Saturday, May 31, 2014

Being Comfortable In The Uncertainty

...we try to make everything certain, we try to make ourselves right.  ~Brene Brown

As I have been exploring the next steps for my career, I had a moment yesterday that was a bit scary.  I was caught in a wave of uncertainty, realizing that I have no idea what's next for me.

I've done one informational interview in a field that holds some possibility and I'm doing volunteer work in the event marketing space but I have no solid plan for what my livelihood looks like.  I keep telling myself that at least I'm taking action.

So, where will all this action lead?  That is where my discomfort lies - I'm no longer certain about my path.

It's almost as if I feel I'm no longer important.  When someone asks me what I do for a living, and I reply I'm taking some time off to explore my options, I get a visceral feeling in my gut that takes me down a notch in my social strata.  What do you have to talk about if you're not chatting and sharing stories about your job?

I also didn't realize how much of my energy goes into upholding my self-importance via my contribution in the work place.  After all, I was in sales - very driven by sales quotas and pipelines and making President's Club for being a Top 10 Salesperson in the company.

When asked about work, I could always pull out one of my accomplishments.  Talk about ego leading the way - in a sales environment, it's very easy to get sucked into the competitive chaos and who's over-achieving.

Now that I've taken a leap of faith, I'm being challenged to let go of my obsessive need for certainty.  I have no clue what the outcome will be from taking this leap and that makes me apprehensive.

As I'm stewing in my apprehension and allowing it to take root in my body, I realized that my spiritual practice was the first thing to go.  What happened to taking a breath and becoming an observer of the situation?  I can tell you - it went out the window.

So - I had to remind myself that Life has been telling me it's time to have courage and make some bold choices.  My heart and my intuition have told me that my work was no longer serving me and it was time to make room for a new career path.

I DO have the faith that as I get out of my own way and stop trying so hard to make things happen, a way will be made for me.  And, if I can be comfortable in the uncertainty of my situation, things will flow.

When I let go and allow the Universe to support me, what remains is an effortless acceptance of simply being.

As I mentioned recently, like anything, making a choice to live in the uncertainty will take some practice.  I have to choose to give up the struggle to control. I must be willing to be a little scared.

And, if you listen to any New Thought person, they will tell you - I must trust that what I am seeking already exists and is also seeking me.

So, are YOU willing to be comfortable in the uncertainty?  Are you willing to let go of making yourself right?

Today, I set the intention to sit in the uncertainty of life, having faith that the Universe is supporting me and that what I seek is also seeking me.

"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves."  
~Thomas Edison

"Acceptance simply means that you make a commitment: 'Today I will accept
 people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur.'  This means I will 
know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be."  
~Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Affirmative Prayer:
Becoming still in this moment, there is the recognition of a field of Infinite Love, Infinite Grace, and Divine Infinite Creativity.  It is the all-good of God, the joy of Spirit, the miraculous nature of a Universe that flows with ease and effortlessness through all that exists.

I am a unique manifestation of this Divine Intelligence, filled with the joy and the happiness that is my true nature.  Everywhere I go, I express this Intelligence in powerful ways that call forth grace and love and harmony.  And in all that I say and do, I reveal the beauty of this Creative Spirit that surrounds me with Its generous presence.

Centering into my Oneness with the Universe, I accept that this moment is exactly as it should be.  There are no bad days, only days that allow the full expression of Spirit to be revealed.  I claim the peace that supports me as I sit in the uncertainty, to be blessed and beautiful.  I declare that my greatness is encouraged by a loving Presence that yearns to expand through experiences.  As I live full out from a place of power and inner trust, I let go of merely surviving and I choose to thrive.  And as my conscious thought brings the invisible into view, I jump for joy because that which I am seeking is also seeking me and my good is right here, right now.

Holding onto this feeling of joy, I am thankful for the effortless unfolding of my life as I simply allow each day to be what it is.  I am filled with deep gratitude that my path is well lit and I am always in the right place, at the right time, with the right people.   And I give thanks for the magnificent blessings and miracles that are revealed in the here and now, so real and so rich as they come into view.

From this place of gratitude and from a willingness to accept the blessings, I release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  All that I seek already exists and is within me.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Have A Perfectly Magnificent Weekend!

Kevin has to work on Saturday so it's me and my dog, Cody, hanging out.  My plan is to take Cody out to explore a neighborhood that I've never been to.  There are so many choices, it's hard to decide which one to pick.  I almost feel like a tourist in my own town!   Enjoy your weekend and here are some fun & inspiring links from around the web...

Here's what works to turn inspiration into action.....

How your language affects your success

11 people too confident for their own good

This teen just became the youngest female to climb Mount Everest

Sorry, Baby.  No one's putting this dog in the corner

5 reasons you want to make beer can chicken

Men, throw out your socks:  it's 'Mankles' season

Sleepy beach towns to visit this summer:  #summertravel

This made me smile

And this is something I'm going to try this weekend

And with the passing of Maya Angelou, here are 15 of her best quotes.  My favorite and my intention for this weekend:  "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."

Photo: Rick Harris / Flickr

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An Experiment With...Mental Equivalents???

Over the past week I have been playing with the do-it-yourself energy experiments from the book by Pam Grout, E-Squared.  The point of the experiments is to prove that your thoughts create your reality.  I've had one amazing result already as far as receiving an unexpected blessing, however, I also wonder how my beliefs are going to effect these experiments.

I say that because I can repeat affirmations and I can journal and focus my thoughts on what I would like to see manifest in my life but I if I don't believe it - whether it's believing I'm worthy or believing it's attainable or whatever my story is - I wonder if I can still put out the energy that will attract it.

There are two things I will need to hold on to steadfastly if these experiments are going to be successful.  First, faith and trust that my desires are coming from the Universe.   Knowing that truth is going to play a big part in the energy I'm sending out.  Second, I will need to establish what Ernest Holmes calls Mental Equivalents to that which I am desiring.

A mental equivalent means your thoughts can only create that which you are mentally able to embody. For example, if I desire to be a millionaire but have no thought for what that feels like, it will be difficult to see that manifest in my life.

The first piece - faith and trust - are something I have been cultivating and they're feeling pretty strong within me.  So, it's going to be the second piece - establishing mental equivalents - where I will have some work to do.

For me, mental equivalents start with telling myself a new story.  One of the desires that pulls at me lately is to be effectively self-employed, making an above average income, working only 3-4 days/week and doing something I love.  The challenge is how do I determine what that FEELS like.

Looking at it more closely, what I really desire is the financial security and the freedom to be always at choice as to when I will work.  I have spent so long being told that I have to go to a sales conference that will eat up part of my weekend.  Or I will not be allowed to take time off at the end of June or at the end of the year.

And - I'm done with that!  So, first I'm forgiving every boss that I might still resent for taking away my freedom and I'm replacing that with gratitude for the experience, knowing that each of them was doing the best they could with what they knew.

Next, I'm taking time each day to act as if I was already self-employed.  I get up each morning as if I have to be at my desk at a certain time - however, I fit in my workout in the morning because I have the freedom to do that with my new livelihood.

And I look for areas where I can be of value to others.  Since my time is my own, if a friend needs to have lunch to work through an issue or if my husband needs me to run an errand during the day, I simply say "Yes, I'm absolutely free to help with that!"

As I'm doing this, I'm also getting really clear that self-employment doesn't mean that I have to create a new business, one with a structure that I have to establish.  Instead, I can step into a livelihood that has some of the structure set in place and I am simply making that structure work for me and for my desires.

THAT is becoming my new story - that I can be self-employed and successful at it because the framework for success is already in place.  I simply need to contribute my gifts and talents in that specific area.  AND, that whomever has the framework in place does not have the power over my schedule - my schedule is set by ME and it works for everyone.

Lastly, the big question that I continue to ask through this process is how does it serve ME?  Yes, I realize that life is about being in service to others but, right now, I need to include myself in that service.  How will my new employment allow me to express MY dreams and desires?

Going through this process is connecting me emotionally to what I wish to create.  And this is where the energy for attraction is the strongest.

If we connect emotionally to our desires, the Universe conspires for our success and it can happen in the blink of an eye.

Like with anything, the more I apply this and practice this, the better I will get at it.  Now that my new story is unfolding, I'm taking this one step further.  I'm setting BIG mental equivalents.  Why not, if the Universe is truly unlimited?  And its on to the next experiment - woo hoo!

So what mental equivalents would you like to establish in YOUR life?  And, do any limiting beliefs come up when you try to put them in place?

Today, I set the intention to establish BIG mental equivalents, knowing I am a field of infinite potentiality and therefore, can push what I desire to attract to even higher levels.

"The authority of your word, your prayers, your meditation, is in the Law of Good
 and not in you at all, any more than the authority of gravitational force is in you
 as a person.  That authority is divine; that authority is as absolute as you 
permit it to be.  Our experiment is not with the power or the goodness or the 
presence or the love or the truth or the beauty of God, but with ourselves."  

"To be a true explorer in science - to follow the unprejudiced lead of pure 
scientific inquiry - is to be unafraid to propose the unthinkable, and to prove
 friends, colleagues, and scientific paradigms wrong."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Turning within, there is one Infinite Intelligence that is revealed in the early morning and uncovered as each day unfolds, washing over all that is.  It is a Power and Source that flows through every nook and cranny of the Universe and knows only peace, only love, only harmony.  

This Source awaits my use of It and I allow the goodness, strength and power that is Divine Wisdom to move through me.  I rejoice in the truth of knowing I am a unique individualized expression of Spirit and my life is God in action.  I am one with the light of the Universe and I am carried by Divine Grace that lifts me to be more in all that I do.

Opening myself up to be guided and directed by a Universe of possibilities, I am empowered to reach for higher and higher mental equivalents.  I embrace the richness and opulence available to me and I am transformed as the abundance out-pictures in my life easily and effortlessly.  It is an abundance of health, an abundance of wealth and an abundance of love.  My soul cries out for expansion and I create the opening for the expression that frees me receive more good than I can even imagine.  And letting go of any limiting thoughts or beliefs that might have held be back from going to the next level of Life, I align with the Law of Good and welcome the surprising and unexpected ways that my prosperity is demonstrated.

Affirming my magnificence, I give deep thanks for this life that is filled with potential and possibilities.  I am grateful for the abundance that is manifested in beautiful ways.  And I am thankful for the Divine Grace that powers the awareness that everything is working together for my good.

In faith and trust, I release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is perfect and already done.  My real self shines!  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of Jolene/Flickr

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Have a Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend

Between a college graduation and the new X-Men movie coming out, my 3-day weekend is filling up pretty quickly.  We also have a trip to the beach planned for Sunday so we can take Cody, our Parson Russell Terrier, out to one of his favorite spots.  What's the chance I can turn this into a 4-day weekend so I can just lounge around for a day???  Enjoy your long weekend and here are a few fun posts from around the web....

Not up for going out?  Try this book that was made into a movie

Or try a live theater performance in San Jose

Or in New York or in Chicago

John Mayer's cover of Beyonce's XO is kind of perfect

An amputee sea turtle is much happier with his awesome water wings

15 ways to tell that you actually love what you're doing

If you just can't wait til 8pm, 9 healthy pre-dinner snacks 

The healthiest way to sip your coffee

30 hilarious struggles only a dog owner would truly understand

17 examples of street art

Jimmy Fallon and Hugh Jackman face off in a cooler scooter race - funny!

A daily thought to start or finish your day

And a quote by Maya Angelou from Oprah's What I Know for Sure:

"You don't need another person, place, or thing to make you whole.  
God already did that.  Your job is to know it."  

Photo courtesy of Jane Rahman/Flickr

Friday, May 23, 2014

Now Is The Time To Express Your Passion

"Anxiety is love's greatest killer.  It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you.  You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic."  - Anais Nin

Thoughts of my imperfection make me really squirm.  I look at others and assume their lives are better than mine.  They have more money, they have more comfort and happiness, they have work that makes them come alive.   These thoughts can easily ramp up my feelings of anxiety about MY life.

This is especially true as I wait for the results from my Practitioners written exam.  I know I have classmates that will soar through the test and get high marks.  And I worry that my "less than perfect" answers will label me as a fraud.

So, I sit with anxiety and wonder why I have these feelings.  It's kind of fascinating how this feeling shows up now.

As I was doing some last-minute studying, I flipped to the back of the Science of Mind text and started reading Ernest Holmes take on the teachings of Jesus.  One of the concepts jumped out at me - "Quench not the Spirit".

He says that we are not to extinguish the Inner Light of our God-self but to express ALL of our emotions.

"If the artist suppressed all spiritual emotion, he would never be a great artist.  In art, we call this emotion temperament; in oratory, we call it inspiration; and in purely spiritual things, we call it Illumination.  Somewhere the soul must stand naked to the Truth, if it is to receive It in all Its fullness."

What this says to me is that I need to embrace the human side of me that is imperfect and - knowing that underneath it all is the perfection of Spirit - I must be willing to make mistakes.  I must be willing to feel anxious but not linger there.

Trusting this, as I move away from resisting life and instead, allow life to unfold, I will see the fruits of my thoughts just as a great artist sees his/her painting become a masterpiece.

Not only that but if I lean into "Quench not the Spirit", I am called to see how far I can let my sense of allowing go.  If everything in the Universe has been designed to handhold me through a beautiful life, why would I not be open to allowing?

I am here to express my passion in my unique way.  No one will express it in the way that I do.  So as I feel the test anxiety creep up on me and wonder if I am "perfect" enough to be a licensed Practitioner, I can remember the truth that this is another step in uncovering my Spiritual perfection.

I will be a Practitioner in a way that no one else will or can be. 

And I don't need to show up only when I can get high marks on a test.  I can wake up and show up and begin to understand my part in the Universe.

It is necessary for me to be here at this time.  And the fact that I am here says it all.

So where are YOU letting thoughts of perfection hold you back from sharing your passion?  

Today, I set the intention to show up even when I might not be perfect, knowing that I have gifts to share that are uniquely mine and I am here to make a difference.

"...what I understand now is that life is not about avoiding pain; it's about
 going through it and continuing on.  Growth is what we are here for."  

"We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can - namely, 
surrender our will and fulfill God's will in us."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Rejoicing in the awareness that there is only One Divine Omnipresence at the essence of everything, there is a peace that passes understanding.  This Presence is right action and perfect order.  It is Infinite Life that knows only grace, only beauty, only ease and only joy.

With a consciousness of this One as my center, I know that everything this Presence is, is all contained within me.  It is a consciousness of greatness that moves through me and has Its being in me.  And this Creative Brilliance flows around me, designing a roadmap for me that is always guiding me to reach for more - more ease, more grace, more time for stillness.

Claiming this gift of Creative Brilliance that energizes my life, I release the need to be perfect and I simply start from where I am now.  I do not have to settle for anything less than what I am called to be as I step into my unique magnificence.  And I accept the harmony that is everywhere I go as I take this knowing of my magnificence with me each day.  Realizing that what I hold in my heart is a sacred gift, I simply allow Spirit to do Its work through me and I flow with the current, grabbing each experience to be in service as I am called.

I am so very grateful for this truth as I remain open at the top to the divine flow of Life.  I give thanks for the harmony and peace that allows me to be still and allows my life to unfold in beautiful ways.  And I am filled with gratitude for a Universe that says Yes! - you are vital and important and here for a purpose.

From this place of gratitude, I release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it moves from thought into form as I write these words.  Life is brilliant and beautiful!  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of David Jubert/Flickr

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Are You Willing To Balance Doing With Being?

I have been so out of my routine lately since finishing up my last day at work.  Most of the time, it's been great because I had the free time to spend with family and see my son off to the Air Force.   But - with tomorrow being the big day to take the written practitioner licensing exam, I really need to get some study time in.

Instead, all I'm feeling motivated to do is spend time sitting and daydreaming.

So far, here's my day:
I took the dog for a walk
I went for coffee
I checked email
I spent time on Facebook and watched a TED talk
I decided to run to the grocery store for a few things.

That's when I had to give myself a heart to heart talk.  This exam and becoming a practitioner are VERY important to me.  It's a soul's calling that I have been chasing for four years now.

So, as I stall, I tell myself that I need to make the time to take an hour to buckle down and just pull out the books and notes and flash cards and simply do it.  Funny, but with this being so important, I would have thought I'd have jumped out of bed with so much enthusiasm to study Ernest Holmes and all the New Thought teachings.

Not the case...

The truth is, even when I am free to choose to spend time only on the things that I am driven to do, there is still a strong pull for me to turn off the cell phone and unhook from the world.  The trick is balancing the two so I don't end up worrying about the things I'm NOT doing.

Contemplating this feeling to spend time only in the moment, I've decided that I'll set a timer for one hour and immerse myself in studying.  I'll fulfill any obligations that I've made for the day.  Then, I'm going to take a step in faith that I will know everything I need to know for tomorrow's exam.

And - I'm putting away the books and the notes and the flash cards.

If I really need to study more, I'm certain I'll receive divine guidance that nudges me to sit down again and make some time.  When I am truly tuned into the Universe, just-in-time wisdom does a beautiful job of guiding my next steps.

So, what is your inner wisdom telling YOU what you'd like to spend time doing today?  And, are you listening to it?

Today, I set the intention to follow my inner wisdom, balancing my time between obligations and "me" time, trusting that by listening to divine guidance, my dreams are manifesting beyond anything I can imagine.

"To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker - the stillness underneath the mental 
noise, the love and joy underneath the pain - is freedom, salvation, enlightenment."  

"If you want something in your life you've never had, you must be willing
 to do something you've never done." 

Affirmative Prayer:
Honoring the call to stillness in this moment, there is an Infinite Intelligence that is sweetness and beauty and tranquility.  It is perfect health and complete wholeness that is the all-good of Spirit, of Divine Source, of God.

Awakening to this each day, I am immersed in the all-good and surrounded by the wholeness of Spirit.  I am filled with the light of joy that expresses as me, connecting to the heart and soul of every thing that exists in the One Mind.  And, each night, I am filled with a Divine well-being that tells me I can sleep peacefully, relaxing in the embrace of the Beloved.

Honoring my journey, I affirm that inner wisdom is always guiding me with perfect, Divine timing.  My path is well-lit and I accept the love of the Universe that fills my heart to overflowing.  I claim the deep peace that carries me through each day, knowing that my gifts are being revealed in extraordinary ways.  I let go of any mental clutter that tells me "I can't" and I welcome the clarity and the connection to beliefs that tell me "Yes, you can!"  I am unlimited in the possibilities for my life and I remember the freedom and security that are available to me as sure as the sun rises and sets each day.

Deeply grateful for the unconditional love of Spirit, I smile as I am renewed in this love.  I am thankful for the abundant life I live as I take steps toward fulfilling my destiny.  And I am filled with gratitude for the intimate embrace of the Universe that desires only my happiness.

With faith that my life is unfolding in remarkable ways, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  God is at the center of my being and all is well.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!

Photo courtesy of Greg Westfall/Flickr

Monday, May 19, 2014

Focus And Affirm....Or Release And Detach?

Be daring!  Be bold!  Call the things you desire into being so that your life will come into alignment with your greatest expectations.  Focus on and affirm the experiences you desire."  -Iyanla Vanzant

This quote pits my feelings from earlier this week to simply ask for help from the Universe and let It take the lead against the desire to dream big and affirm my perfect life into being.  And when Iyanla uses words like "daring" and "bold", it really urges me to take on the challenge.

But - it's almost paralyzing.  There are so many options for tapping into manifesting the life you desire, I want to turn the other way and say "I quit!".

Even though this can make me crazy, trying to figure out what the right approach to take is, I also know that the answer is available to me.  And, after struggling with the back and forth, a couple of thoughts came to me to stop the craziness and start aligning with what will work for me.

First, I need to stop and notice the feelings I'm having around taking the right action.  If I look at my real feelings, the reason I want to manifest some of the things I do is that I envy the folks that have the dream job, the dream house, the dream soulmate.  And they make is seem so easy to create that in their lives.

When I ask how they did it, I get a different answer from every single person.  Meditate.  Visualize.  Feel that you have what you want.  Tithe and give and be grateful.

It seems that everyone found something different that worked for them.  Wow, I get so frustrated with this sometimes!  Can't anything be clear and easy?

As soon as I say those words, what DID become clear is the realization that this journey is really about MY experience in this lifetime and that I can be thankful to others who have what I am desiring.

Thank you for showing me that it's possible.  Thank you for showing me there IS a way to have what I want.  Thank you for believing in yourself enough to know that you are worthy of having it all, and therefore, so am I.

Second, I also noticed that I'm thinking more and more about WHY I am yearning for certain things.  Is this something that my soul is crying out for?  Or is this something coming from the ego side of me so that I can look good or feel important?

So, I have to stop and take an honest look and start to peel back the layers.  Sure, I would like to be a millionaire but is that so I can brag about it or is it really so I can feel financial security?  And, of course I would like my 15 minutes of fame but is that so I can bring value to others in the same situation or is it just a cry out to say "I'm better than you..."

As I become clear on the WHY and release anything that is not coming from my heart,  I believe the HOW will show up.  And here is where my paralysis can turn into action -  or non-action in this case.  Because, what I need in this moment to move forward, is to first focus and affirm my daring and bold dreams and then, DETACH.

Detach from the outcome and how I expect it to look and let the Universe move me forward.

And here is my "Ah-hah" moment.  Rather than pick one or two perfect manifestation techniques, I only need to use what feels right in this moment.  I don't need to focus solely on one tool in my toolbox.
In this case, gratitude, visualizing a big dream, being clear on why I want the dream, and then detaching from the outcome is what feels like the right formula - today.  Tomorrow, who knows what might call out to me to use.

This is not a "One size fits all" Universe.  As a melting pot of unique expressions of Spirit, this is figuring out the right "size" for where you are at in your journey.  WE get to make the decision.

Hmmm, maybe I should journal on that?  ;-)

So, what manifestation techniques have helped bring positive changes in YOUR life?  And do you always use the same ones consistently?  I'm curious....

Today, I set the intention to live my life as a great adventure, choosing to be daring and bold, knowing the experiences I desire are arriving in perfect, Divine timing.

"If your desire is strong enough, it doesn't matter what your beliefs are.  
If you have a desire that is strong enough, that desire will be the dominant 
vibration, and it will over-ride any other vibration that you have."  

"When God put us here He made each one of us just a little different, 
and if Divine Intelligence made each one of us just a little different
 - as though each one were a new mold - then the greatest adventure in life
 would be an experiment with ourselves to see 
what we could do with this thing that is within us."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Closing my eyes and going within, there is a truth that becomes clear - there is only One.  One Creative Intelligence that brings clarity to every situation.  One Divine Spark that lights all paths.  One Infinite Spirit that is the awareness of only good, only peace, only joy, only love.

Bringing my awareness to this truth, my life is activated and set in motion each day as this Creative Source moves through me, in me, and as me.  I am a unique, individualized expression of Divine Wisdom and I trust this wisdom, knowing I am surrounded by grace and beauty with each breath I take.

Standing in the unlimited good of a Spirit that moves through my life perfectly, I claim this moment as a gift and a blessing.  I accept the freedom to co-create a life filled with grand adventures that are divinely designed to uplift and up-level my life.  My life is an expression of prosperity and abundance as I discover who I truly am and I align with the perfection and wisdom within me.  I welcome the infinite possibilities that are revealed as I call into my life that which I desire.  And, I leave behind the dark room and step into the light of day, allowing that light to move me forward as I evolve into my highest and best version of Sandy.

Affirming that I am always in the right place at the right time with the right people, I am filled with a deep gratitude for the blessings and seeming miracles that show up each day.  I am thankful for the peace that surrounds me as I say Yes! to my next adventure.  And, I am grateful for the perfect outcomes as I make choices and chase my dreams.

Embracing the next steps in my journey, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I am fully present and available to Life.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!  Amen!

Photo courtesy of Nick Kenrick/Flickr

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Have An Awesome Weekend

"You can't change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust the sails to reach your destination."

This weekend we have family in town to say goodbye to our son.  He leaves on Tuesday for the Air Force.  Big life changes are happening for us and I know for a lot of other people as well.  That's why I love the quote above.  Change is always happening and I am always at choice as to which way my sails are taking me.  So, if you're facing change in your life too, take some time to breathe and enjoy the weekend.  And here are a few fun links from around the web...

3 quick Be Here Now exercises to help you remain in the present moment

The mom you always wanted....28 reasons Claire Huxtable is perfection embodied

Warm sand, swaying plam trees...24 American beaches you want to be on right now

And, don't forget to take along an award-winning good book by Ann Patchett

Something that made me smile...

If money was no object, everybody including you would be doing this

5 best vitamins for beautiful skin

A home on the 18th hole

5 celebrities who pray

10 hilarious graduation speeches that won't put you to sleep

Ode to the mother-in-law

And you should read this....The Gift

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget...

"All of our dreams come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."  ~Walt Disney

(Photo courtesy of Flickr by Susan)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What To Do When Your Prayer Goes Unanswered

I love prayer and intentions.  And there are so many books that talk about the power of prayer.  There are even more books on HOW to pray, how to get PROOF that prayer works, and even why prayer DOESN'T seem to work sometimes.

The beauty of prayer is that every faith tradition has their own form and structure.  In my faith, it's called a Spiritual Mind Treatment which is a structured form of affirmative prayer.  The structure allows us to pray, knowing we are One with the Universe and then claim what we would like to manifest in our life.

I fervently believe in the New Thought teaching and most of the time, what we're taught works - affirmative prayer works.  And Ernest Holmes in the Science of Mind says there will always be a demonstration when we pray.

But - sometimes I don't see my prayer answered.  What I think should be happening is not in alignment with what shows up in my life.  And so I become skeptical and question if this really does work.

Let me share what happened recently.  My daughter has a true passion for cheerleading.  She's been on a cheer team since 2nd grade and only recently, when her 1st semester in college didn't work out, has she not been involved in cheer.

After a rough year of self-discovery, she decided to try out for the 49'er football cheer team, the Goldrush Girls.   She had two other friends who were trying out and she worked out with them.  She altered her diet and started eating healthier.  She had found her spark again and was beyond happy, in spite of the intense regimen that it required.

And - I prayed.  I affirmed her smooth and successful tryouts, I welcomed the result of her joining the team and I celebrated going to the game and watching her down on the sidelines.  I worked with her to create her vision of success so she was carrying that same vibration.  I had practitioners pray for her success in this venture.

So, the day came for tryouts and I was certain I would get a call by 5pm that she had made the team.  The call I did get, thought, was my daughter in tears because she felt they barely looked at her while she was on stage and she did NOT make the team.

I was crushed!  And I was upset and angry and frustrated.  How is it possible that my prayers did not work?

Not getting any answers, I met with my spiritual director and laid out my story.  Worse than unanswered prayer, though, what came out of our conversation was the fact that I have spent four years training to become a licensed practitioner.  If I couldn't get my own prayers answered, how was I supposed to pray for others?  Maybe I have been in the wrong place this whole time.

Fortunately, he's really good at his job.  He mentioned that maybe I was too close to this situation to see the real answered prayer.  And, he recommended I go back to the basics and use affirmative prayer to manifest something simple like a feather or a cup of coffee - some way that I could have proof that prayer does work.

I told him I would make the effort but I really never did, until a few days ago.  Richard Bach's book, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, was calling my name.  And as I opened the book, it fell to a chapter near the end where the Master is teaching his student how to manifest a blue feather.

I re-read the chapter and realized it was time to tackle prayer again.  But - this time, I really am going back to basics.  I realized, finally, that the Universe is not some grand vending machine where I should wave my magic prayer wand and expect cars or homes or money to simply fall from the sky, all controlled by my human mind.

Life is more about where we can give and where we can be of service.  The core essence of the Universe is love and we are all on a journey to experience and to expand Life's knowing of Itself.  And, prayer is about tapping into that knowing that Life, that God, is always right there.

So, my prayer each morning now is a simple "Help", "Show me what's next" and taking action on what occurs to me to do in that moment.

I wish I could close this story by saying that the 49'er cheer coach called my daughter and explained they made a mistake, that she was actually on the team, but that's not the case.  Instead, what I see emerging is a young woman who now buys a burrito from Chipotle for the homeless man sitting outside on the corner and a new set of dinnerware for a friend who was forced to move out and had no money for dishes.

How or why that shift is happening for her, I have no idea.  What I do know is it no longer matters if my blue feather appears.  What I finally get is the best gift for me is the power in the moment to say, "Help", "Show me what's next".  The Universe is always available.  And that IS enough.

 So, what are some of the ways YOU pray?  And what do you do when you feel your pray is unanswered?

Today, I set the intention to remember to say a simple prayer of help when I need to solve a problem, having faith that I am supported by the Universe and knowing I will get a clear answer of what the perfect next step is for me.

"Acceptance is simply recognition.  When you recognize a thing, you see it 
for what it is.  All of our experiences, no matter how awful they appear
 to be, are temporary.  Acceptance of an experience as a temporary 
situation can make it a lot easier to handle." 

"Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next."  

Affirmative Prayer:
In this moment of stillness, there is only One; one Power, one Presence, that permeates the Universe and is the very essence of all that is.  In the rhythmic pulsating of life, this Presence is the sweetness of each breath and the joy of every step taken forward.

This Essence of Life operates in, through, and as me and I am anchored in the truth that I am always supported and sustained by the presence of the Divine.  I am led, guided and guarded by a Creative Intelligence that knows only hope and peace and harmony.  And I lean into this knowing that I am never separate from my good.

Affirming the infinite potentiality of life, my way is made clear as I simply speak the words "Help".  I tap into my intuition and allow Divine Wisdom to guide my next actions, welcoming the experiences that unfold in perfect, Divine timing.  Demonstrations of perfect health and perfect wealth are revealed as I connect to my true Source.  And I leave behind any thoughts of lack or fear, surrendering to the Infinite goodness of Spirit. Aligning with the beat and the harmony that moves my soul, I accept the blessings that manifest with no conscious effort, knowing the Universe is supporting me in beautiful, amazing ways.

I am filled with gratitude at the transformation of my life as I pray from my heart.  And I am thankful for the experiences in life that tell me I can be exactly who I am in every moment. Giving in to the Divine guidance of the Universe, I am grateful that I receive clear answers to every seeming problem, knowing there is a gift in every situation.

From a place of peace, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done in the One Mind.  Good is being revealed in this very moment.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of Nick Kenrick/Flickr

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Weekend Is Here!

"Kindness is always fashionable."  ~Amelia Edith Barr

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's!  I love being on the other side of motherhood with my children.  We're able to grab a bite, chat like friends and even share a glass of wine together.  Of course, they also still seek my advice on issues or concerns and I'm always available with the sage wisdom that comes as we all get older (I have to laugh at myself a little on that one...)  ;-)  Enjoy your weekend and here are a few fun and thought-provoking links from around the web....

We are the creators of our lives, whether we believe it or not...

Here's how to become who we are meant to be

And here's how to get to the core of who we are

A new visualization tool with a shocking effect

Love nature?  Hike one of the largest continuously marked footpaths in the world

And if you have to fly to get there, these are the best (and worst) airlines for spending frequent flier points

Need a book for the plane?  Check out this one that says perceiving ourselves as better, smarter, and stronger can set us up for success and happiness

On a lighter note - Tonight Show hashtags:  #momquotes  #hilarious

Parents at the beginning of the school year vs. the end 

The freshest, fastest ways to get your veggies is in a smoothie

A quick hit of inspiration

Look out, Phelps, Smithsonian lion cubs pass their swim test

Have a good weekend and remember to laugh - it's good for the soul.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Living A No-Brainer Life

"Take a chance because you'll never know how absolutely perfect something could turn out to be."  ~unknown

Why does it seem that when I plant seeds of what I wish to manifest in my life and I spend time visualizing and affirming what I want to grow, do I sometimes get withered plants instead of vibrant, healthy roses?  It makes me wonder if I'm having thoughts of "not good enough" or "not deserving enough" hiding somewhere in my subconscious.

This thought came up for me because I thought I had manifested the perfect job.  I get to work from home, I travel occasionally and I like the product I am selling.  Somehow, though, my job success has been marginal and my boss has been badgering me about my results more and more.  Talk about stress!

The seeds I had planted around manifesting a beautiful job have grown into a withered, tired plant yearning desperately for nourishment.

This time, I don't believe it's me and a limiting belief I'm holding.  For me, it's almost as if the Universe is saying, "Sandy, wake up, it's time to make a decision about your livelihood."

So, how do I make a difficult decision like deciding to leave a job?

I was listening to Michael Neill talk about this very thing on his Hay House radio show this week and  he had some timely advice for me.

"Successful people do what occurs to them to do next AND they do it.  
It either works or not.  And then they continue that process."

Talk about being tapped into the Universe and simply trusting in your intuition.  It's so simple and yet, it really requires that I put myself out there in faith (mmm, I was just musing on cultivating my faith this week too!)

He went on to say that these successful people had moved away from a routine of affirmations and other tools and simply did what occurred to them in the moment.  So, we can talk about what we'd like to see in our lives and we can visualize what our dream job/partner/house will look like but sometimes, that just doesn't work.

I absolutely believe there is an Infinite Intelligence that is acting like my internal GPS.  But - I think I may be trying to control the directions that I'm getting when I plug into it.  My soul says "Go left" and my brain says "Make a U-turn."

It's a lesson I continue to have to learn in certain areas of my life.  I know what is calling to my heart and if I tune in to my internal guidance and follow Its lead, I may very well enjoy my life more.

Michael calls this "just-in-time" wisdom.  Go with what occurs to me to do next.  It might not make sense that it will work but when I keep tuning in, more will occur to me to do.  And pretty soon, I have relaxed into life, letting Divine Wisdom steer and I do the best I can in the moment.

So, here is my opportunity to put this into practice.  It's a hard thing to start doing but I believe in myself and I believe in a Universe that inspires and guides and loves.  It's time for me to take a chance.  It's definitely worth a try!

Where in your life are YOU seeing withered plants instead of beautiful flowers?  And what are you going to do to turn it around?

Today, I set the intention to start the process of listening for what occurs to me to do next, letting go of my control and trusting in the Universe's wisdom to steer my life toward greatness.

"We can be certain that there is an Intelligence in the Universe to which we may come,
 which will inspire and guide us, a love which overshadows.  God is real
 to the one who believes in the supreme Spirit, real to the soul 
which senses its unity with the Whole."  

"If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically
 assuming that the Universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. 
 The Universe has no fixed agenda.  Once you make any decision, 
it works around that decision.  There is no right or wrong, 
only a series of possibilities that shift with each 
thought, feeling, and action that you experience."  

Affirmative Prayer:
In the sacred golden silence, in the calm in the middle of the storm, there is Divine Grace that centers and is grounded in love.   At It's core, it is safety and serenity in the midst of life, it is overflowing good that renews and restores, and it is Divine Intelligence that gently brings wisdom unconditionally every morning and every night.

In the splendor of this moment, I am called to step into a new way of being, of way of allowing Divine Spirit to fully and completely express in and as and through me.   Breathing in that knowledge, I am safe and protected in the Divine embrace of Source.  I am supported and sustained as I celebrate the Infinite Potential that is revealed to me each day.

Listening to the peace as the storm calms and the wind becomes a gentle breeze, I step onto the solid foundation that stands strong through it all.  I declare that strength is where I am right now as I listen and take action on what occurs to me to do next.  My life thrives as I step out in faith and trust that the Universe steers me to my brightest and best future.  Knowing that something wonderful is always happening,  I welcome the blessings that are revealed as I let go and let God.  And I accept the everyday miracles happening all around me,  embracing the potential of Divine Spirit that is available as I apply just-in-time wisdom.

Claiming the well-being that is my Divine birthright, I am filled with deep gratitude for the guidance I receive from Infinite Intelligence each day.  I am thankful for the realization that all of my needs are met, trusting that all is taken care of in perfect timing.  And, I am grateful for the knowledge of my part to play and the wisdom to know when to let Divine Wisdom lead the way.

From a place of joy, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing that as I have said it, it is already done.  Opportunities and infinite supply are here now.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Can You Acquire Faith?

"Faith is a mental attitude toward life which can be cultivated.  It can be consciously acquired.  Any desired state of consciousness can be acquired if we work at it long enough." ~Ernest Holmes, How To Use The Science of Mind.

Last weekend I was sitting in an airport, waiting to catch a plane to Pittsburgh and wallowing in my unhappiness.  This weekend, what a difference!  I spent time with girlfriends at a beautiful ocean-side resort, enjoying every minute of our time together.

I absolutely believe that making a conscious choice to up-level my thoughts during my spiraling misery manifested into the amazing experience I just had, filled with laughter and joy and sharing.  And, so, while I know that what we focus on is what we attract, it also reminded me that what we focus on will multiply - beyond what we might even imagine.

This experience also reminded me that my faith is being up-leveled too.  Most of the time, I'm convinced I have the faith that everything is working on my behalf.  But events and circumstances creep up on me and before you know it, I'm looking at what appears in my life and thinking that life is just a crap shoot, led by luck and by chance.

What I have been TAUGHT about faith previously is that I either have faith or I don't - there is no middle ground.  And what I'm LEARNING is that faith is something we acquire as we go through the phases of our life.

So, when I'm feeling unhappy, it's a time to cultivate my faith and trust this is for my best.  When I'm feeling hurt by someone else, it's a time to believe there's a bigger plan at play for my life.  And when I'm feeling bored or stuck, it's a time to get quiet and shift my mental attitude to hear the still voice within that is guiding me.

Then, when I start to see situations revealing themselves in a way that works out even better for me, my faith grows.   By working on my spiritual practices consistently, I can expand my faith so that it becomes easier to leave behind the thoughts that life is all about lucky moments.

My life is at choice, NOT at chance.

As I keep putting my attention back on what I want, and hold the increasing faith that the Universe is supporting me in realizing my dreams, I notice that I get less uptight about issues and more accepting of the notion that I'm doing the best I can and getting better each day.

Faith is an evolution of my consciousness, shifting from 'life is happening TO me' toward 'life is happening FOR me.'

And, as difficult as it can be sometimes, I'm beginning to appreciate the times in life when I need to dig deep for my faith.  I am seeing that often there is a nugget of gold buried within the lesson and only with my growing faith am I able to find the buried treasure.

So, where are YOU at with your faith?  

Today, I set the intention to cultivate my faith that the Universe is always working for me, letting go of the negative thoughts around difficulties and having the courage to learn from them instead.

"I stopped waiting for the world to give me what I wanted; I started giving it to myself."  

"You have only just begun to discover your magnificence.  This period of your life 
marks a New Beginning.  You can feel it.  And you have only just begun 
to know the treasure and the glory of You."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Breathing in and letting go, there is a consciousness of Spirit and a deep knowing of Divine Wisdom.  It is an endless cycle of renewal just as each Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter is a time of renewal for all that is.  And as the flowers bloom each day and the trees stand strong, this Creative Intelligence never wavers in the pure joy and happiness of Its nature - Divine Love.

Feeling the energy of Love being called forth from within, I am in harmony with the joy and happiness that is expressing through me.   As Divine Power surrounds me, I relax into the grace that flows in me and as me, moving effortlessly in all areas of my life.  I am nurtured and sustained in this present moment, never separate from my all-knowing Source of perfection, of beauty and of peace.

Declaring the perfection of my soul as my Truth, I am free to laugh and sing and dance, enjoying my life as I up-level my thinking. I embrace a deep and profound awareness that my faith is always growing, always being acquired, and I can release any barriers I have built to prevent my magnificence from being discovered.   I welcome the new possibilities for my life as Spirit reveals Itself as courage and I am a channel for this expression of learning and adventure.  I am guided and I am directed in all that I do and I revel in the knowing that my present is shaping my future in beautiful, amazing ways.

I am deeply grateful for the courage to be exactly who I am meant to be, knowing I provide value in what I do.  I am thankful for the situations that come into my life at the right and perfect times, allowing me to grow and cultivate my faith.  And I am filled with gratitude for the events that propel me forward into realizing the dreams for my life.

From this place of deep gratitude, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I see it, I believe it and I let it be so.  And so it is.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sneezing The Weekend Away

I can tell it's the start of May because my allergies have kicked in <ugh!>  So, this weekend I'll be heading over to the coast to get away from the pollen.  I'm staying at the Seascape Resort with some girlfriends and am so excited because it's one of my favorite spots in Northern California. What are you doing this weekend?  Enjoy whatever it is...and here are a few fun links from around the web.

Did you know you get endorphins when you eat something spicy?  No wonder I love those crushed red peppers on everything....

30 cool high tech gadgets to give your home a futuristic look

Is it true that I no longer have to avoid butter, cheese and red meat?

I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan and looking forward to reading her latest book

This summer is looking to be a pretty good movie season

Win, place, show: Here are your three Julep recipes for Derby weekend

15 daily struggles when you're not a morning person

Kevin Spacey, Jimmy Fallon & the Ragtime Gals turn 'Talk Dirty' into a barbershop masterpiece

The happiest states are also the prettiest - and mine did not make the list <sad>

5 wine facts to impress your tipsy friends

Only Pottery Barn would come up with planetary cakes for kids - love it!

And celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some great tasting food, including a Watermelon Margarita <yum!>

Enjoy your weekend!  And don't forget this advice from the only female jockey in the Kentucky Derby, Rosie Napravnik:  "When you're coming down the stretch, in a drive, nose to nose with somebody - it's either going to be you or him."  Good luck Rosie!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get

Life is a never-ending process of lessons.  That is something I am whole-heartedly convinced of.  This week I was reminded of one of those lessons when I picked up the book God Never Blinks by Regina Brett.  Randomly flipping through the book, it opened to the chapter titled, If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get.

I have sometimes been challenged to speak up for myself, especially when there is potential conflict involved.  I'd rather sacrifice my happiness than ask for what I want.  And, just like the author, my husband, Kevin, is NEVER afraid to ask for what he wants.

If his french fries arrive cold, he asks for fries that are hot.  If he'd like a better seat at a restaurant, he asks if one is available.

Why are we reluctant to ask for what we want?  The book suggests there are three reasons: pride, fear and guilt.  And I can see how those might apply to me as well.

However, I now believe there is a fourth reason we don't ask - laziness.

As my fellow students and I were studying for our upcoming licensing exam, our teacher asked us to talk about one area we are cowards in.  I mentioned my conflict issue.  After explaining I would rather sell the condo than deal with issues from tenants, he suggested that maybe I am making a conscious choice to spend my time elsewhere.

He then proceeded to call me lazy.  Wait, what???

Hmmm, would I rather be reading or watching a movie or playing a card game versus working on self-improvement or putting together a budget or screening new tenants?  Sometimes, that true.  Then, I was gently reminded of a few times I pro-actively took on conflict and I had no fears or concerns about doing so.

Shoot, he might be right!  I may not get what I want because I'm too LAZY to take action and ask.

I guess it comes down to priorities.  How important is it to have hot french fries versus lukewarm fries (hey, I'm putting cold ketchup on them anyway).  Or how important is it to have a prime window seat versus one that is near the window (at least, near enough to have somewhat of a view).

What I'm learning is that I am just as deserving as anyone else to have hot fries and window seats.  And, I need to quit being lazy and start speaking up.

Why do I need to begin doing this when it seems a little trivial?  I believe it's because the Universe is conspiring for my success and when I don't make the effort to ask for what I want, I'm also sending signals that having what I really want is not that important.

If my prosperity and abundance and joy and happiness are not a high enough priority for ME, why should Source or Spirit or God support me?  I've let my soul know that it's okay for It to be lazy too.

And, if I'm too lazy to even ask, the answer is always NO.  No to prosperity and abundance.  No to joy and happiness.  I had already given myself the answer.

So, starting today, I'm taking a look at areas where I have been lazy and I'm committing to choosing one thing to start moving forward on.  It's just like everything in life.  All it will take is for me to start with small steps and pretty soon, the Universe will take notice and begin speaking up loud and clear.

Where in YOUR life can you be bold and ask for what you want?  What one thing can you ask for today?

Today, I set the intention to pay attention and notice when I am not asking for what I want so I can shift my priorities, if necessary, and let the Universe know I'm ready to receive.

"We are living in a new age, a new time, when things must be different.  You cannot 
continue to do what has always been done.  Something or someone must change.  
It might as well be you!  You have the opportunity.  The only thing you need
 is the strength and courage to recognize that you have been chosen for
 the awesome task of implementing change."  

"The storehouse of nature is filled with infinite good, awaiting the touch 
of our awakened thought to spring forth into manifestation in our lives."  

Affirmative Prayer:
The truth in this moment is there is only One - one Divine Intelligence filled with love and with compassion; One Creative Power revealing Itself in magnificent and brilliant ways; One Divine Essence that supports and sustains all of creation.

Breathing in this moment, I become available to the inner voice of this Intelligence and Power that renews my mind and body and spirit.  I awaken to my Divine Essence, seeing the infinite Good express through and as me in loving ways that serve from a place of joy and happiness.

Affirming the infinite Good that is always mine, I seize the opportunity each day to ask for what I want.  I release any feelings of laziness that might be holding me back and I step up in courage and faith, trusting that the Universe is guiding me to my highest and best good.  I welcome the fresh insight that opens my eyes to opportunities for prosperity and abundance.  I am led to people and places and experiences that make it so easy and effortless to ask and to receive.   Taking small steps, blessings flow as evidence that my life is on track and getting better every day.

Remaining open to every day miracles, I am so thankful for the good that is revealing itself in my life.  I stand in appreciation for the awakening of what has been hidden in plain sight.  And I am grateful for my expansion into more prosperity and abundance and love that uplifts me now and forever.

Filled to the brim with pure, unconditional love, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I take delight in the manifestations happening now.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!