Sunday, December 27, 2009

Number 12 Looks Just Like You

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. - Henry David Thoreau

I woke up very early this morning and, after some quiet time, I turned on the television and happened upon an episode of "Twilight Zone" entitled, "Number 12 Looks Just Like You". I am not a science fiction fan, so the ScyFy channel would not be a typical choice, and I didn't even know what I was watching when I landed on this channel and felt drawn to it. At first, my interest was because of the cheesy dramatic dialogue and accompanying music that the old films often had. It was for the humor factor that I watched, but the message ended up being very powerful and deep.

The episode was about a world where science could transform individuals from ordinary to beautiful, each person able to choose their new look from a set of slides showing numbered examples of what their new look would be. This transformation also gave them immunity to disease and created a "perfect" society. After transformation, each individual looked identical to many others...number 12's looked identical to each other...number 13's looked identical to each other. One leader alluded to the year 2000 when science would be able to change the whole world to look perfect, but noted that they were lucky because it was available in the Twilight Zone already.

The conflict of the story was a young girl named Marilyn, age 18, who was about to reach the age where transformations took place. It was assumed that this "plain Jane" would pick a model, then be tranformed to look like that example; but this girl did not want the transformation, wanting instead to be herself even if considered ugly or lacking in beauty. She saw her own beauty in being different and feared losing herself if she received the transformation. She had learned from reading her deceased father's diaries and collection of books (which had banned in their society because of their free-thinking ideas) that he had been very unhappy after his tranformation, and had committed suicide because of it. Those around her could not understand her reasons for not wanting the change, thinking that she must have psychological problems for not wanting to be perfect. Her mother was distraught at the rebellion of her child, consulting experts and trusted friends as to what to do about this problem. A doctor assured her that "improvements" had been made in the process to help people be happier with it...alluding to methods of controlling the mind to make people more content with giving up their own identity in order to meet society's idea of what is best or most desirable.

In the end, the girl was pressured and forced to have the tranformation. As she looked in the mirror, she seemed happy, but it was evident that she had conceded and lost her true self. She had become a cookie-cutter version of everyone else, a numbed personality that smiled on the outside, but was nothingness on the inside. It was no accident that I landed on this channel, not entirely because of the physical conformity issues that most of us struggle with from time to time, but because of the difficulty of choosing to be different in other ways. It was such a parallel to my own life and what I see in so many people. Our lives, in our need to conform to society, have become programmed. We attempt to live a certain way to get on a track that the world has decided is successful or desirable. In that process, we lose ourselves and our individuality, forgetting who we are or what we really came here to do. We do it to our children, expecting them to conform to meet our own needs for fitting in.

The really interesting thing is that this episode came after I had woken up with some momentary anxiety about my own children. They have chosen to go about their lives a little differently in going through school more slowly, while working at other things that they love, not making a lot of money doing it, but enjoying it in the process. Generally, I have celebrated this because I know how important it is to release from conformity and I can see their true and glowing selves emerging again, but I have had brief moments of worrying that they were not on the usual path of finishing school in a certain amount of time, getting a "normal" job, getting on the career track...I have had moments of succumbing to old conditioning. It holds an unbelievable power over us, and takes consistent effort to overcome.

I am grateful that I woke up at 4:44 and turned on the television just after 5am to see this Twilight Zone episode (and that was no accident). It reminded me that conformity is not the answer and that we must be true to who we are, and that those who feel pressured to conform are simply led by Ego - thoughts which want to hold us back from our greatness or our more meaningful purpose - thoughts that confuse us into thinking that we need to be more like everyone else or measure our worth by their standards. When we lose our individuality and fall into the need to be like others, we begin to lose the essence of our souls, which is why we slowly age and die inside. Yet, just like on the Twilight Zone, we don't even realize what we have lost, don't even know that original person, that original soul any longer. It is not through "sin" that we disconnect from God, it is through this conformity. If we lose ourselves, we have lost our connection God.

Think about your life and how you have conformed. Is it through the need to live in a certain kind of house or drive a certain kind of car?...Is it from needing your children to compete with others in their achievement in order to validate you?...Is it by being validated by a certain profession or by outward financial success?...Is it by giving up an individual God for a cookie-cutter version as dictated by religion or the accepted norms?

Get back to yourself by letting go of the attachment to every outward thing that you use to define you. It may take time, as we are so very conditioned and pressured otherwise, but it will be your saving grace.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Looking Toward 2010

As we move past Christmas and toward the New Year, it is a good time to set intentions for 2010. New Year's resolutions are something that are practiced by many, although most of us would probably admit that we falter along the way. I think that part of the reason we falter is that we set out with good intentions, but our goals are still indicative of our previous priorities. We do not really go inward enough in our process of "being more" for the coming period. Usually, we limit our resolutions to things like getting in shape, losing weight, exercising more, etc; but in setting these goals, we don't really change our general ways or outlook on them. We do not approach them in different ways, nor do we go to the real root of the obstacles.

Einstein has been credited as saying that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. We approach our problems in very much the same way that we have in the past, never really examining what might be the real cause, never looking deeper into ourselves to fix things on a more meaningful level, just taking an outward approach.

I believe, and I have seen in myself and others, that the answers to our problems - be they of health, relationship, financial, or other nature - lie within ourselves; that we can heal ourselves and mend our difficulties by getting real with what they are and addressing them differently. Once we acknowledge the root and surrender to it, we release the hold it has on us, we remove the cloud that it has caused over us. You cannot release a problem that you cannot acknowledge, yet we tend to run from the real cause of our problems because we do not want to make the changes to fix them.

We have become such conditioned creatures, following the world in every aspect of our lives - seeking to be "normal", letting others define what will (or should) make us happy. We follow the patterns set forth for a "good life" never really seeking to find "our way", nor search for our true purpose for being here. However, each of us has a purpose that we came here to fulfill, and each purpose has some root in getting real (finding Truth) and giving and receiving love, remembering that we are One - with each other and with God. The ultimate purpose for our existence is as simple as that. We each may have different avenues to get there, or different talents and gifts to enhance the lives of others, but it is all rooted in learning to love without strings attached, to accept that we are all good and perfect beings, and to allow our goodness to shine through.

If you have resolutions and intentions, I can tell you that the way to stick to them is to align them with your purpose. Surrender to it, ask for it to be revealed to you, then try not to resist it. By this act, you will begin to get aligned, and therefore fill voids that have been left unfulfilled and strained your existence, allowing you contentment, which makes way for joy. It is a process of awakening that will then align you with the Universe, with Divine energy that will show you the way.

Make your resolution to step into your Higher Self and true purpose. Then let God do the rest, in God's way...not your way, not society's way, not your church's way, not your friend's way...and perhaps a way that you or no one else could have figured out. That is what makes it Divine. Listen, and you will hear the way. Keep and open mind, and be willing to follow and explore. Let 2010 be your year of awakening to more. You will be in good company, because many others are hearing the call. By joining in, we each empower others.

(Note: I will be facilitating a discussion and study of the text "A Course In Miracles" in 2010 on Facebook. This is a good method of letting go of fear and looking at things anew, seeing through the eyes of love. To join our "fan page", please CLICK HERE).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Healing

The holidays can be a wonderful time for feeling love, but also a time when old patterns or hurts show themselves, family and relationship dynamics brought to a head in ways that induce stress, pain, anger, or resentment. For many, the holidays are the most difficult time of year due to the emotional turmoil, financial burdens, and other factors.

From the emotional standpoint, I would like to suggest that if you have such issues, you approach them from a different light, understanding that this is an opportunity to examine them for what they are (usually fear or control-based roots) and release them in love. You may not even have to venture into discussing it with another, simply go within yourself, simply sending love, healing, and forgiveness for any past issues. Imagine yourself, another, or the situation surrounded in white light and ask God and angels to release you from its clutches so that you can become all that you are meant to be (perfection) and live according to your true purpose in this life. If you are ready to move forward, proclaim that, surrender to it, and release any baggage that you may be carrying (your own baggage or that of another).

I believe you will be amazed at the difference this practice makes in your holidays and the surrounding conditions. If you take this approach, you will negate the negative to allow for a positive resolution, or perhaps even a miracle that transcends and heals all around it. In living love and joy, you will bring the true Christmas spirit into your life, and lay a foundation that will carry you into a new year ready for a new beginning.

Peace, love, light, and joy to the world at this special time of year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let Nature Be Your Guide

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. -Anne Frank

Anne Frank was a wise soul who, at her young age, knew and understood more than most people ever do. In this quote, she shows a deep understanding about how to really get close to God, how to feel peace. In our culture, we often think that we need to go to church to get closer to God, to be in a cathedral or sanctuary to find peace and feel the connection to Him. Or we think that we will get more spiritual connection through a structured meditation practice, yoga or other avenue. While all these things may give us a good feeling or facilitate a connection, no cathedral or sanctuary can quite match God's own cathedral - the masterpiece of nature; no practice quite bring about what is at our disposal outside in this wonderland.

This past week, my home in Asheville was covered with a beautiful deep white blanket that made time stop for a bit. Walks outside, with few automobiles making noise, left a peace and quiet that was heavenly. The crunch of snow, the cold air, and the picture postcard beauty was like touching God for a moment.

One of my favorite things about Christmas has always been how quiet it is - how the world stops for a day. The love that is spread on this day is magnified by the absence of noise to get in the way. I believe the energy of the angels and heaven can get through to us more easily because of this quiet peace. Take a walk in nature this Christmas, or better yet, every day of this Christmas season. Be alone with the heavens, nature, and God, just as Anne Frank spoke of. The answers to your prayers or solutions to your problems may very well be there, waiting for your discovery. Be thankful for this most wonderful gift, that keeps giving to us all year, and is always there for our spiritual interaction. By appreciating nature, you will find more in your life to appreciate.

May God bless you during this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reiki Helps Relieve Knee Pain (link)

Here is a great testimonial about distance healing energy posted by my friend Dana on her Dragonfly Reiki website. The answers to our rising medical costs and health issues lie within us, if we open our minds to receive. And the benefits go well beyond the physical, if we open our hearts to allow it.

CLICK HERE to read this story.

Just For Today, I Will Not Worry

A few years ago, I was led to the practice of Reiki after my spiritual path began to deepen and gain clarity. Reiki is an energy healing modality that can help with both physical needs as well as enhance spiritual awareness. The basic principals behind it are expressed in 5 tenets, the first tenet being:

Just for today, I will not worry.

Think about how many things you worry about in a day and how much time you waste on such thoughts. Spending time worrying does does not change the problem at hand, does not create a solution, does not appreciate that the thing that you see as a "problem" may be leading you to something better - as part of your plan to be able to live out your purpose. Some people seem to think it is noble to worry, as if it shows they care more, but actually that has an element of martyrdom to it - attaching to the worry for the attention it gets, or because it makes you feel like a better person to be filled with such concern.

Many times, we say we are worried about something, but then we do nothing to change the things we are doing in ways that might eliminate or diminish the problem at hand. For instance, I know people who worry about having a heart attack or getting ill in some way and talk about their fears repeatedly, but don't exercise or change their poor eating habits or do other things to make illness less likely. That is an example of just enjoying the drama of the worry. We all have similar examples in our own behavior to some extent or another, although many are less obvious, but they are indicative of our attachment to fear.

When we worry, we are focusing our energy on the problem, and therefore attracting more of the problem. It is unproductive and only brings us more of what we wish to eliminate. Most of us, through day to day life, our upbringing, or the media onslaught of worrisome things we are exposed to constantly, worry even when we are trying not to, or when we don't even realize we are doing it. As with any habit or addiction, it takes practice and consistency to break that pattern, but if you begin to let go of worries step by step, you will begin to feel differently, and have an easier time letting go of them on a more permanent basis.

The great Master, Jesus, said,

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matt 6:27)

We do not gain from worrying. We lose precious moments to live and be; instead of adding hours to our lives, the stress of worrying can actually take away hours from our lives. (Ahh...and even that gives us something else to worry about!)

This Reiki tenent of, "Just for today, I will not worry" can have profound healing impact on our lives with that simple change...taking a day at a time with the intent of ending the worry. One day is not an impossible commitment, and each day we achieve that release from worry makes us stronger and healthier, ready to take on another day without worry. It is our own healing power at work in the simplest of ways. Changing our thoughts to change our lives; healing ourselves to heal the world around us.

Whether you practice Reiki or not, whether you have any interest in it or not, consider adopting this tenet as a step in your healing and empowerment. It is simple and achievable, but can have profound impact.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

To Love and Be Loved...That Is the Answer

One of the most widely quoted and contemplated literary quotes is from William Shakespeare's Hamlet:

"To be or not to be, that is the question."

In this soliloquy, Hamlet contemplates living, "being", is about suffering "slings and arrows"...Being (the hard process of life) ultimately brings about not being (dying). Hamlet's offers an observation of how we have made life hard with all of our resistance, our need to fight to be right, with the idea that opposition is noble. We create our difficulties through living out society's ways of struggle, and in following these ways, we get confused into thinking that life IS struggle. It creates a fearful existence, where we become afraid of change, afraid that we are not being good enough...afraid to really BE. In that fear, we cease to fully exist; rather we exist within in the ordinary and confined norms of society, afraid to be all that we are and all that we came here to be. Our fear keeps us from connecting to our own greatness in order to connect to God. The irony is that we think that staying within the lines and pointing out our own flaws will get us back to God, when actually, it is just the opposite. Remembering our perfection is what gets us there.

"A Course In Miracles" is a widely used text which teaches that all emotions are based in either love or fear. Love is the good emotion that fills our hearts (and the only thing that is "real". We have confused love with rules, regulations, requirements, ownership and control - whether it be in our children, our parents, our romantic partners, our friends. Many of us give love only when the other side is doing what we want them to, sending subtle but powerful messages that, in order to get the love, one must act a certain way. Or we succumb to others who give us love only when we do what they want us to, applying guilt when we do not. Love is not about control, nor is it about being controlled. If you have these elements, you do not have pure love. You may have a watered down version of love that is littered with manipulation - our distorted worldly version - but it is ensconced in fear, so it cannot be love and therefore, is not real.

Fear-based emotions come from lack of love. They are illusions that we create. So many people live in fear - fear of losing their jobs or homes, fear of disapproval, fear of taking a chance, fear of getting sick, fear of being different...of going out on a limb, or fear of just doing something wrong. In the ultimate use of fear, we have the threat of eternal damnation in hell if we dare to drift out of established rules. This comes from lack of love...mostly lack of love for oneself. It confuses us into thinking that God is about fear and punishment, when in fact, God is only love. It is the need to control that conjures up the image of God as punishing, but God does not punish us...we punish ourselves, creating our own hell. We arrive at this place through a world that beats us down and reminds us of our imperfection. We can only escape it if we escape these feelings of unworthiness....if we begin to love ourselves enough to stand up for our worthiness, to love others without excessive stipluations.

In the coming year, I will be hosting a facebook group that discusses the ideas in "A Course in Miracles" (ACIM), which provides a pathway out of fear and back into love. If you are not familiar with ACIM, it is laid out in daily devotional fashion, with 365 lessons that lead one through a process of thought-changing exercises. It has been inspirational to many who have sought a more spiritual path. Although it takes little time for each exercise, the effect can be profound. There is no pressure to do every lesson or to follow any daily routine or ritual, just the need for an open mind and heart. Having this on facebook provides an easy way to work through the process, with support from others of like mind. The facebook page will allow for informal discussions of the ideas in ACIM and a reflection on how it is working in our lives. It will sometimes connect to ideas on this blogsite and vice versa.

If you are interested in studying "A Course In Miracles" and would like to join the facebook group, CLICK HERE.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Purposeful Giving: Give What You Wish to Receive

Give, and it will be given unto you. (Luke 6:38)

During this season of giving, we are provided with an opportunity to be thoughtful in what we give to others. In our commercialized society, gift giving, like much of our lives, has become about things. The giving process becomes more about obtaining the right purchase for each person on our list...the holidays about decorating our homes in certain way, often adding stress to already over-committed lives. As is often the case, the Universe provides us with circumstances to help us learn and grow if we choose to do so. At this particular time when finances are tough for many, we are provided a wonderful opportunity to remove ourselves from the need to exchange excessive monetary gifs and become more contemplative in our sharing, giving in ways that are more meaningful to both the giver and the receiver.

It is a powerful spiritual approach to give that which we wish to receive for ourselves....if you wish to receive forgiveness, give forgiveness to receive healing, help another to receive patience from others, be patient with another. You will soon learn that your needs are fulfilled, or even that the things you thought you needed to receive from others were within you all the time. In that act of giving it away, we reconnect with what we already had.

For those with financial concerns or who are seeking less financial stress, this process of giving gifts from the heart rather than the wallet provides a gift within itself...if you wish for financial relief, give it to yourself by resisting the temptation to make the holidays about monetary purchases or giving more stuff. In taking this new approach, you will likely see both the financial relief, as well as the gift that comes from giving something deeper, from sharing a more spiritual gift...a gift of time, of love, and one that will be far more meaningful than anything at the shopping mall.

Take a calmer approach to the holidays, think about what you can give from your heart, and feel the peace that follows.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Giving Up the Need To Be Right

We all love to be right. The recent trends in our culture have exacerbated that tendency, from excess litigation, to the common phrase of "it's just business", we are fraught with excuses that give us the green light to do whatever it takes to achieve that "win". We choose our "side" first, then decide how to back it up to make us feel right.

In the political arena, we see it constantly. Those who are "against" a candidate or leader send blazing emails to everyone they know to bring him/her down, rarely taking the time to check the validity of what they are sending, simply interested in being right. This comes from BOTH sides, because both sides are so focused on winning the "wrong" or "right" argument that they take little time think about finding truth or compromise, little time to get to the heart of how we can solve problems, engrossed instead on how our side can win the next election.

This tendency is not confined to the political is in most everything we do. Is is paramount in our religious and spiritual conversations. These, to me, are the most important ones, because if we can grow spiritually...truly growing, rather than just focusing on winning...our other problems, both individual and collective, will begin to disappear. It is our constant need to fight to be right that fuels our problems. There is a saying that "what we resist, persists", when we go against something, it is given power. This is what JUDGMENT is all about. When we judge something, we are actually contributing to it. When we take a fighting stance against it, we are in a negative energy; when we accept others views with respect - even if we disagree - our energy is positive and can usher is a light that will create miracles.

But where do we begin? Our world is so caught up in being right that it sometimes seems that it would be impossible to create any lasting effect. However, numerous studies on energy (done in scientific fashion) have indicated that having a mere 3% of positive thought can have enough impact to tip us in the other direction (that tells us a little about how our positive vs. negative thoughts stack up right now!).

Mother Teresa said, "I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there." This is an example of choosing positive thought over negative thought. When we are against something, we are pointing out that someone else is wrong...we are caught up in our need to be right. When we shift our thoughts to a positive one, such as "pro-peace" it changes the entire perspective, minimizing the resistance. A single positive thought is exponentially stronger than a single negative thought, which is why it would only take a small percentage of truly positive thinkers to change the world.

YOU can be part of that 3% by simply changing your thoughts from negative to positive. Expect the best rather than the worst, see the good in others rather than the bad, spend your time building on positive things rather than tearing down what you oppose. You will notice a change around will begin to attract more positive people...those who are excessively negative may not be able to handle the shift, and may even attack or become hostile to try to get you back into the negative camp, but will simply drift away if you persist in a positive light. I say this from my own experiences, where I felt the need to be right, the desire for validation, but instead shifted into detachment from that necessity. It brought peace to me and eliminated the conflict. It lifted me up and opened the way for greater things within me.

At this time of year when we think of peace, love, and giving...choose to give the gift of positive thought...give up the need to be right, show respect without personal attack when you debate an issue, or simply agree to disagree when it seems that differences cannot be resolved. Detach your ego from the discussion. We often say that we want peace in the world, yet the only way to achieve that is to have peace within ourselves...we cannot encourage peace if we do not have it within us. Conflicted hearts bring on conflicted ways, but contented hearts bring on joy and harmony. Find peace and serenity in yourself and your surroundings, and you will help change the world.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Revisiting St. Francis

One of the most beloved prayers from which many of us derive comfort is the Prayer of St. Francis (of Assisi). It offers an avenue to our Higher Selves by reminding us to be a vessel for giving and allowing..."for it is in the giving that we receive". It is an example of not praying for something to be brought to you, rather that things be brought to others through you. If we adopt these thoughts and live them on a more daily basis, we soon realize that BEING love, BEING compassion, BEING forgiveness, brings the same back to us.

When I have difficulties in my life or struggles that seem to hold me down or cause me glimpses of doubt or uncertainty, I try to rely on the Prayer of St. Francis as a reminder that everything I need is within me - by giving it, it is mine. If I feel unloved, giving love changes that. If I feel sadness, giving joy to another changes that. By giving light, I change the darkness that may be around me, turning despair into hope...hope into faith. We often forget that we are capable of making change around us - simply by living change, living a new light, a new way. This is how St. Francis lived - giving of himself.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

No matter how many times I have read or recited this prayer, it always gives me a warm feeling, a wash of warm love, courage, empowerment. On a previous blog post, I wrote about my own "encounter" with St. Francis and how touched I have been by his powerful presence around me. This post is entitled, "How Spirit Speaks" (click on title to link to post). It was an incredible example of how God and Spirit are there, waiting to connect with us, if we find the faith to step outside of our tight boundaries and seek that greater connection. It was a powerful moment of faith for me, and is one of the many moments of grace that have helped me follow this journey of healing and connection, helping others find their way through sharing my turn, helping me see more miracles through them...helping me feel the power of God more readily by being a vessel for that unconditional love, that energy that heals all things. By sharing faith, I receive more faith, just as St. Francis did.

(Click here for link to previous St. Francis post).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More On Gratitude...

Last week, I wrote a post about gratitude, and very shortly thereafter, a friend shared an idea on facebook for posting something that we are thankful for every day until the end of the month (the synchronicity of positive thought!) It was a great idea for getting us in the regular habit of consciously being grateful for all of the things around us, rather than focusing on negatives as we sometimes do.

Around that same time, another friend suggested a facebook group called "Days of Gratitude" with the concept of being grateful for something every day. This is a group of three women who are promoting the concept of adopting daily gratitude into your life as a way to usher in change, with the belief that by doing their exercises for 30 days, you will see positive changes. This is a simple way to begin to see and appreciate all of the gifts around you, instead of seeing the obstacles in your way.

To join this group or download their book, search fo "Days of Gratitude" on facebook...or go to their website:

Likewise, if you would like to challenge your facebook friends to post something every day until the end of this Thankgiving month that they are thankful is very simple way to get those closest to you thinking in grateful terms. Spread the gratitude and spread the love!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Living in Gratitude

In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November is a time for being grateful for all that we have. It has become traditional to enjoy a feast in celebration of blessings. The act of gratitude carries a powerful energy, not only in making one realize how much there is to appreciate around us, but also in generating more things to be grateful for. Yes, gratitude generates more blessings, if approached in the proper way.

Many of us have been taught to be grateful, but it is often with the overshadowing idea that we should be grateful because we dont' deserve the things we have. How many times have you heard, "Everything you have is God's...Everything you receive is only by His grace"...This thought process dilutes the power of gratitude. It plants the idea that we do not deserve anything, that we are not worthy of our blessings. While it is great to appreciate God's goodness or the blessings of the Universe, we also need to remember that we are deserving of goodness. It is only when we feel that we are not deserving, that we are bad or unworthy, that we BECOME less.

Guilt makes us feel that we are less than the magnificent beings that we are. It prevents us from feeling God's love. It creates our SEPARATION from God, not our CONNECTION to God. Until we release guilt, love ourselves, and remember our perfection beneath the negativity, we cannot be ONE with God. If Hell is a separation from God, then we create our Hell through guilt, which also tells us that we do not deserve more. Hell is not a place we go to after living a "bad" life, it is what we create in our minds from feeling guilt and unworhtiness.

To return to God/Source and to our own greatness as the Divine beings we were created to be, we must give up guilt and live in true gratitude - a gratitude that includes full acceptance that we deserve our blessings. Once we begin to practice this and believe it, we know that we are here to do more, that we have a greater purpose in this world. We then remember our Oneness with God and return to Heaven, leaving behind the Hell that is simply our own creation.

In this month of giving thanks, make a list of the things you are grateful for, and do so with the thought that each and every good thing you are listing is deserved. Move beyond the things that are easily seen as "good", and become grateful for the "bad" things or the difficulties you have experienced, understanding that they were opportuntities for growth or an avenue to get you where you are now. Forgive others who you may have perceived as doing you wrong and instead be grateful for what they taught you. It will lift burdens and open you up to experience deep joy.

True and complete gratitude will bring you gifts and blessings beyond what you have ever imagined. Make your list...add to it daily....see the good in the hardship...and more importantly, see the good in yourself and know that the best is yet to come and that you deserve it. After you have listed the things you are currently grateful for, make a list of things you will be grateful for in the future...a wish list of sorts. Feel gratitude for them in advance...and watch them begin to unfold.

One of the many things I am grateful for is those of you who read my blogs and have been touched by these thoughts. You are helping me live out my purpose to love, share, and heal. Thanks to each and every one of you.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Tomorrow will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall, built by communists to divide Germany, eliminating freedom, open travel, and personal opportunity for many. During the 28 years that the wall stood, 136 people were killed trying to cross it, while a divided nation felt isolated, restricted, and controlled by the barrier. The celebration upon the opening of the wall was monumental, with many Berliners dancing atop the structure while others crossed in awe and disbelief, excited for the return of personal freedom.

We build many walls in our lives, whether personally or as a society. On a societal level, we have had so many things dictated to us from such an early age that we don't ever even question many of them or examine them for their worth or validity. On a personal level, we succumb to these models for how to do things, rarely thinking from or following our hearts.

Many of us are feeling shifts in thought occurring, particularly relating to our spiritual paths, as well as feeling them in the greater community and world - a change in awareness, consciousness, and vibration that beckons us to seek more, that excites us with its potential for human growth, in a shift from fear and judgment to a place of more acceptance and love. Many Germans never imagined that the wall they had come to accept would ever come down. Most never challenged it but just lived with it as a part of their lives that could not be changed.

Throughout history, significant human change has come when a few committed souls were audacious enough to expect more, to expect change, even in situations where it seemed impossible. Ronald Reagan dared to utter, "Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!" Many, including some of his senior staff, criticized Reagan that his speech was too harsh or "unpresidential", concerned that it made his sound crazy or that it would damage his standing. But he left the remark in his speech, delivered it forcefully and with conviction, going on to declare that it WOULD occur...

"As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner, 'This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.' Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom."

Reagan ignited the hope of those who believed in a better world, and inspired new faith in those who had not believed.

Many of us feel these shifts in energy and see miracles occurring through faith. We believe that there are changes coming in the world. Many others try to discredit us, dismiss our experiences, or even worse, label our thoughts as evil or dangerous. But we KNOW better. It WILL occur, if we declare it forcefully and bravely, giving others around us the courage to believe, to expand their thoughts, to open themselves up to a greater God, a greater Self, and a greater earth, in spite of the resistance or the nay saying. For, as Ronald Reagan said, it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall of self-limiting thought or controlling religious and social edicts cannot withstand freedom that comes from opening our minds to more.

There are many examples of healing, miracles, joy, and faith that are occurring for those who have changed their thoughts. Science and spirituality are being shown to work hand-in-hand to reiterate the same ideas, rather than disproving each other or being at odds. Those who dare to read, experience, and explore will find more...their walls will come down...their universe will open to more than they ever imagined. Those who do not will be left behind the walls of limitation, of their own choosing. It is simply a matter of which we live in a new and brighter world that encourages the personal freedom to know God more deeply, or in a world where restricted spiritual thought limits God in our lives, or limits our own greatness.

Be courageous...tear down that wall.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Heal Yourself...All Else Will Follow

My friend Andrea posted a comment on Facebook that I thought was worth expanding. Her comment was "Don't run around and try to heal all your friends and family, do your own work and heal yourself.This will do more good for those around you than anything else."

She practices Reiki and other methods of healing and spiritual exploration, as I do. I think her comment is a beneficial one in examining where we need to focus most. It is wonderful and rewarding to help others around you, whether it be with healing work, assisting them with their troubles, or offering advice; but it is even more important to heal yourself. Ultimately, all healing comes from within, so until one is ready to get real and honest with their own issues and needs, no true and lasting healing can take place. Recurrent problems, even if momentarily minimized or squelched, will rise again, either in the same form or another.

One thing that I have found with healing work is that when others begin to think you have all the answers, it is easy for them to begin to lean on you for all of their fixes, forgetting that each of us always has the answers within ourselves if we are willing to go to our Higher Selves and Source to connect with those answers. Part of helping others is often giving them the morsels that they need, then sending them on their own way, setting them free to learn on their own, like a mother bird sends her young ones off to fly. It is similar to the adage, "Feed a man a fish and he will be nourished for a day..teach a man to fish and he will be nourished for a lifetime"...Show them a way, then let them nourish themselves.

It is important that each of us who is on a journey of healing or who desires to embark on a spiritual path takes the time to heal and nourish ourselves first and foremost. Even if we desire to help others, we must realize that they have to want help (and it is not our place to push it on them), and that they have to be willing to do much of the work themselves, to accomplish healing deep inside. Once one goes within and heals their own body or soul, their light will inevitably touch, inspire, or heal others around them - whether they are actively seeking this or not. Simply being in the right light and vibration has a positive effect on all those around us.

So..if you desire to help others, to be a light to the world, or to contribute to a positive movement in anything, first, heal yourself, take care of, value, and appreciate yourself. Then go out and BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Muddying the Waters

It has become a widely used ploy in our society to muddy the waters over hot issues to prevent them from truly being discussed. Indeed, confusing the topic by changing the subject or stirring up fringe issues is often effective to squelch ideas or eliminate the debate....If you want to get the true debate off the table or avoid a subject directly, throw in a few tangents that will cause the spotlight to move elsewhere.

We see this in politics and government, where many seem incapable of just getting down to the facts, instead, confusing the important topics by throwing in irrelevant garbage or a lot of posturing. We see this in education, where layers of non-sense seem to permeate every facet, instead of just focusing on the issues that need it. We see this in religion, where a sure fire way to sidestep discussion is to throw in a few Bible verses to try to stamp out the discussion without any true communication or meaningful experience. We see this in families and relationships, where those who don't want to deal with issues create turmoil in other ways so that the tough subjects get avoided. If there are other distractions, no one has to face the deeper issues, making it easier to deny their existence.

We also do this in our individual lives. Rather than addressing our own issues or moving forward in our purpose or calling, we think of other things that suddenly need our attention..."I will do it after this dies down... I just can't do it now because of all of this other stuff..." It amounts to mere excuses. We all use them, we all lean on them. They are simply ways to change the subject from what we know we need to do by focusing on why we cannot do them. Others in our lives sometimes use the tactic on us when we try to move forward, applying fear, guilt, or other control tactics to muddy the waters, confuse us, or keep us off of our true goals or the issue at hand.

Once we begin to recognize the tactic rather than getting caught in its confusion, we are able to sidestep the distraction and stay focused. Think about your own life and surroundings...Are there common barriers that come up when you try to take charge and move ahead?...Are there resounding obstacles?...Are there others that tend to get in the way or discourage you, or situations that continue to crop up to prevent your progress? If so, those may be muddied waters, creating illusions to mask the reality, to prevent us from seeing clearly. Once you can see through them, they will no longer get in your way, or at least not as easily. Identifying them is the first step in moving on to a greater place that is more real, less illusion...a place of clarity that moves us beyond the murk and helps us identify our greater purpose.

Take the time to identify the ways in which your waters get muddied, either by you or by others. At first, they can be difficult to identify because we have become so accustomed to succumbing to them, but with time and practice, we become better at recognizing them for what they are. This process can lead you to a more direct path to your Higher Self, a place where clarity and peace will be yours.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Excessive Celebration

I like college football. I love the collective energy, the excitement, and the team spirit that propels players and teams on to be better. Within the last few years there has been a crackdown on what is called "excessive celebration," meant to discourage players and teams from taunting in ways that incite violence or fights on or off the field. While I can appreciate that the rule is designed to encourage sportsmanship and has a purpose, I think it is too often applied inappropriately by the officials. How can a player not show excitement when they have just scored a late-in-the-game touchdown that puts their team ahead in a big game? Celebrating with your teammates in those moments should be part of the game, not something you get penalized for, yet too many times the flag is thrown for simple joy that has nothing to do with taunting anyone.

Recently, I watched an interview with an NFL administrator about this topic. He explained that in the pro league that they would never interfere or penalize someone for praising the Lord (by going to one knee as in prayer, or crossing themselves, raising their hands to heaven...and exhibiting other "accepted" religious behavior). So if I am understanding this can celebrate long as you are doing it in OUR can "taunt" as long as you do it in the name of God?! :)

The reason I am writing about this sports topic is that I think it is a metaphor for how we lead much of our lives, being discouraged from living in true joy and passion. We are taught the way to do everything - the way to worship, the way to be excited (but not too excited), the way to pray (in a stoic manner), the acceptable plan for life (2.5 kids, a stable job, a house in the burbs...or some similar formula that shows we are successful and stable). It does not take long until our lives are robotic...and we don't even REALIZE that they are robotic because it was hammered into us so early and for so long.

I think this is especially true in our spiritual lives. So many people have been so well trained in their approach to God and spirit that they have lost the magic and of the Universe that is there for our enchantment and joy. (Even the word "magic" is considered bad by some staid religions). I believe that when we are in a true and unencumbered connection with God, that our joy will be overwhelming...our celebration excessive and often difficult to contain. I have had those moments myself, and have even felt the stare or disapproval of those who would be "referees," so eager to penalize anyone who shows too much happiness in their spiritual connection, or who dares to want to share that openly with the world.

Find your moments of excessive celebration, even if in private. That feeling of joy and gratitude will fuel greater things in your life. The more you celebrate what is around you, the more you will see new things to celebrate, new avenues to grow, new opportunities to live out your make the world a better and happier place.

The warmup clock has ticked down...Now it is time to kick off your new joy and new life. Will you play or will you forfeit?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Preventative Healing

We hear a lot about Preventative Medicine in our culture, be it well care checkups, immunizations, or tests and scans that are recommended to catch the physical problem before it becomes a bigger problem. I believe we need take that a step further, and heal ourselves from within so that medicine is less likely to be needed. This can be in the obvious form of adopting a more healthy lifestyle or in a deeper form of spiritual healing and nurturing that soothes us so profoundly that we don't manifest outer disease.

Spiritual healers such as Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer refer to disease as dis-ease, meaning that disease is the result of our bodies being "ill at ease" with something...with our path, our relationships...our own inner resistance to our outer situation, which then creates tension and stress in our bodies and ultimately manifests itself in disease. Louise Hay has certainly lived that idea in her own healing of cancer in her body, as well as through the many people who have been helped by her books or those of other Hay House authors. There are many examples in which these spiritual leaders have shown through their own experiences that one can heal physical illness through faith and by ridding the body of things that have caused dis-ease.

While preventative medicine is a wonderful avenue for staying healthier, we should not forget other measures that do not have to do with medication or medical practices, delving into ourselves to find our true path and course, which will then put us as ease, rather than dis-ease. Our health issues can be wonderful clues from above as to what we need to work on, or which directions are not working for us. All that it requires is that we pay attention, in earnest, and take steps to correct our missteps or alter areas that are incongruent with our true plan or purpose. When we begin to live our lives more accurately on our path and rid ourselves of the obstacles (self-imposed or otherwise) that steer us away from our Higher Selves, then our bodies will become more at ease with our choices, through better health, fewer physical problems, looking younger, and other noticeable physical responses.

I speak repeatedly on this blogsite about spiritual guidance through connection to Source, to God, to angels and spirit. I do so because I have seen so many wonderful and miraculous things in my own life and many of those that I have worked with, so I KNOW that it can have an immediate and profound impact on one's life. I feel that I must share that with as many as possible, as many as are willing to listen or open enough to consider the possibilities. There is a great energy that is touching many people at this time to examine their lives, to search for a deeper spirituality, to find and live their real purpose...rather than just living out a routine existence. It is a truly exciting time. If you have ailments that are bothering you, understand that they may have a deeper root than just the medical implication, then search beyond the pills and medicine to try to go to a deeper place within yourself and a higher power beyond what you have known so far. (This does not mean to ignore the medical options, but simply not stop at those for all of your solutions!). If you search earnestly and faithfully, I believe you will find your answers, your healing, your peace.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Patience or Procrastination?

Patience has been considered a virtue in life. It is certainly an ability or mindset that we should develop. But many times, there is a fine line between patience and procrastination - when it becomes avoidance. Sometimes, we ask for or pray for what we need, then sit back and tell ourselves it is okay, just be patient. We wait and wait for something to happen, ignoring opportunities that are presented to us to MAKE it happen.

A while back I wrote a post that talked about waiting to be rescued...missing the signs or opportunities that God sends us to be rescued while telling ourselves that we are waiting for God in faith. Our patience and faith become obstacles to utilizing the things that are sent our way to help us get exactly what we need. When I work with individuals in their spiritual growth and healing, I often see these habits. The person has a need that they want to be met or a problem that they want to be fixed. They believe that it will happen...they have faith, and tell themselves to be patient, that God is helping them. They truly believe that, and they SHOULD believe it, because it is true. But then they wait and wait for the new job, for the help with financial difficulties, for the assistance in dealing with a problematic relationship or situation, for physical healing. They wait...and they wait...and they wait.

Meanwhile, they miss or ignore opportunities that are right in front of them...not applying for jobs, not curtailing their spending or downsizing their lifestyles, not confronting those who are taking advantage of them, not taking steps to get healthier, not making changes to their own habits or actions. One thing that has become obvious to me, with this "spiritual vision" that I have, is that God ALWAYS sends us the opportunities to latch on to our miracles, we simply can't or won't see them. Anything that is outside of our norms or against what we feel totally comfortable with gets ignored, even if it can be our solution, our new life, our awakening. We sit waiting for something to be done, telling ourselves that we are being patient (and therefore virtuous), when often, we are just procrastinating about doing anything ourselves. I find myself doing this many times, and I also see others doing it.

Recently, I had a fortune cookie that said, "Procrastination is nothing more than the fear of success." I think this is so true. Our fears are Ego trying to hold us back (not the "pride" kind of ego that we commonly think of, but the energy of fear that causes negative emotions like anger, jealously, greed). The "Ego" part of us talks our Higher Self (our greatest potential) out of moving forward. It wants to keep us stuck in the norms and routines of society that make us like robots, and block our true spiritual breakthroughs - stopping us from living up to our Divine Purpose.

In contrast to the people that I have worked with in their spiritual growth who miss the signs or procrastinate on acting upon them, I also see those who heed the signs, listen to the messages, and take action. These are the individuals who have the instantaneous breakthroughs and experience powerful examples of immediate healing and life improvement. It is simply a matter of being willing to take the necessary steps to change. Rather than procrastinating, they take action, follow signs, and see the changes, understanding that God/Angels/Spirit have a better view and vantage point on their situation, so they ask for signs, listen to answers, then move forward in faith by doing the things they need to do to gain improvement, to take charge of their lives, to step into their true self and purpose.

Examine the areas in your life that you are waiting to be "fixed" and do an honest assessment of whether you are being patient or procrastinating. Are you doing things and making choices to make situations better while also understanding that it may take time (patience), or are you asking for help but doing nothing on your own to really deal with your issues (procrastination). The big difference is (yet another "P" word)... "PRODUCTIVITY". I think, in general, most of us fall into the procrastination category for much of our lives. When we step into the "productive but patient" arena, we can eliminate the procrastination, while also showing faith through our patience. Our problems may not be solved in an instant every time, but we will be making progress toward their solutions through our willingness to heed the signs, answer the call, and seize the opportunities.

Open your mind to see and take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you. Take charge of your life by taking your charge of your solutions. You will be amazed at how quickly you will see your new and more beautiful life take shape.

Friday, September 18, 2009

An Honest Day's Play

The phrase, "an honest day's work" is one that many of us have heard very often, with the connotation that work is always admirable and honest...and play, well not so much. We have falsely been given the impression that work is good while things that purely for pleasure are indulgent, not totally necessary in our lives. Those who play often are looked at as not serious enough, lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined. We pressure our children to strive for more, barely acknowledging their last accomplishments before pressing on to the next challenge. Our Type-A society leaves little room for out-and-out relaxation or seemingly unproductive play.

Young children know how to play. They don't even think about it, not weighing whether it would be better to reorganize their closet or chase butterflies, not admonishing themselves for playing too much or regretting what they should have gotten more tasks done instead. I believe that children are closest to God among us, because they remember pure joy. They expect that their needs will be met and are therefore able just enjoy the moment. It is not until we burden them with our society's troubles and pressures that they forget.

In Biblical context, Jesus said,
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3, NIV)

I believe Jesus was telling us to be like children, trust like children, play like give up our worldly/adult ways of worrying, toiling, and needing to be right, to instead finding what makes us joyous and doing it. There is a popular phrase, Find Your Bliss which provides good advice. Until we find our bliss, our joy, our playfulness - until (we) become like little children - we will never be closer to God, will never fully return to Him, will never return to our true and wondrous selves and enjoy heaven. In our worldly/adult world we create hell, not knowing that heaven is in our grasp at all times. We cannot find God/Source through analyzing, debating, or arguing who is right or through jockeying for acceptance through broadcasting our ego-based achievements...We can only find that place by finding our childlike playfulness, revisiting the experience of joy and peace, letting it ripple out from us to others.

Take regular time out for an honest day's play. It is where you will find your bliss and find heaven again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Spirit Speaks

A few years ago when my life began to open up to gifts and abilities to connect with spirit, to the intuitive ability to feel and see people's issues, their pain, and their path out or their purpose - I went through several months of intense and profound occurrences as I learned to deal with gifts and experiences, trying to navigate how to use them. I was also learning to trust and believe in myself, as we are taught in our society that these things do not occur. It is not even easy to tell others that you have had this experience, because so many will either mock your or condemn you for it. It was a period in which I knew the events were very real, but still needed reassurance that I should stay on this path.

There were so many experiences that took my breathe away at the time, but because of the common pattern of occurrence that developed, many of them sometimes got lost or forgotten in my daily routine, or as new experiences would occur. There are certain ones that stood out, however, as they marked a new level of connection or were delivered in such an obvious way that I could not deny them...or they were so magical and special that the feeling of God and spirit around me was breathtaking. I try to remember the really big ones fairly often, so that I never forget the realness or the magnitude of the occurence. One such big moment that told me that I really did have this connection was early on, when I was still partly denying these gits, in a moment in which I felt as if felt St. Francis of Assisi was by my side.

I was spending time away on the gulf coast of Florida to clear my head, eliminate distractions, and allow spirit to connect. My rented condo was on the 14th floor with a lovely balcony overlooking the gulf. Being in the month of October, it was cool and beautiful weather, making it fabulous to open the windows and doors to breathe the salt air and hear the sound of the waves. I had been on a long walk in meditation, and came back feeling a powerful presence with me. The name St. Francis came into my head, but I doubted my own ability to connect, thinking myself foolish for the thought. But something led me to retrieve a set of divination cards depicting Saints and Masters of faith. I cut the deck...and pulled the card of St. Francis...first cut, first card. Even though this astonished me, I, in my worldly mode of disbelief, still wasn't sure if I had this right...How could this be possible?...Why would St. Francis be here for me?...I must be crazy!

So I said a prayer apologizing for my doubts and fears, and asked that if St. Francis was indeed there, could he please give me another sign. As I sat at the dining table in prayer, I opened my eyes several seconds later. At my feet was a little sparrow who had come to the balcony of this specific condo 14th floors up, ventured through the 6" opening from the sliding glass door, and hopped across the living room to the dining area, a good 12 feet inside the condo, just inches from my feet, staring up at me in stillness. I looked at this little sparrow, such an apt symbol of St. Francis, with tears in my eyes, thanking it for doing this unusual task. The little bird stared up at me, and after my brief conversation thanking it and acknowledging its deed, it turned around, hopped back across the living room floor, out the door, then flew away to go about its day.

It was so appropriate for a sparrow to appear to represent St. Francis, since he was well known for his connection to animals and particularly to birds, alleged to have given a sermon to large flocks of feathered friends who would come to him naturally. He is often depicted with a sparrow on his shoulder. St. Francis was also known for his powerful healing ability, and for walking away from his family's wealth and notoriety to follow his calling from God, even though it made all those around him question his sanity. He is known for being true to himself.

Although many people might attribute this to mere coincidence, it was far beyond that. The timing and the likeliness of a sparrow coming inside through my door at that exact moment was too much to explain as a chance occurrence. It was a moment, among many others, which affirmed to me that I was on the right track, that this calling was real, and that I was being asked to follow in faith, even if it meant sacrifice, even if it meant that those around me might question me or fail to understand.

If we are willing to listen, Spirit (which you may call God, Holy Spirit, Source, Allah) speaks to us in powerful ways. The more receptive we become to the idea, the more attuned we will become to connect to it or understand it, and the stronger the experiences will be. Ask God to communicate with you through experiences that will guide you to the next step on the journey to your Purpose. If you are willing, the signs will come, and will magnify as you begin to acknowledge and expect it. This process will be life changing, because Spirit can offer such a better perspective than we can see in our grounded Earthly existence. Spirit is always waiting to show us the way on our path or to show us our Purpose in this life. God, angels, and spirit are waiting to connect, if you will let them in. Ask and is there for you always.

The well known Prayer of St. Francis provides a beautiful way to ask...

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dr. Oz & Health Empowerment

The Dr. Oz show officially started this week. Most of us know Dr. Oz from his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the past several years, and, prior to that, his own Discovery Channel show, Second Opinion.

Dr. Oz, although a leading cardiac surgeon and Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Columbia University, is well aware of the inner ability to heal ourselves. In an Associated Press article (9/6/09), he is quoted as saying, "I found myself going to work and taking care of people who wanted to get better who believed that their only path to salvation was through my scalpel...I can heal with steel. I know how to do that. But it's very disenfranchising when you realize the true solutions are outside the operating room."

While medicine and medical procedures are a blessing and often offer miracles for repairing our weak or damaged bodies (often self-inflicted or self-induced through our own habits or denials), it is the inner healing and personal responsibility for our health that has been largely ignored in our culture in the recent past. We tend to do whatever we want to do, no matter how bad it is for us, then expect a pill or procedure to cure us without any real changes of our own. The combination of lifestyle changes along with benefits of medicine when needed is our way to a healthier society and the resolution of our healthcare issues. It is not enough to just throw money at more widely available health services, the root of the solution must also address our ability to heal ourselves in other ways than expensive and invasive medical procedures.

I find it humorous, in that way that spirit speaks to us, that Dr. Oz has the last name "Oz"... a name associated with the "Wizard of Oz," who conveyed to Dorothy that she had everything she needed within her all along, she did not need a wizard to fix her problem. I would say that Dr. Oz has found his true calling and purpose (which is quite evident in his enthusiasm), and that his name is just an affirmation of that!

What is even more promising about Dr. Oz, at least to me, is that he has advocated Reiki and energy work as an means of healing. He was one of the first doctors to allow Reiki during open heart surgeries that he performed. His wife, Lisa, is a Reiki Master. In her appearances during the "All About YOU Tour," she was quoted as saying, "My father's a doctor, my brother's a doctor, my husband's a doctor. I was actually a little contemptuous of Reiki at first. But life is energy. The difference between those body organs over there and you is energy. Everything is energy." Like many of us, Lisa Oz was skeptical about Reiki at first. It went against so many ideas that she had been brought up to believe...but then she tried it, and became a believer. Trying Reiki often does that to people. I know that was the case for me.

It is indeed powerful to have such a couple as Mehmet and Lisa Oz who can show the world the benefits of combining energy work with modern medicine to achieve not only our greater physical benefit, but our deeper spiritual experience...because these go hand in hand.

Click here to link to the "The Dr. Oz Show" website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Beautiful Prayer

A friend emailed me a prayer this morning (author unknown), and it was one that is so touching and so accurate for how we should try to approach life and treat others that I will post it here. Adopting these thoughts reminds us to have both gratitude and compassion - a potent combination of energy and emotion that puts us in a place to create miracles around us. Often prayers just become recited words, but the imagery of this prayer provides situations that we can truly relate to in our daily lives, offering a reminder of both where we are and where we want to be on our spiritual path.

Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together .

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love . It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

If you send this to people, then you have a chance to touch them. You won't get any wish for material things, however you might just find a piece of serenity and the warmth of God's touch.

Read this prayer, feel it, connect with it and live it. If you do so, the feelings of gratitude and compassion that it evokes will certainly cause positive changes and miracles in your life that will reverberate around you.

You may feel inspired to add your own "verses" to remember yourself, or share through the comment link below. There are so many situations in which we need to remember to show love and compassion, rather than annoyance or judgment. The more we recognize them, the easier it is to change our behavior.

May you feel blessings yourself and provide blessings for others.
(To email this post to friends, please click on the envelope icon below).

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This past week, 17 year old Melanie Oudin set the tennis world on fire with her unexpected victories at the U.S. Open. Melanie sported the word BELIEVE on her tennis shoes, and the intensity of her game, along with the determined look on her face, made it evident that it was more than just a word, that she truly believed in herself in that moment. Her story ignited the crowd and television viewers, some who also adopted the word "Believe" on shirts and other attire.

Sports provide an arena for inspiration. It is one area of society where we still believe, knowing that expecting miracles can make all the difference in the outcome. Coaches seek to make the underdogs attach to belief because they understand that the energy of belief can make miracles, can help David slay Goliath. Fans know that their combined faith and enthusiasm can lift their team to greater heights, while players will readily acknowledge that the faith their fans put in them helps propel them. I think we love sports because it is a place where we can believe again, where we can remember our ability to change the outcome through mental determination - through faith. Through sports, we can practice that ability to cause great things to occur through the energy of belief.

For some reason, we find it easier to apply this belief in the sports arena, but harder in our day-to-day lives. If we adopted true faith, leaving behind fear that holds us back, we could experience more miraculous things in our lives. I find it interesting that serious athletes do not simply do things the way they have always been done, but seek new ways to get better, stronger, faster, through new technology, new equipment, new techniques. Contrast this to the typical spiritual experience in our society, which generally includes the rituals and practices of old, with little exploration of new things. Imagine if a modern day athlete refused to use any new weight training equipment, sticking only with the medicine ball and dumb bell to train. While they could certainly achieve some level of fitness with these old tools, their efforts could be much greater if they were simply open to trying new methods. If we approached our spiritual growth in the same fashion as an athlete, willing to study and explore new things to see what might give us new and better results, our spiritual lives could attain new heights. By adding the energy of belief - true faith - we would see miracles all around us. But too often, we stick with only the old approach, refusing to expand our growth through new ideas or new methods.

Return to the energy of belief in your life, and be willing to explore new ways to strengthen your spiritual practices. You just might see miracles and inspire others like Melanie Oudin did.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Advantage of Disappointment

I subscribe to Neale Donald Walsh's regular emails with thoughts on life and spirituality. The messages are sent in the context of "What I believe God wants you to know," and are usually a quick thought followed by a short paragraph that reinforces the thought. Over time, I have found that he often says exactly what I need to hear for whatever is going on in my life or that his thoughts reinforce my own, which is very reassuring. Today's message was one that I already try to live day-to-day because I have found that this thought process is perhaps the one single change that can have the most affect on spiritual evolution or changing one's life.

I believe God wants you to know...that disappointment is temporary. Only your thought is permanent.

Change your mind about what has disappointed you
and you will change your life. All disappointment is
just Advantage, looked at from the other side.

When my own spiritual journey went into high gear a few years ago, this concept was what was the most memorable to me...being grateful for disappointments and seeing them as gifts. I had a moment in which time stood still, while events of my life flashed before me like a rolodex of images and thoughts, flipping in front of me in great speed, yet I could feel and understand each and every one of them in a very deep and profound way. It was as if my life, both "good" and "bad" times, had been woven together into a perfect tapestry that had led me to that very moment, had prepared me in a perfect way for an awakening to a new journey and calling.

I have always been a person who gave forgiveness rather easily, understanding that difficult events make us stronger, and that as long I grew from an experience or learned from it that it wasn't entirely a loss. But in this moment, there was beauty and awe at the perfection of "my plan", or as some would say, "God's plan for me." Forgiveness is a wonderful and powerful energy, but it is not nearly as strong as the emotion of gratitude, which can truly change our lives. When we get to a place where we can not only let go of our own "mistakes" (forgiving ourselves) and those things that have perhaps been done "wrongly" toward us (forgiving others) we will experience true changes. By moving into a space of absolute gratitude for each experience, understanding that it was all perfect, that is was a beautiful gift of opportunity and growth for us, we are then on our way to true transformation - when we can truly let go of judgment against ourselves and others. It is in this space where we become closer to God/Source and can begin to have a deeper relationship with Him that is direct and personal, not dictated by anyone else. It is in this space where miraculous things begin to unfold around us.

Begin to see your disappointments as Advantages, gifts that will allow you faster growth and new opportunities that will be grander than you have ever envisioned. As Neale wrote, it will change your life.

Click here for Neale Donald Walsch's site

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is It All A Lie?

A few years ago, I was in an workshop put on by Sonia Choquette working with changing your vibration in order to achieve more sensory perception and joy. Sonia is a best-selling author with Hay House Publishing and is very entertaining. I remember laughing and feeling a lot of excitement and joy in the room, and learning how vibration can be a key element in a person's spiritual evolution.

But what I remember most from the workshop is not the exercises that we did, but a story she told about a client that she had worked with who was dying of cancer. This woman had been a client for quite some time, so Sonia knew her fairly well, or thought she did. The client was a woman who had had a wonderful and exemplary life...she had an enduring marriage and great financial success, four wonderful children who had gone into successful careers and lives, she had been a fabulous hostess, volunteer, dedicated church member, and model citizen...a life and legacy that most would envy. But during one visit, the client had asked Sonia, "How do I tell them?" Sonia thought she meant, "How do I tell them I am dying of cancer?"...but when she started to offer her best answer, the client interrupted her, and said, "No..I am at peace with the cancer and talking about that... I mean, how do I tell them it was all a lie?...That I never did what I came here to do...that it was a life wasted?" and proceeded to explain how she had never really been herself but had spent her lifetime pleasing others, never having the courage to make changes because she had a life that most would envy.

She was on her deathbed wondering why she had not been her true self, but had instead succumbed to the "ideal life" that we all are taught to strive for. She had deep regret that she had not lived out her real life purpose because of settling for the lifestyle, because of letting the world decide her happiness.

When I heard this story, it hit me in my gut, resonating deep within my solar plexus, ringing loudly in my ears. That line, "How do I tell them it was all a lie?" echoed in my head, as I realized that my life had been much of the same, through no real (or at least not intentional) fault of my own or those around me, but instead through the societal ideals that are put forth for us which never really encourage us to explore, which work hard to keep us within tight boundaries, marching to that same drum. I had let myself be lulled into the my life, put to sleep, so to speak, through the repetitve lull of routine or expectation.

Since that workshop, I have thought of that line many times. It was a moment that has kept me on course in being different, in accepting unusual gifts, in being willing to go out on a limb or risk others' disapproval or questioning. While I had already been doing that to some extent, that message was like a loud roar, asking me to find and live my true purpose. I did not want to one day be on my own deathbed and look back to realize that it was all a lie, or that I had come here with a purpose but had never truly sought it, never found it, never lived up to it.

I have a feeling that there are many others who feel at a crossroads about their seemingly good lives, knowing that there is more on their lifeplan, that they have a greater purpose. There is unrest, but it is a good unrest. We are familiar with saying that truth will set you free, yet few of us really live in truth, in that deep and soulful truth. When we do live in that place, it is unmistakable. We have joy that exudes from us. When we get out of that place, something always seem a little off, small things agitate us, we are not our true selves, and we are certainly not our highest selves. We often assess our lives based on the outward illusions, sometimes finding bits of happiness or contentment within those confines, but not finding supreme joy, a joy that comes from living in harmony with your soul and purpose.

But as I have written so many times on this blog or elsewhere, there is a path home. There is a way out. It may not be entirely easy and it may take you time to find it, but it will give you joy, and it is there if you ask and follow.

Click here for more information about Sonia Choquette's work.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Are You Being Held Captive?

One of the major current news stories is that of Jaycee Lee Dugard, the 29 year old woman who was held captive for 18 years after being abducted when she was 11 years old. From reports, she had ample opportunity to escape or make contact with her family or the authorities, working in the kidnappers' home-based business and enjoying use of Internet and telephones, as well as freedom of movement. Jaycee's story is an example of Stockholm Syndrome, in which captives begin to sympathize with their captors and adopt the captors' views, or think that they are safer with those who have abducted them.Despite having freedom available to her, Jaycee chose to stay with the kidnappers, enduring rape, even giving birth to 2 children fathered by Phillip Garido.

These stories are so difficult for us to fathom, as we question why anyone would choose captivity, choose to stay with their captors, never challenging or saying anything. Even with freedom at their disposal, they choose instead to stay. In this case, the captive was a child when abducted, but Stockholm Syndrome is reported even in abducted adults. It seems hard for us to imagine, yet it is a somewhat common occurrence in these situations.

While this concept seems shocking when we think of it in terms of physical captivity, most of us have succumbed to this affliction in our minds, our souls, our social and spiritual thinking, to some degree or another. We demonstrate this each time we agree to society's norms or fall victim to the rules that hold us back from our true joy, each time we follow prescribed thoughts and practices without question, afraid to step outside of the lines, afraid to be our true selves, willingly adopting the identity that was put upon us by parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, ministers, neighbors, peers - by our collective society, generally all well-meaning, but nonetheless restraining. These ideas are put upon us when we are young, like Jaycee was, and as we mature we begin to believe them, just as she did. We obediently follow this set of limits, confining ourselves voluntarily from the greater life that lies beyond, finding false comfort in our immediate safety or surroundings.

Once we have bought into sympathizing with our captor (the predetermined thoughts that society gives us through school, church, media, peer pressure), we are our own prison guard, relinquishing real life and freedom just to keep those around us happy, just to prevent their disappointment or rejection. It feels safe to stay within the boundaries, safe because we do not have to make decisions or be accountable, safe because we don't upset the apple cart of our own reservations. Even when we KNOW there is something better, even when we feel it deep within our souls, we are reluctant to accept it.

Marianne Williamson has said,
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

We do not fear being inadequate because that is what we are told either directly or in the more subtle ways that society, religion or individuals may tell us. We readily accept the negative things we are told..."You are not good enough..You are are not are will never amount to anything...You are selfish...greedy...lazy...sloppy...not disiplined enough...disorganized...fat...skinny...ugly...dumb...sinful...
Once we attach to any of these negative thoughts, they are implanted upon our psyche like a parasite, eating away at our true greatness. Even when we succeed or hear good things, they come with conditions that keep us bound by more limits.

Our most difficult fear to overcome is the realization that WE have the power, that we are actually in control of our own destinies. This is partly because we have been taught that we are flawed and partly because we don't want to feel responsible for being more. It is much safer to just stay within the boundaries and limitations than it is to look this fear in the eye and overcome it. Yet, just as in the cases of many Stockholm Syndrome victims, we have the freedom to leave when we want to. Claiming our freedom may require that we turn our thinking upside down until we can reverse our distortions to find our truth, find our way back to our true selves, to our oneness with the Creator, our unity with the Universe and all that it holds.

Do you suffer from Stockholm Syndrome in your life? Are your views truly your own, or mostly from those that have been implanted in your mind, particularly when you were young and impressionable? Do you think of yourself as limitless or limited? I think that many of us set up our spiritual beliefs based on what is around us and what we have been told. We do not seek to see or feel more because we are afraid of seeing our power and greatness.

But the good news is that Stockholm Syndrome is reversible. Escaping captivity and living in freedom is as simple as changing your thoughts, adopting new ideas, opening your mind to realize that you are more, that you will no longer be limited by the boundaries that others try to impose. At this time in history, it is much easier to challenge our thoughts and open our minds because there are so many more resources available to us for communication and dialogue, and because more and more people are heeding the call to do so (safety in numbers!) Do not fear your freedom -embrace it. Embrace the power you have within you to choose a new life and new way, as so many others are doing right now. Look around, listen, read, observe, connect.

Therein lies your way home.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Human Cells Respond to Energy Healing (link)

I recently came across a Reiki blog that offers some good information and insights about energy healing. This particular post was very interesting to me because it discusses a controlled study which demonstrated the effects of energy healing work on cells. The study shows that energy work which carries the intention of healing can have a noticeable effect on cells, offering such hope and promise for the future of alternative therapies based in energy and intent. Sometimes people need proof in order to believe that something is real or has real benefits, and studies like these can help open minds through bits of evidence, whick will possibly make more people try alternative healing methods.

Please enjoy this post on Lynda Lippin's blogsite, "Reiki Goddess" (linked below). For those of you who practice healing energy work, let it fuel you to do more, knowing that your good intention and energy can have such great benefits around you. For those who are curious about such work, I hope that it will encourage you to read more about these topics or even to try energy healing for yourself.

Reiki Goddess: Human Cells Respond to Energy Healing

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Benefits of Reiki & the Surrounding Controversy

Since health care and its expense are such a topic these days, I think it is important to point out that we do have options available to us that could significantly reduce the costs associated with it, as well as possibly get our bodies in better health through practices that integrate mind, body, and soul. One such option is Reiki, which I practice regularly (click on the link at top right for more specific info about the Reiki that I provide and my experiences with it). This practice has shown me both physical and spiritual benefits, and is something that has been very dear to me in my journey toward God.

It has recently been estimated that approximately 15% of hospitals in the U.S. now offer Reiki to patients, among these are such notable names as Yale Children's Hospital (New Haven, CT) , Duke Integrative Medicine (Durham, NC) , Sloan Kettering and Columbia Medical Hospital (both in NYC). At first, this was a slow process with only a few hospitals adding Reiki, some offering it as a regular hospital service, others through a volunteer system. Many within the medical community balked at the suggestion that it could offer benefits, or even mocked those medical professionals who were encouraging it, but because of promising results and good patient response, other hospitals began to take note and add Reiki to their own offerings.

Some medical benefits that have been reported are faster healing, and less need for pain medication - no small observations. If Reiki can help reduce or eliminate the pain for those who are ill enough to be hospitalized, just think what it can do for our day-to-day health needs or preventative practices...just think of the potential savings as well as the improved quality of life that could be enjoyed by so many people if chronic pain issues could be reduced, or healing of wounds or ailments enhanced. I have experienced these outcomes for myself, and have been blessed to witness them in others.

In addition to actual physical benefits, Reiki is known by many to enhance spiritual experiences as well. Of late, many groups and powerful organizations have begun to take very negative stances about Reiki, perhaps because of its increasingly widespread use with so many people having such positive things to report about it...perhaps because it threatens their own stance or the power that they enjoy. In particular, Catholic Bishops in the United States have spoken out about Reiki as "dangerous" (see post from 3/28/09 "Using Fear to Control"). This came in spite of, or perhaps because of, many Catholic nuns practicing Reiki, seeing great results through offering it to their communities and hospitals, as well as using it for their own spiritual progress or healing. Other vocal Christian groups have joined in the conquest to eradicate Reiki or put fear about it into their followers. Let's just hope they don't return to the Witch Hunts or the Inquisition! :)

As a lifelong Christian myself, I cannot for the life of me understand this fear. This practice does nothing to undermine my faith; in fact, it greatly enhances it - and far more than ANY of my experiences in several denominations and many religion based organizations or activities that I have been part of throughout my life. For religion to debunk or even go so far as to denounce a practice that provides pain relief, calmness, peace, or serenity is almost unfathomable to me. For anyone to try to decide for others what their spiritual practices should be, or to try to block or prevent others from new experiences that might enhance both their physical well-being and their emotional or spiritual well-being, is simply sad in its fearfulness. To me, it shows a lack of faith in God's magnificence, not a demonstration of it.

However...I am heartened that it is apparent from these actions that Reiki and other methods of spirituality have taken hold and gotten enough attention to make it seem important for religious groups to attack. A few years ago, the word "Reiki" was not familiar to most people. I remember having to explain it to friends, some of whom looked at me with confusion or as if I had gone off the deep end (although others had an immediate curiosity). I believe it is because of Reiki's great benefits that the practice is spreading so quickly - its benefit speaks for itself, and more and more people are beginning to appreciate the benefits and share that with others.

Throughout history, new ideas or practices that threatened the power of the church, oppressive governments, or others in power have been attacked or rebuked. On the religious front, Galileo was denounced by the church for suggesting that the sun was the center of our universe rather than the Earth....because it was said to go against Holy Scripture. He was forbidden to talk about it and his works were banned (similar to the way the Bishops banned Reiki, but thankfully without the power to imprison). In later times, obviously, it was discovered that Galileo was right, and we have had many advancements to human existence through the further exploration of his ideas.

Galileo has been quoted as saying,
You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.

God cannot be taught through studying limited books or memorizing scripture, nor can he be taught by listening to sermons; God can only be discovered in oneself. If we rely on others - whether they be church authorities, government authorities, or simply forceful or demanding friends and relatives - to decide our spiritual existence or define God for us, we cannot reach greater truths. We cannot know our full power and purpose with God if we easily relinquish it to the pressure of others, and I think we should be leery of anyone who tries to dictate God to us. If we indeed have a responsibility to Him, I think it is more likely to be one that tells us to explore rather than ignore, experience rather than be trained, learn by heart rather than by rote.

Please do not be fearful of Reiki because of denouncement by religions or religious people, whether well intentioned or not. If you have had a curiosity about it or a desire to try it, don't let others scare you away. Perhaps you have heard of it or have that curiousity because God put it there, just like God may have planted the thoughts about the Universe in Galileo's mind. Seek to experience life yourself. You may just find a greater God and a greater you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stepping Up for Change

We're a nation of laws, but the good thing about America, is that laws reside in the people and people can change the laws. (Rick Warren)

Unrest is brewing in our world. Town hall meetings are being attended by citizens who want the truth, who are no longer satisfied with the ways of Washington and are willing to make the effort to say it in a loud way. So many of us are getting tired of the way the system is being run - we are tired of both the left and the right, ready to challenge them to do better, to put their own agendas aside and find real ways to solve problems by letting go of ear marks, special interests, political aspirations,and the like, letting go of their hold and control so that individuals can be more. We, the mainstream, are getting restless.

One of the great beauties of the United States, with all of our warts and flaws, is that the foundation of our country was based on the ability to change, by setting up an evolving set of laws that could be altered as we learned and shifted. Our founders were brilliant in that respect - in understanding that our thinking is often flawed or caught in the context of the times, and that a good government needed to have the ability to change as people changed. Had it not been for that, we may not have ended slavery, may not have extended the vote to women or to those who did not own land. We may never have declared that people had a right to freedom of speech or the free exercise of religion. The ability and willingness to change, even if you don't agree with all of the changes, is what makes us a strong nation, not perfect, but strong because we can open our minds or accept debate. When we shift too far in one direction, the pendulum swings back, and eventually (hopefully) we will find a good place in the middle that respects all and allows similar freedom and opportunity for all.

I think that right now there is a voice telling us to "speak up...say 'enough is enough'...expect more...expect better". While I think it is important that people are beginning to show this unrest in the political arena, I think it is even more important that we do so in the spiritual or religious community. Just as our government and its laws reside in the people, God resides in each of us, not in an institution. There are so many wonderful things happening for those who are opening their minds and surrendering to a greater purpose, a greater God, a greater self - that we should not contain it or hide it. We should apply the same ability to change and evolve in our spiritual practices, always ready to learn and grow. If we allow our society to strongly hold on to one set standard of what God is, or cling to what God said many, many years ago as the ONLY thing that God could have said or the only version of God, we are denying Him the opportunity to show us more. We are now ready to be shown more, and it is time to allow that. Jesus faced the same obstacles in his messages of asking those of his time to seek more God than their religions of the time had shown them.

For my own path, I have surrendered several times to be more...surrendered to a purpose greater than myself. Along the way, I have had many fears to release, one being that those who challenge heavily entrenched religious ideas are often attacked mercilessly. I have always been a person that could respect others' religious opinions and "agree to disagree"...or to continue to debate with respect, and it can be very hurtful when others don't extend that to you, when they attack you or judge you unfairly, simply because you are asking for more from God. I know that the intend in my heart is good, and that will lead me forward.

Within the last week or so, I have experienced yet another moment of surrender, knowing that I had done enough of the quiet, behind-the-scenes work to get me to this place to say more, do more - yet I still had fear to release - fear of attacks that may come may way. But I also know deep within my soul that there are more people who will step up and experience more, share more - and who will be willing to be initiators of change, even if only in their own life and amongst their closes friends. It doesn't take a monumental effort - just living in a different way, such as letting go of judgment of others, to make a difference.

I can already feel assurance from God that there are others out there who are feeling this calling toward a greater spiritual experience and who will be willing to step up and claim it. The readership of this blog is beginning to take off, and I know that we are finding each other to walk this journey together. We have a great path to change things for the better, and it will be an amazing excursion if enough of us step into our purpose. If you feel called to this journey, feel free to comment on posts, or email me for a more personal connection ( We are in this together...and together we can change the world.