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“Your matter matters.” Tantra Maat

You matter!

Why? How do I know?

No matter what you do, who you are to others, where you live, it comes down to one thing:

You matter because you are here. (And you are here, because you matter.)

We are are the frontier extension of source energy that is ever expanding. We are the pioneers, the messengers and the creators.

We matter, you and I. (The emphasis being on and, because it is not about or, or even about more than, less than.)

Maybe, if we allowed ourselves to embody that, everything else would fall into alignment.

Astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine,

“What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” This is his answer.

copyright(c) March 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (except video)

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In my last post “Birthing New Beginnings,” I wrote of my resistance to manifesting my ideas into form. When I pondered the resistance, I discovered I had a fear of revisiting the deep trough of sadness I’d experienced a few years back in the form of a broken heart. Here is the continuation of that contemplation.

There is no long story to this. It’s pretty simple really in all its complexity. The bottom line is: I am not afraid of a broken heart. The breaking of my heart is not what caused my protracted misery. What I realize is that my own attachment to the misery, my attachment to the people, story, identity I did not want to release, my refusal to leave the chrysalis and emerge anew was what caused my pain.

There is this voice within that is not so pleasant. Some call it a gremlin, saboteur or inner critic. Others call it the negative ego or distorted voice. Whatever we call it, it still stinks. It is sly, conniving, a shape-shifter and, at times, downright malicious. I have experienced this voice as an energy that comes over me.

I remember sitting at the breakfast counter in a house I was staying in and feeling this energy pummeling me. I was in pain. I was crying. I felt myself a total victim to it. My whole body was contracted and, though I knew it would pass, for the moment I was under its spell.

I remember another time, just getting ready to go to sleep at a beautiful retreat in Punta Mita, Mexico. I could feel the energy hovering over me, ready to come in for the attack. I simply said “No, not this time.” The energy left and I drifted off to a deep and peaceful sleep. It was a pivotal moment for me; one in which I had finally stood up to my negative ego.

Moon 8_28_09

(c) Kathy J Loh

Most days, if the negative ego begins to speak to me, I hear it, I recognize it, but I don’t fall under its spell. The only spells I experience are the ones I am so under that I don’t even know it. I am a fish in the waters of the spell. Others may be able to see it, but I don’t, until I do.

This is where contemplation becomes essential. My daily sessions of going within are intended to help me awaken more and more to truth and release myself from the grip of delusion and illusion.

Once I had made the distinction between fearing a broken heart (a normal rite of passage in life) and wallowing in it because of attachments and shadowy archetype reactions, I was able to stumble upon a gem of enlightenment. I say stumble upon, because I was actually out hiking when it hit me and I stopped in my tracks and gasped out loud.

I am not afraid of a broken heart. I am not even afraid of becoming attached to my sadness. What I am afraid of, that which is trying to spook me, is my own self-loathing. I saw it. My negative ego is powerful only in direct proportion to my own self-loathing and my willingness to be mean to myself.

(note: I notice that after I wrote that last sentence, I got up and went to do a load of laundry. It’s not easy sitting with the fact that I have and experience self-loathing.)

It was my delusions of worthlessness, and of being unlovable that took me down.  Those delusions had me grasping for identities, people and things to earn and somehow give to me worth and love. I was under the horrific notion that I could fill those needs out there in people, things and doings.  (Yes, we all do it and that does not make it any less horrific.) It’s a downward spiral. Once the negative ego had me, the self-loathing led to more of the same.

What stopped me in my tracks was not so much the discovery of the truth beneath the ruse, but the simultaneous liberation that accompanied it. I don’t loathe myself anymore, not like that. I don’t despise myself so much that I am willing to tolerate days of misery bullied by my negative ego.

For over a year, I have faithfully practiced the “I Love You” exercise I made up and wrote about in an earlier post. I have found and used my nurturing parent voice. (thanks to Lucid Living) I have rewritten my story, forgiven others and most importantly, myself. In truth, my heart has cracked as widely open with joy as it has with pain.

I love myself and this life I am living. And I trust myself. This is the crux of the discovery.

I trust myself not to create protracted pain for myself from a place of self-loathing.

I trust myself to laugh at my foibles, to lean into the support of friends and unseen allies.

I trust myself to be nurturing, kind and loving to myself and others.

I trust myself to speak honestly to others and myself and to be compassionate rather than rescuing or demeaning.

I’m still on that journey. I’m still learning and growing. There are more illusions to dispel. I trust myself every step of the way. If a big wind comes and knocks me sideways, I trust myself to love myself through it. I know I will find my footing again.

This is the celebration, the return at the end of my Hero’s Journey; this particular journey within the broader journey. Because I now know that I love and trust myself, I also celebrate, honor and respect myself. In so doing, I also celebrate, honor and respect others and all of life. I celebrate the miracle of life and the miracle that is me.  I am aware of the preciousness of life, of breath and the wonder of the human spirit.

This self-loathing piece is slippery. When I look in the mirror and I catch myself thinking mean things about how I’m aging, how my body is changing; when I look around my office and berate myself for the disorganization; I know I am being unkind. There are times when my desire to improve myself mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually, is not truly generated from love. It is born of a lack of self-acceptance, of conditional if-then love and comparing myself with others or with commercial standards.

Here’s how I can tell the difference.

If there is a resonance of self-loathing, I have resistance. A duality of imprisonment and over-indulgence takes shape in my behaviors. It shows up in statements that begin with words like “I must, I need, I should, I deserve, I’ve earned” and it feels really hard which leaves me feeling really entitled. My energy is depleted.

If I am celebrating the miracle of life and living, I have no resistance to taking exquisite care of myself in all of my practices be they mental, physical, spiritual or emotional. If I am loving myself, it feels clean, good, honest and true to exercise and eat right; to clean my home and even to say no to someone’s request of me.  My energy is replenished and vital.

I like to imagine consciousness having created each of us from an urge for a unique expression. Now, as that unique expression manifested into form, consciousness marvels at itself, through us and through our senses.

I choose to celebrate.

My mantra for the week has been to ask “How is this celebrating the miracle of me?”

I offer it to you as a practice:

How is this next action, this thought, these words you are about to speak celebrating the miracle of life and the miracle of you?

You are amazing!

copyright(c) February 2010, Kathy J Loh  All Rights Reserved

Put on your dancing shoes. Here’s a little song for you:

I’m Amazing by Keb’ Mo’ (Keep it Simple) (written by Keb’ Mo’ and Robbie Brooks) Samples on the site.

(sometimes the word “true” appears as “drue.”)


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I remember sitting on the beach in La Jolla doing the beach-bunny thing while my boyfriend surfed the waves with his friends. I was in high school at the time. I was full of my youth, full of myself. I was lookin’ good and I knew it, even if I did get insecure from time to time. Youth rocked (so we thought).

I remember a woman walking by who caught my attention and the words I said to myself:

I hope I’m like her when I get older.

She was probably in her 50s or 60s. Hard to tell. At 16, everyone over 30 looks old. She was very tan, wrinkly and very round like an apple on two poles. She had a long gray braid down her back and she wore a bright orange one-piece swimsuit. She was walking with no noticeable trace of self-consciousness.  She was out there, hiding nothing. She was absolutely beautiful in her ease.

“She wrinkled, but she lovely” (1)

I wanted to be like her when I grew old, to feel free and comfortable in my own skin, happy to walk along the beach in a swimsuit. I wanted to keep my long hair. In those days, I held the assumption that you had to cut your hair short after your 20s, because all the magazines advised us that short hair “lifts the features and gives women a more youthful appearance.”

grand canyon late 2002

Grand Canyon 2002 (K Loh)

I remember a moment out of time during one of my many hikes in the Grand Canyon. We’d just spent two nights at Phantom Ranch and were coming up the Bright Angel trail. At one point, nearing the last portion of the hike, we rested, taking in the stunning view of the Coconino sandstone walls rising toward the rim. Standing at their base, feeling very small, I felt their grandeur suck all the air right out of my chest. I was mesmerized, immobilized.  And then I heard myself utter:

This is so beautiful! God made this and God made me, so I must be beautiful too!

The tears rolled down my face and I felt the first healing of the wounds of years of self-denigration as I received the truth of Beauty with a capital B. It was an epiphany, a moment of insight. It was one moment to combat the constant bombardment of cultural youth worship.

“You are so beautiful" (2)

I remember standing in line at a drug store looking at the faces of models and celebrities on the magazines filled with make-up tips and the latest diet craze. I’d just come back from a mirror-free week of camping in Baja. I was still in travel-daze, that feeling of having been to another planet and back. I remember wondering, “what is this all about?” I also remember that a week later, it was all too familiar again.

I remember hearing a woman in the gym locker room say to her friend that, although she had smile-lines around her eyes, she felt lucky that she didn’t have that sagging jaw line that other women get. I remember the first time, 10 years later, that I looked in a mirror and realized I was one of those less fortunate ones. I remember when the first age spot showed up right near my left eye. I can’t fathom how many times I’ve used my fingers to pull my face taught in an attempt to see what I might look like without all those wrinkles and sags. I walk around feeling 25 and then catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and wonder “Aak! Who’s that?”

“...man you're old
 Getting old
 Old
 Getting old.” (3)

I say that I want to age gracefully. I used to think that meant aging slowly and remaining youthful in my appearance. You know, the kind where people are amazed to find out how old you really are because they think you are 10 years younger.

Now, I hold aging gracefully as being filled with grace.

Something has washed over me in recent days. Something about surrender. Something that snake is teaching me. (The second striped racer crossed my path this week) Snake is about transmuting poison. I want to transmute the poison of comparing myself with air-brushed women in media or women half my age into the golden grace of self-acceptance;  loving myself exactly as I am: curvy, sagging, with cellulite, healthy, strong and wrinkly, and ok, with a lot of blond highlights.

“Will you take me as I am, will you? Will you take me as I am” (4)

I am beginning to know my Beauty:

The Beauty we all are and can’t help but be

The Beauty that can’t be bought by dialing a phone number scrolling across the bottom of the screen during an  infomercial.

The Beauty of our stories of triumph and grief.

The Beauty of our scarred, courageous hearts and wild, winged souls.

The Beauty of being completely and wholly ourselves, loving and nurturing ourselves.

OK people…listen up!

No more holding ourselves as problems in search of the next solution.

No more berating and shaming.

Stop it!

Everything is our mirror; the soaring redwoods, the majestic mountains, the silvery moon, the deep brown earth, the billowy clouds. I want to be that kind of Beautiful. I want to stand tall, know my majesty, light up the darkest of nights, be a solid place to land, and dance across the sky on a windy day.

I want to hear myself say to me, “You are Beautiful” and receive the gift and grace of that in every cell of my being.

Something tells me I don’t need botox to do that and I think my thighs can walk the path of Beauty without liposuction.

Who will walk this path with me?

Suggestions for remembering your Beauty:

  • Find a tree, sit beneath it and listen. It will tell you of your Beauty.
  • When you look in the mirror, let your heart be your eyes.
  • Treat yourself as you would the most beautiful of orchids; nurture yourself completely.
  • Listen to your self-talk. Track it for a full day and then a full week. Write down the most common things you say to yourself that are unkind or mean. Change the way you speak to yourself. Give yourself the respect you deserve.
  • Do the “I love you” exercise I wrote about in an earlier posting.
  • Look for Beauty everywhere. It will show itself to you in the most surprising ways.
  • Listen to this song and imagine God/Source/Divine is singing it to you. Let it in. You are So Beautiful!

Songs referenced in this post:

(1) “Trinkets” (Emory Joseph) on Bonnie Raitt’s Souls Alike

(2) “You are So Beautiful” (Billy Preston & Bruce Fisher) sung by Joe Cocker

(3) “Old” on Paul Simon’s You’re the One

(4) “California” on Joni Mitchell’s Blue

 Copyright(c) November 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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I have a fun story to tell you. It’s about a prior post titled “I Love You.”

My friend “Stella” called (the name is changed to protect, not her, but her husband and you’ll soon know why).  She is one of the many people who have written or told me that they are doing the “I Love You” practice. She enthusiastically related to me how it’s going and then told me what happened for her husband. In case you are wondering, they’ve both given me permission to tell it the story.

Not long ago, Stella’s husband, (call him Max) was speaking/presenting at a conference. He invited his parents to attend, because it was an important event for him, and they did. During his talk, he invited his father to come to the stage and eulogize him. Max had seen someone eulogizing another while they were still alive and thought it was a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, Max’s father declined.

Later, Max told Stella he was disappointed. Why would his father not do this?

She asked him, “What did you want to hear from your father?”

Max replied “I’m proud of you son.”

So, Stella offered the “I love you” practice to Max. She told him to just cup his hands around his ears and say “I love you [your name]” and she went on to say that she was experiencing a nice effect from doing it every night before she goes to sleep.

“When are you doing that?” he asked.

She responded, “I do it when you’re not here.”

Stella brilliantly suggested to Max that he use the practice to say “I’m proud of you son.”

A day or two later, Max was journaling about his experience and mentioned to Stella that he thought it was a good technique.

“Have you been doing it?” she asked.

He said he’d slipped into the closet and told himself, “I’m proud of you Max” once in each ear,  (using his own name instead of son).

He wrote in his journal, “It’s brought a big smile to my face. Good technique.”

I laughed with delight when my friend related this story to me. It’s so simple. It’s so easy. All we have to do is tell ourselves what we long to hear. Saying it out loud boosts the power (see my prior posting for the reason why).

Hiding in the closet, saying it in private, that’s what I find so intriguing and I’m no less shy than anyone else. There’s something we find embarrassing about saying kind things to and about ourselves, and we are dying to hear those words. To me, that’s like being thirsty and waiting for someone to offer us a drink rather than just pouring ourselves a glass of water.

Morro Bay (Kathy Loh)

Morro Bay (Kathy Loh)

This is a form of sound healing. You can do it once or you can make it a daily practice. Like meditation or playing an instrument, you will likely see more profound, surprising and sustainable results if you make it a consistent practice. If you miss here and there, don’t fret.  If doing it before you go to sleep doesn’t work, try it when you are taking your daily shower. You may find that there are a number of different things you want to say to yourself. There’s no rule, except to let it be loving. You’ve had plenty of practice with negative self- criticism and derision.

This is meant to be loving and easy.

What I am suggesting is we all come “out of the closet” and let ourselves openly love our selves. We are original beings born from Divine source. What’s not to love? What’s not to forgive? Maybe that’s your practice, “I forgive you [your name here].” I’ve done that one many times with wonderful results.

What do you want to hear? Tell it to yourself today and every day, using your own name, until you embody it. Your family and friends will thank you and the world will likely be a better place for it.

In an upcoming post, I’ll write about I Love You…from a relationship perspective.

Thanks Max and Stella (wink wink). I’m proud of both of you and I love you both like crazy!

PS – A couple of notes about comments:

I try to respond to your comments here on the blog. I love hearing from you, so keep it coming.

Also, some people are seeing garbled characters when they go to comments. I’m not sure why this is happening, but I’m working on it. Thanks for your patience.

all words and images copyright(c) Kathy Loh, April 2009, all rights reserved

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By now you have likely heard of Susan Boyle, the “frumpy,” innocent Scottish woman with the angelic voice who stunned and enraptured the British talent show audience and judges, including Simon Cowell, with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserable. The YouTube video has been viewed over 19 million times as of this writing (3 million views occurred in the time it took me to write this blog entry).

Everyone’s talking and writing about it. Suzanne Falter-Barnes of Get Known Now writes of the lessons from a marketing platform perspective; how one can be found in this world when one has the courage to be visible and the talent to match.

The Herald printed an article by Collette Douglas Home, about Boyle from the perspective of what we value and what is truly recognition-worthy.

I have been exploring the enormity of the impact this video had on me personally. What am I feeling when I watch the video and cry? I’ve always cried when I’ve heard that song both in and out of context. Sitting next to my mother during a live performance, I cried for her lost dreams as well as my own, especially my fear of betraying my own dreams. Yet, I am familiar enough with my tears and my emotions to recognize this as something very deep and very cleansing.

A friend says she thinks it is Boyle’s triumph, the dream achieved, that brings on our tears. Yes and we have witnessed many people achieving their long sought-after dreams without this massive an impact. Is it because she is an underdog? Is it because we saw her as frumpy, odd, unsophisticated and made the assumption that talent can’t possibly live in someone like that and then got a huge awakening? Yes and…

As we continued our discussion, that same friend, who is a seasoned astrologer, proposed that it was the right time, right place, right person; a conjunction of events. This brought on an insight that resonated for me, one that explained what I was feeling in my body, mind, spirit and heart.

I’m suggesting that, through Boyle and by way of this video (edited exactly as it was), we are receiving a massive healing of our collective and individual shadow through direct transmission. What is direct transmission? Very simply, it is receiving learning, consciousness, and/or healing through vibration/energy rather than the usual channels. It is what people experience when they sit with a guru or other spiritual teacher.

Watching and listening to Susan Boyle sing so beautifully in the face of scorn and mockery, our unspoken shame for imperfection (of appearance, of success, etc) as mirrored in our material world, is healed. We are at one and the same time faced with being both the mocked and the mocker. We recognize ourselves as both the one who fears isolation and the one who isolates others.  Music, especially the human voice, is a perfect vehicle for healing. Boyle has the heart behind the voice to deliver.

After so many years of living with the tyranny of perfect looks and perfect talent perfectly packaged…

After so many years of looking at our faces and our bodies in the mirror and deriding ourselves for not being more beautiful and youthful, fighting our bodies at the gym and abusing them in the surgeon’s office…

After so many years of deifying youth and scorning age, assuming that, after a certain time in life, our dreams and thus, our usefulness, are no longer viable…

After so many years, by way of Susan Boyle and this video, we have received a healing message; a re-membering of our true soulful beauty through direct transmission. We are also forgiven for forgetting.

This healing is not about becoming famous. It is not about praising the spiritual and denying the material. It is about how we polarize the two and how out of balance humanity has become. We are spiritual and human, we live in a world that embraces both. This healing is as universal as it is individual. It is a transmission of forgiveness for all the ways we have judged ourselves and others. It is a healing of shame for our bodies, our lack of perfection, our lost years and all the times we lacked courage.  This healing is ours, if we are willing to receive it.

A transmission of healing is a gift and can only be received if we open to it. When our tears fall as we listen to Susan; when we smile and laugh for her victory, when our heart and chest swell with pride for her courage, we might ask ourselves: “What is the shadow within me that is being healed in this moment?” and receive that light and love. There is nothing more we need to do to avail ourselves of this amazing gift that has been given to all of us as it spreads around the globe at lightning speed.

Susan Boyle is both a channel of this transmission and a human being with a big voice and a big dream. It is a reminder that we are all channels of love, we are love. We all have a unique voice and a dream.  I don’t know about you, but when I go about my day today, I’m going to notice all the angel-humans around me. I’m going to remain curious and open to the question: What is the unique expression and gift offered by everyone who crosses my path today? What is their, and my, unique message to the world?  What will I open to receive and what will I have the courage to give?

Thank you, Susan Boyle!

all words and images copyright (C) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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The other day, I wrote about the nurturing voice within. I wrote about being amazed at how difficult it is for so many of us to locate that voice. Today, I will give you a nurturance practice.

(Kathy Loh)

Morro Bay (K Loh)

This is one of the simplest and yet, most dreaded homework assignments I give clients. I ask them to say, out loud, “I love you (insert your name here)” to themselves every night before going to bed. It’s a kind of sound healing. I have them say it out loud, because thoughts are registered in a different part of the brain when heard through the ear than when thought in the mind.  Perhaps more importantly, all sound entering the ear hits the vagus nerve, otherwise known as the wandering nerve, which touches nearly every organ in the body.

Sound is vibration and words are a powerful form of energy. Speaking these words out loud to yourself, allows their energy to connect with every organ in your body. When you use a loving, nurturing tone of voice, it is like having a sweet lullaby sung to you. So, when you practice this, let yourself open to receive the energy. Simply be with it in the moment and let your body take it in.  Your brain will be re-wiring at the same time.

You would think this is simple enough, but the resistance to it is high. There is a sense of embarrassment around it. Some people think it’s narcissistic or even immoral to love yourself.

Right….it’s much better to go on saying to yourself, “I’m stupid. What a dolt. Get your act together. You’re lazy. Blah blah blah.”

I had a tough time with this too, when I first started, but I persisted. I’ve been doing it for a little over two years, long enough to improvise on it now and then with things like, “I forgive you,” or “I love everything about you, great and small.” Here’s the power of it: the other week, I actually caught my inner conversation (after making a mistake) go like this, “I love you. I love you too.” (I guess there are two of me in there, but hey, at least they love each other!)

When you try this (and yes, kids, you can try this at home), you may find yourself feeling silly or shy. You may find that your inner critic has a heyday with it. It’s not important that you completely believe it right now. There’s at least one small part of you that does and a very big part of you that longs to know it’s true.

Simply practice.  Say, “I love you (your name here)” lovingly. Cup your hands around your ears and down to your mouth to bring the sound of your voice right up to them. Suspend judgment. Let it resonate.  Do it before you fall asleep. (And yes, there’s double meaning in that) Start tonight.

It doesn’t have to be hard with years of heavy lifting. You’ve tried that already anyway haven’t you? I know I have and it doesn’t work.

Why not let it be easy?

Keep it simple, beautiful one!

Words and photos copyright(c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

A note on comments: I love receiving your comments and all comments are moderated to deter spammers, so please be patient. It will get posted, generally within 24 hours.

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photo by Kathy Loh

Unfurl! (Kathy Loh)

Yesterday, I wrote about the nurturing voice within. I’m the first to admit, it’s not always an easy voice to find. I used to be much more familiar with “who do you think you are” “what do you think you are doing” and “you are so selfish.”

My journey of developing my internal nurturing voice began in a Lucid Living weekend seminar six years ago. In Lucid Living terminology, this voice is called the Nurturing Parent. I remember a particular exercise in which I was exploring my adolescent voice and, I might add, doing quite well with it. Once I gave her voice, she was rockin’ and rollin’ and using plenty of colorful language. (Oh yeah! She had plenty to say and if you are good, I may share it with you some day.)

In the exercise, I was being coached to address my adolescent from the perspective of my Nurturing Parent. I stumbled, mumbled and then stalled. I was stunned. I said, “I can’t find that voice. I don’t know what it sounds like.”

I’m not going to make up that I never heard it. My parents are good and loving people, so I’m sure I did. I just didn’t register it. It’s not what I internalized. Luckily the leaders and assistants in the course were well-equipped to model the Nurturing Parent voice for me. They helped me remember.

Six years later, I am partial to that Nurturing Parent voice. It is the one I most listen to now. I mean, let’s face it…it’s not a difficult choice.  Six years later, I am re-taking the entire Lucid Living series of seminars. I’m not the only one. The course is so powerful that half our class is doing what they call a “victory lap,” attending the series for the second or even third time around.  Deep work always bears revisiting.

I can’t recommend it enough, particularly for those of you who are ready to heal the wounded aspects of yourselves. If being a victim or martyr just doesn’t cut it for you anymore (and if it does…good luck with that!); if you want to become a powerful creator in your life, empower yourself and your relationships, then this work is for you. It is deeply and powerfully grounded in love – L O V E.

Bad news is: the series is booked for this year.

Good news is: you have time to save your hard-earned pennies to invest in yourself for the next opening.

Really good news is: you can still enroll in a 4-part tele-class series called

The Path of Wisdom

It starts April 14th  (that’s coming up!). It will give you an in-depth overview of the entire series.

For more information and to enroll click here: The Path of Wisdom (scroll down to the Teleclass section)

Skeptics Disclaimer: I’m not getting paid a dime to plug this. I really believe in it.

Love yourself and your whole world will become love. (you can quote me)

copyright (c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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