Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Take The High Road To Happiness

Permanent happiness comes only from an inner sense of certainty which cannot be shaken.  The mind must reach a place where it no longer remembers the past with any anxiety, or looks into the future with uncertainty.  If you believe in God <or the Universe or Source>, if you believe in your own soul, then no matter what situation confronts you, you can be happy.  ~Ernest Holmes

That excerpt is from this month’s Creative Thought magazine and in this moment, it’s a doozy of a lesson for me.  The reason why – instead of enjoying the day with my family, I was sitting in an airport on a Sunday morning heading back to my corporate office in Pittsburgh.  I did NOT want to go and as a result, I was NOT very happy. 

On top of that, I pay a membership for the Clear service which is supposed to help you avoid waiting in the TSA lines, however, that morning, they were closed.  Just one more thing to add to my growing list of why I had the right to be unhappy.

So what do I do with this?  How do I break free from this unhappiness? 

First, I knew I couldn't let this freak me out.  I have been on this journey of personal growth and discovery for quite a few years now so I knew I could figure something out.  What stood out in the moment is that I better change my vibration of unhappiness to something else or things will just spiral down from here.

Then I remembered that Abraham-Hicks has a great tool for raising my energy vibration – reach for the next highest thought.  

So here's how the internal conversation went:  Okay, so I’m unhappy, but really, everything has gone pretty smoothly and I have plenty of time before my flight even starts to board.

Well, that’s a little better.  I'm starting to feel that maybe I’m supposed to be taking this trip from some reason I can’t see yet.  Okay, even better, I at least felt complacent that maybe I am taking this trip for a purpose.

I do have a good book and this will give me some time to simply enjoy sitting down and reading.  So, that feels even better than complacent.  Now, I am starting to touch on a feeling getting closer to peace with the situation.

All right, I’ll take peace for now.  End of conversation.  And deep breath!

I may not have been ecstatic about things but at least I was no longer bordering on that miserable feeling I had earlier.

Then, I also felt inspired to simply sit and observe.  Funny, I was ready to dive into my book but this feeling of just sitting and starting to “people-watch” wouldn't leave me.  And, knowing that we are all Divine beings at our core, I decided to spend some time “Divine-watching”.   Hmmm, maybe I can coin a new term!

As I sat and simply observed how each of us is doing the best we can, I realized that getting my mind to that place of “permanent happiness” is a step-by-step process.   And to get to that inner sense of certainty means I will need to be consistent in reaching for spiritual practices that give the power back to me.

In the past, I might have stayed in my story of how horrible the trip was going to be and moaned about it to a number of people.  This time around, I took a step back and asked, “What lesson can I learn from this?”

What I heard was, “Sandy, it is the job of the Universe to put you in places that will guide you to your highest and best good.  Trust me, I’ve got this.”
Okay, that was beautiful!  The Universe keeps trying to teach me to surrender.  And, I’m getting a little bit better each time, remaining grounded enough to realize maybe there’s something bigger going on here that I can’t yet see.

Believing that the Universe wants my best, I’m moving closer to being happy even when I’m thrust into a situation that challenges my feelings.  Will more of these situations come up?  Absolutely! 

I can only stay in tune with my soul’s purpose and remember to lean into the certainty that I am free to be happy, no matter what.  Everything else will fall into place. 

So, how do YOU break free from thoughts of unhappiness when life brings a challenging situation?

Today, I set the intention to see every situation of unhappiness as a reminder that things are not always what they seem and the dreams for my life are unfolding perfectly.

"It is far easier to teach the Truth than it is to practice It.  The practice of Truth is personal 
to each, and in the long run no one can live our life for us.  To hold one's thought 
steadfastly to the constructive, to that which endures, and to the Truth, may not
 be easy in a rapidly changing world, but to the one who makes the attempt
 much is guaranteed."  
~Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

"I look with expectation to my next moment, which is fresh and new."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Radiant goodness, a powerful field of brilliance and a loving presence for healing - all contained in the one Infinite Spirit.  There is so much beauty in this Infinite Potential.  There is so much genius in this Divine Source, everywhere present in the here and now.  And there is a sacred essence of Creative Intelligence, unfolding perfectly.

I am one with this field of Intelligence, firm in the knowing I am whole, perfect and complete.  I am keenly aware of this Presence of Infinite Spirit expressing as me and I embrace the qualities of love and peace and health and beauty that are It's nature.  Always surrounded by the Divine Source of genius, I allow It to flow through me and I am new in each moment of the day.

Knowing it is Spirit's great pleasure to give me the kingdom, I welcome the creative urge that is calling me to transform my thoughts from those of unhappiness to those of joy and wonder and awe.  I hold onto these feelings as I make myself available for more good than I can imagine.  My dreams unfold beautifully in my life and I surrender to a Source that guides me to reap the benefits of those dreams.  I accept that things are not always what they seem, trusting that the Universe has my back. Any issues or challenges lead to discoveries of unlimited potential for greatness.  And I listen to the voice of Spirit that always tells me, "You are my beloved", claiming this as my truth.

I am so grateful for the presence of Spirit that supports my dreams for being all that I can be in this life.  I am thankful and celebrate my unique and special gifts and talents that are revealed in perfect, Divine timing.  And, I am filled with gratitude for the happiness that is at my core as I makes new choices from a place of peace. 

From this place of thanksgiving, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  It is a beautiful world and I see only possibilities for joy.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Yay, the weekend is here!

I'm so excited for this weekend.  Kevin and I will be part of a Global Drum Circle.  This is new for both of us and we're ready to unleash our creative side but I have no idea what to expect so there is a bit of the "will I look silly?" thinking.  Should be interesting and I am open to allowing the experience to be what it will be.  What are you up to?  Have fun and here are a few links from around the web...

5 Questions to catalyze big change

Balcony gardening for your apartment

3 Surprising ways chefs use carrots

A food writer's first fiction novel for those who like comfort food

How to stretch yourself to success

10 small space storage solutions you never knew

DIY on the mind this week?  More storage ideas that are cheap and easy

Fact: A ceiling can hold 3,000 pounds.  Comedian Laura Prangley vs. Ariel Yoga.  Who wins this one?

$1,000 dinner in a $100,000 gown.   And this city is my backyard!

We move animals.  I had no idea...

Food humor - and it's true, I admit :-)

16 Thoughts Prince George has had while on the Royal Tour

And we can't forget about happy demonstrated by penguins.

Have a good weekend!    "...whatever age you're at, life has its own rhythm.  My goal is to stay in step and not take one beat of it for granted."  ~Oprah Winfrey

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Wouldn't Be At All Surprised If I Get What I Want!

"I promise forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future."   As I go through the motions of examining my beliefs and working on changing them to new beliefs, the Optimist's Creed by Christian D. Larson, and this statement, jumped out at me.

It's been a great exercise for me to release old drama, forgive myself for past mistakes and make a decision to move forward.  Then, out of the blue, an old issue that I thought I had truly let go of comes back up to the surface.

What the heck!  I was so confident that I had forgiven myself and shelved thoughts of being a failure.

I heard someone mention recently that it may be that I have not yet learned the lesson I was supposed to receive working through the issue.  It might also be that my subconscious is not ready to make a big leap to what I have been affirming.

<sigh>  That sounds like a valid point.  I realize that I can't just simply say, "I don't believe this about myself anymore", and expect it to be gone.   But, when do I finally just let "stuff" go?

For example, I have been affirming that I am effectively self-employed, and I thought I had forgiven myself for a past failed business.  Yet, that memory of failure keeps nagging and my inner critic tells me that I already screwed it up once - what makes me think I will be successful the next time?

Thankfully, I became aware of another tool to use when working on transforming my beliefs.  It was in the April issue of Science of Mind magazine.  The tool was to specifically break down limited thinking.

Here it is.  If there is something highly unlikely that you would like to happen in your life, say "I would not be at all surprised if.... and then add whatever it is you are desiring to create.  In my case, it would be, "I would not be at all surprised if I became effectively self-employed within the next two months." (thanks to Bob Luckin for sharing this).

What a beautiful way to work through these mental blocks that I hang on to.  And it's wonderful trick to reframe beliefs that are keeping me from what I wish to create in my life.

I don't yet understand how these tools seem to work - but they do!  If nothing else, it raises my energy level from feeling down on myself as a failure to seeing potential for the future.  And, I'm sure that's the premise of the Optimist's Creed - to keep our mental attitude aiming for the highest and best future possible for us.

The Creed ends with "to live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me."  And there might be my lesson - forget the mistakes of the past and do the best that you can with what you have in this moment.

A magical life is waiting for each of us.  We just need to press on with our journey.

So, what are some tools that have worked for YOU to release past mistakes?  And what motivates YOU toward greater success in the future?

Today, I set the intention to remember that I am always taken care of by a Divine Source, releasing past mistakes and celebrating my achievements as they unfold.  

"If our experiences are the result of our thoughts, then the future, if it is going to be 
given birth to in the present, will be largely the lengthened shadow of the content of 
our minds, of our feelings of faith or fear.  It is no wonder that the future so seldom
 becomes better than the past, and often worse as pessimism takes the place of optimism. 
 We have to learn to speak an affirmative language."  

"Human beings are already gods, so why take on the consciousness and behavior
 of robotic, soulless slaves and machines?  Trust your Self, not the material mind;
 be fearless and go forth with enthusiasm and kindness."  

Affirmative Prayer:
As the trees sway in the wind and the flowers open up to receive the morning dew, there is the feeling of a Power of Good rooted firmly in this moment.  It is peace and harmony, compassion and love and this Power is never wavering but bends easily in the breeze to support and sustain all that is.

Right here, right now, this Power of Good moves through me and I accept that I am a Divine expression of Infinite Intelligence.  That is the truth of my being - perfect, whole and complete - as I claim my Oneness with the Universe, my Oneness with Spirit, my Oneness with Source.  

Knowing there is something great within me, I live my life with the faith that I am always provided for.  And as my greatness emerges a little more each day, I welcome the success that is revealed in my life.  My gifts and talents are brought to light and Divine guidance shows me the next steps for sharing my unique and beautiful abilities.  I let go of any self-imposed thoughts of lack or limitation and instead, I act like the enlightened, Spiritual being that I am.  Everything I need is in my hands right now and I simply need to reach out and live my purpose, believing that I am here for a magical life filled with joy and with fun!

Smiling at that thought, I am thankful for the greatness that is revealed as I do the best I can with what I know.  I am filled with deep gratitude for a Source of love that makes my decisions easy and my choices clear.   And I give thanks for my achievements each day as I stretch past the familiar and step into the new adventures and opportunities for expansion.

Breathing into that space of gratitude, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, into the One Mind, knowing it is already done.  I receive it right now!  And I let it be so.  And so it is!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Do You Feel Entitled To Abundance?

Should I invest in purchasing something brand new or just DIY?  This is the question that is throwing some chaos into my thinking this week.

I can remember a time when that would have been an easy answer.  I would have bought the new item without hesitation.

But - as I have been dismantling old patterns of belief and rebuilding new thoughts around money, I now stop before buying anything and consider my spending habits.  That's especially true ever since I have been living within the budget I set about a year ago.

The chaos comes as I try to balance up-leveling my consciousness around money with taking responsibility for my life, including my finances, and making good choices.  One thing is true - I am not here in this life to manage pain; I am here to LIVE life fully.

In Eric Butterworth's book, Spiritual Economics, he says, "Claim your entitlement.  I am a child of the Universe, richly endowed with the fullness of All-Good.  A child of the Universe! Can you get that into your consciousness?  Not just the offspring of your parents or a product of the times, but a child of the Universe.  You are an expression of the Infinite creative flow, entitled to as constant support as the lilies of the field."

It that's true, am I not entitled to purchase the shiny, new object?  With that thought came the curve-ball feeling - "Who am I to be entitled to get what I want?"

And there it is -  my indwelling pattern of thought.  More than that, I have to believe it's also a thought held in the consciousness of our society.  Look at all the negative talk that happened around the Millennial generation - the "Generation Me".

I researched the traits given to describe the Millennials - confident, tolerant and <ick> narcissistic.  There we go again - another trigger word for me that brings up feelings and judgements of those who focus on themselves.

Clearly, there is dismantling and rebuilding work for me around the word "entitlement".  And it's likely double the work, knowing the race thought contained in that word means I will be judged poorly if I throw that belief out for public scrutiny.  

"Look at how narcissistic she is, acting as if the world revolves around her and she's entitled to having the best of everything."

THERE is the judgement that needs to be dissolved.  And, not just for me.  Because who are we NOT to be entitled to a life of prosperity?  To a life of affluence and opulence?  Why do we live from a place of a scarcity mindset?

Don't get me wrong - gratitude and generosity and humility are also important traits but self-love and our worthiness needs to be honored.  Sometimes, it takes a strong word like entitlement - one that has a lot of charge around it - to really wake us up to our Divine self.

So, I love when Butterworth writes we should "claim <our> inheritance of abundance.  You are entitled to the support of God-substance in everything to which you give your mind or hands.  Let go of the old belief in the "grace" of poverty and the subconscious sense of guilt in having things, along with feelings of unworthiness - attitudes that have such a detrimental influence upon human consciousness."

For me, THAT is the art of stepping into who we are meant to be.  To embrace and allow the FACT that I am entitled to the richness of ALL that is in the Universe.

So, what feelings and thoughts come up for YOU when you hear the word "entitlement"?

Today, I set the intention to truly get that I am entitled to the full support of the Universe, allowing the amazing things in my life to unfold as a part of the natural Divine process.

"Make a deeply rooted commitment that you will practice the Presence
 of God-substance, ever reminding yourself that you are in the Presence
 of an infinite, eternal substance from which all things proceed.  Resolve that 
you will live and think and work as if you really believed that the whole 
Universe of creativity and substance were present in every project of your work 
and every transaction of your investments as your never-failing resource.  
Practice the presence of God-substance with diligence and persistence, 
and you will begin to realize prosperity."  

"My good is my God, my God is my good."  

Affirmative Prayer:
As the light shines through the window each morning, there is a Presence of Grace that is felt within as life is renewed and refreshed with the start of each day.  This Grace is limitless, lifting ALL that is, higher and higher toward a Source of love that is unconditional.

Turning toward this light, there is an awareness that I am a unique, individualized expression of this Source, of Spirit.  I live and move and have my being in this Grace and Love and Beauty that is always available, guiding and supporting every aspect of my being.  It is all inside of me, in this moment now and the next moment and the next.

With this new day, I declare a greater expression of Spirit is taking place in my life.  I release any feelings of fear and with each step, I hold the vision of a life well-lived.  I accept the greater abundance and increasing prosperity which is the All-Goodness of Spirit as mine.  I only have to remain in the awareness that it is Spirit's good pleasure to give me the kingdom.  Embracing this knowing, I welcome the Divine gifts of opulence and wealth and affluence which have already been given.

I am so grateful for Divine guidance that shows me each day how much I am loved.  I am thankful for the success that spreads through every area of my life and out beyond, to touch other's lives too.  And I am filled with gratitude that there is so much grace and love and joy in every moment.

As good and more good is being revealed this very minute, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing answered prayer is already here.  How good life is!  And I let it be so.  And so it is!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Weekend Is Here

I love the weekends!  My weekend started yesterday with a round of golf with my husband.  The weather in Northern California is amazing and I'm always grateful that I live here.  What are you up to this weekend?  I'm also excited that we're having a Food Truck Saturday Extravaganza in our neighborhood tomorrow.  Such a fun get together with a great community of people - and delicious food.  Enjoy the weekend and here are a few fun posts from around the web...

A book for the weekend if you choose to lie low....

6 places to visit in Japantown, S.F.

To have more happiness eat peas and grapes...

How funny is Bill Cosby?

A wonderful artist from Coachella.

5 myths about caffeine, busted.  Yes!

17 pets who think they're people.

These painted pop culture eggs are insane!

Big Hole Golf: Clown round or cool idea?

45 ways to avoid using the word "very".

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Powerful Behavior That Could Be A Game-Changer

Change is a constant part of life.  I don't think anyone would disagree with that statement.  And - there are some who embrace change and there are some who will run far, far away from change.

It's funny but I really thought that the more I grew in my spiritual practice, the more things in my life would change.  Instead, what I've seen is that the changes I've been experiencing have been small.  In fact, over the past year, I've had very little change.

Is it that my spiritual foundation is so strong now that I simply move through the changes and barely notice them?  I find that hard to believe.

I can SEE fabulous opportunities for change.  Who wouldn't like more money in their bank account or to lose a little more weight or to have a better relationship with their family.

And it's NOT that I'm unhappy that I haven't been inundated with changes.  But I believe that change is a great opportunity to explore thoughts and feelings that I often didn't even realize I had.  It's a way to meet a new part of myself that had been under wraps.   It creates a space for some spring cleaning for my soul.

So has my personal growth stalled?  If there's no change, how am I supposed to pull out my creative ways of dealing with it?  (Wow, I think I'm coming full circle on my thoughts from a few weeks ago about hitting a ceiling in my spiritual growth.)

What I can FEEL is that there is some change bubbling up from within me.  For me, that feeling reminds me to deepen my connection to the Divine.  Maybe this time of little change is a nudge to keep building on that connection, to really fall in love with Spirit.

There was a song playing on the radio recently and it's a more "Christian" type of song but it beautifully stated what I'm coming to believe about my relationship with the Universe.

"it's gotta be/ more like falling in love/ 
than something to believe in/ 
more like losing my heart/ 
than giving my allegiance"

Now there is a thought to contemplate  - falling in love with the Divine.  

Dr. Patrick Cameron said recently that "Gratitude is one of the key spiritual practices for transformation, because gratitude shifts us into a greater alignment with is a pathway to greater love."  And, I have to admit that, while I am certainly grateful for things occasionally, I've been hit or miss including this as part of my regular practice.

So, as I seek to take my relationship with Spirit even deeper, gratitude will be essential.  As part of the daily intention and affirmation practice I have been working on, I'm adding a gratitude list as a way to finish it off.  Six things to be grateful for every day and, as much as possible, they have to be different from the day before.

Demonstrating gratitude will bring more things into our lives to be grateful for.

Gratitude is a powerful behavior that could be a game-changer in my life.  So, as a good friend of mine likes to tell me, I say BRING IT ON!  Oh, and don't forget to breathe....

What are some things YOU are grateful for?  Do you have a gratitude practice?

Today, I set my intention to transform my life through the practice of gratitude, knowing I will move through any changes with ease and with grace and uncover abundance in everything as a result.

"And because all things have contributed to your advancement, 
you should include all things in your gratitude." 

"Your lamp was lit from another lamp.  
All God wants is your gratitude for that.  

Affirmative Prayer:
Hearing the birds sing and the breeze gently move through the wind chimes, there is a recognition of Oneness with all of creation.  And in this Oneness, there is Creative Intelligence that reveals beauty, uncovers wisdom and transforms dreams into reality.

This Creative Intelligence flows through me, seeking to express in new and greater ways as me.  Leaning into this knowledge, I allow joy to surround me and courage to move my feet, excited for the good that flows from embracing this truth.

As I am inspired to step up my practice of gratitude, I accept that abundance and prosperity in all areas of my life will unfold in amazing ways.  Relationships that are loving and kind are revealed as I express gratitude for my current relationships.  And I celebrate my increasing good health as I say Thank You for my current ability to walk and run and dance with a strong heart and lungs filled with life-giving oxygen.  I affirm that I am a better person as I express gratitude to others and gladly help them with a gracious attitude of service.  I love being in love with Life!

I am so grateful for this feeling of excitement that is expressed as my ever-increasing abundance and prosperity are realized.    And I am thankful for the big and the small opportunities that allow me to practice the art of gratitude in my life.  I am filled with gratitude for the blessings that are showered upon me as I stay in this feeling place of thankfulness.

Reveling in the awareness that my life is good, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I am fully available to what is next.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why You Must Keep Building Your Spiritual Consciousness

"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."  - Confucius.  It's so true!  As I follow the path to re-evaluate what my passions are, it is giving me an opportunity to connect to what I would LOVE to do for my career.  I yearn for something that is meaningful and inspiring.

So, it's been about a week since I started writing my intentions and affirmations down - four different statements that I write down six times.  Then, I release them to the Universe and go about my day.

At the same time, I realize that part of the power of manifestation is my consciousness.  Now that I am taking small steps in my soul's journey, knowing there is something more that will unfold, I hold it in my conscious thought that my perfect and right career will get my attention.

Whatever it is that I am seeking, I have faith that it is also seeking me.

The minute I wrote those words, Cheryl Richardson's voice pops into my head (I love to listen to Hay House Radio as I contemplate and write what is on my heart).   She is recommending her online event, Fueling the Entrepreneurial Spirit, to a caller.  Shen then continues by giving the caller an affirmation - I am effectively self-employed.

Wait - that's MY affirmation!  Okay, the Universe now has my attention...

Needless to say, I went to the link Cheryl read off and signed up for the online event.  Even better - it's On Demand so I have no excuse NOT to listen to the event (sorry, Ego, no resisting this one.)

As I make the choice every day to keep moving forward in my actions - to keep writing, to keep learning, to keep doing something creative - I am building a life that will allow my dream job to be realized.

My intentions and affirmations help keep my vision honed.  And, my conscious thought that my highest and best career is also seeking me is guiding the Universe to provide messages like "Here is this event, Sandy, sign up now."

In The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer says, "Being aligned with the Universal field means having faith that your Creator knows why you're here, even if you don't.  It means surrendering the little mind to the big mind, and remembering that your purpose will be revealed in the same way that you were revealed.  Purpose, too, is birthed from creativeness, kindness, love, and receptivity to an endlessly abundant world.  Keep this connection pure and you'll be guided in all of your actions."

I realize that there may be challenges and yet, in the middle of leaping into this journey I am on, I also choose to believe the Universe is working on my behalf.  So, we'll see where it goes from here!

What guidance have YOU received from the Universe today?  And are you following your intuition?

Today, I set the intention to keep my thoughts aligned with my intentions and affirmations, sitting in expectancy of my good and remembering that my true nature is wholeness and unconditional love.

"Your purpose is between you and your Source, and the closer you get to what
 that field of intention looks and acts like, the more you'll know that you're being
 purposefully guided.  You might have zero measurable aptitudes and skills in a 
given area, yet feel inwardly drawn to doing it.  Forget the aptitude-test results, 
forget the absence of skills or know-how, and most important, ignore the opinions
 of others and listen to your heart."  

"Expect to have hope rekindled.  Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous
 ways.  The dry seasons in life do not last.  The spring rains will come again."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Taking a breathe and going within, at the core of life, there is an essence of Spirit, of Source, of Divine Love.  It is a vibrant, shimmering beacon of hope filled with joy, with peace, with harmony and with grace.  And just as a lighthouse guides ships at sea, so does this Infinite Essence guide all that is, never wavering in the strength and power that it provides unconditionally each and every day.

Embracing my Oneness with this Essence, there is an absolute certainty that the strength and the power of Divine Wisdom and Infinite Intelligence is my true nature.  And at my core, I feel the presence that is wholeness, that is perfection, and I am complete just as I am.  All of Life flows around and through and as me, expressing in beautiful, magnificent ways.

Every part of my being accepts this truth of my Oneness with Source.  And I affirm that in my own unique way, I am stepping into the life I am being called to live.  As I hold the conscious thoughts of living a meaningful and inspiring life, the Universe carries me to an even higher place of my unfolding.  I welcome the transformation that occurs as I accept this calling of living my purpose.  And I affirm that opportunities and success are right where I am now, lifting me to greater fulfillment in my career, in the work that I am here to do.  

I am so grateful for the blessings that are revealed as I trust that the Universe is building me up for something even better than I imagined in my career.  And I am thankful for the love that surrounds me as I take one step at a time toward my dreams.   I am filled with a deep gratitude for the absolute knowing of answered prayer.

Rejoicing in this truth, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  My steps forward are clear and certain.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

It's The Weekend!

Yep, that's my dog, Cody - always ready for someone to scratch his tummy.

The weather in California is definitely feeling like Spring is here.  I'm excited to go wine tasting with friends on Saturday.  And Sunday will be filled with time outside hiking or biking or doing whatever calls to my heart.  I hope you have a good weekend too!  Here are some things from around the web that made me smile and and made me think...

A song that is my favorite way to start the day.

Looking forward to some down time with Astonish Me.

And nibbling on this yummy snack.

How a bout of shyness can teach us about success.

Or how embracing failure can help us deal with anxious thoughts.

Freshen up your room with gray.

This bedroom looks so calming.

Watch a cute video, Help a dog in need.

The Scientific 7-minute workout.

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Why You Should Treat Yourself As Someone You Love

"But it is not enough simply to clear the debris of the past.  We must plant what we love in the garden of our life.  As the Tao Te Ching insists, our center will heal us.  When we attend to what is loving and beautiful, we are brought forward into our most exquisite manifestation."  In the book, How, Then, Shall We Live?, Wayne Muller makes that beautiful statement.

I have been staying the course in my personal development work to clear out things that I no longer absolutely love to do in order to be able to judge what I do love and spend more time doing them.  And, I know that in staying the course and taking one step at a time, I am discovering more about what makes me happy.

Those things, then, that make me happy are not only what I should plant in my garden of life, but those are the things I should do A LOT.  For example, knowing that I love music, where is it that I can spend A LOT of my time around music?

As I make those kind of choices, I am realizing how empowering it makes me feel.  I get excited and a little scared at the same time.   That's when it hit home - this is how I felt when I first started dating someone new.

So, maybe I should go out on a date with....myself?

There is a story in the Wayne Muller book that is a beautiful example of treating OURSELVES as someone we love.  The woman in the story, Elizabeth, loved being a mother above all else.  One day, her younger son suffered a traumatic injury resulting in the loss of three fingers and a mangled hand.

Elizabeth felt responsible as there was nothing she could do to "make him whole again".  Recognizing that there were things with her children that were out of her control, the part of her that she loved most - being a mother - started dying and she became powerless.

What also became clear was that it was time for Elizabeth to start something new.  As her children were growing and evolving, so was she.   And, as her children were discovering what they loved, she was free to love herself again.

Treating herself as someone whom she was falling in love with again, she turned to meditation.  Not just 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day.  She jumped into meditation A LOT - a 10-day retreat.

From there, a meditation practice turned into a mediation business which in turn fueled a passion to help others.  That passion ultimately became the Empty Bowls project which serves the poor and hungry in local area communities.

When I read Elizabeth's story, it reminded me that when I love myself first, letting go of the labels of mother, wife, daughter, employee...the Universe celebrates.

It's not that I don't love being a mother or a wife but - MY life has meaning BEYOND that.  And if I postpone what feeds my garden, my garden can wither as the seasons change.

My journey from this point, then, is to treat myself as someone I am in love with.  I will not postpone what has heart and meaning for me.  Instead, I will spend A LOT of time with what nourishes me.

What would you like to spend A LOT of time doing?  What makes you happy?

Today, I set the intention to treat myself as someone I love dearly, spending A LOT of time doing activities that have heart and meaning for me.

"All that we are arises with our thoughts.  Speak or act with a pure mind or heart
 and happiness will follow you as your shadow, unshakable."  

"Whatever you wish to marry, go absorb yourself in that beloved,
 assume its shape and qualities.  If you wish for the light, prepare yourself 
to receive it; if you wish to be far from God, nourish your egoism and drive yourself away. 
 If you wish to find a way out of this ruined prison, don't turn your head away from the Beloved,
 but bow in worship and draw near."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Breathing in and breathing out, there is a realization of a Creative Source that is present in each moment.  And as the night falls and the stars light up the sky, there is a deep knowing of a Power that is filled with the energy of love and of life.

This energy, this Creative Source, is individualized in me and is seeking an outlet through me.  I step into the embrace of the One, letting everything that is the opposite of peace, of passion, of purpose, fall away and I dwell in the beauty of the Now.

Letting go of any resistance, I feel an amazing grace swell from within as my heart overflows with love.   Affirming my worthiness to receive, I welcome the laughter and the joy that bubbles out from me as I spend time with myself.  The activities I choose make me so happy and I welcome the freedom I have to spend A LOT of time enjoying those activities.  Expressing the Divine Source that is seeking to emerge through me, I am nourished and fulfilled as I follow my heart in my daily choices.  Mundane details are no longer important as I claim the passion and the purpose that is my Divine birthright.  I shine from within as I live my purpose and everyone I meet is touched in beautiful ways that remind them the Universe is working for everyone's highest good.  We simply need to say Yes and let life unfold perfectly.

I am so grateful for the grace of Spirit within me that tells me every day how deserving I am of self-love.  And I give great thanks for my Divine talents and abilities that make me unique and that emerge in amazing ways.  I am filled with gratitude for the Creative Source that magnifies my joy and happiness as I dwell in the areas of life that have great meaning for me.

From this place of gratitude, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I am now a magnet for opportunity and for success.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The #1 Way To Tap Into Infinite Potentiality

A lot of my focus lately has been on setting intentions and visualizing the life I want.  And, not just life in general but, specifically, the career that I desire.  Some days, though, it seems like I'm doing all the right things and nothing is showing up.

This is a big part of my spiritual practice and when I don't see the evidence, I start to get discouraged. Because of this, I sat for a while and asked the Universe, "How can I see this differently?"  Then I just became open to whatever showed up next.

As thoughts and feelings percolated, I noticed if any seemed fear-based and just let those pass through.  And some things came up that were definitely driven by my ego.  But - what also popped into my view was a book I had purchased a few months ago - Directing Your Destiny; How to Become the Writer, Producer, and Director of Your Dreams by Jennifer Grace.

I had listened to Jennifer's show on Hay House radio a few times and liked what she had to say so I ordered her book.  Of course, when it arrived, I promptly put it on my shelf, thinking I would get to it at some point.

Well, today was the day.

Eventually, what was triggered as I worked through her exercises was this:  repetition.  Jennifer recommended writing out six intentions as well as using positive affirmations to avoid getting sucked into the negative monkey-mind chatter.  Then, keep repeating these until you see them manifesting in your life.

For me, when I was using intentions and affirmations more successfully, I would write them down consistently, each one six times, at the start of my day.  After 30 days, sometimes sooner, I would see results.

I had moved away from repeating my mantras on a regular basis and it was starting to show.

So, starting today, it's back to the basics.  I bought a new journal and listed my intentions and affirmations.  I went one step further and used the Screenwriting Your Future-Life script as well.  I've set a timer on my phone to go off as a reminder to take just 15 minutes each day to keep repeating this process.

I know that everything arrives in the Universe's time, not mine, but in using repetition, I believe I'm creating a deeper environment for my sub-conscious to SUPPORT my journey, not SABOTAGE it.  And, when I do that, I see results much more quickly.  And - when I see the evidence, my spiritual practice becomes that much stronger.

So, how are you using intentions and affirmations?

Today, I set the intention to work more consistently at my spiritual practice, having faith that I will see results as I look for the evidence.

"Beyond anything else that we may actually do in our lives, the belief's that precede 
our actions, are the foundation of all that we cherish, dream, become, and accomplish."  

"Faith is the ability to raise consciousness to a place beyond past experience
 and conditions to an awareness of being one with the All, to move beyond
 the chains of the past to the infinite potentiality of the Universe itself."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Surrendering to the flow of the Universe, there is a Divine Presence that guides and supports and sustains.  This Presence is one of love, of beauty, of joy and of grace.  It is clarity in all situations and peace in all circumstances.

Moving through my day, I step into the dance of life with this Divine Presence.  I am in perfect sync with the music of a Spirit that surrounds me and supports me in my journey.  And, I am filled with Infinite Intelligence that reminds me I am never separate from my Source of good.

Focusing on this sacred moment, I am grounded in the here and now.  I am present for every moment of Life that says I can have it all.  I celebrate a Source that directs me in harmonious ways as I am consistent in my daily spiritual practices.  As I repeat my mantras and affirmations and intentions, I see evidence of great things manifesting as effortlessly as a single breathe in and out.  As I visualize the life I desire, I welcome Spirit expressing as me in perfect, amazing ways.  I release anything my negative inner critic might tell me and instead, I claim the awesome-ness of who I am - a spiritual being having a human incarnation.  Confidently, I embrace this wisdom, that the Universe is everywhere present supporting me to rise up and to transform.

Remaining in my joy, I am filled with deep gratitude for the knowing that as I believe, I also receive.  I am so thankful for the life I am co-creating with Spirit and the wonderful ways things show up to support me.  And I am grateful for the expansion of my journey here at this time that brings me such fulfillment each and every day.

Letting the feelings of contentment with Life expand, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  My dreams are fulfilled now.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Little Wisdom And A Little Joy For Saturday

The weekend is here!  I'm off for my usual run and then heading to the grocery store to stock back up on whole, "clean" foods.  It's been fun to try new things but some have just been awful too (if I'm being honest).  I hope you choose happiness this weekend.  Here are a few posts that gave me a little wisdom and a little joy from around the web...

Make Peace With Pop: Six Songs That Prove Pop Gets Along With Everyone

A book with a new take on the civil rights movement.

Need a reason to smile?  43 of the happiest little kids in the whole wide world.

Why this woman hated the term soulmate (until yesterday).

And more on relationships: How much do partners need to share?

All natural remedies to take the edge off your anxiety.

So true it made me smile.

The most important two minutes of your life.

And, if you're wondering who might take over David Letterman's job...

Enjoy your weekend!  And let me know if you had a favorite little pearl of wisdom that you've gleaned recently.

Friday, April 4, 2014

How The Bad That Happens Can Reveal Something Good

"It is enough to know that our good is with us today, that tomorrow this same good can be multiplied, and so on forever."  That statement from Ernest Holmes always gives me hope.  And, there are days that I feel exceedingly blessed and believe I can charm my way past any obstacle or obstruction.  After all, I live in a Universe where I am a magnificent being, worthy of living an extraordinary life of health, prosperity, abundance and happiness.

Why is it then, when I am moving through my life experiencing everything going so well and I'm in the groove of beautiful possibilities, do I wonder when the other shoe is going to drop.  Why can't life just be good and easy and effortless all of the time?

On Wednesday, the news was filled with talk about the shooting at Fort Hood.  I felt so heart-sick for the soldiers and the families AND I felt equally as bad for the shooter.  What had driven the shooter to become so desolate and distraught he chose to end his life and take others with them?

Here is what I am learning to know.

What we label as bad events will happen.  People will get shot, people will die in car accidents, people will lose their lives in mudslides.  These situations jar us out of our daily routine and, for me, I take it as an opportunity for something new to be revealed.

I am often in awe at the absolute Divine order of the Universe.  I say that because what I know what will emerge from this tragedy will be something that needed to occur so that a bigger picture can be uncovered.

Maybe this means someone in that event will be transformed in a positive way by the situation.

Maybe it means someone will benefit in a way that could not have happened unless events unfolded as they did.

It is a time to lean into my faith - for us all to lean into our faith - that the Universe knows what Its doing.   I trust that when I look back in retrospect at what happened at Fort Hood, I will see a reminder that good exists in every situation.   I will choose to remember that the Universe was working on someone's behalf that I could not see at the time.

And - I will see that it's okay for me - and for each of us - to accept our magnificence.  If life were easy all of the time, we would never have the chance to be and do more in this lifetime.  Perhaps we are magnificent BECAUSE of these events we label "bad".

Let me know.  Are we able to accept our magnificence, in spite of these events?

Today, I set the intention to recognize there is Divine Order in life events, even when the events appear unjust or unkind, trusting that what transpires is for the good of everyone.

"Peace is a universal principle by which we all must learn to live.  Whatever the situation
 in which we find ourselves, we can find the answer through peace, a peace-filled mind
 and a peaceful heart.  Peace is the most advantageous learning environment.  In it, 
we can hear ourselves think and feel what is going on within the universe of our being."  

"The great central fact in human life, in your life and in mine, is the coming into
 a conscious, vital realization of our oneness with this Infinite Life, and the opening
 of ourselves fully to this divine flow." 

Affirmative Prayer:
In the stillness and silence of this very moment, there is an Infinite Intelligence and Divine Wisdom that touches the soul.  This Intelligence and Wisdom is an all-encompassing Power that lights the path of the soul's journey to knowing Itself.  And in knowing Itself, It reveals the peace and the love and the joy that are available to all who seek.

Stepping into this journey of the soul, Spirit's nature of absolute grace is also my nature.  With a lightness of being, I embrace the Divine guidance that surrounds me and moves through me.  With each and every breath, I take in the blessings that are showered on me as I go forward in my journey, one step at a time.  And with each step, I recognize I am never separate from the all-good of the Universe.

Welcoming the magnificence that is seeking to express as me, I let go of the outcome and focus on thoughts of possibility.  I trust that all is in Divine Order in my life and there is only this present moment to experience to its fullest.  And in a single moment, there is much that can happen, knowing that Source Energy is directing my soul to share my unique gifts and talents.  I release any thoughts of fear that are triggered by events that seem horrific and unfathomable.  Instead, I choose thoughts of peace and love, affirming that every event is for a higher purpose that cannot always be seen by my human eyes.  As my soul taps into my heart, there is a revealing of possibilities of a greater good in any life event that I witness.  And I am reminded of the many happy endings that exist as part of this human experience.

With the joy of being alive, I am so thankful for each and every Divinely guided experience.  I am filled with deep, deep gratitude that my life is blessed in beautiful ways.  And I am grateful for the magnificence of each moment that comes from a life well-lived in every way possible.

Trusting in the perfection of my journey, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I need do nothing more but be present for the unfolding of life.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More Is Possible So Get Used To Starting Again

We live in a Universe of infinite possibility.  You hear that quite a bit if you hang out in any New Thought community for a while or listen to shows like Oprah's Super Soul Sunday.  For me, that means just because I think I've reached the pinnacle of something, does not mean that I have maxed out.  There is ALWAYS more that is possible.

I really believe this comes up for me now because I am reaching the culmination of my Practitioner studies.  I've finished my last official class and submitted my application.  I still have to take a written and oral exam but I feel pretty good that, as long as I work with my study group, there will be no major hiccups.

So I'm wondering, where do I go from here?  Have I hit a ceiling in my spiritual growth studies?  That might seem silly since there are so many opportunities to learn, whether its Oprah's show or listening to Hay House Radio or live streaming people like Michael Bernard Beckwith.

And I don't believe I'm anywhere near the mystic abilities of someone like Eckhart Tolle or Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra.  All the same, that feeling is there and exists within me.

What comes to mind is, maybe, this is part of the dance between the human side of me and the Divine side of me.  From all that I have learned, I know that my soul chose to be here at this time - to do THIS dance at THIS time.  My soul compels me to get up each morning and take action during my day.

Maybe I've become so wrapped up on my spiritual path that I'm neglecting what's happening in the world.  Maybe that is why I feel like I've hit a ceiling.

The Universe is trying to tell me that it might be time for a reset.  Yep, another growth opportunity.

Rather than look at the human and the Divine as opposites, I need to learn how I can integrate them into something that works for me.  How do I take everything that I have learned over the past two years and incorporate them into the ongoing journey of my life?

Well - on the human side, I know I need to take action.  And I'm doing that by looking at what I love and moving in that direction.  I also know I have to shed some baggage and let go of things that I no longer love doing.  Both of those I wrote about recently and I'm making some good progress.

Now that I'm on my way to becoming a clean slate and starting from scratch, my Divine side tells me to go back to my imagination once again and make time to dream.  Recognizing that the Universe is unlimited, I can start to picture bigger ideas for my life.

And, I can start to mold my thoughts, consciously grooming them so that I create not only the things I love to do as the human side of me, but blend them with the Divine side that tells me I am filled with a power and a force that can reach anywhere and experience anything.

So -  I continue with the dance, surrendering to the music of the Universe and honoring my human side with every conscious thought I have.

What are some possibilities for your life?  And what are you choosing to create for yourself today?

Today I set the intention that each morning I wake up and claim my opportunity to create a life of amazing possibilities, allowing the dance between the physical and the Divine to work together in magical ways.

"Paradoxically, your soul thrives on chaos because it recognizes the hand of 
the divine at work in upheavals that push you toward transformation."  

"One of the great difficulties in the new order of thought is that we are 
likely to indulge in too much theory and too little practice.  As a matter of fact, 
we only know as much as we can prove by actual demonstration."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly, there is the recognition in that breathe of an Infinite Intelligence, an Infinite Wisdom, an Infinite Power.  It is an electric force of beauty, of joy, of happiness, of peace and It is filled with grace in every moment of the day.

Relaxing into this Divine Force, I surrender to this moment, allowing the full expression of Spirit, of Source, of God, to flow through and around and as me.  I am expressing perfectly as a Divine Being, eager to step into the transformation that occurs as a beautiful part of Life.

As I step into the dance of my journey, I claim that everything I need for my next steps comes to me before I even know that I need them.  I focus on what is working well and I go forward from there, welcoming the amazing possibilities of prosperity and infinite abundance that are revealed as I seek them.  I let go of thoughts of lack and of limitation and I move away from fear.  Instead, I choose faith, love, and peace, using my thoughts to co-create a life that pushes me to thrive!  The more I trust the Divine Power that guides me, the more my life opens up to experiences of wealth, of health and of miracles.  Knowing that I am enough just as I am, I affirm that my life is magical, filled with opportunities even better than I can imagine.

I am so grateful for this truth -  that Divine Power is my nature and the Universe has my back.  My heart is filled to overflowing with thanks for the wonderful life I am co-creating with Spirit.  And, I am thankful for the peace that transcends as the evidence of wealth, health and miracles come out of seemingly nowhere.

From a place of joy, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  My good is right here, right now.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!