Dare to Be You!

(C) Carl Studna

Sounds simple? Try it for a day. Most of us that have been raised in Western culture have been deeply indoctrinated from the time of our birth with a whole lot of programing about how we should act, look and be in the world. Between the advertising, fashion, and pharmaceutical industries, many of us have had pretty heavy doses of the message that we need to be someone other than who we are. So much so, that we stop questioning our own internal wisdom and begin to believe that if we look a … [Read more...]

Taking a Spiritual Time-Out

(c) Carl Studna

Navigating throughout our lives in such a goal oriented culture, it’s easy to slip into a fast moving pace and feel as if we need to keep up the momentum by giving ourselves little or no time to pause. How often do you hit the pillow at night and breathe a deep exhale due to a day of non-stop activity? There appears to be so many demands throughout the day ranging from responsibilities at the workplace to the raising of a family, and the hours often feel way too fleeting without enough time to g … [Read more...]

Smile for the Camera

Carl reflections 26jul13620

What is it about our constant desire in Western culture to have people smile when in front of a camera? It’s as if we want others to look happy and relaxed without us (those taking the picture) putting out much effort to fulfill that desire. It’s no wonder that most people feel so uncomfortable in front of a camera, being asked to put on a genuine smile with no true engagement from the picture taker.Having been a professional photographer for thirty-four years, I’m quite aware of the dysfu … [Read more...]

Your Expansive Life

(c) Carl Studna

In every moment, we are either thinking thoughts that are expansive or constrictive.  It’s pretty easy to determine which of these states of mind we’re in if we’re simply paying attention. Currently, I’m sitting on a plane with very little room to write, people brushing by my shoulder, and a constant shakiness as I’m typing these words. I have the choice of feeling challenged by my environment and constricting my energy, or seeing the entire scenario as an inventive adventure. In choosing the lat … [Read more...]

Creating Your Day

(c) Carl Studna

If a genie were to magically appear before you granting one wish, and you told him that you would like to create the perfect day for yourself throughout the rest of your life, what would you create? Who would be with you? Where would you be, and what would you be doing?It’s imperative that we ask these questions and truly envision how our lives would look if we were living our ultimate dreams. What would it feel like in your body and in your energetic field if you felt fully free, e … [Read more...]

Pain as Our Teacher

(c) Carl Studna

I’ve recently been dealing with soreness in my left ankle, making it extremely challenging to walk up and down the three levels of stairs in our home. The immediate and constant feedback I’ve been receiving, known as pain, has brought forward several insights related to how I view and interpret pain. My insights and train of thought below apply specifically to localized pain that can be treated, whether referring to physical, emotional or spiritual pain.The act of healing is expansive, wh … [Read more...]

Living Above the Clouds

(c) Carl Studna

It’s such a privilege to live in an historical time where living a life of freedom is becoming more prevalent throughout the world. In Western culture, it’s become common that many of us take the act of freedom for granted, but in terms of human history, we’ve been living free lives for such a short period of time…just a blink of the evolutionary eye. Given how recently we’ve acquired this precious gift, one would think that we’d hold this unalienable right in deep gratitude and cherish our abili … [Read more...]

Photography as a Spiritual Practice

(c) Carl Studna

What if every time that you picked up a camera, you regarded this tool as a mechanism for revealing the inner and outer light around us? How wondrous this black box would become as we viewed the radiant essence of everything and everyone!This has been my relationship to the camera since age sixteen, and I’ve grown to constantly see the world through the lens of life’s brilliant light.Think about it….the camera only imprints what is light enough to see, and the most striking pictures are o … [Read more...]

Cultivating Inner Peace

(c) Carl Studna

Given the tragic events this past week related to the Boston Marathon coupled with the escalation of random shootings over the past several years, combined with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, we as a society are being faced more consistently with painful, life-threatening situations that provoke deep sadness, fear, and often a sense of helplessness.Perhaps these trying times are an act of evolution calling us to go deeper in our need to reevaluate our current local and world conditions and … [Read more...]

Leading from the Heart

don Miguel Ruiz (c) Carl Stunda

Who doesn’t remember the expression, “a child should be seen and not heard!” What a potent and suppressive statement this is for a child to receive. It’s no wonder that so many adults have lived a life of devout seriousness, largely void of joyful expression and playfulness. Our society has been deeply steeped in an unspoken agreement telling us that in order to reach our goals and be successful, we must be seriously focused and (at times) heartless.Fortunately, more and more of us are choosi … [Read more...]


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