I'm Joseph Bernard, Ph.D. My work is guiding and encouraging you to live with purpose, to set a course towards a greater realization of what is possible for your life, and to expand your opportunities for greater happiness, peace, and love. As you grow it benefits humanity and makes you an active participant in making a positive difference in the world. 

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The Courage To Be Your Own Hero

I was thinking about the courage it takes to trust in yourself; to live according to your values; to follow your inner guidance; to live your purpose fully; and to let your heart show you the way. I write about these qualities of trust, values, intuition, purpose and heart in my writing all the time. Yet I sometimes don’t acknowledge the courage and inner strength it takes to live according to what you and I know is right.

There are many forces inside and around you and I that try to get us to be different than we are. There is self-doubt and the limited thinking you and I picked up as children. Most of us did not have the benefit of ideas that were supportive to our uniqueness. Instead we were taught by adults and our peers to do what was acceptable, to fit in and to act like we are suppose to act. In each of us is a powerful need for approval that drive us to do what is expected by those around us and to often ignore our inner sense of how to be. The societal forces today, to be and act in accordance to what is acceptable, are as strong as ever.

How did you set yourself free of being in compliance with what others expect and have the courage to follow your own path of unique expression? Compliance is a word that I hear often in my work with companies. It is word that means doing what you are suppose to do according to the rules. “Get in line and quit acting out,” is the phrase that comes to mind. Oops I think that set off in me my post-traumatic response to twelve years of Catholic schools. All of a sudden I found myself wanting to rant about all the rules I got as a kid; and all the rules companies try to use to control their employees; and the government and all it’s rules to control for supposed protection against terrorist and to limit those who would have opposing viewpoints.

I am back now from my societal rant. The truth is that there are many challenges you and I face when we choose to live according to what is right for us. To live in alignment with who you are at the deepest level is simply amazing. When you and I can follow our hearts guidance and be in compassion in the world, we live a powerful life. When we can live according to our values, we feel empowered. When we follow the path of our purpose, we live with courage and force. When we actually learn to trust and live by our inner guidance, we set ourselves free to live and extraordinary life.

You are courageous if you travel the path of full self-expression, of realizing the potential and possibilities in you. That journey is a Hero’s Journey. You have this hero’s journey in your cells and your consciousness. The world will be much better off if you listen to and follow you life’s purpose. You have a mission, if you choose to accept it, you can transform yourself and the world. Please step into your heart and go forward with courage and determination as if the whole planet is waiting for your realization. IT IS. 


It's Pat On The Back Time

Today I have passed a milestone here at the Explore Life Journal. I have now written 150 entries and I have to take a moment to celebrate. Yeah!!! Yahoo!!! Hurray!!! YES!!! Celebrating your and my successes is a very good thing to do. What have you been up to lately? What have you been successful at? What do you feel good about?

Let’s make today a day where you acknowledge something(s) you have done well lately. Let me give you a hand at remembering your successes. Are you a loving spouse or parent? Have you been taking good care of your body lately? Have you listened compassionately to someone in need? Have you set goals you accomplished? Do you listen to your own needs and act accordingly? Have you taken a break when you needed it? Have you reached out to help others? Have you focused your attitude in positive and productive ways? Are you performing at work in ways that feel good to you? Are you following your purpose? Are you nurturing your spirit?

There are many ways each day that you and I are successful. We tend to focus more on what you and I haven’t done then on what we accomplished. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to acknowledge your successes. Give yourself a pat on the back and say NICE JOB for all that you completed. Recognizing your successes helps shrink the inner critic and lets you feel better about your life. The person hardest on you is you. So Lighten Up and put the emphasis on what you do well. This acknowledging way of respect for self and your efforts is a much more joyous way to live your life. Try it out and see what I mean.

If you are a parent, a spouse, and employee or employer, a student, a friend, volunteer, an active citizen, or whatever fills your day than you have in each day done many things that can make a difference to yourself and those around you. Please remember that you have much more to offer than you ever realize. This giving that you do unconsciously is amazing and mostly unacknowledged by you.

I hope there have been some reminders here that brought further awareness to all the positive things you have been up to lately. Please show respect for who you are by taking moments here and there to congratulate yourself for what you do and all those you touch in some way throughout your days.

There are many people out there who are grateful for who you are. Keep following your hearts instincts because you giving enriches the world. Thank you.

Yeah!!! Yahoo!!! Hurray!!! YES!!!  to you.  


Is It Ok To Be Hopeful?

I have spent much of the last three days at an Earth Expo in Denver. I met and talked with many like mind people who share my concerns for planet and humanity. It is reassuring that so many are exploring better ways of doing this life here on Earth. I also gave three presentations and found my audiences to be very engaging and hungry for ideas and inspiration. These times we live in are vibrating with the energy of necessary change.

Here are five reasons I feel optimistic about the planet and about what you and I are up to.

1. You and I and our fellow human beings are incredibly resourceful. We can get together and figure out how to resolve any of our problems. There is in us vast untapped creativity, and innovation. The transformative ideas needed are in you and I, today, waiting their birth.
2. Think NGO’s. Non-government organizations are a huge and growing phenomenon. These are people like you and I following their passions, living their values and taking action to make things better on the planet. Their mission is be the difference they want to see in the world
3. There are an ever increasing number of people asking questions, seeing past the misinformation, reading between the lines, seeking other perspectives, thinking critically and in general more alive and vibrant about life. This means they are awake enough to live into the possibilities and potential they have inside.
4. There is an expansion of understanding and awareness going on. When 1% of the population understands a new idea then it begins to spread across the planet. When 10% of the people grasp a new idea it becomes unstoppable and part of the universal wisdom of the planet. Change is happening and you and I can be part of it.
5. Even big companies are beginning to understand that greening their businesses can make sense, save money and be a positive difference maker. The planet is worth taking care of and companies with vision can see that tending to the Earth now will be make a difference for future generations.

Thanks for whatever you are doing. If you have a mission in life and are following it, congratulations. You are making a difference and I am grateful.

What are other hopeful signs you see?


7 Great Personal Qualities for the 21st Century

I gave my first talk in awhile last night at the Earth Works Expo in Denver. It felt so good to be out their stimulating minds and hearts. I can see the hunger in people to awaken, to be alive, to live from their hearts, and to make a difference in the world. When I write, I miss the feedback, questions and conversations of a live audience. I look forward to giving more talks in the future and to continue to spread inspiration from my words here at my blog. I welcome your feedback and questions in the comment section. Now here are 7 great qualities for life in the 21st Century

1. Patience – in this hurry and worry world the ability to be patient will set you apart from others, make you less reactive, and allow you to act when it is right to do so.
2. Acceptance of Self – you were trained to be highly self-critical. Breaking from the inner critic sets you free to realize your potential and to open your heart to love.
3. Determination – this quality for you is essential in a time when the barriers can be formidable, the distractions numerous, and the mind chaotic. With determination you will not be stopped by the limits of ordinary human beings.
4. Courageous – with the heart of courage on your side, you can take on what for many may seem impossible. You can go on the adventure of a hero’s journey and come out better for it.
5. Flexible - Today if you have flexibility you will find yourself able to adapt, to course correct, to maneuver around the obstacles of life. You will also find yourself stronger when the challenges of life come your way.
6. Open Minded – When your mind is open mind, you can keep on growing, you have more possibilities, you are free too see from a variety of viewpoints, you can avoid rigidity, allow more feedback, and be more open to greater success.
7. Compassionate – The world needs your understanding, your ability to listen, you guided by your heart, your receptivity to the feeling of others, you realizing your capability for great kindness, caring and love.

Have a wonderful day and share your light with the world.


Change From the Bottom-Up

After yesterdays rant I decided I need to be more solution focused. I wish I had answers for the some of the issues I wrote about yesterday. I have some ideas I want to share with you and then encourage you to share ideas with me and with other readers.

First idea is that inside of each of us are some very strong callings, intuitions, purposes that need to be listened to now. If you find you get all upset, incensed or exasperated over an issue like health care, hunger, peace, environment, clean water or whatever, than most likely there is something there for you to explore. That reaction in you means you want something different than what is. So see where you have high reactivity and go explore what you can do to make a difference. If you have a lot of passionate responses than you have much to do in this lifetime, so you better get started.

The next idea is to not focus on what is wrong for very long. If you do, you can slip into a “poor me” state of mind which does not do you or the world any good. Instead bring your thoughts to what you want to happen. Like being involved in eliminating world hunger; seeing the end to all wars; a world of justice for all; universal health care for everyone on the planet; clean water and air for the next 7 generations; and many other great results. Then get involved either as in individual or join with others

The third idea is that there are now over a million NGO’s (non government organizations) involved in changing the world from the bottom-up. Positive change most likely will not happen from the top-down. These organizations are value driven and represent the passion and mission of other concerned citizens of the world. Find an NGO that is on a mission you want to get involved in. Give them your time or share some of your financial and other resources. People working together can make a powerful difference. Check out www.wiserearth.org. and www.pachamama.org

The fourth idea is to work for two causes that will change the landscape of our democracy. The first is to join others and insist on election reform that includes a clear paper trail for all votes. This election reform must also include the ending of special interest funding for elections. Elections must be free of influence money. The second part is to limit corporate power. If greed and power are allowed to continue to be the driving forces of corporations than our democracy is on a crash course. Corporations were set up to benefit the people, not for the people to be used for the benefit of the corporation. With these two reforms everything else will more easily come into balance.

That was my four ideas for today. What are yours? What are the changes you see as most important? Leave a comment below and let’s see what ideas people come up with.

By the way if you are in the Denver area this weekend, I will be giving a talk on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Earth Works Expo in the Denver Merchandise Mart on Five Things You Can Do to Change the World and also selling our peace t-shirts at our Peace Together booth. Stop by and say, “hi”.