came in fourth despite being endorsed by a host of celebrities including Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian. She believes Hillary will win the Presidency. She speaks with exceptional diction, in a husky voice with a slightly Texan twang. “But anything could happen.” Marianne was a Bernie Sanders supporter, initially. “I do believe the Democratic party unfairly tipped the election in Hillary Clinton’s favour. But once it happened, I immediately pivoted to Hillary because I think that Donald Trump represents a real threat to our democracy and a destabilising influence.’ Does the situation need a miracle? “I am prayerful and hopeful, but this campaign has revealed some of the darkest shadows in the American psyche. Every country and every person has a shadow side. Enlightenment is the complete dissolution of the shadow, but we don’t need enlightenment to have a civilised world. Civilisation is where the shadow is kept in check. Some of our worst impulses have been legitimised by this candidate, impulses that should never be taken seriously within the public realm.”
She does see an upside to the situation. “As much as it has exposed the divisions in the US, it has also exposed some unity. There is an increasing consensus on left and right that there are limits past which we will not go. My hope is that he will be defeated so roundly that the whole world will see that.” She describes her own campaign as an “exhilarating experience, but a brutal one.” “If I were a younger woman I would probably think of trying again in a few years time, but I feel that I scratched that itch and running for office is in the been there done that zone!” Speaking of wake up calls, her new book ‘Tears to Triumph’
is about the spiritual journey from suffering to enlightenment. Suffering as a wake up call? “It can be a wake up call, depending on how you contextualise it. One of the things I talk about in the book is the over prescription of anti-depressants in the US. If all you do is treat it with anti-depressants, it is a call to take a nap!” Personal suffering in a spiritual context is seen as a dark night of the soul, she says. “There are guideposts in all the great spiritual traditions that lead us out of the darkness and into the light of personal happiness and peace, and those guideposts include forgiveness, mercy and atonement.” “What we need is to figure out how to cultivate happiness,” she says. “Depression is the absence of happiness, happiness is not the absence of depression. You can’t see yourself as a victim and be happy, you can’t fail to take responsibility for your own life and be happy, you can’t fail to make amends and atone and be happy and you can’t withhold forgiveness and be happy. So the book is a reflection on the pathway out of human suffering and back to peace.”
When we think about what will make us happy, she says, we usually think of things that we can get, the car, the new job, the apartment. I find myself identifying with this, especially when I think of selling three million books! But of course this is not the answer to finding real happiness. “To seek enlightenment is the most powerful, the only way to find inner peace and happiness,” Marianne assures me. I asked her about the law of attraction, whether she thinks it works. “The idea that your thoughts create your experience is nothing new. It is true that thought is the level of cause and experience is the level of effect. But using your thoughts to get what you want is not the spiritual mountaintop. Hitler did that!” So you can get what you want, but what you really want is not what you think you want? “Yes. Love is the only right track. In ‘A Course In Miracles’, it talks about the difference between magic and miracles. Magic is when you use mental tools, you get the Universe to act as your errand boy. Miracles are where you ask the Universe how you might be of service to it, how you might serve love.”
She follows the teachings of the course every day. “I ask ‘How can Love use me today?’ That automatically lifts you into a zone where manifestation that serves all things good, true and beautiful for you and everyone else unfolds.” Even Marianne gets it wrong sometimes. “My life works really well when I practise what I preach, and when I don’t, things fall apart as much for me as for anyone else. On the mornings where I wake up and ask Love to use me today, send Love to anyone I am going to be with, go into a meeting and ask to be an instrument of peace, bless the people who are there. When I do that things work. When I don’t, things do not work!” Should we love Donald Trump? “Love does not mean you agree with everybody. But we don’t have to personally demonise anyone. Politics is too important to poison it with that toxic vibration. Terrible things can happen when politics becomes an instrument of hate.” I was curious about what her own daily life is like. “I am a normal person, I work out like everybody else, I do yoga, weights, try to eat well, like everybody else. My sign is Cancer, so I really crave the experience of home and when I am home I will spend an entire 24 hours in the delicious space of doing nothing, we all need that.”
She enjoys the work that she does, but not all aspects of it. “What gets stressful are the airplanes, the travel, the administrative details. But the work itself is a joy for me.” She will be giving a talk on ‘Embracing the Miraculous Mind’ at the upcoming Hay House ‘I Can Do It’ conference. “I am going to be talking about the principles of living a miraculous life. We all have a split mind , one part of the mind is in touch with the spiritual essence, and when we live with that realisation as our mental filter, life unfolds one way, and when we fall into the forgetfulness of the world, which denies our spiritual essence, and we think and act from that place, life unfolds completely differently. It is the difference between harmony and miracles and love versus chaos, anxiety and violence.”
The message that I took away from our meeting? That no matter how fearful we feel, there is always another perspective and there are people like Marianne holding giant signposts to lead us back to love and peace. But even they have to work at it!
MARIANNE AT A GLANCE:
1 Ask how you can be of service to love each day
2 Ideas grow stronger when shared
3 Practise a daily meditation
4 Check out A Course In Miracles
5 Take care of the present with inner peace and the future
will take care of itself
@victoriamary / victoriamaryclarke.com
Kosi, who was born Jill L. Warner in Pennsylvania, grew up in the suburbs of McLean Virginia. She studied Fine Arts and established a successful career in computer science. However, feeling her success offered no lasting happiness, her spiritual quest began, leading her to many of the world’s most renowned teachers. Now she herself is a spiritual teacher, sharing how we can come to the freedom, peace and laughter that she says is ever present in the core of our being.
She ran a course in Dublin recently called ‘The Yoga of Now’, teaching participants to allow and surrender. “We’re used to following the mind, having an internal dialogue, but in this workshop everything is focussed on surrendering the powers of mind to this moment, to discover what’s actually here and not what we imagine is here.”
The three primary aspects of what she teaches are satsang or self-inquiry, silence, through meditation, and sound or mantras and she teaches much of this in her book, Organic Awakening. “I called the book Organic Awakening because the minute you recognise yourself as pure awareness, which is seeing the consciousness that is looking through your eyes, it’s like planting the seed of your attention into the infinite realm of your???? own heart, and that starts a natural, organic evolution of your consciousness. And so it’s effortless, just like a plant grows.”
She travels the world to teach these ideas and practices and will be in Ireland this September. If you don’t catch her here, check out one of her online meetings. kosi.co
From the autumn issue. Subscribe here for winter and three more, delivered direct to your door.
Eckhart Tolle interviewed by Paul Congdon
Eckhart Tolle will be in speaking in Ireland for the first time in five years this September 12th in Belfast as part of his European tour. Find out more here >
Ekchart Tolle wrote ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ in the late 90s. It had such a profound effect on people, that it reached and remained in the New York Times bestseller list for years. The book came about after years of emotional turmoil in Tolle’s own life. He recalled to us how one night, he spontaneously felt better. Although he couldn’t explain it at the time, he realised later he had surrendered to the moment. He went on to write ‘A New Earth’, a book on awakening to your life’s purpose, published in 2005. Even today, he tells us, the books come back into the bestseller lists and he laughs about how they have a life of their own. Is there another book on the way? He says he has been doing some casual writing about the teachings of Jesus, something he came to identify with the truths of later in life, despite a Christian background, but he says the books evolve if they need to, the consciousness he’s working in and through uses him as a tool. If there needs to be another book there will be. We asked him our questions and hopefully some of yours too.
The audio interview below is from our summer 2015 issue. Subscribe here to get Positive Life in the post each quarter.
This is taken from our Summer 2015 issue. To be the first to read our content, subscribe here to have the autumn issue and three more delivered direct to your door.
Eckhart Tolle will be in speaking in Ireland for the first time in five years this September 12th in Belfast as part of his European tour. Find out more >
“To change the future and make it better, you have to change your consciousness in this moment, that’s where the only real change is possible.”
Interviewed by Paul Congdon.
Ekchart Tolle wrote ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ in the late 90s. It had such a profound effect on people, that it reached and remained in the New York Times bestseller list for years.
The book came about after years of emotional turmoil in Tolle’s own life. He recalled to us how one night, he spontaneously felt better. Although he couldn’t explain it at the time, he realised later he had surrendered to the moment. He went on to write ‘A New Earth’, a book on awakening to your life’s purpose, published in 2005. Even today, he tells us, the books come back into the bestseller lists and he laughs about how they have a life of their own. Is there another book on the way? He says he has been doing some casual writing about the teachings of Jesus, something he came to identify with the truths of later in life, despite a Christian background, but he says the books evolve if they need to, the consciousness he’s working in and through uses him as a tool. If there needs to be another book there will be. We asked him our questions and hopefully some of yours too.
What would your definition of love be?
Love is the most vital ingredient in every human relationship, even a superficial relationship that only lasts for a minute. And perhaps we need to redefine what love is, because for many people it means, I want you. If that want is rejected, if it’s egoic love, it can very easily transform into anger. So what we are really talking about is a more transcendent love. The Dalai Lama uses the word kindness and we can add to that, ‘loving kindness’. Also goodwill or benevolence. Empathy is another word that is closely related to it. But no relationship can really thrive and be beneficial, whether between individuals or groups or nations, if that basic ingredient is missing. And how can we improve at that? Including the ingredient of love?
What blocks the potential manifestation of love, loving kindness, benevolence, whatever you want to call it, is excessive identification with the conceptualising, thinking mind, which brings up judgmental screens through which you then relate to others. Rather than relating to others through your presence, you’re then relating to them through the conceptualising, judgmental preconceptions and the conditioning of your mind. The greatest barrier then, to manifesting love and having satisfying relationships, personal or collective, is that excessive identification with the conceptual mind. Jesus recognised that too, he said, “Don’t judge”. If I can sense my essence, for a moment, being the space behind thought, there’s a moment of alert stillness. In that moment, I can sense my deeper being which is consciousness and that’s a beautiful, simple realisation. I’m not defined in form when I can sense myself as consciousness and then when I look at or listen to another human being, I can sense their essential reality as consciousness also. When I can sense their essential reality beyond their personality, I realise it’s one with mine. That recognition is the recognition of oneness and that is love.
How do you stay in that space of presence when you’re facing a deadline or are stressed about something else? Readers say they can do it meditating, but in the midst of the stresses of life, how do you do it?
You know your aim in any activity, even a simple thing like washing the dishes, you want to get them clean and back into the cupboards, that’s your aim. A very good practice would be to give your fullest attention to whatever you’re doing at this moment. Still knowing at the periphery of your consciousness what your aim is. When you’re on a journey, you know your destination and you know the path at least to some extent. You start walking towards it. If you’re too focussed on the destination you will not enjoy the journey, in fact you might get stressed because you haven’t arrived yet. You might think when you finally arrive at your destination, you will be fulfilled and happy but in the meantime, you’re ignoring the present moment, you’re only giving it so much attention that you don’t stumble. And your entire life really only consists of only this moment. In almost all cases you will find that your frustration is not caused by the circumstances but by the mental commentary that you impose on the circumstances.
When it comes to going through difficult times, or anxiety which you yourself struggled with, how can you give someone hope?
Well on the one hand there is despair, and on the other hand there is hope and hope is certainly better than despair, but hope is not the answer. I would even be reluctant to give a person hope because it is a kind of postponement of happiness or satisfaction. I would rather suggest that here and now, see if something else is possible. If you’re anxious, you’ll probably fi nd that anxiety is a pattern in your mind and no matter where you go or what you do you will fi nd new reasons for being anxious. Shift your consciousness even a little bit, stay with just this moment and you don’t need hope any more!
What is the pain body?
The pain body is negative emotion that lingers in you, that comes from the past, from childhood, or other periods in one’s life can add to it. When you identify with that pain, it becomes part of our illusory sense of identity, and you become an unhappy self. The moment the identification is broken, then all that’s left is an awareness. You can sense it without identifying with it. Sever the link between the mind and the emotion so that you realise that there is the emotion, but it does not infiltrate your mind and control your thoughts.
And our form identity?
The form identity is the physical body and psychological form or the personality, the other you is formless consciousness itself. It’s almost as if the form identity is the wave or ripple on top of the ocean. The ocean is consciousness. If you can sense that beyond all your thoughts, there is a conscious presence, that is the essence of who you are. Relinquish your thoughts and is there anything left? Yes. You will notice there is something. Even when you’re not thinking, you can sense that alive presence. That’s your deeper, formless identity. To have a fulfilled life, you need to be in both, you need to honour your limited form and realise who you are beyond the limited form.
What is something you would really like to mention or talk about?
Humanity, not all, but a certain percentage of humans on the planet are going through a rapid evolutionary change and I see that a lot because I’m one of those who are lucky enough or destined to be at the epicentre of that change. So a very frequent experience that I have, almost daily, no matter where I go, people come up to me, they recognise me, although often I try not to get recognised, I wear a big baseball cap, but people still recognise me and the most common thing I hear is, “I just want to thank you and shake your hand because you changed my life”. I don’t take that personally, I don’t think they’re absolutely right when they say I as a person changed their life, but I do know what they mean. They mean that it initiated a shift in consciousness in them and they became happier, more fulfilled, more creative human beings, more loving. So I don’t take credit for it, but I’m happy when I hear it because it’s confirmation that people are changing and awakening at a rate that’s unprecedented.
An exercise from Eckhart
Eckhart Tolle will be in speaking in Ireland for the first time in five years this September 12th in Belfast as part of his European tour. Find out more >
Lorna Byrne is the author of Angels in My Hair and Love From Heaven , which now includes a seven day programme to increase self-love. Lorna sees angels as clear as you and I see each other and has seen them for as long as she can remember.
This is taken from our summer 2015 issue. Subscribe here to get the autumn issue and three more delivered direct to your door.
Interviewed by Paul Congdon and Elva Carri. Watch the full interview on video below.
Early in our conversation with Lorna, she mentions ‘unemployed angels’, so we have to ask her more about what this means!
“Unemployed angels are angels that God has been pouring down onto the earth, I always say in bucketfuls. They’re there to help us with all the everyday, ordinary things. And once you ask for help, you are given it. For people reading this, I would say ask for an unemployed angel to come into your life or a friend’s or to come into the family to give you a hand. Many a time I’d see an unemployed angel giving an elderly person a helping hand and sometimes I would talk to the unemployed angel and ask if the elderly person knows they’re there, and they’d tell me “Lorna just look at their face” and just then a big smile would appear on their face.”
We are pure love.
“Each and every one of us, because of our soul, we are pure love. And it’s still all there inside of you, no matter what pain or hurt you’ve gone through, it’s still there, you can’t dilute it or throw it away, it can’t really be destroyed, we just have this habit of locking it away. The more you can learn to love yourself, then you can love others. Love is love and yet we put all kinds of labels on it. If you only look for romantic love, you miss out on all the love that is already in your life and all around you.” She tells us that even a kind gesture towards someone can help them unlock that love a little bit more. “It’s so important for us to be kind.”
The first time she saw love as a physical force was at home in her family between her two parents and she described what it looked like…
“We were having a feast, we had a cake, this beautiful cake my aunt had brought to us. And the angels told me to pay attention, and seeing the love coming from my mum and da and it meeting and it being crystal clear. The only way I can describe it, it’s like ice in one sense, the way ice sparkles, but yet it’s soft and it’s warm.”
Is there a recent incident of seeing that physical force of love that you could tell us about?
“There is one very close to my own heart. My mum was dying recently and just sitting at the end of the bed and watching all my own siblings come around the bed and they all taking hands and just seeing all of that physical force of love, crystal clear, coming from them, from every part of them, from their soul and it touching my mum. She wasn’t able to give it back at that stage but they were giving theirs to her.”
The Seven Day Process
Each day there’s stuff I’ve written to help you, the first day is to tell you that you are pure love. And then there’s a card to carry with you in your purse each day to remind you of that. And there’s another day to remind you that you are deserving of love and there’s a few exercises in it as well. And I know it will stir up emotions, but emotions are actually love and it is a process.” She says since adding the seven day process to the book, people have already begun to thank her for how it’s changed their lives, and how they feel about themselves.
Watch the full interview below
Put the kettle on and relax…
The full autumn 2014 issue is available as individual posts online here, but you can also flip through the virtual issue below. It’s also available within the Issuu app for mobile and tablets and available to download free for both Android and Apple operating systems.
Contents from the autumn issue
Autumn Vibes Nut butters, organic deliveries and exotic adventures. Positive, empowering and holistic workshops, events and products.
Positively Newsworthy Autumn’s inspiring stories and stats. Good news to uplift you.
Spirituality and the City It’s the little things. We ask six people about the little things that make them happy.
Astrology Space and stillness to speak your truth. Andrew Smith’s forecast for autumn.
Positive Attraction Commit to creation. Dee Wallace helps you create and live your ideal life.
Feng Shui The links between Feng Shui and Chinese medicine. Amanda Collins on the only branch of Chinese medicine that relates to your environment, not your body.
Meditation Make worry your friend, your mind is looking out for you. Sandy Newbigging helps us feel at ease, even in times of worry.
Positive Beauty Dressing for dates, choosing your true colours. Mary Berkery learning how to express ourselves as naturally as a flower.
Peter Tadd Relics of love, gemstones from the Buddha. Ancient gems, touring the world on a mission of love and peace.
Mooji Can you really be happy for no reason? Of course! We talk to Mooji about how to be happy.
Tantra What is Tantra? And where does it fit into your day? Dawn Cartwright introduces us to micro-tantra practices.
Juicy Gossip Freshly squeezed, expert tips from Erika Doolan. Juice right to get the nutrients your body is craving.
Positive Personality Tantra Maat on how you are absolutely essential.
Davie Philip Open source has a lot to offer. Looking at how open source works in everwhere from woodlands to web.
Samuel Bishop The great stuff happening between radical and mainstream in Ireland.
Natural Health Participating in your quest for health. Prescribe or participate? It takes your efforts to really feel the benefits of health decisions.
Fruitful Endeavours Growing fruit because it’s easy. Hans Wieland from the Organic Centre in Leitrim teaches us to grow our own.
Autumn Recipes Warm up with an immunity-boosting super-stew. Cornucopia Dublin have a recipe to get your gut health in gear for autumn and winter.
Short & Sweet 2-step success, chanting at home and freeing fears. Short, quick reads for all areas of improving your life.
Lars Muhl Rock, roll and the journey of a soul. Lars shares his journey.