Monday, December 6, 2010

Tidings of Comfort and Joy...

I've been thinking a lot lately about something my friend, Jacob said. He said, "Create a new fiction about yourself and it becomes true." I can't stress enough how important our inner dialogue is. The way we describe ourselves, the story we tell ourselves about our past, the words we choose and use every day create our lives. We are powerful beyond measure to guide our lives in the direction of our dreams and yet we mindlessly fall into habits that keep our lives the same - and then we wonder why things are not changing.

Jonas Chong, a clinical psychologist at the Sonaviv Medical Institute, tells us that we have, on an average about 60,000 thoughts a day - 87% of those thoughts are negative and repetitive. 97% of all negative thinking is a gross misrepresentation of reality. We are making it all up according to the stories that we continue to tell ourselves. Then we gather evidence that those stories are true and call them beliefs. It is a downward spiral from there and we find ourselves unhappy. The questions is, why do we always make it up on the downside? Why so negative?

I bring you tidings of comfort and great joy this season by reminding you that the changes you seek are not up to any force outside yourself. They lie within you. It's the best secret ever but it requires mindfulness. It requires diligence and attention because we're being asked to turn away from habits of thought that have become familiar. They are so ingrained in us that we don't even see how insidious they are. How many of us especially in this the busiest time of year, harp on how we're lacking in time, energy, money and resources? We dig the ditch of poverty in so many areas by constantly affirming what we don't have. Words themselves are not as powerful as the meaning we ascribe to them. It's how we think about what we say that's the most important. Use words like I can, I have, I'm happy about, I'm grateful for, I appreciate, and then watch even your body's posture change. Our bodies respond to the thoughts we feed it, as much as it does to the food we feed it. We have given certain words powerful meaning in our life. You know which ones they are by the way they make you feel. Stop using the words that make you feel bad. They make your moment unhappy, while at the same time becoming the blueprint for your next. You are the architect of your life. Start building a foundation for joy and happiness, rather than lack and despair. Let's stop arguing for our limitations. Listen to your words, what you say, how they make you feel and then stop the cycle. Don't let your mind chatter be as predictable as the seasons.

If there is an area in your life that is particularly lacking, grab onto an affirmation and as, Jacob goes on to say, "Say it until it becomes your truth and then look for the evidence of it." Look for evidence everywhere that your words are making a difference because you will find it. And then, give thanks for that evidence. Milk it for everything its worth. We talk about the bad things that happen ad nauseum, why not do the same for our moments of good? Your focus on the positive, even smallest of changes, will bring more of that into your life. Christiane Northrup talks about affirmations - words that affirm our good - as follows, "Affirmations don't make something happen, they make something welcome." If affirming that you are rich, when in fact you are struggling with your finances, is too hard for your mind to wrap itself around, instead try, 'Wouldn't it be great if...' Create scenarios in your brain for your life that feel great . Have fun with it. It becomes an attractive vibration. My husband likes to say, "The thing I like about that is..." He mines a situation for any good he can find there. Whether we act out something in our life or simply in our head, our brain does not discern one over the other as reality. Our thoughts create. As Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich said, "Thoughts have the peculiar quality of becoming their physical equivalence."

Joy and happiness have been highly underrated in our society. If you're happy, you've been perceived as simple, not series or significant; seeing the world through rose colored glasses, Pollyanna-ish. But in fact it's the opposite. Joy is not some airy-fairy, silly concept. It is the basis for creation. It is what is at the depth of our being - the very thing we crave in our lives and try to obtain through so many faulty avenues. Joy is an ever present state, which can be found even at the depth of sorrow. It is not about avoiding challenges, grief or sorrow. It is about shedding light onto those experiences for their value, for their gift. Look for that joy in everything you do today and when you find it, when it hits you, you will have experienced indescribable happiness and peace.

Do not be addicted to the struggle that keeps your life the same. Stop the negative affirmations that sound like, "I never, you always, my luck, holidays are always like..." Change the dialogue, change the beliefs behind the words that keep you stuck. Remember, a belief is just a thought you just keep thinking. Betsy Otter Thompson, author of the insightful book, Walking Through Illusion says, "we don’t take our beliefs with us when we leave here, we take the love we found from having them." 

Have the courage to imbue your life with more joy and then watch everything change. Create a new fiction about yourself and you will attract the life you seek. It's one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself this holiday season. 

I leave you with a video about a young man who chose not to believe in the story of poverty for his life. He dreamed a new story for his life and then became it.  

Finally, as we wrap up this year, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for you. I have such appreciation for each and every one of you who read this blog and take this journey with me. I applaud you for the work you are doing to change your life. It is contributing to the world in ways we've yet to imagine. You are all so very precious to me. Be comforted in the knowledge that on this journey, we are never alone and we are deeply loved. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Joy, Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!

I've been thinking a lot lately about something Christiane Northrup said in her immensely inspiring CD, The Power of Joy. While many of her points are so insightful - I cannot recommend this CD enough - the words that struck me the most were, "Everyone's going to die, but not everyone is going to live."

In a world where we run around with to do lists as long as our arm, trying so hard to achieve everything, we have left little room for an actual life. We've become too busy to enjoy our lives. We run around multitasking and trying to, "have it all," until we're just too damn tired to remember what the "all" was. We jam more into one day than our Grandparents did in a week until we end up running our cars into a pole because we're texting and driving at the same time.

Christiane Northrup goes on to say that if we don't make room in our lives for joy, it will be demanded of us in other ways. We will re-route the pleasure that we seek into a behavior or pattern that is far less nurturing like addiction - drugs, sex, food, work or the more subtle one, the busy adrenaline high. Even in our down times we find it hard to do just one thing. Our leisure time has been co-opted by multitasking. In a world where technology has delivered social networking to the end of our fingertips, we've never been so isolated. People walk down the street with their eyes riveted to their social devices barely looking up to acknowledge that another person has passed. We have walled ourselves off into a private space that defeats the desire that it initially strove to fulfill - interaction with another.

We've put pleasure on the back burner in order to earn enough, to do enough, to be enough in order to enjoy that pleasure that we seek. When all is said and done the most gratifying moments are the ones that we've had all along, time with our friends and loved ones. That interaction is so gratifying that we vow to do it again soon so we pull out our Blackberry's to try to fit it into our lives. At our fingertips is the love, joy and closeness we seek but we put it last on our "to do" list. How did we ever think that being busy would buy us those times we cherish the most? As Abraham explains, you cannot get to a happy end through unhappy means, it defies law. It's faulty problem solving at best and yet here we are. What now?

We were born to seek joy and we simply must build more of it into our days, our moments, our lives. We don't want to come to the end of our lives, and none of us knows when that could be, and say that we were too busy to enjoy it. It's like that old adage about how we're not going to regret the fact that we didn't spend more time at the office. If we make a small effort to include moments of joy into our lives, it will pay huge dividends. That time we set aside, even to laugh, becomes very attractive in the world of vibration. We will begin to attract more moments like that and then our aspect, as Buddhism would say, shifts and we are different. When consciousness shifts, even the slightest bit, we have set off a tsunami of change that will change us and our world. It's worth the small commitment. It's worth the time. It will be the most enjoyable effort you make. Make time to laugh, to connect with another, to offer a kind word or compliment, to smile at the stranger that passes you on the street. Joy is what we seek. Make time for it. It will pay big dividends when we put it at the top of our "To Do" list.

I leave you with a brilliant rant from the women who inspired this post, Dr. Christiane Northrup. "Every thought you think creates a cascade of biochemical changes in your body that are measurable. And every cell in your body communicates instantly with every other cell in your body; and, believe it or not, communicates with every cell in my body. And I'm thinking that the energy shift we do tonight (inciting joy) is the best hope for the war in Iraq, peace on the planet, cleaning up all kinds of pollution - that's what we're doing...this is the only thing that will change anything."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting!

I've been thinking a lot lately about the concept of divine right action - action that is inspired from within instead of being dictated from without. When our actions are directed by providence instead of deliberate force, our lives fall into place and we are happy.

So many of our actions are initiated from the outside in. We think that if our lives change as a result of our actions and efforts we will be happy - outside in. If we win the lottery we will be happy. If we get the boy or the girl or the job, we will be happy. It requires so much effort! It's exhausting. I don't know about you, but I have enough on my plate without having to continuously manage strategies for every area of my life - 6 steps to your best life, 5 easy ways to get the man of your dreams, 10 top tips to get the career you crave. Yikes!

We manipulate, plan and scheme. We initiate a plan before we prepare our inner landscape for change. It's like planting a garden in soil that has not been tilled. It is nearly impossible to get anything to grow and then if by chance it does, it usually doesn't last. My friend and I used to joke about the next relationship we were going to have. We'd say, "this time we're going to force love to work!" It's not unlike what we do in our lives.

It's been said that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Excuse me Deity, I realize you're busy keeping the planets aligned, but I have a good idea about how you can get me that thing that I want. All the anthropomorphizing aside, it's time for us to give up the control that is keeping us stuck. It's time to trust all the work we've done to change our lives and allow Divine Right Action to dictate our next indicated step. The guidance that we subscribe to, that which we call divine or God, our Buddha nature or the universal law, guides our lives from a perspective that is much grander than we can ever even conceive of. I'm sure you've had events happen in your life that were so synchronistic and were choreographed in such a way that you could have never devised - that is the perspective from which our higher selves lead us.

Let's work more on allowing and opening up our lives to receive all the good that awaits us. It's time. Our work is to bust the negative voices that hold us back and replace them with appreciation and gratitude; to change the habits that keep us, "creating with monotonous regularity the patterns of our past." Let's go within and love ourselves with a vengeance; forgive ourselves and others with a vengeance; release any shame - remember, these are all just habits of thoughts that only stay alive with our permission. Let's give ourselves the permission to live the life that we want, the life that we deserve, and we will effortlessly usher in the next move. It is our best thinking that has gotten us this far. It's time to let our divinity take over. As Abraham says, "You were meant to enjoy with action that which you created with thought."

I leave you with a wonderful rant from Oprah, which I think says it all, "It all boils down to one thing. It is your relationship to the Source. And that relationship to that which we call God or don't call God or don't even know is God, is all that matters. When you surrender and stop resisting and stop trying to change that which you cannot change but be in the moment, be fully open to the blessings which you have already received, and those that are yet to come to you, and stand in that space of gratitude and honor and claim THAT for yourself. And look at where you are and how far you've come and what you've gotten and what you've accomplished and who you are; when you can claim that and see that, the literal vibration of you life will change. The vibration of your life will change." 

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Art of Storytelling

I've been thinking a lot lately about the mantra that my old Science of Mind Practitioner would use when counseling...well, just about everybody. She would say nonchalantly but emphatically, "Not a word of truth in it, not a word of truth in it." Most of us would find that so hard to take. It was very disconcerting, especially if we were full into a story that was making us miserable. How could she be so heartless? Her tempering words, however, had a profound way of bringing us back to the truth, which remained, you are so much greater than the story you are now characterizing yourself by.

Not only do we tend to frame and characterize ourselves by these stories of our lives, we tend to keep ourselves stuck in a place that no longer serves our needs or desires by continually recounting them. It's time to let go of the stories that we keep telling - over and over again. Some are funny, poignant, disturbing, even salacious. Don't we love those! - We of the MTV, VH1, TMZ, reality generation. We love the titillating stories that spread virally faster than the newest disease on the block. The old newspaper mantra was, "If it bleeds, it leads." And it's never been more true in our exploitation of life that we've come to know as "Reality TV." In fact, nothing is further from reality than these shows that are edited to create the most surreal moments one can imagine. They are edited to foster division, jealousy, and hatred. They are as untrue as the disturbing stories we tell about our lives.

It's time to let go. I mean, really let go. We need to stop telling the stories that we think define our lives. Our words are so powerful, they create the container within which we create our lives. I think of Ernest Holmes insightful words when he said, "We create with monotonous regularity the patterns of our past." But we don't have to. Our past does not have to equal our future unless we let it. We must stop with the "yes, but..." argument and then launch into another story that gives evidence to this faulty thinking. We must let go, with a vengeance, in order to the live the lives we are dreaming of. In the words of the immensely talented and intuitive astrologer, Maria De Simone, "Get a grip, but first you'll need to let go!"

We are creatures of habit, there's no denying that. We tend to get into a rut or habit of thinking that we are not even aware of and yet it is guiding our lives. It's much like the tail wagging the dog. But the moment our awareness kicks in, when we shine a flashlight on our thinking, we will become blatantly aware of it. Marianne Williamson, used to say, and I'm paraphrasing here, that the moment we become conscious of a habit or a thought, we have changed it simply by virtue of our attention to it - it simply cannot be the same - ever. In other words our attention to something has already begun the process for healing or change.

Begin to notice the stories that you tell; stories about yourself and about others. You'll notice that we are attracted to re-telling disturbing incidents. Consider something that happens that really pisses you off - the jerk in traffic, your big mouth friend, a boss that will never understand what you do, or the roommate that drank the bottle of champagne that you were saving for a special occasion, only to throw it up on your new Flokati rug. You might tell and re-tell those stories for a week or more. If it has a good or funny twist to it, it might make the rotation of your top ten stories that you love to tell. Now consider how many times you will talk about the flowers that your husband gave you for your birthday - a week in advance! Just to commemorate the beginning of your birthday week! (Thank you, sweetheart. They are beautiful!) Why don't those stories have staying power? They are nice moments in our lives but more often then not, they fade into the background.

It's time to start mining the positive things that happen to us for all they're worth. Begin to collect stories of all the positive things that happen to you - remember what you focus on expands. Keep a journal of wonderful memories in your life - go back as far as you can remember. A surprise birthday party when you were 16 will not only be a treasured moment to look back on, but will also be the catalyst for future times of surprise and joy for you. Begin a gratitude list, of things that are happening right in your life. Appreciation is a powerful force for creation. Begin to move your thoughts in the direction of where you want your life to go.

I find comfort in heeding the words of a learned Buddhist and scholar, Daisaku Ikeda when he says, "There may be times when life seems gloomy and dull. When we feel stuck in some situation or other, when we are negative toward everything, when we feel lost and bewildered, not sure which way to turn - at such times we must transform our passive mind-set and determine, 'I will proceed along this path, I will pursue my mission today.' When we do so a genuine springtime arrives in our heart and flowers start to blossom."

Small changes will pay off in big ways. Don't think that you have to aim for perfection in order for things to change. Just put a wrench in your patterns and habits that keep you stuck. Baby steps have a way of accumulating and amassing momentum for change. Just change one thing this week. Catch a thought mid-stream and decide you are not going to let it disturb you any more. Realize how feeble it is on its own. Realize that on it's own merit, it falls apart. For example, a fear thought crossed my mind the other day about my career and I caught it. I ran it through my head again and knew that it was a lie. I replaced it with a strong affirmation that poured out of the center of my being. As quickly as that, I banished a thought that had taken up residency in my mind for years. Imagine my relief. Now that thought has no hold on me anymore. It is not directing my actions. I have changed it forever.  Immediately I saw the effect in my life, in subtle and not so subtle ways.

Here are a few more things you can do:

 - Check out The Work, Byron Katie's powerful method of questioning your thoughts.
 - Begin reciting the ABC's of powerfully charged words, advocated by the teaching of Abraham - A, appreciation; B, bliss; C, clarity and so on. Go all the way through the alphabet to Z and you'll see how this simple exercise will set you on a different course for your day.
- Check out Louise Hay's website where she offers a world of affirmations, books and CD's that will rock your world.

We are so much more powerful than the stories and thoughts we allow to define our lives. Simple exercises that interrupt our habitual mind chatter are powerful tools and they will change your life. You will begin to more easily let the things in that you want and it will begin an avalanche of change. You have begun to steer your life in the direction of your dreams.

This week, notice your words, notice your stories and make a conscious effort to let them go. In the wise words of Louise Hay, "What you think and what you believe will come true for you. Your thoughts create your life; it's that simple, and when we get that, we can make enormous changes."

I leave you with an inspiring video that my wonderful friend, Rachel forwarded to me. You will see how the man in this video has learned to defy his limitations and believe differently about them and his life. He personifies the words, "Not a word of truth in it."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Self Love 2.0

I've been thinking a lot lately about something Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love said, "Life begins the day you drop the knife that you are holding to your own neck."

With so many options and examples in the world today of who we think we should be and how we should act, we sometimes find ourselves in a swirl of uncertainty that leaves us far from resembling the person we were born to be. Media, in all its splendor, brings us examples of people living extraordinary lives and doing extraordinary things and in comparison we feel relatively insignificant. It's that "Aha" moment that would mortify Oprah when we judge ourselves lacking in comparison to others. When we "compare and despair." Anne Lamott, author and speaker, calls it "psychic Spanx." We squeeze ourselves into these molds that keep us smaller and more contained in our attempt to people please and gain affection, happiness, power and everything we deem important in this life. We tend to lose ourselves for those things that we want. It's faulty problem solving, at best.

It's time to shed the Spanx like our grandmother's did their girdles and realize how precious and amazing we are. We must silence that critical voice in our heads, or at least send it to it's room for more extended periods of time. We tend to look at our circumstances and the lessons that we are going through and judge them, or ourselves harshly. We forget that it is those circumstances that help us become more of who we are. They help us uncover our divinity and bring more love and happiness to our lives, which in turn allows us to bestow to others.

It's time to stop berating ourselves so harshly. The self criticism must be replaced with self forgiveness. We must begin to understand and accept the perfection of the things that we are going through and know that each and every day we are doing our best. Each challenge that we encounter helps us reveal more of our own divinity. And right there in the center of your spiritual identity is you. In all your quirky idiosyncrasies there is no one like you. You were born uniquely qualified to bring your gift into this world. No one can take your place.

We must begin to honor ourselves as much as we would a best friend, or a lover, or the ones we idolize who we think are doing so much better than we are. When my best friend is going through a difficult time I suggest that he look at himself through my eyes for the truth. Or as Ann Lamott so succinctly puts it, "The self that is reflected in the love of your very best friends' eyes."

We are given opportunities to shed the skins that cover our true divinity every day. Or as the Buddhists say, opportunities to polish the diamond of our own enlightenment. But what does that mean? It means we get to look at our anger or resentments that we hold. We get to look at our beliefs, those thoughts that we keep on thinking, that no longer serve us. Thoughts that we hold as true but don't examine where they came from. We get to look at that anger that might reveal itself as an addiction or compulsive dieting or binging or shopping, smoking, drugs or the bitter mind chatter that has us arguing for our limitations.

They come up in our reality so we can see that they are no longer needed for our protection. They come to pass, not to stay. Or as my friend Jacob would say, "When you are going through hell, KEEP GOING - do not sit down and languish in the misery of it all." Do not stay and criticize and demean yourself. Drop the knife that you are holding to your own neck and realize that these circumstances have come into your life to help you become more of your magnificent self. It's time to turn the love hose back onto ourselves. It's the only way we can extend it to others. A starving man can never offer food to another. It's the only thing that will bring peace - peace to our own hearts and peace to a world that is too harshly extending its own judgment outwardly. 

We hold all the power in our hands and hearts. Dare to think differently when a self loathing thought crosses your mind. You are standing up in the midst of a storm with all the courage you can muster, in order to reveal your divinity. It is brave and noble stance and it is worth your self approval. Love yourself where you are right now.

I leave you with a quote from Henry Miller who said, "If we have not found heaven within, it is a certainty we will not find it without."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh, Brother!

I've been thinking a lot lately about something A Course In Miracles says, "Charity is a way of looking at another as if he had already gone far beyond his actual accomplishments in time." Wouldn't that be great if we actually did that? We all know that forgiveness is something that we do for ourselves in order to release the pain that is holding us back - it never has anything to do with the other person. You know that old adage about how holding on to anger and resentment is like "taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." But when we perceive another as if he's already accomplished his desires, that is a powerful act and a substantial contribution to another person.

When Jesus healed someone, it was because he saw that person as perfect. He held the perfection of the person in his consciousness. He did not see the disease, the problem or lack. In his presence, they were whole and then they would become that. This is why so many spiritual teachers do not want to hear our stories. They don't want to be dragged into our dysfunction or dis-ease. It is not the truth of who we are.

I was fortunate to know Ernest Holmes'  Practitioner, Vetura Papke. She was my teacher and my Practitioner. The first time I made an appointment to see Vetura for spiritual guidance, she sat behind a desk in all her 80-some years of glory. She was as sweet looking as the kindest grandmother and she always smelled like flowers. As I began to lay out my woes, I noticed that she was mumbling something. I continued telling my story and the mumbling got worse. It was as if she wasn't even paying attention to me at all. Finally, I stopped and pointed out to her that I had waited a long time for this appointment and it didn't feel like I was getting her attention. She said, ever so sweetly, "Oh no dear, I hear you." "Then what is it that are you so adamantly mumbling," I asked. I'll never forget her answer. She said, "Not a word of truth in it. Not a word of truth in it."

She refused to see me the way I was describing myself. She knew that my story was not who I was. She held firmly to the truth of who I was; to my highest potential, my higher self. She would not give credence to my circumstances. Because of that I was able to rise to the vision that she held for me. She saw me as far beyond my actual accomplishment at the time. What would the world be like If we could do that for others? A Course In Miracles calls it true charity. We are, in essence, enabling one another to live up to dreams that we hold for ourselves.

If you pay any attention, at all, to politics these days, you'll notice how much division there is between people drawn along party lines. There is such nasty, vengeful derisiveness that it borders on violence. And it is building to a feverish pitch. It is the other side of the spectrum to that which The Course advocates. It is looking at the worst in people; concentrating on their faults and it is all done for political gain (or television ratings) and very little of it involves the truth, but that doesn't matter. Say something long enough, about yourself or another, and you will begin to believe it. The power of words should never be underestimated. It is a game forged for gain and it does not serve anyone. It is so detrimental because it only serves to degrade the world that we all live in.

Politics, notwithstanding, most attack comes from our own projection of guilt. We bury things we've done in the past, that we are not proud of, and then seek to disown the guilt. Then we project it onto another person and feel justified in attacking them. That vicious cycle only exacerbates separation and personal despair.

When will we get it that we are all one? To quote Jesus again - not to put him in the spotlight too much but we just celebrated that resurrection thing and I figure he deserves it - "And whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me." The law of cause and effect is as alive in our world as is the law of gravity. What goes around comes around. Quantum physics also weighs in heavily on this topic with string theory. We're all part of a cosmic field that unifies us. 

The power we hold is undeniable and we can use it any way we choose. As Marianne Williamson says, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.." And we are. If we are mindful of our actions we can create an unbelievable world for ourselves and others. The Talmud tells us that, "A light for one is a light for a hundred." We cannot forge good deeds for others without reaping benefit. We are all intrinsically connected.

This week I encourage you write down any guilt that you might be feeling. Guilt is the most destructive and useless emotion and it is usually a lie. Ask yourself the 4 questions that Byron Katie asks in The Work, starting with, "Is it true?" Set yourself free of the guilt that holds you back from seeing yourself and your brother as innocent, worthy, valuable and important. Practice unrelenting forgiveness for yourself so that you might see more clearly. Anyone or anything that bugs the shit of you is your key to areas in your own life that need attention and forgiveness.


Practice seeing others living far beyond their actual accomplishments. See your best friend as the actress she wants to be; your husband thriving in the career that he loves; your sister being the mother that she longs to be. These thoughts become powerful waves of vibration that impact us and the people in our lives, much like prayer. We are all one and we must begin to act like it. Let's take the high road this week and begin to see each other as perfect. Let's hold each other in the highest esteem. I believe it will change the world.

I leave you this week with a quote from the Buddhist author and philosopher, Daisaku Ikeda who said, "Great people never forget what others have done for them."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Powerfully Remembering

I've been thinking a lot lately about something Dr. Robert Holden, Director of the Happiness Project said about control. He said, "Shift happens – when you let go!" Too much control can cramp creativity, cause power struggles, block flow and upset relationships." Now, I don't know about you but this new year seems to be seriously kicking butt. It's requiring an unparalleled vigilance to let go! - Letting go of thoughts that no longer serve us, letting go of pain from the past, letting go of grievances toward ourselves and others and letting go of our limiting thoughts. It's as if the universe is conspiring for our good in an unrelenting manner. Ready or not, here we go.

We have been asking and make no mistake, we are getting answers. Unfortunately, sometimes we don't like the answers that we get. Can we be happy and fulfilled without having to change? Apparently not. It was Einstein who said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” In other words, if we seek to solve our problems from the level of the brain and logic, relying on the same source from which we created them, we only perpetuate what I call faulty problem solving. We must no longer funnel our actions through the pain of our past. It will always color our results and give us more of the same. In this year, like no other, we are being asked to give up our limiting thoughts and beliefs in order to create the lives that we seek. The past does not have to equal the future and yet we rely on the past to give us the vision of tomorrow.  That's all about to change. We live in a time of unparalleled opportunity. 

It is time to reach beyond our pain and our history and our fears, step out of those thoughts that continue to create unwanted circumstances and let go with a vengeance. I believe that 2010 is giving us more opportunity to let go. I am feeling it stronger than ever and I believe it's because we've been asking, universally and individually, stronger than ever. As we continue to ask, pray and request change, the pressure becomes greater in our lives to make those internal changes that are holding us back.

As the great thinkers know anything we seek must begin within us. Nothing is outside of ourselves. As Gandhi put it, "We must become the change that we want to see." And Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist leader and philosopher says,"A great revolution in just a single individual will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation, and further, will enable a change in the destiny of humankind." We are powerful beyond measure - not only to create the dreams in our own lives, but to change the world. I believe we've come to the limit of tolerance for settling. No longer can we live the small lives that our limiting beliefs have created. We've put out the strong edict...ENOUGH.

I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to postpone my good while I'm working hard for it. Sounds silly, I know. I forgot to trust the process and I took back the reigns of control believing more in what I could make happen through virtue of hard work.  I got so caught up in the work that I kept creating more work. Remember, what we focus on gets bigger. I forgot to let go and trust my higher good. I forgot to have faith in a mystic law that creates unfathomable good in our lives. I forgot.

I thought I could make it all happen and force my dreams into place. Then I remembered that my job is to be responsible for myself on a deeply committed level and let the effect of those causes play out naturally in my environment. I do not have to run around fixing everything in my world;  I must be more concerned with tuning in to a heart and a mind whose intentions are creating my world. I must quickly dismiss any thought that relies on past circumstances telling me that 'I can't do this or that,' 'that will never work,' 'that doesn't make sense.' I must reach for the higher thought, the truth that speaks quietly behind those doubts - that voice of my higher self that reminds me of Jesus' words when he said, "...and greater works than these shall you do..." 

Let's not let the thoughts of worry, about a future that isn't even real and might never come, invade our minds. Let's be vigilant and let go of the past and residual voices that hold us back. We must unequivocally take a stand and say - sorry, but you're not welcome here any more. As Esther Hicks, teacher of the Abraham material, says to those pesky voices, "Thank you for sharing now go to your room." Let's refuse them anymore entry into our lives and our world. Let's take powerful responsibility for our lives and change them in a manner that "will enable a change in the destiny of humankind." Let's enable the good and let go of control that fosters old, unwanted behavior. 

If you need to know which areas of your life need adjustment, listen to your own words. As you offer advice to another listen carefully to the wisdom and guidance you are giving, because it remains true that we teach best what we need to learn.

2010 is leaning on us hard to give us what we've been asking for. This is the year. It is rife with opportunity and relentless in its request for us to let go. What is called for here is diligent attention to returning to the truth of who we are and trusting the relationship between our higher selves and our universe to deliver our hearts desire. I'm committed. Who's with me?

I leave you with a wonderful quote from John F Kennedy who said, "...Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Faith or Fear?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the adage, "the past does not equal the future." Unfortunately, for most of us it does. As Ernest Holmes used to say, "We create with monotonous regularity the patterns of our past." It's 2010! Aren't you ready to break free of those patterns that keep recreating situations that you no longer want? I sure am!

When we rely on our past to guide us through our future, consciously or unconsciously, we are asking for the same outcome. When we create our future based on the pain of our past it does not result in happiness. Caroline Myss, author and teacher, tells us that "True healing requires that we find a route beyond our pain so it does not control us or cause us to want to punish or control others."

So what do we do? Our past does not go away. It's part of who we are. And make no mistake, it has made us into the wonderful human beings that we are today. But when there is unresolved pain or fear attached to our past it has a way of impacting our future. It also begins to create disease in our bodies as a result of the dis-ease in our minds. If you find problems in your relationships, career, family and health that continue to surface, chances are that they are signs of an unresolved past. This is good because this is the way we are directed to the root of our problems, our pain and our unhappiness. We can no longer blame anything or anyone outside of ourselves. There is a common denominator in every problem you!

This is the good news. It means we have the power to change it. This is inner transformation. This will change our destiny because we are not doing the same thing and expecting different results - which, I believe, is the definition of insanity. Caroline goes on to say that, "this type of inner work demands we defeat our reasoning minds and enlist deeper resources within ourselves, namely the power of our souls. And getting in touch with that power is, without a doubt, an act of grace generously given to those who ask." I believe we are all asking. And when we do, answers reveal themselves in unexpected ways.

When you feel fear or discomfort as you proceed in a new direction in your life, you can be sure that it is linked to a painful past - it's hitting on a memory like cold water hits on a cavity. This is your sign. Your negative emotions are the best indicator of what's amiss. From this place there are so many things you can do to release its grip. You can do Byron Katie's, The Work; move up the emotional scale with the aid of tools from Abraham. You can pray and invoke your spiritual guides; or chant a strong and powerful Buddhist chant and then move forward with that new determination. You may simply need to forgive yourself or another by writing about it. It usually has nothing to do with another person. Healing happens at the level of the heart. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of something is all that is needed. It discharges the energy it has to miscreate in your life. We are constantly being directed toward our good and there is help, seen and unseen, all along the way. I recently reminded myself, by way of a friend's inquisition, that "If you knew Who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible." – A Course in Miracles

We are demanding that 2010 be the year that delivers the good that we've been holding at bay. We will no longer subscribe to the fear of our limiting beliefs. We must begin to act from faith not fear. Faith, that we are being guided to our most perfect grace; not F.E.A.R - false evidence appearing real. When we poke at that fear, it's reality will disappear and the evidence of it in our lives will be gone.

I have been addressing money concerns differently this year and already getting markedly different results. I am consciously choosing not to think with the mind and memories of my past on the subject. I choose instead to think with the power of my soul and invoke all the help that I know surrounds me. If fear comes up, I lean heavily upon my faith and know with a strong inner knowing that all is well and getting better by the moment. My next step will be one of confidence knowing that I am boldly being directed to my good. I choose faith over fear because I have taken responsibility for my past and everything that happens in my life - I can't even blame the economy for it - that would leave me powerless and impotent to affect my future.

My friend, Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup fame, puts it well when he says, "...fear is self created by focusing on something in the future that hasn't happened yet." And we base that fear on our past. Let's stop perpetuating and creating fear. Let's bless our past for all that it continues to teach us and move boldly into 2010, confident that we are creating the lives we desire.

I leave you this week with a quote from Thoreau, who said it best! "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined."