Category: Self Help

From self-published to traditionally published; this is PART I. of a blog series detailing the evolution of my new book published by Wisdom Moon, titled: The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas.

More than a decade ago, I wrote a self-published work which I affectionately called The Sixth Tier, A Handbook to Enlightenment. Good luck trying to find it now! It was composed of six chapters which focused on various ways to search and find self-actualization in a world of indifference. I wrote this book in response to a series of life changing epiphanies or awakenings that engulfed me in 2001. After hitting rock bottom after the still birth loss of my first child and namesake, I found a new and enlightened vision of the world we live in. I truly believe you sometimes have to hit rock bottom before you can evolve to the next level of consciousness. Sadly though, my new-found awareness was quickly besieged by ego and false-self, which unfortunately muddled my True Nature. 10 years ago, I understood  how the Universe worked and my place within this grand dominion, but I was far from releasing myself from the perils of ego and false-self. In hindsight, the Sixth Tier reflected a lot of this anger and ego in small refined levels.


The Sixth Tier, 2001

The Sixth Tier did get an offer from a small independent publisher but I decided to have it self-published instead. I was hesitant to accept the publishing offer for several reasons. First, I was going to have to sign away the rights of a book that I put my heart and soul in. Secondly, I was not finished with the whole body of work – I knew deep down this was not my best foot forward; there was room for improvement. Due to the pressures of ego and other false perceptions, I rushed the entire writing process. It became more about being a published author and less about the final product; an error in hindsight. There are many good elements to The Sixth Tier, but it was not a completion of the process – it did not reflect my life’s work. Thus, at the end of The Sixth Tier I wrote, “To be continued”.

Since 2002, I have studied Buddhism extensively and I have continued to put to work the many ideas and concepts found in my first published effort. One of my decade long goals was to bridge science with spirituality and meditate on a daily basis. More than a decade later I have emerged as a much more complete person. I have challenged my false self and settled into a new-found notion of True Nature – an unwavering energy found within that is driven by a Quantum Universe. Over the years I have toyed with new ideas and wrestled with old philosophical quandaries. About three years ago a new-found inspiration encircled me. I began to rewrite The Sixth Tier as it should have been years ago and in 2011 I again self-published the rewrite now known as the The Responsive Universe – Meditations and Daily Life Practice (recently pulled from the shelves).

I was a little disappointed I could not get the Responsive Universe printed by a traditional publisher. I am sure many of you know how tough it is to be a published writer. Even after self-publishing the RU, I actively pursued handfuls of smaller wellness and boutique publishers. I did not lose faith! I was successful in getting several articles published by MindBodyGreen and All Things Healing. My social footprint on Facebook and Twitter grew as well. Eventually through luck and my own positive manifestations, the RU was picked up by Wisdom Moon Publishing in 2013. Wisdom Moon Publishing is a boutique publisher with an emphasis on wellness, mindfulness and philosophy. It was a perfect fit!

book cover

Now Available

About the Book:

We all have within our grasp the ability to wield the power of quantum energy as it relates to the Universe and our intrinsic True Nature. Based on science and inspired by Buddhist ideals and new world philosophy, the Responsive Universe will lead the reader into a world of self-discovery, karma and wellness.. By following the creative and insightful meditations and  daily life practices, you will begin to free yourself from a false-self that may unknowingly govern your actions and reactions; the result being a spacious new vision of your true-self: A boundless vision bathed under the liberating light of self-actualization and enlightenment.

In Part II. of my journey toward publishing the new and improved Responsive Universe – Why this book is different and how it will change your life much like it changed mine….

John C. Bader

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

You are not alone.  Many friends and clients have said they are feeling overwhelmed right now.  I am right there with you too.  This past month if not longer, time seems to be moving faster, opportunities are growing, projects to be completed are increasing, and the flurry of activity seems to be everywhere and growing at light speed.  It has been challenging.  I searched for and tried many different techniques to handle everything on my plate.  What I discovered is the power of two seemingly opposite ideas:  discipline and letting go.

Discipline is the obvious choice for handling chaos.  The more things get out of control, the more one needs to be disciplined in their actions.  This is a time for routine, checklists, scheduling, and time management.  This is a time to be aware of distractions and to recommit one’s focus to what is important.  This is a time to maintain those practices which aid execution and resist the easy bandage quick fixes which actually slow things down.

This is also the time for letting go.  Let go of the idea you need to do it alone.  Let go of the idea that you are solely responsible for the results.  Let go of any emotional investment in the outcome.  Let go of the thought that it has to be hard.  Let go of the attitude that it is too much.  Let go of thinking that once this is all over then you will relax.  Let go of the belief that you have to put your life on hold to take care of the tasks at hand.

Discipline and letting go are both about focus.  To be disciplined one needs to determine what is important and what is not.  Then one needs to let go and release those things that are not important.  Staying focused on what is truly desired provides order and a clear picture of what really needs to be completed.  It is important to judge what is important by what you want to experience.  Don’t choose an outcome as those are always changing and shifting.  Instead choose what is important for you to be and feel.   Stay focused on the larger goal of the effort not the individual tactics.  The individual tactics will always shift but as long as they are still moving you toward your larger goal, all is good.

Discipline and letting go are about listening to your needs.  When things get busy, it is an easy choice to give up those things that are for our well-being in exchange for time to accomplish something of value.  Let me be clear.  Taking care of your self is the highest value.  Do not give up lunch for a meeting.  Do not give up your exercise routine to make more time for work.  Do not exchange good healthy food for quick and easy junk food.  Trading what is good for your well-being may give you a temporary boost in productivity, but it will not last.  The healthier you are, the more clear and productive you are.  I often quote Gandhi who said, “There is so much to do today.  I must meditate twice as long.”  The better we take care of ourselves, the more we can accomplish.

Next time you are feeling overwhelmed.  Regain your discipline.  Note your true priorities.  Ensure your daily practices of self-care are in place.  Then let go of everything else.  You can only accomplish so much.  Trust you will finish what truly needs to be done by you at this time.  Oh, and don’t forget to breathe.

– Melissa Heisler





What does that mean; Universal Love?

We talk about eating right, exercise and meditation all the time in the wellness community. What about Universal Love? Another facet of living healthy is being mindful of energy as it relates to the Universe. Finding your center in the beauty of it all… Universal love is a source of instinctual energy – the essence of God; it is everything…. Further, the light of all things created (the Universe); this dynamism of energy, vibration, life, and beauty – is universal love. Universal love is the positive Quantum energy that flows through the Universe – a Mandala of birth, life and rebirth…  Philosophically, universal love holds all things in the cosmos together – gravity, quantum physics and our instinctual, conscious connection to it all…  Love is where we come from and where we will return. It is the law of the Universe…

Too gratuitous and far-fetched…?

Understanding love in terms of the Universe opens us up to seeing that everything comes from one source, a natural order of life based on love and energy. That one source is the essence of God as it relates to the Universe. Love and God are interwoven in the beauty we see all around us. Staying centered and living a karmic life allows us to embrace love in all forms. Love improves your quality of life in all arenas. It builds strong self-esteem, facilitates intelligence, and, most importantly, feeds the inner-self with positive Quantum energy.

Seems simple enough?

Be aware of your constant streaming of thoughts including likes and dislikes. Let negative reactions be a trigger that it is time to find your center again. Hate, aggression, and envy are trappings of the ego. Turn away from these negative energies and focus on what is dependable and constant in life; your True Nature. Open yourself up to this universal love and have the clarity to shower it on others around you. Universal love is the gateway to bliss and happiness. The more you center yourself within, the more your life and surroundings will respond with good luck, good energy and illumination.

….Breathe in positive energy, breathe out Universe Love….

Three helpful tips to love yourself!


John C. Bader

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Karma has relatively the same meaning as the “Golden Rule”:

“Do unto others as they would do to you”.

This concept exceeds biblical history and dates back to some of the earliest vestibules of human history. Examples of statements that mirror the Golden Rule appear as far back in humanity to Ancient Egypt. An example would be the story of The Eloquent Peasant which is dated to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2040–1650 BC). Clearly this is not a new concept.  Blind faith does not drive the concept of Karma either. Science,  especially quantum physics, weighs heavily in favor of Karma. Because we live in a revolving Universe of matter and energy, in theory, where something begins in the world, will eventually be the place where it also ends. We see this relative similarity in the rotation of planets and galaxies; even our seasons begin where they end and so on. This concept supports the mechanics of karma in regard to energy: For every action there is a reaction in some form or function. No matter which race, creed or society. No matter what the belief may be; karma exists separately as a law of motion. Every action, thought or intention is measured by vibration and energy – rippling out like a stone cast in a calm pond. The ripples will reach the ponds edge and contrary to belief they will reverberate back to the source.




“Karma is not something complicated or philosophical. Karma means watching your body, watching your mouth, and watching your mind. Trying to keep these three doors as pure as possible is the practice of karma”.     – Lama Thubten Yeshe 

Karma emphasizes a maintained pattern of behavior based on one’s intrinsic sense of right and wrong and desire to be responsible for one’s own actions. Unlike religions where sins or wrongdoing can be forgiven or admonished, karma is true justice. There is no recourse with karmic energy – once an action or ripple of energy is created, nothing can stop the impending sequence of events. No matter what, any action will be met by another event. This law of action transcends all creeds and culture – it is inescapable.

Our Mantra of the Month is: “Breathe in Positive Energy, Breathe out Good Karma”….


John C. Bader

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Some of us find it hard to love ourselves. What does that really mean to love ourselves? It can be easy to find faults in who we think we are. Maybe you are unorganized or have bad habits. Yeah, join the club! Maybe you get stressed out easy or are being medicated for depression and or anxiety. Maybe you wish you were healthier or more fit and lean. Maybe you do not like crowds or being the center of attention.  Most of this self-loathing is rooted to our egos and false perceptions. It makes us want to be someone else or we mentally berate ourselves as if we are unworthy and unlovable;  many times unknowingly. I catch myself berating my own ego (false-self) for the paths it unknowing takes me on at times. But here I am beating my own self-worth up because the ego is a part of me whether I like it or not. Molded by society the ego is an extension of who I am much like a mirror image is just that – a projection of my entity.  It is one thing to love who you are and it is a completely different thing to love what you are. There is a fundamental difference to be actualized. Our perception of who we are is rooted in societal pressures, what we see on television, Facebook, etc. Our happiness is regulated by self-esteem and the approval of others. This sets us up for failure and ultimately suffering.

Yet, there is another kind of love… In fact, there is another way to love yourself; and this other kind of love transcends all the passive chaos that envelopes planet Earth. We are products of the Universe and thus are born from quantum positive energy. There is a quality to this that is pure and unfettered. We are the sons and daughters of vibration, light and love and that is something no one can take away from you. Our energy is indestructible. This is our True Nature, vast, boundless and reliable. It is easy to love yourself when you look at where the source of our being is rooted (True Nature). Your True Nature is an instinctual energy that connects us to everything inward and outward. Find ways to connect to your true-self with simple actions: Look up at night and marvel at the stars. Appreciate silence, nature and the love for a pet or child. This is a love that is all-powerful and unchanging. Put your confidence into this type of love and soon you will realize all of your shortcomings in life, all of your bad habits and self-loathing are just products of a self-esteem driven by ego. Such worries and deceptions will seem trivial and unnecessary once you find empowerment from an inner source. We all have problems and challenges and we always will… So, find love for what you are – energy, love and wisdom; and do not let your false-self govern your happiness. Our problems and challenges should not define us. After all, when we are all dead and gone so will the ego and its inner conflicts. Yet, our True Nature will live on – energy changing form!

There is nothing confident and steadfast about our egos. Much like money, the ego comes and goes and for many it regulates our happiness and suffering. The more control we take away from the ego, the more we connect to the steadfast vision that is our True Nature. Love what you are (a product of the Universe born from love and energy) and happiness and confidence will root itself in your life. Once you have this unadulterated confidence of what you are, soon your perspectives in life will change. Soon you will make little changes in life like eating better, exercising or getting more organized. Soon, very soon, you will connect that love of what you are and who you are as one – A quality of oneness bathed under the light of self-actualization and enlightenment.

Once you love yourself for what you are, you will begin to love yourself for who you are. Once one has reached this milestone in life, our work is not finished. Now, it is time to love others and find compassion for those still in need. Love is powerful and is the connection between the Universe and humankind. Find it, be it; and love it…


John C. Bader

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michelemeicheSometimes we can be too caught up in ¨being aware¨ that we aren’t actually in the present moment and really living.

The practice of ¨being aware ¨mindfulness¨ is taken too far when we are always pausing to be mindful. In actuality mindfulness is a practice. It is a form of meditation that with deliberate practice is to then allow us to be more completely in the present moment; to then be able to ¨respond¨ to the vicissitudes of life and interchanges that take place in the present moment.

When we live only from a place of awareness we are in a sense “over- thinking” our life.  Awareness is an important step, process; and in fact tool for life. It can be looked at as a spiritual tool, as a type of meditation and definitely as a beneficial life tool. However, when we are doing a Contemplation Meditation, Vipassana, or Dhyana we are in a form of duality. We are observing our thoughts, actions and/or those of another person. Observing implies separation. We separate out to observe as we move into the “Witness State” or the “Detached Observer”. In this state we can gain great insight and awareness; however in living in this state we are not in the present moment. To observe one is reviewing and not viewing.

I know many people in their meditation practice that over rely on moving into awareness before action. This can be a “good” thing; however like any “good” thing taken to far it becomes a hindrance and even a crutch. If in your life you are afraid to respond, then you are not trusting your own Inner Guidance and Inner Knowing; which over time becomes more seamless from a good meditation practice.

One of the purposes of a “Mindfulness Meditation” is to then move into a space of being where you are more mindful – more aligned, tuned into the Higher Directive of your Inner Knowing. This aspect of your being is seamless to the Universe and the energy of The All That Is; or some may term God…. This is the part of you that remembers, knows and lives by your interconnectedness to the All That Is and Resonant Fields of the All That Is. This part is aligned and attuned to the oneness of everything and everyone within the Universe.

It may sound contrary or counter intuitive to suggest that there can be too much “mindfulness”. However, when we remember that meditation is oneness we can then begin to understand that at some point we need to move more from the practice to living, being and responding. This requires an understanding and trust from what we have received from our practice of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a “meditation practice”; however the “meditative state” is just that – a state of being. Even though there truly isn’t a “goal” in meditation it could be said that a focus or use of meditation is to move a person into living more in the meditative state of oneness.



Michele is a guest writer for the Responsive Universe. She has also written this great piece on Mindfulness.

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Breathe in positive energy… Breathe out Credibility….



I have been thinking a lot about credibility lately. As a wellness writer and blog contributor I have a moral obligation to “practice what I preach”.  I really should not be seen eating at fast food restaurants everyday of the week when I promote juicing and eating organic foods. The same can be said about how I carry myself in the public or around my family:  My decisions and actions should be karmic and mindful; sans of ego, anger and jealousy. It is a tight rope to walk because as anyone knows, working toward self-discovery and social/spiritual evolution is a full-time job. We all need to be continually mindful of the present – always aware of our thoughts; always re-directing our mind processes away from the past and future, fear and fantasy; rooted to a more authentic existence.  Yeah….   ……It’s not easy.

That leads me to the notion of credibility. Credibility is a multi-faceted concept: Of course there is social credibility – how the public perceives your actions and contributions and then there is inner-credibility – how you perceive yourself. This quality of inner-credibility is just as important and is the focus of this article.

I have been meditating a lot lately – some of it formal meditation but much of it involving walking or bike riding meditations (which I find as inspiring and also physically good for you as well). The concept of inner-credibility is a huge factor in meditation. As your mind begins to wander, many of those thought trails it follows deals with unresolved issues, worries and even regrets; in essence, you’re inner-credibility and how you perceive yourself. It is a bit like self-esteem but more authentic.  I find that when a concern or regret arises in my mind (especially during meditation) it is a trigger for me to take action. As an example, I have not been keeping in touch with a specific relative and I actually feel a little guilty for not being more responsive. It is not that I do not like this person, it is just that I am busy and such intentions seem to continually slip to the wayside. Yet, it is this lack of responsiveness that causes me to passively suffer; and in meditation, that same nagging thought arises from nothingness to interrupt a peaceful session. There are many things that can cause us worry and anxiety: Money, jobs, health, relationships, addictions, lack of conviction – just to name a few.

The point is, I have found that when I clear the slate and take care of those mindful nagging things that need attention – I am more centered in life. I have less to worry about and I have found my meditations  to be more satisfying. When you have less to worry about, you feel better. We can’t control the many challenges that come our way, but we can clear the “in box” at work and scratch a few things off the “to do list” at home so we can relax and feel better about ourselves. It takes a little extra work but the results are empowering. It might be as simple as saying “thank you” to the right people… Or “I love you”…. You know what you need to do!

Focus on that inner credibility because when your house is clean on the inside, it will reflect the same qualities on the outside. Our Mantra of the Month is Inner Credibility:

“Breathe in positive energy… Breathe out Credibility….”

John C. Bader

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I have to be honest and say I am not a big vegetable person. It is what it is I guess….

For that reason, I am a big proponent of juicing raw fruits and veggies. I have sharpened the skill of hiding  green veggies and beet into wonderful, fruity concoctions.

I try to juice every other day in an effort to not overkill it but also keep a steadfast regiment while enjoying a nice influx of natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants on a regular basis.

If you can juice everyday that is great, but for me, 4 times a week seems to be a good number as I am not a slave to the whole process.

I am always on the go so I juice things that are convenient: Like unsweetened frozen fruit, carrots and spinach, etc. Below is a typical juice that I will make on a regular basis:


Strawberries: This fruit is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Folate and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Manganese.

Peaches: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Niacin and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin C.

Blueberries: Considered a Super Food for its antioxidants, blueberries are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin K.

NOTE:  If you do not mind a little natural sugar, these fruits (above) are great to naturally sweeten any juice. All of these fruits can be bought frozen which adds a nice chill to your juice concoction. Be sure to look for organic and also unsweetened (no added sugar).
Banana: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6. TIP: if your bananas start ripening too much, freeze them and juice them with other frozen fruit.

Apple:  Core and slice: This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Niacin, Calcium and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Carrot: This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium.

Spinach: Also considered a Super Food. This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Boom!

NOTE: I like to add Kale to the mix as well but sometimes it is hard to find fresh kale at the Super Market. Spinach is a great alternative. Both together is an awesome surge of  antioxidants.

Beet: You only need a slice – adds a nice color to the juice too! This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.

Chia Seeds: This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Calcium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Manganese. For heart health, Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3, protein (great substitute for fish oil).

FYI – my wife likes celery and a sliver of ginger in her juice!

Be sure to wash everything thoroughly and don’t let the drink sit. Antioxidants deteriorate quickly in oxygen so drink it up fast! Now, nothing is set in stone. This is what I find in my kitchen on a regular basis. Get crazy and get creative! Juicing can be fun and rewarding! Go for anything dark green or vibrant and bright – more antioxidants!

Final tip – spend the extra money and buy a Vitamix – they are worth every dime! No, I am not a paid spokesman 🙂

Curious about nutrition? Check out this helpful site

Happy Juicing!


John C. Bader

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Imagine that your True Nature (true-self) is a starry sky on a clear night and your ego (false-self) are the clouds that obscure our clear views; often joined by emotions they foster – anger, jealousy, fear and anxiety. Yet if we understand that our True Nature, like stars, is constant and unchanging, we can understand that the clouds that sometimes obscure them are temporary. The clouds can bring storms, even violent and turbulent tempests, but we know clouds pass, and our storms of emotions can pass too. Our True Nature is the indestructible essence of illumination, love, wisdom and positive energy. True Nature is the true governing force of life. It sits just below the surface of the ego-driven world.

There isn’t a more cancerous emotion than the negative energy of ANGER. The essence of anger is the direct opposite of True Nature…

In most cases, anger is met with anger. When someone angers you, your first response is usually to strike back as a way of protecting yourself from this combative situation. Once the ego is involved, there is a social pressure to return someone’s anger with a measured response. Whether we yell , plot revenge or just harbor negative thoughts, there is no proactive solution when we act or think in pure anger. Anger is a useless emotion that only muddles and confuses the mind. When you are boiled over in anger, constructive thought is absent. Anger can also intensify suffering and even consume your peace and tranquility. It can close you off from situations entirely. Anger can create the darkest clouds that obscure the True Nature of your mind. Ironically, when your mind is full of anger, it is you, not your target, who suffers most. Be mindful of this….

What happens when you get a flat tire on the way to work? Do you get frustrated? Do you get angry? In such situations we have to ask ourselves why we are getting angry. We cannot control a flat tire or the many challenge that come our way… SHIT happens…. Getting angry about something is a primitive way to deal with situations whether personal or social. Anger typically does not come from the object or person involved – it comes from you! It comes from within! Be mindful when you feel anger arise from within. It is your false-self welling up; it is clouds obscuring the clear sky of your mind…

Breathe in Positive Energy, Breathe out Anger…


John C. Bader

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Modern science has now bridged its knowledge and truth with the realm of spirituality. As proven in the laboratory, just the act of observing elementary particles at the sub atomic level changes their characteristics simply through examination. Through the act of observing matter in its smallest form we find that our own energy, conscious thoughts and possibly even our DNA cellular structure interact with matter within our surroundings and beyond our surroundings. We are observing and we are the observation all in the same glimpse; all in the same breath.  The connections could be infinite! Yes, our conscious energy is shifting and changing the fabric of the Universe before our eyes.

This literally means that through our own actions and thoughts we are the forefront of creation.  At the sub-atomic level our energy interacts with our environment, changing it for the better or for the worst. This explains karma and this explains manifestation and the power of prayer. We can no longer consider ourselves and our lives as simply a blink of an eye in the history of time; or an atheistic anomaly. Science proves we are more than that… We also can no longer consider ourselves under the omnipresent rule of a God that controls our fate and destiny. Instead, we are at the forefront of creation; we are the creators; humans themselves wielding the power of God through our own actions and reactions. That is the essence of the Responsive Universe…  The connection to this dynamism is simple in concept but one of the most difficult human interpersonal challenges one will ever face. To connect to this realm of creation and oneness requires complete surrender of self to the present moment. This includes all thoughts and feelings associated with the ego. There is probably nothing more difficult and yet so rewarding. It is the secret to success and happiness. Being mindful of the present is an amazing gift. It sits on a metaphorical island paradise all by itself. Yet there is nothing desolate or negative about being rooted in the present –  With thoughts connected to what is simply NOW, one can find a surprisingly simple and unfettered gift. To be connected to the present, sans of fear and the past and future and fantasy; to be rooted in the present moment of life and your surroundings: This is the evolutionary goal of humanity.
Interested in more… Follow the Responsive Universe and stick around for a while!
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