Here and Now

Ram Dass, a master spiritual teacher died on December 22, 2019.  In 1998, he experienced a massive stroke that left him with a speech impediment. Instead of collapsing into a place of suffering, he said he was “stroked” by God. He embodied everything he taught. The simple — yet difficult to obtain—teaching he is most known for is: “Be here now.”

In 2011, Eckhart Tolle was listed by the Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world.

Eckhart Tolle offers wonderful advice that focuses on mindfulness and letting go of the ego. He is a huge advocate of living in the now, as witnessed by his book: “The Power of Now.”

The following are quotes from Tolle: “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: The Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”

Over the past several decades, we have been exposed to thousands of teachings via teachers of many traditions and various levels of spiritual development.

We seem to be living numerous lifetimes this time around because we have nearly anything available to us at the reach of our fingertips. We can research, learn or become anything. This creates a lot of doing and not being. We can do for the rest of our lives, but who is just being in the moment and truly present with oneself and others? Oddly enough, it’s rare.  It’s commonplace these days to have others look at their phones while we’re in a conversation. Just a decade ago, it was considered rude behavior. We are acclimating to not being present with others, nor have others be present with us.

Did you ever get the feeling when talking to someone on the phone, that they are doing something else while you’re in a conversation? Maybe they’re checking their emails, cooking, or making a pot of tea, even holding a conversation with others in their environment? How does that make you feel? Unimportant? Ignored? Or, do you chalk it up to the way people are these days?

I have noticed that there are so many folks out there sharing their stories, sometimes deep and intimate details in social networks. Could it be that they are looking outside their families, friends, and counselors because those people aren’t present enough? People everywhere are pouring out their hearts and publicly sharing information about their traumas.  I used to think this is good, that there is a “washing” going on and it’s purging the trauma.  I don’t think this is as true as I once thought. I think there are people getting stuck in their stories.  Social media conditions our brains to get validation through likes and others who respond. There is a psychological payoff that is causing the trauma to perpetuate and keeps the person who’s been victimized in a recapitulation loop.

There is a saying: “Don’t get pulled into other people’s storm, pull them into your peace.”

How does one get unstuck from the past and truly move forward into the Now?

I will cover that in the next newsletter.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!
Marion Trent

I am Sorry. Please Forgive Me. Thank You. I love You.

Are you looking forward to the family gathering around the Thanksgiving table or do you feel anxious?

It’s become a well-known fact that families experience triggers and role-playing when they gather for this — what should be — special holiday. Family members tend to go down memory lane and the next thing you know there is an argument or disagreement about a situation that happened years ago. Then, role-playing rears its ugly head. The victim declares that a situation happened this way or that way. The  peacemaker (rescuer) steps in and pleads: “It’s Thanksgiving, let’s not bring this up again.” The proverbial black sheep (perpetrator) then pushes everyone’s buttons and off we go! Someone leaves the table. Mom or dad or whoever cooked the meal gets angry because they have put so much energy into making the day special, and ultimately, they feel disrespected.

If you can relate to this scenario or a similar one, do you ever wonder why this happens?

Knowing that our thoughts create our reality and reinforce that fact by providing everything we think about with intensity. If we’re dreading something or thinking too much about the past, it increases the likelihood that it will become a reoccurring pattern.  How do we heal from that and stop the dysfunctional patterns? Does it take one person, a majority or the entire family?

Most people want others to change. There is always someone else to blame for the dysfunction. It’s hard to believe that we are the sole creator of everything in our life.

Ancient cultures believed that discord begins with our ancestors — that dysfunctional family patterns are deeply rooted and passed on to offspring.  And, that ancestors influence our thoughts and behaviors.

Ancient rituals that honored our ancestors dates back more than 35 thousand years ago when Siberian tribes plead their ancestors for blessings, hunting support, good karma and to calm fierce weather patterns. We somehow lost this connection in modern culture.

However, current scientific research agrees that trauma can leave a chemical mark on a person’s genes, which then is passed down to subsequent generations. The mark doesn’t directly damage the gene; there’s no mutation. Instead, it alters the mechanism by which the gene is converted or expressed into functioning proteins.

It seems that science is catching up with ancient wisdom teachings and knowledge. I like to think that ancient healing methodologies and teachings work because they are still around! There are countless examples of miracle healings that take place using ancient healing methodologies and I will get into them in subsequent newsletters.

For now, remember your ancestors and send them love regardless of how they showed up in the world. No judgment — just love. Give thanks, simply because, without them, you would not be here today.

I like to use Hoʻoponopono, a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, to transmute negative energy as it happens. The Hawaiian word ho’oponopono comes from ho’o (“to make”) and pono (“right”). The repetition of the word pono means “doubly right” or being right with both self and others. In a nutshell, ho’oponopono is a process by which we can forgive others to whom we are connected.

Think on the person with whom there is a conflict or who is being triggered and say these words to yourself:

1. Step one: Repentance – Say: “I am sorry.”
2. Step two: Ask forgiveness – Say: “Please forgive me.”
3. Step three: Gratitude – Say: “Thank you.”
4. Step four: Love – Say: “I love you.”

You will undoubtedly raise the frequency in the room with your positive intent and the ho’oponopono practice, and let’s not forget the effect it may have on your ancestors.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With love,
Marion Trent, Founder


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Is Your Life A Journey?

Check out this video by Alan Watts. I have known this message, what seems like, all of my life. However, I have not heard it articulated this way before. I believe, that the most successful souls can be measured by how well they can see through the illusions that are continually thrust upon us, and by how well they have dropped the ego to expand their Light (Consciousness) and grow in Love, all the while knowing that we are ONE and that we take formulas (paths), ourselves and others WAY too seriously.

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” -Rumi

Things You Can Do If You’re Estranged From Your Adult Child

If your adult child has cut you out of his or her life—whether for a long or short time—it is a gut-wrenching experience, provoking deep feelings of shame, guilt, bewilderment, and hurt, all of which can easily turn to anger. On top of that, it can also arouse people’s worst suspicions (surely, the Smiths must be terrible parents for their daughter to cut them off like that!) and leave you feeling judged, even by friends and family.

Sometimes, of course, there are circumstances in which cutting off from a parent is the only viable option for an adult child (age 18 and older), for instance, in the case of past or present physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a parent.

Many times, however, estranged parents are left in the dark trying to figure out what went wrong. And while it’s common to pin the reason for the estrangement on everything from money issues, to personality conflicts, to divorce or difficult family dynamics, when you are in the dark, the easiest target to hit is yourself—to believe that you “failed” as a parent.

But here’s the reality: you didn’t cause the relationship to be severed; it was not your choice. Although you may have contributed to the tensions between you, you are not responsible for your child’s choice to cut you off.

Shutting a person out is a response to anxiety and fusion. Your actions or lack of action didn’t cause this. Cutting off is a way people manage anxiety when they don’t know a better way. The love and caring is there; the ability to solve differences is not.
Many adult children struggle with their parents, or with money issues, etc., but not all of them cut ties with their parents. Why do some cut off while others go through similar struggles and stay connected?

The Flight Response: Why Some Kids Distance Themselves

We humans manage stress in pretty predictable ways. We have a “fight or flight” response just like other species. And some people are more prone to distancing (flight) when emotional intensity gets high.

Let’s take Joe, for example. Joe was living at home after college, and his parents felt he was aimless. He would sleep in late, not help around the house, wouldn’t get a steady job, and was rude and disrespectful. Joe’s parents were understandably concerned and anxious about his lack of direction. They would nag, yell, and question him daily as to his game plan. He would be vague or get nasty, which caused his parents to get on his back even more. Eventually, Joe moved out. He didn’t tell his parents where he moved and didn’t contact them for over a year.

Related: Is your child rude and disrespectful? Refuse to be abused.

To understand Joe’s response, we have to recognize that when some people feel anxious, tired of conflict or pressure, or too much of the sticky family “togetherness” called fusion, their response is to distance themselves, be it emotionally, physically or both. When a person distances from others, they feel a sense of relief because the distance seemingly brings the conflict to an end. Of course, nothing is actually resolved; instead, more stress is generated.

On the outside, it looks as though Joe and his parents are disconnected. But on the inside, they are actually thinking about each other all the time and remain overly focused on one another. They are, in fact, still extremely involved with one another: they are emotionally bound up together, even though all communication has ceased. Neither is free from the original problem; nor are they free from each other.

Extreme Distancing: Cutting Off

Distancing, at its extreme, turns to cutting off. It can occur after long periods of conflict or as a sudden reaction to a difficult encounter. Whatever the issue, the person doing the cutting off has difficulty addressing and resolving the problem directly and maturely. Instead, like Joe, they stop communicating. Continuing the relationship seems unmanageable to them.

When a parent and child are enmeshed (too emotionally bound up with each other), they are more susceptible to cutting off when anxiety is high. Joe and his parents, for instance, were overly involved and entangled with each other. He was not taking responsibility for himself, nor were his parents taking responsibility for themselves. His parents did not stand up and let him know what they would and wouldn’t accept. Instead they nagged, begged and hoped he would change. He dug his heels in deeper, did less when pushed, and refused to address his part of the problem. They were living in reaction to one another, rather than each taking responsibility for their part of the family “dance.” The only way that Joe could see to get out of this tight tangle was to distance and cut-off from his parents; he didn’t have the skills necessary to untie the knots, to grow up and face himself.

Parents feel powerless when no contact is possible; when they can’t negotiate or even talk with their child. Should you contact your child or not? How long should you try? What should you say?

If you’re in this difficult position, here are five things you can do.

Don’t go at this alone. Get support. Being cut off by your child, with no ability to understand, communicate and resolve things, is difficult enough. That’s why being connected to others who love and understand you is particularly important. In addition to reaching out to friends and family, consider joining a support group. If you are not able to function at your best, get some professional help.
Don’t cut off in response. You are not the one cutting ties; your child is. Don’t cut off your child in response. Continue to reach out to him, letting him know that you love him and that you want to mend whatever has broken. Send birthday and holiday messages as well as occasional brief notes or emails. Simply say that you are thinking about him and hope to have the opportunity to reconnect. Send your warmth, love, and compassion—as you get on with your life.

Step back, look and don’t feed the anger. It’s understandable to feel angry. And in their attempt to be supportive, friends and family may fuel your feelings of betrayal, inadvertently increasing your anger. Anger is natural, but not helpful. Step back and try to understand what led to this estrangement. What patterns were operating in your family dance? If you can look at your family from a more factual vantage point, it may feel less personal. No one is to blame. Now if the door opens, you will be in a much better position to reconcile.

If the door opens, listen to your child without defending yourself. Listen with an open heart. Listen to her perceptions of what wrongs took place. Even if you disagree with her, look for the grains of truth. Be willing to look at yourself. It’s hard to hear these criticisms, especially if your intentions were misunderstood. So prepare yourself to handle this. Your adult child may need to hold on to blame as a way to manage her own anxiety. Just letting her know that you hear her will go a long way. Keep in mind that she, too, had to be in tremendous pain to reach the point of shutting you out. Try to empathize with her pain rather than get caught up in the hurt and anger.

Focus on yourself, not your child. If you do begin communicating again, you will be in a position to learn from the mistakes of the past and work toward an improved relationship. Put your efforts into changing yourself, not your child. Let go of your resentments regarding the estrangement. Understand his need to flee…and forgive him. Get to know the adult child you have, not the child you think he should have been. Allow him to get to know you.

If your child still has made no contact, grieve the loss and know there is still hope. Try to manage your anxiety, and do the right thing by staying in touch with him in a non-intrusive way: occasionally and lovingly. Things may change. Rather than blame yourself or your child for this pain, use your energy to learn about yourself, your own family history and patterns in your other relationships. Look for other patterns of cutting off in your family tree.

Remember that shutting a person out is a response to anxiety and fusion. Your actions or lack of action didn’t cause this. Cutting off is a way people manage anxiety when they don’t know a better way. The love and caring is there; the ability to solve differences is not. You did not cause your child to turn away. That was her decision. It may have been a poor one, but it was the best she could do at the time. Try to get your focus off of her at least 50 percent of the day, which will make a difference.

Your pain is real. Be mindful and compassionate of it, but don’t allow it to define or overwhelm you. Put the focus on what you have control over:  your own life.


They’re Playing Your Song

singing-your-songWhen a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.

When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song. Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life.

When I have shared this story in my lectures, a fair amount of people in the audience come to tears. There is something inside each of us that knows we have a song, and we wish those we love would recognize it and support us to sing it. In some of my seminars I ask people to verbalize to a partner the one phrase they wish their parents had said to them as a child. Then the partner lovingly whispers it in their ear. This exercise goes very deep, and many significant insights start to click. How we all long to be loved, acknowledged, and accepted for who we are!

In the African tribe, there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them. The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused. One summer when I was a teenager I went to visit my cousin and her family in Wilmington, Delaware. One afternoon she took me to the community pool, where I met a man who changed my life. Mr. Simmons talked to me for about 10 minutes. It wasn’t what he said that affected me so deeply; it was how he listened to me. He asked me questions about my life, my feelings, and my interests.

The unusual thing about Mr. Simmons was that he paid attention to my answers. Although I had family, friends, and teachers, this man was the only person in my world who seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say and valued me for who I was.

After our brief conversation, I never saw him again. I probably never will. I’m sure he had no idea that he gave me the gift of a lifetime. Maybe he was one of those angels who show up for a brief mission on earth, to give someone faith, confidence, and hope when they most need it.

If you do not give your song a voice, you will feel lost, alone, and confused. If you express it, you will come to life. We attract people on a similar wavelength so we can support each other to sing aloud. Sometimes we attract people who challenge us by telling us that we cannot or should not sing our song in public. Yet these people help us too, for they stimulate us to find a greater courage to sing it.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

by Alan Cohen, Author of Living from the Heart

Forgiveness and Mercy

“Relax for a moment and be still. Imagine that you are a child and remember one way that you believed you were victimized. It could be someone yelling at you, lying to you, putting you down, hitting, incesting, or molesting you.

Can you see the person abusing you? Are they roaring like a tiger? Watch their lips as they talk to you. See their hand or body as it comes down on you, for example. Look at their face. Look deeply into their eyes. Don’t move away. Really look at them. Can you really know that they want to hurt you? Can you really know that they are not inflicting more abuse upon themselves in that moment? Sit in stillness with this.

Then ask yourself the following question: ‘If I had to choose one or the other for all eternity, would I rather be the abuser or the abused? Which position is the more merciful?'”

~ Byron Katie

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is, at best,  a nine-year-old kid.

pilot_2_tcm61-81046When I teach my clients about the subconscious mind, I use an analogy that we are passengers on a plane that is being flown by a nine-year-old pilot (the subconscious mind). The kid will always be the pilot; and we, as adults, will not be able to take the  pilot’s place and navigate the plane to our destination. What we can do,  is teach the kid to fly the plane in a smooth way, instead of letting him/her fly it every which way, up and down with no destination in mind.

During certain times in our lives, we all have experienced an out-of-control kid flying the plane straight toward the Himalayan Mountains. Sometimes, we’ve crashed. Other times, we have randomly landed in Paradise, so to speak.  Most current teachings center around the mind and how to change the way we think so we can manifest fulfilling relationships, peace of mind and a beautiful life.

Documentaries like “The Secret” and “What the Bleep Do We Know?” have opened us to meditation and visualization techniques that lead the mind around by the nose, instead of allowing it to run amuck in any direction it chooses to go.

I have spent most of my life studying contemporary and ancient healing techniques. I love how far we have progressed in these studies and practices and how much they have proved to work when applied on a daily basis.

Several years ago, I discovered Quantum Jumping by Burt Goldman, who spent over 50 years cultivating his knowledge by studying with some of the world’s greatest spiritual teachers. His teachings combine shamanic journeying (working outside of time and space) with contemporary shortcut techniques that help the subconscious mind adjust, accept and manifest our highest potential. When we have control over our mind, we can accomplish almost anything. We can let go of the past and live in the present moment without any judgement, fear and regret.  Then, we attract only people who are supportive, loving and authentic and our hopes and dreams become a reality.

Wishing you a safe and comfortable flight!



Should I Warn His New Partner?

I am often asked if someone should contact the new partner of an ex to warn them of the abuse.  My answer is, without a shadow of a doubt: “No!”

First and foremost, ask yourself what’s motivating you? If you are trying to warn her or him, aren’t you engaging in the Power Triangle? Pathological rescuers rescue people without being asked. Stay out of the Power Triangle. It spells trouble. Secondly, your ex-has probably painted a very bad picture of you to the new partner. Don’t you think that contacting that person will validate everything he said about you? It will make you look jealous, vengeful and insecure.

When we had our first falling out, my ex-gave me a list of emails of women he had been in a relationship with prior to me and said: “Contact them for a testimonial. I’m a good man, Marion. They will tell you.” So I sent off an email and never got a reply from them. When I told him that I emailed them and didn’t get the testimonials he said I would, he became EXTREMELY angry and accused me of being: “High School and immature.” I replied: “You told me to contact them!” “I didn’t think you would!” he snapped back.

You need to focus on yourself, especially if you’ve been in a toxic relationship. When bitter thoughts arise or you think to yourself, “How can he be happy now after he made me so miserable?” Tell yourself that you wish them both well every single time a thought comes up. This will help you so much because you are letting go of negativity. In truth, your ex is no longer your business and kind thoughts will help you move on in a beautiful way.  You don’t have to allow contact, by all means. Simply wish them well and smile.

Even though friends have told me my ex is in a new relationship, he still contacts me every 6-8 weeks with poems, “I love you” — and to top it all off, in his last correspondence, he has giving me permission to move on with my business. He is now “shining his light on my work” which he consistently put down in the past. I just chuckle and throw the notes, emails and texts away without a reply, because to me he is like a cobra. He will bite me over and over again if I let him.  Even though his behavior is still bizarre as ever, I do send well-wishes telepathically, because in wishing him well I wish me well. “I wish you well. I wish you well. I wish you well…” has become my mantra. Thoughts of him have dissolved in a very natural, organic way without much effort.

When we recapitulate the relationship and see that we were a psychological or spiritual mismatch, which I often stated in my past relationship, then why would we want to continue thinking on that person? If it was a severely abusive relationship as in my case, shouldn’t we be happy that the person has a new target/interest? I, for one, am ecstatic that I am free. Before he had a new love interest, he constantly harassed me and kept me off balance. It was a grueling time for me because I still had feelings for him and I sacrificed my own happiness for someone who is a pathological liar.  I found that when my mind started to recapitulate the good, bad and the ugly side of the relationship, I would say to myself: “It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter! “I wrangled in my thoughts with another simple mantra that works for me. Try it if you’re struggling with thoughts about the past or crazy assumptions.  It is a simple technique that is very freeing.

Lastly, if your ex-has become a better person for having known you, you have done your job.  But all that matters is that you are a better person — and you have expanded your consciousness — and you are drawing healthier boundaries. The best thing you can do is to take time for yourself and unload some baggage before you get into another relationship. Find a tribe with similar interests.  Get involved in your community and find joy on your own before you make yourself available for someone new. Rebound relationships, more often than not, fail miserably because people bring baggage from a past relationship into it; and sometimes they are still in love with, or focused on, their ex.