The Virtue Of Self-ishness | Touchstones Of The Sacred | Touchstones of the Sacred


The Virtue of Self-ishness

August 07, 2012 By: Michael Nagel Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit

michael negal

Was it 1984 when I walked up to a teller of the Santa Monica branch of First Interstate Bank to deposit my paycheck? I must have laid on the teller counter, title up, the copy of “The Virtue of Selfishness” by Ayn Rand which I was reading, because as I filled out my deposit slip, the teller remarked with palpable moral indignation, “Don’t tell me you want to be selfish!?”

Slowly looking up straight into her eyes, I replied, “As a matter of fact, I do!”

I still want to be Self-ish, though sometimes others may misinterpret that as my being selfish. But that is their problem, not mine. I wish that you be Self-ish too.

That is, I wish everyone be taught how to think critically with the light of their intellects. As individuals and a nation, we might not fall victim to deceit.

I wish everyone finds within themselves, Read more »

Winter Health (“vata” time of year)

December 23, 2011 By: Patricia Tedeschi Category: Conscious Livelihood, Mind Body Spirit, Uncategorized

woman getting close massage


As well as experiencing dryer skin in this “Vata” time of year, do you find yourself more anxious, flighty and spacey?  It is probably more than “the Holidays.”  Your Vata dosha is more than likely out of balance, which merely means nature is delivering an abundance of vata like qualities in the form of cooler temperatures, and blustery winds.  This can tip us a bit over the edge emotionally and physically.

You don’t need to feel blown away by vata’s high season.  Choose nurturing lifestyle choices which will help keep you grounded. Read more »

Creating a Structure of Living that Supports an Inner Life

October 30, 2011 By: Michael Nagel Category: Daily Wisdom, Mind Body Spirit

Busy Roads 150

In my work, I get to see the underbelly of our social order: the patterns of unhappiness and hardship which we suffer alone, but which are shared by others in epidemic proportions. These are the disorders of society which breed widespread personal unhappiness.

James Hillman, Jungian analyst, alludes to just such a societal disorder when he comments that one of the hardest things which he has to treat is his clients’ schedules. Hillman notes that their schedules are their defenses against change. Said another way, your personal organizer is your defense. Your to-do list is your personal tyrant. Your busyness is your soul’s captor. We haven’t the time to allow into our lives the changes that would be a salve to our souls.

Another expression of this societal disorder is a profoundly unhappy friend who regularly works 60 to 80 hour weeks. When asked why she doesn’t refuse to work such hours, she replies, “I can’t.” She’s is afraid of losing her job, although she is losing her soul. She notes her company’s informal motto is “excellence through anxiety.” I kid you not. It reminds me of another person who mentioned his company’s informal motto is “excellence through paranoia.” Read more »

Life’s Trump Card

September 28, 2011 By: Michael Nagel Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit, Teachings

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Imagine you’re playing a card game. A very unusual card game. Matter of fact, it’s a game you play every day. It’s called, “Life”. Every day, you’re dealt the cards of your life situation. Every day the same other player wins. Here’s today’s play.

The cards are dealt: today’s life situation.

The first player throws out a judgment. “It shouldn’t be like this!”

The next player tosses in an expectation. “I’m disappointed.”

The third player slams down an argument. Read more »

Looking for Direction in All the Wrong Places

September 06, 2011 By: Michael Nagel Category: Living with Intention, Mind Body Spirit


I work with many intelligent people. Despite their intelligence, often they are stymied by dilemmas with which they have struggled in thought – often for a very long time. Occasionally I may remark, “With your obvious intelligence and with all your thinking about this, if you haven’t yet arrived at answer, perhaps it might be because you’ve been searching for your answer in the wrong place.”

Such dilemmas remind me of the crazy wisdom teacher, Nasruddin, an Islamic character whose humorous exploits are spiritual teachings with many depths of meaning. Let me paraphrase one of my favorite Nasruddin stories, for it may suggest an answer to such getting stuck. Read more »

One of those things I love

May 02, 2011 By: Samantha Category: Mind Body Spirit

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These few weeks in gymnastics, it’s been tough. All of our conditioning leaves me sore, and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to tumble well on floor. Yet, it’s one of those things I love, and a lot too, so I try as hard as I can as long as I can. A couple weeks ago, it dawned on me that I have a real shot of moving up to level 6! So, impossibly, I tried harder.

If I had to stay without Gymnastics for a long time, I would most likely be uncontrollable with all my energy. It is like a sunburn on the back of your neck. You can’t get rid of it until it’s gone. Most of the time, Gym is either super hard and you want a rest or it is so fun, you wish you could stay forever. I really do hope I move up, because Gymnastics gives me sugar, the kind of sugar that makes you feel strong, mighty, and important. It’s the kind of sugar that makes everyone around you, and even myself, HAPPY! Happy is all you need in life!

Gymnastics rocks!!

Daily Wisdom

April 04, 2011 By: admin Category: Daily Wisdom

When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others.  When the eye is not set on one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit.  But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there.  Takuam Soto

Daily Wisdom

April 02, 2011 By: admin Category: Daily Wisdom

Remain silent, and you sink into a realm of shadows; speak, and you fall into a deep pit. Try, and you’re as far away as sky from earth; give up, and you’ll never attain. Enormous waves go on and on, foaming breakers flood the skies. Who’s got the bright pearl that calms the oceans? Lao Tzu

Daily Wisdom

March 30, 2011 By: celedra Category: Daily Wisdom, Uncategorized

Health is the greatest possession.  Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.  Non-being is the greatest joy.  Lao Tzu

Learn The 4 Secrets to Unleash the Power of Your Creative Thought – Part 2

March 17, 2011 By: admin Category: Feminine Wisdom, Mind Body Spirit

Henna Hands

Part 2 of a 3 part series: Conquering Creativity Challenges

In my last article I revealed the 4 secrets to finding your creativity – the first stage of three in actualizing your creative process. Creative thought is the essence of every woman.

Every woman has the capacity or dare I say the responsibility to share her creativity. But what happens when there are barriers?

Here are the 4 secrets to Conquering Creativity Challenges:

Secret #1: Pledge to Self. Creative, inspiring women practice the skill of self-focus. Women are overcoming societal expectations in order to give high priority to self.

Self-focus does not mean a woman is abdicating her true nature of nurturer. Rather, she is nurturing her soul and creative gifts. Your success doesn’t mean someone else’s loss.

Read more »

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