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!

Stepping Out in Faith

leap of faith

The last few posts have been all about expanding our idea of what we think is possible for ourselves and the world.  We’ve explored these limitless possibilities, and then worked to become a vibrational match to those qualities or experiences we want to grow in our lives.  I’ve talked about the power of our thoughts and beliefs – because knowledge is power, and the more you understand how powerful you really are the more you can use that power consciously to create your experience in life and to become a light for others.

So today we’ll complete this cycle of ideas of growing our good by talking about how to step out in faith.

One of my favorite Biblical passages is in Hebrews: “For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1)  This passage describes exactly the process I’m talking about.  Everything is created out of an invisible infinite possibility.  New Thought pioneers referred to it as this Infinite Invisible Substance that is all around us (the substance of things hoped for…the evidence of things not seen.)  And what causes the invisible substance, the infinite possibility, to come into form and experience?

Intention…intention infused with faith.

Faith is more than a thought.  It’s more than an acknowledged desire.  It’s more than an affirmation.  It’s more than a vision board.  It’s more than prayer.  All these things can get us there.  In fact, that’s the point of affirmation, prayer, vision boards, white stones, etc…the point of them is to get us to a place of faith…that state of being wherein when we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our good – the good we want to bring into experience in our lives – is already ours.  It’s a certainty.  No doubt about it. We can then act on that faith from a place of knowing that it will show up as we move forward into life.

Do you remember the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?  There is a part of the movie where Indiana finds himself in a situation that, in order to save his father’s life, he must successfully navigate through the 3 very difficult trials – a misstep in any of them and he’s a dead man.  He does have an ancient guide with him that gives him these obscure clues, which he has to figure out quickly in order to survive, and to save his father’s life.  The last one finds him running through a tunnel…which ends abruptly as he finds himself standing on the edge of a deep abyss.  The ancient text tells him to “step from the head of the lion.”  Here’s a link to that exact scene.

Indiana Leap of Faith

I love this film because it’s literally about stepping out on faith.  That out of the invisible substance, through faith, something solid emerges that is the answer to our heart’s desires.  For Indiana, that’s saving his father’s life.  And in this scene in particular, he has to connect to his heart – which is our connection with the Divine within. Then only after he’s done that, does he take action.

This is not a bad model for us.

Have you heard the saying: The Divine can work for us only as It works through us.  We must first be a willing vessel for Divine wisdom to direct our action.  We must then be willing to take that action…regardless of any resistance, fear, or discomfort.  In growing our good we will no doubt experience one or all of that.  But we must be willing anyway.

So let’s break it down and make it doable for ourselves.

Connecting with and listening to our Divine Wisdom.  That’s something most of us on a spiritual path strive to do.  Because we know that living our lives….making decisions…moving in the world….making changes in our lives…from our heads…from our own “self-initiated plans” as the Course in Miracles refers to it, will only serve to make us unhappy.  We’ll end up doing a lot of running around, working really hard, but not really getting anywhere.  It’s also coming from the smallest part of ourselves.  Our very small human dimension.

When we connect with the Divine Wisdom within and allow that to guide us, we are coming from a larger place…the place where we are connected with Source energy, and where we are connected with everyone and everything else.  When we move into action this way, things begin to line up for us.  This is when synchronicity happens.  We move out into the world on purpose and tend to achieve far more in less time.  We can be assured that our Divine Wisdom will always move us in the direction of our highest purpose unfolding and what we create will be deeply fulfilling, add joy to our lives, and even offer healing to the world.

Get comfortable with discomfort.  Following Divine Guidance isn’t always easy, or pain-free, or fear-free.  No, in fact moving out into action following Divine Guidance often pushes us against our “growing edge” and that’s usually uncomfortable.  That’s why it’s helpful to have support.  And it’s important to remember that every time we feel that fear as we’re taking that leap of faith…we want to connect with our heart (as Indiana did) remind ourselves of our true purpose, and remind ourselves that the fear is simply shedding old skin…allowing us to grow into the magnificent beings we are meant to be.

My daughter, Olivia, just auditioned for The Voice in February.  She’s unusual in kids her age as she knew early on what she wanted to be when she grows up.  She always wanted to be a singer and performer.  She started singing when she was about five.  She has been wanting to audition for one of these televised singing contests for a while now.  As she’ll be turning 16 by the time the show airs she was finally allowed to audition.  Olivia worked on her audition song night and day and envisioned herself at least getting through to the next level where she would be on the show.  So she made the argument for taking us to NYC where the auditions where held.  Didn’t take much to convince me as I preach “going for your dreams” (saying no to her would be hypocritical of me.)

So we went through the grueling process of lining up outside in 10 degree weather in New York City…and waiting and waiting and waiting.  Olivia was one of the youngest to audition that I could see.  Most where 17 or 18 and above.  As we got closer Olivia started to get really nervous.  In fact she was literally shaking all over.  Fortunately I was there to help her breathe deeply and affirm her talent and ability.  By the time she got into the room to audition she had calmed down a bit and had centered herself.  Well she sang really strong – the best I’d heard her.

What happened?  Out of the 10 people who auditioned in the room with her, only 1 was selected to go on to the next level and it was not Olivia.  It was a duo who were amazing, and who had performed professionally around town.

Now some people might take this experience as the universe saying – you’re not good enough and you shouldn’t have even tried this…particularly at such a young age.   But not Olivia.  She sees it as now knowing how high the bar is and how hard she will have to work to get there, as well as what to work on.  So for that, it was an invaluable experience and totally following Divine Guidance and moving out into action in spite of the fear.  Feeling the fear and doing an excellent job anyway is golden experience.

So know that it doesn’t always show up the way you imagined it would, and it often feels uncomfortable.  But it’s all growth and moving one step closer to the realization of your dreams.

We have all been given unique skills, talents and abilities which the Universe uses to give of Itself to the world.   Each one’s true unique abilities, properly aligned with Divine purpose, is extremely valuable and essential to the healing of the world.

The place to begin is to first connect with inner Divine Wisdom and then…follow that wisdom!  Here are some steps to assist you in your journey.

  1. Connect in.  Get into some form of meditation…whatever helps you transcend the chatter of the ego so that you can hear your inner wisdom (click here for a guided meditation).  When you are there, begin listen for the wisdom of your Higher Self.  Some people feel the connection with their inner wisdom in their bodies.  So search your body and see if something feels different, or more peaceful somehow.  You could even ask for a signal from your Higher Self to let you know you are connected with and hearing Divine Wisdom. Ask for a signal and you’ll receive one.  It’s usually very subtle so be alert to any small changes.  For other people it’s just a deep knowing.
  2. Ask. Once you’re there, ask this question of your Inner Wisdom.  “How am I to step out in the world to facilitate the growth of my dream this year?”
  3. Listen.  Your answer could appear as a stream of consciousness, a seemingly unrelated explosion of ideas.  It could be a general direction to move in.  It could be an image, or several images. It could even appear as a well-organized “to-do” list.  It’s all good.
  4. Write it down.  Now…allow your inner wisdom to guide your thoughts, and your hand, in writing down Spirit’s ideas using the space provided in your handout.  Writing it down often clarifies ideas.
  5. Move into action.  Once you’ve received guidance, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense at the moment, or fit into your other plans, or relate to anything you’ve ever done before – you must act upon it.  Even if it brings up your fear, move into action.  You must trust enough to take the first step.  When you do, you will be sending the Universe a message that you are taking this seriously. The Universe will then continue to support your intention.

As you continue this process one step at a time, listening, following…listening, following, etc, it will really begin to flow and before you know it you’re walking on a clearly marked path, your fulfillment plainly in view.

This is how you cultivate a relationship with your inner wisdom.  It will not fail.

Be grateful for the guidance and celebrate each step of the way.  Even if your taken action doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere, know that you are learning and developing essential skills when it does arrive (think of Olivia’s experience.)

When you combine cultivating the Divine Wisdom within in the silence with inspired activity, you are integrating the energy of both dimensions of your being…the spiritual and the physical…and you will experience both spiritual and tangible fulfillment.



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!


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.

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:

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!