New Sister Blog!

Hi all Gratitude Experiment readers!  I wanted you to know that I now have a sister blog where I am writing ideas, tips, sharing video and guided exercises all based on the concept of conscious co-creating — how to work with the creative laws of universe to create our lives consciously!  Click here for the sister blog. The Gratitude Experiment will house blogs based solely on the idea that practicing proactive gratitude transforms our experience in life.

Aren’t these concepts closely related?  Yes, they absolutely are!  In fact, one of the most important practices in conscious co-creating is gratitude.  When we practice proactive gratitude (in other words, not waiting for something wonderful to happen, then expressing our gratitude about it, but rather actively searching for the good in our lives and celebrating it) we raise our vibration to a higher level that, in turn, attracts to us more and more blessings.

However, the art of conscious co-creating takes a more wholistic approach as we listen for a Divinely inspired vision of our lives and then learn to work with ALL the Laws of the Universe to bring that vision to fruition.  Another important component in the process is to fully embrace our true self-worth…deeply accepting the joyous, fulfilling, successful, love-filled and abundant life we were meant to life.

So again, check out our sister site and join in the conversation there and here at the Gratitude Experiment!  I am grateful for all of you!

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Your Divine Design Emerging

As I write this it is March 1st, but here on the East Coast it feels like we are in the depths of winter.  And even so, we are actually at the turning point of the winter season.  Even though everything outside appears frozen and barren, under the surface, there are millions of miracles occurring…millions of seeds are actively germinating.  In ancient Celtic traditions, and other “Earth-based” traditions this time is revered.  It’s sometimes called Imbolc, and sometimes called St. Briget’s Day. And it has a definite feminine, womb-like feel to it.

If we follow nature’s cue, for us it can be a time of of preparation.  A time of new beginnings.  A time to begin to break out of the hardness of winter and to open to the increasing light…and allow it to encourage the emergence of our true essence.

I’ve always felt that all we need to know about how to live a joyful, fulfilling life and to reach our full Divine potential we can find by looking to nurture.  Thoreau taught us this.  He wrote: Nature is full of genius, full of divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.

Looking at nature, we can see that within an acorn there is the perfect Divine Design Angel Oak Treethat…giving the right conditions…will emerge into a magnificent oak tree.  The oak tree is all already there, complete, in the seed.  The only thing it needs is to break out of the hard shell that encases and protects it. Thanks to the magic of time-lapse photography, you can see the process happen right now in just a few minutes.  Click here to watch this miraculous video now:

The thing about an acorn is that is has a really hard shell.  How acorndo squirrels do it?  Really sharp teeth I guess.  But, on its own, it is the will of the life inside the acorn needing to grow and become what it is meant to be.  The will of that life needing to express it full potential. That’s what pushes against and breaks through that hard shell and casts it aside. And it can really do that only when is it sufficiently nurtured.  In other words, when the seed is deep within moist, nurturing soil.  Only then does it feel safe enough to burst out of its hard, protective shell and emerge as the oak tree it was designed to become.

You can probably see where I’m going with this…

The same is true for us.  At the core of our being – since the moment we were born (and probably even before) there is a beautiful and perfect pattern for a glorious, successful life where we are expressing our unique talents and abilities, where we are loving and giving, where we are loved and nurtured, where we are abundantly provided for, where we are expressing our beauty and wholeness. That’s in our “acorn”.  It’s coded in our DNA.  And everything we need to live a fulfilling, joyful life is within us right there at the beginning…day one.

But, in order for us to experience this glorious life, we must break out of the hard, protective shell that is trapping our magnificence.  Because we can’t experience any of it while we’re encased in the shell. So, here’s how to break free:

A moment ago I mentioned “will”…that it’s the will of the life inside the acorn to become what it is meant to be. Will is one of the Power Centers located in our energetic body.  Will is located in the forehead and is our power to choose, decide, direct, and determine.  Now, the power of Will used by the ego creates someone who is bossy, obstinate, inflexible, selfish, etc.  But Will in the hands of our Authentic Self is our power of intention inspired by the Divine; and our power to move forward.   It’s the activating power!

So the first thing we need in order to do break through that hard shell and to fully blossom into a more expansive experience of life is to draw from the inspiration of our innate Divine pattern and decide to activate it!  That’s Step 1. I’ve written about and talked about this process quite a bit, so I’m not going to focus on this step today.  Instead…I want to focus on the shell.

Each of us has a “shell” that takes a different form for each person. However there are common themes.

For some, the shell is a defense mechanism…the ego that tries to protect us and keep us safe (and by doing so prevents our true self from emerging.)  Perhaps we’ve been profoundly hurt before when we tried to break free and love with abandon.  So our defensive shell insures that doesn’t happen again!

For others this shell is an unwillingness to try something new, to break out of old habits…old ways of doing things…old routines.  Or it’s something we’ve been holding onto for far too long.

For some of us this shell is our fear….our fear, based on ignorance or a false belief…an old story we’ve told ourselves that we don’t have anything to offer, or we’re not good enough. We might have a lack of belief in ourselves overall, or a lack of trust that we’ll be okay. Or, we have a false belief that the world does not value what we have to offer, or that the world won’t accept us in some way.

That shell is different for all of us.  But one thing is for sure…it’s gotta go if we want to grow!  If we want to express our potential and have a full, love-filled, joyous life. It’s gotta go.

That’s Step Two.  Identifying what that shell is for you.

Step Three is the process by which we break of out of that hard shell.  New Thought pioneer, Ernest Holmes, points us toward this one in the following statement:

“[One’s] entire “treatment” (which is what he called affirmative prayer) is based on the assumption that there is a spiritual pattern at the center of everything.  The perfect was always there, it was implanted by the Spirit.  The imperfect has been added by the human mind.  What the human mind has put there, it can take away.  What the Divine has implanted cannot be uprooted; it can only appear to be covered up.  Spiritual practice is an uncovering of the Divine Nature.”

The Divine didn’t put the shell of fear, defense, unwillingness there.  We did. What we put there, we can remove.  It’s simply covering up our innate Divine Nature, preventing our “oak tree” from fully emerging.  And we do that with Spiritual Practice.

Here us another time lapse photography of seeds germinating which can give us another clue.  https://vimeo.com/30074251

You see how the first thing this seed has to do before it can fully emerge from the shell is to send down roots deep into the soil.   That’s where its strength comes from and where it is sufficiently nurtured.  The same is true for us.  We need to send our roots deep into a nurturing environment.  That nurturing environment takes two different forms for us — one interior and the other exterior.

The first, interior, is about regular, daily connecting deeply with Spirit.  Meditation is how many of us achieve that.  For other’s it’s walking a Labyrinth, or chanting, or some other meditative practice. But it’s where we connect with Source…and are nurtured by that Source.  Having a regular, daily proactive gratitude process is another very important part of this.

The Exterior form of a nurturing environment is about immersing ourselves into, and being nurtured by, spiritual community.  That spiritual community may be for you a church, synagogue or a temple.  For others it may be a study group, spiritual reading group or service group. Whatever it is…dive in.  Send your roots deeply in.  Participate. Take classes. Be of service.  And let yourself be nurtured by that environment. Surround yourself with positive, heart-centered, life affirming people. Open yourself to the spiritual support that’s available in your community.

These two practices…interior and exterior…are how we immerse ourselves in a nurturing environment, build strength, get nurtured — which eventually allows us to break free of the old shell much more easily and quickly.

If you look, you will begin to see that there is a direct connection between individuals who are experiencing their Divine Potential emerging and regular spiritual practice combined with immersing themselves in a nurturing supportive environment.  And if you have been doing regular daily spiritual practice and participating in your spiritual community but you haven’t seen “results” yet – then just trust that you will see it soon.  Like the seed germinating – there’s an amazing miracle happening just under the surface.  On the surface you may not be able to see anything yet.  But it’s happening. Trust the process. Connect with the energy of this season and trust.  And get ready for some amazing blossoming in your life soon!

If you want to get a jump start on this, I’ve recorded a guided meditation to help get your roots firmly planted in nurturing soil.  Leave reply below with your email address and I’ll be happy to send it to you free of charge.

Becoming a “Vibrational Match”

In my last post I talked about exploring a Magical Garden wherein there were fields and fields of limitless possibilities, and I encouraged you to ask your inner Divine wisdom to direct you toward the possibility blossom (or possibilities blossoms) you were guided to pluck…bring home with you, nurture and grow.  We’re talking a possibility that would be of highest value for you this year.  You then wrote a word or phrase that represented that possibility on something you can touch, see and affirm daily.  I also attached a link to an mp3 download where you could listen to the guided visualization of this process.

So, I trust you’ve done that and have put that tangible stone or paper on which you wrote your possibility in a place you can see it daily.  Perhaps on your alter so that you can affirm it to yourself regularly.   Okay, so now that you’ve identified the possibility you want to grow in your life this year, and are affirming it, what’s the next step to realizing this potential good in your experience?

The answer is to create a “vibrational match” within yourself for that good.

What is that exactly?  It becomes clearer when we realize we are all vibrational beings living in a vibrational universe.  This is not New Age woo-woo. This is science.  All life is made up of atoms and all atoms are made up of subatomic particles which, of themselves are vibrations – energy.  Everything in this universe is either energy expressed, or potential energy – the existence of something, or the potential existence of something.  And what science is beginning to understand…but New Thought has known all along…is that the whole thing is orchestrated by consciousness.

freedomWe are vibrational beings –but what’s more than that, we are conscious vibrational beings, and we have infinitely more power to determine our experience than we even know.  And understanding how consciousness and vibration works together is key to having mastery over it.

That’s what we’re exploring today.  So let’s take this idea that everything in this universe is energy — either energy expressed, or potential energy – the existence of something, or the potential existence of something.  What causes the potential existence of something to become actual form or experience?

Consciousness.  Intention.  It’s how God creates…through active conscious thought or intention.  On a universal level…whether it’s the galaxies, or this planet, or the trees outside your window, or our bodies – it’s created from Divine energy through God’s intention.  What an amazing process!

But there’s more.  Since we are the Divine in expression – God expressing Itself in this time and space, we are one with the creative nature of God.  And our dynamic thoughts, our intentions, have the power to bring potential energy into existence.  We have the power to shift energy from a possibility to a reality.  It’s how the Divine works through and as us.

Ernest Holmes said, “The world is saturated with Divinity, immersed in Reality, and filled with Possibility.  We must take this Divine Possibility and mold it into a present actuality in everyday experience.  This is the way to freedom, the pathway to peace and happiness.”

Now, of course most people are unaware of their power and so use this power unconsciously.  Even those of us who do know it, forget, and go unconsciousness occasionally.  So rather than taking the Divine Possibility and molding it into a present actuality in our experience, we just keep recreating yesterday’s limitation…yesterday’s lack of wellbeing…whatever we focus on in world of effects, and/or whatever we worry about.

And when we do this, we are holding ourselves apart from the possibility we say we want.  We are, in fact, blocking the good that would otherwise naturally blossom in our lives.  We are actually stopping the process.  We do this all the time without thinking… unconsciously.

For example, say you’re someone who feels unlucky in love.  You just somehow believe you will never connect with your soul-mate.  Every time you see a happy couple together, you might feel sadness in your heart, and think, “Why can’t I have this good?  Or, “Oh that’s something I’ll never have.”  It’s unconscious of course. You complain to your friends.  Being lonely begins to feel normal and natural for you.  You might even dread every Valentine’s Day.  I had a roommate once who, on every Valentines Days she would take 2 valium and go to bed at 7pm. She just didn’t want to experience the pain. And she was young, and attractive.  It’s like she had written herself off before her life even began.

So over time, when we do this kind of thing…what we’re doing is including in our vibration a sense of not having what we truly want.  What that does is block the possibility from appearing. We are erecting a large wall that separate what we say we want and the actual experience of having it.

Another example is the experience of abundance.  I know this one well because I’ve been on both sides of this issue – I’ve been really poor, and I’ve been wealthy.  And they are very different energies, believe me!

When you’re poor you are literally vibrating with “not-enoughness”.  Every time you think about an expense, or having to pay for something, or having to buy something, it’s as if your energy is depleting.  The energy just drains out of you.  You look at things and think “I could never afford that.”  You get to a place where you won’t even allow yourself to think about nice things, or vacations, or attending special events because it only makes you feel bad.  And so we block the possibility of abundant living.

And all the while we had the power to return to Kansas…All the while we had the possibility of abundance or love, or peace, or wellbeing, or Divine Guidance, or whatever is wanting to grow in our lives, waiting for us.

But now that we know this, we can use our power consciously and shift our vibrational energy to include the possibilities we want to manifest.  That’s the subject of a teleclass I’ve set up to take you through the experience.  This can’t be written in a blog, it must be experienced.  This call is absolutely free. And if you can’t make the day and time, I will send you a recording so you can listen to it on your time.  But you need to register.

Register for the free teleclass here:  http://www.manifestyourgood.com/conscious-cocreating-free-teleclass/

See you there!

This Year Embrace the Limitless Possibilities

Happy New Year!  2015…a brand new year and a brand new opportunity to create new goals, new behaviors, new beliefs, new ways of being that not only work better for us, but are transformational for ourselves and for the world.

Now, perhaps you’ve heard the awful statistic that over 92% of New Year’s Resolutions fail within the first two months.  So I wouldn’t even recommend setting them.  I would, however, recommend something that goes deeper…something that actually does work, and in a more profound way and lasting way.  And that is…to first explore the limitless possibilities that are available to you.  Explore what is possible for you this year – and then out of that field of limitless possibilities, ask your Divine Wisdom to guide you in selecting which of those possibilities are calling you to set an intention around.  Then, embrace that intention (or intentions) with the fullness of your being….really embody it…which will create a vibrational match within yourself, activating that possibility.  Only after doing those things first, would you then create a “plan of action” to bring it into the world.

So how about we start that process together today.  Since this is the beginning of the year, it seems like a good time, right?  We have before us the ultimate chance to hit the reset button on our lives, right now!

In my guided visualization (which is your free gift right now – see box below) I first explain about this field of limitless possibilities that we are all immersed in and how to access it, allowing the wisdom within us to guide us to which possibility, or possibilities, are right for us to awaken to in our lives right now.  So carve of 15 minutes to sit back, relax and allow the process to work for you!  Oh, and you might want to find a flat rock, or small tile on which to write the word or phrase that will come up for you.  This will serve as a literal “touchstone” that vibrationally aligns you with the good that is trying to manifest into your life.

After listening and creating your “touchstone” come back here and share your experience with us.

 

I Want My Thanksgiving Back!

Thanksgiving hijacked!Are you tired of your Thanksgiving being hijacked by Christmas retail hysteria? I sure am.

Seems that from October 31st on (and sometimes even before) everywhere you go, you could swear it was already Christmas.  There are Christmas lights and decorations already up on city lamp posts and in every store you walk into.  Drug stores are switching out Halloween candy for red and green M&Ms.  Television is overloaded with holiday specials and ads promoting Christmas discounts. But perhaps the most offensive…Christmas music is piped into retail stores on the 1st of November!

What ever happened to Thanksgiving?  Remember that time of year when you could take a breath and relax with your family and friends, and perhaps even think about all the blessings in your life?  Now, Thanksgiving is just a prelude to “Black Friday” – a term that was used ago only  internally just a few years ago and referred to the time of year retailer’s financial sheets began to show a profit.  Now, the term is as ubiquitous as Santa Claus….and used to promote Christmas shopping just as successfully.

No one I know likes what’s happening here. I hear people complain about it all the time. Let’s stop complaining and start doing something about it.  Let’s take Thanksgiving back from the retailers and marketers!

How?  First of all, don’t go out on Thanksgiving evening to shop for Christmas.  Resist the temptation to even shop online on Thursday.  Keep the day inviolate.  If you will be with relatives and / or friends, really be with them.  Connect.  Here’s a bold conversation starter – ask each person what they are most grateful for in their life.  That will get the crankiest of relatives to start thinking in a new direction.

Other ideas

  • First thing in the morning, write a list of 50 things you are grateful for.  Ambitious? Go for 100.
  • Take your kids to a food bank or homeless shelter and be of service to those folks.  Nothing will open your eyes to the blessings you have in your life more than serving those less fortunate.  Don’t have kids?  Take a friend and go.
  • If you are having guests at your house, have slips of paper and pens at the front door and have them write one thing they are grateful for as soon as they walk in.  Then, put them all in a bowl and have guests pull one out to read at the dinner table (the idea is to read someone else’s.)
  • Start a “gratitude bowl” and have beads in one bowl labeled “take beads from here” and one empty bowl labeled “place beads here.”  Invite your guests to take the beads from the one bowl and focus on that for which they are grateful (one bead for each gratitude) and place them in the empty bowl.  Kids love doing this too.
  • Create a “gratitude daisy chain.”  Again, use slips of paper and have everyone write paper chain one gratitude on each slip of paper, then read their own at the dinner table.  After dinner, create a daisy chain using the slips of paper, fastening them with tape.  Then, drape around a window, mantle or door frame.

 

We can do this people!  We can take Thanksgiving back and reserve this day for focusing on the many blessings in our lives and expressing our heart-felt gratitude to our family, friends, neighbors, communities and God (or Universal Intelligence if you prefer.)

If you’re with me on this, please forward this post to everyone you know.  Let’s start a movement!  Let’s let the retailers know they can no longer hijack what is important to us.

I am grateful for you!

Gratitude is the Language of the Authentic Self

One of the first things we are asked to do in any personal growth or New Thought teaching is to take our minds off autopilot and start paying attention to the thoughts that run through our minds all day…what we are saying about ourselves, about others, and about the world.   And when we do this…if we’re honest about it…we are often shocked at how much of the time is consumed by egoic thinking, critical, judgmental, fearful, negative thinking.   And how little time we spend actually thinking from our heart.

That egoic, critical fearful voice is the voice of, what I like to call the the false self, or the shadow self. This is the self that feels separate…separate from Source and separate from each other.  It’s the self that sometimes causes us to feel we are a victim, and other times tries to control others and manipulate situations.  It judges others and our self…harshly. And it often sabotages our well-intentioned efforts.

This self is unfortunately the one most people are familiar with because this is the world in which we were raised. We’re raised with the predominate belief in separation…that we’re separate from God, separate from each other and separate from our good.  Our world tells us that our good is outside of us, and we must struggle and compete to get ahead and there’s not enough to go around.  It also tell us that we’re not good enough…unless we buy whatever product they’re selling.  It’s how the world is set up.

There is another self – our Higher Self, or our Authentic Self that speaks a whole different language.  This is our true self and it’s always with us, but its voice has been drowned out for so long it’s not easy to hear it anymore.  but this is the self we start to get familiar with as we step onto a spiritual path…any spiritual path really.  Most religious paths…particularly the more mystical aspect of them…have, as an overall goal, the awakening to our higher self.  Everyone calls it something different, but it’s more of less the same thing.  Whether it’s called our soul, or our compassionate nature, or the spirit within, or the Christ within, the Oversoul, our God-self, or our angelic nature…the point is to call upon it, to connect with it!

The first step in the process of connecting with it is to become very aware of when we’re not.  We want to become really conscious of what voice we’re allowing to “run our program” because most the time it’s unconscious. And if we allow the voice of the false self to run our program for too long it will cause a whole host of problems.  It can rob us of our health and wellbeing, ruin friendships, undermine our self-worth and sabotage the fulfillment of our vision.  In short, causing us a great amount of unhappiness.

So it would behoove us to catch the false self as soon as possible and stop it in its tracks.   And the best way to do that is to become aware…not just your thoughts, but also begin to notice how you feel…and how you behave…when you are “under the influence of your false self.”

So if you notice you are feeling confused, or you are worrying a lot, or are feeling anxious, that might be a clue the false self is running your program.  If you notice you are judging yourself harshly or you are comparing yourself to others or maybe even questioning your own worth, you can be certain your false self is in charge. And if the vision that came from your heart which you were in the process of joyously bringing forth is suddenly brought into question…if you get easily side-tracked, or you hear yourself saying, “What was I thinking, I can’t do that?” you might be under the influence of the false self.

So the more familiar you are with your thoughts, feelings and behaviors when you are being influenced by the false self, the easier it will be to shift your energy and bring yourself back into alignment with your true Authentic Self.

And one of the best ways I know to make this shift into the Authentic Self is to focus on something…anything…for which you are grateful.  Bring to your mind something in your life you consider a blessing. Generate some enthusiasm and excitement for that particular thing or experience and let to vibrate within your being.

Or, perhaps you could focus on the beauty of nature and let the gratitude for that amazing expression of the Divine to sink deep into your heart.

Either way there is no quicker way to completely shift your thinking, your energy and your level of happiness than to implement the proven technique of gratitude.

Our higher Authentic Self is the place of real power within us.  It knows how to bring forth our vision easily and harmoniously.  It is in alignment with the flow of Divine Life Energy.  It is where we are connected with Divine wisdom and guidance and it can guide us in moving us forward on purpose and in the direction of our dreams…where synchronous events are commonplace.   This is the place where we realize we are blessed and we see everyone else the same way.  It is powerfully loving, confident, creative, inspired and inspiring.

The more we consciously align ourselves with this Higher Self the more we live, “with the license of a higher order of beings” as Thoreau wrote about.

For more tips on how to shift into the living from the awareness of our Authentic Self download my complete transformational program, Conscious Co-Creating. Click here to learn more about that. 

 

Living Your Purpose

living on purposeOne of my favorite sayings from one of my favorite poet and philosophers, Dr. Seuss, is:  “You have brains in your head…and feet on your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

This of course affirms our co-creative ability which we’ve been talking a lot about recently. But the question you might find yourself asking is…where is that?  What direction am I choosing to go in?  And will I be happy when I get there?  Will it be all I hope it will be?

Some people have a really clear idea about where they are going and are firmly on the path.  They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that to which their lives are committed.  Others don’t have a clue.  Some keep switching paths.  Still others are just going along for the ride, wherever it takes them.  Many of us have been in each of these places in our lives.

But the only way we’ll know what direction we are moving in…and if we want to continue in that direction or begin a whole new path…is to get really familiar with who we are now…what drives us…what really makes us happy.  To do that we must first connect with our inner wisdom.  That’s what we started doing last week with discovering our own worldview…and really what this whole series is about.  Getting to know who we really are and what we truly want.  And allow that to emerge.

Now, not a lot of people can tell you what they really want and what direction they are headed.  However most can very easily tell you what they don’t want!  Most folks can share in detail about they don’t want this illness in their body, or their how others are mistreating them, or the lack of money to do what they want to do, or their frustrations with an unfulfilling job, or the negative people in their life.  And this is all accompanied by lots of emotion.

But that’s allowing ourselves to be “pushed by the pain.”  Which, sometimes can serve us…if we really know we’re done with that experience.  There’s value in stating, “This really sucks, and I am so done with it!”  But most the time, dwelling on what’s going wrong in our life actually serves to keep us stuck in it.

Instead we want to learn to be pulled by a vision.   A vision of a life where we are fulfilled….where we are expressing our full potential.

Abraham Maslow talked about the fulfillment of one’s life purpose as a “need” not just a desire.  “Self-actualization” as he called it, is living a life where we are expressing our full potential.

And what shape that takes is unique to each one of us.  That’s what makes life so interesting.  We all have unique gifts and talents, which when those things are in service to a higher vision…God’s vision for our life…not only makes us happier than we could ever imagine, but also we become a beautiful and essential piece in the cosmic puzzle that fits together with others…in ways we can’t even know…for, I believe, the ultimate purpose of healing the world.

Myrtle Fillmore talked about this in one of her healing letters:

“God has much to be done, and He will reveal the plan to those who seek it, and will open the way of progress and success to those who are willing to give up preconceived opinions and to grasp the Truth as the Holy Spirit reveals it….work is for the purpose of expressing God-given faculties and powers and loving service in the way that is truly beneficial.”

Jesus said it quite strongly according to the Gospel of Thomas, “If you do not bring forth what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.”

I’m sure we’ve all seen how bitter some people are at the end of their life when they have spent their whole life living someone else’s vision. When maybe they’ve worked in a profession, not because they loved it, but because that’s what their father did, or what their parents or spouses drove them to do.  All the while they were ignoring what made their heart sing.

Living our purpose doesn’t necessarily have to do with our career (it’s nice when it does.)  I know some here are post-career, but none of you are post vision.  The important thing is find what that unique vision is within us that wants to emerge…and bring it forth.  We’re never too old for that!

Discovering what it is within us that is our unique expression and bringing it forth into the world is vital to us and to the world…and it is 2nd skill in Spiritual Intelligence: Awareness of our Life’s Purpose.

All the leaders we’ve been talking about these last couple of week…Gandhi, Mother Teresa, MLK, Mandela, Jesus…these leaders we all admire could easily tell you what their life’s mission was.  Everyone else knew it too.  They made choices and moved into action from that awareness.  And ultimately they were steadfast in that mission even when faced with great challenges.

Now our mission may not be as grand as Ganhi’s but it is no less important.  We all have an essential role to play!  When we discover it…and begin to live it….we will be living in alignment with Spirit.  We will blossom and life will open up to us. We’ll find our genius.  And there’ll be nothing than can stop us! And our lives will have blessed the world!

Laurie Beth Jones says in her book, The Path: “A personal mission statement acts as both a harness and a sword – harnessing you to what is true about your life, and cutting away all that is false.”  I would add to that, harnessing the power of your Higher Self…and cutting away all the things that waste our time or prevent us from expressing our magnificence.

She also said: “It is highly probable that you are already living your mission at some level. The goal is to increase that awareness, so that you can live your mission to its fullest extent, rather than halfway.”

So let’s explore how we can open to discovering what our life’s purpose or mission is, and…what we can do to help bring it about…to live it!

And the good news for those of you who believe in planetary alignment and that kind of thing, we are supposed to be in a time this month, around the lunar eclipse (which happened on Wednesday) where celestial bodies are aligning in such a way that portals are opening up allowing frequencies that connect us with a deeper expression of our truth, and our purpose.

So we are being supported by the heavens right now for our true purpose to emerge.   Following are some guides that may be helpful to you in discovering…and living…your life’s purpose.

  1. Identify: What are my gifts, talents and abilities.  This is only a clue for some.  Eleanor Roosevelt didn’t know what her talents and skills were until she followed her heart into service.
  2. Pay attention to what makes you feel “in the flow”.  What gives you a feeling of aliveness?
  3. Listen to the still, small voice.  You’ve got to get quiet enough to hear it.  Either through meditation or maybe walking the labyrinth or other sacred spaces.  Open and listen.  Then, when you feel connected to that presence of peace and wisdom within, ask this question:  “What is it that is seeking to emerge through me and into the world?” Or, “What is God’s vision for my life?”  Open and listen.  Keep listening.  You might want to pose this to your inner self:  “At the very end of my life, I want to look back on my life and feel good about (fill in the blank.)
  4. When you receive something, write it down in your journal.  It very often becomes clearer as we write.
  5. When your mission, or purpose begins to get clear enough…Formulate a mission statement (refer them to The Path).  Keep it simple and memorable.  Memorize it.  Tell others about it.  For example, mine is “To awaken in this lifetime and to help others awaken to their Spiritual Truth.”  It’s broad enough to include many different ways I can do that, but it’s the basic principle that fuels me.
  6. Finally, keep referring back to your mission before you make any big, or even any little, decision.  Let all your actions in life be informed by your mission.  The real test comes, of course, when faced with challenges.  Let your answers come from your life’s purpose. 

Gratitude Remove the Filters from our Eyes

Imagine you and a friend are standing side-by-side looking at a beautiful vista.  You have on rose colored glasses and your friend is sporting glasses with blue-tinted lenses. Your vista looks bright and rosy,  But your friend’s vista appears awash in blue.

Now image that these glasses were permanently affixed to your face.  You would always be seeing the world through rose colored lenses and would swear that the world was rose-colored. Your friend would always see the through the blue tinted glasses and would swear that “No, the world is bluish!”   And actually neither one of you is correct.

In a sense this is what we do every day.  Not the color of the world, but how we “color” reality.  We don’t really see the world as it is…we see our unique version of reality.  And everyone has a different, unique version of reality.

Remember the scene in Snow White (the original Disney movie) where she is banished into the forest and evening turns into night.  She’s so fearful, and alone.  Her entire world has suddenly turned against her.  All the branches start looking like witches arms reaching out to grab her.  All the trees have menacing eyes, like demons.  It’s not really true, but that’s how she sees it because she’s so frightened.  Then the morning comes and she begins to see things a little more clearly.  She notices that the eyes she thought were demons actually belonged to owls and squirrels and raccoons who all become her friends.  Then the birds land on her arms and all is cheery and light.  Same forest, different outlook.

Well a similar thing happens to us when we’re fearful or believe that life is against us, or we’re somehow at a disadvantage.  Our world looks a lot like our beliefs. Things look scarier, or more alienating. And living a joyous, fulfilling, successful life seems out of our reach.  Our experience is one of “Life is tough”.  Also…When we’re angry, we see the world…and everyone in it…as either annoying, or as an obstacle to getting what we want.

On the other hand, when we’re full of joy and hope, our world looks open to us and we find the joy and love that’s actually there. We find people are cooperative and generous.

I’ve found that the best way to lift the filter of fear or anger from our eyes…and begin to see the world as it really is…is to practice Proactive Gratitude.  When we see the world, and each other, through the eyes of gratitude, we are truly seeing clearly.  Gratitude lifts our gaze upward, clears the gunk from our eye so that we can see the love, beauty and abundance that is either right in front of us, or is hidden within a challenge.  Gratitude is powerful at helping us see the blessing in any challenge and then begin to call forth that blessing.

Try if for yourself…right now.  Do a little assessment of how you are feeling right now.  What have been the thoughts that have occupied your mind this morning?

Now, think of five things for which you are grateful.  Really allow that gratitude to flood your entire body.  In your mind, celebrate those those blessings.

Now, how are you feeling?  And…how are you viewing the world?  Is is scary and alienating?  Does your good seem out of reach?  Or, do you feel that the good in life is open and available to you?

This is an experiment Try it and reply here with your results.

Many blessings!

Living From the Inside Out

My guess is that if you have found your way to this blogsite and are reading this post, then you are on a spiritual path of some sort.   Perhaps you’ve been on that path for some time now.

The interesting thing about a spiritual path is that it has lots of twists and turns…some clear open lovely spaces, and some long, dark, narrow passages.

And very often, the realizations we had yesterday that were so clear, so true, today we’ve completely forgotten.  We wake up, and then fall back to sleep.  Wake up again and fall back to sleep….and dream.

We dream a dream of separation…separation from our wholeness.  Maybe we’ve fallen asleep and have dreamt that, if we can just manipulate the world in the right way we’ll be happy.  If we can just make a lot of money we’ll be safe.  If we can just find the right mate, our life will be complete.  Or, if that “certain person” disappeared from our life, we’d finally be okay.  Or we dream that if “they” would just give us a chance, give us a break, or if our career happened the way we think it should, our lives would transform;  We’re dreaming of a world works from the outside it, rather than inside out.

Why can’t we seem to stay awake, and live the life we know in our heart is true? Here’s why: Because the voice of the world is so loud!  The voice of the ego is so insistent. The voice of illusion is so damn hypnotizing.  And the voice of the inner presence…that still, small voice is so still and so small.  Why can’t it be the other way around, right? Humanity would have woken up long ago if that were the case.  It seems to be the nature of things that the most important things in life are subtle…not always easy to grasp, but the unimportant things are in our face daily.

So our focus today is on adjusting our hearing, as it were, so that we can better hear that still, small voice and be able to distinguish it from the voice of the ego…and the voice of the world.  

We also need to learn to develop an ear for the Universe…which is constantly providing feedback through our relationships, the circumstances in our lives, and our bodies.  We listen to the feedback and we make adjustments as we go.  Listen and adjust.  We must, however do this with as much compassion, and self-love as possible. That is key!

When we can do this, we will be truly living our lives from the inside out …and as a result…experience living successfully in all areas of our lives.

In working from the inside out we are not trying to force a change to our behavior or to “be good” to even to “improve” our lives. NO.  We are seeking to transform our understanding of who and what we are, and our relationship to the whole.  We are seeking to allow for a fuller expression of our Authentic Self…where our actions are naturally in alignment with Divine Love.

The good news is that the Universe always supports our efforts to awaken and evolve our understanding.  It is where we are all headed anyway.  And we…who are already on a spiritual path…have already gotten the call.  We’re just supporting each other in remembering that.

A good place to start is to think about the times in your life when you have been able to hear that still, small voice.  When have you sensed God’s presence guiding you or supporting you?  What practices have you done, or do you do now that engages that presence…that allows you to hear the Divine within?  As Leonard Felder (The Ten Challenges) says, “Each of us has to find our own individual way of opening up to our particular spark of the Divine Presence.”

And there might be two categories here that can help you think about that.  One place to look might be practices you may do by yourself…usually in the silence.  The other place to look is activities you may do with others, or in community, that opens you up to that Divine Presence.  Very often we experience it both ways.

Below is a sample of activities or practices that you do on your own in the silence.  Make a note of which one of these things helps you hear that still, small voice.

  • Meditation
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • Affirmative prayer
  • Journaling
  • Proactive Gratitude Pratice
  • Yoga
  • Heart Math
  • Present moment awareness/ working with the breath.
  • Walking or being in nature.
  • Walking the labyrinth or Medicine wheel
  • Listening to “Spirit-filled” music
  • Or, __________________________________________(fill in the blank)

 

The section below lists a sample of activities you may do with others, or in community, that connect you with that still, small voice:

  • Attending service at your spiritual community.
  • Participating in a Healing Service
  • Serving others in some capacity.  (Name one or two ways you serve_________________________)
  • Group ecstatic experience (dances, drumming, chanting)
  • Ritual or ceremonial experience
  • A class on some aspect of spirituality
  • Spending time with someone with whom you have a deep connection.
  • Group meditation or channeling
  • Or, __________________________________________(fill in the blank)

 

I invite you to share your list with us here at The Gratitude Experiment…particularly if there are spiritual practices you do that I haven’t listed here.

Now that you have your list, the question becomes, how do we stay committed to doing these activities on a regular basis so that we don’t fall back to sleep?  So that we stay awake more often to that place where “God’s Spirit dwells and the great encounter takes place?”

And making a commitment to daily practice takes a certain amount of discipline. We don’t always feel like doing it, or feel that we don’t have time to do it. So we want to acknowledge our feelings, embrace them, and at the same time love ourselves into remembering that we’ve made a commitment to connect with and reveal our Divine Self.

We all know how sometimes even the idea of discipline can cause a certain amount of resistance in us.  It can bring out our rebellious inner teenager. We may also associate discipline with punishment…or some sort of self-control we think we don’t have. That’s why l love Rev. Michael Beckwith’s interpretation of itHe calls discipline, “blissipline.” And it’s true that after practicing for a while, it gives us such deep satisfaction and peace we find we don’t want to miss it…we don’t want to go a day without it.  He says, “Discipline is a practice of self-love, self-respect and surrender that results in freedom.”

So I invite you to look at this list this week and make a commitment to doing something every day.  And we’re going to love ourselves into daily practice.  We’re going to support each other in daily practice…and we’re going to remind ourselves what we are really doing is nurturing that still, small voice which helps us stay awake to the Divine Presence within…thereby living our lives from the inside out.

Here’s a good affirmation to repeat daily:

Affirmation:
“I open my heart daily to hear the still, small voice within.  With intention I free myself from the voice of the ego, and of illusion, and I make space for the Divine to shine Its light through and as me.”  And so it is!

Connect In Guided Meditations

Starting today, and continuing every Wednesday, I will be posting a guided meditation on my YouTube page and link it here.  I’m calling it “Connect In.”   meditation hands

The purpose of “Connect In” is to provide support for your meditation practice.  In addition to daily gratitude practice, daily meditation helps us connect with the Source of all good…the Divine within us.  By quieting our mind and focusing our attention on our heart center, we allow for that connection.

Please enjoy the video as you make yourself comfortable in a quiet “meditation place” which can be your home office, living room, bedroom…anywhere you will not be disturbed for 8 to 10 minutes.

When the meditation is complete you will return to your day refreshed, centered, and radiating love to those around you.   You will also be more aligned with your inner Divine Guidance and feel it lead your thoughts and decisions throughout the day.

Peace & Blessings.