The Magnetizing Power of Love

universal swirl

Energy creates and energy attracts.  And there are two very powerful energies available to us:  the energy of fear, and the energy of love.  They are both powerful energies that magnetize more of what we’re either loving, or more of what we’re fearful.  Of these, love is a powerful magnetizer.  And I’m speaking of love in terms of what it really is – a Power, a Divine Power, and not a feeling.  I’m not referring to the love you feel for your spouse, your children, your pets, etc.  I’m talking about the Power that is the energy of God in our lives.  We get a glimpse of that power when we fall in love, or when we watch our children doing something amazing, or when we pet our cat or dog.  But the power of love is so much more. It’s the power that creates the universe and that expresses as each one of us.

Charles Fillmore has said, “God does not love anybody or anything.  God is the love in everybody and everything.  God is the love; man becomes loving by permitting that which God is to find expression in word and act.”

But you see, we can’t experience that while we’re in fear.  And, on the surface, there seems to be a lot to be fearful of these days.  It’s a challenge to stay centered in Love.  Some people just don’t want to hear what’s happening, don’t want to read the news, because they don’t want to get sucked up in the negative energy.  And believe me, I understand that.

I think part of the fear comes from a sense of powerlessness.  We sometimes feel powerless over the forces that seem to be taking over.

What’s the best cure for a sense of powerlessness?  Taking action.  Standing up, speaking our truth, taking some kind of action…even if it seems small.  All of this helps us reclaim our sense of power.  And it all makes a difference.   But we must do it from a place of love.  We must connect with our Love Power Center first and with our awareness of our oneness with everyone, then we take action.    When we do this, we are contributing to the healing of the world, rather than just building more fear.

There is a saying in the Course in Miracles that goes: “You create what you defend against.”  For a long time, I didn’t really know what that meant.  I finally came to the understanding that when you are defending against something, you are giving it a lot of energy.  You are giving what you really don’t want, lots of energy.  You also are usually in fear of that thing you are defending against.  And remember what I said, fear magnetizes to itself more of same.

So it’s really important that we are not fighting against, or defending against, but instead loving what it is we want.

There’s a passage in the Upanishads that goes:

“As great as the infinite space beyond is the space within the lotus of the heart.  Both heaven and earth are contained in that inner space, both fire and air, sun and moon, lightning and stars.  Whether we know it in this world or know it not, everything is contained in that inner space.”

We can use this power of love to create what it is we really want, both personally and for our world.

We can use this magnetizing power of love…that we have as one of our spiritual powers…to draw to us what we really want…both personally in own individual lives, and collectively as a world.   Let’s hold in our minds eye the realization of whatever we truly desire both personally…whether that’s more joy, better relationships, increased prosperity, fulfillment, healing, guidance (whatever it is) and hold in our mind’s eye what we want as a country…inclusiveness, diversity, peace, harmony, opportunity and prosperity for all, a government that works, a collective agreement to see, and to treat our planet as sacred.  Hold that in your mind’s eye and then activate that power center of love within you.  Feel the love radiating out from your heart like a light, and place that vision right in the light of that love.

I’ve recorded a meditation that guides you step-by-step through the entire process.  If you fill out the form below I will be happy to send it to you free.

Radical Aliveness

Radically AliveWhat is Radical Aliveness?

Good question.  Knowing what it is to be radically alive is the first key to actually experiencing it.

Sometimes we associate Radical Aliveness with Peak Experiences. Those moments or days that are truly special — like the day you graduate; the day you started your dream job or opened your business; or your wedding day; or the day your baby was born.  You have, no doubt, had at least one of those experiences.

I want you to think back to that day. See if you can recreate how you felt.  Perhaps your heart was blown wide open and love was flowing abundantly.  All your “aliveness” circuits were wide open and joy flowing abundantly.  You were probably fully in the present moment…fully alive to every moment of that day.  You probably worked really hard for that moment.  Perhaps all your talents and skills were utilized…including some you didn’t even know you had.  You may have even felt that that moment was what you were born for. You were connected to a sense of purpose.  These moments are generally seared into our memory for a good reason. Because we were totally, fully, radically alive.

What if we could experience that kind of Peak Experience feeling every day?
I believe we can.  We’re going to explore exactly how to do that.

Now the place to start is to first understand what LIFE itself is.  And I’m not talking about human, physical life.  Physical life comes and goes.  It is temporary and changeable.  All are born and later die.  Flowers blossom, then wither away.  I’m talking about the force, the energy, the essence that is behind the physical and that gives rise to all experience of physical life.  That force or “essence” is unchangeable and eternal.  It is the intelligence…the eternal love intelligence that is behind all, that supports all.   Sometimes refer to it as Divine Energy, or God Force, or Divine Substance.  It’s what we are at our core.  It is our vital essence.

And the more we are conscious of our Source…the more we are connected with this Divine Life Essence…the more we are plugged in, and all our circuits are open…the more vitality and vibrancy can flow through and as us.

So how do we do that?  How do we connect with it and open ourselves to it?  Well, there are certain qualities of this Vibrant Life Essence that, when we know about them and access them, they can be the keys that unlock Radical Aliveness for us. So let’s explore them one-by-one.

  • The first key is Joy.  Joy is a definite component of radical aliveness.  When we are connected with our inner Joy we are connected with Source Energy because Source Energy is Joy.  But let’s be clear that the kind of Joy we’re talking about is without opposite.  True joy is not the opposite of sadness. It’s not a fleeting emotional state. It’s not conditional. It’s not something that is the result of what happens to us. True joy is connected to the heart.  It’s Pure Love Energy. It’s a love of life…a zest for living.  Charles Fillmore, talked about the power of Zeal (one of our 12 Spiritual Powers) as being “the great universal force that impels humankind to spring forth in a field of endeavor and accomplish the seemingly miraculous.”  That sounds like a good definition of Radical Aliveness!
  • Another key to the experience of Radical Aliveness is cultivating gratitude.  When we’re in a “State of Gratitude”…when we are fully appreciating the beauty of nature and all the blessing in our lives, we open to the flow of joy and we feel blessed. We open to the idea that we are so loved by the Infinite and this fills us with a sense of aliveness.  We’re also more fully present, fully attentive to the present moment when we’re in gratitude.  A consistent practice of proactive gratitude…noticing, and then celebrating, all the good in your life daily builds a “State of Gratitude”.
  • Another key to experiencing Radical Aliveness is when we are working in harmony with the Divine Order of things…when we respect the rhythms of life.  Life has definite rhythms. We see that in the change of seasons, the ebb and flow of the tides, the migration of birds.  I never really understood about the rhythms of life when I lived in S. California…there didn’t seem to be any.  But I finally got it when I moved to a place where there’s a change a seasons. When we’re in harmony with the natural rhythms of Divine energy within us, life flows, and we feel a great sense of aliveness.
  • The next key to Radical Aliveness is to do what we can to be at our peak of physical health. When you are at peak health, it’s just plain easier to feel more vibrantly alive, isn’t it?  And a lot of that is in our control.  We can choose what we put in our bodies…choosing foods that are alive…that feed our cells, and nourish our organs.  Daily exercise is vital to our healthy functioning.  And I know a lot of folks say they don’t have time to exercise.  There is a sign up my doctor’s office that I see every time I’m there. It says, “Those who think they don’t have time for exercise now, will eventually have to make time to deal with illness later.”  When we combine healthy eating, plenty of exercise, and plenty of rest, we open to the flow of vitality that supports our physical existence which helps us access Radical Aliveness.
  • But perhaps the largest contributing factor to experiencing Radical Aliveness is when we are living our purpose.  When we’re aligned with, and expressing our purpose, life-energy flows and sustains us miraculously.
    I recently heard someone say that there are 2 most important days in your life…the day you are born and the day you discover why you are born. Have you discovered why you were born?  Are you living your purpose?One way to tell if you are living your purpose is to notice…do you wake up every morning with a smile and can’t wait to get going doing what you’ve come here to do?  Are you sharing your unique gifts, abilities and talents in service to others? Do you do it with love?Pastor Rick Warrren, the author of A Purpose Driven Life talks about it in terms of living a “life of significance” as opposed to just surviving.  A life of meaning and spiritual significance.   Life has meaning when we allow the Divine Spirit within us to direct our life…rather than the ego.  Now, that’s not always an easy thing to do. Our ego thinks it knows what’s important.  It might know how to keep us safe, or get our needs met, but it doesn’t know how to really live.  And it definitely doesn’t know anything about Radical Aliveness.Meher Baba once said, “It’s characteristic of the ego that it takes all that is unimportant as important and all that is important as unimportant.”  When we get our ego out of the way and surrender to a higher Truth…let the Inner Divine lead our life, we find the significance…our purpose.  You always have a choice between listening to the ego (or false self) or listening to the voice of your inner-self self that know you were born for a magnificent purpose.  And when you find that…and live that…life becomes deeply meaningful, fulfilling and miraculous!  That’s Radical Aliveness!

 

Don’t Be Shy…Proclaim Your Good Now.

woman-working-with-energyWhat do you want?  What do you really want?

We need to be definite with the universe, so the universe can be definite with us.   The universe is unlimited.  So many folks either place so many limits on the universe or they’re just afraid to claim what they want – what is theirs by divine right. Experiences like love, peace, prosperity, wellbeing, joy, fulfillment are ours by Divine right, aren’t they?  All of us?  Yes!

Think about it: if we are truly the Divine in expression – the fullness of God in expression, then all that God is we are.  We are created in the image and likeness.  But we must be clear about what we want, and not be shy to claim our good for ourselves…and for the world.

New Thought pioneer Emilie Cady said: “there is no coaxing or pleading about it.  Our asking is simply our complying with an unfailing law that is bound to work…Asking and receiving are two ends of the same thing. We cannot have one without the other.”

If the law works, it works, right? If it works for one person, it works for all of us.  If one person can manifest a healing through prayer, then we all can.  God is no respecter of persons.  If one person can manifest a fulfilling life, we can all manifest a fulfilling life!  If one person can manifest abundance, we can all manifest abundance.

And let’s just talk about this abundance thing for a moment.  I want to clear this up.  There is this notion that the more money one has the more unhappy he or she is.  Actually it’s not about the amount of money one has, it has more to do with how grateful one is for the abundance they have, and what they choose to do with their wealth.  I don’t think Bill and Melinda Gates are unhappy people, and they swimming in abundance.  I think they are very happy to be making such a difference in the world ridding disease in third world countries and building schools and educating the disadvantaged around the world.  Yes, there are a lot of unhappy rich people, and there are a lot of unhappy poor people.  The difference isn’t the amount of money, the difference is in the level of a joyous grateful, generous attitude!

It is the nature of the universe is to expand.  It is the nature of all good things to grow and expand. Jesus said, “I have come that ye may have life, and have it more abundantly.”  There’s no limit to abundance in the universe…only in our imagination

But you’ve heard that before, right?  Most likely…or something similar.  Really there are a million books and blogs with a similar message that I am writing about here.  So, it begs the question…why isn’t everyone rich?

Ah…the big question. Well, we’re either not following the wisdom in these books and blog posts – you know, we’re not actually doing the work…or maybe there’s something deeper that we’re missing.  What?

Well, it’s all to do with energy.  We are not just thinking beings.  We are energetic beings and our energy needs to be in alignment with our affirmation and prayers to bring about a shift in our lives.   The energy with which we affirm, pray and live needs to be in alignment with what we say we want!

And what’s the quickest way to raise our energy? If you said, with gratitude, you’d be right! Give yourself a gold star!

And I’m not talking about this wimpy, run of the mill, “oh isn’t that nice” kind of gratitude, I’m talking ferocious gratitude — brazen, shameless gratitude! What Pam Grout (author of Thank and Grow Rich) calls “the extreme sport of gratitude.”   She says, “That kind of gratitude gives us a portal, an entry point into the heart of the very field of infinite possibilities.  It puts us in an energy frequency – a vibration that calls in miracles.”

How do we get there?  Glad you asked.  Here’s the trick:

Rather than going through a list of things for which you are grateful, just pick three things.   Right now… pick 3 things.  Focus on each one for a minute or two and really think about how meaningful that thing (or person, or experience) is to you.  Open you heart and let the energy of enthusiasm race through your entire being.  Now proclaim your gratitude for these three things to the universe and raise your arms in the air (or pump your fists, whatever you like) and shout “Woo-hoo!”

Go on I’ll wait. Don’t be shy. Shyness won’t raise your energy level. Go ahead and boldly, ferociously proclaim to the universe three things for which you are grateful…with arms in the air and a final “Woo-hoo!”

Don’t you feel better?   Don’t you feel like you’ve just opened a portal to the field of infinite possibilities?  Yeah!  That’s it.

Now, here’s a secret: that’s the place you want to get to before you do your affirmations.  Your affirmations will then carry the energy needed to manifest. Not sure what to affirm?  Not clear about what you truly want?  Got some questions about any of this? Need more guidance on finding your purpose in life, and how to live your vision?  Good news: you are invited to attend my free webinar in January.  Click here to find out more.  Did I mention it was free?  But you need to register.  So, go ahead and do that now.

And while you’re waiting for the webinar, practice this ferocious, brazen, shameless gratitude daily.  And enjoy!

How Gratitude Increases our Blessings

freedom

“Sorry folks, but it’s no longer valid to see ourselves as mere onlookers. It is one of the deep, happy mysteries that, at all times, we interact with, and influence the world we observe.” -Princeton Physics professor, John Wheeler

We influence the world we observe simply by the way we are observing it. That’s the new physics.  Every time we perceive our world as either supporting us lovingly, or as a hostile place that we need to struggle through to get what we want, we are shaping that reality for ourselves. Every belief, every worry, every condemnation, every prayer, every time we are immersed in gratitude…everything we do internally…has a definite effect on our environment.

Long gone is this idea that we separate from our environment, victims of fate, powerless over circumstances.  Nothing is done to us, it’s either attracted to us or repelled from us. Here’s why…

We divinely-human being are all basically energy – vibrating atoms focused together in a specific expression.  And that energy extends out from us in all directions.  It doesn’t stop at our body Our bodies actually exist in an energy field that is very much affected by the quality of our thoughts, attitudes, states of mind, etc. And that energy field is an attractive energy that is pulling in experiences that match it vibrationally.  For example, if I’m in a bad mood, and am consumed with judgments of others, or of myself, or I am frustrated with life in general, my energy field is vibrating with that – it’s on an invisible level at first, but if I continue with that frame of mind, it will begin to take form and shape and show up in my life as maybe some physical issue, or a lack of harmony in some area, or as relationship difficulties, or as things just not working out.

However, if I’m in a grateful state of mind, focused on all my blessings, joyful for simply being alive on this magnificent planet, my energy field will be vibrating with that – on an invisible level first – but if I keep it up, it will begin to show up in my life as vibrant health, loving relationships, increased prosperity, things lining up for me.

So establishing a regular proactive practice of gratitude — where you consistently look for several things for which to be grateful, then allowing the joy of that gratitude to resonate throughout your entire being — ensures your energy is vibrating at the level necessary to attract more and more blessings into your life.

To learn more about how this works, and how to consciously shift your energy, click here: Conscious Co-Creating

You Are Enough

Wayne Dyer

 

The nature of gratitude helps dispel the idea that we do not have enough, that we will never have enough, and that we ourselves are not enough.”
-Wayne Dyer

The beloved late Dr. Wayne Dyer knew a thing or two about the power of gratitude.  And this is one aspect of gratitude that we don’t usually consider, but it can make a huge difference in our lives.  Practicing proactive gratitude can actually help us see and experience that we are enough exactly as we are.  It can counteract the messages that our society thrives on giving us that we are not enough.  It tells us that we aren’t thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, together enough, sexy enough, rich enough or up-to-date with our gadgets enough.

These messages become embedded in our consciousness at a young age and they tend to stay there until we do something proactive to reverse them.  The thing is, most of us are unaware they’re there.  So they act as a force pushing us into an endless loop of trying to fix ourselves.  We try one diet after another, one shampoo after another, one teeth whitening paste after another, one self-help book after another, one self-improvement course after another, one new gadget after another.  And still it’s not enough.  It leaves us feeling that we will never be enough.

Now, some people might think that’s a good thing.  “Striving for perfection is part of human evolution,” some might feel.  But it isn’t really.  Striving for excellence is a positive endeavor, but constantly striving for perfection just reinforces that message that we are not enough now and we will never really be enough, because perfection doesn’t really exist.

And that constant rumbling in the back of our minds that we are not enough the way we are now, and that our lives are not perfect the way they are now, effects the way we feel about ourselves — and that’s the source of all the trouble.  Believing at our core that we are not good enough causes us to feel that we don’t deserve to be loved; that we don’t deserve to be well-paid; that we don’t deserve to have what we truly desire; that we don’t deserve to be truly happy.  And so we unconsciously repel those good things when they come our way.

For example, let’s say that I am looking for a new job (perhaps, in part, because I feel my current job is not good enough) and I’m looking online at various listings.  I may completely skip right over several that might well be a good fit for me, but in looking at the qualifications I notice that I don’t have everything they’re looking for…whether that’s education or experience or skill sets.  I automatically reject them before I even discover that  I could develop those skills quickly on the job, or maybe having a doctorate is actually not that important to them after all.  But I’ll never know that if I don’t apply. Then, when I show up for an interview at the one job for which I do completely qualify, I still feel somehow inadequate and deep down that I don’t deserve to have something really good in my life. Or, I somehow feel compelled to tell them that I have a hard time with follow-through (or whatever I feel my weakness is.)

When we feel, at our core, that we don’t have enough, or that we are not enough, it shows up in every aspect of our lives — in our relationships, in our ability to finish projects, in our ability enjoy the things we do have, and in our ability to make good decisions about important things.

So, how does something as simple as practicing gratitude help change this whole dynamic? Well, when I make a conscious effort to notice and be grateful for specific good that’s in my life on a daily basis, I eventually begin to believe that my life is pretty darn good right now.  When I am grateful for all that I have, I begin, over time, to feel abundant. That feeling of being abundant leads me to places and experiences where that abundance can grow. When I train myself to notice and be grateful for all of my gifts and talents, it eventually leads me to believe that I am pretty awesome.  When I feel I am pretty awesome I believe that there is nothing I can’t do.

And if there are areas where I can improve, I now believe that I have the power to actually do it…from staying with an exercise program to getting an advance degree.  And as I express my gratitude to the universe for the guidance, wisdom, opportunity and strength I have been given it carries me every step of the way.

You have enough right now. You are enough right now.  Open your vision to see the blessings all around you and the greatness within you.  Focus on it.  Be grateful for it daily and before you know it, that old core belief that you are not enough will disappear; and in its place will be an amazing you living an abundant life.

 

The Rebirth of Joy

John Lennon once wrote, “When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy.’  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

dancing babyHere’s the truth: Joy is our natural state.  In fact, the more fun we have, the better life works for us.  This is the premise of the first experiment in Pam’s Grout’s book E3 and it’s a great way to cultivate spiritual growth.

So, let’s get ready to generate some awesome joy!

Now, I realize that it’s easier to know that joy is your natural state when you’re on vacation, or when you feel well and things are going great with your work, or with your significant other. But let’s be honest.  When your alarm goes off Monday morning and you’ve got a day jam-packed with things you’ve got to get done…are you generally filled with vibrantly joyful energy first thing when you wake up?   Do you bounce out of bed and shout “Halleluia, I’m glad to be alive and so grateful for another opportunity to shine my light and spread my joy into the world.  Let me get to it!!”   Probably not.  But I’d be willing to bet you used to feel like that.

One of the most delightful memories of my twins when they were really little is the experience of watching them wake up and embrace a new day.  Even when they woke me up at the crack of dawn, their joyful energy was so infectious that pretty soon I was joining them in “the adventure of a new day.”  If you’ve raised kids, you know this.  Little kids are so excited to experience all the joys of a brand new day.   Olivia, in particular, would take my hand and lead me downstairs, “come on momma, let’s go visit the toys!” Or, “Come on, let’s go walk outside and say hi to doggie next door” or “Let’s go make waffle!”

Children just naturally assume that wonders await them with every new day…and everything is a wonder when they’re little. Discovering what things are is a wonder.  I remember my other daughter, Juliet would wake up, stand up in her crib (she couldn’t have been older than 11 months) and point to everything in their room with such wonder and joy and ask “whassat?  Whassat?” She was always such an enthusiastically joyful child.

Most little kids are like this in the beginning.  That’s why I know that joy is our natural state.  Then, life sets in.  They get older and begin to experience pain of a friend being mean to them, or the loss of a grandparent, or disappointment, then later homework…and life becomes not so joyful anymore.  It happens to all of us.  That pain we experience is actually the pain of separation from our Source.  We forget our oneness with God and with each other and begin to believe joy is outside of us.  So we do everything we can to capture the joy that’s “out there.” And then, we hang onto it for dear life.  But of course, anything outside of us that we think will bring us joy, is only temporary.   Even my kids as joyful, enthusiastic little girls…temporary.

The thing is, I think we all know, deep down, that joy is within us, but we forget and continue to fool ourselves by thinking “oh, I’ll be happy when I get married (then later, “when I get this person out of my life!”)  Or, “I’ll be happy when I get that job (or, “when I get some time off.”) Or, “I’ll be happy when I have kids (or, “when the kids grow up and finally leave the house!”)  It’s an endless cycle of thinking we’ll finally find happiness when things “out there” change.

So we end up focusing on what’s missing in our lives, rather than enjoying what we have.  We find things to worry about and complain about and we trudge through the business of our day, ticking things off our never-ending “to do” list….creating an energy completely devoid of joy…which becomes the default position for many people.  How many people do you see walking down the street grinning from ear to ear, whistling a happy tune…visibly joyful?

We forget that we are vibrational beings and our default attitude affects our energy, our vibration.  We forget we live in a vibrational universe that receives the energy we’re sending out and reflects back to us a lot more to complain about.

But anyone can change their default position. We can change our default position.  Thanks to the neuroplasticity in our brains we can intentionally create new neural pathways, and rewire our brains to set joy as our new default position.  We can completely up-level our vibration to the tone of inner happiness.  Then, the vibrational universe reflects that back to us as more to rejoice about…as an expansive life, a fulfilling career, as loving, satisfying relationships.  All of that comes as a result of first connecting with our inner joy.

A great way to shift our energy and get it vibrating to implement Pam’s “experiment” which consists of three parts (well, really 2 parts, with one extra credit.)  Here is my modification of that experiment:

So the first part of it is the “boogie-woogie” aspect.  This shifts your energy faster than anything I know.  You are going to pick a song, either from one of those listed below, or choose one of your own.  (It needs to be an upbeat “celebrate life” kind of song.)

You are then going to play that song first thing in the morning, and while it’s playing…you will either pump your fists in the air, or dance with abandon, or maybe you’d like to loudly exclaim to the universe, “Yes! Thank you God for another amazing day!  I am so grateful to be alive and to have another day to enjoy life!”   Do one of those things to get the energy moving in your body.

You can start right now by clicking on this link.  (You’ll get some great examples too!)

Now, check how you’re feeling.  Imagine starting the day with that!  This one activity will instantly shift your energy and set you up for a day of joy.  You will be ready to face anything.  And it will be easier to do the second part of this experiment.

Which is…

You’re going to say “thank you” to the universe for everything that happens.  Be grateful for everything…and I mean everything.  From a cup of really good coffee to…oops!…the stain it just made on your favorite sweater.  From finding a parking spot right in front of wherever you’re going, to someone swooping in and stealing that parking spot. From finding exactly what you needed in the grocery store to the long line you have to stand in to check out.  From successfully completing a difficult report at work, to your boss then criticizing it.

Feel free to make up a story about all of these things that might tempt you to get bummed.  The stain on your sweater might mean you now have permission to go buy something new!  The spot that was stolen right from under your nose and forced you to park far away helped you to get closer to you goal of 10,000 steps a day. The long line in the grocery store gave you an opportunity to talk to the person behind you and make a connection with someone you have a lot in common with.  The boss criticizing your report forced you to…maybe find a new program that will save you time in the future?

Saying “thank you” to everything forces you to find the blessing in everything….which ultimately resets your default position to joy!

Okay, extra credit now…

Take this joyous, positive energy to the streets.  Be joyful in public and see if it might rub off on other people. Pretend you are Patch Adams.  Remember him? He’s the doctor who wore the big red rubber nose during rounds and made his patients laugh, which caused them to get better faster.  He actually participating in many other public displays of joy and silliness. This was a practice that actually saved his life (he was once suicidally depressed.)  He made an art of making others happy.  And there is nothing like making others happy to really up-level our vibration.

Use your imagination.  You could try wearing a red, rubber nose while driving your car, and see what others do when you pull up to light.  Pam mentions carrying a super large teddy bear around.  That just makes people smile.  Sing or dance in the middle of Trader Joes. You’ll fit right in with the employees there!  When someone says, “have a nice day,” respond jubilantly with, “oh yes, it is a wonderful day!  I wish you a joy-filled day as well.”

So, that’s the basic experiment. Pam recommends you do it for 3 days.  But my feeling is that this is a legitimate spiritual practice and one that’s easy to do…and amazingly rewarding.  So, incorporate it into your daily routine and watch your whole approach to life shift. And then, watch the vibrational universe reflect that back to you in amazing and miraculous ways.

Okay…on your mark, get set, go Boogie-Woogie!

 

Cultivating a Grateful Heart

grateful heart 2If you’ve spent any length of time in personal development, spiritual community or New Thought, you know the importance of eliminating…as much as possible…negative thinking, limiting beliefs, self-defeating self-talk, or…as some refer to it, “stinkin’ thinkin”…and to instead embrace more positive, possibility thinking.

Why?  Because our thoughts…or more accurately our energy (which is by and large created by our thoughts) tends to create our experience in life.  If informs how we react to situations and…to a large degree…in creating those very situation.  This is, of course, basic New Thought 101

In practice though, we often find it’s not so easy to control our thinking and to consciously shift those limited, negative thoughts and to instead think positive, life affirming one.  Particularly when situations are challenging.

In a talk I gave the Sunday before Thanksgiving I reveal a much easier, and much more effective way to approach it.  It’s what Spiritual Economics author and legendary Unity minister, Eric Butterworth, calls cultivating a grateful heart.

Click here to watch that talk now.  And please leave your feedback.

Abundant blessings!

Gratitude Connects us with the Possibilities

possibilities quote dickensonOne of the most tangible ways in which the practice of gratitude can transform our lives is by opening our eyes to the possibilities and opportunities that are all around us…opportunities and possibilities that we did not see before because we were focused on what wasn’t working, on what wrong with everyone and everything.   It’s as if we’ve had blinders on, and the practice of gratitude gently pulls them off. We begin to see a beautiful world full of possibilities.  We begin to see the potential within us.  We begin in see the connectedness of everything, and how everything is working together for our good…if we will but recognize it!

Let’s take a few obvious examples, just to illustrate the point.  Say I was unemployed and couldn’t find a job to save my life.  Now, rather than constantly bemoan my circumstance and blame the government for my predicament I’m practicing gratitude.  I’m thinking about all the things I have to be grateful for as I’m driving down the road.  Suddenly I realize I’m lost.  I find myself on a new street and again, rather than falling prey to anger and blame, I notice what beautiful trees are lining this street. I’m suddenly grateful that I took a wrong turn.  Then I notice that behind the beautiful trees, which I’m grateful for, is a building I never noticed before.  “Oh look, it Burt’s Bees.  Hmmmm, I didn’t know they were headquartered here.  Gee, I wonder if they’re hiring.”  I go in, submit my resume, and in a few days I have a job at the company I’ve always admired.

Or, say I find myself in a coffee house. It’s very busy and I have to wait in a long line.  Rather than bemoan the inconvenience and stress about how late I am, I silently express my gratitude for the opportunity to have coffee, for soy milk so that lactose intolerant folks like me can still enjoy lattes, for the creative way the place is decorated, for the people around me.  Then, the cute guy in front of me remarks about the weather, or the song they’re playing, and we start up a conversation…which either leads to romance and a relationship or a business opportunity.

Or, I’ve taken my kids to the library to pick out some fun books to read at bedtime. I’m grateful for my children and for this time I get to spend with them. I’m grateful for this library and the people who work here.  As we’re walking through the isles on the way to check out, a self-help book catches my eye.  I pick it up and check it out.  It turns out to be a book that has a significant impact on my life.

I can think of many for examples, and so can you. In fact, if you’d like to share an example from your own life in the comment section below, we’d love to hear it.

We are all deeply connected to possibilities that can turn our lives around in ways we can’t even imagine.  But we’ll miss them all if we’re focused on what’s not working, and who’s to blame.  Gratitude opens our eyes to the connectedness of all things and the abundance of opportunities all around us.

Experiencing True Inner Peace

peaceful stepsThich Nhat Hanh’s book  “Peace is Every Step” begins with an invitation to open to the opportunities present in every day – every 24 hour period.  “What a precious gift!” he says.  “We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy and happiness to ourselves and others.”

And although it seems that some people are able to find more joy a day than others, the truth is that everyone has the same 24 hours…and every morning we wake up we have another opportunity to choose how we want to spend it.  Now I know some of you might be saying, “Well I don’t have a choice I have to work at this job I really don’t like.  Or,  “I have to get up early and make my kids breakfast and pack a lunch and drive them to school, then come back home and do loads of laundry.  I have to do that, that’s not my choice.”  Or is it?

In New Thought we know that on some level every circumstance in our life is our choice.  And certainly how we experience those conditions /situations is most definitely our choice.  We can either choose to be miserable, frustrated, board, unhappy, etc.  Or, we can choose something else.  In this post we’re going to explore that “something else.”  We’re going to explore how we can all choose to participate in the abundance of joy, peace and love that is all around us right now and within us right now…no matter the circumstances of our lives.  And when we can do that…the circumstances begin to shift and take on the shape of our new-found joy.

We, as a culture, spend a great deal of time planning for the future, or working toward some goal that we think will give us a better experience in the future.  But we don’t spend much time in the now, enjoying life right now in this present moment.  You know, when we get to that future that we had planned and worked so hard to have, do we enjoy it as much as we thought we would?  Do we ever finally “arrive”?

So, below are some ways we can really grab life for all it has to offer, and share with life all we have to offer, and live fully as we do…to live from a place of amazing joy and extraordinary peace!

  • The first way we might accomplish that is to start the day with gratitude.  This means that before you get out of bed in the morning, think of one thing…just one thing…you are grateful for.  It could be as simple as the sun streaming in your window, the fact that you had a good rest, or even that you’re alive…you woke up!  Then, as you’re getting ready for the day, continue to think of things to be grateful for…a fresh cup of coffee…clean clothes to put on…indoor plumbing…a warm shower, etc.  When you start your day this way it reminds you that you are truly blessed…that you do indeed live in a friendly universe.
    And really celebrating those things….not just “oh that’s nice”…but feel every fiber of your being celebrating that warm shower, the beautiful songs of the birds outside your window.  Let that gratitude vibrate to your core.  You can’t help but smile.  And the smile sends waves of relaxation throughout your body and sends healing hormones into all your organs.  Having a regular proactive gratitude practice has been proven over and over to have a ton of physiological benefits, from an analgesic effect on the body stimulating the release of the brain’s own morphine-like substances, to better heart functioning, to better sleep, to less depression, to increasing the antibodies in our nose & mouth – which are our first line of defense.Perhaps more importantly though, practicing proactive gratitude shifts our perception – how we look at the world.  We begin to live joyously and open-heartedly and in the present moment.  And that shift can change everything.
  • Another way we can begin to live more fully and become more peace-filled individuals is to engage in what I call “Conscious Living.”  This begins with becoming more conscious of our breathing.  Breathing more slowly, more deeply and more consciously helps us to be in the present moment…fully.  The breath connects us with our heart and with that place within us where we are connected with the Infinite…where the Divine breathes forth life through us and as us.  That one Divine Breath (in Aramaic it’s referred to as Ruha) is the same one we share with everyone else and with everything else on this planet.Now, let’s take that idea a step further and combine our breath with our footsteps as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests in his writings.  “Although we walk all the time, our walking is usually more like running. When we walk like that, we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth…We walk a little slower than our normal pace, and we coordinate our breathing with our steps. For example, we may take three steps with each in-breath and three steps with each out-breath.”This is a great tool to use and a great image to keep in mind as you walk really anywhere in your daily life.  Our walking to our car in the parking lot has the potential to become a meditation.  So does our walking to the mailbox, or from our car to any destination.  If we consciously coordinate our breath with our steps that will pull us into the now moment…into the peace of the now moment.  It will also help us to feel that connection with Mother Earth.  And our every step can be as a “kiss upon the Earth.”

    Another way we can become more fully present and hence more peace-filled people during our everyday lives is to eat more consciously.  Most of us, when we eat, most of the time we’re either chatting with others while we eat or watching TV or working (I’m guilty) and we so we don’t even taste the food we’re eating.  So we get to the end of a meal and we’re not satisfied.  Well then we need to have desert – maybe that intense load of sugar will get our attention.  We are a multi-tasking culture.  I’m not against multi-tasking per se.  Sometimes (particularly if you are a mom) you need to do it.  Isn’t that what MOM stands for?  Master of Multi-tasking.  But what if we just took one thing and brought our full attention to that thing?  What if we slowed down and were really present to what we’re eating?  Well, we’d develop a healthier relationship with food, that’s for sure.  And we’d be spending a good chunk of time in the present moment – fully enjoying our life.

    In fact, you can have an experience of that right now.  Take a grape.  One grape is all you need for this exercise (make sure it’s a good one and not a squishy one J).   And hold that grape in your hand.  Close your eyes and think about the vine the brought that grape to fruition.  In your mind’s eye see the vine growing from a little sprout to a full grown vine.  See all the cycles that contributed to the growth of that vine: the days of sun and the days the rain came to nurture that plant and bring it to fruition.  See now tiny little buds beginning to sprout.  Again the days of sun and rain help to ripen and sweeten the fruit until it is finally ready for picking.

    Think about who picks those grapes for a moment – probably migrant farm workers. They work so very hard to support their families.  You may want to send a silent blessing to them right now.

    Now, place the grape in your mouth and, before you bite into it, feel the roundness of the fruit in your mouth…the smoothness of the skin. Now bite into it and feel the juice being released.  Is it sweet?  Is it tart? What is the ratio of sweetness to tartness?  Feel the difference in texture between the skin and the inside.  How does it feel going down your throat?

    Okay open your eyes.  But a grape never tasted so good! Now, no one would ever have the time to do this with every morsel of food they eat obviously.  But it does give you an idea of how you can slow down, appreciate the food you are eating and be present to it all when you eat.

  •  The 3rd way we can live more fully and be more peace-filled people is to open to the Infinite Peace within us and give it to others.  If you are a unique emanation of the Infinite One (which you are,) and this Infinite One is the essence of Peace (which it is,) then you are, in fact, Infinite Peace in expression.  It is your very essence.  You may not be experiencing it right now, or at other times during the day, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t what you are.  It means you’re just not connected with it at that moment. The quality of Divine Peace is at your core and the more you connect with it through Spiritual Practice the more often you will experience it in your day to day life.  The more that peace will carry you through difficult times.  Then, when you’ve established a connection with that Peace the charge is to live it – share it with others. To “be” that peace for others.  We must establish it within ourselves first and “be it for others.”  Be a loving, peaceful presence for others.  We do that by consciously connecting with it and through setting our intention to be that.  Set your intention to actually peace the presence of peace for others.
  • That intention will undoubtedly lead you to being of service to others in some way.  And as you are of service to others you want to remember to do it from a place of inner peace.  You want to serve from an awareness that the Infinite Peace of the Universe flows through you in order to share with the world.  It starts at your center and spirals out to others and the world around you.  In this way, you can experience peace in your every step and truly become a “Peace-makers.”

Try some of these ideas for a week. Really integrate them into your daily life.  You will begin to see some very real shifts that originate in your inner being and then out into your experience.

But How Can I Feel Grateful When…

Have you ever asked yourself this question?  How can I focus on the blessings in my life angel tearswhen the events in the world are so sad and the prospects for change seem so bleak?  You may have asked yourself this question upon hearing of the tragic news in Charleston, South Carolina last week when a young white man walked into the Emanuel AME church, was welcomed into the Bible study group, spent an hour with those folks and then proceeded to shoot them all dead.  Yet another racially motivated hate crime.  Yet another angry, mentally deranged young man allowed to have a gun.

Last week I asked myself that question.

I asked myself that question when I heard that a friend was just placed in hospice care after battling stage 4 colon cancer. She’s barely forty years old and has a young child. After raising and spending billions of dollars in cancer research, lives are still cut short by this scourge.

And then, I remember.  Tragedies like these break our hearts…and break them open.  We feel immense compassion and the love in our hearts literally goes out to those affected.  Devastating events like the one in Charleston unite us as a people.  Skin color doesn’t determine how much love we feel for the families.  Our own religious affiliation doesn’t dictate the level of our compassion.  Suddenly we are all one people.   And our nation is, once again, actively debating the issue of gun violence.

When someone close to us is in the process of dying, family and friends draw closer. Suddenly old squabbles, past resentments melt away.  Only the love survives.  What’s ultimately important in life…sharing our love and light…comes to the forefront.  It’s all that matters.

Love unites.  Love heals.  And love is what finds a solution to the world’s problems.

And for that I feel extremely grateful!