Hope is Always Available

Day 2 – Hope Is Always Available

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu

In today’s meditation, we learn that hope is an intrinsic part of who you are, like the love and compassion in your heart. But to make this hope a real and powerful force in life, we need to activate it with self-awareness. Once genuine hope is ignited, it transforms your reality and eradicates fear and uncertainty.


Welcome to Day 2, “Hope is Always Available.”  Anything can be a miracle, a blessing, an opportunity, if you choose to see it that way.  When you see life through a lens of hope, everything can change.  This can be a challenging concept of practice when you’re in the center of a storm.  I know this is true.  I’ve had a few storms myself.  But what looks like a dark patch or a setback can actually be a beautiful turning point.  Hard to see it when you’re in it.  Maya always used to say, “There’s always a rainbow in the clouds”.

As Michael Bernard Beckwith said on Super Soul Sunday, “I can choose to feel love even when there’s conflict.  What happens I activate my choice muscle, expand my awareness, my life changes.”  Choice muscle…that’s a good concept.


When we’re faced with a difficult situation we always have the choice of two reactions…hope or despair.  When you choose hope you open your mind and heart and very naturally you begin to imagine other possibilities.  Are you facing significant life change like getting out of a bad relationship or starting a new job or trying to lose the burden of weight?  Well often we feel chaos or resistance in those moments.  What I do know for sure is that resistance will try to take you down.  So we often put off life-decisions because we don’t take the leap.  Deepak says, “Go for it now.  Hope lives in this moment and every moment.  Don’t waste another second.”


We’ve started the journey to make hope real and lasting in our lives.  The first thing to know is that hope is a quality that exists in consciousness, like love or joy.  When a situation looks hopeless we are not seeing clearly.  On its own consciousness is always life-supporting.  Every cell in the body nourishes and supports itself through the wisdom that evolved in our DNA.  Your awareness is just as life-supporting.  But if we make choices that are self-defeating or that deny reality, the mind can lose hope.  The way to heal any situation is to activate hope.  This happens here and now because hope is always a part of our present awareness.  Otherwise hope is mere wishing, which is a dream of the past or future.  Stop and think about the things you hope for at work, in relationships or from yourself.  You will find there is a spectrum of hope that runs from a casual “I hope so” to “My hope is my rock.”  A conviction born of trust and belief in yourself.

Where does such a solid foundation come from?  Your core self.  When you connect with your true-self as we do in meditation, hope develops more strength.  Then “I hope” begins to change your personal reality.  It eradicates fear of uncertainty.  As an example, consider your approach to love.  You may be waiting for the one to magically appear.  An ideal beloved who will make everything right.  You may be in a relationship where love is taken for granted or where the most loving part was at the beginning.  You may feel not enough love.

These are mild forms of hopelessness.  On the other hand a hopeful relationship to love is active and self-directed.  Instead of waiting for the one to magically appear, YOU become the one.  Instead of seeking love, you live and give the love you want by what you say and do.  In both the hopeless and hopeful relationships to love a person hopes to be loved.  Yet only in the second case is this hope active, strong and life-supporting.  At its strongest hope creates the outcome you want in any situation.  It carries the full power of intention.


The power of hope is here every day.


Samprati Hum

My true self is wide awake.


Today hope is a strong part of who I am.  And that comes from faith in having a power greater than myself in my life, a god of my own understanding.  And that hope comes from self-awareness.  I didn’t have hope, faith, a god, nor self-awareness until I reached my bottom in my disease of alcoholism.  I just existed on the planet with no purpose, no direction and a huge void in my life.

I don’t believe it was a coincidence when I finally had the desperation to ask for help.  I couldn’t go a day, no matter how much, how long and how hard I tried, to get through a day without drinking.  And that is when my life changed and I became a sponge soaking up this new way of living.

For me a 28-day treatment program and Alcoholics Anonymous has shown me the way to Dee, to understand Dee, to accept and embrace Dee, to love Dee.  And the new Dee has hope because my god is here with and for me to guide and protect me on my journey through life.  And my purpose is to share that with you in your periods of self-doubt and self-loathing, or just in a state of confusion.  We all go there.  We all get over-whelmed.

I just want to share with you that everything is perfect at this very moment.  Stay here.  In the moment.  Love yourself for YOUR gifts.  You have many!  Don’t compare yourself to anyone.  They don’t have YOUR gifts.  And remember that you are perfect just the way you are, right here, right now, on your journey through life.  Keep going.  Enjoy the ride.  Love yourself.  And never forget that you are not on this ride alone.  There are many of us who want to share your journey, to give you hope and compassion.  Don’t deprive us of that.  Please.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in inspirational and motivational gifts with a message, please visit my website at http://www.DeesignsByHarris.com.

From Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey’s 21-Day Meditation on HOPE.


Faith Connects Us Heart-to-Heart


(from Oprah and Deepak – Become What You Believe)


I believe our greatest power is our ability to love.  That’s where all power is…to show love, to receive it, to BE love.  There are a lot of ways to describe love.  It’s grace and kindness; it’s understanding; it’s forgiveness; it’s respect; it’s cooperation; it’s harmony and reverence for light.  You have the entire power of all that is at your disposal.

Love is trusting and having faith in something larger than yourself.  Every opportunity you get move in the direction of love.  That’s where your greatest power lies.  It’s the power to connect us all in peace…heart-to-heart.

As my friend, Marianne Williamson said, “Love is what we’re born with, in our hearts.  Fear is what we learn.”  The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.  Love is the essential reality and our purpose being here on earth.  To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.

Marianne goes on to articulate so beautifully the power of love when she says, “When our minds move in harmony with love, through forgiveness or prayer or the simplest tint of thought, then mountains move and the Universe shifts.”  When we believe in the power of love to move mountains to shift the Universe, miracles will no doubt occur.


The strongest imagined bond in the world is the bond of love.  A total transformation occurs when enemies are turned into loved ones.  In the World’s Wisdom Traditions love is deeply connected with spirit.  As the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment.  It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation.”

To find the heart of creation, you must explore your own heart.  Inside it are stores many experiences of love and non-love.  These two side are in conflict which is why many people find it difficult to place their faith in love.  They have had too many experiences of non-love.  Whether they were experiences of betrayal, rejection, fear or abandonment, trusting in love is hard when painful memories still linger.  That is why we restrict our search for love, in order to not be too exposed or vulnerable or put ourselves in harms way.  Matters of faith must be proven in real life.  This is certainly true of love when we go beyond the personal, expanding love to include more and more people.

The first step is to aspire and live as a loving person.  The second step is to look for situations where love can help.  The third step is to reach out and perform an act of love.

The ego is afraid to be exposed and vulnerable.  But this is a misperception.  An act of love doesn’t mean putting yourself on the line or saying “I love you” out loud.  It means performing an action that helps another person the way you would like to be helped.

Help can come even through a loving thought.  It can come through an act of generosity, an understanding word, or by simply asking, “Are you okay?”.  Your heart already knows what to do.  In fact when we extend ourselves, it is almost always from the fullness of the heart.  When you act out of love you expect nothing in return from the other person.  Love makes no one a victim or a martyr.  Love connects people from heart-to-heart with mutual benefit for both.

A mother finds it easy and natural to turn her love into action.  There is a connection of the heart that bonds mother and child.  Feeling vulnerable or exposed doesn’t come into the picture.  The bond of feeling is unbroken.  This is the idea to keep in mind in extending your love beyond your family and close friends.  Find a sympathy of the heart that feels right.  In this way you avoid stress and strain in the name of love.  A world based on the sympathy of one heart to another would be a perfect world.

CENTERING THOUGHT:  My faith calls me to love.


When Oprah says, “Love is trusting and having faith in something larger than yourself”, my heart gets so grateful and full that today I have faith in something larger than myself.  This has changed my whole life, my outlook on life and, more importantly, this has changed ME.

I wasn’t given this life-changing gift until I reached my bottom in the disease of alcoholism, miraculously asked for help, and slowly scraped my way out of the depths of hell.  Prior to this surrender I knew my life was void of something but I couldn’t figure it out.  I had everything that every middle class American woman would want…a family, a home, two cars, a dog and a cat, a job, a loving family and friends.  What was missing?

A Power Greater Than Myself, a God of My Own Understanding, was awarded me by Alcoholics Anonymous.  Not only have I learned to turn my life over, I have learned to stop thinking and to live from my heart.  I have learned to let my god do the driving while I ride along in the passenger seat of our pink convertible Cadillac and enjoy the ride of life (the pink cloud).

When Marianne Williamson says, “Fear is what we learn”,  I thank my AA sponsor for walking me through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to teach me how fear-based I have been my entire life and how to let that go.  Being able to finally get comfortable in my own skin and to love myself for who and what I am is so empowering.  And to learn that my purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my bubble gives me a reason to excitedly arise every morning!

When Deepak says, “Matters of faith must be proven in real life.  This is certainly true of love when we go beyond the personal, expanding love to include more and more people,” I am honored to practice AA’s 12th Step, “Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs,” in my everyday “real” life.  When I continue to stay active in my recovery, then Step 12 is a no-brainer for me and I can actively accomplish Deepak’s three steps above.

I know for a fact that as I got and stayed sober “One Day at a Time”, I got “unsober’ that way as well.  When I ceased attending meetings, working with my sponsor, picking up the phone, connecting with the fellowship, that void came back into my life.  And, oh yeah, I picked up a drink after over 13 years of sobriety.  The disease immediately reared its ugly head and once again took over my life.  All I could think about once again was the next drink.  Cunning.  Baffling.  Powerful.  The disease of alcoholism.

So don’t go there.  Take it from me.  Learn from my experience, strength and hope.  Stay mindful.  Stay connected.

With much aloha, Dee

For those interested in inspirational gifts, art with a message, please visit my website at http://www.DeesignsByHarris.com.

5 Things We Wish We Were Taught Growing Up


1. Independence:

This is one of the biggest issues that I’ve noticed as a college student among my peers. A lot of people become followers because they have no sense of direction. They’ve been sheltered and told what to do, their whole lives that they are more vulnerable to become followers. I had my first job at the age of 12 so I’ve always knew how to hold my own, but I realized that a lot of young adults struggle to stand alone. Teens must be taught how to own their individuality and have a strong sense of who they are. Nothing bothers me more to see a young adult with a high school mentality.


I found myself bouncing back and forth when young going from leader to follower to leader and so on.  I struggled with self-confidence.  Why was it so important that I gained your approval?  Why was it so important that I fit in?  Why when I was very young did I love ballet class and then one day I became so frightened and timid to that I threw a tantrum and clung to my mom until she took me home?  One day I’m the student body president and the next day the wall flower. 

Having found myself in a treatment program for alcoholism decades later I was fortunate enough to work through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous where I found many of these questions arising in my head.  Thoroughly working Step Four I learned so much about myself.  Many of the questions I asked myself are still puzzling, but I realized that most of my life I lived in fear.  Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of making an ass out of myself.

All I know today is that we all need to know have unique gifts.  We ARE unique and have so much to give to the world!  If we stop focussing on what we aren’t and start to focus on what WE ARE, everything is seen in a different perspective.  I AM worthy.  I AM a good person.  I DO love myself for who I am.  Let’s share this with our children and our fellows so that perhaps one day they can cease comparing themselves with others and stop trying to fit in and gain the approval of others who don’t give a shit.

2. Financial Stability:

When I first went away to college, I struggled budgeting my money. I found myself spending my money on things that I did not need. When I got a job while I was in college the issue became worst. I thought that it would be easier to budget if I had more money, but I had less money because I convinced myself that I needed things that I didn’t. Then when it came time for me to file my taxes I was lost. I was use to my mother doing all my paperwork that I didn’t even know where to start.


I’m still not good at the money thing.  It’s not my passion but I know I have to be responsible enough to pay my bills in order to live a fairly comfortable existence.  I have always been strapped for cash and lived pretty frugally.  But today, again from working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have a Higher Power of My Own Understanding that helps guide me and teach me how to make right choices.  But the main lesson I’ve learned is to stop living in fear and to always stay in faith.  When the fear rears its ugly head my faith is shrinking.  When the faith is shrinking Dee is taking over and trying to control the show.  This doesn’t work for me; I’ve done it most of my life and I was exhausted and purposeless.  Weird how when I live more positively and hopefully, great things appear in my life.  We attract more of how we think and how we ARE!

And, by the way, it is important we teach our children how to budget, balance a check book, about credit card debt, etc.  And doing laundry, sewing on a button, and ironing a work shirt is pretty helpful, too.

3. Mental Awareness:

When I left for college I struggled with anxiety and stress because it was difficult for me to deal with the new environment. I was never homesick, but the stress of managing classes, fighting insecurities and dealing with friendships was enough for me to mentally shut down. Growing up we don’t realize how easy we have it until we leave the nest. Instead of trying to keep us in the nest I wish parents taught us how to survive outside of the nest mentally. I wish someone told me that every challenge is not the end of the world, but an obstacle that comes along to make you stronger.


Today running my own business I excitedly realize that the more “no’s” I get, the closer I am to achieving that awesome “yes”.  Whether the “no” is a rejection of my product or service, I get to learn and be open to the why.  I grow.  I get better.  I don’t react nor take it personally.  I survive and move forward to bigger and better things.  And I know that this is how my Higher Power works for and through me.  That everything is perfect at this very moment and I’m right where I need to be.  With that outlook, everything is positive and hopeful.  Way better than the other option of wallowing on the pity pot.

Another great gift I have today because of Alcoholics Anonymous is that I no longer have to do or think things through on my own.  I’m finally comfortable enough in my own skin to ask for help.  And I’m finally selfless enough (most of the time) to urge those in need of my help to please not deprive me of the gift of giving and service.  It’s a win-win.  Really.

Yep, because my Higher Power is always with me and has my back, I never again have to feel I am on my own.  I just have to remember to stay in the moment, stay out of my head, and all is well.

4. Confidence:

Confidence is something I had to build along the years, but not enough parents teach their children to love themselves. Neglecting this issue is like throwing your child out to the wolves and leaving them to fend for themselves. With media being a major influence on the development of children we have to plant a seed in their minds to give them a sense of direction. The media tell children that they must be a size two or have curves to die for, but what are you telling your child? We should be taught who we are when we are young, so we don’t have to find ourselves when we get older. I love when I see viral videos of parents making their child stand in the mirror and telling themselves how beautiful and valuable they are. Self-love starts when we are young because kids are like sponges.

The sponge thing didn’t happen to me until I was in treatment for my alcoholism.  For those 21+ days I got to concentrate only on me.  I was definitely a sponge.  It was a very exciting time for me and it changed my life.

I got to learn about the disease of alcoholism.  I got to let go of all the negative thoughts about myself, “You’re a loser, Dee.  You have no self-control.  You’re a waste of space on this planet”.

I got to work the Twelve Steps and get rid of that fear-based mentality.  I got to ask for help and be rigorously honest.  I got a toolbox that helps me live a life in recovery.  And I got a Power Greater Than Myself that walks me through life, that shows me how to love myself and you, and how to give back.

Yes, I wish I would have got this when I was a child.  But that wasn’t my calling.  I’m grateful it happened when and the way it did.  That I did not have to die.  And with this gift and what I’ve learned along the way, I diligently try to plant the seed in each and every one who enters my Dee Bubble how special they are, what unique gifts they hold, what an asset they are to the world and to mankind.  And this is all extra special when I can share this with our keiki, our children, our future!

5. Be Original:

Growing up I wanted the latest brands and products to make myself feel important. We all begged our parents for the coolest trends just to go to school and look like everyone else. I wish I was taught that those things does not define me. I wish I would have focused more on building my character than I did focusing on getting things that I can’t afford to impress people who I may never even see again. I wish I was taught to love myself without those labels and stand firm and be confident in my own skin.


If only I had felt comfortable in my own skin when I was young…  Again, not my journey, not my calling, not my purpose.  But today I will impress upon you to please love the person you are today, right now, right here.  You ARE awesome!  You have a gift!  Share that gift and inspire.

Build self-confidence in yourself and with those around you, especially the children.  And let them know that there will always be Big Bad Wolves out there that will try to make you feel less than.  That is THEIR problem and not yours.  We all have our sicknesses so let them keep theirs and love the person you are.  You ARE worthy!  BeYOUtiful!

For those interested in Art with a Message of Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!

Aloha, Dee

From https://rayvensatterfield.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/5-things-we-wish-we-were-taught-growing-up/

6 Ways to Combat Doubt and Uncertainty

6 Ways to Combat Doubt and Uncertainty 

You know it all too well: that sinking feeling that you’re not good enough, that you don’t have what it takes to succeed, or that you won’t be able to navigate this next chapter. Even for the most confident people in the world, there are inevitable times when doubt and uncertainty creep in and seem to take over your mind, body, and spirit.

This negative way of thinking can result from both external and internal forces. Perhaps you got passed up for a promotion or your group of “friends” didn’t invite you to a weekend getaway they shared on social media. Maybe you’re watching the state of the world change in ways that bring up fear for what’s next. It might be deeper than that, too. Perhaps you’ve held a life-long belief about yourself that you are stupid, ugly, or a bad person—undeserving of love or respect.

Regardless of how it shows up, doubt and uncertainty can be debilitating if not addressed head-on and swiftly. It can lead to additional feelings of:





Don’t let negativity win. Here are five ways to combat doubt and uncertainty so that you can claim a life of strength and resiliency.

Ground Yourself in Reality

Thoughts that lead to self-doubt and uncertainty are most likely not rooted in the reality of where you actually are. Thoughts like that come from places of insecurity, stories, and lies, not honoring who you are and how far you’ve come. In the moment though, it can be difficult to remember what is the truth.

Prepare for those moments by creating a Self I.D. Card that can remind you of your true identity and core competencies. Take a 3×5 index card and complete the follow sentences:

My name is…
I grew up in…
I am gifted at…
I am loved by…
I am uniquely me and have nothing to fear.

You can refer to your I.D. card anytime you feel doubt and uncertainty creep in.

Recognize That You’re Not Alone 

Trust in the fact that you are not the first person to experience doubt and uncertainty, and that you will certainly not be the last. Everyone experiences feelings of uncertainty and fear of “not being good enough” at times—even the most successful people in the world. The simple fact of knowing that you are not alone can help those feelings dissipate.


Take a moment to step back and breathe. Calm your nerves by recognizing that this is a temporary state of being. The anxiety you feel cannot harm you, and you are not destined to feel confused, bewildered, and insecure for the rest of your life.

Practicing pranayama (http://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing- benefits-of-pranayama#sm.0001ccqvs16rfdrqrcr1gymoarf7p)—deep, mindful breathing—can help center your being and has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression and decrease feelings of stress and overwhelm. You can find instructions for simple breathing techniques here (http://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing-benefits-of- pranayama#sm.0001ccqvs16rfdrqrcr1gymoarf7p).

Write Down Your Doubts 

Instead of letting thoughts of uncertainty swirl around in your head and hijack your mind, take time to write down each one of your doubts on a small slip of paper. Then, read each one aloud and ask yourself if that doubt serves you. If the answer is no, crumple up the piece of paper and throw it into the recycle bin or burn it (safely, of course). In the off chance that the answer is yes, spend time journaling about why you think that doubt serves you.

This practice can also be done in the presence of a trusted loved one if you need extra support. They can give you the honest truth and help you ground your self-judgments in reality.

Access Your Confidence 

The truth is, you have inner confidence, whether it seems obvious right now or not. Somewhere deep inside is the knowledge that you are worth it and that you have immense value just by being you. In times of doubt, learn how to channel the confidence that’s already inside you. This is a powerful practice that may not come naturally, especially if you’re prone to negative self-talk.

One way to do this is by practicing power poses, which have been proven to boost your levels of confidence. This approach was made famous by social psychologist Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are) from 2012. While it might sound strange—and feel even stranger doing it—standing in a position that exudes confidence can affect the testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain, which may impact your chances for success. Try this:

Stand up tall, with your feet slightly wider than hips-distance apart
Put your hands on your hips (or your arms open wide) and stand with your chest open and lifted Lift your chin and both corners of your lips (yes, that means smile wide)

Next time you’re feeling a little lost, find a quiet space and strike this wonder woman pose for about 90 seconds. Take note of how you feel before and after practicing the pose.

Be Vulnerable 

While finding the inner strength to battle doubt and uncertainty is necessary to build a personal sense of resiliency, no one is meant to journey through hard times alone. There is power in surrounding yourself with people who will love and support you, even when you don’t have a strong sense of who you are or what’s happening around you.

Being vulnerable with others during times like these can build trust, deepen connection, and make way for acceptance. Opening up about the confusion, doubt, and second guessing helps release the power of those negative beliefs. By speaking them out loud, they cannot fester in the shadows.

And the beauty is, by sharing in your weakness, you invite others to look at themselves in a new way also. They may open up in the ways they didn’t realize they needed to.

We all have moments of self-doubt, but it’s important to remember there’s always hope. Join Oprah and Deepak for our newest, no-cost 21-Day Meditation Experience, Hope in Uncertain Times. Learn More (https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience).


My self-doubt and uncertainty really started to escalate and rear its ugly head in the 80’s and 90’s.  No.  Let me take that back.  My self-doubt and uncertainty came from a lifetime of experiences where I constantly compared myself to everyone.  Why couldn’t I be smarter, prettier, richer, white?  My unique gifts and talents were affirmed by my mom, but it just never reached my heart.  I was a thinker, a rationalizer, an intellect.  I was a people-pleaser, a follower, and I lived in self-doubt.

Ok.  Back to the 80’s and 90’s.  It must have been those decades when my alcoholism and drug use became commonplace.  I used them to feel like I fit in.  I used them to perform.  Then I used them because I had to.  I let the drugs go as they were more expensive and difficult to acquire.  But I crossed the line somewhere in that time period where all I could think about was the next drink.  Life got in the way of my drinking.  So during that time in my life I definitely allowed fear, anger, sadness and loneliness to take over my life.  And all that negativity stayed fed and strengthened by more alcohol.  My addiction to alcohol grew stronger by the day until one day I didn’t come to like I did everyday when the kids came home from school.  That’s when I usually pulled myself together to get ready for working the swing shift.

That miraculous day saved my life.  My physical life.  And gave me a spiritual life beyond my wildest dreams!  I got to learn about me.  I was in a recovery center for 21+ days where my only focus was ME (not that the previous 48 years of my life were about YOU)!  And not in that selfish, self-absorbed, destructive way.  It was awesome!  I was like a sponge wanting more, more, more.  Teach me more.  Show me more.  Feed me more.

Today I “get to” honor who I really am.  I am a woman.  I am of Chinese descent.  I am an alcoholic.  I am gratefully in recovery.  I “get to” feel comfortable in my own skin.  I even “get to” love myself.  Don’t think that would have ever happened in my lifetime had it not been for AA.  And I don’t have to think anymore.  I can live from my heart.  I can turn everything over to a Power Greater Than Myself.  I am free!!!

Alcoholics Anonymous has given me so many gifts.  Not just sobriety, but the comfort of fellowship.  Being able to comfortably ask for help.  Been grateful to offer help.  Giving away what was so freely given to me.

And during this time in my recovery I have learned about self-care.  Staying in the moment for me is key.  Yes, breathe.  Witness, feel, hear, see everything that is happening around me right here and now.  Don’t miss a beat…of my heart…which keeps me alive with a purpose with or without my brain focus.

So love yourself for who and what you are.  We all have our unique gifts.  Share them with the world.  Stay in the moment.  Live a positive and hopeful life.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Gifts with a Message of Hope and Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!

Written by Melissa Eisler, The Chopra Center, March 2017

Hope Holds the Future of the World

Day 22 – Hope Holds the Future of the World

“Hope is not dead, it is just larger than our imaginations: its purpose extending far beyond our comprehension.” – Kathy Hobaugh

Even though the world will always be unpredictable and filled with uncertainty, we can choose how we react to that. Uncertainty doesn’t mean we need to be fearful and anxious. Today’s meditation shows us that the final use of profound hope is to remain rooted in your vision of change as a welcome source of creativity and renewal. As we learn to live in ever-present awareness, our true nature, we are at one with the source of infinite creativity of life itself.


Today we offer you one final meditation.  The intention over the last 21 days has been for these meditations to start you on the path to expanding hope and using it as a force in these uncertain times.  This meditation experience was designed to inspire you to experience hope within your soul, in the present with courage and simplicity.  Today Deepak is going to show us how hope holds the future of the world.

I know for many of us the news headlines can become so overwhelming that you become numb to it.  What can we do?  Well, we can embody the energy we wish to experience, our own soul’s work is a work in progress.  In everything that’s showing up in the world is here to show us who we are or who we choose to be in this moment.

Every morning we get another chance to wake up to choose curiosity over cynicism.  We get to put aside despair and find something positive in the day to hope for.  When we set our intention and activate hope as a verb, we change the possibilities and we also change the vibration and the actual shape of our lives, minute by minute, every day.

My prayer is that hope in the now remains a steady and guiding force for all of us, that hope connects each of us to the Source, with a capital “S”, of all creation and that your hope will be a light for others to follow.  Deepak brings us together in the energy that hope holds the future for the world.


The world will always be uncertain and unpredictable; this can be a source of pessimism or a source of hope.  The world embodies the constant change of evolution with billions of interconnected paths unfolding together.  By its very nature, this is uncertain.  Yet at a deeper level, this is how the dance of cosmic intelligence works.

If each person’s path is evolutionary, hope is the practical link that keeps us connected to the flow of life.  A certain hope in the now makes the anxiety of an uncertain future insignificant.  Once you envision that the light is guiding all evolutionary paths you can live your vision by offering hope to everyone else as our paths twist and turn.  By living in ever-present awareness you’re being the change you want to see in the world.

We all live in a state of separation or duality.  Light plays off the darkness and gives a contrast.  Good contrasts with bad, pleasure with pain.  Fighting against the state of duality only deepens it.  The Worlds Wisdom Traditions exist to show the way out.  Be in a state of pure consciousness.  Know that you are there and then enjoy life as you discover how best you can help others.

The final use of hope is to remain steady as this vision unfolds, step by step, in your own life.  Your individual core-consciousness is one in the same as the universal consciousness that takes on myriad forms to create everything within itself.

Wisdom Traditions can tell you this truth.  They can point to the Kingdom of God within or the Eternal Peace of Nirvana.  But in the end you feel and know it at the core of your being.  Let this realization unfold inside you.  Let it fascinate you and draw you forward.  The allure of the light is more fascinating than anything else.  In it lies your future.  And as each person walks the path the future of the world becomes one of hope.


I live in the world of my vision.


Aham Brahmasmi

I am the wholeness of universal existence.


Uncertainty no longer weighs me down with fear and anxiety since I have been introduced to a Power Greater Than Myself.  This introduction occurred in a 21-day treatment program where I found myself when I could no longer deal with my alcoholism.  Whether or not you have an addiction, having that Power to rely upon, a God of Your Understanding, that Source with a capital “S”, to have faith in takes the weight off your shoulders.

I no longer have to react.  I know longer have to think I am in control.  I can just go with the flow and know that I am being cared for, protected, and that I can enjoy the journey to grow and learn as I trudge the road of happy destiny.  Today I choose to live my life optimistically and hopefully.  I find the glass half full and this way of living attracts more fullness in my life.  And I share this optimism with those who enter my “Dee Bubble” hoping they, too, can see the light at the end of the tunnel and to embrace positively all events that occur in their lives.

My evolutionary path of living in the darkness of an alcoholic hell has led me to the light of recovery and gratitude and humility.  It has taught me, through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, what makes me tick, that I no longer have to live a fear-based life, that I no longer have to think I am in control, that I no longer have to live my life alone.

Today I get to have a purpose in my life which I never had before recovery.  And that purpose is to share my Experience, Strength and Hope with others, whether they are struggling with addiction, abuse, mental disorders, or just life itself.  We do not need to struggle alone.  Please do not deprive me of helping you on your journey.  It is my true purpose.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditational Experience on HOPE.

The Secret of Enlightenment

Day 21 – The Secret of Enlightenment 

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” – Lao Tzu

The idea of enlightenment is generally understood as a remote, hard to attain state of knowledge and peace. And it is true that the fully matured state of spiritual awakening is far removed from the typical everyday existence of most people. However, the secret of enlightenment is that the seed of enlightenment is always with us and has always been a part of every moment of our life. Enlightenment is self-realization, and whenever we notice the presence of our awareness – that thing inside that is having an experience right now – we are touching our enlightenment. That self-recognition is the starting place of enlightenment, of freedom.


Well, friends, we’re reaching the end of our meditation experience.  Today on Day 21 we follow a path of hope to explore the secret to enlightenment.

I have a busy life like so many of you.  There are entire years I can barely remember because I was rushing from one thing to the next.  For 25 years every morning I drove from a basement car garage to another car garage and then had my time dictated and measured in hours and minutes and, even, down to the seconds.  I know that many of you feel the same way about your life right now.  “It’s too busy.”  “There’s not enough time.”  “It’s too chaotic.”  “Too much.  Too much.”

Whelp, I’ve learned that the secret to slowing down time is bringing your full attention to it is your breath.  Just breathe.  Take a deep breath.  Right now.  Do it.  And see how that brings you right back to this moment.  And throughout the day I find moments just to do just that.  Inhale.  Exhale again.  Taking the time to notice your breath.  It snaps you into the present moment.  It also, for me, gives me a little charge, a surge of energy, that reminds me, “I’m alive.  I’m here.  Right now.”  And I get to be fueled by hope, if I choose to in this moment.

Buddhist monk, teacher and writer, Thich Nhat Hanh, says this, “When you breathe in and are aware that you are alive, you can touch the miracle of being alive.”  “That is a kind of enlightenment,” he says.  The secret to enlightenment is to live happily in the here and now.

Being present turns up the volume in your life; you’re tuned into awareness instead of the jumble of thoughts in your head and you begin to understand that you are not your thoughts; you are much bigger and deeper and wider than the thoughts.  I’ve learned that the constant chatter in your head only holds the power you choose to give it.

Let’s follow Deepak’s guidance toward enlightenment.


Every moment of hope brings the light into your life or another person’s.  You know this is happening by experiencing more joy, beauty, and love.  This opens the way for the possibility of living in the light all the time, which we call enlightenment.

Hope is the engine of consciousness that leads us to enlightenment.  Hope is what impels awareness to realize its true potential.  Society fosters the belief that enlightenment is rare and even difficult.  The Worlds Wisdom Traditions take the opposite view.  They compare the process of becoming enlightened to recognizing yourself in a mirror.  A dusty mirror reflects the light of you dimly.  A clean mirror reflects the light without dullness, blemishes or distortion.  But recognition of your true self is not difficult or time-consuming.  It is simply recognizing yourself as the presence of awareness that is always there.

The realization of the self is the essence of enlightenment.  What takes time and practice is the process of clearing away the dust from the mirror.  Every time you experience your true self in mediation, every time you feel compassion for the suffering of another, every time you accept someone just as they are, you remove more and more dust from the mirror and facilitate that self-realization into higher states of consciousness.

Hope is the promise of our spiritual awakening, the way a seed is the promise of a blossom.  Enlightenment is possible for you because pure awareness is already present in every experience you have.  Your current experience without the mind’s commentary and analysis is the simple reality of the true self.  Nothing is simpler or closer than recognizing yourself.  As the experience of the true-self matures awareness realizes it remains unchanged even though the party in mind change.

Self-knowledge is only the beginning of enlightenment.  Awareness continues to expand and see itself in others.  Seeing oneself in another is the experience of love.  Seeing oneself in an object or perception is the experience of beauty.  This irrepressible impulse of life to expand into greater expressions of love, joy and beauty is the spiritual force of evolution that drives our enlightenment.  This is true hope.  The knowing light in our heart that shows us that regardless of uncertainty around us our life is always unfolding into greater knowledge, love, joy and beauty.


In every moment of hope, I free myself.


Sat Chit Ananda

Life is absolute bliss consciousness.


Really, what is enlightenment?

enlightenment (noun)

sharing her musical enlightenment with her children: insight, understanding, awareness, wisdom, education, learning, knowledge; illumination, awakening, instruction, teaching; sophistication, advancement, development, open-mindedness, broad-mindedness; culture, refinement, cultivation, civilization.

The journey I’ve been on these past decades of my life from the “in the depths of hell” alcoholic I was to the “enlightened” recovering alcoholic that I am today has given me all of the meanings of enlightenment above that I am crazy grateful to be an alcoholic in recovery.  I never had enlightenment when all I was obsessed with was my next drink, how to sneak it, where to get it, how to hide it.  Today that space of the active disease that fully engulfed my entire body and mind has been freed up…my awakening.

Now that I know who and what I am from working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and practicing all of the suggestions offered to me by my fellows living in the “solution” on a daily basis, I can live in the now, and I can have hope.  I can turn off the jumble of thoughts in my head by embracing them and then asking them to leave.  I can live from my heart!

So today, rather than wallowing in my confusion and self-pity, I have freed up the space within me to be in the moment, to be mindful, respectful, and compassionate.  Not only with those around me, but with myself.  I can be loving, nurturing and accepting instead of judging.  I can be me…the true me that was meant to be!

Today I wake up with gratitude and hope for what the day will bring.  I am excited what I will learn today, how I will grow.  And as Deepak says above, “The knowing light in our heart that shows us that regardless of uncertainty around us our life is always unfolding into greater knowledge, love, joy and beauty.”

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Deepak and Oprah’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.

Hope Offers Forgiveness

Day 20 – Hope Offers Forgiveness

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” – Samuel Smiles

In today’s meditation, we explore the role of hope in the healing process of forgiveness. We learn that blame, judgment, and resentment are based on false perceptions of our ego and do not come from our true self. When we begin to see things from the place of present awareness, we dispel the illusion that our core being could ever be hurt, disrespected, or vulnerable. Living in the present moment is living with that clarity of hope, and in that state we automatically forgive ourselves for the misunderstanding and hurt feelings associated with it.


I’ve always loved an ah-ha moment.  When you hear something that opens up a window in your mind and reminds you of your life and your view of life in a completely new way.  I once had something even bigger than an ah-ha moment; I call it one of the most transcendent moments.  It was when I fully understood the meaning of forgiveness to find in this away.  A guest on the show said,  “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”  That resonated so deeply with me.  It’s being able to let go and not being held hostage for another minute by the past as you know, and accept, that it could not have been any different.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone a behavior or make a wrong into a right.  It simply means you give yourself permission to accept and release; that what was done has been done.  If you haven’t been able to forgive then you’re holding onto something.  You want it to be different.  It takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge.  The truth is if you’re holding a grudge, that grudge is also holding you.

Here’s a huge misperception.  Not forgiving someone doesn’t give you more, it’s actually poisoning you.  Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the person who wronged you.  And by giving up the hope and accepting that what has happened has happened, you tap into the healing power of hope; you shift; you become a source of hope for other people and especially yourself and other people’s own need to forgive and be forgiven.  So forgive yourself.  Forgive others and the light of hope gets to gleam brighter.

Let’s listen to Deepak explain how hope offers forgiveness.


As hope grows as a force of strength and understanding it also becomes an agent of healing our past through the power of forgiveness.  We cannot forgive when the hurts and disappointments of the past linger in the mind.  Hope allows us to begin the process of forgiveness by bringing forth our true self which is never hurt, never afraid and always open to present experience.

The first step to forgiveness is to bring your grievances into awareness instead of letting them simmer beneath the surface.  That’s a prospect often filled with unease.  Hope gives us the courage to look at our past hurts as well as the security that we can heal them and not be re-traumatized.

The hope that springs from our soul assures us that our true nature cannot be hurt by the thoughts and actions of others.  It shows us that blame and resentment are false perceptions from our ego-self.  All the qualities we associate with forgiveness, such as letting go, forgetting the past and making a new start are shifts in consciousness that occur when the healing power of hope grows.

The healing process begins with an intention to be fully present.  This connects you to the power of hope.  You bypass your revenge fantasies and you stop listening to the voice of blame.  Instead, from the perspective of present-moment awareness, you see that blame, punishment and resentment are counterproductive feelings based on false perceptions.  And you see with a compassionate heart that everyone, including yourself, is doing the best they can from their level of consciousness.

Having taken the responsibility for the healing process of forgiveness, let it unfold inside you.  It’s enough to get out of the way which means that you don’t push the other person’s buttons and you don’t lash out when they press yours.

The healing process requires patience, understanding and loving kindness.  Offer these first to yourself.  Reach a level of self-forgiveness before you approach the forgiving of someone else.  Remember that forgiveness is not an action or thought.  It is a spiritual quality of healing that is supported by the light of hope growing within us.  Live that level of hope and that quality of forgiveness will become who you are.


Every day I move toward forgiveness.


Om Sarvatva Namah

The wholeness of the universe is my true nature.


Forgiving myself has been my greatest healing.  Loving myself for who and what I am is the icing on the cake; finally I can be comfortable in my own skin.  This forgiveness did not come overnight nor easily.  But being willing to learn and improve my life and myself through meditations such as this and from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me to live in the moment, learn from my past, and be hopeful of the future.

I have come to realize that everything in my life has happened for a reason and that reason is to make me the person I am today.  It is up to me what I want to do with that person.  Today I have a purpose, that has come from my past, and that purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my Dee bubble.

I only have so much space in me.  Today I choose to fill myself up with positive energy and be rid of the negativity that has come into my life through the many, many experiences I have been blessed to have had in my many decades on this planet.  And when I let that negative shit go, there is so much more room in me to embrace all of the good in this world.  And then I get to attract more goodness.  What a concept.

So love yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive those who have wronged you.  Heal yourself.  Free yourself!

Aloha, Dee

From Deepak & Oprah’s 21-Day Meditational Series on HOPE.

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!


Day 19 – Hope Brings Simplicity 


There are three simple principles that I live by.  They all work together to form a foundation that fuels the truest part of me.  Together these three things keep me grounded in hope.  Welcome to Day 19 – Hope Brings Simplicity.

The first profoundly simple principle for me is to listen for the signals that are always there that are inside me and you and everybody else.  The whispers in our lives lead us to the truest vision for ourself.  They are there all the time, speaking to us, pointing us toward hope and happiness.  What do you want your life to look like?  That’s where it all begins.

One of my favorite Bible verses is, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  You can’t run a company or a family or a life without a vision.  It’s the foundation of your future.  It’s your light.  It guides the way and truly is your hope.

The second principle that rules my life is intention.  For me intention is one of the most powerful principles in life.  It’s the simple rule that the intention you bring to any situation

ultimately determines the outcome of that situation.  Nothing I do personally or professionally is done without first getting clear on my intention.  It is the key, I believe, to authentic power and, I believe, the surest path to a life filled with hope and heart.

Principle number three.  Newton’s Third Law of Motion.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  If you put positive energy and hope into the world, that is what comes back to you.  It’s that simple.

Since powerful truth can lead us to the greatest light of hope, let us listen as Deepak teaches us to go deep into our core truths.


At the deepest level hope is a spiritual quality that comes from our unified self.  Living from your essence you have no problems because present-awareness is all inclusive, peaceful, stable, and harmonizing.  When you align your consciousness to universal intelligence life flows easily, naturally and simply.  It’s not that we experience less conflict, doubt or confusion because we have fewer people in our lives or less demands on us, but when you think and act from present-moment awareness all the pieces of your life move together with one another instead of independently.  It’s the difference between an orchestra playing a Beethoven symphony together or each musician playing whatever they want.

When we ignore our simple core of awareness we fall into conflict and confusion.  Simplicity goes out the window and so does hope.  When we feel grounded in the core of our being we can join the dance of the universe, without losing our center, the simplicity or being.

Simplicity emerges in the heart, not the mind.  It’s not something you must figure out; it’s something you feel as your true self.  With simplicity we connect with others through our hearts overriding all differences and doubts.

In uncertain times conditions are right for unscrupulous leaders to play upon fear, the emotion that floats in the air when people don’t feel grounded.  But fear never has a good outcome.  Fear is dispelled only by seeing the truth and the light of truth is always available in our core self as the simplicity of hope.

To radiate the simplicity of love and hope you must be that simplicity of awareness.  That is your truth.  Make this a conscious goal.  Don’t encourage complications.  Try to clear up confusion.  Be clear that you aren’t acting out of alterior motives.  If you have mixed feelings or doubts, step away and say to yourself, “There is no use adding to the chaos…ever.”

Our meditation practice introduces us to the simplicity to existence, the unchanging, peaceful, untroubled level of pure consciousness.  When you’re fully grounded in being bringing hope to someone else’s life is effortless.


I offer hope from the simplicity of my heart.


Namah Shee Va Ya

I invoke the infinite potentiality of the universe.


All the pieces of my “Dee puzzle”, my life, are finally starting to fit together and make sense!  When I finally stopped living from my head and allowing my heart to guide me, my life changed dramatically.  I found I had a purpose.  And that purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my “Dee bubble”.

Yes, the simple, but not easy, act of switching from brain to heart made all the difference in the world.  But that came with the other pieces of my puzzle started falling into place.  The piece of my puzzle that contained my alcoholic self bottoming out in the depths of hell.  The piece of my puzzle that was an alcohol treatment program.  The piece of my puzzle that brought me into Alcoholics Anonymous.  And the treasure of pieces that walked me through the 12 Steps of A.A., helped me to find a Higher Power, and be able to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understood that god.  Life changing pieces to my “Dee puzzle”.

So “Keep It Simple”.  Trust your gut, your intuition, and have faith in a Power Greater Than Yourself.  Know that everything at this moment is perfect.  Especially YOU!  Know that the pieces of your puzzle are fitting together just as they should.  Love the process.  Love yourself!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.


Day 18 – Making Hope Real

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” – Vaclav Havel

Today’s meditation is about helping to make hope real for others. Of course, fundamentally each person must create hope from within themselves, but we can also play an instrumental role in supporting that hope-building process. The way we do this is to learn how to deeply listen, see, and feel another person. When we can be with and acknowledge another person without any judgment or agenda, then our core hope is supporting their core hope on a real soul-to-soul level.


Today we set about the business of making hope real.  Welcome to Day 18.  When I opened my school in South Africa I said to Maya Angelou, “You know the girls in this school will be my greatest legacy and Maya surprised when she responded, “You have no idea what your legacy will be.  Your legacy is what you do everyday.  Your legacy is every life you’ve ever touched.  Every person whose life was ever moved or not.  It’s every person you’ve harmed or helped.  That is your legacy,”  Maya said to me.

So I started to rethink that legacy.  Because it’s how you treat that person behind the counter at the store.  It’s how your interaction with your child’s teacher.  It’s your encounters with your colleagues at work, in your family, the people in your neighborhood.  What I know for sure is that to reach people and share the energy of hope, you have to do more than just listen to them.  You have to see them.  I’ve often said that each of the tens of thousands of people I’ve interviewed had one thing in common…they all wanted to be seen and heard.  They wanted validation.

When people are validated, when they know you see me, you hear me, and what I’m saying means something to you, they feel like they’re not alone and that they matter.  That is the deepest reality, the deepest desire, we all share…is to matter.  And that’s the way to make hope real for anyone in your world.  Make them matter.

Deepak guides us to the power of deeply hearing and seeing another person.


Often in times of uncertainty and confusion it feels like no matter how hard you try something is bound to go wrong.  For many this sense of hopelessness is tied to depression and anxiety, while in milder forms it keeps others tough, in a state of expecting little in life.

If you believe you don’t deserve much happiness and success, hiding beneath the surface is absence of hope.  The problem is that losing hope buys into an illusion.  Because hope is a quality of the true self, it is grounded in reality.  Loss of hope is grounded in the past.  Old wounds, negative beliefs, low self-esteem and disappointed expectations…these are phantoms of the mind and we believe they are real because we think the fear they generate will protect us from further pain.

When someone is losing hope they will find a solution if they are guided to the deeper reality inside themselves.  Reassuring them that some external factor, meeting a person, acquiring more money or moving to a different place will solve their insecurity is not useful.  More importantly without basing your hope and present awareness the fear of uncertainty never goes away.

Ideally the path of self-awareness is open through meditation.  If this is not feasible for the other person you can still inspire hope in them.  Do they need reminding that they are strong or that they are loved?  Do they need to feel less alone or that others appreciate them?

The first step in making hope real for that person is to ask and listen from the level of the heart.  Don’t try to change a situation according to your own preconceptions.  Let your insight into what is needed come up of its own accord.  When you do speak, talk to the hope you see in the other person, whatever it is.

Also immediate hope is better than long-range hope.  Make it clear that the present moment is a place of hope because it is the only place where change can happen.  Yesterday and tomorrow are only ideas.  Your action plan is to bring no judgment, no expectations, to deeply listen to the other person, offering help, here and now, and, therefore, keeping everything real.  By your example you show that the unknown is not fearful but an opening into renewal and change.


My hope is grounded in a deeper reality.


Om Eem Shreem

My being radiates wisdom and abundance.


Today I try to live my life optimistically, with the glass half full, knowing that whatever happens happens for a reason, a reason to make me a better person and to help me grow.  Of course things happen that don’t make me especially happy, that’s going to take my time and energy away from the things I love, but, oh well.  It happened.  Live with it.  Deal with it.  And move on…a better person.

I also try to live my life hopefully, faithfully, again, that what happens happens for a reason.  I have no control over people, places and things.  But I do have control over how I am going to react to them.  I don’t.  I take a deep breath and have faith that a Power Greater than Myself is guiding me through lessons I need to learn.  I am hopeful to learn those lessons.

With time and practice this way of life, at looking at life, becomes easier.  My life goes more effortlessly.  I feel better and freer.  And I try to share this outlook with those who enter my “Dee bubble”.  When one enters my bubble I try my hardest to give them my full attention, mindfulness, eye contact, respect and compassion.  I try to put myself in their shoes.  And then I go within to, “What would Dee do?  What would Dee’s Higher Power have her do?”  And then I share my hope.

Validation is key.  Helping others to know that they are gifts, that they have attributes, that they are worthy.  Yes, they matter!  The beautiful thing is that we connect.  So share your gifts with those who enter your bubble.  Be a nice human today.  Share that this present moment is perfect.  Don’t shit on it by going back into yesterday or venturing into tomorrow.  Be the HOPE!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in motivational and inspirational gifts, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have an awesome day!

From Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience on HOPE.