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    Dr. Habib Sadeghi on Hidden Beliefs That Hold Us Back

    Most people don’t know this, but on the island of Guam, there are no birds. Imagine that. Imagine never seeing or hearing another bird ever again. Because we tend to take their beauty and music for granted, we probably wouldn’t even notice their absence until it was too late. Once gone, the silence would be deafening and their presence sorely missed.

    Guam used to have birds. Thanks to its relatively isolated position, the island’s bird population was broad and boasted unique species found nowhere else on earth. For thousands of years, it was home to a remarkable variety of kingfishers, swiftlets, starlings, herons, and more. They lived peacefully and flourished with no natural predators. In the mid 1960’s, that all changed.

    Experts believe the brown tree snake arrived at the island stowed away on a cargo ship. Guam’s birds had no conceptions about snakes, nor did they realize that they were dangerous, and so the birds literally offered themselves up to this snake as a meal. They never had the chance to evolve any defenses.

    Soon, brown tree snakes proliferated with astounding speed and in just 20 years, they completely destroyed a diverse bird population that had developed over several millennia. Now, the music of Guam is gone.

    If we are to live the lives we consciously intend, then it is essential to pay close attention to our spiritual ecosystem. Like snakes, the limiting beliefs of others can slither into the corners of our minds without our even noticing. They act as stowaways under the disguise of truth and they infiltrate our conceptions of ourselves. Soon, we’ve accepted their erroneous ideas as fact, just because they were spoken by a supposed "authority" figure—a parent, teacher, clergyman, etc. We assume these ideas must be true.

    When we aren’t grounded in who we are, we let others define our self-identity for us. We have no built-in defense mechanism to deflect the onslaught of negativity. And so this is what happens: The insatiable appetite of self-doubt, self-hatred, and uncertainty runs over everything that we understood and knew to be beautiful about ourselves. Our spiritual ecosystem suffers a terrible imbalance and the natural order of our island, our body, begins to break down. The music disappears from our lives, too.

    Many of life’s challenges come from negative beliefs that have snuck up on us, the ones that we don’t even realize are there. Rooting these out dispel the limiting beliefs we’ve unwittingly let onto our spiritual island, and helps us restore balance once again. It’s said that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland and healed the land. We can do the same with a simple exercise that’s similar to word association.

    On a set of index cards, write these fill-in-the-blank sentences:

    Money is:   My Health is:   My Body is:
    Men are:   My Mother is:   God is:
    Women Are:   My Father is:   Sex is:
    I can't:   My Face is:    

    Write as many open-ended questions about your life as you can think of. Have a friend display these flash cards to you one at a time in random and rapid succession. Don’t stop to think about the answers! Reply as quickly and reflexively as possible to avoid self-censoring.

    You’ll be surprised by how many dangerous and limiting beliefs are stowed away in your subconscious, driving your choices and behavior. If you take the time to examine each one, you’ll likely be amazed at how there’s virtually no real proof for any of them! Most of the time, you won’t even remember why you believed them in the first place. You just do.

    As you continue to eliminate these falsehoods, especially the negative beliefs you’ve long held about yourself, you’ll be able to exercise the self-compassion and emotional nurturing we talked about in the Emotional Erosion and Seeding the Soul segment of this series that’s so essential for physical and emotional healing. Negative beliefs we hold about ourselves are really lies we repeat internally. That’s all they are, and when we do the work that liberates us from their self-limiting grasp, we find out very quickly that only truth can set us free, as we learned in the second installment of this series, The Truth.

    Finally, when we let go of the, "I’m not pretty enough. I’m too heavy. I’m not smart enough. I’m not (fill-in-the-blank)" line of thinking, we give ourselves permission to be more of who we’ve always been. Whenever anyone assumes the courage to fully embody their true self, magic happens. We open up in ways that we never thought possible. We find ourselves doing things we’d never even consider before. We strike up a conversation with the person we didn’t think would go out with us. We apply for the job we didn’t think we were smart enough to get. The self-limiting beliefs that can be so isolating and cause us to retreat from the real world are gone. We begin to crave new relationships with real people and experiences that overwrite and disprove our old assumptions. (We looked at how these kinds of relationships are healing mechanisms in the first segment of this series, Virtual Loneliness.)

    The most magnetic person in the room is always the woman who knows exactly who she is, lives fully in her truth, and is filled with so much self-love and compassion that it overflows and touches us all. Those are the kinds of people we’re all attracted to. Why? It’s because we know deep in our hearts that that’s our true nature, too. We want it. We can have it. All it requires is resurrecting your true, magnificent self.

    Get a signed copy of Dr. Sadeghi's book, <em>Within</em>. Buy it now!
    Listening to: You Only Live Once
    We've got john gold's woozily romantic, four-trac ep, <em>You Only Live Forever<em>, on repeat.
    London Update

    There are tons of new spots in London that are quickly becoming classics. Thanks to the arrival of Andre Balasz' Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone is sprouting all kinds of greatness, plus there are loads of more affordable (and verifiably great) restaurants popping up all over town. To see some of our old stand-bys, look here and here and here.

    • Chiltern Firehouse

      Chiltern Firehouse

      1 Chiltern St. | +44.20.7073.7676


      Andre Balasz' first London hotel is probably the year's most talked about opening. First, they opened the restored fire doors on the Nuno Mendez-helmed restaurant this Spring, and now, the long-awaited 26 suites are open to guests, too. The décor comes courtesy of the French Studio Ko, who seamlessly integrated original features like the fireman’s pole, brick and tilework, and fire doors with velvet seating, glitzy marble bars, and old-fashioned, flower-print carpeting. The rooms, too, offer that fun mix of plush comfort and architectural detail—all meticulously thought through for the modern traveller. You'll find plugs for every region, Bose bluetooth speakers, and a kitted out mini-bar. While the wonderful restaurant and bar are unendingly scene-y, the guest quarters are very private, making it an expectedly excellent and restful stay.

    • Ham Yard Hotel

      Ham Yard Hotel

      1 Ham Yard | +44.20.3642.2000


      The Firmdale group has a strong hold on the hospitality scene in London and this new Soho venture is their splashiest yet, with a bowling alley, a theater, and a "village square" of cool shops like Dinosaur Designs and Frescobol Carioca. The interiors are still in owner Kit Kemp’s signature eclectic and colorful but totally English style, and the high tea here is just as fun and quintessential as at the other locations. Besides the Soho location, the other big draw is that every single room and suite boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning city views.

    • Rosewood London

      Rosewood Hotel

      252 High Holborn | +44.20.7781.8888


      While Holborn is a little bit random, London's first, ultra-luxurious Rosewood Hotel has all the makings of a classic, from the grand courtyard entrance, to the asian-inflected but still very stately British décor, to the splashy Holborn restaurant and Scarfe Bar (featuring illustrator Gerald Scarfe’s humorous wall murals). Service is top-notch as are the elegant rooms.

    • Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard

      Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard

      31 St. Thomas St. | +44.20.7234.8000


      We had to mention this recent arrival, which lives in Renzo Piano’s Shard, the tallest building in all of Europe. The whole point of checking in here is for the otherworldly views of London from the lobby on the 32nd floor—and from the infinity pool and bar on floor 52. With its somewhat homogenized, splashy décor, it lacks in character but boasts all the modern luxuries that you’d expect for the pricetag.

    • London EDITION

      London EDITION

      10 Berners St. | +44.20.7781.0000


      At Ian Schrager’s latest Central London foray, you'll find a sceney spot where sleek, almost Nordic accommodations contrast with a rococo dining room and lobby. Chef Jason Atherton’s restaurant is worth trying if for no other reason than to see the floor-to-ceiling gallery walls (the food is good, too), and the nightclub in the basement draws huge crowds as well.

    • Beast Restaurant


      3 Chapel Place | +44.20.7495.1816


      This indulgent arrival comes from the people behind the excellent chainlet, Burger & Lobster. Located in a subterranean space, the elevator doors open to tanks of live Norwegian King Crabs and a meat hanger full of serious Nebraskan steaks, marking the beginning of a meal that's best characterized by the word excess. Three long banquet tables span the cavernous, candle-lit space where diners share the pricey £75 set menu (vegetarians who come along for the ride pay only £25). The meal kicks-off with pickled onions, artichoke hearts, olives, and a gigantic chunk of parmesan followed by beautifully marbled steak, undressed crab served family style, and a slew of veggie sides. There’s not a carb in sight, which is a godsend as the portions are huge.

    • Café Murano

      Café Murano

      33 St. James St. | +44.20.3371.5559


      Regional Italian dishes that include a memorably great Osso Bucco are served up at Murano’s more laid-back sister restaurant, where chef Sam Williams has taken the helm. It’s relaxed in an upscale, Mayfair sort of way: Seats at the long marble bar are first-come-first-serve, and the booths are the perfect spot to spend the better part of an afternoon drinking aperitivi with friends. Must order: The truffle arancini.

    • Dishoom


      7 Boundary St. | +44.20.7420.9324


      This relatively new and growing chain of modern Indian restaurants reveals a dimension to a city already well-versed in the cuisine. Expertly decorated to resemble an old Iranian Bombay cafe, the vibe is casual and, as tradition dictates, ideal for both large groups and singles reading the paper and having a chai. The long menu of rotis, naans, grilled meats, and stews is spice-inflected but not necessarily curry heavy.

    • Lyle's


      56 Shoreditch High St. | +44.20.3011.5911


      It’s no surprise that Chef James Lowe cut his teeth at the Fat Duck and then at St. John Bread & Wine, as his first restaurant has the "nose-to-tail" ethos down pat. The à la carte lunch and set dinner menus change daily, where you’ll come across parts of fish, vegetables, and meats you’d never known to be delicious before. Beyond the local, seasonal cuisine, it’s the lightness of the way it’s served that makes the meal: The white-tiled room is spacious and airy, and the servers will tell you all about each dish without rushing through the details (many of the ingredients are quite unusual, so you’ll have questions). Another highlight is the wine list, selected by a sommelier who is a River Café veteran, featuring some fantastic and unusual wines, sourced everywhere from Santa Rita, California to Slovakia.

    • Fischer's


      50 Marylebone High St. | +44.20.7466.5501


      The sausages and schnitzels are good, but its really the atmosphere that makes this Marylebone spot worthwhile. Modeled after an old-world Viennese café, it looks like a meticulously considered set from Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. There are dark wood booths, Tyrolean landscapes on the walls, and an old-school newspaper rack, which all help it achieve the feeling of a time warp. Not surprisingly, it’s from the team behind the Wolseley and The Delaunay, who are known for their cinematic spaces.

    • Palomar


      34 Rupert St. | +44.20.7439.8777


      Channeling the food of Jerusalem, the décor here is sleek, punctuated with deep jewel toned leather banquettes and hot pink neon lights. There’s a long, bustling bar serving drinks and dinner to walk-ins from the short and shareable menu. Our picks: Delicious "Moroccan" oysters (a Jersey oyster with Moroccan-inspired sauce) and the insane stovetop or "Plancha" dishes, like a rich and creamy polenta with buttery layers of mushroom, asparagus, and parmesan.

    • Pavilion

      Photo Will Pryce


      96 Kensington High St. | +44.20.7221.2000


      Residents are pretty thrilled about this newcomer, as there is a suprising dearth of good restaurants in the neighborhood. Adjacent to a private member’s club, Pavilion does give members special perks like access to a beautiful terrace, but also welcomes civilians for chef Adam Simmonds’ truly worthy British menu. While he’s not breaking any rules, the food—straightforward standards like steaks, local fish, and lamb—is great. Plus, when you’re greeted with a bouquet of flowers from the on-site florist and then dine in a somewhat dazzling Art Deco-inspired setting, it makes any meal feel special.

    • Fish & Chip Shop

      Fish & Chip Shop

      180 Upper St. | +44.20.3227.0979


      There’s a preponderance of eateries on Islington High Street, and yet very few actually stand-out. This nautically-themed spot does. They offer way more than the name suggests (though their Fish & Chips are reportedly great): We’re fans of the fish curry and the shrimp burger.

    • The Lockhart

      The Lockhart

      22-24 Seymour Pl. | +44.20.3011.5400


      Chef Brad McDonald and his wife Molly moved into the Lockhart space just a few months ago, shaking up the quiet backstreets of Marylebone with their brand of down-home Missisippi cooking. On a hot day, Molly pours sweet iced tea while customers choose between the fried chicken, the muffuletta (the meatiest of sandwiches), and the best shrimp grits this side of the Thames. It’s true Southern cooking so it’s heavy, but under this chef’s watch, not unnecessarily so. Whatever you do, order a side of cornbread, which comes slathered in butter and honey. Get there early on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, for Brad and Molly's delicious side-project, 1235 Donuts.

    • Pizza Pilgrims

      Pizza Pilgrims

      11 Dean St. | +44.20.7287.8964


      Like all good things in London, this burgeoning chainlet is growing fast. Once a beloved food truck with a cleverly built-in pizza oven, it now has not one but two (as of last week) bricks-and-mortar outposts. The thin-crust pizza at all their charmingly lo-fi locations is superb, as are the negronis and affogato. At the new spot off Carnaby, we’re looking forward to fried pizza courtesy of their first authentic Neapolitan fryer—the guys spent a couple of weeks in Naples recently to learn the art of frying pretty much everything.

    • Honest Burgers

      Honest Burgers

      Locations throughout the city


      This burger joint is expanding rapidly. Their "Honest" burger is as its name suggests: Simple and unadorned, and crafted from super high-quality beef. We keep going back for their veggie fritters and trademark rosemary fries, and their gluten-free buns ain’t bad either.

    • Dirty Burger

      Dirty Burger

      Locations throughout the city


      Unlike most of Soho House’s buttoned-up and exclusive restaurants, the Dirty Burger brand is a series of down-and-out, tin-clad locales churning out ridiculously tasty and super-cheap cheeseburgers. (Vegeterians can order the "Cop Out," which is just as satisfyingly dirty.) It’s very purposefully a no-frills situation that’s totally worth the wait.

    • Bone Daddies Ramen Bar

      Bone Daddies Ramen Bar

      31 Peter St. | +44.20.7287.8581


      At any hour of the day or night—it's open pretty late—this Soho walk-in spot blares punk rock from the speakers while churning out incredibly flavorful ramen in a seriously complex bone broth. Everything on the menu is delicious but the top choices are probably the Tonkotsu (made with a 20 hour pork bone broth), the Chicken Tantanmen, and the soft shell crab starter with its addictively spicy chili ginger sauce.

    • Opso


      10 Paddington St. | +44.20.7935.0551


      Plan to come with a group, as this spot revolves around sharing. The airy, woodsy interior comes courtesy of Another Country (see below), and complements the simple, casual menu of modern Greek food. Mixing salads (we liked the dill-heavy Greek slaw), dips, and traditional breads (koulori and the like) makes for an ideal light lunch or anytime snack. Don’t miss the juices, which they make fresh every day.

    • Nordic Bakery

      Nordic Bakery

      37b New Cavendish St. | +44.20.7935.3590


      Walk by any time of day and you’ll run into the smell of freshly baked cinammon rolls. They’re a perfect treat and so is the smorgas-inspired menu of dark rye bread sandwiches. The space is, as befits the name, pared down, modern, and an ideal place for grabbing a quick, casual bite.

    • Sager & Wilde

      Sager & Wilde

      193 Hackney Rd.


      Like all good ideas, the premise of this Hackney wine bar is wonderfully simple: Buy quality wines in bulk so customers can order by the glass or bottle at very reasonable prices. You’ll find excellent and unusual varieties from every corner of the wine-producing world, including Napa, Sicily, and Languedoc, along with a short but equally generous snack menu. We recommend the grilled cheese sandwich, which is actually kind of perfect with a glass of red wine.

    • Andina


      1 Redchuch St. | +44.20.7920.6499


      The first of its kind in London, Andina offers up the concept of Andean "picanterias"—casual, family-run community restaurants. Serving up fresh juices and smoothies, a variety of ceviches, Quinoa Burgers, and the like, it’s one of our go-tos for a healthy, well-priced meal in Shoreditch.

    • La Pâtisserie Des Rêves

      La Pâtisserie Des Rêves

      43 Marylebone High St. | +44.20.3603.7333


      Philippe Contini’s modern chain of patisseries has just arrived in London from Paris and Japan, and packs some serious heat: These pretty little confections are some of the best treats in the city. At the Marylebone HQ, each individual pastry is presented in its own refrigerated glass cloche—sleek, modern, and fanciful all at once. Kids will go nuts in here and so will anyone with a serious sugar addiction. The "Paris Brest" is insane.

    • Kaffeine


      66 Great Titchfield St. | +44.20.7580.6755


      In a matter of just a few years, Australian roasteries have taken over the London coffee scene. And for good reason: They brew strong, flavorful coffee that’s not burnt. While we can rattle off a whole list of other good Aussie cafes—including Workshop, which is expanding quickly—Kaffeine remains a firm favorite. Tucked away on a quiet street in Fitrovia, they serve a coffee so intense it’s almost sweet. If you’re an aficionado, you can opt for a flight, which includes a "cascara" palate cleanser. Their sandwiches, salads and baked goods, which include a coffee flavored cookie made for dipping, are the best grab-and-go in the area.

    • Violet Cakes

      Violet Cakes

      47 Wilton Way | +44.20.7275.8360


      Claire Ptak, who started her career at Chez Panisse, relocated to London several years ago and opened an Americana-inspired bakery on Wilton Way—a particularly friendly, community oriented stretch in Hackney. We’ve been known to make the trek out to east London just for her irresistible Ginger Molasses cake.

    • Lovage


      The Ace Hotel | 100 Shoreditch High St.


      The Ace Hotel’s juice bar, a stainless steel space dotted with plants suspended from the ceiling in crocheted baskets, serves healthy veggie-centric juices and filling smoothies starting at 7am each day. Hotel patrons can order them up to their rooms while Shoreditch passersbys pick them up from the street window. This summer, they're also offering a daily Grotta’s ice menu.

    • Roots & Bulbs

      Roots & Bulbs

      5 Thayer St.


      The cold-pressed juices and smoothies sold at this beautiful Marylebone shop are part of the slow to start (but quickly growing) juice movement in London. We love their filling smoothies (the lightly sweetened mint chocolate chip is a favorite), which tide us over for the entire morning. They’ve also teamed up with delivery service, Deliveroo, which is helpful if you opt into one of their cleanses.

    • St. John Bakery

      Photo: Patricia Niven

      St. John Bakery

      72 Druid St. | +44.20.7237.5999


      It all started with the Maltby Street Saturday Market when St. John started selling its legendary breads (and then doughhnuts) out the back of its bakery. Word spread among London’s foodies and very quickly the sourdoughs and indulgently overfilled custard and jam doughnuts started flying out the door. The logical next step was to make the bakery a proper spot to dine, and not just on Saturdays on the fly. We make the pilgrimage to South London for Welsh Rarebit on the best bread in town—all washed down with a good glass of wine.

    • Another Country

      Another Country

      18 Crawford St. | +44.20.7486.3251


      Blush pink walls and a warm grey ceiling complement the beautiful furniture and accessories sold at this relatively new Marylebone shop and design studio. Handcrafted wooden furniture, jacquard throws, simple terracotta ceramics, and beautifully turned-out desk accessories are just a few of the things you'll want to schlep home. While the shop is off the main street it's worth the detour to see. They also take custom orders.

    • The Goodhood Store

      The Goodhood Store

      151 Curtain Road | +44.20.7729.3600


      This clothing and lifestyle store has expanded into a new two-story space, which feels like it came straight out of Copenhagen. In this trendy part of town where stores come and go all too often, Goodhood’s staying power is due to the owners being, since 2007, arbiters of East London style, constantly refreshing their mix of streetwear essentials from brands like Wood Wood, Peter Jensen, and MM6. Last year, they expanded their concept and went into furnishings, bringing Nordic brands like HAY and Muuto to East London. So popular is their aesthetic that they’re now busy helping other companies find their voice through Goodhood’s graphic and branding agency.

    • House of Hackney

      House of Hackney

      131 Shoreditch High St. | +44.20.7739.3901


      This brand originally caught our eye with its wry animal print textiles and wallpapers for the home, all made traditionally in sumptuous fabrics, but with a slightly subversive edge. They've now taken their prints and turned them out in clothes, which actually totally works.

    • Duke Street Emporium

      Duke Street Emporium

      55 Duke St. | +44.20.7042.2770


      British basics brand Jigsaw has cleverly called in both beloved coffee shop Fernandez & Wells, and clothing boutique The Shop at Bluebird to its new Duke Street location. They’ll entice you in for a snack, send you on a quick whirl through the bijoux Bluebird with pieces from Carven and Maison Kitsuné, and send you home with a well-priced T-shirt or dress from Jigsaw. Smart.

    • Other/shop


      21 Kingly St. | +44.20.7734.6846


      Hidden away in Central London, you'll find this whitewashed, fern-filled oasis carrying relatively unknown, cutting-edge brands like Christian Wijnants, Peter Jensen, E. Tautz—a rarity in a neighborhood that's well-known for its big-name brands.

    • Hostem


      41-43 Redchurch St. | +44.20.7739.9733


      Winter through summer, the dominating color for men and women in this avant-garde shop is black—all meditated on by forward-thinking designers like Rick Owens, Dries van Noten, Comme de Garçons, P.R. Patterson, and Thom Browne. The dark, wood paneled first floor and the contrasting light, lacquered walls upstairs make a polished, artful backdrop to the hand-selected pieces on the rails. On the top floor, you'll find a rotation of artists and designers that fit with the store’s starkly elegant aesthetic occupying its studio space: Currently it’s designer sisters Faye and Erica Toogood’s line of jackets and coats.

    • Turner Contemporary

      Turner Contemporary

      Rendezvous, Margate, Kent | +44.18.4323.3000


      Ceramicist Edmund de Waal’s installation, Atmosphere, is worth venturing outside of London to see. You have time to get to Margate, though, as it’s up through February 2015. © Edmund de Waal. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photo: Stephen White

    • Tate Modern

      Tate Modern

      Bankside | +44.20.7887.8888


      Matisse’s Cut-Outs is probably the summer’s blockbuster show of note, up through September 7th. Henri Matisse, Memory of Oceania 1952-3 © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014

    • Tate Britain

      Tate Britain

      Millbank | +44.20.7887.8888


      British Folk Art is not to be missed at the Tate, through August 31st. Credit: Heart Pincushion, Tate Photography

    • Somerset House

      Somerset House

      Strand | +44.20.7845.4600


      Learn about this sartorial subculture through photographs and paraphernalia at Return of the Rudeboy through August 25th.

    • Geffrye Museum

      Geffrye Museum

      Kingsland Rd. | +44.20.7739.9893


      A great show of contemporary British design aptly titled Useful + Beautiful up through August 25th.

    • Royal Academy

      Royal Academy

      Burlington House, Picadilly | +44.20.7300.8000


      The annual Summer Exhibition, which includes work by many young artists worth paying attention to now, is up through August 17th.

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